Iggy is 68. I think he is depressed because people still do not know who he is. So he made a cool album with Josh Homme.
The best song on the album is “Sunday,” followed by the best song on the album, “Vulture.” “Sunday” is the best song on the album because it is an anti-corporate America stab against the working life. The content is basically, “I am not doing anything because it’s Sunday,” as if a corporate stiff would not have any other time to themselves other than Sunday afternoon. “Vulture” is the best song because it sounds like Iggy Pop singing and playing a song while he writes it, reminiscent of earlier times.
Iggy still has a great voice and the musical and lyrical content shows that there are still people alive and kicking from the time when music was respected as art for being full of rationalized mental attitude and a whole lot less commercial. “I don’t want any of this information,” say the lyrics from the final track, “Paraguay,” a song about leaving fake society for a real one.
Prog-metal: No slice of cake. Often it takes an extremely talented and practiced person to make something even remotely interesting. Giants of progressive music are far and few between when reflected against a sea of untalented corporate pop clones and show boats. What makes progressive music difficult to play? It is the absence of set expectations. Like dropping a suburbanite future US bureaucrat into the middle of a soccer game, the simple idea of scoring a goal with your feet in the form of delivering a message through the medium of music can be a monument of human achievement; a soliloquy of action. In the wake of Keith Emerson’s apparent suicide due to a failing ability to produce musicianship in a country that demands perfection, progressive music can show us the freedom and the heavy-heartedness it brings.
conXious released a new self-titled prog-metal album out of Austria on February 29th. It has been over a decade since Never Before/Never Again, and the new album sticks to no rules other than play music and sing. Each track features a gamut of sounds, Alexander Ghezzo’s songwriting is consistent throughout, and the mastering is just enough to keep it organic. Ghezzo’s guitar is shredtasty (like shredtastic, but less fantastic and more tasty), drums are strict metal, and the bass follows the kick.
My personal favorite part, the vocals, are proof that you do not need to smoke a pack of Marlboros a day like Nat King Cole to record an international release. You apparently only need a close pin over your nose (an exercise in breath control, by the way.) Every track features post-adolescent basement power metal inspired and vibrato heavy vox from Michael G Reiter. However, the only track I personally found boring was a rerecording of a track off an earlier album, “Portrait of a Lover” which has some grunty stuff and uncomfortably long “high” notes near the top of Reiter’s register.
However, however, the very next track, “Apparently” makes up for it by being over seven minutes of emotionally charged song writing and minimal grunts. Starting on a traditional grandpa’s guitar and leaping from soundscape to soundscape, this piece uneventfully ends on my least favorite musical cop-out, a fade out, but permissively considering the content of the song. It is as if Reiter, or Ghezzo, the writer, is saying, “my life is continuing on, I will not stop just for you.” This is not a song, it is an epic.
Ghezzo was clearly excited to write music for this album. The remainder of the album refuses to limit itself to any single sound. There are a few re-recordings but that does not distract from the flow. It becomes almost operatic.
If you struggle with your voice, songwriting, or just need to unwind, go to their self-titled website and purchase their self-titled album and let your conscious explore the sounds of conXious.
Beginning with an orchestral style intro and after the rest of track one, Brainstorm decides to make music starting on track two. Seeming to focus on lyrical content and audible quality, Scary Creatures as an album has some advantages over traditional power metal. One, the singer, Andy B Franck, manages to sound like he is continuously straining himself in a pleasant manner. One bored with typical arena or castrato style singing might prefer the change in aural scenery.
Another quality to set it apart is momentum. The music really propels the listener with hooks, licks, and nice arena drums making it very dance-able. Scary Creatures always hides interesting and unusual sonic effects in the company of an ever changing atmosphere.
“We Are…” is a track full of disturbing fascinations, among them a huge variety of musical influences in a five and a half minute track, and the feeling Franck is part of a gang of people following you around waiting to commit arson, a crime I’ll never understand. There is a slow part where Franck and a echo-y child attempt to reassure you they are not, in fact, bad guys, and are no longer interested in burning you.
There seems to be a very good balance of singing, soloing, chugging, and bridge. Every song seems to have equal amount of each sprinkled into the same bridge song form. “Twisted Ways,” seems to be a good example of this and also features Franck trying to pop his head off.
Like all power metal the guitars might be a little too polished for some, but the fun vocals can bring Brainstorm back down to a listenable level. Also, there seems to be one of those piano things on track 7, “Caressed by the Blackness,” you know, the badly played ones.
You can get this on gold vinyl, presumably if you live in Germany.
Earlier last month I was browsing some new music for 2016 when I became discouraged for the lack of rock and roll. I began to sample albums with one specific qualification: good name. That is when I found Ecliptica’s newest album, the aptly named, Ecliptified.Ecliptified is a hard rock album with good track titles as well, such as “Road to Nowhere,” “One for Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and the power ballad “No Surrender.” Every song is high energy and most are almost uncomfortably fast and about living the rock ‘n’ roll life.
The speed is counterbalanced by the slowey’s like the flagrantly long “Need Your Love,” which could have been just the chorus over and over for five and a half minutes. It even sounds like the male lead vocalist, Tom Tieber, wanted to keep going. Sometimes you need to know when to put down the pencil and cut the track. The other slowey to avoid is the penultimate track, “For Good,” which is a giant crescendo with an ambient drum track thrown in. Another track to avoid is their newest single, “Round ‘n’ Round.” One might assume that the entire song is about pole dancing at the most boring dive in Vienna.
Female vocalist, Sandra Urbanek, has a motif going throughout most of the album where she sort of gargles as she sings. I am personally not a big fan but it seems to be well done. In contrast, Tieber seems to stick to arena rock singing with a little impatience.
Guitars are solid and there are some fun and easy listenin’ solos by Markus Winkler and Van Alen, whom one could assume stole the name. Roman Daucher sticks to the basics like a good drummer. Bass is played by female Austria death metal queen, Petra Schuhmayer. Girls on bass are always a good thing. There is a bass clarinet or something on “No Surrender.”
The Austrian band would like you to know that they are “Metal ‘n’ Roll.” You can listen to much of the album on the YouTuba ‘n’ Spotified while you get blinded by the sun tomorrow.
I do not really like the first song. It might be too slow; it might be too boring; it might be trying too hard. The guitar solo in the middle is terrible. I do not have anything good to say about it except the message is clear.
Yeah, “The slate is clean/John 3:16” is definitely the grossest thing the album has to offer and it’s front and center. It definitely picks up around the third track.
The third track is good, so we are just going to skip right to it. “Two Wolves” is good because there is this reoccurring motif about two wolves inside the soul locked in a never ending feud, referring to some Native American proverb.
That’s crazy. If we’re going to keep talking about lyrics, I like the next tracks, “Cut You Loose” and “Venom”, the most. Both have a the-harsh-reality-of-being-a-Christian-in-the-modern-world feel to them. It’s great to have a band like this telling you there are challenges to the normal God is good Christian rock thing.
I agree that with what you said, however, Trashman could be the next Christian rock anthem. Campbell does not pull any punches with these rhymes.
I can’t clean up your act
I’m not a trash man or a heart attack
I got no voodoo or emergency room
To fix all the trouble that you get into
But GOD can
I just read on his lyrics page that the first track, “Break the Chains,” is actually an attempted radio edit for a 6 and a half minute epic. I kind of wish they’d left it.
For it being the only really bad song, I can’t imagine it getting better by tacking on another three minutes of chorus and solos. They also randomly play the song again at the end of the album, as though reprising it will somehow make you feel better about having to smell its stink the first time around. The last couple of tracks also feel out of place among the heavy riffing. “Glorify You” gets all power poppy out of nowhere and “The Crimson Bridge” is folky snoozer stuff.
I want to finish up talking about lyrics, but I also do not want to talk about “Weight of the World.” It is almost too cliche even for me, and since musically it seems to offer nothing I think we should skip it and move right on to Deaf Revolution.
Any thoughts on “Weight of the World?” Listening to the whole song now, the break down after the guitar solo is really cool, but then the crumby guitar comes back.
“Weight of the World” has a really cool Sabbath-sludge riff, so I can definitely stomach it.
I thought you’d like it because Campbell mentions Dio in the liner notes.
I’ve always liked the gargantuan riff type metal over the poppy polished Van Halen stuff, but most of that works really well here too. It’s funny how the whole album spans a ton of metal styles without sounding all over the place, ignoring those last two tracks I already mentioned.
The album as a whole is very pleasing. I can listen to the whole thing without skipping anything. But I would probably never drop the needle in the first or second track if vinyl ever becomes available.
There’s a hot streak from track four to track nine. It’s all tough rock with lyrics that never get too heavy-handed. Even for a man who concerns himself with secular things, it feels really honest music, which is more than you can ask from most Christian rock.
A lot of the time you just throw in a bunch of cliched garbage about Jesus and you’ve got an album for a rabid niche crowd. I can officially say that The Crimson Bridge are not posers.
Certainly not. At risk of sounding like a flip-flop, I actually think the tracks “Glorify You” and “The Crimson Bridge” are lyrically shameless and bold. I greatly appreciate Campbell’s heart rending core beliefs on those tracks.
I dunno, after being all hard for most of the album, it feels a little too soft so suddenly.
Onto the vocals. Here is from my personal write-up:
The backup vocals are elegant and punching in a sort of devil-may-care-hair-metal-Queen-parallel-fourths-all-over-the-place way. That’s DMCHMQPFAOTP for short. The backup vocals are musically the best part of the whole album.
It’s kind of funny, I think Campbell sounds really nerdy and nasal, but he sounds super tough anyway because the music is balls to the wall.
Manilla Road is a band that has a similar vocalist sound.
Another cool thing about the vocals is the interlude at the two minute mark in Deaf Revolution, the track which we have not lyrically analyzed yet. Apparently Fernando Ramirez is the troll voice. What a great break down!
That’s his name
Hey dude, we should wrap this up…
My time has come
You got big plans?
There are people in my living room
Oh wow, alright.
So I feel like I concluded a while ago by saying they aren’t posers.
That’s cool. I really think this is a killer album
The Crimson Bridge Ministry is a Christian Hard Rock project written by Greater San Diego resident, Norm Campbell. You can hear Remnant Rock on Youtube or ask politely and Nick Campbell money and an email to receive a physical copy.
Emotional Mugger is a pseudo-psychedelic rock album from the west coast singer-songwriter, Ty Segall. Emotional Mugger features a variety of super overdriven noises and 60’s reverberated nasal vocals. Production levels seem to be matching pre-protools era and it will please your woofers and tweeters to know that despite everything being overdriven the music still remains well mixed and audio quality will scale well with sound system quality.
The melodies are very catchy and the music is easy to follow. Energy is high and structure is simple and danceable. The occasional synth dots the wall of sound landscape. Every track is worth a listen including the mashup at track ten.
Lyrical content is ambiguous and almost impossible to understand anyway.
Unfortunately there isn’t much else to say about this album because the instrumentation for every song is identical. Fortunately I do not have to write any more because I can just let the album do the talking. If you are into modern psychedelic overdriven rock then this album is for you.
There’s talk of many more albums from Segall this year, however nothing is appearing on the horizon. We will have to make peace with Emotional Mugger as possibly the first and only venture in to “experimental rock” for him.
For a definition of the album title meaning visit the promotional site emotionalmugger.com
Spitting Feathers by Spitting Feathers by Spitting Feathers by Spitting Feathers
Spitting Feathers by Spitting Feathers is a self titled debut album from the band Spitting Feathers from Sweden. This album is not to be confused with the EP by Thom Yorke, the English “alternative” rock band, the beer enthusiasts, or the English “folk” rock band. There must be some affinity with English people, feathers, and spitting.Citing influences from NWOBHM, Spitting Feathers by Spitting Feathers is a refreshing “melodic hard rock” album featuring some good quality music. The melodious and squeaky vocals will raise up memories of basement recording at mom’s. Also heard on this album is a new phenomenon shaking the music world known by some as the badly played piano. Every album coming out nowadays has some and this one does it well.
Spitting Feathers by Spitting Feathers is my January Album of the month because it has a great raw quality and is not in any way shy. The sucky piano makes itself scarce. The guitars shred hooks galore in straight amp-to-ear fashion. Bass plays the root and sometimes walks it down. The drums are really basic, so good job, I guess, probably the only thing I’d change since they resemble mid-00’s pop-punk, specifically the UFAP (up front and personal) kick drum. The singing is pure and un-frilled and full of anthemic chants backed by power chords and back beats.
The lyrics across the board are unashamed and pointed. Crash Landing is an example of good ol-fashioned punk writing. Although three ballads might be too much for some bands, Spitting Feathers features two pure ballads and the final track, titled “Nowhere,” which one might call a “half-ballad.” Nowhere features one of my favorite lines on the album: “Don’t get started ‘cause I’ve heard it all before. There is no space for being human anymo’.” It is also constructed in sudo-sonata format with an introduction, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, interlude, return, chorus, conclusion with a fade out.
The production, which apparently took most of last year, keeps the lows low and the highs high creating a lot of motion. I do not know if this band is ever going to leave Sweden but any show they do is sure to be a good one. Plus, the logo is pretty good.
The whole album can be previewed on SoundCloud because this band is cool. There probably will not be any vinyl available outside of Sweden, but maybe if someone is going there…
On the Moon at Noon by Nothing hill is another album that has a good track 5. There are a lot of albums in the past that had a good track five, like all of the Offspring.Nothing Hill bills as Italian “melodic rock” and an enjoyable part of this band’s persona is their Facebook response to getting leaked on Pirate Bay: “Funny.We are laughing out loud…Somone put us on torrent!”
On the Moon at Noon’s track five is called “Love is Ending” and has a great post-pop-punk wall of sound that is about 25 years too late, but it is quite refreshing. The vocals are nice and smashed up all thick like eggs and brownie mix. The guitar has that “contemporary shoegaze” quality but with a sense of music.
The rest of the album feels more like a variety album with a bonafide 80’s Motown R&B sound at the end, but staunchly more Italian. Unfortunately, track 5 is the only one that does feel refreshing while the remainder feels a little pushed. Either way, give On the Moon at Noon a shot for the great track five and the unique sound. Since it features a little variety, there might be something on it that tickles every fancy.
Born in the frigid Yukon, Sanktuary had blessed us three years ago with Something Fierce. Now as of January 22nd, 2016, we can listen to Sanktuary’s pleasing thrash metal and punk vibes explore current topics such as the polar vortex.
What could strike you right away is the first track, Space Race, sounds like it came right off of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Chris Hadfield would be proud of this in-your-face anthemic tongue-in-cheek stab at international politics. If only Jello Biafra would brave Winter’s Doom and head up to -30 centigrade weather to record something classic and timeless instead of… what was that thing he did last year?
Contemporary titles, such as Vermin Lord, give us insight into the exciting life in modern day Canada. With concerns of “numbers growing fast,” perhaps these metal heads might want to consider less infested areas, such as Alberta. Vermin Lord as a track might actually be the most memorable musically as well, with lyrics bouncing around like an angsty troll singing a hop-scotch chant at break neck speed. The ostinato guitar riff is extremely catchy.
The rest of the album is as sonically varied as thrash can get. Sanktuary lays it all out for their fans, whom they refer to as skanks. Winter’s Doom as a whole is a fast paced and emotionally driven politically biting metal release from that country in the north. “Think for yourself.”
Metalunderground.com is currently hosting the full album for online skeptics.
Released yesterday, the 17th, according to their bandcamp, The Blue Rider, assumed to be named for being from Denver, Co, released Year of the Horse, is a psychedelic, what the kids call surf, rock album.
Year of the Horse features super overdrive, reverb on everything, and upbeat rock beats. Surf rock has been making a resurgence since it was born and died in the 60’s and this album is a refreshing sample of what is possible with it.
Although the material is pretty straightforward the theme of the album sticks to country icons and ideas. I guess they do not have monkies (properly spelled “monkeys”) in the Rockies.
Refreshing is a big thing with me. That is pretty much the only quality I look for in music but is that not the only thing anyone looks for in music? I do not think anyone has ever said, “I need to listen to something boring and stale.” Stiff, maybe. Old, maybe. Classic, maybe. But a stiff old classic can still be refreshing like a mixed drink or a Chess Records single.
The good news is that you can buy this album digitally if you are into that kinda thing. Once again, bandcamp says “pre-order” even though it is now the next day. According to their facebook, the group economically pressed 20 vinyls so getting a physical copy will be tough.
There is a lot of good music coming out and I am happy that a rock album got to make it in the mix. Get ready for some punk, punk metal, metal, and more metal for the rest of January.