Tag: 80s

November 18, 2022

Song of the Day: The Awful Truth - Ghost of Heaven

The Awful Truth–the best band that (almost) never was! In the late 80s I was huge into King’s X and what would soon become known as the “Houston sound.” It was part progressive metal, part groove, part rock, and lots of harmonies thrown in. I’d started hearing about this new band (at the time) called The Awful Truth, who had recorded their debut album for mainstream Metal Blade Records, and sadly broke up before it even came out. In fact, by the time the album was released, two thirds of The Awful Truth had formed a new band with two other members, the now-legendary Galactic Cowboys, increasing that groovy-metallic Houston Sound to yet another band.… Continued →

November 11, 2022

Song of the Day: Body and Soul - The Graylands

I first discovered this band from Tim Henderson (Warlord/Mr Bishops Fist) one night as we were talking about obscure Christian bands from the past. Body and Soul was a one-off solo project from Daniel Amos keyboardist Rob Watson. Body and Soul released only one 7″ in 1983, and never did anything else. Side A featured “Something’s Going On Here,” which is a good song, but is more typical of 80s new wave/pop. It sounds like a track you’d hear in an 80s action comedy film, something akin to Adventures in Babysitting.… Continued →

August 10, 2022

Song of The Day: Whitecross - Enough is Enough

Today’s song of the day is going back, I mean WAY back into Christian rock past. I’ve always dug the band Whitecross. So much of their music was similar to what was coming out in the 80’s/90’s sound wise but they had their own spin and music chops to back it up. Rex Carroll was a force of nature and Scott’s raw vocal talents cut through the noise and all those sappy moments. They were true innovators in a scene run rampant with drugs, sex, and that whole vulgar image people ate up.… Continued →

August 5, 2022

Song(s) of the Day: Bloodgood - Crucify / The Messiah

If you’ve been following social media regarding the Christian scene at all over the recent weeks/months, you’ll likely be aware of Michael Bloodgood’s recent health issues, culminating in his death last week. Michael was a co-founder, and obviously namesake, of the legendary and seminal Christian metal band Bloodgood. The band has been active since the 1980s, with their first album coming out in 1986. They stood out from the pack in various ways: the theatrical singing and stage antics of lead vocalist Les Carlsen, the top-notch music and writing of the band, and their no-compromise approach to lyrics and music ministry.… Continued →

July 30, 2022

Introducing: The Rocky Valentines (Ft. C. Martin of Starflyer 59)

I am going to take a moment and introduce you all to a brand new band featuring C. Martin who is the son of Jason Martin (and also a current member) of Starflyer 59. The new band is called “The Rocky Valentines”. The debut single “Off & On” will debut on August 19th via Velvet Blue Music with the full Self Titled EP out on September 2nd 2022. From the sounds of the preview video below, it is both classic and modern, alluring and full of melodies and sounds that his father I’m sure must be super proud of.… Continued →

July 1, 2022

Song of the Day: Deliverance - No Love

Metalheads are divided over whether the subgenre dubbed “speed metal” actually exists or not. Often confused with shred metal and/or Neo-classical (yes, those guys play fast, but that’s not the same thing), it’s almost synonymous with thrash except there are often clean vocals and/or slightly cleaner guitars. In the Christian scene, the most obvious examples are the seminal and fantastic Valor, Tourniquet’s early work (also adding a progressive element) and the mighty Deliverance. While Deliverance has flirted with a lot of different styles (speed/thrash, gothic metal, alternative metal, groove, etc.),… Continued →

June 10, 2022

Song of the Day: The Awakening - Don't Wait for Me

The Awakening was a progressive pop-rock/AOR band from Canada, active in the 1980s–not to be confused with the goth/industrial band from South Africa. This Awakening was poppy enough to be CCM-adjacent (in fact, this is probably the poppiest SOTD I’ve ever featured), but yet had a slight progressive/alternative edge that set them apart from other bands. The band released three albums, culminating in their excellent Into Thy Hands (Reunion Records, 1988). It featured 12 tracks of progressive pop goodness, not too dissimilar to 80s-era Yes. Lyrics were filled with encouraging but never preachy biblical references.… Continued →

May 28, 2022

Golf Slang - In Even Strokes (Luxury)

Golf Slang is a new side project of Jamey Bozeman of the band Luxury. Gold Slang takes on some of that 80’s new wave influence, incorporates modern sounds and conveniences and makes a song that just about anyone can appreciate. It’s really low key, chill, and something to knock off the shoes, kick back, and relax in a nice, oversized chair. If you like what you hear below, make sure to pre-order the new 5 song EP “How I Lost My Voice” right here via their label home – Velvet Blue Music, and on Cassette or CD.… Continued →

May 6, 2022

Song of the Day: The New Presidents - Arabian Nights

This obscure little band, while relatively unknown, has ties to some more connected acts. They only released one 4-song 12″ EP before breaking up and/or morphing into other acts. The most well-known member was Robert Vaughn, previously of RV and the Hubcaps, and who went on to play with Gloryhouse, Southside Blades of Eden (Broken Records), and most notably Robert Vaughn and the Shadows. RV and the Shadows was essentially the New Presidents line-up with a different name and slightly more mainstream style. Where The New Presidents dabbled in new wave and post-punk, The Shadows went full into power pop.… Continued →

March 25, 2022

Song of the Day: Apostle - The Sword

One of the most beloved and respected bands in the traditional heavy metal scene, Apostle was a slight anomaly in that they never released an album on a record label. Formed in 1983 in Jacksonville, FL, the band released a total of 5 independent full-length albums (not to mention EPs and compilations) all while remaining an unsigned band. Apostle opened for Christian metal stalwarts Whitecross on a national tour, and also had a song featured on East Coast Metal for Regency Records, in 1988, where I first heard the band.… Continued →

January 28, 2022

Song of the Day: Dwayne Omarr - Anointed One

We’re digging deep into the archives for this one. For those not familiar with electro-funk, it was an underground genre in the 1980s that bridged electronic dance music and hip-hop. In fact, in many ways it was a predecessor to the proliferation of rap music. The genre was known by a variety of names: electro-funk, techno-funk, and simply electro (not the goth/industrial version from a few decades later). In the mainstream scene, some of the most well-known names were Newcleus, Shannon, Egyptian Lover, Afrika Bambaataa, and some of Midnight Star’s mid-80s material.… Continued →

January 14, 2022

Song of the Day: David Zaffiro - Diversity

When Bloodgood’s lead guitarist left the band to go solo, fans of the 80s metal stalwarts weren’t entirely sure what to expect. We probably assumed more heavy metal–at least that’s what I expected. And while there is certainly some hard rock (almost glam metal) at times, The Other Side was much broader in scope. The album showcased Zaffiro’s excellent guitar work, as we’d already become familiar with through three albums with Bloodgood: Bloodgood (1986), Detonation (1987, often hailed as the band’s finest effort), and Rock in a Hard Place (1988).… Continued →

December 24, 2021

Song of the Day: Level Heads - Born in a Stable

This quirky alternative rock band released one independent EP and one full-length for Broken Records (also home to Undercover, The Holidays, Adam Again, etc.). While their normal material was interesting, to my ears the most compelling thing they recorded was a song for the Broken Christmas project, called “Born in a Stable.” While technically a Christmas song, it does a great job of pointing to Jesus’ purpose for coming to save us, by tracing the story of Jesus’ life and ministry all the way up to the empty tomb.… Continued →

November 19, 2021

Song of the Day: The November Commandment - High

It’s time for some industrial! But not the guitar-heavy metallic brand. The November Commandment (or often Nov*Com) were doing EBM/electro before it was trendy–or even before it was called that. Hailing from Sweden, the band emerged with an independent cassette in 1988 called Complete Structure. The tape featured a minimalist sound driven by synthesizers, not too unlike Coil and some of Wire’s more experimental material. They released another cassette in 1991, this time a 5-song EP. The band made their appearance in the consciousness of American fans via the fantastic SLAVA compilation, Voice of the People, co-released through Blonde Vinyl Records.… Continued →

November 16, 2021

Spoken in Tongues Release "Ghosts" Ep

A really great newer indie rock band by the name of Spoken in Tongues have just dropped their brand new Covers ep titled “Ghosts” through bandcamp/digital networks. You can download the EP right here at Bandcamp. Spoken in Tongues are an impressive indie band rooted in everything from 80’s new wave, and 90’s underground indie music with post hardcore tendencies. It’s a diverse set of sounds and if you know the players on this release, you’ll understand instantly just why it is that they stand apart from the rest.… Continued →

November 10, 2021

Ronnie Martin - From the Womb of the Morning, The Dew of Your Youth Will Be Yours

Ronnie Martin known for his work in Joy Electric, Ronald of Orange, Brothers Martin, Dance House Children, and more, is here with his new solo song (under his own name) titled “From The Womb Of The Morning, The Dew of Your Youth Will Be Yours”. That is one heck of a mouthful of words to belt out but it’s truly a great song. Check out the track below and download or stream on your network of choice including Bandcamp here via his label home, Velvet Blue Music.… Continued →

September 24, 2021

Song of the Day: The Lonely Now - Original Intentions

Wonderfully noisy, and delightfully obscure, The Lonely Now only released 3 full-length recordings in their short career: —Captive, 1986, Narrowpath Records (cassette only) —Original Intention, 1987, Narrowpath Records (cassette, LP) —Honest Tear, 1990, Narrowpath/Refuge (cassette only) While all of their releases are somewhat difficult to obtain, ironically their final album–the only one with national distribution through Refuge–is the most difficult. It was released through the same agreement as debuts by The Crucified, Breakfast with Amy, and The Swoon. In fact, founding member Greg Sostrom (AKA Greg Strange) was the owner of Narrowpath Records.… Continued →

September 11, 2021

Robert Vaughn & The Shadows 'Love & War' Remaster Crowdfunding Effort

San Diego-based rock band Robert Vaughn & the Shadows released their classic album Love & War in 1987. As fate would have it, it was the final release on Exit Records (home of Seventy Sevens, Vector and Charlie Peacock), and its partnership with Island Records. Due to the unfortunate demise of the label, the album never saw a CD release (only LP and cassette). While the master tapes were tied up in red tape for decades, Randy Layton of Alternative Records recently worked out a deal to obtain the original masters.… Continued →

May 28, 2021

Song of the Day: Cannon Heath Down - Bone (of Contention)

It’s amazing how one can listen to music for years, decades even, and still find an obscure gem from days gone past that was missed out. Vancouver’s Cannon Heath Down only released one album: 1987’s Heart-Throb Companion (and a cassette demo 2 years later). The self-produced album was only released on LP, and its stellar take on indie pop will appeal to fans of The Ocean Blue, Morrissey, Game Theory, Riverside, The Mighty Lemon Drops, etc. The album fetches top dollar too, as I’ve seen copies listed at triple digits.… Continued →

May 7, 2021

Song of the Day: Veil of Ashes - Without Eyes

Veil of Ashes was a college rock band from Oakland, California, who debuted with the critically-acclaimed album Pain on Graceland Records (an imprint of Frontline) in 1989. While they had started out as a post-punk outfit with goth leanings, most of that influence had faded by the time their debut hit. A second album The Young and the Reckless: The Regression of Veil of Ashes was released on Blonde Vinyl in 1992, but it was actually a retrospective release of earlier demos. That same year the band shortened their name to Veil and released their final studio album (before taking a long hiatus and re-forming in the late 90s) Mr.Continued →

March 12, 2021

Song of the Day: Resurrection Band - Beggar in the Alleyway

Depending on how you define the term, Resurrection Band was arguably the first Christian heavy metal band. While their debut album was released in 1978, their earliest demo recordings date back to as early as 1973. While many fans and critics will argue, “they’re not heavy metal, just hard rock,” this outlook unfortunately judges the past by current standards. Metal has moved on and splintered into a hundred different and more extreme subgenres. However, in the 1970s, their brand of bluesy hard rock would definitely have been considered heavy metal at the time–just as bands like Van Halen, Aerosmith, Kiss and others were.… Continued →

March 5, 2021

Song of the Day: 4•4•1 - Show Me

4•4•1 burst onto the SoCal new wave scene in 1984, releasing their debut album on Royal Commandment Records (soon to be re-named Blue Collar Records). The band formed in 1983 in Los Angeles County, diligently rehearsing in the garage of bassist/keyboardist Glenn Holland’s parents. They recorded a 4-song demo and subsequently sent out copies to area youth pastors. The unconventional move proved successful as they caught the attention of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, a large church that hosted lots of concerts for Christian new wave and early alternative bands.… Continued →

December 25, 2020

Song of the Day: Adam Again - Angels We Have Heard on High

First things first–merry Christmas everyone! It’s been a challenging year, and many of us are ready to see the back of it. I always post my Song of the Day picks on Friday, so I was pleased to the lucky draw for Christmas Day! Of course, it had to be a Christmas song, and there are lots of good ones to choose from, even from our niche scene. For those unfamiliar with Adam Again, they have deep roots in the Christian music scene. They started out in the California scene of the 1980s through Broken Records and later Brainstorm Artists.… Continued →

December 4, 2020

Song of the Day: The Swoon - Sweet Ally

Don’t you hate it when an amazing band releases one stellar album and then disappears off the map leaving virtually no trace whatsoever? That’s more or less what happened to Minnesota’s The Swoon. This intelligent, artsy, literate (one of the band’s song titles is a Dante reference) band made up one third of Christian jangle-pop’s ‘holy trinity’ (also including The Throes and The Walk). Their debut album was released on Narrowpath Records, in conjunction with Refuge (the obscure indie label also released such classics as debuts by Breakfast with Amy and The Crucified), and was made up of two earlier cassette-only demos, ben son, ben son Beatrice and Neverland, the latter of which was produced by Charlie Peacock.… Continued →

November 13, 2020

Song of the Day: Marc Plainguet - Barbie's Lament

I’m not sure how most IVM readers feel about new wave and synth-driven music. It’s extremely nostalgic for me, having grown up in the 80s. The 1980s also comprised the decade where contemporary Christian music came into its own as a marketable industry. While you could argue the merits of that, or against them, it’s a simple fact. But where there is ‘progress’ or marketability (read: money), there will also always be an undercurrent–an independent protest against the mainstream. Marc Plainguet–and his alter egos Gadget and Crazed Bunnyz–were spearheading lo-fi and experimental synth-driven music in the underground tape-trading scene.… Continued →

October 16, 2020

Song of the Day: The Holidays - Sunshine

Power pop was (is?) a strange phenomenon. Despite the big hooks, melodic overtones and just enough of a punk edge to keep things interesting, it never really caught on in a huge way. Although it’s made inroads into new wave and, more recently, indie pop, the leaders of the subgenre still remain fairly underground, with a few notable exceptions (Cheap Trick and The Romantics are among the few artists with major radio hits). It should be no surprise then, that in Christian circles, artists in the style were even fewer.… Continued →

June 23, 2020

Song of The Day: Teddy At Night - Blueberry Water

My song for the day is from a newer indie-pop artist by the name of Teddy At Night. Teddy (Boldt) played drums for bands like Wavorly, Family Force 5, and more recently For King & Country, as well as many others. On his first solo endeavor as singer/songwriter, his songs take on more of a pop sheen, sprinkled with a heavy dose of 80’s like synth driven new wave. These are songs for the broken-hearted, the lovers, and the seekers. These beautifully composed pop inspired takes are interwoven with a certain level of professionalism mixed with Teddy’s unforgettable vocal delivery.… Continued →

June 5, 2020

Song of the Day: Mad at the World - It Can't Rain Forever

Mad at the World has had a very interesting and diverse career as a band. They started out doing somewhat dark synth-pop on their self-titled debut (in the vein of Depeche Mode, New Order, Clan of Xymox), then added guitars to their new wave sound for Flowers in the Rain. By their third album, they ditched the synths and morphed into a full-fledged alternative rock band with metallic influences. This carried on for three albums (Seasons of Love, Boomerang, and Through the Forest).… Continued →

May 15, 2020

Song of the Day: Starflyer 59 - This Recliner

After releasing last year’s opus Young in My Head, Starflyer 59 are already back. The veteran indie rock band have just released a new single, “This Recliner” and boy oh boy is it good! Fueled by inspiration from the best of his 80s new wave AND shoegaze influences (The Church, Psychedelic Furs, Jesus and Mary Chain, et. al.), the man truly knows how to write a pop song. Sometimes I think his skill lies in brevity. Rather than dragging stuff out, founder Jason Martin always leaves you wanting just a little bit more.… Continued →

March 3, 2018

Family Force 5 Returns As The Duo Now Known As FF5 and Drops New Ep

Family Force 5 have returned to the music scene with a vengeance and are here to take over the pop spectrum with their heavy dose of HOT 80’s dance like anthems with modern sensibilities. That’s not all though because the group is now a duo of the brothers Josh and Jacob Olds under the name FF5. This new EP “El Compadre” combines the best elements of their “Dance Or Die” record and turns it up to 11. Everything you loved about past Family Force 5 material is now clearly evident in this new creation.… Continued →