Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Random '80s Band Photo Generator

Guess I kind of skipped a week there. Gotta be honest and say that the lack of response/interest was probably a contributing factor. Maybe the shine's faded from this particular endeavor. And I don't know if this post is gonna change things.

But, wait, do I see a pair of suspenders? You've got to be kidding me. Actually, make that two pairs of suspenders. And a bolo tie, dude? Isn't the Native American choker-thing enough neck adornment?

Closer examination of this photo leads me to believe that these guys didn't really go into this photo shoot (or perhaps their entire image) with a "plan." They just picked a little bit from here and there—Freddy Krueger shirt, skull shirt, weird dangly lapel pins, snakeskin shirt—and threw it at the wall, so to speak, to see what would stick.

Anyone still paying attention, I welcome your thoughts on this mess.

Update: Finally, "Jymbo" managed to ID these guys as Banshee, from Kansas City. I put this up because several Test Your Metal readers bristled at the fact that I lumped this band in with the other faceless and unremarkable major label signings of the late '80s. The funny thing is, that the people who jumped to Banshee's defense couldn't actually identify a picture of them. Since they were on a major label (and Metal Blade before that), they certainly aren't obscure and I won't bother getting into the details of their career. They have their own website for that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"OK, Now Tilt Your Head To The Right...A Little More..."

This unfortunate-looking trio all have a tilt to their heads like an expectant dog waiting for a treat. Maybe the photographer was dangling some Snausages to get them to pay attention to him while he was snapping away.

Now, because two of these dudes seem to be of Asian descent, I'm gonna give the guy on the right a pass on the official Heavy Metal Crime of sporting a T-shirt with the Japanese Rising Sun and Kanji characters (a torn up one, no less). Don't know that I can be so forgiving of his counterpart on the left who seems to have both a bandana and a studded leather choker around his neck. Eesh.

The guy in the middle looks all the whiter and out of place sandwiched between these two. In fact, he kinda looks like a Kelly Johnson (R.I.P.) of Girlschool doppelganger. For which I feel some pity in pointing out. Sorry, guy.

I know who this band is and, uh, let's just say that given plenty of opportunities to make a mark in the metal world, they were mostly unsuccessful. They did leave behind some excellent promo photos, however, which I'll be happy to share once we get an ID on 'em. (And Ian is banned from commenting on this post [at least until it's revealed], due to his corroboration on it.)

Update: Yes, indeed, this is Canadian band Sye. Alcolm X correctly ID'd them. Finally. I thought that they looked so unique that someone would have gotten this right off the bat. Sye released two albums, Turn on the Fire (on Metal Blade, 1985), and Wings of Change (on Loudspell, 1988), but were never able to turn the corner. Some have lauded their second album, but their first was pretty universally panned. Here's a bonus picture provided by Ian Christe with an obviously different lineup around guitarist/vocalist Bernie Carlos.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Beginning Of The End

Now I'm not going to suggest that the above pictured band was somehow responsible for how ridiculous metal got once it hit the mainstream in the mid '80s, but they are definitely representative of the glut of bands that were suddenly signed and foisted onto the world based on nothing more than their hometown and hairstyles.

It's a pro-shot promo and the dudes look like they're well-groomed (i.e. there was probably a stylist involved), so we can surmise that there was some money backing them. But if you ever had the pleasure of listening to the accompanying record, you'd know why this quartet has been long forgotten.

Though I'm picking on these dudes, the unfortunate thing is that they were just one of many utterly forgettable second, third and fourth generation craphounds (anyone remember Cats in Boots, Vain, Child's Play, Dirty Looks, Banshee, D'Molls, Roxx Gang, etc., etc.? Could you tell one from another if I posted pictures of them?) that besmirched metal's good name during its first real taste of mega popularity. On the plus side, these kinds of bands were probably largely responsible for sending "real" metal back underground and fueling the rise of the extreme era.

Anyone have any thoughts on who this band is?

Update: Congrats to Keir for his correct guess of Shire. Yeah, where are they today? Where were they a year after their debut EP came out on Enigma, for that matter? Nowheresville, population 1. I really have no other information other than the fact that their record came out during a very fertile time in the LA metal scene and they were just another face in the crowd. I probably still have this record and I probably only listened to it once before deciding it was pretty generic. I guess the singer went on to front the equally obscure Attakk, but that's all I know. Keir, if you have more info, feel free to post it in the comments section and I'll add it here.