Decibel Geek Podcast

Okay, we've been threatening it for a long time and the day has finally arrived. We're going into the thrash genre this week. Aside from the M&M episode that focused on favorite Metallica and Megadeth songs, we've shied away from the harder-edged stuff. Why? Well, we learned early on that a large amount of our listeners are not big on thrash metal. That said, there have been a number of requests for us to delve into the genre and we think we've come up with an interesting way to do this that will, hopefully, be entertaining to everyone (including the non-thrash lovers). If not, we'll see you next week for episode 100 (please leave us a voicemail HERE to help us celebrate 100 episodes).

Thrash metal was, and continues to be, a non-mainstream form of music. The only exception, of course, would be what's referred to as, The Big 4. This elite club is, typically, filled out by metal gargantuans Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. While the mainstream music listener would almost certainly agree that these bands deserve their spot in this exclusive club, there are a ton of great thrash metal bands out there that go under the radar due to the Big 4 taking up so much of the spotlight.

Our goal this week is to pose the hypothetical question: "What if the Big 4 became the Big 5?" What bands would be considered for elevation to such lofty status? Aaron and, most certainly, Chris' picks are going to surprise some and enrage others. Thrash fans are a lot of things and "passionate" would be at the top of that list. So, before we get into the meat of the episode, a quick disclaimer:

The following episode of the Decibel Geek podcast is being done with tongue planted firmly in cheek. While some of these songs and bands definitely could be considered for Big 5 status, certain choices by the hosts of this episode are being made and hypothetically elevated to Big 5 status in good-natured fun. The Decibel Geek podcast, it's staff, and their wives do not claim to be experts and/or authorities on thrash metal. Before threats of castration and the carving of the Slayer logo across our foreheads take place, remember this episode is being produced in a lighthearted manner and is only intended for entertainment purposes and to turn you on to some thrash metal that you may not know about. Thank you for your time and attention.....and put that knife away. - Editor

We kick things off a band that has been nominated by many thrash fans for Big 4 status, so Aaron's pick of Testament is definitely warranted. With a rich history of metal music, Testament is still one of the tightest bands in thrash today. We take a listen to a track from their 1992 album The Ritual.

Chris' first pick is, undoubtably, not what comes to most thrash fans minds when you think of the top of the heap of thrash. With that said, Onslaught, an English thrash metal band from the 1980's, released a real gem back in 1989 with their In Search of Sanity album. This was their only album to feature the vocal stylings of former Grim Reaper front man Steve Grimmett (many will remember him from Beavis and Butthead). While Grimmett's look caused a rather comedic reaction in many, there's no doubt that the guy had some serious pipes.

Aaron's next pick of a track from Suicidal Tendencies' 1990 album Lights....Camera....Revolution! shows that thrash metal doesn't have to always abide by a strict set of guidelines. S.T. were always pushing the genre envelope and this track shows that they could really pack a punch when it was called for but still maintain a swagger within the song to keep things interesting.

When you think of the upper echelon of thrash metal you think of Artillery.......right? Well, maybe not but Chris' choice of a track from this Danish-born technical thrash band's third studio album has this talented group showing off many twists and turns in their sounds complimented by some powerful Dio-esque vocals. 

While Scott Ian and Charlie Benante are members of Big 4 act Anthrax, they are a part of another awesome New York-born thrash band from the 1980's. The Stormtroopers of Death featured Ian and Benante along with bassist Dan Lilker and vocalist Billy Milano. Aaron's track choice from their 1985 debut album Speak English or Die is a relentless number that will leave your ears pummeled with enjoyment.

Whle Kirk Hammett is the longtime lead guitarist for Big 4 member Metallica, he helped form Bay-Area thrashers Exodus back the early 1980's. Never getting their just-due, Exodus has released 9 albums since 1985's Bonded by Blood release. Chris' choice of track from that first album features some solid riffing by guitarist Gary Holt. 

While we're rarely focused on thrash metal on the show, one band that transcends that and has been played a number of times is Overkill. One of Aaron's all-time favorite bands, it would be impossible to not include them on this list; especially considering how overlooked they've been by the mainstream music-buying public. His choice of a track from their 1991 Horrorscope release explains the band's sense of gratitude towards that lack of support.

We close out the show with Chris' choice of a band that is credited with helping develop the genre of thrash music in the first place. Originally from San Francisco and then via Aberdeen Washington, Metal Church formed in 1980 and took their influences from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and added some speed and precision to help solidify the thrash metal genre with their eponymous release in 1984 and have been putting out quality material ever since. The band is still going strong to this day. 

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Suicidal Tendencies





Metal Church

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Direct download: Episode_99_-_The_Big_5.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 5:52pm EDT

We're back this week to celebrate the second half of 1985 as we dissect July through December. There was a ton of music released in the second half of 1985 and Chris and Aaron are back to bring you some of the best tracks from the year. Without further ado, here are the stories, the people, and the sounds that made 1985 an interesting year for Decibel Geeks:



July 13 – The Live Aid concert takes place in Wembley Stadium, London, UK and Philadelphia, USA. The headlining acts at the latter venue included a Led Zeppelin reunion, the first since their 1980 disbandment.

Rough Cutt – Take Her (Rough Cutt) 


August 31 – Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as the Night Stalker, is captured in Los Angeles.

Metal Edge Magazine is Launched.

Pantera – I Am the Night (I Am the Night) 

DIO - Fallen Angels (Sacred Heart) 

KIX – Sex (Midnight Dynamite) 


September 6 – Michael Jackson purchases the publishing rights for most of the Beatles' music for $47 million, much to the dismay of Paul McCartney, whom he is bidding against.

September 19 – The Parents Music Resource Center's (P.M.R.C.) United States Senate hearing on rock censorship begin in Washington, D.C. Heavy metal singer Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, rock star Frank Zappa and country singer John Denver testify against the P.M.R.C.

September 22 – The Farm Aid concert is held in Champaign, Illinois, USA.

KISS – Who Wants to be Lonely – (Asylum) 

Slayer - At Dawn They Sleep (Hell Awaits) 

Vandenberg – All the Way (Alibi) 


October 18 – The first Nintendo home video game console in United States is released by the Nintendo Entertainment System.

ZZ Top - Planet of Women (Afterburner) 

The Cult – Rain (Love) 


Aerosmith – Let the Music Do the Talking (Done with Mirrors) 

Twisted Sister - Kill or Be Killed (Come Out and Play) 

Dokken - The Hunter (Under Lock and Key) 

King Kobra – Shadow Rider (Ready to Strike)

WASP - The Last Command (The Last Command) 



December 23 - Two young fans of Judas Priest in Sparks, Nevada shoot themselves, one fatally, after listening to the band's records. A lawsuit is brought against the group in 1986 claiming that they were compelled by backwards subliminal messages hidden in their music.

Bands Formed:

Britny Fox, Dream Theater, Drivin and Cryin, Roxx Gang, Guns N Roses, Jane’s Addiction, LA Guns, L7, The Mr. T Experience.

Band Breakups:

Diamond Head, Hanoi Rocks, Mercyful Fate, The Power Station, Quarterflash, Scandal


Orianthi, Reggie Bush, Bruno Mars


Nicolas Colasanto (Coach from Cheers), Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch), Rock Hudson (AIDS), Orson Wells, Ricky Nelson 

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Rough Cutt







ZZ Top

The Cult


Twisted Sister


King Kobra


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Direct download: Episode_98_-_1985_Year_in_Review_Par.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

We're back this week to kick off two weeks of nostalgia to a simpler time when the hair was high and the Stroh's flowed freely. 1985 was smack dab in the middle of a rock revolution as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was being usurped by its American proteges. At the same time, new wave was being kicked to the curb by a bunch of guys wearing women's makeup as the "hair" era was beginning to hit its stride thanks to a change in direction by some Motley guys that were taking over Los Angeles.

We kick things off with an import from Japan. Loudness was well into their career in their homeland but were brand-new to the Unite States. We take a listen to a track from the Thunder in the East album.
After the ultra-acrimonious breakup of The Eagles, the members of the band worked on solo careers with varying success. Joe Walsh was in the midst of a haze of substance abuse but still managed to release an album in 1985. We hear a clip from The Confessor

Anthrax unveiled a new singer in 1985 with Joey Belladonna replacing original vocalist Neil Turbin. The Armed & Dangerous EP was Joey's introduction to the band and we hear his take on a Turbin-era track.
An unlikely group that was launched in 1985 was The Power Station. A true 80's supergroup featuring Robert Palmer, the Taylor brothers (Duran Duran), and Tony Thompson (Chic), the band received favorable airplay but was destined to be a part-time project due to the schedules of those involved. We head into break 1 with a clip of their take on a T-Rex classic.
Returning from the break, we head to Alcatrazz. Not the prison, the band. The Graham Bonnet-fronted group was without a guitarist by 1985 as Yngwie Malmsteen had moved on to other pastures. Plucking the next hot thing, Steve Vai joined the band and brought a new direction to the group. We take a listen to a song from the Disturbing the Peace album.

A band that is always a favorite of us Decibel Geeks is KEEL. Their 1985 album The Right to Rock is still an underrated gem that deserved much more attention than it received. 
Well-known in Canada as more of a novelty act, Thor released their 5th album in 1985 with Only the Strong but this title-track shows that there was more than meets the eye with this band.
One of the early thrash bands that tends to get overlooked is Over Kill. But not on our show. We take a listen to part of their 1985 output from the Feel the Fire album.

While heavy metal in the 1980's was usually summed up as "evil" or "dark" in many cases, you couldn't apply that tag to Stryper. Known for their Christian message, Stryper proved that you could have an uplifting message and still rock as this track from the Soldiers Under Command album proves.
We return from our 2nd break with a word about a crowdfunding project that is near and dear to our hearts. Hair I Go Again is a documentary that shows a band that split up in 1985 trying to rally back together in hopes of opening for their 80's hard rock heroes. The film has numerous interviews with many DBG-friendly artists and is an interesting take on a DIY project. We'd love to see this move get released and hope you will consider making a donation. There's rewards for each level of donation so what have you got to lose? Check out the trailer below and go HERE to make a donation.

June of 1985 was a huge month for hard rock and heavy metal. 
The ever-underrated Lizzy Borden released their debut album, Love You to Pieces, on 6/1/1985. The shock rocker is celebrating 30 years in the business and this track from that album shows why.

Megadeth was still on their way up the ladder in 1985. They garnered additional attention with the release of Killing is My Business....and Business is Good on 6/12/85. It only takes one listen to the track we hear today to see where a good chunk of Metallica's early sound comes from.
Motley Crue hit a new level of stardom in June of 1985 with the release of Theatre of Pain. Shooting up to #6 on the Billboard charts, the album went on to go quadruple platinum. We take a listen to a track from the album that features some high-intensity drumming from Tommy Lee.

We wrap up our look at the first half of 1985 with a classic guitar-driven track from Ratt's June 13th release of Invasion of Your Privacy.
We've got lots more from 1985 coming for ya next week. Rock on!

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Direct download: Episode_97_-_1985_Year_in_Review_Par.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:29pm EDT

After a full month of celebrating KISS, we're back to celebrating all things that rock. KISSMAS in JULY was a huge success and we're ready to now turn you on to some stuff you aren't getting on the radio.

For the new listeners, the Radio Sucks Radio Show's premise is simple. We expose you to some great quality music (old and new) that rock radio is just not giving you. We do this as a service to you, the listener, to encourage you to go out and purchase this great music and support the artist. Check the Amazon links for each artist played at the bottom of these show notes to hook yourself up with great tunes!

We start off volume 13 of this series with a palate cleanser for the non-KISS fans in our audience that endured a full month of us extolling the virtues of how much KISS rocks. Teenage Bottlerocket, from Wyoming, released an album in 2009 that featured a tongue-in-cheek punk ditty pronouncing the band as being 'Bigger Than KISS' with lots of jabs thrown at the band. We want to play this for the non-KISS fans and those of you that have a sense of humor. We love KISS, you know that. We think it's good to laugh at things you love once in a while.


Supagroup, from New Orleans, started up in 1996. In this episode, we take a listen to a rock track that's sure to get you in trouble if you take it too seriously. Have a seat over there...

One of the benefits of rock/metal podcasts are the fact that you can get turned on to music that you certainly can't find on the airwaves. Such is the case with The Wildhearts. Fronted by the enigmatic Ginger, the band has gone through numerous lineup changes but due to Ginger's amazing songwriting, has continued to put out some of the catchiest rock songs you've never hears. We listen to a track from their self-titled debut that's easy to love.

Dick Wagner

One of our favorite interviews was with former Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner. Dick has an amazing musical history with his connections to Alice, KISS, and Aerosmith among others. His solo output is also very good. We take a listen to Dick's take on a rock and roll classic that inspired him. This track comes from his autobiography 'Not Only Women Bleed' which is available HERE. Highly recommended!

We return from the first break to listen to a track from a modern-day power trio. Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy, and Billy Sheehan combine their chops to form The Winery Dogs. Their new release has already become one of the biggest rock albums of 2013; charting high despite limited airplay. We try to do our part in supporting this awesome release with a track that will leave you wanting more.

Another recently-released album that's getting critical praise yet not nearly enough attention on radio is ...Like Clockwork, the latest offering from Queens of the Stone Age. Picked up on Aaron Camaro's recent excursion to Los Angeles, the album has been in constant rotation on his playlist. We take a listen to to a sampling of this new album.

2013 has proven to be a good year for rock and metal as Chris' next pick proves. With one of the more surprising releases of the year, King Kobra returns with a sophomore effort for their new lineup featuring Paul Shortino on vocals. King Kobra II has a full slate of solid material and we take a listen to the lead-off track that will run right over you.

Heading into the next break, we hear from longtime Chicago doom metal legends Trouble with a track from their new release 'The Distortion Field.' Hailed by some as one of their stronger albums, we take a listen to a great track that will have you headbanging in no time.

For those familiar with the Decibel Geek podcast, it's no mystery that Chris has become a Thin Lizzy fan over the show's history. This is due to many listeners pushing him to check out their catalog. Now rebranded, The Black Star Riders, have released a new album with 'All Hell Breaks Loose,' an album full of dual-guitar leads and swagger; hallmarks of the Thin Lizzy sound. While Phil Lynott can never be fully replaced, it's hard to argue with Ricky Warwick's channeling of the gone-too-soon frontman/bassist on this new track.

Closing out the show is a band that's long been a go-to pick for our Radio Sucks Radio Shows. LA Guns, with their ever-changing lineup, have released a massive amount of good tunes over the years. We couldn't think of a better way to close out this new installment than with this edgy track from the Shrinking Violet sessions.

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Teenage Bottlerocket


The Wildhearts

Dick Wagner

The Winery Dogs

Queens of the Stone Age

King Kobra


Black Star Riders

LA Guns

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Direct download: Episode_96_-_Radio_Sucks_Radio_Show.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT