Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Steven Adler on Why He Has Not Been Bigger Part of Guns N' Roses Reunion

The idea of Slash, Duff McKagan, and Axl Rose ever sharing the stage again until recently was only a dream within a dream for countless Guns N' Roses fans across the globe. However, original drummer Steven Adler was also supposed to be a bigger part of the reunion. Instead, he has only gotten to play a couple of songs in a couple of shows during the tour so far.

According to an interview on One on One With Mitch Lafon, Adler was gearing up and rehearsing to be part of the shows. He was to split drum duties with current drummer Frank Ferrer where Adler was to start the show playing Appetite for Destruction songs, Ferrer stepping in mid-show to do Use Your Illusion songs, and Adler coming back in at the end. Before the first show at The Troubador in Los Angeles he injured his back pretty badly. Adler talked about how the booting out of the reunion happened, saying:

“Duff [McKagan] called me and said, ‘Dude, you’re not gonna play with us anymore. You’re not gonna do these shows. And I was, like, ‘You’re the worst f—ing person in the world.’ And I hung up on him. And I tried to call him back and left a message, saying, ‘I’m so sorry I said that.’ … I was feeling that about me, and I said it about him, and I couldn’t apologize to him enough, because he knows I love him more than anything. And I got to apologize, ’cause, obviously, I’d seen him last year and we did shows together. And he understood.”

It's a shame that Adler got the shaft the way he did, but I get that having a back injury like that is kind of a major problem when it comes to a band going on a multi-million dollar world tour. I don't blame GN'R for doing what they had to do. Plus, with Steven Adler you never know when he is going to sneak off and get into trouble with drugs and alcohol again. He has fallen off the wagon more times than any other rockstar, though has somehow managed to keep above the ground. Good on him for that, I suppose. Regardless, it would be cool to see him get back with the band and do the kind of show they originally intended to do soon. The fans deserve to see as much of the original band as possible.

Monday, February 27, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #107

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. Dead, by Buckcherry

Hard to believe this tune is already about seven years old. I remember when it was new. This is a good rocker to get your blood pumping and your heart pounding if you feel out of energy and need a boost. It's got everything: big riffs, catchy vocals, and blistering fast guitar solos in all the right places. This is Buckcherry doing what they do better than anything else in the whole world: rock the hell out as loud and fast as possible.

2. Wanted Dead or Alive, by Bon Jovi

One of my favorite overplayed classic rock hits. Admittedly I've gotten sick of it from time to time, but it gets all the airplay it gets all these decades later for a good reason. It's catchy, fun, and will get you singing along. One of my favorite aspects of the song is the 12 string guitar playing in the verses. It adds this mystiqute to it that really makes it stand out. Without it, this song really wouldn't be even remotely close to the classic we have come to know and love.

3. Dead Flowers, by The Rolling Stones

The Stones have done a lot of interesting thing in their 5+ decade career, including at certain points trying to go for a more country sound. This song encompasses that better than anything else in their catalog. It sounds a LOT like the kind of country that was being made in the late 60's/early 70's. I will admit it is a bit funny to hear Mick Jagger try to sing that way, but I think he manages to pull it off all right if you can separate yourself from the fact that this is the Rolling Stones.

4. Dead Horse, by Guns N' Roses

Another hard rocker, this tune definitely features some of Axl Rose's more personal and profound lyrics (as many of the songs from the Use Your Illusion era onward did). It's definitely a bit of a downer in terms of subject matter, but it still drives, punches, and cranks like any good GN'R song does. If you're just having a hard time getting on and also love to rock out when you can, this tune will definitely be right up your alley.

5. Drop Dead Legs, by Van Halen

If you're looking for something a bit more cheerful after that, then you can't really go wrong with some Van Halen. This song has a nice steady walking pace groove to it. It actually features some of Eddie Van Halen's more bluesy side in some areas of the song, which I like. You kind of get to hear bits and pieces of where he came from and what kinds of music he cut his teeth on when still a young, learning guitarist.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

AC/DC to Put Out New Album with Axl Rose?

When Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose stepped up to fill in for long time AC/DC singer Brian Johnson after Johnson's forced retirement due to hearing problems, he had some big shoes to fill to say the least. Not only did Rose manage to do the job, but he did it so well that he won over countless naysayers. Now it is rumoured that Rose will be working with guitarist Angus Young to write and record a new AC/DC album.

According to an unconfirmed report written by Paul Cashmere for Noise11, the chemistry between Rose and Young is undeniable and has made Young want to keep going, saying:

“The chemistry between Axl Rose and Angus Young has inspired Angus to start planning another AC/DC record, but Guns N’ Roses’ touring commitments throughout 2017 will make it difficult to finalize the project.”

So far neither AC/DC's nor Rose's camps have confirmed or denied this report. Personally I think it would be cool to hear an album put out by such a collaboration, but I wouldn't call it AC/DC. Not any more since Young is the only original/classic member of the band left in it. Everyone else has since retired or died. Sadly though if it does happen it probably will get the AC/DC moniker just so that record companies can cash in on the name due to marketing ploys. We'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Spectrum, by Billy Cobham

In 1973 jazz drummer Billy Cobham, who is most famous for his collaborative work with jazz legend Miles Davis set out on a grand musical adventure by recording, producing, and putting out his debut solo album Spectrum. To do this Cobham assembled an all star group of musicians in New York to act as his band including: Jan Hammer on keyboards, Tommy Bolin on guitar, Lee Sklar on bass, and several others on other instruments for various tracks. In only two days they had the album completely done.

Spectrum has to be one of my favorite jazz fusion albums to ever exist. The way these musicians just jam and play off one another is fantastic. It's entirely instrumental, but you can tell that everyone in that studio had something to say. In a way, it's like all those songs are like a conversation where the band is talking among itself. Cobham definitely picked the right musicians for this venture. It's raw, but precise. Free formed, but tight. Everyone latched onto the groove quickly. The result is something that speaks for itself.

Stratus in my opinion is where Hammer and Bolin definitely take the limelight. There is an absolutely wicked steady groove being kept going by Cobham and Sklar, and Hammer and Bolin use it to do some of their best solos of all time while also knowing when to lay back and be there more for layers and atmosphere. It definitely seems like a night time kind of tune that you would put on while you're driving down the highway and it's getting pretty late. Good mood music, to say the least.

Snoopy's Search - Red Baron is probably my favorite track on the entire Spectrum album. It starts off with a rather odd synth intro, but when the actual song kicks in with the full band it's got a really nice, easy groove to go on. Lots of nice blues licks from Bolin with some tasteful accents and solos on keys here and there. You can hear the older jazz influence in this tune for sure, but it is still pretty forward thinking and modern for the time.

Spectrum is definitely not an album that would be everybody's cup of tea, especially if they are primarily into tunes that are under 3-4 minutes and have vocals. However, if you are interested at all in music that pushes beyond the boundaries of normal pop structure and style then this might be up your alley after all. It is great for either active or just casual listening. I used to listen to it all the way through when writing papers in college and it definitely helped keep my mind sharp, active, and focused. Might be worth a listen for you too for another reason.

Spectrum, by Billy Cobham receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Quadrant 4
2. Searching for the Right Door/Spectrum
3. Anxiety/Taurian Matador
4. Stratus
5. To the Women in My Life/Le Lis
6. Snoopy's Search - Red Baron

Buy the album on Amazon:


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Steve Stevens on Working with Ozzy Osbourne

Ever since Black Sabbath played its final show recently, many people have wondered when front man Ozzy Osbourne will get back to his solo career and release another album. There has been talk that Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens will be on at least some of the next release from the Prince of Darkness.

Osbourne was recently asked about this, but Osbourne said:

“He’s not gonna be in my band. I said, ‘I’ve got some ideas,’ and we worked it out.”

Recently however, Stevens was approached on the subject of working with Ozzy in order to shed a bit more light on it. In an interview with All That Shreds, Stevens says Ozzy:

“asked me to do some writing with Ozzy,” which led to a studio summit. Haven’t heard anything, so I guess he’s really happy with them. So yes, I did some writing and recording with him.”

I'm curious to hear what such an album with Osbourne and Stevens would sound like. I'm sure it would probably be better than his last couple of solo albums, that's for sure. I wasn't the biggest fan of Scream or Black Rain. Down to Earth had a few good songs, but even then it still lacked a lot of the spirit of the first several albums. I'm hoping whatever we get from Ozzy next sounds a lot more melodic and invigorating rather than low, boring, and overly crunchy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Back in the Studio Together

It's always a joy to hear anything from any of the remaining former Beatles. It's an even greater joy however when they both work on something together. This past weekend Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr got together in the studio in Starr's home to work on a song with Joe Walsh for Starr's upcoming 19th studio album.

There have been no details yet on the collaboration aside from the fact that McCartney played bass on a single track for the album (shame it isn't more) according to a tweet that Starr made (with a picture of him and McCartney together), saying:

“Thanks for coming over and playing great bass. I love you man peace and love.”
Starr then made a second tweet with a picture of the two of them plus Joe Walsh, saying:
“And look Joe W. came out to play what a day I’m having peace and love.”
I'm definitely looking forward to hearing whatever these guys have come up with together. Whenever these guys get together in a room magic always happens. It's a shame there are only two of them left, but it's still enough to produce something that will be nothing short of amazing. Plus, if Walsh is playing on the song then there is sure to be some extra awesome as well.

Monday, February 20, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #106

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. Country Girl, by Black Sabbath

I can never get over just how much I love the main guitar riff in this song. It plays over and over for the vast majority of the song (except the bridge), but quite frankly I think it's one of the few songs that can get away with it. Then again, Tony Iommi is the king of the heavy riff. That said, it's that bridge though that really hits me the right way. That sweet sounding vocal melody from Ronnie James Dio has the right timbre and flows the right way at the right time to raise the hairs on the back of my neck and arms when it kicks in.

2. Paint it Black, by The Rolling Stones

This is one of those songs that despite the fact all the emo kids I knew in high school loved it due to it being about depression I still love myself regardless. That mystical Indian type vibe it has to it works really well with the loud and pounding style of rock n' roll that the Stones were notorious for making in the 60's. It's one of the more creative tunes they have written and quite frankly I can see why it is a classic and played all the time even to this day.

3. Stonehenge, by Spinal Tap

Now I know many people don't really take Spinal Tap seriously as musicians, but even though the purpose of them is to be goofy they still actually make some pretty damn good music. I love how spooky and enigmatic this tune sounds at certain points while at others it sounds like you have been thrown back 1,000 years or more to a more folksy sounding era. It is the perfect blend of heavy metal and European folk music in my opinion.

4. Spinal Remains, by The Misfits

Glenn Danzig has always had a knack for being able to write the most catchy punk rock meets 50's pop rock tunes while at the same time being incredibly dark in terms of lyrical subject matter. If you have even the tiniest bit of draw to the macabre then you will more than likely find this tune and many others from The Misfits to be right up your alley. It will satisfy all of your morbid desires while at the same time giving you something to dance to.

5. Misfits, by The Kinks

Not always into acoustic-ish ballads, but this one I can get down with. Being somewhat of a misfit myself in many areas of life for as long as I can remember I vibe with what Ray Davies is writing about. You can definitely tell this was created more for the message rather than the music itself, but there are certain parts that do get a bit musically creative and I will give them props and credit where each are due. For those of you downtrodden folks who don't feel like you belong anywhere, this is definitely for you.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Considering Performing "The Wall" Near U.S./Mexico Border

One of the things Donald Trump has been gunning for since he began his run for presidency is having a huge wall dividing the United States and its southern neighbor Mexico. Whether or not that actually comes to fruition remains to be seen, but it has inspired former Pink Floyd bassist/vocalist/song writer Roger Waters to possibly perform the band's famed album The Wall in its entirety on the border.

In a recent interview with Euro News Waters talks about the idea of doing such a performance and how he would love to do it, but then also states there is a stipulation for such a thing happening, saying:

“Before this can happen, there will first need to be an awakening against these far-right policies. The sewers are engorged by greedy and powerful men as I speak to you.”

Personally I don't think Waters will have any trouble whatsoever finding a massive amount of resistance against Trump and his senseless maniacal policies. It would be cool to see The Wall performed at such a venue. It wouldn't be the first time Waters has done something like this, as in 1990 he did the same thing at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Regardless, this will be one hell of a historic moment.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Live From Radio City Music Hall, by Heaven and Hell

In the mid-late 00's the classic The Mob Rules line-up of Black Sabbath consisting of Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, and Vinny Appice on drum safter nearly two decades since the last time they played together finally buried the hatchet for good and reunited to not only perform solely the stuff they wrote during their time together, but to write new material as well. Before putting out their full length album The Devil You Know in 2009 however the band did some touring to show people they still had that same old magic and to promote the new songs they put on the The Dio Years box set. A recording was done of one of the shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2007 and was released as a double album.

The band sounds absolutely GREAT in this show. You can tell they are giving it 110%. You can tell that by this point Dio's voice had REALLY aged and not necessarily for the best. He could no longer do those semi-operatic pitches and timbres that made him famous. Despite that however, his energy and passion more than make up for what time had taken from him. Plus, that grit and bite that old age gave him made the songs scarier and more evil. All in all, you feel like you're back in the early 80's listening to Dio lead Black Sabbath just pounding the crap out of your ears with the darkest songs of fantasy.

Heaven and Hell's performance of The Mob Rules has a crap ton of energy to it. The way they kick into it is just so....YES. That scream let out by Ronnie and the way that high energy guitar riff kicks in just makes you want to get up out of your seat and head bang in a pit. Makes you wish more than anything in the entire universe that you could have been at that show yourself. This performance just captures the spirit of the song so well; just as well as the old days in the early 80's when the song was new. It just goes to show you that you don't have to be young to be full of energy and passion.

The performance of the band's most well known track Heaven and Hell is nothing less than spectacular. It shows that even in old age they didn't want to just be a legacy act, but to keep being creative as well even with their classic material (with in my opinion one of the most iconic guitar riffs to ever bless heavy metal). It clocks in at over 15 minutes (like the old days) and features an added verse (with some frightening vocal effects) as well as some of Iommi's best guitar work. Not only is he the king of the heavy riff, but he can solo like no other as well. Not only can he shred, but he can create some of the most awe striking evil sounds as well with a guitar.

If you're a fan of the Dio era of Black Sabbath, this album is DEFINITELY for you if you don't have it already. Even if you're not a fan, it's still worth at least giving a listen to because they didn't let old age slow them down and condense the songs to their studio length. They still got creative and jammed the hell out of them, making them the extended odysseys they were always meant to be in a live setting. As I've been saying though, the main thing you can get from Live From Radio City Music Hall is that rock n' roll/heavy metal is by no stretch of the imagination solely a young man's game.

Live From Radio City Music Hall, by Heaven and Hell receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

Disc One:

1. E5150/After All (The Dead)
2. The Mob Rules
3. Children of the Sea
4. Lady Evil
5. I
6. The Sign of the Southern Cross
7. Voodoo
8. The Devil Cried

Disc Two:

1. Computer God
2. Falling Off the Edge of the World
3. Shadow of the Wind
4. Die Young
5. Heaven and Hell
6. Lonely is the Word
7. Neon Knights

Buy the album on Amazon:


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Metallica's Lars Ulrich on James Hetfield's Livid Demeanor After Grammy Debacle

As many of you may already know, Metallica's performance at the Grammy's this past weekend was not exactly a shining moment for them, as front man James Hetfield's mic was not properly working. You couldn't really hear him at all during the performance except for when Lady Gaga would share her mic with him. That said, drummer Lars Ulrich has come forward to explain how Hetfield reacted to all this.

In an interview with James Corden on  The Late Late Show (which can be watched above), Ulrich goes into detail about what Hetfield did afterward, saying:

“I haven’t seen him like that in 20 years. He was livid. I mean, he’s aged really well and he’s a pretty chill guy, but the first five or 10 minutes in that dressing room was not a lot of fun.”

I can only imagine what that scene must have looked like. An angry James Hetfield is probably a scary thing to be around. That said, I can't exactly say I blame him considering that performing at the Grammys is one of the biggest deals in the music business today. When you have technical difficulties like that at such a major event and they ruin the performance in a noticeable way, it's pretty difficult to not get into a bad mood.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Megadeth Grammy Win Accompanied by Metallica Song

Sunday night thrash metal legends Megadeth finally won their first Grammy for Best Metal Performance after 12 nominations (for most of their albums) for their most recent release Dystopia. In a bit of irony however, the house band played rival band Metallica's classic hit Master of Puppets while the band went up to accept the award (as can be seen in the video below).

For those of you who don't fully understand the context, Megadeth front man Dave Mustaine used to play lead guitar in Metallica in the very early days of the band starting out. However, Mustaine got kicked out in 1983 after having written a significant portion of the songs that would be on Metallica's first two albums and swore revenge that he would start a band that would be even better than Metallica. Hence, Megadeth. Since then however, the two bands have buried the hatchet and Mustaine and Metallica are now friends again.

That said, when the Grammy house band played Master of Puppets, Mustaine still took the podium and accepted the award graciously without mentioning the mishap. When someone asked him about it on Twitter later however though, Mustaine replied:

“Ah, you can’t blame ’em for not being able to play @Megadeth.”

I'm glad Mustaine was a class act about it on stage, though wasn't afraid to be a bit cheeky about it without being all that mean later on. He might have some screws loose, but at least he is adult enough to just laugh it off when something like this happens. Good on him. Plus, he really does deserve that Grammy. Megadeth has had it coming for a while.

Monday, February 13, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #105

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. Sweet Dreams Are Made of Seven Nation Army (Annie Lennox/White Stripes mash-up), by psavdonim1

Mash-ups can be one of the coolest things when done right. I don't listen to them all the time myself, but some times when I hear two tunes I would never have conceived working together get put into one cohesive song and it works out beautifully I am absolutely stunned. Such is the case for this absolutely fantastic White Stripes/Annie Lennox mash-up. Both tunes have been transposed from their original keys to work together, but it creates something quite trippy, hypnotic, and beautiful.

2.  Last Rites/Loved to Death, by Megadeth

After three decades thrash metal legends Megadeth FINALLY won their first Grammy for best metal performance. I kind of wonder what young Dave Musataine would have thought about getting such a main stream award back when he started the band in the mid-80's. That said, I'm posting one of my absolute favorite tracks from their debut album while I am still in this particular frame of mind. Definitely shows the angry raw roots they once had as a band.

3. Feel Good Inc., by Gorillaz

To switch things up a little bit, here is a tune with more of a groove to it. This has been one of my favorite bass centric songs for well over a decade. Not usually a rap guy, but Gorillaz gets so creative with the way they fuse genres that I really don't mind it. Plus, the fact that their lyrics are about things that are meaningful and important helps things too. Probably wouldn't care much for them if it was more bitches, hoes, drugs, and violence crap.

4. We Live in Troubled Times, by Green Day

Green Day definitely got a LOT more political with their most recent album Revolution Radio. Well, more political than they already were to begin with. This single from it probably is one of the most accurate depictions of our modern society that I have heard from any artist. It definitely has a bit of a While My Guitar Gently Weeps vibe to it, but with a bit more balls and overdriven guitar parts and rhythms to it. If you're anti-Trump, then this song will for sure be up your alley.

5. Painkiller, by Judas Priest

Speaking of balls and overdriven music, this Judas Priest classic is kind of the definition of that. From the moment that drum intro kicks in, you just KNOW you're about to be grabbed by the balls and dragged off on a high speed badass ride. This is probably the highest I've EVER heard vocalist Rob Halford sing. I'm amazed that he kept that pitch up throughout 90-95% of the song and to this day can still pull it off live (though it is pretty difficult for him). The guitar riffs and solos are in your face too. Definitely some of the finest work they ever put out.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nyte Lyfe Soul Cleansers Drops Debut Single: "Maybe Some Day"

Yes, ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between. It's time for some shameless self-promotion! My band Nyte Lyfe Soul Cleansers that I play guitar, do backing vocals, and write all the songs for has just put out the first single Maybe Some Day from its debut demo (which can be listened to via Soundcloud)!

We spent the past month or so recording this over multiple sessions in my basement with pretty much the bare bones essentials. Kind of wanted to keep things simple so we could put out a no frills demo without having to have the process go on for an indefinite amount of time. It's raw, but I guarantee you'll dig what we have going on here.

Maybe Some Day is a song that is quite personal to me. I kind of wanted to go the honest, simple route in terms of expressing what it's like to fight depression on a daily basis while still being relatable and not necessarily sounding like a big emo downer. I feel I managed to do it because it's quite a song of hope. That said, I hope you enjoy it.

If you like what you heard, like us on Facebook!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chickenfoot Share First New Song in Five Years

It's been five years since the super group Chickenfoot comprised of Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen, solo), Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Joe Satriani (solo), and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) have put out any new music together. Due to all four of them having conflicting schedules it's kind of hard not to understand. However, since they are about to put out a compilation album titled Best + Live that is scheduled to be released on March 10th, they got together for long enough to do one new song titled Divine Termination which they have released on Soundcloud and are working on making a video for.

Satriani refers to the song in an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock as:

“bone-crunching, hell-raising rock, dripping with attitude and vibe. Just the way Chickenfoot likes it!,”

Hagar (also to Ultimate Classic Rock) calls it:

“the coolest song that we’ve maybe ever had” and “really bluesy and edgy and modern and … f—ing cool”

I can kind of understand why the song has the title it does. Given that over the past five years it's been so difficult for the band to get together it very well could be a cosmic force of nature that has decided that they have had their fun but it's time for them to move on. As for the song itself, it's pretty cool. It has a nice groove to it and has that big punchy Chickenfoot sound to it. I don't think it's the best thing they have ever done, but it's definitely worth a listen.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cheap Trick to Put Out New Album This Year

Cheap Trick seems to be incredibly busy these days (especially for guys of their ascending age group), already working on a follow-up to their 2016 release Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello this summer. These days the band wants to not make their be long waits between albums.

In a recent tweet the band made, they say:

"We've been in the studio working on a new album - hope to have completed by Spring and released at the beginning of Summer 2017."

 In 2015, bassist Tom Petersson in an interview went into detail about how the band wants to keep on writing all the time and releasing new stuff, saying:

“The thing is, we’re going to keep going. We want to record a record every year and just keep them coming out – like in the old days when everybody had a record out every six months, us included. We’re writing all the time, so what good is it if those [songs] don’t come out?”

I'm glad that Cheap Trick is wanting to keep active and release stuff as often as they can. It can get annoying when bands will take several years in between releases on such a consistent basis. The only downside I can see to this however is that if you're putting stuff out all the time the overall quality of it might go down. That might not necessarily be the case, but it wouldn't surprise me if it did. I mean, a lot of other artists write all the time too but they then go through all of what they wrote and hand pick the best tunes for the album so that the end product will be the best it possibly can be. I guess we'll see what happens.

Monday, February 6, 2017

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #104

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. Come on Feel the Noise, by Quiet Riot

It's hard to put together an 80's metal hits playlist without incorporating this Quiet Riot classic. Although I personally prefer the Slade original (as I've mentioned in a previous post), this version is still a lot of fun with its high energy, punchy guitar sound, wild vocals, and overall party time kind of attitude. It's too bad this was one of the band's only well known songs because they do have a pretty good catalog of music if you actually delve a bit deeper.

2. This is Your Time, by Black Country Communion

It's hard to believe that it's actually been five whole years since the last time Black Country Communion put out a new album. However, now that they have kissed and made up they have been back in the studio recently writing and recording a brand new album. I'm definitely psyched about it. In the mean time, I'm gearing up for it by putting on one of my absolute favorite tracks of theirs from the last album they put out. Definitely worth your time. It has this really big, monstrous heavy feel to it while still having an unapologetic classic rock vibe.

3. Ain't No Grave, by Johnny Cash

I'll openly admit that I have never been all that much of a country person, but GOD DAMN. I have some SERIOUS respect for the man in black. Nobody makes simplistic, yet powerful and honest music like this any more. Not the way he did it. All the modern country artists are all about making the next big hit single. I appreciate people like Johnny Cash because even if country isn't my genre, at least his music was pure and real. It meant something and had raw human emotion in it.

4. Get Ya Some, by Sixx: AM

I've always been fond of this tune because it seamlessly blends modern hard rock with a more traditional pirate-like folk sound. I love it when artists are willing to be adventurous and try new stuff like this because when it goes right it is one of the most amazing things to me. Those are the songs that I will listen to over and over again because there isn't anything else out there (that I know of) that sounds like that. It makes me incredibly happy.

5.  Teaser (remixed), by Tommy Bolin

Tommy Bolin was an AMAZING guitar player who sadly died far too young due to drug overdose. To this very day he is still by far one of the most creative and talented musicians I have ever heard. A few years back his debut solo album Teaser was entirely remixed. You can definitely hear the difference in a positive way. Everything packs a lot more of a punch and some of the solos that got left out were put back in. You really get to hear just how much this guy could tear it up in a variety of styles ranging from rock to ballad to even flamenco. This track in particular is one of my favorite rock tracks of his.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Black Sabbath to Play Final Show Tomorrow Night

It's kind of hard to believe that this is actually happening and it's for real, but godfathers of heavy metal Black Sabbath will be playing their absolute final show tomorrow night at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, England - thus ending a nearly five decade career.
The farewell tour titled The End started well over a year ago with three out of four of the original members of the band (sadly drummer Bill Ward never worked things out with his former band mates and will not be joining for the final show either) embarking out on a journey to say goodbye to all of their legions of fans around the world. When interviewed by the BBC, singer Ozzy Osbourne explained his feelings on the occasion, saying:
“My emotions are flying all over the place. Since I’ve got to this building today, I’ve been happy, I’ve been tearful. Let’s see what happens.”
When asked about the early days of Black Sabbath in 1969, Osbourne said:

“I’ve got to say something, but I’ve nothing rehearsed. I’m no good at speeches. This’ll be good for a couple of years — drink a few beers and have a jam. But it was the beginning of the most incredible adventure you could think of. I’ve had the best life out of it. One of the proudest things I have in my heart is the fact that Black Sabbath wasn’t a band that was created by some big mogul. It was four guys who said let’s have a dream, and it came true beyond our wildest expectations.”
I'm a bit sad that Sabbath is bidding us adieu, but at the same time I'm glad for them. They are going out on a mostly high note (the absence of Ward is still kind of a noticeable and unfortunate circumstance). These guys definitely deserve to put their feet up and take it easy considering how much they have accomplished and how long they have been at it for. That said, from Young Ears, Fresh Perspective - thank you so much Black Sabbath. For everything. You did amazing things and made a huge difference.

Throwback Thursday: Sweet Freedom, by Uriah Heep

By 1973 Uriah Heep had really put themselves on the map with multiple grandiose albums, particularly The Magician's Birthday and Demons & Wizards. While up to this point they had been a mostly prog rock band they wanted to start to rope in some wider commercial appeal. Up till this point their lyrics were mostly fantasy themed and their song structures on the more creative side. Now though they wanted to make music that more people could follow. The result was Sweet Freedom.

Sweet Freedom takes a more conventional commercial rock approach to the sound of the music compared to the prog rock sound the band had before. The arrangements might not be as complex and things more on the bluesy side, but Uriah Heep still made it work with the kind of music they already liked to make. It still gets loud, ginormous, powerful, and packs one hell of a wallop, showing musical prowess here and there. Two of their best songs: Sweet Freedom and Stealin' came from that record, so it definitely isn't that much of a step backwards for them.

The title track Sweet Freedom is one of those tunes that builds layer upon layer in terms of instruments in the mix as well as the volume at which the band is playing. When everything builds to a peak and crashes into the meat and potatoes of the song it is one of the most satisfying feelings a classic rock fan could ever have. After that it has a nice transition from loud to soft and then back again. It creates an absolutely glorious sonic wall of sound.

Stealin' in my opinion is one of the greatest things to ever come out of the 1970's. That subtle bass/organ/vocal intro that then leads into this glorious moment that pounds you right in the face when the main part of the song kicks in out of almost nowhere is one of the coolest things a band has ever done. No build up, yet it still kicks in with the full band at the right moment. The vocal harmonies are also absolutely tasty and the guitar solo well placed and written. I think they were looking to write a show stealer when they wrote this and succeeded.

Overall Sweet Freedom isn't the best of all of Uriah Heep's work, but it's still definitely up there with the best of the band's classic albums. You can definitely tell they were trying to stay true to themselves as musicians while still trying to branch out and become more accessible to the general listener that might not really dig fantasy themed prog rock. It definitely seemed like it was a fine line to tread, but they seemed to manage to pull it off quite well. I would definitely recommend this record, though not as a way to start listening to Uriah Heep.

Sweet Freedom, by Uriah Heep receives 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Dreamer
2. Stealin'
3. One Day
4. Sweet Freedom
5. If I Had the Time
6. Seven Stars
7. Circus
8. Pilgrim

Buy the album on Amazon:


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Former AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd Changes His Tune on Axl Rose Fronting the Band

Last year when long time AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson was forced to retire due to the potential of losing his hearing entirely, the band was in desperate need of a replacement who could fill such big shoes and in a hurry too. Much to their good fortune, Guns N' Roses front man Axl Rose stepped up to the challenge and has so far won many people over, that is except ex-drummer Phil Rudd until recently.

Rudd, who was fired from AC/DC back in 2015 for his drug habit spinning out of control had voiced his disdain for Rose as a front man for the band and said he would not want to play with him if he were to be taken back in. However, in a recent interview with MusicRadar Rudd has changed his tune, saying:

"I watched some clips the other day of Axl singing with the boys. I was surprised – it wasn’t too bad. I thought he did quite well, and that’s not an easy gig, mate. AC/DC is a tough gig for everyone in the band.”

In regards to his own dismissal from AC/DC, Rudd admitted:

“I shot myself in the foot. You make your own bed, mate. You make your own mistakes and you have to deal with them, and that’s what I have done.”

I'm glad that Rudd has seen the error of his ways and has owned up to it all. He did some pretty messed up stuff while on drugs and it pretty much threw his life in the crapper. Rudd has managed to get clean (at least from the looks of things) and pick back up with his solo project, but I don't think he will be back in AC/DC any time soon if ever at all. Personally, as much as I love Axl fronting AC/DC I wish Angus Young would just call it a day with the band already considering he is the only original/iconic member of the band left.