Always keen champions of cult music, Rum Bar Records is home to several great bands you might never have heard. Fully believing that a label can’t exist without its fans, they’ve got a gift for you to kick start the new year…and it’s their biggest gift to date.
Following an excursion into blues based material on his self explanatory ‘L.A. Blues Authority Volume II: Blues’, Glenn Hughes returned to the more familiar waters of melodic rock for 1994’s ‘From Now On…’ That album, produced by the legendary Bruce Gowdy, was Hughes’s best work since the Hughes/Thrall release back in 1982. Very much a case of “all killer, no filler”, its melodic stance found “The Voice of Rock” in great shape.
Fans were to get a surprise when Glenn returned just a year later with ‘Feel’. He could easily have kept up momentum with a disc’s worth of similar melodic rockers but, ever the restless spirit, he decided instead to indulge his more soulful side. That’s not so say that it is a complete return to the Stevie Wonder tinged soul and funk of 1977’s ‘Play Me Out’, but the bulk of the material is certainly much slicker than most of Glenn’s previous outings.
Essex band Found Missing? released their debut EP in the summer of 2019. While the band were a relatively new arrival on the UK rock scene at that point, their members had been working the live circuit for some time as members of Cosmic Joker, Twelvepointhead and La Muerte.
La Muerte were fantastic. They left the world too prematurely with one EP that fused elements of punk, hardcore and a debt to early Killing Joke. If you’re approaching this band expecting more of the same you’re surely going to be disappointed, but what Found Missing? do, they often do very well. Opting for something very retro, the band takes a huge hard rock swagger, injects it with a love of funk and then dirties it up a little, ending up sounding like an early 90s funk metal band covering tracks from Bush’s US million seller ‘Sixteen Stone’. Obviously, at the time of release, it sounds rather…out of time, but for fans of that sort of thing, it very much fills a musical hole.
TNT are one of those bands that are absolutely beloved by some melodic rock fans. Even into the 90s and against changing musical fashions, their late 80s albums ‘Tell No Tales’ (1987) and ‘Intuition’ (1989) continued to have some very vocal supporters. In lots of ways, it’s easy to see why since guitarist Ronnie Le Tekro always played in a very inventive way and in melodic metal terms, those albums carry a frightening amount of energy. None of that really matters if you were one of those people who didn’t really like Tony Harnell’s vocal style, of course. Much like the younger Geoff Tate, Harnell had a tendency to tackle everything at full pelt and with a huge banshee wail.
During their forty three year career, Rush released nineteen studio albums, a covers EP and eleven official live albums. In addition, a couple of extra archive live shows have been released as part of super-deluxe reissues of a couple of their 70s albums. Whichever way you look at it, they had a truly impressive career – one that would put many other prog bands to shame.
What’s more, Rush made relatively few bad records. With such longevity, of course, some are better than others; some are heavier than others; some seem more complex than others. Almost miraculously, only one or two missed the mark across a five decade stretch.
If you like Rush, though, more often than not, you love the band and don’t need steering through their extensive catalogue. However, for those yet to take the plunge properly (and for those who love a good debate), we present our “Super Seven” – a look at the seven discs we consider to give the Rush novice the very best overview.