Glenn Rowlands – Under the Desert Moon

Glenn Rowlands
Under the Desert Moon
1993 Floppy Fish Records
San Bernadino, California, USA

Glenn Rowlands – Vocals, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass, xylophone, Big Bird, rain stick, bamboo flute, some percussion

Ron McClure – Drums on “Holding On,” “Under the Desert Moon,” and “Losing a Friend”
Deanna Quillman – Backing vocals on “Losing a Friend”
Robert Powell – Drums on “Help Me Understand,” “Rain on Me,” and “I Don’t Have Anything”

Side 1:

  1. Help Me Understand
  2. Everything is OK
  3. Holding On
  4. Reign on Me
  5. Under the Desert Moon
  6. Somebody Done Ya Wrong

Side 2:

  1. Jesus Wept
  2. My Boy
  3. I Wait for Your Rain
  4. Someday
  5. I Don’t Have Anything
  6. In the City
  7. Losing a Friend

This has been another high priority tape for me for a while. I actually used to own this tape, but then it disappeared. I didn’t sell it, so someone must have walked off with it. Anyways, Rowlands is the guitarist for thrash / hardcore / death metal band Wicked’s End. This was his solo debut that shocked quite a few people that didn’t realize band members could have diverse tastes. The main influence here is classic rock from Led Zeppelin to The Beatles. I liked it back in the day, and it still holds up today. It is DIY and rough in places, but that is part of the charm. About half of the sings (“Everything is OK,” “Reign on Me,” “Somebody Done Ya Wrong,” “Jesus Wept,” “My Boy,” “Someday,” and “I Don’t Have Anything”) were re-recorded / updated for Rowlands’ 1994 CD Time Will Tell. The rest were left on this tape. Also of note is that Wicked’s End drummer Robert Powell joined Rowlands on a few songs, as did Towne Cryer drummer Ron McClure.

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Extol – Embraced

Extol
Embraced
1997 (no label)
Bekkestua, Bærum, Norway

Peter Espevoll – Vocals
Christer Espevoll – Guitars
Emil Nikolaisen – Guitars
Ole Børud – Bass
David Husvik – Drums

  1. Embraced
  2. Track II
  3. Independent

Brutal stuff! For those that don’t know, Extol was an extreme metal band that mixed elements of death metal, black metal, and thrash metal. This was their first demo, and to my ears this sounds more on the death metal side with some hints of black metal here and there. I know that the song “Embraced” made it on to their full-length debut called Embraced, but I don’t know about the other two since they have such generic names and I am not as familiar with all of Extol’s work.

Blank Face – Three Free

Blank Face
Three Free
1996 (no label)
Elmwood Park, Illinois, USA

David J. Pisciotto – vocals and instruments

  1. Sin Disease
  2. On the Cross
  3. Thirst

If you listened to many industrial compilations back in the day, especially those that were on R.E.X. Music, then you have already heard 2/3 of this tape and know it is a great tape. Blank Face got some attention for their songs on the comps and then seemed to vanish. The sound here is guitar-driven industrial, more hard rock/heavy alternative in style than heavy metal, but still well made. This was the second of two known demos from Blank Face, the other being Trinity. I haven’t heard that one, so I don’t know if any songs repeat from here to there. The third song on this tape that most haven’t heard fits in great with the others stylistically.

Conviction of Sin – Live (Godcore 3)

Conviction of Sin
Live (Godcore 3)
1989 The Furnace Room

Burrito – Vocals
Keith – Guitar
Mark Brown – Bass
Doni Daudel – Drums

Tracy G – Guitar overdubs

Side 1:

  1. Intro
  2. I Don’t Know You
  3. Your Choice
  4. No Religion
  5. S. Decay

Side 2:

  1. Revelations 3:16
  2. Human Holocaust
  3. Back to the Cross
  4. Look to God

Conviction of Sin was an early Christian Punk band that Burrito of The Warning / 8 Ball Cholos fame was in before joining Moral Majority. This tape is part of the three-part Godcore tapes that chronicled Conviction of Sin and Moral Majority. These tapes are rare and very hard to find, so I was glad to hear at least one of them. Hopefully the other two will pop up soon. At one time Burrito was going to release all of this digitally, but that didn’t seem to happen. This tape is a live concert recording, and kind of rough at that. It’s hard to hear at times, but you can mainly tell it is hardcore punk. Well, except for the intro track – it’s like a keyboard guitar solo build-up thing that bands like Stryper did. Kind of odd. Also, the first song after the intro is the only one where Burrito doesn’t say “this song is…” – so I took a guess at what its title was. But it also sounds a bit like they are maybe screaming “Derelict!” a lot as well. So maybe that is the title? The last song also cuts off halfway through.

Seventh Seal – Ruff Draff

Seventh Seal
Ruff Draff
1986 (no label)
Palmdale, California, USA

David Cassells – Lead Vocals
J.R. Montgomery – Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, BGVs
Melvin Booker – Lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Shawn Montgomery – Bass, BGVs
Sylvester Hearns – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Back on Track
  2. Never Loved
  3. I.A.

Side 2:

  1. Interview

The debut single from Seventh Seal proves that their second demo Ruff Draff Too was no fluke. Apparently they had signed to Blonde Vinyl Records to record a full length album, but weren’t able to once the label folded. Too bad – their two demos showcase a very hot band that could shred and write catchy songs. This tape also captures an interview with the band on side two that tells you more about where the band came from (they saw themselves as a Pro-American band more than a Christian band, but also were not shy in saying they are Christians when asked).

The Paul Q-Pek Band – Truth Be Told

The Paul Q-Pek Band
Truth Be Told
1987 (no label)
Austin, Texas, USA

Paul Q-Pek – Lead vocals, guitars
Sam Nunes – Bass guitar, vocals
Michael Willoughby – Keyboards, vocals
Phillip Owens – Drums, vocals

  1. Truth Be Told
  2. Kingdom Come
  3. Lowery
  4. Boxes
  5. Tear Down the Walls
  6. The Healing

If you ever heard the Cool Tunes compilation, you probably heard the track from the Paul Q-Pek Band and wondered if that was a one-off song in a completely different style than Paul’s main band One Bad Pig, or if he really had other sides than punk? Well, his solo CD eventually answered that, but now I have this demo tape to confirm that he was indeed going for a keyboard alternative rock style for the whole demo. It’s actually pretty good. There are still some similarities here and there to One Bad Pig – like the gang vocals in the title track (and the fact that OBP drummer Phillip Owens plays in this band as well). But otherwise this is different than the Pig in most ways. “Mrs. Lowry” and “Boxes” are not really songs as much as sung or spoken word performance pieces. As you can see from the cover, this tape has no title listed, but other sources have it as “Truth Be Told,” so that is what I call it here. Q-Pek had at least two demo tapes from the same period: Wrestle for You and Passion & Fear.

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).