Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Alice Cooper - "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell"

Cooper, Alice - Alice Cooper Goes To Hell
1976, Warner Bros.

1. Go To Hell
2. You Gotta Dance
3. I'm the Coolest
4. Didn't We Meet
5. I Never Cry
6. Give the Kid a Break
7. Guilty
8. Wake Me Gently
9. Wish You Were Here
10. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
11. Going Home

With every Alice Cooper album I listen to my appreciation for him grows. Alice Cooper Goes To Hell is a sequel to the original Welcome To My Nightmare. Like that album this one has a lot of variety from the guitar rock he's known for to some more 50's-style sounds (like on "I'm the Coolest" and "Give the Kid a Break"). There are a couple songs on here I don't care for, like "I Never Cry" and "Wake Me Gently" . what can I say? I'm not much for Alice Cooper ballads for some reason. As I understand it this album wasn't nearly as successful. For me though, it's a pretty solid, enjoyable platter.

Useless Fact: Wait...wasn't Welcome 2 My Nightmare the sequel to Welcome To My Nightmare?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Fresh Beat Band - "Music From the Hit TV Show"

The Fresh Beat Band - Music From the Hit TV Show
2012, Sony

1. Fresh Beat Band Theme Song
2. Here We Go
3. A Friend Like You
4. Just Like a Rock Star
5. Reach For the Sky
6. I Can Do Anything
7. Bananas
8. Music (Keeps Me Movin')
9. Good Times
10. Loco Legs
11. Get Up and Go Go
12. Another Perfect Day
13. Shine
14. Stomp the House
15. Surprise Yourself
16. We're Unstoppable
17. Friends Give Friends a Hand
18. Freeze Dance
19. Great Day
20. Sun Beautiful Sun

I suppose I should be thankful that my daughter's favorite show is not Barney or the Wiggles. It's Fresh Beat Band. They are notable for having songs that don't make me want to vomit and two hot women in the band. In other words - it's tolerable. However, mark my words theses are not so much songs as they are the auditory equivalent to those bugs in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. You know, the ones that go in your ear, burrowing deep into your brain, growing and growing until you shoot yourself with a phaser or Kirk comes to rescue you. Except he doesn't. No, these songs challenge all the other songs in your head and mercilessly slaughter them one by one, Mortal Kombat style, until only "Bananas" remains. Or "Good Times." It really depends on the day. We are actually thinking about dropping a considerable sum on VIP tickets when the band comes to Augusta, GA. That's how insidious this album really is. For the amount of money they're asking for VIP tickets, I should be able to touch Marina's boobs.

Useless Fact: We prefer Old Reed at our house. The new guy is not as cool. So much so that we refer to him as Reed's cousin Sneed. Also, it's pretty clear to me that while Original Recipe Marina was a better singer, New Marina is a better dancer and drummer. Both hot though.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Collection

Hey everyone! I made a little video about my CD collection. Nerdy, I know. But our TV is broke and I've got nothing else to do. Enjoy!

And before you say anything - yes that is a shotgun next to the bed. Don't judge me! I live in Georgia!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Choir - "The Loudest Sound Ever Heard"

The Choir - The Loudest Sound Ever Heard
2012, Galaxy 21

1. Strange Girl
2. Learning To Fly
3. Cross That River
4. Laughter of Heaven
5. O How
6. The Forest
7. Takin' the Universe In
8. Melodious
9. A World Away
10. After All (Feat. Leigh Nash)

The Loudest Sound Ever Heard is quite a boon for us Choir fans. After all it had been five years between Flap Your Wings and O How the Mighty Have Fallen and another five before the band released Burning Like the Midnight Sun. Having a new album in just two short years, well, it's just wonderful. What I like most about Loudest Sound is the fresh, new textures the band brings to bear. I love the album opener, "Strange Girl" with its jangly riff and catchy hook. I also like the watery guitars and Steve's unique drumming on "Laughter of Heaven." Even Dan Michaels' sax seems to have new life as it seems to be more prominent and used in different ways. The low sax notes in "Takin' the Universe In" give that song a groove you won't find on any previous album. I always thought that Midnight Sun sounded very familiar where Loudest Sound takes me in completely different territory. There are some tracks that don't really "wow" me like "Learning to Fly" and "The Forest" - they sound a bit generic to me. However, there's still plenty to love. The pleasantly acoustic "Melodious" (dedicated to bassist Tim Chandler) and the touching "A World Away" also impress. The latter of which includes one of my favorite choruses ever.

Which leads me to my next point. I like the lyrics here as compared to the last album. While the funny stories of "Mr. Chandler" and the Marc Byrd tribute were fun, they didn't really anchor in my heart like Choir lyrics tend to do. Steve's at his best when he's personal and this is probably one of the more personal albums he's penned despite not having any songs about fighting with his wife. Steve openly admits that he doesn't have all the answers - "I'm a world away from enlightened/ More than a stone's throw from the Truth/ I'm a sad, far cry from a man who never lies/ But I'll hold the lantern high for you" (from "A World Away"). It's this kind of hopeful honesty that I've always loved about his lyrics.

The album closes with a duet with Leigh Nash. Being a bonna-fide Sixpence tard I was looking forward to this song most of all. However, upon hearing it I was a little ambivalent about the vocals. See, the problem is that Derri and Leigh sound too similar. So it doesn't really sound like two voices coming together to make something new, it just sounds like two people singing. I think I might have liked it more immediately if they'd traded off vocals. That being said, the melody of this song is haunting and beautiful and after repeated listens I got over my initial dislike of the vocals and it has become another favorite.

The Loudest Sound Ever Heard is quite an achievement for a band that's been together this long. I will say that the cover art doesn't do much for me. It's a little... um... smeary for my tastes. The artwork in the liner notes is great, it's just the cover that looks like it was left out in the rain. A small nitpick, however, because at the end of the day this is a fine album and I love listening to it.

Useless Fact: The album title refers to the eruption of the volcano Krakatoa that killed a bunch of people. It was reportedly the "loudest sound ever heard." It's also used to reference the love between two good friends.

Friday, May 4, 2012

DigHayZoose - "Ascension 7: Rocketship to Heaven"

DigHayZoose - Ascension 7: Rocketship to Heaven
1995, Brainstorm

1. Intro/Dancing In Concert With the Infinite
2. Strugglefish
3. Slow Serious
4. Whoo Woo
5. Slatherage
6. Magentamantalovetree
7. Self
8. Beware of Strangers Bearing Gifts
9. Later (L.A. 1994)
10. Circle of Pain
11. Secret
12. Intro to Regret
13. Regret

I count DigHayZoose's MagentaMantaLoveTree as one of my favorite albums of all time. No lie. So you'd think I'd be super excited about this live album. It's okay. It's not one of the greatest but there's nothing that I can point out as being super horrible either. Allan Aguirre from Scaterd Few joins the band on stage for a couple Sin Disease tunes and that's pretty cool. I also thought the band would be a bit funnier on stage. I guess somewhere I got the impression that they might be goofballs, but they play it pretty straight here. One last thing - great bass playing here. You can hear it really well in the mix so it stands out whereas the guitars sound mushy and sloppy to my ears. It's too bad this band broke up because I always wanted to hear more from them. (Sorry about the cover picture - Blogspot changed all the controls and I'm having a hard time adjusting!)

Useless Fact: The band did record some demos for a new album but it was never finished. I think they posted some of those demos on their Facebook page.