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THE SCROUNGER'S REPORT


CD Sniper!!

CD Hunting!

The Scrounger's Report

May 13, 2000

The tastes, how they are a-changin'

I've gotten a bunch of discs in lately in little dribs
and drabs, nothing big enough to justify posts in their
own right so I thought I'd post a roundup. Some I traded
for, some I bought new, some I bought whilst scrounging,
and a few were gambles from the $1 bins. I haven't listened
to all of them yet. Some fantastic, some not bad, some
decidedly mediocre, and a few that absolutely blow chunks. :)

Tastes change over time. Every now and again I'll pull
a disc out of my collection, give it a listen, make a wry
face, and wonder to myself "Why the [CENSORED] did I buy
this festering piece of [ALSO CENSORED]???"

By the same token, there are discs that I may have given
a quick spin to back in 1994 or so, said "BLEAGH!" and 
ever since then have deliberately bypassed them on a myriad
of occasions. On a whim, every now and then I'll give one
a re-listen, and 95% of the time the verdict is "RE-BLEAGH!",
but that 5% makes me scratch my head and say "Ehh? What's
wrong with this? Why have I avoided it for the last N years??"

Well, 2 of the discs I bought today fall into that 5%:

Lostboys - Lost and Found. 1990. Atlantic Records.
   Hard rock/melodic metal. Not bad...

The Screaming Jets - All For One. 1991. Mercury Records.
   For some reason I thought this was an alternative band.
   Do their other album(s) get a little grungy? This is
   pretty darned good blues rock. One of the songs on this
   disc (I forget which one) was one of the videos I
   caught in the M2 A-Z marathon earlier this year.

Ok, on to the rest:

Das Damen - Mousetrap. 1989. Twin Tone Records.
   It's pre-grunge, so it's either hard rock, sleaze,
   metal, or punk. Haven't listened yet.

Ty Gavin - Lookin' For Fun. 1989. Amazing Records.
   Has the all the appearance of good hard rock,
   but instead it sucks rocks. Ick.

Lite - Light. 199? Long Island Records.
   Egads! This may indeed be the worst thing to ever
   come out on this label. The singer is completely
   tone deaf! No sense of pitch whatsoever. Avoid
   like the plague!

Atanas - Conscience of the City. 1992. Number Five Records.
   Looks like lite AOR. Haven't listened.

Motherlode - Finger Paint. 1996. BPM Records.
   Could be metal, could be altrnative. We'll see...

Allgood - Uncommon Goal. 1993. A&M Records.
   If memory serves, it's blues rock or it has a
   country tinge. Hell if I know...

V/A - Tune Up 87. 1992. The Album Network.
   One o' them there promo samplers sent out to
   radio stations. The featured (pictured) artist
   on this one is Saints & Sinners. Other tracks
   from Edan, Peter Himmelman, The Zoo, Dream Theater,
   The Wallflowers, Michael Penn, Zachary Richard,
   Bonham, The Frames, Catherine Wheel, Asia,
   Skew Siskin, Marshall Tucker Band, and 2 "Mystery
   Bands".

   It's kinda neat reading the promo blurbs
   inside, especially since this appears to be the
   introduction of Dream Theater to the music market
   [comments in brackets are mine]:

   5. DREAM THEATER    "Pull Me Under"  (Atco/Atlantic Group)
   Just as Queensryche burst onto the Rock Radio scene
   last year [Yeah, right, Empire was their first album...NOT],
   watch out for Dream Theater to capture the hearts of
   progressive/hard rock fans everywhere. With "Pull Me Under,"
   Dream Theater combines elements of metal and art rock [huh?],
   and delivers it with a sense of Gothic [double-huh?] style,
   making the song stand out above the crowd. "Pull Me Under"
   is more than eight minutes long on Images and Words, the
   debut effort [we'll just pretend that When Dream and Day
   Unite doesn't exist...] from this East Coast band [we all
   know about the deadly feud between East Coast and West
   Coast prog rock bands]. Edited here for your benefit [yeah,
   God knows no one would ever want to suffer through EIGHT
   WHOLE MINUTES OF GOOD MUSIC!!] the song showcases the 
   musical talents of the band, all of which studied at the
   prestigious Berklee College of Music, save for Canadian
   Singer James LaBrie.

The Poor - Who Cares. 1994. Sony/Epic.
   Looks and sounds like metal to me...

Tourniquet - Carry the Wounded. 1995. Intense Records.
   Now, I happen to like good thrash metal from the early
   '90s, and especially like some of the CCM artists who
   were releasing material in this genre (Tourniquet,
   Deliverance, Vengeance Rising, etc.). This EP might
   appeal to most people who don't like thrash, since
   this is an acoustic EP. Good stuff!!

Michael Damien - Where Do We Go From Here. 1989. Cypress Records.
   Features his claim to fame, his cover of David Essex's
   "Rock On".

Girlschool - Live. 19??. Communique Records (France).
   Nothing on here to indicate *WHEN* this was released, only
   that it was recorded in Phoenix. I'm disappointed that
   they don't include their cover of Sweet's "Fox on the Run"
   here...:)

Sweet - Cut Above the Rest. 1992 (1979). Repertoire Records.
   How's that for a segueway? :) What can I say; I like the
   Andy Scott-era Sweet...

Royal Court of China - Geared & Primed. 1989. A&M Records.
   Looks like either hard rock or sleaze stuff...

Kenziner - The Prophecies. 1999. Metal Blade Records.
   I liked "Timescape", so we'll hear how this compares...

Intuition - Turn It On! 1994. Self-produced.
   Pretty much paint-by-numbers hard rock. Not bad, but
   certainly nothing memorable.

Michael Morales - S/T. 1989. Wing Records.
   Hey, I've gotta have *something* for him to sign at
   UltraSound, right? :)

Pink Cream 69 - One Size Fits All. 1991. Sony Music (Germany)
Pink Cream 69 - Games People Play. 1993. Sony Music (Japan)
   Andy Deris-era PC69. Of the two, the first is the better
   of the two. Games People Plain starts to head off into
   alternaland. Not completely, but it does have tinges of
   that NirvAliceTempleGardenJam sound...

Honeymoon Suite - Monsters Under the Bed. 1991. Warner (Canada)
   Yep. It's Honeymoon Suite. Nothing really more memorable
   than that. Maybe it's just a scuffed disc, but the
   production sounds REALLY bad on this album...

2 Die 4 - S/T. 1992. Morgan Creek Records.
   I haven't decided whether I like this or not. It's hard
   rock, but there's something a little "off" about it.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Beethoven's Last Night. 2000. Atlantic.
   I'd heard a bunch of quasi-pan reviews of this disc on
   various lists, so I wasn't expecting much. To those who
   didn't like this album, I say a hearty "*THPPT!*" What
   is ya, deaf? Jesus... This is an EXCELLENT album. It
   depends what mindset you approach it with. If you are
   expecting Savatage, you will be disappointed. If you
   are expecting radio-friendly standard songs, you will
   be disappointed. If you take into consideration what
   this album is intended to be, a rock opera, a piece of
   musical theater, it is a phenomenal piece of work!
   Reading through the (rather large) libretto which 
   accompanies the disc as I was listening, I could visualize
   the stage performance for this play. It has elements
   from Pink Floyd's "The Wall", and there are sections
   that remind me of Webber/Rice collaborations. Then
   again, I'm biased in favor of musical theatre, since
   to this day, my single favorite muscal work, my
   quintessential "Desert Island" disc, is the original
   Broadway Cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar.
   If you are a fan of rock operas and/or musical theatre,
   do NOT bypass Beethoven's Last Night!!

Shotgun Symphony - Sea of Desire. 1999. Frontiers (Italy).
   Haven't listened to it yet, but I've heard good things
   about it. Got it as part of the hottracks.net blowout sale
   still sealed for $5. Bonus.

Matthew Ward - Toward Eternity/Fade to White (2 CDs). 1999. NewPort.
   I already have Toward Eternity on CD, but I'd never seen
   Fade to White anywhere (was it ever released on CD by
   White Oak Records like the other 2 MW albums?). It's
   CCM AOR/hard rock, reminding me at times of Kansas.
   Even better bonus: got this at the local Christian bookstore
   that was selling all their demo CDs for $5. $5 for a 2-CD
   set? Dealski.

Moving Pictures - The Ultimate Collection. 2000. BMG (Australia).
   Haven't listened yet, but what a CHEESY RIPOFF ON THE ARTWORK!
   They used the artwork from "Days of Innocence" and simply
   dropped "The Ultimate Collection" on top of the picture.
   Hell, I could do better...

   And talk about ego!! From the liner notes:

   "In recent times so many requests have been received by music
   lovers who have a soft spot for this album that BMG Australia
   have been working to organise its release in CD form, the
   first time for a long time that this 80s classic album has
   been available."

   BULLSH*T! I guess nobody told them that this album was
   officially released on CD last year (or was it 1998, there's
   no year on the one i have) by Unidisc Music, Canada.

   Well, stupidity aside, this collection is worth having, as
   it contains "Days of Innocence" in its entirety, plus these
   additional tracks:
      Winners
      Back to the Streets
      Where They Belong
      Never
      Back to the Blues and Booze
      Saturday Love
      Spies
      Pleasure and Pain
      Sisters of Mercy

Dakota - The Last Standing Man. 1997. Escape Records.
   Good stuff, Maynard! Classic AOR melodies. On a couple
   of the tracks, believe it or not, this reminds me of
   (don't laugh now) vintage Dan Fogelberg (Leader of the
   Band, and especially Another Auld Lang Syne). I think
   it's the vocal subtleties. I'm not sure whether I like
   this one better than Mr. Lucky or visa versa (both are
   highly recommended).

and lastly,

The Creek - Storm the Gate. 1989. Music For Nations.
   Dig the picture of this band! Egads that's dated...hehe.
   Good hard rock stuff here.

Until I go on a typing frenzy again,

-Dan 

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