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Sunday, June 25, 2006


Stinkrock is right. I do like some horrible music. The vast majority of music that I listen to that can be truly termed awful is music that I got into in the very early eighties when I was a teenager consumed with heavy metal - before, and I wan't to make this clear, before certain bands from California ruined metal.

First and foremost among these bands of ill repute, these kings of mediocre metal, these also rans, these forgotten stepchildren of a genre has produced more guffaw than awe is Saxon.

Saxon - Saxon CD

Mike Wilson stared it. He came back from college with Saxon's 'Strong Arm Of The Law' (their third release) record on a cassette that had the first 'Angelwitch' record on side two. Mr. L Smart, the artist currently known as Milkyum (Mike's brother), wasn't all that impressed, but that tape made a huge impact on me. 'Wheels of Steel' was certainly one of the most frequently played LPs on my turntable back in High School (80-84). The title track from that record made an impact on Tony Alva as well, as it happens to have, in his opinion, a truly awful chorus.

Saxon - Wheels Of Steel CD

The forementioned 'Angelwitch' was not as huge of a record for me at the time. It was a little too devil-centric for me. Maybe it was a product of a fear my mother instilled in me via Catholicism, but overly evil based bands always turned me off. If you sang about satan more than Sabbath; I wasn't into you. Dio, Venom, Mercyful Fate, and Slayer would be examples of bands that just went too far with the lucifer lauding for my taste.

Angel Witch ad

That being said, I do like the first 'Angelwitch' record, which in retrospect was less Old Scratch oriented than it's cover art and song titles otherwise suggested, much like Judas Priest. Anyway, at some point in the late eighties, when I was expanding my tastes, I gave away a number of metal records, one of which was 'Angelwitch'. I have searched high and low for a vinyl copy of it in recent years. I might have to order it on-line from Japan.

Angel Witch - Angel Witch

As always seemed to be the case back then, I got into Krokus early with their 1979 release 'Metal Rendezvous'.

My favorite Krokus record was the follow-up, 1981's 'Hardware'. It had a grit and a sense of humor that I found endearing, like AC/DC. Unfortunatly Switzerland's premier metal act succumbed to the pressures of American hair band success, and like Saxon, and even reputable metal acts like Priest, they started to suck in an attempt to sell.

Ah, Accept. The rediculous factor reaches skyward here. By 1983's 'Balls To The Wall' they were falling in line with the hair metal syndrome, but early Accept records like 'Breaker', and the truly metal 'Restless and Wild', were mainstays of Jackson's musical life in these those heady days of true metal.

Accept - Restless And Wild CD

Rounding up my terrible taste selections is Raven. These guys were so over the top they were hard to take serious even back in the day. I never could listen to a whole Raven LP, but they had two great EPs:

Raven,Born To Be Wild,UK,Deleted,7

'Crash, Bang Wallop' was one of those records that sounded exactly like the title suggests. In 1983, Raven would team up with Accept fromtman Udo Dirkscneider for what would be the last gasp of true metal. The 'Break the Chain' single featured two b-sides. A cover of 'Born To Be Wild' which is comical, and the absolutely fantastic 'Inquisitor'. Next to Maiden's 'Total Eclipse' on the b-side of 'Number of the Beast', 'Inquisitor' is the second greatest metal b-side (non LP track).

Hey, I was young, and I liked what I liked. I make no apologies, and I am, if nothing, loyal, and I still listen (occasionally) to these records. I hope I always will.

Don't let the snobby art rockers force you into hiding Jackson! Saxon does indeed suck, but that... Okay, Angelwitch sucks pretty bad too, but never let the man dictate what you like or don't like:-)
All these bands suck, but each has or had some endearing quality. Dumb as virtue, or dumb-ass virtue.
Who you callin' a snobby art rocker? My name is 'stinkrock', for chrissakes. I don't even own any Can albums!
btw, this was just a tongue-in-cheek response to Jackson's "the stuff I hate actually sucks" comment. In the interest of full disclosure I think it's big of Jackson to point out that the stuff he likes sucks, too.
Which supports my initial statement - for me to really not like something it has to really suck - worse than these bands is pretty fucking awful.
I have enough musical skeletons in my closet that I can appreciate Jacksons taste for trash. Besides, as a guy who learned a lot of rock guitar from "Guitar for the Practising Musician" magazine, I saw more than my share of Krokus tablature.
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