Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Playlist 2016 Week 4: Rob Zombie, THC, Metallica, Holy Grail, Lacuna Coil

A couple of surprises and a little strange holiday cheer as the playlist rolls on.

"Get Your Boots On! That's the End of Rock 'n' Roll!" Rob Zombie. This album was one of the surprises of the year for me. I haven't been that interested in anything Zombie has done in a while, but this album was pretty entertaining. The chorus of "Get Your Boots On" is like his love letter to rock 'n' roll.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday Sabbath: "Fairies Wear Boots," from Paranoid (1970)

One instrumental piece leads into another as “Rat Salad” gives way to the intro to “Fairies Wear Boots,” sometimes referred to as “Jack the Stripper” and sometimes not on different releases of the album. Oddly, I’ve always thought the intro to the tune was a little over long, and I couldn’t wait to get to the swinging rhythm of “Fairies Wear Boots.”

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Saturday Night Special: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, "First Snow"

To be honest, it just hasn’t felt like Christmas to me this year. I’ve been super busy with work. The weather where I live, for the most part, has been more like summer. My son’s too old for my annual pilgrimage to the toy stores, and as I write this (a week or so before you’ll read it), my tree sits in my living room undecorated. It’s been a strange year.

Part of the reason, I know, is that Santa Claus ended for my son last year, and I think that also took some wonder and excitement out of things for me. So, in hopes of finding some holiday cheer, I turned to an old favorite, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and they delivered.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Playlist 2016 Week 3: Megadeth, Charred Walls of the Damned, Anthrax, Zakk Wylde, Whiskey Myers

Week 3 of my 2016 playlist goes from heavy sounds to brutal imagery before ending on a happier note with a little Southern rock.

"Bullet to the Brain," Megadeth. Another classic thrash band makes the list. I'll admit this record had to grow on me quite a bit. I didn't like it at first, but at the end of the year it has a shot at cracking my year-end list.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Sabbath: "Rat Salad," from Paranoid (1970)

After the dark and dreary “Hand of Doom,” the instrumental “Rat Salad” provides, perhaps, a brief ray of light amongst the doom and gloom.

I’ve always felt that this tune had the feel of a jazz number. It’s still heavy, of course, but I could easily hear the distorted guitars rearranged for horns and a big band playing it with gusto. Iommi’s guitar solo kind of takes the shape of a horn solo in a jazz tune. Though I often hear people talk about the jazz influence on Sabbath, particularly in the drumming of Bill Ward, I don’t often hear it as clearly as I do on “Rat Salad.”

Monday, December 12, 2016

Playlist 2016 Week 2: Jackson Taylor, Metallica, Delain, Amon Amarth, Wicked Realm

In the second week of my Playlist 2016, we'll go from country to Viking death metal with a detour through the 1980s.

"Which Way is Up?" Jackson Taylor & The Sinners. If any song perfectly encapsulates 2016, it's this title track from Jackson Taylor's latest release. It expressed my feelings exactly as most everyone around me seemed to lose their minds in a particularly nasty election year. It's a message that I believe everyone needs to hear before this year is over.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Playlist 2016 Week 1: Metal Church, Anthrax, Testament, Death Angel, Jackyl

Last week, I started sharing some of my favorite songs of 2016 over at the Facebook page. I wasn't planning any posts on those here, but what the hell? Here's a look back at the first week's worth. (These are in no particular order, other than the way they come to mind.)

"No Tomorrow," Metal Church. I'm calling this the year of the classic thrash band, as so many of my old favorites turned out fantastic records. Let's the get the playlist started with the return of Mike Howe to Metal Church, a most welcome reunion.