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The Scrounger's Report

Aug. 25, 2001

The Laboring Too Much Before Labor Day Scrounger's Report

Been working long hours at the dayjob (damned thing gets in the
way of my CD hunting!), so I haven't had a chance to post about any
of the stuff I've picked up lately. Local finds, Ebay purchases,
trades, it's a whole blend of sources...

Fetchin Bones - Monster. 1989. Capitol Records.
   Female-fronted hard rock. Not overly memorable, but not bad

Young Turk - N.E. 2nd Ave. 1992. Virgin Records.
   Glam with just a hint of punk thrown in; basically hard rock
   with lots of attitude. Resonable performances; nothing special.

Animal Bag - S/T. 1992. Stardog/Mercury Records.
   You know, this isn't half bad. I remember hearing the name
   tossed about back in the day, but I don't consciously remember
   listening to them. Hard Rock with just a hint of a glam sound;
   liberal use of psychedelic riffs. One of the better $1 purchases
   I've made in a while...

Wednesday Week - What We Had. 1986. Enigma Records.
   A poor man's version of the Bangles or Go-Gos, but with more
   of a midwest rock sound than a pop sound. Again, OK stuff but
   nothing to write hom to Mom about...

Corey Hart - Fields of Fire. 1986. EMI Records.
   Broke the sub-$1.00 barrier on this one, otherwise I probably
   wouldn't have picked this up. Occasional AOR melodies, but
   by and large '80s pop.

John Gorka - Land of the Bottom Line. 1990. Windham Hill.
   This is an odd one. His voice reminds me very strongly of
   Gordon Lightfoot. It's light stuff, with some decent female
   backing vox on the choruses.

Lars Eric Mattsson - Eternity. 2001 (1988). Lion Music (Finland).
   *sigh* I simply cannot get into this. I think the vocals are
   simply AWFUL. It's supposedly all been rerecorded, but the
   revamping doesn't do a damned thing for me... Then again I
   personally am tired of the whole "guitar hero" bit. I can't think
   of the last one that did anything for me other than Axel Rudi
   Pell's stuff, and that's primarily because it's AOR-based
   (Yngwie, Torben Enevoldsen, David Chastain, Jason Becker, Jon
   Butcher, Rolf Munkes, Joe Stump, Alex Masi, Kenziner all blur
   together for me; then again I tend to skip releases that are
   primarily instrumental).

Demon - Spaced Out Monkey. 2001. Record Heaven (Sweden).
   Is it just me, or does the lead vocalist at times sound like a
   heavier version of David Bowie? I hear some Floydesque moments
   as well. A little too disjointed for me personally.

Tuff - Religious Fix. 1995. Mausoleum.
   Yep. It's glam. Who'dathunk? My question is how did a glam act
   find its way onto the Mausoleum label??? Solid stuff.

Toronto - Lookin' for Trouble. 1980. Solid Gold Records.
   Female-fronted Canuck act. Sounds *extremely* dated (well duh!);
   doesn't do a whole lot for me...

Ten Years After - About Time. 1989. Chrysalis Records.
   Classic rock meets southern hard rock. I realize this is way
   past their heyday, but it's pretty solid (although nothing
   comes off as memorable).

Winterlong - Valley of the Lost. 2001. Lion Music (Finland).
   Ok, so this is a departure for the label, venturing into
   Euro power metal. It works for me moreso than the other efforts
   on the label (see above). The band looks 18-20 agewise; if
   this freshman effort is any indication, they've got good
   things a-comin' (read: I've listened to debuts from now-established
   acts that sound considerably worse).

Lovemongers - Whirlygig. 1997. Will Records.
   Ok, so I guess I did just fall off the turnip truck. I missed
   this when it first came out (for some reason I was under the
   obviously mistaken impression that it was ultramodern in its
   approach). No, it's not Heart, but the melodies and choruses
   are quite harmonic. So maybe we'll call it "Heart Lite"?
   Definitely a must-have for fans of the Wilson sisters...

Starz - Requiem. 1992. Drastic CD Co.
   A collection of various Starz "stuff"; live tracks, B-sides,
   related projects, etc. Not bad, but I still don't hear what
   the allure is of this group. Their stuff has always struck me
   as "ok" at best...

UFO - High Stakes and Dangerous Men. 1995. Griffin Music.
   Hadn't seen this one locally, so I picked it up. Haven't
   even listened to it yet; I presume it's like most other
   UFO efforts.

Strangeways - Any Day Now. 1997. HangDog Records (United Kingdom).
   Whaddafuq? Ok, so this former AOR group decides to do a Pink
   Floyd album. Eh? Weird. Not recommended.

UK - Night After Night Live! 1979. E.G. Records.
   Pretty cool stuff. This is my first exposure to UK material;
   interesting to hear what John Wetton sounded like pre-Asia.

Jag Panzer - Mechanized Warfare. 2001. Century Media.
   After Thane to the Throne, I had wondered how their next effort
   would be. (for me, concept albums either click immediately
   or fail miserably for all eternity; Ten - Babylon is an
   example of the former, whereas Thane was the latter). I'm
   happy to report that this effort is considerably more accessible.
   I haven't listened enough to give a firm evaluation; it's
   decent; nothing's reached through the speakers and grabbed
   me yet though...

Royal Hunt - The Mission. 2001. Century Media.
   Ok, so this is in reality an EP, not a full-length album
   (7 full songs plus 6 interludes). We've got a concept here.
   The concept doesn't click for me, but the songs do! More
   AORish than Fear, it seems to be a return towards the D.C.
   Cooper-era overall sound. The female backing vox are back.
   I give it a big thumbs up thus far.

From Zero - One Nation Under. 2001. Arista Records.
   People will either love this or hate it. I love it to death.
   Take Creed and cross it with Static-X. Their are most
   definitely modern heavy industrial elements (Static-X/
   Fear Factory/Slipknot), but the lead vocals and choruses
   absolutely rule! It's a somewhat bizarre blend that is
   going to have many people doing the "RCA Victor puppy head
   tilt". A Sleeper of the Year candidate.

Jean Beauvoir - Rockin' in the Street (A Classic Collection).
   1996. Virgin Records (United Kingdom).
   Ok, I never knew Jean Beauvoir had a greatest hits album, let
   alone one released 5 years ago. It's disappointing though,
   since it's just his 2 solo albums on one disc sans 2 cuts;
   no tracks from either Crown of Thorns or Voodoo X.

The next 2 discs are finds at a local (read: 4 minutes away)
CD store that just opened up, basically a giant cutout bin
with a door. :) All new CDs, most expensive CD in the store
is $5.99. Unfortunately, like most cutout bins, 98% of the
discs are crap; you gotta weed through a lot of garbage to
find the occasional gem. Turnover is fast, so you gotta come
back often (I've been there 3 times in 2 weeks and each time
found stuff that wasn't there before). Last week I'd found
a sealed Japanese remaster of MSG's Perfect Timing; one of
my friends called and said she was able to snag the entire
recent Iron Maiden reissue series (the ones with the videos
on them) for $5.99 each, as well as the DTS version of Toy
Matinee. Not bad.

Carpenters - Only Yesterday. 1990. Polygram Video.
   I was going to bypass this since I have that Purple "Classics"
   greatest hits package of their greatest hits... then I saw
   that it was on the "Polygram Video" label. Eh? This isn't
   a music CD, rather a VCD. I popped it into my DVD player,
   and it's a video greatest hits package. While there are
   some MPEG artifacts on the video, the sound quality is
   excellent! The videos are most definitely dated in their
   performance, given the footage was recorded in the 1970s.
   All-in-all a neat find.

and lastly,

Michael Learns to Rock - Strange Foreign Beauty (Remixes & More).
   1999. Toshiba-EMI Records (Japan).
   *THUD* That's the sound of me falling off the turnip truck
   yet again. I've never listened to any of their regular releases;
   only the fact that it was a Japanese import for $5.99 made
   me gamble on it. Excellent stuff! Kind of a Savage Garden
   meets the Bee Gees feel. Absolutely phenomenal mixing and
   production. 16 tracks (3 are labeled as "bonus tracks").
   I'd be curious to hear the difference between these "remixes"
   and the original cuts...

That's all for now. If I end up spending as much this year as
I did last year at Ultrasound on CDs, I'll have a list of about
40-50 to report back on in 2.5 weeks. :)


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