From the same hometown as REO Speedwagon and Starcastle (Champaign) come these 80’s AOR likely’s Rathskeller thanks to this one-off entry.
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: KOF Records
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Gavin Stolte – vocals * Johnny Gherna – guitars * Jay Penn – keyboards * Doug Pugh – bass * Andy Burnett – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 Verge Of Insanity * 03 Writing On The Wall * 04 Children Of Today * 05 Too Much Love * 06 Power Of Love * 07 She Loves Me Not * 08 Big Time * 09 Something’s Gotta Change * 10 Hot Summer Rock & Roll
This record has been talked about in hushed tones for years, and as an independent AOR release from 1984 it should have raised a red flag with this website years ago, suffice to say.. Face Palm.. Lol.
From the Illinois University town of Champaign, Rathskeller formed in and around 1981, they released a single in 1982 (‘Writing On The Wall’ / ‘You Won’t See The End Of Me’) on Cellar Records. Their only LP would arrive two years later.
If you’re a fan or collector of indie AOR from back in the early 80’s, then Rathskeller sit easily alongside bands like Level, Jesse Brady, Visitor, Showdown and Passenger for instance.
We quickly bypass all the whirly gig synth effects of ‘Intro’ and dive straight into ‘Verge Of Insanity’. ‘Writing On The Wall’ is a re-recorded version of their 1982 single, mostly keyboard driven with hypersonic guitar parts (divebombing) provided by Johnny Gherna. I There’s lots of intricate playing on ‘Children Of Today’, these guys are accomplished musicians judging by what’s been heard so far.
‘Too Much Love’ shuffles into mid-tempo ballad territory while ‘Power Of Love’ is a quirky pop rocker perhaps similar to an outfit like The Metros.’She Loves Me Not’ is the sort of song that was bashed out across bars all across the Midwest during this timeframe. Party pop rock. ‘Big Time’ is held together by a persistent keyboard motif which drives through both the verse and chorus.
‘Something’s Gotta Change’ takes on a heavier guitar oriented identity, and is fairly rocky as a result. ‘Hot Summer Rock & Roll’ concludes things, as you can tell by the song title it’s another party pop rocker, with chant-a-long choruses and some fiery guitar work from Gherna.
As you can imagine, the album has never seen an official CD release and in all likelihood it won’t either – heading into the future. The original vinyl is a rarity, so a poor fidelity fileshare is the only way to hear it.
Of the personnel, only singer Gavin Stolte has surfaced from the ruck as part of the band The Unimpossible, a local Champaign band which released an album in 2007.
In the final wash-up, is it the heralded AOR classic that others have claimed it to be from years gone by? No it isn’t, simply put it hasn’t aged very well and would be considered a worthy relic for collectibles sake rather than a outright classic.
Verge Of Insanity
Children Of Today
Hot Summer Rock N Roll