Thursday, November 26, 2015

Geezer Butler Behind Call For No More Black Sabbath Albums

We unfortunately got the news not that long ago that Black Sabbath will not be putting out one final album as we had all hoped and thought they might. It has come to light though from an interview with guitarist Tony Iommi with Q Magazine (via Blabbermouth) that he was not the reason for this, rather it was bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler.

Iommi says:

“Geezer didn’t particularly want to do another album. Then again, after you’ve just had a No. 1 album (2013's reunion release 13), where do you go from there?”

The band only released 11 of 16 tracks that they recorded during the sessions. On the subject of possibly releasing them, Iommi says:

“We may still put something out from that. We don’t know yet.”

On January 20th Black Sabbath is embarking on one final world tour before they throw in the towel and call it a day for good. This is due to Iommi having lymphoma and needing blood tests every six week as well as having to be hospitalized from time to time for back problems.

Personally I think it is kind of a shame that they aren't doing one more album. If Iommi has more songs in the tank then they should by all means record and release them. The guy is pretty darn creative and practically invented heavy metal himself. I would love to see something a little more creative and original than what was on 13 because to me it sounded like they were trying too hard to rip off their old songs in the worst ways. There were some good tracks on it, but it could have been better.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Jack White to Open Record Pressing Plant in Detroit

Looks like Jack White is at it again. White is pushing forward with his love of vinyl and old ways of making music by starting a record pressing plant under his self-run label Third Man Records in his home town of Detroit, Michigan.

A statement on Third Man's website says:

“Third Man is thrilled to announce that we will be opening a vinyl record pressing plant, and in it we will run brand new record presses. There’s a bottlenecking in the record pressing industry right now – so much glorious demand, so few presses. We want to help ease the flow, and we want to bring more “real-life manufacturing jobs back to Detroit.”

The new plant will be the first new one in Detroit since Archer Record Pressing in 1965. It is set to open about halfway through next year. In addition to the pressing plant opening, White is also opening a brand new Third Man retail establishment in Detroit this Friday (11/27). It will be located at 441 W. Canfield in Detroit.

Personally I'm glad that White is not only making it easier to fill the demand for vinyl that seems to keep growing, but that he is also bringing several jobs to an area that is in desperate need of them. Hopefully this will revitalize one of the poorer areas of Detroit and bring back some of the rich musical culture that the place once had.

Monday, November 23, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #53

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Devil in Me, by The Last in Line

The original Dio band is back together! Unfortunately it is sans-Ronnie (for obvious reasons), but Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain, and Vinny Appice are now making new music again. On vocals they have Andrew Freeman from Lynch Mob. The single Devil in Me from their upcoming debut album Heavy Crown is pretty darn fantastic. It's a stomping, smashing taste of what is to come from the album when it's released next February.

2.  Black Country, by Black Country Communion

The opening track from the super group comprised of Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian, and Jason Bonham immediately grabs you by the balls with its deep intense bass riff that is followed by the rest of the band crashing in, following suit. It packs a punch and does not let up from start to finish. It is thundering and unforgiving, but in the best ways possible. Powerful vocals, wicked guitar solos.... What more could you ask for?

3.  Mama Said, by Lenny Kravitz featuring Slash

This funky horn backed tune has one of the sickest main guitar riffs I have ever heard. Slash and Lenny Kravitz absolutely tear it the hell up in this. You can tell they were having an absolute blast just having a big jam. The solos will melt your face harder than it has been melted before. It's like Stevie Wonder on steroids blasted into outer space. It will get you moving and stuck in your head for DAYS.

4. The Loner, by Cozy Powell

In 1979 drummer Cozy Powell put out a solo album Over the Top with some of the best musicians of the time: Jack Bruce, Bernie Marsden, Don Airey, Gary Moore, and more. The Loner in my opinion is the crown jewel of that album. It is such a powerfully emotional instrumental track. It makes you feel the kind of deep loneliness that such a person might feel when they are The Loner. It's great for when you're having one of those moments where you just need to feel your feelings and let them be ridden out.

5. Sucker Train Blues, by Velvet Revolver

My god.... This track is one of the best ways to start off a hard rock album I've ever heard... You can feel the tension and build up from the guitar riff and the siren, but once the band punches their way through your speakers you are grabbed along for one hell of a ride through the entire Contraband album. This song says everything that Velvet Revolver was about. This was one hell of a way for the former members of Guns N' Roses to make a comeback into the mainstream music scene.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Europe Finally Hit Number 1 in Billboard


After a 3+ decade career metal band Europe have finally reached the top spot in the Billboard & Clio Music’s Top Commercials chart - a chart that tracks the most popular songs in US advertisements.

The song in question is their biggest hit The Final Countdown, which originally came out in 1986. The song recently made a comeback however when it and the band made an appearance in a Geico commercial (which can be viewed below). When first released in 1986 The Final Countdown reached the #1 spot in the charts in 17 countries but never climbed higher than #8 on any Billboard charts until this recent comeback.

According to a report from Billboard, The Final Countdown has had 12,000 Shazam tags this past October as well as 28,000 digital sales last month. Furthermore, it has been streamed 5.8 million times in the US.

I guess the right kind of marketing can do wonders for you no matter who you are. Since nostalgia is such a profitable venture these days it's no wonder there is room for one hit wonders like Europe to make such a big comeback. Somehow I don't see it lasting all that particularly long, but who knows? Maybe they will get lucky and I will be wrong.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Throwback Thursday: The Last in Line, by Dio

In 1984, metal titan Ronnie James Dio's fairly newly formed solo band Dio were burning hot with energy gained from the success of their debut album Holy Diver and the tour that followed it. That said, the band used that built up momentum to write and record something that reflected this: their arguably better sophomore album The Last in Line.

The Last in Line is just as heavy, melodic, and spellbinding as Holy Diver if not more so. You can really tell that the band was REALLY into what they were doing at the time and having fun. Everything is so passion filled, down to the last note. It really feels like it is more of a band playing these songs rather than just Ronnie and some backing musicians. The tracks range from cutting loose down an open road to big epics about mythical lands of the past. The band draws you in with riffs and solos, but Ronnie captures you with his mesmerizing voice and intricately crafted lyrics.

The title track of The Last in Line is one of Dio's most encouraging songs to souls who feel down and lost. Its powerful weaving of metal and brass with Dio belting out powerful messages to the downtrodden about their worth as people are enough to bring anyone to their feet no matter how far gone they may seem. It is everything a metal/rock epic needs to be: grooving, powerful, melodic, and meaningful. Plus, guitarist Vivian Campbell tops it all off with some devastating guitar solos that anyone can easily find themselves air guitaring along to.

Mystery as far as I am concerned is one of the most under rated songs in all of Ronnie James Dio's career. I don't know why it didn't do better as a single, honestly. It has punching riffs, profound lyrics, and powerful yet memorable vocal melodies that stick with you long after the song has finished. Hell, it even had enough synth in it to appeal to a wider demographic. It's a fun song that in my opinion is great to drive with your windows down to on a sunny Friday afternoon when you have no place else to go.

I could go on and on about more great tracks from The Last in Line because there are absolutely NO fillers. Every last one of them in my opinion is a classic. It's a must have for any fan of Ronnie James Dio - new or old. In an era where hair metal and dance pop were really starting to take over the main stream, Dio stayed true to his way of making music. It all rocks and makes no effort to be a corporate selling piece. I definitely recommend it to any fan of metal.

The Last in Line, by Dio receives 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. We Rock
2. The Last in Line
3. Breathless
4. I Speed at Night
5. One Night in the City
6. Evil Eyes
7. Mystery
8. Eat Your Heart Out
9. Egypt (The Chains Are On)

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Robby Krieger Sat in With Creed at Woodstock '99

Now I know Creed isn't exactly the most popular band out there. They receive a lot of flack and I get that. However, if you can put that hate aside for just a few minutes I think you'll enjoy what I have to share of you: a live recording of them jamming with Robby Krieger, the guitarist from The Doors at Woodstock '99. It's actually pretty balls to the wall awesome.

The song they jammed together was The Doors' tune Roadhouse Blues, a raucous rock n' roll ruckus (try saying that five times fast). The recording is going to be on a 3 CD compilation that Creed is releasing. It contains hits, non-album stuff, and live recordings.

Krieger described the jam saying in an interview with Music Radar that it was "very cool". He elaborated, saying:

“I didn’t realize how loud they played – a lot louder than we ever played. I had my two little Fender Blues Devilles and each of them had like four Marshall stacks each. I couldn’t hear anything I was playing; luckily, I knew what I was playing and could hear through the monitors.”

Honestly, this is probably one of the best non-Doors version of this song I've ever heard. Creed put everything they had into this cover and it shows. It was loud, rude, and seemed to REALLY get the crowd going. Then again, how could anything from The Doors not?

Listen to Creed + Robby Krieger's live recording of Roadhouse Blues by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Last in Line (Ex-Dio members) Tease Song

A couple of years ago ex-members of Dio got together to form a brand new tribute project called The Last in Line. The members of this group consist of original guitarist Vivian Campbell, drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain, and on vocals Andrew Freeman.

Originally meant to be a live tribute act to the late Ronnie James Dio, the band has decided to write and record original material as well. Now they have teased a 15 second sample of a song Devil in Me (which can be listened to below) that will be on their upcoming debut album Heavy Crown that will be out on February 19th, 2016.

Campbell wrote a statement regarding the album, saying:

“It was decided that we enter the studio to write this new album in the very same spirit as we did the Holy Diver record […] It was after Holy Diver was written and recorded that we brought in Claude to embellish certain songs in a way that the guitar just couldn’t do. From that time forward Claude became an essential part of the band’s live shows. In retracing our footsteps, we again started to write this new album as a four-piece band – thus keeping the emphasis on guitar-driven songs. In the course of doing so we have decided to continue on that path and remain a four-piece band. We wish Claude every success and he remains a very close friend and confidant to all concerned.”

Personally I'm stoked to hear what The Last in Line will come up with. The teaser is pretty intriguing and definitely has that classic early 80's Dio sound, but I want to hear more for sure. I want to hear how these guys have grown and matured as musicians over the past three decades. Hopefully Freeman is up to the task of filling Ronnie's shoes too. This will be an album and tour that should probably not be missed.


Monday, November 16, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #52

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Do I Wanna Know, by The Arctic Monkeys

I dig this tune because it finds a nice way to blend both blues rock and modern alternative styles seamlessly into one hell of a catchy single. It has that guitar and vocal fuzz that is signature of modern garage rock, but at the same time it still has the overall timbre and flow of a more modern alternative pop rock song. I'll definitely be giving these guys more of a listen in the near future.

 2. No Solution, by Jel

What's this crap, Josh? This isn't rock or metal! You're right. It's not. However, despite the fact that there are no wailing guitar solos or vocals that reach the heavens it is still one of my absolute favorite songs of all time. All of the sounds sampled together create something that when listened to through headphones create a rather relaxing soundscape that I can find myself getting lost in and drifting off to. You might want to give it a chance before judging.

3. Big Foot, by Chickenfoot

To make up for the not so rocking song, here's some Chickenfoot. This song really does suit its title well. Everything about it is huge: from its punch packing riff to powerhouse vocals. It is everything a rock song about getting laid needs to be. It's fun, catchy, and will have you nodding along while you have your big foot on the gas over to your girl's house.

4. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, by George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers

This has to be one of the single greatest songs about alcohol to ever exist. Any drinking playlist is incomplete without it. It's all about having some drinks to get away from all of the big troubles you have in life at the moment that seem too difficult to deal with. Its pounding rhythm matches the pounding back of drinks quite well. Definitely a song you can swig your drink and slam the empty glass back down on the bar to.

5. Lady, by Styx

Those of you who have any taste in music can't honestly say you haven't put this on a mix tape or sang this to your woman at least once. It's one of the ultimate romantic rock songs that actually has some balls to it while still being sensitive enough to display genuine emotion. It has delicate moments, but at the same time fully expresses the roaring big passion love can be as well. It gets played on classic rock radio stations all the time for a reason.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nikki Sixx Says Guns N' Roses Will Reunite

Ever since a few months ago Slash said that he and former Guns N' Roses band mate Axl Rose had made up and were friends again all kinds of reunion rumors have been sprouting up like wildfire all over the place. Now weighing in on things is Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx.

In a Twitter Q&A Sixx was asked a question as to whether or not Guns N' Roses should do a reunion tour. Sixx responded in all caps saying:


Sixx did not imply that he had any inside information, but it is no secret that he is close friends with Slash and keeps in contact with him. Sixx is also close with former GN'R guitarist DJ Ashba (whom he is in Sixx: AM with) and former GN'R and Motley Crue manager Vicky Hamilton.

Hamilton has denied that such a tour is happening, saying on Facebook:

“Ok, was texting with Slash who is on tour. He says the GNR tour isn’t happening. So, that’s all I know. Your guess is as good as mine.”

It's hard to know who to believe these days in terms of a GN'R reunion. Then again, I've never believed anything relating to GN'R news until it's already happened. We all know how things with Axl Rose can always change at a moment's notice. Personally I would LOVE to see an original line-up reunion, but only if Axl can get his voice back into shape. I guess all we have in the mean time though is more rumors and speculation.