Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Heavy Metal Jukebox

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It's time again for the Heavy Metal Jukebox. I list three songs and you pick which one you prefer. This time it's three tracks off of the same album and that album is Guns and Roses' Appetite for destruction.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
So your choices are three of the lesser known tracks on this album and they are:

-It's so easy

-Out ta get me

-Think about you

**So which one do you choose?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Heavy Metal Relic

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Maybe I am not quite like the guy above, but maybe I am in some ways. This is a story about where the tide was shifting as to what music was big. For some reason back in the early 90's I didn't see the huge shift from hard rock/ metal to grunge/alternative as much as maybe others saw it. I was probably just blinded by my love of the music I have enjoyed for so long. Anyway it was 1992 and after four years of working I had decided to go to college at the age of 22. I had heard Soundgarden back in 1989, Alice in Chains in 1990 and Nirvana right when Nevermind came out and I knew about the growing popularity of this music. Yet I guess that I didn't see it as having to be one or the other, but that's what it became. As I went to college I was still wearing Iron Maiden and Judas Priest shirts. It was September of 1992 so I was into stuff that had come out in recent months like Maiden's Fear of the dark, Dream Theater's Images and words, Kiss-Revenge, Testament's The Ritual, Tora Tora's Wild America and Obituary's The end complete for starters.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Headbanger's Ball was still on and Metallica, Guns and Roses, Ozzy and others were still getting shown on MTV during the day. So even though there were more people wearing shirts of grunge and alternative bands, I still saw it as just being more heavy music, but not metal. I guess that I was living in a dream world to some extent. I liked Soundgarden, Faith no more and Alice in chains then. Most of the people I hung out listened to a mixture of hard rock, metal, classic rock, grunge and alternative. Yet most of the people I hung out with had graduated high school in 1991 which was right before Nirvana hit. So maybe it was the high school class of 1992 that saw the change more and they were people that came in to college when I did. I was older having graduated in 1988 and I guess my musical tastes were somewhat still stuck in that time. Throughout the course of my freshman year of college I saw more of a change and I saw less and less people wearing hard rock and metal shirts. Then I began to realize what was happening, but of course it didn't change my tastes. Pretty soon it was early 1993 and I was excited about the new Sacred Reich, the new Aerosmith and a number of other releases. So I guess that I was and still am a metal relic of sorts, but that's how it goes.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Monday, January 29, 2007


No real post here today, but I wrote a review over at Will and Ben's record room if you are interested.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Judge the album cover

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The offering for this week is the cover of Firehouse's 1990 debut. So do you like it, hate it or just think that it's okay? Feel free to explain you picked the choice that you did.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What's coming up?

This coming week I hope to have the following out:

-Judge the album cover (on Sunday)
-Something about when I started college (it will be metal related)
-Montrose review
-Ace Frehley-Frehley's Comet 20 year old album review

-One other topic

I will probably be taking Monday as my off day from now on except maybe during theme weeks.

***Was there ever an album or cd that you had a chance to buy, but didn't and now you regret not buying it?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cinderella-Still Climbing, 1994

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I did it again, that's right I underestimated yet another Cinderella album. It was late in 1994 when this was released. Hard rock like this was way out of fashion by that point and it had been four years since Cinderella's last album. There is no band logo on the cover, they had a session drummer and yet it may just be their second best album next to 1988's Long Cold Winter. They made no attempt to try and make their sound current and applaud them for it. It's another blues based hard rock effort and what an effort it is. There is no doubt in my mind that they were one of the best hard rock bands between the mid 80's and the mid 90's. The playing is solid, Tom Keifer's vocals are rough (as they should be) and most of all the writing is fantastic. In some ways this album almost comes across as a combination of the styles presented in the previous three albums. It has the hard rock simplicity of Night Songs, the catchy hooks of Long Cold winter and some of the blues licks of Heartbreak Station. What this album brings that's new is just the ease with which the band goes through the tracks and the attention to detail. It's a shame that this style of music was gone then and that the album was ignored because it is surprisingly strong. Cinderella have been so unfairly lumped in as a hair metal band. There were a lot of cheesy metal and hard rock bands out there. Yet these guys were one of the shining examples of just a great rock band whose songs speak for themselves. Hopefully a label like hair band won't tarnish the great music they made in just four albums. Truly a band for hard rock fans to be proud of. I really do think of their material in a similar way that I think of the Rolling Stones in the late 60's to early 70's and Aerosmith in the mid 70's. Favorite tracks here include Talk is cheap, Hard to find the words, the title track, Through the rain and Easy come, easy go.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Current playlist

Lately I have been listening to:
Iron Maiden-A matter of live and death and Death on the road
Lots of Cinderella (Still Climbing review coming Thursday)
Lots of Steve Vai (Maybe a Flex-able review coming soon)
Early Corrosion of Conformity
Bangalore Choir-On Target (Finally got a copy of this cheap)
Fu Manchu-In search of (I am really excited about their new album coming out next month)
Liege Lord-Freedom's rise
Saint (Journey sound a likes)

What are you listening to?

Metal at the start of 1987

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The year 1986 saw some big changes for hard rock and metal. The big one was probably speed metal such as bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and others emerged from the underground. These bands found new fans and their popularity grew. Young commercial hard rock bands were becoming popular as well because Bon Jovi, Poison and Cinderella were all finding success in 1986. The veterans were having success too as Van Halen and Ozzy moved up higher on the billboard charts than ever before. So at the start of 1987 I think it was anticipated that metal just going to get bigger and bigger. More hard rock and metal bands were being signed to major labels. I also think that more sub-genres of hard rock and metal would emerge in 1987. It wasn't just simple hard rock and metal any more as other sub-genres were popping up. This year would see more glam bands as well as the beginnings of doom, black and death metal. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself because it won't be until December of this year that I unveil my top ten of 1987. I will also be talking about specific albums from 1987 throughout this year. However, I would say it was a very strong year for hard rock and metal. Maybe not as many great albums as 1986, but maybe there were more good albums in 1987.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Overkill-Feel the fire, 1985

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Normally when someone talks about 1980's American speed metal the first scene to come to mind is probably the Bay area scene. This was a huge scene that included Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel and a whole slew of others who came from the San Francisco area. After that maybe you think of LA as Slayer, Megadeth, Dark Angel and a few others were from there. What about New York? Well, of course Anthrax are from there, but there wasn't a huge scene. There was probably a bigger hardcore scene there in the 80's then there was a speed metal one. However, one hugely solid speed metal outfit that emerged from that area was Overkill. With their green logo, a singer named Blitz, a drummer named Rat and their own kind of style. Even though their debut was released in 1985, I believe much of it was actually written in 1983 and 1984. Several songs on this album appeared on various compilations before the band finally signed with Megaforce records. To me this album is even stronger now than I thought it was back then. Part of that may be that I had it on cassette for years and it sounded a bit muddy in that format. Now I have it on CD and can listen to it in all it's glory. The guitar sound of Bobby Gustafson was a bit broader than guitarists in other speed metal bands. He was was truly underrated for his work with this band. Bobby "blitz"Ellsworth has a voice that is both rough at times, but he can carry a bit of a melody when he has to. DD Verni is one of the few bass player's in speed metal who really stands out to me. His grinding basslines always helped the band maintain that steady sound they perfected. Original drummer Rat Skates was solid, but probably not my favorite drummer to play with this band. From the opening track "Raise the dead" you can tell that this album is a powerful, straight forward release. This band manages to be both relentless in their approach, but produce some very memorable tracks including "Hammerhead" and "Blood and iron". The album is probably more heavy than fast and it's fairly heavy for 1985. The song Overkill sets up a horror movie type story about an evil that never dies. The next two releases would feature sequels to this song and even the fourth album has a less direct sequel. Looking back this album still stand out as one of the highlights in the band's long and overall consistent career.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Heavy Metal Jukebox

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It's time for the heavy metal jukebox. I list three songs and you say which one you prefer and you can list why if you want to. It's a place theme this week. So here are the choices.

Kiss-Detroit Rock City
Van Halen-Panama
WASP-Blind in Texas

So which one do you choose?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Judge the album cover

Okay, here is the debut of a new segment. It's simple, I show an album cover and you say if you like it, don't like it or think it's just okay. If you want to say why you feel the way you do then that would be great as well.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
So the album cover we are judging here is Black Sabbath's 1976 release Technical Ecstacy. A very different album cover for this band and that's why I picked it. So what do you think of the cover?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What's coming up?

That's it for Motorhead week, I hope you enjoyed it. Now it's back to the same old nonsense. I will be posting an album review over at Will and Ben's record room every Monday from now on. I will also be doing "Bad album art" over there as well. I am going to start doing a new segment here on albums covers. It's called "Judge the album cover" and I will put up an album cover of a hard rock/metal band and you say if you like it, don't like it or just think it's okay. I think it will be interesting to see what different people think of various album covers. I will probably be doing this segment twice a month. So this week I hope to have out the following.

-Overkill-Feel the fire review
-Cinderella-Still Climbing review
-Heavy Metal Jukebox
-Judge the album cover
-Metal at the start of 1987

Have a good week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Lyrics of Motorhead

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Motorhead have written on a number of different topics throughout the years.

Let's look at the first verse from "Love me like reptile" off of Ace of spades.

"Knew I had to bite you baby when I first set eyes on you,
That moment turned me on, I can't believe it's true,
I like to watch your body sway,
I got no choice, I'm gonna twist your tail,
Love Me Like A Reptile, I'm gonna sink my fangs in you"

We know what they are talking about yet it's an odd interpretation. I think that this song is a good representation of Motorhead's approach to lyrics. I think that normally their lyrics are somewhat unique. It seems to come natural from them and doesn't sound forced.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here is the last part of "I'm the doctor" off of the Iron Fist album.

"Don't get too depressed, I've found a way to help your case
A little hypodermic sends you into outer space
You'll feel much better when you take these little pills
I'm gonna give you 60 bottles, I believe in overkill
Heart attack, you know you're never coming back
Cos I'm the Doctor"

It's rather nasty sounding yet somehow it's done so that it comes across as being like a dark comedy in a way. Not everyone could pull this off.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Lastly here is the first past of "Angel City" from 1916.

"I wanna grow my hair, live in Bel Air,
Lose my head,keep a live snake in my bed,
I wanna backstage pass, Drink Bon Jovi's booze for free,
I wanna be a star and buy a hundred guitars,
Eat everything I can bite,
I wanna feel a little danger,Feel a little stranger,
Angel City tonight,"

More straightforward in the humor here, but a good take on hard rock stardom back when this was written (1990).

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lemmy-The actor?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

With a face like that, how could he not get some roles? Well, okay, but he is funny and has a great personality. So Lemmy has been in front of the camera quite a bit. Here is a link to his profile over at imdb .
I will be back tomorrow to wrap up Motorhead week.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Motorhead-Ace of spades, 1980

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The year 1980 is often thought as the year that the New Wave of British Heavy Metal emerged. Yet some times so little is mentioned of the veteran British bands that released albums that year. Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Judas Priest and Motorhead all released strong albums that year. For Motorhead it a point that they spent several years building up to. The On parole and the self titled album were a starting point that established their rough powerful sound. Yet it was really the next two releases Bomber and Overkill where they started to come into their own. Then came this album which to me is one of their best. I think the overall feel of this album was that it was their heaviest at this point in their career. The aggressive, to the point attitude that has been with this band for most of their career is in full bloom here. The album starts with the fantastic title track which has become one of the real staples for this band. Next up "Love me like a reptile" with it's slightly odd riff and even stranger title. Other real standouts are (We are) the road crew which reads like a list of things the band's road crew has to do. It's humorous and certainly different.Down the home stretch we have "Fire fire" and "Dance" which are songs I only began to really appreciate in recent years. "Jailbait" is a tight paced track that moves along well. However it has to be mentioned that this album contains what is probably one of my favorite Motorhead tracks of all time. That is the closer "The Hammer" which to me is an absolute masterpiece which comes at you like uh....well, a hammer. I think this just edges out Iron Fist to be Motorhead's second best album of their long career. Certainly a must have album.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Motorhead-Another perfect day, 1983

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I remember hearing this one for the first time in the mid-1980's and I wasn't too fond of it. Then one day in 1992 I pulled out my vinyl copy and gave it a spin. I realized that I had indeed underestimated it and I think a lot of people did. Right after the release of Iron Fist in 1982 Motorhead were on a roll and they had established a certain sound. Guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke left and things changed. Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian "Robbo" Robertson was brought in to be the new guitarist in Motorhead. Robertson had a very different style from Clarke. Where Clarke was more direct and straightforward, Robertson was a bit more groove oriented and detailed in his playing. The result was a very different sounding Motorhead album as it kicks off with "Back At The Funny Farm". This track certainly shows the typical humor from this band, but the music is a bit more layered perhaps. Tracks like "Shine" and particularly "Dancing On Your Grave" show a bit more melody to Motorhead's sound. Although mentioning melody and Motorhead in the same breath might at first seem cringe worthy, it works very well on these tracks. I think the album manages to mix things up a little more than the previous albums and make it interesting. The guitar sound and the overall approach make it stand out, but it's certainly enjoyable. In retrospect trying a slightly different sound was probabaly the right move for this band. It seems like Lemmy has always wanted the guitarist (or guitarists) to bring something of their own sound rather than just copying their predecessor. While the album worked, Robertson's relationship with Lemmy and Phil Taylor became strained throughout his 17 month stint. Reportedly he did not want to play the band's classic tracks live and that was a big factor involved in his dismissal in late 1983. It would have been interesting to see where the band went with this line-up had he stayed. Still this line-up has left behind this very solid album.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The importance of Motorhead

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Motorhead were formed way back in 1975 and are still going today. They have been fairly productive over that time and pretty consistent for the most part. So what else have they done? I think when all is said and done that this band will be thought of as one of the most important metal bands of our time. They have largely had a solid metal sound and they were hugely influential on the NWOBHM and the speed metal outpouring of the mid and late 1980's. I think that their impact is still heard today. The pace, the heaviness, Lemmy's vocals and the driving beats helped define their sound, but all of those things were part of what this band brought to metal. I think they developed and have maintained a unique sound, but they have not been afraid to experiment at times either. Also their simple image, the humor and the lack of rock star attitudes are all part of what has made this band so great.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Motorhead-1916, 1991

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
A Motorhead album with a cello on a song (the title track), a song about another band (Ramones) and love song that's over five minutes long (Love me forever). How can this be and maybe a better question is how can this be true and the album still be as good as it is? Well, some time around 1988 Motorhead had problems getting off their record label. This lead to the band spending several years in court trying to get out of the contract. During this time they could not release any new studio tracks. Finally in 1990 they got out of the courts and were free to sign with Sony music. I think the years of being tied up allowed the band to spend time on ideas. So that's my view on why this album is more varied in the styles of the songs. We get tracks like "The one to sing the blues" and "Shut you down" which are traditional Motorhead style songs. However many of the other songs show a different side of the band. The title track is about World War One and the style is different from anything the band has ever done, but it works completely. Tracks like "I'm so bad (Baby I don't care)" and "Angel City" show that sense of humor that Motorhead have. "Nightmare/The dreamtime" is an odd, offbeat track somewhat similar to "Orgasmatron" from the 1986 album of the same name. Varied it may be, but I like every single track and it was great and welcome return for Motorhead. I listen to it now and can't believe it came out almost sixteen years ago, but it still manages to be fairly fresh. One of the most interesting albums in the band's long career.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What's coming up?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Well, I have decided that this upcoming week will be Motorhead week here at my blog. So here are the topics that I hope to do.

Ace of spades
Another perfect day

Something about the importance of Motorhead
Something about the lyrics of Motorhead

***So do you have a favorite Motorhead album or what are some of your favorite Motorhead songs?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Current playlist

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Lately I have been listening to:
Fu Manchu-California crossing and King of the road
Lots of Motorhead
Ratt-Reach for the sky
Smash Alley-Too late to say no
Iron Maiden-A matter of life and death
Vyper-Prepared to strike
Blitzkrieg-Ready for action
Anthrax-Persistence of time
Agnostic Front-Cause for alarm

What have you been listening to?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lizzy Borden-Visual Lies, 1987

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Background-I was a big fan of this band by the summer of 1987. I liked everything they had done up until that point and was anticipating this album. I was on their mailing list and two months before the album came out I received a huge postcard. The postcard had the above cover, but all in silver and it had the release date on it. I didn't have a car and my friend Ray happened to be going to the mall the day this album was released so I gave him money to pick up a copy for me. When I got it I immediately played it and was left feeling kind of hollow. The album seemed to be a shell of the band that had done all of their previous albums. Maybe it's time to have another listen so here it goes.


1. Me Against The World- This one comes on at a medium pace. The first thing that hits me is how basic it is. It's an anthem, but it's a bit too repetitive.

2. Shock-The music is very simple and almost in the background. Overall it has a light feel to it and really lacks any hooks or edge to it.

3. Outcast-Again the music is done sparingly, but the vocals are strong. Nice guitar solo in it as well. Better than the previous tracks.

4. Den Of Thieves- Finally something to be excited about. This one is fast and to the point. The drums are a little more mechanical sounded than needed, but it's a strong track.

5. Visual Lies-Very dull track as I had to really struggle to make it through the whole thing.

6. Eyes Of A Stranger-Okay, I think this what the album was trying to be like, but this song actually works. It's a simple anthem type song, but the music is involved enough, the vocals are strong and the writing is interesting enough.

7. Lord Of The Flies-The opening riff is good, but that quickly fades. What we are left with is a very lukewarm song. the longest track on the album and it sure feels like it.

8. Voyeur (I'm Watching You)-The music is forgettable and the vocals lack any kind of punch. Again good solos, but that's about it.

9. Visions-This track is sort of slow, but steady. It's not terribly creative, but it works. The music is strong enough and the vocals work well with it.

Verdict/Final word-It's not as awful as I once thought, but still disappointing. So we have one very good song, two decent and six that are average or below so that puts it probably slightly below average overall. Their previous material all built up from one album to the next. Their writing improved and they became more complex with each effort. This album is more basic than any of the previous material so it was like a step back. It was far and away less heavy than anything else they had done. Even the vocals lacked inspiration as times and that never happened on the earlier material. I think either someone in the band or someone at Enigma records thought it was time to try a cash-in and that's what this is. It didn't help the band gain any new fans and it lost some old fans. Still I am a fan of this band and their good material far outweighs the bad. Plus they did bounce back eventually.

***Next month the twenty year old album review will be Ace Frehley- Frehley's Comet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Who were they?- Blacklace

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Welcome to the debut of "Who were they?". This will be a monthly segment where I briefly give a biography of a lesser known band and tell a little bit about their sound. I decided to start with New York's Blacklace just because I had been listening to them lately. They were formed in 1982 by brothers Carlo (guitar) and Anthony Fragnito (bass). The brothers quickly added vocalist Maryanne Scandiffio and a drummer. They began playing clubs and recorded a demo. Belgian based label Mausoleum records signed the band to a contract. Some time prior to recording their debut the band changed drummers as they brought in Steve Werner and their line-up was complete. They released their debut Unlaced in 1984 which was co-produced by Manowar's Ross the boss. They got some notice and toured opening for Twisted Sister, Manowar, Zebra and others. They were quickly back in the studio and recorded a second album called Get it while it's hot in 1985.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Later that year the band had a track on Hit Parader's cassette only compilation "The Wild Bunch". That's where I first heard them although I had seen both albums at my local record store. After that the band faded a bit as they never did another album and some reports say they broke up in 1987. Masoleum released the two albums on a CD a few years ago and it's of good quality. The band reportedly did a few reunion shows in the New York area back in 2004 and were contemplating doing an album, but I don't think anything has happened over the last two years.
Okay that the history lesson. My view is Blacklace were a fairly straightforward metal band. Their sound was maybe somewhere between early 80's Judas Priest and early Warlock. I thought the guitars had a great sound that was very riff heavy and not afraid to do something new. The vocals were strong and somewhat unique. The rhythm section were solid and the production did them justice by letting you hear them. The lyrics had maybe a bit too cliche at times with lots of songs about loving rock and roll and having a broken heart. Both albums are fairly similar in style, but I probably prefer the debut. They really didn't break any new ground on the second album. I bought the CD a few years ago and still enjoy it. I later picked up both on vinyl for fair prices on eBay. They are not a band that was exactly a lost gem, but certainly a good band that may be worth giving a listen to.

***Hope you enjoyed the first segment of "Who were they?". Next month we will get into a bit of a soap opera kind of story as I talk about Vyper.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Smash Alley-Too late to say no, 2007

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I may regret using images now because you may look at this cover and go "boy, I'll bet that's a piece of crap". However don't be fooled by the cover in this case. Chicago's Smash Alley were apparently first active between 1987 and 1993. They built up a local following, but never achieved a record deal and the coming of grunge probably did not help their cause either. Well, now they are back and they have signed a deal with Kivel Records. My understanding is this is a new recording, but I am unsure as to if the songs were written back then or now. Whatever the deal is, it's pretty solid hard rock that sounds like it could have been done between say 1987 and 1990. A lot of different sounds overall on these thirteen tracks. The first one that leaps out me is late 80's Aerosmith, maybe followed by a touch of David Lee Roth's solo material and a dash of early LA Guns. For the most part the tracks here are catchy with sharp hooks and nice production values for an indie release. I have given it maybe six plays and it has gotten better to my ears after each spin. The greatest thing is that is a fun album. Boy, I miss those albums some times. The serious stuff is cool at times, but it's cool just listen to something that's just fun and that's all. It adds a kind of balance to things. Anyway, my only big complaint is that upon my first listen I thought vocalist Paul Messina was lacking some range. After repeated listens I think he sounds just fine on the rockin songs, but he doesn't quite handle the two ballads as well as maybe he should. They may have been better off skipping those songs. I am will probably listening to this one for a while. Oh, the year listed above is no mistake. Even though some sites say this came out on the last day of November and I got my copy around December 10th, the case still says 2007 so that's what I am going by.

Whole lotta birthdays

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Today is my son's first birthday. It is also my father's 73 birthday. It is also Bob-vinyl's birthday. And it is Jimmy Page's birthday. So I have taken off work today and we are having cake for my son and we may go out to eat. I am going to wear my favorite Zeppelin shirt and also hope to listen to Houses of the holy in it's entirety at some point during the day.

Monday, January 08, 2007

First review at the other place

I wrote my first review over at Will and Ben's record room and it's on this album............

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So go check it out if you are interested.

Excitement over new releases

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
In a previous post I talked about not buying too many albums on the day they are released. There have been a few where I have done that, but normally I just think that I will get it when I get a chance to go to the store. Now just a few months ago I was very excited before Iron Maiden's A matter of life and death came out. I think it was due to reading things on blogs and sites that I had a feeling to was going to be good. It was the only CD I bought last year on the day that it came out. It was a good feeling though and I was glad to be as excited about an album. It's part of the fun I guess. This year I may start to get excited about the new Rush once the details become clearer about when it's due out and what it may be like. I am starting to get excited about the new Fu Manchu which is due out in a few weeks.

Do you ever get excited about new releases and buy them the day the come out? If so then what are some that you have gotten excited about over the last few years?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What's coming up?

For this coming week I hope to have out the following.

-Lizzy Borden-Visual Lies 20 year old album review
-The debut of "Who was that?" and I think it will be Blacklace
-Something on the excitement of new releases
-Tuesday is a special day and I will tell you what it is when that day gets here.
-Maybe one other if I can come up with something

The week after next will likely be a theme week, but I am not sure what the theme will be yet.

***Here is a question for you. Ten years from now do you think that you will be listening to mainly the same kind of music you are listening to now? Or does it completely depend on what happens in music over the next ten years?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Deep Purple-In rock, 1970

Bringing Ian Gillan and Roger Glover into this band marked a bit of a change in style. This change would be the beginnings of what is probably the band's best and most successful period. I think this was the point where the band began to stretch out a bit and widen their structures. I think that Gillan's vocals especially helped the band to develop a far more fluid sound starting with this album. Deep Purple unfortunately get lost in the shadows of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin at times. Those two bands were giants in this genre at that time, but it's certainly arguable that Purple made just as much of an impact and were in the long run almost as influential as those other two bands. The opener "Speed King" manages to set the feel of this album. At first it's very in your face with the vocals coming right on and the music doesn't really pick up until almost a minute in. Yet when it does, it really takes off with long winding passages of layers of music just going in all directions but eventually they all come back to the same point. Ritchie Blackmore just peels off riffs effortlessly and everyone fits perfectly. Jon Lord attacks his Hammond organ like a man possessed. Bassist Roger Glover and Ian Paice make up one of the most underrated rhythm sections of all time. Much of the album continues somewhat like the opener with bits of organizes parts of songs intertwined with the crazy musical rampages in between. Still everyone in the band is skilled enough to pull it off and I am sure that this was not an easy task. These guys truly knew out to throw everything in a song yet make it sound extraordinary without seeming overly self-indulgent. "Child in time" is the longest track on the album at a little over ten minutes and it's probably the biggest highlight of the album. It begins with a spacey feel to it followed by some great screams by Gillan and then the music just takes off into a frenzy before returning to the more level music. "Flight of the rat" allows the band to get into more of a groove early on. The jam parts on this track may be a bit more confined, but no less spectacular. This whole album and all of their albums between 1970 and 1973 are just prime examples of how crazy instramental parts and solid song structures can work together. Of course you have to be very talented and creative to pull it off. Even though band is never called a progressive band, I think there are definite elements here that are very much like progressive music of the 70's. Just a very exciting, charged album that still seems very relevant to me.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I may have written on this topic back in the early days of my blog. Still it's likely not many people were reading it then and I remember virtually nothing of what I put into that post. So it must be time to approach this topic again. If you were real into metal back between say 1984 and 1990 then there was half a chance that you may have bought some of those little round metal band buttons to stick on your denim jacket. They used to sell them at record stores (some still do) and I even bought some at gas stations and Ames (kind of like a K -mart). Normally they were just a dollar back in the day so that was a small commitment to make. I personally owned quite a few at one time. In recent years I even went back and bought some here and there on eBay when I could get them cheap. I actually have a shoebox full of them and a separate small box filled with just Roth-era Van Halen buttons. Obviously Van Halen are the band that I have the most buttons of. After that I would say that Twisted Sister, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are other bands that I have quite a few buttons of. Will I ever put these buttons to good use? Not unless you count laying them out and gazing at them from time to time as a good use. Still I like them and will one day pass them on to my kids. Or I may just be buried in a denim jacket and have all of these buttons on it. I know, that's a fairly grim picture except of course for the part about the cool buttons. That being said I still have a denim jacket that I wear from time to time and yes, it does have a few metal band buttons on it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Heavy Metal Jukebox

Welcome to the debut of a new feature that I plan on doing monthly. I did borrow the name from Helloween's cover album from a few years back. Here's how it works, I list three songs and you just pick which of the three you prefer and add your reason why if you want. There will always be a theme of sorts to the three songs. So for the first month of the year, I thought of beginnings and that lead to me thinking of opening tracks. So here are three great opening tracks to choose from.

Iron Maiden-Aces High

Judas Priest-Freewheel Burning

Ozzy-I don't know

So which song do you choose?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Day sale

Every year local record chain Record and Tape Traders has a sale on New Year's Day. When you buy one used cd then you get one used cd of equal or lesser value free. So my family packed into the car and we headed off so I could get there before the store opened to get the best stuff I could. I got there ten minutes early and stood in line. My wife took the kids to the pet store which is just a few stores down. Last year I bought a lot of cd's that I had not heard before. this year I was more intent on filling gaps in y collection. So here is what I got:

Ratt-Invasion of your privacy and Reach for the sky
Cinderella-Long cold winter
Steve Vai-Flex-able
Testament-The Ritual
Ozzy-Diary of a madman (Jet records version)
Iron Maiden-Virtual whatever it is (Yes, I know, but it fills a gap in my collection)
Ace Frehley-Frehley's Comet

Total price:$31.46 for eight cd's. So not too bad.

Some people buy a lot at this sale. I saw
this guy there filling up a basket with all sorts of stuff. So a pretty good take as far as I was concerned and you may be seeing some of these titles showing up as reviews here fairly soon.

New Year's resolutions and other

Here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2007 as far as this blog is concerned.

-To spend more time proofreading my posts. I am sloppy and lazy when writing here at times.

-To be as objective and open as possible while doing reviews.
-To spend more time writing about individual songs. I spent a great deal of time writing about whole albums in 2006 and I will continue to do so. However, I want to take some time to listen and write about some individual tracks this year.

-It was hard being without a computer for three days. I will now try to get back to posting and reading blogs regularly.
-I will be contributing over at Will and Ben's Record Room some as well as maintaining my blog here. They were kind enough to ask me and I accepted. I will be one of four new writers contributing to their blog.