Melodic Hard Rock

Guns of Fire – Shifting Winds

 guns-of-fire-shifting-winds-front-j-card

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
Category
: 10 Track Album
Format
: Cassette
Label: DTS Records
Catalog No: GFC001
Comments: J-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Very Rare
Estimated Value: ~$40+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

guns-of-fire-shifting-winds-cassette-side-a

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

guns-of-fire-shifting-winds-cassette-side-b

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

guns-of-fire-shifting-winds-inlay-j-card

Credits
• 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

guns-of-fire-shifting-winds-fanatics

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
Category
: 4 Track EP
Format
: Compact Disc
Label: –
Catalog No: –
CD Matrix: MADE BY DISCTRONICS B ** SHIVAI ** #02
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)

Line-Up
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

Description
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.

 

SURRENDER – DEMO 1990/91

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Front)

Artist: Surrender
Title: –
Year: 1990/91
Genre: Hard Rock, Melodic Hard Rock
Category
: 3 Track Demo
Format
: Cassette
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: O-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$75-100 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)

 

 

Wild Frontier – King of Pentacles

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Front)

Artist: Wild Frontier
Title: King of Pentacles
Year: 1994
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Category
: Full Length Album
Format
: Compact Disc
Label: CoZee Publishing House
Catalog No: ZEE 333
CD Matrix: MADE BY DISCTRONICS B ** ZEE 333 ** #01
Comments: –
Collectors Status: Rare
Estimated Value: ~$25 – $50 AUD

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (CD)

Track List
01. Demi God
02. Modern Day Woman
03. Screaming Desire
04. Hope You’re Feeling Better
05. Two Worlds Apart
06. Subject ‘No More’
07. Voices in the Storm
08. Psycho Lady
09. Sad Songs
10. Wasted Years

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Back)Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Inlay)

Line-Up & Album Credits
John Zee (v)
David Costabile (k, bv)
David Scott (g, bv)
George Sarris (b)
Mark Mcleod (d)

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Line-Up)

All songs written by David Costablie & John Zee except ‘Sad Songs‘ and ‘Wasted Years‘ co-written by Alex Doukas and ‘Hope You’re Feeling Better‘ written by Gregg Rolie.  Intro and outro to ‘Psycho Lady‘ written by Maurice Jarre ‘Theme to ‘Dr. Zhivago’.

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Booklet)

Description
Wild Frontier are a little known hard rock band from Victoria (Melbourne I think) who released this one off CD titled ‘King of Pentacles‘ in 1994.  One of the first things I noticed when reading the CD booklet was the name “G. Rolie” listed as songwriter for track four ‘Hope You’re Feeling Better‘.

Santana - Hope You're Feeling Better (Single) (Front)

For our Saturday Bubbling Under special, we drift back to 1971 and the third single from Santana’s second album, “Abraxas.” While “Black Magic Woman” charted at #4 and “Oye Como Va” made it to #13, “Hope You’re Feeling Better” failed to make a dent. It didn’t even show on Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” chart; however, Billboard mentioned that some jukebox owners reported that the song was in heavy play in certain markets. “Hope You’re Feeling Better” was the flip side of the first single “Black Magic Woman”; but apparently it was re-released as the third single. I’m not even certain that a commercial issue of the second version ever made it to the stores. Since it performed poorly, the second release was probably only distributed to radio and jukebox stockers.  Written by keyboardist/vocalist Greg Rollie, the song features his characteristic Hammond organ as well as his lead vocals. Carlos Santana’s guitar work is unmistakable. He even employs a wah-wah pedal in places. This song has some great kicks as well. Good stuff from this classic version of the legendary band, Santana.

© 2014 Jim Owston at Reading Between the Grooves

As it turns out this is the same (Gregg) Rolie I had in mind – most famous for his time spent as keyboardist/vocalist/guitarist in the early line-ups of both Santana and Journey but also for his brief tenure as lead vocalist on two of my all-time favourite albums ‘The Storm‘ (1991) and ‘Eye of the Storm‘ (1992) from cult AOR legends The Storm.

Storm, the - The Storm (Front) Storm, the - Eye of the Storm (Front)

Image (above): Front cover artwork for ‘The Storm‘ (1991) and ‘Eye of the Storm‘ (1992)

Gregg Rolie with Santana

Image (above): Gregg Rolie with Santana

Gregg Rolie with Journey 2  

Image (above): Gregg Rolie with Journey

Storm, the (Band Photo 1)

Image (above): Gregg Rolie with The Storm

The Music
Of the ten tracks featured on this CD, the first eight were recorded in 1993 at ‘Jam Tin’ studios in Melbourne while the final two tracks were recorded in 1991 at ‘Platinum Studios’ in Melbourne.  Musically there is a diverse offering of hard rock styles on here, some of which is perhaps a little alternative for my usual tastes, though tracks like ‘Two Worlds Apart’, ‘Voices in the Storm’ and ‘Sad Songs’ showcase what I believe are some of the best melodic hard rock tracks I’ve heard from an Aussie band.  The vocals are strong throughout and they are obviously a talented bunch of musicians.

Final Comment
By taking the Gregg Rolie angle I actually had more to discuss in this post than I had expected.  However I still have little information to share about Wild Frontier so any help from those of you who remember them would be greatly appreciated. As usual I would love to see any promo photos, gig flyers, magazine/newspaper clipping etc.  This one is relatively rare though does show up from time to time if you keep an eye out for it.  I can see a copy for sale online right now for $97 though I picked mine up for $20 if memory serves.  If for no other reason, track it down so you can listen to ‘Voices in the Storm‘ – absolutely stunning!!