Friday, January 27, 2012

3 - "Wake Pig"

3 - Wake Pig
2005, Metal Blade

1. Alien Angel
2. Monster
3. Dregs
4. Wake Pig
5. Bramfatura
6. Trust
7. Dogs of War
8. Soul to Sell
9. One Way Town
10. Queen
11. Circus Without Clowns
12. Where's Max?
13. Amaze Disgrace

I've said this before but I often find that the albums that grow on me tend to end up being my favorites. So it is with 3's Wake Pig. It took a few listens for my mind to really grab on to what the guys are doing here. Eventually I was hooked! 3 sounds like a combination of Coheed & Cambria and PFR - like both bands got together and had a baby. Lead man Joey Eppard is a phenomenal guitar player and singer. Just listening to the acoustic "Bramfatura" makes me never want to touch the guitar again. I'm not even sure how he's even able to make those sounds. I'd list favorites but this is one of those rare albums where every single song is great.

Useless Fact: Joey's brother Josh Eppard left the band to play with Coheed & Cambria. This may explain why they sound similar.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grave Robber - "Exhumed"

Grave Robber - Exhumed
2010, Rottweiler

1. Army of the Dead
2. They Hate You
3. Altered States
4. Fill This Place With Blood
5. Lion of Judah
6. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
7. Reanimator (Demo)
8. Bloodbath (Demo)
9. I Wanna Kill You Over and Over Again (Demo)
10. Screams of the Voiceless (Demo)
11. I, Zombie (Demo)

The only problem I have with Exhumed is that I got it after You're All Gonna Die!. If you have all three of the band's studio albums, you've got everything here save three new tunes ("They Hate You," "Lion of Judah," and "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"). Granted, there are some demo versions of Be Afraid material, but I don't think it's quite enough to sink the cash into the whole CD. However, if you're new to Grave Robber this is a good CD to start with as it has a good overview of what the band is about. Now I wholeheartedly recommend that you download the three exclusive tracks if you haven't done so already, but this disc is more for collectors I think. Finally, since I have the chance I'll just say this once more in case you haven't been paying attention: I LOVE Grave Robber!

Useless Fact: Exhumed is the first release on Rottweiler records. I think this was originally put out to give fans a taste of new GR to tide them over until the new album was ready.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Grave Robber - "You're All Gonna Die!"

Grave Robber - You're All Gonna Die!
2011, Rotweiller

1. Flatliners
2. You're All Gonna Die!
3. Paranormal Activity
4. Invisible Man
5. Something Wicked This Way Comes
6. Nightbreed
7. Haunted House
8. Incredible Shrinking Woman
9. Last Man on Earth
10. Fill This Place With Blood
11. Curse of the Werewolf

Sometimes I wish the Christian music market was structured more like it was when I was a kid. Grave Robber is such an awesome band. I can only imagine what they could have done with the resources of Intense Records or some other Frontline outlet. But who am I kidding? The Christian market wasn't that good! Also, there would have been no way a band like Grave Robber (with its image) could've been signed and accepted by any of those old labels. It's just that they're such a great band and I'd really love to see what they could do with a big label's money!

Ever since I got Inner Sanctum a while back, Grave Robber has been one of my favorite bands. I've also liked just about everything else they've done since then (i.e. the various songs on various comps). I even went ahead and added You're All Gonna Die! to my list of picks for 2011 having not heard it yet. I'm happy to say that Wretched and company did not let me down as their newest effort totally smokes. The sound continues in the vein of the previous album - mixing punk and metal. Rarely have I heard a band who melds their influences with such finesse as Grave Robber. "Fill This Place With Blood" is probably the best example. It has a cool metal riff but has plenty of punk attitude as well. But there's so many awesome songs here. The title track, "Something Wicked This Way Comes," "Nightbreed," "Haunted House," "Curse of the Werewolf." This disc puts me in an instant good mood - just like the last one.

If there's one thing odd about this release, it's that "Incredible Shrinking Woman" is actually a live track with an extended introduction by Wretched. I'm not sure why but it's kind of weird to have it right smack dab in the middle of a new studio album.

In any event, You're All Gonna Die is definitely a step up from Inner Sanctum and proves that the band still has plenty of passion and, hopefully, they'll be around for a long time.

Useless Fact: The band had multiple problems getting this CD released. Not the least of which was a snafu with one of the movie samples. It wasn't public domain like they thought it was. Procuring the rights would have cost them an ungodly sum of money, so they just took the sample out. It delayed the manufacturing of the CD for quite a while!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fair to Midland - "Arrows & Anchors"

Fair To Midland - Arrows & Anchors
2011, One Music

1. Heavens to Murgatroyd
2. Whiskey & Ritalin
3. Musical Chairs
4. Uh-Oh
5. Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow
6. A Loophole in Limbo
7. Typhoid Mary Sends Her Best
8. Short-Haired Tornado
9. The Upset at Bailey Bridge
10. Rikki Tikki Tavi
11. Golden Parachutes
12. Bright Bulbs & Sharp Tools
13. Coppertank Island
14. Three Foolproof Ways to Buy the Farm
15. The Greener Grass

Arrows & Anchors reminds me a bit of Devin Townsend's Addicted. Not because they sound alike but because I haven't heard a record this...well... addicting since then. I find myself wanting to return to this album again and again. I scratches a musical itch I didn't even know I had. The guitars are thick and crunchy. The vocalist moves from soft whispers to growls to soaring clear notes - sometimes in the same song. The songs get stuck in your head for days. This will certainly make my "best of" 2012 list.

Useless Fact: "Rikki Tikki Tavi" is NOT about that cartoon with the mongoose that fights the cobra. I can't remember what the actual movie was called.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Bless be, another year is upon us.

I am cautiously optimistic about this year for some reason - a change from last year. Last year at this time I just had this foreboding feeling. Like 2011 was not going to be a pleasant year. It turns out I was right as 2011 was tough for everybody, me included.

Now 2012 is here and I've been thinking about what kind of things I want to accomplish. Usually I don't have a lot of resolutions for the new year, but today I have a ton of them. Things like, be more grateful, believe in God despite my feelings, be a better husband and father - all on the list.

This doesn't really have anything to do with music other than it, as always, is my constant companion. I received a lot of good music for Christmas and, Lord willing, the year will be filled with more.

Here's hoping the year 2012 will be a blessed one.