Thursday, April 15, 2021

CALL ME - Call Me (1981)

CALL ME - Call Me (1981) Germany LP front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

I first discovered German band CALL ME in the legendary compilation series Munich City Nights, then got a LP-rip of their self-titled debut album in a trade, and finally found that the record actually was released on CD on the RCA/BMG label during the Nineties, but in very limited quantities.
Whichever the case, "Call Me" is an obscure, unknown AOR / Melodic Rock rarity deserving to be listened by all fans of the genre.
That's why we are here, isn't it?

Despite its German origins, I would say Call Me's melodic tunes sound more Canadian than anything, with synth harpoon attacks between the sharp melodic riffs and catchy choruses.
Just check the triad of tracks at the beginning of the album: the soaring "Running Out Of Love", the indeed shaking "Shiver In The Night" akin Survivor, or the keyboard driven "22 Degrees Below", all are pure early '80s AOR gemstones.

"Loneliness And The Modern Man" is perhaps the more 'American' song on the album with a mysterious atmosphere (thanks to the synth background), and "Living On The Edge" returns to pure AOR again with a Canadian feeling via nice choruses, bringing to mind Refugee.

CALL ME - Call Me (1981) Germany LP back

"Suburbia" is darker yet rocking, "Nervous Energy" adds a radio-rock poppy touch to the proceedings, while "Working Wonders" adds a light proggy touch in the vein of Harlequin.
If you need a ballad, "Screaming Silence" provides a slow moment by not in typical syrupy balladry. It's a sound with British feeling to me, but somehow I found it similar to some material Tony Carey would release as solo artist years after.

All are very well crafted songs, the musicianship is strong (I love that 'classic drums' sound) and while Daniel Kovac's vocal color is not the most charismatic you can find out there, he perfectly fits the music and provides a distinctive sound to Call Me.
In fact, I have included one track in my AOR Treasures series, the one entitled 'The Seminal Years', because Call Me sound is the type which defined the genre in the beginning of the Eighties.

CALL ME - Call Me (1981) Germany bootleg CD

As said, "Call Me" appeared on CD but I never seen a copy at auction sites. This is taken from the unofficial CD released by bootleg label Time Warp, and as usual with these guys, the sound obtained from the vinyl LP is bloody good.
A little gem. Rare.

01 - Running Out Of Love
02 - Shiver In The Night
03 - 22 Degrees Below
04 - Getting By
05 - Suburbia
06 - Nervous Energy
07 - Loneliness And The Modern Man
08 - Living On The Edge
09 - Working Wonders
10 - Screaming Silence

Daniel Kovac - vocals
Frank Ziener - guitars, backing vocals
Attila Teri - keyboards, piano
Manfred Dietze - bass
Florian Ruppert - drums

CALL ME - Call Me (1981) HERE

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

ZOID: LP 1987 + EP 1988 + Demos

ZOID: LP 1987 + EP 1988 + Demos - front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

On par to the Californian counterpart, during the '80s there was an effervescent Rock scene in the US East Coast as well. Melodic rockers ZOID come from there, more exactly Syracuse, NY, also the home of well known acts for this blog such as Todd Hobin & The Heat or Benny Mardones, among others.
Founded by brothers Lou (keyboards) and Mike (drums) Secreti, seems Zoid were quite popular in the area in the mid-Eighties. They managed to release this self-titled, 8-track LP in 1987, which over the years has become a collectors piece ($170 on eBay).

"Zoid" delivers the typical Melodic Hard Rock sound of the era, yet more '84 / 85 oriented with a profuse keyboard / synth presence turning things much more AOR. Think early Bon Jovi or other indie band featured on the blog some time ago; Addiction. There's also comparisons to other Syracuse based band; Alecstar. Not strange, as guitarist Harry Mantor was part of them before.
Despite of being an indie recording, we have a solid production on display, and a proper mix.

ZOID: LP 1987 + EP 1988 + Demos inside

All songs are really good, starting with the rocker "I Can't Wait" driven by sharp guitars and featuring the interesting pipes of frontman Jimm Richer, a singer rich at the mid-range. "From Here To L.A" is more catchy and melodious, followed by the mid-tempo AOR of "Try Again". Suffice to say; all the material here is peppered with keyboard fills all over.
"I'm Not Foolin´" is perhaps the most commercial tune (and a favorite) sporting a great chorus with a single potential, the lovely "Cards In Your Hands" lends to melodic radio-rock, while another favorite of mine, "Makes Me Wonder" is pure '80s AOR with a breezy melody adorned by saxophone.
"It Just Ain't Right" is another solid melodic rocker, slow but with strong guitars, and the LP ends with the catchy, typically 1985 (Canadian sounding to my ears) "Woman Of Stone".

The following year, Zoid recorded a promo mini-LP to seduce recording companies, including two songs from the debut plus new cut "Stealin`", featured in two different versions. This mini-LP is impossible to find original.
A nice vinyl-rip (cleaned by me) is added as bonus, as well 2 demo tracks from the second Zoid album never released (there's plans by some members to put both albums on CD someday).

ZOID: LP 1987 + EP 1988 + Demos - back

"Zoid" LP + EP + the bonuses are not only a much sought after pieces by collectors, but also really good, well composed & recorded Melodic Hard Rock / AOR tunes for all fans of the genre to enjoy.
A collectors item. RARE.

"Zoid" LP 1987:
1. I Can't Wait
2. From Here To L.A.
3. Try Again
4. I'm Not Foolin'
5. The Cards Are In Your hands
6. Makes Me Wonder
7. It Just Ain't Right
8. Woman Of Stone
"Zoid" Promo EP 1988:
1. Stealin' (Short version)
2. From Here To L.A.
3. Stealin' (Long version)
4. Makes Me Wonder
Demos (unreleased):
1. Hear Me
2. Trouble In Paradise

Jimm Richer: Vocals
Lou Secreti: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Harry Mantor: Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Todd Troubetaris: Bass
Mike Secreti: Acoustic & Electronic Drums
Jon Celi: Guitars, Vocals
Tony Stone: Drums
Andy Camano: Bass

ZOID: LP 1987 + EP 1988 + Demos