Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Album - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Sadly, Zappa never released a Christmas anything, so I can't do Zappadon (but I do have a plan for next Christmas, or maybe an entire month. Don't worry you're pretty little head). This is the Christmas album, and last for this month (unless I decide to change my mind), by Herb Alpert. Now I feel he gets a bit of a bad rep, lots of people seem to know Whipped Cream & Other Delights only because of the cover. Well.... if you dig deeper the songs aren't that bad on that record. I own The Lonely Bull, !!Going Places!! and What Now My Love on vinyl. I plan to eventually get all of those records, plus sometimes he has pretty girls on the cover.... So that's a plus.
  1. Winter Wonderland: What can I say about this Christmas classic.....  Well this version is kind of fun. It isn't so overtly this song, I mean I hear it, but it doesn't just bother me to where I"m like shut this off. Maybe it's because it could be in a different key, or the choir, but I like the lack of vocals (lead vocals). This is a pretty promising opening.
  2. Jingle Bells: Fucking again with this song. You have to be joking at this point. It's unavoidable, and get no one has realized its annoying as fuck. This version of the song may not be as bad, but I haven't really heard a version I do like. This beginning reminds me a bit of Our Prayer by The Beach Boys (who's Christmas album will be for next year). I really like this rhythm, one which is very fun to hear. I kind of feel like this would be in the Christmas episode of Arrested Development. Odd thing to think, but that show has lots of horns and I could totally see this being in the show. It would fit quite snug. And I'm actually enjoying a version of the song.
  3. My Favorite Things: While I already have my favorite version, John Coltrane's 1961 title track version, I would still be interested in hearing what Herbie has to add to this song. I like his ensemble (or set up rather) of the group so I think this might be good. It's funny, a week or so ago this movie was on the tele. While this is a pretty nice version, digging that guitar, I have to say Coltrane takes the cake for best version. This continues that fun feeling with a very Barry string section for say a Bond film-esque feeling. Well technically, Monty Norman but still you get the idea. And that lone piano part, this is a keeper. 
  4. The Christmas Song: This is the first track to have vocals, and I guess it's a nice change of pace. I don't like this song, Merry Christmas to You, not a fan. But this version isn't terrible. It's not, even thought I do enjoy popping him on, Ray Conniff Singers, repetitious.
  5. Las Mananitas: I don't recognize this tune, but I do think it's pretty nice. I like the island feeling percussion (xylophone instrument). This song also has song great guitar and string instrument sounds. This is a very pleasant and would be a great finale to the record. There is a very Ennio feeling I get from this.
  6. Sleigh Ride: I mean I still enjoy this, it's just it's magic is beginning to loose it's magic. I don't really care for this tune, but you know at least it's different than Jimmy's album. Although that march part is pretty cool.
  7. The Bells That Couldn't Jingle: I can't say I know this song. I may have heard it but I don't know it by name. Eh, that intro is something that I'm not really feeling. All though, before he started singing, the rhythm brought to mind "Goodnight friend, but not Goodbye". That song from the Star Wars Holiday Special sung by Bea Arthur.
  8. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow: Well, at least I only have to hear this once this Christmas for a review. This is a pretty standard cover, and fits in with the rest of what was sonically going on here.
  9. Jingle Bell Rock: This is one of those, so fucking stupid what's the point songs. This is one of those, once is enough. Even hearing part of it once is enough. So I'm hoping this ends up being unique or different and not just a straight cover. This is a fairly straight version of the song we know, but an instrumental.
  10. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring: I like this tune, like the actual composition. I'm glad it's here, I'vent seen it, to what I can recall, on a Christmas record yet. This is faithful to the original, even has a harpsichord. Though there are horns. This is a nice closer, though I wish the song mentioned earlier still closed the record.
Overall I have to give this record a 6/10. This was not as bad as some other records I heard, but still why can't Christmas records be unique, There was a lot of repetition in what I heard here, but I did enjoy this. I don't think I'll return, but it was fun if you subtracted a song or two. If you can, please point out any original songs Christmas albums for next year. Maybe like Hey Ameria or Santa Dog or something.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas with McGriff

This was actually originally the other release I planned on doing this Christmas. There are some covers and some originals here. At one point I planned to only do albums with originals, but I figured the chances of finding Christmas albums of all  originals is next to..... It's unrealistic. I just was lucky to stumble into that James Brown record. So I went with this, look at that cover.... I know I'd buy that in 1964.
  1. White Christmas: This was the opening track to the last album I reviewed...... What a coincidence. Well, to be completely honest I doubt you can hear this on just about every Christmas track. To be completely honest, I kind of like this organ, sax, guitar drums and bass. It doesn't specify if it's a Quintet but I like the set up. This has promise, and it probably my favorite version of this song I've heard.
  2. Christmas With McGriff: This is an original, and I think it sounds pretty good. I mean not to the point that I'd revisit it not around Christmas, but still. I think it's a pretty decent track. I think the star is the organ, but that's probably almost always may answer. I do have a very soft spot for theses Hammond organs (?, I assume it's one). This track isn't anything that blows me away, but it's a nice change of pace from the last review.
  3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: A song I normally dislike, here turned into a song that I think isn't terrible. I mean it doesn't have that cutesy feeling that irritates me. But on the other hand, I don't like the organs sound on this so much. I wish it was played on maybe guitar. And this is basically just a vamp with the organ playing the lead melody. While I probably shouldn't expect people to not do that, I wish it wasn't just that you know. Though I think it might drag on a bit to long. But lots of songs here may over stay their welcome.
  4. Hip Santa: This feels pretty fun, I mean it's not amazing, but it feels fun to hear them play. I feel like this was fun while they were recording it. I do enjoy the drumming here, but really I kind of forgot what was happening after spacing out for a second.
  5. Winter Wonderland: Of all the songs here this might be the least interesting. I'm sorry to say, but at this point I really can't say that the album is that interesting. I mean it'd be a much better EP. This kind of feels like it's the old "rich people play jazz as background music" stereotype.
  6. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town: This is two of three songs that also appeared on Christmas Songs by Sinatra, my previous review. Not this version, but song. This is very faithful to the sound of the rest of the album in it's rendition of this Christmas Classic.
  7. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer: Another song I don't care for, turned into another version that is just another track on this album. I can't really report anything of note.
  8. Jingle Bells: This is the last song to be featured on the Sinatra album I just did. Lets see if this version of the song is better than Ole Blue Eye's take. To be honest, I like the swing of this track. I mean it isn't perfect or anything, but much more fun than a standard vocal jazz verison, or really any other version I've heard.
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. Don't worry I still got at least one more review for this month. Hopefully it'll have Auld Lang Syne or Ave Maria. Either that or be if all original songs. But this is exactly what you'd expect from a jazz organ player. I like this record, but I can't really say anything more that just like. You have no idea how bad I want to review Blowfly's Christmas Party (the single). I could do his Christmas record, but I don't really care much for it..... Maybe next year. Here's a little Christmas gift to you, since I need a lot more time to review these albums I'll just mention some Jazz records to listen to New Grass by Albert AylersPakistani Pomade by Alexander von Schlippenbach Trio, Pre-Bird by Charles Mingus, Out to Lunch by Eric Dolphy, Sextant by Herbie Hancock and one more review to do this year, unless I change my mind.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Songs by Sinatra

This is first Sinatra Christmas album. While I kind of know what to expect from this review, I decided........ why not, it's Christmas. I mean, I don't imagine I would have much to say, but I want to get another done for this week and need two more this month. So why not do an easy quick one. If you can see the cover the orchestra was directed by Axel Stordahl. This was originally released as a 78 and a 10'' Lp. There is a novelty I find in old 78 quality recordings.
  1. White Christmas: This has a very warm feeling, though his voice is not as warm. I think the strings and atmosphere is the key. I am not digging Frank's vocals so much. I'd love to hear this instrumental. It's a very Christmas song. I picture those old cartoons from Disney you were shown by your parents and grandparents. I love the horns and how it feels sort of epic. This is a great closer, but it also is a nice intro.
  2. Jingle Bells: This instrumental is nice, and it's a relatively faithful cover. Nothing about it shout original or different.
  3. Silent Night, Holy Night: Another Christmas classic, not as touching as I want it to be, but it still is. The arrangement here isn't an nice as on White Chrismas but this is the type of song that I feel should bring you to tears as Ave Maria in Fantasia does... and while I feel emotions it's nothing that would bring me to tears. Or even without any visuals, Feed The Birds.
  4. Adeste Fidles: Ah O Come All Ye Faithful, and this introduction is starting to feel like the epic I want. While it doesn't reach the level I want, it was promising. I don't think this has the type of power I was hoping for. Like power in terms of epicness and reach instead of guitar metal overdrive. 
  5. O Little Town of Bethlehem: This is probably the best song here so far. Now would I listen to this in the future, probably not, but I do like the horns and strings here. I wish they were through the song though. Although maybe because it was in mono they may not have had a choice.
  6. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear: I do actually like this song, this version if fine, but I like this song.
  7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas: I don't care for this song alone, so imagine my surprise when I had to sit through two songs I didn't like. Although that violin in the beginning did get my hopes up a bit. 
  8. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: Even Bruce can't save this song. I think it's kind of stupid in my opinion. Big band couldn't even save this, though Frank is singing this best, and most appealing here.
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. It's a pretty standard Christmas record. There isn't much more to say than that. It wasn't boring, but it wasn't mind blowing or the emotional journey In The Wee Small Hours is. At the end of the day it's a so so record, so I gave it a 5. I feel this was before he was himself, before he had that personality that made him Frank.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hey America - James Brown

To celebrate the month that brings us the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I decided to make December permanently Christmas month. That doesn't mean I'm going to do tons every year, but they have to be related to the holiday to be reviewed. This album, a pseudo-holiday record by James Brown, follows last years Santa Dog. This also happens to be studio record number 34, if math is correct, and was released during a period where some of his best material (IMO) was being recorded and released. This isn't a new record to me, i actually heard this thing last October. After being blown away by how, not a piece of complete shit it was, I knew I must review and spread it. Most Holiday albums are horse shit, no really they are. They are the same 12 or 15 songs and they are boring as shit. Seriously, I can't stand Christmas music. In fact the songs I like are Auld Lang SyneWhat Child is This and Oh Come Emmanuel. I might be forgetting some, but my point is very few songs I like. I mean I tolerate some tracks, but tolerate and enjoy are two different things. Maybe this'll become a new holiday classic, after my amazing review. Also January will be mostly reviews I did this month but put off because of the theme.
  1. Hello America: Opening the album we get this, a very funky and pretty intense song for a Christmas album. Like really, this is a solid song, in it's own right. That is a reoccurring theme on this album, songs that are genuinely good songs. Like I'd totally dig this if it was on another album, it's a solid track that's pretty tight. Nice string, that part when they crescendos makes this song so much tougher. The horns here are also pretty great, and that funky drummer.... damn what an opening. This is one of those, not you lame ass covers album feeling. I love how it just takes you there, it doesn't hid anything. This actually could be a blacksplotation theme, but the movie might have to take place at Christmas. And I don't think I need to comment on the Godfather of Funk. He's great as usual.
  2. A Lonely Little Boy Around One Little Christmas Toy:  That sure paints a picture. For me I imagine the boy comes from a poor family, why the could only afford one toy. Maybe he's an orphan and at the orphanage he only gets a small toy. Regardless of the story in the song, that title is a very powerful title. There is a really Christmas, jazz feeling to the organ here. The atmosphere really feels like a Christmas LP. Like I feel like if Brown wasn't singing, and the strings were out then Jimmy Smith might come in and start playing God Rest Yet Merry Men. I also feel like this song, if a little more intense would just fucking rip your heart out. While I like the kind of subdued feeling of this track, that track would be up there with Feed The Birds for most tear jerking songs but it is not quite there. I could totally see this being there though. This is another really solid track, though I wish it was more emotional. It's almost as if the album was recorded in one day, one long day, and this was the last song. That may not be true, but I kind of feel like this song should hit me harder.
  3. Go Power At Christmas Time: Finally, a good action sequence for us this Christmas. If you stripped this song of the extra instruments I could see this being an Aerosmith track. Maybe like a James Brown cover. This is a nice rocking track, thought I don't think the vibes/xylo/whatever-ophone isn't really necessary. The ending really reminds me of a better Blues Brothers.
  4. Christmas is Love: I thought Real is Love? That way Love Is Real? So Christmas must be Real, and Real must be is Christmas. The feeling of this song is one that you could talk over, or rap rather. I mean there is just something that I feel like I could tell a story over this rhythm. Maybe something along the lines of what he did on My Rapp. This song is really alive and it feels tight, thought the transition on the version I heard isn't that great. I mean the flow of the song was kind of chopped off. There is a very rushed feeling to the horns in this section. I feel like this song would be far better if it was written tighter, or with better resolution (?). The section changes are too abrupt, they don't just flow into each other. This is a good song outside of that, but for me personally it kind of puts the rest of the track out of wack. I do still like the song thought, just a little hard to "grasp", because of the in ability to really focus on the music. The reason is the one I said earlier.
  5. Santa Clause is Definitely Here to Stay: Opening side 2 we get the very heartwarming tale of Santa, becoming all our regular Saturday night things. There is something that really does melt my heart, even though the lyrics may not be the greatest. The music is so damn good, it's almost impossible to be cynical towards. There is no fabricated truths to what I said. This really does just get me on that gut feeling. This is the feeling I wanted to get from track 2.
  6. My Rapp: This is a pretty solid track, that really just consists of 6 minutes of just rambling, there is barley any singing. Just a few bursts here and there. But still, this is really a load more entertaining than say any Christmas record. The only complaint is, it goes a little long.
  7. I'm Your Christmas Friend, Don't Be Hungry: I don't really get this one. For the rest I can at least picture something or imagine the logic..... But this one. I can probably do a reviews length description of what I think this title could mean. I can only gather he's giving to the less fortunate, which helps them to eat. That's the only one that makes sense. This feels like a subdued version of Sex Machine or I Feel Good. I mean it's still exciting, I think the thing is he wasn't to see sincere. But I feel like he should be getting up and jumping around. Here he feels like he's barley moving. This 
  8. Merry Christmas My Baby and a Very, Very Happy New Year: This is the last track on James' third (if I counted right) Christmas record. This was also his last he released, and its a shame. But closing this we get one of the closer. This have a very vocal jazz feeling to the song. I close my eyes and see thing being played in a bar, with the subtraction of the strings. It's an appropriate ending to the album.
Overall I have to give this album a 7.7/10. All joking aside, check this out. This could be my favorite Christmas related music thing I've ever heard. This is fairly funky, and really easy to take. You don't have to like funk, or really even James Brown to like this. I think it's also kind of a novelty to it with Brown doing all original Christmas tunes. I know I'll play these JB Christmas records for my kids when they are growing up, as I will play them Yellow Submarine. Plus..... what's not to love about a soul-filled funky Christmas. You celebrates it your way, I celebrate it in my way. That's the beauty of the holidays, it's not one of those "My Way or the Highway" type deals. So Let's All Have A James Brown Christmas this year, by listening to this under-appreciated little record. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Chasing Shadows - Black Tide

This is the third studio album by one of my favorite bands, while I was in High School, Black Tide. These guys had a great, maybe one day classic, with their Light from Above 2008 debut record. Most metal fans should at the very least like that. I don't see why not, there's even a killer cover of Hit the Lights. I personally didn't get into them until about 2010, the year before their second album Post Mortem. I saw them while they were touring with that album, and I got a signed poster and CD. I also have a not signed CD from the day the album was released. While I can't say everything about it was amazing, I still enjoyed it a lot. It was exciting fun, and the cream of that crop still holds up. Now there has been so much shit leading up to this album here's a quick catch up. They kind of went on a hiatus after that tour, they released the Spanish versions of the tracks they originally recorded for the 2nd album as an EP. That was recorded during the  sessions, its a long story. The following year they released Just Another Drug and it didn't feature the bassist (Zakk). Then the groups drummer (Steve Spencer) soon left to become a DJ. So in 2013 they released another EP Bite the Bullet with an even dumber cover than Post Mortem, and name. It also featured a new drummer, while the lead guitarist/singer played bass and I think they added a member Raul. Now this comes out, featuring another new drummer and at this point I feel Gabriel (kinda leader of the group) is holding on to strings at this point. Another thing to mention is, based on my history with this year (and given their recent history), I am expecting nothing. And.......... Well....... Check it out for yourself.
  1. Intro: This is exactly what it is called, an intro. It's an acoustic track that reminds me, sort of, if you took out the real strings (or the more real sounding string sounds), Jason Becker. This whole atmosphere of the track is very a kin to Perpetual Burn.
  2. Guidelines: Sort of a weak title if I do say so myself. The flow between tracks isn't half bad, but this is basically All That Remains, Bullet for My Valentine and Ashes (from their last record). In fact, the beginning of the track reminded me very much of that track.
  3. Angel in the Dark: No, I refuse to hear this title. Like a Lame title, almost as lame as City of Sin. It also reminds me of Rainbow in the Dark. But you know what, I won't let it bother me as long as the songs good. It could be called Alphabet Soup and if it rocks it rocks. First time through I don't really remember, but this track is almost the same song that the last one. The acoustic guitar section is nice and pretty, but I added something in off the top of my head and it made it way more interesting. It's too bare. This is too straight forward, not very fun to listen to, considering I heard it before.
  4. Predator (Animal): The thing I feared, while I was doing this review for real (post initial listen), would I have enough to say. I mean four tracks in and they are basically variations on the same song. Yes they are different songs, but they are so fucking similar in everything it's kinda sad. Sad in that it makes me sad, not in that it's something you should feel sorry for. 
  5. Burn: I can only hope this is a solid cover of Deep Purple's 1974 classic. I mean the Prowler and Hit the Lights covers were solid. Well finally a change of pace, while I think this sounds like the slower songs on the last record, it's still nice to hear a change rather than the same thing over and over.
  6. Chasing Shadows: This, honestly, is the "coolest" title on the album. If any other was a title track it'd be very lame. I heard this song and the intro reminded me a bit of Hail to the King, but out side of that there isn't anything else to say that hasn't been said earlier. There is section right before the chorus I kinda like, but those strings fucking kill me. In the worst way possible, I almost don't want to finish this record. Even thought the song is kind of ruined for me, I will admit it's the best put together thus far, though the strings could have been taken our of the first chorus to show changes and a build. But I kinda feel like this is, in 6 songs, the second to actually be written and not just a changed in lyrics or a little minor variation.
  7. Before we Form: Reminds ms of Before we Began.... Ha-ha self referential humour, what a gass. Refer to earlier tracks. And that is all I have to say about this track.
  8. Sex is Angry: I can't....... While most of the songs here are very similar and have no real impact on me..... I can't get behind this track. I mean, yes its sonically similar to the previous album, but this is just. I feel it should be angrier or sexier. Instead its basically every other track on this album. 
  9. Welcome to Misery: Lame title, but I think this would work as an opening track's title on the new ETF record. I mean, this is sort of a change of pace, a bit, but why have all those same song and not place this somewhere else. Also this in'st really anything that notable. I mean it's technically a highlight, but it isn't that great of a song.
  10. Heaven: "Is A Place On Earth". While I disagree with Belinda, I would never tell her in person. Why may you ask, because she's gorgeous. She was even in Playboy, and issue I plan to own someday. Like top 10 I want. Did you know she was a Go-Go before she went solo. Yeah, and she released a cover of I Feel Free and Band of Gold. I know that's crazy right bro? Also you may be wondering what this has to do with the track, well it has something to do trust me. Maybe not in a conventional " this person did this" way, more of a "its the point". She is also, along with Tiffany, my favorite 80's singer to be in Playboy (if memory serves and I'm not forgetting someone). Now the point, the connection between what I just said is the exact same thing as what i have to say about the track. Absolutely nothing #WarWhatIsItGoodFor. Okay, I will admit it isn't half bad but this is basically a Into the Sky. The arrangment is pretty, but this just..... it's still a bland song. There isn't anything that makes me have any feelings other than this is different, and it sounds like another track from another album. So basically, I have nothing to say.
  11. Promised Land: If memory serves, this is the only track I dug on the record. Not musically though, more of the spiritual aspect. But when I re-listened to it I didn't really get the same feeling I did the frist time. I not only didn't care for the music, it sounds like PM, I didn't feel the sentiment was the same.
Overall I have to give this album a 4/10. The first time I heard this I knew how I felt. The sad thing I'm realizing is one of my favorite types of music, metal/metalcore and also some rock, no longer bring me any joy. I mean there was a point where I could pick just about any album by an artist I liked and I thought it was at the very least great. But after re-listening to As I Lay Dying, Black Tide, Falling in Reverse, Killswitch Engage (maybe not to the extent of some of the others), Escape the Fate (the amazing records are still amazing) and so on. But I really no longer have the same thrill that I once had. But the thing is this album is a less interesting take on Post Mortem. If you want to check theses guys out I'd suggest Light From Above, Post Mortem and Just Another Drug.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ungrateful (Deluxe) - Escape The Fate

Because Spotify is an asshole (and changed Hate Me to (Deluxe) I have to download the album), I decided to finish this album. Also I have a job now, so I won't be able to put stuff out like I've been the last two months or so. Cool, this is album four, by one of my favorites, Escape The Fate. We were last left with 2010's Self Titled album. Minus G3 and World Around Me the album sucked dick. You can like it all you want, but it wasn't a "Gorgeous Nightmare"...... That would be a Zorn or Yamantaka EYE record (hahahahahahahahahahaha). That wa, on a more serous note, their darkest record to date. And I don't really think people would argue with me on that. Now 3 years later, no Max and two new members, kinda, here we are..... also the new record blows.
  1. Ungrateful: This is a pretty great opener. This is catchy, heavy and everything that's great about Craig's part in the group. This sounds like it would fit very comfortably on the follow up to, hypothetical, This War Is Ours. I've heard this song tons of times and it's still pretty great. I mean the riff is there, the vocals are pretty angry and this might be angrier than past releases. I mean I could just be imagining it, but I feel like there is an anger when he screams, he isn't just screaming. And while not the best solo in the world, it certainly is memorable and fits.... and while it doesn't go to long, it is a tad on the short side. But I mean, I don't think it'd fit for it to be longer in this given song. It might just be me wanting . Plus I can honestly say the electronics here sound much better than on the last album.
  2. Until We Die: This intro reminds me a shit ton of As I Lay Dying. I can't think of the song, but seriously. It's almost lifted from the song I'm thinking of. I want to say Nothing Left or Repeating Yesterday but there may be one where it is quite literally quoted from. While this song is pretty solid, I think the weakest link here is the chorus. Don't get me wrong, I think this is pretty great.... it's just the last song was much better all around. I'd give this anyday over Hate Me, but still. I think the piano section is very tasteful, and sets a distinct section.... but I think it was done like 100 times better in World Around Me and G3 (If I'm remembering correctly).
  3. Live Fast, Die Young: This is very close to the sound I didn't care for on the last record. And the worst part is the lyrics are kinda stupid. I mean all the lyrics be this stupid, but at least they aren't so overtly dumb to my ears when I hear them. This is almost like he bashed his head in and then wrote the songs. Now this isn't overtly terrible, but I just don't like it. Like if I wasn't reviewing this I'd click skip. 
  4. Forget About Me: This is a return to a tasty lick. But then he starts singing, and after the stop I began to get nervous. I don't think this is bad, it's just.... It isn't clicking with me. But all can be forgiven when I hear that solo. It's easily one of Montey's best. It's so good the song I didn't give two shits about I'm all the sudden listening far more attentive.
  5. You're Insane: This is another decent track, and another single released from the album. I liked it far more when I first heard it. Upon re-visitation it doesn't hold up at all. Although I can pull another AILD thing. Though the main riff reminds me a bit of Avenged Sevenfold. The vocals reminds me a tad of Girl I Know and there is something that makes the Self Titled record pop in my head. The more alternative parts of that record.
  6. Chemical Love: *Sigh*. The digital distortion waves would bother me regardless of how much I like the song. They don't ruin it, I just notice them. But even if they were taken out this song is so..... I just don't like it. I think it's too poppy, ha I know I like music far poppier, but it's just like trying to appeal to a broader audience. They could completely be doing this of their own choice, for artistic reasons, but I just can't get behind this. I can tolerate, but not support (defend is a better word).
  7. Picture Perfect: The beginning of this doesn't really sound like this band. While I may not have liked it at first, it isn't half bad. It's pretty relaxing and pretty. I think the melody is nice and its easily one of the best songs here. It doesn't blow my mind, but its an example of a nice change. While it's more in line with the electronic tracks, its different enough to where I can say its different. 
  8. Risk It All: This is a generic rocker that is on the album. Not a heavy rocker, more of a alt rocker. I mean there isn't anything to report about that sticks out to me. 
  9. Desire: Nice riff, but then the song goes into this vibe I don't jive with. It's really not insanely different from the prior track. 
  10. One for the Money: This, now in 2015, isn't the worst song they ever put out. No that award belongs to Let Me Be. But if this was don't in 2013 it would take the cake as their worst song, in my opinion. The lyrics are horse shit, and music is just ..... it's the worst of what the Self Titled had to offer. The solos has this epic feeling, and has a like build up that doesn't pay off at all. It's just.... trade this with any of the bonus tracks.
  11. Fire It Up: The best way to end the record would be with a Picture Perfect or a Father, Brother. Instead we get a Black Tide track, kinda. Do I think this is bad, not necessarily. I just don't agree with this as the closer. It's not as satisfying as it should have been, and I mean seriously it's not like the electronics are not in the picture. So why not re arrange the tracks.
Now on to the bonus tracks, I'm going to include the iTunes and Japanese bonus track just because I can. Yeah I said it, I CAN.
  1. I, Alone: This feels like one of the more alternative tracks on TWIO. It's not half bad, but I feel like this is best as a bonus track. This could actually be an outtake, be it recording or it was written, from that period. It's kind of a nice little treat you know.
  2. Father, Brother: I don't really have anything to say I haven't said before. It's a nice track, good as an extra though. While I didn't look into the lyrics, I like the idea of what I picked up on. About relationship with his family. While it's been done before I can always support someone writing to someone who played a huge part in their life. The ending would make for a very neat ambient piece. I wish this would have been in the record just to end on that. 
  3. Losing Control: The second I heard the drum machine drums I rolled my eyes. And then the vocals come in and I just close my eyes and take it. The more of this track that reveals itself to me, the less I like it. And the more I feel like it's dug it's grave deeper.
  4. Apologize: This introduction isn't half bad. This is a quicker song, and it's pretty nice. While the chorus is pretty light, I still would trade this over any of the ETF-esque album tracks. This isn't the best track, thought the solo is tasty. I don't know, it feels like a bonus track. The ending also reminds me of Welcome to the Black Parade.
Overall I have to give this a 6/10. This album is best described as the album that was unreleased and bridged the change in sound between This War Is Ours and Escape the Fate. There isn't any other way of describing it, other than maybe some parts are darker than the second album. I also want to mention, I plan to do Just Like You this month.... as in finish it up. And hopefully Chasing Shadows too.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Welcome to My Nightmare - Alice Cooper

For numberous reasons outside of my control I wasn't able to complete this review in time for 10/31. But at least I got some extra time with it you know. Closing this very special 2015 October month themed Halloween extravaganza revenue I picked a very special album. The album I picked is this, the best Alice Cooper album. I think of it as a coda to a string of records I consider to be really really good, dating back to their 1969 debut. The end of the Golden Age if you will. Even though I lose interest in AC's output after this album, minus a few tracks here there and The Alice Cooper Show live record (Which puts a hole in my "Only the original bands material is good,  it sucks when he went solo" theory), I don't think anything post this is terrible. Its just not the golden age. So, as i just mentioned, this is when Vincent began releasing solo material under the name Alice Cooper. This is something he continues to do to this day, considering I think it's now been legally changed to it. This is also a concept album, I believe the "group's" first, and it takes place through the nightmare of a character who would later be a reoccurring character in the Cooper universe. Kinda like the continuing adventures of either the character or archetype taken from Tunnel of Love forward, by Bruce Springsteen. This part in particular takes place when he's a child, Steven. I almost forgot to mention that the lucky bastard had a television special promoting the album with Vincent Price as the narrator. Oh... plus Lou Reed's (most of it) joined to play on the record.
  1. Welcome to My Nightmare: Opening the album is a number that kicks ass. It starts off with a hitting of the cymbals and an acoustic guitar chord. Then comes in the vocals, with a quite more dreamy feeling song. The bass here sounds really neat, and I'd almost not think this is a Cooper song. Until we get the more rocking section. But it's a bit too much going on for it to be "rock". There are very interesting textures in this song, horns, what sound like a clavichord and I almost feel like Brian Eno produced this (Here Come The Warm Jets). This is a very good show starter, and it is very theatrical. If you were as intrested as I am, you could listen a number of times and still not pick up on all the sounds in that track.
  2. Devil's Food: This title reminds me of In the Wake of Posiden, specifically the tracks Cat Food and The Devil's Triangle. This is much more straightforward than the last track. I mean there are still there like weird changes in production styles that are going on within song, but I dig the vocals. And is that an interlude with Vincent Price. It is.... The bass in that section is awesome, the rhythm has this military feeling to it. It's funny, half of this song is like a voice over with the song pushed way back. He's giving us a history lesson on the Black Widow, but.... You gotta give it to Price, he makes it very intresting. The song begins to come back in
  3. The Black Widow: This is a sinister track that makes me think of Holy Diver. This chorus is very memorable and I love the guitar here. The chorus is so hypnotic I feel like if you listen enough, or are high, you'd be tripping balls. This could easily be a tripping balls song in a movie. Or a going to hell song. I also love the like variation on the theme that could be played in an overture. That is not something I'd expected (I've heard this before but the first time). This over all is a solid rock song, that isn't something I'd quite consider to be a rocker.
  4. Some Folks: This is a cabaret number that harkens to the vaudeville days. I might be wrong on that vaudeville thing, but still. This song is very can cany. This has a very Alice Cooper feeling to the song. It actually reminds me, after the intro, a hint of Man With The Golden Gun. That chorus is very catchy, poppy, but not shitty. I kinda wish I could sing along, and the post "baby baby" section, that fucking piano. And that guitar and the tempo....... Great. This song goes from sick to cutsey (well as cutesy Vincent can get) to weird to all over the place. And that BASS..... YES! GUITAR SOLO.... YES! It's like spit fire, only down side is didn't last longer, thought the ending is very tasteful.
  5. Only Women Bleed: I never once thought this was about menstruation, whats the point? I mean... I guess seeing the groups humor with songs like I Love The Dead and Dead Babies, monthly bodily cleansing from Mother Nature isn't that crazy of a topic (its much more natural at least..... Well kinda, I mean child neglect isn't something I'd consider natural nor necrophilia but some may disagree). I always thought of it as more of a woman bleeding, or maybe a tongue and cheek anti-woman track... I don't know,  does it really matter? I don't think he's actually having intercourse with corpses, so cool off. The thing is you could also look at it as only women truly struggle, I mean there are a lot more for them to put up with and society expects certain things of them. Now maybe not so much now, but women still feel pressures to look a certain way. And they are expected to live a certain way, and that's kinda what this song is about. I mean it's about abuse (or a bad relationship), but women are still kind of expected to get married, back then they certainly were. It's very sad if you actually think about it, like I get that gut feeling that hits me right there. This song musically really is a masterpiece. Lyrically this song is great at painting a picture of this terrible occurrences that happen. It only really hits you when you take the time to realize it.
  6. Department of Youth: This has a very Foreigner feeling (with the organ) in the beginning, but also this song reminds me a hint of Elected. I do get a laugh out of that weird accent, but this song has him singing as he would for the rest of his career you know that almost impish sound he does. As poppy this song is, there is something that makes it a little off that I can't quite say it's pop. Form the placements of synths (or organs or whatever keyboard instruments pop up). This also has some very nice and,  great to me, backing vocals and harmonies.
  7. Cold Ethyl: This his a rocker that would sound that crazy on a maybe a Stones record. Maybe not so much them as a like generic rock band from the 70's or 80's. The solos are nice, but they are more generic here. And while its generic rock here, I still like the humor of the song. I think that's the best part, and the front to back changes of style you know.
  8. Years Ago: Here we get their take on a Fixing A Hole. Rather than using it to be psychedelic there is a circus meets evil meets Halloween feeling to this song. I feel like this could open a horror movies, maybe a low budget or cheep 70's or 80's one, but none the less. For that reason also there is a spot in my heart for this. I think this is where the story starts. It's the first mention of Steven, it might not be the first in the story, but I also don't care enough to look into it. I'd rather enjoy the music and lyrics but not as a story.
  9. Steven: Tyler? Perry?  Which one? This starts out with a quotation of a classical piano piece that I can't quite pin down, but I will add later. This is a neat enough song, but I don't dig the fact the whole beginning relies so heavily on that quotation. I do dig the later part. Like if there did this song exactly the same, without the quotation, maybe I'd LOVE it but I can't say I love it because of that you know. Don't get me wrong this has great guitar, gorgeous strings and is expertly arranged. Bob Ezrin my hat is taped off to you. And that ending................ Oh it kills me that the beginning reminds me so much of that one thing. I'd give the song a 10.
  10. The Awakening: This has this electric piano, and piano in the beginning I love how the accompany each other. They really do each other justice, and the whole lucid (right, that's the right word) of that beginning..... it's nice. This song almost borders on psychedelic. I love the almost classical electric guitar part that that reminds me a bit of Brian May. The worst part about this song is it fades out. Also that it's a bit rushed, this could totally be much longer to let the parts flesh themselves out.
  11. Escape: Closing the LP we get a glam rock track. This is another simple song, but it works. There isn't any expert arrangement here, but it's like a very satisfying closer to this album. It's like, what I feel like, "Eff Yeah, We made a killer record!". This is very solid.
Overall I have to give this album a 8.9/10. This album is easily the best "solo" Vincent Furnier album, and is in the top 5 Alice Cooper albums. This is a bit baffling, how come he never made anything this good after this. Seriously, think about it. I mean this album this is kind of a masterpiece. It's very well arranged, I don't know about the theme (but the music makes up for it so much). The reason this album is so great is most every song has a distinct sound of it's own. And yet it still works and is cohesive of an album. Now I don't really care to look into the story because it seems to not really happen until like the B-Side..... I don't know. And Even though I bolded some over others.... just check this thing out.... it's really really really good. Don't ask about Welcome 2 My Nightmare.... I don't like to think about that.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Rocky Horror Show - The Original Roxy Cast

For my second to last Halloween review this year, I'm probably doing it next year, I decided to pick an album that I knew I liked and when it would be relatively fast so I can spend some time on the finale. With only 1 days left for the month I better get my butt moving if I want to make that last one good. This is the 1974 Roxy Location cast album. It was the second show to feature Curry, the first was the London Cast which actually originally featured one if my favorite female singer, Julie Covington. Sadly she was never recorded for the album. I still, maybe next Halloween, plan on doing the original 1973 London Cast, but for this Halloween I'm doing the best version (in my opinion).
  1. Science Fiction/Double Feature: This track is sung by Jamie Donnelly, who I really wish I could find more shit with her voice. This led me to look it up, also considering I vaguely remembered her voice from somewhere. Then I saw she sings vocals, most likely backing vocals, on We Go Together and Summer Nights. So I obviously have heard her voice, though I could be imagining that I picked it out of the crowd. Whatever, that's not really the point so I should get to it. I love the hell out of this, and it's so much better I think, sung by a woman. Everything really is better if its done by women, with limited some exceptions. Some songs like....... I'm drawing some blanks. Regardless, if you want to do a song like this (lyrically) this is how to do it. Not Rocket *cough cough* Def Leppard. This also feels more like an intro and the lullaby this song really is. Also I think this has a very real feeling to it. It's not just listing things, it's kinda like this is my tribute to my loves. It's tastefully written in my opinion.
  2. Damnit Janet: Sung Abigale Haness and B. Miller, who play the Sarandon and Bostwick parts. I don't really see the point in saying I like this over any other version, I might as well say it for every single track. It'll get too redundant. But this is a really great, catchy track that is also memorable and should be. That's such a fun refrain to say, and the song is great at painting the picture of these two "squares". This is a very upbeat fast number, and I'd love to play along with it. The backing vocals here really make it fun too. And the pianist's freakin fire fingers. Listen to those licks. Imagine that on Guitar, that'd be awesome. The vocals don't always do it for me, espically the review listen through, but that piano.
  3. Over at the Frankenstein Place: This is another track with the same two people as last time. This is a very nice song, I can't quite pin down where I feel it's from..... maybe like Grease but still.  I do like the bass and this intro gets your attention. The vocals from Abbey are pretty great. B. does a pretty great part in his verse, and the backing vocals are nice too. Like the backing vocals remind me more Grease but the lead in the chorus.... I'm waiting for it to sing the first tracks last verse. That section that goes into like a refrain is kinda neat, and I like the grit to B.'s voice. I also dig those xylophone -esque chimes. I don't think this is as strong a song as the last two, but I still think it's better than a lot of songs, in general. I mean this is a song that took multiple listens to gather what the hell was going on, in terms of what I'm picking up on. That ending also reminds me of Summer Nights.
  4. Sweet Transvestite: There shouldn't even be a comparison. The horns on this, and the emotion from Curry's vox... Damnit Janet! I mean the original [London Cast] version's superior in my opinion to that of the movie, but this might give that one a run for its money. But I love the arrangement, and though I know its supposed to be cheesy and not professional sounding, but this doesn't take away and I think only makes them stronger. The addition of the horns help to punctuate, I believe that's the right word, the guitars punch. The bite of the guitar here needs to be grit by way of In My Time Of Dying all-ah Zeppelin. And those horns help it get its grit. While there is a vocal performance I'd swap this with, or maybe it's a bass. This is the closest to perfect I've heard this song. 
  5. Time Warp: I remember I never cared for this song, and year upon years upon years of hearing this on Halloween mixtapes and what not only dig that grave of never want to revisit it again.Hell this was originally written to make the play longer. But to be honest, I kinda dig this version. I really like that who xylophone, or percussion thing, that happens on the second time they say the "Lets do the Time Warp" in the choruses. I also dig the doo-wop piano stuff in the song. This is a fun diddy, and maybe it's the fresh take on the track.... Well to my ears, but I like this best. Also they don't fuck the song up in the whole section where Brad and Janet interject. Also who ever sings this intro, congrats. That's really sick sounding. Another thing worth mentioning, the music changes with each persons verse. There is a bit of a variation. While it still isn't my favorite, ti's much better. The only part that's ear worm candy to my heart and soul is the Quarter to Three sound alike with those saxophones.... Shit! Even that stupid tap dance part doesn't get on my nerves. Which is almost by definition unnecessary.
  6. The Sword of Damoclese: This track is sung by Kim Milford. Also isn't Damoclese a Greek God? But is that a theremin (probably not, it doesn't really sound much like one). Kim does a solid vocal, but this sounds very much like Little Richard. At this point the whole rock n roll music is starting to loose it's steam. I mean it's basically the same style over and over and over and over. Damn it,  you would add in that doo-wop section. It's like pure ear heroin to me. Though, the music with the saxophone reminds me a bit of the Bruce Springsteen cover of Quarter to Three. Just a tad. There is also a bit of a boogie to it. I maybe wrong, but I want to boogie to it.
  7. Charles Atlas Song: This like an underwritten version of Changes and Let it Be. There is lots of things in those song I find here. The only real saving grace is Curry and the organ, which sounds like Billy Preston is playing. And the piano also. It's very quick, maybe too quick.
  8. Whatever Happened to Saturday Night: This intro is so All Shook Up. I love that this is sung by Meat Loaf, the reason is because this is before his solo debut (3 years) and this is totally a title I could see Jim Steinmann writing for Bat Out of Hell or maybe the follow up and sequels. Like whatever happened to drive thru.... Though if it were the 70's I think I'd be more like (what happened to the memories of my youth, or they don't make them like they used to). Like a grown up Bat Out of Hell. This is a pretty solid rock and roll number. I feel like this would fit on a juke box. But again, it's starting to wear a bit thin for a front to back listen. 
  9. Charles Atlas Song (Reprise): For a reprise it's only 30 seconds shorter than the original. I mean I do love that organ and Tim Curry is always fun. But I can't say this is anything to write home about. I could listen to any other soul tracks before this and get much more soul entertainment. And re-listen-to-ability.... though Curry is great. The next track makes up for the last few missteps though, not wholly, but enough for me to get back into the mood for the rest of the album.
  10. Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me: This version of the song is one of the best, or at least one of my favorite, arrangements of a song I think I've heard. The music from the movie isn't half bad, but Susan.... As much as I love you, and love the idea of you singing this to me, but as far as it sounding good.......... I really like the waltzy rhythm here, and her voice I think is the best of the 70's Cast Recordings (Yes I've heard them all). I like the grit to it, and it doesn't sound out of place, the other two sounded like they were either missing the mark, or..... Well...... Damnit, I hate to put down Susan for not really well singing..... It's like killing a small part of myself on the inside. 
  11. Once in a While: While a nice change of pace, I can't get with this. It reminds me too much of Margaritaville. B. Miller takes the lead and Abbey is here too. But I mean, this song is just kind of boring and uneventful. I mean it might work in terms of the play and story, but it's just like a lame soft rock tune. Not that there aren't good ones, I'm talking about with the 80's neutered soft rock even more. Then it goes into a more RH/soft rock feel, but still.
  12. Eddie's Teddy: Isn't Eddie Meatloaf....... So I imagine he is going to wear a tiny teddy on his wedding night, you know, while making poppop. Again we get another soulful track that I ain't buying into. And the worst part is it does back to the rock and roll feeling. At this point It's almost getting insufferable to listen to this. I think I'll only be able to listen to certain tracks, probably never again front to back.
  13. Planet Shmanet Janet: I love the very 1950's feeling of this title. Like I feel like this would be an insult used back them (Shmanet) and Planet Janet could be like they are traveling space and they stumble upon a universe where they worship a goddess who looks like Janet (If it was SS I wouldn't put it past them) or they all look like Janet. Whatever it may be, this is a play that is a sort of tribute to those types of B-Movies. So it kinda relates. Also the rhythm here is different and I dig this. I can't quite pick what that guitar sounds like. But I love it. I love the whole like not song part about this. It's almost like like it's not a song. This is also a very solid track. I also do like the singing part too.
  14. Planet Hot Dog: I don't have anything to say about this track. This is kind of a fucking stupid track. Like really fucking stupid. Not like WTF, more like No. I just.... I don't want to acknowledge it.
  15. Rose Tint My World: This title baffles me a bit. It makes me try and imagine what that would be. Like is the Colour that Chicago is singing about a Rose Tint. Or is a Rose Tint something that isn't as innocent as the title suggests (I wouldn't put it past that). I liked this better as Haper Valley P.T.A. Yes the song shifts, but I think that at this point, front to back, I can't process what is going on. This album beat it out of me. I do hear what I like, but I don't know. This song probably changes up the most of any of the other songs. After going back I can process it, the song starts with a twang. It's still in tone with the other songs, just more of a country twang and the singer (Boni) has this very country feeling to the way she sings. It then goes into Kim singing and he does a great job here. I like him better here than on the Damoclese song. The song then goes into a bit of a, the only way I could describe it is the "Kiss Me, Come on and tease me like you do" section of The Who's 1975 classic Squeeze Box, but done in the Rocky Horror fashion. Then Abigail takes the mic and I love that backing piano to her part. And then the song slows down to a littler "cabaret" feeling number or "ballad" sung by Curry. It isn't that distant from the Atlas Song, but this works much better here in my opinion. And the high and his energy pays off much more, for me, here. And that almost angelic section, where I think it's B. Miller (I like to think it's Da Loaf). Then Curry's freaking rock and roll boogie by way of Great Balls of Fire. And then the backing vocals come in and it is complete. The guitar comes to complete this little diddy. And ends with a final little coda. This song keeps changing, I have to give it to them. Th
  16. I'm Going Home: The three versions, actually all versions I've heard, of this are actually pretty. They aren't gorgeous, but they are very satisfying ending and just as satisfying a penultimate track. This also reminds me of like a song not on this soundtrack. The soul here feels more genuine.This is a pretty great penultimate song.
  17. Super Heroes: While the film version is good, this version is more triumphant. Like a more joyous ending. The vocalist has much more power, and there is much more power in the song. And the lows are lower, and the highs are actually highs. I'm very glad this closes the set and not a reprise of SF/DF.  Though that choir type thing reminds me of a lesser effective version of the one used in Snow in San Alsemo.
Overall I have to give this a 7.5/10. I can't stand musicals, I'm serious. I don't like any of the Disney movie songs (except Bed Knobs, Poppins and Zippadee Do Da), I don't like any movie that is a musical, for the most part, unless it's Tommy, Let My People Come or Grease and really that's the only musicals have seen or heard I liked, with the exception of a few select songs here and there. This is a more professional version of the "low budget" version of the original. It's also faster and got some better [and some fucking awesome] arrangements too. While I love cheapness and low budget, maybe that's why the original also has a place in my heart, I gotta pick this. Now with that's said, I cant really say I like Rocky Horror. In fact I only want to watch the film to see Susan, dis you know she was supposed ti be nude during Touch Me but she or someone changed their mind (who cares who's fault, it is stll a disappointment). I think the worst part is that lots of the songs could be the same song give or take the singer and lyrics. Also there was a sequel from 1981 titled Shock Treatment. I'm not sure if I should review that or not. I do like some songs from that, not all, but who knows. Only time will tell and I will do Grease. I also plan my next musical review to be either Mary Poppins or Let My People Come....... Or the aforementioned (that's the right word?) Grease.

I think you should search Rocky Horror on Spotify. They have the Roxy Cast, London Cast, Sweedish Cast, Film Soundtrack and other versions too. But the only Cast recording I'vent heard anything off from the 70s is, I believe, the Mexican or Brazilian. Mainly because they are not on Spotify and I can't find a place to dowload the LP copies. But check them out and let me know what you think is your favorite upon reevaluation :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fresh Juice - Blowfly

While I want to save these reviews, by this artist, for one per year this month is special, well 2015 October at least. This is the first Blowfly release for Oops! Label. A label that would be his home from this album until 1988's Blowfly For President. This is also notable for being the first album not to be released on Weird World. This album is sadly overlooked in my opinion. It wasn't ever reissued on CD alone, and it's easily the best album of the 80s.
  1. That's What Your Pussy's Made For: At 7 minutes this is a long track. Compared to his other 3-5 minute tracks, some albums even less. This is also a very educational song, and not in the way that his 1974 track Sesame Street is. No this is a relatively straight song, and yes in terms of serious. I wouldn't have pick up on it until I saw a review of the track. Someone mentioned this is a serious track, and I revisited it and damn! This is a lot deeper than just fuck you. Now obviously there is humor in this track, but the subject matter brought up, especially in the beginning of the track is kind of weird. It's kinda of a portrait of a girl who is destined to become a very sexually active girl. Not the kind that's like a mature, you're a woman make you're choices. It's more of a young girl who probably is confused and lost and that makes her feel good. And it's not necessarily because of her, but because of the unfortunate events of her surroundings and childhood. You know the sad thing is this song could very easily be about a real person that anyone could know. At the end of the day I think this song shows why sex education is an important part of growing up, and why it isn't cool to take advantage of kids. People are only more fucked up then they were in the 80's and I doubt it's getting any better, or it ever will..... And seriously, I may not be the smartest or deepest person, but this truly is worth checking out and thinking about. Musically it's pretty solid and very 80's new wave. It's like a perfect marriage of his 80's out put and his 70's funk. And it also have the stereotypical Fly everyone loves, but I wish the whole song told that girls story instead of the guys too. I think that's just another chance to make a gay joke. And it could have been, in a different time, a perfect chance for him to mention she gets AIDS or something. Although he did kinda do a version of that the followin year with Child Support with the Funky Party Band using his real name Clarence Reid.
  2. Too Fat to Fuck: You could look at this one of two ways, Blow being Blow..... Or a song that's anti-obesity. But in reality it's just what the title says. Again the music here is great. I mean this isn't the funniest song of his, it's also not the best on this album, but it's still a solid track. It also have this disco vibe to it. Like I could picture, with different lyrics, being in Saturday Night Fever.
  3. The First Black President: Easily one of my favorites from his Oops! era. Actually this might be one of my favorites. The playing here's on par with the Weird World releases. If this was done by a white person today he'd be crucified for how racist it is. I could only imagine South Park doing something the level of this songs "UnPC". I love this and it's hilarious, it's like the opposite of Obama. Obama is very diplomatic and acts very calm or "white". But for this song picture a hardcore gangster getting elected. Not a rapper like Kanye West or anyone how isn't probably that "tough" I'm talking about a guy who snorts coke, promises birth control in every purse and chitlins in every pot. Also one who gives his weed to Pope John Paul (but not by choice). I actually could imagine the events of this song happening in an episode of South Park. This song isn't the worst, the part 2 is more unPC but I love this one and it's following adventure of the First Black President. The backing track to this is phenomenal, it's so funky and reminiscent of Rap Dirty. The only bad part is he didn't continue this through the 80's. 
  4. I've Got to Be Free: Oddly enough this doesn't even feel like its fits on this record. I mean it almost sees straight. It's a very romantic song, seriously. I mean if he took out the dick lines, this would be a love song. And I mean it's not like a complete rewrite, it's more of a few clean ups here and there. The only track I can compare this too, is like I Need Love by L.L. Cool Jay, but a tad dirtier. The music here is very 80's and cheesy now, but I mean I still dig the shit out of it. The only bad part is it does go a little long at 5 minutes, but it's still pretty solid.
  5. Business Deal: I wonder what this track might about, P.S. I know I heard this record before but I'm gonna pretend I haven't. And in seriously the horns here are great. This almost sounds like it could fit on Disco. This really is catchy, and it really reminds me of Kurtis Blow. This song also reminds me of The Residents album Demons Dance Alone, but played on the horns. This is a very fun song, and it's pretty funny.
  6. The Vampire That Are Miami: Tell me, does this get more Halloween than this. The classic tale of a Vampire who comes, eats woman's vaginas dry. Who other than Blowfly can clean up this mess and save Miami. Summoning The Incredible Fulk saves the day (blowfly alter ego of sorts - he transforms into it), and everyone's happy. The music here is very similar to Porno Freak, you could almost sing the song, but this is still a great track. This track is great and I love love love every second of it. Lots of his best tracks are story tracks though.
  7. She's Bad: "insert Dolemite reference". This is more of a slow jam funk rap number. Also that bassist is awesome. I mean this is what I assume is Fly's take on a love song.
  8. More Than One Pussy: Who doesn't want that. This melody reminds me vaguely of Just The Two of Us. This topic is insane, but you know I really like the sound of this song. I feel like this would offend someone, but then again who cares. I don't care if it offends someone. The point being, God created more than one woman so us men can have different women to do certain things with.
Overall I have to give this album a 8/10. This is like the other albums from the 80's. When it's great it's fricken great, when its not its just ok. There isn't a bad song on this thought. And it's so fun, if you were having a college party of something I'd suggest playing on this on Spotify if you knew everyone doesn't mind some cuss words and some profanities. The only album from the 80's I've yet to hear is Freak Party, but so far this is the best. Though I do like the On Tour '86 feeling of the original albums. Up next is hopefully another review. The only set in stone review is 31st's so lets see what happens.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Night Creeper - Uncle Acid

This is the fourth studio album by the UK's Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats. And for this album I guess Uncle Acid decided to go solo..... :). Hey did Led Zeppelin, or Mr. Bungle ever go solo after their groups broke up? Well all jokes aside (it'd be funnier if I was doing this when they dropped the Deadbeats title on their 2013 record) a friend of mine who does reviews showed me this band, and they are pretty solid. He has his own blogger located here. Check out his reviews, he does more metal and rock reviews. And this album cover screams Halloween in my mind. Well I don't have much to say about them other than I enjoyed this first time though, let's rip it apart this time and see if it holds up ;)
  1. Waiting For Blood: This is the first track I heard from the record, and I think it's a great opener. It really grabbed my attention and made me want to review the album. This riff reminds me a ton of Sabbath, but not in a bad way. Like there are times riffs remind me of something and it is like "RIP OFF" but this, maybe the vocals help and the feeling to, I don't think it's a rip off. I think the solo is solid, it's got this really Sabbath all over. I mean even the solo sounds like Tony Iommi.
  2. Murder Nights: For whatever reason I think this is a spoof on the title Boogie Nights. You know the 1990's movie with Heather Graham naked. That's reason enough alone to watch it.... Its finally on Netflix. Though I'd say it's not as good as I wished it would be. But as far as songs go this has a hypnotic feeling riff. It feels a tad evil, not sinister and satanic but dabbles in the occult. And the vocals here reminds me of a song that I think people might recognize Wrathchild. The vocal melody in the chorus (or refrain) that is, not the actual voice. The actual voice reminds me of Conan Mockasin, if he were in a Sabbath genre tribute band. All thought, if this was sped up, it might pass as an Iron Maiden riff. The section that changes, the bridge of sorts, it reminds me a ton of Who Do You Love percussion wise. But it is really cool. Only complaint, turn the guitars higher in the mix maybe, they sound really awesome.
  3. Downtown: I assume this is the sequel to Prince's 1980 classic Uptown, or at the very least a sister song to it rather. This descending riff makes me feel like I'm going down. I do like the vocals, they sound rather heavenly. That was a left hook for me in all honesty. I just finished listening to albums from this year that bore me or either are uninteresting. The guitarist has another tasty solo, and after guitar part reminiscent of the ending of Train Kept A-Rollin', the song ends. 
  4. Pusher Man: I laughed when I saw this title. There's a funk classic by the same name from the 70's. So I was kinda hoping this would be a cover of that track. A stoner rock cover of Curtis Mayfield's Superfly track..... I can picture it now. Sadly it's not a cover, but it is a still a solid track. This is a pretty solid pleasant, to my ears, song. They don't' just focus on slow and grit. Those harmony vocals really give it an atmosphere. I really love those harmonies. I friken love them.
  5. Yellow Moon:  I love the flute, thought is doesn't really sound like a real flute. It kinda reminds me of a Mellotron. This beginning have a very intro/transition feeling to it. It's also an really nice change, similar (in the way it works) to what Fluff does on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Also the whole guitar and everything outside the "mellotron" remind me of both The Green Manalishi and Albatross by Fleetwood Mac. But shocking as it may be, this song evolves and changes into something much more joyous. I feel like it'd be a great ending. And that piano that come in at the end, I think they know how to pull my heart strings. While it's too soon to tell, I kinda feel like with a dozen or so more listens this could be a favorite of mine period.
  6. Melody Lane: Isn't that located just down the street from Penny Lane. The music isn't bad here, it's more the vocals. The robotic, sharp, psychedelic Conan Mockasin-esque vocals just kinda hurt at the beginning. Now the refrain is awesome, and this song is awesome too. It's just that beginning part I don't think clicks.The solo is another great one. While I don't think it's mind blowing, it's still pretty sick sounding.
  7. The Night Creeper: The title track, as you can see, is probably one of the lesser tracks. Not that I don't like it, but like the intro is just nothing that special. At this point the album has established what it can do, and what it's sound is. So this track just feels like it's sticking within those "limitations". I mean, yes there is an instrumental part that feels a bit different in terms and feels very epic and like it's going to build up. That same epic feeling that was missing from The Book of Souls, but I don't know. I just.... wish that build would pay off rather then building and doing a Book of Souls. And that solo isn't great enough to make me feel the thrill I wanted to feel.
  8. Inside: This is a song that has a very, how do I put it, marching feeling to it. I mean not really, kinda, but like the guitar has this bluesy thing. It's just like notes are missing. Like instead of doing a blues. Just get your guitar out and play any blues rhythm guitar part, you know what I'm talking about, and it'll fit. Not that this is bad, I just.... don't know what to make of this.
  9. Slow Death: Another slower song, that has rain. Oh they used rain, Black Sabbath rip off. If anything, I'd compare this to a non-psychedelic Conan Mockasin track. I know I've compared to vocals to that, but this track feels like one but without the psychedelia. It reminds me a tad of Forever Dolphin Love too. And I love that electric piano roll. This is a really good penultimate track. Very soothing. I also get a vague Planet Caravan feeling from this track. And the way the song gets louder and larger reminds me I Want You. And I can't believe that was 9 minutes long.
  10. Black Motorcade: Closing the album was get something that sounds like it'd be better fit on, this might be a stretch, but The Wall. With just guitar as the prominent instrument, well and organ and vocals, it's a nice closer. And those strings really help add to the feeling of mellow I get.
Overall I give this 10 track record a rating of 8/10.  If theses guys are a rip off of Sabbath they are ripping of what makes them great. The fact that the band had no fears in the 70's is why I will never speak ill of them. They had the balls to push the boundaries of the genre they established. These guys clearly picked up on that. The songs here, while similar in sound, all have a certain thing were I can tell when a song starts and when one ends. They don't all blend together. That's really good. This will most likely be a favorite at the end of the year for me. And who knows; this time maybe next year, it will be a 9 or an 8.5. This thing is really great thought, check it out if you like metal or are open to just listening to anything really.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Filth - Swans

If I do Halloween Month next year, which I mean it was a lot of fun, I think ill try to the schedule of about one ever other day, (Mon, Wed, Fri, Tues, Thurs, Sat repeat) or something of the type. Anyway this is the debut full length album by Swans, it follows a Self Titled EP released the prior year. This album was recorded in April of 1983 in New York, produced by Michael Gira, and released on Neutral Records. This is also, I think, their only release on that label. One thing I want to say is based off the cover, and title, I imagine the album will contain some form of "chains and whips" or other type of kinks. It's arguably "filth"; the club at the beginning of Irreversible, the activities Frank makes fun of oh so often..... Yes you guessed right. Now I don't like those activities, but this album also gives me the image of the total debauchery of Sister Ray, but more serious. The Heathen activity will commence, and pleasure is the only absolute (insert other art film nonsense). {Note: Anything said that offends is not meant in a serious manner, just in a stereotypical/socially accepted "facts"}. So with all that in mind, why not review it for Halloween?
  1. Stay Here: This is very noisy. Like the best comparison I can think of is Everyone I Went to High School With Is Dead, minus the electronic pop through. There is a marching rhythm to it that makes me also think of Walk, but this is much darker than Pantera. With Pantera I'd think, they are gonna beat me up, with this I think I'd be best to avoid them. It might not be safe to hang out in the part of town they do. Now that that being said, I'd go to that part of town to hear them play, it's just I wouldn't stick around. I do kinda laugh a bit at those growls at the ending. My mom always says, when I listen to any form of screaming "he's constipated" and the way he's doing the vocals at the ending make me think he might be. Not that that's a bad thing..... for the song at least. Also for whatever reason, it makes me think, this whole song and album, Sister Ray
  2. Big Strong Boss: On the tail of my Village People review, I feel like this could be a title of one of their songs. Not really but who knows. This is a very robotic feeling song. The rhythm could easily be done doing with Devo if they were doing, and honestly not a type like real, metalcore/heavy metal type song. Like I imagine a bit of a real machine making this sound, or at least they replicating the sounds and rhythms with their instruments. I also think of the Devo cover of Satisfaction. I also think of the song Critical Acclaim by Avenged Sevenfold. This would be sick if they did they type of guitar thing, like using the same distortion just playing this, that Syn and Zachy did in the beginning of that song following the organ intro, that riff. But that's pretty impressive that I was album to connect so many dots 20 seconds in. I have to give them credit for that. This also have a bit of a punk feeling to it. Like I could see a punk band playing something similar, musically speaking not sound wise. Technically the genre is No Wave though. And this might be the weirdest comparison I've done, it kinda makes me think of "Robot Roll Call". At 3 minutes this does get old kinda quickly, but that's because it's just the one thing and repeats. It's not bad, I just wish it wasn't so long.
  3. Blackout: "I really had a blackout", I can actually sing it to this too (that line). Opening very heavy on drums, this feels like the beginning of an album. Like I feel like this could be titled Blackout if the album was titled that, or this could also just as easily be titled Intro. I mean this is.... I don't feel like this is as together as the last two. Though there wasn't really much, outside of those connections (in my head) going on in the last track. Don't get me wrong, I like minimal stuff, and minimalism...... but I think it is more compelling on To Be Kind. Also I like the evil, deep, Axl Rose esque voice. You know the really low one he does on Use Your Illusion.
  4. Power for Power: For me, personally, the intro would be much better if there was something else going on. Like maybe throw in a solo, or a fill or anything. I mean, there isn't much really to keep your intrest. I mean at least songs or pieces like In C an some others numb your brain from the repetition, this just kinda........... shuts your brain off and you kinda, for me, have to focus. It's not the numbing where you can't focus, it's the you watch the same episode of a TV show for the 5th time in a row, all in the same day, can't focus. I like the powerful percussion towards the middle, but hat's not enough to keep my interest. Like I feel like if I do anything on my guitar, and play it over and over and over and over it'll work of this track. I think that people can do interesting things with songs like that, but it's hard when it's the whole album.
  5. Freak: What kinda one is it? could it be a Porno Freak, or maybe a Super Freak. This starts with a neat "tape rewind" sound. I think it's an interesting departure from what have been mostly a sonically similar album. And Honestly, for that reason it might be may favorite track thus far on the album. It's really noise and a sonic whirlwind. I get the feeling of being inside of a tornado when I listen to this and the guitar only helps that. The sort of fade in and out thing it does. And that stop, pretty awesome. It also goes by pretty quickly.
  6. Right Wrong: This song is kinda clearer. The other tracks prior were a bit more muddy, where this I can make out everything. I might be crazy, or maybe I just got used to the production here. But I think this feels.... fresh (?) and different enough to what I could imagine being a side 2. I don't know the vinyl track listing, but I imagine it like that. I mean this is really cool. I can really get into that track. The drums sound like they want to hurt you, the guitar sounds like it's pissed off and if I had the bass taken out I'm sure I'd kill my ears. The bass here is more muddy, like I can't really pick out what it's doing, but overall it's a bit of a nice change.
  7. Thank You: "for letting me be my self again". This is another track that is noticeably cleaner. I like the double rhythm things. I can't think of the term, but like that drum thing he's doing. Like The Rev did on Almost Easy. Not the double bass, but the kind of timpani thing. The thing they do in the beginning of The Stroke by Billy Squire. I also like the double bass pedal thing on the drums. 
  8. Weakling: I kinda feel like this would be a perfect title to a track for this album. This is pretty decent, I like the whole entire feeling. I could picture this being a stoner/sludge track if the production was a bit different.
  9. Gang: This is a track has a primal feeling to it. Primal is a word I'd use to describe this album too. It's very percussive. There isn't much that happens really. It's cool sounding but I don't jive with the fade out, fade in twice in a single album. Unless it's a different part and not just the same song.
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. When I look at this cover I feel like it fits the album. Now maybe it's the post-Money Store/NoLoveDeepWeb me but this album just attracts me to its. Kinda of like a horror movie attracts me to it in, though I don't really watch current movies often. That's a whole 'nother story, but regardless. While I don't love this, I definitely think it's worth the listen. It's dark, but the right kind of dark. I find myself liking the blue print and what happens rather then the execution or the over all outcome. I really dig the whole use of noise, but in terms of a whole piece of material I don't think its amazing, or mind blowing. Who knows, this album might change your perception of what is possible, that's the beauty of art. What I might pick up as hints or suggestions to add, someone else might find as the thing to stride for to equal. There are a lot of elements on this thing I like and while I feel like it's not amazing it may grown on me to. One thing I know for sure is, id I heard this in the 83 (or at least prior to the release of Cop) I'd be excited for what's to come. And I plan to review another Swans record, preferably as soon as possible. Also for the record I've heard other albums, and I do like some track by them much more than this album, but you gotta start somewhere.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Crusin' - Village People

I though, let's camp this Halloween up a bit more and review the third studio effort by Jacque Morelli's Village People. I did a horror movies score and a underground S&M film soundtrack, let's lighten up the mood a litte. This album is prefect for easing horror. Released on October 23rd, 1978 the title is supposedly a double entendre meaning both driving around and picking up men. Now that might not be true, who knows, but  I kinda feel like that construction worker is waiting to get a ride...... If you ah, catch my drift ;). He's always the most flamboyant on their album covers though so, in all honesty..... I guess another who knows. I'd also just like to admire the ridiculousness of this album cover. Just look at it and try to realize what you're seeing. Once you do that I can continue..... This album is known for contains their biggest hit, and it contains some other tracks too. Also I plan to have my other "Dark Halloween" review up Friday. And I'll probably only have two or three more until the final Halloween album I've had planned since the start of me deciding to do this. Cool, Let's go.
  1. Y.M.C.A.: This is the anthem that's known around the world for its "gay message".... And for its very catchy chorus. I mean I don't think you can, at least to me small knowledge of the world, have lived and not heard this song. Maybe in a non American country, but if you even saw that Despicable Me 2 movie you've heard this. So do I think the fame of this tracks is as warranted as it is? Not really. Now don't get me wrong, it's a great track. As much as I don't like it, I still sing along to it while I drive to look like an asshole. The thing is there is something missing. Far and away their best track is the ode to a joyous future that is Go West. But this song, maybe the fact its about a Youth Hangout place instead of hope. But this isnt bad, its actually a decent song. Infact its extremely catchy to, I mean the second you hear that guitar and then those horns... you know exactly what track this is. And to be honest  the bass on this track is a lot more interesting then a lot of rock bands, yeah reread this sentence, I can think of. I mean when I listen to this in terms of reviewing it, outside of the overplay factor (maybe) I can't really say anything bad about this track. It's kinda cheesy, but it's not bad for you. And I mean, it is fun to sing to. It's much better than the following track. I also like how it kinda seems like it builds each chorus. It seems to get larger each time it comes along. Which I love when you add and make it larger. The only part that I guess I could maybe do without is that instrumental section, in which case I'd just listen to the single edit. But really the single edit of this isn't as terrible as the music video edit of Macho Man. That's so friken bad and abrupt. I kinda went off topic, I guess what I'm trying to say is the general public likes to turn off their brain and just have fun. They aren't concerned with philosophical deeper meanings, unless it's something masquerading as that. Where I think GW is unintentionally motivational and has a bit of a deeper meaning (to me at least) this is just a place to go. I guess when I get past this being their biggest hit.... I can give it a 7/10.
  2. Medley: The Women/I'm A Cruiser: The first track isn't that bad, thought the backing vocals chant is dumb. But then I guess the whole pre-chorus isn't bad. And I mean I kinda feel like the lyrics are on here to compensate maybe. But then when the chorus comes in all I can play in my head is Can't Take My Eyes Off You's chorus. I'll give them props for three distinct sections of the songs verse, chorus and pre-chorus. I also laugh at that sound in between the repeat of the chorus, it reminds me of Drafted Again. Also I kinda feel like at 6 minutes (Women) maybe it goes a little long. But I will say there is that kinda of outro that I can play a perfect segue in my head into the next track (or section). Also I think this is the only track by the group to have a overdriven, buried be it, guitar. But I could serious do without that last chorus, even thought that guitar is welcome anytime. Thought I kinda also have the similar feeling I had with the xylophone in The Spotlight Kid. It's almost like they "just got" the instrument so lets use it as much, or in this case the overdrive. The flow is pretty good, but I wish it was less abrupt, maybe it's my copy since I'm listening to them separate, but I wish it happened at the 3-4 minute mark of Women. Sonically this track is much better up until that "epic" refrain of the title. There is another song that plays in my head, but I can't quite pin my finger on it. I still think this is not as distracting as it was in the last track (I like this more than The Women) but it still hurts kinda. It has a Broadway, show tunes finale feeling. Then a interpolation of Hold on I'm Coming happens and.... No I'm not gonna let it piss me off. I do think that multiple vocals part is a neat idea. It's a lot more interesting than the more bland tracks on Go West. Again I think this section might go a little long, and the string heavy part reminds me of a disco musical, but like a music with a disco beat not Saturday Night Fever. This is followed by the Sam & Dave track interpolation to fade. I really dig how you can hear the vocals and pick them out rather then them all at once. It's neat, but as a whole I think it might run a little long, at 12 minutes. Maybe trim the fat a little, but still.... it's not terrible.
  3. Hot Cops: This isn't that bad of a track, but every time I read it I think of Arrested Development. It's a pretty decent track, outside of the whole AD thing. It also has this phased intro thingy that reminds me of another track that I can't think of. There are also parts that have glimpses of like water. It's a very wet track, not dry. I don't know it doesn't really bother me until there is a section that reminds me of Macho Man but not in a good way. It also kinda gets annoying with the chorus and seems like... I've heard this earlier on the record. So I don't really know.
  4. My Roomate: This song is kinda gay, I'll admit it. Like really gay, just listen to it. There is a sonic feeling I get that makes me feel like this would be one a "gay anthems" compilation. I will admit, this is a fun song. Just because I think it's fun doesn't mean I like it. I mean there isn't really anything for me to like and want to listen to again outside of a front to back listen. Though I don't like it.... I can say it makes me smile. It just seems kinda innocent, they aren't doing anything intentionally gay.... I don't think. I feel like the kid singing this would be a kid who is kind of like a rebel-rouser and you just pat him on the head and smile when he goes "I wanna be a tough kid". You know the kid, the type all the adults think is adorable. A Shirley Temple type, but this would be a boy sing this.
  5. Ups And Downs: I have to say, the novelty of lasers in a Village Person song is worth checking out again, but again there isn't anything really here to say that is good. I mean this is much more entertaining than that Solo Man album, which is disappointing to me but it is what it is. When I listen to this I have a feeling of, there's six minutes left of the film, its wasn't terrible, why not enjoy yourself for the finale. 
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. You know I know you're supposed to dance to this, but I feel a lot of these are a little long. Where Prince's classic 1999 might have just been a little to long for one sitting (not always but it has parts when you sit that seem unneeded). On that record if you listen to each track solo not a single one seems too long or indulgent. Here all but like one feel that way, and while theses tracks are about the same length on both albums... I really wanted to love this. But I find too many things to nit pick to actually say this is great. It's weird thought, this album flys by. That's weird to say when I just said that I jsut said the songs seem a little long. But once the songs are over, the 35 minutes seems like it zoomed past.