Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Band: 3

So as you may know, I have been listening to alot of progressive metal/rock of late. While I did take a break for a while, I'm getting back into the swing of things with re-listening to the works of 3. This is my third or fourth listen through most of their stuff and I've just noticed something: I believe that 3 qualifies as the first (that I've found) progressive metal-funk crossover. Now, I don't say this lightly, I am not a person who feels just because they have two songs in a different genre then the norm, that they should be also qualified in this alternate genre. This group has a strong funk influence in at least half of their songs, often times to the diminishment of the prog feel. I would almost call them a funk rock band, except there is still a very strong prog feel in their albums and in most songs, with almost every song having a breakdown that is straight metal or rock. Also, alot of their songs either have an intro or a background guitar riff that is very reminiscent of a Latin or Spanish theme (this is more prevalent in their earlier work, and has faded out of recent). These guys merge styles to create something new - and they do it well.

3's first album, 1999's Paint By Number, was the most directly funk-oriented album that they have released. The first three or four songs are straight-forward progressive metal, in the vein of Dream Theater, but after that the album takes a hard right turn and moves to almost solely funk. This strong sudden variation surprised me. At the time when I was first listening to this album, I had already listened to the rest of their studio albums (all which came after), so I thought I knew what this album was going to be like. I really liked the funk-half of the album alot more then the prog-half, but the whole album is solid. My favorite tracks off this album are "You Call Me Baby" (which is my favorite off of all their albums) and "Paint By Number."

Their next album was a live release, called Half-Life. It consisted of their first CD as well as un-released material, most of which that would be re-recorded on future releases. It is, for the most part uneventful, except for the fact that almost every song on this album is an alternate version of their studio tracks. I like this idea alot, because I dislike live albums as a whole, but this one puts a different spin on it. This release gives you something new to listen to, something different yet familiar (although I dislike that they changed "You Call Me Baby" to a more rock version, taking away alot of the funk elements that I liked so much).

Summercamp Nightmare, released in 2003, was 3's next release. It contained studio tracks from their previous album, as well as new material. This album was (in my view) was their weakest release. It moves back on the funk, and even some on the prog. One interesting thing is that the vocals are altered a little for this album. While the light, wispy lyrics are still there, for alot of the songs it sounds as if it was guest sung by David Bowie. Alot of the choruses have that odd, light British bite to them, that is prevalent in Bowie's work. Just a little tidbit there for ya. My favorite songs off it are "Halloween" and "Broadway Alien."

After Summercamp Nightmare, 3 was picked up by a major label, Metal Blade, for 2005's Wake Pig. This was the first album I heard from them, and as so, it is my favorite. I've listened through it the most, so I am the most comfortable with it. This albums continues the funk-feel, but in a much lighter sense. Instead it amps up the heavy metal into a more contemporary prog album. Some of these songs are re-recording of tracks off of Summercamp Nightmare, which for a person who has their entire discography, gets annoying fast. But as I said this is my favorite album, all of the songs are strong and well put together. The stand out tracks are "Alien Angel, "Bramfatura" (an instrumental Latin-themed track), and "Amazing Disgrace."

3's latest album, The End Is Begun, begins to ease back into the funk sound, while keeping the heavy progressive themes. This album I have only listened through once, so I can't remark too much on it. It is another solid album, with an underlying "ending" theme (hinted by the title) as well as a slightly morbid feel. This is definitely one of their darkest albums, second maybe only to Summercamp Nightmare. My favorite songs are "The End Is Begun," "All That Remains," and "These Iron Bones."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Epic Playlist: B

Here it is, the next chapter in my Epic Playlist. I have been fine tweaking the list to make sure that only the best by the best is within it.

These updates take forever. After listing and tagging everything, I still have to write about the songs. That is why these updates are so far apart. My apologies.

[Edit] Jesus this took me over 2 months to start and finish. I think this Epic Playlist will be a year-long project... Let me know if you find it interesting or if I'm just wasting my time.

Enough complaining let's get back to it:

  1. The B-52's - Love Shack - Who doesn't know/love this classic song. Grab your boards, we're going to the Love Shack
  2. Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care of Business - All about how much better your life is if you're in a band. Couldn't say it better myself.
  3. Bad Company - Bad Company - About a man who who "was born with a six-gun in [his] hand." Outlaws and hooligans, live by the gun, die by the gun.
  4. The Bags - Cavemen Rejoice - I'm not going to lie, the only reason I know about this song is from Guitar Hero, but it is a good one. All about cavemen rejoicing (who would have thought?) over the killing of a Woolly Mammoth and victory against the neighboring tribe of cavemen. I really like the break down in the middle, where it is the guitarist (maybe bassist) playing a few notes, holding them out, dropping it, then repeating over and over. I always think that the power for the player is just too much and he has to keep re-attempting the same rhythm. But that's just me.
  5. Barenaked Ladies - One Week -Just a simple song about a guy and his girl arguing and eventually coming back together. Its a fast song with catchy lyrics (who can't remember "Chickety China, the Chinese chicken, you have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin"?). Just a throwback to the alt. rock of the 90's
  6. The Beach Boys - Kokomo - Another classic. If this island paradise that the Beach Boys sing about actually exists, I totally want to find it.
  7. The Beastie Boys - (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) -A Rap/Rock anthem about telling your parents to shove it. I'm not much into rap but The Beastie Boys are a favorite of mine. "Licence To Ill" was a great album.
  8. The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps -The genuine guitar song. While the lyrics are whimsical and really signifying nothing, I love the guitar work, and the haunting melody and chorus; "While my guitar gently weeps." I raises the hairs on my arm every time it comes on
  9. Bill Withers - Lean On Me - Once one person starts this song, you can't help but join in. With the slow piano and rhythm, and the soulful melody, this is a song for the ages.
  10. Billy Idol - White Wedding - I really have no clue what this song is about. It references a "Little Sister" and of course the "White Wedding," but very little ties them together. Still, this being one of Billy Idol's two hits (The other being "Rebel Yell") it's hard not to add. Plus this is another song that everyone knows
  11. Billy Joel - Scenes From An Italian Restaurant - One of my favorite songs of all time. I remember belting the lyrics to this in the back seat of my parent's car as a kid, and I still do it now (although I have moved to the front seat). The song is broken into three parts, and it flows effortlessly between them. The piano, the love, the regret; all classics.
  12. Black Eyed Peas - Pump It - This song is catchy. It really is just a remix of "Misirlou" by Surf Rock great Dick Dale, with some lyrics thrown over it. That guitar tune in the back ground of the entire song? That's "Misirlou." The only real instrument besides clapping? "Misirlou." So while I do enjoy the song, let's just sum up what this really is: a re-vamped cover. Still, it is catchy, and it is one of the few rap songs that I know every word of.
  13. Black Label Society - Fire It Up - I've seen Black Label Society two times live, and they put on a decent show. They are a straight-forward metal band, and play the part. This song has a solid guitar riff, simple lyrics, and of course a bitchin' solo. While is is not a great in the halls of metal, it is the best BLS song that I have heard.
  14. Black Sabbath - The Wizard - While not the most popular of the Black Sabbath songs, this one is by far my favorite. It starts with the harmonica which leads into Tony Iommi's guitar. Any song about wizards is cool by me (see the next song). About how everyone is excited when the Wizard visits their town.
  15. Black Stone Cherry - Rain Wizard - Following in the footsteps of Black Sabbath, Rain Wizard is a prayer of sorts to a Rain Wizard to bring rain to the people's crops. I really loved Black Stone Cherry's debut album, really great southern rock/metal, and was looking forward to their follow up, but it left me wanting more. Not nearly as good. (See my review)
  16. Black Tide - Warriors of Time - See Here for entire band/album review. This song is haunting. Every time I hear it, chills run up my spine. It begins with a simple Spanish-guitar melody, and quickly turns into a Power Metal anthem for the ages. I love the singers voice/vocals, I love the guitar solos, I love the lyrics, I love this song.
  17. BlackFoot - Train, Train - This is a song that makes me turn up the radio every time it comes on. I love the harmonica intro, I love harmonicas in rock music, I think that they add something different. Actually, the harmonica intro is not officially part of the song. It is titled "Train, Train (Prelude)" and lasts for roughly 30 seconds. When I uploaded this album onto my computer, I melded the two tracks together, because to me, like Queen's "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions," they cannot be split up.
  18. Blind Guardian - Into The Storm - Off the Nightfall In Middle-Earth album, Into the storm is the second track (but the first song), telling the beginning of the story of the fall of the old king. I like it because of its high musical sound, with several vocals layered on top of one another. A great war chant.
  19. Blind Melon - No Rain - The only single, off the only album, by these Alt. Rock/Grunge wannabes. They stopped recording because of the death of their singer, Shannon Hoon, by (you guessed it) a drug overdose. Regardless, this is a simple song, with haunting lyrics. And this will live forever, shouting out the memory of it's creator
  20. Bloodhound Gang - Fire Water Burn - The Bloodhound Gang is known for their crazy lyrics that are self-detrimental and overall insultive to everyone. This song is no different. It's a laugh riot every time.
  21. Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues - A cover of an old blues song, and it's been covered several times sense this, but it is still a good one. One of the originators of metal, Blue Cheer down-tuned their guitars for a "Heavy" feel, which would become prevalent in the works of Black Sabbath, some time later.
  22. Blue Öyster Cult - Godzilla - One of the biggest song of their career, "Godzilla" cashes in on the old Japanese movie craze that went wild during the 70's. Becoming an unofficial theme song, this song catapulted the movies to an even wider audience (and quite possibly, the movies helped out the song's popularity too). Now a constant staple on US classic rock radio.
  23. The Blues Brothers - Theme To Rawhide - An awesome movie, and awesome soundtrack, an awesome idea. Cover a song from a TV show from the 60's, this song brings a piece of history to new masses (such as myself). I love the back and forth part between John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. If you haven't seen this movie (where have you been?!?) go out and buy it. It is a hilarious classic with a great blues/funk soundtrack.
  24. Blues Traveler - Run-Around - As stated before, I love the harmonica, which is probably why I like the Blues Travelers. They always have very musical-oriented songs, with a mix of fast lyrics and excellent bass. And of course that harmonica. This song is no different. I grew up to this song (my Mom's a fan), so it has a certain nostalgia value to it.
  25. Bon Jovi - You Give Love A Bad Name - A classeic, enough said. If you don't know it, come out from under your rock and buy Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits. You'll enjoy it.
  26. Boston - Foreplay/Long Time - My favorite drum intro ever. I love the sound and feel of triplets, and this intro ("Foreplay") is rife full of them. The song itself is good too. But that beginning....
  27. Breaking Benjamin - So Cold - This song is another throwback to my highschool days. I've seen these guys live, and they were pretty good. While I didn't like their albums too much (they aren't bad), this song has always held my appeal. It's hard rock with downer lyrics. Not bad.
  28. The Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band - Floral Dance - An old English horn song. I only know about this because of my mother (who is British). It's a fun horn and drum song, no lyrics, nothing close to vocals, but I smile every time it comes on. Apparently it was number one in England in the 70's for one week, before getting knocked out by Wings.
  29. Bruce Dickinson with Godspeed - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - One of my Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original, this song, off of the first Nativity In Black Album (a tribute album to Black Sabbath), was where I got the idea for my aforementioned List. After going back and listening to the original Sabbath version, I felt that the song was empty. It was missing Bruce Dickinson's amazing voice. That man can sing. While he has done nothing of merit solo, his years with Iron Maiden are some of the bast in Metal history. This song follows in that trend. This is one of the songs that made Nativity In Black a stellar album
  30. Buckcherry - Lit Up - A catchy riff, swingin' lyrics, lots of references to cocaine. What's not to love.
  31. Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth - Another protest Vietnam song, but one of the few that has made it out of the decade. Most young people (my own age) don't even realize the dark sub-content of the song. But nevertheless it is a timeless classic

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rant: Single-Release Bands That Need To Release New Material

There are many bands out there which fizzle and die after their debut album. Either they were only a side project, or an idea that was scrapped after leaving the studio. Whatever the reason for their break-up, these bands released one amazing album, and now need to release more.
A side project by David Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Probot was a collaboration between Grohl and some of metal's greats. Featuring vocals by Max Cavalera (Soulfly, Sepultura), Lemmy (Motörhead), Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity), King Diamond (Solo, Mercyful Fate), and even a hidden track by Jack Black (Tenacious D). There are more, of course, but these were the big names.
Grohl stated that he wanted to team up with some of heavy metal's greatest from the 80's and 90's, people who influenced him in his endeavors. And I think this is the best thing that he has released to date. Now I don't like Nirvana, and the Foo Fighters are not great, so my view is already messed up right from the get-go, but I like this album. They are not all winners, but the songs featuring Lemmy and King Diamond are great. I would have liked to see more of a varied line-up for the actual instrumentation, as Grohl wrote and performed most of them on the album. So it was more like a "David Grohl With Guest Singers" album. But whatever, it is a good album, and seeing as it's been 5 years (it was released in 2003) I doubt we will see another Probot release.

Pride & Glory

Created in 1991, at Ozzy Osbourne's retirement (short lived that it was), Pride & Glory was guitarist, ZakkWylde's new band, before creating Black Label Society. While Wylde is known mostly for his heavy metal works, for this project he took a completely different approach. Pride & Glory is a southern rock band, in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Every song has that southern twang, and Wylde keeps a southern drawl through as well. On their only release, Pride & Glory, there are songs about women, wine, and friendship, all staples of southern music (I assume, I don't listen to country too much). I like every song off the album, with stand-outs being "Losin' Your Mind," "Toe'n The Line," and "Cry Me A River."
I like Zakk Wylde's other projects, from his solo album, his work with Ozzy Osbourne, or his current side band, Black Label Society, but by far my favorite work from him is the short lived Pride & Glory.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Band: Viking Skull

It's a new year and the school semester has just started. This probably means very little to you, but to me it means a return of access to the CD store on campus. And as I began back in November, with Sound And Fury, I am going to try to buy a new album once a week (my budget might not allow it but it will be at least once a month), and give it a serious listen. I like finding new music, and often times it's easier to find up-and-coming bands in small CD shops then in the big ones, or even online.

This time I found the latest album by the metal band, Viking Skull. This album, Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey, was one of the ten featured metal albums for January, at my CD store, and after giving the first few tracks a listen (I didn't want to make the same mistake as last time) I decided that I could enjoy this.
I was driving all day so I took Dream Theater's, Scenes From A Memory (see My Take), out of my CD player and slid in Viking Skull.
It's a short album, nine songs clocking in at just under 40 minutes, so it was no problem to get a full listen. I dislike overly short albums, I feel like I am getting gypped. I'm paying the same price (actually more because of the store) but getting only half of the music. In my opinion, all albums released today should at least be one full hour. We don't have the size constrictions that they had in the 60's-80's with vinyl records, so we should maximize this technology. But that's neither here nor there, just a little pet-peeve of mine.
Anyway, back to the actual album. I listened through the album once on the road, but I don't like to review off of this, because my mind tends to wander alot when I drive, and I feel that I can't give it a true listen. So I came home and listened to it again, in my home system, but I have to say, most of what I was thinking in the car has held true, throughout this second listen.
First off, this band is just straight-forward metal with a guttural-voiced lead singer. Every song has a nice groove format, and the lyrics are decent, but the vocals get lost often in the droning of the guitar. It's as if the guitar and singer are recording off the same mic, leading to the vocals getting drowned out in alot of the songs, especially in the first two. It sounds like they ran out of money or time mixing the album, or I guess it could have been on purpose, but its all very muddy, not what one would expect from a main release.
But that aside it's a pretty good album. Every song has catchy rhythm and guitars, and most songs have a nice laid-back solo within them. Not the frantic type that has had a resurgence of popularity since Rage Against The Machine. These guys are not trying to cram as many notes in a solo as possible, to show off their "mad skilz." They play what they want to play, when they want to play it.
My favorite tracks are "In Hell," "Shot Down," and "19 Swords," all of these songs have semi-clear lyrics (at least they stand out from the instruments), and a continuation of a cool grove line. "In Hell" and "19 Swords" are war anthems of sorts, with "Shot Down" being about what you'd expect, getting shot down by a woman.
My review would stop here, with a round up and stating that it is a solid album, that most metal-heads could get into, but alas it cannot be. For the final track make me rethink this whole album. First, let me say that on the plastic wrapper that was on the disc in the store, there was a sticker saying something along the lines of "For fans of Heavy Viking Metal." Now this was way off, because besides the name and the slightly harsh vocals, there is nothing Viking Metal about this album. I assumed that this was just the record company trying to tie Viking Skull into some genre, to help sales, but then the last song on the album came up. It is titled simply, "Drink," and it is what you think; a drinking song. Apparently these guys thought they were Viking Metal too and had to add a poorly conceived drinking song on the album. The song starts with piano, the kind you'd expect in a old-west bar, and just a tambourine and stomping feet to add anything else musical. Then the singer comes in, with some of the most retarded lyrics I've ever heard. "Drink/Drink 'til we shit our pants/Drinky-drink, drinky-drink lord/Drink 'til we shit our pants" over and over and over. There is an attempt at a verse in the beginning, but it is half-assed and quickly goes away, just leaving the piano, tambourine and bad chorus for the final five minutes (it's a six minute song, the longest on the entire album). Horrible, simply horrible.

So as I said, this is a solid album (until the final song), with good guitar, bass and simple drumming. If they had worked more on it in the studio, and cleaned up the crossing of the vocals and guitars, it would have come out alot better. But, as my second CD purchase in some time (with the first one being horrible), it's not a bad deal.

Track Listing

  1. Start A War
  2. Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey
  3. In Hell
  4. Hair of The Dog
  5. Shot Down
  6. Double or Quits
  7. In For The Kill
  8. 19 Swords
  9. Drink

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bands I Love: Uriah Heep

Uriah Heep: a band that very few people of today's youth knows about, but one of my favorites of the classic blues rock days. Formed in 1969, around the same time as well known acts like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, Uriah Heep helped pave the way for bands under the progressive moniker, but still focusing in the blues. Known as "The Beach Boys of Heavy Metal," for their multi-part harmonies and melodic songs, Uriah Heep are still active and touring, releasing their first album in ten years in 2008, Wake The Sleeper.

Named after the antagonist in the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield, right from the beginning the band was knee deep in immense storytelling and imagery. Their first song of their first album, 1970's Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble (released as "Uriah Heep" in the US), titled "Gypsy," is the tale of a young man who falls in love with the daughter of the leader of the Gypsies. After being beaten by the chief, the narrator swears that he will train to fight to come back and win the hand of his love, to be "The kind of a man/That he'll understand." Although the album was panned by critics and sold poorly, it is now seen as one of the foundations for modern heavy metal, and at least sold well enough for the group to release more albums.
Their second release, Salisbury, released in 1971, dove deeper into the progressive rock, with the 16 minute title-track featuring a 24-piece orchestra. This album also presented another amazing song, that continues to be a fan favorite to this day; "Lady In Black." This song is about a man visited by a goddess, this "Lady In Black." She asks him who his enemy is, and he begs her for men "To fight and kill their brothers," and horses "To trample down my enemies." She declines his offer, saying that this is not the way to win, that "There is no strength in numbers/Have no such misconception/But when you need me/Be assured I wont be far away." Then she leaves without another word, and although the narrator's labor is no easier, he feels better about it, knowing that She is there, watching. The song ends with the speaker saying that "...If one day she comes to you/Drink deeply from her words so wise/Take courage from her/As your prize." and to "Say hello for me." I find this song is very poetic, and has a simple instrumentation, with it being mostly acoustic with spurts of heavier sounds. One of my favorite songs of all time.
The next album, Look At Yourself, was released in late 1971, and climbed up the charts slowly, breaking the top 100 (ending at 93). It was a fairly decent album, no truly great songs off it spring into mind, but it was this album which helped launch their best album, just a year later.
In 1972, Uriah Heep released arguably, their best album, Demons & Wizards. Just by the title, you knew what would be the bread and butter of this album. It was their best seller in the United States, reaching 23 on the Billboard Top 200, and also jumped to number 20 on the UK Top 100 (this would later be beaten by three of their next four albums, but they never saw a better ranking in the US). The two singles released were, "Easy Livin'," which became their first US hit, and "The Wizard," another narrative song, although short. The speaker is visited by a mighty Wizard, with whom she shares his wine. While there, the Wizard tells this man about his life, and his dreams for this world. The man comes to realize that they weren't so different, that all everyone wants is to be happy. So the traveler leaves and the speaker is left alone pondering the words of wisdom of his guest.
After this album, the band continued to release albums on average of once a year until the 90's (releasing 17 albums in twenty years), but nothing equaled their Demons & Wizards album (well I haven't heard their new one yet, so there still is hope, but I am doubtful). They have had a few more popular singles, "Stealin'," "Sweet Lorraine," and went on to become quite large in the UK and Scandinavia, but they faltered in the American charts.

Throughout the almost forty years of playing together, the band has changed styles several times. Starting as hard rock/heavy metal, moving deep into progressive rock/metal, and then for a time fading in and out of blues and sometimes even jazz, all the while keeping a hard feel to their music. So although they have experimented with several styles, they still were always Uriah Heep, they never fell off of their own path to become something unknown. So forty years and 21 albums later these guys are still the storytellers they always were, and the foundations of both heavy metal an progressive metal.

Studio Album Discography

  1. Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble - 1970
  2. Salisbury - 1971
  3. Look At Yourself - 1971
  4. Demons & Wizards - 1972
  5. The Magician's Birthday - 1972
  6. Sweet Freedom - 1973
  7. Wonderworld - 1974
  8. Return To Fantasy - 1975
  9. High And Mighty - 1976
  10. Firefly - 1977
  11. Innocent Victim - 1977
  12. Fallen Angel - 1978
  13. Conquest - 1980
  14. Abominog - 1982
  15. Head First - 1983
  16. Equator - 1985
  17. Raging Silence - 1989
  18. Different World - 1991
  19. Sea of Light - 1995
  20. Sonic Origami - 1998
  21. Wake The Sleeper - 2008

Friday, January 9, 2009

Current Trend: Soft Rock/Piano Music

For some reason, as always unknown to me, I have been venturing away from heavy metal and into a softer rock-style of music. My recent playlists have been dominated by piano music like Elton John, Billy Joel and James Blunt, and softer rock like The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Creedence Clearwater Revival. I still have some heavier stuff in there, like Henry Rollins, or Destroy Destroy Destroy, but not nearly as much as normal.
As I said I don't know why. It started with me listening to music late at night (2am) and not wanting anything too adrenaline-pounding that late. So it began with Billy Joel and Elton John, but then eventually it went into a tailspin of soft rock. It's just nice to ease out of a rough day with some loose, calming music.
I'm not sure how long this will continue, so maybe there will be a change or a continuation, only time will tell...

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Band: Stone Gods

Remember The Darkness? They had that mega-hit "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" back in 2003 (you know the high-pitched one, with the guy in a white open-chested Spandex full-body suit in the music video), which led them into the pop-rock charts. One mediocre album later and it seems that the rest of the band got fed up with the falsetto pseudo-rock and opted for something more dark. They booted the frontman and promoted their bassist, Richie Edwards, to lead vocals (and switching to rhythm guitar), and found a new bassist. Thus, Stone Gods was born. After hearing Edwards' grittier vocals, I can't imagine why they didn't start off with him in the first place. Of course they wouldn't have been as big as they ended up being, but I would have enjoyed it more, and in life isn't that all that matters? (For me anyway)
Their debut album, Silver Spoons & Broken Bones, came out in July of 2008. And they began touring almost immediately. Although there have been some hiccups (some shows got cancelled in England with little warning of the cause), they are currently on the second leg of their tour, opening for Black Stone Cherry (another favorite of mine), across the US.
My favorite songs off the album are "Burn The Witch," with great lyrics and an amazing guitar-driven outro, and "Oh Where 'O My Beero," which's bass and snare beginning reminds me alot of John Lennon's song "Give Peace A Chance."
Overall, I like Stone God's debut performance, way more than any effort by The Darkness. Ironically, this new incarnation are alot darker then previously. I can't wait to hear their next release, either an EP or full-length release.

Track Listing
  1. "Burn the Witch" - 4:44
  2. "Don't Drink the Water" - 2:47
  3. "Defend or Die" - 4:58
  4. "You Brought a Knife to a Gunfight" - 3:07
  5. "Magdalen Street" - 3:56
  6. "Where You Comin' From" - 3:12
  7. "Lazy Bones" - 3:57
  8. "I'm With the Band" - 4:16
  9. "Start of Something" - 3:29
  10. "Making It Hard" - 3:12
  11. "Wasting Time" - 3:24
  12. "Knight of the Living Dead" - 4:22
  13. "Oh Where 'O My Beero" - 4:14

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Albums Listened To In December

The end of the year... and a good one it's been. Alot of new releases by amazing bands. This month my count is way down. With all of the traveling I did, it was hard to find the time to sit and listen to an entire album (as well as post...sorry). But it is now 2009 and I'm back baby! I'm done seeing family, and my job is going to be folding up soon, so that leaves plenty of time for music and posts. Let's just hope I can afford to keep doing both.

My favorite newly listened album of the month: Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Christmas Eve And Other Stories. I know it's all Christmas music, but it is the season, isn't it? And as a bonus, it's an album of Christmas music that's been amped up, with electric guitars and synthesizers taking the brunt of the action. Seriously, if you listen to hard rock (I know some metalheads out there refuse to deal with anything less than brutal) give this album a try. I tried listening to their other albums, but I couldn't get into them. The song selection of the other Christmas themed album they have, is all the secondary Christmas songs, the ones that no one knows. I didn't feel like exploring Christmas songs.

My least favorite newly listened album of the month (by far): Myth Or Reality by Minotaurus. Now I wasn't expecting much, and that's exactly what I got. It's not like last month where I was disappointed with the effort by Cathedral (and especially the band Folkearth). Minotaurus is a band from Europe that I found while searching the forums for new music. Their band name caught my eye and I figured "why not?" What I was given was a long, boring, and repetitive album. There was not one good song on the entire disc. It is 48 minutes that I would like to get back.

Special category - Last Album of 2008 - To Death and Beyond... by Battleroar. Finished at 8:35 New Years Eve (Just before leaving for my New Year's Party)
  1. 3 - Half Life - Newly Listened!
  2. 3 - Wake Pig
  3. Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain - Newly Listened!
  4. Agalloch - The Mantle - Newly Listened!
  5. The Allman Brothers Band - Eat A Peach - Newly Listened!
  6. The Almighty - Powertrippin' - Newly Listened!
  7. Ayreon - Ayreon vs. Avantasia: Elected - Newly Listened!
  8. Battleroar - To Death and Beyond... - Newly Listened!
  9. The Beatles - Let It Be - Newly Listened!
  10. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Newly Listened!
  11. Black Asylum - Truths of The Blood - Newly Listened!
  12. Elton John - Greatest Hits 1970-2002 - Newly Listened!
  13. Falconer - Among Beggars And Thieves - Newly Listened!
  14. Green Day - Nimrod
  15. Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
  16. Johnny Cash - American Recordings - Newly Listened!
  17. Johnny Cash - American III: Solitary Man - Newly Listened!
  18. Johnny Cash - American IV: The Man Comes Around - Newly Listened!
  19. Machine Head - Covers - Newly Listened!
  20. Minotaurus - Myth Or Reality - Newly Listened!
  21. Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope - Newly Listened!
  22. Testament - The Formation Of Damnation - Newly Listened!
  23. Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman - Fabled City - Newly Listened!
  24. The Tossers - Agony
  25. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve And Other Stories - Newly Listened!

Completely Unrelated: My Past New Year's Resolution

So this past year I set a New Year's Resolution, one I will actually keep, to drink over 100 types of beer in 366 days! (It is a Leap Year). I did not choose any of the really "normal beers" you find here in the states. No Budweiser, Miller, Coor's, etc. Although I do accept alternative versions of some of the common ones (aka Yuengling "Black And Tan").
  1. Abita Beer "Amber" - Abita Springs, Louisiana
  2. Abita Beer "Golden" - Abita Springs, Louisiana
  3. Abita Beer "Turbodog" - Abita Springs, Louisiana
  4. Allagash - White Ale - Portland, Maine
  5. Arizona Red Rock Ale
  6. Avery "India Pale Ale" - Boulder, Colorado
  7. Avery "Karma" - Boulder, Colorado
  8. Avery "White Rascal" - Belgian Style Wheat Ale - Boulder, Colorado
  9. Banks Caribbean Lager - Barbados
  10. Bass - Pale Ale - Burton Upon Trent, England
  11. Beck's Pilsner – Bremen, Germany
  12. Belzebuth Pur Malt Beer – Blonde Ale – Ronchin, France
  13. Black Dog "American Pale Ale" – Colorado
  14. Black Dog "Black Dog Ale" – Colorado
  15. Black Dog "Honey Raspberry Ale" – Colorado
  16. Blatz Beer - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  17. Blue Moon "Honey Moon" (Summer Seasonal)
  18. Blue Moon "Rising Moon" (Spring Seasonal)
  19. Blue Moon "Harvest Moon" (Fall Seasonal)
  20. Carib Caribbean Lager - Fleurs, Trinidad
  21. Carlsberg Beer - Copenhagen, Denmark
  22. Erdinger - Hefe Weizen - Weissbrau, Germany
  23. Fiddler's Green - Blonde Ale - Utica, New York
  24. Flying Dog "Doggie Style" – Classic Pale Ale – Colorado/Maryland
  25. Flying Dog "In-Heat Wheat" – Wheat Ale – Colorado/Maryland
  26. Flying Dog "Old Scratch" – Amber Lager – Colorado/Maryland
  27. Flying Dog "Road Dog" – Porter – Colorado/Maryland
  28. Flying Dog "Snake Dog" – IPA – Colorado/Maryland
  29. Flying Dog "Tire Bite" – Golden Ale – Colorado/Maryland
  30. Fuller’s "ESB" – Ale – England
  31. Fuller’s "London Pride" – Pale Ale – England
  32. Granville Island – Cypress Honey Lager – Canada
  33. Grimbergen – Blonde Ale – Belgium
  34. Harbin Lager - Wuhan, China
  35. Hazed & Infused - Dry-Hopped Ale
  36. Heavy Seas "Below Decks" - Barley Wine Style Ale - Maryland
  37. Heavy Seas "Loose Cannon" - Hop Ale - Maryland
  38. Heavy Seas "Peg Leg" - Imperial Stout - Maryland
  39. Heavy Seas "Small Craft Warning" - Uber Pillsner - Maryland
  40. Hoegaarden – White Beer – Belgium
  41. Horbrau Munchen - Hefe Weizen - Munchen, Germany
  42. Hurricane Reef - Caribbean Style Pilsner - Melbourne, Florida
  43. Kirin Ichiban – Japan
  44. Kronenbourg "1664" – France
  45. Lagunita’s "Censored" - Copper Ale – California
  46. Lagunita’s "Hairy Eyeball" - Ale – California
  47. Lagunita’s "IPA" - India Pale Ale – California
  48. Lagunita’s "Pils" - Czech Style Pilsner – California
  49. Leinenliugel’s "Honey Weiss" – Wisconsin
  50. Leinenliugel’s "Summer Shandy" – Wisconsin
  51. Leinenliugel’s "Sunset Wheat" – Wisconsin
  52. Lump of Coal (Holiday Seasonal) – Dark Stout – England
  53. Mad Hatter – IPA – Michigan
  54. Mendocino Summer Seasonal - Belgian Style White Ale - Sartoga Springs, New York
  55. Michelob "Irish Red Ale" - St. Louis, Missouri
  56. Michelob "Pale Ale" - St. Louis, Missouri
  57. Michelob "Porter" - St. Louis, Missouri
  58. Modelo Especial –Mexico
  59. Monty Python’s Holy Ale – England
  60. Otter Creek - White Sail - Belgian Style White Ale - Middlebury, Vermont
  61. Paulaner - Hefe Weizen - Municil, Germany
  62. Panama Lager – Panama
  63. Pipers Pale Ale - Dundin, Florida
  64. Peroni Nastro Azzurro - Premium Pilsner - Rome, Italy
  65. Red Head Red Ale - Dunedin, Florida
  66. Red Hook’s Long Hammer – IPA – New Hampshire
  67. Red Stripe - Jamaican Lager - Jamaica
  68. Samuel Adams "Black Lager" – Massachusetts
  69. Samuel Adams "Boston Lager" – Massachusetts
  70. Samuel Adams "Cherry Wheat" – Massachusetts
  71. Samuel Adams "Cream Stout" – Massachusetts
  72. Samuel Adams "Heffeweizen" – Massachusetts
  73. Samuel Adams "Summer Ale" (Summer Seasonal) – Massachusetts
  74. Samuel Adams "White Ale" (Spring Seasonal) – Massachusetts
  75. Samuel Adams "Winter Lager" (Winter Seasonal) – Massachusetts
  76. Samuel Whitbread Pale Ale - Bedfordshire, England
  77. San Miguel Dark Lager - Manila, Philippines
  78. Shiner Bock – Texas
  79. Shipyard Export Ale
  80. Shock Top – Belgian White – Missouri
  81. Smithwick's Irish Ale - Kilkenny, Ireland
  82. St. Peter’s Golden Ale – England
  83. Stella Artois - Belgium
  84. Strongbow – Dry Cider – England
  85. Terrapm - Golden Ale - Athens, Georgia
  86. Tiger Lager - Asia Pacific
  87. Tommyknocker "Alpine Glacier" - Lager - Idaho Springs, Colorado
  88. Tommyknocker "Butt Head" - Dobbobock Lager - Idaho Springs, Colorado
  89. Tommyknocker "Jack Whacker" - Wheat Ale - Idaho Springs, Colorado
  90. Tommyknocker "Maple" - Nut Brown Ale - Idaho Springs, Colorado
  91. Tommyknocker "Ornery Amber" - Lager - Idaho Springs, Colorado
  92. Tommyknocker "Pick Axe" - Pale Ale - Idaho Springs, Colorado
  93. Tsingtao - Quingdao, China
  94. Whistler – Export Lager – Canada
  95. White Tail Pale Ale - Wisconsin
  96. WLD – Hard Blue – South Carolina
  97. Windmer - Heffeweizen - Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  98. Wychwood "Hobgoblin" - Dark English Ale - England
  99. Wychwood "Scarecrow" - Golden Pale Ale - England
  100. Yesi - Melbourne, Florida
  101. Yuengling "Black And Tan"