Babo – The First Time

The First Time
1991 (no label)
Doorwerth, Netherlands

Gerco Mons – Singing, guitar
Marcel Mons – Bass
Alexander Bijl – Solo guitar
Oscar Pathuis – Drums, keyboards
Andre Venema – Techniek

  1. Bye Bye Color
  2. First Love
  3. The Letter
  4. John
  5. Marianne
  6. De Jet van Tante Jet

This would have probably been put off until later in the que for digitization, until I noticed that they do a cover of L.S.U.’s “Bye Bye Color.” Well, it is song with the lyrics to “Bye Bye Color” over a completely different musical arrangement. The band is from the Netherlands, and I had to translate some terms above from Dutch. But I couldn’t find out what “Techniek” translates to other than “Technics.” Stage show I guess? Anyways, the sound is kind of alternative rock with some mod and surf rock leanings. It reminds me of what Surprise Surprise did sometimes in the early days.


White Ray – 2-Song Demo

White Ray
19?? (no label)
Louisville, Kentucky, USA

  1. Schizophrenia
  2. Charades Behind Glass

For those that don’t know, White Ray was the band that got signed to R.E.X. Music and changed names to Killed by Cain as their sound evolved into a more modern direction. They had also won a new band competition at Cornerstone in 1991 and signed to Image Records before their name change. However, Image Records went under before they could record, so there was a rumor they would go with Star Song Records (who wanted them before Image). But apparently that never happened. Not sure of the date on this demo, but they sound like a more metallic version of Killed by Cain here. “Charades Behind Glass” seems to also be on their First Sin demo (mostly the same version, just an obviously different recording), but “Schizophrenia” seems to be exclusive here. Two really good songs – you can see why they were signed. Hopefully the planned demo collection by Retroactive Records will come to pass (meaning, hopefully the band will get the songs to the record label, as the label has already announced their commitment to the release).

Missing Information: year of release, who played on this demo?

Outcast – Far Out

Far Out
198? (no label)
Los Angeles, California, USA

Don – Guitar, vocals
Mark – Bass, vocals
Christian – Drums

Side 1:

  1. In a World
  2. To the Sky
  3. Walkin’ Down the Street
  4. I Hear a Voice
  5. Marching to Hell
  6. Put Your Life in Jesus’ Hands

Side 2:

  1. One Nation Under God?
  2. Have You Ever

Based on the way the cover is designed, I wasn’t sure if this tape is called Far Out, or Free Concerts. I went with Far Out because it is on the cover itself. This might have been recorded live – or at least part of it – since there is some crowd noise captured at the beginning of the second track. The second track was also featured on Jeani Bond’s New Generation radio show back in the day. I was kind of expecting punk based on the fact there are three members, and the name sounds punk-ish. But this turned out to be moody, deeply reflective sounding 80s alternative rock. I am not really sure what date it was recorded, though. Also, there were no track names given, so I made up the ones listed above. Pretty solid effort – just a lot of mysteries about this recording.

Missing Information: track names, band members’ last names, release date.

Insight – Demo

19?? (no label)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Tom Walker

  1. Praise the Lord
  2. I am the Friend
  3. Go and Possess the Land

I have a longer demo by a band called Insight that was described as mixture of Bash-n-the-Code and Ransom. I don’t think this is the same band, as it has male vocals and sounds full metal on the last two tracks. The weird thing is that it opens with the obligatory metal ballad – but this ballad is so pop oriented that you would think you had a straight up CCM praise-series tape. But then it launches into two songs of neo-classical keyboard-y metal songs. Probably should have moved the “ballad” to the second or third song. Metal fans wouldn’t have listened past the first track, and CCM fans would throw this out once the metal kicks in. The only information on this one is on the tape above, so I made up the song titles above.

Missing Information: Year, song titles, who played on this

Graeme Flaws – On Location

Graeme Flaws
On Location
198? (no label)
Auckland, New Zealand

Graeme Flaws – Vocals, bass
Peter Coomber – Lead guitar
Mike Farrell – Guitars, ukulele, backing vocals
Peter Alison – Keyboards
Steven Garden – Drums
Darlene McStay – Backing vocals
Julie Mariu – Backing Vocals

Side 1:

  1. You Dare
  2. K.P.
  3. Promises
  4. Judy
  5. No Ticker

Side 2:

  1. On Location
  2. Crazy Man
  3. The Joneses
  4. Judges Eyes
  5. The Tower

No information on this one out there that I can find. I grabbed it because it looked like it might be an interesting alternative import tape. My first listen through I wasn’t that impressed by it. But when I listened again to write this review, it started growing on me. This seems to be what was referred to as “adult alternative” back in the 80s (although it sounds nothing like that format today). It’s a bit slower and complex overall than much of the regular alternative rock world, with some notable world music influences. “No Ticket” is the exception to this – a hard rock number with slight alternative leaning. It is definitely a stand-out track on the album. It looks like in the 80s and 90s Flaws was in a sixties spoof band called The Velvettes in New Zealand. It seems that since that time he has played on at least one of his former Velvettes’ band-mates solo albums (Steve Apirana’s 2011 album This Wretched Man).

Ed Englerth’s Linear Action Band – Hit the Wall

Ed Englerth’s Linear Action Band
Hit the Wall
198? (no label)
Hastings, Michigan, USA

Ed Englerth – Lead vocals, BGVs on “Steal Your Heart”, bass, acoustic guitar, guitars
John Heald – Drums, BGVs, lead vocals on “Steal Your Heart”
The Frog – Lead guitar
Jim Erdman – Screams & shouts on “Stop Making Sense”
Roland Sunkins III – violin

Side 1:

  1. Hit the Wall
  2. Stop Making Sense
  3. At Night
  4. Bitter Mind
  5. I Can Go to You

Side 2:

  1. Injustice in a Fallen World
  2. Talk Show Metaphysics
  3. Mistaken Identity
  4. Where are We Now
  5. Steal Your Heart

At first I wasn’t sure what this was, so I put it aside into the “no idea” pile. But then I found out that Ed was a member of Armada and Preston, and that members of Xalt helped with this as well… so I decided to give it a spin. There is some 80’s-alternative U2 influence here and there, but mostly I would say this goes into the hard rock category. Unfortunately, the tape was a bit chewed up and stretched out towards the end of side 1, so a couple of songs were hard to listen to. No date on this one, but my guess would be mid-80s based on the sound, as they mix alt and metal in ways that would have only happened in that time period.

Missing Information: when was this released?

The Spiritual Rapper – The Messenger of God

The Spiritual Rapper
The Messenger of God
198? (no label)
Holly Hill, Florida, USA

Ty Dowdy – Raps, lyrics, drum beat
John Leavell – Strat guitar, bass, drum machine programming

  1. Young People of the World
  2. Missing Kids
  3. The Rapture

Pretty much all I know about this one is in the picture above – I can’t find any information about this online. This is early rap that comes across as more serious than cheesy. There appears to be no scratching or DJ on this release – just original music played by Leavell. Think something like Run DMC’s less guitar-dominated tracks without Jam Master Jay. Still some guitar and bass, but no riffs. Some people find this style cheesy, but back in the day this would have been serious rap in comparison to the cheesier pop rap that most were familiar with.