Saturday, April 23, 2016

Narita - Riot

This is the second album released by New York's own Riot. I like the "oddness" of this cover. Now, to be 100% honest, I haven't to my knowledge, heard any song off this album before. I also never heard any songs prior to this album request, but it was requested back in May 2013 about the same times Never Turn Your Back On A FriendHatebreeder and also Death•Is•This•Communion• were also requested. The thing is I couldn't get my hands on a copy of this album, but it was recently added to Spotify. Since May 2013 I heard all the studio albums from Rock City to my favorite Thundersteel (all in about a days sitting actually) the last one of those 6 was this album, which I had not heard until about, well to be honest, the day of this review. With the knowledge of the other albums, minus Thundersteel (which will most definitely get a review of it's own) I'm not too excited for this album. :(
  1. Waiting For The Talking: Oh no!!!!! Okay, off the bat this sounds very 80's kinda but not in a good way. I mean the bass isn't half bad, and the solos nice. And it does get a bit more gritty, or hard rockish, as the song progresses. But the solo isn't even anything to like be amazed by, I mean I am not an amazing soloist, but again I've heard solos that are way more interesting than that. This actually reminds me of a lesser Styx rocker.
  2. 49er: This song reminds me a bit of a Sabbath riff, with the guitar tone. But it feels a bit more upbeat and happy. Which is kind of giving me conflicting feelings. Like I kinda wanna listen to Children of the Grave because I know I'll be satisfied, but this...... I don't know. This isn't that bad of a song. I think it's probably one of the best songs by the group I've heard. But I don't really even know if I'll remember it by the end is the thing.
  3. Kick Down the Wall: I think the vocalist reminds me of if Fates Warning was in a glam metal band. That's what this song reminds me of, and the songs weren't as explosive or exciting to me. I mean there is a nice groove to this, that reminds me of like any 80's band (or UFO but not as good), but I don't know if that's good per-say. And the solos sounds an awful lot like UFO a bit. This isn't that bad, but it's whatever.
  4. Born to Be Wild: Based on the title I can assume it's a Steppenwolf cover. Ewwww, I mean it's a Born to Be Wild Cover done in the style of arena rock. I feel like at parts they might have been trying to do a Highway Star thing where it's HUGE and a POWERHOUSE, but they don't really succeed. Skip
  5. Narita: This is the title track, and there are some expectations I guess. I do like this, but I feel like it's just sped up. Like certain things don't sound like they were played at the speed they were (?). It also vaguely reminds me of Translyvania, a favorite Maiden tune of mine. It's a nice instrumental though, though it over stays it's welcome a bit. I'd honestly have shaved a good minute off the tune. Maybe at about 2:45, before they start that lead hook or riff, they could have taken  that transition part and had an Yngwie shred to wrap it up followed by a stop. Sadly the rest, thought my favorite part is the hook/riff, is kinda just filler. There is no real need for it. They also could have edited it so we get the ending that is like the one at 3:45ish. Do you get what I'm saying. That last 30 seconds or so, especially since it just fades out, is kinda bullshit. If it were to segue into the next track, like say Sick as a Dog into Nobody's Fault props to them, that was cool and a sick idea. But they fade out... it was pointless.
  6. Here We Come Again: That last track was, besides my few gripes, a solid track. Then we get this bullshit. So I know they are capable of doing interesting things, even at this point in their career...... Why like put this out. This is pretty easy to listen to though, it doesn't cause tumors or anything.
  7. Do It Up:  This reminds me of UFO but not as good soloing. There is also another song that it reminds me of but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's something from around this period in time 1970's or 1980's.
  8. Hot For Love: Unrelated but this song looks like it was inspired by two different UFO tracks Too Hot to Handle and Love to Love both of 1977's Lights Out. I have to laugh, it opens with arpeggiations and the song while different, kinda reminds me a bit of Love to Love and Too Hot To Handle. Also a major problem with 90 percent of the songs, they sound very similar. And basically are. The ending kinda reminded me of Judas Priest a bit. Like the 70's pre-Hell Bent For Leather. Maybe a song like Exciter.
  9. White Rock: This is okay, but again nothing too exciting. Just okay I guess. The only thing I might remember is the title reminds me of White Light/White Heat's title track.
  10. Road Racin': Ah, a classic Judas Priest riff. Back before they were famous. Wait, is that Al Atkins. It's can't be, I heard some songs off that tribute record he did and I don't remember him sounding like this. Maybe his voice changed. Who knows.
Overall I have to give this a 5/10. The thing that was the killer for the other albums was that there were kinda bland and unmemorable hard rock to me. There may have been, out of the other four records, like 3 songs I liked (outside of Thundersteel). Now while some of my favorites may not have a huge variety, Aerosmith, Scorpions, among others there was a point in time where they peaked creatively and made each album sound different enough, the 70's. This album is from the 70's and all I can say is........... I hate to say this, but this is another unmemorable record. I'm not being an ass, I've heard stuff like this before but done much better. Like to where I remember the solos and singing and the vibe and wanna return, and not just for a review. Really though, I got a Styx or Fates Warning or UFO mixed with other bands feeling from this album.  I can do that all day bru. It isn't terrible, it's just not something that I was hoping for.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Zombie - Fela and Afrika 70

So it's about that time where I need a review. And since I've been listening to the fellow over here, why not the big one. This is probably the best known album by Nigerian Afro-beat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He was a whole lot of other things too but he'll always (with some help from Tony Allen) be the inventor of Afro-Beat. Now this album is famous for both the title track and the events following. You can find almost anywhere, when looking up the song or album, Fela had some of the worst legal trouble following. Now legal trouble may imply he was in the wrong, but supposedly the Nigeria government burned his house down and killed his mother (pushing her out a window of some sort). They also ban him, I believe, from the country. I could be remembering wrong, but if you're interested look it up, it's almost always mentioned when someone talks about this album. Also I love this album cover, and the massage here is pretty great.
  1. Zombie: Sitting at just under 12 1/2 minutes long. This epic monster is one if those instant things that just clicks. I mean I've heard it a dozen or so times and I cant stop. It instantly makes you want to dance and go crazy. The is really like the epitome of infectious. I can't believe this isn't more sampled in hip-hop. I really would have to go into the details of the awesome little guitars and they great solos on saxophone (I assume it's tenor or alto since Fela plays both on the album). The first five minutes of this is instrumental, the words don't come in until 5:20ish. And when Fela comes in and starts singing with the group in Pidgin English..... so fucking awesome. I really want to join in the recording and make sing along. It's so fun, even thought there actually is a message to the song. It's about the zombie like mentality of the military and how they don't think and just follow orders. Like mindless zombies. But damn, I can't think of a more powerful song in terms of just arrangement and funk and message. I mean yes at first it's hard to make out what he might be saying but with the inevitable multiple listens you start to make it out. After the lyric section, there comes in an electric piano, or analog synth. This is followed by a chorus and then what I believe to the be french national anthem.... I could be wrong :) but I don't know. Just listen to this. It's fucking amazing.
  2. Mister Follow Follow: Following up that last track isnt an east task. This is much more laid back and doesn't have the punch of the last track. Obviously that makes sense, it'd be too much of the same, but I don't feel the feeling I get from other laid back tracks of his. I mean it's well arranged and tight, and has a great groove. I'm just not personally getting pulled into it and wanting to jam or dance along. Where the last track builds and you are interested the entire wait up to the lyrics, this isn't holding my interest as much. I have to pay attention or I'll lose focus I guess. And by the way that happened not even five minutes in. The song is much more background music than the predecessor. And I'm not feeling the vocal arrangement on this track. There is a part later in the song where it sounds like a slowed down version of Zombie where it goes Follow Follow. Not feeling it at all bru.
Overall I have to give this album a 7.5/10. The thing I gotta say, is the first side is so strong how could you not want to dance and groove. But its also so good there was no way in hell the second side would come close to it. I still highly recommend this record. I also recommend Open & Close, Expensive Shit, Ikoyi Blindness and Black Men Dey Suffer. I've yet to hear all of the albums, but I got a big chunk down. It's a great opener and the second track ain't terrible. Just listen to this, its 25 minutes long.