Ethereal Soul – Not Bad For a White Boy

Ethereal Soul
Not Bad For a White Boy
1995 (no label)
Liberty, Missouri, USA

Jeremy Walla – Vocals, guitar
Mike Minter – Guitar
Grady Merritt – Bass, BGVs
Tyson Brown – Drums, cattle prod

Side 1:

  1. Deified
  2. V’Gain
  3. Bury You With a Smile
  4. Digression
  5. Hindsight ‘95

Side 2:

  1. There’s No Salvation
  2. Loving Dedication
  3. Asinine
  4. Stars in My Eyes
  5. Under

Ethereal Soul is a band name that you might not recognize, but you have heard of them. Their story starts out when some of the members were in a metal band called Abhor Evil. They put out two tapes and got one of their songs on the R.E.X. Demolition II compilation (that is where you have probably heard them). They were going in a heavy funk metal route kind of like Red Hot Chili Peppers. Several labels wanted to sign them, but it was Blonde Vinyl Records that won. Michael Knott just didn’t like the band’s name, so they changed it to Ethereal Soul. They were on their way to record their debut when Knott called them and told them the label had folded. They continued on, even recording a debut CD Sounds Like a Cereal Bowl in 1994. This is where I actually heard them. Jeremy Walla actually joined Dig Hay Zoose (another influence on their sound) as a second guitarist for a tour that I saw DHZ perform on. My friend at the time chatted with Jeremy and decided to buy the Ethereal Soul CD he was also selling. We jammed to it on the long drive home from Dallas to Waco. It was trippy. I regretted not getting a copy. So fast forward to the MySpaxe years. I somehow found Walla online, and he sent me a copy of their CD and this follow-up tape. I love this kind of music, so it was good to hear their other music. Anyways, Walla is an excellent graphic designer now (http://www.jeremywalla.com/) and even put all of the music online for you to stream (http://www.etherealsoul.com/). Anyways, the music is a mixture of DHZ, RHCP, Michael Knott, and several other sounds to make it their own. Turns out they also had a demo called Heck of It that I had not heard also. Cool stuff.

20/20 Blind – 4-Wheel Drive

20/20 Blind
4-Wheel Drive
1995 (no label)
Houston, Texas, USA

Wallace Chase – Vocals
Rocketman McNeelly – Guitars
Schon Alkire – Bass
Chris Laurents – Drums

  1. Wolf
  2. Scorpio
  3. You Think You Know Me
  4. What I Say Goes

This is an unreleased demo that the band put up for download on their Facebook page. The band describes it as “a good example of how our sound was changing and where we were headed.” It is also up on YouTube right now (see below), but apparently coming to other services like Spotify soon. As far as those differences? It seems that the sound is a bit more alternative and grungy. It still has a bit of the funky progressive sound from Never Far. I like it – too bad they weren’t able to continue on past one album.

Preacher – Welcome to Forever

Preacher
Welcome to Forever
1995 Pulpit Records
Kendall, Michigan, USA

Tony Black – Vocals, all instruments

Side 1:

  1. Man of Sorrow
  2. My Life
  3. O.D.
  4. Into the Fire

Side 2:

  1. The Ritual
  2. Prove
  3. Cemetery
  4. Welcome to Forever
  5. Monastery

Wow – some seriously shredding thrash metal here. I think the drums might even be programmed here, but it still shreds. One of the guitars also has an interesting effect on it that sounds like a buzzsaw of some kind. This and the drum programming give it the feel of an industrial album at times – not a bad thing. It would have been interesting for them to embrace the industrial aspect with some samples. The vocals are kind of a mix of Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth influences as well. From what I can find online, this might be a one-man project by Tony, which makes it all the more impressive. There also maybe another Preacher release before or after this one called Sanctuary of the Dead.

Pond Scum – 6-Song Demo

Pond Scum
6-Song Demo
1995? (no label)
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Roger Dale Martin – Lead & rhythm guitars, lead vocals
Mel Webb – Bass guitar, backup vocals
Todd G. Norris – Drums, Percussion

Doug Atkins – Guest guitar, organ, and backup vocals

Side 1:

  1. Study
  2. Gonna Get Hot
  3. Bring It On

Side 2:

  1. Sweet Home
  2. Those Times
  3. Full On

Pond Scum is known as the band that Roger Dale Martin formed at some point after Vengeance Rising and Die Happy. There is no date on the tape, but the song “Sweet Home” did appear on the Fish Faves Volume 2 compilation in 1995, so it is generally assumed it was released that year. The sound is really nothing like any of Martin’s past bands, however – this is blues rock, heavily influenced by Texas blues musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughn. Occasionally you here some metal influences coming out, but the whole tape stays in the blues rock category.

Nonpoint Factor – Promotional Cassette

Nonpoint Factor
Promotional Cassette
1995 A.R.T. Records
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Kermit Rodriguez – Vocals
Sam Salinas – Guitars
Alexis Benitez – Bass
Robb Rivera – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Breeding Thoughts (rough mix)

Side 2:

  1. Whispers (rough mix)

This is a short two song promo cassette from Nonpoint Factor. These two songs have not be released elsewhere, so I guess they are songs from the band’s unreleased Anger Through an Art Form album? They had also released Depression ’94 and  A New Breed of Anger in 1995, but these songs are not on there. Too bad, because like their other releases, these songs are great. This tape sees the band transitioning more into 90s thrash metal and nu-metal than they were on 1992’s Dementia… Into Reality. Not too long after this tape, the band shortened their name to Nonpoint and released Generate in 1996.

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?