CHARLIE MOUSE

AUGUST 1988


Interestingly enough, when I was compiling this page I did a Google search for Charlie Mouse and found the following post on http://www.sleazeroxx.com

“No we split up, well i left and the others carried on for a bit, then they split up (couldnt survive without me it seems 😉

Anyhow we are all good mates,all living in oxfordshire.

Dave (lead guitarist and Martin (singer) went on to form a very good covers band called The Dirty Earth Band, Dave has since left and still has his finger in the pie promoting local bands, though DEB still is going, they are on the web.

Paul the drummer and the other guitarist Paul(me) chilled out and enjoyed life, but now are writing our own stuff in the vain of The Faces, early stones, Alabama3, blackcrowes, Sheryl Crow sort of vibe. We are doing it for personal enjoyment no heavy stuff or gigging, but will be on myspace and giving away CD’s in the near future…..

PS we are desperate for a decent singer, no intention of gigging just something to do, we have all the gear just need the love child of Chris Robinson, Rod Stewart and sheryl Crow, any takers?

We reformed for a one off gig a couple of years ago and got all our demos remastered onto one CD, also it comes with a live gig at good old Bogies in Cardiff, before it waas flattened for swanky flats, we still have a few left, let me know if you want one..

Have to go now, but wil expand on details info if you want, just saw the post as Paul told me about it the other night

Take it easy dudes”

Cool:

Dunsy

BROOKLYN DOGS

AUGUST 1988


1988

TEENAGE IDOLS, SOHO ROSES, BROOKLYN DOGS – Marquee, London

“IT’S ALL coming back to haunt us’ – I gasp to a certain fellow journalist also ‘associated’ with the original rag-bag-punky ‘Glam scene’. The mutated, bastardized ‘daughterz’ of Hanoi Rocks, the Babysitters et al, have come of age’

I entered the smoky venue and headed straight for the stage and the young tarty pups were halfway through their performance: the Brooklyn Dogs, hailin’ from, and I quote, “Burbigum”. A four-piece rag-bag-punky-glam etc, etc. et-goddamn-cetera band, givin’ it their best shot but maybe sufferin’ a mild attack of “Wow, we’re actually playin’ the Marquee” nerves. An’, guys, takin’ the ever dauntin’ chance of coverin’ a classic like Hanoi’s ‘Tragedy’ is always gonna putcha at risk of swampin’ the original toonz you should be toutin’.

If the ‘Dogs can get their onstage personas to match their ‘at the bar afterwards’ charisma, then these brat-Brummies just might obtain the dubious honour of membership to the ‘trash with flash league.

RAY ZELL


1992


Links:

Brooklyn Dogs Myspace Tunes

Brooklyn Dogs Myspace Pics

City of Angels by BROOKLYN DOGS
City of Angels by BROOKLYN DOGS


Videos:

RIOT

Nov. 1981


JUNE 1982

RIOT – Restless Breed (Elektra)

BY The end of the first side of this, the fourth LP from Riot, the thought occurred that it’s no good being simply adequate and satisfactory when making a record. Better, obviously, to be brilliant, but almost as good is to be duff, because either way you get noticed and perhaps remembered, whereas to make an album that neither offends nor impresses leaves you in the wilderness in 99 cases out of 100.

And that’s the way that about half of this LP, most of the first side sounds – ‘Hard Lovin’ Man’ Is In the rather hackneyed ‘Are you ready to rock?’ style, while ‘CIA’ is night time freeway music, though with a rather odd choice of subject. The title track would be OK were not overlong, and ‘Loanshark’ is played so fast as to remove any menace from an interesting lyrical idea, the overall effect being that of a hamster on speed who’s reached the end of his treadmill. The only above-average track on side one 1 s an unlikely cover of ‘When I Was Young’, a ‘Sixties hit for Eric Burdon, Which is a smart choice for revival.

Then It was time for the flipside, and things improved dramatically ‘Loved by You’ has a more subtle riff, is paced more realistically. displays some light and shade, and also has new singer Rhett Forrester playing harp and duelling with the guitars. The added touches of ‘atmosphere’ which suggest that it’s alive Cut (which it isn’t) add to the appeal and the only jarring feature is the incessant repetition of the title at the long fade. ‘Over To You is good because it’s not hysterical – hard rock rather than heavy metal, and the same goes for Showdown’ (not the ELO song, but closer to Breakdown’ by Tom Petty, with whom Riot have toured Stateside). ‘Dream Away’ has a complex rift and clever, if slightly risqué lyrics, before ‘Violent Crimes’ takes the LP full circle – too fast, too dumb.

Within four years or so. Riot have had three labels, and only Mark Reale’s remains from the line up which made ‘Rock City’. Fortunately, the newcomers have all been improvements on their predecessors, especially Reale’s guitar partner, Rick Ventura, who wrote most of the better tracks here. Forrester’s harp playing could eventually be an even bigger bonus, and with some care, Riot could soon be contenders – and because they’re above rather than below, average.

JOHN TOBLER


JUNE 1982 – Rhett Forrester Interview by Dante Bonutto

In Rhett Forrester, Riot’s newly acquired vocalist, the US music scene has produced a natural showman who, given time and the right degree of adulation, should soon be rivalling DL Roth in the precocious frontman stakes. His predecessor, Guy Speranza left the car of his own volition but had he not taken the leap a push would certainly have come. With sights set on the large arenas, the band decided they needed a singer who would both strengthen their image and allow them to handle a wider range of material. Rhett, a 25 old from Atlanta, Georgia, dot on both counts. The curled lip, the peacock-strut, the Kentucky fried drawl, he looks and sounds the part and has a voice that runs the gamut of expression on the bands new ‘Restless Breed’ LP, handling both the ballad ‘Showdown’ and the careering ‘Loan Shark’ with ease.

Prior to joining Riot, Rhett was playing the New York dubs with Rachel, a local outfit who achieved a degree of recognition before succumbing to financial pressure. Just three weeks after their demise he got his chance.

“It was weird how it all came down”, he recalls, slumping into a chair ‘in Riot’s Greene Street Studio in the Soho district of New York. “I was laying down a song for a movie called Vigilante’ at Backstreet Studio where Kiss’ ex-soundman works and as soon as he heard my voice he said ‘man, those guys in Riot are looking for a singer – you’re just what they want, here’s the number’. Now I already had a number for Riot through some friends but I didn’t want to call it in case it was bogus. So I compared the two, they coincided and I got in touch. The next thing I know, I’m here handing over my pictures, my tape and a video I had done when I was in Rachel and nine o’clock the next morning I get a call – I’m in! Three days later we started on the album.’

While Rhett has had a variety of part-time jobs, everything from working in a gas station to demolishing trees with a chainsaw gang in North Carolina, rock’n’roll has claimed most of his time over the past eight years. At 17, when he left the naval academy in Florida, his parents tried to coax him into a two year tennis scholarship but, free at last from academy discipline, young Forrester had other ideas.

“My old lady was hitting some tennis, my old man was going for golf and I was going for pussy. l went to check out a band one night and, as I had my harmonica with me, I asked if I could play in the breaks just to show off and stuff, they listened to me, asked me to sit in and offered me a job.

The following night Rhett bound himself in Jacksonville, Florida, puffing and blowing his way through a selection of Allman Bros/J. Geils covers. Then, when the band ditched their singer, he was pushed to the fore.

“That was the killer circuit, man. Five sets a night, seven nights a week, 50 weeks a year, just killing my throat, killing myself. Literally. I was beat up, stabbed, cut, blown up by my pyrotechnician, electrocuted three or four times to the point of no return and carbon monoxide poisoned after a 36 hour drive in the back of a truck”

Next came spells in Chicago and Detroit, the former with a band called Human, who made something of a dent on the local scene, and the latter with Blind Man’s Bluff, a group featuring a blind guitarist with whom he recorded a number of singles. At one point Joe Perry’s management got in touch but, when Joe opted for a singer/guitarist rather than a straight frontman, the merger fell through.

“I was upset at the time”, reflects Rhett, but I’m pleased it didn’t come off now. All my friends were calling me up saying ‘don’t you be getting into shooting up no junk and that cos we hear Joe’s a real coconut’. And I said ’OK. I’ll stick to my regular controlled madness.’
Early in his career Rhett used a small trampoline to propel himself across the stage and today he still displays all the restraint of a chemically activated cheerleader.

“I live rock’n’roll, man,” he points out firmly, ‘that’s my love, I’m a rocker!’


KERRANG! ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983

Singles reviewed by Xavier Russell

RIOT: ‘Riot Live’ (Elektra 0-67969 A – Import).

Up until the arrival of this live six-track EP, I’d always found Riot poor live but excellent on wax. Guy Speranza was to blame methinks, though I much preferred his style of singing to that of new lad Rhett Forrester. You see folks, Guy just couldn’t cut it live while the horrible looking RF seems to have injected some new energy into the band.

Five of the six tracks have been culled from Riot’s most recent album ‘Restless Breed’, while the final cut, ‘Swords And Tequila’, my own personal fave, is lifted from the group’s finest LP ‘Fire Down Under.

 

AIRRACE

KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984

AIRRACE: “Shaft Of Light” (Atco 90219-1)

ALTHOUGH AIRRACE have been in official existence for over 18 months (two years if you count the abortive Phil Lewis liaison), they’ve been playing their cards extremely close to their collective chests, perfecting and polishing a sound that has almost unprecedented potential.

‘Shaft Of Light’ is almost certainly the classiest slice of vinyl released so far this year and perhaps in the Eighties thus far. Authoritative yet firmly conventional, this album sets a standard of melodic intensity that is both frighteningly excessive yet warmly inviting.

Conisting of five members (including guitarist Laurie Mansworth, who saw a smattering of action with More, and drummer Jason Bonham, whose father I needn’t mention), Airrace provide an accessible, multi-layered sound bathed in dense melodic harmonies strengthened by tight, uncluttered delicacy. Interested? If so, read on. If not, then, at the very least, I can only say that you ought to be shot. This album is that good.

Side One: keyed into the pompous overblown memories of the glorious and much-missed Touch and (for kollectors) Roadmaster, the commitment displayed is staggeringly similar. Surrounded by a whirlwind of marvellous pomp and circumstance (that’s Toby Sadler’s flexible keyboard manipulations), ‘I Don’t Care’ kick-starts the LP with cotton-wool sensitivity. Punctuated, regularly and with precision, by a chorus of warmth and distinguished magnificence delivered, of course, by the superb Keith Murrell (similar, and try not to laugh, in some respects to Cliff Richard), the song is a almost perfect example of unquestionable excellence.

‘Promise To Call’ follows hot on the latter’s syndrum finale but switches the light breezy freeway cruisin’ to a strict lowdown pumping rock tempo padded by Mansworth’s spluttering axe work. But it’s Bonham who wins on this one. Technically rigid, he smashes that fine division between violence and restraint with a tempered snare beat that threatens deliberance yet retains human identity. The comparison, although I really didn’t want to mention this, is totally valid.

‘First One Over The Line’, spacey with crystal clear vocals, ‘Open Your Eyes’, steady but disfigured with divergent counter melody, and the heavy efficiency of ‘Not Really Me’ close the side with a direction end tension that hasn’t been seen since prime period Styx.

Side Two: probably more consistent but subject to fewer arresting hooklines (only marginally, I might add). ‘Brief Encounter’ is, in my humble opinion, the weakest track on offer. Engulfed by surrogate electric (Fairlight) strings, the song is far too loose and motionless (due to the lack of hooks) to establish a firm foothold. Sure it’s grandiose, but that’s where it falls flat; it’s simply too involved.

‘Caught In The Game’ and ‘Didn’t Wanna Lose Ya’ redeem matters, however, with confident ease. Both are constructed on Jim Reid’s firm bass and showcase the gorgeous interweaving harmonics of the instruments matched against the vocals. It’s here that Murrell takes full honours. Leaping and soaring like an eagle in full flight his voice carries the melody and buries it deep into the brain; established and never to be forgotten.

The classiest cuts on this side are without doubt ‘Do You Want My Love Again’, brilliantly American in nature and pulsating with speedy ferociousness, and the toe-tapping infectiousness of ‘All I’m Asking’. Indeed, produced by the superior Beau Hill (probably the fastest rising production giant of the decade), ‘Shaft Of Light’ is an awesome and technically brilliant first achievement.
But an accomplishment of this nature does pose major problems. Airrace are now faced with the daunting prospect of having to recreate this masterpiece in a live setting, Anything less than an accurate reproduction will serve only to discredit them and the album.

I just hope they realise what they’ve let themselves in for.

DEREK OLIVER

WILDFIRE

KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984

WILDFIRE: “Summer Lightning” (Mausoleum Skull 8338)

‘SUMMER LIGHTNING’ is a far cry from last year’s unsatisfactory debut Wildfire LP, ‘Brute Force And Ignorance’, wherein a badly produced collection of simplistic riffs did little to enhance the band’s arrival or indeed their future.

The band look better now. Comprising some of the less lucky survivors from the Dark Age (NWOBHM), notably vocalist Paul Mario Day from the late, great More and ex-Weapon guitarist Jeff Summers and drummer Bruce Bisland, their image has been shaped and teased so that they now look like a band and notjust an ad-hoc committee from an ethnic musicians collective.

Displaying a continuous flow of uproarious mighty melodies, ‘Summer Lightning’ bursts forth from the speakers with serious intent and Shuttle-shaped combustibility. The tendency, for the most part, is to shell-shock rather than gently persuade, with opener ‘The Key’ the meanest example. Cruising on 10, the duelling guitar rift cascades with a rampaging similarity to Sabbath’s ‘Neon Knights’ – speedy, effective and actively enjoyable.

But it’s not all cranium crushing, far from it ‘Gun Runner’ and ‘Natural Selection’ may both be fast and furious, but a copious quantity of intellectual class has been retained via the use of snappy time changes and chunky Metal solidarity.

‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ and ‘Passion For The Sun’ are also worthy of individual mention; the former a considered and stylish stab at commercial pop rocking garnished with a catchy chorus and fine melodic arrangement; the latter an adventurous trek into spacey atmospherics and the cellular complexities of U2 and, perhaps, the Police. Touchingly different, yet essentially (very) Metal.

An excellent release then, dogged only by a less than sympathetic production (a bigger name would have been a shrewd move) and a rather contrived (typical) ballad, ‘Give Me Back Your Heart’. Can we have some more live shows please?

DEREK OLIVER

DOKKEN

KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984

DOKKEN Tooth And Nail (Elektra 960376-1)


WONDERS WILL never cease – Don Dokken has actually got out of bed long enough to make a follow-up to that long gone Carrere debut which set spines a-tingling two and a half years ago. In the meantime, the States finally got that same record in remixed form late last year, which means that in one area at least ‘Tooth And Nail’ won’t be considered dramatically overdue. But it is..

I suspect, in fact, that the Double D is capable of making a better album than this, but as 1984’s episode in the Dokken saga it’s meaty and mighty, and more than a match for most of the pretenders to the throne of LA Metaldom.

Dokken’s voice is a melodic one, not a rock bellow, and as a result his material takes on a strongly melodic format notwithstanding the gut- wrenching power of the band, with Don and George Lynch hammering out some thunderous riffing and dazzling soloing between them.

The warm but threatening instrumental opening ‘Without Warning’ leads into the Metal thrash of the title track with pleasing style, although ‘Tooth And Nail’ is probably the least meritorious track on the album despite being a classier than usual example of the genre. The ensuing ‘Just Got Lucky’ scores big points, though – so melodic that it’s almost poppy, yet maintaining an unerring course for the Metal grail. lt’s followed by two more killers in the shape of the clenched-fist drive of ‘Heartless Heart’ and the anxious rise and fall of ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ with its richly melodic hook.

The slower, statuesque power of ‘When Heaven Comes Down’ opens Side Two strongly, leading into the excellent ‘Into The Fire’, rising from a picked electric intro to proud riffola and peaking on yet another of Dokken’s characteristically strong hooks. Whatever the heat of the beat there’s always plenty of melody in a Dokken toon, and this one even features a delightful multiDokken harmonised bridge.

‘Bullets To Spare’ is potentially predictable fare, but the gruff riffola makes way for a harmonised build to the – admittedly predictable – hookline, granting a touch of individuality to what would otherwise have been pretty much standard issue.

‘Alone Again is the standard big rock ballad, but sounds far too committed to be completely written off as it rises to a towering peak. And then it’s son of ’Nightrider’ to finish, the storming ‘Turn On The Action’, where again the potential cliché is dressed in colourful new clothes, racing from a crazed intro to a skidmarked conclusion in furiously excited – and exciting – style.

Like I said, I suspect Dokken’s capable of more than this, but oh boy is it good stuff anyway!

PAUL SUTER

JACK STARR

KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984

JACK STARR: “Out Of The Darkness” (Music For Nations MFN34)

STEPS BACK IN AMAZEMENT! There was I, p155-taking sod that I am, ready ‘n’ willin’ to scoff me socks off at Jack Starr after the ludicrous quotes the Virgin Steele twanger had laid on me in a Covent Garden boozer a while ago, when he puts his plectrum where his mouth is and fires out a splendid solo album.

“I wanna be the first guitarist to go on record saying ‘Eddie Van Halen sucks!” the self-assured yank explained casually.

Laugh? I nearly wet me knickers, and coming face to face with Starr’s solo album just days after being dazzled into an orgasmic frenzy of hero worship by King Edward & co at Donington, I sharpened my pencil in anticipation…

But, lo, ‘Out Of The Darkness’ is a cracker; alive with energy and spirit and stacked high with Starr’s very fine, at times brilliant guitar work. It’s miles better than anything Virgin Steele ever produced and it certainly took me by surprise.

Acquiring the vocal talents of Riot’s Rhett Forrester and the rough ‘n’ tough rivvum readiness of the Rods’ Gary Bordonaro and Carl Canedy, Starr has at last found the band, the material and the inspiration he’s lacked over the past few years. There’s no obtuse HM dumbness here, rather a dextrous display of rock proficiency that owes more to intelligence than diligence,

From the rattling ‘Concrete Warrior’ and the heavy, multi- paced ‘False Messiah’ through an ‘Eruption’-style blitz called ‘Scorcher’ to the punchy panache of ‘Wild ln The Streets’ and the contrasting sensitivity of ‘Can’t Let You Walk Away’, the gang grab your attention and keep it in a half-nelson. What a delight to hear members of three rather ordinary rock bands fusing together like this!

On the flipside there’s the double-barrelled attack of ‘Chains Of Love’and ‘Eyes Of Fire’ along with the soothing, swaying instrumental ‘Odile’ and the jubilant Jack Daniels-swigging, pa-arty-time toon ‘Let’s Get Crazy Again’ where ex-Rainbow tub-tapper Gary Driscoll gets in on the act.

But despite the number of guest performers, it’s JS who’s up front all the way, revelling in the freedom of his own project and gracing the grooves of the best album I’ve heard since Dio’s last waxing.

Jack, despite your hilarious views, you’re a Starr!

MARK PUTTERFORD

STERLING COOKE FORCE

KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984

THE STERLING COOKE FORCE: ‘Full Force’ (Ebony EBON 20)

THOSE OF you who stay sober enough to actually read this rag might recall that a few issues back someone was whingeing on about an Essex trio called Pali Gap being ignored by the music press. Well, around the same time I saw the said threesome and was impressed by guitarist lan Ellis, though his reliance on old Hendrix-trix didn’t inspire me to put pen to paper.

Now I stumble upon the Sterling Cooke Force whose Hendrix influences are as subtle as a W.A.S.P. love song, and again I find a skilful six-stringer tied down to copying his idol. Unfortunately, none of the countless Hendrix-type bands I’ve seen have captured my imagination.

Sterling Cooke is a talented rock guitarist who has obviously spent many hours listening to all those old JH albums and studiously learning each lick. He even appears to have modelled his warbling on Jimi’s mournful strains, and while he comes off better on that score (let’s face it, I’ve heard a walrus with toothache sing better than Hendrix), he’s never gonna top the master’s innovative talent.

It’s a shame really, cos this bloke, like Gap’s Ian Ellis, can really do the business when he wants to, and his backing boyzz – Michael Dutz (bass) and Albie Coccio (drums) – are tighter than Mick Wall’s wallet. So why doesn’t he channel all that talent into something a little more interesting?

Songwise, there’s opener ‘Hit & Run’, which is lively enough, but I’ve heard that riff more times than Lemmy has had birthdays. There’s also ‘Makin’ My Way’, with its excellent solo, ‘Ain’t Wastin’ My Time’ and ‘Don’t Need You Anymore’. All are average-to-good rock songs, but all are so Hendrixy.

The guitar (heavy on the distortion, natch) is consummately tortured, notes are bent all over the shop and hands are sent scurrying up and down the neck like epileptic tarantulas. Close your eyes and you’ll see all your fave axeman antics. Or even the puzzled spectre of Jimi…

MARK PUTTERFORD

ARMORED SAINT

KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984

ARMORED SAINT: March Of The Saint (Chrysalis CHR 1479)

ARE ARMORED SAINT heavy? Armored Saint are heavyyy, and I don’t just mean that all that armour and chain mail and broadswords they wear makes them a mite tough to bench press either.

No indeed! Their debut album amply defends those ardent HMers back west who dubbed them the ‘headbangingest band in Los Angeles’, and stands firm as a relentlessly scorching slice of vinyl. Armored Saint sound like mighty earth giants banging ten tons of cutlery on the cosmic table – pumping riffs, pounding beat – impatient for flesh and blood. Mean and magnificent stuff. Yup, you’d better not mess with the US (chain) mail, my friend…

Ah, when you think of all the plastic out there that’s been used to make egg-slicers and Frisbees and artificial limbs that could far better have been put to making albums like this one; albums with more balls than a snooker marathon, more drive than Sterling Moss!

Hardly a millimeter of vinyl goes to waste on this fine debut; indeed, the only track that doesn’t stand up quite so well to my hardened earholes is opener, ‘March Of The Saint’ – four and a bit minutes of warm-up theme tune and a little like what ‘Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkees is to ‘Daydream Believer’, if you want to stretch the point a bit. But that’s only when compared to the gooder-than-good stuff to follow. Like ‘Can You Deliver’ – they certainly can! – or the anthemy ‘Seducer’ to name but two, all solid as Gibraltar and nowhere near as wet!

Yes, in spite of freaks (I use the term advisedly!) like Motley Crue, W.A.S.P. and Van Halen, the new wave of LA Heavy Metal getting snapped up by the major labels still featured too big a proportion of Def Leppard-influenced, safe AORockers; so it warms the blood to see another fine hard working pro heavy HM bunch heading for success. Because that’s where I reckon they’re going with this opus.

Which isn’t to say that it’s all thrash – the ballad on Side One, for example, ‘Take A Turn’, is great sending shivers down the old spine, while ‘Glory Hunter’ on Side Two represents over five minutes of marvellousness, with some absolutely killer vocals on both. Hmm, looks like I quite like this bunch…

The production of Michael James Jackson (no relation) could be a tad butch-er, more of a stadium than a large-hall performance, but otherwise I’ve
no reason to cross swords with the band about this album.

LAURA CANYON

THOR

Kerrang! Issue No. 79 October 1984 – The Lyceum, London – Review by Derek Oliver

W.A.S.P/ Thor / Wrathchild

Thor, on the other hand, seems to be suffering from exactly the opposite problem to Wrathchild, Visually his image is perfect; obviously, a real-life comic book super hero. But musically his flimsy material lacks the splendour of his gigantic stature, Simply, Thor is in dire need of some decent and colourful songs before a career upgrade can be fully justified.

Devoid of the luscious Pantera, hot water bottle and rusty iron bar, the performance was stripped back to basics, featuring the Mighty One on his own bellowing out a succession of primal rumbles that culminated with the monstrous ‘Thunder On The Tundra’, atediously rudimentary song that contained more banality than an evening spent in the company of Gloria Hunniford and microphone.

Crawling from the wreckage, my mind flicked back to Ozzy’s recent Donington extravaganza in which, although artistically a shambles, his personal warmth and believable character shone through brighter than any other star on the bill. The same can be said of Thor; this man is honest and truly likeable. I just hope those minor problems can be quickly overridden.