Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Krokus Dynamite

Back in 2019, I was neck deep in early 80's nostalgia and obsessing over those bands that first hooked me as a kid to that heavy rock and metal sound. One of those bands was Krokus, and while I hadn't listened to them over the past 30 years, in 2019 they hit me hard and I couldn't get enough of them. I downloaded their entire catalog from the 80's and was chasing down their records (note to self: I still need a copy of Metal Rendez-vous and Heart Attack), but I never bothered with the seven albums Krokus released after metal's golden years.
I don't get out to record store much anymore, but when I was flipping through the bins at one of the Bull Moose stores recently, I stumbled upon Dirty Dynamite from Krokus. The album was originally released back in 2013, but it was apparently reissued last year on colored vinyl. While I'd wanted to check out the more recent Krokus records at some point, I wasn't in any rush to get it done...however, seeing a copy of Dirty Dynamite in a local store just made me want to check it out sooner rather than later.
Goddamn. This is a solid record. The band sounds a good as they did back in the 80's and really deliver some fine AC/DC inspired songs. I know that the Music On Vinyl label has reissued the Hoodoo album from Krokus as well, and I'm going to have to check that out to see if that one is worth picking up as well because they did a nice job with this one.
The record is limited to 1,500 and numbered. Looks like my copy was double stamped, so I've got both 793 and 794.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Metal Obsession

It has been years since I've paid much attention to eBay. However, I've recently found a seller that is slowly listing their collection of metal records that they had back in the 80's, and I can't help by check out what auctions they have ending each weekend. Their records are in fantastic condition, so I keep throwing out the occasional bid and winning.
Obsession were from New Haven, Connecticut, and managed to get themselves onto the second Metal Massacre compilation. That comp is loaded front to back with great songs, but their track, Shadows Of Steel is one of my favorites. That one song was the extent of my exposure to the band, until a few years ago when I finally downloaded the songs from the Marshall Law EP from '83. The four songs on that EP are so damn good, and exactly what I'm looking for when I'm in the mood for some early 80's American Metal. When I saw I saw that my new favorite eBay seller had a copy available, I set my sights on winning another record from him.
This is early 80's metal perfection. From the album cover featuring a group of reapers in front of a stack of Marshall amps, to the photo of the dudes decked out in leather and chains on the back, and then the metal assualt from the four songs on this EP...so good! Owning this record, and seeing how much I'm digging it right now, it just makes me want to rush out and buy more of this stuff.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Night Of The Blade

Tokyo Blade are one of those bands where I have a hard time getting my head around where they are from. See, in my brain I always think that the band was from California along with the other early Metal Blade bands. I mean, I feel like the band would have fit in nicely on the first Metal Massacre compilation, and therefore my first instinct is to think of them as an early American Heavy Metal band alongside the likes of Armored Saint and Lizzy Borden. But that is wrong. Tokyo Blade were from Salisbury in England, so they are obviously a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band...and while it wasn't planned as a part of my NWOBHM Chase of 2022, it still fits the bill so we are counting it towards my goal for the year.
While I was aware of the Tokyo Blade name as a kid, I don't think that I ever heard any of their records at the time. I'm pretty sure that my exposure was limited to the song Lightning Strikes from the Banzai Axe comp. I downloaded a few of the bands early records about 15 years ago, and I'd give them a casual listen here and there over the years, but I never really invested myself too deeply into them. Last year, however, the Night Of The Blade record hit me hard and I listened to that thing a lot. I couldn't get enough of it. When I saw a copy on Discogs at a very reasonable price I jumped on it.
Since Tokyo Blade is a NWOBHM band, I was tempted to go for the original UK pressing on Powerstation Records, but with my obsession over the green Combat labels, that was obviously the only way that I was going to go here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Pushing Shit Back Into My Ass

Beyond were a hardcore band out of New York in the late 80's. They might not have been at the level of Youth Of Today or Judge, but their No Longer At Ease record could definitely hold its own against some of the bigger bands at the time. I loved that record, and think it still holds up incredibly well today. In the early 90's when I heard that Kevin Egan was fronting a new band, I was excited to check it out. While still hardcore, 1.6 Band was a different animal than Beyond. The lyrics were more cryptic and the music was doing different things, but I don't know if I've met an early 90's hardcore band that I didn't like, so I was down with what they were doing.
I was buying records in the early 90's, and bought both the Tongue Family Style 7 inch and their album from '92, but somehow I missed out on their second 7 inch the following year. The four songs from Pimpin' Ain't Easy were unknown to me until I bought the Broke Up discography CD in '95. 25+ years later and I'm finally picking up the vinyl for it.
These songs continue what 1.6 Band were doing from their first 7 inch and LP, and they give a nice slap on the ass.

Sunday, January 09, 2022

The Nightcomers

As we were coming to the end of 2021, it had me thinking of what record collecting goals I wanted to set for 2022. When I started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this year, my thoughts kept returning to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. I know that my plans can get derailed and sometimes lose focus when my tastes bounce around to different genres, but right now my mindset is all about building a solid NWOBHM collection. I didn't chase many of those records last year, but picking up that mint condition Savage record was fucking huge, and the Geddes Axe single damn near made it into my Top Five list for favorite records that I picked up. I want more of that. Let's see how committed to this quest I can be, and we will check in a year from now and see how the NWOBHM Chase Of 2022 turned out.
Holocaust are one of the classic bands from the NWOBHM era. Raw, loose and loud... they are the very definition of bands from that period. They were a big influence on bands like Metallica, who went on to cover the Holocaust song The Small Hours for their Garage Days Re-Revisited. When I decided that I wanted to make a move on a big NWOBHM record, I had my sights on the first Holocaust full length album, The Nightcomers.
It took me some time to fully appreciate this Holocaust record. It kind of reminds me of the first Tygers Of Pan Tang album, where the vocals seems to lack the serious power of other bands at that time. However, these past couple of years has seen me really warm up to both the Holocaust and Tygers records, in part due to the raw youthful passion for heavy metal that is on display. These are young kids doing what they love, playing loud heavy metal music, and I'll always get down with that.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Churry And The Gang

One of my favorite records from 2020 was the new Chubby and the Gang album. That thing just exploded with energy, and I couldn't get enough of it, so I was really looking forward to their new record, The Mutt's Nuts.
I was so excited for this new album that I couldn't resist checking out the first couple of songs that the band released. Lightning Don't Strike Twice was okay but the slide guitar was unexpected and initially it didn't sit well with me...and then came Life's Lemons and I was confused as to what the fuck was going on. This was not the band that I absolutely lost my mind over the year before. I hoped the full album would turn things around for me, so even though I was feeling a bit down on it, I still ordered the record along with the Time And Pressure preorder from REV at the end of summer. That Time And Pressure record saw a few delays, so here we are four months later and I finally have the new Chubby record.
It has taken me some time to warm up to this one. There is still plenty of frantic energy to be found here, but overall it is a bit more relaxed than the first Chubby and the Gang record, but there are just too many of the slower, drawn out songs... like the band is searching for another Grenfell Forever hit... and it really holds this album back for me. I just want the band to rip. Despite my complaints, this is still a fun record...it just isn't nearly as exciting as their first one.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

NWOBHM Raid

As we were closing in on the end of 2021, I was quickly trying to scoop up some last minute records that made a big impression on me over the previous twelve months. However, ordering from overseas sellers during the postal nightmare of December probably isn't the winning combination for a successful delivery before the end of the year. While I might not have made it before the new year deadline, there is no denying that this Jameson Raid record was my favorite discovery of 2021.
Jameson Raid was from Birmingham, and released two 7 inches in '79/'80 as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal was really starting to kick into high gear. The band has never really made it onto my radar until my friend Jeff mentioned that I should check them out last summer... although, the band did have a song on the second Metal For Muthas comp, listed as "The Raid", so technically I guess I had heard them before. One of the cool things about the NWOBHM is that there were so many small and independent bands from that period that each time I dig in a little deeper, I keep finding buried treasures like this. When Jeff told me to check them out, I wasn't really expecting too much, so it was a surprise when they hit me as hard as they did.
This shit is great, and even though newer hardcore bands ruled my playlist last year, those two Jameson Raid records were still the best thing that I uncovered. I desperately wanted those records, but to find one in very good condition was going to cost me some money. I kept checking the listings on Discogs for the band's second 7 inch, End Of Part One, through the last half of the year, and when a cheap copy wasn't falling in my lap, I finally just threw in the cash that I needed to get the job done. No regrets. This record rules.