Lost Albums: Seven Records That Never Saw the Light of Day
Oftentimes, it’s the records that you don’t hear that are the most interesting. Sometimes they’re creative misfires: records that fall short of their author’s expectations. Other times, they’re works of creative blood, sweat ‘n’ tears that fall victim to the ever-popular “we don’t hear a single” malarkey from their respective labels.
Everyone from the Beach Boys to the Weezer has had their share of these forsaken classics. Prince had his Black Album. Green Day had an entire album stolen from the studio in 2002 that was a return to their “hard and fast” punk roots. Pink Floyd started recording an album of music created with nothing but household objects, appropriately titled Household Objects that David Gilmour eventually referred to as “pointless“.
In our ongoing quest to educate our readers on the history of metal, Noisecreep decided to dig up a few records that didn’t deserve the untimely deaths they were given. Let the grave robbing begin!
A genuinely twisted take on hardcore from the DC firing squad who unleashed pure audio-hell on their half of 1982’s Faith/Void Dischord Records split LP. When Void delivered Potions for Bad Dreams to then-label Touch & Go, it was greeted with a “what the fuck is this?” Void’s take on entropic hardcore had been supplanted by something that sounded like a retarded gene-splice of Black Sabbath, Venom and Motley Crue. While the record went unreleased (and has still been denied a release from the band itself), enough cassettes went out there to influence the likes of the Melvins and the natal White Zombie whose antediluvian shamble-groove was directly (and admittedly) attributed to this gem of weirdo-hardcore scuzz.
Tales of Never Letting Go, Miltown
An amalgam of future star producers Brian McTernan (Thrice, Cave In), Matt Squire (Kesha, Panic! At the Disco) and Only Living Witness throat Jonah Jenkins, this Boston-based bunch sounded like DC Hardcore duking it out with Seattle grunge and alt-metal crooning. Their EP on Hydra Head was great enough to land the deal with Irving Azoff’s freshly launched Revolution Records. Miltown would have been huge ‘cept, the band hated each other, Jenkins hated producer Toby Wright. To top it all off, the label didn’t hear a single. Do your best to scour blog-sites for this total rarity. The demos are actually just as good and easier to hunt down.
‘The Presidio Album,’ Metallica
Anyone who’s seen Some Kind of Monster has heard bits and pieces of this pre-Hetfield rehab joint. Whether these nine songs were intended for release as an actual album is a bit of a question mark. Still, it’s not hard to find out therein its rough-mixed glory. ‘Presidio’ is actually a bit closer in style to the band’s 1991 self-titled album than the frequently debated, lauded and lambasted St. Anger. You can definitely hear that this isn’t Metallica walking into the studio exactly “on-point” with this one. Even though ‘tallica ain’t exactly shy about letting their recorded warts show, there’s a reason to keep some things unreleased. Now if they could have done that with the Lou Reed record that would have been OK too.
Villains, Port Amoral
A great record from a bunch of melodic tech metal obsessed hose-heads from Winnipeg who had a dalliance with Roadrunner Records a few years back. Think Thrice jamming with Protest the Hero while checking into the Shrapnel Records house of shred catalog. Port Amoral‘s general inability to make it down from The Great White North prompted the “double-R” to put this puppy on ice. Frustrated, the band called it quits. Luckily, the Brian McTernan-produced Villains has been immortalized on YouTube and sundry blog sites for those who want to track down this once-promising footnote in recent metal history.
Conventional Weapons, My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance‘s stab at slimming things down after the Queen-ish grandiosity of The Black Parade is finally seeing the light of day, albeit in bit and pieces (iTunes and seven inchers). The genesis of Conventional Weapons is the typical tale of a record being made at a band’s lowest spot: amidst rumors of a breakup, frazzled nerves, and exhaustion. Then, the thing was essentially Stalinized. The Brendan O’Brien-produced tracks — the first two being “Boy Division” and “Tomorrow’s Money” — are leaner and meaner than the (mostly) relocated Jersey-ites’ Danger Days album of a couple years back. Let the bad times roll, gents!
The Manson Family Album, Marilyn Manson
Future “God of Fuck”, Brian Warner enlisted Swans drummer and future Celtic Frost producer Roli Mossiman to handle producer chores on what was to be the first proper Marilyn Manson album. The results were flat and unimpressive compared to Trent Reznor‘s re-record and mixing job on what was to become 1994’s Portrait of an American Family. Had former guitarist Scott Putesky (aka Daisy Berkowitz) not given a cassette of the 1993 recordings to a journalist, these songs, which are only slightly different than their later versions, would have remained unheard.
Wicked Lester, Wicked Lester (KISS)
Wicked Lester was a New York band that would eventually morph into the mighty KISS. Featuring Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, the group recorded an album for the suits at Epic Records at Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland in NYC in 1971. The record featured a mix of original tunes and covers, showcasing Wicked Lester’s love of the British Invasion. Ultimately, Epic dropped the band and shelved their self-titled album. Since then, it’s been widely bootlegged and Stanley/Simmons even ended up re-working a few of the cuts for KISS.