It's kinda hard to write a column on Christmas Eve in Europe when everyone's on holiday and nothing's going on! So, it'll be brief this week....

Noticed that there's already a couple of new Japanese releases doing the rounds. Molly Hatchet has just issued "Kingdom of XII" in Japan, and it has an exclusive bonus track. Also now scheduled for release on January 11th is the first album from Richard Page's pre-Mr Mister outfit "Pages". The band's other two releases ("Future Street" and the, confusingly, other self-titled album) have already had CD re-issues at various points.

Hit the Ground Runnin' are still hard at work on their new album. In the meantime, fans of the band should surf into   where they can see a live track from a "Dance Party USA" television appearance the band did back at the end of 1988.

Takara are hoping to have their new album finished in February. It'll be called "Perception of Reality". All the music tracks are done and the vocals are just now being finished off. A late spring or early summer release is then likely. Initial reports suggest a much better quality of studio sound from the band than seen on their previous releases. Some live shows in Los Angeles and Japan are also planned, as well as possibly in Europe.