MAXINE.

It isn’t everyday you get to discover a great song with the simultaneous pairing of an OUTSTANDING music video. It happened this week when a generous TNUC disciple sent me Sharon O’Neill’s heartbreaking hooker ballad ‘Maxine’. I barely can conjure up words to continue. I just need to keep watching this music video. Enjoy…

New Zealand singer-songwriter Sharon O’Neill delivers what should have been the global monster pop ballad sensation of 1983. Sultry beat, sweaty saxophone, heavy subject matter done the best way and an insanely infectious hook.

“Maxine, Case 1352
A red and green tattoo 
Eyes cold steel blue” 

Rarely do song lyrics immediately grab me but it’s hard not to really feel something with this hot number. Pair that with the graphic music video showing prostitute life on the streets and the tragic demise of a troubled teen and Uncle T is completely dialed in.

I love that the story and video feels like a 4 minute Miami Vice episode or one of the show’s many epic montages. If only Crockett and Tubbs would’ve been there to land a swift kick wearing slip-on loafers to one of those vicious thugs’ faces before they got to poor Maxine.

This live video is also highly recommended. Even though nothing will top what she achieved with the music video, Sharon and her band deliver a performance that will make you want to reach for a cigarette and gaze out at the city skyline.

Streetwalkin’ is tough business. I’d like to dedicate this post to any lady TNUC disciples who’ve had to partake in the midnight hustle in order to stay alive.

Sharon O’Neill is now my current dreambabe. She is definitely making TNUC’s Vixen Of The Month countdown real soon.

OLD TOWN BURIAL GROUND.

Is it awkward to think of a cemetery as a dreamy place?

Because that’s exactly what the oldest cemetery on Cape Cod felt like on this sunny afternoon in May.

Uncle T paid a visit to the ancient burial grounds of Sandwich, Massachusetts’ Old Town Cemetery to pay his respects and bask in the salty air, not realizing how gorgeous and serene this spooky stroll would be. The hillside cemetery overlooks Shawmee Pond and reminded me so much of days gone at the sacred grounds of Camp TNUC.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the eeriest cemeteries I’ve had the pleasure of visiting due to the decaying graves dating as far back as 1639. Like so many towns on Cape Cod, this particular cemetery is filled with history. With such a large number of early settlers laid to rest at this location, I’m looking forward to some haunted happenings come this October when we revisit. (Stay tuned)

As a kid, I cherished riding bikes with friends through the local graveyards. Sometimes we’d be inspired to go after watching a good episode of Goosebumps, but most of the time it was just one of those routine routes we loved doing. Empty cemeteries with hilly, winding paths were ideal for racing around on bikes and a great place to get lost/get weird.

Zoom up the hill past the iron gates, under the maple trees, bike tires crunching over the dead leaves on the ground, the smell of fresh overturned dirt and smoke from nearby chimneys permeating through the air. Halfway through we’d dump our bikes on the lawn and stop at one of the moss-covered tombs, trying to get a peek inside. Then stroll through the graves for a few minutes, admiring the brittle yet somewhat legible 17th and 18th century headstones. On a very rare occasion, one of us would have brought a sheet of wax paper for some grave-rubbing before the old groundskeeper/gravedigger guy took notice and kicked us out.

As a full grown adult Uncle TNUC, when I’m not wandering around foggy graveyards at night in October blasting undead anthems on my ghettoblaster á la Return of the Living Dead, during off-months I sincerely enjoy taking strolls through these old reseting grounds. Especially the ancient ones that date back over a century ago.

An empty canoe sits at the edge of a graveyard. Could it be Manimal satisfying his insatiable thirst by claiming innocent victims way early before Camp season?!

SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEW #2.

Welcome another edition of SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEWS. Our intention is simple. Seek out crusty records with ridiculous cover artwork, listen, reflect. We’re looking for bodacious looking albums that capture the true power and spirit of heavy metal but sadly only 37 people in the world have ever heard. With millions of bands and billions of albums floating across the earth, all we have is one requirement. The album artwork must be nasty, primitive and savage. Artwork that easily could’ve been drawn by that delinquent Randy from shop class, your best friend’s scary older brother or the mustached stranger working at the carnival’s airbrush booth. Artwork that explodes off the shelf, excites your inner-dream child and demands that you bring it home. That same knee-jerk “cool cover…I need this” reaction you had as a kid while browsing aisles at the record shop or video store.

You know the ones. Bulging muscles, nude ladies, demons, witches, executioners, barbarians, reapers, sledgehammers, axes, swords, blood, rock boulders, neon animals, raging beasts, loin cloths, prostitutes, molten steel, lightning, villagers, snakes, rats, power glow, Italian sports cars and foggy darkness……perfectly portrayed in all their airbrushed and colored pencil glory. 

We hope to uncover some gems, but realistically some of them will be turds and that’s OK. The goal is to showcase these obscure albums for what they are.

So join TNUC in scraping the $1 bargain bins, garage sales, abandoned high school lockers and Uncle Rick’s smokey basement in search for cheaply drawn, savage metal power.


SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEW #2:
HAWK – SELF-TITLED (1985)
 

The Art:

There’s a reoccurring dream I have where I’m a ripped, intergalactic, post-apocalyptic Native American warrior walking around casually in outer space. All I have with me is a couple pet hawks and a sacred tribal weapon. I’m wearing purple gloves and futuristic knee-high boots. While my actual gender is questionable by some, most don’t care because they’re too impressed by my insane mane. Wait a minute, the artwork to Hawk’s self-titled masterpiece is precisely that dream. 

Word on the street is that people like to bitch and moan about this album’s artwork. I don’t understand this thought process. Not only does it fit the ‘Savage Nomad’ artwork criteria to a T but the native slayer reminds me of legendary b-movie nomad Mark Gregory (Thunder Warrior, 1990: The Bronx Warriors).

The Songs:

While I would’ve cherished a concept record about post-apocalyptic life in space, in no way am I complaining about the experience I had listening to HAWK’s powerful debut. This album is not the pure bonehead-rock album I anticipated it probably was. We begin with ‘Tell the Truth’, one of the catchiest crotch-thrusters I’ve heard in a long time. Easily the closest chance to a “hit” on this album. Turn this rad bastard up, light up a Winston and lock your bedroom door to drown the sound of your stepfather screaming from downstairs.

The band don’t hesitate switching gears into ballad territory for the track #2 ‘Fades so Fast’ which features the emotional ripper of a lyric “my guitar will take me far,´cause it´s my only friend”. With additional white-hot rockers like ‘Witches Burning’ and ‘The Dream’, this band definitely possess a Dio meets Dokken type of sound. It’s hard to believe this album didn’t reach to a higher status during its day but again, it’s a classic case of savage nomads lost at sea. The production could match up with any of their heavy metal peers on the scene and we’re about to find out why…

The Band:

Now here’s where things get interesting. HAWK was the brainchild of Doug Marks, the founder and owner of Metal Method, the famous home video guitar lesson that started in 1982. Yes, that same Metal Method video that gave us the infamous scenes featuring Jim Gillette and Michael Angelo Batio. Marks relocated from Colorado to Los Angeles in the mid-eighties, put a band together and HAWK was birthed.

Drums on the album were performed by Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses) and at one time Scott Travis (Judas Priest, Racer X) also played drums in the band. Original vocalist David Fefolt performed with a feathered-covered mic stand and the rest of the band looked like a ugly pack of glammed-out hyenas. The band made the usual rounds of the LA rock scene at clubs like the The Roxy, Country Club and Gazzarri’s.

Die hard Hawk disciples still exist! Check out this one fan’s framed tribute to the band.

Thanks for reading and listening to our second Savage Nomad Album Review! Go find HAWK’s epic war-cry at your local record shop, on Discogs or on CD/digital through Doug Mark’s Metal Methods website.

BIG MIKE & GIANNI LA BAMBA – SCIROCCO [VIDEO PREMIERE].

When a video premiere package arrives on TNUC’s desk from the corporate offices of Big Mike & Gianni La Bamba, my world instantly stops and nothing I’m doing matters anymore. Suddenly I’m wearing Zubaz pants, my biceps are swelled, fog is erupting through air vents and I feel a slight burning sensation in my left nostril.

That’s right, everyone’s favorite German gorilla is back and doing what he does best, infiltrating seedy discotheques and patrolling the streets at night with Gianni La Bamba!

↑↑↑  V I D E O    W O R L D    P R E M I E R E  ↑↑↑

This new video for ‘Scirocco’ captures Big Mike and his disciples engaging in the power of the pump inside one of Germany’s oldest and steamiest clubs, The Roxy. What develops during the video is up for your own interpretation and explanation. I was told by Big Mike himself that repeated viewings will provide more answers.

The song itself is a bit of a different approach for the group as it features predominantly English lyrics and a hypnotic groove that builds to a euphoric PUMP like we’ve never heard before. The song is also of course largely inspired by one of Germany’s rarest birds, or should I say cats? The classic Volkswagen Scirocco “White Cat” is a wild minx of a machine, engineered to exist in a universe of fog, neon haze, mustached strangers and Tech Noir power.

“The German Delorean”

The group plan on releasing a 12″ maxi-single for ‘Scirocco’ soon which will include instrumentals and extended versions. For now though, venture over to www.testosaurus.tv for updates, links and brand new merchandise…


BIG MIKE FANNY PACKS. Don’t be an idiot. Order one today. 

www.testosaurus.tv

HEAVY METAL PIZZA PARTY.

Are you tired of staying in?
Getting sick of frozen pizza dinners?
Conservative dad won’t shut up about that “rat’s nest” he calls your haircut?

TNUC strongly recommends sneaking out of your bedroom window tonight and high-tailing it to a land of heavy metal and nuclear pepperoni pizza. Play the video invitation below.

Redwood City’s very own PONY EXPRESS PIZZA offers everything you could dream of. “Pizza, burgers & great rock n’ roll!”

Even though I’ve found very little information about this place, we can indeed confirm that Pony Express Pizza is real. Evidently bands with names like STREET LYFE and ROTT WYLER have graced the stage at this ooey-gooey-cheesy stomping ground.

It’s such a perfect marriage of cultures. I imagine a crowd full of hungry hellions with one clenched fist in the air, the other pumping up and down with a death grip on a steamy slice of pie. I can also imagine the epic food fights in this sort of establishment. What a beautiful sight to see.

If I started a campaign to open a place like this, would you join TNUC and support?
∇  ∇  ∇

SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEW #1.

Welcome to TNUC’s very first SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEW. Our intention is simple. Seek out crusty records with ridiculous cover artwork, listen, reflect. We’re looking for bodacious looking albums that capture the true power and spirit of heavy metal but sadly only 37 people in the world have ever heard. With millions of bands and billions of albums floating across the earth, all we have is one requirement. The album artwork must be nasty, primitive and savage. Artwork that easily could’ve been drawn by that delinquent Randy from shop class, your best friend’s scary older brother or the mustached stranger working at the carnival’s airbrush booth. Artwork that explodes off the shelf, excites your inner-dream child and demands that you bring it home. That same knee-jerk “cool cover…I need this” reaction you had as a kid while browsing aisles at the record shop or video store.

You know the ones. Bulging muscles, nude ladies, demons, witches, executioners, barbarians, reapers, sledgehammers, axes, swords, blood, rock boulders, neon animals, raging beasts, loin cloths, prostitutes, molten steel, lightning, villagers, snakes, rats, power glow, Italian sports cars and foggy darkness……perfectly portrayed in all their airbrushed and colored pencil glory. 

We hope to uncover some gems, but realistically some of them will be turds and that’s OK. The goal is to showcase these obscure albums for what they are.

So join TNUC in scraping the $1 bargain bins, garage sales, abandoned high school lockers and Uncle Rick’s smokey basement in search for cheaply drawn, savage metal power.


SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEW #1:
FORTRESS – SELF-TITLED (1985)
 

The Art:

Properly describing something so pure and mighty is no easy feat. This artwork has two possible scenarios. One, the screaming long-haired barbarian holding a white-hot guitar lets out one final war cry before he’s burned alive at the stake from a naughty pack of savage bubble-butt babes with daggers. How beautiful. All this happens while a reaper hovers above waiting for death. I love how our buff shredder is in perfect power stance position while he’s going down in flames. “Leg up on the amp” and everything. Those broken hearted, medieval minxes below are celebrating his demise because of a bad sexual episode or two.

The second scenario is that he’s rising up out of the flames like a golden god of heavy metal and savior of all these ladies’ steamy desires and lonely hearts. You have to remember, the barbaric age was cold, sad and bleak. Our hero probably just landed in a village of widowed barbarian queens, longing for a beefy warrior to come stumbling into their compound and satisfy them with his 6-string axe. The desperate women awake in the morning to a squealing guitar coming from the sacrificial fire pit. They rush down with daggers and swords in hand, ready for battle. What they see amidst the flames is rock’s chosen warrior, thrusting, pumping…and probably drenched in Miller High Life.

The Songs:

I know what you’re thinking. PLEASE be as good as the artwork.

Well good news, it is! This is a ripper of a record. Imagine a darker, less polished, more beefy and pissed off version of Ratt. Make no mistake, these are still party tunes. It’s like Stephen Pearcy putting down the hairspray for a minute and picking up the iron. The songs are exactly how the album artwork suggests. Low budget, smoking guitars and paint-by-numbers bass. Shrieking vocals that mean business and give a total of zero fucks. No surprises, just tits and fire. Wanna ride?

There’s something refreshing and exciting about the unpolished sound of these types of records. It’s exactly how they should sound. If you want squeaky clean, go listen to Def Leppard. If you’d rather be reminded of high school days cruising around in your friend’s mom’s Ford Pinto, throwing beer bottles out the windows, listen to FORTRESS. Immediate highlights include “Metal Meltdown”, “Wastin’ My Time”, “She Gives it All” and “Takin’ it Back”. I can almost smell the bottle of stale Schnapps being passed around a wood-paneled basement filled with smoke. A lone piece of pizza crust spins around the top of a turntable. 


The Band:

FORTRESS made their mark on the mean streets of Kansas City, Missouri in 1980. Locals say they ruled the Kansas City heavy metal scene for years. The band suffered a major blow when drummer Gary Vogel died before the release of their 1985 self-titled debut album. Gary was one of three brothers in the band, plus a guitarist and vocalist. No offense to Kansas City, but these savage nomads would’ve had a real chance if they had relocated to LA. I can think of so many wet noodle bands with far less passion who’s careers made it way further than FORTRESS. What a shame.

Thanks for reading and listening to our first Savage Nomad Album Review! Go pick up the FORTRESS album at the nearest crustiest record store that still exists. Otherwise, hit up Discogs or make a bootleg copy for your next basement party.

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