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We've spoken at such great length over the past few weeks regarding the 20th Anniversary of PANTERA's landmark 1990 album COWBOYS FROM HELL, that you'd think there'd be nothing left to say. Not the case, as we take a look at the 3-Disc Deluxe Edition of the album, in-stores today via Rhino Records.
MAROON 5 will probably have the #1 album in the country by this time next week. Having seemingly recorded the same album for the third time, the Los Angeles band has managed to increase the pop factor with each session, producing consistently safe music aimed at the most mainstream of audiences.
Something odd happened last Fall in the world of ROB ZOMBIE. The PR department at GEFFEN/UNIVERSAL had ramped up in preparation for the release of HELLBILLY DELUXE 2: NOBLE JACKALS, PENNY DREADFULS, AND THE SYSTEMATIC DEHUMANIZATION OF COOL and then came the abrupt announcement that Zombie was leaving his longtime label in favor of a deal with ROADRUNNER through their LOUD & PROUD imprint. It doesn't take a genius to tell you that something went down, and while my sources have filled me in on what is best-left-unspoken, you can be sure that one outcome of that divorce was the recent release of ROB ZOMBIE: ICON.
Canadian Synth-rockers THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE are back for a fourth round with PINS & NEEDLES (out September 14th via Metropolis Records). Finding just the right balance between the heavy rock guitars and keyboard-driven grooves, if the band had emerged in the late 80's to mid-90's, they'd likely have been lumped somewhere into the vast "industrial" realm.
Somewhere in the mid 1990's something happened. Whenever someone would ask me to name my favorite bands, HELMET became a part of that list. First time I saw them live? September 22, 1992 at the Col Ballroom in Davenport, Iowa - opening for FAITH NO MORE on the same day my trial-by-fire in the music business took place. MEANTIME had just been released, and it was unlike anything I'd ever heard before. There was an energy and a rawness that was unmatched. It was "metal" without being metal, with a no-nonsense punk rock sensibility and a sound so powerful that it made me instantly hungry for more. The guitars were heavy, the bass rumbled, and the drumming was insane. I soon snagged a copy of STRAP IT ON, and a lifelong respect was born.
Traditionally, WEEZER albums are at their best when they have no title and are only identified by the color of the background present on the cover. The "blue album", the "green album," the "red album." Fact is, while those might be their best, Weezer have never made a bad album.
If you don't know what a "Power Glove" is, you were probably born after 1990.
History Lesson: The Power Glove (I still have one) was a gaming controller marketed by Mattel in the US (Pax in Japan) that got kids like myself to harass our parents into a trip to Toys R Us with the promise of looking like a little bad-ass while playing games on the original NES (that's Nintendo Entertainment System for all you youngsters).
If Motley Crue were bitten by zombies and resurrected with instruments in-hand, they'd probably sound a lot like MURDERDOLLS.
With elements of punk and glam infiltrating the metallic crunch, WOMEN & CHILDREN LAST could be the soundtrack of an alternate-reality Sunset Strip, running upside-down and beneath the streets.
There's been a lot of musical "resurgence" over the past few years, and one area particularly feeling the swell is that of the pure "rock" band. It's hard to look anywhere and not see somone being touted as either "the next big thing" or the "saviors of rock-n-roll," and most of the time it's just bullshit. On the other hand, the past few years have brought us some great bands that are fully entitled to carry the "rock" flag and do it well. SAVING ABEL, THE LAST VEGAS, and TAKING DAWN all come to mind.
It's hard to believe that Chicago's DISTURBED have already been at it for over a decade. The band that rose to stardom by inviting listeners to get "Down With the Sickness" has come a long way from the dark clubs of the Windy City (anyone remember the bassist auditions at Oasis 160?) to headlining arenas and playing host to their growing MUSIC AS A WEAPON tours.
THE SWORD is back, and goddamn if they aren't mighty as hell.
On the Austin bands latest effort, WARP RIDERS, The Sword presents a concept album brooding with science-fiction from front to back, wrapped in a tasty nugget of hardcore stoner metal. From the moment the artwork hit the web looking like a long forgotten cover for an early 1980's ATARI 2600 game cartridge, my interest was piqued. Would there be a let down? Not hardly.
ATOM SMASH would like you to know that they are a rock band. From the cover art featuring a woman spread-eagle with angel wings and a missile rising between her legs, the "rock" is quite evident on their debut release and not-so-subtle penis nod LOVE IS IN THE MISSILE, due out August 31 via Jive Records.