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THE SCROUNGER'S REPORT


CD Sniper!!

CD Hunting!

The Scrounger's Report

Sep. 14, 1998

Oy, have I been remiss or what?

I just realized that it's been probably 2 months since I did
a "some interesting shit that I've found" report. The vast 
majority of the stuff I've been obtaining is not appropriate
for this list (I've been on a power metal/death metal kick as
of late). But there are a few discs to talk about...

Dirty Looks - Rip It Out. 1996 Mirror Records. 72%.
  This one was a disappointment. It's much heavier than the
  other Dirty Looks CDs I have. It's almost an AC/DC clone.
  Absolutely nothing innovative here...

Kick Axe - Welcome to the Club. 1985. CBS. 80%.
  I think I prefer "Rock the World." The production on this
  is fairly awful, although it's musically solid.

This Picture - City of Sin. 1994. Arista Records. 82%.
  Straight ahead melodic hard rock. At times just a *tinge*
  of "90s" but overall quite good.

Golden Earring - Bloody Buccaneers. 1991. Columbia (Holland). 83%.
  This caught my eye as I was perusing a bargain bin, so I
  figured "what the heck"...I'll always try an import for a few
  bux. Straight ahead rock-and-roll, distinctive gruff vocals,
  but good nonetheless. I checked AllMusic...Wow! I didn't realize
  that GE had been around since 1965 (35+ albums). The extent
  of my exposure had been "Radar Love" and "Twilight Zone."

Driver - Driver. 1994. Trauma. 83%.
  All sorts of musical styles being displayed here, but primarily
  melodic rock/AOR. Anyone else know anything about this band?

Matthew Ward - Toward Eternity. 1989. Living Oaks. 84%.
  This is somewhat of a rarity. It is Kansas-like Christian hard
  rock from 1976-79 featuring Xian mainstays Keith Green,
  Phil Keaggy, and Michael Omartian.

M.S.G. - Unplugged Live. 1992. EMI (Japan). 86%.
  This is McAuley-Schenker Group, not Michael Schenker Group.
  Has all the 1980s hits. Well recorded/produced, but the
  vocals suffer a little bit I think.

Obsession - Methods of Madness. 1987. Enigma (Japan). 88%.
  Upon first listen I didn't like this much. It's a grower!
  Mike Vescera does a capable job on lead vox. It's a tad
  heavier than I was expecting...I'm not sure why. *shrug*

Mama's Boys - Power and Passion. 1985. Zomba/Jive (U.K.) 89%.
  This is probably their best work! Better production than
  the S/T, and better musicianship/songwriting than the later
  material.

David and the Giants - R U Gunna Stand Up. 1989. Giant. 90%.
  The Huff Brothers (Rayborn, Clayborn, David) do one HELL of
  a job in this Xian effort. Quite better than "Strangers to
  the Night" which preceded this...a bit heavier as well.

NOTE: If anyone has any David and the Giants CDs for sale or
  trade, I'm definitely interested!!

Bryan Duncan - Have Yourself Committed. 1985. Light Records. 91%.
  Wow! I bought this a couple of weeks ago for $5 and hadn't
  really given this a listen. This is a fantastic CD! Everything
  from do-wop Huey Lewis type material to airey jazz-rock, all
  of it extremely well produced and executed! While his works
  with Glad aren't too tough to find (although the early ones
  from 1985-1987 can be difficult) I'm finding his early-1980s
  solo works hard as hell to find...

Soundtrack - Iron Eagle. 1986. Capitol Records. 92%.
  I gotta thank Joseph LoBianco for this CD! It rules!!!
  There's not a bad track on this thing; even the Katrina and
  the Waves track isn't bad. Some of the tracks absolutely kick
  ass! Tracks:
   1. Queen - One Vision
   2. King Kobra - Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)
   3. Eric Martin - These Are the Good Times
   4. Katrina & the Waves - Maniac House
   5. George Clinton - Intense
   6. Dio - Hide in the Rainbow
   7. Helix - It's Too Late
   8. Adrenalin - Road of the Gypsy
   9. Urgent - Love Can Make You Cry
  10. The Jon Butcher Axis - This Raging Fire

Royal Hunt - Moving Target + 2. 1998 (1995). Magna Carta, 95%.
  I had a copy of the 1995 Japanese relase of this CD. I had to
  get the U.S. release for the two bonus tracks. For those of you
  who have never heard Royal Hunt: Drop EVERYTHING you are doing 
  this instant and go out and buy some! Now, DAMNIT! :). Melodic
  prog-hard rock-AOR at it's best. D.C Cooper absolutely rules as
  a lead vocalist. I recommend Royal Hunt CDs like vitamins: one
  per day...minimum.

and last, but certainly not least:

Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes. 1998. Century Media. 96%.
  This one has grown on me BIGTIME! I initially only gave it
  an 88%, but I can't put it away. It's probably *entirely* too
  heavy for most people on this list, but for those of you who
  enjoy some of the heavier material out there, I give this a
  hefty endorsement. There's everything on this from  sweeping
  balladry to ultra-power-thrash. If you like skull-crushing
  melodic power metal, you'll love this. IMO, this blows away
  all their earlier releases by leaps and bounds. The lead singer
  at times sounds like vintage Paul Stanley doing power metal.

The Iced Earth is clearly in the running for my album of the
year. 1998 thus far has been PHENOMENAL for music. It's going
to be hard as hell for me to choose a winner.

1998 releases I've enjoyed thus far (there are other 1998 releases
I bought but didn't like, but why bother listing them):

* = album of the year contender

Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle Earth*
Britton - Unleashed
Crown of Thorns - Lost Cathedral*
Dare - Calm Before the Sorm* 
Explorer's Club - Age of Impact
Harlan Cage - Double Medication Tuesday*
Helix - Half Alive
Helloween - Better Than Raw
Hollow - Modern Cathedral
Gary Hughes - Precious Ones
Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes*
Kansas - Always Never the Same
Molly Hatchet - Silent Reign of Heroes
Narnia - Awakening
Nelson - Imaginator (see Storm)
Nocturnal Rites - Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Pegazus - Wings of Destiny
Primal Fear - Primal Fear
Riot - Inishmore
Savatage - The Wake of Magellan
Sinner - The Nature of Evil
Steelhouse Lane - Metallic Blue
Storm - The Eye of the Storm (yeah, I know, 1995, but here in the
                              states 1998)
Stratovarius - Visions of Europe
Stun Leer - Once*
Ten - Never Say Goodbye
Therion - Vovin*
Thunder - Live
UFO - Walk on Water
Von Groove - Chameleon
W.A.S.P. - remasters (none of them are 1998 originally, but kudos
                      to Blackie and the gang for putting a nice
                      set of remasters with bonus tracks, especially
                      Crimson Idol, which was already my fave W.A.S.P.
                      CD, but is now a 2-disc set!)
Warrior - Ancient Future

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