Monday, October 29, 2012

Album Review: "Spell Eater" by Huntress

Do you know whom I love?

Iron Maiden and King Diamond.

For awhile, I thought that King Diamond was Iron Maiden every time I heard them because of the way the King and Bruce both sing. Huge and rangy. Couple that with twin guitars of death and throw in some scary, metal imagery and you're already 65% of the way to an awesome metal record.

Well, now let me get to the point of the matter. When is the last time you heard a metal band like that? For me, it was in 2008 when King Diamond released "Give Me Your Soul Please" and in 2010 when Iron Maiden released "The Final Frontier," but obviously neither of these two bands are new. Fast forward to to 2012 and a new band has arrived to pick up the mantle of whatever the hell kind of metal this is....Huntress.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Album Review: "The Afterman: Ascension" by Coheed and Cambria

Have you ever heard of an album and then really hoped you would be able to enjoy the music it contained within? This is what happened to me when I heard about "The Afterman: Ascension."

I had never heard of Coheed and Cambria and honestly if I had, I may have very well dismissed them on their name alone, but I read the article I received in my email about their new concept record: "The Afterman."

As someone who grew up wearing out Pink Floyd "The Wall," I was interested in the double album that was forthcoming from the band.

I even watched the trailer, though it didn't really contain any music to speak of. This may also be the first trailer I've ever watched for an album. Upon reading the article, I was disappointed to learn that the double album was a series of two single albums, but my interest was still piqued.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Classic Album Review: "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" by Pink Floyd

Momentary Lapse of Reason
We are now at the 25th year of this album's existence. I first received it as a Christmas gift in the early 90's or late 80's. I do not recall for sure. Then, like now, I was trying to expand my musical collection and this was one of the albums I was given. I had no idea at the time of the three phases of Pink Floyd. I only knew that my cousin loved Pink Floyd, my step-dad loved Pink Floyd, they used funny sounds on their albums, and that Pink Floyd The Wall was a creepy movie that moved me, but I didn't know how.

I originally had this album on cassette and I don't remember what happened to that cassette, but I did listen to that tape about a million times over and over. I recently purchased this album on CD finally. This time, I know that the career of Pink Floyd has spanned three major phases and that a lot of people do not particularly enjoy this album, but there is something about it that made me want to own it again, so I bought it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Album Review: "Monster" by Kiss

Who's your favorite band? Be honest. Mine is Kiss.

I have been listening to this band since I was about 7 years old. So, it's hard for me to look at this album objectively, but this is my subjective opinion on everything anyway right?

I do love all eras of the band at least to a point, but not to the point that they can do no wrong and everything they do is awesome.

I need to make a couple other quick points. Ace Frehley is my favorite guitar player and I have a real hard time seeing Tommy Thayer dressed up as Ace Frehley. It's not right. Now that I have those two things on the table, I can begin in earnest.

Monster is the second album by the world's highest paid Kiss Tribute band, Kiss. When I first heard Sonic Boom, I was unimpressed, but as time wore on, I grew to enjoy the album more and more and I accepted the fact that even with their new lineup, Paul could still write some good tunes. The Gene tracks on that album were just terrible and Tommy's song was about lightning and Eric's song was ok, even if the lyrics didn't make a whole lot sense.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Album Review: "The Whippoorwill" by Blackberry Smoke

My wife and I were driving, and she told me about some southern rock band she'd heard about on NPR's "All Songs Considered" and that our daughter was rocking along like it was the be all end all of music. So, as I'm trying to make her a music aficianado, I bought her this CD, but I've kept it in my car for the most part.

The band refers to themselves as an apolitical southern rock band, but I don't really recall much politics out of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I know they worked for George McGovern's 1972 campaign and they made reference to the Watergate Scandal, but that's about all I can recall. As for the modern Skynyrd, well, honestly I don't pay that much attention to them, so they could be saying all sorts of things.

Well, on to Blackberry Smoke's record. This album opens up with a lively rocker called "Six Ways Till Sunday," and it doesn't take much imagination to guess what he's talking about, even before hearing the song.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Concert Review: Marilyn Manson Verizon Wireless Ampitheater 10/05/12

I have been a fan of Marilyn Manson for a very long time. I saw, then, them at Mississippi Nights on the Smells Like Children Tour in 1995, at least I think it was 1995. Well, in the seventeen long years since that show, the them has morphed into a him. At that point, there were two replacement members in the band already, Twiggy Ramirez and Ginger Fish.

Now there are no original members in the band, and only Marilyn and Twiggy have the band's iconic Serial Killer and Sex Symbol names, but Mr. Manson is still making music, and apparently still touring. As I had the opportunity to see his show at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater, I definitely made sure I was there.

Now, let me say, this was a Twins of Evil Tour date with Rob Zombie, but I did not stay for the Zombie set. This was the only time I have ever been cold in St. Louis's premier outdoor concert venue. About a year before this show, I saw mc chris in Columbia, MO and it was a hundred degrees that day. This year, it was about 38 and hailing. While we were finishing our very healthy meal before heading into the show, pea sized chunks of hail started pelting my windshield in the middle of a frigid torrential downpour.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Classic Album Review: "Hooker'n'Heat" by John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat

It was recommended to me that I purchase this album. I send a youtube link from James Leg and I was told that I needed to purchase this record. So I did.

This double album is the combined efforts of John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat. Based on the laid back timbre of the songs and talking between tracks. I'd wager this was recorded over the course of a weekend with basically no rehearsal. John makes mention of how no matter what he does, he can't lose that guy.

I'm not really much of a fan of the blues, but that's changing. What I do find myself enjoying these days though are collaboration albums. Painkillers by James Leg and Left Lane Cruiser, Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed, etc. I also really enjoy double albums. I think that if a band has the material, they should put it all out. On this record, they surely did. I would wager that they just all got into the studio and sat down in the big room and just waited for the red light to come on.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Album Review: "The Strange Case Of..." by Halestorm

The Strange Case Of...
Do you remember records? What about tapes? If there was ever a case for an album to be released on either of those formats it's this one, but I'll get to that in a little bit. I don't want to get ahead of myself too much.

This is the sophomore effort by Halestorm. This band piqued my interest because there is a female in the band, Lzzy Hale. I hope there will come a point where this no longer piques my interest, but until such point, homogeneity is the enemy of all art forms. Unlike a few other female metal vocalists, Lzzy does more than just scream. She is also credited with guitars and keyboard on this album.

This is another of my many recommendations by As many know, that is where I purchase the vast majority of my music. I checked out a couple previews of this album and and on the wishlist it went.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Album Review: "Greetings From Welp City" by the Hooten Hallers

Welcome to Welp City. You may remember my concert review of the Hooten Hallers show. That was the second time I had seen them live and the show was just phenomenal. When I saw them the first time at El Lenador, I was floored and I really wanted to pick up their CD, but sadly, I only had so much money and I purchased "Painkillers" that night instead.

The next day I began seeking out information if I could acquire their physical CD, but alas the only want to get it was at their shows. There are several ways you can purchase the entire album on MP3 though, but that's just not my scene. I need to have a physical CD. Part of that is being old fashioned, part of that is I can't really hook up an MP3 player in my car, and part of it is wanting a physical backup to all of my music. When they were in town last, it was a release party of their 7" vinyl, of which I'm also not a fan, but I was holding out hopes that I would be able to snag one of their discs. I was able to snag what was apparently the only CD they had brought with them. In fact it still has the LAST ONE written on masking tape on the front of it.