Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 4/20/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
TRIUMPH – “Somebody’s Out There” (1986)
The year was 1986. After waiting several years for the moment to happen, I finally was going to see Triumph perform live. Having been a longtime fan of this underrated Canadian power trio, I looked forward to this concert with great anticipation. Little did I know at the time that the band’s 1986 release, The Sport Of Kings, was going to be the beginning of the end of the band.
For the first time in their career, Triumph let pressure from a record company help dictate their creative vision. The end result was an album that none of the members were particularly happy with (as they recently discussed in a “reunion” interview with Eddie Trunk). Although The Sport Of Kings leaned towards a softer, more Journey-like sound, the album did feature some memorable (albeit different) tracks.
“Somebody’s Out There” does have the signature uplifting vibe of classic Triumph, but it’s clear that the song was deliberately written with radio airplay in mind. While the band isn’t particularly fond of this type of song, it brings back happy nostalgic memories for me.
SANTERS – “Can’t Shake You” (1984)
During the recent interview with Eddie Trunk, Triumph mentioned that they used Toronto guitarist Rick Santers on their last few tours. Without knowing the Triumph connection, I discovered Santers on my own in 1984, when they released their third album, Guitar Alley. Until hearing Santers mentioned during the interview, I had forgotten all about this album (which is a part of my vinyl collection). The whole album is solid, but the standout track from me was always “Can’t Shake You.” Despite not hearing the song for several decades, I remembered every lyric as I listened again this week. If you’re a fan of the AOR sound of the ‘80s, make sure to check out Santers, a band that likely flew under the radar of most.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER – “Lowlife” (1986)
Cryptic Slaughter was formed in 1984 by a bunch of teenagers all under the age of 17 in California. Similar to a lot of underground hardcore punk bands back in the ‘80s, the band also had a DIY mentality. The difference was their crossover sound, much like D.R.I. and Corrosion of Conformity, allowed them to sell over 25,000 copies of their first album Convicted. Their anti-authoritarian, energetic, fast-paced musicianship and lyrical content propelled them to the forefront of the crossover/hardcore punk movement. They have become influences to countless hardcore bands to this day.
DOWN – “Lifer” (1995)
The band known as Down has been one of the best supergroups to ever grace the annals of metal. Comprised of Phil Anselmo (ex-Pantera), Rex Brown (ex-Pantera), Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity), Kirk Weinstein (Crowbar), and Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod), Down has the signature sludge/doom/southern metal sound so many bands have tried to imitate. “Lifer” comes from the band’s debut album NOLA (released in 1995). It still stands the test of time.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
CHUCK BILLY – “Fear Of The Dark” (2006)
Chuck Billy is best known as the vocalist for the thrash metal band Testament, an endeavor which has brought him tremendous success for over 30 years now. He’s also been known to branch off on his own. His cover of Iron Maiden’s “Fear Of The Dark” was featured on the 2006 tribute album to the British metal giants, Numbers from the Beast: An All-Star Tribute to Iron Maiden.
SUSPERIA – “Live My Dreams” (2009)
Chuck Billy made a guest appearance with the Norwegian thrash metal band Susperia on their 2009 album, Attitude. The band was originally called Seven Sins, but to avoid confusion with another band by that name, changed theirs to the 1977 Italian cult horror film “Suspiria,” misspelling it slightly to avoid copyright issues. Billy is a natural fit with the band.