Not pure hip-hop, nor rap-rock, but a musical cornucopia of the aforementioned along with elements of funk and radio-friendly pop hooks, the self-titled debut EP from New York rapper NOTAR is the first indication that what we're hearing isn't just another EP, but the groundwork for what just may become one of the biggest cross-over success stories of 2011...
Love 'em or hate 'em, GWAR are never going away. For over 25 years the band from Antarctica via Virginia have been bringing their campy brand of horror-infused metal to the masses, and one thing that's always bothered me about those quick to write them off for their "act" is that they fail to note that GWAR is comprised of some genuinely great musicians. While the band hit somewhat of a stale period in the late '90's and into the early 2000's, starting with 2004's WAR PARTY, GWAR has actually been getting better.
Earlier this summer, Surfdog Records made the announcement that they'd begun raiding the archives for some new releases of Brian Setzer live recordings - "some new, some old." While live material from Setzer, his Orchestra, and Stray Cats has been released with relative frequency in the past, artists ranging from The Dave Matthews Band, to Metallica, Pearl Jam, and The Grateful Dead have proven that there's an exceptional market out there for high-quality live recordings to be consumed by the most devoted of listeners on a regular basis.
I'm still not quite sure how the KINGS OF LEON became as big as they have, but judging from the little rant that frontman Caleb Followill embarked on at the 2009 READING FESTIVAL in the UK, the band might be just as confused. Sure, "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody" managed to wet the panties of thousands of women around the world, but is the band really that good? With armloads of GRAMMY's, and Victoria's Secret models to be banged, there's certainly signs that fame has caused an inflammation of ego for the Kings. On the other hand, isn't massive acclaim, award statuettes, and being surrounded by women what the rock n roll dream is all about? For the future, just sprinkle in a heavy coke addiction, a couple of crashed cars, an album that bombs, and some internal band turmoil, and the VH1 BEHIND THE MUSIC will be written and ready to roll.
Those that dig southern-influenced metal with a healthy dose of groove tend to stick with a handful of bands that always pop up in conversation (Down, CoC, etc), seldom finding anything truly new to get excited about. On SOUTHERN DARKNESS (self-released just over a year ago), those ears have a new band to dig, and they go by the name of KING GIANT.
Listening to TELEPHANTASM over the past couple of weeks has been a reminder of just how good a band SOUNDGARDEN was in their prime. While the reunited warriors from the late 80's/early 90's Seattle explosion are performing again, no one knows how their songwriting will hold up if and when they decide to make another record.
Recorded over the course of five days last month, ATREYU have assembled COVERS OF THE DAMNED, a brief, 5-track collection of cover songs featuring collaborations with members of the bands with whom they will join on the CONGREGATION OF THE DAMNED Tour later this month.
In many ways, GOOD CHARLOTTE's 2002 single "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous" has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the band's relocation to Los Angeles, and their embrace of the glossy Hollywood lifestyle has in many cases caused their music to take a backseat to brothers Joel and Benji Madden's tabloid-fodder romances with a variety of starlets. Earlier this week, comic Chelsea Handler even used GOOD CHARLOTTE as a punchline when reporting news regarding Joel Madden and fiance Nicole Richie. That said, hopefully GOOD CHARLOTTE can use CARDIOLOGY as an opportunity to remind listeners that they still make music, and turn some of the focus back to their band and away from their personal exploits...
Over the course of the past three decades, KILLING JOKE have established themselves as one of the most highly influential, yet vastly overlooked bands in music.
Having evolved over the years, the musical chameleons have been known by their followers for their forays into the darkest realms of punk rock, goth, industrial, metal, and electronic music. There are different faces of KILLING JOKE, but no matter which incarnation you enjoy, all of them have seemingly appeared within the confines of ABSOLUTE DISSENT (out now in Europe, November 16, 2010 in the U.S.) their latest album, and first for UK-based Spinefarm Records.
You'd think that bringing together some of the finest voices in rock to pay tribute to some of the most recognizable songs of all time would make for a must-have album, especially when their backing band is led by a world-class guitarist such as CARLOS SANTANA. Sadly, on GUITAR HEAVEN, said combination yields a payoff that is far less than what the promise would lead you to expect.
Listening to JIMMY EAT WORLD takes me back to 2001 every time. I was working in a Sam Goody (R.I.P.) music store, and all the girls swooned for tracks like "The Middle" and "Sweetness." In fact, the entire BLEED AMERICAN (or self-titled if you got it post 9/11) album was a soundtrack for that summer and Fall
When LINKIN PARK first hit the scene with HYBRID THEORY ten years ago, many automatically tossed the band aside as a part of the growing "nu-metal" movement, which at the time was already showing signs of age. Despite hit singles like "One Step Closer" and "Crawling," the future prospects for the band were highly questionable.