Process – Impressions

Process
Impressions
1995 (no label)
Margate, Florida, USA

Cory Mauro – Vocals, bass guitar
Tom Saboia – Guitars
Christian Nacer – Keyboards
Scott Tryon – Percussion

Side 1:

  1. Impressions
  2. World in Motion
  3. Truth in Lies
  4. Light
  5. Hammer

Side 2:

  1. Archetypes
  2. Boundless Void

This one starts off as kind of a mellow alternative rock, but soon moves into progressive rock territory. I’d say it is kind of exploring more American progressive rock than Canadian progressive rock, but there are some noticeable Rush influences in the music as well. The vocalist obviously has a lower register than Geddy Lee and therefore this will never been seen as a Rush clone, but there are other noticeable influences from them. But like I said, it seems to lean on many American prog bands. The sound isn’t incredibly heavy, but the guitarist is a very skilled shredder. Well, I would actually say all of the musicians are very skilled. The track order on the j-card seems to be off – I put the correct song order above.

Pentecost – Deep Knead

Pentecost
Deep Knead
1995 (no label)
Alabaster, Alabama, USA

Nathan O’ Neal – Vocals
Warren Martin – Guitars
Rick Glaze – Bass
Tim Martin – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Just Jesus
  2. Jesus in E
  3. Old Man Rotter
  4. Bar-B-Q the Goat
  5. Suckcess
  6. Cat-of-9-Tails

Side 2:

  1. Page 130
  2. New Perspective
  3. God of the Little Rooms
  4. Coming Home
  5. Deny Yourself
  6. Just Jesus (reprise)

So the first track starts off a little weird for those that are not from a Pentecostal church background, but pretty soon the music kicks in. The sound here is basically early grunge in sound, but you hear nods to everything from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Collective Soul to even funk metal like Scapegoat and Sage. Some of the songs are pretty straight ahead early grunge, but other songs like “Jesus in E’ sound like Sage’s “Den of Thieves” mixed with the Prayer Chain’s Whirlpool ep. I’m kind of surprised that this band didn’t go any further than they did. Or maybe they changed names to something else? You never know with many of these tapes. At times, some of the mixtures of sounds here remind me of what Four Living Creatures did at times (with some non-Western time signatures and melodies).

Kettleblack – Look Into My Eye

Kettleblack
Look Into My Eye
1995 (no label)
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Glen van Alkemade – Keyboards, sequences, percussion
Roy Montroy – Guitar, sequencing, drum programming
Don Hill – Bass, percussion
Dave Canfield – Vocals, percussion

Side 1:

  1. Cartouche
  2. Hidden Rift
  3. Seems So Real
  4. Step Outside My Skin

Side 2:

  1. Medicine Man
  2. Creation
  3. My Rose

You might remember Kettleblack from their song “Medicine Man” on the R.E.X. Music compilation Electro Shock Therapy in 1995. What you might not have known is that the Roy Montroy listed above is the same one that was in Resurrection Band. This band was connected to Cornerstone. Of course, the sound is industrial, but with a fuller band vibe. They don’t get into thrash metal territory like Circle of Dust, but “a more hard rock version of Circle of Dust” is a good comparison here. This appears to be their first and only release, which is too bad.

Sappo – Wobble [expanded edition]

Sappo
Wobble [expanded edition]
1995 Yep Records
Portland, Oregon

Todd Fadel – Vocals, guitar
Tim Fadel – Bass, vocals
Steve Poor – Drums, vocals

  1. Purity
  2. Lucille
  3. Siren
  4. Switch
  5. Sister
  6. Pee Wee is Still Dead
  7. God Without Passion
  8. Purity (live)
  9. Switch (live)
  10. Pee Wee is Still Dead (live)
  11. Prank Call (live)
  12. Invention (live)
  13. Lucille (live)
  14. Imagination (live)
  15. God Without Passion (live)
  16. Siren (live)
  17. Switch (alternate version)

The good people (or is it just one person?) behind The Corral on Spincycle have released an expanded edition of Sappo’s Wobble tape. Sappo is probably most well-known for their release Kindred Spearmint on Organic Records in 1997. “Siren” from this demo, as well as “Imagination” from the bonus tracks on this release, were both re-recorded for Kindred Spearmint. The original release of this cassette was only the first four tracks, so everything after that is bonus tracks. A lot of bonus tracks. Pure awesomeness. Sappo’s sound was an interesting mix of 90s alternative and grunge, maybe somewhere between Blind Melon and Pearl Jam. But not really. Kind of hard to describe, but it still sounds very NW scene. You can listen for free, or put some money towards future re-releases like this.

Thryce Denied – Modern Day Magdalene

Thryce Denied
Modern Day Magdalene
1995 (no label)
Castro Valley, California, USA

Marinda Savage – Lead vocals
Darren Savage – Guitars
Brad Barth – Keyboards
Don Deluze – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Modern Day Magdalene
  2. Humble Pride
  3. Doctrines of Demons
  4. Rose of Sharon

Side 2:

  1. Pilgrims Progress
  2. Ready for Fire
  3. Up to No Good
  4. Smoke Filled Room

The band name sounds metal, but the first track starts off with a blues rock number. The female vocals sound like they could be metal-ish, so maybe just a different start? Nope, second song is blues rock, a bit heavier guitar, but still not hard rock either. So I guess this is a blues rock band? They are pretty good at it, so no complaints. Oh, wait – the third song starts off with a clever use of samples to mock the prosperity gospel and then jumps into a straight out commercial metal song. Okay, so they are a band with several styles it seems. The 4th song is a metal ballad. Side 2 starts off with a blues rock song, moves into a slower paced hard rock/commercial metal song, then moves into another blues rock song, and finally another metal balled. It was released in the mid-90s, and many bands were exploring different styles while still trying to meet the expectations of older metal fans. Maybe that was the case here?

Ängst – The Null Hypothesis

Ängst
The Null Hypothesis
1995 137 Records
New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Matthew M. Nordan – vocals, instruments

Side 1:

  1. Descent
  2. Who am I to Question God?
  3. Warm Dry Cell
  4. Exactly Precisely
  5. Godshaped Void
  6. Shades of Light
  7. Positive

Side 2:

  1. Lollapalooza
  2. Boiling Point
  3. Effexor (Venlafaxine HCl)
  4. Persistence
  5. Five in the Chamber
  6. Nothing Else

Ängst was one of a few industrial bands that didn’t make it onto a label for a full release, but gained considerable visibility with compilation appearances and underground releases. It was also one of many one-person projects. This appears to be the last Ängst demo, released the same year as their second demo Black And. The sound on this demo is a bit of a mixture of several sounds – house, techno, rock, metal, etc- wrapped in an industrial shell. The vocals are clearer and more pop-oriented than your typical industrial bands. “Warm Dry Cell,” “Godshaped Void,” “Lollapalooza,” “Boiling Point,” “Effexor (Veniafaxine HCL),” “Nothing Else,” and a live version of “Five in the Chamber” were all included on the 1999 Ängst compilation Anger, Lust, Frustration, Fear, And Fun from Flaming Fish Music. This means that just under half of the songs are exclusive to this tape.

Blot – Blot

Blot
Blot
1995 Independent
MacClenny, Florida, USA

Scott – Guitar, vocals
Kevin – Guitar
Kevin – Bass
Blinky – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Call It Real
  2. Darkness
  3. Don’t You Know

Side 2:

  1. Let Me In
  2. Conversation
  3. Monochrome

Blot appeared on a Floppy Fish Record’s Fish Faves compilation back in the day. The sound is mostly grunge-ish metal and alternative. The vocals are a bit more on the screeching metal side than low-register grunge, and the guitar solos feel more metal than grunge on many songs. But the down-tuned guitars and song structures all sit squarely in the grunge realm. There are other songs that venture into alternative rock territory. Its an interesting mix, although it does seem to work better when they lean more towards metal than alternative.