Thursday, December 24, 2009

Intruder - Higher Form Of Killing

1989
Straight foreword Thrash that's recorded real well, so you don't notice sometimes in between the sure fire thrashin parts there are some riffs that are a bit less than awesome. If you like background Thrash while your driving or cleaning you would probably never notice.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Bottle Doom Lazy Band - Blood For The Bloodking

2008
Big big heavy slow monstrous riff doom. Much like early Melvins or Grief. If these guys were a local band I'd go see them every time they played. Listening to the CD reminds me of other CD's I already own and have listened to a million times. That's not to say this isn't good stuff. The only thing that sets it apart is the vocals. WHen they get into the groove everything seems fine. The really slow parts however border on comedy. The album has some interludes to break up the doom.
Slow and long songs for fans of heavy rock doom. Not that wimpy goth doom.

Hard Stuff - Bullet Proof

1972
A couple guys from Atomic Rooster. Some Jimmy Page inspired guitar rockin'. Sounds a bit like the Leslie West Mountain songs but not that simple. Little bit of Sir Lord Baltimore type rockin' maybe even Montrose. Better than average 70's hard rock. A lot better than average. These guys are pro! Vocals sometimes remind me of Joe Walsh.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Black Elk - Black Elk

2006
If they were on AmRep in the late 80's early 90's they'd be one of the better bands, but hey this album came out in 2006. They remind me of Hammerhead sometimes, but don't really sound like them. They sound pissed and they rock. I like this one.
Noise rock metal. Rip apart the room.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Beat Of The Earth - The Beat Of The Earth


Sounds like some hippies on acid jamming. Comes together pretty good sometime at their best they sound like a surfy/Velvet Underground/Jim Morrison all night jam. At the worst they sound like the Doors wondering all over themselves lost but not giving up in a hippie kind of way. These hippies don't seem all that friendly though.

Kyuss - Wretch

1991
First album. Raw and angry. The production sucks you in, it's almost murky. The music sounds squashed.
Killer.
I keep wanting to turn it up.
Like your in a tunnel and the throbbing marshmello of the band is taking your oxygen.
Guitar amp sounds like it's shredding it and you've got your head stuck in there.

Cheap Trick - Rockford

2006
On this CD you never forget your listening to Cheap Trick. I love the sound they make as a band. I like Robin Zanders voice. I'm probably a bit nostalgic over this. Songs lean on the side of slower/mid tempo pop rock. Well crafted pop songs, middle of the road stuff. Searching for that elusive hit song that will put them back on top. I like it. Lots of Cheap Trickisms. A lot of familiar sounds, wher I think to myself,
"Oh, I've heard that before".
Just little reminders. Very Sparking recording. The slickness robs the songs of energy. It doesn't sound like four guys in a room rockin'. It sounds like recordings perfected with computers. I'm not blown away by it, but this is one of the better Cheap Trick albums since '84? or so.

Yardbirds - Roger The Engineer


Anybody who wonders why The Yardbirds never achieved superstardom even though they had Clapton, Beck, Page, Nugent and Van Halen all pass through their ranks, needs to look no further than their singer. The band is already outgrowing his poor Mick Jagger imitation by this release. Still, this is really good stuff. Catchy pop songs (well, they're not that catchy. This isn't the Beatles were dealing with here) with guitar really breaking lose every once in a while. All original tunes here. Jeff Beck playing better than anything I've ever heard him do. Bluesy British invasion type pop. Harmonica too.
Not totally outgrowing their R and B roots, or not really advancing and growing. Little bit though.
Sounds more like early Rolling Stones than anything else.

Fleetwood Mac - English Rose

1969
Very similar to the first album but better. Production is better, vocals sound good. They sound more like a rock band playing the blues this time around. I would recommend this before the first album.
Blues.
Mellow.
I'm feeling this one even more than the first.

Fun Facts: This is a compilation album released in 1969. U.S. Only. Six of these songs are from the UK only Mr. Wonderful. Their second release.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cheap Trick - Woke Up With A Monster


Ted Templeman's production cuts my head in half and not in a good way. Among the very worst Cheap Trick or The Eurythmics or Power Station has to offer. Worse than the Worst AC/DC album...I think. Also some of the worst examples of a early 90's metal ballad. Way watered down like second generation White Lion. The last few songs almost become listenable if you're a big Cheap Trick fan.

The Who - The Who Sings My Generation

1965
Awesome!
This is a good one. Rockin' British envasion pop harmonies. The band rocks, but it's all about the guitar and drums. Up front may be a bit technically advance term to describe, louder may be a more appropriate description of the guitar and drum placement. There's a lot of catchiness and a surprising amount of aggression. A song towards the end that's a James Brown type song that borders on being parody. Rockin' Wipeout trip fest too.

The Rolling Stones - 5x5

1964
Slow dance at the sock hop.
Organ.
Primitive hypnotic blues rock.
Harmonica.
Chuck Berry cover.
Pretty groovy stuff.

Fun Facts: Five songs by five guys = 5x5.

Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited


Folk gone rock turned crazy talk.

Cheap Trick - Busted



The follow up to the biggest hit of their career.
Best to avoid this dreck.
Contender for the very worst Cheap Trick album.

-Bottom of the barrel for Cheap Trick. I'm sure this was an attempt to not broke what is fixed and try to recreate the previous top selling album. Problem is, that one sucked too.

Yardbirds - Five Live Yardbirds


This is a party!
A Rave Up!
You can feel the energy here and see what got everybody fired up.
1964 Sweaty club.
60's blues rock in it's infancy.
Swaggering.
Frenzied.
Harmonica.
Eric Clapton.
Makes you want to go into town. Get a malt and vandalise stuff.
It gets smoky too.
Raw and Loose.
The seed.

Fun Facts: Whole album is covers. Chuck Berry, Isley Brothers, John Lee Hooker ect...

Paul Butterfield Blues Band - The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw


Blues rock leaning towards soul.

Fun Facts: No Bloomfield + horns.

Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac

1968
When I first put this on I dismissed it, "this is just the blues". Funny thing is, I keep getting drawn back to it. Great guitar blues rock.
I prefer my blues my blues to be more over driven and over the top, or by an old black guy sittin' on his porch in the south during the depression. This has some good guitar playing. That is for sure. These guys do such a straight interpretation of the blues and do it so well it's makes you wish for more. More of their own personal blues expansion. Half this album is cover and half is originals, but I can't tell any difference. 1968 seems pretty late in the game to be playing it so straight, they must be purest.Sounds like they're playing live in the studio. I like this one more each time I listen to it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baroness / Unpersons Split - A Grey Sigh In A Flower Husk

2007
A split CD.
Baroness: Sounds like the hardcore kids discovered Iron Maiden.
Unpersons: Sounds like the hardcore kids like Drive Like Jehu.
I like both these bands. It's just that this particular release doesn't bowl me over. I did see Unpersons live a few year ago and thought they were great.

Reverend Bizarre - In The Rectory Of Reverend Bizarre

2002
Big heavy huge plodding in the most 70's Sabbath kind of way. Vocals like Bobby Liebling/Pentagram with the sincerity of King Diamond. Awesome. Doom! Big heaviness that's reminiscent of early Melvins albums. Long Long drawn out heaviness only matched by Electric Wizards' extended fits. I think there's more of a payoff at the end with Reverend Bizarre. Six songs 74 minutes. A modern day doom metal classic.
Pure.

John Mayall Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton - John Mayall Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton


Urban blues funneled through 60's English dudes. Cranked up distorted Marshall stack overdrive solos. Jimi Hendrix style.
Landmark album.
Groovy Hammond organ too.
Don't forget about the drum solo.
Awesome.

This record makes Sadie dance more than any other.

Skip James - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues


Awesome dark moody blues. Just Skip James fingerpickin' his guitar. He's got a great haunting voice. Half or so of these songs were written by James in 1931 the others were new when this was recorded in 1964 and the quality is great. My favorite type of blues right here. Solitude. Depression era Delta Blues.

Fun Facts:
Cream covered James' song "I'm So Glad". Which is not on this album.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

DeWollf - Strange Fruits And Undiscovered Plants

2009
This is very good.
60's psychedelic blues rock like Cream, Deep Purple, a bit of early Pink Floyd. Oh, yeah and Hammond Organ. Leans a bit to the mellow side of things and gets pretty soulful in a rock and roll kind of way. Very retro sounding and they do it. Sounds authentic.

DeWolff MySpace

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reverend Bizarre - Death Is Glory...Now

2009
Old School Doom!
Pentagram meets Electric Wizard without all the distortion and a touch of Merciful Fate thrown in.
Evil.

Fun Facts:
This is a 2 CD compilation of a bunch of hard to find stuff, the second CD is covers.

Reverend Bizarre MySpace

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Radio One


Recorded during five different radio sessions between February and December 1967. Really clean recordings. Jimi is rippin' it up all over the place. Lots of psychedelic blues rockin'. Nine or 10 songs that are not on the first couple albums.
"Look, Jimi. I'm terribly sorry but we seem to be getting quite a bit of distortion and feedback and can't seem to correct it". - Producer of first hendrix radio session 2/13/67.
Highly Recommended.

Fun Facts:
All of these recordings are included on BBC Sessions released in 1998.

Bongzilla - Gateway

2002
I love Bongzilla. They're big and huge like High on Fire (for the rockin' hugeness) or Electric Wizard (for the drag it out riff a rama to death). Bongzilla was meant to be seen live. Because they were more about the feeling. The feeling of huge heavy and huge. Sabbath type riffs. This one production wise is the best CD they put out. Screechy screamy horse screamin' vocals. Always. I like this kind of music a lot. I don't revisit this CD too much though. If you like it big and heavy this is a must hear. It's big heavy chugging is so memorable you forget that some of these songs are pretty fast and remain just as huge.

Bongzilla MySpace

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cheap Trick - Special One

2003
Don't know what Cheap Trick is going for here. Except a shot at getting on the radio station they play at the dentist. This record leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

However, I did see Cheap Trick in the summer of 2009 and one of the highlights of the night was when they play the song Best Friend which comes from this album.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kiss - Carnival Of Souls : The Final Sessions


Holy Soundgarden!
Shameless
Just on the strength of the first two songs this is one of Kiss' top ten releases.
Holy Soundgarden!
Sped up War Machine basketball game.
Gene Simmons is no Layne Staley.
Kiss journeys to the land of Evermore. Who be you strange traveler?
Starman make better Staley.
In My Hand = The Suck.
Demon and Starman combine to make Kiss Staley Man song.
Seduction of the Innocence = the suck even worse.
Things start getting pretty weak towards the end thanks mostly to Simmons. Took a turn for the odd really.
Losing steam.
The songs get progressively worse as the album progresses. By the time they get to the end they've hit...wait for it...Rock Bottom!
The first time I heard this was in 2009. What a document! Grungetastic!

This was Kiss at the crossroads. After this they decided to take Beach Boys Blvd.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kiss - Revenge


So bad.
The fact that Kiss' cover of God Gave Rock And Roll To You II is on here obliterates any thing that could even remotley resemble anything good coming from this album.
I've been listening to Psycho Circus and Sonic Boom recently and surprisingly both those albums sound more like Kiss than this one.
Lyrically this is more fake angry tuff guy sexist ego maniac oriented. As opposed to the theme on Psycho Circus/Sonic Boom which is we're all in this together and are gonna rock n roll and forget all our problem together so let's have a good time! Because it's us together against them and they ain't gonna tell us what to do.

Mountain - Climbing!

1970
First song is Mississippi Queen. It rocks and has smokin' guitar and cowbell. The second song reminds me of Whiter Shade of Pale keyboards dominate. The next song and pretty much all the rest of the album sound a bit like Mississippi Queen with keyboards added into the mix. This album reminds me a lot of Cream especially the vocals. Felix Pappalardi who produced Creams' Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire plays bass and shares singing duties with guitarist Leslie West.
Too short, leaves you wanting more.
The Leslie West songs sound pretty much like a blueprint for the first Kiss album. Musically, and the fact that it's OK to have to distinctly different song styles from two different song writers.
A hard rock classic.

Fun Facts: Mountain played at Woodstock.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Buffalo - Volcanic Rock


Good Blue Cheer meets Grand Funk Railroad. Better than where Sabbath was at in '73. Plus the guy wails like Chris Cornell when he was at the top of his game. Complete album of solid rockin'. A classic must have.

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond

1972
Criminally overlooked classic rock album. Sounds like early Lynrd Skyrnd meets Santana for a drive through the countryside. Good musicians playing good songs. The whole albums flows smoothly from beginning to end. This a great record and a must for fans of classic rock/progressive hard rock.
I'm trying to think if I've ever said "criminally overlooked" in a conversation with a real person. I doubt it.

I'm diggin' this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kiss - Sonic Boom

2009
Opener is a passably solid rocker. Gene Simmons is silly. More like 80's hair metal then the 70's rock that people claim this is supposed to be getting back to. The Paul songs sound like Paul songs. Pauls voice gets a bit hoarse/raspy here and there but I suppose there was nothing they could do about it. Gene songs sound like Gene songs. His ego is big. You can hear where they went back and tried to draw from their old stuff. If you were not a life long Kiss fan You just might dismiss this and say it sucks, and it does have it's fair share of suckiness. But it bounces back and forth from suck to interesting. Sometimes during the same song. Gene Simmons is silly. They give Thayer the vocals on a song which is not such a bad idea. His voice sounds more like Peter Criss than Ace ironically. The chours is pretty sucky. He whips out a bunch of Aceisms during the guitar solo. (Oh ,Turns out the song I thought Thayer is drummer Eric Singer).
Kiss does a pretty good job of trying to copy who they once were. But they refuse to give up the big sing a long anthem crap. They insist on shoving and forcing it into every song. Without a doubt their best album in 25 years. Thayer outdoes Ace at being Ace. He's got the tone down and "get's it". This is better than I expected it to be. I don't think I know a single person who would like this. I do think this has most appeal in middle American and Taiwan.

The Who - Live At Leeds (Deluxe Edition)


Awesome!
In 1969 I can't imagine anybody except for Hedrix that could equal the Pure Rock Out found on this album.
In between song banter!
A lot of variety. From the early pop songs to the extended rock blues cover rock jams to the mini rock opera "A Quick One". Not to mention "Tommy". I've usually listen to the first disk and by the time it's over I don't have any interest in listening to Tommy. I never have to tell you the truth. I started to a couple times. Extensive story telling in the songs. I can see why it was originally released in it's condensed version. There was just too much going on for the mere mortal rock listener of 1970. These is the stuff to make heads explode. Especially the delicate minds of the acid damaged drug casualties of the 60's. The crowd sure got their moneys worth on this night.
The rock factor energy of power to rock is so much more over the top compared to any studio release before this.
It's such a good time to hear the Who. Before any of the Who's Next era Synthesizer rock. The Peak! Right here.

One big rockin' machine. Amazing band. Everybody comes out guns blazin'. Some people prefer AC/DC or Metallica. The Who presents a bit more of a challenge and they're not always mean and aggro. They have a sense of humor and sometimes people don't like that mixed with their rock. Luckily there is some of the most aggressive guitar playing you'll ever hear coming from Pete Towshend. Keith Moon is just nuts. My favorite drummer ever.
There is a second disk where they play Tommy.

Fun Facts: This was originally released as a six song 30 minute record. A has for years been consider one of the greatest live rock albums ever recorded.

Jimi Hendrix - Woodstock


This is a cool document and all but not the place to start with Hendrix. There's a bunch of other guys on stage with Jimi, but it's rare that you ever notice anything other than the bass or drums. Jimi is way cranked up. This particular bunch of musicians had not quite jelled yet. They come together sometimes and it's outstanding. Why doesn't Gypsy Sun and Rainbows get any credit here? That's the name of the band. It's mostly Jimi just tearing things up. The tone I really dig. Screaming guitar. Due to technical problems during the recording the whole set is not included on this CD. It's still 63 minutes long. The order of the songs is changed too. The original set was 140 minutes.

Cheap Trick - The Latest

2009
Drum beats and guitar melodies and of course Robin Zanders' voice reminding you of earlier, better Cheap Trick songs. A couple of rockers with the rest being ballads and slow songs. Sounding more like Imagine than Cold Turkey this time around. And a Pepsi commercial. "California Girl" has that sorta garagey/surfy/Go-Go feel much like the first "single" Sick Man of Europe. Sick Man of Europe has a some pretty awesome lead fuzz bass going on. Too bad that's not found anywhere else on the album. I'm a big Cheap Trick fan, I've only listened to this once, but I prefer this to Rockford which was an acceptable album. This is not all mega and sparkly produced which is a quality I like about it (it doesn't sound sterile). They have some string arrangments on a couple songs, which reminds me that they've done shows where the cover the complete Sgt. Peppers album. You can hear that Dream Police keyboard back there once and a while. Last song sounds a lot like Y-O-Y-O-Y from Next Position Please. After further review I say the last song called smile sounds like it could be The Flame pt. 2. This album seems short. I like it. There's A really good diverse bunch songs on here and you'll be reminded that The Beatles and especially John Lennon are and always have been a big influence on Cheap Trick.

Fun Facts: This was available on 8-track.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Melvins - Hostile Ambient Takeover

2002
The production on this CD is light years ahead of the previous three Melvins albums. The weirdness factor is pretty high, relatively speaking. Pretty much straight forward metal as far as the Melvins go. Things have a messed up feel. A good documentation of the Rutmanis era Melvins. Strong album. Top ten Melvins for sure. The best since Stoner Witch. The Melvins must like this one too. Larges chucks of this album have been featured in their live set since it came out. I bet they were playing the whole thing when it came out.

Cheap Trick - Music For Hangovers


Recorded in Chicago 1998. Mostly songs from their first few albums. Recorded over four nights. Good to hear they're still bringing it. Only necessary for fans of the band. Might as well get the complete Budakon concert and call it good. Nice collection of songs. Most of which were over 20 years old when this was recorded. The songs from the first album are especially good. These songs rock and the band is full of energy. Way better than most old bands putting out live albums of their "classics". That never works. Cheap Trick is my favorite band.

Fun Facts: In 1998 Cheap Trick did a tour that consisted of three night stands where each night they would play one of their first three albums. The first night was the first album, second night was In Color and the third night Heaven Tonight. I think by the time they got to Chicago they added an At Budakon night. This album is compiled from those shows.

Kiss - Psycho Circus


As far as Kiss songs go, the album opener Psycho Circus is cool enough. I kinda like it. Little bit long winded though. The next song seems pretty cool, then Gene Simmons starts singing. I think within the framework of Kiss and what their trying to do. This one works for them. Production is big and fancy. The first studio album after the much anticipated return of Ace and Peter. Turns out Kiss couldn't bring the magic back. I guess fans of Kiss who like anything they've done since Lick It Up should like this. It gets pretty bad. Kiss giving the people what they think they want. This album is pretty sappy. This might be the best album since Lick It Up. I can't think of any in particular right now, but this has got to be better than Crazy Nights. Should have been called the Melodramatic Circus. This album is downright condescending.

Fun Facts: Turns out Peter Criss only played on one song here. Ace only played on two or three. I guess that's the biggest return to old Kiss. Different guys photos on the cover than the guys who actually made the music. Peter Criss only plays on one song on Dynasty and I don't know if Ace plays any on Creatures Of The Night, but you sure wouldn't know from examining at the artwork of those albums. Some session player on drums. Wikipedia claims that Tommy Thayer plays guitar. That's a little bit too convenient to me. I know he was a guitar tech back then and maybe tour manager? I'm sure in a few years when he falls out of favor with Gene and Paul the truth will come out about who really played guitar, or at least the next truth.
Ace and Peter were not full members of the band. They were employees who had signed five-year contracts in 1996.

Down - Down II A Bustle In Your Hedgegrove


Louisiana underground supergroup. A restrained,relatively speaking, Phil Anselmo on vocals. Big and heavy groovin'. Gets moody sometimes. Gets riffy a lot of the time. This album is built like a two and a half hour rock show.

Nirvana - Incesticide


Compilation of singles and compilation stuff all pre Nevermind (mostly pre-Bleach). I never need to hear, Ben A Son, Polly or Molly's Lips ever again. Besides those I prefer to listen to this over Nevermind. All recorded when they were carefree hungry up and comers.