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Obscure Olde Metal

Obscure Olde Metal, Pt. 6

by Chuck Eddy

Obscure Olde Metal, Pt. 6

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This sixth episode of Napster's [grave-robbing expedition] for metal bands almost nobody remembers yields -- among other things -- a whole bunch of matched pairs. Epitaph and Faithful Breath, for instance, were both somewhat left-fieldish German combos whose careers bridged the '70s and '80s. Frijid Pink and The Frost were both heavy early '70s freak-rockers from Detroit. The Fools and 4 Out of 5 Doctors were East Coast hard rock bar bands (Boston and D.C., respectively) trying to pass themselves off as New Wave in the skinny-tie era. Texas' Evil Mothers and Vancouver's Facepuller were industrialized noise-mongers from the '90s. 45 Grave and Flipper were early '80s-spawned California punk bands brave enough to embrace metal riffs well before that became fashionable for punk bands to do. And most amazingly, Fandango and Fandango -- besides having exactly the same name -- were two different late '70s/early '80s AOR bands, each featuring a guy who used to be in Deep Purple!

Of the remaining combos on offer here, only three more date back to the '70s: all-female proto-Runaway glam queens Fanny; Devo/Pere Ubu-associated Northern Ohio avant-blues mad scientists 15.60.75 (aka The Numbers Band); and acid-rocky U.K. Sabbath tourmates Freedom. Bands from the '80s are a bit more plentiful: English Dogs (oi! blokes bulking up after hearing Venom perhaps); Exciter (Ottawa proto-thrash); Export (Gillan-connected Brits); Fallen Angels (Hanoi Rocks and Vibrators alumni reviving glam before hair metal did); Flotsam & Jetsam (Jason Newsted's thrash outfit before Metallica swiped him -- so OK, maybe not that obscure. But then, maybe Exciter, Fanny, Flipper and/or 45 Grave aren't either. Depends who you know.)

From the '90s, there's also Cali death metallers Epidemic; Cali desert stoners Fatso Jetson; Boston metalcore progenitors 454 Big Block; Hollywood bike-rock booger roogers The Four Horsemen; and White Lion singer Mike Tramp's keep-up-with-grunge project Freak of Nature. Together, they hint that old metal bands don't always die: Sometimes they get buried alive.

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