Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Stud - Stud (1975)

An ultra-rare psych/hard rock rarity from Houston, Texas. Stud self-released their 5 song demo in 1975.

Description from bandcamp page: With only 200 copies released in 1975, the “Stud” album has become a holy grail for collectors. A mystery for many years (all the band members used pseudonyms on the album credits), many people failed to track the band down…until now!. 

Formed in 1974 in Houston, Stud featured the killer lead guitar of 17-year-old genius Tim Williams, the brutal Rickenbacker bass attacks of Paul Eakin and the solid as a rock drumming of George Lasher. The chemistry was born since they first starting played together and after many rehearsals, they decided they were ready to record their first album. So they entered the Barons Studios in Rosenberg and “Stud” was the result. Powerful hard-rock on songs like “A woman like you” or “Jim/Blues”, killer boogie-rock (“Captain Boogie”), hard-psychedelic jams (the 12+ minutes of “Stud”) and progressive hard-rock on the impressive “The war song”. 

Tim Williams - Guitar
Paul Eakin - Bass
George Lasher - Drums

Boss Tweed - Jacuzzi Murders (1983)

Formed in 1979 in For Worth, Boss Tweed have a good case for being called the godfathers of Texas Heavy Metal. Other hard rocking bands were active in Texas before them but their brand of blues-rock influenced metal is a direct bridge between those who rocked before and those who headbanged after. Fans of Motorhead, Saxon, Raven, etc. will be pleased with these rockers from Texas.

Scott Wood - Bass
Donny Hart - Vocals
Paul Boll - Guitars
Damon Duperre - Guitars
Lance Williams - Drums

Luckily, Boss Tweed have re-released all their early gems on a 2011 compilation, Die You Bitch which is still available from various sites. Or you could simply follow them on SoundCloud to stream all the Texas metal you need in your life.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Anialator - Demo (1987)

Forming in Corpus Christi in 1986, Anialator released their first demo in 1987 and signed to Wild Rags Records soon after. Surprisingly, the band wasn't able capitalize on the strength of their first label release and quietly broke up in 1989. Some of the members would go on to form Sufferance the next year.
The music is pretty good thrash with catchy riffs and decent production values for a demo of the time. It's encouraging to see that the band has reformed (minus vocalist Marc Arispe R.I.P.) and will be playing reunion shows in late 2015. If you find yourself in Texas and need a good does of 80's thrash, then these guys will provide it.

Track Listing:
1. Anialator
2. Feel the Pain
3. Nuclear Destruction
4. Mission of Death

Alex Dominguez - Bass
Alonzo Garcia  - Drums
Mark Olivio - Guitar
David Cerda - Guitars
Marc Arispe (R.I.P.) - Vocals

Thanks to Hi50metalmaniac for the rip.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Akasha - Akasha (1989)

Akasha began life in Brownsville, Texas in 1983. Originally known as Bad Habit, the band went through a few line-up changes (and band name changes) before settling on Akasha for their debut album released in 1989. 
The band's music is firmly in the big hair metal camp with many similarities to Dokken's earlier works. Rick Del Castillo's guitar work is a real highlight, crisp and clean while not forgetting the importance of showing some flash when needed. The rest of the band fills out the sound well. While not as powerful as some of the era's screamers, Lance Binder's vocals are very competent and clear. He certainly can belt it out. The band is one of those almost forgotten gems of the 80's metal scene. Well worth listening to for those fans of Ratt, Skid Row, and Dokken.

Track Listing
1. All Alone Again
2. You Were The One
3. I'm Hiding
4. Runnin'
5. Dungeon and Dragons
6. Lonely Stranger
7. Coming Back At You
8. Can't Let Go
9. Memories of You
10. The Natives Are Restless

Band Members
Lance Binder - Vocals / Bass / Keyboards 
Rick Del Castillo - Guitar / Vocals / Keyboards 
Hector Batiz - Drums / Vocals / Keyboards 

Thanks to Strappado of Heavymetalrarities for the rip.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dezark - Dezark EP (1986)

A pure heavy metal band with one eye on being radio friendly, Dezark from Houston, Texas sound like the band playing onstage while you drink and play pool. Nothing too special but this EP sounds good and musically proficient for the genre. This was the only recording by the band which is a shame because time and practice might have shown growth after such a solid start.

Track Listing
1. What To Expect
2. Broken Silence
3. Out On The Streets
4. You Made Your Move

Band Members
Jeff Hains
Ronald Philpott
Rick Armstrong
Dan Warren

Thanks to Schmygel of HMR for the rip.

Syranax - Battalion of Death Demo (1985)

From Austin, Texas, these speed metal thrashers were bringing the evil. Syranax formed in 1984 and released this demo the following year. A quick listen will be enough to realize that these guys were something different from the other bands at the time. With a vocalist hitting the ripping screams and the relentless picking technique, this sort of speed metal was standing out from the crowd, Sadly the band only released one more demo, Annihilation of Civilization, in 1987 with another singer and a new bassist before calling it quits.

Read more about the history of Syranax from an interview with bassist Sean Ross

Track Listing
1. Pedifile
2. Face the Blade
3. Wheels of Hades
4. The Battalion of Death

Band Members
Rick Lane - Guitars, Vocals
Jamie Ovcaric - Guitars (lead)
Sean Ross - Bass
Ricky Colley - Drums

Thanks to Strappado and Thrasher from HeavyMetalRarities.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Drive - Characters in Time (1988)

Coming out of Houston before moving to LA, the very talented Drive brought the POWER to power metal. Talented guitarists - check. Pounding headbanging rhythms - check. Razor sharp vocals and screams - double check. It's all there. Packaged up and ready to take over your playlist. Sonically Drive are very much in the same vein as FatesWarning, Queensryche, or Helstar. There first album, Characters in Time, received five K's from Kerang! magazine so they should have been looking at a rosy future in the metal kingdom. 

A second album, Diablero followed but in a much more rock radio friendly format. The riffs slow down to metal ballad speed and David Taylor's screams are replaced with vocal melodies. Sadly a label snafu and grunge killed off most of the metal bands of the time and Drive became parked on Forgotten Road. Luckily, both of Drive's albums are available via Amazon as MP3's; with both albums also being easy to score secondhand for a fair price.

Drive - (New Reign) The Phoenix - From the album Characters in Time (1988)