Monday, December 31, 2007

Vanity Ink-On your skin

Vanity Ink/Olennainen Valittyy

This album actually came out a while ago, but I just got around to getting a copy. Vanity Ink are certainly heavier than I expected and although rather simplistic at times, they approach more of the tracks with a rather furious energy that pays off in the long run. They mix up the pace and style rather well while still managing to stay within the realm of hard rock. There was a song or two that reminded me of "Slave to the grind" era Skid Row and a song or so that reminded me of the better material by Smashed Gladys. Yet they also manage to forge a bit of their own style as well and it's an approach that's worth a listen.Vanity Ink's style is heavily founded in hard rock, but there are some strong pop driven melodies and the music even has some traces of some more basic punk rock fury as well. Vocalist Annabella has a powerful voice and can change the mood of the song with the inflection of her voice. At times the music can be raw while at the same time the vocals are smooth and yet somehow the overall effect of this still comes off rather nicely. I was actually taken by most of the songs right away largely due to the hooks and catchy vocals. That's somewhat rare for me because it normally takes more than one listen for me to warm up to many albums. The biggest down side here was that a few tracks towards the middle of the album didn't have quite the electric feel of the opening and closing tracks. Since they play a rather basic style I think there is a tendency to become a bit too repetitive and that does happen here on a song two. However, "On your skin" is primarily a good stab at bringing at least a partially fresh spin on hard rock. I am certainly glad to see a band take risks if if not everything works perfectly. Definitely one to check out and keep an eye out for this band in the future.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Features for 2008

For 2008 I will continue to do "Lesser of two evils" although I am not sure if it will be every month. I will at least shoot for doing ten during the course of the year and a "Grand Stinker" event in December. I will aim to do either "Judge to album cover" or "Clash of the album covers" once a month. The one new feature I am going to try will be called "Vinyl Spotlight". I don't have a huge album collection, but I do have several hundred and most are metal/hard rock that were purchased between 84-92. I will just take a picture of the cover and or album itself and post it with a story about when and where I bought it plus what I might like about it. This won't be so much a review as it will be just to focus on what on the visual aspects that make albums cooler than other formats. So the albums I pick will be some more rare lp's, singles and picture discs. Once again in August I will begin sorting out my twenty albums of 1988 and post that list and other awards for that year in December of 2008. If you any other suggestions then please let me know. Hope ou will enjoy these features as well as the reviews and interviews that I hope to bringing to my blog.

Molotow-feat. rock & roll

Molotow Records

At it's best hard rock in the 1980's could have a fun feel, memorable hooks and catchy melodies. At it's worst it could too often be repetitive, cheesy and generic. Norway's Molotow have released a debut that fortunately hits more in that first category. Unfortunately it touches some in the second category as well and I think that's largely due to the fact that they are trying so hard fit into this style and that includes a few of the cliches of the style as well. What struck me first was that for a debut album from a young band this a very professional sounding production. It has very strong production values and it's slick, but not overdone either. It's melodic hard rock with glam undertones if a specific label has to be slapped on it. The vocals are clear and and work nicely without being too sappy. The music is primarily strong with a good flow, fairly solid hooks and a strong sense that can be in control when they try. However there are a few songs that seem to suffer from being too basic and not really enough risks musically. With titles like "Surrender to rock& roll", "Beam me up (for glam and glory)" and "80's" it's obvious they have decided to settle on very basic and perhaps all too cliched song topics. That was a little tough to take, but for the most part the music and vocals are so good that sweep the weak lyrics away and you are left with the impression that this is an admirable debut. For the most part this goes over rather smoothly and it's a fairly enjoyable ride. However it's largely a ride back to a past style and that can be a nice start, but I hope they continue to push and develop more of their own style as well.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What's coming up?

Hard to believe, but 2008 will soon be upon us. My New Year's resolutions for this blog are to keep pushing to improve my writing and to try and stay productive. This week I hope to have these topics out.

Molotow-Feat. Rock-n-Roll
Vanity Ink-On your skin
Gang Green-You've got it
Rise to Addiction-A new shade of black for the soul

Interview with The Hate Junkies

-On Thursday (I hope) it will be another "Lesser of two evils" with the glass breaking antics of Nitro taking on the pink guitar playing hi-jinks of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion in a battle of the truly ridiculous. For once I really don't a feeling as to who will win this one yet.
-Then Friday I will take the ten albums that have lost at "Lesser of two evils" over the last year and rank them. The band that is the worst of the bunch will get the title of "Grand Stinker".

I will continue doing "Lesser of two evils" throughout 2008, but instead of always picking weak bands I might start doing bad albums by normally good bands. I will pit them together in a contest to see which is one not as bad.
I am still considering what other features will stay on in the new year. Likely "Judge the album cover" and "Clash of the album covers" will continue to be at least semi-regular features. Other than that I am not sure yet. Feel free to let me know if there are any features I have done that you would like to see continue.

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Top 15 albums of 2007


1-Hanoi Rocks-Street Poetry
2-Middian-Age Eternal
3-Titan- A Raining Sun of Light and Love For You and You and You
4-Lizzy Borden-Appointment with death
5-Fu Manchu-We must obey
6-Greenleaf-Agents of Ahriman
7-Scorpions-Humanity Hour 1
8-Gypsy Pistoleros-Wild, Beautiful, damned
9-Sebastian Bach-Angel Down
10-Helloween-Gambling with the devil
11-Slough Feg-Hardworlder
12-Destructor-Forever in leather
13-Skeletonwitch-Beyond the permafrost
14-Blood Red Throne-Come death
15-Dirty Penny-Take it sleezy

Honorable Mention: Shadowside-Theatre of shadows

That Rush album kept sliding down the list as the year went on and better releases came out and then it just slid right off the list. As far as progressive music went Titan's album made the releases from Rush and Dream Theater sound old and tired. Shadowside was moving up and up towards the list with each listen. If it had come out in the summer instead of fall then I would have had more time to listen to it and it might have actually made the list. Instead I had to give it an honorable mention. Overall it's been a pretty good year for music as there have been albums that I knew would be good (Fu Manchu, Scorpions) and some really nice surprises (Hanoi Rocks, Lizzy Borden).

All these people are posting Top album lists as well so go check them out.

Bring Back Glam


Hard Rock Hideout

Heavy Metal Addiction

Imagine Echoes

Layla’s Classic Rock Faves

Metal Minute (Top 25)

Raise your fists

Rock of ages (Top 10)

Rock and roll and meandering nonsense (Top 20)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Soho Roses-Whatever happened to...The complete works of


Full Breach Kicks

I never heard of this band until just very recently, but Soho Roses were a British band and they were around from 1987-1989. They released one lp, one ep, a 12 inch single and a 7 inch single. This cd includes all of that material plus a few remixes. From the band name and the image my guess that they would be like Hanoi Rocks and indeed they are. They play a mix of glam and punk rock with the prime influences being Hanoi Rocks, New York Dolls, Sweet, Ramones, Avengers and maybe even DOA. The odd thing is that these songs sound like they were done between about 1979 and 1982 rather than the late 1980's. So apparently these guys did what they wanted rather than following the big trends of the time. That's cool because they have a good sound, but that might also be why they didn't get any further than they did. The vocals and overall feel is closest to Hanoi Rocks, but the pacing leans more towards early punk rock than Hanoi Rocks normally did. The songs are short, largely mid-tempo and fairly simple yet fun. They are also far more straight forward than Hanoi Rocks or New York Dolls with little quirkiness and not a lot of changes within the songs. They pull it off, but a number of the songs are similar to one another because they don't mix it up a whole lot. I certainly prefer this to many of the hair bands that were pouring out of our country at the time. There is much more of a genuine feel to it as they manage to maintain a great deal of energy without having the over-processed sound that so many bands of the day suffered from. My only major complaint is that I wish I had heard them back in the late 1980's because I would enjoyed them back then a great deal. At least I am getting to hear them now.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

KISS-KISSology vol.3

VH-1 Classics

This DVD set covers the years from 1992 to 2000 and it begins with a concert from the Revenge tour in 1992. I liked the Revenge album overall and I think this show saw the band pushing a little harder and it's a good concert. Then there is the Mtv Unplugged show from 1995 which also included Ace and Peter coming out for a few songs at the end of the performance. This was a decent show overall although the idea of KISS playing unplugged seemed and still seems a little odd. After that we get several make-up reunion shows. The one from Tiger Stadium in 1996 is easily the highest point of this set. The excitement coming form both the band and the crowd is just at such a high level and it stays that way throughout the entire performance. After that we get several more make-up reunion shows. All are overall good, but the best shows from this time are the ones from 1996 and the band's energy level seems to dip after that. There is also a show from 1973 thrown in for good measure. There was a time when I really loved KISS and then at some point in the 1990's I just kind of fed up with them slapping the KISS logo on everything and this whole reunion deal. KISS has just about always been as much a brand logo as a band name, I just didn't realize it for years. It's all a business, it's just that KISS have never tried to hide that fact and Gene doesn't care if we know how much he loves money. However, there have always been enough times that they have gone out and put on a good show. When KISS are on they are really on no matter who is playing lead and no matter who is behind the drum kit. This is a fairly solid set and the performances are of a good quality for the most part. It's also far better than volume 2 because that set put in too many interviews, snippets of concerts and parts that seemed more like extras than main attractions. This set concentrates on the music and gives you a lot of it. The only downside is that because so much of it is the reunion shows we get a lot of the same songs because they are only from a limited time frame. KISS fans will love this enjoyable set and even the more casual fan will likely be impressed as well.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Top 10 metal Christmas presents you don't want to receive


Here they are in no real order.

1-Career advice from Axl Rose.

2-One of those yellow and black outfits that Stryper wore in the 80's. Unless of course you want to dress as a bumblebee next Halloween.

3-Charm lessons from Lars Ulrich

4-Another reality show starring some past their prime hair band member.

5-Pretty much anything that Queensryche have recorded in the last 13 years.

6-An invitation to be a member of LA Guns. You would have to explain to everyone which LA Guns you were in. Since they have had over 30 members your chances of being in the band long are slim.

7-An offer for songwriting help from Desmond Child.

8-A concept album about the life of Nostradamus.

9-Vocal lessons from Brian Johnson or beauty tips, take your pick.

10-Tickets to Rocklahoma 2008. The veteran bands scheduled to play this concert would be better off sending out this letter.
We really just want your money. If you make a donation to us now then you will save yourself from having to travel to Oklahoma and sitting in the heat just to watch us go through the motions on stage and try to pretend that it's still 1988.
Hasbeen Hair Band"

**Special thanks to Bob-vinyl for suggesting number four.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Monster Ballads Xmas

Razor and Tie

Here we have fifteen Christmas songs perfomed by hard rock/hair metal artists. To make it more fun I decided to try and compare each song to a present that a kid could get for Christmas. So here we go.

Skid Row-Jingle Bells
This is like getting a paddle ball. It's kind of a fast paced fun for a little bit, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly.

Winger-Happy Christmas (War is over)
This is like getting socks. There is some purpose to it, but it's rather drab and not much fun.

Jani Lane-Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
This is like getting underwear. Like above, there is a purpose I guess. Although not awful, it's a little embarrasing to have to sit through.

Twisted Sister and Lita Ford-I'll be home for Christmas
This would be like getting a board game like Battleship. It's fairly basic, but eventually it's kind of fun.

Queensryche-White Christmas
This would be like like getting a stamp collection starter kit. It's not cool, it's extremely boring and I don't want anything to do with it.

LA Guns-Run, Rudolph, run
This is like getting an action figure from the Dollar Store. There is some joy to it, but ultimately it's a little cheap and not nearly as good as the real thing.

Firehouse-Rockin around the Christmas tree
This is like the year my brother and I got lawn darts. They seemed really dorky at first, but then we gave them a chance we realized they were a lot of fun.

Danger, Danger-Naughty, Naughty Christmas
This is like being 8 years old and getting a stuffed animal. Not the worst thing in the world, but kind of silly at this point and even a little awkward.

Tom Keifer-Blue Christmas
This is like getting a Hot Wheels race track. It only takes seconds to realize how much you like it. Easily the best song on the album

Nelson-Jingle Bell Rock
This is like getting a little plastic wind-up Santa. It pulls you in for a few seconds, but then you realize it's only doing one thing and it's kind of cheesey.

Faster Pussycat-Silent Night
This was like the year where I wanted a football and I got a calligraphy set. I was very disappointed and wondered what I did to deserve it.

Dokken-Santa Claus is coming to town
This is like getting a book that you have already read many times. I still like it some, but it's very predictable and not something you are going to come back to very often.

Enuff z'Nuff-Happy Holiday
This is like getting a bag of little plastic soldiers. It's simple and not anything new, but I like it and will probably even return to it.

Stryper-Winter Wonderland
This would be like getting a little plastic giraffe without any moving parts. I'm interested enough to check it out, but it doesn't really do enough to make it that worthwhile.

Billy Idol-Christmas Love
This is like getting a coloring book and an eight pack of crayons. I like it a little, but it's fairly basic and not anything real special.

There are a few really good songs, a few clunkers and a bunch of in between tracks. So all in all a bit of a mixed bag.

Sunday, December 23, 2007



This an outlet for Threshold drummer Johanne James to take charge and show his vocal abilities as well. The band is a trio yet the James is the only member of the recording line-up who is in the touring line-up even though both sets of members are listed in the credits of the booklet. It's a somewhat varied album with a sound vaguely similar to Kings X and there are also some definite 1990's rock influences mixed in. They manage to cross some musical genres fairly easily at times. Kyrbgrinder come across with some material on occasion that's almost up to a Prong-like heaviness and then they turn around and slide in some smooth rock like vocal melodies. One of the biggest strengths of this band is the smoothness with which they handle pace changes. With the drummer in charge and doing the vocals, you can figure that the drums are going to be rather prominent in the music and that's a large part of the approach. Yet they add to the overall sound rather than detract and I think the strong drums actually help make the music a little more unique overall. The sound is a bit basic at times and I was hoping for a little more variation here and there. Yet the huge production helps keep the sound large and in your face even when the material is just decent. This is definitely a grower though because it took me a little to time to warm up to it, but I did. They need to push a little harder with the writing perhaps, but still a fairly promising effort.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Roadkill-God Bless America

No label

Roadkill hail from Tasmania and this album was recorded back in July. I don't know what the music scene is like there, but I hope that there are some more creative bands there than these guys. If this had been done around 1988-1990 and done by a very young band then I might have passed it off just second rate and thought the musicians had time to grow. However my initial thought on this album was "these guys are old enough to know better". This is a highly generic in a style that wasn't that creative when it was done twenty years ago. The lyrics bother me more than the music because it's just so blatantly bad and uninspired and they don't really do anything to hide it. The problem isn't so much a lack of skill, but rather that it's at best bland and at worst soulless. It's almost like they found a stash of songs that Junkyard or Little Caesar didn't think was good enough for them yet Roadkill decided it was good enough for them. There are some songs that are better than others. A number of the songs here have a real late 80's sound and those tend to be the worst. The tracks that sound a little more like the early 80's work a little more or at least comparitively. My favorite part of this album is easily the vocals and at times there is a little bit of a classic rock sound to them. That helps to set them apart just slightly from being a complete copy of bad hair bands. However the production works against the vocals a little as there are times when I start to hear some promise, but either the sound is just too low or the vocalist's range isn't strong enough for it to totally work. I know of bands that can make this style work, but those bands either have a strong spirit or they know how to make the music fun. I'm afraid that Roadkill don't have those kind of skills and instead they come across sounding like a bad bar band who would have better luck sticking to playing AC/DC and Aerosmith covers at some club on a Tuesday night.

What's coming up?

Why Christmas is coming up soon of course and so is the end of the year. My kids have been sick this week so it has been rough getting things going and just keeping up. I am still sorting through CDs so there will be a number of reviews this week plus a couple of other topics.

Here is what I hope to have out.
-Later today a review of Roadkill's God Bless America
-On Sunday: Kyrbgrinder-Defiance review
-On Monday: Monster Ballads X-mas review
-On Tuesday: Ten heavy metal Christmas presents you wouldn't want to receive (I am hard at work on this topic now)
-On Wednesday:KISS-KISSology volume 3
-On Thursday: Soho Roses-Whatever happened to...The complete works of
-On Friday: My top 15 albums of 2007 plus links to all of the other blogs that are doing this topic on the same day.
-On Saturday: Absolutely no idea, but I'll post something.

I just got my first CD marked 2008 today. It's Byzantine's Oblivion beckons and I only had a chance to listen to two tracks so far, but it's very good. Hoepfully it's a sign that next year is going to be a good year for music.

***Hope you have a great week!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Electric Earth-Vol 2:Words Unspoken


I got this one a while back and just kind of skimmed through it because I had a lot of other cd's to go through as well. I believe that I blew it off because it didn't catch my attention immediately. Perhaps that wasn't a fair approach, but time constraints made it necessary. However now I am trying to clean up some CDs and get a bunch reviewed by the end of the year so I went back to this one and realized that I had underestimated it a little. It's fairly basic in it's approach and even a little subtle and perhaps that's why it didn't strike me much at first. Yet the second time around I would say that it's actually a fairly decent disc. I would classify it as sort of a stoner light sound not far from say Fireball Ministry or Sasquatch. However they are far more vibrant than Sasquatch and maybe a little less repetitive than Fireball Ministry. The songs are largely mid tempo or slightly slower with a moderate focus on the heaviness. The influences include Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and maybe even Alice in Chains. I like the sharp production and the way they tackle their songs right away with little build-up. The vocals are also a major plus and style of music thrives on good vocals. I would have liked to have seen them mix up the approach a little bit and take a few more risks. It was a little predictable at times, but not so much that it tainted the fact that this is a decent rock album. Now I wish that I noticed how good they were the first time around.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Interview with Scott Hill of Fu Manchu

Fu Manchu formed in the early 1990's and have been plugging away playing a fuzzed out style of music somewhere between early 80's punk rock and late 70's hard rock. I recently got to talk to guitarist/vocalist Scott Hill and see how 2007 had gone and what plans they had for the future.

MM-“We must obey” came out earlier in the year and you have been on tour for months. How has touring gone so far and how much longer will this tour last?
SH---- We are back in Europe for the second time this year. We will have December off, have some local shows Jan. 2008, then a 6 week tour of the states Feb - April 2008. We will start writing a new record when that tour is done. Tours have been going great.

MM-“We must obey” is heavier and faster than you guys have been in quite a while. Why the change? Was it entirely planned or did you just have a lot of energy stored up?
SH--- It wasn't planned. I’m a HUGE fan of early 80's hardcore / punk and that's really all I listen to so some of those influences may be showing up more.

MM-You seem to have had more changes in your sound during this decade than you did in the 1990’s. Is that accurate and if so then why?
SH--- I havent really noticed. We always try to change things up without changing things up.

MM-Do you approach writing your music any differently now that say ten years ago?
SH--- No, it's exactly the same. Every Fu Manchu song starts with one riff. We try that riff and add to it. Music first then vocals, lyrics way later.

MM-There are no cars on the cover of the new album. Does that tie in with a change in attitude or not?
SH--- Yes, we have sort of overdone the automotive thing. Not sure if anymore wheeled things are going to show up on our artwork.

MM-What are the crowds like when you tour Europe? Is it a different kind of audience then here in the states or not?
SH--- The crowds in Europe are great. we just played and very crowd insane show in Gothenburg, sweden last night. The crowds in the states are very rowdy as well. San Diego has gotten insane lately. Everywhere seems to dig the heavy rock.

MM-You have had some problems with record labels in recent years. Is everything fairly stable now?
SH--- We are very happy with Century Media records and we hope that they are happy with us.


MM-Has this band accomplished everything you’d hoped they would at this point?
SH--- I never thought about that but we are getting close. We have toured the world a lot of times, released ALOT of records, put out our own record, the new "knew it all along / who are you?" 7", released a double live record, released everything on vinyl. All we need now is a dvd. That is being talked about now.

MM-Is it more difficult to play this style of music as you get older due to the energy you need or does it come as easy as always?
SH--- It's just as easy as it was 17 years ago.

MM-Since it’s almost the end of the year I am going to ask what are some of the best albums you have heard in 2007?
SH--- I like the It’s casual record. New Max Cady record.

Pick the band from the following pairs that you prefer and tell why.


--- When I was younger it was KISS, now it's AC/DC. I cant listen to KISS anymore.

Black Flag or Circle Jerks

--- Circle Jerks was the first band I ever saw live. that was Dec 1980. I was a youg kid and I snuck out of the house. After that show, all my rock records went to the back of my closet. Black Flag is my favorite band of all time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nothing heavier or as intense as "damaged"

Fireball Ministry or Orange Goblin

--- Both bands are good. Both bands are good live, can't pick.

Blue Cheer or Deep Purple

--- Blue Cheer. Love that band's first 2 records.

Acid King or Electric Wizard
--- I've never heard Electric Wizard. I've liked Acid King for a long time now.

MM-What future plans do you have?
SH--- Finish touring for "We must obey" in April 2008, then write a new record and do it all again.

MM-Anything else you want to say about your band or your music?
SH---- No.

Thanks to Scott for doing the interview.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blind Fury


Blind Fury hail from Boise,Idaho and they are currently shopping around their new cd "DO OR DIE" to labels in the hopes of getting signed. I went and checked out the tracks they had on their Myspace page. They sound at like early melodic progressive metal like Queensryche and Crimson Glory mixed with some modern influences. The music is fairly heavy and winding with a decent degree of variation. The vocals made me a little uncomfortable though. Not so much the tone, but it just like they were trying so hard to cram too much into the alotted time. It took away from the music a little bit. Still a band worth checking out so go have a listen.

Crashdiet-The Unattractive Revolution

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I was fairly optimistic about this CD from Sweden's Crashdiet going in and the opener "In the raw" hooked me right away. It has a bit of a Tigertailz meets early Motley Crue flavor to it with some catchy vocals and a strong overall flow. There is also a slight similarity to their fellow countrymen Loud -n-Nasty. It's a great way to begin an album and the second track "Like a sin" followed up nicely as well. It's a bit more mid-tempo, but just as striking and surprisingly smooth. At this point I was ready to think that this album was really going to be something, but I was a little premature with those thoughts. After the first two tracks the material tends to slow down some and the sparkle that they began with fades a little. The material is decent, but many of the songs fall into two categories. There are tracks that just kind of wander on without any big hooks or real direction and instead just sort of meander around for three minutes. Then there are songs that start off alright and have the huge production values that are present through this whole album. Yet they never quite live up to the sleeze glam sound that I am was hoping for as they instead settle for a Bon Jovi meets post-"Shout at the devil" era Motley Crue approach. That of course is their prerogative, but I was expecting something a little more edgy from them based on their image and the early tracks on this album. I think they showed that they can combine glam and be melodic however much of the album goes too far over to a sound that twenty years ago would have been referred to as "radio friendly". I love the vocals and I appreciate the production values yet if you smooth all the edges on this kind of music then you are left with something that's not far from ordinary pop rock and I don't think that's entirely what they had in mind. A decent album for certain, but not as good as I was hoping it turn out.

Interview with Markus Allen Christopher of M!SS CRAZY

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M!SS CRAZY released their debut alum in early 2006 and they have been very active since then with touring, recording more songs and perfecting their image. I recently got to interview vocalist Markus Allen Christopher and find out more about what his band has been up to and what their upcoming plans are.

MM- How and when did this band form?
MAC-November of 2005 and we recorded and released our CD in January 2006. But we later recorded 6 more songs to make it 16 songs and re-released it in 2007. We formed in the Bay Area. (Outside of San Francisco)

MM- What are you currently working on?
MAC-M!SS CRAZY is currently writing a new CD and plan to follow up with a 2008 Tour of the USA and Canada. We did 152 shows across the USA so we need to make a killer CD to follow the last one. It will be great and have everything rockers love!!

MM-I know that you have been playing more shows outside of the west coast this year. What has been the response to your live show?
MAC-It has been great!! Philly and New Jersey, Wisconsin to name a few were Amazing!
We have so many fans that we have not even played for yet! But our fans are so loving and friendly. I am greatful for all the wonderful people we have met on the last tour! I love Touring!! I wanted to see if my voice would hold up..and it just got stronger. I am happy that worked out!

MM-Any interesting stories from the road?
MAC-Oh man, just too many. But we had this freaky thing happen to us on our way to New Mexico. This bright light was following us for about 50 miles and I flipped out and Kim Racer was trying to keep me cool..but she was acting like it was no big deal. Until the lights went out on the bus. It happend twice. Our drummer was flipping out too. Then she accepted that whatever was out there was following us!! It never stopped until we got into Roswell. We all saw it and we still talk about that night and trip!

MM- Your make-up and the overall look of the band seems to changed some since your debut was released about two years ago. Is your look constantly evolving or is it where you want it to be now?
MAC-I think we will change it up as we go! it's fun to dress up and wear make up. we only did it for the attention and let everyone know that we were Hard Rock supporters! And our demographics for this band are 5 to 55 and it is better than any band. We hope that this new record deal will help spread the word more. but the look will change here and there.

MM- Since releasing your debut you have changed guitarists and drummers. Why all of the line-up changes?
MAC-People do a lot of talking. Talking out of their ass! We had to fire some of them and some just could not cut it. Some were just pricks! Like our last drummer Jimmy Z. He complained more than a housewife! The guy made everyone in the band and people we stayed with hate him. Some thought we would be rich and they had hopes of us making them millionaires over night. It's ok, nothing will stop this band.

MM- Were you in any other bands before Miss Crazy?
MAC-No. I just sang in the shower and stuff. I never thought I could really do it.
But I am happy I am doing it now! Thousands of fans and touring, endorsements,all
over the world! It is great!

MM-How has your vision for this band changed over the last two years?
MAC-Not to much. We stand for and believe in Hard Rock! We want to give the people and new band that plays music like AC/DC and KISS did before us! But we are not 65 years old and we will be around for a long time. I am so grateful for the people who accepted us and supported us! All the great reviews and interviews like you have been ripping!

MM-You and bass player Kim Racer seem to be the two more visible members of the band. Did it start out that way or has that happened just due to line-up changes?
MAC-She has been by my side though all this and we never gave up and we had a great chemistry on and off the stage. She was my best friend and lover. I love her more than love! Kim Racer is one of a kind! no matter who plays with us..We ROCKED together! Kim will always Rule!

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MM-You use your Myspace page more than many bands and it must pay off because of the amount of friends you have. How much effort have you put into it and how often do you visit your Myspace page?
MAC-Well we got hacked by some porno site and our page got deleted after we had 75,000 people on it. So we had to start over again. We have a lot of fan sites and our own, but Myspace is a great thing and it helps do PR great! I just check my personal one. We have some great PR people who do our main site and website!

MM-Choose the band from the following pairs that you prefer.

AC/DC or KISS? Both of them. They are our 2 main influences!!!

Def Leppard or Motley Crue? Both again totally rule to the max!!

Cinderella or KIX? Umm Both are the singer in those bands!

Twisted Sister or WASP..I don't know these two that well but I like what I've heard.

Aerosmith or Alice Cooper ..Both are great,but I don't know them that well. I don't have any of the Cds they have out. Only thing I know is the songs on the radio.

MM-Was wearing make-up distracting at all when you first started doing it? Is it all part of the routine for you now?
MAC-Oh, it is a total routine. We will only do this band with the make up. It has made us what we are and it makes us a little different than everyone who does not wear it!

MM- What are your touring plans for the future?
MAC-After we finish the new CD and get this new record deal done. It is about a week away. We will do the new CD and Tour everywhere starting in may 2008 and tour till we drop! I love being on the road and playing for the fans! Thank God for them.

MM- Where do you hope to be three years from now?
MAC-Bigger than we are and touring bigger places and hitting Europe and Japan. Really want to go to Australia too. Have more CDs out and have a million fans! That would be nice! We will still be the same Hard rock band that is grateful and humble.

MM- Is there anything else you want to say about your band or your music?
MAC-Thanks to everyone who has been here for us! We will do this new record, continue touring and trying to get the word out that Hard Rock is still fully alive with M!SS CRAZY!! Check out
or and add us as a friend. Also we have a website too. It has a ton of pictures and stuff to look at and get for yourself! it is

Thanks so much for the interview Mark! You are the best!


***Thanks to Markus for doing the interview.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mos Generator-Songs for future gods

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Small Stone

It’s never a necessarily a bad thing to have strong influences, but ultimately it’s how you interpret those influences and what the performer adds to those influences. In the increasingly crowded realm of stoner rock it seems that you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone who has a huge Sabbath influence. That’s fine, but if nothing is added to that formula then it doesn’t take me long to think something like “oh, here we go again with the Sweet Leaf revival”. So many bands focus in on just the heavy, doom aspect of Sabbath and that can be limiting. Washington state’s Mos Generator seem to have realized that Sabbath were also capable of bringing some major grooves as well. That aspect ties into having a solid rhythm section and at times relying on them to lead as much as the guitar. This band brings a rather lively, but extremely busy take on some 70’s metal. I would say there is also a bit of Thin Lizzy present plus maybe even some pre Destroyer KISS minus the cheese factor. It’s a complex variation, but it is a little more upbeat maybe and I think it requires a strong grasp of rhythm and using variations that some bands might be afraid to use because it may make them less “metal”. Mos Generator grab the songs and then they twist, bounce and shake them around all the while staying cool and in control. They know how to control and manipulate fairly simple ideas and it really works for them. Sure, there are songs that work better than others, but overall they have taken a proven style and spiced up so it's seems fairly fresh. Not necessarily an album that's going to hit you with one play, but several spins helped me to realize how good this album is. They take some chances, but I appreciate the results.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My button collection

Okay, this probably only interests me, but here are some pics I took earlier today of my button and pin collection. About 10% are non-music and they Star Trek, sports teams and some movie related buttons. About another 10% are plain rock and punk rock like the stones, the Cars, GBH, Minor Threat and others. The other 80% are hard rock and metal bands. I have not bought many at all in the last say six years, but I have quite a few. I have a few more on my two denim jackets, but I didn't feel like them off the jackets for these pictures.

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This is everything all in a pile minus my Van Halen buttons because I keep those in a different box. This pile just about fills up a cigar box.

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Here is a close-up of the above pile only I tried to turn more of them right side up.

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Here are some metal pins and I used to wear some them on my leather jacket many years ago. The larger ones are very solid.

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This is my Van Halen button and pin collection. Only one is with Sammy and maybe one or two of Dave from his solo career. The rest are Van Halen with Dave.

Wicked Stick-Ill Inspired

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Self Produced

Wicked Stick hail from Fredricksburg, Virginia and have been around for about three years. They play a style that is largely based on late 80's to early 90's hard rock and metal. They actually bounce back between hard rock and metal some and it's an approach that they handle with relative ease. The sound might be comparable to a cross between early LA Guns, "Slave to the grind" era Skid Row and maybe a dash of early WASP. For some reason they are far heavier than I was expecting and almost every song charges ahead. I was surprised by just how tight the playing is overall as they waste very little time in any of the nine tracks here. The vocals are overall fairly strong and rely more on energy than melody for the most part. I am always pleased when an album exceeds my expectations as this does. There were several moments on this album where I expected them to go in a safe direction, but they would surprise by keeping the pace strong and maintaining a heavier sound than I predicted. The lyrics are typical for this style, but the music and vocals more than make up for that. I do have two complaints about this album though. The first that too often the guitar is a little low in the mix and it seems to be well below the vocals and drums. This does dampen the overall sound a little and that's a shame because it 's definitely a production issue rather a skill problem. The other is far more minor and that's just that the album seemed a little short. Maybe it's because I liked it and just wanted more, but it seemed like it could have benefited from another song or two. Wicked Stick's Ill Inspired is an album that I immediately liked because of it's in your face approach and the fact that I like most of the bands that they sound like. A number of Cd's I just review and then tuck them away, but I will probably keep this one in my stereo for a little while.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What's coming up?

I am backed up on reviewing CDs so that's a lot of what you will be getting this week. I hope to have reviews of the following.

Wicked Stick-Ill Inspired
Mos Generator-Songs for future gods
Crash Diet-The Unattractive Revolution
Electric Earth- Vol.2: Words Unspoken

Plus interviews with:
Scott Hill of Fu Manchu
Markus Allen Christopher of Miss Crazy

I might even post pictures of my metal button/pin collection if I get a chance to take the pictures.

Have a good week, hope you get all your shopping done.

Puny Human-Universal Freak Out

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Small Stone

New York's Puny Human have released their third full length album and it took me a few spins to sort out my thoughts on it. It's rather basic stoner style that draws on Deep Purple almost as much as they draw on Sabbath. Yet the vocals and overall approach has some definite modern elements present. What I like about it is that they content to take their time and allow us to hear every nuance of the music and that's a bit plus. They also at least comparatively they use a relatively low dose of fuzz in their music. I think that works in giving them a more stripped down feel to their music and that particular sound works fairly well with what they are doing because they play a rather basic style. The downside would be that you have heard a lot of this before and by some bands that are more creative and quite a bit tighter. There are a few times where Puny Human break out of the pattern and slip in an unexpected jam with some truly cool riffs, but those moments are few and far between. If you do this kind of music then you really have to bring something to it. At this point in time we have all heard Black Sabbath and Deep Purple many times over plus many of their imitators so you have to really reach out and have it together if you think you are going to add something new to the mix. Puny Human do a little, but not enough that they are really going to stand out. Also the vocals were just very average, but they didn't really stand out or add a great deal. A decent album overall, but not as good as I was hoping for.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Destructor-Forever in leather

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Auburn records


So many bands from the 1980’s seem to come back at one time or another and in one form or another. Cleveland’s Destructor released their debut “Maximum Destruction” way back in 1985 and it was energetic although rough early thrash style album. The band broke up for some time and then reformed with three quarters of the “Maximum Destruction” line-up as Jamie Boulder took over on bass for Dave Holocaust who died back in 1988. The band released “Sonic Bullet” in 2003 plus a split album with Nunslaughter and an EP this year. Now we get “Forever in leather” and as the title suggests the lyrics are mainly cheese about being metal and that sort of dribble we have all heard many times over. They also make the mistake of trying to wear the same leather vests and outfits they were wearing twenty some years ago. They look silly, but that doesn’t matter because when it came to the music these guys really brought. Its old style thrash, but severely tight with layers of heaviness and numerous off the cuff solos all over the place. There is a track or two towards the end where they slow down more than I wish they had, but that’s very minor. The vocals work well and everything sounds very sharp as the bands tears their way through these songs. It’s very mid-1980’s sounding, but not to the point where it sounds dated because they have a fire behind them that sounds very real. That last point is what too many of the younger thrash bands of today seem to be lacking. Another thing that so many of the younger thrash bands I have heard this year are trying so hard to sound like Slayer, Kreator, Exodus or whoever that they never define themselves. Destructor sound like well Destructor and they continue to build on that sound they started on their debut 22 years earlier. That’s exactly what they have done, improved upon what they started and they managed to create one of the better thrash albums done in recent years.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Avenger of blood-Death Brigade

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Heavy Artillery

Las Vegas based Avenger of blood are yet another entry in the current “old style thrash revival” that has become so popular as of late. They contributed two tracks to the “Speed Kills…again” compilation a few months ago and those songs showed the band’s potential. They bill themselves as being influenced by German speed metal bands and that’s fairly accurate. The sound on “Death Brigade” is very much comparable to the early of Kreator and Destruction even down to the vocals. I would also there is a slight touch of some non-German influences as well, primarily early Dark Angel and perhaps some “Hell Awaits” era Slayer. The sound of the drums and even the overall slightly under-produced sound has this album sounding like it could have been done in 1985 or 1986. Now I loved a lot of German speed metal bands back then, but I don’t quite see the point of doing something that was already done two decades ago. Avenger of blood are easily more intense and perhaps more focused than some of the other current bands who are attempting to resurrect this form of music. However they still seem to fail to bring much to this sound that separates them from their influences and they don’t really add anything either. I think that’s the hang-up for a lot of fans, the fact that these bands are just copying a style that was rather thoroughly done a long time ago. If these bands don’t add anything new to the sound then there is no real reason to listen to this instead of pulling out old albums by Slayer, Kreator and all the rest. So far none of these new thrash bands have been able to add much of their own. Still Avenger of blood have contributed a very tight album that will at least initially appeal to thrash fans.

Loook back at 1987/Look ahead to 1988

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Hope you have enjoyed or at least tolerated my top ten albums of 1987 as well as the other awards I wrote on. That's going to wrap up 1987 and it was quite a good year come to think of it. There was largely quality and quantity as more bands were still popping up and major labels were continuing to pull metal bands in. Headbangers Ball was becoming a staple for metal fans and lesser known bands were getting some decent exposure as well. It looked metal was on the rise and it would seem that 1988 was going to be a great year. So what happened? Well, since my top ten albums for 1988 is almost a year away, I don't want to say too much. Yet I will say that it turned out to be a bit of a weak year for metal overall. There were more big name bands that released albums in 1988 than in 1987, but that didn't matter. It's not so much that there were a great deal of bad albums in 1988, but there were plenty of weak and average ones for sure. I also think that this was the year where major labels started to get a little out of control with signing just anyone to a deal. That also hurt the independent metal labels as they lost artists to the major labels because they couldn't compete with them. I remember reading an article in the summer of 1988 talking about the decline of attendance at arena shows for metal bands so far in 1988. They mentioned how acts like AC/DC, Van Halen, Scorpions, Maiden and Priest were having trouble filling arenas for the first time in the decade. It was true and if it hadn't have been for the popularity (I am not saying quality) of some releases later in the year then metal may have begun to really dip in 1988 instead of in 91-92. That's enough for now though, I will save more thoughts and random rants for next year.

***If you have suggestions on how I could improve the awards for when I do 1988 next December then let me know now.

Interview with Will Lindsay of Middian

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Middian are from Eugene, Oregon and formed out of the remains of YOB. They released a killer debut called “Age Eternal” on Metal Blade earlier in 2007. It’s a blend of heavy beats, swirling riffs and eeries vocals plus more. I recently got to interview bass player Will Lindsay to find out about the response to the album and what they are currently up to.

MM-How did this band form?
WL-Middian was formed by Mike. When Isamu and Travis quit Yob, Mike tried out a rhythm section that he just didn't feel was right to carry on what Yob was doing.
Mike started jamming with Scott. They knew each other from a music store they both worked at. Mike asked me to join the band because we knew each other pretty good. My previous bands all played several shows with Yob over the course of their existence.

MM-Who are your influences?
WL-My personal influences are bands like Black Flag, Rorschach, Born Against, old Carcass, old Napalm Death, Death, Black Sabbath, My Dying Bride, early Ozzy, etc...
Mike and Scott would have plenty of other things to add to that list, I'm sure.

MM-What has been the response to Age Eternal?
WL-People seem to like it. It gets compared to Yob quite a bit. For where we were as a band when it was recorded, we're really happy with it.

MM-How long did it take to write and record the album?
WL-We had been a band for about eight or nine months when we recorded the album. I think we spent a week-and-a-half tracking and about a month mixing.

MM-Where do you get the ideas for topics for your songs?
WL-Mike writes the lyrics. I'm afraid it isn't my place to offer those kind of insights.

MM-What are you currently up to?
WL-Scott got hit by a truck riding his bike home from work about a month ago. He had to get surgery on his collar bone, so we have not been doing a whole lot. I've been taking roadie gigs a lot the last few months, too. Once Scott gets healed up, we're gonna start writing our new album. We're also planning on doing some west coast shows with Indian in March.

MM-You finished your tour back in the summer. How did it go?
WL-There were ups and downs. Things should have been done better during the preparations and promotion, but that was beyond our control. We had a lot of good times and met a lot of good people. The last two-and-a-half weeks was with Minsk and they were a joy to travel with and hang out with.

MM-You have one album with five tracks so what was your set list like?
WL-Our set list varied, depending on the venue and amount of bands on the show. We usually played three songs off of the album and 'My War' by Black Flag. Sometimes we would do the whole album and there were a few shows where we only did two songs.

MM-Your songs are long and fairly complex at times. Are they difficult to reproduce live?
WL-We practiced a lot and played a lot of shows the month before we left on tour. They were all nailed down pretty well by the time we hit the road.

MM-You music probably gets put into different categories. How would you describe your music?
WL-I just tell people we're a metal band. I'm not overly concerned with which sub-genre people want to tag us to.

MM-What bands would you love to tour with?
WL-We have some good friends who play amazing music. I would love to tour with any of them. The folks we have done trips with before, like Ludicra and Asunder. I would love to do a real tour with them. Minsk again, of course. I'm looking forward to our trip with Indian. They're my favorite current band right now.
Yeah, our friends. That's who I would love to tour with.

MM-What does 2008 hold for this band?
WL-We're going to getting around the west coast a bit, but we're planning on laying low most of the year and writing our new album. Plans are to record it in the fall, and then do another US tour and a European tour in 2009.

MM-Pick the band you prefer from the following pairs.

Black Sabbath or Deep Purple: Black Sabbath.

High on fire or Mastodon: High On Fire

Electric Wizard or Sleep: Sleep

Rush or Yes: Yes

MM-What is the music scene like in Eugene, Oregon?
WL-A few good bands and a lot of garbage. Ninth Moon Black is the best Eugene band. If you're on the west coast, you should go see them in March when they tour.

MM-Anything else you would like to say about your band or your music?
WL-Thanks for the interview!

Thanks to Will for doing this interview.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Top five best album covers of 1987

Here are my top five best album covers of 1987.

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Motorhead normally had good covers, but this is a strong cover even by their standards.

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A beautiful painting that with the the sound they were beginning to perfect.

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3-Helloween-Keeper of the seven keys pt.1

I like how there are several points on the album where you can really see the depth as it goes beyond just one dimension.

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4-Black Sabbath-The Eternal Idol

Fairly basic cover, but somehow has a classic look and it just works for Sabbath.

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5-Anthrax-Among the living
A fairly simple approach yet I have always liked this cover a great deal.

Friday I will wrap up look at 1987 with a summary of that year and a look ahead to 1988.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Top five worst albums covers of 1987

Here are my top five worst album covers of 1987.

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1-Artillery-Terror squad

It looks like even the artist gave up half way through. Is that a liger on the cover?

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2-Wehrmacht-Shark Attack

This kind of stuff is okay if it's just you doodling on your book cover in sixth grade, but don't put it on and album cover. Don't pay anyone to do it either.

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3-Executioner-Break the silence

Oh, look at the big scary face. Glad they spared no expense on the band logo as well.

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4-DBC-Dead Brain Cells

Ooops, we drew our skull all itty bitty. Quick, draw a bunch of squiggly blood red lines to fill in the inky blackness!

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They didn't even include the normally cool Preist logo to try and save this turkey. None of those fingers are the one that the artist deserves to get for drawing this.

Top five best album covers of 1987 will be coming on Thursday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The 1987 Golden Turd award

Okay, the Golden Turd is not a worst album of the year award. Now being a bad album is required and that's the turd part, but the golden part refers to the album also being disappointing in some way due to the band having been good at some point. So the nominees are..

Def Leppard-Hysteria
Lizzy Borden-Visual Lies
Motley Crue-Girls, girls, girls

And the winner of the 1987 Golden Turd award is....

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Def Leppard-Hysteria

This followed two of the best hard rock albums of the decade in "High -n- dry" and "Pyromania". Hysteria was filled with drippy pop oriented, radio friendly songs, but it was all rather skimpy on the rock element. In fact it was also rather boring for the most part. I eagerly awaited this release in 1987 and then sat in disbelief as this once great band had gone downhill very quickly. I have given it chances over the years, but it certainly has not gotten any better with age. A very deserving winner indeed.

Still more awards to come as the top five worst album covers of 1987 will be up on Wednesday.

Most improved band of 1987

The nominees for the most improved band of 1987 are...
Alice Cooper
Black Sabbath

Some good choices, but it goes to Kreator.

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Their 1985 release "Endless Pain" might have just barely made a top 25 albums list for that year. Their 1986 album "Pleasure to kill" would not have made a top 25 list for that year. However, in 1987 Terrible Certainty was so good that it got the number three slot. A very strong offering and the first of several solid efforts that this band would put out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Number one

My top hard rock/metal album of 1987 is....

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Guns and Roses-Appetite for destruction

Despite how good Anthrax and Kreator's albums were this was still an easy decision. This was a fresh and interesting album that came at a time when hard rock was starting to get a little stale. G-n-R had a unique approach that brought some much needed life back to hard rock and they had appeal beyond just the normal crowd as well. Despite what Axl has (or hasn't) done with the band name, this is still a great album that holds up very well even today.

That wraps up the top ten, but "The most improved band award" and "The Golden Turd award" for 1987 will be out on Tuesday.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Great Kat-Worship me or die

Metal Mind re-issue

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We all have things we did when we were younger that seemed cool at the time, but later on we may look back and wonder, “What was I thinking?” I remember buying the hype surrounding the Great Kat’s debut and a lot of that was some garbage about her being the fastest guitarist around. Perhaps worse than buying the hype was that I bought the album and played it numerous times for a few months around late 1987 and early 1988. I even joined the Great Kat fan club and again “what the hell was I thinking?” I think it cost $1.00 or so and I got a button, an autographed picture of her and maybe a short newsletter. I still have the button, which is a big generic looking black and white deal that states, “Kat says worship me or die”. Oh, wait there is music of a sort here that I should probably address at some point. You know how Stormtroopers of death did “Speak English or die”? It was a bunch of very short songs that were also fast, heavy, simple and funny. Yes, the Great Kat is like that except remove heavy and funny and replace them with out of tune and dreadfully annoying. Her voice alternates between shrill and a grating dry scream, but neither is very appealing or effective. However, if she’s the fastest guitarist alive then it’s the music that really matters. Yes, its crap too as it varies between scattered noodling to something that sounds like someone throwing a plugged in guitar into a bunch of empty trash cans. I remember liking this because I thought it was so fast at the time yet now it doesn’t seem that fast at all. It’s also rather hollow with very little heaviness and for some reason that fact didn’t occur to me twenty years ago. The songs are mercifully short though so that’s a plus. Okay, some people may say it’s a joke album or a novelty act and it shouldn’t be taken so seriously. However, even as a joke act it would need to be funny or have some redeeming characteristic that makes it worthwhile. Unfortunately the Great Kat isn’t funny in a clever way or even in a silly way so the humor aspect doesn’t help this clunker much. All in all The Great Kat CD is one of those skeletons that should remain in the closet or at least keep it away from the stereo.

Number two

My top ten hard rock/metal albums of 1987 is nearing a close. Number two is....

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Anthrax-Among the living

The speed metal scene was growing fast and Anthrax were quickly finding their niche. With their own sound and goofy image, they were fast becoming one of the leaders of this style. Perhaps not the most creative band, but they were consistant, wrote some instantly catchy songs and had a singer who actually sang.

Number one will be posted on Monday. You should know who it is, but here are three hints.

#1)It's not Whitesnake's self-titled album.

#2)It's not Motley Crue's Girls, girls, girls

#3)It's not Def Leppard's Hysteria

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What's coming up?

It snowed here this week which was a shock this early in December. Other than that it's been fairly routine.

My Top ten hard rock/metal albums of 1987 continues with
Sunday-Number two
Monday-Number one
Tuesday-Golden Turd of 1987 Award and The most improved band of 1987 award
Wednesday-Top five worst album covers of 1987
Thursday-Top five best album covers of 1987
Friday-Wrap-up on 1987 plus look ahead to 1988

Plus these topics:
The great Kat-Worship me or die review
Destructor;Forever in leather review
Middian interview

Interview with Anthony Nichols of Meliah Rage

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Boston based Meliah Rage formed back in 1987 and quickly ended up on Epic records. They released their debut “Kill to survive” in 1988 and stayed on Epic for a few years. In the 1990’s the band went through several line-up changes, but eventually got back to recording. Their latest effort “The deep and dreamless sleep” was released in late 2006. I recently got to check in with guitarist Anthony Nichols and see what they were up to.

MM-Who are your influences?

AN- AC/DC, Metallica, Exodus, Blue Oyster Cult, The original Alice Cooper band, Riot and many others.

MM-This band formed in 1987 and was signed to a major label (CBS/Epic) and released the debut “Kill to survive” the very next year. How is it that Meliah Rage was able to get a major label deal so quickly?

AN-What I was told by our A&R label rep at the time was, he thought we wrote excellent tunes besides playing heavy and fast which was the buzz at the time.

MM-You released “The deep and dreamless sleep” last year. What was the response like to the album?

AN-Most of it was positive. It seems to be our most commercial sounding record which was un-intentional and that turned a few people off.

MM-How did your tour with Metal Church go?

AN-Besides the mid-winter cold in the Rockies it was great. We've toured with them before and they are great guys. I think musicaly the're a perfect fit for us to tour with. We're both not quite speed metal but close.

MM-Any good stories from the road?

AN-I would get people in trouble if I told the good stories!

MM-I have heard you band labeled as speed metal, power metal and just plain metal. Do you label yourselves as being a certain style or does it matter?

AN-Nope....when we came out it was the speed metal craze days.. Metallica, Anthrax, Nuclear Assult, Slayer, Megadeth, Testamnet ect. We had some some speed stuff but most has been mid paced with some thrash thrown in. I would say we're more like Metallica nad Megadeth as far as style goes. Mid to fast!!

MM-What is the biggest crowd you have ever played in front of?

AN-We've had some big shows. Small arena in Germany in 1990, Small arena in Maine in 1996 and we played to a big crowd at The Tweeter Center this past summer as part of the Heaven and Hell show. Mostly club tours over the years though.

MM-Since the band has been around for a while, how old is most of your audience now? Are they the same people who were coming 18 years ago or is it a mix of ages?

AN- A bit of everything. I realized we're getting a bit older when a fan in Cleveland brought his kids wearing Meliah Rage shirts. He had seen us 15 years ealier on another Metal Church tour.

MM-How do you think the metal scene has changed in the last 20 years?

AN-Well the vocals have gotten more aggressive than I think anyone could have imagined 20 years ago!!

MM-How do you think this band has evolved over the years?

AN- Personally I don't think much has changed. We don't go out of our way to do much differently.

MM-Meliah Rage have been around for twenty years now. Where do you see this band being five years from now?


MM-What are you currently working on?

AN-We're working on a new record. It is certainly the fastest record we've ever done. Rich Spillberg (former Wargasm guitarist) is producing it. That is a change from the last 3 records which were produced by Joe Moody. It should be out in the summer of 2008.

MM-Anything else you want to say about your band or your music?

AN-As Joe Perry says...Let the music do the talking!

Thanks to Anthony for doing the interview.

Number three

My top ten hard rock/metal albums of 1987 is already down to the number three slot and it of course is...

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Kreator-Terrible Certainty

Thrash was peaking around 1987 and there was a major scene going on in Germany. I think this was the album where Kreator went from being "a German speed metal band" to "the German speed metal band". This was their defining moment as everything came together and they justed blasted forward creating their own style.

Next up is number two on Sunday. The hint is that this band released two albums in 1987.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Number four

My top ten hard rock/metal albums of 1987 continues with number four. It is...

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Armored Saint's Raising Fear

Armored Saint's third album saw them moving forward and I think this is the second best album of their career. John Bush's vocals blended well with the killer music. Despite changing trends in metal (glam and speed metal gaining in popularity) Armored Saint stuck to their style and delievered another fine effort.

Already up to number three on Saturday. The hint is that this band was once known as Tormentor.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sense Datum

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Sense Datum hail from St. Louis and list Tool and Dream Theater as two of their main influences. They have three songs up on their Myspace page so I went and checked them out.
It's a little hard to hear everything on these tracks and I definitely hear the Tool influence, but so much Dream Theater or for that matter not too many progressive elements. I liked the vocals a good deal, they were not anything really new, but very strong and clear. I also thought that the rhythm section seemed to be very solid as well. The guitar sounded a little muddy in the mix and that just may be the sound quality more than the playing, but at times it sounded lost behind the vocals and the drums. They occasionally had some different sounds going one here and there, but largely it was fairly straightforward and moved along fairly well. So hop over and check them out.

Number five

We are already down to number five in the countdown of my top ten favorite hard rock/metal albums of 1987. Number five is.....

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Medieval Kills

Medieval were a trio from Michigan who unfortunately only made one EP and one LP, but both were spectacular. They played a rather raw style that blended speed metal, classic metal and other styles. I think they were a little ahead of their times and they were on New Renaissance records and that label a big part of the demise of several good metal bands. This has never been released on CD so if you see the vinyl just get it because it truly is that good.

Number four is up on Friday. The hint is that this album contains a cover of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Number six

My top ten hard rock/metal albums of 1987 moves on to number six. It is...

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Helloween-Keeper of the seven keys part.1

The band signed to RCA records and Michael Kiske was recruited to be the new singer while Kai Hansen stepped back into just playing guitar for the band. The style was a change as well, but it was a good change. The new album soared and Kiske's strong range allowed the band do more than they previously had. Unknown to them, the style they started here would be a huge influence on the genre we now know as power metal.

Now we move into the elite group, the top five. The hint for number five is that many copies of this album sat in a warehouse for a year due to problems with the distributor.

Hellcity 13

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Like all decades, there were positive aspects to the music of the 1980’s and there were negatives. Hellcity 13 are primarily a pop band with assorted hard rock undertones sprinkled throughout their album. They obviously loved music from the 80’s because they seem to aspire to sound like they were from that time and it is just more than being influenced by the music. They sound quite a bit like something you might hear on the radio between say 1986 and 1989. It’s all here, the big vocals, ultra smooth production, grating keyboards and an overall syrupy feel. Okay, it not all bad yet this band hits upon a lot of the features that I disliked about this style of music when I first heard it twenty odd years ago. Some of the vocals are decent enough and at times they even sound like they were patterned after Billy Idol or Michael Monroe. Occasionally they are a few fleeting guitar parts that show some flair. Still those parts are few and far between plus they seem to have gotten swept away rather quickly by the overall ham handed approach with which this band tackles their songs. There are parts here and there that work and I certainly believe they like the style in which they chosen to play and that’s great. Yet they are not smooth enough writers to really pull this off and they need to be. I think even fans of this style would easily pick up on the fact that the band struggles to carry solid melodies that could really help this style. There are moments when a song may begin okay, but they seem like they don’t quite have a good handle on the pace and the song quickly slips into being a pale copy of the style they so badly yearn to copy. It’s not without some moments, but overall they really need to spend some more time figuring out their direction. It may be a case of trying to do too much too soon.