9 Red Roses – Scream

9 Red Roses
Scream
1989 (no label)
Fremont, California, USA

Justin Stevens – Vocals, guitar
Douglas Yates – Keyboards, guitar, vocals
Scott Rohde – Bass, lead bass, vocals
Jeremy Hawley – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Where Do the Children Play?
  2. Scream
  3. No Man’s Land
  4. Blood Drive
  5. I Give My All

Side 2:

  1. Hope
  2. Inside the Mind
  3. Fashion Compassion
  4. Arms of Strength
  5. Hallelujah
  6. Inside the Mind (reprise)

So what is this? A full-length demo by 9 Red Roses that I have never heard of… that pre-dates some of the others I have? What? Wow. There are always surprises when digging into the tape underground. The line-up for this version of the band is different than the S/T demo from the next year. So it seems that this was a band started by Justin Stevens (who went on to form Dime Store Prophets), and then everyone else left, and some former members of The Lonely Now joined later on in the life of this band. The songs “No Man’s Land,” “Blood Drive,” “Hope,” and “Inside the Mind” are all on the un-dated Hope demo – so I wonder if that demo is actually earlier than this one? I had thought Hope was possibly a 1991 release, but that could be wrong. Only the song “Hope” made it on to the 1990 S/T demo ep. Anyways, this is still some excellent U2-influenced 80s alternative rock. I’m glad Stevens eventually got signed with the Dime Store Prophets, but it was a shame this band never got the chance to get these songs out there. Also of note: Sean Doty of Veil of Ashes fame played harmonica on the song “Hallelujah,” and Doty and Nelson DiMarco of The Hounds of Heaven produce this demo.

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9 Red Roses – 9 Red Roses

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

Justin Stevens – Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Phil Watson – Guitar, vocals
Marc Allyn – Bass
Kevin Reimer – Drums

Side 1:

  1. The Better Part of Me
  2. Stand Like a Man
  3. ‘Til the Day I Die

Side 2:

  1. Wayward Wind
  2. Sweet Angeline
  3. Hope

Believe it or not, I do sometimes buy tapes on my own. Problem is, I am cheap and most tapes are now growing out of my price range. But occasionally I do find one or two I can afford. That was the case with this demo. After hearing their other demo Hope and finding out this band evolved into Dimestore Prophets, I had track this one down. And I wasn’t disappointed. While they haven’t developed the sound that Dimestore Prophets was known for, this is still excellent slab of late 80s/early 90s alternative rock. I don’t think any of these songs made it on to later releases, as that was at least 5-ish years later. Phil Watson and Kevin Reimer were also former members of The Lonely Now, which at one time featured Masaki Liu, who would later join Justin Stevens in Dimestore Prophets. Masaki Liu was also the engineer on this release. The only song that is shared between this demo and Hope is “Hope” (as it should be – such a great song).

9 Red Roses – Demo

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

Possible members:

Masaki Liu
Kevin Reimer
Justin Stevens

  1. No Man’s Land
  2. Blood Drive
  3. Inside the Mind
  4. Fear of the Inevitable

This is a generic cassette with 4 of the songs from the other 9 Red Roses demo on it. These are similar versions, with a few differences and song lengths. I’m not sure if this is an earlier or later demo than the last one, but it is still some great late-80s alternative rock from the band that evolved into Dime Store Prophets.

Missing Information: Who played on this demo? What year was it released?

9 Red Roses – Hope

9 Red Roses
Hope
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