Monthly Archives: June 2017

[Crate Digging] Max Havoc-S/T

 

There’s that saying that never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.

I’d like to offer a spin on that. Never go to a record show after you’ve watched a music documentary.

That’s how I plunked down too much money for the debut album of Max Havoc. “Who the hell is Max Havoc?” you may ask. Just like you I had never heard of them until I saw Inside L.A. Metal. It is an anthology series on the early days of the Sunset Strip before the boom era of the mid to late 80’s. It’s a fun watch, plus it has lots of great pics and footage of bands I have never heard of. One of those bands was Max Havoc. They played all the well known clubs and had an association with Bill Ward of Black Sabbath. Apparently Max Havoc was supposed to be Ward’s new band. The guys that are here are fantastic. This came out in 1983, well before the glam dominant sound that would  soon follow. This still has a 70’s influence to it. It’s kicks of with “I’m the Show” a party rocker but with a lot more power behind it. In doing research on Max Havoc I saw one reviewer say they’re a mix of Van Halen and Saxon. Given the time, that’s a pretty solid comparison. My favorite track is “Bound for Hell”. Has a little bit of swagger to it and the band shows their love for Zeppelin half way through.

I have had this record spinning non-stop for a solid week . Just a fantastic listen and am dumbfounded as to why they never made it. My guess is by the time the boom hit they were considered old hat. This was released on Triple Platinum Records and the only release by that label. It doesn’t take a genius to deduce that this was the bands label. The only negative I have about this album is the cover.

It’s awful.

Really awful.

Seriously, it’s atrocious.

Besides the disgustingly bad art, the band’s name isn’t on the cover. Who’s brilliant idea was that? Plus it makes them look like a NWOBHM band, and they’re not. These guys are rockers.

So it’s obvious I like it, the question is how much did I pay for it. Like i said at the start, I was in the susceptible headspace when purchasing it. Nonetheless, I laid down a whopping $30 for the Max Havoc LP.

I really really under paid

I really under paid

Paid about right

I over paid

I should have lit my money on fire

 

It’s in really nice condition but I admittedly paid too much. Not that I’m upset about buying it, but this is a $20 record.

 

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[Crate Digging] Little Steven-Voice of America

Let’s get something straight from the start. My buying Voice Of America has nothing to do with Bruce Springsteen.

I hate Bruce Springsteen.

I loathe Bruce Springsteen.

I would not date someone if she liked Bruce Springsteen.

The main reason I bought this album is because Jean Beauvoir is on it. Every Kiss fanatic knows that name plus he was in the Plasmatics. Helluva a career if you ask me. I was a little surprised to see that Jean did not write any songs on this, especially when you hear how AOR this album is.

Both sides Track 1’s would fit perfectly in an montage during an 80’s movie , which is the proper definition of AOR. “Voice of America” is very bouncy but “Los Desparecidos” has a bit of a sinister streak to it. It is also one of the songs you could easily hear Bruce doing. Interesting side note is that this album came out a month before Born in The USA came out.

Sadly, those are the best parts. This was recorded around the time Steven was doing his Sun City stuff so it is very political. Worse, it comes across as really corny. “Solidarity” is a bad Ska song about polish labor leader Lech Walesa.

Seriously? Who wants to rock out to that?

“Justice”, “I Am A Patriot”, “Checkpoint Charlie” are more political songs that are so heavy-handed even the most rabid students at Berkeley would tell him to tone it down.

Voice Of America could have been a really good album if Steven would have toned down the politics. Some artists can do that and some can’t. He is in the later camp. Also, he really missed the boat by not utilizing Jean Beauvoir who would go on to write songs that would have fit nicely here.

I do suppose that a Bruce fan might give this a higher grade than me.

I paid $2 for this:

I really really under paid

I really under paid

Paid about right 

Over paid

Should have lit my money on fire

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[Crate Digging] Clover – Love On The Wire

I only knew about this band because of Huey Lewis. If anyone has the biography on Phil Lynott titled The Rocker, you know what a good guy Huey is. Since I’m a huge Thin Lizzy fan, Huey is aces in my book. Clover was a California country rock band that released a couple records that did nothing, so naturally they made their way to England. LOVE ON  THE WIRE was released in 1976 and it is a weird hodge podge of songs.  There are hints of their country rock roots but it’s a mess. Not to mention the gawd awful cover of “Travelin’ Man”. Odd thing is that Huey is listed as lead vocalist but he is seemingly not used in that role. Made worse because Alex Call,who you hear every song, is not very good. “Hearts Under Fire” is the one song they trade off on and is the highlight.

Most interesting aspect of this album is what came of everyone after it. LOVE ON THE WIRE is produced by a very young Robert “Mutt” Lange.  He did alright for himself.  Guitarist John Mcfee, keyboardist Sean Hopper, and bassist Ciambotti were the backing band on Elvis Costello ‘ s debut album. Then there’s Huey.  Clover opened for Thin Lizzy and they took a liking to him so much you hear his harmonica playing on the classic LIVE AND DANGEROUS. When I listened to this as a kid, I didn’t realize the “bluesy” Huey Lewis that Phil gave a shout out to, was the same guy singing “This is It” on MTV.

In closing, LOVE ON THE WIRE is definitely not a sum of its parts. When you really examine all who’s involved it’s amazing that it’s as bad as it is.

I paid $2 for this and that is the right price.

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