Monday, December 30, 2013

"The Wrong Side of Heaven And The Righteous Side of Hell" by Five Finger Death Punch

As has been detailed a great many times on this silly blog of mine, there's been a long time disconnect with new music. Sadly metal has taken the brunt of my choice to pull back. Far too many of the bands have stupid names or they didn't look metal.

Real metal bands have name like Dying Fetus! They also have long hair without dreadlocks.

Well, Five Finger Death Punch doesn't dress metal. They don't have a metal look. The singer looks like the dad from That 70's Show and the drummer looks like he aged out of The Outsiders. (Just thinking out loud, is that Chutulu trying to kill the bass player?) So this divergence from what is traditionally considered metal would make the music crap right? Well, it was certainly high time to find out. No idea what the deal with Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 of this record is. It surely doesn't seem like this is an overarching concept album that takes two volumes to someone fill me in here....

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Surgical Steel" by Carcass

Brutal mode: Engaged.Carcass has returned from the hell where they condemned themselves and I could not be happier.

Recently on Facebook, it was discussed how your friend and humble narrator got into death metal. During a Spanish II assignment in High School, my partner was a big death metal fan and he turned me onto it. Napalm Death, Carcass, Entombed, Obituary, etc.

Seeing the mighty Carcass return, brings warm feelings to my heart. Even if it's only really half of them. The original drummer, Ken Owen, had some pretty severe medical issues and could not participate in the reunion tours much less this new record. The classic Heartwork Lineup guitarist, Michael Arnott, later was a major part of Arch Enemy and did participate in the tours, but could not commit to the record and he went back to his main band taking drummer, Daniel Erlandsson with him.

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Temper Temper" by Bullet For My Valentine

These days the most music that is coming into my life is of the extreme metal variety. Reading Louder Than Hell will certainly do that though.

It's still absolutely ridiculous to separate all of the subgenres of metal though, but who are these guys? Everybody has at least heard their name.

This band is from Wales. Really? Who knew any metal came out of Wales? Though Wales's Henry's Funeral Shoe are also quite good, but not remotely metal. I suppose Wales is pretty brutal? Though Cardiff City FC can suck it.

"Temper Temper" is the fourth album released by these very angry Welshmen, but the name is still confusing. In this day and age, the metal fan has to accept that the vast majority of metal names have been taken and now the names are either not metal, or kind of out there and very long..... Well, this is my first go around with this band and let's see what there is to see.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kiss Gets Into The Hall of Fame, a Commentary

I learned today that Kiss has made the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame! You may recall that Kiss is my favorite band. Quickly I'm running out of reasons to be offended by the Museum in Cleveland.

I've long been a fan of Kiss. I remember having a copy of Killers on import cassette (no idea why) at age 8. I remember seeing them take their makeup off and seeing "Lick It Up" for the first time.

I have purchased every one of their albums, most of them twice at least. I have Kissology 1, 2, and 3 on my shelf and I'm angry that 4 hasn't arrived yet. I have KISStory signed by the four original members. I dressed in Kiss make up for a show my band did. I have seen at least five Kiss tribute bands. I went to see Kiss in Ace's make up. Simply put, I'm a big, big fan of this band.

Now comes the awkward part...there have been about seventy five people in and out of Kiss, both officially and unofficially. Which of them should be inducted? I'm going to give you a run down on all of the replacement members starting with Mr. Eric Carr.

Monday, December 16, 2013

"Deceiver of the Gods" by Amon Amarth

Looking at this album cover it really does have everything. The  name of the band is strange. (NOTE: Upon a google search, this band named themselves after the Sindarin name of Mt. Doom. Nerds. 2nd Note: I was defeated in Lord of the Rings trivial pursuit, again.) The font is unusual. The heavens have parted and a man with giant horns is taking on a god in battle.

Seriously, this is Iron Maiden level cover art here.

Though this was my first experience hearing this band, they are a long time veteran band who bills themselves as a "melodic death metal" band. They hail from Tumba, Sweden. We all remember Nathan Explosion's Iowa and Scandanavia comparison right? OK good. Well, with their having recently played in town supported by a couple acts I enjoy, checking them out seem the only logical thing to do.

Monday, December 9, 2013

"True North" by Bad Religion

Punk Rock? Well, it has never really been pleasing to me. Recently an explanation was given to me by a friend: Punk rock isn't exactly music, but it's almost an art form unto itself. What?

As someone who's always fancied himself a bit of a musician that has always admired virtuoso players, it is nearly impossible to swallow this concept. That's not the only issue. Beyond the lack of musicianship, and often musicality, there is a very serious lack of originality in the genre, at least in the group that gets famous outside of their punk rock peers. Seriously, how many guys with rooster mohawks have you seen doing Sid Vicious's trademark sneer? It has to be at least a dozen off the top of your head.

So Bad Religion? I didn't know they were still a going concern, but I do recall an interview I read in Guitar World that they did nearly twenty years ago. Crazy isn't it? It is now time to delve into their latest release "True North."

Monday, December 2, 2013

Device's Self Titled Debut

Have you ever seen a video posted on facebook and your first thought is "Woah, this is so good! When is the album coming out?" This is what happened to me when the video for Device's cover of "Close My Eyes Forever" started making the rounds. Lzzy Hale plays Lita on that track and it is awesome.

Now comes the point where your friend and humble narrator has to admit to something. He had no clue that this was a side project of David Draiman. Who even knew that Disturbed was still a thing as late as 2011?

David wanted to do something more industrial, but still metal like NIN (?? His words, not mine) and Ministry and this is the end result.

There is an amazing cast of characters guesting on the record: Serj, Tom Morello, the aforementioned Lzzy Hale, Geezer Butler, M. Shadows, and the incomparable Glenn Hughes.) It's a veritable who's who of heavy music from the old, the new, and the middle school!

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Old Sock" by Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton is a musical legend, but he's not a legend that's been long held in high regard by this guy right here. For some reason I felt drawn to listen to this album. Many people, while respecting Mr. Clapton's contribution to the world of music over the past five decades, seem to think that the old man has lost his way and no longer has any music to express.

Personally speaking, his solo material, though the most voluminous, is the least interesting to me. Per this man's opinion, Clapton works best when he's the guitarist who's working with other musicians that bruise his ego which forces him to let loose the staggering player he keeps hidden, but let's move on to his latest, "Old Sock." The cover struck me upon first sight. It's frankly a bit horrible. The old man and his greying beard along with a terrible, terrible vacation hat.

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Seesaw" by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa

Here is the latest review of Joe Bonamassa's  work that has been covered here. (About three other albums have been missed in the interim as this man never, ever stops working for more than about 47 seconds at a time. He's like the James Franco of the music industry.) This would be the "sophomore" effort with this on again off again collaborator, Beth Hart.

Their first album left me, I don't want to say cold, but wanting. It was a bit hard to divine precisely what they were doing and why they were doing it together. Perhaps my listening was not as thorough as it could have been, but this review is now about "Don't Explain."

As silly as this is to say, Joe Bonamassa is one of my favorite modern guitar heroes. Yes, he's been around for about a dozen years now and has released more music in that time than anyone, save Buckethead, but that guy doesn't count in any normal way, and we've lost the plot.

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Welcome To Oblivion" by How To Destroy Angels

Sometimes it is time to take a chance. Picking out music recently and this showed up. "Welcome To Oblivion" by How To Destroy Angels.

Destroying Angels?! How inanely brutal must this record be? Even Morbid Angel and Slayer didn't talk about killing angels...maybe Cannibal Corpse.

It actually turns out that this album is not very brutal. In fact it's not even remotely brutal. It's not heavy and it's electronic music. Well, being a good sport, it was still given a go.

It would turn out that this is a side project of Trent Reznor's. Well, as NIN has always been like nails on a chalkboard to me, how bad could this be right?

Monday, November 4, 2013

"Ready To Die" by Iggy and the Stooges

This is basically my first listen to Iggy and the Stooges. Of course over the years the pop tunes by Iggy Pop have clogged my earways over the airwaves, and they were never very good at all.

It's very easy to forget that the man who gave us "Lust For Life" was once one of the scariest musicians in America. One look at his chest and the scars are evident, as they're real and self-inflicted on stage.

Nowadays, I'd think that most people under the age of thirty would think of Iggy like Riley did Ice Cube in the first Gangstalicious episode of the Boondocks ("That dude who does family movies? He was a gangsta rapper?").

One more pop-culture reference, Iggy Pop is a musical legend, but if I'd met him 2 weeks ago, I'd have to divert from that fact. Our meeting would be very much like Mitch Hedberg meeting Peter Frampton. Iggy Pop, do you like toast too?

Monday, October 28, 2013

"One Of Us Is The Killer" by The Dillinger Escape Plan

The Dillinger Escape Plan is a band that's been getting good press in the guitar magazines lately. During my subscription they have been the subject of at least three articles. Considering the amount of guitar work and guitar albums out there, that is certainly high praise indeed.

In the first article Guitar World described this band as "math metal," whatever that is. The guitar player was also posing holding a graphing calculator. Whatever all this meant, it sounded cool to this guy. There's never been any question about my nerdiness. The Geek Flag flies freely.

In the latest write up, the were compared to Animals As Leaders and Periphery as leaders of prog, not just prog metal, but modern prog. It was impossible to hear about this band and walk away without a desire to hear what their music was like.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Let It Be" by The Replacements

The Replacements are a legendary band about which I know nothing. Recently a friend of mine mentioned that one of his guitars gets a good Paul Westerberg tone. I then thought really hard, lest I tell my friend I have no idea who this man is, and then I remembered reading an interview with Paul Westerberg in Guitar World when he was recording a solo record. It also seemed to me like Paul was an arrogant person with LSD (Lead Singer's Disease).

I've lost the plot already. Well, my five year mission is to explore strange new bands, but sometimes return to earth to fill up too. So, here we're looking at something that probably everybody in the world has heard but me.

I understand now that when I said 7 years ago I'd heard all the bands that needed to be heard, that my local radio stations were greatly remiss in introducing me to everybody who deserved an introduction. It's like when I found the book "Lies My History Teacher Told Me," except far less serious.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Maiden England '88" by Iron Maiden


This summer they finally came back to St. Louis. Being an old man now, I went with my friend and his son, who's nearly as old as I was the last time I saw Maiden and older than I was the first time! This is relevant because Iron Maiden was recreating this 1988-89 Tour and played a nearly identical set list. There were a handful of songs that were different between the 2013 and 1998 versions.

Well, why are we looking at a 25 year old Iron Maiden live album? Because this is the 2013 re-release with extra tracks and presumably the reason why the Irons thought it would be a good idea to get back on the road and play all these songs again.  The show was spectacular in case you're wondering. Megadeth opened and played a great set and Dave didn't talk about any of the things that have made us all collectively groan....

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies" by Volbeat

What the hell is Volbeat? Seriously, is there anybody who can tell me what the world Volbeat is trying to do here? It would be easy to say they're just trying to be awesome.

And they're succeeding at that quite handily.

About two years ago, their preceding album, "Above Heaven/Beyond Hell" made its way to me and the singer really seemed like something very special. No growls, no shrieks, just some sort of singing over metal. It gave me pangs of Dragonforce, but lacking the over the top shred and certainly lacking the Steve Perry-like vocals.

This was a band that aroused my interest in them and was bound and determined to finally understand what the hell it is they're doing. This the fourth album of theirs I have gotten and I honestly still do not get what they're going for, but at least they're still awesome.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Walk Through Exits Only" by Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals

There is nothing more in this world than Phil Anselmo loves than starting new bands, right? (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritutal, and then his litany of side projects.)

Today we're looking at Phil's latest musical brainchild: a solo album. (Shouldn't that be your first step when you have music to get out and your 800 bands just won't let you get it out?) I kid, I kid and Phil's a strong, crazy fella who could really hurt

Interestingly enough, Phil did not create a lineup with household name, metal lifers. At this point, Phil's got enough pull to pretty much line up any metal guys he wants.Honestly, I don't know who any of the other players are: Marzi Montazeri on guitar, Bennett Bartley on bass, and Joe Gonzalez on drums.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"Specter At The Feast" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

This album kind of arrived to me as a surprise really. While browsing, I saw this vintage looking cover and I took a look at it. The cover art is cool and their name is cool. Frankly, having both of these things does make me interested in your band. Cool cover art and band names that aren't horribly stupid seem to be a thing of the past honestly.

In this day and age, most of us can check the googles for any information in an instant. So, a quick google search of this band showed they have been at the music game for quite some time. They were described as a Lo-Fi indie rock band. OK, this is something that might be enjoyable to me, so I left with it.

It really appears to me that the term Lo-Fi has been co-opted like my can of Coke in the office fridge. To me, Lo-Fi has meant the opposite of Hi-Fi, i.e. less than clear sounding. I can't really tell you what it's supposed to mean now, but it certainly means something else.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Album Review: "Super Session" by Bloomfield, Kooper, and Stills

Super Session
This is a first look at a classic album for me. As has been mentioned in other posts, I play a Gibson Les Paul, poorly. I've also joined a Les Paul community online and from that community many new artists have made their ways into my library.

One of the guys whose name is bandied about frequently is Mike Bloomfield. Well, he has not been played on my local classic radio stations in St. Louis, so his music never made it to my ears.

It was suggested to me that I purchase this album. Well, honestly, I'm still not terribly familiar with whom Al Kooper is, but I think everybody knows who Stephen Stills is. Recently Stephen Stills was profiled in Guitar World for his boxed set and that has also piqued my interest.

Monday, September 30, 2013

"Now Honey, Now Baby, Now Listen..." by White Trash Blues Revival

Remember when you were just a little one and you built musical instruments because, hell, you were only eight and it was fun. Personally, I built some "drums" out of two pieces of plywood and used a pair of swizzle sticks  (remember those?) as drum sticks. They worked great because they had little balls on the end of one side...JUST LIKE REAL DRUM STICKS!

Well, imagine if you were a professional musician and at a bar you frequent/play frequently that they were having a best of the worst bands contest. Would you ever conceive of calling your buddies and asking them to create something horrific as a joke. Like the drummer not even playing drums, but an empty beer kg, a bucket, and a cardboard box instead? Or the guitarist not even using a cigar box guitar, but a skateboard with pickups? Well that's what Sausage Paw of Left Lane Cruiser did. It worked so well that after a 20 minute set, they were booked for real and a band was born.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Lickety Split"by Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Now this is some exciting stuff to me. Do you recall The Slide Brothers review from a couple months back? This would be the man that could be qualified as their mentor. Robert Randolph was the first person to bring the sacred steel guitar outside of the churches and into the public view, but his music is very different than that of the Slide Brothers.

This could quickly turn into five hundred words comparing and contrasting these two albums and it very well shouldn't be, so the last comparison will be whereas The Slide Brothers play bluesy hymns, Robert Randolph and the Family Band play wide open blues influenced rock.

Instead of Robert's slide guitar being the primary instrument, it's one of many instruments, though featured and this album features a great many guitar solos, both by Robert and Brett.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Album Review: "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" by Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie is now an elder statesman of metal. He can only be about four to five years away from Alice Cooper like acceptance amongst the elders of America.

It's still a bit difficult to think that twenty three long years have passed since this man's  music first came into my life, White Zombie's "La Sexorcisto." After that album though, they swung in a decidedly techno direction with "Astro Creep" and then moving even further to the darkside with the remixed version of the same album. It was hard to not be offended if you were a young metal head.

Rob then went solo and put out "Hellbilly Deluxe" which was even more of a techno album than the last two White Zombie releases. At this point, Mr. Zombie was dead to me, but here we are about fifteen years into his solo career with the latest record. I was drawn to this album because of Mr. John 5.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" by Alice In Chains

Remember Alice In Chains? The last time that this band had any relevance to me was when Jerry Cantrell opened up for Metallica on the Re-Load Tour.

Before that it was when Alice In Chains opened up for Kiss on the reunion tour. Honestly, neither of these performances made a believer out of me. Having seen both of these acts does give me a bit of insight on the artist of the day here, Jerry Cantrell.

Sure Alice In Chains is a band and not Jerry's solo band, right? Well, not so even listed Alice In Chains as to why it very well might be.

In the end, Layne Staley may have been the face of Alice In Chains, but he was not really the voice of the band because he just said what Jerry told him to say, at least in the songs where Jerry wasn't singing. It's easy to forget just how much of this band really is Jerry Cantrell. Some of their biggest hits were either sung all or in part by Jerry.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Album Review: "II" by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

This album has a really cool cover. It caught my eye and then a google search was done to find out something about this record. Google came back with it being an indie lo-fi album.

The moment when I became a fan of lo-fi rock is very clear to me. I saw the Black Diamond Heavies at the Schlafly Tap Room opening for Exene Cervanka and The Original Sinners. Since then the audio quality of my music library has taken a hit, but often times for the better.

A good lo-fi record, that has well written and crafted songs, can wonderfully encapsulate and "recreate" the vibe of early rock'n'roll when dirty guitars weren't created by stepping on your distortion pedals, but by diming the knobs on the amp because volume was more important than clarity because even though they were playing professional gigs, the musicians couldn't afford amps big enough for the place. Ah, early rock'n'roll and blues and it's amazing how a Lo-Fi record can capture that spirit!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Topanga" by Atheist

I've said it before, but the coolest thing about this hobby of mine is when an artist emails me and says that they'd like me to hear their music. So, once again I'm taking a look at some music I'd never heard of but received via email and that's totally cool.

The artist is question is Atheist and his album is "Topanga." Yes, he has an affinity for Boy Meets World. I was never a fan of that show because Fred was the best Savage.

This album touches on such pertinent topics like Topanga, The Warriors, James Franco's Ph.D's, hipsters, organic weed, and Drake "freestyling" with the aid of a BlackBerry. (Off topic: Am I the only one who sees Drake and wonders how Jimmy Brooks got out of the wheelchair? Degrassi Jr High rules.)

This album could best be described as old school hip hop done by a new school rapper. Keep reading to find out what the hell that means.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Album Review: "You Can't Fall Off The Floor" by What Made Milwaukee Famous

From time to time, we all hear about bands without really knowing why that's happened. It would be the most appropriate for this to be said about the Austin, Texas outfit, What Made Milwaukee Famous, by me. It should be highlighted that this group is not in fact from Milwaukee, nor did they make Milwaukee famous. Their name was taking from the Jerry Lee Lewis song, "What's Made Milwaukee Famous Has Made A Loser Out of Me."

In most normal cases, these group would not get much of a second look from the likes of me, but upon watching their video on Youtube, it felt like there was something there that was really worthy of a second look. It very well could have been the quite well done music video. It could have been the catchy hooks and vocals. All in all it was probably the fact that this group can write a damned fine song. This was the group that caused me to stop buying CDs only. This album is not available in a physical form, but on iTunes, Amazon, etc as MP3 only.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Album Review: "Surrealistic Pillow" by Jefferson Airplane

Looking backwards in time and thinking of Patricia Kennealy's book. In that book, though she famously loved the Doors and Jim Morrison, she referred to Jefferson Airplane as her favorite band.

How is it that their music has never graced my stereo?

Well, that's about to change. I won't even go into that time I saw Starship live whilst working for Kiel Center. It's frankly just too painful and frankly, there's not much I could even recount about it now as that show as in 1995....

The Airplane, as we all know, is a psychedelic band from the late 60's that featured the inimitable, Grace Slick. It is equally pleasing and infuriating to me that Grace Slick has stuck to her guns about not performing after she had reached an advanced age, by rocker standards anyway.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Album Review: "Man In Motion" by Warren Haynes

Another foray into the blues has to be made. Warren Haynes certainly fits that bill, so you're welcome?

His is a name that is bandied about by people who are not me along with his other band, Gov't Mule. Before getting this record though, you would have never heard me mention him before and had you mentioned him to me, I'd probably have dismissed it out of hand, because I was stupid.

Knowing that guitarists tend to enjoy Mr. Haynes's  music, there was some excitement in the offing for me. Though I really do love shredders, it's also very nice to hear some down home emotive leads, and Mr. Haynes has that in spades.

About 30 years ago, this would have been called a rhythm and blues record, but nowadays it's just electric blues. Warren is accompanied by what could be described as a multitude of musicians for this album.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Album Review: "Heaven In This Hell" by Orianthi

Recently, sitting in the seats of the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO this blogger was waiting for Alice Cooper to begin his set on his latest tour stop in my "hometown." (St. Charles is 30 miles west of the City Proper where my family and I live.)

When the lights went down, the sparks and fire abated, and out walked the band onto the stage. There were three guitarists on stage, but one of them stood out to me. A white PRS guitar was being carried by him and he was wearing a long black jacket, a fedora, and long blond locks. Looking a bit closer it was noticed that he was also wearing stiletto healed boots and he had become she. My mind raced quickly and sadly the cell service was only 3G in the seating bowl, so my mind raced faster than my iPhone searching. but my initial reaction had turned out to be correct. Orianthi was standing on the stage with Alice Cooper as she's been a part of his live band for a few years now.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Album Review: "Unstoppable Momentum" by Joe Satriani

It's certainly been a long time since Satch has graced these ears. Everyone has heard "Summer Song" off of The Extremist. Certainly Sony helped out Satriani in that endeavor...

However, it has been far longer since the wider world has heard anything else from this fretboard master and there is absolutely zero hesitation in calling this man a master or any other superlative that can be thought of. This man not only has a strong catalog of his own music, but he was the guitar teacher of other guitar heroes, such as Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett. The world of guitar owes a large debt of gratitude to Mr. Satriani for his contributions, not only to his own music, but to the music of his now famous students as well. It's interesting to note that Vai took lessons from Satch when they were both children, but Hammett took lessons from Joe after the recording of "Kill 'Em All" to improve his technique, and the difference was striking.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Album Review: "Electric Warrior" by T. Rex

Even though part of this journey is to find current bands to listen to, there will always be a tendency to look back into the past. I'm shamed to admit that not only is this band absent from the library but completely unknown to my consciousness.

Upon a close listen to this record, the song "Bang A Gong" stood out to me as something that's made its way around and into my ears, but it's still shocking to me how this band was an unknown to me. This is another gross failure by St. Louis's Classic Rock Radio. KSHE and the U-Man, I'm looking at both of you, and don't even mention KSHE Classics if you play them there.

That got a little angry there didn't it? Let's try to find the plot again shall we? This album just drips 70's rock guitar tone. The guitar sound that defined the 70's, ike a whetted sharpening stone being put to use, has its muddy paws all over the songs.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Album Review: "Black Sea" by XTC

My knowledge of New Wave is pretty sketchy. Even when it was popular in my preadolescence I was into metal. Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, Kiss, etc. XTC never caught my attention. However, it does appear that this was certainly my loss.

From the word go this album pops off in all directions. Black Sea is a very good title for this record. Whilst sitting with it coming through the headphones it feels like you're the captain of an 1800's sailing vessel as it paws its way over stormy seas and you're hearing what the men are doing down below. It's a truly pleasing experience.

They have been labeled power pop, but this album is pure new wave. It's the perfect marriage of synthesizers and instruments. It would be hard to really nail down what this group is doing in terms of a genre. From dirty rock riffs, to ska choruses, to new wave synth, it really feels like they leave no stone unturned.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Album Review: "Koloss" by Meshuggah

Once again, it's about to get very, very brutal. Meshuggah is a band that has been around for what seems to be a very long time. Honestly, they have never crossed my path other than to have heard their name and that they exist.

Last year they were profiled in Guitar World as they were beginning their tour for their latest album, "Koloss." At this particular show, they had taken delivery of their latest 8 String Guitars from Ibanez and they were rather excited.

As a music fan, guitar music is what this blogger finds to be the most enjoyable. A deftly played riff, a screaming solo, an instrumental lead that makes the listener tear up, and more.  This is my favorite thing in music. So, hearing about their playing 8 string guitars...yes interest was piqued.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Album Review: "Silver Age" by Bob Mould

It's time for me to try something very much out of my comfort zone. For many years, the names Bob Mould and Husker Du have been well known to me. That's not to say that these names ever found their way into my music library. It is far more appropriate to say that they were avoided like the plague.

But here we are and it's 2013 and there are only so many classic rock acts and there are only so many metal bands that are worth a damn and so on and so forth. This blog is part of a continuing mission to document the music I acquire, listen to, etc and it serves as a reminder of the dark days when I switched to MP3s and I heard Kiss, Metallica, and Megadeth 60% of the time. Bob Mould (and Husker Du) is someone that a great many people in this world hear something that I simply do not hear. So it's time to listen to his most recent solo effort and see what's there.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Album Review: "Blues For Jimi" by Gary Moore

There are still a great many artists out there that I am trying hear what the others hear. Gary Moore fits into this list. Seeing his name bandied about on guitar forums and on the head stocks of signature model Les Pauls caught my attention.

Turns out he was a solo artist and a member of Thin Lizzy for a time. These things took me completely unaware. He is also mentioned frequently in interviews I've read in Guitar World. If he sets so many other guitarists, including high level pros, then this is someone who should stop being unknown to me. 

He's also another in the legion of white guitarists who love the blues and obviously he's rather adept at it. The more and more I hear, the more and more I realize that I need to give this man a full listening. "Blues For Jimi" is something that Amazon has recommended to me over and over, so maybe there is something to this. It was recorded in 2007 at a special tribute to Jimi Hendrix, obviously.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Album Review: "Hush Hush" by Kentucky Knife Fight

This band came to me by complete accident. There was a chance meeting and I met one of the members. Until this meeting, this group was completely unknown to me. But here we are with the album and checking it out. It's always nice that music is everywhere and you never really know where you're going to find it.

Admittedly, the St. Louis Music Scene isn't indelibly inked into my brain like it once was. Right now if you asked me to name five local bands, at least 4 of them would no longer be a going concern. Although the heyday of the middle nineties in St. Louis has not left me. Many a night I spent down on Laclede's Landing. Mississippi Nights, Kennedy's, and Bernard's Pub were my hangouts, but we've quickly gotten off track.

So, as it is, the St. Louis Scene is currently something of a mystery to me, but I am trying to wade back into the waters and find more and more new stuff and here we have the latest release by St. Louis's own, Kentucky Knife Fight.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Album Review: "Infestissumam" by Ghost B.C.

We have another metal record today. In the past on this blog, it was mentioned by me that metal is back in a very big way to me and that no one is happier about that. Doom metal, stoner metal, groove metal, etc is something that is very accessible and it might actually become something that's more than just a niche genre.

These bands are far more Black Sabbath than they are Metallica or Slayer. It still seems so strange to me that Black Sabbath, the first heavy metal band, seems to have had far less musical influence on the next generation than Judas Priest and their other contemporaries, but I do go on.

Ghost B.C., or simply Ghost (there was a lawsuit), is a metal band from the far away land of brutality and hockey players, Sweden. To call them a theatrical metal band is an understatement. The names and faces of the members remain unknown. Only the singer has a designation more significant than "a nameless ghoul," as the rest are called. If you believe everything you see, Ghost is on their second singer, Papa Emeritus II, but no one but them knows the truth of the situation.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Album Review: "Living The Blues" by Canned Heat

Some time back, I did a review on Hooker'n'Heat by John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat. Since then my love of the blues has really become a thing. In the time between then and now, I have gotten a bit more by John Lee Hooker and now it's time to turn my attention towards the other half of that album, Canned Heat.

The first Canned Heat record that I'm going to look at is their 1968 Double Album, "Living The Blues." In the current day and age where an album can be anywhere from 30 to 80 minutes on a single disc, if even on a disc at all, it can be easy to forget that there was a time when albums were limited to a mere 45 minutes and that when a band released more material than that, the records had to come with two discs. Mostly double album sets have been the purview of live albums, but there are few things cooler in this world than a properly done double record. Thankfully, this one does not disappoint.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Album Review: "Likewise" by SixStringNoise

One of my favorite parts of this blog is that musicians seek me out and ask me to listen to their stuff and tell the world what I think.

In this case, a a Greek band called SixStringNoise. They started as a he, Markos 6SN wrote and recorded a debut in 2010, and now they are a they and have released their debut record: "Likewise." This album intrigued me greatly. In the email I received there was a list of American and Canadian hard rock bands as influences, many of whom I enjoy.  I cannot say I've ever heard any Greek Music aside from the bouzouki players at the annual Greek Festival around Labor day in my home town of St. Louis.

I suppose at this point, rock music has gone global. After all, how much of American music wasn't stolen from English musicians who stole it from American blues players?

Not much!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Album Review: "Wretched and Divine" by the Black Veil Brides

The Black Veil Brides (all men like Twisted Sister) have recently released the first part of a very ambitious project. This concept album will also be birthing a feature length film and a tour in support.

The Black Veil Brides' music has been all but unknown to me, though their name was not. Upon seeing photos of them in a recent Guitar World article, it was hard to even think about taking them seriously. They were dressed like Motley Crue circa 1984 and wore eye makeup like Alice Cooper.

This is not a good look and it's not one to get me interested in what you're doing as, frankly, it's too derivative. What caught my attention was their passion for what they are doing. They have taken a lot of grief for their stage personas, but Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue  has reached out to them (shocker right?) to tell them to keep on keeping on and it appears to be working.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Album Review: Coheed and Cambria "The Afterman: Descension"

This is an album long awaited by me. Seeing a trailer of the Afterman records was enough for Coheed and Cambria to become a part of my musical library.

At the time, it was disappointing that their double concept album would be released in two parts, and honestly, that is still disappointing. Between the releases of the Afterman, I've also picked up another of their records which clocks in at about the same length as their acclaimed, Apollo album.
I still find that Coheed and Cambria are a bit confusing. Very talented, but seemingly repetitive in terms of tone and vocals, it feels that they have finally broken out of their mold a bit with the Afterman set. Frontman, Claudio Sanchez, still tends to sing in his standard, but larger than life, register for much of this disc, but not for all of it. Though for the life of me, can someone explain to me what they are trying to musically?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Album Review: "Drenched In Victorious Blood" by Aetherium Mors

Drenched In Victorious Blood
Brutal mode: Engaged.

Once again it's time to look at an artist submission to Glacially Musical. Checking my email after returning from the hiatus and I have a few bands that would like me to check out their stuff.

First up is Aetherium Mors based out of London. (Gunners fans, am I right?) You have now been warned: The lyrical content of this band is inflammatory. If you are offended by evil lyrics, you will not enjoy this band or this album.

This album was actually released on my 37th Birthday. (I'm not old! I'm 37.) I must apologize to the guys for it taking me so long to get to this review.

They were cool enough to send me the record and now I'm going to check it out for them and for you.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Album Review: People, Hell and Angels

Once more, Experience Hendrix has put together another posthumous album. Their first attempt, First Rays, was their attempt to piece together Jimi's follow up to "Electric Ladyland." The successors to that album have been unreleased material, outtakes, and unfinished songs and "People, Hell and Angels" is no different there. What makes this album different from it's predecessor is the people that are accompanying Jimi on the record.

Like Neptune, there is no single line up of the Jimi Hendrix Experience here, but unlike Neptune, there are far more lineups, and some noteworthy guests. The Cherry People, the Ghetto Fighters, Lonnie Youngblood, and even Stephen Stills are on this album that is presupposed as the direction Jimi was going to take after finishing the tour he was on when he died. This is not an album, but a collection of songs that Jimi recorded over various sessions over the years.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Album Review: "Robert Randolph Presents the Slide Brothers" by The Slide Brothers

When one is on a musical journey there will always be twists and turns. Sometimes and the idea of an album will take the listener out of their comfort level. In this case, The Slide Brothers are presented. These four gentlemen grew up playing sacred steel guitar in their churches.

This is where comfort zones are tested. They have decided to break with tradition and bring this music to the masses. Popular music is so very rarely equated with religion. Obviously there was Creed and for us older folks, Jars of Clay. As a child of the 80's, it's hard for me to forget the attacks music took.

Even though the inspiration is quite different than the bands that took the attacks, there could be a little blow back, but there is no need to delve too deeply into that here. This album is a very esoteric collection of music.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Album Review: "Live At The Regal" by B.B. King

Live At The Regal
Many times in my life someone has said how much they love the blues or something like that. Honestly, even just hearing "the blues" has always sounded a bit strange to my ears.

Most of my heroes talk about old bluesmen. As stated, many of my friends and family love the blues. My guitar teacher talks about 12 bar blues all the time. (Now I do too.) So now, it's time to really begin looking into this music.

So, after looking into, mostly modern blues and quite a bit of later stuff in the past few weeks, let's turn to an elder statesman of the blues, B.B. King, and see if he has anything to offer. (Tongue planted firmly in cheek)

This album is an exercise in the 12 bar blues. From the first to the last track, B.B. sings his tales of woe and shows how he has made quite a career basing his songs off of just three chords in a very simple progression.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Album Review: "Hot Cakes" by The Darkness

Here is the first album by the newly reformed The Darkness in about 7 years. Apparently, they had broken up for about five years and decided to give this another go. Based on this particular record, I think we should all be quite glad that they did!

Recently, while reading the music section of My Les someone posted about the greatest Les Paul tone in the world, and it was this band. Well, the curiosity's piqued and well, does this band really have a great Les Paul tone?

In a word, yes. The guitars are this album not only sound spectacular, but they were recorded expertly. In fact the production quality on this record is just top notch. It's always a wonderful thing when an album  has been recorded well because the listener only focuses on the music.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Album Review: "Moonwater" by Chappo

Here is an album that was purchased by me because someone said it was good and a worthy pick up. Ifound out later that my friend had seen them play live and that he felt that they "had potential."

Uh oh.

This recommendation was from the same person who suggested Rory Gallagher's Irish Tour 74, so it came from a trusted source. This person seems to have a similar taste in music to me and has even suggested an awesome little headphone amp so I can rock out on my Les Paul after the wife and daughter go to sleep.

A couple samples of this record were listened to before the purchase. As soon as the songs were heard by this blogger, they were put onto the Amazon wish list.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Album Review: "First Rays of the New Rising Sun" by Jimi Hendrix

Let's take another foray into the world of Jimi Hendrix. (There will be two others on the horizon as well, including the new release in March.)

It has been said thousands of millions of times that Jimi was the greatest, and that has not changed a single bit. There are many kinds of artists that play music, but it is felt by this blogger that Jimi was far more than just a musician. He was a poet, but he was not just any poet with a pen.

Part of the poetry that Jimi recited night in and night out took place through his hands and because of the kind of artist Jimi was, it is very important that when outside hands, even Janie Hendrix's, are touching his works that the utmost care be taken. It would be like making some changes to Shakespeare's plays now. Of course they do that, but that's neither here nor there... Right?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Album Review: "Til The Casket Drops" by ZZ Ward

This album arrived to the Amazon recommendations list and it looked like something that might be enjoyable. With my personal swerve towards blues and blues rock, this seemed like it would be a good purchase.

This is the full length debut of ZZ Ward. She has been working steadily in the underworld of music seeking a break. The 26 year old Ward started playing in bands at the age of 12.

This is a very talented woman in many ways. Her lyrics are phenomenal and she plays the guitar, harmonica, piano, and more. She is certainly the kind of musician that my wife would just absolutely love, which is why I suppose that I do not.

This album, while bluesy, is far too dependent on pop music dynamics for me to really appreciate it as an album.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Album Review: "CVI" by Royal Thunder

Recently Guitar World did an article on the Atlanta band, Royal Thunder. For some reason this particular article really spoke to me. This was an album that had to be in my library, but for weeks this album languished on an Amazon wishlist.

It was finally purchased and it has arrived. So far, it has received about four or five spins in the car. There were no previews of songs played before this album was purchased. Rarely is this the case. The idea of not knowing is very concerning to me, but as nowadays, music is coming to my house on a much more regular basis, it could be supposed that a stinker here and there might not be such a bad thing.

This band is compared favorably to bands like Baroness and this is a very fair comparison. Both bands are some times heavy, sometimes long winded, and very focused on the groove.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Album Review: "The Firm"

Continuing on with Jimmy Page Throughout the Years, we arrive to The Firm. Until the pending release of "Celebration Day," when this ridiculous idea came to me, this band was completely unknown to me. Upon perusing Amazon, this album by The Firm popped up. Completely stymied as to whom they were. Never did KSHE play any tracks off of this, or their other album, nor did KHTR, KSD, or The Rock. (Remember, this author is a lifelong St. Louisan.)

This, for lack of a better term, Super Group was made up of some pretty heavy hitters: Paul Rodgers on guitar and vocals, Jimmy Page on guitar, Chris Slade of Uriah Heap on the drums, and Tony Franklin (who worked with many different artists) on bass. Both Rodgers and Page had stated they would play no material off of their previous albums in this project, though the final track on this album "Midnight Moonlight" was based on the Led Zeppelin song "Swan Song."