King James and the Concordances – The Authorized Version

King James and the Concordances
The Authorized Version
1987 Vertical Take Off Music (VTO2003
Miami, Florida, USA

Turtle Alonzo
Headlight Rodriguez
Toast R. Oven

“Dance Mixes” on side 2 by remixed 1990 by Pig Rey and the Pens

Side 1:

  1. Don’t Wanna be no Gumby
  2. Mission to Mexico
  3. Johnny’s in a Cult
  4. Peabody Went to College
  5. Movies about Jesus
  6. Last of the Nubs
  7. The Monastery

Side 2:

  1. Gumby gets the Bends
  2. Mexican Dub
  3. Singalongjohnny
  4. Talkin’ ‘Bout Run D.M.C.
  5. The Last Temptation of Toast R. Oven
  6. The Ugly, the Good, and the Bad
  7. Yretsanom Eht

This is one of many projects by Julio Rey of The Lead and Frank’s Enemy. You could download the first side free online. This is really all over the map stylistically – from the punk opening song, to rockers, to various other styles and experimentation. Seems like Julio agrees as well:

“Musical styles in order of appearance are punk, reggae with a touch of mariachi, old school hardcore when it wasn’t old school with a touch of eastern dissonance, 70s style funk, classic rock when it wasn’t classic drenched in Neil Young guitar strangulation, country with a touch of spoken word, and Gregorian chant with no detectable intelligible actual words.”

The second side is really a collection of remixes of the first side, in the same order as the first side. Some are pretty similar to their original versions, others are more out there. I’m not sure who is who on the list of people above, but from what I have found online the band members are:

Julio Rey – Vocals, lead guitar, bass
Al Valdes – Rhythm guitar, drums

The Nation – The Nation

The Nation
The Nation
1987 (no label)
Austin, Texas, USA

Maury Millican – Guitars, lead vocals
Linda Millican – Keyboards, vocals
Cal Nicholson – Drums, vocals
Kelly Butler – Bass guitar, vocals

Side 1:

  1. Something You Said
  2. The Salesman
  3. All That I Am

Side 2:

  1. It Hurts to be Broken
  2. Let the Wicked Fall
  3. I Wait

This was also another surprise find – The Nation was another band that was featured on the Heaven’s Metal Cool Tunes compilation that seemed lost to time. Now if someone could just dig up those Paul Q-Pek solo demos, we could know about every band that was featured on there. Speak of Paul, he does make a guest appearance on this demo, doing background vocals on the opening track. The sound here pretty much matches the track from Cool Tunes: keyboard and guitar-based rock that is not really alternative, not metal, but somewhat heavier than pop rock. However, no other songs are as aggressive as “It Hurts to be Broken” – the first and last tracks are rock, while the other three are ballads. Good ballads, but that may be too many for some. Not sure if there was anything else from this band, as I can’t find anything online about them.

Surprise – Good Guys Don’t Always Wear White

Surprise
Good Guys Don’t Always Wear White
1987 (no label)
Sydney, Australia

Alex MacDonald

Side 1:

  1. Can’t See your Eyes
  2. Cartoon Spiders
  3. Fantasy
  4. Anyday
  5. Cried All My Tears
  6. The Cowboy Song

Side 2

  1. Drums and Sitars
  2. Lucy in the Sky
  3. Acid Visions
  4. Happy Together
  5. Lord’s Prayer

Surprise Surprise shortens their name to just Surprise, and start getting closer to their sound on their label releases. However, this demo still has some mod / neo-psychedelic influences. Side 2 of this is probably one of the most trippy awesome sequence of songs ever on any Christian album. The first song is literally what it says: sitars and drums. Then they cover the Beatles ode to LSD (no kidding). Then is an even trippier song about acid trips – but discussing the dangers of acid trips. Then, is case they might have offended any Christians or hippies, they cover “Happy Together” by The Turtles. Then they close it off with the Lord’s prayer to prove where they stand (I assume). Alex MacDonald is the only member listed on the tape, so I am unsure who else is on this release.

Missing Information: who played on this tape.

Straightway – Remixed Demo

Straightway
Remixed Demo
1987 (no label)
Houston, Texas, USA

David Walton – Lead vocals, keyboards
Doug Middleton – Lead guitar
Mike Locke – Rhythm Guitar
Mark Walton – Bass
Damon Tankersley – Percussion

Side 1:

  1. Come Back
  2. Message by David

Side 2:

  1. Christ is King
  2. Message by Damon

This is a shorter demo from the band that went on to release the One Way to Heaven demo and then the Black or White CD. Both of the songs on here re-appear on both of those releases. They question is: which demo was remixed? Was it just the two songs, or were these two taken from a longer demo? The messages of on each side that follow the songs are not really that deep, but represent what passed for “messages” back in the day. Note that David and Damon are the only two members listed on the tape – the rest are assumed based on the next demo. Most of the songs you can listen to on YouTube:

Gadget – Joyful Noise

Gadget
Joyful Noise
1987 Corpoii Productions (CPCS-5)
United States?

Gadget – All instruments and noises, vocals, production, and song writing

Side 1:

  1. Armageddon
  2. Psalm 23
  3. Will Anyone Survive?
  4. Transfiguration
  5. Psalm 46

Side 2:

  1. Psalm 102
  2. Knock! Knock!
  3. Train to Heaven
  4. Psalm 24
  5. Joyful Noise

This is a bunch of noise. The genre of “Noise” that is, not the insult “noise.” For those that aren’t familiar, noise is sometimes seen as a sub-genre of industrial music that uses samples, found noise, instruments, percussion, spoken word, shouting, and sometimes general mayhem to make very avant-garde music. Gadget uses a lot of creative percussion (hitting on what sounds like all kinds of objects to get a large range of sounds) along with manipulated sound effects, quirky keyboard usage, sampling, some guitar feedback, loops, and other general “noise.” It is all organized into songs with noticeable rhythm and structure if you listen… but it is different. I enjoy this kind of music – you can listen to it as background music as you work/think to change the usually flow of background music, or listen closely to figure out what sounds Gadget is using. Determining where one song ends and another begins is a bit difficult for some songs, as they appear to fade into each other occasionally. Gadget also likes to read Psalms over the noise as well. For those not in the know, Gadget was Marc Plainguet, who released tons of solo tapes and was also a part of other bands (like Crazed Bunnyz and Nutty Faith) as well. This demo was followed up with Gnashing of Teeth in 1990. There is currently a BandCamp website for Marc that is empty – but I hope it get filled up soon.

Season of Fire – Tested by Fire

Season of Fire
Tested by Fire
1987 (no label)
Los Angeles, California, USA

Richard Blatt – Lead Vocals
Kenny Lopez – Drums
Gersom Rivera – Lead and Rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, background vocals, congas
Jaime Ruvalcaba – Bass, keyboards

Side 1:

  1. Suffering
  2. Passion
  3. Brother’s Blood

Side 2:

  1. Maple Street
  2. Streetman Disapproval

This album was shared in a Facebook group. It is technically a vinyl rip, but this album is really rare, and the group had a tape demo in 1985, so I thought I would document it here. None of the three songs from the demo appear to have made it on this album. The sound here reminds me somewhat of an American Just the Job, but with less punk and more 80s alternative. To me, they seem to be at their strongest when they are doing the darker alternative sounds on songs like “Brother’s Blood” and Maple Street.” But I can’t deny the catchiness of the power pop influenced open track, either. Not sure where the band went after this release, however.

Surprise – Shine On

Surprise
Shine On
1987 (no label)
Giessen, Germany

Uwe Bott – Acoustic and e-drums
Wolfgang Mattes – Bass guitar
Manfred Herr – E-guitar
Thomas Pottek – E-guitar, vocals, keyboards on “King Alcohol”
Matthias Damm – Keyboards, vocals

Side 1:

  1. Well Fixed Man
  2. Ruhelos
  3. Time is Near
  4. Who am I?
  5. Gewaltherrschaft
  6. Horrorskop
  7. Try to Believe

Side 2:

  1. King Alcohol
  2. Lett Me Burn
  3. Shine On
  4. Machtkampf

This is not the same band from Australia that started off as Surprise Surprise and then ended up releasing a few CDs on Refuge Records. This is a German band that is keyboard rock that sound closer to a slightly lighter version of “Dancing on the Head of the Serpent” by Jerusalem for the whole tape. They are very 80s-influenced – just listen to an 80s night on a classic rock station and you will get a good idea for the sounds on this demo (although songs like “Horrorskop” have some muscle to them… until the saxophone solo pulls it back to the 80s). This demo was recorded live, although most chatter and clapping between the songs has been edited out (sometimes rather abruptly in mid-word). Lyrics seem to go back and forth between German and English. Not a bad demo, and definitely very 80-ish, but it might just be too middle of the road for some. Because of that, some of the songs sound similar-ish.