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
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
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
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
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