The Lost UK Jewels Vol.21 – VANDAMNE – The First Crimes (1988-1991) *Exclusive*
As part of the excellent ‘Lost UK Jewels’ series, here’s one more for the collection: Vol.21, ”VANDAMNE – The First Crimes (1988-1991)”. Formed after their stint with metal band Dealer, vocalist Trey Short, guitarists Ashley John Limer & Pete Southern and bass player Pete Gentil put the band VANDAMNE together in the tail end of ’87.
Festooned in spandex, they were Gloucestershire’s answer to the L.A. invasion that was led by Dokken, Ratt, Icon and the Crue, adding to their music as well a British AOR punch akin Shy.
They recorded a plethora of demos and played countless gigs. They shone brightly, however oh so briefly, but what a glorious collection of songs they left behind, a melodic maelstrom for sure.
Through a succession of demo-tapes they garnered a lot of respect and praise from the music press of the time with Kerrang’s Lyn Guy declaring that they showcased a neat blend of Oliverian approved hooklines and meaty rockers that make them well worthy of investigation.
While some of these songs were re-recorded later in ’90s with a heavier reformation of VANDAMNE, this “The First Crimes” CD feature the much better ‘magic’ original recording sessions, taped between 1988 and 1991 (and including various unreleased songs) by the original line-up, all digitally remastered.
This release features 15 tracks, sounding much more “class” and melodic than the versions re-recorded later, and with the usual 16-pages booklet full of unseen pics, memorabilia and the complete band-history written by UK Hard-Rock specialist Rob Evans.
Born on the ashes of the UK metal band Dealer, VANDAMNE was put together in 1987 to play a more melodic hard rock classic style with the second half of the ’80s LA sound. With two incredible guitar-talents like Ashley Jon Limer and Pete Southern and the great vocalist Trev Short on board, the band played up and down the UK for 2-3 years, chasing that ever-elusive deal.
Unfortunately, after some changes in the line-up, the band called it a day around 1992.
Two years later, the band’s manager was asked from Zero Records Japan to reunite the band and record an album, which the band – at the end – did it. The album called “Nightcrimes” was released in 1994 on Zero Records and later on the German label Long Island Records.
But the band itself admits that the ’80s magic was a bit vanished, back then.
The likes of ”Notorious” had more squealing guitars than a Vinnie Vincent masterclass, it is like listening to Keel on steroids, whilst the opening riff to ”Heaven’s On Fire” would have had God dialling 999.
There’s a melodic rock heaven on “Living On The Edge Of Your Heart’, plenty of harmony vocals and a catchy chorus, while on “When The Hurt Is Gone” they showcased their AOR credentials to the max on a song that is an epic tour-de-force of soft melodic rock.
They should have set the UK alight, reduced it to a smouldering lump even, the reality was far harsher.
”VANDAMNE – The First Crimes (1988-1991)” is a joyful listen for any serious collector and fan of the ’80s Melodic Hard Rock scene, in the vein of Dokken, Ratt, Icon and Shy. As always happens with the limited edition ‘The Lost UK Jewels’ series, the CD is already sold-out.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – Notorious
02 – Living On The Edge Of Your Heart
03 – Love In Chains
04 – When The Hurt Is Gone
05 – Down On Love (Live)
06 – Love Ain’t A Crime
07 – Walking In Your Nightmare
08 – Love U 2 Death
09 – Nightcrimes
10 – When Heaven’s On Fire
11 – Don’t Run (From The Fire)
12 – Don’t Talk To Me (Live)
13 – Hurricane (Live)
BONUS TRACKS / Alternative Versions 1990:
14 – When The Hurt Is Gone
15 – Living On The Edge Of Your Heart
Lead Vocals – Trevor Short
Guitars, Backing Vocals – Ashley Jon Limer, Pete Southern
Bass – Pete Gentil
Drums – Andy Jones, Andy Skinner, Mike “Maz” Maher