Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Sunday Conversation with Dead Man


When we first published our review of Dead Man's latest offering, Euphoria, I don't think either the Pope or I were halfway prepared for the furor that caused. The Ripple switchboard lit up like a christmas tree in Central Park. Immediately, Dead Man shot to the top of our most requested review chart and have pretty much taken permanent residence there ever since.

With that history, how could
we not invite the Dead Man crew for an interview. So joining us today on the Ripple couch are Krille and Jocke, kicking back to share their thoughts on music and the amazing psychedelic world of Euphoira.

When I w
as a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkle, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I looked at music, what it could sound like, how it could make me feel? What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Jocke: I was also a big Kiss fan when I was a kid and I still like them a lot. I started to listen to Beatles and Stones when I was around 12-13 years old. I listened to them because I wanted to listen to the same music as Kiss did. Later I began to listen to garage music like the “back from the grave” stuff and also a lot to obscure Swedish pop and R&B. In those days I played in several garage bands like The Roadrunners, The Strollers and Springtones. We had a lot of fun. In those days I was getting in to psychedelic bands like The Seeds and 13th floor. Seems like always been listening to old music. In the beginning I always liked the three first records with Kiss.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Jocke: I guess it’s different every time, but I mostly come up with a melody on the guitar and then I put the lyrics and later the bridge comes and so on. I usually start writing the first verse. I often don’t know beforehand what the song will express and I often get exited to see that the lyrics mean.

In songwriting, how do you bring the song together? What do you look for in terms of complexity? Simplicity? Time changes?

Jocke: Some times we change a lot and other times we leave it as the writer wanted it. We are always trying to get the song interesting and fun to play. I would say that we’re looking for the right sound.

Krille: I mostly write songs on my own, both music and lyrics, and then I present it to the rest of the group. I often have a clear view in my head of how I want a particular song to sound. On other occasions someone might have a riff or a melody, and someone else may have a different riff that go well together, and before you know it, you have the blueprints for a song. The song “The Wheel” is such an example. Marcus wrote the intro-riff and I wrote the rest of the song based on the feel of that riff.


Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Jocke: I look at my life, I get inspired by music, art and nature. I also get a lot of inspiration from traveling. But usually the songs tend come when you least expect them to come. I like to ride my mountainbike & I also like to cruise around in my Plymouth Valiant 64. Sometimes we write songs together when we drink beer or just hang out in the nature.


Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands.
Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?

Jocke: I describe it as R.O.C.K. Rebels Offending Cocky Kids


What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Jocke: I don’t know. We just want the audience to have a good time. And hopefully they like what they see. I usually don’t care that much about what other people think. I guess we’re just trying to play good and have fun on stage. But the music always comes first. We want to play as well as possible.

Krille: I think it depends on the song


The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?

Jocke: I guess we don’t really care about it. We’re releasing our records on Crusher Records and they help us a lot with the business side of it. We have no intentions of earning a lot of money on doing this. We just want to play good music that we like. I get motivated by making music and releasing albums. And it’s always nice to see that people all over the world buys our records.


Describe to us the ideal (realistic) record label and how you'd work with them, and they with you.

Jocke: I would say that Crusher are the best. I wish that they/we had a bit more money to do different things like videos and experimenting more music wise in the studio. And I would also like to do a Tour in Africa.

Krille: I’d like to see us signed to a record label with a huge budget that allows us full artistic freedom and that promotes us as if we were The Beatles.



Do you have a particular sound in your head that you try to bring out? Or is the creation process random a
nd spontaneous? Or both, or neither?

Jocke: Yes we have, but often the sound changes in the studio and the song becomes something else. I always walk around thinking this song should sound like this but in the end it never turns out the way I planned it to be. Sometimes I get what I want, but not always.

Krille: Both and neither.


Where do you see you and your music going in ten years?

Jocke: I cant tell, if I could predict the future I think I would predict something else than how Dead Man would sound he he he. No but seriously, its to hard to tell. Maybe we will get more acoustic???

Krille: Straight into the hearts of millions, hopefully!


What makes a great song? Who living right now writes great songs?

Jocke: The sound and feeling and also the lyrics means a lot to me. I listen to a lot of different genres and styles of music and I like different things in different kinds of music. I think Witchcrafts songs are good, I also like Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, The Accidents etc. There are a lot of good songwriters out there!

Krille: It’s kinda hard to pinpoint exactly makes a good song, but I guess there are a lot of things that are important. In the end I look for the groove or vibe of a song, the amount of heart and soul that the people playing put in it, rather then their musical skill or the production of the song. I like the song writing of Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, Dan Auberach of the Black Keys, The absolutely gorgeous works of Mariee Sioux and Sweden’s own folk wizards Jose Gonzales is another example of a songwriter I like. We also have close fiends that writes great songs; Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft fame, Rikard Edlund and Joakim Nilsson in the band Graveyard to name a few.


Tell us a
bout the first song you ever wrote?

Jocke: The first band I had included me and Anders, an old friend from The Roadrunners. He and I use to write crazy songs together. We didn’t have a clue how to do it but we did it anyway. I don’t remember which song was the first but an early song that we wrote was called "Fågelar." It was about this guy walking in the street seeing a bird in a store and he gets stuck there and tries to run away. Another song was about this guy sitting on his balcony reading a paper and dreaming about a girl driving a Mercedes Benz. Then he takes on his glasses and she’s there?!? We just wrote funny stories and Anders had an electric guitar so that’s more or less why we did it. My first song that I played live was with The Strollers, We had a horror theme on the concerts were we use to dress out as monsters and spit blood and so on. And I wrote a song for it called "Werewolf." I don’t remember much of it but it was a funny song.


Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Jocke: I don’t care which. I use all formats for different things, when I drive my car I usually listen to cd, when I ride my bike I listen to my iphone and when I'm at home In my basement I listen to LP´s. I guess the last one sounds best but I really don’t care that much about it.

Krille: Vinyl!!!! Miles from MP3 when it comes to good organic sound and dynamics. LP RULES!


What's the best record store in your town?

Jocke: BANANA MOON Records!!!!!

Krille: I couldn’t agree more with Joakim

Awesome guys. Thanks for everything and best of luck with your plans to take over the world!


Buy the CD


For this interview

Krille= Kristoffer Sjödahl

Jocke= Joakim Dimberg


Friday, November 28, 2008

Rumors Heard in MySpace, Episode 10

For all of you North American Waveriders out there, Happy Thanksgiving! We hope that you had your fill of turkey, football, family, and spirits. I wore my super elastic band trousers so that I could pack away as much good grub as possible. Rather than have turkey in him, Racer decided that ‘tis the season to be in Turkey. For the rest of the Waveriders around the world, well . . . Happy Whatever Holiday You’re Celebrating! We wish you all a peaceful holiday season as we are now officially on the high speed train towards Christmas. Buckle up! If you’re all wondering what to get me . . . I wear a 42 long. Anyway . . . back to the music. MySpace has again been bubbling with some interesting bits of music and news, so let’s get started, shall we?



Now available from Rock Ridge Records is the mega-talented Pat McGee. It seems that they’ve just acquired the rights to a number of his independently released albums, including the live General Admission from 1999. It features tracks from previous albums, From the Wood and Revel. Captured with his band, Pat soulfully strums through ten tunes, and all to the delight of packed houses at The Bayou in Washington, D.C. and The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va. Reminding me a bit of James Taylor, McGee plays some heartfelt soft acoustic rock. When listening to this album, pay attention to the bass work of John Small. Over the course of the first few songs, nothing really stands out, but about midway through, it’s almost as if he takes over the band. The dude’s got mad skills! General Admission features a couple of standout performances in “Can’t Miss What You Never Had,” “Straight Curve,” and the twelve and a half minute show closer, “Rebecca.” The album is one of those perfect Saturday morning albums. It rocks too hard for Sunday morning, but it’s mellow enough to get you moving around the house before heading out to enjoy your first day of the weekend. Keep it tuned here for more on Pat McGee. Word has it that he’s in the studio and nearing completion on a new album, which is entitled These Days and should be in stores March of 2009. www.myspace.com/patmcgeeband


Out of Livorno, Italy, The Wake has put together quite the little demo, and it’s spent a good amount of time rotating in my CD player. Sounding a bit like Porcupine Tree at times, The Wake incorporate some of the PT ambient sound with distorted and acoustic guitars, but retain a more straight up rock ‘n roll feel. Opening track, “Freeze” and “26th of May” are highlights as the two tunes show the wide dynamics of the band. Moody, dark at times, and melodic, these tunes give the listener a sense that there’s more to the music than one of two listens will give them. I’m uncertain on the availability of the demo, or if it’s actually being pressed as an official release. For more info, swing by their page and say “ciao.” www.myspace.com/wakeitalia


Have y’all heard Motorhead’s new album called Motorizer? It’s good. Fueled by alcohol and a crumpled up half pack of Marlboro reds, Lemmy and Co. have returned with the high octane brand of rock ‘n roll that only Motorhead can produce. The tunes are the typical blues based hard rock that we’ve all come to expect from the band. When we received this album at the Ripple Effect, we welcomed it with a sigh of relief. After sifting through countless CD submissions, most of which did nothing for us, we knew that we could count on Lemmy to deliver us from our doldrums and give us something that we could really wrap our ears around. Basically, there are no surprises here, however, I want you all to remember, Lemmy is 62 years old and playing this brand of to-hell-with-you-I-don’t-care-what-you-say rock ‘n roll. And not just playing it, but living it. And then, of course, kicking our asses with it. www.myspace.com/motorhead


From one of the oldest rocking bands to a couple of new groups, Illusion 33 and As Forever Fades are just beginning to get their noses bloodied by a sometimes harsh industry. But first and foremost, they’re out there writing, recording, and performing their brand of pop punk and metal, respectively. Now, say what you will about Poison, but I firmly stand by an early statement that I made that Look What the Cat Dragged In is one of the most fun rock ‘n roll albums of all time. I’m not saying to take it serious, just that it was album brimming with fun and upbeat music that you couldn’t help to smile to. I’m also not sitting here comparing Idaho’s Illusion 33 to Poison, but I do have the same overwhelming sense of happiness when I listen to the tunes from their new disc, Words in Stereo. Pop punk to the Nth degree, these guys come at you with such an upbeat and positive vibe that I can’t help but sit here shake my rump. In particular, the track “Late Night Romance” is a gem and makes for a fantastic soundtrack as I navigate my little Mario Brother across a virtual field of mushroom destruction and evil doing sewer dwellers. I should rescue the princess any minute now. www.myspace.com/illusion33


On the darker end of the spectrum, we have As Forever Fades and their new disc, Words Unclear. Gritty, start and stop metal that, played at top volume, will clear your neighborhood of any unwanted vermin. But don’t take that as meaning that the music is bad. No, no. Far from it. As Forever Fades deliver a blistering set of tunes that show more musical dexterity than one might expect, and beneath the layers of muscle flexing angst, the band adds momentary bursts of melody to make things more palatable. The title track is a definite attention getter as it shifts from searing vocal screeches to some massively well timed and interesting breaks, and then the hardcore-esque breakdown around the 1:30 mark is solid. Good work, gents! www.myspace.com/asforeverfades


Waveriders . . . this just in from Racer X. It looks like he’s stumbled on something as well. Pretty nice of him to chime in all the way from Turkey, isn’t it?
Coming to us from the musical Mecca of Idaho (did he just read about Illusion 33 or what,) Audio Moonshine come brandishing their homegrown brew of countrified roots rocking and definitely captured the Ripple ear. "Slow Motion," from the new disc, Let’s Be, is about as perfect a country rock/pop song you'll ever hear, with a dynamite vocal hook, strong singing, solid guitars and a melody that won't quit. Heck, the crew even throw in a mouth harp for good measure. The rest of the album follows suit. If you've got the taste for some roots oriented fun, check out their MySpace at www.myspace.com/myaudiomoonshine and see what the folks are offering. Beats the heck out of everclear every time.
Thank you, Racer, for that wonderful commentary. Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled report.


I’m gonna’ focus on a little bit of local SoCal talent right now. This band is practically in my back yard, hailing from San Diego, Firethorn have been kind enough to get a copy of their album Pollution for the Fountain of Youth into our hands. Well, it’s been played and deemed worthy of our attention. Playing a blend of alt-punk, Firethorn downright rock it with high energy tunes such as “A Looker Named Lexi” and “Down on Your Knees.” The lads just got back from a short tour that included dates in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and a handful of other northeastern cities. Keep an ear to the ground for these guys, as I’m sure they’ll be lightin’ it up as autumn turns to winter. In the meantime, they have a bunch of tunes that you can check out on their page. www.myspace.com/firethornrock


Also in San Diego music news, the legendary hardcore band Amenity is reuniting for a one off show on December 6th. They’ll be performing together for the first time in eighteen years and will be performing with Bumbklaat and Take Offense. The show will be held at The Warehouse on the corner of Newton and Beardsley in San Diego. This news got me pretty excited because as a young kid taking part in the local music scene, Amenity was one of the stalwarts and being at their shows felt more like being a part of something bigger than just a string of notes being put together to create music. It was more like being part of socio-political movement where equality was of foremost import. If you don’t know of Amenity, swing by their page and get a taste of “This is Our Struggle.” It’s an amazingly passionate tune that calls for change by peaceful means rather violent. The best line is “We’ll learn to meet hate with love. We’ll meet physical force with soul force.” Almost twenty years old and still coming across as vital. www.myspace.com/amenitysd


Finally, King’s X has released a video for the tune “Pray for Me” from the XV album. I bring this up for two reasons. First, the song is mighty fine and highlights the soulfulness of the band. Second, and almost as important, I’m in the video. Now, I wouldn’t normally go tooting my own horn over things like this, but I’ve been to so many freaking concerts in my life and I’ve never once had the opportunity to see episodes of whacky frivolity like the band getting doused with shaving cream during their encore or a band celebrating a birthday with an on stage food fight. To actually see my own gleaming skull in a video for one of my all time favorite bands, well . . . that, my friends, is reason to give thanks. Happy holidays and we’ll see you next month! - Pope JTE

Pray

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Proto-metal report - Budgie - We Came, We Saw. . . (Live on the BBC)

One of the most interesting things about Budgie is that they were one of the few proto-metal bands, originators along with Sabbath of the metal sound, that were able to survive and see their music evolve into true metal.

This transformation is never more clear than on We Came, We Saw. . . ."

After being an unheralded influence through the ‘70’s, crafting powerfully original proto-metal as far back as 1971, Budgie found the most unlikely renaissance at the Reading Festival in 1980. With NWOBHM riding high, Budgie took to the stage Sunday August 24th, after such NWOBHM bands as Tygers of Pan Tang and Girl and before Def Leppard and headliner Whitesnake and the boys simply cleaned house. Suddenly, everything they’d been doing for the last decade made sense. Instantly, they were propelled to the esteemed status of the Godfathers of NWOBHM.

One listen to this 2-disc CD set made up of Budgie’s 1980 and later 1982 Reading appearances, and it’s easy to see why. Always a great live band, the boys tore it up. The set, originally broadcast across the BBC, starts off with the kicking "Breaking All The House Rules." From the initial crowd noise, it seems that the punters didn't quite know what to expect when this aging band of metal forefathers took the stage, but from the initial pounding of Steve Williams's drums, leading into that great John Thomas riff, the crowd was sold. Burke Shelley's voice is in fine form, a little low in the mix, but that's not distracting. All you hear is a band at the top of their game playing incredibly tight. The ovation at the song's end tells you immediately that Budgie had won the crowd, and as the guitar riffs right into "Crime Against the World," none of the momentum is lost transitioning to the newer material.


The epic "Napoleon Bona Part One and Part Two," leads right into a rousing version of the then new "Forearm Smash," which devastates live, as does the full-on metal attack of "Panzer Division Destroyed." Unfortunately, the only version of the Budgie classic "Breadfan," a lost edit that wasn't transmitted over the BBC, starts off without the trademark accelerating guitar riff, which actually makes the song unrecognizable at first. But by the time the verses start, the band is flying high, pounding out a metal classic that Metallica would make famous fifteen years later.


Just as pleasing is the 1982 Reading appearance on disc two. While any denim wearing Budgie fan will tell you that Budgie’s last few albums didn't quite compare to their earlier work, the material still sounds great when the boys play it live. Just listen to the lukewarm reception “Truth Drug,” gets when introduced by Shelley, then the massive ovation after the boys pummel it through the crowd. Other later material like “Superstar,” and “I Turned to Stone,” all sound great when blasted through the Reading speakers.


Combined with the double-CD "Heavier Than Air," "We Came, We Saw. . ." demonstrates a band that somehow managed to slip through the collective grip of many rock fans. Certainly, in America, Budgie never got their due as a seminal force in the creation of this beast we call metal. Fortunately, Metallica, Soundgarden and Iron Maiden kept their music alive long enough for some recognition to flow their way, and as I understand it, the boys are still tearing it up live. Steve Williams told me that they just returned from a knock-em-dead tour in Australia, are getting some new material together and will hopefully hit the road again soon.


And damn it. They better get out to the west coast of the USA, this time. We got an entire Ripple staff lining up, just ready to see them. In the meantime, we'll satisfy our urges with this excellent two-disc platter. As the first official document of these two crucial shows, the shows that helped create the Budgie legend, you don't want to miss this one either.

--Racer

Buy here: We Came We Saw (Live on the BBC)

Buy here: Heavier Than Air: Live on the BBC

Buy here: The Very Best of Budgie




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday's Zen - The French Semester

HOT NEW BANDS ON WINSTON'S ZENDAR

Not many bands can claim such a varied international heritage as L.A based The French Semester. Consisting of well travelled New York born Indian, Riaz Tejani, who named the band after his time spent studying in Paris, a Mexican percussionist, a Vietnamese bass player, and and English drummer, The French Semester are proclaiming themselves the start of ‘immigrant rock’. And who’s gonna argue with them?

You might think a clash of such diverse influences is likely to cause a miss-matched arrangement, a sound that’s not sure what it wants to be. But that's delightfully not the case with The French Semester. These boys have absorbed their influences and combined them skilfully into tunes that speak in a recognisable tongue and reference their American indie present, rather than their disparate pasts.

The French Semester turn a trade in sun-baked, lo-fi Californian pop melodies, cleverly melded with intelligently abstract lyrics and warm sugary vocals to produce a laidback, cobbled-together sound that hides the complexity of their songs and sounds like The Beach Boys got young again and invited Grandaddy round to play.

Check out the excellent Arrowheadings taken from forthcoming album Open Letter to the Disappeared below, and then rush over to Last.fm to download this and two more tracks FREE.

The French Semester - Summer Face
The French Semester - Winter Song



Back soon, as always

Winston
Winstons' Zen


Monday, November 24, 2008

Khold - Hundre ar Gammal

Leafless trees stretch across this Norwegian mountain landscape, their trunks buried in snow, dormant and apparently lifeless until the spring’s first thaw. But that’s a long time from now. Now, the land is an imposing frozen wasteland where only the hardiest of creatures would dare to step foot from their warren. One of these warrens is a cabin overlooking a frozen lake with a lone fishing hut stuck in the center of it. This cabin is the last sanctuary to the elements. Animal pelts can be seen hanging from the eaves and are being blown at extreme angles by the bitter and biting northern winds. Four faces stare at the foreboding landscape through the cabin’s darkened windows. Four menacing faces that warn all trespassers that this is sacred ground and only the darkest of the darkest metal bands are allowed to leave their footprints in this hallowed snow.

While Enslaved may be the band stuck in the ice fishing hut in the middle of a frozen lake, Khold are the guys tucked in the darkened cabin, overseeing the natural domain of forever winter. Hundre ar Gammal is the soundtrack for these guardians. Though black metal in name, the album steers away from the blastbeat attack that has somewhat defined the genre. Hundre ar Gammal is a mid tempo, groove oriented opus that packs more menace than any kid named Dennis ever did. Gritty and textured guitar work and thundering bass lines propel the album, making it a head bobbing epic. The vocals, all sung in Norwegian, add an air of pain, despair, and realism that only a foreign tongue can produce. Beautiful in its ugliness, Hundre ar Gammal borrows from the dissonant brilliance of albums before it and Khold add their own unique spin to create a wondrous experience.

Opening track, “Der Kulden Rar” hits us right between the eyes with a mid paced piece that reminds me, at times, of Celtic Frost. Sparse guitar work through the verses give the song the air it needs to breathe, yet it’s these same sparse guitar passages played with an ornate quality that makes the song feel fresh. It sounds like there may even be a little ambient keyboard flourish hunkering around the background, which broadens the sound a bit. The vocals are incredible! Though sung in Norwegian, which is a language I know absolutely nothing about, it sounds familiar. Earthy and aggressive, the vocal lines portray the level of black metal dissatisfaction that I’ve come to expect.


“Hundre Ar Gammel” is freaking epic! From the opening groove and vocal belch, through the solo distorted bass line, and into the sludge groove of the first verse, this song is worthy of any heavy metal Hall of Fame. Keep an ear out for the little string bends that the guitarist whips out through the groove. Simple, but well crafted, “Hundre Ar Gammel” was the tune that made me realize that I could get behind this album full force. I love the chorus on this one as well, specifically the guitar work as it goes from the deep metallic grumbling and then shifts to the higher registers, providing a bit of light and shimmer to an otherwise dark and blackened piece of music. Most impressive!

Khold pick up the tempo a bit with “”Trolos”, and suddenly entertain us with a new wrinkle to the fabric of their being. Great dynamics as the instruments cut in and out of the mix! This tune has an almost straight up rock feel, but it’s the dynamics and darkness that will never make it truly accessible. Again, the guitar work is unique and compelling. Rather than simply bludgeoning the listener to death with a detuned riff, he’s incorporating cleaner tones and creating this perfectly addictive ambient feel. Khold may be categorized as black metal, but like the way Enslaved has stepped out of the black metal box and experimented with different sounds, Khold has done the same. Rather than go full fledged into the realm of experimentation, Khold has tweaked the tempos to be anything but typical.

“Forrykt” and “Rekviem” buck more of that tradition, dipping their toes in the pond of accessibility just enough to get a taste for the groove before going back into their snow covered cabin. “Rekviem,” in particular, is a haunting tune with its high pitched guitar melodies, lending a downright creepy and chilling aspect to the music. But it’s “Sann Ditt Svik” that gets me the deepest! With its swirling bass lines wisping about in the background and the guitars doing what they’ve done all album long (impress me to no end,) the tune has carved out a niche in my psyche and taken up residence. And the chorus . . . damn, I love it! I have no idea what they’re saying, but it sounds like dude’s yelling, “Snarch!” I have now adopted that as my war cry or curse when I stub my toe.


As I mentioned with the Enslaved review a few months back, this isn’t going to be for everybody. Folks who like their metal leaning on the extreme side should be able to accept Hundre ar Gammal, and I’d go as far as saying that those who just like their metal heavier than the norm will love it. People, get past the language barrier and remember that this is all about the music, the universal language. Though sung in a foreign language, the vocals work well with the music. The vocals have that rough texture to them, but don’t come across as forced and they meld within the context of the instruments fluttering around it. But beware, it’s a dark and foreboding listen! Sure, you’ll inevitably find yourself bobbing your head and movin’ to the groove thang, it’s just that it’s a darkened groove and you’ll begin to wonder if you’re actually dancing with the devil. To that I say, “Snarch!” Remember to travel the hills of Norway with a copy of Hundre ar Gammal, coz if you need to get out of the weather and that aforementioned cabin is in front of you, you’re gonna’ want to have proof that you belong there.
-- Pope JTE

buy here: Hundre Ar Gammal


www.myspace.com/metalmeathook (fan site) - posted tracks

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Sunday Conversation with Dimaension X

Avante-garde metal, progressive metal, symphonic doom metal. All of these are terms that could be used to describe the mountain of music created by the one man metal destroyer, Dimaension X. Known as Dave to his wife, we brought Dimaension in to the Ripple office and plopped him down on our red leather couch for a Sunday spot of tea, some crumpets and some doom metal. And just as the good man says in this interview, his heart is in his music, not money, so all of his albums are available for free download on his myspace page.

Is this a great world we live in, or what?



When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkle, the first time I ever hear Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I looked at music, what it could sound like, how it could make me feel?

What have been your musical epiphany moments?


3rd Grade - a friend of mine brought his older brother’s Black Sabbath “Paranoid” album to school. We didn’t like the music, but we played the introduction to “Iron Man” over and over and over - ya’ know, the part with the heavy, spooky footsteps, then the “robot voice” goes, “IIIIIIIIII AAAAMMMMM IIIIRRRROOOONNNN MAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaannnnn…..”
To an eight-year old, THAT was the coolest thing I’d ever heard. I begged my parents to by me the album - and they DID! I have never been the same.

And that album is part of my genetic structure. To this day, I can probably play the whole album by heart.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

- All kinds of ways. I mainly use my “Word/Phrase” Composition method, which is explained in my blog somewhere. I assign letters of words an equivalent musical note, and this may become a bassline, a chord progression, or a chord itself. This just gives me odd combinations of musical notes that I might not think of, and the chords don’t always make sense. The point is to “make” them make sense. It’s all about how you play the notes.


Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Blogs like The Ripple Effect have introduced me to so many different types of music that I would never find on my own. Hearing a new band usually gets the juices flowing. I also love Frank Zappa, and listening to his stuff almost always sparks new ideas. I read a lot of music reviews, sites like Transcending the Mundane, Chronicles of Chaos, Satan Stole My Teddybear, and a few others are always good.

Check out a site called Avant Garde Metal. Great, interesting stuff.

Oh, music and recording forums where you can post your own music. There’s always other real talented people posting their own music that inspires me to be better.

Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?

Actually, “avantgarde-metal” is pretty good, … experimental instru-metal?? Progressive Metal??

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

I want them to feel like they are going on a journey. I want my music to start somewhere and take you someplace else. I want it to inspire them to want to play music.


The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?

I don’t ever intend to make a penny. I play what I want, when I want to. If I don’t feel like it, I may not touch my guitars or instruments for months at a time. Record labels have deadlines and commitments. So do bands. I have none. To paraphrase the incredible Mr. Robert Fripp, I will play Dimaension X music when it needs to be played.


Where do you see you and your music going in ten years?

Hopefully better and more interesting. Perhaps not quite as “metal” as time goes on, but I still love the sound of a big, distorted electric guitar, and interesting, complex drumming. Maybe more fusiony, but not as “wimpy” as John McLaughlin has turned out to be. Sorry John, I love ya, but what happened to that incredible tone?

What makes a great song?

If my wife is humming my music it must be pretty good for her to even remember it. Though I probably can’t hum much Allan Holdsworth, but I love just about everything by him. Dunno. You just hear it and it stays with you (in a good way).

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

We’re going back about thirty years now. An acoustic guitar with new steel strings - I was just hitting the low E right near the bridge, letting it ring, then hit an F, then the F#, then back down to F. It just sounded so cool, with my ear pressed to the vibrating guitar body.

In songwriting, how do you bring the song together? What do you look for in terms of complexity? Simplicity? Time changes?

I guess I don't really think of it that way - if a riff or beat is in my head, I just try to find a way to play it, whether it is complex or simple. Which is dangerous, because I can think of very complex things, but I can only play with a limited ability. This is where MIDI programming is a HUGE help. I get frustrated when I can't play my own ideas. I had to heavily edit a lot of the sections on my most recent album ("1st iZ LaZt" - just posted the other day) because I couldn't play the guitar parts that I imagined.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

I think I am really very proud of my cover of Frank Zappa's "Orange County Lumber Truck" (available at my Soundclick page, or at zappafan. net). Zappa's music is often very difficult to figure out, so when I actually figure out a song, it just feels like such a great accomplishment. Also, the whole "I Am Become Daevel" was such an achievement, too, finally bringing to life music that had been sitting there for seven years.

When you write a piece of music, do you consciously write from the mind set of being different than what's out there now?

I thinks that's the very reason why I create music in the first place - to do something that no one else does. Or to combine styles that no one else would even think of combining. To create something that only I seem to be hearing. Hopefully. I like to throw weird little covers of weird songs in the middle of an unexpected section. Like playing parts of "The Sound of Music" in the middle of a metal song.

Who today, writes great songs? Why?

Opeth
craft some incredible melodies. Mike Akerfeldt has become one of my favorite artists. Their music is so complex, yet melodic. Heavy and soft. Great dynamics. Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree also has this incredible soft voice that spews forth some pretty disturbing lyrics over these incredible thick atmospheres. Ihshan (formerly of Emperor) also creates such heavy, yet beautiful music full of loud and soft parts. Variety is so important, yet is must be cohesive.

Do you pattern your writing style after that of your "heroes?"

For my "guitar-solo" songs, I definitely try to imagine what it would sound like if Sonny Sharrock were jamming with Frank Zappa's rhythm section. Just listen to one of my "solos", and I think you'll hear it. If my guitar style is patterned after anyone, it would be Sonny Sharrock. And my backing rhythms always feature a kind of complex, ostinato bassline, and very active drums, just like Zappa did.

For my other songs, I really don't know where they come from other than the odd combination of listening to Pat Metheny and Anaal Nathrakh consecutively.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

I can’t stand audiophiles who insist Vinyl is the only way to listen to music, scratches and all, because “that’s how it’s supposed to sound.” Sorry, the scratches mean it’s time to clean the needle and wipe the record off.

As far as CD or Digital, they’re both fine be me. I still buy CD’s. I don’t have an I-Pod yet. Someday. I do tend to listen to most music through headphones early on Saturday and Sunday mornings before the rest of the family wakes up.

What's the best record store in your town?

Newbury Comics. I love that place. They were the first place where I was actually able to find some of the music I was reading about, like Sigh, Krisiun, Emperor, … though I do download a lot of stuff, I still go to Newbury Comics to actually buy Cds of the bands I really like, and DVDs of live shows. My wife thinks I should have a small apartment in the store.

Thanks for taking the time with us, Dave. Now back to the basement with you. You have more music journeys to create!

This was fun. ThanX for the invite.

www.myspace.com/dimaensionx

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Clash - Live at Shea Stadium

Sometimes, the fans take over and help to create the band. Letters scrawled on a blank wall, word of mouth praise whispered through dirty basement clubs, can bring a band more notoriety than a thousand PR folks could ever pray to create. And every once in a while, one of those fan created slogans becomes legendary.

Two such slogans come to mind; the graffiti image "Clapton is God," and the widely resounded description of the Clash as "the only band that matters." While the Clapton slogan is up for debate, you'll be hard pressed to get me to disagree with the second. At their peak, the Clash truly might have been the only band that mattered.

This brand-spanking new release of the legendary Shea stadium shows the Clash played for two nights in support of the 1982 Who farewell tour, finds the band at their commercial, if not their musical, peak, fresh off the massive across the board success of Combat Rock. For years, rumors had leaked out that these tapes existed, with a few tracks leaking out here and there, but it wasn't until the tapes were unearthed by Strummer during a move that the full power of this live recording came to life. And no matter how you slice it Live at Shea Stadium is a triumph, a fascinating historical and musical document.

Rather than riding high on their new found success, the band was in the midst of falling apart. Drummer Topper Headon had just been kicked out for his descent into heroin addiction, replaced by original drummer Terry Chimes. Within months, the band had reached full implosion, both Chimes and Mick Jones leaving for friendlier pastures. So what does a punk band, more accustomed to playing small theaters and arenas, sound like, on the verge of self-destruction and playing warm-up for one of the all-time classic bands of rock and roll, in front of 72,000 of the Who's screaming fans?

Fricking fantastic.

Rather than being intimidated by the setting the Clash seemed to have sublimated that energy, pumping out a performance just bristling with energy and punk attitude. From the first guitar chord of opener "London Calling," to the final resounding echo of "I Fought the Law," Live at Shea Stadium captures a band who were dead determined to blast the shit out of the audience and take no prisoners in the process. Opening for the Who or not, Strummer didn't care. With the band's introduction still fading into the rainy New York night, the mohawked Strummer grabs the mic and barks out "Welcome to the Casbah Club!" his declaration that the fans may have come for the Who, but damn it, they were getting the Clash first. In retrospect, it seems he didn't have to worry about that, as the raving cheers from the audience confirm what the New York Post had reported, that "there were as many Clash fans on those nights as Who fans." Still, the Clash weren't going to take any chances and went on to pound "London Calling," through the sound system with all the passion and raving energy of an invading army, stomping on the Who's sacred ground. Strummer's voice was in fine form as he screamed out for his generation to take up the rebellion.

"Police On my Back," rages out next, met with a sweeping ovation from the crowd. Brimming with pure punk energy and abandon, this is probably the definitive Clash version of the song, fierce, choppy and furiously pounding. And from there, the set never lets up, unleashing a hurricane of energy to combat the pouring rain. Old classics or new songs off the Combat Rock disc are each belted out with passion and fury. "The Guns of Brixton," pounds at a faster clip, sounding more urgent than on the London Calling album and is followed by the full-on punk assault of "Tommy Gun."

High octane permeates the entire disc, most of the songs rocking with a fiercer abandon than heard before, particularly "Rock the Casbah." Stripped of its piano intro, the boys play it as a flat-out raver, raw, infusing it with a punkish energy that's mostly lost on the studio version. The same could be said of the standard, "Train in Vain," sounding somewhat harder edged when blasted through the Shea crowd. All of which leads into my favorite track on the disc, the fully energized version of "Clampdown." Long one of the Clash's best songs, it positively rages here, roaring in protest and anger. If one song could ever be said to best epitomize the Clash sound and message, this is it. And I defy anyone to find fault with this live version.

Each performance is tight and strong, from Strummer's raving vocals to Jones's slashing chords and Simonon's throbbing bass. Throughout the show, Terry Chimes does an admirable job of stepping into the drum stool, moving from the punk classics of "Career Opportunities," the pop rock of "Spanish Bombs," or transitioning from the speeded-up funk of "The Magnificent Seven," right into the dub of "Armagideon Time," and back again flawlessly. And through it all, Strummer proves to be a nervy showman, both basking in and needling the 72,000 people in front of him. At one point during a breakdown in "Police on My Back," he admonishes the audience to "Stop talking in the back. It's too loud and putting us off the song now. We're trying to concentrate, so stop yakking!" Later, during the opening of "Guns of Brixton," fully aware that many of the Who's fans may have no idea who these young punk rockers were or what their music was about he barks out, "Mr. Paul Simonon is going to bring you, walking in the "Guns of Brixton." Yeah, ask your neighbor what it's about!"

"I Fought the Law," rocks with all the energy you'd expect, this performance being the one filmed and captured for the song's video, leading right into the furious ender "I Fought the Law." By this time, I can only imagine 72,000 people pogo-ing in unison, Who fans trying desperately to remember who they'd come to see that night.

I don't know what the whole tour was like that year, rumours have it that it teetered on disaster. But for that night, the Clash held it together. A breathless, triumphant performance by a band determined to take the stage that night, ignore the rain and rock the crap out of the place. Opening band or not, no quarter was given. No mercy for the elder statesmen who had to follow and try and match the young punks energy. No, on that night, there's no disputing, the Clash were the only band that mattered.

--Racer

buy here: Live at Shea Stadium (Deluxe)



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Field Report: Heavy Young Heathens, Part I


When I walked around the corner of Brick By Brick and saw that the big doors were open for the bands to load their gear, I was pretty certain that I’d be walking into a room full of band members, roadies, club security, and groupies. To see one somewhat disheveled guy rooting around through road cases overflowing with gear was a bit of a surprise. And, when I ultimately recognized this guy as none other than Aron Mardo from Heavy Young Heathens, I knew that the heavens were looking down on me with favor. Not that I wouldn’t have been okay slithering through a crowded room to find my mark, it’s just easier when that person is the only one standing in front of me.


After some witty greeting, I handed over the bottle of whiskey that I’d been holding for the band, thankful to get the liquid temptation off of my desk and into the hands of one the original friends of The Ripple Effect. At the sound of the commotion brought on by the fabled bottle of booze, brother Robert peered out from behind a mountain of gear with blinking lights, in an attempt to make sense of the madness. We greeted each other, shook hands, and rapped for a lengthy amount of time. They answered all of my questions about their new gig as Heavy Young Heathens, and I tried to answer all of their questions about The Ripple Effect. I soon realized that these cats were as approachable as any Joe on the street. Actually, more so. They didn’t once come across as pompous musicians, but as very forthcoming and open people who just so happen to play music for a living.


I had expected the night to be like any other night of me catching a live band or three. Mentally capturing the moods, the emotions, the energies of the live music as only live music can give, and turning around to report my experiences to you, the loyal reader. But something different happened this night. Something that I least expected. I witnessed firsthand the day to day struggles of two musicians who have nothing but their God given talents. That, and a drive to ensure that they create good music that satisfies their inner muse, while enticing their listeners to put enough money in their pockets so they can feed their families. This is a night where I realized that I was in the presence of two truly dedicated musicians who consider what they do as more than a job, but a lifestyle. There’s no day job, this is it. There’s no safety net . . . cross the tight rope or plummet to a crushing defeat. This is Aron and Robert Mardo taking their latest project, Heavy Young Heathens on the road for the first time.


As the Heathens grabbed a quick bite to eat prior to the gig, they were kind enough to ask me to join them. How could I say no? Sure, I had already filled my stomach with more food than I could possibly digest, but this would prove to be a glorious opportunity to sit down and have a quiet chat. I followed the men to the adjacent restaurant and achieved a greater understanding as to why the brothers pulled the plug on their last project and stripped this current one down to the bare minimum. Rather than get pulled down by those who weren’t pulling their own weight, yet getting paid nonetheless, the brothers Mardo decided to trim the fat from their musical adventures and go at it on their own. Just the two of them. Loaded in a van filled with a ton of vintage gear, heading across these great United States. No roadies. No tour manager. No baggage.


This got my noodle cramped, for I am one who loves accommodations. Sure, I could travel with a change of clothes in a back pack . . . for maybe a week, week and a half. But travelling in a van across the country, sharing cramped hotel rooms with my brother, and eating only if I packed enough food or had a good gig? It’s a mettle that I am not made of, my friends. That’s where that job versus lifestyle comes into play. For the brothers Mardo, it’s all about the music. They eat, breathe, and shit the stuff. You want to know about great music? Just ask the Heathens. They can regale you with stories of where they’ve been, who they’ve seen, who they’ve known, and what they’ve done. I only sat with them for a half hour and, knowing that I only scratched the surface, feel like I walked away with a lifetime of rock ‘n roll history.


Once the meal was over, we continued our conversations to the back alley of the joint. The low rumblings from the opening band, The Shamey Jays, vibrated the walls with a bluesy surf vibe. I missed the opening set, totally enraptured by the tales from Aron. I noticed that Robert parted our company for a few minutes to make a call to his wife and ten month old back home in L.A. That moment will forever be engrained in my mind. The wandering minstrel, silhouetted by the city lights, one hand to his ear, the other tucked in his front pocket. Torn by his love for music and his love for the solidity of family. It was a touching moment as I heard him whisper, “I love you,” and returned his attention to the events of the night.


Some twenty minutes before Heavy Young Heathens were set take the stage, one of the sound guys for the venue brought some ill news that the normal sound guy was nowhere to be found and that he had a prior engagement to take care of, so . . . Heathens, you’re on your own. My heart stopped in mid beat and I began going through all of my past history with working sound. Yeah . . . right. There was none. I wasn’t sure which side of a guitar cable goes to the instrument and which one goes to the amp. (Guess what Waveriders . . . they’re the same. I could have actually passed that portion of the test.) And, without a moment’s hesitation, Aron chimed in with, “No problem. I can do it.” Just the attitude I’ve been writing about from the beginning of this piece. The Heathens take care of themselves. We don’t need no steenkin’ sound man!


After a bit of delay in trying to figure out which channels did what, Heavy Young Heathens took the stage and hammered out the wrinkles for the tour that would take them from Dallas along the major cities of the east coast and then cross country for a few gigs in the southwest, before wrapping it all up at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Despite being plagued by the iffy sound, mics not working when they should, and general rust from not being on stage in quite some time, I was impressed with the high energy and professional approach to the set. In particular, I was moved by the performance of “Drawn from Memory” as Robert picked up the acoustic guitar, strummed the passages, and sang as heartfelt as one would expect from someone who lives what they write.


The gig ended and the lads moved their gear from one side of the stage to the other, methodically breaking down gear to more easily transport it to the rear of the venue. The rear of the venue, of course, being an alley way inhabited by a rank smelling dumpster and a cavalcade of homeless. Ah yes . . . the glamorous life of the travelling musician. I kept company with Robert as he further broke down the gear and Aron conducted business with the clubs management. It was at this point that I saw the stark reality of what these young men face in their lives. Hard work. And lots of it. As kids, we’re all fascinated with the sparkle of the lights and amazed by rock stars and their feats of wonder. Most of us know by now that the glamorous reality is for a select few that made some pact with some unknown deity. For the majority of the musicians out there, the reality of the music business is hard physical, mental, and emotional work. This reality came screaming at me as I helped the brothers load Aron’s bass rig into the van. Dear God! New found respect, my friends.


The doors on the van were slammed shut and it was time for me to head home. I shook hands and exchanged hugs with the brothers Mardo, and wished them a safe journey home and then across the nation. And as I waved good-bye, I realized a friendship was born. The friendship wasn’t born with that infamous bottle of whiskey. It was born in spite of that. It was born from a mutual respect for the work that the other does. Get on board or get left behind. Grab an oar and paddle or get the hell out of the boat. The same mantra that Heavy Young Heathens chant, Racer and I ping back and forth to each other on an almost daily basis. Gents, I’ll see you in a month or so. - Pope JTE




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday's Zen - The Unstoppable Team

HOT NEW BANDS ON WINSTONS ZENDAR


If I told you, my loyal and discerning Zen readers, that Manchester based four piece The Unstoppable Team mix up an enticing blend of funk-led, indie infused, white-boy Mancunian hip-hop, you’d probably stop reading immediately and click on something less ridiculous. Unless you’d heard of them before, you’d be thinking “Jesus, that sounds awful.” And you’d be right. On paper it sounds like a tasteless hotchpotch of misagligned styles. But ever since the likes of New Order and the Stone Roses, Manchester has had a reputation for musical innovators. More recently acts like Mint Royale and The Ting Tings have pushed boundaries, merging seemingly opposing genres to the delight of their army of fans.

The Unstoppable Team look set to carry on this tradition.

So, in the interests of keeping you reading, and ensuring you don’t miss this little gem I’m not going to tell you that Manchester four piece The Unstoppable Team mix up an enticing blend of funk-led, indie infused, white-boy Mancunian hip-hop. [Did I do it again? Damn.] What I am going to tell you instead, is that The Unstoppable Team make party tunes that sound at times like The Twang have got together with the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and formed a Black Grape tribute act.

Hmmmmm…..I’m not selling it very well, am I?

Grab a beer, roll up a spliff, click the play button below and listen to the cracking demo ‘Get Back’, and you’ll see what I mean. Then head on over to 7digital Indiestore to download their debut single ‘Stoned Feeling’.

The Unstoppable Team - Get Back

Having played their first gig as recently as October 2007, they’ve risen quickly and have already supported Mike Skinner protégés The Mitchell Brothers, and secured themselves a slot on the Late ‘n’ Live stage at this years Glastonbury festival [Hip Hop? At Glasto? You’ll be telling me next that Jay-Z is playing. What? Headlining? Blimey.] These unlikely looking Brit-hop pioneers are possessed of a live act that by all accounts raises roofs and even has the notoriously difficult to move, masculine half of Manchester on it’s feet.

Big things to come? Unstoppably.

Links:
The Unstoppable Team on Myspace
The Unstoppable Team on Last.fm
The Unstoppable Team on iLike
Download ‘Stoned Feeling’ from 7digital
Glastonbury Late ‘N’ Live stage


Keep up the goodness people.

Back soon,
Winston
Winston's Zen

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rose Tattoo - Blood Brothers

Back in the late seventies, if you were an Aussie bloke in search of some seriously hard rocking, blues-based, riff mad, pub rock and roll, there were three bands you looked to. AC/DC, The Angels and Rose Tattoo. Well, we all know the AC/DC success story. The Angels (aka Angel City) were never able to overcome their name confusion and get the acclaim they deserved and eventually called it a day, and Rose Tattoo? Well, Rose Tattoo just kept rocking on.

Lead by the frantic, rough-hewn vocals of legendary madman Angry Anderson, Rose Tattoo endured line-up changes, untimely band member deaths, and stuttering stops and starts, but now, in 2008 the Australian masters of brawl and plundering rock have come roaring back, releasing another in a long line of quality rockers upon the unsuspecting public.

Whereas AC/DC was content to run around in a school boy uniform, and The Angels soared on the leather throated punk madness of their lead singer Doc Neeson, Rose Tattoo never bothered with constructing an image other than their tattooed bodies and biker gear. These guys just lived rock and roll. Tattooed up the wazoo, bald, fiercely ugly and damn proud of it, you get the feeling that if anyone of these blokes ever took a good one in a bar fight, he'd just bleed axle grease. This is pure Harley Davidson, fuck-you-if-you-don't-like-it, rock and roll.

Near legendary in Australia, Angry Anderson may be better known to most Americans for his role as Ironbar Bassy in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. But don't go thinking this diminutive ball of spitfire, oil stains and hell is a novelty singer. Anderson's voice, always strong and raw, as if his throat had been stripped of all it's endothelial lining, is also surprisingly telling, able to carry a ballad or a balls-out rocker equally well. All of which leads us to this new platter of petroleum power.

"Black Eyed Bruiser," let's us know right away that Anderson, now 61 years old, hasn't lost any of his fucking moxie. "If you see me walking down the street/you better get out of my way," he wails with power in his leather lungs and you better believe him. Sixty years old or not, I have no doubt that the man could kick my ass, eat my lunch and send me the bill for the privilege of crossing his path. In fact, I place the Angry one right up there next to Lemmy as being the only two sixty-year olds who can still rock with more fierce abandon than a whole state full of pretty boy pretenders. Powering out a stuttering, ass-crunching riff behind him, the band sounds invigorated and raw, plowing at you like the sputtering rawness of a Harley motorcycle on full throttle. "Slipping Away," drops immediately into another stuttering riff before leaping into the foray, like a man jumping into the midst of a raging brawl. Despite the bands 4/4 beat power, a real melody lies underneath the slamming AC/DC-esque riffs. No matter how you slice it, this one's a corker.

"Once in a Lifetime," rages out on the strength of another bloody knuckle and bruised fist riff, telling an outlaw tale of rebellion and salvation. "1854," is an honor-bound track to the spirit that formed the country down under, riding another fantastic riff through the raging chorus. While mention of AC/DC will always follow Rose Tattoo in the nature of their rock, and there is a similarity between their styles, "1854," shows that the boys can rip out a riff mad rocker without being derivative of their native cousins. This is mature song writing, melody heavy, strong and fierce and as solid as anything Angus has put out in a while. Just a pure, straight ahead rocker.

And from there, Rose Tattoo just never let up. With their Harley's pointed off towards the horizon, they rip through the blues-based "City Blues," the steroided-up hard rocking blues muscle of "Sweet Meat," the roaring "Man About Town," the hard rocking gritty riff fest of "The Creeper," all the way to the charging near punk sex-up to a vixen who comes complete with her own assortment of lubricants and devices, "Lubricated."

While Blood Brothers was originally released in 2007, this re-release SpecialTour Edition comes complete with a DVD of the boys tearing it up Live at Wacken in 2006, giving you a chance to see for yourself that there's no way you'd want to cross they blokes in an alley on a darkened night. Crap, I bet even their six-year old kids could beat the hell out of me. And I'm an old rugby player!

It's been nearly six years since Rose Tattoo's last explosion of down under anger, 2002's Pain, and that, my friends, is six years too long. We need this shit. We need some real rock and rollers to come in and blow all the crap off our CD players. And that's what Rose Tattoo does, shoving a blasting cap up the collective butt of rock and roll. They don't care about fashions or trends. They don't give a flip about fads. Never once have they tried to be the "it" band. They are the real deal. Living, breathing, bleeding rock and roll. They just want to crash their Harleys through the front door of some unsuspecting watering hole, pound down a slew of beer, beat the fuck out of some posers at the bar, eat a few steel chains for breakfast, then ride back out into the outback sunset. Rocking all the while. Just fucking rocking all the while.

--Racer

Buy here: Blood Brothers

www.myspace.com/rosetattoo




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