I have four early 80's albums from these gents, and they are all worth a listen (remember the time period, rock n roll had one foot in the grave and the other foot in another grave, it, in my lifetime (1962-present) was the HARDEST few-year period in which to seek out new, rocking, and threatening sounds, a theory I have long held is that is why so many rockers got into rap at the time, as it was at least THREATENING as punk had been a decade before......
I digress. The members of this band at the time were singer/multi instrumentalist Michael Monroe, guitarist Nasty Suicide (I don't make em up), drummer Peki Sirola (later replaced by Razzle whose death would basically spell the end of this incarnation of the group), bassist Nedo Soininen, and guitarist Stefan Piesnack......aside from the Razzle move, Sami Yaffa would soon replace Soininen on the bass.
Thier first album, "Bangcock Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks" caught my ear a bit in 1981, enough to give it a couple of listenings at the time at least....... while I was never a fan of the super slick glam rock that was dominating the scene at the time, this at least had some MC5/Dolls type sloppy heaviness to it, and I think that even today it remains one of the underappreciaed metal albums of the early 1980's......"Tragedy", "Village Girl", and "Don't Never Leave Me" all wouldn't sound too out of place on an early Guns N Roses demo tape or something, it does rock hard....not gonna give it any kinda rating or anything, the vocals and lyrics are nothing spectacular, but hey..... I was 19 years old and looking, at the time, for ANYTHING that rocked half as hard as stuff did in "my" (1970's) decade.....
Much better, I think, is 1982's "Oriental Beat".... a much more cohesive and solid effort, with much better vocals and writing than its predecessor. Check out "Motorvatin'", "Teenangels Outsiders" and "Sweet Home Suburbia" are all really good rockers, don't stay too long at the fair, and again, while you will not confuse this with "Led Zeppelin II", it REALLY IS a decent album, IMO the best one they had in them. If you are a dabbler who is unfamiliar, I think I would likely start here.
Also quite enjoyable is 1983's "Back to Mystery City", again, it is what it is, but it's a lot of fun, with it's stomping title track, "Malibu Beach Nightmare" (one of their best), and "Mental Beat", it's a solid, again, slab of early 80's glam/rock/metal/punk, as I said the choices were a bit limited at the time, so more than a few times this stuff came screaming from the speakers of my Camaro, much to the delight of my neighbors.
Although I think they had released a live album and a compilation, I don't have em and don't even know if I've ever heard em....... the final effort that I have here is "Two Steps From the Move" from 1984.... to me, Bob Ezrin's production is simply TOO slick, making this album NOT a favorite of mine, at least compared to the goofy fun of the first three discs here. Although "Boiler", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", and "Underwater World" are decent enough songs, I think they could have been better with a bit rougher production, but, hey, that's just me.
Drummer Razzle was killed in an automobile accident in late 1984, they released another live disc (never heard it either) before respectfully calling it a day..... however, many years later, they reformed in some manner, this is something I JUST NOW found out, so I know nothing about the latter incarnation...... these boys didn't seem all that adaptable to me at the time, so I'm wondering how they have adjusted to the more recent trends in music....... wondering, but not enough to REALLY care, ya know?
Some good music buried in the four albums I DO have though..... as I never heard either of the live LP's, I have no idea what kind of a stage band they were, and I BET someone out there has a copy of one of them or a boot we could share....... this is not meant to be taken terribly seriously, but, then, unlike some blogs, not everything is meant to be...... for a 19 year old kid in 1981 who (really) thought good, menacing hard rock was about defunct, they did provide some needed guitar ramalama, and what could be better than that? Treat this post as a time machine trip, if you are interested in visiting 1982 or so, this is at least a parrtial soundtrack....... if you were in high school, or in college, or whatever, at the time, what did you think of them? What do you think if you listen to these for the first time in 25 years how do they sound? Comical? or rockingly nostalgic? Anyway, you know I LOVE my variety, and ya certainly can't say I haven't kept my vow with tonight's MULTIPLE posts!
BANGKOK SHOCKS, SAIGON SHAKES, HANOI ROCKS-01 Tragedy/02 Villiage Girl/03 Stop
Cryin/04 Don't Never Leave Me/05 Lost In the City/06 First Timer/07 Cheyenne/08 11th Street Kids/09 Walking With my Angel/10 Pretender
ORIENTAL BEAT-01 Motorvatin'/02 Don't Follow Me/03 Visitor/04 Teenangels Outsideres/05 Sweet Home Suburbia/06 MC Baby/07 No law Or Order/08 Oriental Beat/09 Devil Woman/10 Lightning Bar Blues/11 Fallen Star
TWO STEPS FROM THE MOVE-01 Up Around the Bend/02 High School/03 I Can't Get It/04 Underwater World/05 Don't You Ever Leave Me/06 Million Miles Away/07 Boulevard of Broken Dreams/08 Boiler (Me Boiler N Me)/09 Futurama/10 Cutting Corners
It's late.....I'm still up messing with this cause I have a job interview coming up the Thursday that I am all stressed about, so I am doing this to keep my mind off how badly I could fuck up the interview......... really, really, really, want this job, I actually think I might enjoy it, which will be an unusual feeling in and of itself, and the money and benefits would be great......so, if any of you are experts or have any tips on how to do well in interviews, I am all ears...... but, anyway, until I get tired, you win anyway, as you get more music, be it to your liking or not...... anyway, I am happy to be retired, but, after eight months (I had guessed a year) of doing NOTHING, I am so very, very bored that I need something to keep me from going insane... .the blog and Strat O Matic baseball, of course, fill SOME of those voids, but I really DO long to return to the days of waking up and actually having somewhere to go and somewhere to do. Anyone else ever feel like that?