pop metal

Your Morning Metal (Future Tense)

Detail of cover art for 'Into the Mirror Black' by Sanctuary (Epic Records, 1990)

The caricatures of the past have a way of haunting reality in the present. This is, of course, a familiar point we have considered before, and even in a metallic context. But, really, take a moment to appreciate that the song is over a quarter-century old. Yeah, really.

What do you see on the news when you watch TV? War in the name of God, or a playground killing spree. Politicians promise you the world, and a preacher cries; all he ever wanted was your money, and a bitch on the side. What went wrong? Did society twist him?” What do you see in the center of the public eye? Rock stars on smack, and a serial killer fries. Radicals blame suicide and murder on our form of art; brainwash the youth, you know they claim we all play a part. What a shame that they can’t think for themselves. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. So ends a decade, now, what will the nineties hold? You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. What do you think they will say when they look back on this? Were the eighties just a time of spoiled innocence? We leave our legacy like dust in the sands of time. Let us hope the seeds we plant can carry the weight of our crimes. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. And when we’re old and gray, these stories will be told. You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. We sail on an ocean, a sea of doubt. Skeptics make no sense, can’t work things out. I’ll choose optimism, scream its name; look to the future, a burning flame. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. So ends a decade, now, what will the nineties hold? You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. Turn the page.

Sanctuary, “Future Tense” (1989)

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Your Morning Metal (Modern Day Cowboy)

Logo for the band Tesla

There did come a point at which it seems laughable to call it metal, yet we did. Still, we all had our favorites.

Stormy night, under jet black skies. Billy pulls into town. Thunder rolled and the lightnin’ bolts come crashin’ to the ground. Cold as ice, hard as stone as he walks into the room with another man who was feelin’ the same way; all Hell’s breakin’ loose. Bang, bang! Shoot ’em up! Bang, bang! Blow you away! It’s a showdown in a no man’s land for the cowboy of the modern day. Come on, sundown, don’t be hangin’ ’round, ’cause the cowboy will blow you away, yeah. Al Capone and Bad Boy Jones, one the wrong side of the law. Johnny Dee and his company, always first to the draw. Gangster lean, feelin’ so mean. Tryin’ to take more than their share, ’cause all they saw was ruling it all. The scent of blood was in the air. Bang, bang! Shoot ’em up! Bang, bang! Blow you away! It’s a showdown in a no man’s land for the cowboy of the modern day. Come on, sundown, don’t be hangin’ ’round, ’cause the cowboy will blow you away, yeah. So here we are, and we’ve come this far, but it’s only getting worse. Foreign lands with their terrorist demands, only cause the good to hurt. The USA, the USSR, with their six-guns to their side. I see the message written on the wall. Too much anger, deep inside. Bang, Bang! I’ll shoot ’em up. Bang, bang! Blow you away! It’s a showdown in a no man’s land for the cowboy of the modern day. Come on, sundown, don’t be hangin’ ’round, ’cause the cowboy will blow you away, yeah.

Tesla, “Modern Day Cowboy” (1986)

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Your Morning Metal (The Explorer)

Shotgun Messiah

Shotgun Messiah, like most of the glam rage of the late eighties, was one of those specialized things. They caught you with a pop hook here or there, and, you know, whatever. But among other things, Shotgun Messiah had Harry K. Cody, and, well, that brings us to “The Explorer”.