The Smyrna Band – In the Deep of the Night (lp)

The Smyrna Band
In the Deep of the Night
1984 Morada Records (MZS 168)
Black Mountain, North Dakota, USA

Ron Thompson – Vocals, guitar
Tim Bode – Keyboards
Steve Senn – Drums, vocals

Side 1:

  1. In the Deep of the Night
  2. Disneyland USA
  3. Two Sides
  4. Borrowed Time
  5. Never Gets Cold

Side 2:

  1. Rejoice
  2. I Once Was a Man
  3. Vision
  4. Thru the Fire
  5. I See Jesus

So, technically I got this as a record instead of a tape. But I saw it on sale in a clearance list at a cheap price and decided to grab it to see how it compares to the EP version. It seems that having a full label behind the band helped them put out a higher quality project. The sound here is basically 80s rock, maybe with a slight new wave/alternative rock leaning. A little light and normal compared to what I usually listen to, but to be honest – I really like it. “In the Deep of the Night,” “Disneyland USA,” “Two Sides,” and “Never Gets Cold” are all repeated from the ep. They are pretty much the same versions of the songs, just different recordings.

Azusa Street Band – Yield

Azusa Street Band
1985 Morada Records (MZS-332)
Pontiac, Michigan, USA

Steve Hall – Lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars
Dave Yarnall – Roland JX3P, Yamaha DX7, acoustic piano, CP35; lead vocals on “Shoulder” and “First Hello”
Randy Meador – Rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals
Bill Curton – Electric bass, backing vocals
Mark Orr – Drums, percussion

Side 1:

  1. Something So Simple
  2. It’s Up to You
  3. Satan’s Pushover
  4. Shoulder to Cry On
  5. Head Above the Water

Side 2:

  1. Selling Out
  2. First Hello Last Goodbye
  3. Who’s Fooling You
  4. Second Chance
  5. Why be Normal

This is a rare release on a label that was known for heavier releases by bands like Saint and Messiah Prophet, as well as several lighter releases. This release is compared to Messiah Prophet and 911 on one site. Maybe 911 – but this is not really heavy metal at all. It is rock that goes into hard rock category at times. Add a bit harder edge on several songs to make this have a few head-bangers would make this tape more my style, but still not bad at all. In the mid-80s, there was a huge audience for this kind of rock, so it’s not like the band was missing out on anything by going for a less heavy approach.