KILL CITY DRAGONS

KERRANG ISSUE 284 APRIL 1990
KCD_284

“Me and Danny jammed with Steve in the rehearsal studio,” adds Dave, looking’ decidedly like you’d expect an ex-Lord to look, “and we thought, ‘Hey! We got the makings of a great band – all we need is a singer!

Let’s put’ a show! I suggest in response to  this somewhat dramatic exclamation in true Garland/Rooney tradition.

“Hey, man,” drawls Steve in  cartoon rock ‘n’ roller voice, “let’s start a rock ‘n’ roll band so we can get some chicks!”

We laugh heartily as Steve continues: “I had Billy’s phone number for a year – he was recommended to me for  another band I was in back in New York. So I thought ‘what-the-hell’, I called him up and said, ‘Send me a tape and a picture’. Billy calls back the next day and says, ‘F*** the tape and picture – I’m coming over!’

WE WENT in the studio, did two songs – and that was it. This was like June/July ‘89. Then he went back to New York to get his shit together so he could come back again.”

Billy: “Of course while I was gone Steven had second thoughts and told the other members they had made a mistake! But I like to think that if I had never come over when I did, the band would have all gone their separate ways.”

Oh you’d like to think that would you? I nod, sending up his arrogance.

“Yeah! I would like to think that,” asserts Billy, smiling wryly with obligatory gleam in the eyes.

“Dream on” mutters Steve in the same tone one would utter ‘F*** YOU! And we laugh once more.

“That’s what great about the band,” enthuses Dave. “It’s all happened naturally. It’s like a jigsaw that’s fixing itself and we’re just sitting there watching it.”

I take it things are progressing well then?

“Almost too well” replies our Bill with a B-Movie sense of foreboding.

Steve: “we’re quite shocked by the speed of things. There’s a lot of good bands, but I think that the rock scene has been really dead here for a while. I don’t think the kids have been supporting the scene until now. It’s good timing for us.”

“I’ll tell you something, Ray,” interjects Billy “I really feel the expectation has been raised to an almost unreasonable level with us. We’d only done about seven gigs until we did our first headline at the Marquee and it was like everybody was expecting the second coming of Christ or something!”

Dave: “we were shocked at the turn-out for that headline! It was amazing!”

Steve: “we had no choice except to try and do it like that”

So how far can this scaly gutter-stalker spit its flames? Does it end at ‘Marquee headliner’ status? A terminal ailment in some cases.

“This is a world class band,” declares Billy coolly, in no uncertain terms. “We’ve all been through the basic training two or three times already. We’re going to lead an accelerated existence. In six months we’ve gone through what most bands go through in three years. Great things will come from this band. I hope that the public appreciates it and we’re still around to pick up the royalties…..”

Can I ask you a silly question: why are you called the Kill City Dragons?

“Where we rehearse we always eat at this diner and Danny and me were sitting there drinking coffee trying to come up with a name. Right across the street there’s this Chinese take-away called “Imperial Dragons” and I said, ‘Hey! Why don’t we……”

Put on a show?

“No, call ourselves the Imperial Dragons!” Steve continues. “But Dave didn’t like ‘Imperial’ so we kicked some things around and we had always had this ‘Kill City’ idea.

Billy: “it’s taken from a post Stooges Iggy/James Williamson album title. I think Kill City is supposed to be Detroit.

“But to us Kill City is anywhere you’re having a rough time,” laughs Steve.

“So that, combined with the Dragons part of the takeaways name………”

Sheesh! Lucky they weren’t sitting opposite McDonalds.


 

KERRANG! ISSUE 296 JUNE 1990

KILL CITY DRAGONS, SILVER HEARTS, MARQUEE CLUB – Live review by DAVE REYNOLDS

NOT EVEN the England v Egypt game on the box could persuade the Glam crowd to stay away from this one.

True, the Marquee wasn’t sold-out but it wasn’t exactly dead either. And why on earth should it he when the main attraction everyone had backcombed their hair for look like they’re on the verge of a major deal and the support band are a bouncing bunch of baby hard rockers with a reputedly hot demo to sell?

I’ve seen Silver Hearts a couple of times now and they’re getting better, the more gigs they notch up on the bedposts. With a set that appears to centre around a ‘70’s bubblegum pop hard rock influence full of catchy chorus lines and basic rock ‘n’ roll chords tacked to a Space Hopper beat these boys could he on to something. With an image that centres upon a kinda Quireboys-meets-Monterrey look (Sorta Man At Oxfam, y’mean? – Ed) then they probably really have got it made.

The Kill City Dragons on the other hand, seem to think they’ve got nothing more to prove. After all with an EP in the offing, a very nice line in T-shirts on sale out front, and that major label deal about to be inked, aren’t they set to become the new Kerrang! centrefold kids?

Certainly, but I’d really love to see them do something a little bit more interesting musically than just rehash the glory days of Hanoi Rocks and the Lords Of The New Church. They merge the New York sound of ‘73 with some late ‘70’s and early ’80’s punk bite. But the only New York sound of ’73 I ever got into was that of Kiss. That’s probably why I preferred the Silver Hearts.

The Dragons’ image, all trash Vaudeville chic, harks back to the days when the Hanois trod the old Wardour Street Marquee boards. Perhaps in too many ways, the Dragons are unconsciously relying on the cult appeal of Hanoi Hocks. But there’s no denying that the Dragons have the look and sound that’s driving London crazy with guitarist Steve Von Saint and frontman and Zinny Zan lookalike Billy G Bang not lacking when it comes to the girls down the front wanting to grab at a sleeping armadillo.

I’ve seen the Dragons once before and, well, it’s kinda like when you see an ex-girlfriend for the first time in months. You loved them way back, but now the appeal isn’t quite the same. So you stay friends stay in touch and be happy in the knowledge that they’re doing well for themselves.

Links:

Kill City Dragons Biog

Kill City Dragons Myspace

RED DOGS

Kerrang Issue 286 April 1990

RED DOGS Marquee, London
THE RETURN of Rambo Redneck. Straddling the land with a list of pinkos and perverts, subversives and sickos. Burning VoiVod albums and Soundgarden lyric sheets, plucking the agitators from shell-holes and taking a bead on anything that isn’t heavy bloody rock ‘n’ bloody roll.

And in their place Rambo Redneck inserts mediocrity. And suburban rock ‘n’ roll bands are all the rage again.
Fresh from supporting the Quireboys this is Red Dogs’ debut Marquee headline and the fan club are out in force. Armed with lnstamatics and party-poppers, their response is infectious and heartening. To their credit and my utter surprise, Red Dogs live up to it all.

Moulded from Bad Co and the Faces, a little bit of what you fancy and a lot of Redneck manuals, Red Dogs play it straight and simple. No gimmicks, no subversion, no unnecessary chaffer. Instead the quintet bow their heads and deliver a set that is stoic and spartan, spirited and satisfying. Kept above water by the individual talents of vocalist Mickey Ripley and guitarist Paul Guerin, the sceptics are impressed and the fan-dub appeased.

Rambo Redneck’s protégés wins two encores and a deal with Razor. Whether their formula of smoky bar-room rifferama is strong enough to shift copies of their ‘Sweet Little Ruby’ EP remains to be seen, but in the interim Red Dogs are kicking up a storm.
Rambo Redneck is watching closely.
CHRIS WATTS

KERRANG ISSUE 296 JUNE 1990

RED DOGS – MARQUEE, LONDON – Live review by DAVE REYNOLDS

I FEEL rather sorry for the Red Dogs. They’re a nice enough bunch of lads and they try hard, but can’t be easy living in the shadow of the Quireboys.

If Spike and Co had never existed then I’m sure this bunch of Geordies would be playing to a sold out Marquee rather than an
audience peppered with a few die-hards – mostly of the female persuasion, plus relatives and those with nothing else better to do on a Friday night.

I’m sure the band are sick to the back teeth with the Quireboys comparisons but, well, with a bunch of songs dripping with Faces, Aerosmith and Bad Company overtones then what do they expect? Vocalist Mickey Ripley even moves like Spike, the only visual distinction being the lack of a bandanna wrapped round his head.

The difference, however, lies in the fact that with the Red Dogs you don’t get any of the honky tonk piano crap. Instead it’s just a solid wall built with two guitars, bass and drums. No nonsense rock n roll steeped in early ‘70s nostalgia.

Unfortunately, ‘Sweet Little Ruby’ aside, most of the Dogs’ songs sound rather dull and mostly the same – and I’m not the only one to have noticed this. Slide guitar comes in and out on cue, the beat pretty much remains constant, and the vocals are continually strewn with road chippings.

After half an hour had passed, it all got way too monotonous with only the catchy chorus of ‘Lizzy’s Gone Bad’ making its mark in my head.

But there was one real gem that popped up, a new song entitled ‘Pays To Be Pretty’- no doubt dedicated to the ‘sweet 16 and never been randy, Mandy’ chicks at the front who can get anything they want with a smile and a pair of big baby blues. With an extremely memorable chorus, I found myself singing it on my journey homeward.

If the Red Dogs can escape ‘that tag’ and also write a more varied selection of songs, then ‘Sold Out’ could appear in close juxtaposition to their headline billing in Charing Cross Road yet.

Links:

PARADISE LOST (US)

KERRANG ISSUE 296 JUNE 1990

PARADISE LOST – Edwards, Birmingham – live review by PAUL REES

MUSIC, LIKE all art, is governed by subjective opinion. Critics, punters and creators will participate in heated debates about good and bad without disturbing the framework of choice.

It is the rule that explains why a crowded club rejoiced in the cacophony of Florida’s ‘peaceful punks’ Paradise Lost and I endured a painful nightmare. It is the reason why an ecstatic fan shook like epilepsy while I held my ears to the Death Metal bomb blast. You pays yer money…

Yes, Paradise Lost went down well, but for a connoisseur of melody, dynamics and atmosphere they were a blackened vision of Dante’s inferno. There is no structure and consequently the essential dramatics, the light and shade, are blindly forsaken. Each component is a pail of the total blur.

Against this anarchic background a voice resembling the Bullfrogs’ mating call belches forth with intermittent fury. If there is any message it is incoherent: if there is any purpose it is eradicated. During a magical pause I convinced myself that I was right, then I look into smiling faces and sweaty smiles.

Long before the conclusion I have left the initiated to their alien ritual whispering, “Each to his own” like a prophet. On a lonely drive home I played ‘Fade To Black’ to the silence and the conflict began once more.

CRY WOLF

KERRANG ISSUE 296 JUNE 1990

CRY WOLF – Pavilion Theatre, Brighton – Live review by COLIN REED

HERE’S A good idea: round up all the dozens of bands in the country called Cry Wolf, all of whom will no doubt swear they first used the name, oh… years ago, put them in a room and let them fight it out. Until that can be arranged, the only battle this particular Cry Wolf are waging is with themselves.

Popular, slick and eager to pounce, there’s still some serious homework to be done before they can re-emerge as an A&R man’s wet dream.

For the moment, the slower, bluesier compositions are spot on, and when the twin-lead attack of Brian Trudeau and Craig Wailer gels correctly the results can be sublime, It’s the rockier songs that ways seem to need more balls and a touch more brain damage in order to make them really swing. The rhythm guitar is often fussy, and if the band would let the bass and drums carry the tempo of the song more then the guitars could be tightened up and simplified.

Cry Wolf’s ace comes in the shape of US-born vocalist Laura Hardin. It is her soulful, raunchy, sultry tones that sometimes single-handedly lift the band out of their avoidable dull moments.

On the whole, Cry Wolf could well benefit from a nice visit back to the drawing board where they could tighten their riffs, shape up and become the class act I know they can and will be.


All pics were supplied by Cry Wolf Guitarist Bri Trideau – many thanks Bri.

He can be found at the following locations:

TREASON (2)

KERRANG ISSUE 296 JUNE 1990

TREASON – The Dome, Tufnell Park – Live review by PAUL MILLER

F**k off you boring bastards!

Treason are facing an undeserving audience, fighting a wave of apathy that I’m not certain they’re sufficiently equipped to combat. Another drunk hurls a full pint at vocalist John Seton. How the f**k can he afford it, I wondered. Most of the rest of the crowd remain unmoved.

After 12 months of gigging and an album in the bag, if not actually on the shelves yet, Treason haven’t visibly moved forward. They have a handful of useful tunes to their credit – ‘Day Of Sunshine, Day Of Darkness’ and the Metalli-Thrash of opener ‘House Of Evil’ – but still possess all the charm and stage presence of a quintet of rather wet lettuces.

Indeed it’s John Seaton who is both Treason’s biggest assetand biggest problem. When he’s not actually singing he looks exposed and very uncomfortable. But when he is singing, despite not having a great voice or a huge range, he delivers his lines with such venom and passion – most notably on closer ‘Black Planet’ where, eyes ablaze, he spat out every word like it was his dying breath – that it was truly hypnotic.

Clearly Treason have some way to go if they’re to throw off the shackles of mediocrity and begin to exploit some of the potential they show. And a serious reappraisal of their ability to project themselves onstage sounds a helluva good place to start.

MISTER HYDE

MISTER HYDE Cactus Club, San Jose – Live Review June 1990

EVEN THE casual fan of hard rock will tell you that 90 per cent of the bands around today are nothing more than talentless poseurs. Y’know the type; teased wigs, tight surgically ripped jeans, and if they’re lucky, half a song.

Mister Hyde eat those bands for breakfast.

Born from the bastard wet dream of lead vocalist Jameson some four years ago, Mister Hyde have developed into a dark and dangerous musical monster.

Sound-wise, comparisons can be drawn to such acts as the New York Dolls, Motrrhead, the Ramones, lggy Pop and Vain. But Hyde take the whole nasty, smelly mix and give it an altogether more dark and sinister twist.

The first clue the packed Cabtus Club gets that they arein for something special comes no later than the first note of set opener ‘Nights Like This’. Big, sleazy riffs courtesy of Morticia and Ebö Sandor (the latter sporting a large Nugent-style hollow body Gibson) grip you by the neck and hold you just long enough for the rhythm section of bassist Riff Raff and drummer Rutt Luck to kick your legs out and knock you to the floor. And the damn song has hit potential to boot.

Vocalist Jameson, a charismatic animal of a frontman, leads the charge into a trio of powerful, disturbing tunes, namely the likes of ‘Do Or Die’, ‘Sinister’ and ‘Mary Jane’; Each one topping its predecessor in power and melody.

Visually, Mister Hyde present the same originality as they do sonically. Wearing basic black to a man, in a style that hints at Vain but won’t alienate them to Danzig fans, the band insist on covering every inch of the club’s stage. At times the five figures become one solitary blur of nervous energy.

And when they do get down to playing songs, like the set’s final three numbers ‘Laughing At The Pain’ (dedicated to Stiv Bators), ‘Darkside’ and ‘How Dare You’, you can be sure it lays to waste all those cookie cutter bands that dominate the charts these days.

Mister Hyde are a terrifyingly exciting and mind-numbingly original monster of a band.
JIM FILIAULT

Links: http://www.myspace.com/misterhydeus plenty of pics and tunes. Top act.

Thanks to the bands Myspace guy for the pics and hard work:

Psychomatic by Mister Hyde

Mister Hyde Promo Pic 1992