Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Who were they?- Blacklace

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Welcome to the debut of "Who were they?". This will be a monthly segment where I briefly give a biography of a lesser known band and tell a little bit about their sound. I decided to start with New York's Blacklace just because I had been listening to them lately. They were formed in 1982 by brothers Carlo (guitar) and Anthony Fragnito (bass). The brothers quickly added vocalist Maryanne Scandiffio and a drummer. They began playing clubs and recorded a demo. Belgian based label Mausoleum records signed the band to a contract. Some time prior to recording their debut the band changed drummers as they brought in Steve Werner and their line-up was complete. They released their debut Unlaced in 1984 which was co-produced by Manowar's Ross the boss. They got some notice and toured opening for Twisted Sister, Manowar, Zebra and others. They were quickly back in the studio and recorded a second album called Get it while it's hot in 1985.
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Later that year the band had a track on Hit Parader's cassette only compilation "The Wild Bunch". That's where I first heard them although I had seen both albums at my local record store. After that the band faded a bit as they never did another album and some reports say they broke up in 1987. Masoleum released the two albums on a CD a few years ago and it's of good quality. The band reportedly did a few reunion shows in the New York area back in 2004 and were contemplating doing an album, but I don't think anything has happened over the last two years.
Okay that the history lesson. My view is Blacklace were a fairly straightforward metal band. Their sound was maybe somewhere between early 80's Judas Priest and early Warlock. I thought the guitars had a great sound that was very riff heavy and not afraid to do something new. The vocals were strong and somewhat unique. The rhythm section were solid and the production did them justice by letting you hear them. The lyrics had maybe a bit too cliche at times with lots of songs about loving rock and roll and having a broken heart. Both albums are fairly similar in style, but I probably prefer the debut. They really didn't break any new ground on the second album. I bought the CD a few years ago and still enjoy it. I later picked up both on vinyl for fair prices on eBay. They are not a band that was exactly a lost gem, but certainly a good band that may be worth giving a listen to.

***Hope you enjoyed the first segment of "Who were they?". Next month we will get into a bit of a soap opera kind of story as I talk about Vyper.


Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

Can't say I never heard of them because I actually recognized the second album cover when I saw it. But unfortunately I have never heard their music.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Robert Ethier said...

I like the idea of this segment. This review has made me want to hit eBay and find the CD!!!!

thanks for the review!!!

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool segment! I wonder how many thousands of bands hit the level they hit and just never broke review!

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're very thorough Mark. I've never heard of these guys. Good job.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

andre-I saw the albums years ago, but it was only in recent years that I heard the whole albums.

Robert-Good lick. I don't know what it goes for. I got mine new at a record store a while back and it was around $18.

Rockdog-Thanks. It sound like Blacklace achieved a good bit. They were also kind of right before the huge outpouring of metal bands.

Captain Corky-Thanks.

I have actually been thinking ahead as to what bands to profile and I have a working list. There are some problems in researching though. There are some bands where I have an album, but can't find much biographical information. Then there are some bands where sites have information, but there are different accounts of what happened. So I have to check the sources. Blacklace was easier than some because the cd had a biography in it so I trust the information is accurate because it is their record label. I will be as accurate and as thorough as I can with this segment.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - that is a bad record cover!! Surprisingly, I never heard them, but Priest style with female vocals could be interesting.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! I never heard of them. BTW, your blog is COOL=:)

8:55 PM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

Very nice start. I love the idea and look forward to future reviews. I'm sure you already know, but I found wikipedia has some pretty good information on bands and things. I've been rather surprised at some of the entries ... soooo if you haven't already checked there you may wanna give it a try ... No promises though!

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Rhodeislandrock said...

I remember Blacklace but I can't say i'm very familiar with the music.

Seems the vinyl can be picked up at reasonable prices on Ebay.

Got to the Vibrations of Doom website and look under "Classic Albums", both are there for the listening.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Hard Rock Hideout said...

I never heard of this group either, and I thought I knew them all! LOL! :)

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how come everyone mentions the bad cover art but nobody mentioned the fact that it's a total ripoff of Dio's Holy Diver? look at the whip, the chained up priest looking back in horror, even the chick's left hand throwing the horns. it's all Dio, baby.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, my bad. i left my Dio rip-off comment on the wrong date. it was for that Smash Alley cover. sorry.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw them play at lamours in ny opened up for ingwve malmsteen good band. Well cordinated did put a good show lot of competition in the 80 but I guess didnt get a break

8:52 AM  

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