Psycho’s Pandemic Playlist
Let’s just call it what it is. The world has gone to hell in a handbasket. Globally people are in lockdown, or self-isolation, and stuck indoors until the unforeseeable future. Not to mention that we are stuck with the kids and our spouses as well. To some folks this is a great time to spend with family, others it can make or break a relationship! Well, to me it’s a great time to grab my way too large music collection and check out a few things that I haven’t heard yet, or in years. Hopefully, I can help at least one person out there, and maybe introduce them to something new, or help them rediscover a forgotten gem of the past.
Most that know me, either personally or just from my posts and/or reviews, know that I love the Strip Era of the Hard Rock genre the most. It was nothing but Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll. We all stood against the “man”, and raised our fist for rock, so that’s what I’m going to try to bring into today’s spotlight.
Starting from The Beginning
Let’s head back to the late ’70s. Also, I’m going to try to talk about some bands that weren’t on the lips of every fan, but there might be some links here and there.
The first band I’m going to talk about is Rose Tattoo. This Aussie Hard Rock combo has been on again and off again for decades and has a 2020 release of re-recorded hits called Outlaws. Despite the band’s personnel changes, usually due to death from cancer, they showed a lot of bands how it’s done, and even had one of their biggest hits “Nice Boys” covered by Guns ‘N’ Roses on their 1988 LIES album. As well-known as the GNR version is, I’d highly suggest that you check out the ’78 version from the self-titled Rose Tattoo. This will get the blood beginning to flow for ya!
Let’s time travel a bit to 1990. Leaving Aussieland and head to The Meister’s favourite stomping ground Sweden. Sometimes the band’s name can steer people away, but if you like that bluesy rock sound of Free, Bad Company or Grand Funk Railroad, then maybe you should check out Don Patrol! I would recommend their 1990 self-titled album first, then go from there. Besides, there isn’t a better place to start than the beginning, right?
The ’90s were more than Grunge
Most people associate the 90’s with the Seattle grunge movement. Some even claim that grunge killed RnR. Personally, it wasn’t for this listener, but a lot of bands got lost in the mix and didn’t get a lot of promotion from the labels because of the musical shift. A band that has a lot of talent was Beggars and Thieves. They had a mature sound, with a blues undertone in their music. No this isn’t RATT or Poison but think more along the lines of Danger Danger and Shark Island. I was always a fan of their first album which is also self-titled. What have you got to lose right? Give it a spin!
Jumping ahead just a couple years to 1992, and the band is Heavy Bones. This short-lived band had Frankie Banali on drums (Quiet Riot) however this was a band that truly showed how the Metal genre was losing clout due to the shift in music. Still a fantastic album and should have been a LOT bigger than what it was! If you check out any band on my shortlist today, and you don’t know Heavy Bones, then I would suggest this one to get things kicked off!
Hit the Strip!
Another band that crashed the party just a bit to late was Asphalt Ballet. They had the melodies, but still the street sense and attitude of bands like Motley Crue and Guns ‘N’ Roses. While they did gain some press with songs like “Tuesdays Rain” and “Soul Survive”. They did get a second album in 1993 titled PIGS, but it fell on deaf ears due to its timing, and the band crumbled soon afterward.
Lastly today, I want to talk about a band that I think deserve a mention as well. This band never really hit the strip that I am aware of, but damn does it kick ass. I’m talking about the Hard Rock band from Berlin, Germany, Skew Sisken. Forming in 1990, and the name in English means “Crazy Bird”. Their debut came out on Giant Records and was once again self-titled. Playing with bands like Motorhead, and Monster Magnet, this female-led band kicked ass and didn’t take names! This is probably the heaviest band I will feature today but don’t run away from this one. It’s not slamming metal, but just great slammin’ head-banging rock and roll. The music from Skew Sisken has been compared to AC/DC and Motorhead.
So there ya have it. Just a few bands to hopefully get your mind off of COVID-19, and/or any other crap in your life these days. Some of these bands you may know already, others might not. Regardless of whether you do or not, maybe you haven’t thought about them in a while and might go back to check them out. I will be including a Spotify playlist link to the bands I pointed out today, hopefully, you will check it out, and enjoy and support the artists mentioned. If you have anything you think I should hear, please feel free to drop me a note as well!
Until next time folks, be safe, follow the rules and we will all come out the other side with our fists raised high, and ready to rock again!
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Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
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