If you spin things back twenty years, 1996 was a strange time for me. It was the year I moved back to Illinois from Iowa, a time of self-discovery and a year before I met the girl who I'm married to today. Thing is, despite being released formally in '96, NERF HERDER's self-titled debut was very much a part of the 1997 soundtrack for me, and just as it was for many, it was fueled by a little single called "Van Halen." Commentary on David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar aside, the band garnered my immediate respect for having a STAR WARS-inspired name at a time when the Original Trilogy was just coming back into theaters as the infamous "Special Editions," and the boom of the Pop Culture "Con" was still just a few years off. Over the years, I amassed a sizable collection of NERF HERDER CDs, and after becoming a parent, frontman Parry Gripp has remained part of my daily soundtrack, not always due to his work with NERF HERDER, but as the man behind a host of televised kid's music - from Disney Junior's DJ Shuffle (which I premiered here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine back in 2014) to The 7D, and even the MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD, for which he composed the theme. Now NERF HERDER is back with a new album, their first since 2008, and it's damn good.
With all the coverage area I hit here on THE ROCK FATHER, there's times when the needle is so far over to the "family" side of things that I don't get to spend as much time over here in the "grownups" section as I'd like. That said, it's time to play a little bit of catch-up on some new releases from the metallic side of things, one of which hit the streets back in May - the latest album from MUSHROOMHEAD, THE RIGHTEOUS & THE BUTTERFLY.
While listeners eagerly await the May release of RUINING LIVES, the new studio album from PRONG, a previously-unannounced surprise arrived earlier this month with the release of UNLEASHED IN THE WEST: LIVE IN BERLIN - THE OFFICIAL BOOTLEG. Recorded live-in-the-studio at Trixx in Berlin, the basic tracks and overdubs were completed over the course of three days during a break in the band's Summer 2013 European Tour. The end result is a furious collection of 17 classic PRONG tracks that span the band's entire career.
"In seven albums, none of us have ever been this proud of what we created. It feels like we channeled DH from 2018 (minus any out-of-touch old man issues that some bands face later in their career)," states DEMON HUNTER vocalist Ryan Clark when speaking of EXTREMIST. Set for release on March 18, 2014 via Solid State, I checked out an advance stream here at Rock Father HQ this weekend, and while it would be easy to discount Ryan's statement as being simply PR hyperbole... I think he's right.
Released elsewhere in the World nearly a year ago, SILENT MACHINE, the full-length debut from Australia's TWELVE FOOT NINJA has quietly been available via iTunes in the 'States despite having no "official" U.S. release. That changes on October 1, when SILENT MACHINE gets a physical release in the United States (complete with a pair of acoustic bonus tracks) and the band hits the road with PERIPHERY, BORN OF OSIRIS, and DEAD LETTER CIRCUS. Having had the original digital version of the album here at Rock Father HQ for quite awhile, I feel like I've been holding out by not sharing some words on it yet. Why, you ask? Because, I have experienced the SILENT MACHINE, and oh, what a glorious machine it is...
I don't have a definitive reason as to "why," but despite being a massive fan of the DEFTONES' early works, I have not purchased their last three studio albums (nor have I received digital promos). That places my last proper DEFTONES experience with their 2005 B-sides collection. While I've heard bits and pieces of their more contemporary works, as I said - I don't have a reason for the disconnect, but it certainly feels as if I've been unplugged from a band that I used to dig very much. My reason for deliving into the DEFTONES' rabbit hole tonight comes courtesy of PALMS, and their self-titled debut that is set for release this coming Tuesday via one of my favorite labels for recorded sounds, Ipecac Recordings. PALMS is magical.