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.

The Cars - Shake It Up


The first Cars album is one of my favorite records ever. Candy-O isn't bad either. This is their fourth album. It's got a few hits your sure to recognize especially if you grew up with MTV. I guess as far as keyboard synth pop from the 80's goes, this is pretty good. Double platinum.

Peter Townshend - Who Came First

1972
An interesting novelty for fans of The Who. Not as aggressive as anything The Who did during the same time period.

Wolfmother - Wolfmother


2005
Catchy and rockin' 70's type rock with big modern day production. Sometimes the singers voice starts to quiver like Marc Boland, but it never gets that annoying. Very derivative of a lot of 60's rock bands. They're able to take some very cool elements from here and there put 'em together and it works. Sounds more if the White Stripes were a stoner rock band than an actual 60's or 70's heavy rock band.

Sonic Youth - The Eternal

2009
It's been at least 14 years since Sonic Youth has put out an album that could be called a rocker. The Eternal must rock at least as much as Washing Machine (not quite).
Abrasively laid back.
I'm not hearing much new here from Sonic Youth.

Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home


The first one with all the crazy talk. This rules.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Who - The Who Sell Out


Psychedelic album released in 1967. First song, Armenia, City in the Sky sounds like Davy Jones on helium while Sgt. Peppers plays backwards it the background. Better than "By Her Majesties Satanic Request", but this is no Sgt. Peppers. A concept album, but trying to work that concept in makes things really disjointed. (Actually, after the first couple songs thing really start to flow). There's a few different styles of songs along with the jingles and commercials. It makes for more confusion than concept. The songwriting leans a bit more towards The Kinks than any other band from this era. You can hear Pink Floyd and even Beach Boys influences by the time it's all over. It all sounds distinctively like The Who though. All with a sense of humor, make that an English Monty Python type humor. The production is paper thin on this thing. I think that leads people to dismiss it. If George Martin had produced this I think it would be much more highly regarded.
Not the place to start, but I Can See For Miles may be my favorite Who song. They spent more time getting the sound of that one just right. I wish they spent more time getting the whole album to sound just right. The production really hurts some of these songs.
Awesome melodies.
Some of the very best examples of psychedelic pop music.

Fun Facts: There is a 1995 re issue of this with 10 more songs and jingles. The "third side". It's more of the same and is pretty cool. In 2009 there was a Deluxe Edition released. There's about five more tracks plus a second CD that has the original Mono mix including the "third side". With the addition of all the bonus tracks I prefer this over Who's Next.

The Band - Platinum


Even better than the Doobie Brothers.

Led Zeppelin - IV


An important milestone in rock and all that, but if I want to listen to Zeppelin I'm not gonna reach for this one. The thought of having to listen to Black Dog, Rock and Roll, or Stairway to Heaven one more time sends me running the other way. It frightens me so much, it makes me forget there are any other songs on here.

Fun Facts:
This is one of the best selling rock albums of all time.

Led Zepplelin - BBC Sessions


Once you've listen to all your other Zeppelin records for the one millionth time. You can throw this on and rediscover them all over again.
Disc 1: The first disc is really raw bluesy rock. These recordings sound great, very live sounding. Very real.

I would much rather listen to this than some of their later albums like Presence or In Through The Outdoor. This is so much better than their live double album The Song Remains the Same (recorded in 1973). That was an overbloated turd from a different era of Zeppelin. Disc one of The BBC Sessions sound like four guys in a room rockin' the fuck out. On disc two the band starts to expand a bit. Not quite as excessive as Song Remains The Same. Disc 2 Falls inbetween the two.

Disc 1 is compiled from four different 1969 BBC sessions. Disc 2 is most of the April 1 1971 concert from the Paris Theatre in London.

Disc 2:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Place Of Skulls - Nailed

2002
Killer guitar sound on this recording. Mid paced Stoner/Doomy music. Seventies rock feel with really heavy modern day production. I like this CD, but it lacks aggression. It's heavy music that's cool but doesn't get pissed. I wish it did. That would push it over the top. Quality soulful stuff.

Sonic Youth - Confusion Is Sex

1983
Tarzan in a garbage dump.
Nursery school horror movie.
Still pretty minimal and abrasive at this point. This point being their first full length album. Used to be one of my favorite Sonic Youth albums. I can't remember why anymore. Warning. For you kids trippin' on acid this one may freak you out a little bit.
Clocks, Bells and Springs.
Monkey Rock.
Not the place for a sane person to start with Sonic Youth.

Melvins - The Maggot


Starts off with a cooker. Then heavy plodding grooving march that seems to go on for a very long time and that's before the feedback fest. Que the riff rockin' and do it like Slayer. Zip. Stop. Cycles. Get Heavy tourted guitar. Judas Priest! More rockin'. Ends with a big slow dirge, the kind not heard on a Melvins since Lysol, Eggnog era. This is a solid album. The heavy gooves on these songs last a very long time so you can get your mosh on. This is part one in a trilogy of albums. This is the essential one of the three. One of the Melvins top ten releases. More straight forward than a lot of them.

New Bomb Turks - Drunk on Cock


Five songs in 11 minutes. This one's a smoker. It's a drivin' groover. It's sweaty, snotty punk rock. Except it's good. I guess because it rocks.

Enemymine - Enemymine

1998
Starts off like a lazy afternoon. Then throbbing and pulsing. songs that build and build then just break loose going nuts. Shared trade off vocals.I wish I could have seen these guys live. Two bass players and a drummer. There's great climactic parts to this EP. Enemymine has the Mike, the Bass player from Godheadsilo and a guy from Low plays the other bass. Nice little piece.

The Who - Tommy


I usually have a hard time casually listening to the post British Invasion era Who. During the rare occasion that I'm in that zone where I can appreciate it. The mid career Who releases like Tommy are incredibly awesome. There's a bunch of great songs on Tommy and the production is so much better than their previous release. This is the first album where Roger Daltry really takes over and finds his place as lead singer. Side 2 is really strong and easy to enjoy without giving any thought to the "opera". I know it's hard for people to digest this 75 minute opera sandwich.
Recurring themes.

Superjoint Ritual - Use Once And Discard

2002
First song is a couple minute instrumental intro. Then, all hell breaks lose. Hide the furniture. Phil Anselmo, so the vocals are all just like Pantera. Jimmy "Riff McMaster" Bower on guitar. This is extreme groove thrash. Really good. As good as Sewn Mouth Secrets era Solient Green. Slick production. No matter how extreme things get they always retain the groove. A whirlwind. They could have trimmed a few songs off of this monster and had a near metal masterpiece. Instead they went for quantity. Still pretty solid throughout.

Buzzov en - To A Frown


Buzzoven came up by way of the early 90's punk rock underground. Most of these songs were released as 7" singles in the few years prior to the release of this album. They were way more angry than most all punk bands at the time. The were heavier. When they played slow they were way slower. When they played fast they were way more disgusted. Now a days your mom can name half a dozen Doom bands. Buzzoven was doing it when very few were and they love feedback. Almost as much as Floor. Samples too. Really good samples that help with the overall mood of anger and frustration. File with your early Eyehategod and Melvins records.

Jimi Hendrix - The Last Experience


This was supposed to have been a sountrack to a movie that never came out. Which explains the lame song fades. Sounds more like a sampler than a live album. Really a hack job by whoever put it out. There are however, a few smokin' jams on here. The last track is what makes this a keeper. Hendrix tuning his guitar for about three minutes while the crowd loses their patience. He finally starts into the first notes of Purple Haze, switches to some racket, goes into the Star Spangled Banner for a bit, the whole time the rest of the band is trying to follow along and figure out what he's doing. Then it just turns into chaos and noise for a few minutes. At the end it's just thumps and thuds and the crowd cheering. That final track is called "Smashing of the Amps".

Fun Facts: The CD cover claims this is the final Hendrix performance. I assume they are referring to the Isle of Wight festival. If that's true then this performance can be found in it's entirety on the 2002 release "Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight".

Well it turns out this show is from February 18th 1969 at the Royal Albert Hall. The Isle of Wight was on August 30 1970 by the way. Which makes sense because this show is a way more rockin' then the more laid back stuff he was doing at the end. This album was released in 1971. This particular CD appears to combines two releases. Jimi Hendrix - "Experience", and "More Experience".

5ive - 5ive

2001
Big. Just drums and guitar let loose! Thick. Right from the start your in mid flight. Like a rocket blasting off for 40 minutes. Space travel at full throttle. Seemingly small changes somehow manage to keep this wall of thrust interesting. I usually don't care for instrumentals but this one works. The sleeve says there's something like six songs on here. I thought it was one 40 minute blast.

Fun Facts: There is a boy band from england called 5ive.

Dozer - Call It Conspiracy

2003
Dozer was gonna take the torch from Kyuss and keep the stoner rock freak flag burning. They were gonna do that by sounding just like Kyuss on their first album put out by Man's Ruin. This one leans a bit more towards more modern heavy rock like Godsmack or something, with the Kyuss roots still intact. Slick production. Flashes of Stone Temple Pilots/Alice in Chains and Soundgarden too. You get the idea. Uptempo rockers most of the time.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marilyn Manson - Smells Like Children


Seems like you gotta wait a long time for something to happen. Fancy production. Alice Cooper comes to mind. Big mechanical clunk comes along with Trent Reznor. Sort of menacing sometimes...in a soundtrack kind of way. Half this album seems to be remixes of a previous album (This whole thing is a re-mix album, whatever that is). Interesting, I suppose I would rather listen to this than some stuff, but there's a lot of things I would put on before this. Come to think of it, this has been in with my CD's for years and I don't remember ever listening to it. This CD really lacks substance. You could easily trim it down to 3 or 4 songs, you know, about 15 minutes. Please make the clanking stop.

The Beach Boys - Love You


One of my favorite Beach Boys albums. The first few songs start out normal enough, but by the time they get to Johnny Carson things take a turn for the weird and only get more bizarre from there. This was going to be a solo album called Brian Wilson Loves You but the Beach Boys appropriated it. It seems like he may have collaborated with a 10 year old on the lyrics. The music is mostly simple and a bit cartoony. The songs where Brian Wilson sings lead sound like a cross between a homeless bum and the guy who gets way too drunk at the company Christmas party and takes over the karaoke machine. The usual Beach Boys harmonies are there on most of the songs.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Who - Who's Next


There are some great songs on here. So great it makes everybody forget about the songs that are not so great.

Alice Cooper - Welcome to my Nightmare


Changing to Alice Cooper the solo artist like David Bowie. Semi bloated self indulgent crap mostly.

and it's a concept album...get's a little better on side 2.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Black Sabbath - Never Say Die


Not their best, but after you've listened to your other Black Sabbath albums for the one millionth time you could check this one out. The last with Ozzy. Of the original eight albums with Ozzy there's at least six others you want to check out before this one. If I had only a thumbs up or a thumbs down to choose from, I would have to go with the tumbs down. You know, overall as an album.