Monday, September 05, 2011

Forgotten Gems: Xcursion - Xcursion


Chances are very few of today's kids have heard of the band Slaughter. No, I'm not even talking about the excellent Canadian death/thrash version but rather the other one. You know the "Fly to the Angels" one. Years before Mark Slaughter would form his eponymous band Slaughter and before he was chosen as the lead singer of group Vinnie Vincent Invasion he fronted a hard rock/heavy metal act known as Xcursion. This Las Vegas, Nevada three piece featured Mark Slaughter on vocals/guitar along with Anthony White (Cold Sweat, Ferrari) on drums and Al "Rex" Rumley (Roz Parade, Apocrypha) on bass. The group would manage one EP and the 1984 full-length album "Ready To Roll". Never mind "Ready To Roll" as it is a under-produced, shallow and easily forgettable slab of hard rock. No, let's talk about their self-titled 1983 EP. Also known as the "Skull Queen" EP this 4-track affair features some stellar early 80's heavy metal. Opening track "Mouthful of Steel" is a wonderful little NWOBHM influenced rocker. Featuring very simplistic guitar and a pounding rhythm section the number glides along with so little effort. "Love is Blind" is another number custom built out of 80's heavy metal and leftover NWOBHM riffs. It is hard to imagine that this would be the same vocalist/guitarist who would write such limp-tastic numbers as "Up All Night" later on in life. "Can’t Take It" sounds quite a bit like early Motley Crue while "Skull Queen" sounds like every other early 80's band that never made it. What a shame it is that the band's full-length album sounded like left-over LA hard rock and that Mark Slaughter took the road he did. Xcursion showed some promise on this 4-track EP. Eventually "Ready To Roll" was re-released on Old Metal Records with the Skull Queen EP as bonus tracks. The whole affair is pretty easy to find online these days and with a quick search you can easily find this EP for download. Forget what Slaughter did to kill real heavy metal for a moment and just sit back and enjoy the power of this 4-track EP. It's a real kick in the pants 80's heavy metal adventure.


Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

COMPLETELY forgot this ever existed.

3:52 AM  

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