Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Turn Blue - The Black Keys

This is the latest album from The Black Keys. Before this album was released I knew its be problematic. First the promo was way to similar to the last albums promo. They were using like 90's VHS quality tapes. Also that wasn't that funny, but that's really not the end of the world. What pissed me off was that the album continued their Danger Mouse collaborations after they said something along the lines of "we sold out on that last album". Also what's why psychedelic music, if you want to make good psychedelic music use Sonic Boom or MGMT as your producers. Now I don't know if you know that but I'm not huge on Brian, and the only thing he's done I liked was The Grey Album, which he only mixed previously recorded albums together. He did a great job, but still. Outside of listening to the Gorillaz's there isn't anything else that I'm even that remotely interested in that he's touched.
  1. Weight of Love: This is a track that sits at a long 6:50. The intro sounds psychedelic and is probably a great direction for the Keys to head. They aren't over using that stupid Danger Shit and this is a pretty interesting introduction. The vocals here are actually pretty cool, and I think this might possibly, with numerous listens, be my favorite Keys track I know. This is definitely their most experimental and ambitious I've heard. There is a very Breathe In The Air feeling I'm getting here. The ending reminds me a little of Black Sabbath's opener Black Sabbath. Overall a great track that I doubt will have others living up to it. Upon repeat listens this intro, until the percussion, reminds me a little of Gorillaz track Clint Eastwood. Maybe it's because of the western feeling of it.... I don't know, but all I know about this track is this is the best on the album, but I'd still get a better sence of what this is going for if I listened to Dark Side. That first note reminds me a little of Flight of the Conchords on one of their songs, I think it's Foux Du Fafa. As neat as this is, and baren a wasteland it paints I think it just doesn't 100% click with me.
  2. In Time: This is kind of a part two of the last track. Well, if there was a segue it'd work better and be cooler. Some of the guitar melodies are interesting here, but you know for some reason there isn't anything sticking to me. This is another Gilmore inspired solo. This also has a feeling of Dr. John's album Locked Down.
  3. Turn Blue: This is a pretty bland song, and the reason I use that word is because I don't care to think of any other description. This sounds like Foster The People's new album, but worse.
  4. Fever: This was the first track released from this album. And honestly the song reminds me way too much of El Camino, with the exception of making it more trippy/electronic. Upon first listen, esp with the backing vocals.............. If I didn't know multiple listens help I'd probably never listen to this song again. Also if the whole album is any foreshadow of this track..........
  5. Year In Review: This intro reminds me of Haim. But I can't stand this title, why I hope it's not gonna be a political message. But overall there wasn't anything that I picked up from that track. This is a pretty straight song, but you know it just doesn't click with me.
  6. Bullet in the Brain: This is another decent song, but it kind of just gets lost in this albums "wasteland". As much as I like the ideas going on here, there isn't anything that makes me want to come back other than to not be indecisive about it.
  7. It's Up To You Now: This song sounds like a I Want Candy, but more in line with the original. Also I think those wolf howls sounded better in Howlin For You. Actually I'd rather them cover the song then play this song.
  8. Waiting On Words: I hope that he doesn't, post this album, use those falsetto vocals. Why, it's not that it's terrible, but he sounds like a girl. They should have just had a girl come in and sing this with him. But it's a decent song.
  9. 10 Lovers: You know, they were going for a soul thing, but then they have this kind of synth that after a few listens will probably grow against me. Why couldn't have they just cut that out. It'd be a better song and fit better on the album if they left it off. I'm also not into that noise that sounds like me speakers are broken.
  10. In Our Prime: Are you really? This is, no offense, kind of gay...... I mean the strings are kind of cool, but really this sounds like a rip of a Crimson song, mellotron. Just like with the Weight of Love I'll listen to the original instead. I do like how the song changes and the guitar fades out into an atmosphere. But still.
  11. Gotta Get Away: This is a pretty straight forward ending to the album. The thing is that this is a song that is so so. I think this remind me a little too much of a Bob Seger track, but maybe with a synth. And the vox aren't that great here.
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. I am a supporter of the further experimentation and pushing boundaries in music. In order to do that you need to push you boundaries first. Now with at in mind you automatically score support in my eyes. The next things is when you experiment and grow you try new things, see of they work or not and then that shows where you stand on that idea. That scores you points in my book too. When you make and album called True Blue it should basically be an album before Attack & Release. While there are good intresting ideas here they just didn't work at all. I hope they decide to either throw in their bags or make another Thickfreakness or if they dont want to go back FIRE!!!!!!! DANGER MOUSE. Now in the future I may review their next album, but remember that unless certain things change it won't look very good. I was glad to see Fantano agreed with me on this being not so good. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Electric Revolution

This is the debut Ep by Kenosha, Wisconsin band Electric Revolution. This was released earlier this year in 2014, and my friend Justin did a review here. I thought I would review this because it's an EP and the points he brought up were points I thought I could shed light upon.
  1. Helpless: This opens the album up. I like that this has a hint of Draw The Line in there, and the tones are pretty cool. But the thing is, in today's day and age this might as well be a cover/tribute band with their sound. The vocalist sings ok, but nothing that amazes me. It probably hurts the songs more. Also the song structure isn't interesting. I'm picking up Yngwie 80'a vocalist flavor here, but is rather listen to him. Malmsteen's much more interesting. 
  2. I'm Just Like You: This could pass as a Stone Temple Pilot track. You know, if Scott was afraid of singing out of tune so he doesn't try to hit pitches.
  3. Hero: Hey, I didn't know the Pilots teamed up with Scott Stap, you know after he had his voice removed. This guy can't sing enough power into his songs.
  4. The Love I Have: This song sounds like a Stray Cats song, and honestly is probably my favorite track here. I'm not saying it's good, just saying it's a nice little surprise. The vocals here remind me of Jerry Only. This actually could be a song off one of the Only led Misfits albums. Kind of Rockabilly flavorings here.
  5. Brand New Day: There isn't anything I'ven't said earlier that I could say here. Maybe the slower parts that are heavier are cooler, but nothing that is great.
  6. Gonna Make You Sweat: Justin mentioned jazzy drums, so I was looking forward to this track. The past two or three days I've been tampering with tones and listening to Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, The Ventures, The Shadows and other kind of things that would be jazz or surf music. Well, there isn't anything overtly jazzy here, this sounds just like an Aerosmith track, or maybe a Guns N Roses track. I know what he meant, but my hope was just a mis-communication.
Overall I have to give this EP a 4/10. These guys are a straight Steel Panther the thing is they aren't youthful and they probably won't ever change their sound. Also if they don't change a little tiny bit on their debut album I won't probably even take a chance listening to it. Sorry, if you want to check them out go on Spotify before you put up $5 for this ep. There isn't anything slightly revolutionary about this band.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Oingo Boingo EP

This is their self titled Ep released in 1980. It was produced by Michael Boshears and Jo Julian and released on I.R.S. Records. And thought this isn't from 2014 I am going to use this as a building block for my next album.... kinda. Well I thought I should do this before I do Only A Lad and you know that's their debut album.
  1. Only A Lad: I'm going to be honest right now, I think that I prefer this verison of the title track from the 1981 Debut album. The production on this I think may not nessicarly be better I enjoy the sounds here. It also reminds me a little of The Forbidden Zone soundtrack. That and Edward Scissorhands is my two favorite things Danny Elfman's composed, you know like the score and stuff. This is so quick and  actually longer than the album version. I also love the guitar tones here. The "choir" part you know the "Society has made him go astray" sounds way cooler robotically than it does on the album. This sounds very clowny and just the tones on this track are beautiful.
  2. Violent Love: This song, thought a cover, is one of my favorite songs ever. There isn't any other version, other than possibly their rerecorded 1988 Boingo Alive version of the song, that can even stand up next to this bad boy. This is a cover of a song that Willie Dixon wrote and was actually recorded at one point by Muddy Waters. The voices in the intro sound like Iggy Pop, and this is like a song that should make Ska a genre taken more seriously. I mean, yeah the lyrics are hilarious, but everything about this track from the vocals, to the guitar tones, to the production to the horn solo just make this song a prefect candidate for my favorite songs of all time. This reminds me of Good Lovin' in a way by Grateful Dead, but it's much better and not as boring upon repeated listens.
  3. Ain't This The Life - 10" EP: If I'm correct the difference between the 10" and 12" is the drummer and the length. Not a big time difference, but still. This track.......... the harmony and the vocals and the every which way about this song screams to me. I'm infatuated with this track. And the fact that on their debut release, not the Demo EP or the 1976 single You Got You Baby Back (they were The Mystical Knights of The Oingo Boingo) this is great and makes anything after this live up to it. I still love the debut, but this is tough competition.
  4. I'm So Bad: This sounds like an outtake from the Forbidden Zone, well it doesn't have a bunch of different singers, but Squeezit The Moucher doesn't either. While I don't think this track is as good as some of the others here, I still like that it's dark in contrast to the other tracks. I mean they all were, but this is darker sounding and more moody than the others. This also appears on the Demo EP from 1979.
  5. Ain't This The Life - 12" EP: This sound quality is a little more foggy here, it's also 9 seconds shorter. The feeling on the 10" is what I perfer, but this is also crazy and probably more silly sounding. This is only included on the 12" and cassette version of the EP.
Overall I have to give this EP a 9/10. The Ep is a great beginning for a great band, and I just love this. I'd pay how ever much to get my hands on this vinyl copy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ronnie James Dio: This is Your Life - Various Artists

I've never really been a huge Dio fan. There are numerous reasons and I'll try to name them. The first Elf album rocks and I'ven't heard the second. Rainbow rocks and after Long Live Rock 'N' Roll I just haven't been interested in his career. Heaven & Hell/Mob Rules had some great tracks, but nothing that would set me into really wanting to dive into his career. Holy Diver and Rainbow In The Dark and some others off that album are great tracks, I like Killswitch Engage's cover only because its heavier and not so 80's camp (which is unavoidable no matter what because of production limitations and sounds). Though the original still rocks, after that I'm not knowledgeable of his career. Well minus a few Sabbath tracks and The Devil You Know album. So going into this I needed to do some research. PS for a more positive review go to this link here.
  1. Neon Knights by Anthrax: Not to long ago Anthrax released their Anthem Ep consisting of covers. Nice to see this isn't on that and was saved for this. This was originally on Sabbath's 1980 album Heaven and Hell. I will say that they did a good job at covering this song, it sounds very similar to the original. It's obviously not, but it sounds similar enough to enjoy. Also the production on this isn't hurting the cover. So they didn't really try to make it sound like "they used to" with "new technology". If you know what I mean by that.
  2. The Last In Line by Tenacious D: With their last album a huge disappointment, I listened once or twice through and haven't revisited the album since it first came out, I wasn't sure what to expect out of this track. This is the title track off Dio's 1984 follow up to Holy Diver. The original reminds me a little of 80's Rainbow but the cover is an acoustic version, opening the song until the song "explodes" that sounds unlike The D at the usual. They aren't kidding and using tongue and cheek lyrics. I think that did what you should do for a tribute album, your best and show you honestly care. While I don't really care for this track, it's what tribute albums should be about and the similar sounds here are great. That flute solo really reminds me of The Chauffeur and is probably my favorite part of this song.
  3. The Mob Rules by Adrenaline Mob: I don't know why they used a previously released cover. In my opinion that ducking stupid. At least re-record the cover. This is the title track to 1981's album of the same name by Black Sabbath. This is very similar to the original, but I just don't like it. There is no click. At this point the only thing I can say is that this track's inclusion hurts the outcome of my view on the album.
  4. Rainbow In The Dark: This track features Jason Christopher, Christian Martucci,  Roy Mayorga , Satchel, and one Corey Taylor. Don't get me wrong, Slipknot have some great tracks like Wait And Bleed, Danger - Keep Away, The Heratic Anthem and some tracks as recent as Psychosocial. But outside of my favorites I don't care for them, and Stone Sour kinda stink. I guess the Steel Panther guy solos here and to be completely honest it's 2014, aren't we done with found footage and parody bands. There was Dred Zeppelin but at least they were somewhat interesting, Steel Panther is potty humor mixed in with 80's glam metal. Most 80's glam metal wasn't ever good and lacks anything. Also I'd rather listen to a Rize of the Fenix, which honestly wasn't in any shape or form redeeming or a come back and honestly on par with The Weirdness as an album I've heard one or twice then never wanted to listen to again. This sounds like most covers and I don't think that Corey should be singing this, also a little much Satchel you can play this solo great, if I took the time I could too. But overall this is just a sub-par cover.
  5. Straight Through The Heart by Halestorm: Lizzy got me a little pumped for this too, she's hot. I enjoy some of their stuff, but she's hot. Let's be honest, I'm not huge on Halestorm and it only pisses me off they keep doing covers. Now I'm not gonna let that effect this view of this track. To be completely honest, I think that this isn't as impressive as some of the other covers. Covers lack in that if the original is EPIC then they need to capture that EPICNESS. No one can capture that epicness that Dio did on some of his tracks, and it's why this album was ultimately doomed.
  6. Starstruck by Motörhead with Biff Byrofd: After re-listening to the original, this is straight up Lemmy's alley. Biff really sounds similar to Ian Gillian on the new Now What?! (I plan on reviewing that soon, what I've heard I really enjoyed). This sound more like a Deep Purple cover than Motörhead with another singer. It's literally kind of disappointing.
  7. The Temple Of The King by Scorpions: Great track by a band 100% better than Dio. Screw their 80's career, I'm talking Krautrock influenced 70's material. The 70's was one of the most consistently amazing decade for Scorpions, let alone most any other band. But as the decade ended and the 80s started, then ended and time passed they progressively lost their punch. 2010's album wasn't terrible, but ComeBlack had no memorable moments. The covers were just sub par and I was disappointed. So I didn't know what to expect of this track, I did but I didn't want to admit it. Listen to this, then listen to The Best Has Yet To Come, and you'll see what I mean. Based on the rest of this album, this is probably an outtake from ComeBlack. I am looking forward to reviewing their MTV Unplugged album and Studio Edits verison. They played some of my favorite tracks on there, by that I mean the ones from the 70's.
  8. Egypt (The Chains Are On) by Doro: This is a track on their 2012 Raise Your Fist come the fuck on.  Also this is taken from a fucking covers album....... >:-{{ . I'm done with fake swears, now on to the real deal. I doubt I'll like this, since the original was pretty impressive. PS this cover kind of blows.
  9. Holy Diver by Killswitch Engage: COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My only comment is that this is the only track that I genuinely love on this thing. >:\
  10. Catch The Rainbow by Glenn Hughes: There are other people playing here too, including past members of Dio. This was originally from 1975 and I hope can try to live up to what I need it too. So far, the intro is pretty cool, and isn't making me angry. While I don't know what Glenn's doing in the beginning, this kicks the FUCK out of just about every other track here. I don't dig his singing here, but the instrumentation is great, and impressive. {7/10}
  11. I by Oni Logan: This also features other people who've worked with Dio or Ozzy. This is a track originating from BS's 1992 album Dehumanizer. While this is a good cover, it sounds like the new singer of Journey trying to be Steven Perry. Just keep that in mind.
  12. Man On The Silver Mountain by Rob Halford: This is a great track, of it's respected album Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow from 1975. Rob sounds phoned in, and this sounds like he doesn't give a shit. It kind of hurts to listen to.
  13. Ronnie Rising Melody by Metallica: Now I was a little excited for this to come out when I heard Metallica would be on here. Then I saw they'd be playing a melody of the songs off Rainbow's 1976 classic Rising. I was hoping for this to be in the way they did Mercyful Fate or Last Caress/Green Hell both off Garage, Inc. and also for this to not be like Lord Of Summer which sounded like an outtake from Death Magnetic. I mean goddammit, you released an Ep of unused tracks why make another album like that.... COME ON! This is though, the most creative track. It's something that reminds me of some of the live melody Rainbow would do. Though I'm not on board with the sound, it's a proper tribute.
  14. This Was Just You Life by Dio: This is what this album needed, seriously, a Dio track, one of his was an unreleased track from some point in time, it almost makes up for Holy Diver and Mob Rules and Egypt. Oh wait, no sorry I was wrong. This is off 1996's Angry Machine. And while this track is great it can't save this compilation/tribute album. You can wait for what I have to say about this on it's proper album. Since this shows up elsewhere I can say that this is kind of invalid, and so is the other Killswitch track. Saying this helps the score is like saying that Aerosmith's Greatest Hits is their "best album"... it's not by a long shot, but it's not fair. So heads up, the score suffers mainly because of the lack of material here. I'm only counting 10 of the 14 tracks towards the score, and two of the non-counting tracks really would have helped the score big time.
Overall I have to give this album a not very good looking score out of ten. Now in terms of a tribute album, what do you expect, no one will be as good as the original. They couldn't have redone Holy Diver or Mob Rules, and on a tribute album with such big names... it's a sin that is somewhat unforgivable. This is really more of a compilation rather than a tribute. I mean look at the Fleetwood Mac tribute from 2 years ago, all tracks were unique to that album. This is just laziness and what could have been great turns into a Jimi Hendrix let's make a quick buck off his death by doing a half ass job and making an interesting, engaging real tribute to his work. And anyone who touched this thing, production/recording/contribution wise, should be ashamed to say their a fan. Now if you bought it or enjoyed it I'm not putting you down, I'm putting down the people who made it. This cover is too cool for this shit. I'm also not gonna forget to mention that the proceeds go to stomach cancer, but you know what that's not gonna let this slide. If I'm gonna be 100000000% honest I probably won't ever return to this album again, you know know the last track is on another album and so is everything else pretty much.. But at least they didn't have Disturbed on here, that'd be another story. Let's not get too hung up, I still have more 2014 review to do this month. The score translates to a 4/10. PS why no Elf tracks... I mean COME ON!!!