Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Turisas, ZZ Top, Scatterbrain, Down, Ugly Kid Joe

This week's shuffle finds me preparing for battle, digging a little double entendre and laughing along with a forgotten gem ...

Turisas, “As Torches Rise.” From the album Battle Metal (2004). Symphonic, epic, folk battle metal. I don’t like this song quite as much as the title track, but it’s still great fun in a campy sort of way.

ZZ Top, “Hairdresser.” From the album Rhythmeen (1996). Though it’s on the end of the band’s commercial, electronic period, I really think Rhythmeen is a very underrated album. There’s still a little of the electronic stuff, but there are also some hot licks from Billy Gibbons, including some from this song. And there’s nothing quite as fun as ZZ Top double entendre.

Scatterbrain, “Don’t Call Me Dude.” From the album Here Comes Trouble (1990). It’s pretty sad that Scatterbrain has been mostly forgotten. This song, and the whole album, is incredible fun. Yeah, it’s a bit of a novelty record, but there are also some fantastic thrash riffs and funk metal runs throughout. I still enjoy the hell out of it.

Down, “Stained Glass Cross.” From the album Down II (2002). Seven years after their first record, Down returned with a more earthy, bluesy and sludgy album. “Stained Glass Cross” is one of my absolute favorite tracks from the album, and I think one of the band’s most underrated songs. It really captures, I believe, a bit of the essence of their New Orleans background.

Ugly Kid Joe, “N.I.B.” From the album Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath (1994). In the pantheon of tribute albums, this was, in my opinion, one of the best ever released. I wasn’t sure about a cover of “N.I.B.” from Ugly Kid Joe, which was largely a novelty act, but they played it very straight and surprisingly well. It doesn’t compare to the original, of course, but it’s still a great cover.

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