Shekinah Bros – Demo #1 / Demo # 2

Shekinah Bros
Demo #1 / Demo # 2
1988 / 1989 (no label)

Jerry Andrews

Side 1 (Demo #1 – March 1988):

  1. Joy Pt 1
  2. Lamb of God
  3. So Wonderful
  4. The Bell
  5. Joy Pt 2

Side 2 (Demo #2 – January 1989):

  1. Slippery Floor
  2. One Day
  3. The Bystanders
  4. Dreaming of You

I recently had an email chat with Jeani Bond (of Key Records / Regeneration Radio fame) about The Children. She pointed out that Jerry Andrews of The Children also put out a solo demo and several demos as Shekinah Bros. Then when looking through some tapes to digitize – what did I notice one of them was? Yep – this one. Jeani had described these as a bit more acoustic than The Children – which is a good way to describe the songs. They are less electric guitar oriented, but still within the general alternative rock arena. All there is about this tape is what is pictured on the tape above. Side one is apparently demo #1 from 1988, and side two is demo #2 from 1989. There are several more out there after this one. Since this is called “Bros” I am guessing there is at least one other “bro” in addition to Andrews? Either way, this is a very solid set of demos with really good song writing and musicianship.

Missing Information: Who played on these demos in addition to Andrews (or was it all him)?

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Stephen Wiley – Get Real

Stephen Wiley
Get Real
1989 Brentwood Music (C-5072)
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA

Stephen Wiley – Rappin’ (for Jesus)

Side 1:

  1. Get Real
  2. Born Again
  3. Gimme Da’ Word
  4. Save the City

Side 2:

  1. Just Say No
  2. F-A-I-T-H
  3. He Came Back
  4. Daily Devotion

Wow – I have been looking for early Stephen Wiley tapes forever. You would think that someone would have re-issued these classic albums by now, but they remain hard to find. Many of these tracks are on YouTube, but not the whole tape. This is early-style rap (sometimes even referred to as “eclectro”, even though that is not totally true here), and by 1989 it was kind of out of style in the mainstream. But for those of us that have a love of early rap despite all of the cheese, this tape is a welcome treat. There is even the stereotypical 80s rap ballad on here. There is no list that I can find of who helped with instruments/music or background vocals, so I am assuming it is Wiley doing most of the music and background vocals here (except for the female ones, of course). This was Wiley’s second full length after 1988’s Rap It Up. He followed this up with two more full-length albums: Rhythm and Poetry in 1990 and Rhapsody in 1992.

Scott Roman – Carved in Grey Matter

Scott Roman
Carved in Grey Matter
1989 Worthless Records (WR-090)
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Scott Roman – All vocals, instruments
Ted Worthless – Instruments on some songs

  1. One Man’s Floor
  2. Greenhouse
  3. I Can See It Coming
  4. She’ll Be Sorry
  5. The Defiled Sanctuary
  6. Lament
  7. The Pool of Tears
  8. Tomorrow
  9. On Another’s Sorrow
  10. Away From Babylon

This is Scott Roman’s first solo demo, which was released not too long after No Laughing Matter released Monstor. Scott’s band-mate Ted Worthless joins him on many songs here as well. The sound is still dark alternative like NLM, but more atmospheric, ambient, and spacey. Just like Roman’s 1990 demo Growing Pains, this tape is also available for download. Tripy dark stuff, but I like it.

Overdrive – Overdrive

Overdrive
Overdrive
1989 (no label)
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Doug Levy – Lead vocals, backing vocals
Stacy Puckett – Guitar, backing vocals
Jimmy Prior – Guitar, backing vocals
Joe McLaughlin – Bass, backing vocals
Bobby “The Basher” Collins – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Big Guns
  2. Hellbound
  3. Slow Song
  4. Living Sacrifice

Side 2:

  1. Mark My Words
  2. Rodent of the Piper
  3. Crusade

Overdrive described themselves as “gothic power metal,” but I think it would be best to replace “gothic” with “progressive.” In 2006, this demo, a later demo (A Grave Mistake), and earlier demos from the bands that became Overdrive were compiled on CD. You can still find the mp3s of this album for cheap if you dig around. This type of metal wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea back in the day, but if you like bands like Armored Saint, Sacred Warrior, Queensryche, etc, you would probably like at least some of what you hear here. I even detect a slight King Diamond influence on the vocals here and there – maybe that is where they got the “gothic” part?

Solid Rock Band – Demo

Solid Rock Band
Demo
1989 (no label)

Wilcox
Moore
Gandy

  1. Grocery Store
  2. Let Him In
  3. Broken Dreams

Not much out there about this demo. The first track is a blues boogie rock track. Then there is a hard rock track. Finally, a mellow ballad. All of these are female-fronted rock. The sound is closer to early 80s than the late 80s when this was released. Of course, those distinctions are meaningless decades later now that classic rock stations play all forms of rock up into the 90s, so I really just note them for historical context. When this came out, bands like Petra, White Heart, and Fighter had moved on to mostly mid-80s AOR. But decades later, when those distinctions are trivia at best, I like the second track the most out of three styles they utilized here. There was a band about 10 years before this also called Solid Rock Band that didn’t have any of the songs listed above on their one release in 1979 (Footprints on the Water), nor any members with the last names listed on the tape.

Missing Information: who played on this?

Fools and Strangers – Hardcore Beatniks

Fools and Strangers
Hardcore Beatniks
1989 (no label)
Adams, North Dakota, USA

Dan Crowley – Lead vocals, backing vocals, guitar solo on “Laugh”
Jason Loraas – Lead vocals, backing vocals
Eric Lorass – Bass guitar, backing vocals, scary voices
Jay Mindeman – All guitars, drums, backing vocals
Kari Drevecky – Drums, groovy handclaps

  1. Pain Dog
  2. I Don’t Understand Girls
  3. Bikini Frankenstein
  4. Missing You
  5. Sorority Girls
  6. Blitzkrieg
  7. Renae’s Song
  8. I Believe
  9. Laugh at Death (Scream for Life)

To be honest, I have no idea how many tapes there are by Fools and Strangers. They just keep showing up. The main person behind this band (and other bands like The Plague) is Jay Mindeman. He seems to have been very active in the Christian Tape Underground. He also lists several collaborators on the note included with this. I had thought this was one of those “one-person-does-all” projects, but it doesn’t seem to be entirely true. The sound is mostly rock, with some alternative/indie rock leanings. Of course, some songs like “Sorority Girls” feels like a party rock band covering ELO. Other songs like “Blitzkrieg” are pretty much heavy metal. Its an interesting mix.

Trinity – New Dawn

Trinity
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.