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.

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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.

The Calm – The Calm

The Calm
The Calm
1995 (no label)
Manassas, Virginia, USA

Possible band members:

Ellyn Bussey – Vocals
PJ Bussey – Guitars
Daniel Wilkinson – Bass
Tim Shoemaker – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Time Divider
  2. Purity
  3. Then…

Side 2:

  1. The Calm That Rules the Storm
  2. What of the Night

I remember being really impressed with this band’s 1994 demo, and this demo does not disappoint, either. The band is PJ Bussey and Daniel Wilkinson of Armageddon and Ellyn Bussey of Sorrow of Seven after PJ and Ellyn got married. They continue with their progressive gothic metal sound on this release as well. “The Calm That Rules the Storm” from their last demo is the only song from that one that made it on here. I don’t know of any more demos after this one until 1998’s Confessions of a Thirsty Tongue (when they finally give their demo a name and cover).

Jigsaw – The Adventures of Claire BlueChair

Jigsaw
The Adventures of Claire BlueChair
1995 (no label)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Pectoral Pete – Bass, vocals, visual time keeper
Nitro Nikkel – Acoustic guitar, vocals, Latin lover
The Ultimate Gabe – Rhythm section, absolutely no vocals, quickest to secumb to responsibility
Cam the Kannibal Kid – Electric guitars, vocals, teeny-weeny cymbals, treasurer

Side 1:

  1. Weed
  2. Ant
  3. The Wrestling Song

Side 2:

  1. The Fly
  2. Bloodthirst

If you can’t tell by the band names above, this is a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Despite some metal sounding nicknames as well, this is not a metal band. It’s kind of an alternative acoustic funk metal band. The first song is like an acoustic Red Hot Chili Peppers song. But they also have some electric guitar songs that take up the same space as the Peppers, Dig Hay Zoose, and Don’t Know. I also shouldn’t forget to mention that the tape comes with a small B&W 3”x4” comic book that has the lyrics and the story of Claire BlueChair in it. The tape cover makes it seem like they have 7 demos before this one… but some names are just Solitudes – Sound of the Lavatory and Live with C+C Music Factory… so I am not sure how many of these are real. I have read a review of another demo called Smorgasbord, which I can hopefully get my hands on some day.

Bottom Line – Between U and Me

Bottom Line
Between U and Me
1995 (no label)
South Lake Tahoe, California, USA

Scott Thomas – Lead Vocals
Russ Cootey – All guitars
The Unstoppable Rev. Chim Chim – Bass
Jeremy Orris – Drums

  1. Pull the Plank
  2. Between U and Me
  3. Stand Up
  4. False Fase
  5. Apology

Another nondescript cover, but it is from 1995… so probably not metal? They do start off with some crunchy guitars and metallic riffs. But there are also some hardcore break-downs as well, while the singer sounds like a mix of Dig Hay Zoose and Ugly Kid Joe. As this goes along, my best guess is that they are doing 90s groove metal with a bit of funk metal thrown in. The overall mix on this tape is really thin – you usually hear a think, bass heavy sound with this style of music, so that is why I am not totally sure of the style.

Deep 4 Life – It’s Time to Repent

 

Deep 4 Life
It’s Time to Repent
1995 Kross Road Records
Houston, Texas, USA

Side 1:

  1. Ain’t No Player Hatin
  2. Southern Conversation

Side 2:

  1. Make Love to Your Mind
  2. Life or Death

I wish that I had more time to search YouTube and find more stuff like this. People are uploading all kinds of rare tapes. You can listen to this one below. This is mid-90s rap, which I don’t know a while lot about in general. I was more of an 80s rap fan. But this reminds me of T-Bone. They went on to release the full-length One Foot in the Grave in 1996, with all 4 of these songs making another appearance. Also, all four of these songs were on a four song 12-inch record called One Foot in the Grave as well. I’m not sure who all is in this group – Klas One is listed on discogs, but there is also a picture of ten people there as well. Klas One went on to release some solo CDs as well.

Thresh – Demo

Thresh
Demo
1995 (no label)
Poulsbo, Washington, USA

Jeff Schronce – Guitars, lead vocals
Duffy Williams – Bass, vocals
Scott Snyder – Drums

  1. Shovel
  2. All is Well
  3. Repaired
  4. Where I Stand

Hmmm… a three piece band from the Seattle area with a 1995 tape. I wonder what style this could be? I thought this band name was familiar, but I couldn’t find much info online. After searching my music files, I found where I have heard of them before: they had a song (called, well, “They”) that was featured on an HM Magazine monthly sampler, as well as one of the same magazine’s Pick of the Litter compilations. They have an 8 song CD after this tape, but I can’t find any more information on it. Grunge is a style that can get tiring fast, but this band does a good job of mixing in enough alt-rock sensibility to keep it all interesting.

Update: After digging up an archive of the band’s website, I found out that Jeff Schronce used to be in the metal band Paragon with Paul Roraback of Grammatrain, and Scott Synder used to play in alternative bands like Human Condition and Mercy.