First Strike – Crank It Up – 1987

This demo is a bit of an odd situation. The band had already had a successful album in 1984 with Exit Records. So this demo came out after they already had a record deal. Exit Records went bankrupt in 1987 the same year as this demo so I know there’s a story as to what happened between the band and Exit. The band were an established Hard Rock/Metal ban as their first album was very well received. Why they had to shop around a demo I’m a little unsure. The band however did have a new lead singer on this demo with Dave Campanaro replacing Tony Gunn. So all the clues, new lead singer, defunct record company, lead me to believe there is a story here. Anyway let’s talk about the demo. It’s only 4 tracks but quite frankly they are 4 album ready tracks. They continue their Hard Rock/Metal style that I liked so much on their studio album. If you liked the album you’ll love this demo.

1 – Some Kind Of Lover – 4:46
2 – Don’t Let Me Walk Away – 3:45
3 – Power – 4:49
4 – Come Back – 3:07

Bass, Backing Vocals – Chris Salmon
Drums – John Delaney
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Pat Boylan, Tim Larkin
Vocals – Dave Campanaro

First Strike – Rock of Offence – 1984

This is another album that leaves me stranded on the intersection confused whether to pick the Hard Rock road or the Metal road. To me it’s in the style of Def Leopard and other very commercial Heavy Metal. However you want to catalog it they did it well and this is an album that would easily be in my top 200. Rock Of Offense was the first and only full-length release from First Strike who were a band out of Sacramento, California and formed in 1979. I personally can’t stand the album cover and I’ve read that the band was of this opinion also. Point of trivia about this album is that it was produced by Michael Roe who is a member of the 77’s.

Track Listing:
1 – Out of Control – 3:03
2 – Hurt by Love – 3:00
3 – I Want You – 3:52
4 – Loneliness Kills – 3:41
5 – Hard Times – 3:21
6 – Slow Poison – 5:31
7 – Your Love – 4:06
8 – Dirty Loving – 3:25
9 – Prisoner – 3:24
10 – Money – 3:35

Pat Boylan – Songwriter, Guitars, Background Vocals
Johnnie Delaney – Songwriter, Drums
John Golden – Mastered
Steve Griffith – Assistant Producer, Engineer, Background Vocals
Tony Gunn – Vocals
Tim Larkin – Songwriter, Guitars, Background Vocals
Mary Neely – Executive Producer
Michael Roe – Producer, Background Vocals
Chris Salmon – Songwriter, Bass
Eric Volz – Executive Coordinator, Background Vocals
Daryl Zachman – Engineer