TKO – Let It Roll (1979/2008 reissue)

TKO – Let It Roll (1979/2008 reissue, Tribunal/Divebomb Records)

  1. Let It Roll
  2. Ain’t No Way To Be
  3. Only Love
  4. Gutter Boy
  5. Kill The Pain
  6. Come A Day
  7. Rock ‘N Roll Again
  8. Bad Sister
  9. What In The World
  10. Introduction*
  11. Rock ‘N Roll Again*
  12. Bad Sister*
  13. What In The World*
  14. Gutter Boy*
  15. Kill The Pain*
  16. Only Love*
  17. Let It Roll*
  18. Ending Outro*

(* Bonus tracks are from a radio taping, KZOK FM Live In Studio Sessions – 1978)

Band Lineup:
Brad Sinsel – Vocals
Rick Pierce – Guitars
Tony Bortko – Guitars & Keyboards
Mark Seidenverg – Bass
Darryl Siguenza – Drums & Percussion

Producer: Mike Flicker

Total Time = 1:06:27

TKO MySpace page
Divebomb Records
Divebomb Records MySpace page
Tribunal Records

TKO is another one of those bands that I discovered during hours of reading Rock magazines when I was a kid. Somewhere along the line, I saw an ad for the band’s second album, IN YOUR FACE, and I thought it looked cool. The next time I went to the record store I checked it out and noticed that the band had another album which turned out to be LET IT ROLL. I dismissed LET IT ROLL based on two factors: the album cover was silly, it had these homemade Rock’em Sock’em Robots and the album was released in 1979! At the time I made this discovery it was mid to late ’84 and I was convinced that “new” Metal bands only released albums in the ’80s. Sounds dumb doesn’t it? Especially since I had albums by KISS, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and AC/DC that were all released in the ’70s! I never ended up buying either album but I did enjoy a dubbed cassette copy of IN YOUR FACE I acquired from a trader. Over the years, I was able to hear LET IT ROLL but I never actually owned a copy. Fast forward to the digital age and both LET IT ROLL and IN YOUR FACE have been reissued by various labels…..all unofficially. Tribunal/Divebomb Records has worked closely with lead singer Brad Sinsel to finally release both albums officially on CD.

The Music:
The reissue contains the official nine song album plus a radio broadcast from 1978 where the band runs through seven of the nine songs in their set. The album is not remastered, it is reissued. The master tapes have long been lost since TKO’s original label, Infinity Records, folded in 1979. The audio tracks provided to Tribunal/Divebomb were from Brad Sinsel himself and could be either a copy from the original studio sessions or taken from the original vinyl. Other reissues have used the original vinyl for mastering but without the band’s consent.

Hearing LET IT ROLL for the first time in many years it’s amazing to hear the similarities that TKO had with Aerosmith, Starz, The Who, and UFO. The album was recorded in 1978 and released in 1979 so that ’70s Hard Rock sound is there that has that “Rock ‘n Rollsy” sound that Aerosmith perfected. Brad Sinsel sounds a bit like Roger Daltrey on a number of songs and ‘Gutter Boy’ sounds like it could have been a Who song. I hear a UFO connection when the keyboards/organ are more prominent in the songs (Listen to ‘Rock ‘N Roll Again’) but the group I identify TKO with the most is Starz. They both have that same laid back vibe and Michael Lee Smith (Starz’ Lead singer) and Brad Sinsel have a similar cool delivery.

The bonus tracks are a radio broadcast from 1978 of the band doing a local showcase playing most of the album. This is live in the studio but the band runs through the set well and the songs sound close to the originals on the album. It’s a nice timepiece and gives you an idea of where TKO was as a live band and how the Rock scene was different back in the late 70s/early 80s: they played a new local band’s live showcase on the radio! Before they released an album! You would never hear something like that today.

The Package:
The first thing that Tribunal & Divebomb Records did right was get founding member Brad Sinsel involved in the project. For me, there is more credibility to a reissue project like this when the band is contacted for input and permission to re-release the material. Like I mentioned before, various labels over the years have released this album on CD but never with involvement from a founding member. The second thing they did right was get one of my favorite Rock writers, Martin Popoff from Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, to write a quick band/album history. Add lyrics to all the songs, pictures of the original vinyl, and the bonus radio broadcast and you have a solid package that well worth buying.

Favorite Songs:
I like the whole album and picking a couple of favorites is tough. I’d probably have to choose ‘Gutter Boy’, ‘Rock ‘N Roll Again’, ‘Ain’t No Way To Be’ and ‘Let It Roll’. It’s an excellent album of strong songs…..I really do like them all.

9 comments on “TKO – Let It Roll (1979/2008 reissue)

  1. Wow, I am glad you shared the story about dissing this one in the 80’s because I did about the same thing. I was in an Ames department store around early 1985 and saw several copies of this on vinyl in the cut-out bin for like $1.99. I had heard of them and thought they were metal and felt I was going to get a bargain until I flipped it over and saw the year “1979” on the back . I thought “oh, it probably sounds like KISS-Dynasty or something” and I promptly put it back in the bin. I like this re-issue a lot too.

  2. I saw these guys open up for Angel at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago in the spring of 1979 and immediate;y went out and bought Let It Roll. From the opening of Rock n Roll Again through the set set that concluded with a blistering cover of Bowie’s Jean Genie I was hooked. When they came around later that summer with Heart, a group of us followed them through the Midwest, even leaving a couple of shows after TKO finished their set. A great, great band…Sinsel is oneof the best metal singers of all time and it’s a damn shame that more people didn’t get the chance to find out just how good they were.

  3. I saw these guys at a small southeastern Michigan venue sometime in ’79 and picked up Let It Roll at the meet ‘n’ greet afterwards…still have it, too. Always wondered over the years what happened to these guys.

  4. I bought “In Your Face” back in the Mid 80’s. I never heard of anything before or after. I have long lost the old cassette I had and can’t wait to find this reissue. Thanks for the post.

  5. I had just started driving with my own car” age17″ I drove to the HEADSHOP/RECORDSTORE in downtown Salem,Oregon and i had just walked thru the front doors when i noticed the counterperson was pulling out a never before herd album to play on the stores sound system.Well it wasn’t evan 15 seconds into the first song and i was hooked so i baught it took it home and played the hell out of it! but unfortunatly over the coarse of 30years to be exact i have the record cover but no Vinyl record inside. I am 47 years of age and still like listening to that great album. I always thought they where ahead of there time/\ Good Job:Mike Flicker

  6. Our guitarist’s brother in law was the lightman for these guys, and he turned us on to them. We played “Rock and Roll Again” in our cover-set before we went all-original, waaaaaaaaaaay back in 1981. Good times. Samson (Ridin’ w/ the Angels, Go to Hell), Girl, Accept (SOB), Trust (Anti-Social), Maiden (Murders in the Rue Morgue, Hallowed Be Thy Name), Sabbath (Mob Rules, Heaven & Hell, Sabra Cadabra), Holocaust (Death or Glory, Smokin’ Valves), G-Force (Dancin’), Angelwitch (Gorgon), Ozzy (Steal Away, Mr. Crowley, Flying High, Diary, SATO), MSG (Armed & Ready, Ready to Rock), Riot (not the Quiet one, Here We Go Again)) Demon (One Helluva Night!), Anvil (Metal on Metal), Trespass (Stormchild), Klaatu (Mr. Manson), Priest (many, Hellbent-Screaming era), Saxon (Freeway Mad, 20,000 Feet), UFO (Only You Can, Doctor Doctor)- good times indeed.

  7. Can’t imagine who created the CD… Thanks to James for having virgin copies of the vinyl and the soundboard tape.

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