Thursday, March 31, 2011

Classic Rock Attack - Featuring Robin Trower, Thin Lizzy, and Deep Purple

When you’re a classic rock fan you get used to new & supposedly improved versions of your old favorites getting re-issued every few years. Usually it’s just an attempt by the record label to generate some revenue on something they don’t have to spend a lot of money to create. That’s probably the case with this batch, too, but each of these releases gives the consumer some decent value for money.

Robin Trower - At The BBC 1973-1975

First up is Robin Trower At The BBC 1973-1975. Do I even need to tell you how great this is? This 2CD set is a mandatory purchase for Trower fans and anyone who loves outstanding guitar playing. This is Trower leading his excellent trio with James Dewar on bass & vocals during their peak time together. Reg Isidore plays drums on the 1973-74 sessions and is replaced by Bill Lordan for the 1975 recordings. There are two radio sessions from 73 and 74 and one from 75, recorded for John Peel and Bob Harris. They’re not playing live in the studio, but basically re-creating the classics from the essential albums Twice Removed From Yesterday, Bridge Of Sighs and For Earth Below. Most of the versions tend to be a little faster and rawer since they were done quickly in a day at a radio studio. Trower’s playing is inspired as always and the vocals of James Dewar are warm and inviting. The best part is a live BBC concert broadcast from 1975 that rivals the official Live album issued the following year. The 8 page booklet is a little light on photos but contains good liner notes from Malcolm Dome of Kerrang and Classic Rock fame. Might be a little pricy since it’s an import but completely worth it.

Buy here: At the BBC 1973-1975
Buy here mp3: At The BBC 1973-1975

Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak and Johnny the Fox: Reissues

I’m sure everyone reading this owns Thin Lizzy’s 1976 twin peaks of Jailbreak and Johnny The Fox on at least 1 format. If you own the original LP’s, the playing surface is probably destroyed and the covers have water rings from inconsiderate friends leaving their empties on them. The CD’s issued in the 90’s suffered from low levels and flimsy packaging, they’re now both double discs with improved sound and fancy full color booklets. The remasters of the original albums sound great and the volume level is up but not overly compressed. The bonus material on the 2nd discs contain some remixes done by Joe Elliot of Def Leppard with some new guitar parts added by Scott Gorham. I was a little worried about this, but they all sound good but I honestly don’t think I’ll listen to them all that often. The BBC sessions, however, I will, especially the extra fired up versions of “Warriors,” “Emerald” and “Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed.” Works in progress like “Scott’s Tune” and “Blues Boy” are cool to hear but, again, probably not gonna play those a whole lot. There’s a very funky instrumental run through of “Johnny The Fox” that’s very cool, you can really hear that they’re having a good time getting the groove right on this song. The booklets come with great photos, liner notes and new interviews conducted by Neil Jeffries. The UK label Back On Black has reissued both of these albums and other jewels from the Thin Lizzy catalog on heavy weight vinyl. If you’re not sure whether to get the CD’s or LP’s, I’d say get ‘em both. You work hard, you deserve it.

Buy here: Jailbreak: Deluxe Edition
Buy here mp3: Jailbreak (Deluxe Edition)

Buy here: Johnny the Fox: Deluxe Edition
Buy here mp3: Johnny The Fox (Deluxe Edition)

 Deep Purple - Come Taste the Band: Reissue

Last up is a real classic rock connoisseur favorite, Deep Purple’s 1975 overlooked gem Come Taste The Band. As a huge Ritchie Blackmore fan, I avoided this album for many years but as soon as I let my guard down I realized just what a great album it is. Tommy Bolin’s playing is unfuckingbelievable and he’s one of the guys that helped bond me with the two clowns that run this website. I think I’m on a first name basis with just about everyone on the planet who loves this album. The reissue of Come Taste The Band follows the template laid down by the awesome Machine Head double disc. Disc one is the original album with excellent remastered sound and a bonus track of the 7” edit of “You Keep On Moving.” Disc two is a remixed version by Iron Maiden’s producer Kevin Shirley (he’s also responsible for the awesome audio on the double live Led Zep DVD). The remixes don’t sound drastically different but the guitars and the drums are a bit more upfront. The best part is that the songs are all longer. No fade outs or edits and there are some minor differences in the vocals and lyrics. Bonus tracks include a previously unreleased song called “Same In L.A.” that’s pretty cool but the best is the final track “Bolin/Paice Jam.” Who wouldn’t want to hear almost 6 minutes of Tommy Bolin blazing away accompanied by one of rock’s greatest drummers? Fucking excellent!


Buy here:  Come Taste the Band


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bully Blinders - City of Dirt

My investigative team and I were standing in the middle of Balboa Park in San Diego, California.  All of our research had led us to this exact location a month ago.  Upon scanning the area with subterranean radar we discovered the tunnel entrance.  It took a month of careful excavation to arrive at this point, the day that we would enter the tunnel.  We arrived a little before seven forty five in the morning, ready to document this momentous occasion.  All three trucks were unloaded, our two large tents were erected, and our prodigious supplies and equipment were organized and readied.  With any luck, it was going to be a long day filled with illuminating insights into a long forgotten society.

The cameras began filming at eight thirty while my team removed the last impediments blocking the mouth of the tunnel.  After everything was cleared away, I turned on my powerful flashlight and strode into the unknown with my camera crew following close behind.  By my estimation I walked about a hundred meters down the tunnel with not one twist or turn before I reached a modest sized room.  The room was a rectangular space with no ornamentation on the walls, and what appeared to be a clay pot on the ground.  To be frank, I was upset.  I expected much more from this tunnel than a featureless room that held nothing of interest, and I voiced my displeasure.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!?  Why go to the trouble of tunneling a good distance underground if all it leads to is an empty room?  I’m sorry…a room with a pot?”
“Mr. Penfold.  Why are you so upset?  This room might appear to hold nothing but a pot, but we need to properly analyze it before jumping to any conclusions.”
“Analyze this room?  Are you serious!?  I can hardly believe that anyone could…okay…breathe man.  Take a few deep breaths.  You know what Mr. Underling?  You’re right.  I let my hopes run away with me.  Of course you’re right.  Thank you my friend.”

No matter what I might admit to the others, I was still disillusioned.  Not thinking, I leaned sideways and put my hand against the wall right above the pot letting it support my weight.  Suddenly the wall around my fingers crumbled and gave way!  Half my arm disappeared inside the opening before I gained my balance!  Flashlight beams danced every which way as my crew rushed to my side.  Thankfully my careless stupidity had not been rewarded with any physical injury, only monumental embarrassment.  The same could not be said for the wall however.  Fissures continued to form, and the affected portion of the wall completely disintegrated all the way down to the floor.  All in all, this was not one of my shining moments as an archeologist.

The disgust I felt for myself was quickly wiped away when I cast a glance towards what lay beyond the hole in the wall.  Nothing interrupted the pitch black darkness beyond the opening.  When I shined my flashlight through the opening I received the same visual result.  This new room/area appeared to be very large, perhaps massive.  Now I was becoming excited.  This could be it!  Without consulting anyone on my team, I ducked my head down and passed through the wall.  Once I was on the other side I took ten steps forward and began shining my light in all directions.  I simply could not believe what my eyes were seeing.  Stretching away into the distance before me was an ancient cityscape.  This was the fabled City of Dirt!  We were standing in what might be the greatest archeological find of the new millennium!

Waveriders, I want to tell you about another important find.  This one is of the musical persuasion, and it could not have come at a better time.  For whatever reason I often encounter stretches where I am unable to find new hip hop artists (new to me at least) that genuinely pique my interest.  I know that they are out there waiting to be discovered, but I apparently lack the means to make their acquaintance.  In these circumstances I rely on others to steer me in the right direction.  Thankfully I have a few friends and coworkers who can do just that, including the great Racer X of The Ripple Effect.  Recently, Racer sent me out onto the internet superhighway to investigate a group named Bully Blinders, and the rest as they say is history.

Bully Blinders is a hip hop duo based out of San Diego made up of William Talls and Chad Tuthill.  In January of 2010 they put out their debut album entitled City Of Dirt, and it is that album which we are going to be talking about today.  To put it mildly, City Of Dirt is fantastic!  Honestly, I knew from the very first song that I was in for something good.  Track number two let me know I was in for something special!  This album is a perfect example of what I’m looking for in hip hop; intelligent, well-delivered lyrics backed by interesting, organic-sounding music.  As I alluded to before, these elements coalesce immediately in the first song.

“The Spirit of John Dewey” bounces to life behind an ultra funky organ/base/drum backdrop.  Honestly I’m not familiar with American philosopher John Dewey’s work, so I am not able to fully decipher the meaning behind this song.  That being said, when the first lyric concerns man’s ‘connection to insects in general / and to anything else in the world boasting wings, legs, and tentacles’, you have my attention.  The second song, “Aim Low Kid”, guaranteed my full and undivided attention with its attack upon the it’s okay to be dumb mindset and the rationale offered behind it.  Here is part of the first lyrical verse to illustrate what I’m referring to.

‘Well okay, it’s cool to be dumb in school / Girls you can play the bimbos, guys you can be the tools / But it’s not your fault, you just do what your told / and what you keep getting sold is the idea just to aim low / Single family homes are up to sixty percent / No time to raise your kids, so they end up learning from the TV sets / eliminating arts from the curriculum and class, so they do just enough to get up, make the grade and pass.’

The highlights keep coming.  There is the feel good ode to delicious cereals “Continental Breakfast”, and the fantastically woven together pastiche of eighties sitcom characters, show titles, and storylines entitled “The Charlie Sheen Theme”.  On the emotional flip side there is the seriously contemplative “Can’t Imagine”, and the sobering look at reality of “You Only Hear What You Want To Hear”.  My personal favorite is called “30 Feet Above Dirt”.  This song is a smooth, laid back story of a man who builds a treehouse to get away from his worldly troubles.  It’s awesome!  Actually, analyzing everything there is not one song out of the nine that I would not consider a highlight.  All nine are keepers!

So there you have it waveriders.  If you are looking for something funky and interesting that deviates from what can be considered the norm in mainstream hip hop, look no further than Bully Blinders’ album City Of Dirt.  If you are anything like me, this album will act like a breath of fresh air.  A palate cleanser if you will.  Oh, and the group has stated that a new full length album is in the works, with a planned release date later on in 2011.  You can bet that I’m looking forward to that release with great anticipation!  Now to check back in with the team.

I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that all our work had paid off!  We were standing in a whole city lost to time!  My team and I rushed out of the tunnel to get more cameras and equipment.  We were in the process of loading ourselves down when the small army of men in black suits approached.

“Who are you?”
“Mr. Penfold, we’re with the government.  I’m afraid that your excavation is finished.  For your own safety, we are going to seal that tunnel.  Also, it would be wise for you and your team to never mention what you have seen here today.  Am I understood?”
“Hold on a second!  You can’t do this!”
“Yes we can sir.  Now pack up and leave the area.  Anyone who does not leave will be forcibly evacuated.”
“But…I…fine, have it your way…for now.”
“Thank you for your cooperation sir.”


Buy here: City of Dirt
Buy here mp3: City Of Dirt

Global Music Effort Launches "Songs for Japan" Album on iTunes to Benefit Japan Disaster Relief - Proceeds from Star-Studded Album to Support Disaster Relief Efforts of Japanese Red Cross

 In what stands as a major global music relief effort to benefit those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, over 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music have joined together for the worldwide release of "Songs for Japan," an unprecedented compilation of 38 chart-topping hits and classic tracks, available worldwide on the iTunes Store for $9.99 starting today ( Proceeds from the album's sale will benefit the disaster relief efforts of the Japanese Red Cross Society.


The "Songs for Japan" track listing features an all-star lineup: 
1.        John Lennon "Imagine" (Remastered)
2.        U2 "Walk On" (Radio Edit)
3.        Bob Dylan "Shelter From The Storm"
4.        Red Hot Chili Peppers "Around The World" (Live)
5.        Lady Gaga "Born This Way" (Starsmith Remix)
6.        Beyonce "Irreplaceable"
7.        Bruno Mars "Talking To The Moon" (Acoustic Piano Version)
8.        Katy Perry "Firework"
9.        Rihanna "Only Girl (In The World)"
10.        Justin Timberlake "Like I Love You"
11.        Madonna "Miles Away" (Live)
12.        David Guetta "When Love Takes Over" (feat. Kelly Rowland)
13.        Eminem "Love The Way You Lie" (feat. Rihanna) [Clean Version}
14.        Bruce Springsteen "Human Touch"
15.        Josh Groban "Awake" (Live)
16.        Keith Urban "Better Life"
17.        Black Eyed Peas "One Tribe"  
18.        Pink "Sober"
19.        Cee Lo Green "It's Ok"
20.        Lady Antebellum "I Run To You"
21.        Bon Jovi "What Do You Got?"
22.        Foo Fighters "My Hero"
23.        R.E.M. "Man On The Moon"
24.        Nicki Minaj "Save Me" (Clean Version)
25.        Sade "By Your Side"
26.        Michael Buble "Hold On" (Radio Mix)
27.        Justin Bieber "Pray" (Acoustic)
28.        Adele "Make You Feel My Love"
29.        Enya "If I Could Be Where You Are"
30.        Elton John "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"
31.        John Mayer "Waiting On The World To Change"
32.        Queen "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)" [Remastered]
33.        Kings Of Leon "Use Somebody"
34.        Sting "Fragile" (Live In Berlin)
35.        Leona Lewis "Better In Time"
36.        Ne-Yo "One In A Million"
37.        Shakira "Whenever, Wherever"
38.        Norah Jones "Sunrise" 


Proceeds from "Songs for Japan" will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) to support its disaster relief efforts. The society will use the funds for the ongoing provision of immediate relief and for eventual recovery support to the affected population. The artists participating on "Songs for Japan," the music labels and music publishers have waived their royalties and proceeds from the worldwide sales of the album to ensure that the JRCS receives as much support as possible from this global initiative.  iTunes will also donate its proceeds from the album's worldwide sales to the benefit of the JRCS, and has prominently featured the project throughout its stores worldwide.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Modern Day Moonshine - Refuge

A friend of mine has an original drawing by Bruce Burton of “The Family Tree Of American Rock.”  Here are a couple of photos of a poster made from the original drawing posted by Violator @

The tree is made up entirely of the names of American rockers and rock bands.  Trailblazers, such as Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, are deeply embedded in the tree’s trunk. Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, ZZ Top, Beach Boys, James Gang and their ilk are relegated to branches and leaves.  It is a heady drawing - a wonderful artistic tribute to the breadth, scope, and growth of rock music.  

As I listened to Modern Day Moonshine’s release “Refuge” The Family Tree Of American Rock came to mind. The content of “Refuge” is as if Modern Day Moonshine (“MDM”) guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Todd Goodnough came upon the Family Tree and shook it as hard as he could. Leaves and twigs fell to the ground. Goodnough and his bandmates, bassplayer Brendan McCaskey and drummer David Burrows, then assembled a collage of twelve original tracks from the scattered debris. You have a branch of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; a bit of Bob Dylan bark; a slice of Dave Mason heartwood; a cone or two of the Doobie Brothers; a few stray needles of Allman Brothers; and some Atlanta Rhythm Section sapwood covered with “Champagne Jam.”  There is even a leaf of Brahms from the nearby Family Tree Of Classical Music Composers.

MDM generally mine the Folk/Country/Alternative Rock genre. Yet, there is also a nice soul blues ethos.  CSN&Y had a particular acoustic and electric guitar sound that was led by Neil Young and Steve Stills.  Goodnough has much of the same approach in his guitar work.  McCaskey thumps and bumps with precision and Burrows pounds out impeccable time with nicely played rolls and fills.  The notes sound like the buds of spring.  Each bursts into being and turns into a musical food factory.  Tasty stuff!

Yes, MDM’s latest endeavor is under the Ripple label.  True, The Ripple Effect is a Ripple enterprise.  Also true, I don’t get paid to do this by Ripple or anyone else.  If I didn’t like it you wouldn’t be hearing about it.  

MDM’s music on “Refuge”  definitely soars in the canopy of the The Family Tree Of American Rock. It won’t leave you out on a limb.  I guarantee it!

- Old School

Buy here: Ripple Music 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ripple News - Roadsaw S/T Now Available for Pre-order on 180 gm Vinyl

You know we loved this album.  Doesn't matter if we got the CD or the digital download.  If it's coming out on vinyl, we're buying.

Limited edition of 100 on clear blue 180 gram wax.

This a pre-order. Estimated to be in stock by late April/early May.

The highly anticipated new album from the mighty Roadsaw!

Unbelievable guitar tones on this one, folks; every song just dripping with fuzzy love. Who can make an album that's heavy as fuck, while simultaneously delivering hooks that will have you singing along before you've even made it through your first spin? ROADSAW, that's who!!!

Roadsaw - S/T (Clear Blue 180gr Vinyl)

 Buy from Small Stone

The 1-10’s – – Fighting for a Golden Age

“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to join in holy matrimony the love of  rock and roll.  This is the Reverend Red Hot Chili Peppers Presiding.  Please rise as the wedding party approaches, grab both of your ass cheeks and shake that shit like you just don’t care no more!”

That’s the way I see it anyways.  What we got here is one balls-out jamfest of damn funky, gritty rock and roll that sounds like the result of a shotgun Tennessee nuptial of the quirk funk of Primus with the mid-American-rootsy twang rock of Blind Melon.  Throw in a big nod to the ass moving grooves of the presiding Reverend Red Hot Chili Peppers and a wedding party full of the dirty guitar work of Queens of the Stone Age and we got ourselves a wedding for the ages.

The Groom?  He’s all rock baby.  As on the scorching opening track “Run From Your Master," his guitars flame and fire over that rock steady rhythm section like hornets dive bombing a playground.  Screeching with some fuzz and feedback, his riffs are complex, heavy, yet tasteful.  His tone is rather light, not brutal, again reminding me of the scratch of Blind Melon.  He’s not afraid of time changes, neo-jazzy textures, deep bluesy riffs, or pure unadulterated stoner fuzz.  He brings a quality of serious musicianship to the proceedings.  I like him. He’s a good man.

The Bride?  She’s got booty for days!  One of those big, nice and round booties that just wants to shake and groove all night long.  She's sexy and hot and brimming with lust.  She loves her bass tight and funky. She likes her beat locked firmly in the ass-shaking vein.  No one stands like a wallflower at her wedding.  Just dig that Primus bass freakout of “Dyin’ Blues”.  And then when the stuttering guitar of her man joins her on the dancefloor, Reverend Chili Pepper just can’t be content at the podium. He’s got to jump down to the dancefloor and work his white collar into a hot and sticky mess.  This is southern groove funk/rock and it’s guaranteed to keep the hotties moving on the dancefloor.  Love to see this live.  She’s a true beauty.

The wedding party brings lots more to the party.  The best man sings like a combination of Shannon Hoon and Anthony Kiedis (except he actually knows how to carry a tune.)   He’s a countryboy through and through with a gentle twang to his voice, but not afraid to rough it up at times.  At others he’ll spit it out like a Keidis stuttered rap. (don’t worry, he never ruins things by actually rapping.)

The best man’s toast is given to “Religious Fervor”, just a terror of blistering, blues-fuzzed guitars with a backbone of pure funky delights.  Think Screaming Cheetah Wheelies here (who were a helluva lot better band than they ever got credit for).  Ballsy, kinda retro, dirty and rough. Blues with attitude and a dose of  pure rock. 

Every wedding needs a first dance, and “Eye for an Eye” slows things down enough for the bride and groom to lock bodies and sway in lustful delight.  Beautiful guitars brought by the groom marry seamlessly to the bride’s love of the funky in this slow-boiling number.  Off-kilter harmony vocals really bring this song to the highlight reel, as the two voices lock together in just off-time unison

Then the party’s got to get started and the 1-10’s blow the doors off with the mean-spirited blues-infected, heavy jam of “Crazy for You”.  Again, we got it all here, the whole wedding party losing themselves in a hedonistic delight of Blind Melon guitars, big funky bass runs.  This song builds and dips like some sexual event, perhaps bringing on the passion of the wedding night to follow.   A little Zeppelin influence here?  Sure, they shoulda been invited to the party.  They’re in the corner hanging with the Screaming Cheetahs.  Just digging this one.

Mr. Primus leads the party through another mid-american rock/funk workout with that amazing basswork of “Dragon Fly.”  Another mid-tempo burner with some lava-lamp guitar, this one ups the sexuality big time.  The bride is getting hot.  The groom is horny.  Together they weave their bodies through the undulating groove, back and forth.  This song is so hot, the entire wedding party can smell their sex.  It’s gonna be a helluva night. 

From there . . . I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.  Let’s just say that the 1-10’s really bring it here, rocking fast and heavy all the way til the last bottle of champagne is finished.  This is a wedding full of pure fun, damn fine funk, searing rock, Blind Melon mid-American roots, and a Primus excentricty.  I read a review where the writer felt the band was too “all over the place” for him to get into it.  Not me.  I’m into it.  Way into it.  I’m shaking my ass with the bride.  I’m jamming heavy rock air-guitar with the groom..  I’m giving the Rev Chili Pepper a big, wet one on the lips, and grabbing Mr Screaming Cheetah, hitting the keg and throwing back the whiskey.

And just look out.  Later on I’m planning on sneaking into the honeymoon suite.  I’m gonna be a part of that too.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stone Axe Auctions off Rare Original Test Pressing of Stone Axe I for Japan Disaster Relief

Starting Monday, March 28th, and running for 7 days only, Ripple Music and Stone Axe will auction off the only available test pressing of Ripple Music's release; Stone Axe I Collector's Edition LP.  Proceeds from this auction will go to benefit Hands On Tokyo, a charitable relief effort to aid Japan after their recent disasters.

Only 5 of these test pressings exist, and this is the only one ever to be made available to the public.  You can jump into the auction, win a cool Stone Axe collectible and benefit disaster relief at the Ripple Music Ebay Store.

Also, plan to catch Stone Axe on Tour in Europe and the UK, ending at the world famous Roadburn Festival.

Tour Dates:

8th April -The Wheatsheaf, Oxford (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Desert Storm)
9th April- The Unicorn, Camden, London, UK (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Grifter)
10th April- The Earl, Sheffield, UK (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Groan)
11th April- The Captains Rest, Glasgow (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Low Sonic Drift)
12th April- Asylum 2, Birmingham (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Alunah)
14th April- The Vortex, Siegen, Germany (with Stubb)
15th April- MTC, Cologne, Germany (with Stubb+more)
16th April- Roadburn Festival, Tilburg, Holland

Stone Axe is the creation of Mos Generator guitarist Tony Reed and The Swinos vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff and should be adorning the shelves of all fans of big time, blues-injected classic rock like Free, Bad Company, and early Moody/Marsden Whitesnake. This is big time, ball bashing, groove-laden, riff mongering blues and roll, directly related to those bands from the past, but streamlined right here into our future.

Press raves about Stone Axe - Stone Axe I."

"In the end a vastly satisfying album, infused with a genuine passion and love of the classic '70's rock. It's like Mr. Wizard dialed the 1970's into his wayback machine, grabbed the best of the lot and dropped it right here into the lap of the two dudes capable of bringing it all back to life, as big and beautiful as it ever was, and revved up for the current day. This is straight on rust and whiskey blues rock and roll, remarkable in it's depth and warmth, brimming with authenticity and moxie. I've seen that the album and some singles are available on vinyl and that would be the absolute best way to savor each texture the guys create here." -- The Ripple Effect

Gumshen - What You Make It

Every time a new Gumshen CD is hand delivered to me by Postman Sal, I get overwhelmed by a mixture of emotions. First, it’s elation. Sal inevitably cringes and recoils in fear as I burst from behind my desk, give the old dude a bear hug, and thank him for being conceived, his parents for conceiving him, and his parent’s parents for conceiving them. He’ll leave and I’ll return to my chair, staring with that gleeful smirk that I get. Second, I’m overcome with this sense of privilege and power, for I have the new Gumshen in my possession and you don’t . . . Ha! Take that you cretins! Then, there’s the crash of reality. Third, I’m dropped into a mirthful state of depression, for how . . . how many more words can I hammer out to describe what I know will be a sonic thrill ride without repeating myself? I mean, I’ve reviewed the bands last three releases, they have achieved that near God-like stature in my music collection. Where can I go with the written word? And then it hits me . . . WWGD. What Would Gumshen Do?

I had to channel my inner Gumshen. Plain and simple. Even if I never achieve the godhead status of Gumshen with my own craft, the very least I can do is make the attempt. So . . . here goes:

What You Make It is technically the fifth release from this musical wonderment known as Gumshen, the fourth under the actual Gumshen name, and arguments will rage for evermore that this is the best recording to date. That argument will last only as long as you’re playing it . . . and then you’ll go back and drop in March of the Februaries, Super Buffet, or Stew and you’ll swear those are the best. What I’m getting at is this: Gumshen never fail to deliver a product that will please you as a listener, inspire you as an artist, challenge you as an intellect, or frustrate you as a music critic. I say frustrate because writing about these guys is one of those exercises in futility, for one will never actually capture the true essence of the music by merely chucking a bunch of words onto a page. What describer can I possibly plant in front of my nouns and verbs that I haven’t used before? Ah ha! I’ll make up my own! No . . . no, that’s just silly.

“Not Every One Of Us” opens the disc with a great modern pop-rock sound (no . . . not the sugary treat that explodes in your mouth), crisp guitars and keys plinking a simple little melody, the drums join in and help build the tempo, the bass saunters on in and adds the sultry textures . . . and then Ron Hippe’s vocals stop the world and we melt into a puddle of ourselves. At times, I hear a resemblance to Daryl Hall in that voice. Soulful, yet with a playful air, Hippe’s voice gets me on this track much like it did on “Dandelions” (Stew) or “Gone Too Soon” (Super Buffet). The song as a whole is a marvelous piece of music and another great example of how this band can compose a four minute track to sound like a mini-epic. The use of volume swells, added instrumentation at the chorus, changing tempo and mood . . . it’s all worked to perfection to create a song that takes the listener on a journey to soaring heights.

Now follow that track up with “I Know You Girl”, get ready to polish off the platform shoes and get your 70’s dance floor funk going on. The song starts with a cool piano piece that kind of sounds out of place in light of where the song goes, but is way cool nonetheless. Once the band kicks in together, we’re hand delivered a track that should be the highlight of any dance club on this, or any other planet. I can hear it now being remixed by every mix master this-that or another and filling every club with sweaty bodies gyrating to this funky ass bass line. I love the guitar line over the rhythm . . . it’s just the dynamic texture that separates this rhythmic groove sound from all the rest of the hyper hip shakers that have come before it. Classic Gumshen. The re-interpretation of a musical style. Create a sound, push the envelope on where that sound will go, and then push it some more. This track doesn’t just sit comfortably in a funk mode though, we get a little rap and 70’s-style progressive rock in here as well. These guys found a way to break up the groove and take the song into this great guitar and keyboard driven riff, and then they bring it all back to the funk groove . . . all without losing the listener, and in just over four minutes! Fucking brilliant!

“Krypton” is a stunner. Heavy and ominous, introduced by a delayed guitar riff and then propelled through the stratosphere by some heavy rhythms, this song has an overpowering sense of dread to it. This is a side to Gumshen that I had yet to hear, and they tackled the darkened vibes with a natural grace that makes me hope that they’ll explore these tones in the future. The major ear-perking moment occurs at just about 58 seconds into the song. The song goes from a space-y, quasi-psychedelic meandering to a tight and heavy riff, made special by the vocal performance and made spectacular by the backing vocal accompaniment. Very few bands can execute a vocal performance that becomes a focal point of a song, making it more powerful than if performed in a standard vocal approach . . . CS&N(Y) and the prog-tastic soundings of Pure Reason Revolution come to immediate mind of acts who use vocals to such moving emotional and dramatic power. I’m simply amazed. New wrinkle, same band. This track is clocking in at just over three minutes and has more textural dynamics than most fifteen minute prog-epics!

Overall, there’s a darker element underlying this recording than previous Gumshen efforts, and that’s fine by me. Oddly enough, this record has a sparse feeling in comparison to the bands back catalog despite the massive instrumentation. It’s almost like they wrote these songs for a symphony, yet played them as stripped down as possible. The music is still as complex as balancing the national budget, but not unlistenable. Me thinks this has to do with the bands innate ability to work such great melodies into their music . . . that melody acts as a metal detector on an afternoon hike through a minefield. I also love that this band has shown consistent growth year after year after year. Every CD that lands in my lap seems to outdo the one before it, but never completely disregards it either . . . the discs are all complimentary of one another and ultimately chronicle the bands history. If Stew was the infant just learning to walk, we might be looking at What You Make It as a young adolescent seeing the world through the eyes of experience. What the next record will be we will have to wait and see.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Strand Of Oaks – Pope Killdragon

Full disclosure:  I have never had much success enjoyably listening to bands or albums just because they have a great name.  I don't think very many people do.  However, that is how I stumbled across this hidden gem of an album in 2010.  Strand of Oaks, the recording moniker used by Timothy Showalter, is, at its core, a singer-songwriter project.  Rarely is anything ever heard beyond Showalter's melancholy voice and his guitar.  Many of the songs you don't even hear his voice, choosing to forego that route for simple instrumental tracks.  However, for his second album, Showalter lets go of some of the despair that was the root for his first album, Leave Ruin, and chooses the much quirkier route of writing a concept album.

More disclosure:  I am a sucker for a concept album.  From Neutral Milk Hotel's Anne Frank-inspired indie-folk classic In The Aeroplane Over The Sea to Titus Andronicus' Civil War themed The Monitor, the stranger the concept, the more I am sucked in.  So, what is this grandiose concept that drew me in?  The same disappointment and regret as before, but this time focused around fictional stories involving the Bible, The Kennedy's, and everything in between, up to and including Ghostbusters. That's right folks, Ghostbusters.  Honestly, some of the concepts would not be out of place on one of your favorite metal albums.  Tales of 12-foot monsters leading to mothers crying in the street would seem quite fitting on the new Mastodon album, but not on a quiet indie-folk album.

 But enough of the concept, what about the music?  As I said before, rarely does he disembark from the textbook singer-songwriter aesthetic.  So, as is typical with these albums, the lyrical content is what must stand apart, and he passes with flying colors.  On “Kill Dragon”, Showalter starts of with what would seem like a fitting song on his previous album, singing about how everyone has left him, whether it be through break-ups or death.  However, the tempo picks up, leading to him repeating the line, “Mary, Mary, Mary would you marry me? / Then me and you and Jesus could be a family”.  And that's how the song ends.  That just sets up the strange feel of the album.

 On the next track, the seven minute centerpiece “Sterling”, Showalter launches into a story about a dream he had about a trip he took with the Kennedy's, in which John Kennedy discovers a German tale written by his estranged, bastard son about a pope named Killdragon. However, at the end of it all, he reminds you that he still has a heavy heart, telling about how he “drank himself to sleep, just to get some company”.  But, this is also where the music reaches its apex, a the acoustic guitar is subbed out temporarily for an electric and the drums slowly kick in as Showalter's voice fades out behind the wall of sound, saying “I saw him coming” over and over, further painting the picture of him drinking and passing out, repeating those four words.

The entire album carries this same weight.  As Showalter deftly strides from song-to-song, the listener gets insight into his own life, despite the fact that it is projected onto the wild songs of lore.  Also, in case you were wondering, “Alex Kona” is the song that references 12-foot giants and mothers crying.  “Daniel's Blues” is about Dan Aykroyd wanting John Belushi to have a role in Ghostbusters, but he had passed away.  He sings about who he will get to replace him (But who will I call / Chevy's an ass and Gill has got a cold”).  I won't spoil anything else for you, but it is easily the most cathartic song ever written about Ghostbusters.  Just do yourself a favor, and, if you are a fan of folk music (Or even doom metal, as he shows he can do that too with the song “Giant's Despair”), just listen to the album and let Strand of Oaks wave of tales drown you in its sound.


Buy here: Pope Killdragon

Friday, March 25, 2011

Burzum - Fallen

 Hmmm... how to begin this.
1: Most of my adult life I've worked in forensic psychology, in prisons and police departments in six states, specifically with sexual offenders and serial homicide offenders.
2: I dig (though by no means am tr00 or kvlt) black metal; of course I still consider Behemoth black(ish) metal, and love Liturgy, so....
3: Burzum, aka Varg Vikernes, served time in Norwegian prison for murder and arson.
This highlights a sticky area for reviewers: how do you review a piece of (at least alleged) art, knowing the potentially toxic background of the artist?
Do you avoid the Ad Hominem fallacy ("He's a bad man, so he can never have anything good to say!") and listen earnestly to what he's done?
Or do we say Fuck that shit, murdering, church burning bastard.
And it's deceptively easy, from the safely of reading the monitor, to say "you go, burn that shit!" or something similar.
Now imagine your mother or grandmother being burned alive in a building she found peaceful, or held onto as a symbol, or source of peace.
Regardless of your opinion toward the church and/or Christianity (and the perhaps-inevitable paradoxes inherent therein), there are serious, life-changing repercussions of what Mr. Vikernes was convicted of doing.
The point is, this area gets emotionally tangled very quickly, especially to me; I'm likely to be particularly irritated by the artist's history and perhaps not enjoy this work as well as someone else might. Be warned, and read on with that in the background of your cerebellum.
If his musical work, despite his background, is good, do we say it's good? Do we endorse it?
Maybe put more directly-- if Hitler gave you the winning lottery numbers, would you play them?
Or would you object to the millions you'd get, despite the millions dead?
[Although I'm phrasing this question somewhat rhetorically, I'm obviously working up to a review of the work in question. But: wouldn't it be hilarious if I just concluded it wasn't something that should be reviewed at all, and just stopped here? Something like, soup Nazi style: "No review for you!"]
Overall, Fallen sounds like it cost $10 to make; does that make it tr00? Or is it like John Cougar Mellancamp or Joel McHale, spending hours on a haircut, trying to make it look like they spent 10 seconds on it?
If the appearance, at least, of low-budget recording appeals to you, well then... there you go.
Track one, "Jeg Faller": sounds like my first guitar, a Harmony, played through its accompanying 1.5 inch speaker, with no gain-- but somehow does not sound bad...? Like all tracks on Fallen, it's a mix of ambient, electro-pop (somehow: maybe it's because of what I'm certain is a drum machine and its stiffness...?), black metal, folk music, acoustic pop... actually, it might be easier to list what musics don't end up somewhere on here.
"Valen," like the previous track, follows the songwriting trope of less-melodic verse followed by "catchy" chorus with cleanish vocals. And it pretty much works.
"Vanvidd" continues both the Norwegian lyrics and musical themes: cold, tremolo-picked chords in standard tuning, with murmured lyrics that become hoarse and raspy, replete with blast beats... managing to sound like black metal and ambient relaxation music (seriously) at the same time.... Bonus: at around 3:45 it manages to invoke both Ministry and Joy Division....
"Enhver till Sitt" starts with that same shrill, high-gain non-wound guitar string, bleating a flatted-fifth (sinister) riff.... The remaining tracks "Budstikken" (black metal Pet Shop Boys? Dance floor KMFDM?) and "Til Hel og Tilbake Igjen" (say what you will about the songs themselves, but Norwegian song titles sound metal as shit, don't they?) are interesting, above average black metal.
So-- the overall verdict here is actually quite anticlimactic: Fallen is pretty good.
It's got good moments, and interesting uses of texture and contrast. It's not great. It's not terrible. It's the germ of something great.
Whether Burzum is past his greatness, or approaching it, is anyone's guess.
Buy here: Fallen
Buy here vinyl: Fallen 
Buy here mp3: Fallen 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ripple Theater - Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch DVD

Ever since people stopped buying rock records in decent quantities, there’s been an increase in quality documentaries on classic artists like The Ramones and Rush as well as rescuing a band like Anvil from obscurity. Given the subject matter, it seemed like Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch would be the ultimate portrait of rocks favorite ugly son but unfortunately this one falls pretty short of expectation. While definitely worth watching, the overwhelming feeling I’m left with is “what happened? How did they not get the job done?”

Granted, I’m a bigger Motorhead fan than most Motorhead fans. Motorhead’s music changed my life the first time I shoplifted Iron Fist from Caldors back in 1982, and when I saw them for the first time in 1983 my ears rang for 8 days afterwards. To this day, all live performances are measured against that high energy volume overkilldose. It’s obvious the filmmakers are fans but not stone deaf forever Motorheadbangers. They have stated many times that the movie is about Lemmy and not a history of Motorhead but we all know that those two things are one and the same.

Some of the better parts of the film are about Lemmy’s days before Motorhead, including a great segment about the Rockin’ Vicars, the band he played guitar for in the mid-1960’s. They managed to track down some of his band mates and even legendary producer Shel Talmy (The Who, The Kinks) who make it clear that Lemmy was pretty much the same guy back then that he is now. The section on Hawkwind is also good. Lemmy repeats his often told tale of how he got fired from the legendary space rock band, but you also get to hear Dave Brock and Nik Turner’s side of the story, too. Even the Amazonian dancer Stacia gets some screen time. Unfortunately, there isn’t that much discussion of Hawkwind’s groundbreaking music. No one mentions that everyone should own a copy of Space Ritual and there’s no information about the classic albums Lemmy made with them.

The formation of Motorhead takes up about 120 seconds of screen time. Guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke is on and off the screen way too quickly. Philthy Animal Taylor apparently did not want to be interviewed for the movie and he’s barely mentioned. Again, there’s hardly a word on the incredible run of albums that line up made. Wurzel, Pete Gill and Brian Robertson are written out of the script. Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell wind up looking like mere sidemen of a band that they’re equal partners in.

Way too much screen time is spent on pointless interviews with Billy Bob Thorton, Jarvis Cocker and the bass player from New Order. Who fucking cares what these clowns have to say about Lemmy? The usual VH1 talking heads like Scott Ian, Dee Snider, Dave Navarro and Henry Rollins have some good stories and there are interviews with all the members of Metallica except, surprisingly, Lars Ulrich. Dee has one of the funniest lines in the movie where he talks about not having seen Lemmy for a long time and goes backstage and it’s all the same roadies that he knew from ten years before. Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible of The Damned share some great tales from the insanity they participated in with Lemmy in the late 70’s. 

One thing that the filmmakers get right is showing just how dedicated Lemmy is to his music. This is someone that has literally sacrificed everything for rock n roll. He’s had some moderate success but lives in a rent controlled 2 bedroom apartment with his enormous World War II collection when he’s not on tour or at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in LA. He has one son that he has a good relationship with and another one he’s never met. When he’s not playing music, he’s reading or gambling but always drinking.

Luckily the DVD helps correct some of the problems with the feature film. It’s worth picking up just for the full interview with Fast Eddie Clarke. It’s up to him to tell the real story of how the band started and he’s the only one to mention original guitarist Larry Wallis by name. Eddie also gives insight into how Motorhead got their signature sound – speedy music played by guys on speed. He claims that speed is a great drug to take when you’re playing music since you don’t have to leave the stage every 20 minutes to re-up. His story on how they wrote their signature song “Overkill” is hilarious and inspiring.

Other cool extras include extended interviews with Lemmy and individual features on Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee. The movie could have used more of this and less ass kissing testimonials. Any movie about Lemmy is worth watching, and this one definitely is, but it should have been so much better.


Buy here DVD: Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch 
Buy here Blu-ray: Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch [Blu-ray] 


Ripple News - Katatonia Announces ‘Last FairDeal Gone Down’ And ‘Night is the New Day’ Special Editions


Sweden’s Katatonia has announced that it will release special editions of the critically acclaimed albums, Last Fair Deal Gone Down and Night is the New Day, on April 25th, to coincide with a series of special shows to mark the band’s 20th anniversary in May.

The special 10th anniversary edition of the classic Last Fair Deal Gone Down will be presented in deluxe mediabook packaging, as a two-disc edition containing tracks from the now hard-to-find singles, ‘Teargas’ and ‘Tonight’s Music’.  2009’s stellar album, Night is the New Day, will include bonus tracks from the ‘The Longest Year’ EP.  Both titles will be presented with newly updated cover artwork courtesy of original artist Travis Smith.

Performances for the 20th anniversary “Last Fair Day Gone Night Tour 2011” are scheduled for Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, France, England, and Greece, and the band will perform two sets at each show.   The first set will see the band play Last Fair Deal Gone Down front to back.  The second set will consist of a mixed set of carefully picked songs from the band’s extensive catalogue.

The band is offering exclusive VIP ticket packages, limited to only 70 for each show, which will include a laminated VIP pass exclusive to the show, access to sound check, a meet and greet with Katatonia, a t-shirt exclusive to that particular show, a special tour program, and a very special limited edition vinyl of their latest opus, Night is The New Day, amongst other exclusive items.  All the goods will be included in a specially made Katatonia messenger bag.  The VIP laminate will also allow early access to venues, so that VIPs can get the best seats in the house.

In addition, all VIPs will automatically be entered into a draw for a grand prize made available by a selection of the band´s equipment endorsers.

            Head over to: for more information.

            Dates and venues are as follows:

May 4th  – Kulturfabrik – Luxembourg **
May 5th – Stollwerck – Cologne, Germany**
May 6th – Koko – London, UK (Live DVD recording)**
May 7th – De Kade – Zaandam, Holland**
May 8th – Alhambra – Paris, France**
May 14th – Fuzz Live Music Club – Athens, Greece

** Exclusive VIP packages available for these shows.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chat with Stone Axe Live on Ripple Radio Before they Storm the Shores of Europe and the UK with New Tour and Deluxe CD/DVD Package

Classic rock preservationists Stone Axe have officially announced that they’re hitting the road through the UK, parts of Europe, and wrapping up the tour with a night at the illustrious Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Holland! And before they hit the road, this is your chance to chat live on the air and in the Ripple chatroom with Stone Axe mainman, Tony Reed.

Tune into Ripple Radio (Live with Tony Reed), sign into the chatroom and chat directly with Tony Reed.  He'll join us on air Wednesday, March 23rd at 8:30pm (PST) and is welcoming the fans to fire off those nagging questions. Hit him with your queries about Stone Axe, Mos Generator, Wino, or any aspect of obscure '70's rock.  Type 'em in the chatroom and have 'em answered on the air. Doesn't get much better than that!

Then, starting on April 8th in Oxford, England and running through April 16th, Stone Axe will embark on their third tour to foreign soil with the aim of converting new ears to their sonic-brand of classic rock.  Better yet, this time they’ll be doing it in support of their first CD/DVD package. Scheduled for release on April 5th and in time for the tour, Stone Axe has put together a Deluxe Edition of their self-titled debut album. The CD portion of the package features eight bonus live tracks, while the DVD portion features more than 70 minutes of videos, interviews, and live footage! Released through Ripple Music, Stone Axe – Expanded Edition CD/DVD pre-order's are now available on the label's web site.

Tour Dates:

8th April -The Wheatsheaf, Oxford (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Desert Storm)
9th April- The Unicorn, Camden, London, UK (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Grifter)
10th April- The Earl, Sheffield, UK (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Groan)
11th April- The Captains Rest, Glasgow (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Low Sonic Drift)
12th April- Asylum 2, Birmingham (with Stubb, Trippy Wicked, Alunah)
14th April- The Vortex, Siegen, Germany (with Stubb)
15th April- MTC, Cologne, Germany (with Stubb+more)
16th April- Roadburn Festival, Tilburg, Holland

Stone Axe has also contributed a song to the Heavy Ripples double vinyl 7” compilation that will also feature three other acts that have put their own unique spin on the sounds from a by-gone 70’s era, showing that rock n’ roll hasn’t died, but simply has gotten better! The compilation record will include tracks from the UK blues-based bike rockers Grifter, Brooklyn-based stoner-fied punks Mighty High, and New England’s southern-rock-tinged Sun Gods In Exile (on loan from incomparable Small Stone Records). The record will be officially released on April 19th to a world-wide audience!

Total Fucking Destruction - Hater

“Good evening.  I’m your host Glen Moderator.  Welcome to Point / Counterpoint, a show featuring informative debates on hot-button topics.  Today’s program is a little different than normal.  Our regular contributor Penfold is here of course, but unfortunately I have to report that tonight’s scheduled guest was forced to cancel due to an unforeseen emergency.  The show must go on however, so we found a willing replacement to assist us on such short notice.  Ladies and gentlemen help me welcome Richard Hoak, drummer and lead vocalist of the band Total Fucking Destruction.  Thank you for being here sir.  Penfold, are you ready?
“Yes Glen, I am.”
“All right, let’s begin.  Due to the nature of our guest’s vocation, we’re going to be asking after some music related issues.  Here’s an easy one to get us started.  Do you believe that the current state of music is getting better or worse?  Mr. Hoak, you can go first.”
“I long for and listen for a deathlike silence to engulf the planet. Otherwise, I listen to 24 hour news radio for the up to the moment information on the slow motion apocalypse that is unfolding around us.”*
“Ha, very good!  And you Penfold?”
“I’m afraid my answer won’t be as interesting as Mr. Hoak’s.  I’ve been listening to a wide variety of music lately, and I’m confident that music is better than it has ever been.  Unfortunately, the albums I’m most excited about I can’t talk about thanks to a non-disclosure agreement.”
“That’s too bad.  We’ll just have to move on then.  Mr. Hoak, when I think of what it means to be an underground act, and I mean this in a complimentary manner, your band registers in my mind immediately.  Do you feel an underground band will break through to massive popularity this year?”
“The only reason such obscure artistic concepts like the underground scenes of grind and death metal exist is because of the privilege and power provided to selected citizens by the global corporate economy that allows the leisure time and extra income to make such noise. No guitar riff is brutal when compared with watching your children slowly starving to death or dying an early, violent death in a religious war of hate. The underground scene is a state of mind, an artificial construct based on collective ego stroking by members of the ‘in’ crowd. I refuse to be defined by others, so my state of mind is unaffected.”*
“Okay…I guess.  Penfold, what say you?”
“While I think it is more difficult than ever to really ‘break through’ to the mainstream consciousness, yes I do believe there will be some artist or band who has been toiling for a few years that will make that transition.  It seems to happen once every year or two, so I’d say we’re due.”
“I’m inclined to agree with your reasoning Penfold.  Mr. Hoak, assuming Penfold is correct, what can you do to increase the marketability of Total Fucking Destruction?”
“Total Fucking Destruction is driven to create temporary autonomous zones where we can celebrate the end of times in the style of Babylon together with other like-minded individuals. We encourage all individuals to get in touch.”^^
“What does that even mea…?”
“Penfold, hold on a moment.  I’m going to give Mr. Hoak a chance to further explain that statement.  How exactly do you go about creating these temporary autonomous zones?”
“Maintaining localized anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic atmosphere. Forgetting about unknown motherfuckers. Grind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some days I don't eat or sleep, only grind. Time is running out, the future is now and we are participating in the end of history. It's fucking awesome.”^^
Glen and I sit in stunned silence.  After a few moments, Glen collects himself.
“Ladies and gentlemen we’re going to take a short commercial break, but we’ll be back with more after these words from our corporate sponsors.”

Cards on the table time waveriders.  I know next to nothing about grindcore metal.  Honest.  I don’t yet own any grindcore albums, I’ve never seen a true grindcore band live, there are no stickers on anything I own advertising a grindcore band, and there is no chance that I would be able to differentiate a song by Napalm Death from a song by Carcass if my life depended on it.  With all that being said I do know what I like, and I like Total Fucking Destruction!

The name of the album that has managed to hold my attention for a good little while now is Hater.  It is the latest full length release from TFD, and it is composed of twenty seven ear-blasting songs.  The uninitiated (like me) might make the mistake of looking at the quantity of songs on offer and assume that this was a monstrous two disc affair.  Not so, as I quickly learned.  These twenty seven songs lay waste to your eardrums in a little under twenty eight minutes.  What I find most impressive is that I listened to this album multiple times before noticing the short running time.  Hater is such a complete listening experience, I feel fulfilled with every run through.  It was truly shocking to find out that some of my favorite songs had such short running times.

What should you expect to get from this album waveriders?  Well, you should definitely expect a blitzkrieg assault upon your senses accomplished with lightning-quick guitar and bass lines coupled with mind-bogglingly manic drumming.  You know…grindcore music.  Now if that last statement produces concerns over whether these songs might become monotonous, fear not, for this band throws quite a bit of variety at the listener.  Seriously, it is not difficult at all to tell these songs apart.  Most are quite memorable thanks to huge riffs, crazy lyrics, interesting breakdowns, or unique song structures.

“Weaponization of the Mega-Self” opens the proceedings with the aforementioned blitzkrieg assault, functioning as a righteous call to arms for the rest of the album.  Highlights abound.  “Everything you Need but Nothing you Want” begins frenetically before transforming into this heavy groove monster.  “It’s Only Attitude” brandishes it’s message of self-empowerment like a bludgeoning instrument.  “Repeat Repeatedly” refuses to leave my conscious thoughts.  “Green Fire” is thrashtastic and features a fantastic guitar solo!  “Time Theft”, a virtual marathon run clocking in at two minutes and twenty seven seconds, bowls me over every time with this wickedly repeated upward-scaling guitar riff.  Look waveriders, I could go on but I think your time would be better served by listening to this album for yourself.  Do it!  Do it now!  With that, we now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

“All right, we’re back.  I’d like to thank our two esteemed guests this evening.  Penfold, great job as always.”
“Why thank you Glen.”
“And Mr. Richard Hoak, I’m not sure that we have ever had anyone on the program quite like you sir.  Thanks for filling in on such short notice.  Are there any last words you wish to express before the show ends?”
“Nihilism, nothingness, emptiness and nonsense is the agenda of Total Fucking Destruction. Our songs are true stories of life in the modern day world. Our interest is in both the music and the message; our art is our only possible response to the complicated questions that post-modern society asks of the individual human.”*
“Right!  There is no way I can compete with that statement.  Good night everybody.”


Buy here: Haters

*- Actual interview responses from Richard Hoak on Chronicles of Chaos
^^- Actual interview responses from Richard Hoak on The Sleeping Shaman

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