Monday, September 29, 2008

Rumors Heard in MySpace: Episode 8

I can smell it. Can you smell it? It’s a good smell. Well kept sod being upturned by the cleated foot of the North American football player. The anxiety of children and parents as schools begin the tedious grind towards summer. The exhaust from the Zamboni as it prepares for the Ripple Effect’s favorite sport of them all. The smell of autumn. Strain those nostrils, my friends, and you may catch a whiff of a turkey dinner in the near future. Contrary to what that silly song, this is the most wonderful time of the year! And to keep us company as the temperatures start to decline, there are news and notes aplenty regarding the bands that we keep finding on MySpace. Let’s get started, shall we?

A bunch of bands have new albums coming out or are in the process of compiling their work for release. The first group are no strangers to the pages of the Ripple Effect. Sweden’s Trettioariga Kriget are preparing to release a double live CD package on October 24th and is called War Years. In fact, it’s the bands very first live album from the band. Disc one is a collection of performances between 1971 and 1981 and covers a bunch of tunes from the first three albums. The second disc captured the band in 2004 during their all too brief stop in the U.S. for the Progday Festival in North Carolina. There’s also some tracks from their latest album, I Borjan Och Slutet. If, for some reason, you prog fanatics haven’t picked this album up, stop reading this now, go to the bands web page (, order the album, wait patiently for it to arrive in your mailbox, and then enjoy one of the best albums out there. Also, while you’re on the bands page, pre-order War Years and the band will include a free disc with 5 bonus tracks. Being that I have more Trettioariga Kriget in my collection than I do The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, and even the mighty Zep combined, you know I’ll be first in line for all of that stuff. Word that I also received from some key sources is that Olle Thornvall, lyricist for the band, has shelved the project of writing a book on the bands history and instead has included an extremely in depth piece for the CD’s booklet. Racer . . . how are the preparations for the move to Stockholm going? And, do you think Stefan Fredin will adopt me once we get there?

There’s a band lurking in French underground called Hollow Corp. You may have read my review of their latest album, Cloister of Radiance, in these very Ripple pages. If they peaked your interest like they did mine, then the news that they’re working on the follow up as I feverishly type these words, should increase your heart rate about, oh I don’t know . . . twenty? Twenty-five beats per minute? The word from the band is that it’s going be “heavy as hell.” As long as it’s not, “Hot, hot. Hotter than Hell,” we should be in good shape for an outstanding set of music from one of the more intriguing extreme metal bands out there.

Ever hear of Hectic Watermelon? If the answer is no, then you’re not reading enough of The Ripple Effect. I stumbled on these guys a few weeks back as they opened for King’s X and found that everything that I ever believed true in music was now being questioned. Now, that’s some kind of power to have someone questioning their beliefs after a half hour burst of “post-Zappa-commando-fusion,” but I swear. I’m a convert to the jazz fusion thing. These guys blew apart the wall that I had built to oppose this type of music like they were being led by an ex-Navy Seal. Oh wait . . . they are being led by an ex-Navy Seal. Anyway, in all seriousness, lead HWM commando and guitarist John Czajkowski has informed me that he’s putting the wraps on a project with drum extraordinaire, Marco Minnemann. After listening to a bit of Marco’s drum work, I can see where Czajkowski’s excitement is stemming from. The project is called Normalizer 2 and should be ready for everybody’s ears in the coming months. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Czajkowski and HWM have begun writing and recording for a new Hectic Watermelon album. I’ll do what I can to keep y’all up to speed on this front.

The lads of Seattle’s Gunshen have passed word that they’ve almost completed work on their new disc entitles, SuperBuffet. If this new disc is half as good as Stew, then it’s still going to be better than the majority of the music being pushed across the airwaves. Gumshen have found the magic formula to creating dynamic and interesting music in short and concise alternative punk pop tunes. You can swing by their page and it looks like they’re even allowing you to download four of the five tunes from Stew for free. I mean, c’mon! It doesn’t get much better than that. We also have a commitment from Gumshen to swing by the radio show on October 15th and throw out some tunes that they think the world needs to hear about. Make sure you tune in for that! I will certainly be there!

Hair metal fans unite and rejoice. Live and unfettered, Saints of the Underground are here to remind you why you loved '80's metal in the first place. Featuring rock veterans and multi-platinum artists Jani Lane (Warrant), Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper), and Robby Crane on bass, the newly released debut CD is already causing a buzz around the industry. What originally started off as a jam session turned into a fully formed band that just begs for you to dust off those old leather pants, do up the hair and get back to rocking. Released by Warrior Records, Love the Sin, Hate the Sinner features enough old school groove with enough modern rock to capture fans new and old. Check them out at

Braintoy are back in the news, and for good reason. A little bird told me that there are a couple of major labels taking a long, hard look at our boys from north of the border. The only question that I have is, why do they need to take a long, hard look at these guys? They’re working too hard, if you ask me. In an effort to not jinx the work of the band and potential labels, I’ll leave the labels names out of this, but I am free to tell you that they are BIG labels with lots of money behind them. So, if I can put my two cents out there (like I’d stop if you said no,) sign Braintoy and support the hell out of them because they’re one of those special bands that are doing something unbelievable. They write strong songs with great lasting melodies and their tunes come across with that much needed conviction that tells the listener that these guys are in the business to create beautiful, heartfelt, and honest music. Hell . . . I’d put a suit and tie on right now if it gave me the power to sign these guys!

In concert news, the Roadburn Festival is coming up. Sure, it’s a ways out still, but it’s taking place in Tilburg, Holland from the 23rd to 26th of April, 2009. I’m uncertain who all will be performing at this gig, but I do know that the legendary Oakland, California based Neurosis is headlining the thing. Now . . . I know very little to nothing about Neurosis. I think I saw them open for Rollins back in . . . ’90 – ’91? That’s really it. Well, I went by the Roadburn page and heard the lead Neurosis track that they have posted and, dare I say it? I think I Rippled myself. I’ve found a love for this band and I’m a stone’s throw from hopping over to Amazon and one click purchasing their entire catalog. Just thought I’d mention it.

On the bummer side of things, two events have recently occurred that have put a damper on the normally cheery confines of the Ripple office. First and foremost, we wish Andrew with Attic of Love a full and speedy recovery. He, apparently, was hit by a car while riding his bicycle home from work and sustained some pretty bad injuries to himself. Fortunately, the outcome wasn’t worse. Andrew suffered from a cracked vertebrae and a slipped disc, but there was no paralysis. Be a pal, stop by the band’s page and wish Andrew the best.

The other piece of crummy news comes from our friends across the Atlantic in Norway. Obscure’s rehearsal space was destroyed by fire a few weeks back, and along with about fifty other bands, lost all of their gear. I’m uncertain to all of the details because the report was in Norwegian, and much like my Swedish, I’m very spotty with my translations. From what I gathered, the bands are hoping for some government assistance with the purchase of new equipment. Mates, we wish we could help further, but all we have is our good intentions and heartfelt concerns. Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze, which means that they all have the means of picking up the pieces and doing it all over again.

In retaliation towards the police violence that arose during the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the socially conscious punk rock trio Ted Leo and The Pharmacists released an EP entitled Rapid Response. All proceeds from the release are going to the legal defense fund for those arrested during the fracus. Ted has some things to say about the whole situation, and I can't help but feel that this whole thing is going to hell in a hand basket real quick. The "freedom" of speech is a very limited freedom, my friends. Please, think before you vote. <>

Finally, I want give a shout out to one of the music sites on MySpace, All About The Music ( . One time Prosthetic Records intern, Alex Gilbert has stepped out on his own and is, like the title of the page reads, all about the music. He did a great interview with one of my favorite up and comers, Skeletonwitch, and I’m sure there are more goodies in store for us soon. Alex has been a great supporter of the Ripple and, likewise, we’re trying to be a great supporter of his work. Stop by, check him out, and if you’re a band reading this, you may want to get in touch with him. He knows people who know people, if you know what I mean. I’m outta’ here . . . y’all be good to one another. Peace! - Pope JTE


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

You find some great stuff. I'll take a listen. So do I detect a hockey fan here? Its the only sport I like.

The RIpple Effect said...

Barbara - Thanks so much for noticing the fun stuff we keep digging up! As for the hockey . . . oh yeah! When football season kicks in, it tells me that hockey is right around the corner. The finest sound next to good music is the sound of a skate blade cutting through a sheet of ice.


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