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“My heels are fettered, but my fist is free.”

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Tytan: Rough Justice (1985) [Recorded 1983]

Born from the ashes of onetime New Wave of British Heavy Metal contenders Angel Witch, London’s Tytan came together in the second half of 1981 when that former band’s bassist Kevin Riddles and drummer Dave DuFort partnered with Scottish-born singer Kal Swan and guitarists Steve Gibbs.

However, when initial press hype and a prestigious Friday Rock Show session still failed to draw major label interest, Tytan settled for independent Kamaflage Records – a costly mistake, in retrospect – to release 1982’s three-track, Blind Men and Fools EP.

This first taste of the new band drew enough positive reviews to green-light the recording of a full-length LP, to be titled Rough Justice, which, in a promising twist, saw none other than legendary Judas Priest drummer Les Binks (!) helping out in a studio capacity for the since departed DuFort.

But Kamaflage went bankrupt in ‘83, court proceedings froze all of their assets, and Tytan’s first album was cast into a hopeless state of limbo until 1985, by which time band members had given up and gone their separate ways, making this a posthumous document of the group’s brief existence.

And a surprising one, at that, since the album’s melodic hard rock style had much more in common with Heavy Pettin’, Tokyo Blade, or latter-day (i.e. not very good) Tygers of Pan Tang than any of the heavier, far-less-polished N.W.O.B.H.M. pioneers from ‘79-‘81.

Call these tracks AOR with flashes of metallic aggression, or watered down metal, but typical fare like “Blind Men and Fools,” “Money for Love,” “Women of the Frontlines” and “Forever Gone” drowned most of their biting guitars with sweetened choruses and synthesizers. 

Even the album’s twin, give-no-quarter head-bangers, “Cold Bitch” and “Don’t Play their Way,” sounded a lot more like Coney Hatch than Iron Maiden; while another lowlight, the intolerably boring “Rude Awakening,” wallowed in the lamest of heavy metal clichés. 

Finally, Tytan’s attempts at sophistication or gravitas (“Sadman,” “Far Side of Destiny,” etc.) were never totally convincing, and the hard-driving “Ballad of Edward Case” surprisingly came to a full stop, midway through, for a spirited English pub singalong, after which its drunk protagonist died in a car wreck.

Basically, it’s “Detroit Rock City” in reverse, or something …

In summary, Tytan’s belated arrival/revival/whatever via Rough Justice satisfied neither the N.W.O.B.H.M. loyalists, nor the more commercially-minded hair metal fans of the mid ‘80s – and beware the group’s 2017 reunion LP, Justice: Served!, which featured no original members other than bassist Riddles.

p.s. – Some of these words came from my All-Music Guide Tytan bio and Rough Justice album review.  

More Late-to-the-Party N.W.O.B.H.M.: Bitches Sin’s Predator, Blitzkrieg’s A Time of Changes, Cloven Hoof’s Cloven Hoof, Grim Reaper’s See You in Hell, Heavy Pettin’s Heavy Pettin’, Jaguar’s Power Games, Ritual’s Widow, Satan’s Court in the Act, Savage’s Loose ‘n Lethal, Tokyo Blade’s Tokyo Blade, Tysondog’s Beware of the Dog, Witchfinder General’s Friends of Hell.

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Confession: Man, I wish we could have gotten Samson as the Inquisition’s commander just so I could have had a cute, sexy romance with him. Preferably a gay one.

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Was Joe Biden part of God’s plan?

Was Joe Biden part of God’s plan?

I have spoken to so many who are heavy-hearten over the events of this past week.Many are angry, frustrated, and some have given up on God’s promise.They only see darkness and hopelessness ahead with this new administration.I have to say that God isn’t done yet.If you think God has abandoned us, you are sadly mistaken.Don’t give up on God!Your situation may look impossible, but that is the realm…


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The Death of Samson

23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”

24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,

“Our god has delivered our enemy
   into our hands,
the one who laid waste our land
   and multiplied our slain.”

25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
Judges 16:23-30 | New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.
Cross References: Judges 15:18; Judges 16:22; Judges 16:31; Judges 19:6; 1 Samuel 5:2; 1 Samuel 31:9; 1 Chronicles 10:9; Esther 1:10; Jeremiah 15:15

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Tiger: Tiger (1976)

This 45-year-old obscurity is the work of a bunch of studio hacks (at least seven, count ‘em!) led by noted session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan.

Never heard of Big Jim?

Well, he was extremely busy throughout the ‘60s, ‘70s and beyond, as a performer, arranger and producer, working with the likes of … big breath now:

Tom Jones, Billy Fury, Johnny Hallyday, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Darin, Serge Gainsbourg, The Walker Brothers, Donovan, David Bowie, Thunderclap Newman, Long John Baldry, Marmalade, The Small Faces, George Harrison, even Frank Zappa – the list goes on and on.

Why, back in the early ‘60s, Big Jim allegedly even gave Ritchie Blackmore guitar lessons!

But before you get too excited, I should point out that the only remarkable thing about Tiger’s self-titled LP (one of two released in 1976, the other tellingly called Goin’ Down Laughing) is how perfectly UN-remarkable it is.

In fact, this is a perfect illustration of why these guys were career sidemen: for all their talent and chops they lacked that ineffable, je ne sais quoi – call it star-quality or charisma – necessary to elevate their efforts above mundanity (for reference material, see 20 Feet from Stardom), no matter what style they’re playing in.

Said styles include hard rock (“I’m Not Crying”), jazz-fusion (“Lay Back, Stay Back”), tranquil symphonic prog (“Tyger, Tyger”), even funky disco (“Suzy Slicker”); but the album’s standout track, for me, is the slow, epic blues “Long Time,” and not even it can surface a really great hook. 

Nor is the album intended to showcase the musicians’ virtuosity, per se, even though Big Jim shreds like Yngwie fucking Malmsteen on the otherwise forgettable “Lay Me,” Dave McCrae unleashes synthesizer hell on “Ordinary Girl,” and the portly Nicky Moore lends his soulful pipes to the hymnal, richly orchestrated “Prayer.”

Incidentally, Nicky would later resurface – a little trimmer, but not much – as Bruce Dickinson’s replacement with New Wave of British Heavy Metal also-rans Samson!

But, just as I wouldn’t recommend that anyone spend too much time or money on those latter-day Samson albums (Before the Storm, Don’t Get Mad – Get Even, etc.), I’ll do the same with Tiger, which sounds very much like the sidemen’s side project that it is.

More Obscure Mid ‘70s Heavy Rock: Armageddon’s Armageddon, Baker Gurvitz Army’s Elysian Encounter, Black Sheep’s Black Sheep, Blackfoot’s No Reservations, Blackfoot Sue’s Nothing to Hide, Bux’s We Come to Play, Cain’s A Pound of Flesh, Diamond Reo’s Diamond Reo, Dirty Tricks’ Dirty Tricks, Elf’s Trying to Burn the Sun, Epitaph’s Outside the Law, Gedō’s Gedō, Goliath’s Hot Rock & Thunder, Good Rats’ Ratcity in Blue, Granicus’ Granicus, Granmax’s A Ninth Alive, Hammersmith’s Hammersmith, Hustler’s High Street, Legs Diamonds’ Legs Diamond, Moxy’s Moxy, Murasaki’s Murasaki, Nitzinger’s Live Better Electrically, Nutz’s Nutz, Starz’s Starz, Stepson’s Stepson, The Storm’s The Storm, Strider’s Exposed, Strife’s Rush, Truth and Janey’s No Rest for the Wicked, Widowmaker’s Widowmaker.

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nice to see you too, shep. all i ask is that you ignore my outfit, i accidentally chose to wear what i had purchased from the able sisters’ shop :(

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