The majority of the hard rock loving public are probably not aware their was a band called Sleeze Beez. Hair metal fans know them, (most of them love this band) but very few are aware that Sleeze Beez put out a fourth studio album in 1994.
The hair metal scene was on life support by this time, and new releases such as this one, got very little, if any mentions in the press.
The tunes on Insanity Beach have a much harder edge than the Sleeze Beez previous releases.
Many hard rock acts from the late 80’s and early 90’s tried to update their sound in an effort to keep going. The change in the Sleeze Beez sound isn’t quite as drastic as the updated sounds from Warrant, Shotgun Messiah, or Asphalt Ballet. It may be a harder approach, but its very listenable.
My favorite cuts on this disc are “Human Zoo“, “Sacrifice“, and the title track “Insanity Beach“. While I don’t think this CD is as good as Screwed, Blued & Tattooed, it is better than previous effort, Powertool.
This disc has been out of print for a while, but you can still find copies of it on eBay. Happy Hunting!
For more information on the Sleez Beez, check out this link.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Tell It to the Judge
2. Save Myself
3. Gun Culture
4. Youth is a State of Mind
5. DUI (Intoxicated)
6. Human Zoo
7. Best Things in Life Are Free
8. The Long Goodbye
10. Hate Rock and Roll
11. Insanity Beach
12. Scream (Encore)
Sleeze Beez are:
Andrew Elt – Vocals
Chriz Van Jaarsveld – Guitar
Jan Koster – Drums
Don Van Spall – Guitar
Ed Jongsma – Bass Guitar
Lion’s Dangerous Attraction has been a compact disc that was my achilles’ heel, so to speak. I have been trying to track down a copy of this CD for close to a year now, and finally snagged a copy of eBay. Why should I (or anyone else) care about the band Lion? This is the some of the earliest recorded work by current Whitesnake guitarist, Doug Aldrich. If you own the new Whitesnake CD, Good To Be Bad, you are well aware of the kind of awesome axeman Doug Aldrich is.
Aside from Aldrich, the rest of Lion is pretty impressive. This band also features Kal Swan from the band Tytan, and drummer Mark Edwards from Steeler. Dangerous Attraction is considered by many as Lion’s best work, and I would not disagree. The music on Dangerous Attraction is fairly typical 80’s hair metal, but it is really good stuff. I would describe Lion’s sound as a cross between RATT and Whitesnake.
Swan’s voice is fairly unique. His English accent propelled by his deep throaty screams and melodic tones makes this music stand out. Aldrich’s guitar work on Dangerous Attraction is superb. This guy was shredding like no tomorrow 21 years ago, and is still getting it done today. His talent shines on this album, and as a result there isn’t a band song on Dangerous Attraction.
Lion is one of the lesser know acts of the 80’s and this CD, has been out of print for a long time. Copies of the CD turn up on eBay from time to time, but they usually sell for crazy amounts. If you are fan of Swan or Aldrich, this disc is worth seeking out. 80’s hair metal fans will like this too.
You can listen to a couple of the songs off of this album below.
Rating:Out of 10
Kal Swan – Vocals
Doug Aldrich – Guitars
Jerry Best – Bass
Mark Edwards – Drums
The Angels’ Face to Face was released in 1978, and in 1980 in the United States under the moniker Angel City (the U.S. already had a band named Angel). This band was influential on several hard rock acts including one of the more recent acts Airbourne. Knowing this, I had to seek out a copy of the Face to Face to see what The Angels had to offer.
The Angels have a sound that is riff-heavy, pub rock similar to but not the same as AC/DC. This band isn’t quite as heavy, and singer Doc Neeson’s voice isn’t as abrasive as Bon Scott’s or Brian Johnson’s voice.
The overall production value on Face to Face definitely sounds a little dated. Their is no question that this music came from the 70’s. While the music isn’t unlistenable, it is just doesn’t meet the quality of today’s recordings.
I don’t know if I would call Face to Face essential, but there are some good songs to found here. “Take a Long Line”, “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again”, “Can’t Shake It” (which was later covered by Great White on their 1991 CD, Hooked), and “No Exit” are the best songs in my opinion. All of these tunes sound as if they would translate well live. They are songs that will get you on your feet, and get you rocking. A couple of these songs should have got some radio play in the U.S., but for whatever reason never seemed to crack the U.S. airwaves. It is a shame, as The Angels are solid act, even though they are largely unknown on U.S. soil.
Those of you looking to track down a copy of Face to Face are in luck. You can find new copies of this CD at Amazon.com for under 10 bucks. Check them out!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Take a Long Line
3. After the Rain
4. Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again
5. Shadow Boxer
6. Comin’ Down
7. Out of the Blue
8. Can’t Shake It
9. Waiting for the World
10. No Exit
The Angels are:
Chris Bailey – bass
Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup – drums, vocals
John Brewster – rhythm guitar, vocals
Rick Brewster – lead guitar, vocals
Doc Neeson – lead vocals
Chicago’s D’Molls formed in the mid 80’s and secured a recording deal before many of the glam metal bands from the late 80’s early 90’s metal acts made a name for themselves.
Like many of the bands of the era, D’Molls never really caught on, except with the hard core sleaze/glam metal fans.
The music on Warped reminds me of a heavier edged Poison, with raspier vocals from Desi Rexx, and better back up vocals.
There are quite a few cool songs that I think hair metal fans would enjoy including “Real Love”, “Centerfold Girl”(which you can hear below)”, and “Passion” S.S. Priest’s guitar work on this disc is way above average on Warped. This CD made me want to find more stuff that he has played on.
The music may not be original, but it does rock. Their isn’t a bad song on this disc.
Warped, and the D’Molls self titled debut from 1988, are becoming increasingly harder to find, are selling for large sums on eBay. In fact, if you need a quick fix of D’Molls, you may be better served by their greatest hits CD, The Best of Everything, which is available through CDBaby. Happy Hunting!!
For more information on D’Molls, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. My Life
2. Down T’Nothin’
3. Backstage Bombers
4. This Time It’s Love
5. Real Love
6. On ‘N’ On
7. The Answer
8. Centerfold Girl
10. Father Time
Billy Dior – Drums
Desi Rexx- Vocals, Rhythm and Slide Guitar
S. S. Priest – Lead Guitar
Lizzy Valentine – Bass Guitar, Piano, and Percussion
I must admit that I only discovered The Poor recently, when I found out that they opened up for AC/DC on their Ballbreaker tour. I didn’t wee AC/DC on that tour, but I found I strange that I didn’t know about a band, that opened up for them. On the strength of their tune “More Wine Waiter Please”, The Poor also opened up for KISS, Van Halen, The Scorpions and more.
The Poor’s sound is definitely AC/DC inspired. I don’t know if I would call them an AC/DC clone, but I hear instances where they sound like Airbourne (or is it Airbourne that sounds like them) and Rhino Bucket, with a little bit of 80’s hair metal guitar for good measure. Interestingly enough, The Poor’s drummer, James Young is the nephew of Malcolm & Angus Young.
While the music on this disc is not very original, it is pretty good. This is one of those CD’s where I like every song. Some of my favorite cuts are “Dirty Money”, “Tell Someone Who Cares”, “More Wine Waiter Please”, and “Liar”.
For more information on The Poor, check out their myspace page, and tell someone who cares! You can find copies of this disc, at Amazon.com and on EBay. The band reunited for an opening slot with W.A.S.P. in 2008, so we have not seen the end of The Poor. Check them out!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Dirty Money
3. Man of War
4. Tell Someone Who Cares
5. More Wine Waiter Please
6. Ain’t on the Chain
8. Hair of the Dog
11. Only the Night
The Poor is:
Skenie – Vocals
Julian Rv Grynglas – Guitars
Matt Whitby – Bass
James Young – Drums
I must admit that when I found a copy of the Little Angels CD, Young Gods in my local rock shop recently, I didn’t know very much about them. I guessed by the cover art that they would be another average hair metal act that I had forgotten about. I decided to take a chance on the band, and purchased this disc.
I really didn’t expect Young Gods to be much. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find a disc full of good catchy tunes.
It sounds as if the band was trying to tap into the early 90’s glam metal scene with some of their songs. Take one look at the video for the song Boneyard (below) and you will see what I mean. Not all of the songs are in the style of late 80’s/early 90’s pop metal. This disc has a good mix of pop metal, AOR, and maybe a small dash of southern rock.
The musicianship of Little Angels appears to be a lot better than many of the bands that found success in the United States in the 90’s. Bruce John Dickinson is a pretty good guitar player. His guitar licks combined with the piano, and keyboards of his brother, Jimmy is a pretty stout combination in my book.
Toby Jepson, The voice of Little Angels, can go from a clean vocal to a Tom Keifer like scream. I like is style and I believe he is a very under rated vocalist.
Some of my favorite cuts are Back Door Man, The Wildside Of Life, and She’s A Little Angel. I don’t recall hearing any of these songs on the radio, or seeing any of the Little Angels’ videos on MTV back in the day. Apparently, the band was pretty popular in the UK, but never gained a foothold in the United States. It is a shame as Young Gods is an above average disc that I have been enjoying a great deal. If you can find a copy of this out of print disc, I recommend picking it up.
For more information on Little Angels, check out their myspace page at this link.
Rating:Out of 10
I Ain’t Gonna Cry
She’s A Little Angel
Radical Your Love
Product of the Working Class
1. Back Door Man
3. Young Gods (Stand Up, Stand Up)
4. I Ain’t Gonna Cry
5. The Wildside Of Life
6. Product Of The Working Class
7. That’s My Kind Of Life
8. Juvenile Offender
9. She’s A Little Angel
10. Sweet Love Sedation
11. Radical Your Lover
12. Natural Born Fighter
13. Feels Like The World Has Come Undone
Little Angels Are:
Toby Jepson – Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Mark Plunkett – Bass & Backing Vocals
Bruce John Dickinson – Guitars, Banjo & Nylon Strung Acoustic
Jimmy Dickinson – Keyboards, Piano, Hammond CD & Backing Vocals
Michael Lee – Drums & Percussion
In 1990, Baltimore rockers, Child’s Play released their debut album on Chrysalis Records.
Strangely enough, I originally owned this on cassette tape when it first came out. I didn’t recall liking this album very much. I finally tracked down a copy of this CD, a few of months ago, and was pretty amazed with the tunes on Rat Race. It has been years since I have listened to this, and in 2008, I found this much more to my liking.
Child’s Play has a sound that I would say is a cross between Skid Row, L.A. Guns, and maybe a dash of Spread Eagle. This is very good sleaze metal with a good mix of late 80’s glam. The first four songs on Rat Race absolutely rip. This is the way to start off an album.
The band slows it down somewhat with the tune Wind, which is a mid-tempo, acoustic based rocker.
Evicted picks the pace back up, this time with drummer John Allen on vocals. Allen’s vocals sound quite a bit like L.A. Guns front man, Phil Lewis. The album rocks out all the way until the last song.
Rat Race is out of print, and is become increasingly harder to find. If you are a fan of the late 80’s and early 90’s hard rock sound, you need to find this disc. I am enjoying Rat Race, and I think you will too.
If you are curious to find out what the guys in Child’s Play have been up to, check out this website.
Rating:Out 0f 10
1. Good Ol’ Rock And Roll
2. Day After Night
3. My Bottle
4. Rat Race
7. Knock Me Out
8. Girl Like You
9. Capricorn/Bang Bang
10. Pay Your Dues
11. Damned If I Do
12. When Hell Freezes Over
Child’s Play is:
Brian Jack – Vocals
Nicky Kay – Guitar
Idzi – Bass
John Allen – Drums
Why some great releases go out of print, makes no sense to this listener. Metal Church’s fifth CD, The Human Factor, featuring ex-Heretic vocalist, Mike Howe is easily my favorite by the band.
Mike Howe sings with an angry passion that would make Dave Mustaine proud. The song writing on this disc is way above average. Even though guitarist, Kurt Vanderhoof didn’t play on the record, he left his mark as the chief songwriter. The songs tackle the political and social issues of the day, including music, poverty, activists, censorhip, child endangerment and more. One look at the lyric sheet, and you will be amazed at the writing on this disc.
Everything on this record works for me. Great vocals, kill guitar work, an excellent rhythm section and good songs. The music is heavy but it has a killer groove, that will appeal to a lot of metal fans.
The best cuts on this record are Human Factor, Date With Poverty, Final Word, and In Harm’s Way. Even though these songs are the stand out tracks, I like ever song on this disc. In fact, I love this album every bit as much as the day when I picked it back up in 1991.
Sadly, this album is out of print, but copies of it show up on Ebay and Amazon.com from time to time. If you can find a copy of the Human Factor, grab it. You won’t be disappointed.
For more information on Metal Church, check out their website.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Human Factor
2. Date With Poverty
3. Final Word
4. In Mourning
5. In Harm’s Way
6. In Due Time
7. Agent Green
8. Flee from Reality
10. Fight Song
Metal Church is:
Mike Howe – Vocals
Duke Erickson – Bass
John Marshall – Guitars
Craig Wells – Guitars
Kirk Arrington – Drums
One of the bands from the late ’80’s early 90’s glam metal scene, that has been long forgotten about by most is Hollywood, CA’s Funhouse.
The band released one CD, back in 1990, and pretty much vanished shortly thereafter. On Generation Generator, you get 5 studio tracks, and 3 live cuts. I though this was kind of odd mixture, especially for a new band starting out.
Funhouse’s sound falls somewhere between Motley Crue, Skid Row and maybe a dash of Ugly Kid Joe. They weren’t as good as any of those bands, but they do have a solid sound that I found enjoyable. This disc isn’t breaking any new ground musically, and it kind of short, with it clocking in just shy of 33 minutes. 80’s and 90’s Glam metal fans will probably love this disc. It is a fun disc of partying hair metal tunes, that is still worth a few spins in 2008 and beyond.
Generation Generator has been out of print for quite a while, but you can still snag some copies of this disc from Amazon.com for a reasonable price. If you like what you hear, grab a copy of this disc, before they are all gone.
In 2008, Chris, Marc and Joe E. are playing together in a band called Hazard Los Angeles. Funhouse did a reunion show in 2002. I doubt we have heard the last from this Hollywood band. For more information on Funhouse, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Y R S
3. One Funhouse
4. The Preacher
5. One More Time For Love
6. Rocks And Roses
7. Generation Generator
8. Christine In Chains
Chris Hazard – Vocals
Marc Vachon – Lead Guitar
Johnny Hill – Drums
Joe E. rhythm – Guitar
Cat – Bass
I must admit that I have not heard of the band, Bomb Child until only recently. Their debut, Nothing Lasts Forever was recently recommended to me, so I decided to check them out.
Man oh mercy, am I ever glad I did. Nothing Lasts Forever blasts out of your speakers at cannonball speed, and offers listeners a ferocious feast of killer hard rock.
Bomb Child has a style that reminds me of Buckcherry, but mixed with a more modern overtone that might better resemble A7X. Nonetheless, this disc rocks out and rocks hard. It is chock full of angry tunes about life, love and broken relationships.
Nothing Lasts Forever isn’t a terribly long listening experience. The ten songs on this disc clock in just shy of 34 minutes. There really isn’t a band song in the bunch.
My only disappointment is that I didn’t hear about these guys, when they were out promoting this album. I don’t think Bomb Child is together any longer, and it is a real shame, as they were a very talented three piece.
You can find copies of Bomb Child’s CD, Nothing Lasts Forever on Amazon.com for next to nothing. It is worth the small price of admission. Go get it at this link!
You can also hear a couple of the songs on the band’s myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. I Believe
2. Empty Hands
3. Make It Up To You
4. Say Goodbye
5. More I Think About It
6. How My Life Goes
7. Outta My Mind
8. Save You
9. Love The Way You Make Me Feel
10. The Story Of My Life
Bomb Child is:
TAKA – Vocals & Guitar
ARI – Bass
It has been 26 long years since Canadian musician, Aldo Nova, released his first album. His 1982 debut feature material put together almost entirely by himself, with a little bit of help with some studio musicians. On the strength of his hit single Fantasy, this album went all the way to # 8 on the Billboard charts. This album would eventually go multi platinum in the United States.
The sound of this record is pretty common for the early 80’s. It is a keyboard laded pop metal, that reminds me a lot of the early sound of Bon Jovi. Aldo Nova proves to be a very good guitar player. When you hear him cut loose on the guitar, you will wonder where he has been hiding, and why you haven’t heard more about him over the years.
For this listener, Fantasy is the hardest song on this album, and one of the few songs I still enjoy. The rest of the material is more in the line of AOR than hard rock.
Yes, there are some heavy guitar riffs here and there, but I have heard a lot of better material than this over the years. If you are looking for a copy of the tune Fantasy, this is place to get it. While this release may have been somewhat influential to the hair metal scene, It is only slightly above average to my ears.
This CD has been out of print for a while, but was recently remastered and reissued in April 2008. AOR and melodic rock fans may want to check this disc out.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Hot Love
3. It’s Too Late
4. Ball And Chain
5. Heart To Heart
6. Foolin’ Yourself
7. Under The Gun
8. You’re My Love
9. Can’t Stop Lovin’ You
10. See The Light
Aldo Nova is:
Aldo Nova – Vocals, Guitars and Keyboards
Michel Pelo – Bass Guitar
Michel Lachapelle – Drums
In 1985, Leatherwolf unleashed their three axe attack with their self titled debut.
If you are a metal fan that loves to hear a lot of heavy guitar work, you are going to love Leatherwolf.
This record starts off with the heavy tune Spiter, that immediately shows the prowess of their three pronged metal music. Michael Olivieri is quite a good metal singer, and he proves to be quite a solid axeman as well. Carey Howe, Matt Hurich and Michael Olivieri’s musicianship is ultra tight, and their guitar work plays off of each other well.
Leatherwolf is a hard band to compare to other acts from the era, but Iron Maiden would likely be the closes act they resemble, although their style is somewhat different. This is hard driving metal that simply kicks ass from beginning to end.
This disc has been out of print for quite some time and recently reissued by the band in 2007. The re-released version has a bonus track, Alone In the Night, which was originally recorded for the movie, Return of the Living Dead Part II. It is a nice addition to this cool disc.
Leatherwolf is still going strong with their 2007 release New World Asylum, you should definitely check out this record, as well as their latest work. If you are a heavy metal fan, buy this, you wont be disappointed. This album rocks!
For more information on Leatherwolf, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Endangered Species
3. Tonight’s the Night
4. The Hook
5. Season Of the Witch
6. Off The Track
7. Kill And Kill Again
10. Alone In The Night* (Bonus Track)
Mike Olivieri – Vocals and Lead Guitar
Carey Howe – Lead Guitar and backing vocals
Matt Hurich – Lead Guitar and backing vocals
Geoff Gayer – Bass Guitar and backing vocals
Quite a few bands have mentioned Watch Tower as one of their influences. Watch Tower’s impact on progressive rock and metal can be heard on their debut record, Energetic Disassembly.
This CD is a fairly short listen, clocking in at under forty minutes, but it is definitely worth the time spent.
Not only did Energetic Disassembly launch the careers of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth) and Billy White., it also influenced the sound of many future progressive metal acts, including Dream Theater.
This Texas quartet’s music is best described as technical thrash. Think early Metallica style thrash with a bunch of progressive style time changes. Those of you who are familiar with Jason McMaster’s work in Dangerous Toys, have never heard him sing like this. Most of his vocals are sung at a higher, ear splitting register. His vocal approach was a lot more common by the speed metal acts of the 80’s.
The musicianship is nothing short of stellar on this disc. Not only does Billy White’s guitar work shine on this disc, but Doug Keyser’s bass work really stands out. Watch Tower’s sound may be a little on the experimental side, but fans of early 80’s thrash, will most certainly like this. If there are any downfalls with this disc, it would be with the production. The production quality is a little on the thin side, but this doesn’t hurt your listening experience.
Those wanting to hear one of the early pioneers of thrash metal music need to seek out Energetic Disassembly. This disc was out of print for quite some time, and was recently reissued by Rockadrome. It can be purchased from CD Baby.com. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Violent Change
3. Tyrants in distress
4. Social Fears
5. Energetic Disassembly
6. Argonne Forest
7. Cimmerian Shadows
Jason McMaster / vocals
Billy White / guitar
Doug Keyser / bass
Rick Colaluca / drums
Sometimes it is a mystery to me how some talented bands remain obscure, while bands of lesser talent went on to be the next big thing.
In the case of New York City’s Spread Eagle, they were not short on talent, but seemed doomed to fail the day they signed with MCA. I wonder if things would have been different if this band received a little more support. Their debut came out a little late in the game. Had this record hit two years earlier, Spread Eagle would surely be a household name amongst hard rock fans.
Spread Eagle is an excellent sleaze metal band that has a sound that I would call a cross between Skid Row and Guns ‘N Roses. The music may be a little derivative of those two bands, but it still kicks ass. Their debut album is filled with killer tunes like Broken City, Switchblade Serenade, Dead of Winter, and Scratch Like a Cat. Ray West has a gritty, abrasive voice that works perfectly for this type of metal. Paul Dibartolo plays his ass of on this disc.
Spread Eagle is highly under rated, and this CD is still worth seeking out. This CD was out of print for a while, but it was reissued by Lovember Records in late 2006. Grab a copy of this disc if you can find it!
For more information on Spread Eagle, check out their myspace page.
In 2008, Rob DeLuca carries on in a new band called Of Earth, while Ray West continues on in Hostel Inc. Who knows…..we may not have seen the last of Spread Eagle yet!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Broken City
2. Back On The Bitch
3. Switchblade Serenade
4. Hot Sex
5. Suzy Suicide
6. Dead Of Winter
7. Scratch Like A Cat
8. Thru These Eyes
9. Spread Eagle
10. 42nd Street
11. Shotgun Kisses
Spread Eagle is:
Ray West – Vocals
Paul Dibartolo – Guitars
Rob DeLuca – Bass
Tommi Gallo – Drums
What happens when former Jefferson Starship members set off on their own, to make their own music? More boring AOR? No, not at all.
In fact, the four members of Big Bad Wolf have crafted a CD that hair metal fans will want to get on their hands as soon as possible.
Big Bad Wolf has a sound that I would describe as Firehouse with Def Leppard style backup vocals. If you are a fan of either of these bands, you will probably enjoy the music on this CD.
Big Bad Wolf had toured with Sammy Hagar, and had some label interest, but their sound was already nearly 10 years past its prime. Guitarist Craig Chaquico hit the solo trail, and spelled the bands’ impending doom.
The band only recorded one album, but it is a might fine piece of hair metal that is worth seeking out. You can find this one on Amazon.com and Ebay. Happy Hunting!
You can preview a couple of the songs below. Enjoy!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Midnight Angel
3. I Can’t Get Over You
4. Walk Don’t Run
6. Shot Down by Love
7. Cutting Edge
8. Three Chords of Steel
9. Light on for You
10. Blame It on Rock
11. Don’t Say Good Bye
Big Bad Wolf is:
Rolf Hartley – Vocals, Keyboard, Acoustic Guitar
Brett Bloomfield – Bass, Vocals
Craig Chaquico – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Kenny Stavropoulos – Drums, Vocals
After coming off of the Ozzy Osbourne, Ultimate Sin tour, Jake E. Lee, formed Badlands with singer Ray Gillen.
If you were a fan of Jake E. Lee’s awesome metal guitar licks on Ozzy disc, The Ultimate Sin, then you may have found his work on Badlands a surprise, as on this disc, he moved in a more bluesy, hard rock direction.
As much as I enjoyed Lee’s work with Ozzy, it wasn’t until his work with Badlands where he truly shined. Jake E. Lee’s awesome guitar licks, combined with Ray Gillen’s incredible voice is one potent combination, and it shows on the brilliant debut record from Badlands.
This record didn’t chart as high as some of other hair metal acts at the time, but Badlands sound nothing like the majority of the acts from the 80’s. If anything their music was ahead of its time. It is excellent, bluesy hard rock that still sounds incredible to this day. I still consider this one of my top ten records of all time.
Sadly, this record is out of print, and prices for it are starting to soar on the internet. Hopefully, this record will get reissued, as music this good needs to be heard by rock fans who would like to check it out. Grab this if you can find it! Happy Hunting!
Rating: Out 0f 10
1. High Wire
2. Dreams In The Dark
3. Jade’s Song
4. Winter’s Call
5. Dancing On The Edge
6. Streets Cry Freedom
7. Hard Driver
8. Rumblin’ Train
9. Devil’s Stomp
11. Ball & Chain
Ray Gillen – Vocals
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Eric Singer – Drums
Greg Chaisson – Bass
In 1993, Takara released their debut album through the now defunct, Now and Then Records.
This release was largely not know in the U.S. as this disc was primarily released in Europe and Japan. I may not have found this disc myself, but saw that this was one of the earlier works by Jeff Scott Soto, and I was on a mission to find it.
Those of you not familiar with Soto’s work would be surprised at how many acts and bands he has been involved with over the years, including most recently, Journey. I have always been a fan of his vocals and he was the main draw for me to pick up Takara’s Eternal Faith.
On Eternal Faith, Soto works as both producer and singer, and he does a pretty good job in both roles. He wasn’t supposed to sing on this record, but Takara’s original singer flaked out in the studio and Soto took over.
Soto has a keen ear for great melodic rock, and Takara’s Eternal Faith is a fine example of this. This record is filled with ten upbeat keyboard laden tunes, that melodic rock fans will truly enjoy.
While Eternal Faith isn’t the best disc I have ever heard, fans of Jeff Scott Soto will certainly want to pick this up. The best tracks are Spotlight, Two Hearts Together, I Don’t Believe, and Fallen Angel.
Rating:Out of 10
Jeff Scott Soto – lead vocals, keyboards
Gary Schutt – bass
Neal Grusky – guitar
Robert Duda – drums
After ODIN slit up in the late 80’s, singer Randy O was able to secure another record deal with Atlantic Records, for his band, Lostboys. Lostboys also included former ODIN guitar player, Jeff Duncan.
Lostboys played a fairly typical brand of hair metal, that was quite common for 1990. At times Randy O sounds quite a bit like, Drew Hannah from the band Wildside. Some of the songs on Lost and Found are hit and miss, but there are a few good tracks including Crying Out, Right on Track and the title track, Lost and Found.
Lostboys sound certainly doesn’t set them apart from so many of the bands of the early 90’s, and are one of the more obscure bands of the era. The guitar work by Jeff Duncan is very good, but Randy O’s vocals can often go from cool to annoying very quickly. With that being said, I am not crazy about this CD. If you like the CD, Under the Influence from Wildside, you might find a few songs that you enjoy here. Some songs are decent, and others are quite bad.
The cost of admission makes this one that might be worth exploring for you. You can find copies of this disc on Amazon.com for less than a dollar. Tread at your own risk!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Cryin’ Out
2. Right on Track
3. Lonely Man
4. Cool Me Down
5. Seaside Lover
6. Lost and Found
7. Flying Free
9. In the Middle
10. Shot Song
Randy O – Vocals
Jeff Duncan – Guitars
Patrick Gainor – Rhythm Guitar
James Tavis – Bass
Dorian Matson – Drums
Panram’s sophomore release, RATS is certainly one of the more rare discs in my collection.
This German metal band sounds like a mixture of Queensryche, Crimson Glory and a little bit of Metal Church all rolled into one band.
Guitarist Ricci Tessalla plays like a madman on this record. His excellent guitar work is a reason to pick up this record all by itself. The instrumental track Break One makes me wonder why I haven’t heard this guitar virtuoso before.
Singer Jack Steen has very good vocal range, but not even a great singer can save average sounding songs, and the song writing on Rats is definitely lacking. When playing through this disc, I keep waiting for a stand out song, and the best moment I can find is the instrumental, Break One. Pack Bites the Last would have to be second. Sadly enough, after spinning this one a couple of times, the band comes across as a second hand Queensryche.
The bottom line is Panram may be one of the more obscure acts of the 90’s and Rats won’t do anything to change that. If you are interested, you can find cheap copies of this disc on Ebay. I have included the song Pack Bites the Last below so you can experience Panram for yourself.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Slip My Skin
3. Rule of the Fun
5. Break One
6. Love Line
7. Hit Bottom
8. Blue Sky
9. Pack Bites the Last
Pan Ram is:
Jack Steen – Vocals
Ricci Tessala – Guitars
Franky Matthes – Drums
Holly Hollander – Bass
What happens when you take three former members of Saxon, and put them together with Thunderhead singer Ted Bullet? Well, it sounds like a pretty good idea on paper at least, but I honestly did not hear a single note before I picked this disc up.
With that being said, this CD exceeds all of my expectations.
Victim You is like two CD’s in one. The band sounds very much like Saxon on a few songs, and then have a sound more reminiscent of late 80’s pop metal. Bottomline, hair metal fans will LOVE this disc! After giving this disc a couple more complete listens, I would compare the band’s sound as a cross between Dokken and a little bit of Krokus.
This style of metal was about as popular in 1996, as peanut butter and tofu sandwiches, but former Saxonites Peter Gill, Steve Dawson, and Graham Oliver forged ahead anyway. Sadly, this disc went largely unnoticed when it was released. It took 12 years for me to discover it, but I find it to be a great undiscovered piece of music.
Ted Bullet has a vocal style that falls somewhere between Paul Stanley from KISS, and Biff Byford from Saxon. His voice is melodic yet raspy enough to give these tunes here a harder edge. The superb guitar work of Haydn Conway and Graham Oliver is a pleasure to hear. Lots of George Lynch like solos are all over this record!
There isn’t one song on this disc that I do not enjoy. Copies of this disc can be found for less than $10.00 and it is worth every penny. Check it out!
Rating:Out of 10
- Bitch of A Place To Be
- Drivin’ Sideways
- Past the Point
- No-One’s Gettin’ Over
- Treacherous Times
- Love Your Misery
- I Still Care
- Old School
- More For Me
- Evil Sweet Evil
- Victim You
Son Of A Bitch is:
Haydn Conway – Guitar
Peter Gill – Drums
Steve Dawson – Bass Guitar
Ted Bullet – Vocals
Graham Oliver – Guitar
A four piece sleaze metal band, Erotic Suicide from Oklahoma released their debut CD in 1994. Sleaze Metal
was already dealt its crushing blow from the release of grunge music. Rock music of the glam/sleaze genre released after 1993 is largely unknown by most hard rock fans.
Sadly, Abusement Park is one of the CD’s that was released way too late in the game. If this CD, was released 5 years earlier, this band could have easily been a household name in the hair metal scene.
Erotic Suicide has a sound that I describe as Faster Pussycat meets Poison. It is a sound that was quite common in the late 80’s, and early 90’s. Although the band’s sound is nothing original, it is a disc that I still enjoy from time to time.
This CD is one of the more rare ones in my collection. Finding this one is virtually impossible
withough paying high dollars on EBay. Is it worth the hunt? If you like this style of music, it most certainly is. My favorite cuts on this disc are Can’t Remember, Goin Down and Sweet Summer Nights.
Check out the video below for Can’t Remember and decide for yourself! Happy Hunting!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Can’t Remember
3. Goin’ Down
4. Comes Around Goes Around
5. Mean Sex Machine
6. You’re So Cool
7. Ties Me Up
8. You Get What You Pay For
9. Wait a Minute
10. Sweet Summer Nights
Erotic Suicide is:
Rachal Rose – Vocals
Kyle St. Clair – Guitar
Leslie Kane Blak – Bass
DD Rose – Drums
Does the name Stick It seem unfamiliar to you? This isn’t a new Great White Album. Stick It is a reissue of the band’s debut album from 1984, with 5 additional Bonus Tracks, by Axe Killer Records in 1999.
Great White’s debut CD is just about impossible to find, so this is the one to grab if you want to at least hear the original tracks from the first release.
This CD showcases a heavier sounding Great White. Long time members, Michael Lardie, Audie Desbrow, and Tony Montana had not yet joined the band. Great White was a four piece unit, and leaned more to the heavy metal side, than the pop metal of their later releases.
Out of the Night and Stick It are two of the heavier songs on the disc. They open the disc up in a big way.
Great White’s cover of the Who song, Substitute has been on a few compilations, and is an old favorite of mine. It is a solid, but heavier version of the original song.
Bad Boys, On Your Knees, and Streetkiller are all above average heavy numbers.
No Better Than Hell kind of reminds me of pre-Pyromania Def Leppard. It is o.k. track, but nothing that will set your world ablaze. Nightmares is a semi-average song.
Dead End is a a very solid tune. Mark Kendall really rips it up on this song. This would have been a very good closer for the original album.
The Bonus Tracks on Stick It Are: Down At The Doctor, Train To Nowhere, The Hunter, Red House, and Rock’N’Roll.
Down at The Doctor is an old Mickey Jupp cover that sounds nothing like the other songs on Stick It. This song is more hard rock than metal. It is a very upbeat tune, with some killer saxaphone by Clarence Clemons.
Train To Nowhere is an old Savoy Brown Blues cover. This is mostly an acoustic guitar piece with some blues harp, and saxaphone. Once again….it sounds nothing like the other songs on Stick It.
Rock ‘N’ Roll is a pretty solid cover of the Led Zeppelin tune. This song feels more at place on this record than the other covers present here.
The Hunter is an old Blues song originally recorded by Albert King. I don’t the original tune, but Great White’s version is pretty cool.
Red House is a seriously long tune. Clocking in at almost 9 minutes in length. This tune is a cover of an old Jimi Hendrix tune. Great White does a pretty good job with it.
If you are a Great White fan, this is a must own disc in the bands’s discography. Even though the bonus tracks don’t really line up well with the rest of the songs on Stick It, I am happy that I have them in my collection. This disc has only been available as an import, but I found mine through Amazon.com. Don’t miss this!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Out Of The Night
2. Stick It
4. Bad Boys
5. On Your Knees
7. No Better Than Hell
8. Hold On
10. Dead End
11. Down At The Doctor
12. Train To Nowhere
13. The Hunter
14. Red House
Great White is:
Jack Russell: Lead Vocals
Mark Kendall: Guitar
Lorne Black: Bass
Gary Holland: Drums
In 1992, Southgang released their sophomore effort, Group Therapy. This disc was released towards the end of late 80’s and early 90’s glam metal scene. The introduction of grunge killed any chance of Southgang maintaining any level of success.
It is a real shame too, as Group Therapy is a definite step up from the band’s debut CD, Tainted Angel. The songs on this record have a harder edge, and less of that pop metal sound found on the first album.
These Georgia boys went out in style, as Group Therapy is one great, hard rocking affair. Butch Walker added a bluesier style of guitar to the songs on this record, giving the band a better, more relevant hard rock sound.
The production value on Group Therapy is quite high. This disc was produced by Howard Bensen, who also produced Pretty Boy Floyd’s Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz, and Bang Tango’s Psycho Cafe, and years later Chris Daughtry’s multi-platinum debut.
There truly isn’t a bad song on this record. It rocks from
beginning to end! Some of my favorite cuts on this disc are Water Under the Bridge, Tug of War, and Culture Clash City.
Sadly, this is the band’s last record, and a I am guessing that a reunion is highly unlikely.
Mitch McLee, Jayce Fincher and Butch Walker went on to form the Marvelous 3 after the break up of Southgang, but are no longer together.
Group Therapy has been out of print for years. Used copies turn up from time to time at Amazon.com and Ebay, and well worth picking up. If you don’t own any records by Southgang, this is the one worth searching for.
Rating:Out of 10
1. White Trash With Cash
2. Water Under the Bridge
3. Tug of War
4. Fire in Your Body
5. Final Resting Place
6. Legend of C.C. Road
7. Culture Clash City
10. My Best Friend’s Girl
11. Ode to Peggy’s
12. Blue Bird Has Landed [The Uncut Trail Mix]
Jesse Harte – Vocals
Mitch McLee – Drums
Jayce Fincher – Bass
Butch Walker – Guitars
4-3-2-1…Zeros is the band’s debut release on Restless Records. By the time this disc came out, the glam metal scene was on life support, and the Zeros chances of making it to the top were shot.
On 4-3-2-1…Zeros, I hear a lot of 70’s glam, mixed with some 80’s punk rock. This isn’t your typical hair metal band for this time period. Their influences shine through much more than some of their Los Angeles predecessors.
As far as 80’s pop metal goes, I can hear parts of Cheap Trick, a little bit of Motley Crue, and maybe a dash of Poison. The music is light hearted fun, and some of the songs here are tongue in cheek kind of stuff. Some of the tunes have a hard edge, while some tread the pop rock side of the fence. My favorite tunes on this disc are Love’s Not Fair, Sticky Sweet Girls and Too Young.
4-3-2-1….Zeros has been out of print for quite a while. You can still score a copy of this CD through Amazon.com and Ebay. It is worth picking up if you can find a reasonably priced copy. For more information on The Zeros, check out their website at this location.
2. Oh Yeah
3. Love’s Not Fair
4. Sticky Sweet Girls
5. Zero to Mom
6. Death Rock Girl (Did You See?)
7. Rich Chicks
8. Nobody Cares
9. Too Young
11. Wish I Knew
12. Do You Want Some More?
13. Raging Rock & Roll
The Zeros are:
Sammy Serious – Vocals
Joe Normal – Guitars
Danny Dangerous – Bass
Mr. Insane – Drums
The band was forced to change their name, using the spelling that it is today. The Kelly Hansen led, Hurricane, must have had rights to all things related to the name back in the 90’s.
I always thought the name change and spelling was kind of stupid. Funny enough, when I pop the CD in my player, the name comes up as Herricane Alice. Even Atlantic Records couldn’t get their name right. The name of the album, “Tear the House Down” also seemed to be a poor choice as well. Several bands in the 80’s and early 90’s had a song with the same name. It is a very cliched title.
Luckily, the music here is better than the name. Singer Bruce Nauman has a vocal style that falls somewhere between KISS’ Paul Stanley and Marq Torien from the Bulletboys. The music wasn’t breaking any new ground. It is fairly typical 80’s pop metal, but it is still very solid.
Tear the House Down is one of the many overlooked records of the 90’s pop metal era. Some of my favorite cuts, are Wild Young and Crazy, Dream Girl and Need a Lover.
There is good news for those of you seeking out a copy of the Hericane Alice CD from 1990. The folks at Wounded Bird Records are putting out a reissue of this CD in February. If you didn’t grab a copy of the original disc from Atlantic Records. You will soon be able to pick a copy of this disc without paying extortion rates on Ebay.
All of you new hair metal fans who never had the opportunity to get this disc, out to pick this up when it comes out.
You can preview some of the songs below at the Hericane Alice myspace page. This band has resurfaced at The Alice in 2007. We may not have seen the last of this group yet.
Rating: Out of 10
Hericane Alice is:
Bruce Naumann – vocals
Ian Mayo – bass guitar
Danny Gill – guitars
Jackie Ramos – drums
CBS tabbed Beau Nasty as their act. This band seemed to be doomed for failure as quickly as they began.
They had a big name producer for their debut with Beau Hill (RATT, Winger).
Dirty, But Well Dressed has solid tunes, and a cool cover of the Lieber and Stoller track Love Potion # 9. The problem was, nothing really made Beau Nasty stand out amongst the crowd of new bands that the labels were signing. This has to be one of the reasons that led to the band’s quick demise.
Beau Nasty member, George Bernhardt is now playing with Rick Springfield, and Mike Terrana is bashing the skins for Masterplan.
The CD Dirty, But Well Dressed will appeal to hair metal fans, but very few others. I thought it was a fun disc, and is one that I return to from time to time, even if it is only to go back and check out a few of the more obsure bands in my collection. This disc has been out of print for a while, and is becoming more rare than hens teeth. If you want a copy of it, I would recommend grabbing one off of Ebay, as the prices have been getting out of control on this one.
You can hear more of the tunes at a fan made Beau Nasty, myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
Beau Nasty is:
Mark Anthony Fretz – vocals
Brian Young – guitar
George Bernhardt – guitar
Doug Baker – bass
Mike Terrana – drums
The band was signed to Geffen records and released a couple of albums in the late 80’s.
Fire Fire is the second and final release by this four piece metal band. The band lost their deal with Geffen and broke up after this record was released. Their current whereabouts are unknown. Fire Fire is a very slicked produced record. EZO sounds like a million bucks on this disc. The tunes fall between somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal, and is in the vein of Loudness. Shoyo Iida’s fretwork does not disappoint on this record. Masaki Yamada is an above average singer/screamer. He even had a brief stint in Loudness
Fire Fire is a pretty good record for the most part. My favorite cuts are Love Junkie, the title track Fire Fire, Streetwalker, and Million Miles Away.
Both EZO records are a chore to find. If you are able to grab either one at a decent price, do so. They are pulling down big bucks on Ebay and on Amazon.com. Happy Hunting!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Love Junkie
2. Night Crawler
3. Fire Fire
4. Wild Talk
5. Burn Down the Night
6. Black Moon
7. Back to Zero
9. She’s Ridin’ the Rhythm
11. Million Miles Away
Masaki Yamada – Vocals
Taro Takahashi – Bass
Hiro Homma – Drums
Shoyo Iida – Guitar
He was a member of Alice Cooper’s band at the same time, as Kip Winger.
Both musicians branched out with music careers of their own after their stint with Alice.
Chances are, if you enjoyed Winger’s tunes to any degree, you will probably love Saints and Sinners. They style of music is quite similar.
Saints and Sinners is Roberts’ sophomore effort that was originally released on Geffen Records. This disc was produced by Sir Arthur Payson, who also has discs by RATT and Alice Cooper to his credit. Most of the songs on this disc were written by Roberts and Desmond Child.
With this record he had a couple of modest hits, with the track Twisted and Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore? which was written by Jon Bon Jovi. I like both of those tunes quite a bit, as well as Rebel Heart and Fighter.
The sound on this record is typical early 90’s pop metal, but I am OK with that. I got a lot of play out of this disc back when I owned it on cassette years ago. I tracked down another copy of this one recently.
Fans of 80’s Hair Metal will definitely enjoy this disc. It is out of print, but you can still find copies of this one through Amazon.com and Ebay. Happy Hunting!
Rating: Out 0f 10
1. Wild Nights
3. Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore?
4. Dance Little Sister
5. Rebel Heart
6. You Always Want It
8. I’m Not Lookin’ For An Angel
9. Too Far Gone
10. It’s Only Over For You
Kane Roberts band is:
Kane Roberts – lead, rhythm guitars, lead vocals
John McCurry – guitar
Steve Steele – bass
Myron Grombacher – drums
Chuck Kentis – Keyboards
This CD was produced by Slaughter’s Dana Strum. Not surprisingly, the band sounds like Slaughter, and at times a little like Guns ‘N Roses.
Steven Shareaux is a good singer, and has a sound that is somewhat unique. The band is quite solid as well.
No Rules is a CD that was a little better than some of the other offerings by many of the hard rock bands in the early 90’s. This CD, like many, was released to late in the game, and crashed and burned when Nirvana hit the music scene. The band hung around and released an EP in 1992 but then broke up and has not been heard from since.
Some of the stand out cuts on this disc are You’re So Strange, Trash City, Velvet Crush and the cover of the Paul Simon classic Mrs. Robinson.
Fans of 80’s hard rock are going to love No Rules! You can get low cost used copies of this CD at Amazon.com. Go grab one before they are all gone! You can hear more songs at Kik Tracee’s myspace page here.
Enjoy the video for You’re So Strange!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Don’t Need Rules
2. Mrs. Robinson
3. You’re So Strange
4. Trash City
5. Hard Time
6. Big Western Sky
7. Generation Express
8. Soul Shaker
9. Tangerine Man
11. Velvet Crush
12. Rattlesnake Eyes
13. Romeo Blues
14. Fade Dunaway
Kik Tracee is:
Stephen Shareaux – Lead Vocals
Rob Grad – Bass Guitar and Background vocals
Michael Marquis – Lead and Acoustic Guitar and Background vocals
Gregory Hex – Rhythm and Slide Guitars and Background Vocals
Johnny Douglas- Drums, Percussion and Background Vocals
I recently reacquired a brand new copy of this disc for a mere $6.00 and was shocked to have found it. It is pretty hard to find in 2007.
The band was creating and performing great hard rock music, when it was pretty unpopular.
They have been fairly quiet since their last release, Ignite in 2001, but are rumored to be taking the stage in Rocklahoma 2008.
If you like great hard party rock, then you need to check out Hair of the Dog’s self titled debut from 1998. On this disc, I can hear the influence of Ted Nugent and Aerosmith in the bands’ music. Ryan Cook’s slide guitar is a nice addition to the hard rockin’ tunes.
Even though this disc doesn’t come close to capturing the energy of the band’s amazing live show, it is definitely worth spinning today.
Some of the stand out tracks are Cadillac Jack, Whiskey Tango, Alone and The Party Ain’t Over.
You can check out a few of the band’s tunes at their myspace page. If you can find a copy, I recommend picking this one up!
Rating:Out of 10
- Cadillac Jack
- Whiskey Tango
- Sweet Lady Vegas
- As I Am
- Southern Cock
- The Party Ain’t Over
- Satin Girl
- Killin’ Heart