CD Review: Gwar “The New Dark Ages”

“The New Dark Ages”

GWAR
Slave Pit Records
Tracks: 15

Our score 3 out of 5 stars

When Earth is threatened by Ancient and unspeakable terrors there is only one group of crack fueled, intergalactic creatures that can help put a stop to the mysterious forces that threaten to bring an End to the Age of Man. The ever-loveable GWAR return with their 15th studio album titled “The New Dark Ages” to take on all those who threaten their home away from home know as Earth. The album is being released via the bands own Slave Pit Records and features fifteen tracks which titillate some and scare other.

Much like the previous few releases from the band “The New Dark Ages” is a concept album which documents the ongoing adventures of everyone’s favorite space aliens. In their latest endeavor the five members must once again save mankind by rediscovering long forgotten powers which are needed to defeat their latest foe. The underlying narrative weaves in and out of tracks like “Berserker Mode” a thrash infused face-melter that goes straight for the throat and “Rise Again” an eerie sonic scape brimming over with instrumentation that is an equal blending of soulfulness and crunch. Tracks like “Completely Fucked” and “Ratcatcher” employ GWAR’s signature tongue and cheek lyricism backed by needling instrumentation which continually pokes at your cortex throughout the duration of the track. Other tracks worth checking out are “The Cutter” which features a guest performance by Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale and “Bored to Death” which has guitarist Pustulus Maximus handling the vocal duties for this classic thrasher which I guarantee will have you banging your head by the first chorus.

GWAR’s latest album “The New Dark Ages” may not be their most cohesive record however it certainly shows the band still is not afraid of trying something different while at the same time not completely reinventing the wheel. “The New Dark Ages” comes packed with plenty of great guitar riffs, pounding drums and side-splitting lyrics that will sit nicely with Bohabs both young and old for many eternities to come.

“The New Dark Ages” Track Listing:

1.) New Dark Age
2.) Blood Libel
3.) Berserker Mode
4.) Mother Fucking Liar
5.) Unto the Breach
6.) Completely Fucked
7.) The Cutter
8.) Rise Again
9.) The Beast Will Eat Itself
10.) Venom of the Platypus
11.) Ratcatcher
12.) Bored to Death
13.) Temple Ascent
14.) Starving Gods
15.) Deus Ex Monstrum

CD Review: Mark Tremonti “Tremonti Sings Sinatra”

“Tremonti Sings Sinatra”

Mark Tremonti
Tracks: 14

Our score 4 out of 5 stars

Grammy Award Winning musician, producer, and author Mark Tremonti (Creed, Alter-Bridge) has teamed up with the surviving members of legendary singer Frank Sinatra’s orchestra to release a covers album titled “Tremonti Sings Sinatra”. Consisting of both classic and deeper cuts approved by the Sinatra Estate Tremonti took extra steps to make this release even more special by gifting the album to the National Down Syndrome Society. All proceeds from the album will be going towards bringing the gift of music to children with developmental disabilities.

Take whatever you may know about Creed/Alter-Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti and set it aside for 47 minutes. That’s the runtime of the award-winning guitarists latest offering “Tremonti Sings Sinatra”. Backed by some of the same legendary players who made up “Ol Blue Eyes” Orchestra through-out his career Tremonti takes the helm attempting to fill some pretty big shoes, A feet he does with surprising believability. Over the course of the albums 14 tracks Mark shows a different side of his musicality as he croons his way through well know tracks like “I’ve Got The World On A String”, “Fly Me To The Moon” and a classical guitar tinged version of “My Way”. The guitarist turned singer goes one step further in ensuring this isn’t just another interpretation of Sinatra’s greatest hits by digging deep into the Sinatra song catalog with the inclusion of songs like “Wave”, “Nancy (With The Laughing Face)” and “This Song Is You”. Fresh and colorful backing instrumentation (provided by some of the same players heard on the originals) sets a near perfect backdrop for Tremonti to lay down his vocal interpretation.

If you are a Sinatra purist don’t let Tremonti’ s heavy metal guitar roots sway your decision in checking out this record. The guitarist turned crooner in my opinion does a really great job staying true to the original versions of each song while at the same time adding his own elements and style. “Tremonti Sings Sinatra” is like putting a new pair of laces in your favorite pair of old shoes. By doing so you retain that element of comfortability while adding a newness that doesn’t cheapen or change the original. To top things off Mark has donated this release and its proceeds to the National Down Syndrome Society a group very close to the artist (Tremonti has a daughter with Down Syndrome). To assume this was a labor of love project could probably go without saying but I can only think that if this record was as fun to make as it was to listen to then I hope this is only the first and there more albums like this to come from the veteran rocker.

Track Listing:

1.) I’ve Got You Under My Skin
2.) I’ve Got The World On A String
3.) I Fall In Love Too Easily
4.) Wave
5.) Fly Me To The Moon
6.) Nancy (With The Laughing Face)
7.) My Way
8.) You Make Me Feel So Young
9.) Luck Be A Lady
10.) That’s Life
11.) Come Fly With Me
12.) In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning
13.) This Song is You
14.) All Or Nothing At All

CD Review: Black Veil Brides “The Phantom Tomorrow”

“The Phantom Tomorrow”

Black Veil Brides
Sumerian Records
Producer: Erik Ron, Co-Producer Jake Pitts
Tracks:

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Los Angeles rockers Black Veil Brides will release their 6th studio album “The Phantom Tomorrow” on 10/29/21. The 14-track concept record was produced by Erik Ron (Godsmack) along with Co-Producer Jake Pitts and is being released via Sumerian Records and includes cover artwork by artist Eliran Kantor.

As the follow up to 2018’s “Vale” front-man Andy Biersack and company have crafted a new anthemic concept album titled “The Phantom Tomorrow”. Despite the unknown origins of the red crossed phantom who adorns the album cover created by the band which along with Biersack consists of Jake Pitts, Jeremy “Jinxx” Ferguson, Lonny Eagleton and Christian “CC” Coma let each of the fourteen tracks found on “The Phantom Tomorrow” to set the story for listeners. Tracks like “Scarlet Cross”, “Black Bird” and “The Wicked One” come packed with riff driven verses and anthemic choruses which instantly transport the listener directly into the center of the albums concept while tracks like “Torch”, “Shadows Rise” and “Fall Eternal” paint a broader picture of the story by multi layered instrumentation and operatic like vocalizations which further bolster the albums already robust sound.

Black Veil Brides have laid forth another masterful concept record to accompany their already impressive resume. Though I would have liked to see the band expand on their tonal pallet giving listeners a little more variety it’s that element of familiarity which keeps me coming back time and time again. Black Veil Brides “The Phantom Tomorrow” is a continuation of albums which play to the bands strong suit, a suit which continually keeps them at the fore front of modern rock.

“The Phantom Tomorrow” Track Listing:

1. The Phantom Tomorrow (Introduction)
2. Scarlet Cross
3. Born Again
4. Blackbird
5. Spectres (Interlude)
6. Torch
7. The Wicked One
8. Shadows Rise
9. Fields of Bone
10. Crimson Skies
11. Kill the Hero
12. Fall Eternal

CD Review: Motorhead “Everything Louder Forever” The Very Best of Motorhead

“Everything Louder Forever” The Very Best of Motorhead

Motorhead
BMG
Tracks: 42
Format: 2 CD’s, 2 LP’s, Deluxe 4 LP Fold Out

Our score 3.5 out of 5 stars

Motorhead the loudest, meanest, dirtiest music to smash the 20th and 21st will release a new collection of songs from their storied career titled “Everything Louder Forever” The Very Best of Motorhead on October 29th. The collection is the definitive assembly of Motorhead songs which created a cultural phenomenon and represents for the first time all eras of the band’s recorded history have been represented in one place. The collection features 42 songs spread which are being released via BMG and available on digital, CD and Vinyl formats.

Since the passing of legendary front man Lemmy Kilmister in 2015 there has been a steady flow of compilations and re-releases of the Motorhead catalog. The latest edition to be added to that list is “Everything Louder Forever” The Very Best of Motorhead a 42-track collection of songs from all eras of the bands career. Over the course of two CD’s or 2/4 LP’s (2 LP standard, 4 LP Deluxe) listeners are treated to the most expansive collection of Motorhead songs thus far. From the more well-known tracks like “Overkill”, “Killed by Death” and “Ace of Spades” to lesser-known gems like “Keys to the Kingdom”, “Lost Johnny” and “Choking on Your Screams” each disc features a solid balance with all era’s being mixed evenly across both discs. This was something I really liked about the release as often times compilations are broken down chronologically but with “Everything Louder Forever” you can throw on either disc and get a nice blend of Motorhead stylings. They even went as far to include WWE Superstar Triple H’s theme song “The Game” which I thought was a great and welcomed addition.

“Everything Louder Forever” The Very Best of Motorhead may not offer anything new in the way of unreleased tracks or never before heard live recordings however it does offer a unique and expansive track listing that previous compilations did not include. You get all eras of Motorhead in one place. From Philthy Animal Phil and Fast Eddie to Phil Campbell, Wurzel and Mikkey Dee all members are represented here which something I certainly enjoyed as each member brought a unique style to the band and music. Though the album doesn’t have one definitive mix across the 42 songs causing for some volume and eq changes this is certainly my favorite post Lemmy offering. Included in the package is a cool fold out with a rendering of Lemmy’s Murder One amp on one side and four different group shots of the band along with track listings and member info on the other side which is a nice little edition to the package. If you are looking for the broadest collection of Motorhead material without the need for stacks of LP’s and CD’s requiring frequent changes then “Everything Louder Forever” The Very Best of Motorhead is a must.

“Everything Louder Forever” Track Listing:

Disc 1

1.) Overkill
2.) We Are Motorhead
3.) Snaggletooth
4.) Rock It
5.) Orgasmatron
6.) Brotherhood of Man
7.) In the Name of Tragedy
8.) Bomber
9.) Sacrifice
10.) The Thousand Names of God
11.) Love for Sale
12.) Killed by Death
13.) I’m SO Bad (Baby I Don’t Care)
14.) Smiling Like a Killer
15.) Sharpshooter
16.) Queen of the Damned
17.) Keys to the Kingdom
18.) Cradle to the Grave
19.) Lost Johnny
20.) The Game

Disc 2 Track Listing:

1.) Ace of Spades
2.) Burner
3.) Stone Dead Forever
4.) Bad Woman
5.) Just ‘Cos You Got the Power
6.) Stay Out of Jail
7.) No Class
8.) I Am the Sword
9.) The Chase is Better Than the Catch
10.) God Save the Queen
11.) R.A.M.O.N.E.S
12.) Iron Fist
13.) Rock Out
14.) Dirty Love
15.) Shine
16.) Overnight Sensation
17.) On Your Feet or On Your Knees
18.) I Ain’t No Nice Guy
19.) Sucker
20.) 1916
21.) Choking on Your Screams
22.) Motorhead

Album Review: Every Time I Die “Radical”

“Radical”

Every Time I Die
Epitaph
Producer: Will Putney
Tracks: 16

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Buffalo-based hardcore band Every Time I Die have released their ninth studio album titled “Radical”. Produced by Will Putney (Acacia Strain) and released via Epitaph Records “Radical” is the follow up to the bands 2016 release “Low Teens”. Consisting of 16 brand new tracks which could be described as a swampy summoning of southern rock and coarse poetry and clever wordplay.

Chants of LET’S GO BUFFALO! will undoubtably be raining down across the Queen City on October 22nd however not for its football team but instead for its native sons, hardcore legends Every Time I Die and in celebration of the bands newest studio album simply titled “Radical”. Packed with 16 mind melting tracks the band consisting of vocalist Keith Buckley, Guitarists Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley, Bassist Steve Micciche and drummer Clayton Holyoak put all their cards on the table and swing for the fences with this new album. Opening “Radical” is the track “Dark Distance” which begins with the wail of a warning siren which then fades into the background as the lyrics “Spare all the ones I love and slay the rest” are belted out via Buckley’s signature rasp only seconds before the rest of the band kicks in with a bombastic break down capable of doing mass damage if played in a confined space. As the album progresses listeners are treated to a unique variety of tones, noises and verbiage that is both frantic and thought provoking. Tracks like the catchy “Post-Boredom”, the hauntingly delightful “Desperate Pleasures” and “Distress Rehearsal” are all in your face, riff heavy bangers while tracks like the laid back, sonic landscape titled “Thing With Feathers” and the sludgy bass heavy “White Void” showcase the band stretching their musical legs while not straying to far from the sounds they are synonymous with.

No matter if you’re an early era ETID fan or you are into the more recent releases “Radical” is the album to unite all fans into one joint faction. Mind boggling guitar riffs and overdriven, grindy bass runs mix perfectly with bombastic drum beats and razor like vocals which will captivate listeners while punishing their senses. Don’t be left out in the cold this fall as “Radical” may not the album you want but it’s the album you NEED!

“Radical” Track Listing
1. Dark Distance
2. Sly
3. Planet Shit
4. Post-Boredom
5. Colossal Wreck
6. Desperate Pleasures
7. All This and War
8. Thing With Feathers
9. Hostile Architecture
10. AWOL
11. The Whip
12. White Void
13. Distress Rehearsal
14. SexSexSex
15. People Verses
16. We Go Together

Album Review: Stone Temple Pilots “Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” Super Deluxe Edition

“Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” Super Deluxe Edition

Stone Temple Pilots

Rhino

3 Cd’s, 1 LP

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Released originally on March 26, 1996, “Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” was Stone Temple Pilots third studio release and the follow up to the bands 1994 sophomore release “Purple”. “Tiny Music…” would was a huge success achieving double-platinum status and yielding three #1 hits – “Big Bang Baby,” “Lady Picture Show,” and “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart.” To celebrate these achievements Rhino Records have release a “Super Deluxe Edition” of the album which includes a newly remastered version of the original studio album on both CD and vinyl, plus unreleased early versions of tracks, instrumentals, and alternate takes along with a complete concert recording from 1997 which all come housed in a colorful chromatic gatefold.

Easily one of the biggest bands of the nineties Stone Temple Pilots churned out hit after hit across four different albums, with three of those hits coming specifically from “Tiny Music…”. Given the albums achievements a special re-release was certainly fitting. Housed in a reflective gatefold adorned with the album’s original artwork the releases instantly grab’s the listener even before playing its first note. Upon opening the album, the release is separated into two sections. On the left you have the newly remastered LP of the record along with an oversized version of the liner notes which include lyrics and some great photos of the band from this era. The 180g LP remaster is crisp and pronounced which pairs nicely with the broad instrumentation and sounds on tracks like “Pop’s Love Suicide”, “Lady Picture Show” and the instrumental track “Daisy”.

On the right side of the collection are 3 different colored CD’s. Disc 1 is the remastered CD version of the album which includes all the same qualities of the LP version but in a more portable format.  Disc 2 features previously unreleased, alternate versions of each of the albums 12 tracks including one additional song (“Kretz’s Acoustic Song”). What I really enjoyed about this was that the track listing remained virtually the same as the studio release however, the alternate versions of each song brought a newness to the album that made it fresh while still retaining the structure and feel of the original. Often “previously unreleased” material is kept from the public for a reason and then when it is finally released often it’s done so as sort of an afterthought and it is lacking structure. This was not the case here. Disc 3 was easily my favorite of three as it is home to a previously unreleased live show from Spring break 1997. The band sounds strong and it’s great to hear the “Tiny Music…” songs performed live alongside other classic STP songs like “Crackerman”, “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song”. The only downside here is that I wish they had chosen a different show to include. Don’t get me wrong the one chosen is great however having been fortunate enough to see the band on the “Tiny Music…” tour it would have been great to have been able to relive more of that live show experience especially the mid-show acoustic sets they were doing at the time.

From front to back the “Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” Super Deluxe Edition is a nicely put together piece for Stone Temple Pilot fans. Even if you already have a copy of the original “Tiny Music…” album the newly re-mastering is certainly worth checking out but, where you will really find interest is the two discs containing brand new unreleased material. This is where the release really shined and the only thing I found lacking in this section was unlike the original album which included the liner notes and photos which accompanied the release in 1997 there was nothing visual to correspond with the studio outtakes and live performance. Had something additional like that been included this set would have been an instant homerun.

TINY MUSIC … SONGS FROM THE VATICAN GIFT SHOP: SUPER DELUXE EDITION

3-CD/1-LP Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album 2021 Remaster

  1. “Press Play”
  2. “Pop’s Love Suicide”
  3. “Tumble In The Rough”
  4. “Big Bang Baby”
  5. “Lady Picture Show”
  6. “And So I Know”
  7. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart”
  8. “Art School Girl”
  9. “Adhesive”
  10. “Ride The Cliché”
  11. “Daisy”
  12. “Seven Caged Tigers”

Disc Two: Early Versions, Instrumentals, & Alternate Mixes

  1. “Press Play” – Full Length Version *
  2. “Pop’s Love Suicide” – Early Version *
  3. “Tumble In The Rough” – Early Version *
  4. “Big Bang Baby” – Early Version *
  5. “Lady Picture Show” – Early Version *
  6. “And So I Know” – Early Version *
  7. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart” – Early Version *
  8. “5 Or 4 Times (Art School Girl)” – Early Version *
  9. “Adhesive” – Instrumental *
  10. “Ride The Cliché” – Instrumental *
  11. “Seven Caged Tigers” – Early Version *
  12. “Big Bang Baby” – Alternate Version *
  13. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart” – Percussion Mix *
  14. “Art School Girl” – Jaw Harp Version *
  15. “Kretz’s Acoustic Song” *

Disc Three: Live at Club La Vela, Panama City Beach, FL (3/14/97)

  1. “Crackerman” *
  2. “Meatplow” *
  3. “Tumble In The Rough” *
  4. “Vasoline” *
  5. “Wicked Garden” *
  6. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart” *
  7. “Plush” *
  8. “Big Empty” *
  9. “Interstate Love Song” *
  10. “Lady Picture Show” *
  11. “Unglued” *
  12. “Big Bang Baby” *
  13. “Dead & Bloated” *
  14. “Sex Type Thing” *

* previously unreleased

 

CD Review: Motorhead “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” 40th Anniversary Edition

“No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” 40th Anniversary Edition

Motorhead

BMG

4 Discs

Our score 4 out of 5 stars

Continuing on from 2020’s year-long celebration of Motorheads iconic “Ace Of Spades” album comes the undisputed definitive live record of all time: “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith”. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this number one album, it is being presented in a brand new deluxe four CD box set featuring a new remaster of the original album, bonus tracks and the previously unreleased – in its entirety – concert from Newcastle City Hall, March 30, 1981. If that was not enough the set also include the story of the album, previously unseen photos, reproduction poster, ticket, backstage pass and more.

If you are a Motorhead fan, then you undoubtably have crossed paths with “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” at some point during your fandom. From the iconic cover photo featuring the band on stage with a lighted airplane looming overhead to the bombastic nature of tracks like “Ace of Spades”, “Overkill” and, “Motorhead”. It is only fitting that this album was next to get the special “Anniversary” treatment. Packed in a heavy duty black and gold box are the sets four audio discs which include the newly remastered “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” (which sounds great!) the complete Newcastle City Hall (available for first time in its entirety) and a number of unreleased live versions of songs like “Stay Clean”, “Iron Horse” and “Limb From Limb”. A 28-page book complete with a bunch of unseen photos and stories detailing the events leading up to the recording accompanies the discs as well. Now some collections would stop there but not this one as like previous anniversary releases the Motorhead camp take things one louder including a reproduction all access pass, Europe 81’pin, Double sided poster, guitar pick and a Newcastle City Hall ticket which could almost pass for an original. No detail was spared as this is truly a collector’s piece and one fans of live performances will want to add to their collections.

The “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” 40th Anniversary Edition follows in the footsteps of both the “Motorhead 79” and “Ace of Spades” collections as not only does it provide fans with an enjoyable listening experience the added packaging and period correct collectibles provide an added level of immersion which only helps add to the music over all appeal. Though it would have been nice to also have included some video footage from this period the added unreleased audio tracks certainly made up for this small, short coming. Even if you already own a copy of the original do your self a favor and check out the anniversary edition as there will certainly be something in there warranting the purchase of another copy.  

The No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith CD box set contains:

  • The No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith album, remastered from the original master tapes, featuring extra bonus tracks and newly unearthed, previously unreleased sound check recordings.
  • The three full recordings of the concerts that made up No Sleep, never before released in their entirety.
  • The story of No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith told through previously unpublished and new interviews with the people that were on the road at the time.
  • Never before seen photos and rare memorabilia.
  • Double sided, A3 concert posters from 1981.
  • Reproduction USA ’81 tour pass.
  • MOTÖRHEAD ‘England’ plectrum.
  • 1981 European tour badge.
  • Reproduction Newcastle City Hall ticket.
  • Port Vale gig flyer post card.

Track Listing:

Disc 1

1.) Ace of Spades

2.) Stay Clean

3.) Metropolis

4.) The Hammer

5.) Iron Horse

6.) No Class

7.) Overkill

8.) (We Are) The Road Crew

9.) Capricorn

10.) Bomber

11.) Motorhead

12.) Over The Top

13.) Train Kept A-Rollin’

Soundcheck: Newcastle 30th March 1981

14.) Stay Clean

15.) Limb From Limb

16.) Iron Horse

Disc 2: Live at Newcastle City Hall, 30th March 1981

1.) Ace of Spades

2.) Stay Clean

3.) Over The Top

4.) Metropolis

5.) Shoot You In The Back

6.) The Hammer

7.) Jailbait

8.) Leaving Here

9.) Iron Horse

10.) Fire Fire

11.) Capricorn

12.) Too Late Too Late

13.) No Class

14.) (We Are) The Road Crew

15.) Bite The Bullet

16.) The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

17.) Overkill

18.) Bomber

19.) Motorhead

Disc 3: Live at Newcastle City Hall, 29th March 1981

1.) Ace of Spades

2.) Stay Clean

3.) Over The Top

4.) Metropolis

5.) Shoot You In The Back

6.) The Hammer

7.) Jailbait

8.) Leaving Here

9.) Fire Fire

10.) Capricorn

11.) Too Late Too Late

12.) No Class

13.) (We Are) The Road Crew

14.) Bite The Bullet

15.) The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

16.) Overkill

17.) Bomber

18.) Motorhead

Disc 4: Live at Leeds Queens, Hall, 28th March 1981

1.) Ace of Spades

2.) Stay Clean

3.) Over The Top

4.) Metropolis

5.) Shoot You In The Back

6.) The Hammer

7.) Jailbait

8.) Leaving Here

9.) Fire Fire

10.) Capricorn

11.) Too Late Too Late

12.) No Class

13.) (We Are) The Road Crew

14.) Bite The Bullet

15.) The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

16.) Overkill

17.) Bomber

18.) Motorhead

CD Review: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “When God Was Great”

“When God Was Great”

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Hellcat Records

Producers: Ted Hutt/Tim Armstrong

Tracks: 15

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ska-punk pioneers The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are set to release their 11th studio record on May 7th. The album titled “When God Was Great” is being released via Hellcat Records and features 15 tracks Co-produced by longtime collaborator Ted Hutt and Rancid front-man Tim Armstrong. “When God Was Great” has the band bringing back friends, tour-mates, and bandmates from the past for a sonic celebration that stresses the power of perseverance and human connection during tumultuous times.

The patron saints of plaid are back and doing what they do best, bringing upbeat, relatable music to anyone willing to listen. Over the course of the fifteen tracks which make up “When God Was Great” listeners are treated to a wide musical landscape that blends almost seamlessly with the signature raspy delivery of vocalist Dicky Barret. Tracks like the catchy “I Don’t Believe In Anything”, “The Killing of Georgie (Part III) and “You Had To Be There” are classic Bosstones through and through as each song offers an upbeat feel with bright instrumentation and resonating lyricism which will surely align with issues many people are facing each and every day. As little more than midway through the album listeners are treated to a unique rendition of the John Fogerty song “Long As I Can See The Light”. The band does a great job of capturing the original versions soulfulness while at the same time breathing in a breath of freshness and style. Other tracks worth mentioning are “The Truth Hurts” which features the return of original guitarist Nate Albert who left band in 2000 and “The Final Parade” which features guest spots by Angelo Moore, Tim Timebomb, Aimee Interrupter among others as they take turns belting out verses for the albums closing number.

“When God Was Great” is a fitting follow up to the bands 2018 release “While We’re at It” as it follows the more mature sound of later Bosstones records featuring more laid-back traditional ska sounds as opposed to the distorted, punk driven sounds found on earlier records such as “Devil’s Night Out” and “Don’t Know How to Party”. Sure, it would have been nice to hear some of the sounds that first got me into the band however it is a completely different time and place. People change, bands change, musical tastes change. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have embraced these changes and because of this we are treated to albums like “When God Was Great” which will provide an enjoyable listening experience time and time again.   

Track List:

1.) Decide

2.) M O V E

3.) I Don’t Believe In Anything

4.) Certain Things

5.) Bruised

6.) Lonely Boy

7.) The Killing of Georgie (Part III)

8.) You Had to Be There

9.) When God Was Great

10.) What It Takes

11.) Long As I Can See the Light

12.) The Truth Hurts

13.) It Went Well

14.) I Don’t Want to Be You

15.) The Final Parade

Album Review: Lamb of God “Live in Richmond, VA” LP

“Live in Richmond, VA” LP

Lamb of God

Epic Records

Tracks: 10

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Originally, released June 19 of 2020Lamb of God’s first new album in five years was met with universal acclaim. The self- titled album landed at number one on the Overall, Rock and Metal iTunes album chart upon release and would then go on to take the coveted #1 spot on Consequences of Sound’s Top 30 Metal + Hard Rock Albums of 2020. “Live in Richmond, VA” was recorded at The Broadberry in the band’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia and gives fans their first live taste of the new material due to the COVID 19 pandemic postponing the bands scheduled spring/summer tour.

When COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill in early 2020 it also brought with it a whole host of questions and problems. For musicians they could no longer support new releases due the traditional routes of promotion being put on hold or cancelled. To combat that artists turned to live streaming performances which fans could watch from the safety of their homes. Lamb of God took that model and ran with it. Over the course of two nights in September of 2020 the band performed their latest self-titled release just as it appears on the studio version. Live albums tend to be hit or miss for me, but I have to say I actually almost prefer the live version of “Lamb of God” to the studio version. Don’t get me wrong the studio version is a great album but this newly released live version really captures the band in their element giving each of the ten songs extra edge and bite. “Momento Mori” and “Resurrection Man” kick off each side of the LP setting the standard high for the tracks which follow. Songs like “Checkmate”, “Gears” and “Poison Dream” pulverize your senses via the razor like vocals of Randy Blythe and the twin guitar attack of Willie Adler and Mark Morton while other songs like “New Colossal Hate”, Bloodshot Eyes” and “On The Hook” go straight in for the kill with thunderous bottom end courtesy of bassist John Campbell and drummer Art Cruz.

This was a record I found myself listening to multiple times in one sitting. A rarity for me as I tend to have a tension span that is a bit on the shorter side especially when it comes to music. The overall mix of the album combined with the bands impressive performance kept me coming back for more even after listening to it in succession. Though I had wished the full live performance had been included on the 150 gram LP as those missing songs would have been a nice bonus but, given the time constraints vinyl present I understand. Thankfully, the complete performance is available in a Deluxe three-disc version of “Lamb of God” which includes the studio version of the record, the live version including two bonus tracks and a live DVD performance. If you missed the initial streams or you want to revisit those performance’s, you will certainly want to grab one of these as you won’t be disappointed.   

Track Listing:

Side: 1

1.) Memento Mori

2.) Checkmate

3.) Gears

4.) Reality Bath

5.) New Colossal Hate

Side:2

1.) Resurrection Man

2.) Poison Dream

3.) Routes

4.) Bloodshot Eyes

5.) On The Hook

CD Review: Joe Strummer “Assembly”

“Assembly”

Joe Strummer

Dark Horse Records

Tracks: 16

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Remastered by three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks (The Beatles / The Rolling Stones / David Bowie) Joe Strummer “Assembly” is a 16-track compilation featuring three previously unreleased versions of classic The Clash tracks, including a never-before-heard recording of “Junco Partner” a live performances of “Rudie Can’t Fail” and “I Fought The Law” recorded by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros at London’s Brixton Academy on November 24, 2001. In addition, Assembly” includes exclusive liner notes written by Jakob Dylan.

Joe Strummer’s work as the front man for legendary punk rock group The Clash has been well documented through various forms of media however the music Joe went on to create after the groups disbanding in 1986 has received less coverage and fan fair. The newest compilation from Dark Horse Records does an impressive job shining the light on Joe’s solo work with the sixteen tracks which make up this release. The album runs the gamut of styles associated with Strummer’s career as listeners are treated to a spattering of sounds including upbeat rockers like “Coma Girl” and “Love Kills” to raucous live version of Clash staples “I Fought the Law” and “Rudie Can’t Fail”. The album is not all just angsty vocals and distorted guitars as tracks like “Long Shadow” “Redemption Song” and “Junco Partner” (previously unreleased) all feature acoustic accompaniment which showcase Strummer’s signature vocal style. Also included are tracks like “Get Down Moses” and “At The Border, Guy” which lend a nod to Joe’s reggae influences. You even get a little of that 80’s synth rock sound with the inclusion “Love Kills” which was a person favorite of mine.

“Assembly” offers a wide sound pallet that showcases a portion of Joe Strummer’s career which in my opinion does not get enough credit. From rock to reggae and electronic to acoustic Dark Horse put together a solid compilation that showcased the diversity of Joe Strummer’s post Clash career. To add to the audio portion of the release is some very cool packaging which combines a mixture of matte and glossy appointments and photos, Lyrics for all sixteen tracks and newly written liner notes from Jakob Dylan.

Track Listing:

1.) Coma Girl

2.) Johnny Appleseed

3.) I Fought the Law (Live)

4.) Tony Adams

5.) Sleepwalk

6.) Love Kills

7.) Get Down Moses

8.) X-Ray Style

9.) Mondo Bongo

10.) Rudie Can’t Fail (Live)

11.) At The Border, Guy

12.) Long Shadow

13.) Forbidden City

14.) Yalla Yalla

15.) Redemption Song

16.) Junco Partner (Acoustic)

Album Review: MOTÖRHEAD “Ace of Spades” 40th Anniversary Deluxe Collectors Box Set

“Ace of Spades” 40th Anniversary Deluxe Collectors Box Set

MOTÖRHEAD

BMG

3- 12” LP’s, 1- 10” EP, 1 DVD

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

In 1980, fresh off the back of two essential albums, “Overkill” and “Bomber” the previous year, MOTÖRHEAD continued to get bigger, better, louder and faster by the second. The “Ace Of Spades” album release was a magical moment in rock’n’roll history, an album which had enormous global impact and continues to resonate and inspire people worldwide. Fans to this day still remember where they were when they first heard it, and it immediately inspired bands worldwide to absorb the album’s energy, speed, and attitude into their own work. To commemorate the releases 40th Anniversary BMG has released the “Ace of Spades” 40th Anniversary Deluxe Collectors Box Set. The comes packed with 3 twelve inch LP’s, 1 ten inch EP, a Live DVD, Replica tour program, 40 page Ace of Spades history book, Rock Commando comic and to top it all off a poker dice game all of which comes housed in commemorative box which doubles as a game board.

 After the passing of MOTÖRHEAD founder and front-man Lemmy Kilmister in 2015 fans of the band were left wondering what would become of the work left behind by “The Worlds Loudest Band”. Thankfully BMG has been giving the bands catalog the royal treatment and nothing good be truer when it comes to this 40th anniversary package. After setting the bar high with 2019’s “1979” box set which focused on the “Overkill” and “Bomber” releases the “Ace of Spades” Anniversary editions is built on that foundation and taken “One Louder”. Housed in a heavy weight box with faux wood burned graphics the set grabs your attention even before you can gaze upon it’s enclosed treasures. Box sets often tend to be hit or miss by either not having enough content or a repetitive track listing that includes multiple versions of one song. I am here to say that “Ace of Spades” is neither of those! Yes the release focuses solely on this one album however the box set feature not only just on the album itself but also this period of the band as a whole. From the half speed mastered version of the studio album which sounds absolutely amazing, to two different live performances from 1981, a 19 track album of outtakes, B-sides and rarities titled “The Good, The Broke and the Ugly and a 10” EP containing seven instrumental tracks from the “Ace of Spades” sessions. That’s just the audio portion of the release! Also included is a DVD titled “Ace on Your Screens” which showcases original interviews related to the album as well as live and studio performances. Most collections would stop there but not this one! Going even further down the MOTÖRHEAD rabbit hole fans are treated to a reproduction of the “Ace Up Your Sleeve” 1980 tour book, a reproduction of the 1980 “Rock Commando” comic, a 40 page compilation piece by Kris Needs titled “Born  To Lose- Live To Win The Ace of Spades Story” and to top it all off a MOTÖRHEAD themed poker dice game (with the game board being printed on the inside of the box cover) every piece of this release was carefully planned out with the true fan in mind.

I can’t say enough good things about the look and quality of this release. All the record sleeves are printed on high quality cardstock and paper which add to the release’s aesthetic as even when its just sitting on your shelf the collection begs to be picked up and played. Given the sheer amount of material contained listeners should not get bored easily as the video and literary pieces add to the music providing a multi-pronged attack on your senses. Though the set does not include digital downloads of the material you do get a really cool dice game which on game night may help you recruit a few new unsuspecting listeners to your jean vested battalion and well that can’t be all that bad. MOTÖRHEAD “Ace of Spades” 40th Anniversary Deluxe Collectors Box Set is a must have for that headbanger in your life and with the holidays just around the corner get ahead of the game and tuck one of these beauties away.

BOX SET TRACKLISTING

Ace of Spades

Side One

Ace Of Spades

Love Me Like A Reptile

Shoot You In The Back

Live To Win

Fast And Loose

(We Are) The Road Crew

Side Two

Fire Fire

Jailbait

Dance

Bite The Bullet

The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

The Hammer

A Fistful Of Instrumentals

Side One

Ace Of Spades (demo)

Hump On Your Back (demo)

Shoot You In The Back (demo)

Fast And Loose (demo)

Side Two

Dirty Love (demo)

Love Me Like A Reptile (demo)

Dance (demo)

Riders Wearing Black

Live At Whitla Hall, Belfast – 23rd Dec 1981

Side One

Ace Of Spades

Stay Clean

Over The Top

The Hammer

Shoot You In The Back

Metropolis

Side Two

(We Are) The Road Crew

No Class

Bite The Bullet

The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

Side Three

Jailbait

Leaving Here

Capricorn

Too Late, Too Late

Side Four

Overkill

Bomber

Motörhead

Dead Man’s Hand

Live At Parc Expo, Orleans – 5th March 1981 Side One

Ace Of Spades

Stay Clean

Over The Top

Metropolis

Shoot You In The Back

Side Two

The Hammer

Jailbait

Leaving Here

Fire Fire

Love Me Like A Reptile

Side Three

Capricorn

Too Late, Too Late

(We Are) The Road Crew

No Class

Side Four

Bite The Bullet

The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

Overkill

Bomber

The Good, The Broke & The Ugly

Side One

Ace Of Spades (Alternative Version)

Dirty Love

Love Me Like A Reptile (Alternative Long Version)

Shoot You In The Back (Alternative Version)

Side Two

Hump On Your Back

Fast And Loose (Alternative Version)

(We Are) The Road Crew (Alternative Version)

Fire Fire (Alternative Version)

Jailbait (Alternative Version)

Side Three

Waltz Of The Vampire

The Hammer (Alternative Version)

Dirty Love (Alternative Long Version)

Bastard

Godzilla Akimbo

Side Four

Love Me Like A Reptile (Alternative Version)

Dirty Love (Alternative Version)

Please Don’t Touch (Performed by Headgirl)

Bomber (Performed by Girlschool)

Emergency

Ace On Your Screens DVD

Part 1: MOTÖRHEAD on TV 1980-1981

Part 2: BBC In The City; Live In Belfast ‘81

Part 3: 5.1 audio mix of Ace Of Spades

Album Review: Circle Jerks “Group Sex” 40th Anniversary Edition

“Group Sex” 40th Anniversary Edition

Circle Jerks

Trust Records

Tracks: 14 plus 5 bonus tracks

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Circle Jerks seminal debut release “Group Sex” celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. To mark this monumental occasion the newly formed Trust Records has released a Limited Deluxe Edition of the 14 track album from the Hermosa Beach natives. Featuring deluxe packaging by famed Nirvana “Nevermind” designer Robert Fisher the release also includes a 20 page booklet packed full of unreleased photos and stories from people like Tony Hawk, Shepard Fairey and Ian Mackaye.  

Clocking in at just over fifteen minutes (minus bonus tracks) “Group Sex” punches you right between the eyes just as it had in 1980. Buzz saw like guitars and thumping drums combined with the razor like approach of front-man Keith Morris “Group Sex” is a testament to 80’s era West-Coast Punk. Tracks like “Wasted”, “World Up My Ass” and “Live Fast Die Young” ring just as true now as they did 40 years ago when the world was a much different place. The franticness of “Deny Everything”, “Operation” and “Red Tape” are like contents under pressure as they violently burst through your speakers thanks to the albums re-master which provides just the right amount of sonic freshness and attack while not straying too far from the original.      

Trust Records has done a great job with this release. Backed by the same DIY attitude that fueled the Circle Jerks and many other bands of the era the newly formed label is a fitting home for the 40th anniversary of “Group Sex”.  Included with the re-mastered album is a 20 page booklet full of rare photos and interviews which are housed in heavyweight card stock sleeves complete with lyrics for each of the fourteen tracks. If that wasn’t enough the release also includes 5 bonus tracks (What’s Your Problem, Red Tape, I Just Want Some Skank/Beverly Hills, Live Fast Die Young) which were originally recorded in Keith Morris’s mom’s garage in 1980. Certainly a nice little added bonus which only further adds to the necessity of this being in your collection.     

Track Listing:

Side: 1

1.) Deny Everything

2.) I Just Want Some Skank

3.) Beverly Hills

4.) Operation

5.) Back Against The Wall

6.) Wasted

7.) Behind the Door

Side: 2

1.) World Up My Ass

9.) Paid Vacation

10.) Don’t Care

11.) Live Fast Die Young

12.) What’s Your Problem

13.) Group Sex

14.) Red Tape

Bonus Tracks

15.) What’s Your Problem

16.) Red Tape

17.) I Just Want Some Skank/ Beverly Hills

18.) Live Fast Die Young

Album Review: GWAR “Scumdogs of the Universe” 30th Anniversary Edition

“Scumdogs of the Universe” (30th Anniversary Edition – Remixed and Re-mastered)

GWAR

Pit Records

Tracks: 13

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The year is 2020, the day October 30th. An entire planet grasping for air, Impending doom hangs overhead like a thick fog, blinding all to the approaching hell. Mother Earth in chains, she pleads to her captor, “Spare the human race.” Emerging from a dank green cloud of alien gases, gripping his cuttlefish genitals, Oderus Urungus circa 1990 appears. Cocaine dust smeared beneath his nostrils, crust around his lips, Oderus stands before our earthly mother. He lifts his mighty sword to deliver one final blow. There is now no one standing between us and our alien masters. Our lords GWAR return to unleash their magnum opus upon us once again. Reborn, remixed, and re-mastered, “Scumdogs of the Universe” is back for the 30th Anniversary of human annihilation. Rest assured, doomsday sounds better this time around.

“So don’t you know? I’m so sick of you.” Croons front man Oderus Urungus  flanked by a legion of Scumdog brethren including Beefcake the Mighty, Flattus Maximus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Jizmak Da Gusha,, one or two intergalactic hanger-ons and managed by the only human on earth coked out enough to tame these unwieldy beasts, the man with the “Worlds Tightest Pants”  Sleazy P. Martini. “Scumdogs of the Universe” is easily the bands least disliked album. Riddled with classics like “Sick of You”, Vlad the Impaler” and “Cool Place to Park” which along with the rest of the album received a special 30th anniversary Remix and Re-master courtesy of Ronan Chris Murphy.

Though GWAR may prefer to stick other things in their orifices, the music creeping its way into your pores is infectious and here to stay like a nasty case of Neptunian gonorrhea. Long time fans that by now should be well versed in these songs are given a fresh update that will help them relive the experience of hearing these tunes for the first time. This re-master is definitely one you need in your collection and butts up nicely against an original  Master pressing.

“Scumdogs of the Universe” 30th Anniversary Edition is available October 30th on Pit Records in a variety of formats. A must have for GWAR fans, profanity lovers, and metal-heads alike. Don’t miss the “Scumdogs XXX Live” live stream concert event the same day to see some live GWAR music. Check out GWAR.net for awesome pre-order packages of the album, tickets to the live stream event, and more updates on all things GWAR.

Track Listing:

1.) The Salaminizer

2.) Maggots

3.) Sick Of You

4.) Vlad The Impaler

5.) Slaughterama

6.) King Queen

7.) Horror Of Yig

8.) Love Surgery

9.) Sexecutioner

10.) The Years Without Light

11.) Black And Huge

12.) Death Pod

13.) Cool Place To Park

CD Review: “Skeleton Coast” The Lawrence Arms

“Skeleton Coast”

The Lawrence Arms

Epitaph Records

Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Chicago Punk’s The Lawrence Arms are set to release their 6th studio album July 17th titled “Skeleton Coast”.  The album which is being released via Epitaph records contains elements of the band’s sound which fans have come to love for nearly two decades. Although it was written and recorded before the Corona virus upended the world, “Skeleton Coast” sounds eerily prescient as it imagines an apocalyptic future where coyotes croon and wolf packs roam free

Coming in at 35 minutes spread over 14 tracks the latest offering from veteran punks The Lawrence Arms provides an upbeat lift during uncertain times. Don’t let the upbeat rhythms fool you as the albums lyrical content cuts deeps leaving a lasting impression that will stick with listeners long after the closing notes ring out. Having caught these guys last year opening for Bad Religion I was anxious to hear what the group’s latest studio album had to offer. Upon first listen I was drawn to tracks like “Quiet Storm”, “Belly of the Whale” and “Last Last Words” which are all straight ahead rockers showcasing the dual vocals of guitarist Chris McCaughan and bassist Brendan Kelly. The mixture of McCaughn’s smoothness with Kelly’s gravelly more rough and tumble approach give the band a solid one, two punch while drummer Neil Hennessy delivers the knock-out blow. For listeners wanting something a little more aggressive and fitting of the worlds current climate check out tracks like “Planes Trains and Automobiles”, “Demon” and “Goblin Fox Hunt” as they will certainly kick up the angst level.  

“Skeleton Coast” checks nearly all the boxes fans of melodic punk will be looking for.  As the follow up to 2014’s “Metropole” the album showcases the bands continued growth over the past six years between while still staying true to the sound which has endeared them to fans since the late 90’s. You have to commend The Lawrence Arms along with the countless other bands who are still putting out new music despite the inability to tour and support that material for the remainder of 2020. When an album is as good as “Skeleton Coast” is, I hope to hear these tracks echoing through our hometown venues sooner than later.

Track Listing:

1.) Quiet Storm

2.) Planes Trains and Automobiles

3.) Belly of the Whale

4.) Dead Man’s Coat

5.) Pigeons and Spies

6.) Last Last Words

7.) Demon

8.) Ghostwriter

9.) How to Rot

10.) Under Paris

11.) Goblin Fox Hunt

12.) Lose Control

13.) Don’t Look At Me

14.) Coyote Crown

CD Review: Lamb of God “Lamb of God”

“Lamb of God”

Lamb of God

Epic

Producer: Josh Wilbur

Tracks: 10

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

After a five year lapse veteran Virginia Metallers Lamb of God return with a brand new studio album simply titled “Lamb of God”. The ten track release which was produced by Josh Wilbur and is being released via Epic Records is the follow up to the bands critically acclaimed 2005 album “VII: Sturm und Drang”. “Lamb of God” is the first studio release to feature drummer Art Cruz who replaced Chris Adler after his departure from the group in 2019.   

Lamb of God wastes no time getting to the point with their latest self titled studio offering. The albums opening track “Momento Mori” features a haunting spoken lyric passage courtesy of Lead singer Randy Blythes while an equally eerie rolling guitar riff plays in the back background moments before giving way to a full on bombastic assault of your senses. “Momento Mori” is also the longest track of on the album clocking in at just under six minutes giving you ample time to get comfortable for the remaining nine tracks all of which pack an equally aggressive punch. Tracks like “Check Mate”, “New Colossal Hate” and “Resurrection Man” feature impressive dueling guitar work by Willie Adler and Mark Morton. The two players really complement one another in their attack giving each track a killer mix of equal parts shredding and chugging. Drummer Art Cruz is equally impressive across the board as his playing fits in seamlessly with that of bassist John Campbell providing a thunderous attack of low end thunder. “Lamb of God” also features a couple guest spots courtesy of Hatebreed front-man Jamey Jasta on the song “Poison Dream” and Chuck Billy of Testament on “Routes”. I highly recommend checking out both of those tracks as each of the guest performers spots add a little something special to an already impressive canvas.      

From front to back “Lamb of God” is a full on knock to your senses. Josh Wilbur hit it out of the park with the overall production of the album as it sounds great no matter if it’s played through ear buds or on large speakers. Each member’s performance seems to have been carefully crafted to insure it tied into the next without issue. Art Cruz undoubtedly had some big shoes to fill in his new full time role and he more than delivered as the band has never sounded tighter. Well worth the price of admission “Lamb of God” is a fitting soundtrack to this chaotic and uncertain time.   

Track Listing:

1.) Momento Mori

2.) Check Mate

3.) Gears

4.) Reality Bath

5.) New Colossal Hate

6.) Resurrection Man

7.) Poison Dream (feat. Jamey Jasta)

8.) Routes (feat. Chuck Billy)

9.) Bloodshot Eyes

10.) On The Hook

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Lamb of God Bassist John Campbell here

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