Sunday, November 29, 2015

Physical media collection update #1

I've decided it might be quite cool to post pictures of any new physical media I add to my hard rock/aor/metal music collection. So with that in mind, here's the first such update.

This vinyl lot I got in one day of digging at a record store. Most are from the discount bins, averaging $3 each. A couple were a bit more expensive.

Photo #1:

Joey Tafolla - Out of the Sun (1986)
- Solo album by ex-Jag Panzer guitarist. Instrumental shredding. BLIND BUY.

Raven - Stay Hard (1985)
- Raven's Atlantic debut. The first by this band I have owned on vinyl.

Roughhouse - Roughhouse (1988)
- STILL SEALED, NEVER BEEN OPENED! You can find this album here:

 Heavy Metal Heroes vol 2 (1982)
- Compilation put out by Heavy Metal Records featuring a mix of NWOBHM, hard rock and prog rock bands like Lionheart, Twisted Ace, Persian Risk, Witchfinder General, Mendes Prey and Overkill.

Triumph - Allied Forces (1981)
- Filling a gap in my Triumph vinyl collection.

Myofist - Thunder in Rock (1981)
- BLIND BUY. Canadian metal band apparently also known as Fist.

Helix - Walkin' the Razor's Edge (1984)
- Fourth album by the Canadian hard rockers and coincidentally the fourth I now I own on vinyl.

Thunder - Back Street Symphony (1990)
- Picture disc, 12" single.

Little Angels - Don't Prey for Me (1989)
- Major label debut by UK hard rockers and one I have owned on cassette tape since its release.

Photo #2:

Shooting Star - Shooting Star (1979)
- US AOR/rock band's debut.

Shooting Star - III Wishes (1982)
- Their third album. I also picked up their second album, Hang On For Your Life, on vinyl recently.

Jerusalem - Live in USA (1985)
- Live album by Swedish Christian hard rockers.

John Waite - Mask of Smiles (1985)
- Third solo album by The Babys/Bad English frontman.

John Waite - Ignition (1982)
- His debut solo album. This is the 1985 repressing with new artwork (released to cash in on the success in 1984 of his album No Brakes and its hit single Missing You). I also own the 1982 pressing with the original artwork.

Lee Aaron - Bodyrock (1989)
- Fifth album from the first lady of Canadian hard rock/metal and the first by her I have owned on vinyl.

Pat Benatar - Live From Earth (1983)
- Her first live album, plugging a gap in my collection. I now own her first six releases on vinyl.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Four Horsemen - Nobody Said It Was Easy (1991)

Country: USA
Year: 1991
Line-up: Frank C Starr (vocals), Haggis (guitar), Dave Lizmi (guitar), Ben Page (bass), Ken Montgomery (drums)

Track listing:
1. Nobody Said It Was Easy2. Rockin' Is Ma' Business3. Tired Wings4. Can't Stop Rockin'5. Wanted Man6. Let It Rock7. Hot Head8. Moonshine9. Homesick Blues10. 75 Again11. Lookin' for Trouble12. I Need a Thrill / Somethin' Good

Requested by: Janos

Fletchanator's comment: Now this is a great album, by one of the best (and unluckiest) bands from the late 80s, early 90s LA rock scene. Formed by former Zodiac Mindwarp member and touring member of The Cult, Haggis, these guys really did capture lightning in a bottle with this album.
Unfortunately its release was delayed because of singer Frank Starr's drug activities, and then a second album ended up being a disappointment because Haggis (who wrote most of this one) had left by then. Starr died in the late 90s after a motorcycle accident (see, I told you they were unlucky).
Soundwise, this is pure southern hard rock. Take a pot, throw in some Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Crowes, Cinderella, Jackyl, ACDC and Dangerous Toys and you've got The Four Horsemen. Grab yourself a glass of moonshine, sit back and enjoy!


Dr Sin - Dr Sin (1993)

Country: Brazil
Year: 1993
Line-up: Andria Busic (vocals, bass), Eduardo Ardanuy (guitars), Ivan Busic (drums)

Track Listing:
1.  Emotional Catastrophe  
2.  Dirty Woman  
3.  Stone Cold Dead  
4.  Howlin'In The Shadows  
5.  The Fire Burns Cold  
6.  You Stole My Heart  
7.  Dr. Sin  
8.  Valley Of Dreams  
9.  Have You Ever Seen The Rain  
10.  Lonely World  
11.  Through My Window  
12.  Scream & Shout  

Fletchanator's comment: Mention Brazil and metal and you're likely to think of Sepultura and heavier bands like that, but the South American land is also home to one of the best hard rock bands of all time! Dr Sin have put out at least 13 albums (the latest in 2015), and this is the one that started it all for them. The Busic brothers and guitarist Ardanuy (who shreds bigtime) produce a polished, rocking sound that puts them in the same class as better-known bands like Danger Danger, Black 'n Blue and Baton Rouge. They also have the pre-requisite ballads (You Stole My Heart, Through My Window), and put their own spin on CCR's classic Have You Ever Seen the Rain.
Due to copyright problems, the band re-recorded this album in 2009 and called it Original Sin, but this is the...uh... original version (with very Whitesnake-inspired cover art). Recommended listening!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Atomik Cocktail - Metal Rages On (1991)

Country: USA
Year: 1991
Line-up: Todd Plant (vocals), Bruce Batten (guitars), Jim Williams (bass), Russ Hammock (drums)

Track Listing:
1.  Times Square  3:43
2.  Foreplay  0:55
3.  Passion Attack  4:49
4.  War Zone  3:47
5.  Metal Rages On  5:27
6.  Road Warrior  3:22
7.  Hard as Nails  5:59
8.  Cutthroat  3:05
9.  First Born  4:41
10.  Don't Lock Me Out  3:28

Fletchanator's comment: The one and only album released by this Florida-based band, which rose out of the ashes of Brat (in which both Batten and Hammock featured). Todd Plant subsequently sang for bands like Eye Witness and Millenium, so if you know those bands you know that he's got a great voice. This one is towards the traditional heavy metal or even power metal end of the spectrum (with song names like War Zone, Road Warrior and Hard as Nails) but also crosses into more melodic territory on songs like Foreplay and Passion Attack. Killer guitar licks, excellent singing, tight musicianship - Atomik Cocktail are great and definitely worth checking out for any fans of melodic heavy metal (ala Riot or Shok Paris). This was re-released by Retrospect Records a few years back but is OOP.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cats in Boots - Kicked & Klawed (1989)

Country: USA
Year: 1989
Line-up: Joel Ellis (vocals), Takashi "Jam" Ohashi (guitar), Yasuhiro "Butch" Hatae (bass), Randy Meers (drums)

Track Listing:
1.  Shot Gun Sally  3:28
2.  Nine Lives (Save Me)  3:47
3.  Her Monkey  4:08
4.  Whip it Out  4:14
5.  Long, Long Way From Home  4:15
6.  Coast to Coast  3:17
7.  Every Sunrise  6:13
8.  Evil Angel  3:30
9.  Bad Boys Are Back  4:11
10.  Judas Kiss  3:25

Fletchanator's comment: This band and album kick serious ass! Cats in Boots are one of the definite "could have been huge" bands of the hair metal scene of the late 80s. This was their only album, after a Japan-only EP, until one was put out in 1999 but I haven't heard that one and don't know if it's new material or older outtakes. Anyway, back to Kicked & Klawed - one of the gems of the glam metal scene! Joel Ellis' fantastic vocals ooze sleaze while Jam Ohashi's axework is truly top notch. The stand out song is Shot Gun Sally, but there are no weak tracks here. For fans of Sunset Strip sleaze rock bands like Faster Pussycat, LA Guns, Motley Crue etc, you'll love this!
After Cats in Boots, Ellis was in Heavy Bones,  while Ohashi joined Slumlords. In 2012 Demon Doll Records released material from Ellis and Meers' pre-Cats band, Merri Hoax, recorded in the mid-80s.
I really wish Cats in Boots had been given more opportunity, or had taken what opportunity they had (I don't know the background on why they didn't break out). They had the sound, the swagger and the sleaze to be one of the biggest bands in the land!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Open Fire - Open Fire EP [1990]

Country: USA
Year: 1990
Line-up: Erich Wida (vocals), Chris Yamamoto (guitars), Jack Acevedo (bass), Birdie (Drums)

Track Listing:
1. Top of the Heap
2. Feel the Power
3. Love Comes Tumblin' Down
4. Lying to Yourself

Fletchanator's comment: Following on from the cassette rip I posted of Wild Child, here is another release that as far as I know is only available on tape. Open Fire were a four-piece from Hawaii, a land that is hardly synonymous with heavy metal. They later released a full-length album, No Uncle of Mine, on CD in 1995. But none of the songs on this self-released EP were included on that, so this is likely the only place you can hear these tracks. Bassist Jack Acevedo has uploaded some Open Fire songs onto youtube, but today the band are pretty much a footnote in history. Singer Wida apparently joined a metal covers band called Slug after Open Fire split up.
Soundwise, I can hear similarities with Motley Crue, LA Guns and bands of that ilk but they also incorporate a heavier, faster sound that adds elements of traditional heavy metal bands like Metal Church and Accept.


Wild Child - Wild Child [1989]

Country: USA
Year: 1989
Line-up: Brian Kight (vocals, guitars), Rich Wolfe (bass), Bryan Watson (guitars), Craig Kight (drums)

Track Listing:
1. Street Queen Lady
2. Cry Wolf
3. Thunder and Rain
4. Watching Thru Mirrors
5. Goin Down
6. Gypsy Caravan
7. Winds of Change
8. Gotham City

Fletchanator's comment: Now this is a really rare little gem. It's ripped from a cassette tape and as far as I can tell it has never received a CD or vinyl release. Information on this band is extremely scarce, but Wild Child appeared to be based in Ohio. This is probably their only release. Singer/guitarist Brian Kight is still making music today - he has a Youtube channel which features videos by a recent band called Ripcord, as well as old Wild Child live clips and clips from a pre-Wild Child band called Ripfist.
As for this album, it's a great slice of late 80s hard rock which reminds me in places of Babylon AD or Dokken and at other times has the funky edge of Bulletboys. The guitar work in particular makes this rise above most "undiscovered" bands of the era.

UPDATE: New links

Just a quick note to say that I have updated the links on 18 posts so far and more will be up soon. I'm making my way back from the most recent posts and you can tell which ones have new links by the (NEW LINK NOV 2015) on the download link.

Rock on!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The return of House of Hairspray!

Well, it's been 6 years since I posted on this blog, but it still seems to be popular - people continue to comment on posts and to send me emails about it.

So, I've decided I'm going to start posting here again. Look out for new reviews/downloads in the near future, aimed mainly towards the obscure and under-appreciated side of glam metal.

And, I'll also be updating the links that are already on here. They're all on Rapidshare, which doesn't even exist anymore, so each one will need to be uploaded to a new server. There's 140-odd posts at this stage, so that's going to be a lot of work, but I'll be doing it gradually. I will post whenever I do an update to let you know what albums are now working (also on the post itself you'll find "updated link" mentioned).

Rock on!