Archive for July, 2010

Iron Maiden/Somewhere Back In Time: The Best Of 1980-1989

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 280000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Somewhere Back In Time

Somewhere Back in Time – The Best of: 1980 – 1989 is a best of album by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, containing a selection of songs from the first seven Iron Maiden albums. It was released in conjunction with the band’s Somewhere Back In Time World Tour to allow new fans to listen to a selection of the band’s material that was played on the tour.

The album cover features the Pharaoh Eddie monument from Powerslave and Cyborg Eddie from Somewhere in Time. In addition, the Iron Maiden logo is colored blue with a gold outline – the same colours used on the cover of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.

Churchill’s Speech—-If you are or ever were a Maiden fan, you know that this spoken word intro from Walter Churchill is as important as the songs that were played during the Powerslave era of Maiden. this remains, monstrous….ivigorating and exciting as you remember the anticipation of waiting for this monumental band to enter the stage for…..

Aces High—-One of the ballsiest and fastest songs from this era, Maiden really made a huge mark with this release. Dickinson delivers a vocal that is amazing…not many of the performances today could stand up against this rendition. this is fast….causing Harris to play at a much more rapid speed, but never losing that trademark Maiden chug-chug-chug bass line. This is magnificent…this is history, but still sounds amazing 25 years later. Just magnificent.

2 Minutes To Midnight—-Long a favorite song of mine, this is a great album to work out to…especially this song…pushing you to get that extra rep in. I love the line….”the body bags and bloody rags of Children torn in two….”…..how macabre is that? Bruce sounds so good on these songs…he just can’t sing like this anymore, every song is delivered in keys that are dumbed down these days…none the less, these are some of the Heavy Metal Kings…and this song is a prime example of why. This is huge….bloody and makes you really think about what the band was thinking at the time of this release. Magnificent!!!

The Trooper—-From the very early days of the Dickinson era Maiden, even the recording sounds deeper and underproduced…you would have thought they could have lightened it up a bit!!!! None the less, Dickinson is at his vocal prime…delivering notes that you just do not hear anymore…as well as allowing the entire band to sing along on the chorus. The guitars are signature Maiden and the drums as always are just stellar….Nicko remains one of the most unappreciated drummers of all time!

Wasted Years—-A really unappreciated and often ignored track, this has always been a favorite of mine as well. Adrian joins Bruce on vocals and the result is a much fuller sound with a more pop sound than Metal sound….regardless, this plays so well today…I’m not surprised the band pulled this one out for this release. This is spectacular, and the entire release deserves to be heard as well. Fantastic!

Children Of The Damned—-Really digging into the vault, this song does seem to appear on every compilation the band manages to produce. never a really favorite track of mine, this just lacks a certain energy for me. I can’t remember if this was a Dianno era single or not, but Bruce really never seemed to take complete ownership of this song with his vocal…lackluster but still historic!

The Number Of The Beast—-Woe, to you oh Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath…for he knows his time is short…..Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast…..For it is a human number……it’s number is 666…..so begins one of the most monumental Heavy Metal singles of all time. Still played in concert at every show and heard on classic rock stations as well, this song will live on forever. Combining incredible Maiden styled bass driven Metal with the manic vocal of Bruce and you have the recipe for history. Often misunderstood and attacked, this is a song that us positive and urges you to fight against the Beast…whatever that might be for you!

Run To The Hills—-Yet another monumental single, this song is another that lives on and plays very well today. The video is magnificent and the vocal is classic Bruce. This band did very little wrong during this ten-year period…the most creative and imaginative of their career. we have the music and the images to remind us how iconic this band really is.

Phantom Of The Opera—-Another of those songs that has long been played at live shows but never really did much for me. I guess that this is a good indication of the genesis of the band when Dianno was leading the vocals…the Harris touch has always been there and you notice how much deeper the sound of the music is. Dianno never even dreamed of having the range of Bruce and you can tell this by how the music is written and played. This is acceptable, but never a really favorite track of mine.

The Evil That Men Do—-I love the vocal and musical energy that this song produces, but I never really imagined this as a fan favorite…what the hell do I know? This is airy and full of little musical interludes that allows the song to suffer a bit…I say rock out and get on with it. the Harris touch is all over this song, although this mix is a bit high-pitched and lacks the clear deep bass that makes this band as it was meant to be.

Wrathchild—-Another Dianno era track, this has always played really well…the live version has always been much better than the long form. Dickinson breaths new light into the song and the live setting gives the entire thing a nice injection of energy and vitality. this is nice…but what about The Prisoner or Flight Of Icarus or Die With Your Boots On?

Can I Play With Madness—-Excellent, Awesome and Incredible…..one of my favorite tracks from this time period. The Metal is progressive while still maintains the incredible Maiden sound…..the vocal is outstanding…Bruce sounding a bit manic and possessed. the chorus is this huge affair that gives me goosebumps and the Harris bass line is well intact and delivered with pomp and circumstance!!!! Wonderful!

Powerslave—-The title track to one of the bands heaviest and fastest release ever, this track shows the huge power of the band. Bruce has never sounded better…this music is brilliant. the chug-chug-chug of the Harris bass leads the song and it would not be the same without it. The vocal is full of mystery and a driven force that is just magnificent. the chorus is huge, brilliant and energy producing. This is incredible. I love this stuff!!!!

Hallowed Be Thy Name—-This is a huge song…..really always a favorite of mine as well. Have you guys ever heard the Cradle Of filth version of this track….just incredible. This is so magnificent…that note that Bruce holds out at the beginning of the song is magnificent…gives me body goosebumps. I love this stuff!!! The energy and the vigor is contagious and magically lifts you up if you are feeling low….this is magic!

Iron Maiden—-The title track to THE BAND….this is another Dianno era single that still plays well live. the recorded version falls flat…the live rendition has a nice injection of energy that really works well for me. I love the Dickinson version of this…it never lets me down and reminds me of the origins of the band and helps me to appreciate the direction the band was moving into. At the time this was recorded first, the term Heavy Metal was not even produced yet….these are indeed dome of the founding fathers!!!!

**** out of 5

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Best Coast/Crazy For You

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 280000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Crazy For YouBest Coast is an American indie pop trio based in Los Angeles, California, and is often categorized under the subgenres of garage rock, surf pop, and lo-fi. [1] The band currently consists of songwriter and frontwoman Bethany Cosentino, multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno[2], and drummer Ali Koehler, who officially joined Best Coast in July 2010 after leaving the Vivian Girls and performing as the band’s live drummer for some time.[3][4] Cosentino and Bruno met many years before forming the band, as Bruno was her childhood babysitter. [5] Their single “Boyfriend” was named by Pitchfork as a “best new track”.[6] The band is recognizable for their fuzzy, low-fidelity sound in the vein of surf rock.[7] Thurston Moore and Bill Murray are known fans of the group.[8] The band is signed to the label Mexican Summer. Best Coast has received considerable popularity on the indie scene with their 7″ singles and EPs, including Make You Mine and Black Iris. [9] The band recently released a music video for their single “When I’m With You.” [10] Their first album, Crazy For You, was released on July 27, 2010.

Boyfriend—-This is WONDERFUL!!!! Full of fuzzy reverb and a remarkable throwback sound that causes you to think of the girl groups of the 60’s, this is pop perfection. Although the layers of music are more pronounced, this is still a breezy pop concoction that will last well into February.

Crazy For You—-This is even more reminiscent of the groups I spoke of earlier. Much of the fuzzy sound is gone from the song and you are regaled with pure pop perfection. this is surf and beach inspired…reminding you of frolicking in the sun and sand while you are enjoying the first butterflies of wonderful love. this is excellent!

The End—-Brilliant…..this whole release just makes me feel sunny and carefree, even though much of the material is rather serious and of lost love and failed connections. The music seems to rise above the connotations and fills you with an incredible joy. This is so nice…I love the underproduced sound of the vocal and the slight fuzz to the music leading you to believe this was recorded in a different time and age.

Goodbye—-There is a part of this vocal that at times really reminds me of Courtney Love! I could really imagine her producing this type of music. This track becomes a bit more bombastic and noisy at times…reminding me also of classic stuff like My Bloody Valentine. I just love this whole new wave of surf pop that is popping up all over the place.

Summer Mood—-Exactly as the title says, this IS Summer Music….the type of stuff you listen to on the grass in the pitch black of a huge humid July night…losing yourself in the stars and the brilliance of a few carefree moments. This brings me such joy…wonderful, remarkable, genius!!!

Our Deal—-This is a slower paced almost 50’s style doo-wop track that fits in with the rest of this release wonderfully well. I’m telling you….this reminds me of Courtney soooo much. i love the hazy, fuzzy sound of the whole damn thing…literally losing myself in the gentle under produced sound. Brilliance!!!

I Want To—- Full of all of the sounds that have been so magnificent on this release thus far, this has a bit of a heavier bass track that plays really well with the sharp percussion that plays in the backdrop. This is magnificent…I’m so glad to finally have a whole release from this brilliant incarnation!!! when this song really opens up, the song becomes a huge rocking Beach song that will play for years to come!!!

When The Sun Don’t Shine—-With just as much fuzz as a lint catcher, this plays so well. the gentle oohs and aahs are magnificent…..the simple and catchy lyrics are all you need. this is uncomplicated, breezy and laden with a layer of dandelion fuzz that will set you to sneezing. Wonderful!!!

Bratty B—-This is a nice rollicking track that reminds you of a overplayed juke box song. wonderfully orchestrated and delivered with just enough sass to really get the point across, this is a very expressive band. This is brilliant! the sentiments and lyrics are relatable and the music is just plain fun!

Honey—-This is delivered a bit slower and with a deeper sound. The thing I like best are the constant little reverbs and oohs and aahs that run through the very backdrop of the song…this gives it that classic surf pop sound. This is incredible…peopl;e need to pay attention to this type of music…it is popping up everywhere.

Happy—-Much more rocking and moving at a nice pace, the band never looses the sentiment that it has maintained throughout the entire release. This is so grand, it is difficult for me to find appropriate words to really make it viable to those reading. You must hear this to really appreciate it…magnificent.

Each And Every Day—-Reminding me even more of the fuzzy period of British music, this is so nice that you will back this up a couple of times to let it really sink in…I know I did. This is wonderfully preformed…the fuzz is magnificently produced and the sentiment remains light and breezy. I love this stuff.

When I’m With You—-This is even more throwback than anything else on this release. This track has been floating around for a bit, but still sounds wonderfully fresh every time I hear it. This is one of those slow 50’s high school dance songs that every one dances to and makes out to…until it opens up and the poodle skirts and tux jackets begin flying as people shimmy back and forth across the dance floor. This is wonderful!

****3/4 out of 5

Queensryche/Rage For Order

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 260000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Rage for Order

Queensrÿche (pronounced /ˈkwiːnzraɪk/, KWEENZ-ryek) is an American heavy metal / progressive metal band formed in 1981 in Bellevue, Washington. The band has released eleven studio albums and several EPs and DVDs and continues to tour and record.

Queensrÿche has been successful in the progressive scene, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide including over 6 million albums in the United States.

Rage for Order is the second studio album by heavy metal band Queensrÿche, released in 1986 on EMI America Records.

Despite all of the World-wide success of the band…the million of units sold and the mass appeal, this remains my favorite release from this band. Perhaps the most experimental and progressive of the catalog…this holds a very special place for me.

Walk In The Shadows—-At the time of this release, 1986, this had just enough experimental sounds to turn me on my head. The vocal from Tate on this entire release was breath-taking. I remember meeting the band at an in-store signing while they were opening for Ozzy!!! I still have my signed release of this Vinyl copy…..this is power packed, but it is Geoff that leads the band and controls the pace…the soaring vocal in incredible and the power chords are masterful. This still remains one of my favorite releases of all time!!!

Dream In Infrared—-With huge doses of emotion and some vocals that will make your balls hurt, this is a high point of this release. Although this is delivered in ballad style, this is hard-hitting and conjured up to make you think and ponder the entire conceptual ideas of dreams. Tate delivers a vocal that is full of expressive emotion and the band is spot on…delivering the power chords when needed and lying low at the more emotional points of the song. This is so fantastic…I have run out of words.

The Whisperer—-Merging wonderfully from the previous song, the track carries a whole life of its own. the guitar literally soars and just and quickly introduces a vocal that is for the history books. In the early days of the band, this guy could freaking sing the hell out of a song. Not so much anymore…Geoff has lost much of his range…the band delivers most of the classic songs at a much lower range now….disapponting. None the less, we have this piece of history to fall back on…at this time, this guy had better pipes than anyone in the Meal scene besides Dickinson and Halford. This is incredible…not to mention all of the extra effects that just add to the majesty of the song. Brilliant!

Gonna Get Close To You—-Dark and brooding, this is another of those stellar points in the release that brings everything together. This is a concept release of sorts and the merging of songs brings everything perfectly together. Tate delivers a vocal that literally rips your heart out and makes you think about what to do with at the same time. This is magnificence…brilliance and quality all in one release.

Killing Words—-Full of moody musical interludes and spooky guitars, Tate seems to merge his vocals with the guitar of Chris in a magical way. when the whole band comes together on the chorus, you realize that this is more than conceptual…this is a band unified and delivering Metal in a way we were unaccustomed to…this is almost sheer brilliance!

Surgical Strike—-One of the most aggressive points on this release, this has always been a very highlight of the album for me as well. This is delivered in a progressive style that would set the bar for all of the up and coming bands that wanted to break into the kind of audience that Queensryche attracted. This is energetic….Metal….brilliant and so magnificent that again…..I have run out of words. I love this CD!!!!!

Neus Regal—-This is full of synth sounds that most bands at this point really wanted nothing to do with…especially Metal bands…it worked very well for Geoff and Co. this is magnificent….again…a really favorite cut on this release for me…..once you get past all of the effects and the distorted vocal, you are left with a Metal song that will kick you ass. When Tate lets loose with that crystal clear vocal of his….you have to close your jaw that is hitting your chest. This is magnificence…this palys so well even today…..all metal up and comers should take notes whole listening to this release.

Chemical Youth—-Returning and delivering straight forward Metal, once the vocal enters and wraps itself around your throat, you are lost in the majesty of the whole damn thing. the guitars pummel you at an Iron Maiden styled gallop…the vocals become a huge crowd chant and the emotive properties of the song take up a permanent home in your brain…this was only preparation for what was to come….to bad the band was not prepared for the whole thing. This is fantastic.

London—-Another really remarkable high point of this release, this song is aggressive and modern…even now, all of these years later. Tate delivers a vocal that we would all become familiar with during the hey day of the next two releases…those that catapulted the band to worldwide superstardom. This is so magnificent, I would almost require the entire Metal community to take part in this magnificence. When the chorus kicks in and the whole band sings along…with Tate soaring high above the clouds you will almost shit yourself. This is magnificence…this is brilliance,  this is timeless!!!!

Digital—-Full of machine generated effects, you must wonder how a Metal purist could become so fascinated with such a release…the simple amswer…the whole dams thing worked. Listening to this release is like discovering a long-lost unheard symphony or a great hyper speed punk record…this is new, fresh and ground breaking. At the time, I think this release was frowned upon by every one except me…now I thrive on it still. This was a precursor to all of the symphonic bands like Cradle and Dimmu…these guys opened doors with this record whether you realize it or not. this is spectacular Metal…thought provoking, new and fresh…still sounding magnificent 20 + years later. I must swoon now!!!!

I Will Remember—-Delivering a classic rendition of what would make this band huge….the ballad. This is magnificent….allowing Tate to deliver a stellar vocal while the band delivers pure brilliance. It is no wonder DeGarmo left the band…he NEVER received the attention that was due to him. He led this band…through musical mastery, quality writing and incredible live performances. This is brilliant!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Stratovarius/Infinite: Special Edition

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 260000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Infinite:Special EditionStratovarius is a Finnish power metal band that formed in 1984. Their material contains elements of power metal and symphonic metal. To this day the band has sold over 2.5 million records worldwide. They have been since the 80’s, alongside with Helloween & Blind Guardian, one of the pioneers and most influential bands of power metal.

Please be aware that for unknown reasons, the track listing on this release is incorrect from the previous released record. I have tried to be as accurate as possible…..my apologies.

Hunting High And Low—-Delivered in classic Power metal style, the melody lines from the instruments are just as powwrful as the vocal. The vocal…literally soars above everything that is going on. when the chorus kicks in and the entire band joins in on the vocal, you will be amazed. This is remarkable…one of the best bands in this genre, the life of the band is a testament to the grand and spectacular music they make.

Why Are We Here—-Beginning with wonderfully comfortable 80’s hair metal power chords, the guitars at times literally soar. When the vocal enters you smile at the slight accent and revel in the clarity as you catch almost every single word. This is wonderful…this is progressive, exploratory and delivered with a remarkable emotion. When the vocalist reaches for the sky with his vocal the song shows its best side. This is phenomenal…fucked up track listing or not. I am loving this!!!

It’s A Mystery—-With little musical introduction, the vocal begins almost immediatly….delivering some wicked, soaring vocals that bring a huge smile to my face. this is freakin’ brilliant…the progressive nature of the music allows for the vocal to shine without losing any of the power of the band. This is fantastic….a new favorite band of mine.

Millenium—-Beginning with a really fantastic drum track, this song moves at a pretty amazing speed compared to most of the stuff heard thus far. This is aggressive without crossing over into the unknown! The vocal is crystal clear and literally soars. When the whole band joins in on the chorus, you are magically swept up in the excitement and the energy. I really love this…when the vocalist hits that scream…wow!!!

Mother Gaia—-Piano based and delivered in classic Power Metal ballad style, this is a bit flat for me. Waiting and waiting for the chorus seems to take a lifetime…the guitar interludes are nice, but give me some reall power chords already! When the music moves into that HUGE ballad mode and the vocal becomes louder and higher you are moved…but this disappears and you wonder where this is going. This is ok, but not a favorite.

Neon Light Child—–Beginning rather slow and a bit intense, the slong is slow to really get started. I still smile at the slight vocal accent that shines through on certain words. This is really sedate and cerebrel…not to say that it is bad, but I need a bit more energy than I am getting right now….next…..

Hunting High And Low—-Not really sure why this song is included twice on this release…this version is not much different from the original..perhaps a bit extended. It is nice to hear it again…I just don’t get it? Am I missing something????

Phoenix—-This begins huge…..just what I really needed at this point. The guitars are masterful…delivered with speen and intricate manipulations that are inspiring. The vocal is much the same…exactly as we expect. this has great energy, an exceptional drum track and some remarkable leads…heaven.

Glory Of the World—-The way this guy moves his fingers across his guitar must be incredible to watch! the speen and the intricate playing is magnificent. The vocal, once again, is stellar…you could not ask for more range or claruty. When the whole band joins in the songs only become larger and more grounded. the instrumental intertludes are literally amazing. This is stellar!

Millenium—-Another repeat track….as I shake my head in dismay and confusion. This is about 4 seconds longer than the original and seems to have all of the life sucked from it…perhaps this is a demo version. This is a huge disappointment.

A Million Light Years Away—-This is great….the problem is that it all begins to sound remarkably the same after a bit. I love the mid range vocal that is delivered…this is when the vocalist is at his clearest. The power chords are magnificent and when the whole band joins in on the chorus…it really comes together for me.

Phoenix—-Another repeat track that is only about a minute longer than the origianl…most of that being an extended intro and more instrumental moments…..I’m thinking this is kind of messed up! Livethis is nice, but the studio energy remains about the same for me.

Freedom—-This has huge grand orchestrated sounding guitars that are topped off my an incredible drum track…the vocal enters with an energy that almost wipes out all of the negative comments about the lackluster track listing and repeat tracks. This is huge, monumental and literally breath taking. I could never, ever, ever ask for more. When that high vocal note comes in…I almost mess myself!!!!

Infinity—-This live version last an almost amazing 10 minutes….I can tell you that this band sounds amazing live…they manage to reproduce the intricate sound of the band with little problem on the big stage…if anuthing, the sound becomes even larger. The build-up to the intro is exceptional….the ballad style delivery works well live and this guy can rally sing…in this setting, there is no faking it. This is the real deal!

Infinity—-???? WTF!!!

Celestial Dream—-Rounding out things with a really nice live version of this super progressive metal ballad, this play so much better live for me. the vocal is much more demonstrative and well delivered…the strings…real or generated add so much to the song in this setting. I like this SOOOOO much better than the studio bersion…this is real and emotional!

**** out of 5

Gary Numan/Exhibition 1978-1983 2 LP Gatefold Japanese Pressing [Vinyl]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 240000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Exhibition 1978 - 1983 (2 Lp Gatefold)

Exhibition (1987) is a double disc compilation album of Gary Numan‘s hits and selected other tracks released on the Beggars Banquet Records label. The songs cover from his early punk years of 1978 with Tubeway Army to the songs from the Warriors album of 1983.

It was released by Beggars Banquet Records in September 1987 as an LP, cassette and, with an expanded track listing, CD.

Side A:

Me! I Disconnect From You [Live]—-A wonderful rendition of Numan’s obsession with alienation, this live version is a bit faster and there fore coming across as even more manic than the original. Numan delivers his lines with his remarkable charming English accent which only causes me to swoon even more whenever I hear him. this is remarkable…the crowd loves this man and the rendition still remains better than any recorded version around.

That’s Too Bad—-Taken from the very early incarnations of Numan’s band The Tubeway Army, this has that post punk style all over it. The music is fast and hyper driven…the vocals are a huge sing a long that inspired the British kids to slam dance and lose control of themselves…this is a piece of history!!! Still sounding remarkable in 2010.

My Love Is A Liquid—-Still delivering a bit of the early punk leanings, numan seems almost removed from the song. The vocal seems to be run through a synth…giving it an even more removed sound.The music is hyper but more relaxed than the previous song. The content is interesting…this is fabulous…did I ever mention that I love this man Incredible!!!

Music For Chameleons—-Finding a comfortable place with synth sounds replacing the once comfortable manic guitar sound, Numan seemed to grow even more comfortable and inspired with this new sound. Delivering his trademark vocal, Numan sounds so emotive that this still gives me goose bumps. With over 70 Numan releases in my possession, every listen is still fresh and exiting for me. This is brilliant!!!

We Are Glass—-Although this was a huge song for numan, this has never really been in my top 10 lists of songs. I like this…I love the removed vocal and the synth driven sound, but something about this never registered for me…it is all in taste. I like this…but I don’t love it.

Bombers—-Much more aggressive and guitar driven, this also has a pretty remarkable drum track. This has a great post-punk flavor that was really popular in Britain at this time. The song in a nice coming of age track…as Numan struggled to incorporate guitars and synths together to create a new sound…one of the fore-fathers of Industrial style music, numan is now..in my opinion…an Industrial God. This is a nice example of the transition.

Sister Surprise—-Delving a bit into the stage where Numan became annoying for me, this is full of horns and female backdrop singers. I really have ignored this part of Numan’s career…this was so against everything that he was…I still do not understand it and I’m not sure Numan does either. To me this is a track that is listenable only for the double tracked wailing that goes on in the background…otherwise….well…you can’t love everything.

Side B:

Are ‘Friends’ Electric?—-One of the true triumphs of this genius career, this was not the first song that appealed to me and caused me to become obsessive…but once I heard this song, it was all over. This is built around me…full of alienation, distrust and the lack of belief in mankind, this began an obsession which has served me well. This is brilliant, innovative and still 30 years later fresh and invigorating.

I Dream Of Wires—-Taken from Telekon, perhaps my favorite Numan release ever, this finds Gary exploring the idea and concepts of living with machines rather than humans…the interaction that may occur and the obsessions that develop as if everything were human…to me this is fascinating. numan sounds so removed and devoid of feelings, but there is that little tug of emotion that always shows up in his songs…allowing you to know that this guy hurts and feels just like you do. Magnificent!!!

Complex—-Perhaps one of the moodiest and darkest songs Numan ever recorded during this time period, this was only a glimpse of the alienation and removal that was to come. this song is icy cold, but filled with the warmest emotions you could ever hope to experience in your lifetime. Such is the genius of the man…I could never, ever ask for more. this is real raw and very, very Numan!

Noise Noise—-Heavily steeped in the emerging technology of synthesizers, this finds numan sounding more comfortable than he had in quite some time. This is downbeat, dark and full of the classic Numan lines that don’t sink in until, sometimes, years later. The man is a study…it sometimes takes years to conclude the meaning of a song…it is so worth the journey. This is fantastic!

Warriors—-Full of a rhythmic synth that goes against the grain of most of Gary;s compositions, this takes a bit to really become a part of you. Over the years, this has really grown on me…but it is not a favorite track of mine. I love the removed and icy vocal, but the double tracked vocal takes away from the emotion a bit for me…still, you can not deny the melody line that runs through the song.

Everyday I Die [Live]—-Another very favorite track of mine…built around the same familiar feelings of alienation and loneliness. Why else would a guy like me sit for hours at a time in his little apartment obsessing on people’s music. Gary and I are kindred spirits…I love this…the music is stark and without feeling…the vocal is achingly painful and real. This is my theme song…remarkable.

Side C:

Cars—-I could go a lifetime without ever hearing this song again, but this is the one that started it all for Numan….damned be those that still consider this genius to be a one hit wonder….it just is not true!!!

We Take Mystery To Bed—-This falls back into the time period where Numan was exploring the introduction of horns and otherwise less than synth driven beats into his music. This song manages to come off pretty well, but it is only because of the incredible emotive vocal that it does. numan had his experimental phase and it only took about three really low sales releases to get it out of his system….this remains one of the triumphs.

I’m An Agent—-also from the Telekon release, this is when I first really discovered Numan…therefore it always holds a very special place in my heart. this is cold, haunting, emotionless and so full of emotion you may cry. This speaks of alienation and the idea that we could rely on machines for survival…surprise…it is 2010. This is fabulous, remarkable and tremendous.

My Centurion—-Again, a bit on the border with this one…a bit too hyperactive for my tastes regarding Numan…but the vocal saves the song. The voice always seems to rise above the background noise for me..I just really hated the whole time period when Numan started using female back-up singers…for me this was unnecessary…no one can carry off a song alone like this man can. next to Bowie, Numan is the closet thing to God I can imagine!

Metal—-Truly one of the great high lights of Numan’s career, although the wonderment and majesty of the song was not realized until YEARS later when many people cited this as a transforming song for them…namely Trent Reznor…who delivered a really great cover of this track. This is full of the cold as steel emotion that has always resonated with me…..when Numan finally delivers that higher tone vocal of his, it sounds even colder and more distant than when he is in his comfortable range. This is remarkable…the whole concept was in preparation for what he is doing now,….the sound of Metal….I want to be…..You!

You Are In My Vision—-Travelling back into a time where the guitar was the star of the show, Numan delivers a nice punk inspired vocal that still sounds fresh and exciting today. This is remarkable…you can catch every word and even then, numan was preoccupied with things that were beyond his control and full of wanting. This is remarkable!

Side D:

I Die; You Die—-Full of misplaced romantic ideas that many of us have experienced in our lifetimes, Numan delivers a cold and calculated vocal that is almost inspired to provoke guilt. This is so warm…but icy cold at the same time. That is what makes this man so remarkable…the music is so removed, but when the voice enters, the emotions smack you in the face and stay with you for a lifetime. Not to mention the remarkable melody and strumming guitar line that runs through this song. Incredible!

She’s Got Claws—-I can’t tell you why exactly, but I LOVE THIS SONG!!!! It has always been something that I have looked for on every repeated compilations that I have bought. I know, the song is full of the dreaded horns that I disdain…but when Numan delivers his vocal….it is goose bump time…this stirs me, makes me happy, makes me sad….Because Music Matters!!!! When Gary utters the line about dreams in cold storage…..wow…all over for me!!!

This Wreckage—-When I first heard this song, my ego inspired self was sure that Numan wrote this song especially for me. This describes me more perfectly than I could do myself. This is cold, calculated and removed…but remains warm and full of lyrical imagery that has stayed with me since 1984 or so. Remarkable how music works that way.

My Shadow In Vain—-Delving back into the post-punk days of the band, Numan sounds remarkable on this track. the music is driving and aggressive,,,the lyrics are still full of alienation and indifference…the man has his themes…thank you very much. This is mastrerful…the aggressive nature of the song really inspires and appeals to me…I love this. When Numan declares that he only dreams in black and white, you know the foundation is firm. Fantastic.

Down In The Park—-A huge hit for Numan overseas, this song neer really clicked with me. this is full of science fiction themes that just seem to escape me. I love the emotional quality of the song…this original version really shows the feelings of alienation and lonliness…the themes though just put me off a bit. Still, this is a Numan triumph and still plays very well today.

The Iceman Comes—-Airy and emotional, I try to look past all of the unessary horn and allow myself to soak in the true alienation of the song. The track leaves me feeling remarkable empty and lonley…Numan has a vocal that is bolstered again my annoying backdrop singers…unnecessary….but the true feelings are clear…my emotions are frozen again…I can’t  feel…nor do I want to…but I need to…help me to.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Industrial Revolution: Second Edition

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 240000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan “industrial music for industrial people”. In general, the style is harsh and challenging. The Allmusic website defines industrial as the “most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music”; “initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation”.[1]

The first industrial artists experimented with noise and aesthetically controversial topics, musically and visually, such as fascism, serial killers and the occult. Their production was not limited to music, but included mail art, performance art, installation pieces and other art forms.[2] Prominent industrial musicians include Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Boyd Rice, Cabaret Voltaire, and Z’EV.[2] The precursors that influenced the development of the genre included acts such as electronic group Kraftwerk, experimental rock acts The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, composers such as John Cage, writers such as William S. Burroughs, and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche.

While the term was initially self-applied by a small coterie of groups and individuals associated with Industrial Records in the 1970s, it broadened to include artists influenced by the original movement or using an “industrial” aesthetic.[3] These artists expanded the genre by pushing it into noisier and more electronic directions. Over time, its influence spread into and blended with styles including folk, ambient, and rock, all of which fell under the post-industrial music label. The most notable hybrid genres were industrial rock and industrial metal, which include bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, both of which released platinum-selling albums in the 1990s. Those two genres are often referred to as simply industrial.

Disc One:

Feurio/Remix [Einstenzende Neubauten]—-Although this track is all in German, this iconic band delivers a great mix of electronic aggressive dance sounds. Staying true to the Industrial movement, many of the underlying sounds on the song are aggressive and sometimes irritating, but manages to come off remarkably well. this is triumphant…one of my favorite German bands.

Winnebago Industrial Tapeworm/Remix [Pigface]—-Pigface is one of those Industrial Supergroups that involves a revolving cast of characters. In the past, the band has sported members from Ministry, KMFDM and Trent Reznor himself as well as My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. This release is super aggressive…the noises and abrasive sounds are all over the place. This is not really a favorite of mine, the saving grace is the huge bass line and the Jorgensen styled vocals that are put at the very back of the mix. This is nice…heavy and aggressive but at times a bit overblown.

Mr. 44 [Electric Hellfire Club]—-This has some nice soundbites as the intro and delivers the type of Industrial Dance you find from KMFDM or My Like With The Thrill Kill Kult. There is some nice airy ambience and the soundbites continue…giving the song an interesting and unique sound. I really rather like this…the synth line is driving and the bass is right in you face. This is superb and what Industrial was supposed to sound like.

Dig It [Skinny Puppy]—-Perhaps one of the most experimental of the Industrial Bands to emerge in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Skinny Puppy is back together and recording again…recently delivering the excellent Mythmaker. This has just enough noise to be interesting and just enough sound effects to really keep your attention. The vocal is convoluted and foreign…almost un-understandable at times…none the less, this is excellent. One of my favorite bands!!!

Succumber/Remix [Spahn Ranch]—-Coming alive with hyper driven machine sounds and great spoken word sound bites, this is another of my really favorite bands from this genre of music. This is so danceable that you sometimes forget it falls under this catagory…until you hear the magnificent machine distorted vocal that inspires anger and energy. This is magnificent!

Desert Storm/Remix [Klute]—-Driving with huge bass riffs and a noise that sounds like a hundred massive machines all running at the dame time, the vocal enters and you literally find yourself in the middle of war. The energy in this track is phenomenal and the sudden insertion of clean vocal words literally catch you off guard. This is so huge and noisy…you want to scream and break things…roll around on the floor and join every one else in their nervous breakdown. Phenomenal!

Codeine, Glue And You [Chemlab]—-Almost bordering on Industrial Muzak compared to some of the other things on this compilation, this band delivers music that is almost out of the realm of Industrial ideals. This is really nice when the chorus kicks in…if you heard this you would know it in a moment. this has some nice high points, but this is a bit mainstream for the genre.

Third Uncle [Brian Eno]—-Eno has seemed to have his hand in every crucial music innovation ever, so it is only appropriate that he is included on this compilation. this is rather odd and generic, the song sounds more ska influenced than Industrial, but I take it as it is. Eno has always been a huge innovator and conscience producer. For me though, this falls a bit flat!!!

Death To Censorship [Psychopomps]—-Beginning rather quiet, the silence is broken by huge squealing machines and a slow pounding bass line. the vocal is distorted and machine fed…sounding so much like Ministry I had to look twice at the song listing. This is angry, aggressive and just what this genre demands…music with a message and purpose…meant to provoke thought and energy. Magnificent.

In Penetration [Controlled Bleeding]—-One of my favorite bands ever, this song is full of the trademark sounds of Bleeding. the melody that runs through the underbelly of the song is incfredible…despite all of the noise going on you never lose that melody line. the vocal is so far back in the mix, you only catch bits and pieces…but the machine synths are so heavy and pounding you could move to this all night long. This is a masterpiece!!!

Division [Digital Poodle]—-This is awesome…I had forgotten about this song. Full of militaristic styled vocals, the music id driving and the voice comes at you more like orders than suggestions. The energy is phenomenal….even though the vocal is , as usual, pushed to the back of the song, you still catch the lyrics and fall into the general mood of the song as it calls for social disorder and chaos. Fantastic!

Figure Q-42 [Lab Report]—-Beginning rather quiet with slowly escalating machine noises and chaos, your brain suffers as you almost go crazy waiting for something to break loose and form an actual song. This never really happens, this has a noisy ambience that leaves you a bit disappointed. Where is the energy and the noise?

Disc Two:

Mindphaser/Remix [Front Line Assembly]—-Front line, for me, has always travelled in that fine line of Industrial and Dance…often confusing what they were aiming to be, This is magnificent…conataing all of the elements of great Industrial music that fits in perfect in the dark basement bars that cater to the darker crowds of individuals that eat this stuff up. This is emotional and aggressive, pleasant yet abrasive….danceable yet provoking indifference….incredible!!!

Reconciled/Remix [Penal Colony]—-Heavily synthesized and full of blips and bleeps, the vocal is an almost spoken word that tends to get on your nerves a bit…by the end of the first minute, the song really opens up and becomes a noise fest that literally takes over your entire brain. This is fantastic…I could do without the vocal, but the noise this band produces is fantastic!

United ’94 [Psychic TV]—-born out of the ashes of Throbbing Gristle and the genius of Genesis P-Orridge, this is a favorite song of mine that never gets old…even though it loses much of the progress that Throbbing Gristle made with the innovation of Industrial music. If anyone can be credited with the emergence of this genre, than it would be Genesis. This is brilliant, genius and timeless!!!

Shockneck [Pressurehed]—-Beginning right out the gate with abrasive and neck twisting energy, the vocal is a bit less than desirable. You have to overlook the lackluster vocal simply because the music to this track is so damn incredible…this is driving..almost pummeling…inspiring you to break things, rebel and otherwise be socially unacceptable. Magnificent!

Friendly Faction [Consolidated]—-With a nice progressing bass beat and some masterful spoken word soundbites, this almost defines the type of Industrial Music that I love. This is a lesson in the destruction of the human race…what we have created and questioning how we might possibly save ourselves. This is fantastic.

Walking In The Sky  [Nik Turner]—-This begins a bit to ambient for me to really consider this Industrial. although the beats pick up a bit, the mood is still a little too mainstream and lacks aggression that is necessary to allow this to play really well to an ‘Industrialized’ crowd. Not bad, but really not my thing.

Gubert Einer Nation [Laibach]—-Long a favorite band of mine, this is perhaps one of the bands best known and most accessible tracks. I love this band!!! This has huge synth lines, a masterful melody and a pure German Neo-feel to it. The vocal is dark and gruff…oipening the highway for bands like Rammstein to become huge. This is a masterpiece of a song…I love the bitterness of the language and the huge overblown music. This is brilliant!!!

In And Out/Remix [Executive Slacks]—-Full of all kinds of scratching and DJ manipulations, this song comes across as literally huge. I love this shit…the bass beat is incredible and the synth lines that run through the song makes me almost fall in love. The vocal enters and is delivered a s a staccato hit nd miss kind of thing…just alowing you to lose yourself in the incredible bass of the song. this is fantastic…a tour de force of noise….magnificent!

Antius [Laetherneck]—-With huge driving synth lines, this is fantastic. This has a perfect mix of energy and great vocals all coming together to capture a moment in time. this has always been a favorite track of mine…I love the chorus…this is huge, contagious and remarkable catchy. Incredible……wow…what memories.

Metal On Metal [THD]—-Heavily sampling Kraftwerk, this is brilliant! The familiar strains run through the entire song…only beefing up the more ‘metallic’ sounds of the song. This is a brilliant reworking of a classic song that NEVER gets old. Masterful!!!

Matrix [Test Dept.]—-Full of heavy bass lines and remarkable synth effects, this song falls perfectly in with the rest if this compilation. At times the vocal appears to be almost whispered…it is that removed. I love this stuff…..this has started a whole new revelation with me…reminding me how much i related to this genre of music…although I have moved away from this…much more involved in the Black metal scene at the moment, this really is a pretty close cousin. I have always said that you could not have one type of music without the other…this remains true with this as well.

The Legacy [?]—-I seem to be missing the artist from my song listing…help me out guys? This is nice…huge and bombastic…full of soundbites of Margret Thatcher…this borders on pure mayhem and mass hysteria. This is brilliant…damn…who did this song?

****1/2 out of 5

Bruce Dickinson/The Best Of Bruce Dickinson

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 230000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Best of (Bonus CD)

Paul Bruce Dickinson (born 7 August 1958) is a British singer, airline pilot, radio show host, fencer, author, and songwriter best known as the vocalist of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

Dickinson performed for some local bands including Styx (not the American band of the same name) in 1976, Speed, (1977–1978), and Shots in early 1979. He then joined hard rock band Samson later in 1979, where he gained some popularity. In this band he went by the name of “Bruce Bruce.” He left Samson in 1981, citing musical differences. Shortly afterwards, in 1981, Dickinson was hired as Iron Maiden‘s new vocalist, debuting for that band with the 1982 album The Number of the Beast.[1] During his time in that band, they issued a series of high impact releases,[2] resulting in Dickinson gaining worldwide fame, and becoming one of the most acclaimed heavy metal vocalists of all time.[3]

Dickinson quit Iron Maiden in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career, being replaced by Blaze Bayley. Dickinson’s solo work ranged a wide variety of heavy metal and rock styles. Dickinson rejoined Maiden in 1999 along with guitarist Adrian Smith. Since then, Dickinson has only released one more solo album, Tyranny of Souls. He is the older cousin of Rob Dickinson, lead singer of British alternative rock band Catherine Wheel. In his personal life, he is known for his criticism of drug use.

The Best of Bruce Dickinson is a compilation album released in 2001 by Bruce Dickinson. Two versions were released; a single disc version and a second version with a bonus disc. On the front cover, the album title is imposed upon the seal of the demon Astaroth.

Disc 1 is a selection of songs from his previous solo albums, with the addition of two new songs, “Broken” and “Silver Wings”, both of which were written by Dickinson and guitarist/producer Roy Z. Disc 2 contains rare songs, most of which have appeared as b-sides on singles. The track “The Voice of Crube” is an explanation of the various songs, narrated by Bruce (for whom ‘Crube’ is an anagram).

Disc One:

Broken—-One of the first things that you notice about this track is that it really has a remarkable Maiden sound…I have always tried to approach this solo adventure with little or no comparison to the band, but this is pretty much standard Maiden. Most of Dickinson’s material was vastly different…this particular track though carries that familiar chug-chug sound of Harris. Bruce delivers a blistering vocal…reminding me of the old days…this is great!

Tattooed Millionaire—-I can clearly remember the first time I heard this first single once Bruce had gone solo….my initial thought was Iron who? This is literally fantastic, but Bruce without the band and the band without Bruce was a huge mistake…that aside, Bruce delivers a blistering vocal that has some nice growls but most of all a nice clear chorus that reminds you why you fell in love with this voice to begin. This is pop rock, but it soars and still remains a favorite of mine.

Laughing In The Hiding Bush [Live]—-This is nice….coming across as even more aggressive live. the sound is a bit jacked though, the sound is too deeply recorded…taking a bit from the soaring guitar of Rot Z. and the sharp tenor of Dickinson. What this does deliver is a much faster and more aggressive song than as it appears on record. this is a triumph…just lacks a bit of clarity.

Tears Of the Dragon—-Beginning acoustic in nature, this is not your typical Metal…..Dickinson further explores the realms of mystery and puzzles as he allows the song to develop. the lyrical imagery is incredible…you can actually see what he sings. when he lets lose with the build up to the chorus, this is a Bruce vocal you do not hear often hear anymore…clear and soaring, this is a triumphant masterpiece of a song. Roy Z. remains…a genius!!!

The Tower—-With a huge bass intro line, this is slow to come to life but as it develops you are lost in the magnificent feel of the song. Bruce sounds like he did back on Number Of the Beast…seemingly energized by his new-found freedom from the Harris/Maiden machine. when he hits some of these notes, you wonder where Dickinson has been hiding some of these songs. This is all potential Maiden material…I understand the need for Bruce to break free for a bit and explore the other side…what we got were 4 release that were incredible…yes some of the tracks are throwaway…but some like this…..incredible!!!

Born In 58—-This has always been a really favorite song of mine…I think because it is not so serious…this is light in lyrical content compared to a lot of the stuff that you get from a Dickinson release. This has a remarkable melody that will stick in your cerebellum for hours after you hear this…this is brilliant. The vocal is again…incredible…allowing bruce to really soar at times and display a lot of acrobatics with his voice…up and down, back and forth…this is fabulous. I love this guy!

Accident Of Birth—-Taken from the second solo release from Bruce, this is another song that will stick to your ribs for quite some time…when dickinsong sings the line….”Accident Of Birth”,  the emotion and the timbre is exquisite. This is brilliant. The guitars from Adrian Smith and Roy Z. are driving and delivered with a purpose…this is fantastic…sorry I have not listened to this in such a long time.

Silver Wings—-This, from the onset has potential Maiden written all over it. This is fast..almost bordering on manic. Dickinson delivers a vocal that is maniacal and driven…this is brilliant. the highs are incredible….Bruce can deliver line after line in his distinctive timbre that just puts a a smile on your face that refuses to live. The lyrical content is a bit mystical and eerie….none the less…this pushes Bruce to deliver what we need from him…blistering and quality metal. Fantastic!

Darkside Of Aquarius—-All of this overt mystical stuff can get a bit trying sometimes…there are some songs…like this one…where i have no idea what Dickinson is singing about. None the less, you take the Metal as the Metal comes…this is pretty spectacular…if only for the heavy ‘familiar’ bass line and the soaring voice of the Golden God. This is fantastic…when bruce really hits the chorus this just makes you yearn for the old days…although this is pretty much an unreleased Maiden song…the bass line is too familiar to deny.

Chemical Wedding—-the title track to one of the most overlooked and under appreciated Metal releases of its time, this is just what you get when you buy this release. This is quality Metal that was ignored by too many people…except us purists that love the voice. To me, this is much heavier and Metal oriented than anything that Dickinson had released up to date in his solo outing. This is mysterious, moody and brilliant!

Back From The Edge—-I hate the sound quality of this song from the very onset….it sounds like everything except the drums are muted…what is up with that? The voice even sounds more removed than it should be…the mystical content is hard to devour and the song really falls flat for me. I don’t understand the production problems…come on Roy…what is up?

Road To Hell—-Returning to full on Metal form, this has also always been a favorite track of mine. I love the aggressive quality that Dickinson has with his voice…he is driven and sings like a man possessed. the chorus is so damn catchy and addictive that you will remember the refrain to this song years after you hear it for the first time. The music is outstanding…reminding me more of Priest than Maiden, this really fits the mood and the vocal.

Book Of Thel [Live]—-Another of those songs that I really do not understand, I just try to tune into the musical and vocal delivery instead. Dickinson tackles things that are far beyond my reach intellectually…often leaving me wonder what the hell. But I buy the stuff anyways. This captures Bruce at his best…in a live setting…the music is faster and the voice is pushed even further…the crowd urges on everything and the result is fantastic. Even if I haven’t a clue!

Disc Two:

Bring Your Daughter….To The Slaughter—-Dickinson must have retained rights to this song? Why it is included on here is beyond me….at any rate….this is a pretty spot on rendition of the original…even without the remarkable bass of Harris.

Darkness Be My Friend—-Acoustically based and sounding like a live take, this is brilloiant…perhaps worth the price of the dual disc edition of this collection. Bruce sings in a tone that is so crystal clear and dechipherable you really have a chance to dwell on the lyrics…the acoustic Tull styled flute is magnificent. Perhaps this is auto-biographical…this is fantastic.

Wicker Man—-An interesting solo rendition of what would later become the ‘come-back’ single for the rejuvenation of Maiden, Dickinson delivers a rough version of the song that admittedly enough was really amped up by the bass of Harris. the vocal is very different..allowing you to see the true birth and development of a song. this is interesting and worth the price of the dual disc…this is interesting and unique. Hmmmm!

Real World—-Hard and driving, the guitars on this track are fantastic. The leads come in and supply a magnificent melody that really shapes the song. Dickinson enters the fray with perhaps his clearest and highest vocal to date on this comp, joined on the chorus by Smith, this becomes huge and unforgettable. Magnificent.

Acoustic Song—-This is as it says…..acoustic and full of the emotional, human songs that Dickinson is capable of writing. there is a bit of mysticism involved…hinting at the ideas of past lives joining together in new life…whatever…..its a great song none the less.

No Way Out….Continued—-This begins rather odd….there is a massive amount of atmosphere. Bruce enters with a vocal that turns me off right from the first listen. i don;t like the vocal or the lyrical content…all of this vampire stuff is beyond me. this is ok, but one I skip over every time.

Midnight Jam—- Ok,,,,this is odder than odd. Reminding me of a long-lost track from other bands, there is nothing unique or special about this. Why must artists put all of this throw away shit on records and profit from something they would not put on a proper release….bullshit!!!

Man Of Sorrows—-This is nice…beginning slowly, the music is rather generic…..it is the nice powerful vocal from Dickinson that carries the magnificence of the song. This is emotional, real and relatable. I love this. Kudos….when the song really opens up you are blessed for listening thus far. I’m almost positive this showed up elsewhere…I have to track this down.

Ballad Of Mutt—-Just weird and a waste of listening time…..ugh…jeez!!!

Re-Entry—-Again, acoustic and obviously a song that was in the process of being developed, I’m not sure why this was included in such a rough form. the voice is nice…the drums even better…but overall, this is too rough to really appeal to me.

I’m In A Band With An Italian Drummer—-WTF……ugh!

Jerusalem [Live]—-It seems odd to deliver such an acoustic based song in a live setting, but none the less the crowd from Brazil seems to love it. This is a rip off from so many other acoustic songs…the sound is to familair to be entirely original. This leaves me disappointed…the high point is the crowd interaction…Brazil loves this man.

The Voices Of Crube—-Whatever……!!!!! This is a huge 13 minute spoken word that explains all of the songs on the second disc. None of it which really clears up why this is included here. I love you Bruce, but this is a bit indulgence.

Dracula—-Full of airy sounds and mystery, this fares no better than most of the other things on this disc….this is a real disappointment for anyone except for the most die-hard of fans….and even I am disappointed. This is shite!

Disc One: **** out of 5

Disc Two: ** out of 5