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Murder Bay: Never Was an Angel

Eönian Records gives new life to another unsigned band from the late 1980s and early 1990s with Murder Bay's Never Was an Angel. This San Francisco quartet apparently caught the eyes and ears of a major label from New York City, but when the band refused to make some of the changes the label demanded, those suits "headed north [to] Seattle," as the liner notes here say. "Long story short, grunge was in, everything else was out, including Murder Bay."

Until now.

These 13 remastered tracks include the original six cuts recorded, mixed and produced by Eric Valentine (who went on to work with Queens of the Stone Age and Slash), plus seven more recorded, mixed and produced by Rob Beaton (whose credits include Guns N' Roses and Sammy Hagar). The songs —many of them previously unreleased — hold together as an entire album, and it's easy to hear traces of Def Leppard, Skid Row, Slaughter and Warrant here; "Outta Line," "Keep Me In Mind" and the title track could have been huge hits, while the ballad "Simple Man" doesn't sound too out of place in 2012. Macho vocalist Paul Trombetta even raps (gasp) on "Dirty Work." Not many other hard-rock bands did that in 1989.

What's so confounding about this release (well, maybe along with the band's name and the album cover) is that Murder Bay didn't completely fit in with the times, sorta like Extreme, Saigon Kick and Dan Reed Network. So listeners who opt to shell out for Never Was an Angel might think they're spinning a new disc by a new band with retro tendencies. And that's not a bad thing.

Track Listing:
1) Land of Plenty
2) Honey Child
3) Outta Line
4) Ultraglide
5) Simple Man
6) Dirty Work
7) Never Was an Angel
8) What's Good for You
9) Long Time Comin'
10) Keep Me in Mind
11) Got No Business
12) Around Again
13) Song?

Added: April 10th 2012
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Murder Bay on MySpace
Hits: 1784
Language: english

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