Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Overkill, Behemoth, Mayan, Armored Saint, Maiden

Kind of a heavy theme to this week’s shuffle. Let’s get it going…

Overkill, “Loaded Rack.” From the album ReliXIV (2005). This was a pretty uneven record for Overkill, but “Loaded Rack” is one of the better tracks. It’s got that old-school Overkill feel and a some memorable hooks and melodies.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Shooter Jennings, "The Other Life"

You never know quite what to expect from Shooter Jennings. It drives some fans crazy, but it’s part of what others, myself included, like about his music.

Will it be country, rowdy Southern rock, experimental art rock, hard rockers, heartfelt and serious songs, crazy and sometimes silly numbers? The answer on The Other Life is yes.

Really, for the first time in his career, Jennings has brought together all of the various sounds from his past, and it feels almost like it’s the first album that is fully and truly his musical voice.

 Last year’s companion piece, Family Man, focused on just what its title said. Every song had something to do with family. This one focuses mostly on life on the road and the music business.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Toxic Heart, Lazarus A.D., Sepultura, Blackberry Smoke, ZZ Top

Another Saturday, another shuffle.

“Rebirth,” Lazarus A.D. From the album The Onslaught (2009). I remember that this debut album from Lazarus A.D., an aggressive, Exodus-influenced brand of thrash really excited me. I thought we might finally have a band from the new wave of the style that could play with the originals. The follow-up, sadly, was quite disappointing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stuck in my Head: Sevendust, "Black"

It’s so rare for me these days to hear a song that blows me away out of the gate and makes me run out and pick up an album.

I guess it’s part of aging, having more experience with music and being more jaded. When you’re younger, everything sounds awesome. When you get older, you get much harder to impress. To be honest, I miss those days.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Wayne Hancock, "Ride"

The news release that accompanies Wayne Hancock' latest release on Bloodshot Records opens with a quote from Hank Williams III, who says, "Wayne Hancock has more Hank Sr. in him than either I or Hank Williams Jr. He is the real deal." After you listen to Ride, or any of the material from the course of Hancock's career, it will be hard to argue with III's assessment.

Though the youngest Williams boy is often given the bulk of credit for the revitalization of the traditionalist country movement, Wayne "The Train" Hancock was doing it before it was cool. In fact, Hancock is responsible for writing a couple of the best songs on III's debut album Risin' Outlaw.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Cinderella, Bruce Dickinson, Iced Earth, Johnny Cash, Motley Crue

Another shuffle coming right up:

“Push, Push,” Cinderella. From the album Night Songs (1986). Not one of the band’s most creative tunes. It’s the quintessential 1980s hard rock sex song. No double entendre, nothing really clever, just straight sleaze. Still, it’s not a bad tune.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: BLS, Sabbath, Shooter Jennings, Aerosmith, Alice in Chains

And we're off and shuffling again:

“Fire it Up,” Black Label Society. From the album Mafia (2005). Talk box. That’s what I’m talking about. The song opens with one of my favorite uses of the thing, right up there with Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box.” Listen to it a couple of times and try to get that melody out of your head.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Still Spinning: Cinderella, "Long Cold Winter"

When Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer, who has been plagued with performance problems for many years due to paralysis of one of his vocal cords, posted samples from his long-awaited upcoming solo album, I had to hear them.

Though it’s hard to judge from the brief snippets, it appears the album will be an eclectic mix ranging from the hard rock of his former band to some country, blues and pop flavored songs. Listening to those samples, though, sent me to my CD shelf to revisit what is, in my opinion, Cinderella’s finest moment and one of the must-have records of 1980s hard rock.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Review: Ancient VVisdom, "Deathlike"

This is not your father’s metal band.

Oh, there are guys in leather and denim. There are skull motifs and maybe the occasional spike. There’s all the darkness that you could ask for from the gloomiest of doom metal bands. There are the grinding electric guitars … oh, um, wait a minute.

I’m not sure if Ancient VVisdom is technically the first acoustic metal band, but I’m thinking it’s a very small subgenre. They do occasionally crank up the distortion, but it’s used more as window dressing for their music rather than the focus as with most metal bands. Instead, bandleader Nathan Opposition puts his focus on the crafting of the song, and that’s where Ancient VVisdom excels.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Danzig, Alice Cooper, Sentenced, Slayer, Doctor Butcher

Time to shuffle again: 

“Brand New God,” Danzig. From the album IV (1994). IV is definitely not my favorite Danzig album, but this is one of the songs I do like. I love those sparse power chords of the beginning as Glenn Danzig wails out the first line. Then we get into more of a bashing metal-type song, then there’s that bendy guitar riff and slower part in the middle that reminds me of something off the first record. It’s definitely one of the high points of this record.