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Original Vs. Cover- Ohio

Posted in Uncategorized, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2022 by 80smetalman

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

As my normal break in the action between the years and influenced by 2Loud, I thought I would do another “Original Vs. Cover” post. Today, I picked the song “Ohio” originally written by the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The song was written in 1971 in protest to the shooting which took place at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970, which left four students dead.

When CSNY released the song, it was a clear reflection of the anger which was dividing America at the time. The Vietnam War was still going and Americans were dying in what is still considered a very questionable war. This anger is vehemently expressed through the lyrics and the passion of the vocals. The guitar licks augment this making the song’s message even more powerful. Even more than half a century later, those lyrics and the power behind the music give off strong emotions no matter how you feel politically. It’s one song which, for me, has definitely stood the test of time.

Hannah Wicklund in Bristol, England (October 2019)

The cover comes via Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin’ Stones, another 80smetalman discovery I have been plugging on here. Her version of “Ohio” didn’t appear on her album which I gushed over four years ago but when I saw her live in October, 2019, she played it and it was completely mind-blowing. I have always said that Hannah is a great guitarist and she shows it here. To steal a tired phrase from “X Factor,” she totally makes the song her own by simply totally rocking it out.

My Verdict: I’m going to take the easy way out and call it a tie. Which version of “Ohio” I like to listen to depends on my motivation for listening. If I want to chill and be absorbed in the lyrics or be politically motivated, then I will listen to the CSNY original. The lyrics are meant to be thought provoking and they do that to me. However, if I fancy a good rock out with some fantastic blues style guitar work, then I will pull out Hannah’s cover. Not a criticism but I don’t feel the message behind the lyrics in her version but that’s down to the great guitar work. Plus, if what I hear is true and history isn’t being properly taught in America, then she probably wouldn’t have appreciated the message CSNY were sending fifty years earlier.

Next post: TBA

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@80smetalman

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

If You Have Netflix, Then Watch This Movie!

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2022 by 80smetalman

My stepson, Teal, recommended the film, “Metal Lords,” to me and in the past few weeks, I’ve seen it twice and now I’m going to plug how good the film is here. Without spoiling the entire plot, “Metal Lords” is about two socially displaced high school kids, Hunter and Kevin. Hunter is a total metalhead who dreams of hitting the big time as a great metal guitarist. Kevin, the drummer, although not a metalhead in the traditional sense, follows Hunter’s lead because Hunter saved him from a bully in third grade. Together, they form the band, Skullfucker.

All the heavy metal cliches are in the film but the thing was, I don’t care because they are all the truth. There’s the being picked on by the jocks, singled out by teachers and late in the film, Hunter’s father has him committed to a clinic because as we all know, only insane people listen to heavy metal. In addition, Kevin gets a girlfriend, Emily, who plays the cello. With the band still not able to find a bass player, Kevin tries to pitch Emily but Hunter rejects it saying that the cello is not a metal instrument. This eventually leads to a falling out between the two friends and Kevin joining the bubble gum pop band, Mollycoddle. It all leads to what some will call a predictable ending but it’s all done a great metal form.

My strange ability to pick out the small details in films, I found it amusing that when Kevin is in Mollycoddle, he finds playing the drums to their songs a lot easier than being a metal drummer. Even if he does nail, “War Pigs.” Then there’s my favourite scene when Kevin is in the pool and about to cheat on Emily, he is visited by Scott Ian, Tom Morello, Kirk Hammett and Rob Halford who all (Rob even more so) remind Kevin what a great girl Emily is and he shouldn’t cheat on her. Then again, if those four Gods visited me, I would do anything they said. One last point, “War Pigs” sounds excellent played on the cello.

Kevin being visited by Scott, Tom, Kirk and Rob

Of course no metal film would be worth its weight if it didn’t have a killer soundtrack.

  1. Skullflower- Machinery of Torment
  2. Judas Priest- Metal Gods
  3. Iron Maiden- The Trooper
  4. Avenged Sevenfold- Hail to the King
  5. Judas Priest- Painkiller
  6. Metallica- For Whom the Bell Tolls
  7. Black Sabbath- War Pigs
  8. Mastodon- Blood and Thunder
  9. Judas Priest- Grinder
  10. Ozzy Osbourne- Dee
  11. Motorhead- Ace of Spades
  12. Metallica- One
  13. Pantera- Cowboys From Hell
  14. Metallica- Master of Puppets
  15. Zeal & Ardor- Trust No One
  16. Guns ‘N’ Roses- Since I Don’t Have You
  17. Metallica- Whiplash
  18. Pantera- I’m Broken
Performance of the song in the film

I urge everyone to watch “Metal Lords.” It may be a little predictable but with all of that metal, who the hell cares?

Next post: Original vs. Cover

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson/dashboard?source_location=user_profile_started

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Guns ‘N’ Roses- Appetite For Destruction

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2022 by 80smetalman

Welcome to the final post of the tour through 1987. Since it is the final post of another great year for metal, I thought I would go out in a blaze of glory, cue Guns ‘N’ Roses and “Appetite for Destruction.” This iconic album became a standard bearer for metal for the remaining years of the 1980s. People the world over love this album and my fear is that when I go into the meat of the album, there is not much I can say about it that hasn’t already been said.

In regards to what I’ve written about the album being a standard bearer for the last few years of the golden decade of metal, it did get off to a slow start in 1987. Some American critics dismissed the album at first, they felt stupid after, and even my sister originally branded them ‘Motley Crue rip offs and sexist pigs.’ British critics were kinder to the album although the more conservative, metal hating British tabloids weren’t. They put forward stories that the band did horrible things to poodles, (I’m not making this up.)

They did come to the UK in the summer of said year and played some gigs at the Marquee Club in London. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see them as I was getting married a week later and my future Mrs and I were flat hunting. Friends of mine did go and not only did they have a great time enjoying the kick ass show, they went for a curry with the band after. God, I’m jealous! My friends described it as a great night, Many years after, one of them, Dave, went on some seminar and was asked about one great thing he did, he responded that he had a curry with Guns ‘N’ Roses. He’s not sure if many people actually believed him.

Like I said, what can I say about “Appetite for Destruction” which hasn’t been already said over the many years? Songs? Not one of the tracks on the album can be considered ‘filler.’ All of them are monster tracks. Sure, there’s the singles. The most notable of those are “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City.” I love the harmonizing at the beginning of “Paradise City” and the way the guitars just get down and dirty after. “Welcome to the Jungle” is a just an in your face power rocker. Then there’s the most noted of the three, “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” Even thirty-five years on, Slash’s guitar solos on the track just totally blows me away.

For years, I’ve considered “Mr Brownstone” the hidden gem. The problem is that the track isn’t exactly hidden. It was released as a single, at least according to Wikipedia, but it didn’t have the chart success as the other three singles. In any case, it is my favourite track on the album. It’s just total sleaze metal here and what I like best is the fact the drug references totally got under the skin of the Reagan Administration. Another great point on the album for me is the closer, “Rocket Queen.” It actually sounds like two songs in one where the guitar tempo just completely changes and it does so in a fashion which takes the album out superbly. But whichever song on the album you like most, it will be a good choice.

Now let’s talk about musicianship. Sorry Dawn, I can’t agree with the Motley Crue rip offs label because GNR are much better musicians. The guitars of Slash and Izzy Stradlin could have been considered state of the art back then. While I would be the first to admit that Axl Rose has a huge ego, his vocal ability can’t be faulted, at least not by me and of course, Slash, Axl and Izzy are supported by a great rhythm section of Duff and Steven. It’s no wonder this band became a symbol for metal in the closing years of the decade.

Track Listing:

  1. Welcome to the Jungle
  2. It’s So Easy
  3. Nightrain
  4. Out ta Get Me
  5. Mr. Brownstone
  6. Paradise City
  7. My Michelle
  8. Think About You
  9. Sweet Child o’ Mine
  10. You’re Crazy
  11. Anything Goes
  12. Rocket Queen
Guns ‘N’ Roses

W. Axl Rose- lead vocals

Slash- lead, acoustic, slide and talk box guitars, backing vocals

Izzy Stradlin- lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Duff ‘Rose’ McKagan- bass, backing vocals

Steven Adler- drums

There should be no debate that “Appetite for Destruction” marked a major turning point for metal. While I never thought the sleaze went anywhere, I won’t debate those who say that the album brought it back to metal. On a personal note, like this iconic album, 1987 marked a major turning point for me. I started the year an angry young man but thanks to one woman, I found new direction in my life. It turned out to be a good year for Guns ‘N’ Roses and me.

Next post: A Movie You Should Definitely Check Out

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Dream Death- Journey Into Mystery

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2022 by 80smetalman

Here’s another album my sister passed onto me, probably because she wasn’t impressed with it. After my Wrath post, she stated on Facebook that the album was given to her to review for her college newspaper and she disliked it so much that she said the band should have paid her to listen to it. Dawn was never into thrash so that is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that she didn’t like Dream Death’s “Journey Into Mystery” album.

What I found was cool about the record when I took it out to play was that it was blue. I never saw a record coloured other than black before then so I really liked the light blue see through record. If it wasn’t so much trouble, I would go up into my attic and get it for all to see. In addition, when reading the credits on the album, it has the usual ‘Special Thanks’ part but it also has a ‘No Thanks’ section. Making that list was the band’s high school in Pennsylvania, trends and trendy people, conformists and other wankers. I could agree with the band on all of those. Now onto the album.

Doom metal wasn’t a term back in 1987 so Dream Death could be credited as being a pioneer of the sub-genre. “Journey Into Mystery” is a unique blend of doom and thrash. The album comes rocking out with the more thrash, “Back From the Dead” and then goes more doom with “The Elder Race.” The slower power chords are almost hypnotic in some places on that track.

Track three, “Bitterness and Hatred,” has a Suicidal Tendencies feel to it. It starts out doom metal and going mid tempo metal and then back to doom for the chorus but thrash speed in the middle before slowing down to the doom metal conclusion. This was something Suicidal Tendencies did with their first two albums and Dream Death do a good job on this track. The changes keep one interested. However, “Black Edifice” sounds like it wants to go off at 800 mph but the band manage to keep it reigned in and give you a more doom metal track. It does follow the formula set down by its predecessor where they speed it up in the middle. It’s the first song to have a really cool guitar solo.

Side two does start off with some powerful thrash only slowing down to catch its breath between verses and taking off again. “Divine In Agony” is a good way to kick off the second half of the album as the three remaining tracks are all strong tracks. “Hear My Screams” has a horror movie type intro before going more thrash. They go more thrash with this one but the doom metal returns on “Sealed in Blood.” This has a Black Sabbath type intro and then when it kicks up, it doesn’t go thrash. This track could be a blueprint for future doom metal merchants to take from. It has a cool guitar solo backed up by a cool rhythm section.

The album closes out with my favourite track on the album, “Dream Death.” This is a great thrash song and because I wasn’t sure about the record after the first few listens, it was this track that kept me coming back to it. It starts mid-paced but quickly increases its speed. The steady rhythm between the first and second verses and before the guitar solo make a good headbang. However, it does slow down to give a cool doom metal bridge. The track punctuates what the band was attempting to do throughout the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Back From the Dead
  2. The Elder Race
  3. Bitterness and Hatred
  4. Black Edifice
  5. Divine in Agony
  6. Hear My Screams
  7. Sealed in Blood
  8. Dream Death
Dream Death

Brian Lawrence- lead and backing vocals, guitar

Terry Weston- guitar, backing vocals

Ted Williams- bass, backing vocals

Mike Smail- drums, backing vocals

My sister might not have liked “Journey Into Mystery” but I do. The album demonstrates how a hungry band will just pull out all stops and go for it. These days, I will hold it up as a blueprint for doom metal.

Next post: Guns and Roses- Appetite for Destruction

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Wrath- Nothing to Fear

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 11, 2022 by 80smetalman

By the end of the 1980s and well into the 90s, my sister Dawn was not only making heavy metal tapes and sending them to me, she was also offloading albums she was no longer interested in onto me. Actually, she sent me this album in 1989 but learning from past mistakes, I have learned to check the release dates and so I know that “Nothing to Fear” by Chicago based thrash metallers, Wrath, came out in 1987.

I feel a need to cut right to the chase here. Let me ask you all out there, have you ever started listening to a band and you are totally digging the music and then the lead singer starts singing and become turned off? This has been the case with this album. Let me be clear, I am in no way saying that Gary Golwitzer is a bad singer. In fact, he does have a decent voice. However, I do not think his vocals are suited to thrash metal. For me, he is too high pitched for thrash and there are times when I find the vocals a little annoying. He would have been better suited for a straight forward metal band. I’ll can close my eyes and even hear him singing prog metal but not thrash.

Admittedly, it is a big shame because the other four members of Wrath really know how to play. Guitarists Scott Nyquist and Mike Nyrkkanen make an excellent guitar duo. Their guitar solo tradeoffs on many of the tracks are just downright superb! The most notable being on “Painless,” where the tradeoff isn’t the normal one guitarist plays the first solo and the second one plays the other. No, these two trade back and forth throughout the solo and to me it just sounds fantastic! Plus, they play some great opening riffs on that track and on “R.I.P. (Ripped Into Pieces)” as well.

Naturally, we can’t forget the rhythm section either and I can honestly say that Gary Modica and Mike Fron make a very good one. Gary’s bass lines are great and he does a little solo on “Painless.” Hell, it just took over as my favourite track on the album. Because not only the musicianship is ace but Gary Golwitzer’s vocals aren’t annoying. Then again, this number goes a little slower almost blues like. Still, I should mention the song it replaces, “Hell is Full.” Again, Gary’s vocals do fit the song and I love the acoustic intro before it blasts off into the ionosphere and a great guitar solo. Oh yes, back to the rhythm section. Let me simply say that Mike Fron makes his mark all over this album. One notable effort is on “Fear Itself” but he is another reason why “Painless” goes to number one. I’ll go out on a limb and say in the category of thrash drummers, I put him up there with Lars Ulrich, Charlie Benante, Dave Lombardo and Ventor.

Track Listing:

  1. R.I.P. (Ripped Into Pieces)
  2. Mutants
  3. Hell is Full
  4. Painless
  5. Fear Itself
  6. Sudden Death
  7. Incineration/Caustic Sleep
  8. When Worlds Collide
  9. Victims of the Void

Note: I have discovered that “When Worlds Collide” was on the soundtrack of the 1990 film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (Leather Face).”

WRATH

Gary Golwitzer- vocals

Scott Nyquist- guitar

Mike Nyrkkanen- guitar

Gary Modica- bass

Mike Fron- drums

Here’s a better picture of how they looked back then

I honestly think that if Wrath had a singer with a voice more suited to thrash, then they would have gone a lot further because they sure as hell can play. “Nothing to Fear” proves it.

Next post: Dream Death- Journey Into Mystery

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: White Lion- Pride

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2022 by 80smetalman

According to history, hair metal became popular in the closing years of the 1980s. However, some of those hair metal bands had albums out as early as 1985. One of those was White Lion, a band I particularly link to hair metal. How I missed out on their 1985 “Fight to Survive” album is beyond me. After all, the title track is my favourite White Lion song. Therefore, I am making doubly sure that I don’t miss out any more of their discography and they’re not the only band this has happened to. Here in its full glory is White Lion’s 1987 album, “Pride.”

What I love about “Pride” is the tight musicianship from all four members. That is what makes the album stand out for me. The album itself is straight forward heavy metal but it’s played very well. The song subjects are typical of the time, but then, they are the same throughout most genres of music. “Lonely Nights” is about a girl who has been dumped by her man for another girl who just wants to be loved. “Don’t Give Up” can be said as an encouraging call to the working man. This was particularly relevant in 1980s America as the entire country was engulfed in a go-go-go yuppie lifestyle. However, both songs are played extremely well and I’ll avoid the rush and start gushing over what a great guitarist Vitto Bratta is and why isn’t his name more known. He really rips a great solo on “Sweet Little Loving.”

The hidden gem for me is “Lady of the Valley.” This sounds like a no nonsense heavy metal tune and yes of course, Vitto’s guitar work is prominent, especially his acoustic guitar work. There are also parts when it goes more power ballad and now it’s time to point out the bass playing of James LoMenzo and the drumming of Greg D’Angelo as they make a fine rhythm section and it shows here. Maybe I should talk about Mike Tramp as it is his vocals that lead the album and he does sing well throughout.

It’s time to talk about the song which was saturated all over MTV in 1988. Yes, you in the back, I’m talking about the famous single, “Wait.” It even got attention over in England at the time and I have it on a compilation CD. Like with the previous track, it shows how easily White Lion can flow back and forth from power ballad to a more straight forward metal song. Vitto playing his guitar solo in the video amuses me because he’s on one knee. Is he trying to copy Yngwie Malmsteen?

By the middle of the decade, MTV really began to suck and the suckiness can relate to White Lion. The three singles from “Pride” were all ballad like songs and while that’s not a bad thing, it does hinder the fact that White Lion could rock. Okay, “Tell Me” is a decent rocker and it did well as a single but there are better examples. One song on the album which definitely proves my point is “All You Need is Rock ‘n’ Roll.” This is one to play at a party. You can headbang along to it and if you’re drunk enough, you can sing along to the chorus. I would have done so if the album had come out a year earlier.

I never had the fortune to have seen White Lion live but I wonder if they used the format on the album to close the show. The penultimate track, “All Join Hands” would have been a great song to finish on before leaving the stage and coming back for an encore. It’s one of those feel good, all sing together type tunes. If they had, then they could have come back and performed the closer, “When the Children Cry.” This was a well known single and it’s ballad format would have been an excellent way to end the show. If anyone has seen White Lion in the past, could they please enlighten me?

Track Listing:

  1. Hungry
  2. Lonely Nights
  3. Don’t Give Up
  4. Sweet Little Loving
  5. Lady of the Valley
  6. Wait
  7. All You Need is Rock ‘n’ Roll
  8. Tell Me
  9. All Join Hands
  10. When Children Cry

Mike Tramp- vocals, rhythm guitar

Vitto Bratta- guitar

James LoMenzo- bass

Greg D’Angelo- drums

I thought I would include this one since I missed it out and it is my favourite White Lion song.

Things are becoming clearer to me. With albums such as “Pride” by hair metal bands like White Lion, I can now see why it would become such a force in the final years of the 1980s.

Next post: Wrath- Nothing to Fear

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: WASP- Live in the Raw

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2022 by 80smetalman

My initial reaction to WASP’s first live album was one of disappointment when I saw the track listing. How could there be a live album by WASP and it not have the classic “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” on it? I saw them live in 1986 and 87 and they played the track each time. Therefore, I thought putting it on a live album would be a no brainer but it’s not on it. So, I just had to enjoy the tracks that are on “Live in the Raw.”

Since the album was recorded during the “Inside the Electric Circus” Tour, the recordings were from shows in Long Beach and San Diego California, it is no surprise that four songs from the album are on this live one. While I wouldn’t call the song “Inside the Electric Circus” an attention grabbing opener, I can see why they opened with it. It’s still a good song.

What is good about “Live in the Raw” is that it includes a good balance of their first three albums. “Animal” might not be on it but they do include “I Want to Be Somebody” and “L.O.V.E. Machine,” from the first album, both of which are good songs anyway. Furthermore, I never paid much attention to “Sleeping in the Fire” but this live version has got my attention. As for “The Last Command” album, the two best songs from that album, “Wild Child” and my all time second favourite WASP song, “Blind in Texas” get included. In addition, they add two new songs, “Harder, Faster” and “Manimal,” the former is introduced with Blackie ripping on the PMRC, always fun to hear. Oh yes, they close out the album, with “Scream Until You Like It” which is the theme to the “Ghoulies II” movie, though that song was recorded in the studio. So all around, the tracks for the live album are well chosen.

What I like most is that there isn’t much difference between the live recordings and the studio albums. They do prolong some of the songs but they are being played live so there is always scope for extra guitar solos and repeated vocals and audience participation, so it’s all good. All of the songs are played well and I will now officially eat my words on the guitar playing of Chris Holmes. He does shred well, I only wished he did more of that when I saw them at Donnington that year.

Track Listing:

  1. Inside the Electric Circus
  2. I Don’t Need No Doctor
  3. L.O.V.E. Machine
  4. 95 Nasty
  5. Wild Child
  6. Sleeping in the Fire
  7. The Manimal
  8. I Want to Be Somebody
  9. Harder Faster
  10. Blind in Texas
  11. Scream Until You Like It
WASP

Blackie Lawless- guitar, lead vocals

Chris Holmes- lead guitar

Johnny Rod- bass, backing vocals

Steve Riley- drums, backing vocals

It has been said that “Live in the Raw” marked the division the band would take the band from the ‘old WASP’ to a more mature sound. I never really thought about that as WASP would continue to sound pretty much the same to me. However, this would be the last album to feature drummer Steve Riley. Still, it’s a decent live album.

Next post: White Lion- Pride

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Bitch- The Bitch is Back

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2022 by 80smetalman

Talk about a snowball effect! Two posts ago, when I reviewed Lizzy Borden, it was pointed out to me that singer Betsy Bitch sang on one of the tracks of the “Terror Rising” album. Now, the name was known to me back in the 80s, (it’s hard to miss such a name), but I never got around to listening to any of her music. You know, the normal excuse of too much music and not enough time. Therefore, I decided to investigate Betsy and her band, Bitch, and I learned that they put out an album in 1987 called, “The Bitch is Back.” I’ve given it a few listens and I pretty much like what I’ve heard.

Betsy Bitch

The rest of the band kick off the album with a bass solo followed by a guitar solo on opening track, “Do You Want to Rock.” However, it’s only a few seconds later when Betsy comes in on the vocals and any idea that her memorable name is used to disguise a lack of vocal talent is smashed to bits straight away. Betsy has the voice! I give a definite “yes” to the question the opening track is asking. Things speed up on the next track, “Hot and Heavy,” almost to speed metal and this is the track which proves that the rest of the band is just as capable as their singer. It’s definitely one of the stronger tracks on the album.

As I listen to “The Bitch is Back,” the more impressed I become with guitarist David Carruth. His riffs and solos are top notch and I find it difficult to believe that his talents have been hidden for so long. He really shines on “Me and Boys.” He singlehandedly saves a song with predictable lyrics from being filler. Bitch goes doom metal on “Storm Raging Up.” There’s a really gloomy sounding intro before turning total metal and the musician to note on this one is drummer, Robby Settles.

You might have noticed the title of the album is an old Elton John song and there is a cover of it on the album. I don’t know how Elton might have felt about it but I like it. Betsy’s spin on the song is very cool and her father plays saxophone on it. Not the best song on the album though definitely not filler, it brings out another positive point, there is an air of humour to the album.

I can’t leave out the bass player as Ron Cordy puts down some good bass grooves. His turn to shine comes on “Head Banger.” His bassline while David hammers out his solo brings an extra dimension of cool to the song. Then the pace picks up on “Fist to Face.” This is one to get a mosh pit going as it nears the borderline of thrash metal. “Turns Me On” has a slower, bluesy feel to hit and David works his guitar magic on it. However, they step on the gas and go out at thrash metal speed on the closer “Skullcrusher.” It does end the album on the right note.

Track Listing:

  1. Do You Want to Rock
  2. Hot and Heavy
  3. Me and the Boys
  4. Storm Raging Up
  5. The Bitch is Back
  6. Head Banger
  7. Fist to Face
  8. Turns Me On
  9. Skullcrusher
Bitch

Betsy ‘Bitch’ Weiss- lead vocals

David Carruth- guitar

Ron Cordy- bass

Robby Settles- drums

Additional Musicians:

Mick Adrian- additional backing vocals

Joe Romersa- keyboards on “Hot and Heavy,” “Storm Raging Up” and “Skullcrusher,” additional backing vocals

Stanley ‘Dad of a Bitch’ Weiss- saxophone on “The Bitch is Back”

One reason I think Bitch didn’t become more well known is the already mentioned over saturated metal market at the time. However, if I was to find one fault it’s the song writing. The song subjects and lyrics are typical of the time. Saying that, if Bitch had been able to mature, then they could have been a force to be reckoned with in the metal world.

Next post: WASP- Live in the Raw

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@80smetalman

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Sending the Love to Crawling Through Tartarus

Posted in Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

I was very saddened to learn of this:


One Dead, Four Injured In Shooting at Death Metal Show

According to NBC Los Angeles, a shooting at a death metal show in San Bernadino this Saturday left one dead and four injured.

The shooting took place around 9:30pm at the Marquis Lounge at 1036 W. Highland Avenue in San Bernardino. When police arrived at the scene, they found one person already dead, and three other people suffering from gunshot-related injuries. A fourth victim with a gunshot wound drove to the hospital on his own (damn, hardcore), making for a total of five shooting victims overall.

As reported by Blabbermouth, the show at which the senseless act took place was that of Los Angeles death metallers Crawling Through Tartarus, whose vocalist Matt Holzboog was hit by two bullets and eventually had to undergo surgery. Meanwhile, CBS Los Angeles identified the deceased victim as 32-year-old James Vincent Dickson.

It has also been reported that as of Monday, all victims of the shooting are in stable condition.

The investigation of the shooting is underway, with no suspects of possible motives currently available.

Matt Berg, a friend of the band, posted the below images to Facebook, including as picture of Holzboog in the hospital, writing:

“Prayers for my boys in Crawling Through Tartarus after a violent shooting during their set last night in San Bernardino. Zander Dixon was a brother to Jack Berg and me growing up and it’s terrifying to see the video of somebody opening fire. Their vocalist Matt was hit by two rounds and is dealing with surgeries now. Make sure you send lots of love their way. Share their music with your friends, buy some merch, wish them well etc.”

That’s super fucking scary for all involved, and we wish Matt and his bandmates all the best. Check out the band below — while it doesn’t necessarily matter that their shit is cool as hell, it’s certainly nice to find out.

It now seems that you can’t even go to a metal gig in the US without the prospect of being shot. My genuine thoughts go out to the band, their families and those who were at the concert.

Let me add this song by Will Hoge.

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Lizzy Borden- Visual Lies

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

This time, there is no debate on whether “Visual Lies,” compliments of Lizzy Borden, is an EP or an LP. Nine songs covering a time of forty-one minutes gives the answer to that. Going back to reality, one of my goals when I started writing this blog was to encourage people to get out their old records and listen to them again. Okay, my main goal is to sell copies of “Rock and Roll Children,” but that’s not the point here. A great side effect of this is that it has got me to do the same. I never bought a Lizzy Borden album back in the 80s because I knew people who had their albums and play them and since they weren’t well known in the UK, I hadn’t listened to any of their music for three decades. So, you can say that I am making up for lost time.

“Visual Lies” can be broken down into three chapters. Chapter one is the first two songs which are the more commercial radio friendly tunes. Both have that radio friendly melodic vibe to it but not anywhere close to making a hard core fan think they’ve sold out. The metal is present in both of the songs. Lizzy’s vocals are straight up and there are cool guitar solos. Saying that, I do think that White Stripes ‘borrowed’ the intro off the opener, “Me Against the World.”

Chapter Two is where the band goes more power metal spanning four tracks. Even the track, “Outcast,” which is close to being a power ballad has more power than ballad. The same holds true with the melodic harmony of the backing vocals on the choruses. Sure, the melody is there but it doesn’t lose any of the power and of course, there are some great guitar solos. While “Outcast” is my pick for favourite track, the guitar solo trade off clinches it for me, no intensity is lost on the other three tracks. “Den of Thieves” brings the most power of the three as it comes close to being speed metal but all four of these tracks just totally rock!

“Visual Lies” goes progressive metal in its third and final chapter. “Lord of the Flies” is probably what Yes would have sounded like if they had gone heavy metal. The song has a great progressive melody but backed up with some great power chords. It’s probably my imagination but Lizzy does sound a little like Jon Anderson here. Even the guitar solo sounds progressive. While not as intense as “Lord of the Flies,” the remaining tracks are in the same vein. Nice progressive sounding melodies with some hard power chords and in the case of “Voyeur, I’m Watching You,” a rather flowery guitar solo.

In the months between “Terror Rising” and this album, Lizzy Borden went through changes in guitarists. It seems that Tony Matuzak only played on the EP and Alex Nelson departed as well. Two guitarists gone but only replaced by one, Joe Holmes. It’s not a catastrophe because Joe seems to fit right in with Gene Allen as they do some amazing trade offs on their solos. On another note, 1,000 80smetalman points to Armand Rosamillia and 500 to Aphoristical for the assist for identifying the accompanying vocalist on “Don’t Touch Me There” from “Terror Rising.” Singing along with Lizzy was Betsy Bitch, real name Betsy Weiss.

And here she is

Track Listing:

  1. Me Against the World
  2. Shock
  3. Outcast
  4. Den of Thieves
  5. Visual Lies
  6. Eyes of a Stranger
  7. Lord of the Flies
  8. Voyeur (I’m Watching You)
  9. Visions
Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden- lead vocals

Gene Allen- guitar

Joe Holmes- guitar

Mike Davis- bass

Joey Scott- drums

Well, I’ve made up a little for not listening to Lizzy Borden in thirty years and with these two albums, I sort of regret what I’ve been missing.

Next post: Bitch- The Bitch is Back

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson