9 Red Roses – Hope

9 Red Roses
1991? (no label)
Fremont, California, USA

Possible members:

Masaki Liu
Kevin Reimer
Justin Stevens

Side 1:

  1. Fear of the Inevitable
  2. Blooddrive
  3. No Man’s Land
  4. Inside the Mind
  5. Hope
  6. Beauty

Side 2:

  1. Hope (extended version)
  2. Beauty

Not much information on this specific release. I know that Masaki Liu has stated online that 9 Red Roses became Dime Store Prophets. Also, Kevin Reimer has stated that he was the guitarist for The Lonely Now and 9 Red Roses – so it is probable that either or both of them played on this release, and that this band was an intermediary step between The Lonely Now and Dime Store Prophets. If I were to describe the sound of the band, it would be somewhere in between those two bands (leaning more towards The Lonely Now, though). An online interview indicates that this band broke up in 1991, but that Stevens and Liu formed another band called Radiation Ranch that changed names to Dime Store Prophets. A self-titled 9 Red Roses demo from 1990 was on eBay recently – I should have snagged it. That demo is a different set of songs except for “Hope.” I’m not sure if this demo is earlier or later. The Lonely Now put out their last album in 1990, and this band broke up in 1991, so I would guess this is a 1991 release (unless they were really, really productive in 1990). And yes, the last two songs of side 1 repeat on side 2 – “Hope” in a much longer version on side 2, while “Beauty” is mostly the same, but with a few slight changes on side 2.

Missing Information: Release date, who played on this demo

Paul Howey – Looking Glass

Paul Howey
Looking Glass
1991 (no label)
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Paul Howey – Lead and backing vocals, synth-guitars, custom double kick drum kit, bass and keyboards

Side 1:

  1. How Many Chances
  2. Looking Glass
  3. Master of Temptation

Side 2:

  1. You’re My Hero
  2. Some Promises

I’m not sure exactly what sound Howey is going for here – there is synth-guitar, keyboards, and programmed drums that give it a distinct industrial vibe. But the songwriting and vocal styles aren’t industrial… more hard rock/metal in nature. It could be that he wanted to do a metal sound and just didn’t have a band. But on the other hand, it could be that he just wanted to do industrial in this manner. One person said that his other album (Plug In from 1990) reminded them of early Xalt. I could see that. But this demo is mostly keyboard-y in nature. Not a bad job for a demo – he obviously wrote, played, and recorded these songs all himself. But if you have to have an easy to recognize genre… you might have a hard time categorizing this. Metalheads will see this as too light to be metal, but fans of rock will see it as too heavy or weird to mainstream rock. So I will call it “hard rock” until I find out if the goal was to be industrial or not from another source.

Raspberry Jam – Raspberry Jam

Raspberry Jam
Raspberry Jam
1991 (no label)
Upland, California, USA

Herb Grimaud
Wes Faulk
Nathan Nobis
Phillip Kim

Additional Artists:

Leslie Grimaud (Café Noire)
Lorri Du Pre (Laurel)
Danielle Nelson (Café Noire)
Brian Webster

  1. Raspberry Jam
  2. Nathan’s Funhouse
  3. AKA Jesus
  4. Gotta Love

This is the same Raspberry Jam that went on to release two albums for Metro One Records. In fact, if you have the CD version of their 1993 debut Chi-Ro, then you have these songs as bonus tracks on the end. And you also know how awesome they are. You can see why they were signed. This is high quality alternative rock. On this demo, all vocals are male, where as they have a female lead vocalists on their two label releases. Raspberry Jam is also know for releasing a feel good, groovy fun debut album, and then going in the completely opposite direction with their follow up. Oceanic is considered a classic dark, moody alternative/gothic rock masterpiece by many. To be honest, this demo is in between those two – more fun and loose than Oceanic, but more serious and darker than Chi-Ro. I believe they also had a demo called Buzz from 1993 that I have not heard.

Missing Information: who played what (although I can probably find out from Chi-Ro.)

Hunting Man – Plastic Coated Dream Land

Hunting Man
Plastic Coated Dream Land
1991 (no label)
Auckland, New Zealand

Dean McQuoid – Lead vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, BGV
Thom Cochrane – Keyboards
Dean Rush – Drums
Nick Davies – Electric guitar

Side 1:

  1. Flower Child
  2. Chains
  3. A Town Called Money

Side 2:

  1. Homeland
  2. Generation
  3. Solitary Man

For some reason, I used to think the name of this band was “Plastic Coated Dream Land” and the tape was called “Hunting Man.” This was because I got some mp3s of this demo that had it reversed, and listed as a 1987 release. I can see why they got it backwards – the cover certainly makes it seem that way, but the liner notes refers to the band as “Hunting Man.” They also appear on the ACM Journal: 3rd Anniversary Compilation CD as Hunting Man as well. The sound is a bit familiar, but hard to pin down. Imagine a Sunset Strip commercial band that was more influenced by The Cult than Motley Crue, but had some distinct slight influence of bands like Enuff Z’Nuff. But some songs, like “Homeland,” sound more like a mix between U2 musically and Midnight Oil (lyrically). It’s actually a really interesting combination that could have gone somewhere, but I don’t think they did, sadly.

Dodavahu – Dodavahu

1991 (no label)
Elkton, Maryland, USA

Possible band members:

Matt Kenenske – guitar, vocals
Darrell Jesonis – bass, little vocals
Luke Kenenske – drums, very little vocals

Side 1:

  1. Change
  3. A Prayer
  4. Still

Side 2:

  1. Waiting for So Long
  2. Silly World
  3. Compromise Hour
  4. As I Looked

This is the earliest known demo by heavy alternative/groove band Dodavahu. They went on to release at least one more demo (Buy This Tape – date unknown, possibly 1994) and one full length CD (Steamroller.Files in 1996) after this. They are often referred to as funk metal like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. While that is a good starting place, there is also comparisons to bands like Dig HayZoose and Four Living Creatures. Dodavahu was popular on compilations and tour circuits, so it is possible that you might have heard of them before. I love this type of music – it was kind of the next evolution of “heavy” before grunge came in and stole the whole “heavy alternative” crown. I don’t know much about this demo other than what I can find online. “Waiting for So Long,” “Silly World,” “Compromise Hour,” and “As I Looked” all made in onto Buy This Tape as well. At one point, someone shared an image of another demo of theirs, but I don’t know if this is the same demo with a different cover or a different one:

Missing Information: who played on this.

Eric H – Stan was a Plush Toy

Eric H
Stan was a Plush Toy
1991 (no label)
San Dimas, California, USA

Eric H – vocals and instruments

Side 1:

  1. Empty Train
  2. Stan’s Prelude
  3. ’62 Sandcastle
  4. Church Boy
  5. Billy Likes to Swing
  6. Sleep
  7. Stan was a Plush Toy
  8. The Deep End
  9. Sandmaster
  10. Celestial Cupcakes

Side 2:

  1. Frank-n-Stan
  2. Most of Nothing
  3. Pleasure Island
  4. Deep and Wide
  5. Christmas in Drasco
  6. Sick in Bed
  7. Teddy
  8. Sermonetiquette
  9. The Chance Meeting
  10. One Inch from Dumb
  11. Throwing out the Baby
  12. Fresno ‘81
  13. Frozen Yogurt Stan
  14. Stan’s Postlude

Eric H returns after Potluck Suicide to deliver more quirky, experimental keyboard-based music. While there are a lot of songs on this, most of them are between 1 and 2 minutes long. Eric mixes found noise with keyboard effects and percussion to create his music. He can actually write some catchy songs if you can take the lo-fi instruments he uses to realize them. If you remember playing around with a Casio keyboard in the 80s, thinking you could write cool music on it, but then never figured out how to do it… you might just love this tape. Eric H was one of the few that figured out how to make music and record it with his keyboard (probably much better quality than a department store Casio, though). Eric listed Daniel Amos and Devo among the influences for this demo, and also said it is “an obscure kind of allegory of sorts featuring sandbox life and armies of Grand Torinos – among other things.”

Fourth Estate – In Phase

Fourth Estate
In Phase
1991 (no label)
Loveland, Colorado, USA

Dave Beegle – Guitar
Fred Babich – Bass
Jim Iltis – Drums

  1. Burning Bridges
  2. Juggernaut
  3. Taste of Heaven
  4. Nosmo King
  5. Hello

More quality instrumental/jam metal/rock from this talented trio. This is the last demo release of theirs after Edge of the Shadow (1989) and Fourth Estate (1988). No vocals again, but also quality songs that are not just meant to be shred-fests. Well – almost no vocals. There is someone answering a phone at the beginning of “Hello,” before it breaks into an 80s Miami Vice-ish beat (with guitars wailing over the top, of course). Two of these songs would go on to appear on later full length albums (“Juggernaut” on Finesse and Fury in 1994 and “Taste of Heaven” on See What I See in 1995). Also, it seems that one song is a newer version of a 1987 Beegle solo track – an earlier version of “Hello” can be found on the Dustbuster Demos collection.