Rise – …From the Ruins

…From the Ruins
1991 Awakened Records
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Allison Ballew – Vocals
John Sexton – Guitar, vocals
Steve Coates – Bass
Henry Anglin – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Director’s Chair
  2. The Bridge

Side 2:

  1. In Limbo
  2. Possibility

I really didn’t know anything about this band, but I converted it mainly based on the fact that Kevin 131 of Sorrow of Seven / Aleixa fame helped produce it, and there is a dedication to Mark Heard in the liner notes. Interesting mixture. So is this more folk / Americana like Heard, or industrial / metal of Aleixa? Does the presences of former So7 / Aleixa vocalist Laurel Snapper on backing vocals sway this more to industrial? Nope. This is alternative rock with female vocals. But Allison Ballew has more of the powerhouse vocals you typically see in metal than the forcefully fragile vocals you usually see in 90s female-fronted alt rock. The band utilizes this difference well, creating some moody yet driving alt rock that has just enough U2 influence to connect with 80s fans, but enough indie rock drive to propel it into the 90s. Don’t know if this band went anywhere, but it would be a shame of they didn’t. This demo is a bit different, but I really liked it. The last song “Possibility” is possibly my favorite track – very catchy but different and out there at the same time.


Sanctified Noise – Grappling With the Electric Bloodhound

Sanctified Noise
Grappling With the Electric Bloodhound
1991 (no label)
Addison, Texas, USA

Steve Graebosch – Vocals
Juan Galloway – Guitar
Craig Sandifer – Bass
JME Fawcus – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Electric Lazyboy
  2. Grappling
  3. Dance of the Bloodhounds

Side 2:

  1. Skate Rock Revisited
  2. Visualize Repentance
  3. Band Jam / Cheese Song

Punk rock from Texas with a different twist – kind of like the bass player was writing some of the songs and threw in some Don’t Know/Jane’s Addiction break-downs just to spice it up. At one time, someone in the band had shared mp3s of these songs online. But it was cool to hear the original cassette and see the full j-card. Apparently their stage show was Mike Knott-influenced, as they were known to throw food at each other and wrap band members up in cellophane. Anyways, a pretty cool band that only released two (or so) demos and should have gone further. Note that the cover lists the last two songs as if they are one blended song… but there is a good 6 seconds of silence between them (more than other songs).

Red Sky – World Crashing Down

Red Sky
World Crashing Down
1991 (no label)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Joey Martelle – Vocals
Craig Erickson – Guitar, bass, keys
Kerri Horak Collings – Drums

  1. (Intro) Sunset
  2. Red Sky Tonight
  3. World Crashing Down
  4. Surrender
  5. Morning

Third and final demo by Red Sky? There is a big gap between this and 1988’s Today is the Future, but it seems that Erickson was releasing solo instrumental demos in between the two demos. This was the year before Erickson released his debut solo disc Roadhouse Stomp for Blues Bureau Records. As with his last demos, this one represents a jump forward in song writing and sonic quality. But it is also their shortest demo so far – only three full length songs, with a 30 second intro and outro listed as “songs” as well. Neoclassical shred metal that shows why Erickson was also signed by other labels like Roadrunner Records.

Combat Faith – Combat Faith

Combat Faith
Combat Faith
1991 (no label)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Albert Baca – Vocals
Joe McGrath – Guitar
Ric Buteau – Bass
Alan Tuma – Drums

  1. Child of Fire
  2. The Return
  3. Mystery Tune Mach IV
  4. Lies

This is the second self-titled demo by power/thrash metal band Combat Faith. Since their last self-titled demo in 1989, it seems they changed bass players and lost one guitar player. The J-card doesn’t list the band members’ names or song titles – I found the details listed above online and the song titles seem to match what is sung in the songs. The only difference is that one online source lists a song called “In Your Face” – but I can’t find any of the four songs that says that, and there are five listed online. Weird. But this is a great power metal / borderline thrash metal band. The drummer also played in The Moshketeers and Ultimatum.

Missing Information: confirmation of song titles and band members.

Chris Taylor and Windows – Simple Things “Confound” The Wise Man

Chris Taylor and Windows
Simple Things “Confound” The Wise Man
1991 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Chris Taylor – The Singer, 12 string, tambourine
T.J. Behling – Bass guitar, vocals, coughing
Matt Slocum – Guitar
Chris Dodds – All of the pounding and vocals

Mike Acevedo – Guitar on 3, 4, 8, 12
“Elvis” – Vocals on 11

Side 1:

  1. Poor Man’s Song
  2. Love and Rhythm
  3. Nothing Like the Word
  4. Christians, Critics, Razorblades
  5. Around the World
  6. Everything is Looking

Side 2:

  1. Two People
  2. Tell Me
  3. Personally
  4. Echo of Love
  5. If I Had a Boat
  6. We Will Meet Again

A couple of years after So Much for the Blues finds Chris Taylor finding the band that he wished for in the liner notes of that demo and putting out a solid studio effort. Here Taylor is developing closer and closer to the U2-influenced alternative rock that he first gained national exposure for with Love Coma. In fact, I would say that based on the credits, this band is what evolved into Love Coma maybe? “Tell Me” and “Echo of Love” from So Much for the Blues make a re-appearance here, as do “Poor Man’s Song,” “Around the World” and “Everyone is Looking” from What’s Left When All the Good Words are Stolen.

Black Cherry Soda – Interesting Life of Mine

Black Cherry Soda
Interesting Life of Mine
1991 (no label)
Broomall, Pennsylvania, USA

Dan Rauter – Throat
Scott Tyson – Guits, backing vocals
Pete Radano – Bass, backing vocals
Time Rauter – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Footsteps
  2. Sorrowful You
  3. Mersault
  4. ILM
  5. Friend
  6. Turning Point
  7. Green

Side 2:

  1. Same Old Story
  2. You Know Me Well
  3. This Unrest
  4. Addict
  5. So You Think
  6. Take a Stand
  7. Uncertain
  8. Spit

This is the first demo by Black Cherry Soda (as far as I can tell). If you are familiar with their later alternative pop punk, then you know the sound here. Of course, it is a little earlier and rawer, but they are still dialing in the sound that got them enough attention to sign with various national labels. “Footsteps,” “ILM,” “Friend,” “Turning Point,” “Same Old Story,” and “Spit” are all re-recorded for their 1995 CD Grin on Via Records. “Addict” and “So You Think” were also re-recorded on their 1998 CD Back on the Map for Bulletproof Music.

Fortress – Exhibit-B

1991 (no label)
The Netherlands

  1. Battle for You
  2. Tell Me
  3. The Eye
  4. The Motion

One of several bands called Fortress – this one from The Netherlands. I don’t have this tape – I found it on SoundCloud after seeing the demo listed on eBay. The sound here is pretty much heavy metal, but influenced a bit by the late 80s/early 90s metal that started to experiment with different sounds to get out of the “hair metal” mold. Think a more commercial metal leaning Ugly Kid Joe or Green Jelly. I can’t find information on who is in this band, but the person that put it on SoundCloud is Hans van Vuuren – so maybe he was in the band?


Missing Information: Who played on this?