Friday, May 31, 2013

Mortification - "Erasing The Goblin"

Mortification - Erasing The Goblin

1. Razorback
2. Erasing The Goblin
3. The Dead Shall Be Judged
4. Escaping The Blasphemous Tabernacle
5. Your Time
6. Forged In Stone
7. Way, Truth, Life
8. Humanitarian
9. Short Circuit
10. Dead Man Walking
11. Servants of the Supreme Message
12. Erasing The Goblin (Live)
13. Brutal Warfare (Live)
14. Hammer of God (Live)
15. Purest Intent (Live)
16. Standing At The Door of Death (Live)
17. Spoken Word (Live)
18. Chapel of Hope (Live)
19. 12 Men (Live)
20. God Rulz (Live)

Finally! I found one! A good later-era Morty disc. Actually, good isn't right - great. Yes. This is great. From the pummeling opener "Razorback" you can tell the band is in top form. The songs here are far more exciting and interesting than just about anything I've heard so far from this era. My favorites include "Razorback," "Way, Truth, Life," and the punk-inspired "Short Circuit." Steve's vocals are sort of a cross between his clean shouts and growls. They work with the music and didn't annoy me at all. Probably the only song I didn't like is the title track. It just seems kind of boring to me. However, it's leaps and bounds above anything off of Brain Cleaner. Speaking of which, the lyrics have taken on more of an evangelical slant and aren't nearly as cheesy or whiny. All in all an awesome album! My edition is a recently reissued edition with improved cover artwork and bonus live tracks. The live tracks are okay but Steve's vocals are not very good and the production on the tracks is kind of spotty. Live Planetarium they are not.

Useless Fact: The original title for this album was Impaling The Goblin, but Steve Rowe was informed that that phrase had some sexual connotation in some countries so it was changed. Also, when this album was originally released the last track was either "Dead Man Walking" or "Servants of the Supreme Message" depending on whether you go the Rowe Productions or MCM version. Thankfully, this reissue has both.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fall Out Boy - "Save Rock And Roll"

Fall Out Boy - Save Rock And Roll
2013, Island

1. The Phoenix
2. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up)
3. Alone Together
4. Where Did The Party Go?
5. Just One Yesterday
6. The Mighty Fall
7. Miss Missing You
8. Death Valley
9. Young Volcanoes
10. Rat a Tat
11. Save Rock And Roll

Save Rock And Roll huh? First, I wasn't aware that rock and roll was in danger. Second, even if it were I don't think I'd trust its salvation to Fall Out Boy. Especially with the least "rock and roll" album the band has made up until now. It's got some lame flavor-of-the-month guest stars. It's also got Courtney Love and Elton John. Courtney's job on "Rat a Tat" is to be vulgar and see how many times she can fit the words "suicide," "blonde," and "bomb" in the lyrics. Elton John's job is to make you go - "WTF? Why is Elton John here?!" But I'm not here to hate folks, so I'll answer the question I'm sure you're asking - "Is it any good?" Let me answer it this way...

You know McDonald's right? Sometimes you just get a craving for a McDouble or fries. Or maybe it's breakfast time and it's the closest thing there is. Whatever draws you to the Golden Arches is immaterial. You know exactly what you're going to get. It won't be "delicious" and you certainly won't "savor" it, but it will do exactly what you need it to do - take up space in your stomach. Likewise, sometimes I get a craving for easily digestible pop music with good hooks that I don't have to think too hard about. That's where Fall Out Boy comes in. I listen to it because I know exactly what I'm getting and sometimes it hits the spot. Some people say this album is really different, but it's not. It's the exact same band only instead of guitar there's more pop noise and no stupid song titles. The strongest tracks are probably "Miss Missing You" and "Young Volcanoes." Those are my favorites anyway. So yeah... Fall Out Boy... the Big Mac of pop music.

Useless Fact: I'm not really sure what's going on with the cover art. Also.... Elton John sings on the title track. Yeah. ELTON JOHN. I wonder if he was drunk or confused or what?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

This Man Has No Children...

So I've come to the realization that I will probably never write that post about video game music. Instead I thought I'd give you something different. The videos below were made by a gentleman who calls himself "Smooth McGroove." He has done acapella versions of some video game classics. I was pretty impressed by his videos. He listens to each channel on a track and then replicates it, puts the videos together, and viola! awesomeness! Here are some of my favorites:

This is "Blood Tears" from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest:

Here's "Spark Mandrill" from Mega Man X:

Finally, here's my favorite - "Corridors Of Time" from one of the best video games ever, Chrono Trigger:

Cool stuff huh? Also, as my title points out - this man cannot have any children. Cuz dang - I only have one and I barely have time to poop by myself.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Paramore - "Paramore"

Paramore - Paramore
2013, Fueled By Ramen

1. Fast In My Car
2. Now
3. Grow Up
4. Daydreaming
5. Interlude: Moving On
6. Ain't It Fun
7. Part II
8. Last Hope
9. Still Into You
10. Anklebiters
11. Interlude: Holiday
12. Proof
13. Hate To See Your Heart Break
14. (One of Those) Crazy Girls
15. Interlude: I'm Not Angry Anymore
16. Be Alone
17. Future

Well it's been a good four years since the last Paramore album. The band has been through a lot in that four years - losing members, etc. It's good to see they didn't call it quits because I've always liked them. I read in an interview that no ideas were off the table when making this record. It shows... seriously, seventeen tracks? Wow! I can imagine them sitting around a table, wild with ideas. A fuzz-filled bass track? Yeah! Hawaiian ukulele interludes? Yes! An 80's tinged gospel pop song? Yep! A lounge flavored soft tune? Why not? An epic shoegazer-inspired finale? Sure! All of this diversity, mixed with some more traditional sounding songs create a fun and diverse album that is really a pleasure to listen to. Hayley Williams has one of the best voices in pop music today. She is equally at home with simple pop songs like "Still Into You" as well as the hard rockers like "Anklebiters." I will say I would have liked to have a nice acoustic song like "Misguided Ghosts" but we do get "I Hate To See Your Heart Break" - a nice sensitive ballad. Speaking of which, it reminded me of Starflyer 59's "She Was My Sweetheart" and I wouldn't be surprised if the band wasn't maybe listening to both Silver and Gold as I think some of those discs influenced this album's sound. Nowhere is this more apparent than the aforementioned epic closer "Future." It starts mellow enough but builds up into a distorted wall of fury that lasts over seven minutes. I have to respect the band for pulling something like that off. The only track I don't care fore is "Daydreaming." It's kind of boring and almost sounds like it could have been on the band's debut, which if you'll remember, I didn't care much for. That being said, Paramore is proving to be one of those rare bands that is only getting better with age. I don't get to say this about a lot of albums, but I say with confidence: Paramore is the band's best album yet.

Useless Fact: Hayley wrote "Hate To See Your Heart Break" for one of the other band members when Paramore was considering calling it quits. He was sad that he wouldn't be able to see his friend and band-mate after the break up.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Queensryche (Tate Version) - "Frequency Unknown"

Queensryche - Frequency Unknown
2013, Deadline

1. Cold
2. Dare
3. Give It To You
4. Slave
5. In The Hands of God
6. Running Backwards
7. Life Without You
8. Everything
9. Fallen
10. The Weight Of The World
11. I Don't Believe In Love (Re-recorded)
12. Empire (Re-recorded)
13. Jet City Woman (Re-recorded)
14. Silent Lucidity (Re-recorded)

So I guess there are two Queensryches now. One of them features most of the original musicians and new singer Todd LaTorre and is releasing an album in June. The other one features vocalist Geoff Tate and whoever can stand to be around Geoff Tate long enough to release an album. Tate's version, Tatesryche recorded Frequency Unknown in six weeks or so and shoehorned it onto shelves. I guess Geoff just had to beat the other guys to the punch. I picked this up because I was kind of hopeful. I was hopeful that Geoff would really bring his A-game. I was hoping he'd give us this dark, progressive album that truly tested his own mettle and challenged the boundaries of music like he's always claiming. I was hoping he would totally rock this and out of all the feuding and nonsense we'd get two awesome Queensryche albums. Unfortunately, that is not what happened...

See, if you're going to show up your former band-mates  I would think you would want your absolute best songs. I would think you'd want to wait for the competition to go first, giving you the edge. I would also think you would make an album that was...y'know... really good. Frequency Unknown isn't awful but it's just so full of wasted potential. While I like quite a few of the tracks, nothing really rises above "average." "In The Hands Of God" and "The Weight of the World" are two exceptions that could have been really awesome if more time would have been taken. But who am I kidding? That's pretty much the story of this album - a complete rush job using the Queensryche name to spite Geoff's former band-mates. "Dare" is quite clearly aimed at the other guys. It's all kind of juvenile if you ask me. Especially since Queensryche has always been known as an intellectual band.  Also, Geoff's voice has not aged well. He sounds shaky and strained throughout the disc. This is not the album you put out if you're trying to lay claim to the true 'Ryche throne.

And as if that wasn't enough, the album includes a few re-recorded versions of 'Ryche classics. Naturally, all this does is to showcase how flaccid the preceding material really is. It also pretty much puts to rest any notion that Geoff can still sing rock. During "I Don't Believe In Love" as the song builds up to the rippin' chorus, Geoff can't even be bothered to sing it. The vocals just drop out into background vox. Lame. Totally lame.

Useless Fact: I think the other band was originally going to let Tate keep the name. They were known as Rising West for awhile. Also, in case anyone missed it: Frequency Unknown.... F.U.... yeah... you stay classy Geoff. *rolls eyes*