CD Review: “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder”

“Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder”
Silver Lining
4 Discs
Runtime: 271 minutes

Our score:  CD 2.5 out of 5 stars
BluRay/DVD 3.5 our of 5 stars

The ultimate heavy metal event-in-a-box is now available for fans to enjoy in the comfort of their very own home. “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder” is a collection of some of the best performances from the 2016 Wacken Open Air festival held in Germany each yr. The double disc CD and DVD/BluRay features music from over 30 artists including Arch Enemy, Saxon and Bullet for My Valentine all packaged nicely in multi fold digipack.

No need for lengthy international travel or standing in a soggy bog along the European country side as “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder” allows you to enjoy a majority of the Wacken Open Air festival from the safety and dryness of your own couch or recliner. Get comfortable as with a runtime of over four hours you are definitely in for a long haul especially if you plan to check it out from start to finish. If you want to skip around a little I highly recommend checking out the performances from Eluveitie, Bullet for My Valentine and Dio Disciples as they were easily my favorite. I also enjoyed the video version of this package a little more as it included in most cases a couple songs from each artist.

Invite a few friends over crack open some drinks and thrown on either the DVD/BluRay or the included audio versions of the release. Though a majority of the performances contained on the set are from European acts I wasn’t too familiar with there is still plenty of other material from bands I had heard before. Though I enjoyed seeing bands like Steel Panther and Saxon I think I had more fun checking out the bands who I hadn’t heard of because those performances were fresh and new to me. It’s always great to be exposed to new music and that’s certainly what “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder” does. I do feel though that if you are a more casual metal fan there might not be enough familiarity included to warrant purchasing the cumbersome four disc set however, If you are a dedicated, die hard metal head that has yearned for the Wacken experience but couldn’t make the trip then this release is certainly for you as it gets you as close as you can be without actually being there.

BluRay/DVD Track Listing: Disc 1

1.) Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons- Big Mouth
2.) Profaner- Killing On Command
3.) Hamatom- Alte Liebe Rostet Nicht
4.) Auan- Pjaning Heillar Bjodar
5.) Saxon- Battering Ram
6.) Saxon- Heavy Metal Thunder
7.) Zombies Ate My Girlfriend- Appropriate Hate Crimes
8.) Vader- Triumph of Death
9.) Tsjuder- Demonic Supremacy
10.) Immolation- Despondent Souls
11.) Therapy? Screamager
12.) Michael Monroe- 78
13.) Orden Ogan- F.E.V.E.R.
14.) Orden Ogan- The Things We Believe In
15.) The Vintage Caravan- Expand Your Mind
16.) Bury Tomorrow- Man On Fire
17.) Entombed A.D.- Dead Dawn
18.) Equilibrium- But Im Auge
19.) Equilibrium- Born To Be Epic
20.) Die Krupps- Fatherland
21.) Axel Rudi Pell- Game Of Sins
22.) Axel Rudi Pell- Rock The Nation
23.) Ektomorf- Holocaust
24.) Girlschool- Take It Like a Band
25.) Lemmy- Born To Lose, Live To Win

Bluray/DVD Track Listing: Disc 2

1.) Torfrock- Trunkenbold
2.) Torfrock- PreBlufthammer B B-Bernhard
3.) Eluveitie- Tegernako
4.) Eluveitie- Havoc
5.) Bullet For My Valentine- Tears Don’t Fall
6.) Bullet For My Valentine- Waking The Demon
7.) Tarja- No Bitter End
8.) 1349- Sculptor Of Flesh
9.) Red Fang- Prehistoric Dog
10.) Unisonic- Unisonic
11.) Caliban- Paralyzed
12.) While She Sleeps- Four Walls
13.) Eskimo Callboy- Muffin Purper-Gurk
14.) Myrkur- Jeg er Guden, I er tjenerne
15.) Borknagar- Colossus
16.) Borknagar- Winter Thrice
17.) Metal Church- Gods Of Second Chance
18.) Therion- Sons Of The Sun
19.) Therion- Sons Of The Staves Of Time
20.) Steel Panther- Asian Hooker
21.) Steel Panther- Community Property
22.) Steak Number Eight- Black Eyed
23.) Triptykon- Morbid Tales
24.) Buffalo Summer- Money
25.) Barb Wire Dolls- Heart Attack
26.) Arch Enemy- War Eternal
27.) Budderside- Pain
28.) Dio Disciples- The Last In Line
29.) Dio Disciples- Stargazer

CD Track Listing: Disc 1

1.) Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons- Big Mouth
2.) Hamatom- Alte Liebe Rostet Nicht
3.) Saxon- Battering Ram
4.) Vader- Triumph Of Death
5.) Tsjuder- Demonic Supremacy
6.) Immolation- Despondent Souls
7.) Theraphy?- Screamager
8.) Michael Monroe- 78
9.) The Vintage Caravan- Expand Your Mind
10.) Bury Tomorrow- Man On Fire
11.) Entombed A.D.- Dead Dawn
12.) Equilibrium- Born To Be Epic
13.) Die Krupps- Fatherland
14.) Axel Rudi Pell- Rock The Nation
15.) Girlschool- Take It Like a Band
16.) Ektomorf- Holocaust
17.) Torfrock- PreBlufthammer B B-Bernhard
18.) Eluveitie- Havoc

CD Track Listing: Disc 2

1.) Bullet For My Valentine- Tears Don’t Fall
2.) Tarja- No Bitter End
3.) 1349- Sculptor Of Flesh
4.) Red Fang- Prehistoric Dog
5.) Unisonic- Unisonic
6.) Caliban- Paralyzed
7.) Eskimo Callboy- Muffin Purper-Gurk
8.) Borknagar- Colossus
9.) Metal Church- Gods Of Second Chance
10.) Therion- Sons Of The Staves Of Time
11.) Steel Panther- Community Property
12.) Steak Number Eight- Black Eyed
13.) Triptykon- Morbid Tales
14.) Buffalo Summer- Money
15.) Barb Wire Dolls- Heart Attack
16.) Arch Enemy- War Eternal
17.) Budderside- Pain
18.) Dio Disciples- Stargazer

CD Review: Royal Blood “How Did We Get So Dark”

“How Did We Get So Dark”
Royal Blood
Warner Bros.
Tracks: 10

Our score: 2 out of 5 stars

The UK Duo Royal Blood are back with their sophomore release via Warner Bros. Records titled “How Did We Get So Dark”. As the follow up to the bands successful 2010 release “Royal Blood”, the new album features 10 fresh tracks which were produce by the band along with Tom Dalgety and Jolyon Thomas.

Having caught Royal Blood when they opened for the Foo Fighters on their “Sonic Highways” tour I was instantly amazed at the sizeable sound these two guys were able produce. Needless to say I was instantly hooked. The band’s latest offering “How Did We Get So Dark” is a bit of a departure from the group’s self-titled release as I found it lacking the punch and grittiness of its predecessor. Tracks like “How Did We Get So Dark” and “Hole On Your Heart” feature much more robust instrumentation and production which I felt took away from the group’s signature bass, drums sound scape. Thankfully tracks such as “Where Are You Now” and “Hook, Line & Sinker” brought back some of the sound that originally appealed to me.

Though not an outright bad album “How Did We Get So Dark” is not what I consider a good album either. I applaud the band for stretching their legs while trying to expand on the limited possibilities of a two member group however, I think they may have strayed a touch too far from the signature sound that put them on the map making their latest offering one I just couldn’t get in to.

Track Listing:
1.) How Did We Get So Dark
2.) Lights Out
3.) I Only Lie When I Love
4.) She’s Creeping
5.) Look Like You Know
6.) Where Are You Now
7.) Don’t Tell
8.) Hook, Line & Sinker
9.) Hole In Your Heart
10.) Sleep

CD Review: Teenage BottleRocket “Stealing The Covers”

“Stealing The Covers”
Teenage BottleRocket
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 14

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Teenage BottleRocket’s brand new album and their return to Fat Wreck Chords is complete! “Stealing The Covers” is the latest offering from the 4 piece punk band hailing from Laramie, Wyoming. Pulled from catalogs of bands TBR has toured with over the last 17 years the groups most recent offering is a unique collection of upbeat, tongue and cheek cover tracks that follow suit with the bands previous releases.

Having first heard about the possibility of this album during last years Warped Tour I was more than ready to check it out when the opportunity arose. Right off the bat I noticed that this wasn’t going to be just another punk cover album as while looking at the albums track listing a lot of the song titles where foreign to me as were the bands who originally performed them. No matter, I forged ahead and what I ended up finding was a fun, fresh and energetic album worth listening to multiple times over. Tracks like “Back and Forth”, “Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout” and, “Gay Parade” had just about I look for in a solid pop-punk tune.

From humorous lyrics and subject matter to catchy sing along choruses played with a Ramones like fury Teenage Bottlerockets “Stealing The Covers” is a great listen. Don’t let the bands decision to choose more obscure tracks cloud your judgment as I found not knowing some of the music only added to the appeal of the record and gave it a freshness other cover albums lack.

Track Listing:
1. The Way I Know (Varsity Weirdos)
2. Back and Forth (Hollywood Blondes)
3. College Town (Juke)
4. Don’t Go (The Scutches)
5. Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout (Sprocket Nova)
6. No Hugging No Learning (HEAD)
7. Shit Fuck God Damn (Artimus Maximus)
8. Gay Parade (The Gullibles)
9. It Came from the Radio (The Blendours)
10. Alien Motion Technology (The Mugwumps)
11. Hat Nerd (The Four Eyes)
12. My Very Best (The 20Belows)
13. I Kill Butterflies (Onion Flavored Rings)
14. Why the Big Pause (The Punchlines)

CD Review: M.O.D. “Busted, Broke & American”

“Busted, Broke & American”
M.O.D. (Method of Destruction)
Megaforce Records
Tracks: 12

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Legendary hardcore/thrash band M.O.D. are back with a brand new full-length album titled “Busted, Broke & American”. The album (the bands 10th) was 3 years in the making and over that course of time the band helmed by vocalist Billy Milano went through a variety of ups and downs and at the end reunited with Megaforce Records to release what could be considered M.O.D.’s most brash and in your face collection of songs to date.

Put this album on and prepare to be pummeled as NY hardcore staple Billy Milano and company come out with all guns blazing on the band’s latest release “Busted, Broke & American”. The track “The Final Declaration” whose gang vocal filled choruses chant “to war” is a staunch warning of what your ears are in for over the course of the next 11 tracks. As the album progresses listeners are treated to the in your face, pull no punches approach of Mr. Milano. Case in point the aptly titled “You’re A Fucking Dick” and probably my favorite track off the album “Busted, Broke & American” which shoves it finger straight into the chest of today’s society. Other tracks I found to stand out was the heavily punk influenced “Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass” and the shredding instrumental track “All Out of Bubblegum”.

Be ready to jump in the deep end as “Busted, Broke & American” is full on from the word go. Intense, thought provoking lyrics mixed with bombastic instrumentation make up each of the albums 12 tracks. With Milano going on record stating that this could in-fact be M.O.D.’s final record he and the rest of the band certainly gave their all leaving nothing on the table.

Track Listing:
1.) Eisenhower Was Right
2.) The Final Declaration
3.) You’re A Fucking Dick
4.) Busted, Broke & American
5.) Fight
6.) Hooligan
7.) Billy Be Damned
8.) Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass
9.) They
10.) All Out of Bubblegum
11.) Go Go Revolution
12.) Kennedy Speaks

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with M.O.D. frontman Billy Milano here.

CD Review: Bad Cop Bad Cop “Warriors”

“Warriors”
Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s been a hectic few years since Los Angeles punk quartet Bad Cop/Bad Cop dropped their debut full-length, “Not Sorry”. The band spent a huge chunk of their intervening time on the road like many bands do and in that time wound-up discovering some ugly things about themselves. Out of those experiences came a number of tracks which make up the band lasts release titled “Warriors”, the bands third album which features 11 new tracks which are once again being released via Fat Wreck Chords.

If the song titles and lyrics are just a glancing look at what was going on with Bad Cop/Bad Cop over the last few years it’s a miracle this album even happened at all. Thankfully things smoothed out with the four piece as the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a gritty and searing album brimming over with pop-punk infused goodness making for a fun and enjoyable listen. Tracks like the albums opener “Retrograde” instantly had me moving with its sparkling guitar intro and catchy sing along chorus while songs like “Amputation”, “Wild Me” and the album’s title track “Warriors all hit with similar results.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop are living proof that good can come out of a bad situation and the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a fitting testament to that statement. The band sounds better than ever and each of the albums 11 tracks has the potential to get stuck in your head for long periods of time. I found myself listening to the album multiple times and with each listen I was able to find something new to enjoy each and every.

Track Listing:
1.) Retrograde
2.) I’m Done
3.) Womanarchist
4.) Why Change A Thing
5.) Victoria
6.) Amputations
7.) Broken
8.) Wild Me
9.) Warriors
10.) Kids
11.) Brain Is For Lovers

CD Review: Doyle II “As We Die”

II“As We Die”
Doyle
Monsterman Records
Tracks: 13

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is back with a brand new full-length solo album titled II”As We Die”. The album which was initially recorded during the “Abominator” sessions will be the second release from Doyle via his Monsterman Records and once again features Cancerslug’s Alex “Wolfman” Story handling vocal duties over the course of the albums 13 macabre tracks.

Over the course of the last few years Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein or Doyle for short has been on a relentless pace of record, tour and repeat. Throw in a handful of Misfit reunion shows as well and it makes you wonder when the band has had time to sleep let alone put together another full length release. II “As We Die” is the second portion of what was intended to be a double album. Originally recorded during the sessions for “Abominator”, II “As We Die” is the result of those sessions amassing an impressive amount of quality material that the band felt warranted two separate releases. I couldn’t have agreed more with the decision as where “Abominator” sets the stage, II “As We Die” solidifies the band’s sound with darker subject matter and even heavier instrumentation than its predecessor. Tracks such as “Beast Like Me” and “King of the Undead” blast out of the gate kicking and screaming with a bombastic amount of force and energy while tracks like “Darkside” and “Virgin Sacrifice” are reminiscent of Michael Graves era Misfits giving the album an eerie since of familiarity while remaining new and fresh. Though I found the guitar hooks to be less prominent this time around Doyle’s latest offering is still everything you would expect from the annihilator wielding beast.

Track Listing:
1.) Kiss Me As We Die
2.) Beast Like Me
3.) God of Flies
4.) Run For Your Life
5.) Darkside
6.) Witchcraft
7.) King of the Undead
8.) Virgin Sacrifice
9.) We Belong Dead
10.) Show No Mercy
11.) Dark Gods Arise
12.) Blood on the Axes
13.) Night of Sin

CD Review: Alestorm “No Grave But the Sea”

“No Grave But The Sea”
Alestorm
Napalm Records
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Ahoy, mateys! Gather ‘round for Alestorm’s 5th full-length album: “No Grave But The Sea”! An adventure filled to the brim with awesome pirate tales and party tunes from this trusted metal band. The album’s 10 new tracks contain a lot of what we know and love from Alestorm, but with some new added flair. There are plenty of great metal jams throughout, with just as many anthems and catchy choruses. The album embraces more use of harsh vocals on some tracks, blending them together with frontman Captain Chris Bowes’ great piratey vocals he’s known for.

Alestorm stays fun with jams like “Mexico”, which has a hilarious video, “Pegleg Potion”, and as to be expected their rager “Alestorm,” which is also a great blend of old and new in the band’s sound. Anthems are also present on songs like the title track and one of my new favorite Alestorm songs: “Treasure Island.” The whole albums leads you to an almost 8 minute long epic pirate metal masterpiece that has to be blowing out your speakers this summer.

Fans will love these songs paired with the rest of the band’s back catalog, adding more tales to the metal pirate journey. At some points the pirate tales begin to sound the same, but the band does a great job at really emphasizing on the newer additions. “No Grave But The Sea” is a ton of fun and definitely worth checking out. You can also catch Alestorm on Vans Warped Tour this summer!

Track Listing:
1.) No Grave But The Sea
2.) Mexico
3.) To the End of the World
4.) Alestorm
5.) Bar und Imbiss
6.) Fucked with an Anchor
7.) Pegleg Potion
8.) Man the Pumps
9.) Rage of the Pentahook
10.) Treasure Island

Film Review: Rammstein “Rammstein: Paris”

“Rammstein: Paris”
Rammstein
Spinefarm
Director: Jonas Akerlund
Runtime: 128 minutes

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

German industrial metalers Rammstein are set to release a new concert film on May 19th titled “Rammstein: Paris”. Shot over the course of two nights at the Palais Omnisports arena in Paris in front of 17,000 by Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund the film features 22 songs from the band’s expansive repertoire. The end result is not only the most spectacular collection of imagery from one of Germanys most successful bands, but also a masterpiece of music cinema, capturing Rammstein’s energy as a unique visual and sonic experience.

Being no stranger to Rammstein’s concert films featuring the bands over the top theatrics I was very eager to check out the band’s latest release “Paris”. Needless to say I was not disappointed. From the bands over the top entrance which has them walking through the crowd in a stoic procession like fashion before being lifted up to the rafters by industrialized scaffolding to the closing number “Pussy” which features front man Til Lindemann mounting a phallic like device only to douse the crowd in a mystery substance as it moved across the front of the stage. No one does a live show quite like Rammstein and I am sure attempting to film a show this immense was no small feel however director Jonas Akerland and his crew nailed it making this one of the better live releases from the band.

Though I found some of the special effects used to be a bit too much causing portions of the film to be difficult to watch due to their frantic nature “Rammstein: Paris” is a film fans of concert DVD’s have to check out. Having seen a large amount of live films from all different genres I don’t think I have seen any other band take such a cinematic approach with their filming. Lots of different angles and top notch sound made up any short comings I may have found. With the variety of formats the concert is set to be released in you owe it to yourself to check one out.

Track Listing
1.) Intro
2.) Sonne
3.) WOLLT IHR DAS BETT IN FLAMMEN SEHEN
4.) Wollt Das Bett in Flamm
5.) Sehnsucht
6.) Asche Zu Asche
7.) Feuer Frei!
8.) Mutter
9.) Mein Teil
10.) Du Riechst So Gut
11.) Links 2 3 4
12.) Du Hast
13.) Haifisch
14.) Buck Dich
15.) Mann Gegen Mann
16.) Ohne Dich
17.) Mein Herz Brennt
18.) Amerika
19.) Ich Will
20.) Engel
21.) Pussy
22.) Fruhling in Paris

CD Review: Mastodon “Emperor of Sand”

“Emperor of Sand”
Mastodon
Reprise
Producer: Brendan O’Brien
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Atlanta, GA rockers Mastodon return with their 7th studio album titled “Emperor of Sand”. The 11 track album is a dark and foreboding piece that revolves around the story of a desert wanderer who has been handed a death sentence. Produce by Brendan O’Brien (AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine) and released via Reprise Records “Emperor of Sand” serves as the follow up to the bands 2013 release “Once More ‘Round the Sun”.

Ever since seeing Mastodon play the second stage of Ozzfest in 2005 the band has always been able to catch my attention. “Emperor of Sand” did that and them some as the album runs the gamut of styles and sounds over the course of its eleven tracks. Tracks like the rawkus “Sultan’s Curse” and the catchy “Show Yourself” featured more straight forward arrangements while songs such as “Clandestiny”, “Scorpion Breath” and “Jaguar God” allow the band to stretch their legs some while showcasing a unique range and diversity through a variety of tones, texture and subject matter.

“Emperor of Sand” is an entertaining album which offers something a little different each time you listen to it. One thing that always seems to surprise me about Mastodon is that despite being only a four piece band they have a very immense sound capable of filling every nook and cranny of your senses. Combined with the members impressive musicality and the groups continued use of unique subject matter “Emperor of Sand” is a must have.

Track Listing:
1.) Sultan’s Curse
2.) Show Yourself
3.) Precious Stones
4.) Steambreather
5.) Roots Remain
6.) Word to the Wise
7.) Ancient Kingdom
8.) Clandestiny
9.) Andromeda
10.) Scorpion Breath
11.) Jaguar God

CD Review: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes “Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits”

“Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits”
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 17

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Everyone’s favorite punk rock cover band, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have compiled 17 tracks spanning their 8 studio albums for their very first greatest hits album. Simply titled “Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits” the album documents the bands 20 years together through a variety of reworked pop, country and R&B hits that will have you immediately singing along singing along.

If you were at all keyed into the mid 90’s revitalized punk scene then you surely at some point came across Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. The band which consists of a variety of members from various Fat Wreck Chords bands including NOFX, Lagwagon and No Use For a Name have been putting their signature spin on pop culture tracks since their first official release in 1997. From John Denver’s American Classic “Country Roads” to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and Kermit the Frogs “Rainbow Connection” you get a little bit of everything the band has to offer in sleek package.

It was really great revisiting a lot of these renditions as it had been some time since hearing quite a few of these tracks. Each performance serves as a unique and fitting tribute to the originals making for an extremely fun listen. It would have been nice to have included some new material giving those who already have all the albums something more than just a glorified mix tape however, like the title implies why work when you can just sit back and “Rake It In”.

Track Listing:
1.) The Times They Are a-Changin’
2.) Rainbow Connection
3.) City of New Orleans
4.) Summertime
5.) All My Loving
6.) Straight Up
7.) Over the Rainbow
8.) Country Roads
9.) Sloop John B
10.) Jolene
11.) Uptown Girl
12.) Hats Off to Larry
13.) Desperado
14.) Lady
15.) San Francisco
16.) I Believe I Can Fly
17.) End of the Road

CD Review: Gary Clark Jr. “Live North America 2016”

“Live North America 2016”
Gary Clarke Jr.
Warner Bros.
Tracks: 12

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

To coincide with Gary Clarke’s guest appearances during Eric Clapton’s 50th anniversary shows at Madison Square Garden and at The Forum in Los Angeles in mid March comes the guitarists latest live recording titled “Live North America 2016”. The album is being released via Warner Bros. Records and includes all new and unreleased live recordings from Clark’s 2016 tour which was in support of his acclaimed 2015 release “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim”.

Live recordings can often be hit or miss. Despite the recent advances in digital recording the main brunt of the work still falls on the artists to put forth a worthwhile performance. In the case of the latest Gary Clark Jr. album “Live North America 2016” is mostly all hits. Clark’s performance throughout the albums 12 tracks captures the listener’s attentions and holds it close. Tracks like the soulful “The Healing” and “Down to Ride” showcase Clark’s talents as both a player and vocalist while songs such as “When My Train Pulls In” and “Numb” capture a grittier side of Clark’s musical pallet.

Though I found the albums overall mix to be a touch off at certain points you have to know going in to a live album that there are going to be some audio short comings as there are multiple factors that come in to play with this type of set up some of which are not favorable for recording. However what is consistant across the albums 70 plus minute run time is the musicianship shown by Clark and his band. Each of the twelve performances that make up this album is sure to have something for every listener out there making it worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1.) Grinder
2.) The Healing
3.) Our Love
4.) Cold Blooded
5.) When My Train Pulls In
6.) Down to Ride
7.) You Saved Me
8.) Shake (feat. Leon Bridges with Jeff Dazey)
9.) Church
10.) Honest I Do
11.) My Baby’s Gone
12.) Numb

Album Review: Anthrax “For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set”

“For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set”
Anthrax
Megaforce Records
Tracks: 20

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Available exclusively in North America via Megaforce Records is the limited edition “For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set” (Megaforce Records). Released in conjunction with the band’s upcoming Spring co-headline tour with Killswitch Engage the set box set includes 10 7-inch vinyl discs featuring 20 songs – the 11 finished album tracks, two brand new covers (The White Stripes’ “Black Math” and the classic Kansas song “Carry On”), six demos from the “For All Kings” track listing, and “Vice of the People,” a bonus track previously released only in Japan.

Anthrax fans still clamoring for more after the 2016 release of “For All Kings” are certainly in for a treat with this limited edition box set. Not only do you get all the “For All Kings” tracks but you also receive the demo version of the songs contained on the flip side of each seven inch. This was a feature I really enjoyed because you could compare the finished album track with the bands initial idea. Pretty neat if you’re a hardcore music nerd like me. If that wasn’t enough the band made sure to throw in some new material as well including a covers seven inch which contained easily my favorite track from the set a cover of Kansas’s “Carry On” which was paired with a unique rendition of the White Stripes track “Black Math”. That’s still not all as the band chose to also include “Vice of the People” a song originally not released in the States along with a bunch of great artwork by Douglas Heusser and Stephen Thompson, as well as band photos by Jimmy Hubbard.

The big question you might ask “is this worth the $79.99 price tag?” To that I have to say if you already have the “For All Kings” album and are happy with that you may want to save your cash and get a ticket for “Kill-Thrax” spring tour as they might not be enough “new” material here for you. However if you loved the album and want to revisit it in seven inch vinyl formatting, check out the new exclusive art work and add an extremely rare edition to your collection of metal vinyl then Yes! Clean out that bank account and purchase yourself a copy of the “For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set”.

Track Listing:
Disc 1
Breathing Lightning (album version)
Breathing Lightning (demo)

Disc 2
Monster At The End (album version)
Monster At The End (demo)

Disc 3
Suzerain (album version)
Suzerain (demo)

Disc 4
Black Math (White Stripes cover)
Carry On (Kansas cover)

Disc 5
You Gotta Believe (album version)
For All Kings (album version)

Disc 6
Evil Twin (album version)
This Battle Chose Us (album version)

Disc 7
All Them Thieves (album version)
Vice of the People (previously unreleased in North America)

Disc 8
Zero Tolerance (album version)
Zero Tolerance (demo)

Disc 9
Blood Eagle Wings (album version)
Blood Eagle Wings (demo)

Disc 10
Defend Avenge (album version)
Defend Avenge (demo)

CD Review: Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo

Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo
Michael Schenker
inakustik
Tracks: 18

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Michael Schenker, one of music’s greatest rock guitarists has just released a new live album titled “Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo”. Recorded at Tokyo’s International Forum on August 24, 2016 via inakustik this historic concert features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker over the years including M.S.G.’S Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley of the McAuley Schenker Group.

For Michael Schenker fans not fortunate enough to have been able to attend the “Michael Schenker Fest” last year in Tokyo, Japan the latest live offering from the prolific guitarist has you covered. Together with inakustik the listen is instantly catapulted front and center for a barrage of riff-tastic goodness courtesy of Schenker and, a bevy special guests from Michael various groups. Tracks like “Attack of the Mad Axeman” featuring Gary Barden, “This Is My Heart” featuring Robin McAuley and probably my favorite track off the release “Doctor Doctor” which features Gary Barden, Graham Bonner and Robin McAuley all side by side with Schenker and his band.

Though I found the albums overall mix to be a touch thin the performances on each of the albums 18 tracks more than made up for any audio short comings as each performance was quite enjoyable. I also liked that the release is available in a variety of formats (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray) allowing you to have two different experiences with the same release. Long time Schenker fans will certainly want to pick this up for their collection.

Track Listing:
CD 1
1.) Intro: Searching For Freedom
2.) Into the Arena
3.) Attack of the Mad Axeman
4.) Victim of Illusion
5.) Cry for the Nations
6.) Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
7.) Armed and Ready
8.) Coast to Coast
9.) Assault Attack
10.) Desert Song
11.) Dancer

CD 2
1.) Captain Nemo
2.) This Is My Heart
3.) Save Yourself
4.) Love Is Not a Game
5.) Shoot Shoot
6.) Rock Bottom
7.) Doctor Doctor

CD Review: CJ Ramone “American Beauty”

“American Beauty”
CJ Ramone
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 12

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Out of the seven billion or so people on the planet, only seven men have been lucky enough to be gifted with the Ramone surname. As of 2017, four have already headed off to that great gig in the sky. Thankfully, CJ Ramone has no plans to leave any time soon and his latest album “American Beauty” is sure to solidify that statement. The album which is being released via Fat Wreck Chords features twelve brand new tracks and is the follow up to Ramones 2013/14 album “Last Chance to Dance”.

Though the original Ramones lineup is no longer with us thankfully guys like CJ Ramone who was a member of the band from 1989 to 1996 when the band officially retired are still around and making music to fill that empty void. “American Beauty” is the latest offering from CJ and his band who continue to wave the flag for the originators of pop infused punk rock. With subtle nods to his former band mate’s tracks like “Let’s Go”, “Girlfriend In a Grave Yard” and “Run Around” all tap into that same appeal vintage Ramones tracks have but with a modern and somewhat updated twist. Tracks like “Without You” which features a guest appearance by Big Eyes front-woman Kate Eldridge is a catchy back and forth love song about being apart while the track “Tommy’s Gone” is a somber acoustic driven number paying tribute to original Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone (Erdelyi) who passed away in 2014.

Whether you’re a casual listener or a devoted Pinhead CJ Ramones’s “American Beauty” has something for you. From catchy vocal lines and pogo inducing choruses to overdriven guitars and thumping drums and bass the latest offering from a this true punk veteran is worth a listen.

Track Listing:
1.) Let’s Go
2.) Yeah Yeah Yeah
3.) You’ll Never Make Me Believe
4.) Before the Lights Go Out
5.) Girlfriend in a Graveyard
6.) Tommy’s Gone
7.) Run Around
8.) Steady as She Goes
9.) Without You
10.) Be a Good Girl
11.) Moral to the Story
12.) Pony

CD Review: The Bombpops “Fear of Missing Out”

“Fear of Missing Out”
The Bombpops
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 12

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

San Diego punkers The Bombpops are set to explode with their first full-length album titled “Fear of Missing Out”. Released via Fat Wreck Chords the 12 track album is the follow up to the bands 2015 self released EP titled “Can of Worms” and hits with a sound and energy that harkens back to punks resurge in the 90’s.

Fat Wreck Chords has a long and fabled history as one of the independent leaders of punk rock music so whenever I get a chance to check out a new release from them I jump at the chance. Right from the albums opening track “Capable of Lies” to the closing notes of “All in a Day’s Lurk” the album is two parts nostalgia and two parts new as the 4 piece band consisting of Poli van Dam, Jen Razavi, Josh Lewis and Neil Wayne provide listeners with 90’s styled pop-punk fueled with modern day angst. Tracks like “CA in July”, “Watch Me Fold” and “Sweet for Sorrow” are definitely worth noting as they provide a perfect example of my previous statement.

If you were ever into bands like Dance Hall Crashers or Save Ferris then you definitely owe it to yourself to check out The Bombpops and their latest release “Fear of Missing Out”. Not only does the band/album provide a new take on a familiar sound each track’s catchiness is through the roof making it an album you can throw on repeat and listen to multiple times.

Track Listing:
1.) Capable of Lies
2.) CA in July
3.) Be Sweet
4.) Sweet for Sorrow
5.) Jerk
6.) FOMO
7.) I Can’t
8.) Watch Me Fold
9.) Forever Since
10.) Brake Lights
11.) Marry. Fuck. Kill
12.) All in a Day’s Lurk