Metal Blade Records 1984
Damn this record is warped to shit, and it skips like a motherfucker... ripping it was a serious pain in the ass. Maybe WITCHKILLER are just too Metal for wax. That'd explain why this is the only record that the band was able to put out. Metal Blade probably got fed up with complaints about warped vinyl, and decided that they couldn't afford to put out another WITCHKILLER record. Really too bad, cuz this is excellent stuff! Day Of The Saxons shows a strong Iron Maiden influence and is full of swords 'n' sorcery type lyrics... if that ain't enough to warp a measly slab of vinyl I dunno what is. Download it, but beware... it might be too heavy for your computer too.
DOWNLOAD: Witchkiller-DayOfTheSaxons.rar (34.13 MB)
Metal Blade Records 1984
Estonian Banquet Hall
958 Broadview Avenue
Once you start going to record shows regularly, you get used to seeing the same people (weirdos), and the same records (crap) over and over again. Thankfully today's show was a bit different: new vendors, and a decent amount of Metal. It was nice to see Martin Popoff, and a pleasant change to speak with someone who actually knew something about the Metal records they were selling. There was also a new vendor with lots of bootlegs, and I felt obliged to take a few off their hands. In the end I spent a shitload of money, and walked away with a pretty darn good haul:
• MOTORHEAD "BBC Sessions 1978/1982/1986" LP: Old school bootleg with photocopied cover.
• THIN LIZZY "Black Rose Demos 1978" LP: Nice boot with a great shot of Phil.
• THIN LIZZY "Take That Sinner Boy Home" LP: Another killer boot of a 1975 show in Dublin.
• SORTILEGE "Metamorphose" LP: Couldn't remember if I had the French or English version at home... pretty sure it's English, so I grabbed the French one.
• WITCHKILLER "Day Of The Saxons" EP: Good Ottawa boys.
• DIAMOND REXX "Land Of The Damned" LP: Seen this record literally hundreds of times over the years... looks entertaining enough.
• CORTINA DE FERRO "Temple Of The Darkness" LP: I know absolutely nothing about this band 'cept that they're Brazilian.
• GUITAR PETE'S AXE ATTACK "Nitemare" LP: The name cracks me up... Guitar Pete. Sounds serious!
• DED ENGINE "Ded Engine" LP: Have a feeling this is gonna be a great one.
• CASTLE BLAK "Another Dark Carnival" LP: Instead of A and B sides this record has Slut and Balls sides... makes perfect sense.
• CRACK JAW "Nightout" LP: More German Metal... usually a safe bet.
• DAGGER "Not Afraid Of The Night" LP: Poncey Canadians.
• INTRUDER "A Higher Form Of Killing" LP: Jesus I bought a lot of shit today! Don't even remember finding this one.
• ARMORED SAINT "Saints Will Conquer" EP: Live mini album.
• HAZZARD "Hazzard" LP: Apparently this features an ex-ACCEPT member.
• HANOI ROCKS "All Those Wasted Years" 2LP: Got this one thrown in for free.
• RESTLESS "We Rock The Nation" LP: Blah blah blah.
Told you it was a good haul - it's gonna take me months to even make a dent in these records.
I wasn't big on this demo when it came out, preferring the more metallic direction of the band's second demo, but after hearing this with fresh ears and a new perspective, I gotta say that it's much better than I remembered. More melodic and less metal, with a post-punk kinda feel, None But The Brave is fulla great songs and awesome performances. Andy Frantic's bass is loud and propulsive, and Gizz Butt is stellar as always. There a couple of moments that remind me of FAITH NO MORE and the BAD BRAINS (I Against I era), so as you can imagine the music runs quite the gamut, from Thrash Metal, to poppy Punk, to indie Rock and all points in between. Great stuff from a shamefully overlooked band.
DOWNLOAD: WarDance-NoneButTheBraveDemo.rar (30.41 MB)
Intercord Records 1982
My only prior exposure to NIGHTWING was the printed inner sleeves that came with LPs, and were used to advertise other releases on a particular label (in Canada this was a practice commonly employed by Banzai and Attic Records). So I've seen a whole bunch of NIGHTWING album covers (which are awesome as you can see), but had never heard a note 'til today. Album opener "Overnight Sensation" is a high-octane rocker with some tastefully sporadic keyboards, which is what NIGHTWING do best. Some songs meander into yer typical 70's Rock territory and can become predictable, not unlike Canadian commercial rockers TRIUMPH (especially the guitar playing). The keyboards in "Long Hard Road" kinda remind me of ZOMBI - and that can only be a good thing! Black Summer is a cool mix of 70's Rock and moderate Prog that (for me) is a welcome change of pace... and bassist/vocalist Gordon Bowley looks like an even more maniacal Dave Chandler - a definite selling point!
DOWNLOAD: Nightwing-BlackSummer.rar (76.86 MB)
PS: Listen for the spectacularly jazzy, subtle guitar solo near the end of "Don't Want To Lose You" - awesome!
Scratch Records 1985
GRAVESTONE offer up some fairly typical mid-80's German Metal with Back To Attack: screeching vocals, excellent ACCEPT influenced riffs, and a tight, modern (for 1985) production. There's really not much more to say about Back To Attack... the band is solid, and the songs are top notch. All-in-all a damn fine straight ahead Metal record. If you like yer Metal old-school and Teutonic, you're pretty much guaranteed to dig this one.
DOWNLOAD: Gravestone-BackToAttack.rar (71.11 MB)
GWR Records 1989
If you'd asked me what Fast Eddie was up to in 1988, I'da guessed that he was steadfastly drinking himself to death... and I'da been wrong. In fact he was producing this record (with Will Reid Dick) for 3 piece Italian rockers MISSY DAISY. Horrible name, and the album title is embarrassing, but as a band MISS DAISY are pretty darn cool. Pizza Connection is fulla 3 chord AC/DC inspired blues rock that's not dissimilar from CIRCUS OF POWER or TWO-BIT THIEF, 'cept with better songs and performances. Add to that a touch of THE CULT and GUNS N ROSES' bluesy cockrock and you should be starting to get the picture. This is an excellent aggressive rock'n'roll record, that's more than worthy of your download, by a band that went largely unnoticed back-in-the-day. All that and not one Jessica Tandy reference... what the fuck is wrong with me!?!
DOWNLOAD: MissDaisy-PizzaConnection.rar (92.17 MB)
2136 Murray Ave, 2nd Floor
I had a couple of days off, so I decided to make the 4 hour trek down to Pittsburgh and check out the fabled Jerry's Records. I'm such a record nerd that my heart was racing as I passed the unassuming entrance and climbed the stairs... the place is gigantic! Easily the biggest vinyl-only shop I've ever seen, but I found the Metal section quickly and began the hunt. Fingers flipping at top speed, every nerve atwitter, but wait... is this it? Crappy GIUFFRIA, VIC VERGAT, and HONEYMOON SUITE records... is this the best Jerry's had to offer!?! I frantically searched the other sections trying to find something to make the drive worthwhile. There certainly wasn't anything mindblowing, and I only found one record in the Metal section worth buying, but in the end I came away with 6 record at around $25, so it wasn't too bad:
• MISS DAISY "Pizza Connection" LP: Stupid name, album title, and cover, but produced by Fast Eddie Clarke, so hopefully there's something redeeming about it.
• JINGO DE LUNCH "Cursed Earth" LP: I kinda liked these guys on some of the old Hellhound comps, and it looks like there's THIN LIZZY and BAD BRAINS covers on it.
• NIGHTWING "Black Summer" LP: Awesome artwork!
• SEDUCER "Seducer" LP: Sealed copy of the crappy band featured on the Holland Heavy Metal sampler.
• SOUND BARRIER "Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)" 12": The only thing I found in the Metal section. Great band covering an even better band... should be good.
I also grabbed MARVIN GAYE Live... but we won't get into that here. So... Jerry's is impressive in size, but the stock is just a huge selection of the same old shit - there's no chance in Hell that I'd make that trip again just for Jerry's.
I made a 2 more stops on the hunt for records while I was in the 'burgh. First was Wicked Discs (406 S Craig St. / (412) 682-5007 / www.myspace.com/wickeddiscs) which is a Punk/Metal specialty shop. It's cool, but small, and quite honestly pales in comparison to Hits & Misses. I did find better Metal there though, and came away with a GRAVE DIGGER LP, and a KAZJUROL 7". Finally I dropped by Dave's Music Mine (1210 East Carson Street / (412) 488-8800) but their vinyl is relegated to the basement, and there's really not much there... 'cept for some band called BANSHEE on Metal Blade.
RCA Records 1984
The weird winged wolf/rat/lizard creature on the cover of Standing Alone is kinda misleading... I expected this record to be much heavier, and way more low budget. Instead WHITE WOLF serve up slickly produced melodic Hard Rock/Metal that will surely appeal to AOR fans. The opening track is painfully similar to fellow Canucks LOVERBOY, but thankfully the rest of the record is slightly heavier - like PRETTY MAIDS at their most commercial or FOREIGNER at their absolute heaviest... yeah I know, sounds great right!?! I can't say that this is a bad record, cuz to my ears it's just as good/bad as any other commercial Metal band in the same vein, it's just that it's not my cup o' tea.
DOWNLOAD: WhiteWolf-StandingAlone.rar (70 MB)
Noise Records 1986
This might be the heaviest thing KREATOR's ever done. The production is wide open and huge, and very simple; it sounds direct and unaffected, and heavy as fuck! Ventor's drums are gigantic (even if poorly played) and Mille's guitar is viciously biting. The rerecording of "Flag Of Hate" is cool, but it's "Take Their Lives" and "Awakening Of The Gods" that totally crush. KREATOR seemed to realized that slowing down a bit (compared to the manic speeds of Pleasure To Kill) meant that they could become infinitely heavier. The B-side contains 3 tracks taken directly from the band's Endless Pain debut which was only released a year earlier. I've always thought that Endless Pain sucked, but to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed these tracks... not so shitty after all I guess. Pay attention to "Total Death", the EXODUS "Strike Of The Beast" rip-off is so blatant it hurts. Side A: heavy as all Hell! Side B: not as bad as you might expect.
DOWNLOAD: Kreator-FlagOfHateEP.rar (52.34 MB)
Roadrunner Records 1984
When an album cover features a streetfighting BMX biker pimp child, you gotta wonder what the fuck these guys were thinking!?! Maybe in the 80's the streets of Holland were overrun with nasty leather clad gangs of marauding BMX riding misogynist kids, and this album is simply a reflection of BLACK WIDOW's reality. That might start to explain the music contained on Streetfighter: a raucous mix of hard rockin' bluesy barroom Metal and punky proto-Thrash. I'm shocked by how great this record is, it's non-stop fun from top to bottom (with the hokey "Crazy Train Blues" being the only exception). I know that if it was 1984, and I was a 12 year old Dutch shitdisturber, there could be no better soundtrack than Streetfighter for the endless nights of boozin', whorin', and BMXin'!
DOWNLOAD: BlackWidow-Streetfighter.rar (70.46 MB)
Mausoleum Records 1984
If yer lookin' for real Metal you need look no further - this is the shit right here! Germany. 1984. Produced by Udo Dirkschneider and Michael Wagener. Done and done! Excellent pounding Heavy Metal with enough Rock sensibility to ensure that every song is a killer... not unlike ACCEPT in that respect. In fact, the title track is a faithful homage to their German brethren, even referencing Restless And Wild in the lyrics... and co-written by Wagener to boot. The vocalist on opener "Don't Feel Hate" is a deadringer for Dee Snider, and the riff is total TWISTED SISTER too. Even the ballady "A Million Hearts" is a fantastic arena worthy anthem. And to top it all off the band photos are funny and very cool at the same time... the horny helmet is phenomenal! You should download this, or continue to live in a FAITHFUL BREATH-free prison of your own making.
DOWNLOAD: FaithfulBreath-GoldNGlory.rar (57.59 MB)
Metalother Records 1987
It never ceases to amaze me when I find out what year records like this were released. In 1987, all the bands on METAL WARRIOR were still mired in the muck of the NWOBHM while groundbreaking records like Killing Technology, Master Of Puppets, Reign In Blood, and Into The Pandemonium were being released. This doesn't mean that METAL WARRIOR is a bad record, quite the contrary, it just means that the world seemed to be passing these guys by. Certainly not an issue for those who longed for the glory days of the NWOBHM. 6 bands make up this mini comp in: DEUCE (UK), CRISIS (USA), FIRST OFFENCE (UK), TROJAN (Ireland), NOT FRAGILE (Germany), and EZYMEAT (Ireland). I dunno if I'd wanna hear entire full-lengths by each of these bands, but on a comp there's no time to get bored, and so this record is a damn good listen.
DOWNLOAD: MetalWarrior.rar (55.42 MB)
Shrapnel Records 1983
"Every once in a while a new and exciting group will smash onto the scene, blow our minds, and make us wonder how we got along without them. This LP is a prime example; exploding with manic frenzy, searing hot guitar, and mesmerizing charisma. WILD DOGS provide the ultimate Metal for those who like it hot, fast, and hard!" Now I dunno about all that ballyhoo and hyperbole, cuz I got along just fine without this record, but what WILD DOGS do deliver is a more than decent slabba good old Metal. I expected it to be more like the DR. MASTERMIND record (Matt McCourt and Deen Castronovo were in both bands), with it's over the top guitar playing, ludicrous lyrics, and high energy Metal mayhem, but Wild Dogs is much more of a trad Metal record. Don't worry, Castronovo still abuses his kit with aplomb, and McCourt is every bit the clichéd Metal frontman, but it lacks a the insanity and outright silliness of DR. MASTERMIND. Still, a solid debut from these Oregon Metal mofos.
DOWNLOAD: WildDogs-WildDogs.rar (67.65 MB)