Monday, September 29, 2014

Cooper, Alice - "Raise Your Fist and Yell"

Cooper, Alice - Raise Your Fist and Yell
1987, MCA

1. Freedom
2. Lock Me Up
3. Give the Radio Back
4. Step On You
5. Not That Kind of Love
6. Prince of Darkness
7. Time to Kill
8. Chop, Chop, Chop
9. Gail
10. Roses On White Lace

Remember way, way back in my review of Firehouse's debut album where I talked about how they were an example of everything that was good about Eighties hard rock? Well, here's another good example. The Coop continued the direction he'd begun in Constrictor with Raise Your Fist and Yell. It's textbook Eighties hard rock... in a good way. The riffs are fast and furious. The songs are to the point and catchy. I'm kind of surprised by how heavy this is. I mean, it's not Brutal Planet heavy, but it's pretty heavy considering the time. You know from the opening notes of "Freedom" that the Coop has arrived and he's taking no prisoners! The mood is appropriately dark as well. I would say it's essential listening for Halloween. Or possibly before or after a horror movie marathon. Now I never heard this album when it originally came out but listening to it totally activates my Eighties nostalgia chip. Especially the during the heyday of slasher movies and what not. Hey, remember when they used to market stuff from Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street to kids? Remember how, for the most part, parents were okay with it? It was just part of popular culture back then and I don't think people were so worried about how it would effect children. Weird. Anyway, this is definitely one of the best Cooper platters I've listened to.

Useless Fact: I think "Freedom" was the hit off this album.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knifeworld - "The Unravelling"

Knifeworld - The Unravelling
2014, Inside Out

1. I Can Teach You How To Lose a Fight
2. The Orphanage
3. Send Him Seaworthy
4. Don't Land on Me
5. The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes
6. Destroy the World We Love
7. This Empty Room Was Once Alive
8. I'm Hiding Behind My Eyes

I own The Unravelling because of You Tube. I guess those algorithms can actually do some good! One day Knifeworld showed up on my You Tube feed, specifically "Send Him Seaworthy." It was a curious mix to say the least. It sort of sounded like... I don't know... Roger Waters with a woodwind band. I have no idea how to accurately describe it other than "progressive" and "psychedelic." There's bassoon in it. And not just a little, either. Like, it's a prominent part of the band's sound. However, it's not just the weirdness that turned me on to the band. There's a lot of melody here and a lot of lush musical soundscapes. Take the aforementioned "Send Him Seaworthy" - it's got one of the most beautiful piano parts I've ever heard. A couple songs take on a more sinister edge, like "The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes," which is dark and moody and quite creepy. Certainly one of the most unique albums in my collection.

Useless Fact: I don't really know this band well enough to give you a fact. Oh, wait, here's one. The lead singer used to be in a band called The Cardiacs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sepultura - "Chaos A.D."

Sepultura - Chaos A.D.
1993, Roadrunner

1. Refuse/Resist
2. Territory
3. Slave New World
4. Amen
5. Kaiowas
6. Propaganda
7. Biotech is Godzilla
8. Nomad
9. We Who Are Not As Others
10. Manifest
11. The Hunt
12. Clenched Fist
Bonus Tracks:
13. Chaos B.C.
14. Kaiowas (Tribal Jam)
15. Territory (Live)
16. Amen/Inner Self (Live)

Years ago I was a member of this little CD trading website called LaLa. For a year or two it was pretty cool. You'd send out your unwanted discs and you'd get stuff on your want list for a dollar. That is how I got Chaos A.D. originally. I liked it but got rid of it for some reason. I cannot for the life of me remember what that reason was. However, I stumbled upon this disc again and immediately repurchased it for the the vault. Seriously, what was my deal? This album is a thrash metal classic. I've never been a huge fan of the band as a whole, I absolutely love this album. While it's light on intricate riffing the band makes up for it with sheer power and groove. It's amazingly heavy, yet very accessible at the same time. Great for long car trips. Don't worry, little Chaos A.D., daddy will never send you away again....

Useless Fact: Sepultura is the Brazilian word for "grave." 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Adam's Ipod: The Vlog!

Here's a new video from yours truly! In this episode I talk about how I met Leigh Nash from Sixpence None the Richer and how Roger Martinez from Vengeance Rising randomly called me on the phone!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Knott, Michael - "Rocket and a Bomb"

Knott, Michael - Rocket and a Bomb
1994, Brainstorm

1. Jan the Weatherman
2. Jail
3. Make Me Feel Good
4. Serious
5. John Barrymore, Jr.
6. Train
7. Bubbles
8. Kitty
9. Adrian
10. Skinny Skins
11. Rocket and a Bomb

My family and I used to take annual trips to Ocean City, NJ every summer for most of my teenage years. One year we found this little Christian bookstore somewhere in town. I remember they didn't really have that much. Well... they didn't have much that I didn't already have, that is. Thus, Rocket and a Bomb was purchased because it was one of the few tapes I didn't have. I listened to it for most of that trip. I was having a hard time sleeping that year and I remember some late nights listening to this album while the rest of my family slept. I didn't really like it at the time. I think it was just too mellow for me - a little too mature. However, as often happens with me, hearing this now makes me fall in love with it. It's sort of a concept album about the people Michael Knott lived with in an apartment building. There's "Jan the Weatherman" who often comes over and "wants to join the band." There's "John Barrymore, Jr." who's got sixteen cats and a dog and apparently used to give acting lessons to Steve McQueen. Particularly poignant is the story of "Bubbles." He was a drug addict that was kidnapped and beaten on the day Michael was supposed to pick him up and take him to rehab. The whole album is full of emotion and I really connected with it on this second round. I guess I'm going to have to take back the whole "I'm not really much of a Mike Knott person" thing. 

Apparently, Down the Line magazine wants to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Rocket and a Bomb. They've got a Kickstarter campaign up and running. I'm seriously thinking about backing it.

Useless Fact: "Skinny Skins" is reportedly about The Choir's Steve Hindalong.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Now You Can See Me!

So I decided to make videos! I will probably make more as time goes on. It was kind of an adventure learning how to do some of this stuff. Check it out!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Cooper, Alice - "Brutal Planet"

Cooper, Alice - Brutal Planet
2000, Spitfire

1. Brutal Planet
2. Wicked Young Man
3. Sanctuary
4. Blow Me a Kiss
5. Eat Some More
6. Pick Up the Bones
7. Pessi-Mystic
8. Gimmie
9. It's the Little Things
10. Take It Like a Woman
11. Cold Machines

A friend in college gave me a copy of Brutal Planet and I think it was my first exposure to Alice Cooper. I think I still have that burned copy somewhere. Anyway, I liked it then but for some reason or another lost track of it. Sometimes I am a crazy person who loses track of good music. Anyway, this disc is absolutely the heaviest thing the Coop has done. It's got thick, chunky guitars, and heavy production. There's a bit of a nu-metal vibe here, I think. The songs are immensely catchy with most being up-tempo rockers. It's probably one of the darkest albums Alice has recorded, thematically speaking, but it's also (ironically enough) one of his most Christian.

Useless Fact: This album and the next, Dragontown form sort of a duology as it's been said that Dragontown is the worst city on Brutal Planet.