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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Compilation nr. 8

OutsidersI discovered today that weird site, selling Greek underground rock albums in outrageous prices.

200$ for a Chaos Generation album.

125$ for an Ipogia Troxia album

100$ for an Antidrasi album…

This is madness…

No wonder why people prefer to download from the internet instead of buying them…

 

The next LP was released in 1985 and was rated at 200$ but for many-many years you could find it for 1 euro…

Yes, for 1 euro.

 

It is a compilation LP that Costas from the Chaos Generation reminded me a few months ago while we were talking about it.

We were talking especialy about the band “Not 2 without 3“.

The faces on the album sleeves look so familiar to both of us but we couldn’t remember jack shit about them.

Of course the band was very active back in those days but I think it’s a long time ago.

 

The title of this compilation is “Outsiders” and Not 2 without 3 participated with two tracks: I keep” and “Crocodiles“.

It was a dark wave band with a typical line up, bass-drums-guitar-vocals.

“I keep” had a great chorus line on vocals and strangely enough for that era, there is a guitar solo which is very melodic and interesting.

On “Crocodiles” sounds obvious that the rhythm section was influenced by the Cure of the early days (what do you expect ? this was in 1985…) but the singer was clever enough to confuse the listener, singing in a more personal style.

For sure that song would be a great dance floor hit in some gothic clubs in the present time.

Strangely enough, I have a vague memory of linking them to the South of No North.

Maybe they were in the same company of friends.

2 without 3 never released a full album.

 

The compilation track listing:

 

1.  Libido Blume-In my room

2.  Not 2 without 3-I keep

3.  X-Mandarina Duck-Television

4.  Venericna Bolest-To hit

5.  Anti-Troppau Council-Contract with the devil

6.  Anti-Troppau Council-Remissed

7.  Venericna Bolest-Τυπωμένη συνήθεια

8.  X-Mandarina Duck-Passengers

9.  Not 2 without 3-Crocodiles

10.  Libido Blume-House of light

 

venericna-bolestVenericna Bolest never released an album either.

This was an Athenian post punk band with Greek lyrics.

George Drakopoulos was on the keyboards (former member of the bands Horis Peridereo, Moist Device, he would join later the band Chaos Generation / Genia tou Haous).

The rest band members were guitar player Andreas Takis, singer/bassist Giorgos Kanavakis and drummer Vangelis Pipinis.

Their sound was close to Wasted Youth’s or the early Modern English.

They never released a full length album or any 7″  single.

 

x-mandarina duckX-Mandarina Duck was Tom Bouzanis’s three piece band.

Tom was an ex member of Parthenogenesis and joined for a while the punk rock band Stress.

In 1984 he founded the X-Mandarina Duck with Zacharias ‘Zack Antvark’ Vrelianakis on the bass and drummer Chris Mine.

Their sound was close the English punk rock scene of the late 70’s.

They released the 7″ single “Non Stop Sensations” in 1986 and split.

Tom Bouzanis joined later the English bands “Passengers” and “Dynamite Inc“.

In 2005 he released the CD album “13een Black

This album had little to do with the old X-Mandarina Duck sound.

 

libido-blumeLibido Blume was the post-punk/new wave band that Aki “Bua” Bogiatzis formed in 1984 when Captain Nefos disbanded.

The band released two albums “Colours Melting” in 1986 and “Liquid Situation” in 1987.

They also released a 5 track mini album in 1986, titled “Brilliant names and dames“.

The line up of the band was Aki “Bua” Bogiatzis – bass/vocals, Dimitris Stergiou – keyboards/vocals, Giannis Drenogiannis-guitar

(Stelios Habibis would soon take his place) Dimitris Bourousas-Drums.

Later Tasos Katsaris-sax/keyboards and Makis Vretos-drums joined the band replacing Stergiou and Bourousas respectively.

The track “In My Room” appears also on “Colours Melting” on a different (and better) version.

Their myspace profile is here.

 

Giannis Drenogiannis was mentioned in past postings.

He was the guitar player of Anti-Troppau Council, later joined the band Horis Peridereo for a while, played a little with Libido Blume and finally formed the band Yeah!

I hope I didn’t forget any other band.

 

The compilation “Outsiders” was released by the indie record label Dikaioma Diavasis.

Later, this record label would become “Di-Di music” and “Big Star Promotions“.

“Big Star Promotions” is nowdays the top Greek rock promoter, organizing many festivals every year in Greece with Rockwave Festival on top of them all, which is taking place in Greece every summer.

Rockwave Festival (it was Rock of Gods till the year 2000) hosted bands such as the Black Sabbath, Offspring, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, Slipknot and many others…

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2009 in Compilations

 

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From Blood Nirvana to Heavy Liquid

1993When the Last Drive met Paul B. Cutler that night in 1990, they wouldn’t imagine that he would be their future producer.

The band was opening for the American band, The Dream Syndicate at Rodon Club – Athens and there was where they met Cutler who was playing the guitar for the D.S.

 

A lot of things changed with the release of the album “Blood Nirvana“.

Blood Nirvana” was different from the “Heatwave” album.

Diving into the abyss of a raw rock’n’roll sound, touching sometimes the edges of heavy metal, the band started exploring new sounds capes.

 

Music Maniac, the German label that was re-releasing their albums terminated their cooperation.

Maybe their contract was over, maybe the new style didn’t fit in Music Maniac’s roster…we will never know.

One way or the other, the new sound was refreshing and the boys choose to move in that new direction.

Some old fans were disappointed and some new fans came up.

You can’t win them all…

 

munster-comp“Blood Nirvana” found also distribution in Spain and U.S. and the Last Drive participated in the compilation

Munster Dance Hall Favorites. Vol.III” of the Spanish label Munster Records, before going on tour with Dead Moon.

 

Paul B. Cutler returned to Greece to produce the next Last Drive album, “F* Head Entropy“.

That would their hardest album and would be the first one for the ex-Alley Rats guitarist, Thanos Amorginos, who joined the Last Drive.

 

11 tracks of raw power and a more eccentric language from what the band used on their past albums.

The album was released in 1992 and the band flew to Spain for a few gigs before returning to Greece to play live at Thessaloniki on 21st and 22nd of May 1993.

The Last Drive would hold a special gig for the 10 years of the band on December 23rd 1993.

Probably one of their last gigs before signing to a major label, BMG records, in 1994.

 

Before signing for BMG records, they participated again with a track on the Spanish compilation “Enclosed Please Find… Your Invitation To Suicide“.

BMG records released their last album, titled “Subliminal” in 1995.

 

In the same year, the lead guitar player, George Karanikolas (B.George Bop), decided to leave the band and work on his side project, the band Blackmail.

After a few months, Last Drive would split, with each member following a different direction except Alex Kalofolias (Alex K.) and Thanos Amorginos (T.H. Lime) who formed the desert rock band Earthbound.

Drummer Chris Michalatos would join the band Speedballs for a while.

 

On February 2007 the band re-formed.

Initially for three gigs but later they decided to record new material.

In 2008, Blind Bastard Records released a double dvd/cd with footage from their concerts of 2007, titled “Time is not important“.

 

Their new album, “Heavy Liquid” has 11 tracks and it is expected to hit the market on May 9 2009.

 

You can listen to some of their new songs, such as “A Glass of Broken Dreams”, “Magdalene”, “Pantherman” on myspace .

 

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2009 in Garage

 

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Days of Future passed vol. 3

Here is a video catching R.R. Hearse & S/M performing live at An Club in the late 80’s.

As I couldn’t specifically describe their sound when I posted the introduction to the “Opticoacoustic Bomb“.

I guess this will give you an idea.

 

R.R. Hearse (aka Lambros Tsamis) was jamming very often with the Ex Humans during the early 80’s ( click here for video ) and he also did the vocals for the Soldiers of Anarchy (later to be named Ex-Humans).

 

In the mid 90’s he formed the duet Love Exotics.

After some research, I discovered that Love Exotics released two tracks, “Sunday” and “Morning Lullabieson a cassette compilation, given for free with the fanzine Overdub in 1997.

The title of the compilation was “Obscurity – Discharge – Over“.

Two years later, an other Love Exotics track appeared on the limited CD compilation “Try A Little Sunshine“.

The track title was “Love Song“.

Lambros Tsamis was working for years by the nickname DJ Low-Fi.

 

 

Villa 21 appeared on the “Opticoacoustic Bomb” with two tracks, “(The Land Where the) Sun Never Shines” is one of them.

I spotted that the blog Tape Recorder wrote about their first two singles here

and Vertigo blogspot gives informations about their album “Man of Clayhere

 

You can read about their history on this past post of ours.

Someone made a profile of the band on myspace.

This is the link. 

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2009 in Days Of Future Passed

 

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Hi Infidelity

 

Someone might not understand what the difference is of living far away from Athens when it comes to rock’n’roll… 

 

Well, being far away from Athens makes life too damn difficult for Greek rock musicians.  Partly because Athens, a city of 5 million people, was always the centre of a half dead Greek “music industry“, and partly because of the conservative minds of the people in the countryside.

 

The music borders were always a bit hazy in Greece:  Rock music? Why not some bouzouki?”

 

If you chose rock’n’roll, there comes another question:  Greek lyrics or English lyrics (the rest of the languages are far behind these two).

 

If you chose Greek, that’s fine, but if you chose English lyrics you have to answer “why” in every damn interview you give in your life: “Since you are Greeks why do you sing in English?”

 

The answer is so fucking obvious that this question alone makes the interviewer look more stupid than a squirrel which is about to bite a pair of balls mistaking them for nuts:  “They speak English cause they want to sell records over the Greek borders” for fuck sake.

 

They could sing in Greek BUT they want to have the chance to drink beers in Berlin, dance in London or play live in Paris, and singing in Greek makes this dream impossible.

 

That’s the whole frigging truth.

 

But when the question, “Since you are Greeks why do you sing in English?” comes up, there is something hiding between the lines.   Something like: “You don’t like the Greeks?”, “…your mother language?” and shit like that.

 

This question discourages some people from supporting bands with English lyrics.

 

People, it’s alright to sing in English, Greek or any damn language you feel like…

 

Now, where were we?

 

Kilkis is a city of about 25,000 people in North Central Greece.

infidelity-promo-shooting1

 

In 1996, a new band, called Infidelity, was formed in that city and today they exist with the following line up:  Dimitris P.M. – vocals, Stelios G. – guitars, George M. – guitars, vocals, Sophie K. – bass guitars, accordion, piano, vocals, George S. – drums

 

In 2005, Infidelity released a CD album titled “Viewer from a Black Star” playing pure alternative rock with English lyrics.  They have participated in the short movie “From Hell With Love“, which was directed by Giannis Tsitsimis, with 2 of their songs, “Fantasy” and “Perfect Crime“, for which they won the 1st award of music for a film in the “Super-8 and Video-Film” festival in Thessaloniki.

 

Playing live all around Greece, the band is ready to release a second album any day now.

 

You can visit the official site of Infidelity to listen to the

whole album.  

You may also order it online from Play Our Music.

 

Their myspace profile is here.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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The Greek prog-rock band Apocalypsis

It would be a mistake for one to believe that Greece was too much into punk rock and new wave.

During the 70’s, even in the early 80’s, Greeks really loved prog-rock.

Genesis, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator and such bands had a vast number of fans.

You could find people singing the lyrics of the whole “The Lamb lies down on Broadway” album in one breath.

 

The big shots of the rock music press were promoting prog-rock like there was no tomorrow.

On the other hand, they were giving reviews for punk rock records , that now are considered as classics, using poison instead of ink.

 

Punk rock was shit for abnormals.

Heavy metal was kinky music for football hooligans.

Prog-rock was pure gold for intellectual, well educated people with great taste and long hair.

If a song didn’t have 54 different guitar riffs, a drummer with 4 arms and a complicated structure, it was condemned to the inky Hell of music journalism.

 

I know you think that was the early 70’s but no, I am talking bout the very late 70’s/early 80’s.

 

I had a few friends who were into prog-rock.

Of course there was a number of Greek prog-rock bands around such as Pete and Royce, P.L.J. Band, Schmetterling (without an “e”) and Apocalypsis.

Aphrodite’s Child were long gone through the 70’s leaving Demis Rousos the time to sing in front of kings and write books about diets while Vangelis was making his way to the Oscars…

 

As you realise, all these different “rock” tribes were in a constant fight through debates (and some times…real fist fights).

 

In 1980, I met one of my prog-rock friends with the debut album of the band Apocalypsis.

He told me “its great”, I told him to “shove it up his ass” but he insisted to make me listen to it.

 

Apocalypsis were formed by Vasilis Dertilis in 1979 and they started giging around the country.

They had a great singer, Giannis Palamidas, who was immediately attracting the listener.

This self tilted debut album was released through a major label and it featured the songs: “Metempsychosis“, “Threat” and “Expiatory Victim” on the first side while “Lies Mistakes & Closin’ Eyes“, “My Death At A Rugby Game” and “Journey In The Night” on the second side.

“This album has 6 songs you fool, you’ve been robbed…” I told my friend, as I was of the belief that Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick” album – that had one song on both sides – should be sold at half price of a 7″ single.

 

Apocalypsis were strongly influenced by the early Genesis albums.

You can get an idea on the μουσικη κιβωτος blogspot here

Add some epic elements and the technology of the early 80’s and there you have it.

apocalypsisMy friend told me that their singer was using make up on stage, exactly like Peter Gabriel did in the early 70’s.

I said “thanx but I’ll pass”.

Their line up on this album was the following: keyboards – Vassilis Dertilis, vocals – Giannis Palamidas, guitars – Achileas Spyrou, bass – Harris Photopoulos and Stavros Sidiropoulos on the drums.

 

To be honest, Giannis Palamidas was the shining star of the album and I am sure his voice would be highly admired if he was in some other country.

After this album he left the band to follow a solo carrier in different music styles.

 

noA year later, my friend came to my place (I met him a few times in between)with the second Apocalypsis album, titled “No” (μουσική κιβωτός can help you on that too).

While listening to the album, I gave him the finger.

My friend was speechless as Dertilis decided to change the whole line up of the band and transformed Apocalypsis into a kind of a new wave group (with prog-rock elements.

The new line up was: keyboards – Vassilis Dertilis, guitars – Kostas Stratigopoulos, bass – Lambros Tselentis, drums – Takis Liarmakopoulos and vocals by Kimon Vassilopoulos (who’s voice reminded me of Scorpions’ Klaus Meine).

It wasn’t a bad album, in the sense of 70’s prog-rock but it wasn’t a masterpiece either.

The music style is not clear.

All song titles were beginning with the word “No”: “No Art“, “No Morality“, “No Food (Part One)”,No Food (Part Two)”,No Security” on A side and “No Respect (1940 – 1980)”,No Communication“, “No Trust” and “No Change?” on the B side.

And as times were changing and my friend discovered the Dead Kennedys so Apocalypsis silently faded away.

Here you can find their myspace profile.

 

Looking back at those days, only a few years after 7 years of dictatorship, I am more flexible.

Greece was changing, trying to catch up with lost years, lost melodies and lost ways of living.

 

For the history, Vasilis Dertilis became a session musician and formed an electro-pop band called Bang! that represented Greece in Eurovision in the year 1987.

He is still making music but this time, only for commercials.

 

My old prog-rock friend nowdays has long ears and lives on turnips.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2009 in Prog-rock

 

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Captain Nefos and his Cadillac Dreams

Happening Records, a record shop in the centre of Athens, had a few releases such as the 7″ single of the punk rock band Birth Ward 82, Vavoura Band, Magic De Spell and a couple more.

 

cadillac-dreamsHappening’s ninth release is one of the rarest singles of the Greek underground rock scene of the 80’s.

The single was titled “Cadillac Dreams” and it came out in 1983.

The band was Captain Nefos (engl. Captain Smog, ελλ. Καπταιν Νεφος) a four piece new wave act from Athens that made their first appearance in 1982 next to punk rock bands such as the Ausschwitss, Soldiers Of Anarchy (later became the first Greek hardcore punk group by the name Ex-Humans), Stress and Anypofori.

 

“Cadillac Dreams” was on A side while B side  holds the song “Enjoying“.

The line up of Captain Nefos was Akis “Bua” Bogiatzis, Iakovos Manis, Giorgos Tourlakis and Makis Vrettos.

 

Although it was a much promising band, they released an 11 track LP, titled “Silence Interrupted”  for Creep Records in 1984 before calling it a day.

 

Singer/guitar player, Akis “Bua” Bogiatzis would form the band Libido Blume with drummer Makis Vrettos and in 1997 he will form the band Sigmatropic.

 

This is where he will worked again with guitar/keyboard player Iakovos Manis.

 

Sigmatropic would write a new chapter in the Greek rock history releasing four albums and working with Howe Gelb, Carla Torgerson, James Sclavunos and others.

 

As both Libido Blume and Sigmatropic need special posts, I’ll leave that for later.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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Days of Future passed vol. 2

No Man’s Land performing the song “Afraid Of The Dark” live.
This is one of the two songs with which the band appeared on the Opticoacoustic Bomb compilation.

Blue Jeans opened the compilation with the track “Baby Blue Eyes” performing live on stage at the An Club.
I guess this must be during their sound check.

More informations about this VHS compilation you can find here.

Both bands were very active during the late 80’s/early 90’s.

I also posted infos regarding the No Man’s Land here.
If you are interested, you can buy their new album “Home in the Skyhere.  

Click here if you wanna read more about the Blue Jeans.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2009 in Days Of Future Passed

 

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