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MURDER BAY – Never Was An Angel

| 11 September 2012 | Reply

2012 reissue, Eonian Records
By Shane Pinnegar

In the late eighties and early nineties, purveyors of the glory days of the Sunset Strip Sound were practically living in the land of plenty with fat cat record companies throwing bottomless cheques at any potential “next big thing”, and hundreds of thousands of kids ready to buy their products or invite them into their beds.

Rock n’ Roll – like life – is a fickle mistress, though, and history tells us that Murder Bay missed the cut, only just, when they turned down their first major label deal offer in early ’91. Within a few months hair was out, grunge was in, and their previously rabid following in California and beyond (they were voted BAM magazine’s #1 rock band of 1990, Metal Edge “Band on the rise”, Music Connection’s “Top 100 Unsigned Acts”, amongst other things) meant next to nothing.

Finally, Eonian have unearthed the 2 demos Murder Bay recorded in 1990 (with a young Eric Valentine, who went on to produce QOTSA, Good Charlotte, Third Eye Blind, Slash, etc), and 1991 (with Rob Beaton, Guns n’ Roses, Sea Hags, Sammy Hagar, Santana, and more) and they sound like they really could have been contenders had the time and place been more fortuitous for them.

The Valentine sessions see the band sounding a little more like the bigger hair metal bands of the day – there is a shade of Warrant to the instantly memorable Land Of Plenty and Honey Child – while the Beaton tracks show some more melodic layering, and a slightly denser approach as they develop a more individual style. Long Time Comin’ and Got No Business are both strong, catchy rockers that would have gone down a treat in those heady days of rock excess.

Like so many other great bands, Murder Bay may not have hit the big time, but it’s great that Eonian and similar labels are out there in the modern day, making some great music available finally.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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