Friday, July 20, 2018

Sandrider - Armada

2018
Really good rockin' out with punk energy.

Kiss - Lick It Up

1983
     Thanks to Vinnie Vincent Kiss were back on track with this album. This is a bunch of speedy metal songs. Held back by Kiss anthem and pop leanings. This album would have been more ripping and smoking if it were up to Vinnie. Popular metal at the time was Priest, Maiden and Scorpion. They are not going for that here. They're shooting for the Van Halen super guitar hero, but then holding it back with anthems. For 1983 they're right in line with Dokken and what's gonna be the whole L.A./Glam/Hair metal 80's thing, but somehow they're right on the cutting edge here. This is the last album where that will ever happen for Kiss.
     Plus we finally get to see Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent without their makeup.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Flex Bison - Heavy Rock and Roll Vol. 1

2018
There's something murky and menacing going on here. These guy groove ugly and it's hard to deny. Head bobbin! 

Professor Electric - Mark of the Serpent

2018
Gravely voice singing over some funky evil grooves. You can't help but groove with this. Some odd production values happening here that works perfectly with the material. Professor Electric is from Las Vegas.

SVVAMP - SVVAMP 2

2018
     Proto 70's chill blues rock. Laid back southern tinged rock. These guys are drawing from an era before things got crazy and fuzzy and freaky. These guys boogie on in a stripped down rockin way. You could compare these guys to bands like Allman Brothers, Blue Cheer, or but not quite. It would be better to compare SVVAMP to bands that we're around at the same time but never quite gained the same amount of popularity. SVVAMP is from Sweeden.

Wytch Hazel - II Soujourn

2018
     This is uplifting stuff. 70's Folk rock meets Metal. The album starts out as triumphant 70's NWOBHM galloping thunder then calms down a bit in the middle picks up the pace again and ends on a six minute folky power  ballad. The album cover looks like a sequel to Wishbone Ash 1972 album Argus and I'm sure that's no mistake. These guys are from the United Kingdom.

Haunted - Dayburner

2018
Dayburner is a slower burner. Just under the surface. It burns along slowly. Wallow in the doom. Fans of Windhand and Alunah would certainly enjoy this.  Haunted is from Italy.

Blind River - Blind River

2018
Soundgarden meets a simpler 70's southern ish rock. These guys are from the UK. They have some attitude in the vocals that might remind people of Kyuss. 

Alms - Act One

2018
Retro 70's Occult rock. Really easy to listen. Pleasant. This band is from Baltimore. Good songwriting.

Ripis - Shadow Dies in Morning Light

2018
Slow Doom metal. Atmospherically slow. This is along the lines of Apostle of Solitude but even they have more rock energy and soaring vocals This is Doom but doesn't quite sink down to being bleak. Maybe somewhere between Apostle of Solitude and Bell Witch. Vocals are melancholic. Ripis is from Austin, Texas.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Callipoe - Chapel Perilous

2018
Starts of with a bang of a cover of Pink Floyds' Astronomy Domine but Callipoe think they changed it enough to rename it Astral Hand and claim they wrote the song. Cool Heavy psyche tunes follow. Fans of All Them Witches, Dead Meadow, Ty Segall...These guys are from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Atlas Moth - Coma Noir

2018
Lots of screaming! I like this, but can only take this in small doses. It wears me out. This album just plain crushes. There is a lot going on here. A lot of metallic heavy crushing and rocking. It demands repeat listening. These guys are from Chicago, IL. This is their fourth album. There is occasionally a second vocalist doing clean vocals, There is just sounds swirling all around you and pummeling. A convergence of styles where you don't know where it's coming from next. A standout for 2018. 

Trichomoniasis - Trichomoniasis

2018
Death metal with some noise elements.

Turtle Skull - Turtle Skull

2018
Psychedelic rock in the area of Dead Meadow. Airy lush vocals. Turtle skull is from Sydney, Australia.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Kiss - Dynasty

1979
   I think this is their most fully realized album.(Up to this point)  Strong songs all the way through. Great production. It's not balls out rock and roll like Alive. This record was made in a different era. Where obviously they we're influenced by the popular music of the day. Something that would end up being their downfall.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ace Frehley - Ace Frehley

1978
     This is one of my favorite albums ever. Of the 30 or so Kiss albums, I have the most attachment to this one. This is the strongest set of songs that resonate with me personally. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Peter Criss - Peter Criss

1978
    I was dreading re visiting this album. I don't have any good memories of this, not when it came out. Not of the last time I listened this, which was probably in the 90's.
     It's bad right away. Stays bad. 
     Six songs in before I could find something even remotely listenable, Easy Thing. Wimpy ballad.
     There's nothing on here that I can enjoy ironically. Nothing here so bad it's good. Just bad. 
     Kiss The Girl Goodbye might be the second sort of listenable song. A really lazy ballad.
     The last song, I Can't Stop The Rain is probably the best on the record. It sounds very 70's Ballad. Something that Neil Diamond would sing I guess.

     I think he's going for a really light weight Jazzy funky Soul thing mixed with 70's adult contemporary ballads...and a light dash of 50's rock.
     

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Paul Stanley - Paul Stanley

1978
      Opener is pretty awesome. Tonight You Belong To Me. This song is not to far away from something like I Stole Your Love, but much more dramatic. I would say this is one of the very best Kiss songs of the 70's. Certainly better than half the songs of each previous record with much better production.
     Move On. I don't know, it's pretty cool I guess. I like the dramatic slow vocal parts. Catchy, but getting away from the straight ahead hard rockin of earlier Kiss albums.
   Then one...I forget.
   Wouldn't you like to know me. Big production precursor to Joan Jett's I Love Rock and Roll, but more balladry.
     This song and the one earlier, that I forgot remind me of Shandi that would come later. This one is pretty dramatic. Together As One. Then it gets Big, like Queen or Zeppelin or something. Then quiet again. and it's like you're out on the plains. Reminiscing. Then BIG! Bluesy guitar.  Sheeeout. Big production of drama! It's like the outro of Stairway to Heaven. Almost. 
     Next song starts out like Mr. Speed. then sounds like the upcoming Sure Know Something. And sounding very pop rock for the late 70's. Pretty catchy.
     Next song sounds like a 70's TV show theme/coffee commercial. Sad.
     Love in Chains is a rocker, Hendrix style. Kind of. Really ready for the radio and hinting at riffing that would show up Lick It Up Era. 
     This is the second best solo album and really is just as good as anything Kiss had done since Destroyer.

     This album isn't very far away from anything Kiss had done up to this point. Which would lead you to believe he was pretty much in charge and the band was going in the direction he wanted.


Gene Simmons - Gene Simmons

1978
     I dreaded the thought of going back and listening to this. When I finally did, I had to force myself. I've been revisiting Dynasty lately after listening to the earlier Kiss discography. Dynasty is the best album they had put out up to that point in their careers. So, being suaded by that I started in and realized that Radioactive was not really any worse that the songs he had done with Kiss recently. 
      Radioactive has a cool intro bit as well.
      Burning Up With Fever sounds pretty slick and generic and polished and aimed at the general population. It still sounds like Kiss, other than the Motown type back up singing during the chorus. Oh! Is this the one where Donna Summer sings?! I think it is! 
     The third song is shooting hard for placement in the Starskey and Hutch falling out of love scene. Catchy seventy's style shooting for the top 40. Killer light, light weight pop. 
     Forth song.I don't know what I missed, I kinda tuned out, but the fifth song True Confessions steps off in to pure crap. It's like Meatloaf or something. This is the farthest thing in the world that you want to hear as a Kiss fan. This is Gene swinging for the fences in search of some mega hits that reach the lowest common denominator in the biggest pop sense. 
   Livin in Sin is really really bad if you are a 14 year old Kiss fan...un listenable in the most disappointing of ways. and it just gets worse...
    Next song has an Elder vibe going on. Mysterious. Is it cheese? Wait, it's getting dramatic!  In a Golden Slumbers kind of way. Then full on Hey Jude.
   Man of a Thousand Faces. This is where it goes fully bizarro if your a Kiss fan. This is not what you signed up for and this does not match the album cover, in a Sgt. Peppers outro kind of way.
      Mr. Make Believe full on attempt at some type of Beatles thing, very much Beatles thing. Again, this is nothing you want to hear as a 14 year old Kiss fan. This is Gene selling out in the biggest way he knows how. This is some fancy production. I see what he was going for here. 
    Then a remake of See You In Your Dreams that sounds almost identical to the original. By the end though that the production is much more lush.
    Then When You Wish apon A Star. Which is pretty insane.

Paul's ends' up sounding very much like Kiss, which would lead you to believe Kiss wasn't holding him back from anything he wanted to do. The other guys either felt restrained, or maybe in the case of Gene used at as an exercise to really shoot for the top 40 in the most pop way he could think of.
     


     

Monday, July 9, 2018

KISS - Love Gun

1977
Three awesome songs. I Stole Your Love, Shock Me and Love Gun.

Christine Sixteen works pretty well as a pop song made for the radio.

Almost Human has a cool riff and cool sounds.

Tomorrow and Tonight is an anthem along the line of Rock and Roll All Night.

Got Love For Sale is uptempo and kind of catchy.

Hooligan. Almost Human, Plaster Caster and Then She Kissed Me are all pretty much pure filler.

A lot of Gene song on here and none of the best ones are his.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Kiss - Rock and Roll Over

1976
     Right out of the box this one is smokin'! I Want You!
     Next song, uh...yeah, OK,OK Paul's singing again. Here we go, Party is still rolling! Live it up! Make Me Feel It Baby! Quick Ace Frehley solos always take it up a notch!
     Third song. Instantly recognizable. Dr. Love. Gene sings now. It's more menacing...right up to the chorus where it takes on a Beach Boys vibe. Repeat...Ace Frehley Solo!...chorus repeat a million times...and out. 
     The first three songs have a soaring rocking high energy feel/vibe to them.
     The forth song "Ladies Room" sung by Gene has a stiffer more upright feel. Like something from Dressed to Kill.
      Fifth Song sung by Peter. Baby Driver. It feels a lttle stiff too, but it's the vocals are cool and they're accented with Ace's guitar playing. I assume it's Ace. The interplay between the vocals and guitar are what sets this song apart. The song suffers from the formulaic pop verse chorus thing, but that was Kiss does.
     The next song Gene sings and I'm feeling the energy leave the room until they get to the chorus, "Love 'em Leave 'em". Then you start paying attention to the lyrics for the next verse and they lead you right back to the chorus and...look out here come some little taste of a solo coming up and...DUCK! another Ace Frehley solo. Success!
      Next song starts out stiff and upright again, like something off of Dressed to Kiss. Mr Speed. Paul is singing and the riff keeps you moving along, but...still kinda feels like filler, but it's catchy and keeps your attention and here comes the Ace solo...which ends ups being not quite as exciting as the on earlier songs. Then you end up just waiting for this song to be over.
     Next up a Gene song, more up tempo. With Paul doing the chorus.  It's kind of like Rock and Roll All Night, but more up tempo and more story telling, less anthem. Ace does a quick solo to make the song better than it was...and a boring repetitious outro.
      Now, Hard Luck Woman. Garth Brooks covered this 20 years later. It's a pretty awesome song with Peter singing. It feels out of place with everything else that has come up to this point. Obviously, Beth was a big hit on the previous album. So, they're trying to duplicate that here for a single I would assume. This is it's own song though and doesn't sound anything like Beth. It's just good by itself.             New song. High energy! Makin' Love! This one makes me think of Alive II version that is a high energy rockin' coooker! One of my favorite songs on Alive II...and Ace does a rippin' solo here. Then repetition and out. Now...what? The album is over? That was pretty good. This is a meat and potatoes blast off compared to the album before it. Destroyer and its fancy production. 

Dressed To Kill came out March 1975
Kiss Alive came out September 1975.
Destroyer came out March 1976.

Now this album comes out November 1976?!

Rock and Roll over is a different animal...it's apples and oranges, but this record is better than Destroyer. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Kiss - Alive


1975
If you can only have one Kiss album, this is the one.
 Partly because it's a greatest hits album, (when none of the songs were hit's), but it's "live" these these recordings are just better than any of the versions that came on the previous albums.

You Know, at this point, as far as the legitimacy of this being a live recording. It's more or less safe to say, at the worst, this is live drums tracks that they worked with to re record the songs over again. Then this a better representation of the way the band sounded three albums in...really you could look at the first three albums as demos. Then boom here is there first album...with a different name, not claiming to be live. Bam! This is some Rock Out!...Really, If you like something like the Stooges, rudimentary, livin' on attitude and rock and roll party, Good times! Something stripped down to it's essence.Then presented in the most explosive over top way. These songs presented like this, connected with a lot of people. People who criticize, basically claim it not sophisticated enough, which is the exact opposite of what they're trying to do.

How much time realistically are the gonna spend trying to salvage something, when it would just be easier to start from scratch. There must be something of substance on the original tapes. If they're gonna polish them up to make them listenable, they did a good job of not over doing it. The performance seems authentic.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Kiss - Dressed To Kill

1975
     Man, I love the first song. Room Service is catchy and the lyrics are totally ridiculous/cool. The lyrics put it over the top for me. I grew up a Kiss fan, I don't really remember being a big fan of this album when I was a kid/high school. I think it wasn't heavy enough. The guitars seem kinda jangley. Not the screaming sounds of Alive. I played Alive to death over the years. The songs on that from this are great. I think I've grown to appreciate this album more in recent years. Room Service especially. The camp factor is high here. C'mon and Love Me. "I'm a man, I'm no baby and you're looking every inch of lady".

Black Sabbath - Born Again

1983
Two words to describe this. Fantastic and Weird. This album is weird. It's the best Black Sabbath album...after like, six other ones, but this is totally unique. It's hard to get into, but there's always something there... nagging at you... and it's weird.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

KISS - Alive II

1977
     I'm pretty sure this is the first Kiss album I ever got. I had them all not long after getting this one. I guess I was around 10 or 11 when this came out.
     Kiss we're bigger than life. They we're rock/metal and they we're catchy. So if your're a 13 year old with no prior experience with "Metal" and something that comes along that's catchy enough to turn you to the "Metal" side...I assume everybody reading this understands what it's like to be a hardcore music fan, a "Metalhead" or whatever. I think Kiss let millions of kids know there was a musical alternative to Barry Manilow, KC and the Sunshine Band, or John Denver or the Carpenters or whatever...KISS was super popular because they were accessible. They we're a gateway band for a lot of people to go discover more "serious" music or whatever, and if you were 12,13,14, years old when that happened, you're never gonna forget it.
     Before Kiss, I had Beatles and Beach Boys records. After Kiss I had Van Halen.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Heaven and Hell - The Devil You Know

2009
This plods and chugs along. It's got Dio singing and Iommi riffing. This is comparable to Black Sabbaths' 1992 release Dehumanizer. Really it's nothing like  80's Heaven and Hell or Mob Rules from 1981. Same line up. This is an above average metal album, certainly nothing great...I don't know though, anything that has Dio singing really puts it out of reach of most. I never pull this out to listen to it. If I tried harder maybe I could get into this, but it really feels like an above average album with non memorable songs. It's like I have to do the work here.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Kaiser - 1st Sound

2018
Big beefed up rockin and rollin stoner rock. Fans of Dozer would like this. I like this, Fuzz factor 10! .. Soundgarden type wailing. Kaiser is from Finland.

Earth Sorcerer - Earth Sorcerer

2018
Murky stoner groove jams with echoey vocals. Like early Dead Meadow or Earthless without the guitar taking off and leaving. Sleep type rockin. The low fi recording is the selling point here. It's all grungy and the music fits the production perfectly and add to the quality of the whole thing. Earth Sorcerer is from France.

Blacklab - Under The Strawberry Moon

2018
Sabbath is just the jumping off point here. Really, this song descend into madness before you know what hit you. Two women from Japan make up this band. Certainly a standout release from 2018.

New Space Riders - Amoretum Vol. 1


2018
I get a total 80's vibe from this. Their Bandcamp page says they're "New Wave of Heavy Psychedelic Space Rock. They're from Germany.

Bible Black Tyrant - Regret Beyond Death

2018
You know, if there is such a thing I would thing this fits into a West Coast sound. Not so far from something like Neurosis.

Black Sabbath - Forbidden

2018
     Flat, low energy. Flat production. 
 It was the last album of a four album deal. Sabbath was not happy with the record company. They didn't think they put enough effort in promoting the previous albums. They also brought in the Body Count guys. Tony Martin didn't know if Ice T was gonna be on the one song or all of them! Martin also heard that Sabbath was gonna do a reunion with Ozzy. Martin wasn't invited to band meeting at the time. So, it sounds like you know, bad vibes all around at the time of recording this. Also I read recently, Iommi want to remix and re-release this album. He said the songs are good
      I read that after Sabbath finished recording they were just gonna give it to Ice T to see what he wanted to do. So, that's another thing going through Martin's mind when he was recording his vocals...as well as a talks Ozzy reunion.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Black Sabbath - The Eternal Idol

1987
Right out of the gate I notice the style of the singer doing things very much in the style of Dio, he mellows out on that over the course of the album. Does more of the classic rock Deep Purple style singing.I've listened to this in the past out of curiosity. I'm about half way through it right now. I don't mind it so much, but there's nothing so much memorable about it. I mean after each song is over, I can't even think of anything that stood out about it, or why I should return to it and listen to it again in the future. 
I'm still listening though.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Tentacle - Ingot Eye

2013
Souls at Zero era Neurosis style heaviness and misery without any of the build up. Simiar to Unearthly Trance. These guys are from Boston, Massachusetts.

Yellow Dust - Slodge

2018
You know, the guys sound kind of Grunge to me. Big production sound. Yellow Dust is from Germany.

Witchcryer - Cry Witch

2018
Modernized retro doom with an old school metal edge, good songwriting and wailing vocals. This band is from Austin, Texas.

Welur - Caly ten senny stuff

2018
Well, this certainly seems to have a Sonic Youth thing going on.

Thal - Reach For The Dragon's Eye

2018
High energy doom with some stand out vocals. These guys are from Columbus, Ohio.

Shrooms Circle - EP

2018
Tasty 70's style occult-ness. 

Shine - Moon Wedding

2018
Slow and heavy doom with mellowed out psyche vocals. Lumbering, but still manages to rock when it needs to. These guys are from Poland.

Onyric Joy - Takes From the First Light

2018
Progressive space rock.

Okwaho - Okwaho

2018
Slow and low...and heavy...and slow.

Baro Chandel - Baro Bokhalo

2018
High energy catchy stoner metal/rock.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Shepherds Crook - Black Lake

2018
Low and slow Doom with evil Black Metalish extreme vocals.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sixcircles - New Belief

2018
Neo Psychedelia. Laid back folk and psched out garage rock revival poppy sheen.

Abysmal Grief - Blasphema Secta

2018
Blackened Alfred Hitchcock soundtrack horror like Ghost but a lot beefier. For some reason I was expecting some kinda of complex progressive Death Doom, but this turned out to much more light weight and verging on being silly.

Thirst Planet - The Essence

2018
Exceptional Stoner Metal from Israel .

Fernando - Fernando

2018
Relatively straight forward hard stoner rockin'. In the neighborhood of Red Fang. Fernando is from Portugal. Once in a while they remind me of Big Business.