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Old 01-20-2021, 02:28 AM   #81
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Lightbulb Alien Red Maquee



Ah the 90's....the decade that if you didn't have no fashion sense yet played music with guitars you were considered Grunge. Twenty years later I dispute that labeling. Sure, bands like Nirvana earned it, but others like Helmet, Quicksand, or this chestnut Smile's Maquee? No, the line should have been drawn, but some just called them "Alternative Rock", but the same could have been said of Faith No More too, and those bands are worlds apart. Somewhere between Grunge and Nu-Metal there should have been another genre title.

I really, really dug the group of bands that sounded like Helmet, and Smile followed their formula to a tee. Strange this is the only real album they got released, and it sounds like (on purpose I believe) a rehearsal than a record for the masses. Had a 1995 radio hit "Staring At The Sun", this album jumps all over the place in styles while keeping that crunchy guitar. If you like Helmet & Quicksand, you'd like this too (also, check out the one album by Stompbox "Stress", which blows ALL these away in power!).



Flash-forward about six years later and you have this entry in the NU-Metal movement. Again, guitars distorted and high in the mix than ever, this album by Alien Ant Farm has the curse of "the cover tune on it is the famous track", which honestly isn't fair. Like Smile, it's all over the place in genres, but well produced and the vocalist sounds like he should be in Incubus, but it works. The Michael Jackson cover of "Smooth Criminal" was cute, but there's songs on here that put bands like P.O.D. & Sublime to waste. Great production, and really the only thing that separates this from Metal is that there's no guitar solos, and listening to each track I can pinpoint exactly where each of those solos should have been. Listen to the songs outside of the novelty track, I always say....
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Old 01-22-2021, 03:44 AM   #82
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Wal-Mart Welcome To Red Valley



After the hit 'n miss of Queens Of The Stone Age for me (Deaf-Excellent/Rated R-Okay/Lullabies-Better than R), I decided to pull this gem, remembering that I loved it 25 years ago but it sorta got lost in the shuffle. Now, man, I still do! Christ was Kyuss a killer band. Sorta Soundgarden-y with that early 90's fanboy Sabbath influence, this is the direction that Josh Homme should of stayed the course with. This album, with it's hit "Demon Cleaner", is perfect for those long aimless drives at sunset, slow & chuggingly heavy. If I had to knock it down a peg, it would be only for the fact that the CD takes three songs and puts them into only one CD track each (and their not even connected), so to get to a certain song, you may have to fast forward ten minutes on say Track Two to get to it. And not that I'm knocking Queens, I still feel Songs For The Deaf is better than Valley, it's a shame this band didn't (or couldn't) continue without Homme. I'm probably gonna splurge on the other two or three albums now.
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:45 AM   #83
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United Kingdom Baptism Of Red: The Revenge Of Saxon



Even though I consider myself a "Metal Historian", they were some bands that for some reason or another, I never invested in. Some of those NWOBHM bands like say Anvil, Raven, Manowar, and especially Saxon. I don't know why, but back in the mid-80's I considered them too "old-school" for my tastes. Anyway, I watched this Saxon documentary on YouTube recently and from the clips I thought "Why did I ignore this band? Over twenty albums?!!?". So I broke out the wallet and bought two 2CD best-of's that would cover most of their career. I got the second one first (?). But man, what a nice, and head-bangin' collection! Seems Saxon never gave up the metal fight, and with this collection you can hear Biff and the boys (all probably not born when the first album came out) adapting to the Metal Vogue at the time while still keeping the traditional sound in there somewhere. But how can I describe Saxon? Take maybe early Bruce Maiden with old British Steel Priest and add a bit of Krokus vocals (?). It's hard to pinpoint Saxon. but at times they are corny, and maybe too serious for their own good, but if you want classic 80's Heavy Metal (that on this collection isn't thirty years old), they have 100's of songs waiting for you. I am so suprised it took me so long to say I'm a fan with them, looking forward to re-discovering the era I should have found them in soon.
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Old 01-29-2021, 12:15 AM   #84
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Amazon Redcass



There was a short period of time when ALL the major labels wanted their very own underground Metal band, a band that normally would be on a minor, yet respected label. And not just Heavy Metal, but Thrash and Death Metal too! This is probably the last gasp of that as the Grunge changed the scene forever. Carcass features a former member of Napalm Death (another past member formed Cathedral), and already had two classics under their belt before this. Anyway, Carcass was considered yet another genre in Metal, "Goregrind", but with lyrics about guts & gore but cookie-monstered to not being able to understand them, it was just another version of Death Metal to me. But if you got signed to a major label, you were gonna change, like it or not. This album is considered Carcass' "Black Album". More refined, excellent production, yet still keeping the growl & riffs, just way better produced. Some hated it, some loved it. Hell, even Kreator & Morbid Angel got the major label treatment, and Beavis & Butthead tore them a new one for it. In the end, by the time Nirvana were almost a thing of the past, all those newly signed underground metal bands were without a home, but the albums each recorded at the top offer at least interesting results. This is probably one of the best (outside of The Big Four of course) where it was a big improvement.
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Old 01-30-2021, 07:24 AM   #85
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Thumbs up Fingers Don't Fail Me Now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotTastyChili View Post
It is way more commercial than their preceding three albums....I think Red's referring to....
Whoa, what did I start here?!!?

Actually, this is why I post on message boards, not to just read my own thoughts, but to see & read opposing (yet civil) views & sides and discuss. You guys pretty much took my rebuttals right outta my mouth so I'm gonna leave it at that.

However....

I will say this, the 90's had the biggest effect on Extreme Metal music. It really was the only generation that had to "keep up with the Jones'" as it were. Regardless if you were Carcass or Metallica, the style of let's say "Hard Rock" music never changed, or it's audience, as much as that decade. Labels were chasing tails to keep up, only to see the invention of the MP3 and Napster yank the carpet right from under them anyway. I do feel no matter with label influence or not, band's thought about altering established styles in order to -A- stay relevant or -B- keep that prized label adorned on the back of their album. I mean we had so many styles going in and out, from Grunge to Nu-Metal, to Industrial to Metalcore. What it took to slow down to a reasonable level was basically having "Rock" as a whole commercially ignored with the likes of "hip-hop" and others in that vein. By then, we Metalheads could go back to the underground and truly be ourselves without wondering if the next album will be our "St. Anger" or "Turbo". And besides, nowadays if it is, who cares, we're out of the main limelight! I wanna say that theres rarely, and I mean rarely an album with a heavy guitar that I don't like at least a little. So I've always been a tad forgiving for that one album slip like say Slayer's "Diabolus In Musica", Celtic Frost's "Cold Lake", or (I dunno-it's 2 in the morning...gimme a break) Overkill's "I Hear Black". But regardless, those artists, under label pressure or not, choose to do it, and had the balls to go against the grain. Good for them. Good for us? Maybe not, but that's why they invented comeback albums, right?

Oh, I don't own Carcass' "Swansong". I guess I should get it. Been playing "Heartwork" for the past two days. Not bad for a "commercial" album, huh? Oh, and look what I dug up from the past:



Talk about feeling homesick, I grew up in Tampa and they sorta ruled the roost of Metal there before the Death Metal explosion (with credit to Savatage as well). Right before Metal became Thrash, this is one band that tried to incorporate a "wrestler-like" stage show, with lead singer Nasty Ronnie taking old console TV's and smashing then on his head on-stage. Oh jeez, good times. Never heard of them? Think The Mentors but not dirty (?).

Anyway, keep the discussions going guys, I love reading 'em!
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Old 02-09-2021, 02:02 AM   #86
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Canada A Perfect Rush Circle

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Of all the Rush albums.....
Wow, sorta already highlighted the band this week, beat me to it. Well, here's my addition:



...so I actually discovered this album about a year ago in the (of all things) Big Lots Bargain Bin for $5 dollars. It looked like a live album, songs looked good, but when & where does it take place? Oh well I thought, I have "Exit Stage Left", that's all I need and skipped yet. Enter yesterday looking for a reusable coffee filter (can't deal with the paper ones), and there was the last copy, now at $2.50. Okay, worth the risk.

Boy was I stupid. This actually is a hell of a release. This 2009 release represents the absolute best of three live performances through the 2000's only (Brazil, Netherlands & Germany). Sure, you get Working Man, Subdivisions, Tom Sawyer, and other classics with 00's material, but you get it with 2000's sound & technology. Sure, Geddy's voice isn't as strong as the 70's, but ddddddamn Lifeson's guitar sounds so powerful here. These performances have been released before on official live albums, but this is the first time I believe I ever saw a best of album featuring only the best from an artist's live albums. And it features a song left off of one of them too. I wonder how this did when it first came out? Makes me think of Neil again, what a loss. But a cool sounding release.



Stop telling me Tool rules, and A Perfect Circle sucks. You're full of it, APC is just as good as Tool. There, I said it. Sure Tool's the first and more "out there", but Maynard's side project has incredibly catchy songs, and dare I say it, better production. And both sound like the same family, so how can't you be a fan of both? This is the "Best-Of" album, which I thought was pre-mature at the time, but they definitely picked the cream of the crop. Two covers are here, but their version of "Imagine" is simply haunting. Actually even paid full price for this because I never find them in the used bin (except the "remix" album which I got, and love too). Oh, and like Tool is more than "Prison Sex", APC is alot more than just "Judith".
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:22 AM   #87
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United Kingdom C.U. Can't Post That/Saxon Violence

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotTastyChili View Post
I never said such a thing! Don't hurt me!.....

That Rush disc is cool. Geddy's voice was still totally passable until around the Time Machine tour....
Oh, that Cool/Sucks line was for my buddy Joe. He's an old-school Metalhead like myself & we once had this conversation. I still think he's missing out.

He's a Rush fan too, he probably saw that tour as well. Sadly, I myself never got to see Rush live. I don't know what stopped me. Now I regret it big time. As for Geddy's voice, yeah, it sounds the weakest here on "Working Man". Sounds like they even had to slow down the tempo in order for his vocals to keep up, and then going for a reggae vibe towards the end doesn't help. But outside of that yeah, this CD is a great release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotTastyChili View Post
Has anyone ever sounded as cool as King Diamond does when calling a lady a....
Yeah, gotta be careful with that word, it's a no-no. However, back in the "let's shock 'em" '80's, it was a great chorus for an underground band who probably didn't fully understand English in the first place. I gotta go with "Devil's Eyes" here, never has the Fate sounded more like a contemporary Metal band than on this song. With this track, and without the theatrics, they could have been the next Judas Priest. Instead they became something much darker & cooler.



Okay, took 17 days, but I finally got my "Chapter One" 2 disc best-of set of Saxon. So why weren't these guys as big as Priest & Maiden in the states? I mean, they sound very much like them, even crossing early on in AC/DC territory, so why aren't they huge here? Well, maybe because even remastered, most of these recordings sound live in the studio and unpolished. Or the fact that alot of these tracks, while great to Metalheads, just miss the mark on being really, really catchy. I think in later years they caught up in production and writing, but if anyone really remembers Saxon (who are still as alive as ever), it's these years they'd remember. I guess I needed to "grow-up" with them. Had the opportunity, but they didn't grab me in '85. Now? They are like a hidden treasure of Metal to rediscover.....but these years give me that "Really good songs, good singer, good writing, but not GREAT". Does that make sense? Still, very, very glad I spent the dough on these two "best-Of Saxon" Collections. Gave me a total of 68 tracks to rock on to!
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:57 AM   #88
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Buy.com Redwood Mac



Found this 4CD box set at Goodwill this weekend for just $6.99 and couldn't pass it up. Finally owning some of the Green/pre Buck-Nicks years I've been wanting to do and surprisingly alot of it is highly entertaining in that pre-Sabbath blues-rock kind of way. What really surprised me is not one, not two, but three songs from this era were covered by another artist to receive major fame from it: Black Magic Woman (Santana), Green Manalishi (Judas Priest), and Sentimental Lady (former member Bob Welch). Now the originals aren't better than the remakes in my opinion, but really interesting to hear the arrangements they first came with. Also here are all the suspected hits, which I already had with better/more recent remastering, but at least five of them come as a new mix of the song which brings out different instruments & vocals to tracks I knew by heart for decades. Even has four new '92 songs (you guys gotta listen to "Make Me A Mask", chilling) and a whole minute longer studio version of "Gypsy" that should have been re-released it's so much better. Love it when I find these great finds at Goodwill, and this one (though it has early 90's remastering) is definitely up there. Very cool listenin'!
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Old 02-18-2021, 01:45 AM   #89
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Question The Last Saxon (But Not In Mono)

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Originally Posted by diskspinner View Post
This completes...the eight 2014 Beatles Mono vinyls I have....
A serious question here, can anyone explain the appeal of "Mono" versions of songs when a "Stereo" version is available? I have alot of records too that offer the "Mono" mix (a couple of Monkees & Bee Gees releases come to mind), but when the Stereo mix is on say Disc One, I skip the Mono on Disc Two every time. I mean, if a Mono track is the only thing I got, I'll put it on my drive, but I like the sound of Drums on Right, Vocal on Left vibe....so really, what's Mono's appeal to you?



Okay, okay, this is the last Saxon I'm buying, I promise! Another 2CD collection that features Saxon classics recorded with an orchestra and one from 2002 which features studio re-recording of the '02 line-up doing 70's/early 80's classics. While I haven't heard both of these all the way yet, what I did blew me away. The acoustic of "Iron Wheels" and the re-record of say "Strong Arm Of The Law" really grab you like never before. And this is an alternative to the classics, it doesn't erase them, just adds to it's legacy. And since this is two releases put together as one, it gave it more appeal. No more other Saxon after this, I don't have to be a completest of them too. I don't. But check these out.

By the way, I have other albums like this where bands re-record their past hits with new studio technology & members. For me, they're usually cool. I have bands like Kiss, Venom, Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy, and others, and I get a kick out of them. How about you?
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