Monday, February 29, 2016

Stuck in my Head: Zakk Wylde, "Sleeping Dogs"

I remember being extremely excited about Zakk Wylde’s solo album Book of Shadows back in 1996, and then supremely disappointed. Loving his work with Ozzy Osbourne and Southern rockers Pride and Glory, I expected a scorching set of metal tunes. What I got was a collection of mostly soft, acoustic numbers, and I hated it.

Fast forward 20 years, and I have developed a much greater appreciation of Wylde’s acoustic work. In fact, I think it’s some of his best work, and some of the tunes from Book of Shadows are among my favorites.

I’m generally opposed to “Part 2” albums because they create an expectation that they can almost never live up to. But I have to admit that my interest was piqued when Zakk Wylde announced that he’d be releasing Book of Shadows II in April.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Shuffle: Flotsam and Jetsam, Testament, III, ST, Ratt

This week starts strong with an underrated album and ends on a mediocre note.

Flotsam and Jetsam, "Empty Air." From the album Drift (1995). Drift is far and away my favorite Flots album. I loved the slightly more progressive tone of it. "Empty Air" is one of the heavier tracks from the record, and it's got as much power as anything that the band has ever recorded. A fantastic song from a fantastic record.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Shuffle: Prince, King's X, Dream Theater, Sabbath, Ashes of Ares

A quintessential 1980s pop tune, a classic metal moment and a great live performance from one of the most underrated bands ever ...

Prince, "Delirious." From the album 1999 (1982). Remember when we all thought 1999 was so far away and would never come? One of the hits from 1999, this tune has a quintessential 1980s pop synth riff, but it's still a lot of fun in 2016. It may come off as a bit cheesy today, but just a few seconds in and you'll be bobbing your head. There's no video available because it's Prince, but you know how it goes.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: Hank Williams Jr., "It's About Time"

The title of Hank Williams Jr.’s latest album seems most appropriate. At least, it sums up what I’m thinking as I listen to what might be his best complete album in years: It’s About Time that Hank remembered he’s a musician and not a politician.

That’s not to say that there’s no political content on his Nash Icon label debut. His cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “God and Guns,” for example, certainly qualifies. But the commentary comes from a far different place here than the soapbox pandering that he’s so often done in recent years. It’s closer to the sentiment on “A Country Boy Can Survive” than on, say, “Keep the Change” from his last record. The political content here is more a statement of personal belief than a forced attack on other ideologies, and you can respect that.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday Shuffle: Doro, Skid Row, Skynyrd, III, Manowar

Returning to the shuffle after a while with some good old-fashioned metal, a nasty hard rocker and some Southern flavor, as well...

Doro, “Revenge.” From the album Raise Your Fist (2012). I don’t know why I don’t listen to Doro more. I loved her work with Warlock, and it seems like I enjoy her solo work when I hear it as well, but I just don’t listen all that often. “Revenge” is just a driving, old-fashioned traditional metal ripper, pretty much what Doro does.