Friday, January 28, 2011

Forgottem Gems: Crisis-Armed To The Teeth / Kick It Out 2 CD 2010 Reissue

Shadow Kingdom Records 2010 Reissue

One day soon Mark and I need to make up a list of the most outrageous LP covers of the 80s. I'm sure Armed To The Teeth would get a mention. This 1984 EP has all the classic hallmarks that made heavy metal album covers "interesting". Let's see you have a half naked girl. Check. Machine guns. Check. And finally an electric guitar. Check. Yes, it's all here and more. But is that really what Forgotten Gems is about? Album art? No, it's all about whats under the wrapping. Speaking of which am I the only one who ever wondered "What would Raven sound like if Dee Snider fronted them"? Anybody else? Well, Crisis isn't an exact match but it's pretty darn close. Crisis were a heavy metal band from Salt Lake City, Utah who hit the scene in 1979 with their demo "Armed To The Teeth". The band would be picked up by UK label Bullet Records and "Armed To The Teeth" was put out and gained a touch of notoriety for it's cover. Pity though that the actual music was lost to history. With bands like Van Halen, Motley Crue and Ratt on the airways bands who were more influenced by the nwobhm movement were out of vogue. This three piece metal band played sloppy heavy metal in much the same way as groups like The Rods,Motorhead and early Twisted Sister. Armed To The Teeth is a pretty rough around the edges and raw EP. It's not at all like the pretty hard rock music that was all the rage in 1984 here in America. It's no surprise then that they ended up being more popular overseas than in their home country. Despite such popularity in Europe things fell apart for the band. Their record label collapsed and the record "Kick It Out" failed to be properly released. With fans unable to get copies of the album the bands small fan base withered up and they eventually called it quits. Now though Shadow Kingdom Records has collected these two releases onto one disc. It make things even sweeter they have included an additional disc of unreleased music. Featuring a color booklet with the bands history and lyrics this 2 CD set is a blast. Crisis play bare bones metal as I said. Fans of Raven, The Rods, Motorhead and early Twisted Sister take note. This is bar room metal. In a time when hairspray was all the rage Crisis were playing metal in jeans and leather. Obviously primitive in nature (no one is going to confuse Crisis with another three piece band like Rush!) Crisis is like a poor man's heavy metal. More AC/DC than Queensryche if you get what I mean. Today's kids certainly won't get this. It will come off sounding too retro. But for guys like me who think AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" blows Led Zepplin's "Stairway To Heaven" out of the water will enjoy the racket these guys lay down. Working man's metal for those days you just can't wait for some warm beer and cold pizza after a hard day at the shop.


Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Definitely not the more hardcore Crisis of the late nineties/and 2000s who are also broken up these days. For outrageous metal-sex covers, I'm always down with Keel's Lay Down the Law, while there's that the TKO album with the arm and boxing glove punching a poor lassie up the you-know-what

6:53 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Actually the cover you are describing is Boxer's Below the belt from the 70's. TKO had a mid-80's album called In your face that showed vocalist brad Sinsel holding his fists out and standing over a woman in boxing gear who is laying down covering her chest with her boxing gloves. However the crotch punch is definitely Boxer not TKO.

4:11 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Predator's "Easy Prey" (1985) is another guilty pleasure of mine. It's just so bad. As a side not the girl on the cover Bev Cross apartenly passed away. The reissue is dedicated to her memory.

2:01 PM  

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