Saturday, April 8, 2017

James Rutledge [of Bloodrock] - Hooray For Good Times [1976 Hard Rock Texas]

Download from [mf] or [yd]
Unzip password:  tdats

Here's a really good LP from one-time drummer/singer of Texas hard rock band, Bloodrock. There's plenty of upbeat, melodic good-time tracks and heavy rockin' tracks too. Jim Rutledge should have made some more solo records! His departure from Bloodrock before album "Passage" marked what many people view as a decline in Bloodrock's quality, and Lee Pickens who plays on this record, left around the same time. Rumour has it that Rutledge originally left to strike out with a solo record collaboration with John Nitzinger, which was made but never released.



The title track is an especially nice track, a thoughful one almost sounding like Here I Go Again by Whitesnake in the first part, and the harder tracks like Soul Survivor, Drivin' You Insane and On My Way Up are some of the best, funkiest hard southern rock you may ever hear. Other players on this record include touring / session guitarist Doug Rhone (Gladstone / Neil Diamond), Michael Rabon (The Five Americans / Choctaw / solo), Jim Grant (Michael Rabon, The Five Americans), Thom Caccetta (Michael Rabon, Doc Severinsen), Dahrell Norris (Sonny & Cher, Freddy Fender, Dr. John) and Kenneth Whitfield (Texas Muzic Machine - With Jim Rutledge).

Credits
Guitars - Michael Rabon, Doug Rhone, Lee Pickens, Tommy Savanna
Bass - Jim Grant, Thom Caccetta
Drums - Dahrell Norris
Keyboards - Kenneth Whitfield

Produced by Rutledge, Rabon And Smith
Engineered by Don Smith, Thom Caccetta

Tracklist
A1    Brown Paper Bag
A2    Laughin' And Cryin'
A3    One Step Ahead Of The Law
A4    Drivin' You Insane
A5    Sole Survivor
B1    Hooray For Good Times
B2    Star Trackin'
B3    On My Way Up
B4    I Can Fly
B5    New York City

Release infos
RYM
Discogs

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bang Interview with Frank Ferrara, courtesy of Lucille over at Controradio Firenze



Bang in 1972 (l-r) Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, Frank Gilcken
(picture from Bang's facebook page)
Download from: [mf] or [yd]

Hi again! Last year the Philadelphia band Bang, who I presume most of you will know by now (appearing on Vol 1 after all!), made a concerted effort to play frequently and see parts of the world that had eluded them during their three-album tenure with Capitol Records in the early seventies. Previous to that, they had played a few reunion shows since the 2000's, and Rise Above's 2010 box set remaster of their records.

Just prior to their 2016 tour of Europe, Lucille aka Lucyfer of Controradio Firenze in Italy (podcast archive here) interviewed Bang's frontman Frank Ferrara and they talked about the band's past and present career, as well as their rekindled enthusiasm to play again more regularly. At the time, Lucille offered to contribute the interview to TDATS, but unfortunately that was around the time I was taking a hiatus from doing the blog. So, here it is now, transcribed by myself. Better late than never!

Listen here and read my transcription following



Interview

Lucille: It’s a great honour to introduce a very special guest, Frank Ferrara from Bang is with us tonight. Hi Frank!

Frank at a show this year
(2017
)
Frank: Thank you so much, hello everybody.

Lucille: Bang is a band that is familiar to the listeners of this show, as I often play Bang songs here, and Frank is the bassist and singer from the original line up. So Frank, first I would like you to tell us something about the roots of Bang, going back to the starting point of your career, and that would be the show in Orlando in 1971 when you played on the same stage as Rod Stewart and Deep Purple. Would you tell us about that crucial show?

Frank: Three days before the Rod Stewart / Deep Purple show [and before we knew anything about it] we had left Philadelphia in a station wagon with a trailer, and were heading to Florida [with the intention of finding places to play there]. We really had no particular place to go, we had our equipment, we had gotten some marijuana, and we stopped to buy some rolling papers.

We were at Daytona Beach which was maybe two or three hours from Orlando and we went into a record store to buy some rolling papers, there was a poster on the wall that said ‘Battle of the Bands’, so we asked the guy behind the counter where that was because we wanted to play the show. He said it was an old poster and that show was last week. “If you guys have a band, Deep Purple and Rod Stewart are playing in Orlando, why don’t you go there? Maybe they’ll let you play.”

So, we spent that night in a tent, drinking some beer and just talking and talking, and we decided “yeah what the hell, why don’t we see if we can go play the show?” We got up the next day, drove to Orlando and pulled behind the venue where the show was. We knocked on the door, this guy came out and we introduced ourselves as Bang from Philadelphia, “We’re the best fuckin' band in the world and we want to play tonight”. He let us in to set up our stuff. So, we had talked our way in to opening up for Deep Purple and Small Faces!

Everything in life is about timing, seventy two hours earlier we were just driving to Florida with a U-Haul with no idea what would happen. So we took a chance and, y’know, it was amazing. Opening up with Faces and Deep Purple, around the time that Purple’s Machine Head had just come out.

Lucille: You said it was a question of timing, but I think it was a mixture of fate and boldness, because you were really bold to force that hand of fate, so to say.

Frank: We had to. Here’s the thing, because we rehearsed every night for eighteen months, I mean every night, we’re talking seven days a week. We were always together, we learnt how to write and we became very tight, we were three people as one basically. When we went to Florida we were ready, we really believed in each other, and it’s funny you say that because the promotor guy who answered the door said, “Hey man, you guys’ got balls like this, and you sound good.”

If you don’t believe in yourself Lucille, nobody else is going to believe in you. That’s the kind of attitude you have to project from the stage, I think you can tell that with most bands, if they really like each other or if they’re just going through the motions. Our music was good (thank you God) but I think the promotor saw our determination and our desire, which was just as much why we got the show as the music itself.

Lucille: What happened then? A short time after playing that gig you got a contract with Capitol Records.

Frank: We played while the people were coming in, the lights were still on, and we had about two feet of stage left to use, it was a very small thing. The promoter of the show Rick Bowen said “You guys did really well. Listen, you’re going to Florida, down to Fort Lauderdale where I’m doing a show with Steppenwolf next week, if you guys wanna open up the show.”

Right away he took an interest in us. He said he had a hotel in Fort Lauderdale where we could stay. We waited a week and we drove to Richmond to do the Steppenwolf show. After that he asked if we wanted to do another show with The Guess Who, and at that point, when we stayed at the hotel in Fort Lauderdale, there was a studio there, Criteria Studios, which went on to be one of the bigger studios at that time. We went in and did our demo, of Death of a Country, which is what we’d been working on for eighteen months in the basement. So after the Faces-Purple concert we did two or three more shows, we did the demo and then Capitol and Atlantic Records were both interested in the band, and we were waiting to see which one of those to go with.

Lucille: We know you decided to go with Capitol, it doesn’t sound like you had an idyllic partnership with them, in fact Capitol decided not to release Death of a Country. What were the reasons behind that decision?

Frank: Capitol Records at the time was very middle-of-the-road. Atlantic had all the hard rock groups, Zeppelin etc, everyone that was heavy, and Capitol was more of a contemporary label. They were just getting ready to lose Grand Funk Railroad. They came back to us and said they didn’t think a debut concept album would be commercial enough to put out. Now, the only reason we went with Capitol was because The Beatles were on there, they were our heroes. We were kids, we were 18 years old, we trusted everybody at that age. We thought Capitol Records would do right by the band.

What was happening was they didn’t believe in Death of a Country so they gave us two weeks to write another album. They sent a producer down, he said they don’t want to release DoaC, they think it will go over everyone’s head. So we were disillusioned, but what did we know? We were the musicians, we trusted them. It’s your record company, you sign with them, you trust them because as a musician, you never know the business side of music, which is nothing like the real side of music.

Lucille: In fact you were kind of forced to change a lot, because Death of a Country is more of a spiritual, eco-friendly, psychedelic concept album with some hard rock, while your self-titled debut is more hard rock, more Black Sabbath-style, so you had to change a lot?

Frank: Back in the seventies, bands did two albums a year, so you only had six months in between recordings before you recorded another record. We had two weeks to write the Bang album which in my mind wasn’t a whole lot of time. But we did it, because we knew we could write songs. Still, at the time Capitol was trying to make us more commercial, more commercial, more commercial, so after we did DoaC in the studio they rejected it and we had to write a whole different style of music.

They used to call us the Grand Black Zeppelin and say we sounded like Grand Funk, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin all rolled in to one. To me it was like “Wow, if we’re that good we should be bigger than The Beatles ya’know. We were writing all kinds of music and Capitol wanted top-40 hits. They kept giving us the pressure, “We need a hit record, we need a hit record”.

We weren’t a top-40 band, we were a concert band. We were a band you watched to see a show, we didn’t have hooks, we weren’t Helen Reddy, we weren’t The Raspberries, but Capitol kept sending us stuff and we were like “Why did we even sign with these guys?” If they didn’t believe in our music and were trying to change it why did they even sign us?

Lucille: It doesn’t make any sense

Frank: It doesn’t make any sense. That was where we learned that “the music business” is the business of music, like selling shoes, it’s not about heart. When you write a song it’s about heart, it’s about your spirit, but you gotta sell records, how many are you going to sell? It’s like selling shoes. We learned right away that this is not good. It was disillusioning, it was like an oxymoron.

We went to Woodstock, it’s like a happy feeling, you think everybody’s your friend and then you find out that it’s not really like that at all. It’s about making money. It broke our hearts because we really believed in Death of a Country. I’ve always thought “Wow, maybe if they did release DoaC we might never have made the Bang album.” You don’t know why things happen in life, maybe if we had released DoaC it wouldn’t have done anything.

Lucille: But in some way the commercial ideas of Capitol succeeded, there was a time when Bang were quite famous because you were in the charts.

Frank: Yes, our first single “Questions” was in the forties on the charts and it went to #2 in Hong Kong, it was like #2 on the moon or something. Again, the business took over and they stopped working that record. Long story short, I think what happened with the band was, six months after Bang was signed with the label, Capitol records got a new president and our producer went to Epic records. Everybody at Capitol tower in Hollywood that was behind our band was gone. So at that point other producers and other bands were coming in and all the producers pushed their bands, they don’t care about some other producer’s band. They move to something else, “We work them for a couple of months then let’s move to something else.”

It never mattered to us, sure it was frustrating but we knew we could write songs and we knew we were good and we just tried to keep the faith. That’s what you gotta do, you gotta face adversity and plough ahead because like I was saying before, if you don’t believe it, nobody else will believe it. You have to do that in anything in life really.

Lucille: What about your last record with Capitol, it was 1973 and it was called simply “Music”. It was more pop-melodic, somehow almost Beatles-esque. What inspired that change?

Humble from Mother/Bow to the King


Frank: Even on DoaC we always did a lot of harmony. I think harmony in vocals is just as important as the instruments and we liked the two-part and three-part harmonies. The thing with “Music”, that was our final thing with Capitol. After the Bang album they basically made us change drummers right before the Mother album which was our second album. So we ended up recording the Mother album and Music with a different drummer. The continuity was getting worse and worse, we did “No Sugar Tonight” by The Guess Who just because Capitol was pushing us to get a hit record and by the time we did the Music album we changed our sound, we changed our style because we were trying to do what the label wanted us to do. We got more commercial, that’s why the Music album is so different.
Hey ya’know what? Bang was always Tony Diorio’s lyrics, Frank Gilcken’s guitar and my melodies and vocals. Even though the album is not heavy and in your face, I think we have some great songs on that record.

Lucille: I like that album very much, it’s a very good album. 

Frank Gilcken (guitar)
at a show this year
Frank: The people that liked the Bang album which was much heavier thought we had sold-out by the Music album, we didn’t sound hard & heavy and Frankie’s guitar wasn’t in your face, it was more of a pop record but hey, for us, I think if you try to sound the same on every record you get stale. We were young, I think as musicians you follow your talent where it takes you. I don’t want to make the same record over and over again, that would be boring and back then it was fun to write some different kinds of songs, to use the Mellotron, to do all those things back then. It was fun changing and we evolved. Not that we couldn’t write anything heavy, that’s just not the mood we were in that day ya’know? That’s what music is, it’s a mood and you’re in a different mood every half hour.

Lucille: After many years, Death of a Country finally saw the light when it was re-issued by Rise Above records. How did the collaboration with Rise Above start?

Rise Above's Bang box set
"Bullets"
Frank: Lee Dorian approached us, he was a long-time Bang fan, and he said he’d love to do a box set of our records. By then we’d just started playing again, it was a great idea and we were very flattered that somebody wanted to do a “box set”. Lee and Rise Above did a great job and we were very happy with it. It came from Lee getting a hold of us, getting a hold of our drummer/lyricist Tony Diorio and we just struck a deal for them to put the box set together. 

Lucille: And it’s a deluxe remastered CD set with everything you made right?

Frank: Yes, it was our entire Capitol catalogue.

Cover sticker from the "Bullets" box set: "Limited Edition Four CD Mini LP Box set containing three classic full-length albums released between 1971 and 1973. Also includes the "unreleased at the time" debut album Death of a Country. Plus forty-page collectors booklet and Exclusive sticker. Black Sabbath heaviness meets Grand Funk Groove & catchy as hell"

Lucille: You are from Philadelphia, a place that was more into sweet soul music than hard rock at that time, so how was it to play hard rock there in the seventies?

Frank: It was the same as it was in New York, as it was in Florida. If you liked hard rock that’s the kind of music that you wrote, as kids we loved Black Sabbath, there were a lot of bands that we loved, and you’d play those songs and a little bit of influence comes off. That’s why we were compared to Sabbath a little bit because we had that kind of style. That just comes from what you grow up with, Philadelphia was known as a big Soul town but we were hard rockers ‘cuz we loved The Cream and Jimi Hendrix, that’s the kind of music that we wrote, learned a lot of different music and we started writing music with bits and pieces of everybody we loved.

You say it sounds like The Beatles too, that was because we loved The Beatles and there’s a little bit of something in each song that reflects what your influences are. That’s what we’re finding out today with these Bang shows, we’re playing in front of 20-30 year olds that weren’t even born when we wrote this music and for them to say “Hey, you inspired us to write music”, it reminds me that we were inspired by somebody when we started. So that aspiration turned into being part of our song-writing. We didn’t have a Philadelphia style because we liked hard rock, we were a hard rock band.

Lucille: You are widely considered as forerunners of the doom metal genre, how is it to be considered as a seminal band in that sense?

Frank: You know what? Whatever sense, our Bang album went to the heavy metal hall of fame six months ago. To me, whatever genre or whatever mode it goes into we’re grateful for it. I never thought of us as a doom band because I thought we were always more of a rock ‘n’ roll band. Doom is sludge kinda stuff, we were more about having a groove, there was a difference in our music, but hey, if it’s stoner rock, if it’s acid rock, if it’s hip hop, whoever loves us we’re grateful for it but to me I don’t see us as that kind of band because every album we did was different. We didn’t stay in that vein, coz we were being pushed by Capitol to be commercial and do something else. They expected the Bang record to take off and sell a million copies, and when it didn’t they were trying to push us to be more commercial and so we lost that vein.

Back in ’71-’72 hard rock was really obscure, it wasn’t radio-friendly, they didn’t even have FM radio back then, everything was AM so it was just the beginning of everything and we kinda got lost in the shuffle. But we’re very happy to be attached to stoner & doom rock. We did a tour with Pentagram and our music fitted right in with theirs and people loved it and that’s good with us.

Lucille: So after many years of silence, Bang are back and touring again. Why have you decided to bring the band back again?

Frank: I think we were so young the first time around, we’ve had forty years of really nothing going on. We all went our separate ways and when we reformed and put a website up we started getting fan letters. It made us realise the music was still valid and we still had an audience out there. Time went around and the stars aligned for Tony, Frank and me. Our legacy is not done, we hadn’t seen each other in 25 years and within a week we had written 15 songs.

Once you have magic with somebody it never goes away, and I think when we got back together again, we realised that we still had a lot to offer so we decided to go back and do what we love, we’re musicians, we love to play. At that point the buzz got out that we were back and we were lucky enough to get the Pentagram tour and get back out there. That was our first tour in 42 years and to be out there playing again and realising “Wow, people love our music”, that’s what brought us back. The fact that the music is still strong and it’s still original and I think what goes around comes around, our music was just as good as anybody’s and it was time to go play it and have fun.

Frank had the time and the enthusiasm to do it again. That one hour you play on stage, that’s the reward for putting up with a lot of trials and tribulations along the way, that’s really when a band has the most fun, when you’re on stage playing for that hour. That’s what makes everything worth it. We just want to finish what we started, add on to our legacy, hopefully do a couple more records and see where it goes, before we’re in the rock’n’roll heaven with David and Lemmy, coz we’re at that age.

Lucille: It’s terrible, [the recent rock’n’roll deaths are] getting really depressing 
      
Frank: When I tell you we had 30 year-olds coming out, I think now old music is out-selling new music, I think the young people don’t have what we had and they appreciate it now because they don’t have it. I think it’s a great thing because to me the sixties and seventies was the best era in music. Everybody had their brand, The Who was The Who, Zeppelin was Zeppelin, there was nobody sounding like anybody else. Now you got a billion bands you couldn’t tell one from the other because they all sound the same and I think the golden age of music is really over with. I don’t think we’ll ever have the phenomenon of The Eagles, or The Beatles, Bowie, who was just tremendous. I don’t think that will ever happen again actually, which is a shame.

Starting in April 2016, Bang did their first European tour, which visited the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Portugal. During the interview Frank described his anticipation for that tour:

We’re like children at Christmas time. I really appreciate the fact that we’re able to go to Europe. If I was a young man it might not be a big deal. “Oh big deal I’m going to Europe” ya’know, but at this point in our lives we’re just very thankful that our music stayed strong enough to be able to get somebody to bring us to Europe. We broke up right before we were scheduled to go to there, to go to the UK and do a tour with Rod Stewart because we played with him right when Maggie May was a hit, we broke up right before that and we were never able to go to Europe. At 62 years old I’m now getting the chance to do what I should have done when I was 20. European fans are the most loyal of any fan, it’s quite different in America coz there’s so much going on here. Europeans still have the old values, the old virtues.

Lucille: Some of them yeah haha

Frank: It’s the thrill of playing to people that I wouldn’t normally see, in places I’ve always dreamed of going to. If I can be on stage playing and doing what I love, I could die right then and I’d be the happiest man in the world because to me success isn’t about money, it’s about doing what you love and you have a passion for. A lot of people take opportunities for granted, but I think the older you get, the more you appreciate when something happens, you have to enjoy the moment. To me there’s a special saying of Shakespeare’s: “Expectation is the root of all heartache” so in my mind, do what you love and don’t expect anything, if you think too big then you’re just going to be heart-broken.

--------------------------------------------------------- 

And that concluded the interview. This year, Bang has so-far played a few shows in the US and has chalked-up some more Europen shows for the summer. Check them out in the touring section of Bang's facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Bangtheband/app/123966167614127/
So far they have mentioned dates in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark!

Finally, thanks to Lucille for allowing me to post this interview!

Still Bangin' away in 2017!

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Monday, February 6, 2017

The Day After The Sabbath 136: Mainline Riders [guest-curated]



Download all three parts in one large file from: [mf] or [yd]
-
or Seperately: Part1 [mf] / [yd] ¦ Part2 [mf] / [yd] ¦ Part3 [mf] / [yd]
Unzip password:  tdats



Before I go any further, I just want to quickly point out a new addition to the site; check out the email alert subscription box on the right of the page if you'd like to receive an email each time a new post is made here.

Welcome to volume 136! Although this site exists to celebrate music from times long-gone, the inspirational, free thinking spirit of past-decades' heavy rock lives on in the many bands playing right now, who also appreciate those times. When it comes to live music, these are mostly the kind of bands I watch, and great festivals like Freak Valley in Germany, Roadburn in Holland, Psycho Las Vegas and the various Desertfests in Europe are a few of the excellent events to see them.

For this volume I had the idea of inviting some of the current bands that have shown interest in TDATS to suggest a few vintage picks of their own, and to contribute a track of their own in the spirit of the music. One of those bands is The Neptune Power Federation from New South Wales, Australia. The band's guitarist and artist Mike Foxall kindly volunteered to paint some awesome original cover art for this volume. Thanks Mike, and check out more of his stuff at theartoffox.com.

So the result is three parts, part 1 is the old tracks while parts 2 & 3 are the new bands. A diverse mix of rock from different countries and different decades results! Some of the old bands have appeared in the blog before, so in this set are songs from them that have not, but there's a healthy dose of new appearances too, like those suggested by Wucan, Stubb, Purson and Admiral Cloudesley Shovell. Parts two and three host contemporary bands including Brooklyn's grooving The Golden Grass, Germany's jamming Samsara Blues Experiment and Finland's space-rockin' Deep Space Destructors. Also making contributions are more scene-favourites like Elder, La Chinga, and Radio Moscow.

One thing's clear from this volume, although some people lament the passing of the classic, formative years of heavy rock and prog, there's still plenty of new talent to carry the torch and it's easier than ever to find it!

Part 1 - old picks

01. Pussy - Pig Mansion (1972) from archival LP 'Invasion'
02. Parish Hall - How Can You Win (1970) from LP 'Parish Hall'
03. Renft - Zwischen Liebe Und Zorn (1972) Single
04. Freshwater - Satan's Woman (1970) Single
05. Doug Jerebine - Reddened Eyes (1969) from LP 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper'
06. Night Sun - Plastic Shotgun (1972) from LP 'Mournin'
07. Quartz - Satan's Serenade (1980) Single
08. Josefus - Country Boy (1970) from LP 'Dead Man'
09. Osamu Kitajima - Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin (1976) from LP 'Benzaiten'
10. Essjay - Twins Of Evil (1971) Single
11. Glory - High School Letter (1973) Single
12. Woodoo - Woodoo-Teema (1971) from LP 'Taikakulkunen'
13. Ancient Grease - Mother Grease The Cat (1970) from LP 'Women And Children First'
14. Group 1850 - Little Fly (1968) from LP 'Agemo's Trip To Mother Earth'
15. Lord Sutch - Wailing Sounds (1970) from LP 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends'
16. Hot Soup - You Took Me By Surprise (1969) from LP 'Openers'


Part 2 - new tracks



01. La Chinga - White Witchy Black Magic (2016) from LP 'Frewheelin'
02. The Neptune Power Federation - Mothership (2015) from LP 'Lucifer's Universe'
03. Purson - The Bitter Suite (2016) from LP 'Desire's Magic Theatre'
04. Brule - The Devil's Decay (2016) pre-release track
05. Wucan - Wandersmann (2015) from LP 'Sow the Wind'
06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Bulletproof (2014)
        from LP 'Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em'
07. Amulet - Glint Of The Knife (2014) from LP 'The First'
08. Deep Space Destructors - Journey To The Space Mountain (2015)
        from EP 'Spring Break From Space'


Part 3 - more new tracks



01. Pushy - Salem Man (2016) from split with Ragged Barracudas
02. The Golden Grass - Get It Together (2016) from LP 'Coming Back Again'
03. Elder - Compendium (2015) from Lp 'Lore'
04. Radio Moscow - Before It Burns (2014) from LP 'Magical Dirt'
05. Supersonic Blues - Supersonic Blues Theme (2016) pre-release exclusive
06. Stubb - The Wingmakers (2015) from EP 'The Theory of Light & Matter'
07. Samsara Blues Experiment - Midnight Boogie [UFO cover] (2012) Single
08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live] (2012) on LP 'Hemisphere Of Shadows'


Part 1 - The Vintage Picks

01. Pussy - "Pig Mansion"
Johnny from Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell has suggested a track by Pussy, which was a very short-lived band that came after Jerusalem. In fact, it basically was Jerusalem minus Bill Hinde and  Lynden Williams, but Pussy took a noticeably different direction into glam rock. Johnny comments that Pig Mansion "gives Crushed Butler a run for their money!". Unfortunately their output never saw it on to an album but they did release Pig Mansion as a single, which is the version appearing here. In 2011 Rockadrome issued Pussy's archives on 'Invasion', which included the original, and an extended remixed version of Pig Mansion.

Parish Hall
02. Parish Hall - "How Can You Win" 
Adam Burke, guitarist of Portland Oregon's Pushy, drew a great cover for TDATS Vol 120. He and his band have proffered a Parish Hall track and Adam says "We love the laid-back, almost lazy pacing, bludgeoning, simple drumming and completely burning main riff. It’s strangely difficult to make blues rock that isn't douchey, but these fellas did it right."


Renft
03. Renft - "Zwischen Liebe und Zorn"
This track was recommended by Dresden's "Kraut-fueled heavy flute rockers" Wucan, who started in 2012 and have made two LPs so far. Singer and bandleader Fran explains her choice. "I wish more people were able to understand the lyrics and put it into socio-historical context. Renft were a GDR based band (fabulous musicians!), back when Germany was divided between the Russians and the Allied forces. The socialist GDR government was very strict about which music and what lyrical content bands were allowed to perform.

Renft, being the blues rock voice of the GDR's young generation, didn't let the government dictate to them how to write songs, which in return got them in serious trouble in the early '70s. The band was eventually forced by the government to split in 1975 after they released this track (among others) with very regime-critical lyrics. Even after 40 years the song and its lyrics have not lost any of their aggression or anger, and retain their beautifully intellectual, revolutionary vibes. All Renft songs have been highly influential on Wucan's work."

Freshwater - "Satan's Woman"
04. Freshwater - "Satan's Woman"
Neptune Power Federation's recommendation is an obscure single. Guitarist Troy explains their choice: "Releasing a groovy occult rock 7" means not dealing in half measures. That's why when Australian blues/prog rockers Freshwater released their 1970 single 'Satan' they backed it up on the flip side with 'Satan’s Woman'.

Conservative radio stations of the day ran a mile from this dark offering exploring the grim recent events in a Los Angeles mansion. Decades later The Neptune Power Federation have accepted the torch passed on by Freshwater, vowing to continue dabbling in the black arts, and being ignored by radio"

Doug Jerebine
05. Doug Jerebine - "Reddened Eyes"
Boston's Elder have been around for ten years now (time flies!) and have rightly earned a great reputation in underground heavy rock. Guitarist Nick DiSalvo has suggested a track from New Zealander Doug Jerebine, the real name of 'Jesse Harper', who's archival collection 'Guitar Absolution In The Shade Of A Midnight Sun' has featured in TDATS before (Vol34). Since that record, some more of his vintage recordings have surfaced on the Drag City release 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper; and that's where 'Reddened Eyes' is from.

Night Sun
06. Night Sun - "Plastic Shotgun"
London's Brule has selected a TDATS favourite, Night Sun. Guitarist Alastair Riddell explains "At the start of the '90s I used to trade tapes with Jus Oborne (of Electric Wizard). There were only a handful of doom bands back then so we would trade rehearsal tapes of Mourn and Thy Grief Eternal amongst other things. In '92 or so he sent me a compilation tape with things like Buffalo, May Blitz, Bang and so on. One track was Plastic Shotgun by Night Sun.

In those pre-internet days I couldn't find anything else by them until 2003, I was crewing for Firebird on a European tour with Fu Manchu, during a few days in Berlin I discovered a shop called Pandora's Box that had Second Battle's CD reissue of Mournin'. Plastic Shotgun sounds like Uriah Heap on amphetamines!"

Quartz - "Satan's Serenade"
07. Quartz - "Satan's Serenade"
NWOBHM pioneers Quartz were chosen by London metallurgists Amulet. Guitarist Marek Steven explains. "In the early days of Amulet after forming in 2010, Quartz were a band we all loved and naturally felt kinship with through the decades. Quartz deliver post-Sabbath Heavy Metal with good songs, simple but tasteful structures and evil atmospheric themes with a positive overall vibe.

Having formed in the early-mid '70s they have the individual mentality of that era before the New Wave of Heavy Metal settled into certain patterns from 79-ish. Quartz were ahead of their time with balls deep riffs that should put them in the same bracket at Pentagram and other just-after-Sabbath bands. The fact that Tony Iommi loved them enough to produce and play on the debut album also tells you something.

Quartz did pretty well at the time and recently have reformed and surprised some people with how bloody good they still are... but not us! Amulet have been lucky enough to play some shows with them and it's a always a treat for us to see them play such heavy and brilliant songs so effortlessly. They even have a great all-new album 'Fear No Evil' just out. Amulet aspires to their longevity and attitude, and we'll have a second album in 2017 too so watch out!"

Josefus
08. Josefus - "Country Boy"
Berlin's psychedelic jam band Samsara Blues Experiment threw a Josufus track in to the mix. Founding member Christian Peters remembers: "I chose this because they were basically one, if not the, first rather obscure band I discovered, years ago when most younger people wouldn't even care for Black Sabbath that much...the track 'Country Boy' just seems to suit me fine, since I grew up in a village of ten houses and even now living in Berlin, I'm still sort of a loner, maybe a dreamer too ;) Well, those were the days... Josefus is one of the bands everybody should know anyway."

Osamu Kitajima
09. Osamu Kitajima - "Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin"
London's heavy psych trio Stubb have recommended something a little different. This is some chilled Japanese prog by Osamu Kitajima. Quite mesmerising stuff! It comes from his third LP, 1976's "Benzaiten".

Osamu himself was previously in classic Japanese 1960s 'Group Sounds' band, The Launchers. In fact, Launchers bass player and TV personality Yuzo Kayama originally coined the term 'Group Sounds', which became the byword for the popular fusion of kayōkyoku music and Western rock music at the time. Read more at Julian Cope's Japrock Sampler (link).

Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
10. Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
London's 'psych face-melters' Purson suggested a rare 45 from 1971 called 'Twins of Evil'. Bandleader Rosalie Cunningham has this to say about it: "I could listen to this sinister slice all day, it’s so groovy!

It's a rearrangement of the orchestral theme for the Hammer Horror film of the same name. It was released as a single by ‘Essjay’, a pseudonym for composer Mike Batt who also wrote the Wombles TV theme!"
Glory - "High School Letter"
11. Glory - "High School Letter"
Chris Read, bassist with Vancouver hard rockers La Chinga, has also thumbed-up an obscure 45. He discovered this on 'Ultimate Bonehead Volume 3' and this is what that comp has to say about it: "Glory was a San Diego band with two members who were in Iron Butterfly, but too young to follow the band when they moved to LA. This was their only record, the A side is a fine specimen of West Coast raunchiness.

The B side Peaches is also ace, mid-tempo and damn catchy". Chris offers his own opinions on the song...."Glory - High School Letter 1973 Speemo records is a ripping slab of So-Cal righteousness. The raw riff, crunches and punches, the drummer rides the bell, the bass gets busy, the singer wails on about some hottie in a tight knit sweater and getting it on in the old wood barn! And there is even a backwards guitar solo! The moment it fires up I feel like I'm rolling down the street in a boogie van. Perfect."

Glory have appeared in the blog before, back in volume 5 with a track from their only collection of recordings, "On The Air" (Rockadrome)

Woodoo
12. Woodoo - "Woodoo-Teema"
All the way to Oulu, Finland now, for a selection by Deep Space Desructors. Thus speaks singer and bass-player, Jani Pitkänen. "Woodoo was a relatively short-lived band in the beginning of the 70's. They recorded only one LP for a Finnlevy sub-label called UFO.

The LP is called Taikakulkunen (roughly translated Magic Jingle Bell). Lyrically they wrote about death, and mystical aspects of life and the world. We chose this Woodoo track because it's pretty obscure to have a band in Finland playing "world music", specifically at that point in time, and the track is very rocking and deceivingly simple, but has many beautiful musical nuances hidden in it, which we can relate to."

Ancient Grease
13. Ancient Grease - "Mother Grease The Cat"
San Diego heavy psych blues dealers Radio Moscow offered up Mother Grease The Cat from TDATS favourite Welshmen, Ancient Grease.

This is what band founder Parker Griggs has to say: "This track has one of the coolest heavy psych riffs ever, along with one of the coolest and most bizarre titles. We always loved the Ancient Grease album, and this is my favorite track on it. The guitarist really shines, with some Ritchie Blackmore, aggressive sounding leads. Bang your head!"

If you are collecting the best early obscure heavy LPs, I'd say Ancient Grease's "Women And Children First" is one of the absolute essentials. It's as good as anything fellow-countrymen Budgie did, and it's a shame they didn't last long.

Group 1850
14. Group 1850 - "Little Fly"
The Netherlands' Supersonic Blues have joined-in with a track from Group 1850. Guitarist Tim Aarbodem said: "Like us, these guys are from The Hague, which is one of the reasons we chose them. Group 1850 are a brilliant psychedelic act from the late '60s, easily one of our favourite bands from The Hague's 60s beat era.

You could say they were the (Syd Barrett era) Pink Floyd of The Hague, but they definitely had their own vibe. Unfortunately their singer and bandleader Peter Sjardin passed away recently. We've played Group 1850 tunes in the past. They're not a direct influence on our music but we hold them high in regard!

Once we were shooting some band photos at the Catholic graveyard here in The Hague. We were walking around for a while and one grave grabbed our attention. It had a statue of a dog on it, which we thought was a nice detail. But when we looked closer it turned out to be the grave of Daniël 'Dean' van Bergen, the original guitarist of Group 1850! We didn’t know he was buried there at all, was it a sign perhaps? A confirmation from above of us doing well?! “…and Daniël van Bergen saw that is was good.”

15. Lord Sutch & Heavy Friends - "Wailing Sounds"
One of the new tracks that Portland's Danava submitted was a Lord Sutch cover, so I have taken the liberty of using a Lord Sutch original as their old pick, I don't think they'll mind...

David Sutch (aka Screaming Lord Sutch) was a musician and 'Monster Raving Loony Party' political satirist/activist who had many friends, enough in fact, to get Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, John Bonham, Ritchie Blackmore and Kieth Moon (among others) to play on various records of his! 'Wailing Sounds' is the opener from 1970's 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends', it was co-written by Jimmy Page and features Page & John Bonham doing their thang.

Hot Soup - "You Took Me By Surprise"
16. Hot Soup
           - "You Took Me By Surprise"
Adam Kriney, singing drummer of Brooklyn's "free-wheelin, good-time rock & roll band" The Golden Grass, has suggested a track from Hot Soup.

This was an obscure band that had notable guitarist Frank Carillo, who made a few records in different acts including the boogie-rocking Doc Holliday in 1973 and 'Carillo' in 1979. Hot soup was a soul rock act that was quite tame, except for 'You Took Me By Surprise', which rocked things up a few notches with its solid hammond and funky rhythms!


Part 2 - The New School

La Chinga
01. La Chinga - "White Witchy Black Magic"
Taken from "Frewheelin" LP on Small Stone Records (2016)

Vancouver's hard rock power trio La Chinga are another band that are into this blog and have helped out on occasion with some opinions and recommendations. If you dig the selection of obscure crunching bonehead US singles that have appeared on many TDATS volumes thus far then you'll get what La Chinga are all about in no time; getting in your car, going out and having a good time while you can, as we could all be dead tomorrow, what have you got to lose? According to bassist/singer Chis Read, 'White Witchy Black Magic' is a true story, so I'd be wary of the female company this band keeps if I were you...

The Neptune Power Federation
02. The Neptune Power Federation - "Mothership"
Taken from "Lucifer's Universe" LP on Bandcamp (link)

Guitarist Troy describes his band: "Hailing from Sydney Australia, The Neptune Power Federation are a grandiose grime-encrusted heavy rock machine, powered by hellfire, beaten fuzz pedals and space hallucinogens. The track 'Mothership' was forged after consultation with extraterrestrial beings the band came across in a pub car park, after admiring their panel van's original Frank Frazetta paint job."

Purson
03. Purson - "The Bitter Suite"
Taken from "Desire's Magic Theatre" LP on Spinefarm Records (2016)

Soon after making it into this comp, Purson unfortunately announced the end of their time together, but they still wanted to contribute.

Founder Rosalie Cunningham said: "This is the final song on the final Purson album. A three-part ode to sex, drugs and rock and roll (not in that particular order). This song gives an idea of the direction my writing is going at the moment."

Brule - "The Devil's Decay"
04. Brule - "The Devil's Decay"
Find Brule's initial recordings on Bandcamp (link)

London's Brule come self-described as "Heavy Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll, four guys with a background in hardcore, doom and death metal, rocking to the classics like Pentagram, Skynyrd, The Who and Deep Purple".

Guitarist Alastair Riddell says this about the track appearing here. "The Devil's Decay started off sounding like Saint Vitus. It wasn't even a consciously written riff. I was just warming up hitting notes but Rob [Wilson - Drums] started playing along. Somehow between Johnny [Ogle - Vocals] joining and Rob speeding it up a bit, it ended up sounding like Pentagram. Johnny and I have been listening to them for over a quarter of a century so it is just natural I suppose." See Brule playing at London's Desertfest in April this year!

Wucan
05. Wucan - "Wandersmann"
Taken from "Sow The Wind" LP on Made in Germany (2015)

If you are at Desertfest London this year, you'll be able to see Wucan's first appearance there. Singer and bandleader Fran comments on their track 'Wandersmann'; "Well, what is there really to be mentioned? We all see this song as the Wucan-defining song. In many ways this song took our musicianship a step further.

Even now we are still stunned by how much this song has developed, and continues to take shape, since we first performed it."

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
 06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - "Bulletproof"
From "Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em" on Rise Above Records (2014)

Hastings' own Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell (try saying that after 9 pints of Double Diamond) have been belting out no-nonsense swagger-filled rock'n roll for a few years now. Their third album 'Keep It Greasy!' is recently out on Rise Above Records and it's their best yet!

Amulet - "Glint Of The Knife"
07. Amulet - "Glint Of The Knife"
Taken from "The First" LP on Century Media (2014)

London's Amulet are one of the UK's proudest purveyors of traditional heavy metal, championing the days of the NWOBHM.

Founding guitarist Marek Steven also organises London's annual Live Evil festival (link), a two-day festival which hosts vintage and new heavy metal bands from around the world.

Deep Space Destructors
08. Deep Space Destructors
             - "Journey To The Space Mountain"
From "Spring Break From Space" EP (2015) on bandcamp (link)

Bassist Jani Pitkänen speaks: "With Deep Space Destructors, we are on a similar path musically to the old band we chose, Woodoo; making more rocking songs, simplifying things here and there but still the songs have unique characteristics in them, but we don't expose these things straight out. It's best not to serve everything on a silver platter all at once, even though it's the thing to do nowadays. We still believe in discovering things in music on your own and finding new or old cool music, for which TDATS compilations are a great example!"

Band links for part 2



Part 3 - The New School contd.

Pushy - "Salem Man"
01. Pushy - "Salem Man"
From Ragged Barracudas/Pushy split LP on Who can you trust? (2016)

Some excerpts straight from the band: "Pushy started as a long-fantasized side project for Travis Clow of Crag Dweller and Adam Burke of Fellwoods. They wanted a band that'd make you want to light your bushes on fire/take your pants off/stop showering/give up on Dry January/put off your taxes/kiss random people/dig holes and throw away all your post punk records. Crack open a cold one...well, several cold ones, and get down to the good time rock and roll for river doggin', hot doggin', hangin' out and catching trout."

The Golden Grass
02. The Golden Grass - "Get It Together"
Taken from "Coming Back Again" LP on Listenable Records (2016)

Golden Grass
's drummer / singer Adam Kriney has been a fan of TDATS for a long time and has assisted in a few of the volumes so far, most notably when I was looking for biker movie rock for vol 109 (link), which was a ton of fun to make! The band describe themselves as "Rooted in sun-soaked and funky southern/country US classic rock back-beat, emblazoned with swinging, hip and groovy UK mod/soul/freakbeat vibrations and bursting with proto-metal bluesey-prog overtones", and I'm not going to argue there!

Elder - "Compendium"
03. Elder - "Compendium"
Taken from "Lore" LP on Armageddon (US) and Stickman (EU)

'Compendium' is the opening track from Elder's third LP "Lore". The band is widely improvisational and specialises in long tracks that pull from all ages and flavours of heavy rock.

When asked which Elder track he'd like to offer, guitarist Nick DiSalvo said "None of our songs really obviously reference only 60s-70s stuff. I have a hard time in general seeing the forest for the trees with our own music, if you get me, but Compendium is the most obvious reference to me."

Radio Moscow
04. Radio Moscow - "Before It Burns"
Taken from "Magical Dirt" LP on Alive Records (2014)

Bandleader Parker Griggs: "Before it Burns is one of my favorite tunes to play live.  It starts heavy and in the middle goes into some free-form jams that give the band a chance to reach outer space.  Different each time we play it, so always keeps us on our toes!"

Supersonic Blues Theme
05. Supersonic Blues - "Supersonic Blues Theme"
Pre-release exclusive

Guitarist Tim Aarbodem: "Supersonic Blues was started in 2013. Gianni (bass) and I met through our love of vinyl, spinning some records on Radio Tonka, an underground radio station in The Hague. Lennart joined on drums at the end of 2015.

Guy Tavares (Orange Sunshine, Santa Cruz) made our first studio recordings in his Hague studio. It’s packed with rare vintage amps, drums, studio gear, it was an awesome and crazy experience! 'Supersonic Blues Theme' is one of the four songs we recorded, we had a high-school-rock-MC5 thing in mind for this one. This and another song will be released as a 7" on Who Can You Trust? Records in early 2017, thanks to Ragged Barracudas drummer/vocalist Christian Dräger, the man behind the label. There are a lot of cool bands on that label, such as Hot Lunch, Lecherous Gaze, Pushy, Wild Eyes and Zig Zags."

Stubb
06. Stubb - "The Wingmakers"
Taken from "The Theory of Light & Matter" split EP with Mos Generator on HeviSike Records (2015).

See them recording this in the studio (link). Stubb are one of four bands in this comp that are playing at London's Desertfest this year, so check out their warm-sounding fuzzy grooves there if you are attending.

Samsara Blues Experiment
07. Samsara Blues Experiment - "Midnight Boogie"
From "Center Of The Sun/Midnight Boogie" EP on World In Sound (2012)

Band founder Christian Peters talks about the track: "Midnight Boogie is our rendition of the UFO track, which was one of the bands I totally worshipped in my later school days. Blasting their early albums on my car stereo, windows down, drinking beer during free lessons, all the stupid stuff you do when you're young and pretend to be cool. It's nice memories, and I can be very nostalgic... well...". Samsara Blues Experiment will be playing at Desertfest in London this year.

08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live]
From "Hemisphere Of Shadows" LP on Kemado Records (2011)

Like The Golden Grass, Portland OR's Danava have been vocal supporters of TDATS for years and have appeared in the site before, including a 2013 interview with main man Greg Meleney for vol 86 (link).

Greg kindly submitted some very raw live recordings to include in this one, but as they are in need of a lot of cleaning-up, for the sake of the deadline I decided to use a live recording of theirs from a different occaision. It's a Slowbone cover, an awesome UK hard rock act that unfortunately did not release an official album but were an inspiration to a young Iron Maiden. Perfect choice here, seeing it's a fantatstic track and Slowbone's original version has been in the blog already!

Band links for part 3

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I hope you enjoyed this. Many thanks to all the bands who took part, and to all of you who have supported Aftersabbath.com thus far! Cheers, Rich

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