Status Quo – 12 Gold Bars Heh, Heh, Heh… Well, well this is where it began for me. Status Quo was what me and my buddies used to head bang to on our way to and from school back in the early eighties. Loved the simplicity and the grove they had those days. One song that stood out for me was Caroline it was kind of anthemic or at least I thought it was back in those days. My sweet introduction to rock music, who would have imagined what I listen to now.
Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind Of all the Iron Maiden albums I have this is by far the best. One of my favourite songs is Still Life from this album love it. There are some real cheesy lyrics on Quest For Fire but who cares? Piece of Mind was the first Iron Maiden album I heard and to this day I still swear is their best. It’s got a different feel and sound to the rest of their albums, a timeless classic. My late friend Kek taped it for me and began my love affair with Maiden. My brother and I collected everything they released up to Seventh Son, apart from the Soundhouse Tapes . I was a real Maiden nerd, I wouldn’t have a bad word said about them. I went in a right huff when I turned up for work when I was an apprentice in a Stranger In A Strange Land shirt and my boss said “What arse bandits are they” I wasn’t too happy, cheers Joe you un-PC twat.
Van Halen – 5150 Good old Van Halen, big stadium cock rock. This was the first album I bought with my own money on holiday in Blackpool at Virgin. When I got home it was quickly taped so I could burn out my first Sanyo personal stereo. I listened to this bad boy to death. My mum would check on me every night as I’d listen to it when I went to bed and fall asleep with the head phone wires round my neck. Some folks would slag Sammy Hagar but I thought the guy was great. I have all the previous albums and love all them too, especially Women and Children First. I think back then I was fascinated by the whole stadium mega bands thing, flying the world, playing shows, partying. Teenage dreams, young dumb and full of cum.
Slayer – Reign in Blood Slayer, ooft! What the fuck can I say. These guys blew me away on the first listen. I’d been listening to Van Halen, Maiden, Magnum, Keel etc. and to jump from that to Slayer was quite a change. My dad hated what I’d been listening too then what the hell he thought when I put Slayer on god only knows. Slayer connected with me straight away. They were the first step to thrash and extreme music for me. I’d bought Suicidal Tendencies’ Join the Army and thought it was shite (It did grow on me, probably thanks to Slayer) but when I first listened to Reign in Blood I was in awe at the raw guitar, bass, vocals and, Woah, the fucking drums. One of the best live bands too. They have stayed with me to this day and I often go back and dig this album out to take me back to the days of stomping about town with my brains plugged in to my ever present personal stereo, think I’d moved on to my Panasonic with graphic equalizer bad boy by then.
Anthrax – Among the Living Among the Living is Anthrax’s best album by a country mile. This album reminds me of school summer holidays hanging out with all my mates blasting Indians out of whoever’s ghetto blaster we could get our hands on. It still makes me really happy listening or even thinking about the good times when we would have it blaring playing footy or getting up to some shit to annoy old folk and folk in general. This is when folk started calling us moshers. We had a pretty big gang of us and nobody would mess with us not that we looked for trouble but we looked after each other. The funny thing about this album is I bought the I Am The Law seven inch red vinyl the same day as ST’s Join The Army and thought it was shit too lol, but it is probably my favourite tarck on the album now, funny how things grow on you sometimes probably thanks to me being influenced heavily by Slayer. Nice Fuckin Life.
Faith No More – The Real Thing Faith No More were a curve ball for me at this time, pulled me away from all the thrash I was listening too. I don’t think there is a bad song on this album. The song that really grabbed me was Zombie Eaters. This song is so powerful it can bring me to tears. Live it sends shivers down my whole body. These guys have been a major influence on me. They have a couldn’t give a fuck what you think sound. They sound different to anyone else. I first saw them live in a tiny venue in Edinburgh called the Network, the place was rammed and jumping. Surprise you’re Dead is a belter too full on in your face and takes me back to slamming in the local club in my home town Hawick in the Scottish Borders called The Number Ten. We used to proper slam dive off wherever in that place, great times.
Naïve: An Earache Records Sampler I taxed this Earache Sampler off a mate years ago, it is too good to give back. There are some amazing British bands on this. Pitchshifter, Fudge Tunnel and Scorn really stood out for me. But the songs that really got me were Clutch’s Impetus (which is up there in my top 10 songs) and Sleep’s Dragonaut. This album was out in 1993 for fuck sake and has some of the best songs of all time on it. I still put this on now and again and it’s stayed top of my playlist since I nicked it. The feel of Impetus has a real hook of groove to it. It grabs you and spits you out at the end with a big cheeser on yer puss. As for Dragonaut, listen to it yourself and find out
Deftones – Around the Fur A few folks will frown at this choice but for me this album saved me from drowning in a sea of shit music. I was listening to shit a couple of mates were into, Pete Tong on a Friday night getting stoned and steamin’. It was at the time I was in a band called Ninth Circle soon to become Ridgeback. What the fuck I was listening to shit dance music for I don’t know. Then along came our band manager John Da Hog with a copy of Around the Fur. It woke me the fuck up and kicked me up the arse to get a grip. My Own Summer and Be Quiet and Drive are awesome crowd pleasers and Head Up is an epic live tune. I had the pleasure of meeting the guys at our show in The Underworld in London . They were playing Brixton Academy earlier and we were playing a late show. I had a great blether with Abe, really nice humble guy who reminded me of my wee bro Adam. So these guys saved me and through them I discovered Will Haven and Far to name a few.
Medulla Nocte – Dying from the Inside Now Medulla Nocte are probably one of the best UK bands in recent history, shame they split and we lost the legend Jammer (R.I.P.) a few years back. My old band Ridgeback toured with these guys when they toured this album. I personally learned a lot from them on tour. How to deal with all the shit that goes on in the UK scene, some promoters are spineless fucks in this country. I owe a lot these boys, I have so much respect for them. Big man Jammer was a bear of a man. Last time I saw him he picked me up and gave me a massive bear hug and I’m not a wee guy myself. The last show of the tour, I did my obligatory streak on stage while they were on in the Met Lounge in Peterborough with an old pal 8pint and Neil nearly passed out laughing. That was a messy night and the beginning of a great friendship. As for the album I didn’t get it at first then I was hooked. Paul’s vocals are so damn intense, you can feel every ounce of emotion coming from his soul. Inside I’m Dying takes you through all kind of emotions then hangs you out to dry. Fucking brutal.
Bongripper – Satan Worshipping Doom Finally I jump 10 years to this beast Satan Worshipping Doom by Bongripper. I saw them live with Conan a few years ago and thought they were okay , then I went to Roadburn 2015 and saw them on the Main Stage. Ooyah fucker, now that’s how it’s done. They have a huge low end sound, amazingly rifftastic tunes, proper balls out heavy as an awfy heavy, heavy thing, ooft!! They draw you in, get your head nodding along to the low end riffs and leave you with a massive smile on your face thinking “What the fuck?” They are everything I love about music even though there’re no vocals. I’ve never bothered too much about what the vocals are in songs which is a bit strange with me being the vocalist in Razor Sharp Death Blizzard, but I just think of vocals being another instrument in a band. You get the feeling from the bass, drums and guitar as much as vocals. As my mum and dad have always said “Yee can’t make a bloody word out of what yer singing” Bless ‘em.
You Will Burn ,Razor Sharp Death Blizzard’s debut album, is out now.