Wretched Child – Better Late Than Never

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Front) LQ

Artist: Wretched Child
Title: Better Late Than Never
Year: 1994
Genre: Hard Rock, Glam/Sleaze, Metal
: Full Length Album
: Compact Disc (Verbatim CD-R)
Label: –
Catalog No: WC01
CD Matrix: –
Comments: –
Collectors Status: Very Rare
Estimated Value: ~$25 – $50 AUD

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (CD) LQ

Track List
01. Now It’s Time
02. Damnation
03. Believe in Me
04. Fantasy Lover
05. Besty Blues
06. Survivor
07. Batter Late Than Never
08. Sweet Lill Sister
09. Nightmares
10. Wretched Child

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Back) LQ

Line-Up & Album Credits
Grazz (v)
Lefty (b)
Besty (d)
Bart (g)
Campbell (g)
(and the “Chanters From Hell!”)

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Band Photo) LQ

• All songs written & performed by “Wretched Child”
• Recorded at – “Soundtrack 919” Ballarat 93-94
• Produced by – Lyndon Kriss & Wretched Child
• Photography – Thani – Jo Flewers (?) – Deborah Wright
• Other Vocals – Karen Fraser – Simone Calaby
• Keyboards & Ass Sound FX – Lyndon Kriss
• Candid Comments – Lefty & Bart
• Layout A.C.B

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Credits) LQ Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Poem) LQ

Wretched Child are a little known hard rock band from Ballarat, Victoria who formed in the early 90s (?’92) and released this one off CD titled ‘Better Late Than Never‘ in 1994.  At first glance, this album appears to have a real DIY feel to it.  Maybe it’s the hand-written band logo on the front cover, the scrapbook style rear insert photo (complete with flannelette shirts and cans of VB); or the Printable Inkjet Verbatim CD-R.  Actually it’s probably all of these things combined!  Regardless though, the music here is of a high standard – well performed and nicely produced hard rock.  Of the ten tracks featured on this CD, all are studio recordings from ’93 / ’94 with a variety of hard rock styles on display.

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Line-Up)

Final Comment
It might look DIY, but the songs are great and this is an album that I’m pleased to finally have in my collection.

Guns of Fire – Shifting Winds


Only a fool says in his heart, there is no God
– King David

Artist: Guns of Fire
Title: Shifting Wings
Year: 1990
Genre: Hard Rock, Melodic Rock, AOR, CCM
: 10 Track Album
: Cassette
Label: DTS Records
Catalog No: GFC001
Comments: J-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Very Rare
Estimated Value: ~$75+AUD

Track List – Side A
01. Don’t Keep Waiting
02. Born For Love
03. Are You Ready
04. Won By One
05. Bye Bye Baby


Track List – Side B
01. Are You Still On My Side
02. Crossroads
03. No Turning Back
04. Land of No More Tears
05. Take the Reins


Steve Hibbins • Drums
Anthony Hook • Lead Vocals
Tim Bennett • Bass Guitar
Rowland Moye • Keyboards, Saxaphone, Vocals
David Moye • Guitars, Vocals


• Produced and Engineered by Dave Simpfendorfer
• Mixed by Jeff Todd
• Additional Vocals by Sandra Crocket
• Art and Design by David Moye
• Photography by Photoserv, Chris Gregory
• Recorded at Windwood Studios, March 1990, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
• “The Guns Club” For concert bookings, information and merchandise: Private Bag 4, Panania NSW 2213 Australia


Here’s a special treat that just arrived in the mail.

Formed in 1989 from various Sydney rock bands including Lightbearer, O1’55, and Frontline; Guns of Fire were an obscure Aussie melodic/hard rock band who released their debut album ‘Shifting Winds‘ on cassette in 1990.  As can be interpreted from the lyrics on this first release, Guns of Fire identify as a Christian band and are known to have had a following in the Aussie CCM music scene of the early 90s alongside bands such as Holy Rite and Rosanna’s Raiders .  Featuring brothers Rowland and David Moye, formerly of Sydney 80s band, Your Fanatics; the musicians involved here showcase their respective talents in a way that might appeal to all fans of melodic/hard rock music, regardless of the CCM influences.  Several tracks from this debut album would re-appear in 1991 on the bands first CD titled ‘Viva the Revolution‘ (to be featured on this blog at a later date along with the bands 1993 CD-EP, ‘2BWITHU‘).  Guns of Fire called it a day in late 1994 with some material yet to be released.

As always, any more information would be greatly appreciated and in particular if you have clippings from any late 80s / early 90s Christian magazines such as ‘Against the Grain‘, I would love to see them.

Shivai – Beelzebub’s in Heaven (EP)

 Shivai - Beezlebub's in Heaven (EP) (Front)

Artist: Shivai
Title: Beelzebub’s in Heaven (EP)
Year: 1994
Genre: Hard Rock
: 4 Track EP
: Compact Disc
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: –
Collectors Status: Very Rare
Estimated Value: ~$30+ AUD

Shivai - Beezlebub's in Heaven (EP) (CD)

Track List
01. Beelzebub’s in Heaven
02. Om Namy Haya
03. Shivai
04. Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover)

Shivai - Beezlebub's in Heaven (EP) (Back)

Skye Patricks (v) (Serpentine, Future Native)
Zakk Zedras (g) (Serpentine, Roxus, Dragonfly)
Rexx Fernandez (b) (Serpentine, Nude + toured with Christine Anu, James Reyne, Mark Seymour and Joe Camilleri)
Greg Aldridge (d) (Final Outcome, Jimi the Human, Josie Jason and the Argonauts, Fester Fanatics, The Tourers)
Clint Roach (b) (Serpentine)

Album Credits
Produced by Shivai
Mixed by D.O.
Engineered by Sam Pulley
Recorded at Belair Studios
All songs written by Shivai, except Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix
Photo by Jim Kellam
CD Graphics by HiX
Cover by Thunder Publishing
Logo Design by Amanda Bansgrove
Didgeredoo: Michael Redman
Drums by Trina

Shivai - Bio

Featuring several past members of cult Aussie melodic hard rock group, Serpentine (reformed as Serpentine Sky in 2014/15); Melbourne hard rockers Shivai released this four track EP titled ‘Beelzebub’s in heaven‘in 1994.  Sometimes compared to New Jersey hard rockers Skid Row, Shivai have really grown on me over time and this EP is now among my all time favourite Aussie hard rock releases.  There are certainly some alternative rock influences here (Soundgarden come to mind) though the four songs featured on this EP (including a Jimi Hendrix cover) absolutely kick ass!  A killer EP and one well worth getting your hands on.  It appears there may have been a self titled EP as well – I would be very keen to hear it!

Just a bit of background on Serpentine:

“Originally founded in 1989 by Patrick Creamer, Zakk Zedras, Rexx Fernandez, Clinton Roche and Craig Whitelock, Serpentine Sky made an immediate impact on audiences with their energetic live show combining shredding guitars, three part harmonies, huge melodic choruses and the best rhythm section around. In the early nineties, the band was tipped as ‘the next big thing’ by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and showered with major record label deals.

Serpentine Sky

As fate would have it, everything came to an abrupt end in 1991. Drummer Craig Whitelock suffered a motorbike accident which put him out of action for a year. The band tried to carry on with another drummer, but relationships became strained and the magic was lost.

Reuniting almost 25 years later, the band played at the tribute show for dearly departed friend and former White Widow drummer George Kristy. After the show the band committed to record a full length album of the best songs with producer / engineer Ricki Rae. The band changed their name to Serpentine Sky in 2015 and the new album will be Available soon”.

© MelodicRock Records, 2015

As a side note, I had no idea what a ‘Beelzebub’ was, but among a dozen different descriptions on google I came across this:

“The name of Beelzebub was inspired by the Hebrew demon Beelzebub, which means “Lord of the Flies”. He is established as the Lord of the Flies and a high-ranking demon, and his flies carry souls down to the Abyss. Beelzebub is also believed to be a bastardized version of the Canaanite god Baal or an alternate form of Satan. He is also associated with the sin of gluttony”.

As always, any further information is greatly appreciated.

PS if anyone has a copy of the self titled Shivai EP or the original two track Serpentine promo-cassette ‘Whole Lotta Love‘, I would certainly be interested to hear from you.


Outlands – Take it Down

 Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Front - J-Card)

Artist: Outlands
Title: Take it Down
Year: 1989
Genre: Hard Rock, Melodic Metal
: 4 Track Demo
: Cassette
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: J-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$1000 AUD

Track List – Side A
01. Highway to Freedom
02. Good Times (Love For Sale)

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Cassette - Side A)

Track List – Side B
01. Winter of Our Love
02. Tell Me

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Cassette - Side B)

Steve Shotton • Lead Vocals
Dave Powell • Guitars, Guitar Synthesizer, Backing Vocals
Glen Purkiss • Guitars, Guitar Synthesizer, Backing Vocals
Gary Synnerdahl • Drums, Backing Vocals (Wrecking Crew, Mother Hubbard)
Neil Brown • Bass, Backing Vocals

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Credits)

• Recorded January 1989 at Sound Barrier Studios, Sydney, Australia
• Produced by John Hresc & Outlands
• Engineered by John Hresc
• Photography by Calvin’s Studio
• Layout & Graphics : Introspec
• Management : Hot Rock Management

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Band Photo)

Just before I get back to the CDs, here’s another cassette worth taking a look at.

Outlands are yet another obscure Aussie hard rock band from Sydney, probably most notable for featuring drummer Gary Synnerdahl in the line-up. Synnerdahl was not only a member of the great Aussie hard rock band ‘Wrecking Crew‘ (a personal favourite of mine) but in the mid 90s he was a member of another Sydney band called Mother Hubbard that featured Alex Wasiliev – better known by most Australians as Alex Lloyd.

Though despite this somewhat famous connection, little else is known about Outlands or this obscure demo tape.  It is apparent however that this demo was recorded at the same Sydney studio as the Wicked ‘Out on Bail‘ demo tape that I posted here on the blog recently.  These two demos were also produced / engineered by the same person – John Hresc.  This does make me wonder how many other Aussie hard rock bands recorded demos at Sound Barrier Studios and if John Hresc was involved with those as well.  According to a google search, in the mid 80s John Hresc worked in many of Australia’s most iconic recording studios and has engineered almost 100 albums and singles.

Musically I was a little surprised by this one as I had expected to hear some typical late 80s hard rock but instead this is a touch heavier than some, bordering on melodic metal at times.  Great songs nonetheless!

As always, any more information would be greatly appreciated.

Wicked – Out on Bail

 Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Front - J-Card)

Artist: Wicked
Title: Out on Bail
Year: 1989
Genre: Hard Rock, Glam-Sleaze
: 5 Track Demo / EP
: Cassette
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: J-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$1000 AUD

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Sticker)
Track List – Side A
01. Sweet Talk
02. Animal

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Cassette - Side A)

Track List – Side B
01. Young & Crazy
02. Love Poison
03. Dining at the Y

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Cassette - Side B)

Darren (Ace) Jonson • Lead Vocals
Tris Black • Lead Guitar
Brian (Grunt) McLean • Bass Guitar
Lindsay Jones • Drums

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Credits)


• Recorded May 1989 at Sound Barrier Studio, Sydney, Australia
• Produced by John Hresc & Wicked
• Engineered by John Hresc
• Photography & Sleeve Layout: Calvin’s Studio, Sydney
• Management: Hot Rock Management

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Further Information)

While I’ve got the cassette case out, here’s another obscure Aussie hard rock gem. This time from Wicked – a four piece band from Sydney who released this five track demo / EP titled ‘Out on Bail’ in 1989.

As with many of the independent Aussie hard rock tapes of this era, details are minimal and apart from those listed on the J-Card there seems to be little else out there.

Musically (if the band photo hasn’t given it away) this is hard rock, typical of that which was being produced out of L.A. in 1989.  ‘Sweet Talk’ is my pick of the bunch though all tracks here are quite strong and really make you wonder why Wicked didn’t leave us with more.

As always, any more information about the band would be greatly appreciated.


Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Front)

Artist: Surrender
Title: –
Year: 1990/91
Genre: Hard Rock, Melodic Hard Rock
: 3 Track Demo
: Cassette
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: O-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$1000 AUD

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Cassette)

Track List
01. Love it Loose
02. Just Like Love
03. Time Will Tell

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Back)

Line-Up & Album Credits
Unknown band line-up
Recorded at JMC Studios
Engineered / Produced by Steve Pomfrey
All songs written by Surrender © 90/91

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Front - Standing)

Now this one is a real mystery!  I stumbled upon it recently while looking for something else and decided to pick it up based on the cover art, year of release and the fact that it was advertised as being an Aussie band.

Apart from the minimal details listed on the packaging, there is absolutely no information out there about this band, not even a mention in Chris Spencer’s ‘Who’s Who of Australian Rock‘.  I can only assume from the phone number that the band is from NSW.

Despite its demo like production qualities, the three tracks featured on this cassette are really good examples of everything I love about late 80s / early 90s hard rock.  In particular ‘Time Will Tell’ is an absolute gem of a track and one that easily ranks among my all time favourite obscure Aussie hard rock songs – pure melodic hard rock bliss!

Note that this band has no connection to Aussie metal band Surrender that featured Dave Compton and released a self titled LP in 1984.  I did check with Dave about this and he seemed to recall another Aussie band of this name from around 1989-93.

Any more information about Surrender would be really appreciated.

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Front & Cassette - Standing)



Black Rose – Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP)

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (Front)

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Logo)

Artist: Black Rose
Title: Fast Times at Black Rose High
Year: 1996
Genre: Hard Rock, Glam/Sleaze, Punk
: 6 Track EP
: Compact Disc
Label: Stark Raven Records
Catalog No: SRR 001
CD Matrix: IFPI L282 – MADE BY PMI * DCD0818 * #01
Comments: –
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$250 AUD

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (CD)

Track List
01. Fast Times at Black Rose High
02. Fuck Off Back to Byron Bay
03. Tell the Chicks I do Surf
04. Sweet and Sour
05. I Drive a Holden (My Ones a Brown One)
06. Rosso Live at the Dubbo RSL

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (Back)

Line-Up & Album Credits
Rosso (v)
Hursto (d)
Carpsy (g)
Killer (b)
Lordo (t, h)

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (Inlay)

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Line-Up)

Not to be confused with a Sydney band of the same name, Melbourne hard rockers Black Rose released an EP titled ‘Fast Times at Black Rose High‘ in 1996. According to details on the CD inserts, the band “formed as a joke” in 1994 and were lucky enough to record this EP in an L.A. studio with the help of producers Daryl Hall & John Oates (!).  I strongly suspect those last few pieces of information are also a joke and are characteristic of the jovial lyrics and attitudes of the band members on this EP – including comedian Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross, best known for his role as a radio host on Nova 96.9 FM.

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Band 1) Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Band 2)

Musically this is tongue-in-cheek hard rock with glam-sleaze and punk influences.  There are links to a number of other Melbourne bands including The Bowers, Rocket Science and The City Lights, all featuring Kit Warhurst; as well as Manic Suede featuring Kit Warhurst and David Lord.  And finally there is Dashboard featuring Andre Warhurst (brother of Kit) and David Lord.  In case you were wondering, Kit and Andre are brothers of former Triple J radio station host / Spicks and Specks team captain, Myf Warhurst.  In fact Kit is also known for his part in the Spicks and Specks touring band – The Specktors.

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 1) Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 2) Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 3)    \

Overall this may not be for everyone – but it’s good fun Aussie rock and you can’t argue with that.   A pretty rare CD that I have only ever come across once.  Any more information regarding Black Rose would be most welcome.

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 4)Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 5)