The ”Lost UK Jewels” Vol.9 ; DIRTY TRYX – Rough Ride *EXCLUSIVE*
Continuing with the awesome ”Lost Jewels” collectibles, here’s ”Lost UK Jewels Vol.9 ; DIRTY TRYX – Rough Ride“, featuring another rare band from the series, limited to 500 copies CD, already out of print.
Straight out of Bolton, Lancashire, UK, came Dirty Tryx that sold out the Albert Hall venue, had the legendary Derek Oliver on speed dial and a thousand plus members of their fan club.
This six-piece band delivers melodic hard rock in the vein of FM, Tobruk, Kiss Of The Gypsy, Glasgow, etc, and their quality music certainly deserved to be exposed.
Dirty Tryx was originally formed in 1986 by drummer Bob Glendenning and bass player Neil Howarth. The duo soon found keyboard player and vocalist Jonathan Kay (ex-Crywolf) and guitarist Ron Stratton, with Kay initially handling the vocals.
A year and a half later the band added guitar slinger Lee Johnson and lead vocalist Dave Lambert to their roster and now things started to happen.
The career picked up when Dirty Tryx recorded and released their three track Titz Mega demo in 1988 which were sold at gigs and through their fan club. Sales of the cassette exceeded one thousand copies. The demo won a lot of praise in the popular magazine Metal Forces. It was recorded at the Cottage Studio in Macclesfield and named after a girl the band knew with mega boobs.
This tape was followed by their debut 7 single″ in 1989 released on X Records, with the songs “Rough Ride” and “Waitin´“. X Records was a small indie label in their area that supported local talent. This single received rave reviews in all major metal magazines at the time like Kerrang!, Metal hammer and Metal Forces.
The vinyl was recorded in Loco Studios in Wales and signaled a huge step forward when it came to the production and also a huge improvement in the songwriting department could be noted. The single and the following tour was well received by the fans as well as famous writer Dave Ling who wrote a review for Raw Magazine.
With the national press on their side and an ever growing fan base, Dirty Tryx played prestigious gigs at Albert Hall in Bolton, The Hippodrome and The Marquee in London among others.
They were deemed the biggest unsigned band in the UK in 1989. A tour supporting fellow countrymen and metallians Marshall Law followed. Labels Atco and Chrysalis showed interest in the band. Dirty Tryx was just about to get signed when Ron Stratton left, and the remaining band recorded a 3-track 12″maxi-single called “Substitute For You” in 1990 which was once again released on X Records and paid for by Steve Meekins.
It received a few good reviews as well but by this time the band was falling apart. Drummer Glendenning and Kay were next to leave.
Before splitting up permanently Dirty Tryx recruited new drummer Morton Schjolin and recorded a demo that remained unreleased until now. It was called ‘Demo 1995’.
Lambert later formed Mother Mary with guitarist Andrew Bray and bassist Manu Michael.
Fast forward to this new century, Italian label Steelheart Records secured a deal to re-release all their recorded material on CD as part of the LOST UK JEWELS, collector series.
Titled “Rough Ride”, this ”Lost UK Jewels Vol.9″ compiles both demos and the two vinyl singles/EP on one CD making it a 10 track affair.
Steelheart Records has a very unique ability to take the old cover of a single or a demo or an EP and use it for their reissues. We should give them a lot of credit for that while other reissue labels have new artwork drawn up that does not fit the band or the period it was recorded. So an extra thumbs up to Steelheart Records for staying as true to the original artwork as they possibly can.
The songs have been remastered from the original master tapes and comes with a tasteful 16-page color booklet with a band biography and various press cuts. I have the uppermost respect for these guys who struggled to get a record deal and recorded these bunch of stunning songs completely on their own.
The tracks are not chronologically presented in the order they were recorded. The album starts off with the 1989 7″single ‘Rough Ride’ and the track by the same name. This song kicks off with a great riff and a nice keyboard melody to support it. This is a mid-paced, heavy melodic hard rock track. It has got the typical 1980´s production but also a catchy chorus that is really infectious and a tasteful twin guitar duel in the solo part. It also features some convincing guitar work with the twin attack from Lee Johnson and Ron Stratton.
Definitely one of the stronger cuts and a worthy album opener.
It is followed by the more mellow and softer “Waitin´“, the other A-side on this 7” (double-A-sided single). It starts off with a ‘whoa’ AOR choir and Lambert’s initial vocals makes me think of Bret Michaels of Poison somehow. Compared to its predecessor it contains more AOR elements, and some bar-room style of piano from Jonathan Kay, a cracking hook, some fluid bass work from Howarth and, of course, the hard-hitting drumming from Glendenning.
We then move forward to 1990 and the ‘Substitute For You’ EP. The title track of that EP kicks off with a bluesy riff and a piano fill. It´s a solid rock song with a nice vocal performance from Lambert.
Up next is “Heart of Stone” which is definitely one of my favorite tracks on this CD. It is a heartfelt ballad which starts with a great lead guitar crossed with a nice keyboard intro. Lambert’s vocals shine as always and the commercial potential is there. A song definitely as strong as your random power ballad that ruled the MTV around this time. It steps up a notch in tempo towards the end with even a Hammond gracing the track.
Next we have the last song on the EP called “Changes” which starts off with a grooving bass line. The tune has a driving riff and a keyboard melody that keeps the momentum going throughout the track and it´s a song that in its structure and use of guitar and keyboard could as well had been done by Swedish melodic rockers Treat.
Now it´s time to turn back the clock and revisit the ‘Titz Mega 88’ demo tape. It kicks off with “Die For Me” and the guitar sound is completely different as well as the production which is not as polished and developed as on the later tracks. When it comes to the song it is a really strong song with a great and catchy chorus. The Bon Jovi vibes are all over and it really shows the talent that this band had when it came to writing a great melodic rock song. Just pick any of Bon Jovi´s 80s albums and this song would have fitted in nicely. It ends with an acapella chorus and keyboard melody.
We are then treated with “Work It Out” which starts off with a keyboard melody that really dominates the song from the start. A heavy chugging guitar and another great vocal performance from Lambert makes this a nice acquaintance. The chorus is graced with a big gang vocal that was so predominant at the time. The whole song structure smacks of experience and quality.
Last song from the demo is called “Living For The Rock”. It builds from drum… keyboard… guitar intro. It kicks off with a heavy hitting groove with the guitars joining after a while. Slightly heavier than the other songs this adds some power to the mix and it also has Lambert stretching his vocals to the limit just before the great guitar solo midsection.
This compilation ends with “Towing The Line” and “Looking Glass Smile”, both off the unreleased “1995 demo” which are two bluesy acoustic songs with a vocal performance from Lambert that bears a more modern touch.
Dirty Tryx is melodic because of the keyboards and distinctive tunes, hard because of the stinging guitars in a perfect blend. Dirty Tryx’s music prove to stand the test of time. You get at least eight great tracks with a distinct melodic feel, a couple of great solos and loads of memorable riffs.
The musicianship is really top notch and Lambert’s vocal performance is solid throughout.
This is the ninth volume of the “LOST UK JEWELS” collector series and we have to admit we’ve got them all, and all are priceless (and all will be featured at 0dayrox).
A big thumbs up must go to Steelheart Records and Rob Evans of AOR Underground for all their effort in researching, contracting and releasing all these great bands from a time long gone and forgotten by most.
As usual with these series, the CD come with extended biography, lots of unseen footage and press cuts. You know you will get 1980´s or early 1990´s AOR / Melodic hard rock and you know you will get your money´s worth.
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Rough Ride (Rough Ride/Waitin’ 7” vinyl – 1989)
02 – Waitin’ (Rough Ride/Waitin’ 7” vinyl – 1989)
03 – Substitute For You (Substitute For You 12” vinyl – 1990)
04 – Heart Of Stone (Substitute For You 12” vinyl – 1990)
05 – Changes (Substitute For You 12” vinyl – 1990)
06 – Die For Me (Titz Mega demo-tape 1988)
07 – Work It Out (Titz Mega demo-tape 1988)
08 – Living For Rock (Titz Mega demo-tape 1988)
09 – Towing The Line (Unreleased ”Demo-tape 1995”)
10 – Looking Glass Smile (Unreleased ”Demo-tape 1995”)
Dave Lambert – lead vocals
Jonathan Kay – keyboards, vocals
Lee Johnson – guitars
Ron Stratton – guitars
Neil Howarth – bass
Bob Glendenning – drums
Marton Schjolin – drums on 9, 10