Mark 2 – The Documentary

Mark 2
The Documentary
1984? Broken Records
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

Steve Wheeler – Vocals, guitars
Steve Cooper – Bass
Steve Smith – Drums
Simon Elwin – Keyboards

Joss Cook – Interviewer

  1. The Documentary

Wasn’t sure what this was going to be going in to it, especially once a Larry Norman song started playing. However, that song was a set-up to start this audio documentary of the Mark 2 band. Mark 2 is a new wave band led by Steve Wheeler of Broken Records (UK) fame. This documentary is mainly interviews with the band and various people involved with the band. There is also a section that follows the band through problems they have setting up a gig, complete with live recordings of conversations. It really sounds like a documentary, only an audio-only one. The only downside is that there are just snippets of songs that play here and there – no full songs, or really even long enough parts to give you a good idea of their sound. Norman Barratt even makes an appearance on the tape when Mark 2 opens for his band.

Missing Information: When was this released?

Secret Agent – Demo

Secret Agent
198? (no label)

  1. You are the Reason
  2. Come on Up
  3. I Can Feel Your Love
  4. Time is Chang’in
  5. Good Pretender

The name of the band sounds kind of new wave/punk-ish, but then the first song starts off with a really mid-80s commercial metal sounding intro. When the full song kicks in, it is pretty much keyboard-driven hard rock. Kind of somewhere between Bad English and MSG. The second track is a keyboard ballad, but the third track comes rockin’ back (hard rock, that is). The final two songs are middle of road rock, putting the whole tape in the rock category more than the hard or heavy category overall. I can’t find any more information about this demo beyond what is on the tape above, so I don’t know who played on it or what year it came out. I would guess mid to late 80s, but you never know.

Missing Information: Who played on this, what year was it released?

Barngrover/Light – Living on the Outside

Living on the Outside
198? CRS Records
Huntington Beach, California, USA

Written, Performed and produced by Robert Barngrover and Stephen Light
Additional vocals: Dorothy Light

Side 1:

  1. Days Like These
  2. Living on the Outside
  3. Surf City Revisited

Side 2:

  1. I Want to Go There with You
  2. History 101
  3. The World Turns On

This is not the first Barngrover/Light tape I have heard of, but it is the first to make it on this blog. Robert Barngrover and Stephen Light played together under the Barngrover/Light moniker from 1979 to 1992, so I am not sure what era this tape was released in. I think I have it narrowed down the 80s, if that helps :). The sound is a blues-influenced rock sound that borders on hard rock here and there. They have also been known to explore folk and progressive rock as well, but they seem to stick with rock on this tape. While they usually have a full band on most of releases I have seen, they are apparently handling all the instruments themselves here. They also note that “Living on the Outside” was recorded with their former band Blue Shift.

(R+R) Ministries – Demo

(R+R) Ministries
198? (no label)

Side 1:

  1. Jesus Christ is Coming
  2. Freedom
  3. Peace
  4. Jesus Christ is Coming (reprise)
  5. The Homeless Few

Side 2:

  1. Freedom
  2. Peace
  3. Lord You Pick Me Up

I had wondered if this was a Glenn Rowlands demo, since he recorded for a while under some name with “R&R” in the name. But, it is not. The handwritten tape label expands the band name to “(R+R) Ministries.“ This band/ministry keeps the sound pretty middle of the road rock, with some parts of the first song that get kind of hard-rock-ish. The horns (not ska) in the song keep it from ever going hard, though. The songs are catchy (but also a bit basic), with a slight bit of groove and funk in the mix as well. Male & female vocals trade off lead vocals. Not much other information other than what is on the tape. No date, but I would guess mid 80s maybe? Also no idea who R or R is. And yes, they do only list three songs on the cover, but end up with 8 songs. I took a guess at the song title of track 5 on side 1. Side 2 starts off with a repeat of pretty much the exact same versions of “Freedom” and “Peace” as on side 1, before adding another unlisted song that I also had to guess the title for. Odd.

Missing information: Who played on this, what year was it released, and any other information

Image – In the Middle of Nowhere

In the Middle of Nowhere
198? (no label)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Kevin Valliquette – Lead vocals, guitars
Jeff Bright – Lead Guitars, vocals
Steve Kenney – Bass, vocals
Billy Kirkland – Drums, vocals

  1. He’s the One
  2. I Stood Alone
  3. Lost
  4. Endless Love

Can you say hair metal? This demo jumps out of the gate with a strong dose of late 80s hair metal, mixed with a bit of 60s-inspired pop metal like Enuff Z’Nuff and a dash of over-the-top glam metal like Pretty Boy Floyd. They really understood how to write catchy hooks – especially on the opening track and “Lost” (my favorite of the batch). “Lost” was actually on the Underground Metal II compilation, so you might have heard it before. They even have the required glam metal power ballad (“I Stood Alone”). This demo doesn’t have a date on it, but Underground Metal II was 1989, so it is so later than that. They also had another demo called Heads or Tails in 1989 (with a different vocalist and lead guitarist it seems).

Missing Information: What year was this released?

Mark Krischak – Tape Nos 21, 22, 30

Mark Krischak
Tape Nos 21, 22, 30
19?? Heath Dog Violet Records
Nagoya, Japan

Side 1:

Red Christmas – Live (tape #21)

  1. Heal the Girl
  2. My Rhapsody
  3. Close to Me
  4. Back in the Fight
  5. They’ll Never Know
  6. Thief in the Night
  7. Good Boy
  8. Everlasting Love

Red Christmas – Practice Volume 1 (tape #22)

  1. 10,00 Bands
  2. My Rhapsody
  3. Thief in the Night
  4. Special
  5. Forgive and Forget
  6. Tomorrow
  7. New Kid
  8. Dance With Me (cut in the middle)

Side 2:

  1. Dance With Me (second half)
  2. Christmas is Over
  3. It’s for You
  4. Simply
  5. Not Before
  6. When I’m With You
  7. Alien
  8. Back in the Fight
  9. They’ll Never Know

The Coolers – 14 Song Demo

  1. 7-11
  2. Can You Feel It Coming Down on You?
  3. Simply
  4. Susie Blue
  5. Dance With Me
  6. Cry Myself to Sleep
  7. Drink
  8. Tamecula
  9. 10,000 Bands
  10. Dead (beginning only)

Mark Krischak is most well-known as the leader of The Lifesavors before Michael Knott took over. However, he had a large number of other bands before and after The Lifesavors. He had well over 120 tapes of the various bands, from formal demos to bootleg live recordings to jam box recordings of practice sessions. He would list these 120+ for sale in large magazine ads. The process apparently was that people would order a few of the tapes by number, and then he would fit as many of those on to one long blank cassette (or more if needed) and send them to you often with minimal packaging. This was one such tape, where someone had ordered #21 (Red Christmas – Live), #22 (Red Christmas – Practice Volume 1), and #30 (The Coolers – 14 Song Demo). Both Red Christmas and The Coolers were power pop bands not too far removed from The Lifesavors. The quality of the tapes were not that bad, but obviously spliced together at the source and then dubbed quickly on this tape (one song carries over from side 1 to side 2, and The Coolers is missing the last 3-4 songs). The practice demo contains a lot of improvisation, starts and stops, working out the chords and parts, and so on. Also, The Coolers songs are the exact same versions as the ones on their 10,000 Bands demo, but that one only has 12 songs. So I am not sure what the two extra songs are, since they are cut off here. Just an interesting look into the way the tape trading underground was. I wonder if anyone ever got to hear all 120+ tapes? Jeani Bond maybe? Also note that this compilation was sent after Krischak moved to japan.

Prazzer – Dominate Me

Dominate Me
198? Pekuliar Muzzik Rekords
Biloxi, Mississippi, USA

Mike Liffick – Vocals
Punq Hedgez – Guitars, bass, keyboards
Jason Lykins – Drums

  1. Ascension
  2. Justabitanoize
  3. Cylents
  4. No Lone Wolves
  5. Dominate Me
  6. R-U Battle Ready
  7. World of Confusion
  8. Sin is Destruction
  9. Marchinthroo
  10. He Walks Upon the Water

So based on the name, they sound like hair metal. The cover looks more like a noise band. But the pictures of the three guys shows them with choir robes on, looking like a metal band. So what are they? All of the above….? The first song in a keyboard instrumental, followed by a guitar solo song, followed by a found noise track that transitions directly into a found noise track with wolves howling. Then… a metal track? Well, it sounds more like gothic metal, but it is actually a full band rocking out with vocals. Then another found noise song, followed by another full band rocking song, but without vocals. That is followed up by a spoken word with noise background, a track that is basically a drum solo, and one final keyboard tracks. Every song is short – they whole thing clocks in at less than 19 minutes. It is difference, but the two gothic metal tracks make it worth the weird ride.