2000 DC – Nothing is Neutral

2000 DC
Nothing is Neutral
1983 (no label)
Barcelona, Spain

Jesus Villaverde
Agustin Melguizo
Jose Media

Side 1:

  1. Relax
  2. Radioactive-Move
  3. If You Think…

Side 2:

  1. Nothing is Neutral
  2. Speed
  3. Armed Forces Day

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this tape – the titles have English and Spanish translations, but there is nothing to indicate what style this would be. They also don’t say who plays what instrument, which can often be the sign of cheesy pop rock. But this seems to be a pretty rocking trio that borders on punk or hard rock here and there. Definitely not the cheesy pop rock I thought I might be in for. The playing is a bit rough in a few places in ways that some practice could have tightened up, but this does add to the overall garage feel. All of the lyrics are mostly in Spanish, but there are some in English – enough to make sure all English speakers know they are a Christian band.

The Predators – Social Decay

The Predators
Social Decay
1983 Ears & Eyes

Kevin Smith – Vocals
Kelvin Allwood – Guitar
Brian Westhead – Keyboards, vocals
Andy Rayner – Bass, vocals
Francis Johnson – Drums, percussion

Side 1:

  1. Jack
  2. Free World
  3. Man in My Room
  4. Stand Up and Be Counted
  5. Lost at Sea

Side 2:

  1. 2 Out of 7
  2. One More Time
  3. Wipe the Tears
  4. Nasty Video
  5. Never Say Die

The Predators were an early pioneering new wave / pop / punk band in the Christian scene from England. By some people’s standards today, this would not be considered punk. I get that, but historically new wave bands like this were considered punk (what do you think the “new wave” was a new wave of anyways?). Or you could just look at it as alternative rock if you really wanted, because the pop sensibilities here definitely pull it in that direction. You really get a nice mix of faster, heavier numbers and slower, popier tunes here. This was their second full-length album (after their self-titled debut in 1982), which they followed up with a few more singles before their third full length Offensive in 1987.

BTW – this album made the “CCM Top 500 Best Albums of All Time” list. You can download mp3s of all of their three full-lengths on their website as well: http://www.thedeakin.net/predators/

Thin Red Line – Equinox

Thin Red Line
1983 (no label)
Palmerston North, New Zealand

Karen Rush – Vocals
Dave White – Keyboards
Des Wilson – Lead guitar, acoustic solo on “River Song”, bass on “Warheads”
John O’Sullivan – Acoustic guitar
Catherine Wallace – Flute
Don Loveday – Bass
Peter Clark – Drums

Side 1:

  1. The Dominion
  2. Cousin Biko
  3. Warheads

Side 2:

  1. Equinox
  2. River Song
  3. Crossways

This appears to be one of the earliest bands from Dave White, who went on to form such bands as The Clear and Lung. However, this is far from the aggressive punk/thrash/industrial/etc music he came known for later. This is female fronted rock with slight alternative, reggae, etc leanings here and there. The songs are mostly acoustic guitar based, but with prominent keyboard and flute in many songs. Kind of a unique combination. This demo was recorded in December 1983, so I am not sure if it was released before 1984 rolled around or not. They went on to release 3-4 more demos after this one before calling it a day. The first one was either called Seclusions Paradise or Seclusion in Paradise depending on which source you read.

Bahumutsi Theatre Company of Soweto – Umongikazi (the Nurse) / The Hungry Earth

Bahumutsi Theatre Company of Soweto
Umongikazi (the Nurse) / The Hungry Earth
1983 Plankton Records (PCN106)
South Africa

Side 1:

  1. Umongikazi Part 1
  2. Umongikazi Part 2
  3. Umongikazi Part 3
  4. Umongikazi Part 4
  5. Umongikazi Part 5
  6. Umongikazi Part 6
  7. Umongikazi Part 7
  8. Umongikazi Part 8

Side 2:

  1. The Hungry Earth part 1
  2. The Hungry Earth part 2
  3. The Hungry Earth part 3
  4. The Hungry Earth part 4
  5. The Hungry Earth part 5
  6. The Hungry Earth part 6
  7. The Hungry Earth part 7

This is one of the earliest releases by Plankton Records. The label states these are songs from the two plays listed in the title. Each song probably has a song title, but I can’t find those online. I did find a book that tells the story of the Bahumutsi Drama Group and the ways it fought apartheid in South Africa with these plays. You can read about that online. Some sources list this as a cassette single. It’s really too long for that – at just under 25 minutes, it is really even a bit long for an EP, but that is closer to what it is. The sound here is a Capella music with some claps for rhythm here and there, but mostly just the compelling voices of the Bahumutsi Drama Group.

Missing Information: Song titles

Streetlevel – Relay

1983 (no label)
Wolverhampton, England, United Kingdom

Clive Davenport – Vocals, guitars
Paul Keeble – Vocals, bass
Gary Mitchell – Drum, percussion, vocals
Graham Boler – Synthesizer, coffee

Side 1:

  1. You Have to Tell Them
  2. Never Knew
  3. Fight on the Street
  4. Finish of the Bliss
  5. Pictures of You
  6. Light and Shade

Side 2:

  1. In the World’s Terms
  2. Yireh (Gen. 22 v. 14)
  3. These Days
  4. One Spare Minute
  5. I’ve Got You

If the cover of this demo screamed out at you “middle of the road rock!”… you would be correct. It’s not bad, but if you want to rock out with some air guitar you might be disappointed. Songs like “Fight on the Street” have cool bass lines and are well written. There is nothing wrong with being middle of the road as long as you can do it well. Too many bands stay in that area to be safe. This appears to be a band that is doing this style just because it is what they want to, and it shows.

Damascus – Demo

1983(?) (no label)
Mt. Prospect, Illinois, USA

Possible band members:

Tom McKeown – Lead & background vocals, electric guitar, organ, piano, synthesizers
Marc Reich – Lead & background vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
Cliff Zweibruck – Electric bass, background vocals
Dave Coy – Drums, percussion

  1. Lead Me On
  2. Psalm Ad
  3. Reckless

This is the first demo by progressive/rock/metal band Damascus. There is little information on this demo, but I did find a lot of information about the band when transferring their next demo Will I Find You There? This demo starts off a bit deceptively – it seems a lot more mellow than the next demo, and not progressive rock at all. But pretty soon the progressive elements kick in. By the second song, there is no doubt what they are. Not as heavy as their next demo, but probably a tad more progressive. They also compared themselves to Van Halen or Bon Jovi on their next demo, but there is not much influence of those bands on this demo. No date or band members are listed. Possible band members based on the next demo are listed above, and a possible release date of 1983 is given based on an online interview that states they became Damascus in 1982 and then later recorded a demo.

Missing Information: Band members, release date

Steve Butler – Waving and Drowning

Steve Butler
Waving and Drowning
1983 Sticky Music (GUM 007)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Steve Butler – Lead vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitars, background vocals
Graeme Duffin – Guitars and background vocals
Stuart R. Duffin – Bass
Malcolm Duffin – Drums and percussion

Side 1:

  1. Waving and Drowning
  2. Time and Tide (A Love Lost)
  3. Sunk in London
  4. Back in France
  5. Child’s Tears

Side 2:

  1. Checkout Girls
  2. Head and Heart
  3. Seasoned with Your Love
  4. Gonna Fly
  5. Best is Still to Come

I thought I had this one, then I realized I didn’t, so I went looking for it online and found the remastered version up on BandCamp! Steve Butler has an incredibly robust background in the UK Christian Music scene, as he was/is a member of Lies Damned Lies and also one of the founders of Sticky Music label. His musical resume is pretty impressive. This album was – I think – his second solo release. I have seen this album labeled pop, soft rock, and rock – it certainly floats around that general area. To my ears, there are some slight alternative leanings as well, but not enough to be called alternative rock. Early adult alternative pop is probably more accurate. A solid release that is now available online for all to hear.