One Album Wonders: V.A.N.

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 5, 2015 11:07am | Post a Comment
V.A.N. - Out in the Rain (1992)

V.A.N. were a short-lived "melodic hard rock" band from Germany who released just one album in 1992, Out of the Rain. I have no idea what the acronym "V.A.N." stands for. It's not derived by the names of the band's members, who were guitaris Frank Elwart, keyboardist and guitarist Helge Engelke, vocalist Jens Reulecke, drummer Kalle Bosel, or bassist Ralf DittrickVereinigung Akustikus Neurinom? I've no idea.

V.A.N. - Out in the Rain

Anyway, of the members of V.A.N., Engelke appears to have had the most previous professional experience having played in the bands Letter X and Zeno. He was born in Hanover in 1961 and began playing guitar at thirteen. In interviews he's mentioned that bands he liked included Deep Purple, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Mott the Hoople, T. Rex, Yes -- but that his favorite of all-time is, revealingly, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.

One Album Wonders: Armageddon

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 7, 2015 03:46pm | Post a Comment
This week’s One Album Wonder is Armageddon, a short-lived heavy rock band led by Keith Relf which proved to be the singer's last. In Armageddon, Relf was joined by Robert Caldwell (drums), Louis Cennamo (bass guitar), and Martin Pugh (guitar).


Armageddon promo photo

Relf was a noteworthy English singer, guitarist, and harmonica player. He was born 22 March 1943 in Richmond, Surrey and started performing music around 1956. Although severely asthmatic he picked up the harmonica in imitation of his hero, Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1963 he formed The Yardbirds. Although today The Yardbirds seem best remembered for launching the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, they were undoubtedly one of the most important of British Invasion bands, responsible along with The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones with introducing countless white teenagers to the black American music which they'd till then ignored and inspiring thousands of them to form rock bands in suburban garages throughout the Anglosphere.

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One Album Wonders: Sad Iron

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 25, 2015 01:40pm | Post a Comment

This week’s One Album Wonder is Dutch heavy metal band, Sad Iron, who released their only album, Total Damnation, in 1983.


Sad Iron wasn't forged in the Netherworld, but rather the Netherlands -- the harbor town of Hoorn, to be Sad Ironprecise. The founder and sole constant member since their formation in 1979 is guitarist Bernard Rive. He soon recruited Dirk Ooms (bass), Gerrit Soering (drums), and Jan Palenstijn (vocals). Three of Sad Iron’s songs, performed live, were included on Holland Heavy Metal Vol. 1. As a result of winning a battle of the bands, Sad Iron were rewarded with once day of studio time at K&M Geluidsregistratie.

Rive entered the studio with new members Leo "Pro Deo" Ockeloen on bass, Jacques Van Oevelen on drums, and Herke Van Der Poel on vocals and they recorded Total Damnation in one day. Sad Iron shared stages with bands like Hanoi Rocks, Picture, and Vandale.

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Mariachi-Metal Hybrid Metalachi Takes the Stage at Levitt Pavillion For Free Show Aug. 14

Posted by Amoebite, August 4, 2015 02:09pm | Post a Comment


Boasting the most unique combination of genres we've heard of in some time, mariachi-metal rockers Metalachi will play at Levitt Pavillion in Los Angeles Friday, August 14 as part of their summer concert series.

The show is free and all-ages. Doors are at 6:30 p.m., and music begins at 8. Come by early, grab a bite from places like Pupusas Y Mas, D's Tacos and Tomski Sausage, and swing by the Amoeba booth to give our Prize Wheel a spin.

Playing versions of Metallica and Black Sabbath songs on trumpets on violins, Metalachi are a must-see for any metal fan or mariachi enthusiast. The band, originally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has been featured on Buzzfeed and has performed Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" on "America's Got Talent." Check out a video of that performance below:

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One Album Wonders: April 16th

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 3, 2015 03:29pm | Post a Comment
April 16th promo photo

English hard rock/heavy metal band April 16th formed in London in the summer of 1985. The members were Chris Harris (guitar), Dave Russell (vocals), Eric Puffet (bass), John Fisher (drums), and Lawrence Mills (lead guitar). They released just one album, Sleepwalking, in January, 1989. It was recorded at Cherry Studios in Croydon and released by High Dragon Dragons, a subsidiary of Parisian label, Black Dragon Records. The sleeve painting was done by Mike Stick

April 16th - Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking garnered the April 16th some attention. Radio 1 invited them to record a session with the late Tommy Vance, influential host of The Friday Rock Show and champion of heavy metal. They also appeared in a feature on ITV's London Weekend Television. There was a review in Kerrang! A second album was tentatively planned for release in 1990 but never saw the light of day. The band broke up in 1991.

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