the glam sounding name, Lääz Rockit started off as a power metal band
and progressed into an aggressive thrash band with each album. In 1993 they recorded one final album under the name Gack, before disbanning. The band then regrouped in 2005 for some reunion shows and a new CD in 2008.
Lääz Rockit - Prelude to Death (CDR demo) 1983
1. "Prelude to Death"
Excellent CDR demo of three early Laaz Rockit tunes. All three of these songs were included at the end of the Know Your Enemy, but did not have the separation between songs. Apart from that album these three tunes actually sound much better, as the production isn't as much of a problem due to the fact that the flaws are not a noticeable as they are next to the better produced official release. This CDR boot features the original black & white demo art. Rounds out my Laaz collection quite nicely.
Lääz Rockit - Citys Gonna Burn (Old Metal) 1984
Gonna Burn" (4:19)
I discovered Lääz Rockit by first hearing the incredible "Annihillation Principle". Of course I immediately began to go back and explore their back catalog. I do confess, after compltely loving "Annihilation Principle", "City's Gonna Burn" was sort of a let down. Whereas "Annihlation" is pure speed/thrash metal, "City's Gonna Burn" is more straight-forward American power metal. The songs are solid and the production is very rough and raw. It sort of reminds me of Helstar's first album "Burning Star".
Lääz Rockit - No Stranger to Danger (Old Metal) 1985
1. "Dreams Die Hard"
Often panned as the band's worst album, due to a very poor production, but I don't think it's as bad as most reviewers say. The "Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal" says this is "metal of the lowest common denominator" and rated it a 1 out of 10. I definitely wouldn't go that far. Perhaps it's not as good as their next disc, but this is still good American power metal. This Old Metal Records reissue adds four excellent live tracks along with "Leatherface" from the movie of the same name. Two of the live trax are from the "Holiday in Cambodia" CD single.
I could kick myself for not picking this one up at the same time I picked up "Annihilation Principle." I found both Enigma Records discs at a small used cd shop for $7 each. For some reason I only picked up the one. Of course when I went back to get the other, it was gone. Well, I was not going to pay $40+ on eBay, so I waited knowing that someday, someone would re-release it. Well, thanks be to Old Metal Records for re-releasing this classic. "Know Your Enemy" was the band's first attempt at thrash metal and they gave it all they had. This is an excellent disc, and probably my favorite Lääz album. Loads of speedy riffs, great mid to high range vocals and memorable songs. The band definitely hit their stride on this one.
The Old Metal reissue features three bonus tracks that are hidden at the end of "Shit's Ugly." At 3:38 seconds into track 11, the opening "Hell" begins. These 3 extra songs were originally recorded in 1983 on a demo entitled "Prelude to Death." The production on these tracks are obviously inferior to the rest of the disc, but still listenable. The source sounds like it may have been from a cassette as there is a slight hiss and the sound wavers slightly here and there. I also now own the original Enigma Records version, which in my opinion has a slightly better sound quality than the Old Metal version and definitely has better packaging. Both versions are now out of print and sell for a premium on Ebay.
This was the first Laaz Rockit CD I had ever heard, and despite the glam sounding name, this is very cool thrash metal. Anyone familiar with the band's history knows that they started out as a more traditional heavy metal band and began morphing into a speed metal/thrash band. On "Annihilation Principle" Lääz dropped their traditional heavy metal tendencies that were still somewhat present on "Know Your Enemy" and just offered up a vicious thrash metal assault. Depsite the aggression, the band did not forsake the catchiness of the songs. It's actually a mystery to me why this band isn't more well know. This CD is on the same level as more popular bands like Overkill and Anthrax and should easily have been as well known as "Among the Living" or "Under the Influence". Actually, while those two bands are from the East Coast thrash movement and Lääz Rockit are from the West Coast, they do have some similarites in sound, especially in the vocals. Vocalist Michael Coons offers up a high octane, memorable performance on "Annihilition Principle". Overall, this is a pretty solid, straight forward thrash album. Really the only oddball song is track nine, which is a ballad.. It's not that this song is bad, it just seems to stick out like a sore thumb on this album. The Dead Kennedys' cover "Holiday In Cambodia" is a standout cut, as are the intense thrashers "Fire in the Hole" and "Chasin' Charlie".
I guess this disc is somewhat rare and people are paying stupid amounts of money for it on auction site. I've heard of people paying upwards to $50! OUCH! I bought mine for $7 at a used CD store.
Lääz Rockit - Nothing$ $acred (Canyon International) 1991
1. "In The Name of
the Father and the Gun" (4:14)
What a deal, got this good'n from a Japanese trader in exchange for a Bloodgood disc I had an extra copy of. When it arrived in my mail box I discovered it was the original Japanese pressing with the sticker and poster still included. Cool! Sometimes good things happen. In any case, by this point Laaz was a full throttle thrash band and lost almost all the catchy hooks of past discs like "Annihilation Principle." Still gotta love that Japanese writing.
Laaz Rockit - Taste of Rebellion-Live in Citta (Canyon International) 1992
1. "In the Name of
the Father and the Gun" (4:55)
A fast and furious live set that was released in Japan only, for some unknown reason. Could be that the band was in turmoil over their losing so many members and getting ripped off by their former record company that claimed bankruptcy, leaving the band hanging. In any case, I had been searching for this disc for years and finally secured this copy thanks to the generosity of a friend from Illinois. So, unless the band should happen to get the dreaded reunion bug that is going around, my Laaz Rockit collection is finally complete.
Laaz Rockit - Left for Dead (Blistering) 2008
Just about every review I have read about this disc on-line has been negative. Frankly I don't understand the negative comments. "Left for Dead" is hardly a bad disc, or some sort of sellout to modern trends. Actually some reviews I have read have actually accused Laaz Rockit of going nu-metal. What album are these people listening to? "Left for Dead" sounds like the next album in line after Gack and "Nothing Sacred". The album opens up with a shredding thrash metal song titled "Brain Wash". This is exactly what I expected from Laaz Rockit. The follow-up track slows down the pace only slightly and adds a bit of groove to the songwriting process. "Erased" is a more mid-paced song and has a killer hook and groove. I suppose that the groove elements present here are what many thrash purists are complaining about, but which thrash band hasn't used elements of groove in their songwriting. It's one of many elements metal bands use to create a hook in a song, and for Laaz Rockit, it works. Add to this some shredding guitar solos, stellar drumming and Micheal Coons signature vocals. Basically what Laaz Rockit have done with "Left for Dead" is brought back that brilliant Bay Area sound and mixed in some more modern elements and productions techniques. Nothing about this album is "nu-metal" or "sell-out". This is thrash metal for 2008. It builds off the band's past avoids being stagnant offering new twists to an old formula.
The Blisterning Records version contains three live bonus tracks, with the classic "Leatherface" and "Fire in the Hole" being recorded at Keep It True in Germany, and "Prelude" recorded live at Thrash Domination Festival in Japan.