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The Scrounger's Report

Jul. 24, 2000

The Scrounger's Report (v1.3)

Well, it's been over a month and a half since I got back
from Ultrasound 2000, and even though my credit card still
shrieks in agony every time I glance at it, I decided it
was time for me to make a return trip to "Casa de Inbred"
in Decatur, IL. So I packed up my passport, a knapsack and
sleeping bag (in case I got lost en route), and plenty of
ammo for the shotgun (them folks in Decatur can get a mite
testy if'n yuh push 'em) and headed off...

Upon my arrival in Decatur, I decided to forego the local
custom of shagging the sacred town sheep, and instead made
a beeline to the CD shoppe, only to find that they had moved
to the other end of the block (I guess this constitutes a
"major move" in some circles), to more spacious accomodations
(the goats now have more room to chase the chickens).
I spent a few hours delving into the stacks upon stacks
of boxes (they had only moved the previous weekend), and
came up with a rather eclectic mix of stuff.

2 discs that I already dumped on Ebay:

Patty Smyth - Never Enough. 1987. Columbia Records.
   Excellent AOR disc that's quite tough to find, that
   includes a cover of Rod Stewart's "Downtown Train".
   Much better arrangements than the Scandal material.

Pantera - Projects in the Jungle/I Am the Night. Reborn Classics.
   The only worthwhile Pantera material (IMO) are the
   4 pre-Cowboys In Hell glam albums they did, and this
   disc contains 2 of them. Most diehard Pantera fans try
   to claim these albums don't exist. Too bad. Your
   HardCoreRealMetalGrowlToughHeMan metal masters once
   wore long hair and makeup. Get over it. :)

And the keepers:

Screaming Jets - F.R.C. 1991. Mercury.
   3-track single. Hey, can't complain for a buck.
   "dirty" hard rock that's reasonably well executed.

Charlie Sexton - S/T. 1989. MCA Records
   Fairly tough find. The poppy side of rock.

Therion - The Beauty in Black. 1995. Nuclear Blast.
   Symphonic death metal, this is during their transition
   period away from straight death to entirely symphonic

Vanguard - First Assault. 1993. Kendoc Entertainment.
   Minor-label heavy metal; so-so quality. The artwork
   caught my attention.

United - Bloody But Unbowed. 1990. Howling Bull (Japan).
   '80s-style heavy metal - all members are Japanese.
   Interesting for the collector.

Seventh Angel - Lament for the Weary. 1991. Edge Music (U.K.)
   Here we go, feeding my CCM metal fix. Nice and heavy!

Soundtrack - Karate Kid Part III. 1989. MCA Records.
   This one's a toughie!! Tracks by Little River Band,
   Glenn Madeiros, Boys Club, Jude Cole, The Pointer Sisters,
   Winger (not found elsewhere), PBF (Pretty Boy Floyd??),
   Money Talks, and Bill Conti.

Doc Holliday - S/T. 1998 (1981). A&M Records.
   Southern fried AOR/hard rock. Some interesting stuff.

Siren - All Is Forgiven. 1989. Polygram Records.
   I'd passed on this a couple years back, and have been
   kicking myself because I hadn't found another copy.
   Female-fronted AOR. Decent melodies.

And now the neat/cool/interesting ones:

Slave Raider - Take the World By Storm. 1988. Zomba/Jive.
   For some reason I thought Slave Raider was a thrash/heavy
   metal band. What was I thinking of? this is sleaze glam
   or hard rock in the vein of L.A. Guns/Motley Crue.
   Reasonably well done.

Paul Dean - Hard Core. 1989. Columbia Records.
   Guitarist from Loverboy. He doesn't have the greatest
   lead vocals in the world, but the arrangements are
   quite good. Of note: leadoff track is "Sword and Stone",
   written by Paul Stanley and Desmond Child; most people
   are familiar with the version performed by Bonfire on
   the "Shocker" soundtrack, also versions on various
   KISS demo boots floating around. This version rocks!

Lastly, a weird one from a group I'd never heard of:

Saracen - Heroes, Saints, and Fools + 7. 1992. TRC Records.
   This has all the earmarkings of a bootleg; just a front
   color plate, and minimal information. When was this
   album recorded? Surely a LONG time prior to 1992.
   It sounds early '70s to me. Starts off with all indications
   that it's heavy metal with a few high-pitched vocal
   shrieks, but that is misleading. It settles into a
   classic rock sound with the lead vocalist being
   eerily reminiscent of Steve Walsh from Kansas. In fact
   the whole thing is amazingly similar to '70s Kansas.
   Can someone tell me anything about this group? What other
   offerings do they have?

   The lineup on this disc:

   Robert Bendelow: guitar, producer, all lyrics and composition
   Steven Bettney: lead vocals
   John Thorne: drums
   Barry Yates: bass, vocals
   Richard Lowe: keyboards, vocals

   VERY interesting stuff!

Well, that's all from the jungles of central Illinois...


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