Archive for January, 2010

Cannibal Corpse/Vile

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 310000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Vile, released in 1996, is the 5th studio release by Floridian Death/Grind Masters Cannibal Corpse. Originally recorded with founding vocalist Chris Barnes, and titled Created To Kill, the release was re-recorded after Barnes was fired and George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fischer joined the band. The original recording was later released in the Cannibal Corpse Boxset. Vile is the first Death Metal record in recording history to appear on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, hitting #151.

Devoured By Vermin—-There is never any introduction or starting point for a CC song….the songs always begin with huge noise and this is of no exception. George delivers an introduction bellow that still hold up very well in 2010. The lower register of his voice is damn menacing….even more sinister and evil than Barnes. This is a huge straight forward head slamming adventure full of guitar squeals and a deep bass sound that will require a defibrillator after continued listens.

Mummified In Barbed Wire—-The vocal begins almost from the first note….the speech is so fast you struggle to keep up even with the lyrics. The band displays their great ability to shift from tempo to tempo with ease masterfully. The lyrical content is so disgusting that it seems satirical and hilarious to me. Come on…you can not take this stuff seriously.

Perverse Suffering—-The bass guitar and the drums work so well together in this band and there is a real sense of melody that runs through the song…if you concentrate just on the music, the chunkiness of the sound is freaking brillinat…the guitar squeals are always timed perfectly. george fits more words into a sentence than I speak all day and he does it everytime…WITHOUT fail. This is fantastic!!!

Disfigured—-The tone of this track is higher pitched…which is kind of nice after all the dirge. This song, again, serves up a modest helping of melody and a great rhythm. the drums are a tad too much to the back for me, but the result is nice…the high hats of the drums are miced nice and you clearly hear them and they become vital to the song. When the bashing really kicks in, the drum trades with the vocal and becomes the star. this is fantastic…the little song has many movements and treats….incredible.

Bloodlands—-Melding perfectly from the previous song, the deep sound of the song is almost a shock after the previous track. The vocal is so-so on this track….not really my favorite. the lead guitars are the star…this is fantastic…think of Sabbath on Crack and you have a nice feel for the song. Brilliant!

Puncture Wound Massacre—-Back in the saddle of pure brutality, this song sets off on a mission from the first note….kick your ass…and it does!!! The vocal is so fast and frenzied, you fear george is going to have a stroke. The level of sound that this band produces is phenomenal…..this is pure brutality and delivered with authenticity and urgency.

Relentless Beating—-From the onset, this has a nice straight up Heavy Metal feel to it….the leads are clear and the drums kick your ass. This has, also, a nice level of tempo and tone changes that just show how fast these guys can move their fingers. a great instrumental….full of sheer musical brutality.

Absolute Hatred—-Definitely a song that is so well rounded and preformed as to make every instrument the star of the show. the voice is in your face and brutal…the drums are superhuman and the bass is a huge wall. The leads soar nicely and add so much life to the song…this is pretty fantastic.

Eaten From Inside—-Again, the band surprises me with the level of diversity and talent that it has. This is a classic Heavy Metal sound…only the vocals separate it from the Heavy Metal community. The music is classic…great leads and shift changes….fantastic drumming and a sound that is clearly an entire community in itself. This is brilliant!!!!

Orgasm Through Torture—-Full of a nice chugging bass line that appears again and again throughout the song, this is fantastic. george is so hoarse and perfect, it is as if this band was made for him. This is beyond genius, this is a masterpiece of noise, gore and disgust all wrapped in a cover of brutality, Wow!!!

Monolith—-Incredibly fast from the onset, the song downshift and increases at the drop of a dime. the voice is so tortured and sick that you marvel at it…the bass downshift propel the song…the result is a classic song that I am glad to hear from time to time…it only proves that this band has talent and finesse despite the genre.

**** out of 5

Push Play/Found

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 310000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Push Play are an American Rock Band from Long Island, NY. The band has developed a large following through social media outlets and little radio play. The début release, issued in 2008 spent 2 weeks in the Top 10 on I!Tunes. The follow up, Found, was issued in Sept. 2009.

Watch It Burn—-With a nice mix of Rock and a slight Electro edge, the band comes out the gate ready to rumble and appeal to the masses. the voice reminds me so much of Placebo, I looked twice at the CD cover. This is nice…the movements from refrain to chorus is painless and the talent is all over the song. This is nice…teen angst at it’s finest.

Midnight Romeo—-Again, the song is a nice mix of Spanish flavored guitar and Electro beats that are quiet until the chorus. The chorus is a huge grand affair full of emotion and angst…just as quickly the track ebbs into the quiet tones on the intro. this is nicely constructed. I like this.

Heart Attack—-This track has a more pop punk friendly atmosphere that is full of energy and sweet sing a long chorus’. The vocal has a bit of a sneer that seems to fit the band and the music is nicely paced on this one. Less electronics and much more in your face guitars….nice.

Taking It Back—-Returning once agin to the Electronic overtones, the song is typical adolescent fare that will appeal to MySpace kids all over the world. The short bursts of guitars meld nicely with the keyboards and the slight and occasional vocal manipulations add a little variety to the sound. Just enough of a differential to keep the song from becoming boring.

My Everything—-Another nice mix of electric and electronic, the song has a great solemn vibe. The voice is almost the same on every track, this lack of differential makes for a very long CD. Not bad, but this is way to consistent and predictable. Music for 14 year olds!!!

Covergirl—-This is NICE!!!! I love the energy of the song, the upfront guitars and drums that you can actually feel. The vocal is a lot more energized and the chorus is double tracked…giving it an even larger feel. this is really nice….best track on this release, a videographers dream come true.

This Is Us Breaking Up—-With a nice drum track, a slight Electronic feel and a classic Pop/Punk guitar, the song still leaves some breathing space for a vocal that is high energy. The content…oh the content….too juvenile and almost laughable…I guess we all went through these feelings when we were young…perhaps the raw nature causes me embarrassment….not bad, but out of my comfort zone.

See My Soul—-Much more sedate at the onset, the song does a nice job of slowly building to a climax that dissolves into a mess of adolescent love memories that are so far from my grasp. The musical chorus is AWESOME…I love the nice combination of Electronics and guitars….this works really well on this track.

Barely Legal—-With a slight acoustic feel to go with the Electronics, the song is fun and has a nice energy. the overlayed vocals, or band participation [?] adds depth and emotion to the song as well as a certain level of fun. This is great, but a bit monotonous.

Away, Away—-The vocal at the onset of the song has a nice whine that makes you think Warped Tour….LMAO!!! The sound of the band comes across as huge…the feel of the song is rampped up and full of energy. this is nice, but the release suffers FROM consistency at this point.

Where I Belong—-This is a nice tender ballad that seems to draw from classic sounds of the 70’s and the soaring Pop sounds of this day. The lyrics are juvenile as we hear phrases like friends, Senior Year and the urge to run off to California. This is a little passe’ for me, but I am sure the kids love it.

Start Again—-Full of an undeniable energy that is the result of great Electronics, the song has an odd vibe that really does not seem to match the vocal, but it is interesting enough to throw you off and keep you interested. The chorus explodes in a nice electric wall of sound that makes you instantly feel attracted to the song…like it or not. this is nice!!!

Midnight Romeo [Remix]—-This is fantastic…..combining all the elements of everything good about the band and turning it up a few notches….this helps you to forget the weaker elements of the track and embrace the band as one to watch in the future….just grow up guys…jeez!!!

*** out of 5

The Scorpions/Humanity Hour Vol. 1

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 300000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Humanity Hour is a concept CD released by German Metal band The Scorpions. The band’s 16th studio release, the ‘concept’ part of the release was never clear to me. With a more mainstream sound, this release was co-written and produced my mega-hit maker Desmond Child. The release also features cameos from John 5 [Marilyn Manson] and Billy Corgan [The Smashing Pumpkins]. The band has recently announced that their next studio release and ensuing worldwide tour will be their last as they choose to now retire the band. Humanity Hour Vol. 1 was released in 2007.

Hour 1 —-Featuring a really powerful guitar cameo from John 5, the band sounds beefier and more energized than they have in a very long time. Klaus sounds wicked awesome…the vocal is as good as it ever was…clkear and well delivered, he has a tone that was made for Metal. This is remarkable…it has a huge pop sentiment, but will kick your metal balls just as well.

The Game Of Life—-From the onset, this song has that very comfortable Scorpions sound that you immediately recognize. Although a mainstay in the 80’s Metal heyday, the band HAS stayed consistent to their sound and the tone that made them huge to begin with. This track does have a certain pop sensibility, but no more than Rock You….. or Winds Of Change. With some bands, you only want consistency…and this delivers just that.

We Were Born To Fly—-Still consistent, the guitars have such a familiar and soaring sound. The song quiets to allow a rather sedate vocal…Meine delivers a lyric that is intense and a vocal that is heartfelt. This is a CLASSIC Scorpions ballad….onbe of this bands strongpoints. At times, Meine denies his age and sings like a teenager….fantastic!!!

The Future Never Dies—-Beginning with a gentle Desmond piano, you know that he was behind this composition. This is sedate and full of lyrics that make you think…..when the opportunity presents itself, the guitars soar and make this a huge, huge  Metal ballad. This is brilliant though….the vocal is crystal clear, the instrumental control masterful. I love this! When the instrumental/orchestrated break comes in, you will get mega goosebumps.

You’re Lovin’ Me To Death—-Again, this has that very distinct German Metal sound that the band brings to every release. The staccato beats of the guitars and drums are odd, but the chorus comes alive with this huge Scorpions anthem that you will be singing in your head two days from now. This is a release that I go back to time and time again…it is irresistable.

321—-Layered and full of walls of guitars, the remarkable thing about this entire release is the clarity of Klause and his voice. It belies its age and makes you wonder if this band can really retire. Keep in mind though that Meine is 63 years old!!!! Yes, it is true…born in 1948! The voice sounds 25….the energy of the band sounds even younger as the energy is as great as it has ever been. This is fantastic.

Love Will Keep Us Alive—-With a great soaring guitar, the sound becomes almost acoustic as Meine again delivers a near vocal that is overlayed in the studio and gives the song a remarkable feel. The gentle strums on the guitar put you in the mindset of the lyric…this is finely crafted Pop/Metal that would play to many sensibilities if given the chance.

We Will Rise Again—-Fantastic electric intro, the song has all the hallmarks of a Scorpions classic….it follows a little to close to the recipe. The swift intro and sudden slow down is almost predictable…that is production…well…..to me. The chorus is a great catchy sing-a-long affair that will wake you from a sound sleep playing so loud in your brain….it is all in the recipe…the execution is the key.

Your Last Song—-Beginning in one headphone and becoming a whole, the song soars with that wonderful trademark sound. The melody of this track will catch you from the first note. This is a big affair that would have set MTV on fire in 1984. This is remarkable…one of those huge lighter songs in a big arena. This is sheer genius.

Love Is War—-There are points on this release when too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing…this is now. The band really needed to mix things up and give us something more metallic than this offering. This song borders so close to pop, that I must think Desmond is a happy man. The band struggles for its bearings on this track….but I excuse this for the genius of other high points on this release.

The Cross—-Now….this is nice!!!! The guitars are aggressive and only sweeten a tad for the vocal. Meine still manages to rise above the metal with a nice soaring voice that is helped along by Billy Corgan. It is not entirely noticable though….the addition only serves to round out a really great song. This is great! Corgan’s cameo plays like a cheap Osbourne vocal.

Humanity—-Beginning with a nice Spanish flavored guitar, this ending track sound like a retirement song in itself. This is a slight and introspective track that has a gentle but building crescendo that eclipses upon the chorus. This is wonderful!!!! Getting THERE is half the work….funny….works with humanity also.

****3/4 out of 5

The Best Of Deicide [Roadrunner Records]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 300000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Deicide is an American Death Metal band formed in 1989. Full of public outcry, the band produces a mass of noise and hatred that is loved by Hardcore Metal fans everywhere. The bands 1st and 2nd release are ranked in the top 5 selling Death Metal releases os all time. This compilation, released as the last obligation of the bands contract with Roadrunner Records covers 20 tracks ranging from 1990-2000.

Dead By Dawn—-With an incredible deep sound to the music, the dirge is remarkable. the bass rocks your eardrums and the pace of the leads make you sweat. Once the vocal of Glen enters the fray, you are amazed with the raw and real quality. This is a favorite of mine…evil personified and a beautiful landscape of evil noise.

Carnage In the Temple Of The Damned—-Taking only a moment of soundbites to begin the song, the build up is magnificent. Once the music begins you are again incredulous at the boom of the bass and the deep sound the band produces. there are nice guitar leads, but this band is bass and drum driven led by the maniacal vocal of Benton. this is fast…almost reminding me of early underground Punk songs. Fantastic!!!

Lunatic Of God’s Creation—-No gentle interludes or introductions, the first notes rip your face off. The music is just this huge wall of darkness that wraps you up and gives you chills. The barrage of noise seems even more brutal and evil than before…the vocal is deep and gutteral, but not so much that you cannot catch the words. This is awesome…a literal noisefest…pure pleasure.

Sacrificial Suicide—-The music comes barreling at you from the dark…the leads are much more present and the tone is not as deep. the voice is almost reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies…..just a little slower and deeper. The lyrics enthrall the glories of satan with such urgency that you just have to laugh at the result. It is so blatant, it is comical.

Crucifixation—-The songs on this release come at you so fast and furious, you barely have time to breath…this song continues in the line of brutality and evil personified. the voice was so much clearer back in the early days, as of late Glen has a much more Cannibal Corpse style delivery. I prefer this direction. This is fantastic!!!

Satan Spawn,  The Caco-Daemon—-With enough atmosphere at the onset to prepare you for the onslaught, you have to be crazy not to get antsy waiting for the actual song to begin. Once the drums hit, you are off and running with the mad pace of the song. Then you have the vocal to contend with…the growl that comes from the dark is amazing. The back and forth pace of the music only shows the bands talent even further. This is fantastic. One of my favorite tracks!!!

Trifixion—-The glass breaks and all hell is let loose…the guitar leads are more pronounced, giving the song an almost mainstream metal sound. The deeper sound seems to take over the song and Benton delivers a vocal that is much more current with the bands modern sound. The musical breaks help to make the song less monotonous…this is classic stuff….Grind/Death at it’s best!!!

In Hell I Burn—-From the onset, the song never has a down moment…this is a barrage of blistering metal that is played at a superhuman pace. The down shifts in the music give the track an added, beefier feel. The vocals seem double tracked at times even making the sound larger. This is an art form, and this band does it with finesse!

Dead But Dreaming—-Kudos for the song title alone….just think about those words themselves for a moment….ok…now commence to bash your head against the floor as you try to chase the vivid lyrical images from your mind. This is fabulous…..the music is fairly predictable, but as the ‘hits’ continue, the speed of the band seems to increase. The vocal is slowly becoming deeper and darker and less understandable, but the musical variance makes up for the difference. This is evil incarnate….DEVIL HORNS y’all.

Once Upon The Cross—-The greatest slap in the face of modern-day religion, any time some band tackles the subject of the Cross, you know they are serious about their craft….the Cross..being the most sacred of the religious elements. The voice is so garbled and evil, you can only catch the ‘chorus’ but you are sped through the song by the unrelenting pace of the music. Another favorite.

They Are The Children Of The Underworld—-Layered and better produced, the band has a much more level tone…the leads adding just as much as the bass. The vocals are played with in the studio….overlays and a beefier sound fills out the track. this is unrelenting…the sound from the speakers will crumple the pages of your bible. Sweet!!!

When Satan Rules His World—-Again, the song shows the bands progression and ability in the studio. the song has a nice rhythm sound that is typical of modern day metal like classic Pantera. The vocal remains the one mainstay…sounding even more gutteral and possessed…you have to love this band.

Trick Or Betrayed—-With an appropriate scary soundbite to begin the song, you are once again beaten down by the heaviness of the music. I marvel at the vocal and wonder how glen can continue to sing like this, but he does….release after release….show after show. The drums on this track are monstrous…the guitar leads soar and the bass adds the necessary evil that rounds out the track. This is marvelous…pure brutality.

Behind The Light Thou Shall Rise—-With a really great sense of rhythm, the track has a certain groove that you fall into right away. The levels of sound are stacked upon stacks. The vocal is almost undistinguishable, as Benton begins his decline into the deeper belly of true Death/Grind Metal…this is fantastic!!!

Serpents Of The Light—-This song sounds really odd to me…it lacks any of the finesse that the band has displayed in the past and the result is abysmal. The vocal is good, but either this track is live or was recorded in a tunnel with no light or acoustics. The song improves as it continues but the deep bass sound is replaced by a cheap production that leaves the band sounding like a million other bands that pass through my fingers and remain forgotten.

Bastard Of Christ—-First you notice the title, then you notice the great rhythm qualities of the track, then you notice the beat down the drums take throughout the entire song. this is literally brilliant…a huge song full of movements and evil. Am I in heaven or hell?

Blame It On God—-Speed metal on speed……this is a blistering track that includes some nice shifts from line to line and serves to keep the track interesting. This is deeper and more evil than anything the band had released to this point. This is so like C.C., you can’t help but make comparisons. the main difference is the clarity of each instrument…this is wonderful…fantastic…..incredible!!!! The sentiment is not to be ignored, but to think about.

This Is Hell We’re In—-How can you not relate to the song….this sentiment crosses my mind everyday. The tone of the song is so deep and layered…you have to love it. the sound is coming at you from every single direction…this is remarkable…a literal noisefest of evil incarnate….thanks guys!!!!

Bible Basher—-Musically, this track is much clearer at the onset…as the track continues, the song becomes deeper and more stagnant…suffering from some of the boredom that continual listens to this music will give you. Only the varied tones of the overlayed vocal saves the song from monotony. This is good, but almost too much of a good thing.

Standing In The Flames—-A nice intro of high energy metal, the vocal enters the fray with a nice clear lyric that leads you to wonder how much of this is serious and how much is comical. This is great…the drums remain outstanding…the pace is superhuman and the delivery is ushered in with a nice taste of evil. Fantastic!!!

**** out of 5

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Hard Promises

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 270000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Hard Promises is the 4th studio release by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Released in May of 1981, this release featured the FIRST duet between Petty and Stevie Nicks. Delayed release dates plagued the album as Petty and his record company fought about the prices of the record. Petty won out in the end and fans were able to get the vinyl release for $8.98 vs. the $9.98 the label wanted. This has always been a very special record for me…although a long time Petty fan, I ALWAYS grab this release for a Petty fix. In my opinion, there is not a weak song on the entire release. This is a piece of underappreciated history.

The Waiting—-From the first notes, you can hear the recognizable guitar of Mike Campbell. Petty delivers a vocal that is full of nasal beauty and an urgency that is only matched by the rapid feel of the drums. This song is americana at it’s best…this was a time when Petty and Mellancamp ruled the radio and this is a prime example of why. Fantastic!!!!

A Woman In Love—-Again, it is remarkable how the Heartbreakers have such a distinct musical sound. Petty delivers a vocal that leans heavy on the edge of Country…the chorus comes alive with the familiar drive of the band and the voices coming together makes the song huge, yet remarkably comfortable. This is extraordinary…Petty can muster a nasal drawl that rivals EVERYONE!!!!

Night Watchman—-Drum driven with a nice, huge bass line, the song is deep and layered from the onset. Petty again edges on that old school Refugee sound…this is a noisy song without being obnoxious. I love how prominent the bass line is throughout the ENTIRE song…it forms it and keeps it moving. This is fabulous….throw up your hands and say YEAH!!!!

Something Big—-I can’t think of any other song when Petty displayed a more Southern Texas sound than on this song…well maybe I can…but anyways…this is incredible. The musical soundtrack is full of Americana sounds and again, the song almost borders on Country…how fantastic. The drawl is what shapes the whole song…Petty has a unique phrasing that really defined the band next to the Campbell sound. This is wonderful….truly classic!!

Kings Road—-Driven by the Campbell style of guitar, the song still reeks of classic Rock-A-Billy Country that this release is full of…just throw in a slight twist of Blues and you have this track down to a tee. Petty is so nasal that you just think of Dylan automatically, but Tom manages to do it with a much more pleasant result. This is loud and rocking….pure masterpiece.

Letting You Go—-This has a really nice electronic organ that sets the entire tone of the song. Tom manages to create a vocal that is almost better than anything on this release. the words just nasally lead into one another to create a huge, long sentence. This is wonderful….always something I turn to if I am feeling nostalgic. Fantastic Tom!!!!!

A Thing About You—-Rockin’ and Rollin’ right out of the gate, the song moves at a great pace…lead mostly by Campbell and his special sound. Petty ramps up his vocal and the result is something of amaze ment…the nasal sound almost disappears with his upper register and he shows that he is a REAL singer. This is literally fantastic!!!!

Insider—-This is a masterpiece duet with Stevie Nicks. I wonder every single time I hear this why is was not as huge as ‘Leather & Lace’…..everything about this song has the hallmarks of a classic duet. Theses two people were meant to sing together, the voices intertwined literally are like a quilt. The music is grand, the style slow and acoustic…the drums on very quiet mode. From the onset you are sucked in by the duel vocals…Petty rises just enough to really showcase the voice of Nicks…this is moving, devastating and euphoric. WOW!!!

The Criminal Kind—-Serving to shock you from the malaise and solemnity of the previous track, this enters the fray with a decidedly upbeat tempo. The song has a nice element of Country Blues that falls in perfect step with most of this release. Tom sounds great, and the music is really loud…..but the vocal manages to meld perfect with it. The maracas are awesome…sometimes it is the littlest noise that comes out to be so important. Great!

You Can Still Change Your Mind—-One of the saddest and most melancholy songs of the time, this song can elate me or devastate me in a moment depending on the situation. That is the true beauty of music….you can use it whenever you need it and for whatever for. This track is mostly a VERY acoustic Heartbreakers and a very emotive Petty that literally rips out your heart and leaves it on the floor. Petty sounds devastated and more real than I have ever heard him sound….this is incredible.

***** out of 5

Weezer/Raditude

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 270000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Raditude is the 7th studio release by American Alternative Rock giants Weezer. Released in November 2009, the release peaked at #7 on the US Billboard charts, only moving about half as many copies of their previous record. Writing credits include Jermaine Dupri and All American Rejects members Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler. This release also features a cameo by Lil’ Wayne.

[If You’re Wondering If I Want You To] I Want You To—-Classic typical Weezer fare, the song from the very first note is a pleasant Alt Rock mix of humor and wonderful instrumental melodies. The voice is as you would expect. The chorus is a grand affair that is full of lite poppy sounds that literally sweep you from your feet. This is wonderful….warm and fun.

I’m Your Daddy—-It is the little tiny elements that Weezer put into their songs that make them so damn catchy…in this case, it is a nice handclap that fills out the song and a chorus that is beachy and retro. This sounds like Weezer circa 2000. I love this…..immediatly accessible and contagious.

The Girl Got Hot—-The track has a huge sound from the very onset…..the guitars crunch and the drums are right at the front of the mix. The vocal is pleasant and so natural you have to fall in love with it. The song suffers a bit from a juvenile attitude, but what do you expect?

Can’t Stop My Partying—-Another track that returns to the fun surf/beach feel that this band does so well. The lyrics again, are a bit juvenile, but stay fun and accessible to all age ranges. This is a frat song if I have ever heard one. Great!!! Lil’ Wayne enters the fray and beefs up the song…this is a great, great cameo!!!

Put Me Back Together—-With a nice bass line starting the song, the vocal is sedate and slowly other instruments and sounds are added to the song…it grows larger and larger as it continues. The lyrics are nice…sensible and full of emotions every man can understand. This is great…..!!!

Trippin’ Down The Freeway—-How fun!!! This track combines all the best elements of the band…a nice Alt feel, a slight beach sound and a chorus that stays in your head. You really can’t ask for more…I wonder why this release was not HUGE!!!!

Love Is The Answer—-The song features an interesting Middle Eastern vibe to it that comes in and out of the entire song. The chorus is yet another grand affair that makes you want to sing a long and swing in the breeze with your partner. The female vocal that is added is fantastic and comes at just the right time…saving the release from becoming monotonous and boring.

Let It All Hang Out—-Really loud and rambunctious from the very first chord, the song settles a bit for the vocal, but the final result is a great new millenium Alt Punk song. You want to jump around, drink beer and act stupid. This is fantastic!!

In The Mall—-What a great generic song title….Weezer rules!!!! The song is rather non descript until the magic Weezer chorus brings the song to life and makes you forget the rest. This is remarkable…the refrains are non descript…the chorus will live in your brain for hours…fantastic!!!

I Don’t Want To Let You Go—-This again takes you back to the horror days of high school. The lyrics bring up all kinds of terrible memories that you though you had forgotten. the voice sounds even a little hoarse and not as fresh at times…this is a great finish to the release.

****1/2 out of 5

Assemblage 23/Contempt [Bonus Tracks]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 250000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Contempt is the début release from mastermind/musician Tom Shear. Released in 1998 on Canadian Label Gashed Records, it is clear from the very first listen that Shear has done his homework and knew from the onset the sound he wanted. Original from the onset, Shear has only added fine tuning to his sound in the later years…the talent was already there. Will be seeing him for the very first time in May…..already I am excited.

Anthem—-The keyboard swells on the song are heavy and dark…..once the synth emerges, you know immediately that distinctive sound. This is remarkable because it remains true today. On this début, Shear sounds a lot like Gahan at times…that being an inspiration of his. It is always better when he stretches his vocal. This is pretty damn great for a start though.

Surface—-With superb synths that at the onset might be even more advanced than Depeche Mode ever got, Shear shows his talent. There is a distinct knack for creating ‘pleasant’ Industrial synths that are acceptable and don’t beat your brains out. the vocal on this track is manipulated until the chorus…which is a huge emotional affair. God…this is really great.

Coward—-Darker and more sinister at the onset, the song is an Electronic fest of beats and blips. The soundbites are magnificent and take me back to the good ole’ 90’s when such things were abundant. The vocal is so manipulated ist is unrecognizable. The sound is more like KMFDM than anything. The synths continue and the song never really goes anywhere for me…this is different, but I don’t hate it. Shear does allow a real vocal eventually, but is little and too late.

Bi-Polar—-Much more pleasant and accessible from the onset, the synths in this song move faster than my fingers can on this keyboard. The vocal enters and it is the most pleasant and honest you could ever hope for. The emotion is not only in the lyrics, but also in the tone. This guy has a lot of feelings and they have seemed to grow deeper and deeper as the years have progressed. This is fantastic!!

Pages—-With a deeper intro sound, the synths enter the scene and add that certain distinct sound. Unfortunate for us all, the vocal is again a heavily manipulated affair that fortunately Tom gave up by the second release. This is noisier and sounds more German than Western US. Not a high point to me…tolerable only for the clean vocal of the chorus which raises the hairs on the back of my neck.

Purgatory—-This is freakin’ brilliant. The title of the song would never lead you down the path that the music does. This is light and airy…..almost estactic in the wonderful tone of the instrumentation. this is remarkable. the vocal is that nice upper register…the music travels at about 120 BPMS and the tone is great…I could never ask for more.

Sun—-Full of the quintessential sounds of the late 90’s Electronic scene, what sets the track apart is the lyrical intensity. This is not happy or lite music…instead something that requires you to stop and think about the feelings that you are having. This is the type of music that I needed when I was a kid…damn it…….

Skyquake—-Again, the intro of the song is a slow building electro blip that almost makes you salivate. You keep waiting and waiting and you are only thus far rewarded by a muttering vocal full of disdain and hurt. The swirls continue and the songs become more muscular as it develops…single sentences make you think about everything under the sun and you fall into the groove of the rather noisy song. The vocal is distorted but maintains that Shear tone that makes you comfortable. This is magnificent.

Never Forgive—-Beginning somber, but coming alive by the second bar with nice synth lines, the song furthers opens up and becomes an almost techno style Industrial masterpiece. The electronic whips that run through the song are like the old disco days and the voice enters…manipulated but still discernible, the lyrical content is consistent Shear. Shear is the electronic Morrissey of our time…he seems rarely happy. This is fantastic. I love this man!!!!

7  Days—-Very odd—-from the onset. At times this reminds me of the band that the Cure wanted to be…at other times it is like a retarded Combichrist. This is all very confusing to me and has never settled very well with me each time I hear it. Not a favorite.

Bonus Tracks:

Coward [Melting Mix]—-Although musically, this remix is much more downbeat and ambient, there is little change in the vocal played. I  do not like all of this manipulated vocal…Shear has to emotive of a voice than to hide behind machines. The music is nice though….a slow groove that rises above the noise and distortion. Awesome!!!

Skyquake [Voice Of God Mix]—-WOW…..JEEZ…..INCREDIBLE……DELICIOUS……UNATTAINABLE……MAGNIFICENT…….FANTASTIC…….!

The Drowning Season [DS02K Mix]—-Full of remarkable dance beats, the song continues on as an instrumental for the entirety…..the grooves become tired after a time, but all in all it only shows that Shear can convey emotion with or without lyrics. Nice.

**** out of 5

Type O Negative/The Least Worst Of

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 250000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

The Least Worst Of is a Roadrunner Records released compilation featuring Hits, Remixes and Unreleased Tracks from Seminal Goth Metal Band Type O Negative.

The Misinterpretation Of Silence And It’s Disastrous Consequences [Wombs And Tombs Mix]—-In line with the dark humor of the band, this is a silent track that says remix but is actually short of the original….what else would you expect!!!!

Everyone I Love Is Dead—-With all the classic sounds that made this band a favorite of mine, this song never disappoints. Pete’s vocal is better than it had ever been and the wall of dark sound the band produces is literally fantastic.When the song opens up in full fashion, you are blown away by the rigid sound. the melody of the song is instantly contagious and Pete manages some shrieks that are classic. This is fantastic!

Black No. 1—-Perhaps the best known of the band’s songs, this track caught the band in a time when creative juices were at an all time high. The song has intense deep power chords that meld with Steele’s voice so well it comes off as one big huge sound. The little effects that ripple through the song only add to the deep and dank feel that the lyrics portray. I have never gotten tired of this song….NEVER!!!

It’s Never Enough—-With an odd intro of an electric knife in the beginning of the song, the deep chords of the bass take the song to that comfortable place that Type O dwells. The dirge of the music is even heavier and more layered than classic Sabbath. The intro lasts forever…drawing out the anticipation….as the leads enter, even they exclaim a deep intensity. The melody of the song is incredible…it shines through the darkness in an almost magical way. A band for the ages!!!!

Love You To Death—-Another classic track from the band of darkness! The vocal is full of little nuances that just make me laugh…Pete is an actor at heart I think. The dirge of the song is nice, but there is a layered melody that runs underneath that gives the song a creepy and mystical effect. The vocal surprises me sometimes as Pete goes into some upper registers that pleases me…this is wonderful!!!

Black Sabbath [From The Satanic Perspective]—-Full of the best Sabbath impressions I have ever heard, this song begins so slow and plodding that you wonder where it is going…..but it is going…deeper and darker. Not really crazy about the vocal, but the music is the thing that horror movies are made of. Nice!

Christian Woman—-Dependable as always, TON come across as the metal giants that they are. This is a nice intro…making you wonder where this is going…by the third bar, you are comfortable that this is the band that you love. The sounds are great…the melody runs throughout the bottom of the song…the deep bass and powerful drums threaten your speakers and your eardrums. This is wonderful. One of my favorite songs just for the research I did to find out about the ‘Corpus Christi’/Body Of Christ reference.

12 Black Rainbows—-Just take a moment and sit with the title of the song…reference it in your mind and realize how powerful it is. The music interrupts your vision and the fuzzy darkness erupts and you are once again taken down a few levels into deep and dank sounds. The vocal is pretty damn pleasant…clear and perfectly understandable, this makes the song even better. Once again, Steele allows us to hear his upper register…and it works like magic with the song. this is fantastic…underplayed and underappreciated.

My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend [Cheese Organ Mix]—-Again, full of the dark humor that has played into so many of the band’s songs, this is fun and a respite from the ultra dark lyrics of most of the bands content. The song has a nice downshift to the bass and an almost fun feel to it…..the organ is not cheesy, but instead an integral part of the song…it allows life and melody. This is kind of juvenile, but damn it is a lot of fun.

Hey Pete [Pete’s Ego Trip Version]—-A play on the Hendrix song ‘Hey, Joe’, again the humor of the band is in full effect. The song is a nice fuzzy affair that has a certain element of darkness we expect. This is wonderfully done, but it gets old rather quickly and does not keep life over too many listens.

Everything Dies—-My favorite TON track of all time, this song describes for me life and the cycle perfectly. Death, disappointment, despair, desertion, desolation…..yes, this is my life. The vocal is literally goose bump inducing and the song plays as well on the first listen as it does on the 1000th…trust me I know. This is magical and fantastic…..low and fantastic….sad and fantastic…depressing and fantastic.

Cinnamon Girl [Depressed Mode Mix]—-I love this cover!!!! Everyone I know deadpans this track but i think it is genius. This mix offers a more danceable version from the original to me…it is just a great cover…plain and simple. I could not ask for more…the melody of the song is intact and Pete delivers a vocal that is alive with a nice alternative emotion to the original. Fuck off haters!!!!

Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty Of Infidelity—-Even such a subject finds a basis for humor from the band. This track is so honest and brutal that it comes across as funny. Pete sounds pissed and he wants everyone to know it. this is remarkable….at over 10 minutes long, you have lots of time to chew and digest the disdain, hurt and disgust.

Stay Out Of My Dreams—-Remarkably heavy and full of really powerful bass riffs, the song has an undertow that threatens to suck you in right through the speakers. As the dirge ebbs, a nice melodic and acceptable delivery ensues…opening you up to the genius of the band. The ability to move from movement to movement is remarkable and this song is a great example of this art. This is fantastic…..a great way to end this release.

***** out of 5

Whitney Houston/I Look To You

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 240000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

I Look To You is the 7th studio release from R n’ B/Pop/Dance Diva Whitney Houston. Her first studio release in almost 8 years, I Look To You was released in August 2009 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Chart. The release sold an impressive 305,ooo copies, solidifying Houston as the Female Vocalist with the most cumulative weeks at the #1 position in recording history. With writing and producing by Clive Davis, Akon and R. Kelly, to date this release has sold a staggering 2 million copies worldwide.

Million Dollar Bill—-From the onset, the funky bass of the song lets you know you are in store for a great ride. Houston sounds fantastic on CD…live???? This is not a cheap attempt at updating her sound to change with the times…instead you are treated to the sound of a woman who is following her own path. this is a continuation, but it remains consistent to the classic Houston sound. the beats are wonderful and the remixes i have heard for this track are to die for. You go girl!!!!!

Nothin’ But Love—-This is a great track…full of attitude and Diva attitude. The track has a nice sneaking dance floor beat that comes and goes…Houston delivers a vocal that at times is so deep, I though someone else was singing. this is remarkably fun, relaxed but danceable enough that you will dance in your living room. this is just what she aimed for….classic!

Call You Tonight—-With a nice R n’ B guitar that makes me think of Sade. this is a sweet unaffected ballad that is light on dance grooves but high on emotional musical keys. This is rich and layered with a texture that is sweet and soothing. Hitting it out of the ballpark, Houston proves despite what ever is going on, she is in a good place and the music is most important.

I Look To You—-This is of course a classic Houston ballad. It is true, the voice is not as it used to be, but Houston has found that a lower register can evoke just as much emotion ans a classic high note. This is not a bad thing for the fan….this is just as emotive and goosebumps evoking as anything else she has done. The song really opens up with the musical interludes…as the bass drum and the gentle sweeps of music envelope you, you smile…simply because the Diva has triumphed over her demons.

Like I Never Left [featuring Akon]—-Indeed, from the onset, this track has a nice Island feel to it that is pleasing….Akon opens the song and Whitney just takes over. this is a nice romp through a laid back groove that makes me itch to beef it up with some heavy beats and key sweeps. The remixes for this would be a dream….oh my!!! Akon is not even necessary….Houston is at an all time high with this track. Masterful!!!!

A Song For You—-Stripped so bare, you envision a smoky bar and a lonely woman singing on stage to no one’s attention. It is only the power of the voice that draws your gaze to the stage as the song captures you and suddenly turns into a majestic made for film dance romp. this is remarkable…a great, great dance floor with a nice build-up, great breaks and a vocal that is like the old days.

I Didn’t Know My Own Strength—-A beautiful ballad from the very onset, the song only builds as it progresses. Houston sings of personal matters and personal journeys and you are left with the feeling that she has found personal success. This is not overdone, but conveys n emotion that is inspiring and beautiful to witness. Remarkable.

Worth It—-This is clearly a Beyonce’/Destiny’s Child rip-off that does not play well for me. the beats are to artificial and the vocal seems almost uninspired. I really am disappointed by the blatant attempt. But,……..that is just me……it just seems fake to me.

For The Lovers—-From the onset, the song reeks of dirty and fun funk with a dance inspired vibe. Houston is so foreign in this style, it is almost a shock. the music builds to a nice tempo and at times threatens to drown out the voice. The chorus is a huge dance floor anthem that also begs to be remixed. This is fantastic.

I Got You—-At this point, the CD begins to suffer from too much of a good thing. The song is a generic track that could have been released as a B-side just as well as serving to wear the listener out. This is ok, but the manipulated vocal and the Akon smaple…it is too much og a good thing.

Salute—-Piano based at the onset, the song has a nice flavor to it. The vocal opens up very nicely with the first strains of the chorus and it turns into something that is a really nice end to a pretty darn good release. Houston and Co. deliver a nice track that has a slow groove, with the piano always playing in the backdrop. This is nice!!!

****1/2 out of 5

The Crystal Method/Divided By Night

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 240000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

Divided By Night is the 4th full length release by Electronic giants The Crystal Method. Released in May 2009, the release features much of the bass driven, bombastic sound we are accustomed to as well as featuring many ‘guest appearances’. The release has also been nominated for a Grammy Award.

Divided By Night—-Fueled by a majestic and rhythmic bass line, the song features some nice auto-tune vocals that fit the pace and experimentation of the song perfectly. This has every element necessary to result in a masterpiece dance classic. The Crystal Method return and satisfy once again. This is exceptional.

Dirty Thrifty [featuring Peter Hook]—-From the onset, the song is rather typical of most of the compositions released from this band…as the song begins to open up, the very skilful Hook bass adds life and depth to the sound. There is no mistaking the tell-tale bass of Hook and it fits in with the energy of this track very well. With no vocals, the song allows you to groove along to a song that is moderate in pace but with a magical happy mood. This is wonderful….I love this.

Drown In The Now [featuring Matisyahu]—-This is odd for me…the music is really low-key as the intro takes forever to turn into the real song. Matisyahu delivers a vocal that seems manipulated and lacks the positive nature of most of his work. the musical interludes between the vocals are nice and introspective, but the vocal is more of a rap and does not really work for me.

Cling To The Wreckage [featuring Justin Warfield]—-Featuring vocals from one half of the duo She Wants Revenge, the song seems almost perfectly written for him. The unmistakable vocal of Warfield is delivered with mastery and pizzazz! This is so much in the vein of Revenge, you almost wonder who wrote the song for whom. This is my favorite on this release…still waiting for the new full length from She Wants Revenge!!!

Smile?—-Beginning with a gentle piano intro, the song opens up into a relaxed version of atmospheric sound. The bass beats are understated and the intro piano chords rarely leave the principle sounds of the song. This is remarkable…a really breezy and enjoyable instrumental that rarely erupts into the chaos you often find with this band. I really enjoy this track…simply for the pleasant and relaxed sound of it.

Sine Language [featuring LMFAO]—-Really just trying to scratch the mainstream of popularity when this was recorded, LMFAO have since taken the charts and MTV by storm. Kudos to Crystal Method for snatching them up early. The song itself, beginning is a rather sedate way, manages to come alive by the second bar with an incredible Electronic sound that makes you comfortable. The vocal enters the scene with a nice delivery, and seems geared to the kids of the world seeking more LMFAO. The content is rather juvenile, the vocals are acceptable. the music is really nice though…over riding any disdain I have for the vocal. Nice!!!

Double Down Under—-Building and building from a quiet intro, it takes the song a bit of time to become as large as we know it will be. This is remarkable…the sound and the anticipation just builds and builds until your blood boils and your mind in in a frenzy. this is wonderfully done…..this reminds me of the classic fun techno tracks of the 90’s that were full of mood swings and musical movements. A+

Come Back Clean [featuring Emily Haines]—-Best known as a member of mega band Broken Social Scene, Haines delivers a vocal that is pure, contrived and fun. The music in the backdrop produces a fun-filled pop romp that is instantly addictive and pleasant. The band hit it out of the ball park with this one…a really great song.

Slipstream [featuring Jason Lytle]—-With a musical backdrop that is classic Crystal Method, the bass and knob manipulations are rather bombastic. Lytle manages a pretty fantastic vocal. Known for his work with Granddad, the voice is smooth and relaxed and melds with the bands creation masterfully. this is really nice…I love the powerful driving sound of the music that is in constant contrast with the really pleasant vocal. Great!!!!

Black Rainbows [featuring Stephanie Warfield]—-Guest vocals by wife of She Wants Revenge member Justin, the track begins with a rather sedate, ambient sound. The bass is heavy, but the little sounds going on in the music captures much of your attention. The sound is very relaxed and downbeat…the vocal is fantastic. Sounding like an Enigma track, this is a nice addition to the whole feel of this release. Great way to mix it up guys!!!

Blunts & Robots [featuring Peter Hook]—-Understated but with a remarkable New Order sound, Hook is very consistent in his playing style. the vocal is kind of erratic, but the music steals the vocal away and makes this wonderfully fantastic. I love this relationship between Hook and the band…more please.

Falling Hard [featuring Meiko]—-Meiko, a singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles contributes a wonderful vocal to this track. The song is very intense in sound…the music is deep and dark and the atmosphere will cover your head if you allow it to. The song is an ambient journey into a depressive land that is better left alone on a rainy sunday afternoon. I love this voice and need to get some more of this artist. Fantastic close to an exceptional release.

**** out of 5