Friday, September 22, 2017

Throwback Thursday: "Black Sabbath", by Black Sabbath



When it comes to musical genres, many have rather ambiguous beginnings. It's almost impossible to track things down to a definite starting point. This however is not the case for heavy metal. Though a few may argue against it, most of us will acknowledge that heavy metal was born on February 13th 1970 when a virtually unknown band from Birmingham, England called Black Sabbath came out with the darkest and heaviest album released up to that point in time: Black Sabbath.

Black Sabbath was unlike anything anyone had ever heard in 1970. These guys were louder and heavier than Led Zeppelin and had dark lyrical themes relating to Satan, wizards, H.P. Lovecraft references, and more. It takes that blues based hard rock and brings it to a whole different level. When the music wasn't crashing and pounding it had this sinister tone to it. Overall the album has this eerie, yet intriguing presence that makes you want to keep on listening.

Black Sabbath, the title track of the album starts things off and boy does it set the tone for what the band is about. It starts off with sounds of ominous thunderstorms that are then interrupted by the band stomping in with that iconic Devil's Triad based riff that repeats throughout the song in the most foreboding and frightening way. Ozzy Osbourne definitely did a splendid job of instilling even more hand trembling fear with his sinister vocal tone and horrifying screams. I remember being maybe 16 or 17 listening to this by myself in my room in the dark for the very first time and being nearly scared shitless. Needless to say, it made me want to listen on.

Warning in my opinion is one of the best Sabbath tracks of all time, but somehow it always gets overlooked and unspoken of. It's a cover of a song by The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation that gets extended into a ten and a half minute blues rock jam that takes many twists and turns. It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time because it's so intense and you don't know which way it's going to turn next. The instrumentalists in the band really strut their stuff as individuals and as a cohesive unit here. This song is actually where I learned a lot of my guitar chops.

Black Sabbath is THE essential heavy metal album. It's where I would start anyone who wanted to get into Black Sabbath or heavy metal in general. This is where an entire genre and subsequent sub-genres have their roots. Without it, the world as a whole would be a very different place. That said, I can't think of a single track on it that I don't love to death. I think you'll understand why. For a real experience with it, play it while wandering a forest in mid-Autumn in the early evening. It will really be something else.

Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Black Sabbath
2. The Wizard
3. Behind the Wall of Sleep
4. N.I.B.
5. Evil Woman
6. Sleeping Village
7. Warning

Bonus Track:

8. Wicked World

Buy the album on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Sabbath-Remastered/dp/B00HRN2SSU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506065353&sr=8-2&keywords=Black+Sabbath

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins Discusses Being Slapped in the Face by Prince Harry

Photo courtesy of Radio X


I've heard of some wild stuff happening to rock stars over the years, but this is definitely something else for sure. Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins recently opened up about being slapped in the face by England's Prince Harry.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast (via NME) Hawkins talks about his meeting with the prince, saying:

“At first you meet him and [you think] ‘It’s Prince Harry. Wow, I’ve seen you on a lot of magazines in America.’ Then you start talking and having a real talk.

On getting slapped by English royalty, Hawkins says:

I was like, ‘Wow, I’m so jetlagged right now’. We were getting ready to walk onstage and I was tired and so jetlagged. And he just goes… [slap]. I was like, ‘What was that?’ It was great, it was funny. I wore the slap with pride. He’s one of the boys. What a boy. It’s like Paul McCartney, once you break through the royalty, or the Beatles thing, you find they just want to hang out with the boys, like we do.”

I'm glad that the slap was all in good nature, though personally I think it would have been more rock n' roll and funny if it had been out of upset. Regardless, I'm glad that the Foos and English royalty seem to get along pretty well. Definitely doesn't hurt to have friends in high places like that, that's for certain.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Joe Satriani Announces New Album with Glenn Hughes and Chad Smith

Photo courtesy of Downtown El Paso


Ever since Chickenfoot seemed to dissolve a while back, Joe Satriani has jumped right back into his solo career that was usually his main focus to begin with. After releasing his 2015 album Shockwave Supernova, a concept album that tells the story of his on stage alter-ego and the retirement of said entity, he is now about to release a new album. Not just any album, though. This time he has recruited Deep Purple and Black Country Communion bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith to accompany him.

The brand new album will be titled What Comes Next and is set to be released on January 12th of next year.

The announcement was made yesterday (9/18) via Satriani's website. It's on the home page of the site and it also features a short clip of one of the tracks: Energy. So far no commentary has been made on the upcoming album, though Hughes did hint not that long ago that he was working on a new album with another famous musician.

If I was to venture a guess, I'd say the album title comes from Satriani what will be coming next for him as a musician and a performer now that he has laid such a gigantic part of his life to rest. Regardless, it already sounds like a fun album judging from the snippet on the website. It sounds like a blend of signature Satch style with some heavy California groove rock from Hughes and Smith. I hope there are at least some songs with Hughes singing because that would be one hell of a thing to witness.

Joe Satriani, "What Happens Next" Track Listing:

1. Energy
2. Catbot
3. Thunder High on the Mountain
4. Cherry Blossoms
5. Righteous
6. Smooth Soul
7. Headrush
8. Looper
9. What Happens Next
10. Super Funky Badass
11. Invisible
12. Forever And Ever

Monday, September 18, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #134

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. As Tears Go By, by Avenged Sevenfold

I never thought I'd hear Avenged Sevenfold and The Rolling Stones mentioned in the same sentence, but here we are. A7X recently recorded a cover of the song made famous by the Stones and in my opinion they nailed it. It is the furthest thing from heavy metal I've ever heard them do, and yet at the same time I hear it fitting in with some of their older material. It's odd, but it works. Have a listen for yourself and you'll see what I mean.



2. Rock and Roll Victim, by Death

The Hackney brothers back in their original go with Death were really something else. Here were three black brothers from Detroit playing punk rock before punk was even a thing in a time and place when funky Motown music was very much still the big main thing for the majority of folks. They were bold, innovative, and unafraid to stand out and do their own thing. Even if they didn't get the fame they deserved back then, they clearly deserved it.



3. Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo, by Rick Derringer

This is another one of your straightforward commercial radio rock n' roll tunes, but at the same time it has this groove and vibe to it that I can still get behind anyway. Personally I always loved how the falsetto backing vocals in the chorus manage to smoothly transition into a sweet natural harmony between vocalists. It's definitely not easy to make that kind of transition. That aside, it's a fun song and is great to keep a party going.



4. Mississippi Queen, by Mountain

This song is the epitome of loud, passionate, pulse pounding rock n' roll with balls. Everything from the beefy guitar to the bluesy licks, to the thundering drums, to the beastly vocals definitely makes this song a staple in the world of rock. This song inspired countless bands who wanted to sound just as gargantuan and awe inspiring as Mountain did. Can you blame them? Who wouldn't want to make such a big sound when rocking?



5. I Would Love To, by Steve Vai

No matter at what point in his career he has been at, Steve Vai has never been anything but fun and at the same time musically adventurous. This has always been one of my favorite tunes from his classic album Passion and Warfare that I feel is heavily overlooked by most people who listen to Vai. It has some great guitar work, some terrific melodies, seamless flow, and outstanding guitar harmonies. It makes you feel like you're flying.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ozzy Osbourne Feels Another Album Would Be a Waste of Money

Photo courtesy of Teamrock


Ever since Black Sabbath wrapped up their final tour, front man Ozzy Osbourne has been a fairly busy man by jumping back into his dormant solo career. In fact, he even got long time guitarist Zakk Wylde back into the mix. However, fans shouldn't get their hopes up for another album.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Osbourne talks about where he is in his solo career, saying:

“I would like to do another record. But it's wasting money. Nobody's buying. You don't have to sell that many records any more to get a no.1. Depending how many records you've sold. You can have 30 or 40! Nobody buys them.

Live, good rock music is not dead. But I think the record industry is really suffering now. There are only about two fucking record companies left.

When I went to the Grammys a couple of years ago, there'd be artists who'd go from a fucking laptop straight to the charts and release a record.

It's really a sad thing for me. It's just changed so much. I said to Sharon, ‘It's like when vaudeville ended and fucking modern music began. We're the history now.’

And no matter what gimmick – what colour album, vinyl, whatever, the fact of the matter is people don't want it. Why should people buy records when they can download it? You can get anything now online. And at the same time, I don't know how to turn the fucking light on the monitor.”

Personally I get where Ozzy is coming from on this. As much as I crave another album from him and would not like Scream to be his swan song I understand why he wouldn't want to make one. Why spend thousands, if not millions of dollars to make something and tire yourself out and spend even more money promoting it if you're going to lose a bunch of money from it because people feel entitled to get everything online for free? It just wouldn't be a smart decision even though he is incredibly loaded.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Trouble, by Whitesnake



Whitesnake is an older band than you might think. Most people associate them with their late 80's hair metal hits, but they actually got started noticeably earlier than that. The band was founded in 1978 when band leader/singer David Coverdale decided that he liked the band he was touring with so much under his own solo act that he wanted to keep them around. Not long after, they had their bluesy, rocking debut album Trouble out to the public.

Trouble couldn't be any further from metal. In the beginning Whitesnake sounded more like a blend of Led Zeppelin and Bad Company, among other things. At the same time, they had their own unique and potent identity which shined through brilliantly on the first album. It's full of rockers, blues ballads, and songs with a bit of swagger to them. It was a strong start for the countless things that would come to follow.

Trouble features one of my absolute favorite Beatles covers ever done: Day Tripper. Where the original was just a straightforward 60's pop rock tune, Whitesnake made it funky and groovy. I know, not adjectives you would normally associate with the band. Still, the cover sounded grand and smooth while also having a rhythm that you could almost associate with reggae. The best part though is the breakdown when they use the talk box.

The title track of the record, Trouble is a classic for certain. In some ways it has some of that slow southern rock feel to it with its melodies, organ, and guitar arpeggios. At the same time though, you can feel that beastly rocking bluesy soul that only the British could manage to create. It's a slow, swaying kind of tune but it will make you want to get your lighter out and hold it in the air while getting lost in the feel of the music.

While Trouble isn't my personal favorite Whitesnake record, I find there is absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. As I said earlier, it's one of the strongest debut records I have ever heard. It's got variety and keeps you guessing while still managing to be a cohesive unit. It's definitely a must have for anyone who is a big fan of British blues rock from the 70's or anyone curious to hear where this band got its start. Can't recommend it enough.

Trouble, by Whitesnake receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Take Me With You
2. Love to Keep You Warm
3. Lie Down (A Modern Love Song)
4. Day Tripper
5. Nighthawk (Vampire Blues)
6. The Time is Right for Love
7. Trouble
8. Belgian Tom's Hat Trick
9. Free Flight
10. Don't Mess With Me

Buy the album on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Trouble-WHITESNAKE/dp/B000F3T7R4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505468189&sr=8-1&keywords=Whitesnake+Trouble

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sex Pistols to Release Book to Mark 40th Anniversary



It's kind of hard to think of The Sex Pistols as a band that has been around for four decades, considering how relevant they still are in modern culture due to their angry, raw music and their outrageous characters. To celebrate the 40 year legacy that the band has made, they are releasing a book titled 1977: The Bollocks Diaries next month.

The band released a statement on the book and what will be in it, saying:

“Straight from the mouths of the Sex Pistols and their collaborators, with first-hand stories of secret gigs, recording sessions, fights, record label meltdowns and a media storm like nothing ever seen before, 1977: The Bollocks Diaries is the inside line, told by the people who were there.

Packed with photography and rare items from the Sex Pistols archives – from gig posters and early album art to master tapes and notes from recording sessions – this is the final word on a year like no other.”

I think it will be cool to see all of these astounding punk rock artifacts jam packed all in one book. Without them there would be no punk as we know it. Plus, for anyone who is a huge fan of the Sex Pistols this looks like it will be a must have for their collection. I know I'll definitely be giving it a look.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fan Mashes Up Metallica's "One" with Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"



As if we hadn't flipped the table enough times with some of the wacky mash-ups that have come out recently, the internet has done it yet again and upped the ante even more. Somehow they made Metallica's dark, heavy classic One work flawlessly with Gloria Gaynor's disco anthem I Will Surivive, which has been titled One Will Survive (which can be watched above).

The track, created by YouTuber YepImTheToaster takes the instrument track from Gaynor's 1978 hit and welds it together with the vocal track from Metallica's beloved thrash metal staple. I have no idea how they managed to make this work, let alone even come up with the idea for it in the first place. Somehow, it does though.

While I don't normally give DJ's much credit I actually have to give some where it's due here. This is genuinely creative despite the fact that it's a crime against nature. These two songs should never have come anywhere near each other and yet they blend perfectly into something that I'll admit to wanting to shake what my mama gave me to. Check it out for yourself and you'll see what I mean in short time.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #133

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. Bones of Saints, by Robert Plant

By surprise to some, former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is putting out a new solo album soon even though he was strongly hinting that his previous one was going to be the final one before he hung up his mic and called it a day. This song isn't too shabby at all. While it doesn't sound very Zeppelin-ish, it still has a bit more of a rock n' roll vibe than a lot of his other more recent stuff. Definitely nothing to complain about at all.




2. Crimson Crown, by Vorbid

Want some new thrash metal in your life? Check out this unsigned band Vorbid. They just put out their debut EP and it's pretty damn solid. The guitar work is impeccable and the vocals aren't just growls or whatever other crap like that they do in a lot of modern metal. This actually has at least a little bit of melody to it. It's still pretty rough and brazen, but this in my opinion is the way thrash metal SHOULD sound if you're doing it right.




3. Zetsubo Billy, by Maximum the Hormone

If you're willing to listen to something that isn't sung in English for a few minutes, this is another solid metal track from a Japanese band called Maximum the Hormone. Don't let their wild, flamboyant appearance fool you. They're just as heavy and dark as the best of the English speaking bands. I've enjoyed headbanging to their stuff quite a bit and would be more than happy to go see them in concert if they're ever in the U.S.




4. Strange Kind of Woman, by Deep Purple

If something bluesy is more your jive, then this staple from Deep Purple should be right up your alley. It's a tragic song of trying hard to win a woman over and then her dying shortly after you do. It's got a lot of solid guitar work from Ritchie Blackmore and the rest of the band grooves away as a solid cohesive unit like Deep Purple always has and always will. It's definitely some real heartfelt music with soul and punch to it.




5. Love Man, by Whitesnake

If you're wanting blues that's just a little more laid back and traditional, then I would suggest this tune for you by Whitesnake. If you've been following this blog for a while you'll know that before Whitesnake started putting out MTV hair metal hits, they were a very reputable blues rock band who could hold their own with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, and other similar groups. This tune has a really cool shuffle to it with some real swagger. Singer David Coverdale definitely puts a lot of charisma into this performance.



Saturday, September 9, 2017

Avenged Sevenfold Covers "As Tears Go By", by The Rolling Stones



Avenged Sevenfold has been doing all sorts of unexpected and different things lately for the sake of evolving as artists. Their most recent album The Stage was the most experimental and progressive record they have put out to date and most recently they have been putting out a string of videos of them doing cover songs know one would ever expect them to do; the most recent being As Tears Go By (as made famous by The Rolling Stones). The video can be viewed above.

Quite honestly, I like this cover a lot. I never would have predicted that A7X would do such a song, but from what I've heard they have been trying to branch out a bit more lately. When they do covers they don't want to do just metal, and it shows. They pull off this bluesy classic flawlessly. It just goes to show that they are more versatile than people give them credit for.

I'm betting a lot of their fans will be all like "WTF is this crap?! This f***ing SUCKS! Remake City of Evil!". I respect them though for wanting to get out of the box that many of us have stuffed them into over the years. I still want to hear them do primarily the kind of thrilling dark metal that we know and love them for, but I hope they do more stuff like this where they throw something unexpected our way.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Fireball, by Deep Purple



In 1971 Deep Purple had cemented themselves as one of the top players in the quickly emerging world of British heavy rock/metal. With their 1970 release In Rock which was the first to feature their iconic Mark II line-up blasting them into the stratosphere, they couldn't wait too long to put out a follow-up to keep the momentum going. The result was a slightly unexpected, more groove and melody oriented record titled Fireball.

Where In Rock was more about the heavy, pulse pounding, string snapping loud ruckus songs, Fireball was a more diverse record. There were still heavy rockers on it, but genres varied from blues, to ballad, to funk, to others beyond even that while still maintaining the signature Deep Purple sound. It was definitely a more well rounded record than their previous releases, even if it didn't feature as many of their well known tunes.

Strange Kind of Woman is probably the best known tune from this album among Deep Purple fans. It's a pretty straight up blues shuffle for the most part, but there are of course some dazzling blues licks played with extreme precision by guitar master Ritchie Blackmore. If you listen to the lyrics though, it's a rather sad story of chasing after a woman, finally winning her over, and then her dying shortly after. Who knew something so tragic could end up making such a groovy song?

Anyone's Daughter in my opinion is one of Deep Purple's greatest hidden gems. It's a ballad in the style of Bob Dylan, but as a full plugged in band they seem to pull it off flawlessly. It's smooth, flowing, melodic, and at the same time rather fun. They even still manage to throw in some guitar and piano solos while still making it easy listening. That to me shows just how much skill Deep Purple really had way back in the day.

I wouldn't consider this the best of Deep Purple's classic material, but it definitely has quite a few songs on it that are worth having on your rotation. It is also a must have for anyone looking to have a complete collection of all of the Deep Purple catalog that is actually worth having (most of what came after Perfect Strangers is ignorable). It's a balanced fulfilling rock n' roll journey from the first track to the end, even with only seven songs on it (bands could get away with that back then).

Fireball, by Deep Purple receives 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Fireball
2. No No No
3. Strange Kind of Woman
4. Anyone's Daughter
5. The Mule
6. Fools
7. No One Came

Buy the album on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Fireball-Deep-Purple/dp/B004AQ7864/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504849086&sr=8-1&keywords=Fireball+Deep+Purple

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Robert Plant Premieres New Single "Bones of Saints"



Former Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant is already gearing up to release another album as a follow-up to 2014's Lullaby... and the Ceaseless Roar. Kind of a surprise considering Plant was making it sound like that was going to be his final album. Instead, on October 13th he will be releasing a brand new album titled Carry Fire and has just released a single for it titled Bones of Saints on Spotify.

Bones of Saints definitely has more of a rock n' roll vibe than anything else he has released recently, though at the same time it still sounds nothing like Led Zeppelin and maintains some of that spacey world music feel that much of his more recent work has had. Regardless, it's always nice to hear Robert Plant's voice paired with an electric guitar.

That said, you can tell his voice has aged over the past few decades, but that makes him no less enjoyable to listen to. At this point in time he probably doesn't want to be screaming his lungs out like he did in 1970 anyway. Bones of Saints is definitely worth checking out at least once. It's got a good feel to it.

Bones of Saints can be listened to on Spotify here.

Monday, September 4, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #132

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. Weight of Love, by The Black Keys

This song is probably as close to new Pink Floyd as you're going to get these days. It has this chilled, laid back, space age psychedelic kind of vibe to it with a certain level of darkness in the vocal melody and the lyrics that makes you feel like just drifting on out aimlessly into space for eternity. This was one of the songs that got me interested in listening to the more recent Black Keys stuff that came after they were a DIY basement blues rock band.



2. Elected, by Alice Cooper

Given the tense politically charged atmosphere in the world today I figured this is a fairly apt song by one of the most prolific song writers of our time. Many people think Alice Cooper is more about the theatrics than the music, but if you actually pay close attention to his stuff he actually has a lot of relevant things to say about the world we live in and the inner darkness of the human race that engulfs it all.



3. Free Ride, by Edgar Winter Group

If all of that has been a bit of a downer for you though, I've got you covered. This one will definitely perk you right back up. It's a straightforward easy going crank it up kind of rock n' roll song that is fun and easy to get down to. Definitely an essential part of any classic rock play list, whether it's for a party or just your own personal listening. It has that sunshine good times kind of vibe that you don't really hear in a whole lot of rock n' roll any more.



4. Mistreated, by Deep Purple

This song has to be one of the greatest masterpieces Deep Purple ever created. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore put all of his heart and soul into the coming up with the base concept for the song and it shows through his passionate fiery guitar playing. Where things really come alive though is the soulfully gut wrenching pain that you feel through David Coverdale's vocal performance. You can feel and relate to every last drop of heartache that drips through his words. Needless to say, this is a blues song for everyone.



5. All Right Now, by Free

To end things on a high note though, I'll throw ya this classic. If you haven't heard it to death on the radio over the years I'll honestly be surprised. That is, unless you're one of those people with no taste in music and only listen to the pop or modern alternative stations. That said, this song is a lot of fun and really does make you feel all right now. It's some of the best work that Free ever did and to be fair is over played for a reason.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bumblefoot on His Departure From Guns N' Roses

Photo courtesy of Blabbermouth


When Bumblefoot left the modern incarnation of Guns N' Roses back in 2014 it took many fans who had been following for a while aback. It wasn't entirely clear as to what the reason for the departure was, but recently the former lead guitarist has opened up on the issue some more.

In an interview with WRIF (via Blabbermouth), Bumblefoot says:

“I need to be super-creative. I’m not the kind of utility that you hire and he plays and gets paid, and that’s it. It has to grow. After eight years in Guns I looked at it and said, ‘Am I doing what I want to do?’ I felt like anyone could have doing what I was doing at that point, and it didn’t have to be me.

And if I wasn’t happy, and they knew I wasn’t happy, then I should get out and do what I’m supposed to do, and let them do what they were supposed to do. And I knew the reunion was coming, so it was like, ‘Let me get out of the way.’

I was a headcase. I cared so much. I cared too much about it, and I wanted it to be something that I knew it wasn’t ever going to be."

In regards to ever seeing the current line-up play, Bumblefoot says:

"I always describe it like going to your ex-girlfriend’s wedding. I don’t mean any disrespect and I do wish them well, and I’m happy they’re doing do good.

But for me to go and see it would just stir up a lot of stuff. I’m doing my thing, they’re doing their thing and everybody just wishes each other well from afar. I’m real happy for them – they’re on top of the world right now, so good for them.”

Honestly, I'm still glad the reunion happened. While I loved the Chinese Democracy era of Guns N' Roses it never really felt like actual Guns N' Roses to me. That line-up of the band was great in so many ways and I enjoyed watching them perform and put out new stuff, but it's the old line-up with Slash and Duff McKagan that made me fall in love with the band in the first place. As for Bumblefoot, he is one hell of a talented guitarist and I'm glad that he is out there doing what makes him happy. That dude has mad chops on a guitar and everything he does is innovative in some way or another. That said, I'll still be following both GN'R and Bumblefoot.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Throwback Thursday: The Spaghetti Incident?, by Guns N' Roses



After the gigantic world tour that Guns N' Roses did to support the Use Your Illusion albums from 1991-1993 they still wanted to put out a follow-up album but at the same time have it be something that was more along the lines of being just for fun rather than a big artistic statement that involved a lot of time, money, and energy. The result: a punk rock covers album titled The Spaghetti Incident? which was released in 1993.

The Spaghetti Incident? takes a lot of classic punk songs from Iggy and the StoogesSteve Jones, The Misfits, The Damned, The New York Dolls, and other bands and artists that had an influence on the band but then gives them the GN'R treatment in order to pay faithful homage while at the same time doing something entirely new and unique with them. There is definitely a gigantic surge of fresh energy and life pulsing through each and every last song on the album.

Since I Don't Have You was the main single of The Spaghetti Incident? and is a cover of The Skyliners, a 50's vocal pop group. Personally I never would have imagined Guns N' Roses doing a doowop song. That said, though the GN'R version definitely has a heavier and darker vibe to it, it still somehow manages to maintain the same level of charm as the original. Quite frankly I find that astonishing. It's still a good tune to sway and dance to for sure.

Raw Power, a cover of Iggy and the Stooges has to be one of my absolute favorites from this album though because they took a tune that was already a punk classic and somehow managed to put it into further overdrive. They upped the tempo, added more punch into the guitars, and yet still kept that classic piano riff as the center focus of the song aside from the rude, down, dirty, and nasty vocals. Definitely a pedal to the metal, get your blood pumping kind of song.

The Spaghetti Incident? definitely isn't for everyone, but if you like punk rock and are curious about hearing different takes on classic tunes or want to hear what kinds of bands influenced Guns N' Roses then this might be up your alley. Regardless, I still think it is a pretty solid record through and through. I wouldn't by any means recommend this to someone looking to get into GN'R to start off with, but it has its place on the shelf with the rest of the discography.

The Spaghetti Incident?, by Guns N' Roses receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Since I Don't Have You
2. New Rose
3. Down on the Farm
4. Human Being
5. Raw Power
6. Ain't It Fun
7. Buick Makane (Big Dumb Sex)
8. Hair of the Dog
9. Attitude
10. Black Leather
11. You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory
12. I Don't Care About You
13. Look at Your Game, Girl (hidden bonus track)

Buy the album on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Spaghetti-Incident-Explicit-Guns-Roses/dp/B00MIB11VQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504248494&sr=8-1&keywords=the+spaghetti+incident

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Former Dio Guitarist Doug Aldrich Has Unheard Dio Track

Photo courtesy of The Inquisitr


When the god of metal, Ronnie James Dio passed away in 2010 due to stomach cancer the world of heavy metal was struck hard because it was believed that we would never hear any new music from him ever again. However, it seems that this isn't entirely true, as former guitarist for Dio's solo band Doug Aldrich has in his possession a recording of a rather trippy tune they worked on together that has yet to see a release.

In an interview with Roppongi Rocks (via Blabbermouth) Aldrich discusses the song and his part in the recording of it, saying:

“It was during the time he wrote Electra. We were kind of bouncing around some of his ideas and working on some of them.

Before we did Electra he had this other one that he said, ‘Can you put a solo on this?’ and he gave me the track. I had put a solo on it, and then when I brought it to his house, he goes, ‘No, no, no – I’ve got this new idea called Electra.’ We didn’t even listen to it.

This one track is haunting. He doubled his voice – it’s just really trippy. At some point it will have to come out. I offered it to Wendy and I don’t know. Maybe she forgot about it. I actually have the recording session which has got Ronnie playing bass, rhythm guitar and vocals, and then a drum machine.”

I really do hope that this song some day gets a proper release. It sounds interesting and creative, which makes me happy because even up to his death Dio was always doing something innovative and new. Plus, I would really like to hear Dio playing guitar and bass on a track because I'd love to hear what his chops sounded like. Hopefully Wendy takes Doug up on the offer soon.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Brian Johnson Returns to the Stage at Reading Festival



It's been about a year and a half since former AC/DC singer Brian Johnson was forced to retire from his iconic band due to problems with hearing loss. However, the capped screaming beast made his return to the big stage this past weekend to perform the AC/DC classic Back in Black with the modern alternative band Muse (which can be watched in the video above).

The crowd went insane with joy to see Johnson back where he belongs, or at least close to. Every last fan in that audience was singing along to every last lyric of the song and you can tell that there was an immense amount of positive energy just rippling through the venue. Johnson himself seemed to be completely thrilled. You could see it in his walk, his singing, and his overall attitude. He must have REALLY missed this.

I only hope that if some form of AC/DC is going to continue on into the future they can at least get Johnson back as lead vocalist of the band. I have LOVED Axl Rose fronting the band, but I think AC/DC needs Brian Johnson on the mic if they're going to have any real chance of keeping people coming out to the shows and buying anything new that they put out.

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #131

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. Big Jack, by AC/DC

I always felt that ever since Black Ice came out in 2008 this particular track wasn't played or talked about enough. It's definitely one of the stronger ones on the album and could and should have gotten more attention than it did. Regardless, it's never too late to give high voltage rock n' roll goodness like this another look and keep it blaring through your speakers for years to come. You'll definitely wonder why you didn't know about this sooner.



2. Polar Trench, by Buckethead

This tune has a nice blend of funky, hard rock, and a bit of modern edge. Buckethead no matter what he does is one hell of a creative human being, even if it's a song meant for just getting your funky rocks off to. He always knows just the right moment to kick a groove, go hogwild on a guitar solo, and then slide back into the groove. If I were to try to describe it further, I'd say this is a blend of Hendrix, Slash, Trower, and any number of modern alt rock/metal bands.



3. Rocket Queen, by Guns N' Roses

If that last track got you in the mood for some Slash, don't fret. I've got you covered with a tune that features some of his best guitar work. I've always loved the sexy, hypnotic, slithery hip movements of this song (not counting the sex sounds in the interlude). It's one of my favorites to this day to crank through a stereo and I definitely feel it was one hell of a way for GN'R to give their first album a strong ending that makes things go out with a bang.



4. Big Bad Moon, by Joe Satriani

While Satch has always been known for his more exploratory style of playing, I've always loved it when he goes blues based hard rock. The riff in this song is just so big, beefy, and powerful. The fact that Satch sings in this tune (and about lycanthropy no less) makes it even more interesting to listen to. One of the most under rated tunes from the Flying in a Blue Dream album for sure (among countless others). It really makes you want to howl at the moon.



5. Am I Evil, by Diamond Head

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement in the late 70's/early 80's put out a hell of a lot of good bands and music that sadly don't get much attention any more due to them getting glazed over by the more commercially friendly bands. Diamond Head is definitely among the cream of the crop and this song will immediately tell you why. It starts off big, slow, and doom-like and then kicks things up into high gear; not leaving you much time to breathe. It seduces you slowly, then grabs you by the balls and takes you for the ride of your life.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Vicky Cornell, Wife of Late Chris Cornell Asks Fans for Tributes for Chris's Website

Photo courtesy of heavy.com


Ever since Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell was found dead at the age of 52 in a hotel room in Detroit back in May, the entire world of rock n' roll has been shaken considerably; especially Cornell's family. Cornell's wife Vicky Cornell has now as a way to help everyone deal with the pain has asked the fans to send tributes and messages to Chris to her so she can put them up on Chris's website.

Vicky made a tweet on August 23rd saying:

"Since my husband’s tragic passing, fans from all over the world have come together to share their feeling about what Chris and music meant to them, leaving thousands of messages of love while visiting him at Hollywood Forever and online.

You have opened your hearts to me and our children, and we are grateful for your sympathy, love and support in bringing us solace and helping us heal. You have given us the hope and strength to endure the pain of these very dark days. I want to thank all of you and hope you will leave your tributes, personal stories, and messages for our family, to be shared on Chris's site for everyone to read.

Loud love,

VC"

Included in the tweet was a link to the submission form, which can be found here.

I definitely like this idea. It really shows how much his wife loves and cares for him even from beyond the grave. It's a nice way for the fans as well to be able to express their honest, raw, heartfelt feelings about Chris for the whole world to be able to see for all time. Not everyone gets a memorial like this, so I'm glad Chris is one of the lucky few.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday: "Black Ice", by AC/DC



In 2008 hard rock legends AC/DC put out what many (including myself) consider to be their last true album: Black Ice, as it was the last one with the iconic five members. While the band's popularity had waned just a bit over the years, this album chocked full of brand new eargasmic high voltage rock n' roll catapulted them back into the spotlight instantaneously. Track after track after track of this album was highly praised and thus they went on a big world tour that lasted quite a while to support it.

Black Ice sticks to the famous AC/DC style, but it wasn't afraid to explore a little bit outside of the boundaries in order to give some of the songs a little more flavor. I think that is what made the album as special as it is. They don't stick to the generic formula entirely and thus were able to create the best album they had in a REALLY long time. The songs are still bluesy and rocking, but there are some songs where they do a bit more finger picking, slide guitar, playing around with arrangements, and even make things a bit more melodic in certain places.

Rock n' Roll Train was an excellent choice as a first single from Black Ice. It screams classic AC/DC all over it without sounding like any of their other songs. The guitar tone especially makes it sound like it could have been on Back in Black. I like how creative the riff is, though. It's not just a set of basic block chords or arpeggios. This is them getting a little more complex while still rocking it up the way they do. Angus Young of course has his moment in the spotlight with his classic iconic bluesy soloing and it's brilliant as ever. It's blood boiling, heart pounding, high voltage rock n' roll in its finest form.

Skies on Fire is an under rated track from Black Ice, if you ask me. It combines some of that classic early 80's AC/DC sound with a bit more modern dirty gritty punch in a rather seamless way. I especially love the backing vocals. Malcolm Young in addition to being a great rhythm guitarist and song writer is also great at doing the kind of evil dirty backing vocals that no one could ever seem to emulate. The song also showcases the fact that vocalist Brian Johnson can do more than just scream bloody murder at the top of his lungs. He actually has a REALLY nice rumbly gritty lower range that makes for an interesting bluesy cocktail.

Black Ice in my opinion is the culmination of the iconic AC/DC line-up's creativity and passion. In my opinion it was one hell of a way for that line-up to say goodbye even if they didn't realize that was what was happening at the time. Even all these years later I still jam this album from time to time as loud as I possibly can and it puts that same smile back on my face. It will always be one of the fondest memories of my teenage years, that's for sure. That said, I can't recommend it anywhere close to enough.

Black Ice, by AC/DC receives 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Rock n' Roll Train
2. Skies on Fire
3. Big Jack
4. Anything Goes
5. War Machine
6. Smash n' Grab
7. Spoilin' for a Fight
8. Wheels
9. Decibel
10. Stormy May Day
11. She Likes Rock n' Roll
12. Wheels
13. Rock n' Roll Dream
14. Rockin' All the Way
15. Black Ice

Buy the album on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Ice-AC-DC/dp/B00O75QDIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503648965&sr=8-1&keywords=AC%2FDC+Black+Ice

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Foo Fighters Premiere New Song and Video: "The Sky is a Neighborhood"



The Foo Fighters have been pretty busy prepping for the release of their upcoming album Concrete and Gold, due out next month on the 15th. They have put out song after song after song, including one with a video now titled The Sky is a Neighborhood (which can be viewed above).

This song definitely has a lot of that Sergeant Pepper vibe that front man Dave Grohl was mentioning when it came to the overall sound of the upcoming album. I hear Beatles influence plastered all over it, but with a lot more balls and edge to it than the Fab Four would have used back in the day. It has that laid back kind of melodic groove that you would have heard out of the later era Beatles for sure.

The video definitely has some psychedelic 90's feel to it, but in such a way where it doesn't feel like the band is stuck in the past. You can tell some thought was put into it, especially in the ways it correlates to the message of the song. It mesmerizes you and sucks you in, taking you on an interesting ride to say the least.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Man Plays 50 AC/DC Riffs in a Row



While the internet can be a silly place full of stupid things and people, some times you come across something that actually gives you a bit of hope for cyberspace and the universe as a whole. Today I came across such a thing when I discovered this video of a man by the name of Andrea Boccarusso playing 50 AC/DC riffs in a row without pausing at all in between (which can be viewed in the video above).

What makes this video even more cool is that not only does Boccarusso play Malcolm Young's rhythm guitar parts, but Angus Young's as well. I know a lot of people often comment on the way many AC/DC songs sound similar, but I still find it amazing how Boccarusso manages to get one AC/DC song into another so seamlessly. That takes some real talent and a good ear for transitions.

This isn't the first time Boccarusso has done such a video, however. If you're interested in more of his wizardry, he has also done videos of 50 Iron Maiden riffs, 50 Metallica riffs, and 100 metal riffs as well. This dude definitely has some respectable skills to say the least.

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #130

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. Relentless, by Pentagram

This is one of those songs where the intro fooled me into thinking it was going to be a slower, more groove oriented song but then quickly does a 180 by turning it into a blood boiling, pulse pounding, pedal to the metal fast paced kind of tune. I'm not complaining though because it still kicks a lot of ass. I've had a lot of fun just cranking this tune up to 11 while rocketing down the highway at night on the way home from seeing my chick.



2. Voodoo, by Black Sabbath

If you want heavy metal that does happen to be more groove oriented, this is definitely the song for you. It's got this riff that hooks its way into your mind relentlessly quick and it will not let go no matter how hard you beg and try. Dio's powerful melodic vocals make it that much more entrancing of a song as well. Black Sabbath and Dio really were a match made in Heaven and Hell no matter what anyone says.



3. Problems, by The Sex Pistols

In a time where we are all feeling uncertain it's good to have a way to vent your frustrations about your problems, especially if that method is through punk rock. This in my opinion is a highly under rated Sex Pistols tune that I didn't even know about until I discovered the Megadeth cover a few
years back and decided to go back and check out the original to see how it measured up. Needless to say, I was more than satisfied.



4. Cold Gin, by Kiss

I can say with 100% certainty that this is my absolute all time favorite Kiss song. It's got everything a good rock n' roll song needs: a killer main riff, a thundering rhythm, fun lyrics, and rough n' tumble singing. Despite the fact that Kiss is all about the frills, this tune in particular is all about throwing them off and being a real city gutter rat of the lowest variety. Somehow though, they manage to glorify such a lifestyle. I guess good music can accomplish anything.



5. Love Communion, by Glenn Hughes

This is one hell of a funky jam. It's got groove, soul, and some extraordinary singing that ranges from high and powerful to soft and smooth. Glenn Hughes despite his advancing age doesn't seem to have lost a single bit of his vocal talent with age, and thank God. He is one of the few living vocal legends from the 70's left who doesn't sound like complete garbage now. I saw him a year ago in Chicago and he blew my mind. Not many people even in my own age range can do what he does.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Gene Simmons Doesn't Regret Attempting Metal Horns Trademark

Photo courtesy of TeamRock.com


Although Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons failed in his recent attempt to trademark the metal horns hand gesture, which has been something shared among rock and metal fans alike across the globe for decades he apparently does not regret trying at all.

In a recent interview with Windsor Star, Simmons discusses his feelings on the matter saying:

“I regret nothing. Let your conscience be your guide.

Did you know I own the money bag logo? The dollar sign with the bag of money. I own all kinds of things. I own ‘motion pictures’ as a trademark. Anyone who thinks that’s silly — the silliest thing I’ve ever done is wear more makeup and higher heels than your mommy. People said, ‘You can’t do that.’ Actually, bitch — I can. I can do anything I want.”

Clearly you can't do whatever you want, Mr. Simmons. Just because you have money, it doesn't mean you can get away with every last petty ridiculous thing you want. I'm glad that everyone including Wendy Dio (wife of the late Ronnie James Dio who made the gesture famous) stood up and said something about it before it was too late. The gesture really does belong to everyone who feels the spirit of rock n' roll in their hearts. You can't just buy that.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Pentagram (Relentless), by Pentagram



In 1985 after a decade and a half of line-up changes and all kinds of drug fueled antics (mostly from singer and only consistent member Bobby Liebling) Virginia doom metal band Pentagram finally put out their debut album Pentagram (though in 1993 it was rereleased as Relentless on Peaceville Records) on their own with no record label to back them. While this made things difficult for them, they still slowly managed to push their way forward and leave a lasting legacy among the heavy metal community.

You can definitely hear the Black Sabbath influence in the tracks on this album, but by this point Pentagram was a lot less of the Sabbath clone that they had started off being in the early-mid 70's. The tone on the guitar had more of outer space meets Satan kind of vibe and the rhythm section was a lot more booming and rumbling. That said, the lyrics are still NOT pro-Satan if you are worried but take the time to actually listen.

Sign of the Wolf is one of the more pushing, fast pace tunes on Pentagram. You can tell that this is where the band was really coming into their own in terms of sound and not necessarily trying to copy off their influences. It definitely sounds a lot more evil than most of what was being put out at that time. I definitely dig the vocal melody on the chorus. Something about it sticks in my head even more than the guitar riff. It's definitely a headbanger and I'd dare say a tune to crank while speeding down the highway with the wind blowing through your hair at night.

Relentless is another good one to crank at 11, though then again the whole album is made up of tracks like that. That riff will get stuck in your head the moment it comes on, even more so than Sign of the Wolf. This is a song where you definitely hear the Black Sabbath influence, but it's like they blasted it into the stratosphere. It's faster, bolder, and more daring in some respects. Liebling's voice is incredibly bewitching and you'll be unable to think of much of anything else aside from the riff for a while after listening to this tune.

Pentagram (Relentless) is definitely an under rated classic as far as I'm concerned. It's a shame that only just now when Liebling is getting up there in years is the band getting a bit of the fame, fortune, and opportunities that they truly deserve. It does help though that Liebling cleaned up his act and did a complete 180, though. That said, you should definitely check this out if you're looking for some metal that hasn't been played to death either on the radio or at festivals.

Pentagram (Relentless), by Pentagram receives 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Death Row
2. All Your Sins
3. Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)
4. The Ghoul
5. Relentless
6. Run My Course
7. Sinister
8. The Deist
9. You're Lost I'm Free
10. Dying World
11. 20 Buck Spin

Buy the album on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Relentless-Pentagram/dp/B0015ME08U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503024754&sr=8-1&keywords=Pentagram+Relentless

First Queen Shows Terrifying for Adam Lambert

Photo courtesy of Billboard.com


Freddie Mercury is one of the single greatest and best known icons in the history of not only rock n' roll, but popular music overall. The man left a gigantic legacy behind with his unmatched operatic singing, his lyrics, music, and the character he created for himself. For anyone to even think of stepping into his shoes in Queen would be a frightening notion for anyone, but Adam Lambert did it. Recently however, Lambert has opened up on just how terrifying the first few shows he did with Queen were for him.

In an interview with ET Canada, Lambert talks about how he felt during those shows, but at the same time how he felt so supported by the band and the fans, saying:

“I thought, ‘There’s no way I should be doing this,'. I had the confidence of the band and they were really lovely about it. They were like, ‘No, no, no, you’re great. We love it. Do what you want.’ But in my head I kept going, ‘No, I don’t know.’

The first audience we had was very supportive, and each audience afterwards was supportive. So, slowly, little by little, I was like, ‘Okay, all right, I can do this – kind of.’ But there’s no comparing to Freddie.

The intention of the lyrics, the mood of the song – if I kept those thing in the forefront of my mind, as opposed to, ‘How did Freddie do it?’ I usually would find my way there. Working with the band has taught me a lot. I’ve learned a lot about songcraft, and about how a song can connect with a mass crowd. Brian and Roger are wealths of information and experience and artistry. It’s a family now. It’s great.”

I myself saw Lambert perform with Queen back in 2013 at the United Center in Chicago. It was definitely one hell of a show. It felt genuine down to the last note, but at the same time Lambert in no way tried to emulate Freddie. No one ever could and he realized that. Instead he did all of the songs his own way and everyone (myself included) loved it. It really is a match made in Heaven. There is no replacing Freddie Mercury, but if anyone had to fill his shoes I'm glad it was Lambert.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

DJ Blends Metallica With Earth, Wind, and Fire



Over the years on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective we've discovered some pretty absurd things together, but I think this most recent thing really takes the cake. A YouTuber by the name of DJ Cummerbund has taken two artists who could not be any more different: Metallica and Earth, Wind, and Fire and made their music work together in a song which you have to hear to believe (which can be listened to in the video above).

The songs used in this unusual mash-up are the vocals and guitar solo of Metallica's Enter Sandman (with a bit of Master of Puppets) and the instrumentation of Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove Tonight. Cummerbund calls it Earth, Sand, and Fire.

This isn't the first mad scientist creation of this nature Cummerbund has fused together. He has also put Ozzy Osbourne with Earth, Wind, and Fire as well as Rush with Kelis, Foo Fighters with Rick James, Twisted Sister and Blind Melon, Disturbed and Smash Mouth, and more. He apparently also has something with Dio and Ricky Martin on the way too according to the comments section of the above video. I'm scared and excited to find out what that will be like.

Monday, August 14, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #129

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. Holy Thunderforce, by Rhapsody of Fire

One of the things I've always liked best about power metal is that it's basically classical music on steroids, especially in the case of Rhapsody of Fire. They manage to take neo-classical music and launch it into the stratosphere. Plus, the fact that all of their songs are about swords, wizards, dragons, kings, etc. makes them even more cool. You're not about to hear anything like that in a top 40 pop or rap song now are you?




2. Hallowed Be Thy Name, by Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden are the blue print for modern power metal. With their dual guitar harmonies, extended song structures, and classical influenced play style it's pretty easy to see how so many bands of the past 30+ years have gained a great deal of influence from them. Plus, many of Iron Maiden's tunes are based in the realm of fantasy, mythical, and biblical themes so that is yet another blatant characteristic that many bands have taken from.




3. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves, by Rainbow

But where would bands like Iron Maiden be if it weren't for the likes of Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore? Rainbow seamlessly blended medieval music with the likes of hard hitting rock n' roll already in the mid-70's. Not a whole lot of other bands were doing what they were doing back then, and even if they were certainly not the amazing way they were doing it. In my opinion Rainbow is the father of the power metal genre.




4. Mirror Mirror, by Blind Guardian

Other bands have gone on to carry the power metal torch, however. One of my absolute favorites is Blind Guardian. They have been around since 1987, but they are just as relevant and heavy as any power metal band today. They definitely lean a lot on the fantasy themes in terms of their lyrical content and include a great deal of symphonic and classical elements to the musical side of things. They have evolved a lot over the years, but you can tell a Blind Guardian song when you hear one.




5. Plagues of Babylon, by Iced Earth

Iced Earth is one of the most famous power metal bands in existence. They have also been around since the mid-80's, and like Blind Guardian are still just as relevant and heavy. If anything, they have gotten progressively heavier over the years. The only consistent member is founding rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer who constantly has members coming in and out in order to keep things fresh (I would assume, or hope). They have a symphonic edge to their sound as well, but some times it's just straight up balls to the wall angry guitar sound with melodic edge.



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Deep Purple Guitarist Steve Morse Open to One-Off Ritchie Blackmore Return

Photo courtesy of Vintage Guitar Magazine


Deep Purple has probably gone through more line-up changes than any other famous rock n' roll band in history. Members of the band are often coming and going, including founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Since his final split with the band in 1993 however, a lot of tension between him and the band has fluctuated. However, current guitarist Steve Morse who has been with the band for over 20 years at this point feels that a one-off reunion would be a good idea.

In a recent interview with Billboard, Morse talks about how he feels it would be a great way for fans and the band itself to get closure, if only psychological barriers could be broken through. Morse says:

“Well, he's one of the founding members. Fans would love it. It would be nice, I think, to see closure with everybody involved and the bad feelings put aside. I think they'd all get a kick out of it if they could get past the psychological barriers. I am a fan of music, I'm a musician. I am not a politician.

Now, a lot of people would feel intimidated, to have somebody come who's likely to play over them, standing in front of them and stealing the spotlight or whatever. But I thought, ‘A lot of people would love to see this.’

And at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, I thought Ritchie Blackmore was going to show up. He could've played three songs, but I ended up doing them because he didn't. That was up in the air.

The ice has to be broken, but I think that once that's done, they'd all have a great time. But I don't know how to go about doing that. Anyway, as far as I am concerned, all members, past and present and future of Deep Purple, are welcome.”

Blackmore himself has stated that he would be open to doing such a reunion, but the band's management would never have it. I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm not sure how I would feel about Blackmore reuniting with Deep Purple in any capacity. Deep Purple songs in order to perform and not just play them require a certain level of fire and passion in your heart and hands. Blackmore seems to lack that these days, most likely due to age and being bored with the music. I honestly feel that Morse brings back that kick in the pants that Deep Purple needs and plays those songs better than Blackmore would these days, even if their playing styles are distinctly different.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Consolers of the Lonely, by The Raconteurs

Album cover of Consolers of the Lonely, by The Raconteurs. Property of The Raconteurs.


In 2008, Jack White and his side project The Raconteurs decided to drop a big surprise on their fans. Their 2006 debut Broken Boy Soldiers had gone over well and plenty of people loved what they were doing, so when they dropped Consolers of the Lonely with only a week's notice before the release date people went nuts. The fans were incredibly pleasantly surprised by this blindside release. The only downside however was that it was the band's last release before they went on a hiatus that is currently still going on.

Consolers of the Lonely seems to go in a more bluesy and ballsy direction than Broken Boy Soldiers. It sounds a bit more like The White Stripes in some regards (which is no surprise considering Jack had just gotten done touring for the ginormous Icky Thump album), but at the same time it goes in its own direction. One or two songs even sound like something Paul McCartney would have written during the days of The Beatles. It's eclectic in some regards, but the song writing is a great deal more satisfying.

Consoler of the Lonely is one hell of a solid rock n' roll track. It takes all the best elements of twangy old blues rock and throwing in some more punchy modern alternative into the mix. The way it switches gears back and forth so quickly while remaining one cohesive song is truly remarkable. That is some trademark Jack White song writing right there. This is definitely a tune you will want to crank through your stereo at top volume so you can rock out and drive the neighbors nuts.

Many Shades of Black is one of the few songs that has made my jaw drop and say "WOW." in recent times. If you didn't know any better, you would have swore that it was a leftover from The Beatles' Abbey Road album. It has that Oh Darling kind of vibe to it, but at the same time it does its own thing. The horn section definitely makes the chorus boom a bit more while also adding a bit of shine that only brass can. You will be swaying and singing along to it in no time at all.

Consolers of the Lonely has one great song after the next. If you're looking for some fantastic alternative rock that doesn't get much in the way of any radio airplay then you'll want to pick this album up asap. As I mentioned earlier, it's pretty eclectic so you're bound to find something in there that suits your fancy. It can go from rock, to ballad, to something else entirely all within the space of a track or two. You definitely won't be disappointed with it.

Consolers of the Lonely, by The Raconteurs receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Consoler of the Lonely
2. Salute Your Solution
3. You Don't Understand Me
4. Old Enough
5. The Switch and the Spur
6. Hold Up
7. Top Yourself
8. Many Shades of Black
9. Five on the Five
10. Attention
11. Pull This Blanket Off
12. Rich Kid Blues
13. These Stones Will Shout
14. Carolina Drama

Buy the album on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Consolers-Lonely-Raconteurs/dp/B0016CQCMQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502438909&sr=8-1&keywords=Consolers+of+the+Lonely

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Metallica's "Master of Puppets" Reissue to Be Out Later This Year



Having just released their first studio album in nine years earlier this year (Hardwired...to Self-Destruct) Metallica seem to be a pretty busy band as of late. Some of that business includes working on a reissue to their 1986 major label debut Master of Puppets.

Master of Puppets is the album that truly brought Metallica into the public eye and made them a staple of the 80's thrash metal movement. It is considered by many to be their best album to date and the album that defines not only the band, but the genre itself.

In a recent interview with Voir, drummer Lars Ulrich talks about the reissue of their iconic masterwork, saying:

“We’ll try to see if we can get it out at the end of this year. It’s coming soon. We’re working on it. There’s a lot of stuff associated with Master of Puppets – it’s an immense project. We’ve spent to much time looking forward, with Hardwired … to Self Destruct. But Master of Puppets is obviously next. Hopefully, late this year. If not, soon thereafter.”

I would definitely be interested to see what all would be included in the reissue in terms of bonus tracks as well as any extra literature, photographs, and other fun bonuses. Master of Puppets was the first Metallica album I ever bought as a kid and was what got me into thrash metal. While I don't think it's their best album, I do agree it is one to be recognized and celebrated.

Monday, August 7, 2017

All 265 Motorhead Songs Played at Once



Some people do some really weird things on the internet some times. Usually for no other purpose than to make the thing exist and get people's attention for a minute. Today I've found yet another one of those things: all 265 Motorhead songs played simultaneously (which can be found by following the link below).

A Soundcloud user by the name of Motorphonics describes his work of "art" by saying:

"It's peak Motorhead. It's 265 tracks played at the same time. It's every track from the 22 studio albums, plus the On Parole collection, and the Beer Drinkers and St. Valentine's Day Massacre EPs. It's pointless, and kinda hypnotic."

It's six and a half minutes of senseless noise, but it's cool to listen to anyway; especially if you can discern specific songs out of the mix. It goes on for six and a half minutes. I was only able to make it 30 seconds in myself, but maybe you'll have more fortitude? Let me know in the comments if you actually do or at the very least how far you got.

Link to the track:

https://soundcloud.com/user-895849516/everything-much-louder-than-everything-else