Album Review: Live “Throwing Copper” 25th Anniversary Edition

“Throwing Copper” 25th Anniversary Edition

Live

Radioactive/MCA/UMe

Producer: Jerry Harrison/Live

2 LP’s

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

In celebration of Live’s momentous, platinum-selling album “Throwing Copper” 25th anniversary fans can now celebrate the album that started it all for the Pennsylvania-based band via a Special Edition double LP. First released on April 26, 1994, “Throwing Copper” transformed Live into one of the most lyrically impactful and instrumentally powerful bands of the modern alternative-rock era.

In the mid to late nineties it was almost impossible to turn on the radio or MTV and not hear or see a song/video from Live and the album “Throwing Copper”. As the follow up to Live’s 1991 major label debut “Mental Jewelry”, the album was a big step for the band hailing from the small town of York, PA and would spawn two No.1 Modern Rock singles (“Lightning Crashes,” “Selling The Drama”) and since been certified 8x multiplatinum by the RIAA, selling over 8 million copies. The 25th Anniversary release of “Throwing Copper” is a fitting recognition the monumental release and comes packed in a full color, dual gatefold sleeve with linear notes and is pressed on either standard black or limited edition red and olive heavy weight vinyl. Though no remixing and mastering was done to this package you do get 3 bonus tracks “Hold Me Up”, “We Deal In Dreams” and “Susquehanna” along with the track “Horse” which was included on the original release as a hidden track.

Revisiting this album in vinyl form was really a lot of fun. It instantly conjured up memories of when I had first heard some of these songs or when I was lucky enough to catch the band on one of their many college tours. Each track offered a warm, more natural sound than what I remember hearing on my digital version so that alone was worth the listen. The addition of the three bonus tracks was also a plus especial the track “Hold Me Up” which was featured in the Kevin Smith film “Zach and Miri Make a Porno”. If you every owned this album and reluctantly sold it to one of those “cash for cd’s” music stores that used to be popular around the same time as when this album first came out then I highly recommend you grab a copy of this album on vinyl as it will surely put a smile on your face while affirming that the 90’s weren’t all bad.     

Track Listing:

Side A:

1. The Dam At Otter Creek

2. Selling The Drama

3. I Alone

4. Iris

Side B:

5. Lighting Crashes

6. Top

7. All Over You

8. Shit Towne

9. T.B.D.

Side C:

10.) Stage

11. Waitress

12. Pillar Of Davidson

13. White, Discussion

Side D:

14.) Horse (Hidden Track On Original Release)

15.) Hold Me Up (Bonus Track)

16.) We Deal In Dream (Bonus Track)

17.) Susquehanna (Bonus Track)

CD Review: Gatecreeper “Deserted”

“Deserted”
Gatecreeper
Relapse Records
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s October and what better time of year to unleash a crusty death metal album upon the world? After three long years and numerous splits and EPs later, Arizona death metal band Gatecreeper return with possibly the best death metal album of 2019. Deserted, released October 4th on Relapse Records is a shear force of nature. Upon listening, the album summons desert twisters of sand and sidewinders it’s so heavy.

There should be no worry of a sophomore slump here. These guys take their art seriously and have only honed in on what makes them so great. The musicianship and songwriting has elevated to new heights on this album. Every riff soaked song is seeping with what you love about Gatecreeper, with some new elements thrown in. Songs like “Puncture Wounds” will be a welcomed breath of fresh air for those growing tired of the early-90’s era death metal revival. While tracks “Everlasting” and “Sweltering Madness” may be the best material the best has ever released. Three minutes into the former and any self-respecting metalhead is telling their friends to “shut-up and listen to this part.”

They stick to their guns on this one and stay true to the Gatecreeper formula. Yet they still manage to bring something new out of the coffin and continue to impress. All of the bands influences are on display here, granting some nostalgia to old school death metal fans. Chase Mason’s vocals are as low as ever, while his blood-curdling metal shrieks have really tightened up compared to earlier releases. Guitar riffoholics Jack Maniacky and Eric Wagner have improved their skills and completely plastered this album in thick, heavy riffs. While the rhythm section, bassist Sean Mears and drummer Matt Arrebollo, have impressively made every song on the album engaging and great for head-banging. Let’s not forget about the amazing as always Godcity mixing done by the legendary Kurt Ballou.

This album should be listened to at high volumes and while you’re punching someone in the face. It’s heavy, grimy, and sometimes slightly melodic and creepy. Everything you need in a death metal album. If you’re sleeping on this band you need to get to the nearest record store or on the internet and become the next biggest Gatecreeper fan. Death metal and the metal scene at large needs bands like this to keep putting out quality music and make us all proud to be fans of this often overlooked genre. Check out “Deserted” today and be sure to catch Gatecreeper on tour with Exhumed throughout the end of 2019

Track Listing:
1. Deserted
2. Puncture Wounds
3. From the Ashes
4. Ruthless
5. Everlasting
6. Barbaric Pleasures
7. Sweltering Madness
8. Boiled Over
9. In Chains
10. Absence of Light
11. Anxiety (Bonus Track)

CD Review: Lagwagon “Railer”

“Railer”
Lagwagon
Fat Wreck Chords
Producer: Cameron Webb
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Punk veterans Lagwagon return with a brand new studio album simply titled “Railer”. The 12 track releases which is being released via Fat Wreck Chords as was produced by Cameron Webb is the follow up to the bands 2014 release “Hang” which marked the bands return to the studio after a nine year lapse.

With nearly thirty years of being a band under their belts the members of Lagwagon which consist of vocalist Joey Cape, guitarists Chris Flippin and Chris Rest, bassist Joe Raposo and drummer Dave Raun could have easily sat back and phoned it on their latest release as they certainly have earned it. Instead the band which has been churning out albums since 1992 pulled out a shred-tastic in your face punk album that is equally fresh as it is familiar. Tracks like “Surviving California”, “Dangerous Animals” and “Bubble” showcase some impressive guitar work set against an extremely tight rhythm performance which serves as a near perfect stage for Capes signature vocals. Other notable tracks include the piano tinged “The Suffering” and “Pray For Them” and the bands take on Journey’s “Faithfully” which is the first cover to appear not as bonus material since the band included their version of the Agent Orange song “Everything Turns Gray” on 1998’s “Let’s Talk About Feelings”.

Clocking in at just less than forty minutes I was blown away with how much musicality Lagwagon packed in to this record. Listeners were given just a taste of the bands heavier side with previous releases but “Railer” rips the band-aid off as the band just goes for it. Despite the rather short run time I found myself listening to it from start to finish multiple times as there is just so much to take in and enjoy. Both long time listeners and newer fans will surely want to check out this release as it shows that just because a band has been around awhile it doesn’t have to become complacent and that music can always be taken and explored further no matter how many albums you have released prior or how many years you have been together.

Track Listing:
1.) Stealing Light
2.) Surviving California
3.) Jini
4.) Parable
5.) Dangerous Animals
6.) Bubble
7.) The Suffering
8.) Dark Matter
9.) Fan Fiction
10.) Pray For Them
11.) Auf Wiedersehen
12.) Faithfully

Album Review: Soundgarden “Louder Than Love” 35th Anniversary Collection

“Louder Than Love” 35th Anniversary Vinyl
Soundgarden
AM Records
Producer: Terry Date/Soundgarden
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s 1989 release “Louder Than Love” is the latest album from the bands catalog to be included in the Seattle natives 35 year Anniversary Collection. The fifth in a series of monthly vinyl releases commemorating the bands career includes the albums original 12 tracks pressed on limited edition 180 gram colored vinyl and comes packaged in a full color sleeve with original album art.

The bands first release on a major label is a landmark point in a bands career. “Louder Than Love” captures the rawness and attitude of early Soundgarden as they transitioned from the dingy and damp clubs of Seattle to being a staple on MTV. Packed with tracks like the controversial “Hands All Over You” and “Big Dumb Sex” the album is a glimpse into an angst ridden band that is pulling out all the stops to get them to where they want to go. “Louder Than Love” is a tempo roller-coaster as songs like “Get On The Snake” and “Gun” both feature arrangements with non-traditional time structures giving the album a unique feel that doesn’t allow listeners to get very comfortable.

Like previous commemorative releases in this series the packaging and album are nice to look at but when it comes to purchase appeal outside of that there isn’t much to entice would be buyers. With the absence of any kind of bonus material, remixing or even a digital download option I really found it difficult to find value in this especially if you already own a copy. Clearly these releases are geared towards new listeners jumping on the vinyl craze. I find this to be somewhat sad as for the fans that were around during the bands initial rise there appears to be nothing new on the horizon for them to sink their musical teeth in to. If you purchased a copy of this record upon its initial release then you have everything and there is no need to purchase the re-release but, if this is an album that has been on your list to pick up and you prefer the translucent orange vinyl to the standard original pressed black then now is a great time to pick up “Louder Than Love”.

Track Listing:

Side One:
1.) Ugly Truth
2.) Hands All Over
3.) Gun
4.) Power Trip
5.) Get On The Snake
6.) Full On Kevin’s Mom

Side Two:
7.) Loud Love
8.) I Awake
9.) No Wrong No Right
10.) Uncovered
11.) Big Dumb Sex
12.) Full On (Reprise)

 

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CD Review: Steel Panther “Heavy Metal Rules”

“Heavy Metal Rules”
Steel Panther
Producer: Jay Ruston
Tracks: 10

Our Score : 2 out of 5 stars

Spandex clad Steel Panther are back with a brand new studio album titled “Heavy Metal Rules”. Released on September 27th the album features 10 tracks showcasing the band’s musical growth and is the follow up to the groups 2017 release “Lower The Bar”. The philanthropic foursome comprised of Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia feels they have created the heavy metal version of a self-help manual and the ultimate party album.

Having followed Steel Panther since their early “Metal Skool” days it’s always been a laughable and fun listening experience when they release a new studio album. However over the last few years I have begun to feel as though the “gimmick” has run its course and “Heavy Metal Rules” is no exception. As I made my way through the albums ten tracks the subject matter came off as flat and extremely tired. Songs like “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)”, “Always Gonna Be a Ho” and “Gods of Pussy” felt like regurgitated versions of songs we have heard on previous records. Don’t get me wrong each of the band members show case their impressive musicianship while producer Jay Ruston does a good job making the album sound sonically good however there just seems to be an overhanging staleness caused by the groups repetitiveness.

If you are a music listeners who needs a copy of “Heavy Metal Party” to complete your growing Steel Panther collection then my guess is you probably have already gone out and grabbed it on CD, Vinyl or Digital Download but, be prepared for the same “sex, drugs and Rock n’ Roll” parodies that have been present since 2009’s “Feel The Steel”. If that still does it for you great! Then “Heavy Metal Party” is clearly for you. However if you are like me and were hoping for something new and/or different this time around take a hard pass. Given the idea of progression might be foreign to a band whose theme is to be stuck in a bygone era it still would have been a nice thought.

Track Listing:
1.) Zebraman
2.) All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)
3.) Let’s Get High Tonight
4.) Always Gonna Be A Ho
5.) I’m Not Your Bitch
6.) Fuck Everybody
7.) Heavy Metal Rules
8.) Sneaky Little Bitch
9.) Gods of Pussy
10.) I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling

Album Review: Soundgarden “King Animal” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

“King Animal” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

Soundgarden

Republic Records

Producer: Adam Kasper/Soundgarden

2 LP’s

Tracks: 13

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s sixth and final album “King Animal” is the latest in a series in specially packaged re-releases from the platinum selling band which celebrates the groups 35 year career. Like the previous three releases from this series “King Animal” comes pressed on 180 gram colored vinyl and is packaged in full color, dual gate fold sleeves complete with album liner notes.

The final release from Soundgarden after the group’s reformation in 2010 “King Animal” picks up roughly where its predecessor “Down On The Upside” leaves off. Not it in theme but in stylistic approach as the album features a wide range of textures and sounds giving listeners a smorgasbord of musical ear candy to digest. The latest LP release comes pressed on double white/yellow marble 180 gram vinyl which gives the albums 13 tracks a balanced warmness as it plays through your speakers. Tracks like the rawkus “Non-State Actor” and the eerie “Bones of Birds” were personal highlights as were the fast paced “Attrition” and the fanatical thumping of “Eyelids Mouth”.

Being this is not the albums first vinyl treatment aside from the addition of 180 gram vinyl it doesn’t really offer anything that the previous release didn’t already provide. This seems to be a common occurrence with these anniversary releases as none of them have offered anything extra to help entice buyers to grab another copy. With the various bonus content that was made available previously from this release I think it would have been an ideal time to house it all under one nicely packed anniversary collection however, this was not the case. Don’t get me wrong re-releases can be a really cool thing and like the subsequent 3 the packaging is second to none however they really should have given fans a reason to purchase them and “King Animal” is no exception. If you have this release already you may want to skip this one however if you haven’t gotten yourself a copy and just want the core album with no fancy extras, Then grab this anniversary edition as you won’t be disappointed.   

Track Listing:

1.) Been Away Too Long

2.) Non-State Actor

3.) By Crooked Steps

4.) A Thousand Days Before

5.) Blood on the Valley Floor

6.) Bones of Birds

7.) Taree

8.) Attrition

9.) Black Saturday

10.) Halfway There

11.) Worse Dreams

12.) Eyelids Mouth

13.) Rowing

 

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CD Review: Good Riddance “Thoughts and Prayers”

“Thoughts and Prayers”

Good Riddance

Fat Wreck Chords

Producer: Bill Stevenson/Jason Livermore

Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Punk rock band Good Riddance return with their 9th studio release titled “Thoughts and Prayers”. The album is being released via Fat Wreck Chords as is the follow up to the bands 2015 release “Peace in our Time”. Produced by Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore “Thoughts and Prayers” features twelve new tracks from the Santa Cruz, CA natives.

Since the reformation of the band in 2012 Good Riddance have forged ahead with the same fast paced ferocity that cemented them as a mainstay during the pop-punk boom of the mid 1990’s. The group’s latest album “Thoughts and Prayers” is a solid example of this as it packs a solid one, two punch of fast paced rhythms and catchy melodies. Tracks like the frenzied “Rapture” and the thought provoking “Our Great Divide” combine the bands signature sound with a fresh batch of hooky choruses that will have you singing along in no time. The track “No King but Caesar” does a great job breaking up the album as it slows the momentum just enough for the listener to catch a breath only to be sucked in seconds later as the track ends up morphing in to one of the fastest, most intense songs of the release and makes way for other upbeat numbers “Who We Are”, “Pox Americana” and “Lo Que Sucede” before coming to rest with the closing rallying cries of “Requisite Catastrophes”. 

When a band breaks up and then gets back together you never know if the same energy and cohesiveness that made the original incarnation of the band work will still remain. “Thoughts and Prayers” shows that Good Riddance have not lost a step but they have also kicked things up a notch with an album that showcases the bands progression as people and musicians. If 2015’s “Peace in our Time” record served as a reminder to who Good Riddance was during their heyday then “Thoughts and Prayers” is the road map for where the band is going next,

Track Listing:

1. Edmund Pettus Bridge
2. Rapture
3. Don’t Have Time
4. Our Great Divide
5. Wish You Well
6. Precariat
7. No King But Ceasar
8. Who We Are
9. No Safe Place
10. Pox Americana
11. Lo Que Sucede
12. Requisite Catastrophes

CD Review: “Invasion” John 5 and the Creatures

“Invasion”

John 5 and the Creatures

Producer:  Barry Pointer

Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Guitarist John 5 and his band The Creatures (bassist Ian Ross, Drummer Logan Miles Nix) are back with a brand new studio album titled “Invasion”. The fourth studio release from the Los Angeles based trio features 10 tracks produced by Barry Pointer which plunge listeners head first into the twisted, musical mind of guitar virtuoso/front-man John 5.

Just when you thought guitarist John 5 had taken his unique mixture of “Hee-Haw” infused shred as far as it could possibly go the former Marilyn Manson/K.D.Lang/Rod Stewart guitarist flips the switch to show listeners that all previous accounts were just the catalyst to “Invasion”. From the eerie opening sound-scape “Invasion” to the robotic “I Am John 5” and the quirky “Zoinks” listener’s senses are put through the wringer before being pushed even further with the twang-tastic, “Howdy” and the pedal steel laden “Cactus Flower” both of which showcase 5’s strong country influences. On the back end of the album are tracks like “I Want It All” and “I Like The Funk” both of which are doused with enough funky textures and tones that they will have the one and only George Clinton scratching his head.

You don’t have to be a guitar player to enjoy the music contained on “Invasion”. From over the top molten distortion to funkified wah worbles and sparkly cleans the latest offering from John 5 and the Creatures is a hodge-podge of musical influences which explode out of your speakers with reckless abandonment. Despite “Invasion” not being the most cohesive collection of songs from the group the album does give listeners a wide pallet to choose from making it worth checking out.

Track Listing:

1.) Invasion

2.) I Am John 5

3.) Midnight Mass

4.) Zoinks!

5.) Howdy

6.) Crank It/Living With Ghosts

7.) Cactus Flower

8.) I Want It All

9.) I Like The Funk

10.) Constant Sorrow

Album Review: Soundgarden “Down On The Upside” Anniversary LP

“Down On The Upside” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

Soundgarden

AM Records

Producer: Soundgarden

Co-Producer: Adam Kasper

2 LP’s

Tracks: 16

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s Platinum selling 1996 release “Down On The Upside” is the latest album from the bands catalog to be included in the Seattle natives 35 year Anniversary Collection. The third in a series of vinyl releases commemorating the bands career the 16 track, 2 LP set is being pressed on limited edition 180 gram colored vinyl and comes packaged in a full color, dual gatefold sleeve complete with album liner notes.

Though this is not the first time “Down On The Upside” has appeared on vinyl it is certainly the brightest. Right away listeners will notice the heavy weight, 180 gram, limited edition Orange and Purple marble pressings which play host to some of Sound Garden’s biggest hits of the mid 90’s. Listeners will obviously want to check out “Pretty Noose”, “Blow Up The Outside World” and “Burden In My Hand” but I also would recommend “Rhinosaur” and “Dusty” as well. Visually the release pulls out all the stops as the orange and purple vinyl feature subtle marble swirls which look really cool when spinning on your turntable. The gatefold packaging is also nicely done and is printed on heavy weight card stock fitting of a special release.

Though the album is nice to look at I found it to be pretty lax in the listening dept. The sound quality was ok but it was certainly dated and could have benefited from a remix and re-master. In 1997 the band released a greatest hits compilation including the songs “Karaoke” and “Bleed Together” which we outtakes from the “Down On The Upside” sessions however, neither of those songs were included here making for a big miss in my book. The last disappointment was the fact that no digital download codes were included thus making it slightly difficult to listen on the go. If you purchased a copy of this record upon its initial release then I say stick with that and skip over this re-release but, if this is an album that has been on your list to pick up now is a great time while it is available in a limited edition release.       

Track Listing:

1.) Pretty Noose

2.) Rhinosaur

3.) Zero Chance

4.) Dusty

5.) Ty Cobb

6.) Blow Up The Outside World

7.) Burden In My Hand

8.) Never Named

9.) Applebite

10.) Never The Machine Forever

11.) Tighter and Tighter

12.) No Attention

13.) Switch Opens

14.) Overfloater

15.) An Unkind

16.) Boot Camp

CD Review: Baroness “Gold & Grey”

“Gold & Grey”

Baroness

Abraxan Hymns

Producer: David Fridmann

Tracks: 17

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Heavy Metal band Baroness returns with their fifth studio album titled “Gold & Grey”. The album which was released on June 14th is the follow to the bands popular 2015 release “Purple”. Featuring 17 brand new tracks from the Georgia based group and produced by David Fridmann “Gold & Grey” is the first release via the bands own Abraxan Hymns label. The release is also the first to feature guitarist Gina Gleason who joined the group in 2017 after the departure of Peter Adams.

Right from the start “Gold & Grey” showcases why Baroness is at the fore front of progressive heavy metal. With tracks like “Front Toward Enemy” and “I’m Already Gone” laying the foundation in the albums opening minutes with thick over driven guitars and singer John Baizley’s signature soaring vocals listeners are quickly immersed in a bevy of sonic goodness. As the album progresses so does the diverseness of texture and tones. Tracks like “Tourniquet” and “Blankets of Ash” feature spacey vocals and layered acoustic guitars while the songs “I’d Do Anything” and “Emmett-Radiating Light” feature piano rich sound scapes which seep deep in to your inner core making for a nice mixture of dark and light.   

The latest offering from Baroness takes listeners on a musical vacation that some may never want to come back from. Brimming over with emotional subject matter and robust instrumentation “Gold & Grey” is another notch in Baroness’s musical belt. The addition of guitarist Gina Gleason I feel has really taken the band to the next level. Not only does Gleason’s playing compliment the band nicely but so do her backing vocals which compliment Baizley’s leads. Despite “Gold & Grey” having a few too many slow moments for my liking the songs that weren’t balls to the wall rockers were still enjoyable making this an album I would certainly recommend checking out.

Track Listing:

1.) Front Toward Enemy

2.) I’m Already Gone

3.) Seasons

4.) Sevens

5.) Tourniquet

6.) Anchors Lament

7.) Throw Me an Anchor

8.) I’d Do Anything

9.) Blanket of Ash

10.) Emmett- Radiating Light

11.) Cold-Blooded Angels

12.) Crooked Mile

13.) Broken Halo

14.) Can Oscura

15.) Borderlines

16.) Assault on East falls

17.) Pale Sun

Album Review: Rammstein “Untitled”

“Untitled”

Rammstein

Caroline

Producer: Olsen Involtini w/ Rammstein

2 LP’s

Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Rammstein’s long awaited seventh album is finally here! The untitled release hit the shelves in the United States on May 17 via Caroline and consists of 11 new tracks produced by Olsen Involtini and the Rammstein. The album which features the singles “Radio” and “Deutschland” is the German based bands first studio album since 2009’s “LIEBE IST FÜR ALLE DA” which peaked at number 13 on the U.S Billboard 200.

After a 10 year recording hiatus German industrialist’s Rammstein are back with a hard hitting package of 11 new songs which certainly make up for the bands extended absence. It doesn’t matter you go for the CD, Digital Download or the 2 LP version (like us) you will not be disappointed. Prior to this release I had always gotten my Rammstein fix in CD or Digital forms. Given the nature of the music I had always felt it would sound best on these formats. With untitled though I decided to give the 2 LP version of the release a try. Needless to say I was not disappointed as the vinyl delivered! The heavy weight vinyl set at 45rpm’s gives the guitars and drums a tight, robust sound that mixed nicely with the electronic and vocal elements of the record. Tracks like “Radio”, “Sex” and, “Weit Weg” are all heavy hitters that will get you moving while more subdued tracks “Was Ich Liebe” and “Hallomann” paint eerie landscapes that could easily be the soundtrack to your favorite thriller or horror film.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and that is definitely my sentiment as it pertains to the latest offering from Rammstein. The band along with producer Olsen Involtini has put together a great sounding release that is diverse enough to allow for consecutive listens time and time again. The double LP version of the release offers a little something extra for fans as it included 6 beautiful prints of the band (one for each member) printed on high quality paper stock suitable for framing. The only negative I found was that the LP version did also contain a digital version thus making it impossible (without a second purchase) to obtain a mobile version of the album. If this is something you can do without I highly recommend the vinyl however, if you are on the go and don’t have a lot of time to sit down and listen to an album then the digital or CD version of the release will still provide you an equally enjoyable listen.  

Track Listing:

Side A

1.) Deutschland

2.) Radio

3.) Zeig Dich

Side B

1.) Auslander

2.) Sex

3.) Puppe

Side C

1.) Was Ich Liebe

2.) Diamant

3.) Weit Weg

Side D

1.) Tattoo

2.) Hallomann

CD Review: Dead Kennedys “DK 40”

“DK 40”

Dead Kennedys

Manifesto Records

3 Discs

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Out of the hundreds of punk bands that emerged from the late ’70s punk scene, only about a dozen or so have achieved iconic status four decades later. One of those was the Dead Kennedys. The DKs embodied the spirit of punk from the get-go. Their very name was a shocking reminder of the collapse of the American Dream. Then again, the name would be nothing if the Dead Kennedys didn’t have the goods to back it up. The band’s latest offering titled “DK 40” is a three-CD live collection featuring three different performances from the early 1980’s. The collection is being released via Manifesto Records and offers the aural evidence that the Dead Kennedys were one of the most potent punk bands — period.  It features the band serving up amped-up live versions of all their classic tracks, free from the constraints of the recording studio.

If you never had the chance to catch Dead Kennedy’s with the classic lineup of Klaus Flouride, East Bay Ray, D.H. Peligro and Jello Biafra then now is your chance. The newly released “DK 40” provides listeners with three different live performances from 1982 and 1985. All the bands staple songs are here including “Kill The Poor”, “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”, “Chemical Warfare” and of course “Holiday in Cambodia”. Disc 1 and 2 include performances from the bands 1982 European tour and feature similar track listings however Disc 3 showcases the band in their home city of San Francisco in mid 1985. This disc was probably my favorite of the three as it featured a wider variety of material than the previous two discs including songs like “Hellnation”, “Jock O Rama” and “MTV Get off The Air”.

 If you are looking to add to your DK collection or start one then “DK 40” is a solid starting point/addition. You get all the well known material along with a spattering of lesser known tracks giving the 3 disc set a nice balance for all level of fans. Where I found the package to be a little lacking was that it featured two nights from the same tour making for some redundancies. The band did tour in 1983 and 84 so I am not sure why they chose to include two shows from 1982. On the plus side the three discs come packaged in a sleek tri-fold package with interior and disc artwork by Eric S. Goodfield and also includes a brief description of each show giving listeners just a little something extra to help celebrate the bands 40th anniversary.

Disc 1: Paradiso (December 5, 1982):

1. Moral Majority
2. Am the Owl
3. Life Sentence
4. Police Truck
5, Riot
6. Bleed For Me
7. Holiday in Cambodia
8. Let’s Lynch the Landlord
9. Chemical Warfare
10. Nazi Punks Fuck Off
11. Kill The Poor
12. We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now
13. Too Drunk To Fuck

Disc 2: Alabama Halle (December 13, 1982):

1. Skateboard Talk+Intro Noise
2. Man With The Dogs
3. Forward to Death
4. Kepone Factory
5. Life Sentence
6. Trust Your Mechanic
7, Moral Majority
8. Forest Fire
9. Winnebago Warrior
10. Police Truck
11. Bleed For Me
12. Holiday In Cambodia
13. Let’s Lynch the Landord
14. Chemical Warfare
15. Nazi Punks
16. We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now
17. Too Drunk to Fuck
18. Kill the Poor

Disc 3: The Farm (May 25, 1985):

1. Darren’s Mom
2. Goons of Hazard
3. Hellnation
4. This Could Be Anywhere
5. Soup Is Good Food
6. Chemical Warfare
7. Macho Insecurity
8. A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch
9. Forest Fire
10. Moon Over Marin
11. Jack-O-Rama

12. Encore
13. Stars and Stripes of Corruption
14. Second Encore
15. MTV Get Off the Air
16. Holiday In Cambodia

CD Review: Megadeth “Warheads On Forheads”

“Warheads On Foreheads”

Megadeth

UMe

Tracks: 35

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

MEGADETH celebrate their 35th Anniversary with the release of Warheads On Foreheads, a 35-track, career retrospective. The anthology spans the bands entire studio recording career, from their first album “Killing Is My Business…” to their 2017 GRAMMY® Award winning release “Dystopia”. The collection of songs is available as a 3-CD set, a 4-LP set and a digital edition via UMe Recordings. A limited edition, four-LP set pressed on silver colored vinyl will be available exclusively through the band’s online store.

For those of you looking for a career spanning collection of songs from one of the Big 4 of trash look no further than the recently released “Warheads On Foreheads” collection from the one and only Megadeth. The three CD, four LP set includes all the songs Megadeth fans have come to love over the past thirty five years. Chronologically arranged Disc 1 includes songs such as “Mechanix”, “Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good” and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”. Disc Two includes tracks like the shred-tastic “Hangar 18” and from the bands 1992 release “Countdown to Extinction” the songs “Symphony of Destruction” and “Sweating Bullets”. Disc 3 covers the bands recordings from 1997 “Cryptic Writings” up to 2016’s “Dystopia”. Here listeners can find tracks like “Trust”, “Head Crusher” and my person favorite “Public Enemy No. 1”.
 
Production and Packaging is top notch as the 3-CD set comes packaged in a multi fold case complete with linear notes booklet. Sonically the collection features a universal mix across each of the three discs making for a great listening experience be it in the car, on your home stereo or through headphones. The piece I found lacking in this collection is there really is nothing new for longtime fans of the band. Aside from some new artwork that is it. In a career compilation such as this I would have thought including an unreleased performance video or behind the scenes footage would be a no brainer givings collectors a reason to buy the release but sadly that is not the case. If you have never bought a Megadeth album before then “Warheads on Foreheads” is the perfect pickup to get your feet wet however, unless you’re a collection completist I would skip this as it contains no new or unreleased material.  
 

3-CD TRACK LISTING

DISC 1
1. Rattlehead
2. Mechanix
3. Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good!
4. The Conjuring
5. Wake Up Dead
6. Devils Island
7. Good Mourning / Black Friday
8. Set The World Afire
9. In My Darkest Hour
10. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
 
DISC 2
1. Hangar 18
2. Tornado Of Souls
3. Rust In Peace…Polaris
4. Five Magics
5. Take No Prisoners
6. Skin O’ My Teeth
7. Angry Again
8. Symphony Of Destruction
9. Sweating Bullets
10. A Tout Le Monde
11. Train Of Consequences
12. Reckoning Day
 
DISC 3
1. Trust
2. She-Wolf
3. Wanderlust
4. Dread and the Fugitive Mind
5. Blackmail The Universe
6. Washington Is Next!
7. Head Crusher
8. Public Enemy No. 1
9. Kingmaker
10. The Threat Is Real
11. Poisonous Shadows
12. Death From Within
13. Dystopia

CD Review: Masked Intruder “III”

“III”

Masked Intruder

Pure Noise Records

Producers: Roger Lima/Mike Kennerty

Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Masked Intruder return with the follow up release to their 2016 EP “Love and Other Crimes” simply titled “III” the album consists of 12 brand new tracks which were produced by Roger Lima (Less Than Jake) and Mike Kennerty (All American Rejects) at The Moat House in Gainesville, FL. “III” is the bands second release and first full-length album to be released via Pure Noise Records.

Intruder Red, Yellow, Blue and Green are back terrorizing your neighborhood with their latest album “III” but, have no fear Officer Bradford is in hot pursuit attempting to retrieve your valuables. Packed full of tongue and cheek lyrics and pogo ensuing punk rhythms “III” is an enjoyable listen from beginning to end. Tracks like “No Case” and “I’m Free (At Last)” are spewing over with energy and laughable subject matter while tracks like “All Of My Love” and “Stay With Me Tonight” cover more emotional topics set perfectly against the bands signature pop-punk style.

If you had a chance to catch the band on one of their many recent tours then you already know just how fun the band is live. “III” captures that same energy and enjoyment over the course of its twelve tracks giving you that same experience listen after listen. The only thing missing is a partially dressed Officer Bradford as the colorfully masked four piece have taken their musicality to another level with their latest offering.        

Track Listing:

1.) No Case

2.) Mine All Mine

3.) All of My Love

4.) Just So You Know

5.) I’m Free (At Last)

6.) Please Come Back To Me

7.) B & E

8.) Maybe Even

9.) Not Fair

10.) Stay With Me Tonight

11.) Dream a Little Dream

12.) I’ll Be Back Again Someday

CD Review: Teenage Bottlerocket “Stay Rad”

“Stay Rad”

Teenage Bottlerocket

Fat Wreck Chords

Producer: Andrew Berlin

Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Formed in Wyoming in 2000, Teenage Bottlerocket were rad when they released their debut album, “Another Way”, in 2003 and almost two decades – as the title of this eighth studio album suggests – they remain just as rad. Following on from 2017’s “Stealing The Covers” these 14 short, snappy and stylish punk songs are centered around the songwriting chops of guitarists/vocalists Ray Carlisle and Kody Templeman and overflow with Teenage Bottlerocket’s typical mix of humor and poignancy, silliness and melancholy.  “Stay Rad” is being released via Fat Wreck Chords and was produced by Andrew Berlin and is the first album of original material that the band – completed with bassist Miguel Chen and drummer Darren Chewka following the death of former drummer and Ray’s twin brother Brandon in 2015.

When you think of Wyoming you don’t often think of punk rock however since the early 2000’s Teenage Bottlerocket have been trying their darnedest to change that. The band’s latest release “Stay Rad” is a fast past 14 track rocker reminiscent of early Ramones albums. Songs like the albums opener “You Don’t Get the Joke” and “Anti-Social Media” hit society right between the eyes with their tongue and cheek lyrics about the need to fit in and social media addiction while tracks like “Everything to Me” and “Little Kid” go deeper emotionally discussing the bond between father and son and the loss of a loved one. While the subject matter varies in seriousness one thing that is consistent is the band’s blistering pace. The albums fourteen tracks clock in at just over thirty minutes wasting no time with drawn out interludes or repetitiveness

From beginning to end “Stay Rad” offers listeners a high energy, fast paced album that is really enjoyable. Even the albums more serious moments are set to catchy beats which do a great job balancing things out while not taking away from the sons meaning. The guys in Teenage Bottlerocket really brought it with their latest offering so do yourself a favor and pickup a copy.

Track Listing:

1.) You Don’t Get the Joke

2.) Death Kart

3.) Everything to Me

4.) I Wanna Be a Dog

5.) Night of Knuckleheads

6.) Creature From the Black Metal Lagoon

7.) Anti-Social media

8.) Wild Hair (Across My Ass)

9.) The First Time That I Did Acid Was The Last Time That I Did Acid

10.) I Want to Kill Clint Carlin

11.) I’ll Kill You Tomorrow

12.) Stupid Song

13.) Little Kid

14.) I Never Knew

 

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