Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Hounds Of Hasselvander's new album "ANCIENT ROCKS"

Ancient Rocks! Yes! "Ancient" does "Rock", doesn't it? After finishing up my last album, "The Ninth Hour", Black Widow Records decided that I should stay in the studio and record that one incredible cover album I have always dreamed of doing!
I got the idea for this from David Bowie after hearing the now infamous "Pin-Ups" album from the 1970's! I was blown away that he had played a song by THE PRETTY THINGS, England's most underrated band! David went on US & UK television for the Halloween episode of Midnight Special to promote "Pin-Ups".  His band featured Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Ansley Dunbar with some unknown back up singers.

The thing that blew me away the most was a surprise appearance of The Troggs performing "Wild Thing" and "Strange Movie"! I became a TROGGS fan all over again!
They were raw, nasty and heavy! Reg Presley's vocals were as taunting and angry as ever! These four cave men of a bygone era of rock & roll ruled the roost once again on that night so long ago! They really proved that they were the real deal and that every band that was popular at that time in the 1970's really sucked in comparison with their honest and deliberate approach to heavy rock & roll!

I wanted to present the same kind of album to my friends and fans all over the world! On "Ancient Rocks" I am showcasing some of my favorite bands in the world who influenced everything I do in music! These are all proto-metal bands from the mid-1960's to the mid-1970's. Most of these groups were once major label bands but sadly were used as tax write -offs for those same labels and I'm sure a lot of their proceeds financed those labels' bigger acts! That kind of thing still happens today!

Some of the groups I am covering on this album, most likely recorded their tracks long after midnight when the recording prices dropped to the discount rate. All studios were very expensive back then, unlike today with the home studio boom and the advent of smaller and more efficient recording equipment. Unfortunately, engineers and band members were not always in the best shape in those wee hours of the morning and some of those old recordings show it!  That is part of the vibe as there was little time to do a second take!

To make things more authentic, I told the musicians on this album to not learn everything perfect, but to only have the basic arrangements down before recording! When we started rolling tape It fell together perfectly and we got the most authentic versions of these songs that we possibly could with that good old '70's loose funk feel and reckless spontaneity! Many of my professional peers thought I was playing them alternate takes from the original albums when I used them as Guinea Pigs to test the sounds on Ancient Rocks! This was the desired result and now "you" can decide! It is my goal to turn the world onto these songs and these bands once again!

I also encourage everyone to seek the original recordings out as well! Most of them are still in print, some are not! This is where Metal came from! These artists deserve a second look, as they gave so much! "Ancient Rocks" features a real time band in the studio with Martin Swaney (ex-Death Row/Pentagram) on bass guitar and my very special guest, Mr. T.C. Tolliver(Ex-Plasmatics) on the drums! I contacted T.C. about recording this album with me because he was one of those drummers in the 1970's that had that proto-metal drum beat that people like Don Brewer from Grand Funk Railroad and Denny Craswell of Crow sort of invented. T.C. was a legend in the Washington D.C. area where I grew up. He banged the skins for "The Cherry People" featuring Punky Meadows of "Angel" and went on to be in two more bands with him in "Daddy Warbux" and "Foxy" .

I used to sneak into clubs with a fake ID to see him play when I was a wild youth. We had run into each other off and on for years and then he joined The Plasmatics and drummed them into stardom with their album "COUP d'ETAT". I stil ran into him often in New York and D.C. and realized that there was a very good reason for all of our chance meetings! This album and it's material was made for T.C.'s drumming and he brought the real authentic vibe to all of the songs you will hear on this album! He completes the live line up for the band as well along with Martin, myself, Paolo Negri and Russ Strahan (Ex-Pentagram) on lead guitar.

I have added bonus track, "One Eyed Trouser, Snake Rumba" from the "Further Torments Of The SG' -EP with special permission from Rock Savior Records! My old band mate, Jimmy Kunes sings this one with my back up vocals! He does a ripping rendition of this that would make Steve Marriott proud! Jimmy and I both had many years with Savoy Brown and it is a pleasure to have him on this album as well!
 I am very proud to present these songs that mean so much to me and hopefully I will do another album just like it next year with all of the songs that I couldn't fit on this one! Any requests?
Joe Hasselvander

01) Trial of the Dead (Intro)
02) Strange Movies
03) I'm in Trouble Again
04) Midnight to Six Man
05) Idealist Realist
06) Juke It
07) Primitive Man
08) Teachin' Blues
09) Cookbook
10) Sex Machine (Intro)
11) Come and Get It
12) One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba
Label: Black Widow Records (Lp/Cd: 2016)(Digital Release: 2016)

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