JEROD

JANUARY 1988

JEROD – MARQUEE, LONDON

Their debut Marquee slot and, believe me, Over And Out have something special. Vocalist Jeanette is Irish and quite superb. In time she’ll have to ditch the ‘Rock Chick’ image, the mediocre Metal band and even the ‘let’s boogie’ raps. In twelve months she’ll be unstoppable! Her acid ballad, ‘Prove Me Wrong’, could be sheer genius. The rest is formula, adult Rock but still cannot detract from Jeanette’s presence, feel and, Goddammit, power! As I say, twelve months.

Much has been written about Terence Trent Jerod. He’s black, he plays a white Stratocaster upside-down and heads a three- piece Rock outfit. He must be Hendrix.

Crap!

I don’t want to insult the man’s talent or intelligence with such comparisons. Hendrix is dead, for Bernie Torme’s sake! Jerod is Soul. He has more conviction than the entire dance chart combined. He burns like a man reared on deep, Stax Motown. The grace of the compassionate and the angry. Jerod matters to this Rock circus.

The obligatory drum intro and they tumble headlong into ‘Charlie Boy’. Wrenching impossible licks and chords from his guitar with alarming disinterest, Jerod is far more than just another hybrid R & B child. There’s an edge to his playing and to such songs as ‘What 1 Want’ and ‘Never Stop Me Coming’. Here is furious urgency tempered with sensual humility.

When he shrugs off the guitar and walks amongst the crowd you just have to believe the guy. He doesn’t do this because it made Paul Hewson famous. He does it because he just wants you and me to believe him. He drags Jesus upon stage, shakes anybody’s hand and thanks his manager.

At times they suffer from the genre’s inherent indulgence, particularly in the drumming department. Maybe backing vocals would fill out the sound without hindering the lean delivery. Maybe if the bassist could move his face once in a while. Uncharitable gripes but nonetheless persistent.

Enough. In 1988 want a major label to shell Out big bucks for Jerod – the man and his music. So he used to play with Dexy’s Midnight Runners? C’mon, it paid the rent.

Enough. The spirit lives.

CHRIS WATTS

LIONS BREED

KERRANG! ISSUE 102 – September 1985

LIONS BREED: ‘Damn The Night’ (Earthshaker ES4008)

YAWN..Another totally competent German HM band whose sole credit mark is that, competence. Everything here has been done a million times before, frequently better and often more convincingly too. The problem with Lions Breed is that they’ve got nothing to say and don’t seem to care. Standard fare throughout and when the potentially interesting ‘Value Of Hell’ (eh?) shows up to end the album they ruin it by sounding so damn tired when a bit of excitement could actually have, earned them the winner in extra time.

PAUL SUTER

MARINO THE BAND

KERRANG! ISSUE 102 – September 1985

MARINO THE BAND: “Wanna Keep You Satisfied” (LRM Records LRM100)

MARINO IS a nice enough bloke and his pretty sister/partner, Lisa Dominque, is a very good looking gal… but that’s where the compliments end for this band l’m afraid, for this debut album – following a none too impressive ’ECT’ appearance – is a pretty dismal affair.

It wouldn’t be too bad if Marino was an outstanding’ guitarist, but he shows only the occasional sign of being able to do something interesting with that lump of Wood hanging round his neck and in fact displays very little potential.

It wouldn’t be too bad if there were some, decent songs here for the band to wrap themselves around, but from ‘Listen To My Heart’ and ‘Wanna Keep You Satisfied’ through ‘I Don’t Know’ and ‘Black ’N’ White World’ to ‘Gonna Make Me Cry’ and ‘Fun For The Money’, the material is limp, languid and lifeless.

And it wouldn’t’ be too bad if Lisa could at least sing, but throughout every groove she seems incapable-of doing…anything with her voice other than drone. ‘Somebody Special” on the first side is an ideal opportunity for the lovely looking lass to flex her lungs and bleed the song, but there’s no soul, passion, energy or conviction in her voice. . . sounds as if she, could’ve been doing the bloody housework at the time!

All said and done, though, a smart production could’ve tidied everything up a little, smoothed over the cracks and made it all modestly presentable. But there’s not even that luxury here, I’m afraid. Make no mistake, the production on this album is more cruel to the band than I could ever be with the pen.

But isn’t there even the faintest ray of hope for Marino? ’Well, ‘Suzie Don’t Rock ‘N Roll’ at the outset of Side Two seems to find the band awake at last, and Marino even appears to have realised that he can do something with his guitar. And immediately after there’s the instrumental ‘Borderline’, which isn’t particularly brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, but when lined up against the vapid vocal tracks it comes across OK. But that’s it.

To be brutally honest, ‘Wanna Keep You Satisfied’ is an extremely poor and in places embarassing debut album from an outfit which seems completely out of its depth in a recording studio. In the real world, good looks is no effective substitute for talent and the sooner Marino realises this the better.

MARK PUTTERFORD

IDLE CURE

KERRANG! ISSUE 145 April 1987

IDLE CURE: ‘Idle Cure’ (Frontline Records RO9008 import)

I can’t picture the Bible-bashers Moshing to Idle Cure.

The band are based in Southern California, and boy does it sound like it! Polished and laid-back in the extreme, their Christianity is the only thing they have in common with label-mates Bloodgood. The religious references are there, but unlike Bloodgood, IC don’t feel the need to continually batter the listener over the head with their message. Bearing this in mind, they could well hit pay-dirt in the US with a pristine, squeaky-clean sound just perfect for radio.

You can’t fault their professionalism, though the end result is a-mite soulless.

MAURA SUTTON

ASSASSIN

KERRANG! ISSUE 145 April 1987

ASSASSIN: “The Upcoming Terror (Steamhammer Records SPV 08-1895 import)

ASSASSIN ARE yet another Hardcore Thrash outfit hailing from Düsseldorf, famed stomping ground of the likes of Warlock and Deathrow, to name but two. ‘The Upcoming Terror’ is their first vinyl outing and I’m afraid it falls a long way short of the Mosh mark.

Assassin look and sound exactly like any number of German Thrash outfits, right down to the silly nicknames. The standard time changes are very much in evidence, and what true Thrash album would be complete without the obligatory ‘tasteful’ acoustic interlude?!

To be fair, lead vocalist Robert Gonnella does attempt to break away from the usual Thrash boundaries with his thought-provoking lyrics. Unfortunately, his vocal style is truly horrendous – most of the time it sounds like he’s suffering from a particularly nasty stomach complaint! The other musicians, meanwhile, never rise above competent.

Clearly, Assassin have allowed punk influences to overrule their Metallic sensibilities and the quality of their output has suffered as a result.

MAURA SUTTON

TRITONZ

KERRANG! ISSUE 145 April 1987

TRITONZ: “The Edge Of Hell’ (GWR Records GWLP 13)

THE GREAT gaIump Thor don’t arf get himself involved in some dodgy projects- Following the ripsnortinq ‘success’ of ‘Recruits’,’ the man’s latest movie project is ‘The Edge Of Hell’, lotsa devils and skeletons wandering with all hell breaking loose.

Thor’s brought in Tritonz to add musical accompaniment to his one-man crusade. Better than doing the whole bit himself I grant you, but still not the greatest move ever! Tritonz I’ve never heard of, but their music has plenty of cut and thrust and a reasonable grasp of tuneage to help them on their way. They’ll hardly be setting the world alight with ‘The Challenge’, ‘Live It Up’ and ‘Danger I’m Mad’ but there’s nothing here to get upset or offended by! A touch of nice playing here, a memorable melody there, but nothing to turn Tritonz into mega-stars!

HOWARD JOHNSON

SWEET SAVAGE

SWEET SAVAGE: ‘Straight Through The Heart’ 1983

The Friday Night Rock Show did a session with this band 18 months ago when Vivian Campbell (Dio guitarist) was still with them. It turned out really well -Vivian was obviously a young man who knew what he was doing.
Apparently, he’s on this single and it is good, although the production could have been a bit more selective. The rest of the band are competent, but having Vivian Campbell here is clearly designed to attract interest. However, it could be a double-edged sword because, having heard this record, people might well be tempted to go and see them live where Vivian’s absence will doubtless be a great disappointment.