I was looking for a quick and short podcast episode today and I came across an episode titled “Rare Glam and Hair Metal Bands” that was less than 10 minutes on the 80’s Glam Metalcast. Now the podcast itself is not a big production, it’s unpolished and garage like, but that’s why I like it.
So I’m thinking. A cool short and sweet episode on rare glam metal bands. Wham bam, Amsterdam.
And then I started to write down all the bands mentioned and suddenly a short podcast ended up as a long blog post.
From Ex-Keel guitarist, Marc Ferrari.
They only released one album, “Break Out” in 1990 on MCA Records, otherwise known as “No Idea Records” when it came to promoting rock and metal bands.
Produced by Kevin Beamish.
Oni Logan was the original singer and he left the band to join Lynch Mob, just as they were about to record the album.
Singer Rory Cathey was found from a lot of demo tapes to replace Logan. The band was rounded out by Erik Gamans on guitars, Chris McLernon on bass and Anthony White on drums.
The album didn’t get any traction and if you couldn’t find it in stores it’s because the label had already dropped the band.
Check out the 12/8 Blues groove of “Cryin’ Shame” and the great guitar playing or the power ballad, “Waiting In Vain” or the melodic rockers “Take This Heart of Mine” and “Let’s Make Love Tonight”.
“Killing Floor” is the usual “run of the mill” hard rock tunes. Then there is “Riviera/Long Way Down” which is an acoustic instrumental merging into a massive rock groove for “Long Way Down”.
They had Howard Benson producing them. For those who don’t know Benson, towards the late 90’s and onwards, Benson became like the new Tom Werman for me. I would gravitate to the records he produced.
Sweet F.A is another band signed to “No Idea Records” otherwise known as MCA Records.
The band is made up of Steven David DeLong (really, how long) on vocals, Jon “Lightning” Huffman and James Thunder (really, Lightning and Thunder) on guitar, Jim Quick (really, please stop with these names) on bass and Tricky Lane (they saved the best for last) on drums and percussion.
So what do ya get when The Long, Lightning, Thunder, Quick And Lane get together?
The debut album “Stick To Your Guns” came out in 1989.
And it did nothing commercially and of course, they got dropped by their label and then released another album “Temptation” on another label a few years later and that also did nothing commercially and the band was done.
The title track is very Led Zepplenish with a bit of Bad Company and “Shooting Star”. And I like it. The hair metal tag doesn’t really suit a cut like this, but then again, these terms weren’t meant to be complimentary.
“Whiskey River” is worthy and “Breaking The Law” is sort of like a Badlands tune. Maybe with a bit of “Hot For Teacher” chucked in for good measure.
But the rest is the usual “this track bleeds into this track and this track bleeds into this track”.
I’m surprised this one didn’t do greater based on its cover. You know the one, a buffed bod, six pack showing, wearing tight leathers with the album title “Don’t Touch Me There” just over the crotch.
I guess Silent Rage and their label RCA forgot that males made up the majority of the record purchases in 1989 when it came to rock and metal releases.
And I was thinking why would a band who formed in 1976 and who finally got a chance to release an album 13 years later go with that cover. Because the stupid cover hindered the chances of the album doing anything.
Because I didn’t but it because of the cover.
But I should judge an album by its cover.
As soon as I pressed play I was a fan of the music.
“Runnin On Love”, “I Wanna Feel It”, “Tonight You’re Mine” and “Rebel With A Cause” is a four punch knockout combo.
I guess whatever Gene Simmons touched, turned to black. There’s a story there as well. Paul Sabu started producing the album and then Gene took over. I guess when you’re a band on Simmons Records, the boss takes precedence.
Most of the songs are written by E.J. Curse on bass, Mark Hawkins on guitar and Jesse Damon on vocals.
Producer Paul Sabu assisted on “Tonight You’re Mine”, Joe Lynn Turner assisted on “I Wanna Feel It” and Bruce Kulick assisted with “All Night Long”. There is a cover song from ELO called, “Can’t Get Her Out Of My Head”. Then there is “Don’t Touch Me There” written by Bob Kulick with Adam Mitchell. Album closer “I’m On Fire” is one of those fast paced hard rock songs that rhymes fire and desire.
It’s an arena rock album. But they never got to em.
It’s 1991, the third wave of L.A Metal (now known as Glam Metal or Hair Metal) is in full force and “No Rules” comes out, produced by Dana Strum from Slaughter on BMG Records.
Kik Tracee’s metal and hard rock sound is mixed with some alternative. Even the Hugh Syme cover is different.
An old steam train has arrived in a cityscape environment, and there is the same person walking out of it multiple times, dressed in old clothing and a hat, with a badge on his chest that states “No Rules”. It’s like the train is a time machine, entering our current lives to bring about a little chaos and anarchy.
Rolling Stone even had this album at 46 of the 50 Best Hair Metal Albums, which was a surprise. Even the great Martin Popoff who is normally tough on bands known as hair metal gave it some nice words on his “Collectors Guide” book.
“Big Western Sky” was called “the centrepiece” in the same Rolling Stone review. It’s one of those tunes that moves between acoustic and distortion.
It’s hard to escape the comparison to Guns N Roses. Tracks like “Soul Shaker” even starts off with that “Mr Brownstone” feel. “Tangerine Man” has an intro that could have come from Zakk Wylde’s fingertips. “Lost” feels like a Neil Young cut with a bit of The Beatles chucked in. “Velvet Crush” reminds me of Van Halen with an Axl Rose style vocal.
And by the end of the album, I didn’t feel like I listened to a “glam metal” album. Just a solid rock album. One review described it as Gunners meets The Cure meets The Beatles meets Paul Simon meets Neil Young meets Van Halen. I think that sums it up.
But being part of the third wave of acts, they were part of the first wave of acts to be dropped by the labels.
Singer Stephen Shareaux auditioned for the lead singer job in Motley Crue, losing out to John Corabi and in the late 90’s he also auditioned for Velvet Revolver, losing out to Scott Weiland.
I didn’t like the band name at all.
“Screwed Blued And Tattooed” came out in 1990 on Atlantic Records. They are from the Netherlands formed in 1987.
“Stranger Than Paradise” was a hit on U.S MTV because of its melodic rock chrorus and a riff influenced by “Kashmir” but it’s the hard rocking tracks that get me interested.
Opener “Rock In The Western World” is a mixture of ZZ Top (Eliminator/Afterburner era), Van Halen and AC/DC. It’s perfect and one of the most underrated tracks from 1990. “House Is On Fire” is basically a rewrite of an AC/DC song called “This House Is On Fire”.
The title track “Screwed Blued N Tattooed” is a Van Halen like cut, similar to the hard rocking tracks from “5150”. Lyrically by know I had heard all of the “kids in a candy store” and “dog without a bone” references.
“When The Brains Go Down To The Balls” is pretty self-explanatory and it’s the most AC/DC sounding track on the album.
Guitarists Chriz Van Jaarsveld and Don Van Spall are excellent and they are virtually unknown. And the band is rounded out by Andrew Elt on vocals, Ed Jongsma on bass guitar and Jan Koster on drums.
They released one more album in 1992 on Atlantic called “Powertool” and that was the last I heard of em.
This band deserved better as their blues rock still sounds fresh today as it did back then.
“Every Dog Has Its Day” came out in 1990, on Geffen Records.
Tom Werman mentioned in his interview on Lefsetz, that he produced the band and he liked their blues, funk, rock vibe, which was different and removed from the glam hair metal they got marketed with. So sonically, the album is great.
Formed in L.A in 1986 by guitarist Scott Lane, bassist Michael Hannon, and drummer Kurt Maier. Later, they were joined by lead singer Jimmi Bleacher. Founding guitarist Scott Lane was replaced by Pete Reeven in 1987 and with this version of the band they got their Geffen deal.
The cover for a generic “Every Dog Has It’s Day” title, is pretty cool with the great Biblical flood consuming great empires and cities, as they are the “dogs” having their “day”. It’s a pretty cool piece of early Photoshop art.
According to Wikipedia, the record was recorded in Wales, and the band was reportedly not told by the label they had to pay back the recording costs. Artists are naïve when they get their first deal and find out the hard way when the label starts to claim it back from money they’ve earned in sales or on the road.
Check out tracks like the bluesy AC/DC “Cat’s Got Nine”, the swinging blues of “Ring My Bell”, the alternative bluesy sounds of “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”.
“Spoonful” has this blues riff that sounds like something James Hetflied used on “Load” and “Reload” or Zakk Wylde on his Black Label Society band.
“Just Like A Woman” is like a southern rock ballad. “Keep Me Down” has this Led Zeppelin and Peter Frampton style groove. “Heave Hard” is an excellent Cinderella cut.
And the album doesn’t really have a bad tune if you are into blues rock.
Other bands mentioned are Beau Nasty, London (the same London that had Nikki Sixx and Blackie Lawless in it), Shotgun Messiah and my favourite, Hericane Alice which I have already posted about in the past.