Trinity – New Dawn

New Dawn
1989 (no label)
Anneberg, Sweden

Peter Anderson – Vocals
Fredrik Björk – Guitars
Patrik Carlsson – Bass
Pierre Andersson – Keyboards, backing vocals
Jörgen Björk – Drums

Robban – backing vocals

  1. A New Dawn
  2. Close to the Edge
  3. Bound
  4. One Who Cares

The information I can find on this band says that it was started by four members of Creed. But none of the people above were in the German band Creed (or the American post-grunge Creed for that matter). So there must be a third Creed out there from Sweden. Anyways, Christian “Rivel” Liljegren of Modest Attraction, Audiovision, Divinefire, etc fame was actually the first vocalist on their 1988 demo Soldiers of Freedom. Christian left and they got Peter. As you can guess, the sound here is the Swedish variation of 80s commercial metal. Well, with a noticeable neoclassical influence as well. Its very good, of course – but the band really didn’t seem to go anywhere after this demo.


9 Red Roses – Scream

9 Red Roses
1989 (no label)
Fremont, California, USA

Justin Stevens – Vocals, guitar
Douglas Yates – Keyboards, guitar, vocals
Scott Rohde – Bass, lead bass, vocals
Jeremy Hawley – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Where Do the Children Play?
  2. Scream
  3. No Man’s Land
  4. Blood Drive
  5. I Give My All

Side 2:

  1. Hope
  2. Inside the Mind
  3. Fashion Compassion
  4. Arms of Strength
  5. Hallelujah
  6. Inside the Mind (reprise)

So what is this? A full-length demo by 9 Red Roses that I have never heard of… that pre-dates some of the others I have? What? Wow. There are always surprises when digging into the tape underground. The line-up for this version of the band is different than the S/T demo from the next year. So it seems that this was a band started by Justin Stevens (who went on to form Dime Store Prophets), and then everyone else left, and some former members of The Lonely Now joined later on in the life of this band. The songs “No Man’s Land,” “Blood Drive,” “Hope,” and “Inside the Mind” are all on the un-dated Hope demo – so I wonder if that demo is actually earlier than this one? I had thought Hope was possibly a 1991 release, but that could be wrong. Only the song “Hope” made it on to the 1990 S/T demo ep. Anyways, this is still some excellent U2-influenced 80s alternative rock. I’m glad Stevens eventually got signed with the Dime Store Prophets, but it was a shame this band never got the chance to get these songs out there. Also of note: Sean Doty of Veil of Ashes fame played harmonica on the song “Hallelujah,” and Doty and Nelson DiMarco of The Hounds of Heaven produce this demo.

Spike – Save the Children

Save the Children
1989 The Furnace Room
East Canton, Ohio, USA

Terry McCabe – Vocals, guitars

Side 1:

  1. Intro by Chris Yambar
  2. Sanctuary
  3. Writer and Singer
  4. Old or New
  5. Always by My Side
  6. Newave

Side 2:

  1. Sodom and Gomorrah
  2. Celebration Day
  3. The Song That is Never Heard

So this is the last Spike demo (that I know of) to cover for this blog. This tape is actually a live recording of an acoustic concert that Spike (aka Terry McCabe) did for the Birthright organization. It contains a spoken word intro by Chris Yambar that tells all about McCabe. There is also an insert with the tape that tells his history. This concert was recorded in 1981 but released in 1989. So it seems that all of these Furnace Room tapes were meant to get older music by Terry released to a wider audience. This concert was just McCabe and guitar, so it is interesting to hear acoustic / unplugged versions of songs like “Newave.”

Mark Kissinger – Narcotica

Mark Kissinger
1989 Independent
Sharon, Pennsylvania, USA

Mark Kissinger – Guitars, drum machine

  1. Hysterics
  2. Collapsible Fog I-Beam
  3. Huxley’s Ride
  4. Core
  5. Waterless Places
  6. Praise
  7. Just After Cranreuch
  8. Time Memory Design
  9. The Endless Fall
  10. Vacant Purpose
  11. Plane Geometry

While reading through an old issue of The Cutting Edge, I came across a review of Narcotica that intrigued me. I did a quick search online and found that all three demo tapes by Mark Kissinger are all free at I don’t know if I will do reviews for the other two (Mid Life Crisis from 1991 and They’re Different From Us from 1992) as they also have a similar sound. This is instrumental guitar rock – but not really shredder metal rock like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. Although fans of that music will have plenty of tasty solos to chew on here. This really falls somewhere in between shredder metal and David Bowie, or maybe even Unwed Sailor. There are some rockers on here, some cool weirdness, and some gentler contemplative moments as well. But all of these tapes clock in at a little over 40 minutes, so they are not marathon listening sessions like some of these “guitar instrumental” types end up being.

The Cry – Live at Cornerstone 1989

The Cry
Live at Cornerstone 1989
1989 (no label)
Austin, Texas, USA

Chris Wright – Lead vocals, guitars
Melvyn Goveas – Bass, vocals
Larry Hines – Keyboards, vocals
Jim Echols – Drums, vocals

  1. There is One
  2. Just One Way
  3. The Kingdom
  4. Distant Change
  5. I Will Stand
  6. What It Means to Be
  7. Walk Away

Generally, I’m not going to cover too many bootlegs here – mainly because I don’t get that many, and also because there usually isn’t that much to say about most of them other than what songs were played and how bad or decent the recording quality is. I’m making an exception here, because not only is this one of my favorite underground bands, but it is also the performance that won them the new band showcase at Cornerstone AND there are two unreleased songs on this tape. The other 5 songs are from their What It Means to Be demo. The two unreleased songs (well, at least, not released on any recordings I have) fit in well with the other songs. “The Kingdom” really serves more as a 2 ½ minute long intro for “Distant Change,” while “I Will Stand” serves as a full song. “Greater Love” seems to be the only song from their 1988 demo that they decided not to play live here. You can see why they won the new band showcase, and the recording here is pretty good for a bootleg.

Heir Force – Heir Force

Heir Force
Heir Force
1989 Deep Sky Records
Florence, Alabama, USA

Mike Walker – Guitars, bass, drums
Debbie Walker – Vocals

Side 1:

  1. Kasbah
  2. Singapore
  3. Looking for the Night
  4. Light in the Window
  5. Leave It to the World

Sid 2:

  1. Gulf of Mexico
  2. Now I Know
  3. In a Moment of Time
  4. The Advance
  5. Light

So as you can tell by the credits above – this band is basically Mike Walker (he also wrote and produced all of the songs) with either his wife or sister on vocals. I don’t know if this was because Mike can’t sing or just wanted to do female-fronted metal regardless of his singing abilities. But this is credible commercial metal, although sometimes I get the feeling the drums might be programmed? The only problem with this demo is the one that most of these one-person projects run into: only having one source of creative ideas can feel a bit same-ish after a few songs, even if intentionally different ideas are added in. Of course, some full bands run into this as well if they have one person dominating the whole song creation process. This demo gives you the feel that some person in rural Alabama wanted to have a metal band, and had to put it all together himself and get someone with singing chops to finish the package because he couldn’t find many other headbangers around him. Some label should have snapped him up and put him in a studio with a full band and producer.

Woolton Parrish – Jericho

Woolton Parrish
1989 Agape Records
Erin, Wisconsin, USA

Stacy Maloney – Lead vocals, color guitar, keyboards, piano
Keith Adrian – Bass, backing vocals, keyboards, piano, cello
Danny James – Drums, percussion, piano

Side 1:

  1. Pattern of Love
  2. Picture in Blue
  3. She Waits for Me
  4. Just Standing
  5. Veiled Memory
  6. Road to Jericho

Side 2:

  1. The Fisherman
  2. In a Littleway
  3. Tale of Two Passions
  4. Isolation
  5. The Only Door

Woolton Parrish was a band that enjoyed quite a bit of fame in the Milwaukee alternative music scene in the late 80s. Promo statements online say that they fit in “the alternative music scene as they did in the metal club.” The music is still alternative rock – it just has a heavy metal intensity that feels like a mix between Billy Idol and The Cult during the late 80s. U2 is still a strong noticeable influence on the sound here as well. But it sounds like they went in a kind of grunge direction after this demo (even though they viewed grunge as just having one emotion – angst). I don’t know if this is their first demo, but it is the earliest I can find. So as far as I know, this is an incredibly strong debut.