The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘1988

Hittman – S/T (1988)

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Now here’s a closet classic!  I first heard the track Dead On Arrival on The Metal Shop in 1988 and I am pretty sure I hittmantaped the song, if not the whole show (wish I still had those tapes!).  I let Kelz hear it the next day or so and he hated it.  Doofus.  Of course today he’s all about it, or so he says.  He’s such a liar sometimes.  hahaha.  Kidding.  Ok, not so much.

Anyway, I promptly went to the Music Man and picked up the cassette.  I loved it!  Mainly the dude’s vocals.  He had a cool range.  Good riffs on the album and some smooth drumming.  Unfortunately the drums were severely under-produced much like the drums on Megadeth’s Peace Sells or Sanctuary’s Refuge Denied.  Very muddy.  I loved that tape.  This album was just good classy US metal with some Geoff Tate type vocals but music not as progressive at Queensryche.

Lyrically this album could be better but I can overlook it.  The one track I don’t dig is their version of Secret Agent Man (Secret Asian Man!).  I never liked the original so I didn’t want to hear a cover version of it either.  We jammed on this album a lot.  We always cracked jokes about the song “Backstreet Rebels”; usually make jokes about some chick…”Backstreet Nikki” or whoever.  Silly dumbasses we were, but the lyrics needed to be joked on.  All in all this was a fun album to play drums to.  The double bass work was straightforward enough that my feet could keep up with it.

In 1991 or 1992 I went to Cleveland to see my friend Bronwyn and hit a great string of record stores up there.  One of which had this CD import for $3!  This one store had a ton of metal for cheap on vinyl and CD.  The manager said “I don’t like metal and just want to see this stuff out of here.”  I easily dropped $200 in that place on some cheap metal.  Glad to be of service, sir!

So, I highly recommend this to you as some really good 80s US Metal.  Again, very out of print so I don’t mind uploading it.  I do not recommend their followup album, Vivas Machinas.  It was pretty bad.

Download it here.

Written by The Metal Files

July 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Rapeman – Two Nuns and a Pack Mule

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In 1992 I went to visit Kelz at JMU during his junior year there.  I drove my sweet 82 Trans Am up there.  It was a total blast, at least what I remember of it.  266-1Actually, there are only a few memories of that weekend in tact in my brain.  We drank a lot of beer, mostly at some bar called JM’s.  We played the video bowling game there and seemed to get better the more we drank.  We went to some guy’s house and listened to Dwight Yoakam.   I met some girl named Ursula.  I was extremely hungover that Saturday morning.  Somewhere there’s a photo of me dead on his couch in so much pain.  But the main thing I do remember from that weekend was the music I was introduced to…Foetus, Rapeman, Iron Prostate and Motorpsycho (USA band) and even Motorhead to a lesser degree.  I was also introduced to the Spawn comic book that weekend.  That was a great series fro about 50 issues.  But more on the other bands some other time, today is about the Rapeman album.  I liked it the 2-3 times I listened to it while up at JMU that weekend and never bothered much with it again.

Flash forward to July 4, 2009.  Jason McMaster and I rode down to San Antonio to check out a legendary record store called Hog Wild Records.  The place has been there since the 70s and I always like seeing the independent shops that are still around, even if they are making it by the skin of their teeth.  It is a cool shop and I dropped $60 easily in there.  One of the things I picked up was Rapeman’s Two Nuns and a Pack Mule CD used for $5 in mint condition.  I hadn’t thought about that album in years and had to buy it.  I was hoping I’d still like it.  There have been a few purchases of “back in the day” albums that I loved then and don’t care for now.  Fortunately for me, this one still sits well in my listening palette.  I’ve spun it at least 10 times since last weekend and I like it more and more each time I hear it.

I’ve seen it classified as post-hardcore.  To me it sounds like a live Foetus album in some ways.  A little frantic yet controlled…and without the digital samples.  The guy’s voice even resembles Thirwell’s in places.  The version I am posting has the BUDD EP include as well.

Download it here.

Dark Angel – Darkness Descends

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I’m pretty sure it was spring 1987 and I was down on Atlantic Ave at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront hanging out for dark angelwhatever reason.  There was a little record store there that I can’t remember the name of.  I’m pretty sure it was an independent store and don’t hink it lasted more than a few years.  I can’t even remember if anyone was with me…maybe Robert S.  Anyhoo, we were browsing the cassettes and I saw Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends.  I immediately knew that this would be my purchase.  I had seen the ads for this in various metal mags and it was on Combat Records which had a pretty good track record of bands so far.

I remember getting in my 66′ Nova 4dr and heading back home while the tape started.  I was immediately blown away.  The drums.  Holy shit, the drums!  I remember seeing fotos in magazines of the band and the big huge drummer in shades looming over them in every foto.  I was fortunate enough to meet him earlier this decade and he was the coolest mofo in the world.

But back to this massive album.  There’s not a stinker in the bunch but my faves are Burning of Sodom, Black Prophecies and Perish In Flames.  Sure it’s a tad sloppy and severely underproduced, but it set a/the standard for early thrash and death metal in my opinion, especially for drummers.

When I finally saw them live in 1989, I got to help sing Merciless Death as the new singer said he didn’t know the lyrics that well.  I was the happiest acne-faced, bad-haired kid in Virginia Beach that night!

If you’re into classic metal and especially early thrash, you NEED this album.

I finally found the foto of Gene and me from 2001.  gene hoglan me

Renee Reviews stuff.

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So way back in 1987 when my first real band first got together, this beautiful girl with big hair (no offense Renee) Renee Roland small_57049_2009-06-16 10-22-42.671and her gorgeous friend Carla used to come over to our house on the farm and hang out during band practice. Realize that my band practiced in my bedroom…9pc Pearl drum set, 2 guitars, bass and sometimes a singer, a bed, a desk and a dresser in a roughly 12×12 room. It was pretty cramped in there. It was always fun having them over there because they were a lot prettier than us sausage heads.

A few years later I started working for VDOT as a surveyor. I had met him a time or 2 back in the band days when we would either go to Renee’s house to pick her up or drop her off. It was never a pleasurable experience but we won’t discuss that any further. Renee’s dad was one of the survey chiefs and ultimately the big boss of the survey department during my tenure as one of the “grubs”. He was always a cool guy. He ultimately moved into a position in the design section and I moved to utilities shortly after. It was cool because I got to work with him more closely. I knew that Renee had moved to LA some years before and had lost touch with her, but her Dad gave me her number when I decided to make a trip to LA to do some business with a few record labels there (Century Media and Metal Blade). Renee graciously invited me to come over and I went there the evening after we landed in LA. We ultimately went to the Hard Rock to see Wayne Kramer (MC5) do a spoken word thing with some poet dude. It was a weird show but fun to meet Wayne and hang out. Before the show, we hung out at Renee’s for a bit and I got to speak to James Hong JamesHongon the phone for a minute as he was friends with Renee. One of the folks hanging out with us that night was John Skipp who wrote Fright Night! The dude was super cool. Anyway, that night and next morning were the only times I got to see Renee when I was there as my schedule was pretty tight with the record labels, but she made my trip that much better.

We spoke a few times since 1997 but not at all in the last 5-6 years. Thanks to social networking we’re in touch again and I’m happy about it. She was/is always the coolest. Now she’s doing movie reviews for The Examiner website. Renee has a very creative mind and I highly recommend that you check out her stuff.

Click here for Renee’s movie reviews, old and new.

Concert Review – RIOT – San Antonio – 6/2/09

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So let’s go back in time…

I remember somewhere around 1984ish and I was over at Daniel’s house for a bit and we would go into his brother’s room and check out his records and cool Kramer Baretta guitars.  I remember seeing Riot’s Fire Down Under (probably on cassette) and we listened to some of it.  I think we only listened to Swords and Tequila as his brother’s band used to cover that song.  I thought it was cool but never really explored them any further.

Flash forward to sometime in 1988.  I was over at Kelz’ house and we stepped outside into Thomas’ car, the 4dr Chevy Cavalier, beige/crème color.  He pulled out Riot’s Thundersteel tape and said “You have to hear this.”  I was reluctant and explained to him that I saw the record at Skinnie’s recently and that the album cover looked too silly to even give them a chance, not to mention their photo on the back.  WTF?  In perfect Thomas fashion he cut me off and said, “Just shut the fuck up and listen to it asshole.”

Thank you Thomas.

I was blown away by it, mainly by the drums.  The only other drummer that I heard play similar styles to this was Deen Castronovo.  It was shortly after getting into this era of riot that I met Deen and asked if Bobby Jarzombek was his pupil.  Deen just replied with, “I wish I could lay claim to that.  That kid is good.”  Yes, Deen, very good.  Back to Thundersteel, this album has great hooks and melodies, not to mention the insane drumming by Bobby, Tony Moore’s almost-out-of-control vocals and Mark Reale’s great solos.  I should mention Mark Edward’s competent drumming on the LP as well.  Nothing too flashy, but solid.  The only song I never cared about was Run For Your Life.  It just seemed too stiff.  Since 1988 this album has stayed in steady listening rotation.  I also picked up the follow-up album Privilege of Power.  There are some blazing songs on there and Bobby J just simply owns that record.

Flash forward again to early May 2009.  I saw online that Riot was performing a one-off show in their partial home of San Antonio and expected it to sell out as they don’t play very often and especially with this line-up, the reunited Thundersteel era band.  So I bought 2 tickets the morning they went on sale, one for THE Doug Morrison and one for me.

So I go to Doug’s after work yesterday and we have some dinner at his house.  The doors were at 7pm and we had about an hour of drive time each way.  Since it was only about 6pm at this point, I went down into our studio and took a 45 minute nap as I was super tired from being up in the middle of the night with a sick cat.  After my little nap, we hop in the car and head to SA.  I was happy of the fact that Jason McMaster’s Broken Teeth were added to the bill but we assumed that they would be the opener of the 4 bands and we figured we would miss them.  Jason is one of my best friends and it’s no biggie for him if we missed the show.  Both he and Doug are in the Motorhead tribute band with me, so we see each other plenty.

We arrived at the show around 8:15pm and I noticed that the crowd was very light in attendance.  I figured since it was still early that people were waiting to come out.  We saw the Broken Teeth guys when we walked in and gave our usual pleasantries and they said they were moved into the slot right before Riot.  Great news!  It meant that we would have on less shitty band to sit through until seeing a band that we liked.  A local band called Eden Burning opened the show and we missed them completely.  From what I was it was no loss.  Top Dead Center played next.  Apparently their singer has another band with Riot’s Don van Stavern called Pitbull Daycare.  Whatever.  TDC wasn’t very good in general.  The highlight of their performance was their drummer.  That guy was rock solid.  I was glad when they were done.  Broken Teeth took the stage and did what they do best, they rocked.  Jason has got to be one of the most underrated front men in rock and roll.  He knows how to grab a crowd’s attention and keep it.  Before they went on, it was cool seeing people who have known him since the Watchtower days.  I am not sure he has ever made an enemy.  The crowd got into Broken Teeth and I am sure most of the folks there had never seen them.  It was a bit ironic that the club uses Dangerous Toys’ old road cases for side stage monitor stands.

By the time that Broken Teeth finished, there may have been 250 people there, certainly no more than that.  I was shocked.  The legendary Riot.  At Home.  Thundersteel lineup.  Sure it was a Tuesday night but c’mon.  The ONLY American show!  WTF?!

So Riot is setting up, erm…their roadies are setting up.  They put this projector on a stand on the stage and Doug and I were trying to figure out if they were going to keep that on stage for the whole show.  Luckily is was just there for their intro and promptly removed.

So the lights go down and the band sans Tony Moore get on stage and play an instrumental assuredly from one of their older albums.  I’m not that familiar with the pre-Thundersteel stuff…yet.

After the instrumental, Moore comes out and they go into Fight or Fall.  His voice is still strong after all these years but he was struggling in some parts and understandably so.  His vocals on that old stuff are pretty high ranged in places.  But in general he sounded fine for the night.  Mark Reale played great and does good backing vocals.    Mike Flynt’s playing was good too.  He did a few solos and he’s a really solid player.  His vocals harmonies were really really good.  I didn’t care for Van Stavern’s tone in the least.  He was playing what looked like a higher end Ibanez bass through an Ampeg rig (ugh).  It sounded like ass.  Seriously.

But most impressively the highlight of the night for me was Bobby Jarzombek’s drumming.  Sure, I’ve known for 20+ years that he was a phenomenal player but you really can’t grasp it until you see him play live.  I saw him with Halford in 2000 in Brooklyn @ Lamour’s Rock Club and he was awesome there too…but not as awesome as he was last night.  His performance was seemingly flawless.  He can do anything.  He really reminds me a lot of how I think Stewart Copeland would play if he was in a metal band and could play double bass.  The handwork is incredible.  I really think Bobby is the best drummer in metal nowadays.  That is difficult for me to say as a HUGE Gene Hoglan fan.  Hoglan and Van Williams (Nevermore) are probably the only guys who can play this style and retain a feel in their playing.  Guys like Mike Portnoy can play it, but have no feel.  Boring.

We ran into Ron Jarzombek after the show and I just shook his hand and said hello.  Doug met him 25+ years ago when he took Dave McClain (SA Slayer/Sacred Reich/Machinehead) out of San Antonio to come play with him in LA in Neil Turbin’s post-Anthrax band.  It took Ron a second to remember then he said, “Oh yeah, I do remember now.  Wow.  Been a long time.”  Then we left.  We drove through one of the scariest lightning storms I have ever seen.  It’s not very often that I get nervous in a storm but I was nervous last night.  Doug was too but we made it back to his place safely and subsequently I was home safely shortly thereafter.

Overall the night was great.  I needed a night like that.  June 2 is a day that lives in infamy for me and in the week leading up to it every year I tend to get a little down.  But there was no time for such feelings last night.  It was a positive night and we had fun.  The only real drawback about the show was that Riot had no merch to sell and I really wanted a shirt.  Oh well.

I shot some video and snapped a few pics.  I’ll try and post them later.  Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery right as I was ready to film Johnny’s Back.  Keep an eye on Youtube as I am sure there will be a lot of footage from the show.

Here’s the setlist in order:

Narita (Instrumental intro)
Fight or Fall
On Your Knees
Metal Soldiers
Speedin’
Johnny’s Back
Crimson Storm
Swords and Tequila
Wings are for Angels (from their forthcoming album)
Tokyo Rose/Rock City
Flight of the Warrior
Bloodstreets
Storming the Gates of Hell/Race with the Devil/Storming the Gates of Hell
Road Racin’/Killer(no lyrics)/Road Racin’
Dance of Death
Thundersteel
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Warrior