There's some anonymous internet commenter that gets mad at me every time I mention Philadelphia's THE WONDER YEARS on this site. Specifically, they take issue with my comments regarding a fictional character from the late television series from which the band borrowed it's name, and to the furry on the cover artwork on SUBURBIA I'VE GIVEN YOU ALL AND NOW I'M NOTHING. I usually get either a comment on the article, or an email sent through some anonymous email proxy. Weirdness aside, SUBURBIA (out now on Hopeless Records) is a pretty smart slice of pop punk goodness.
Not too long ago, while grabbing the embed code for Rise Up and Revolt, I saw some kid on YouTube bitching that Kenosha, Wisconsin's JUNGLE ROT 'sounds like they're ripping off' some recent metalcore band that will probably be off the radar within six months. In reality, those kids were probably still in diapers (or possibly testicles) when JUNGLE ROT first started making their death metal noise back in the mid-90's. To make any comparison to the latest crop of 'core' bands is laughable, as JUNGLE ROT's peers are more akin to those that haunted the corners of Morrisound Studios in the early-mid 90's - those with names like OBITUARY and CANNIBAL CORPSE.
It's a rare occasion when something lands in my lap and commands that it skip the queue and go right into the player. It's even more of a rarity when I review said album so quickly after receiving it. For the long-awaited GOLD COBRA, the new album from LIMP BIZKIT exceptions have been made.
In the past two years, my thoughts on ADELITAS WAY based upon their first album have proven true. They're still a staple of third-market rock radio, but not necessarily mainstream just yet. When we last left the apostrophe-hating band, I was hoping that they'd be able to tone down the pop in favor of the rock, and with the release of HOME SCHOOL VALEDICTORIAN (out this week on Virgin Records), it's time to see what the Las Vegas band has delivered in their latest assignment.
Though the album doesn't arrive in stores until next tomorrow, ALL TIME LOW's DIRTY WORK is already proving to be a polarizing affair for those that have heard it. The main gripe spinning in the usual circles is that the album is 'too poppy.' How the fuck can a pop-punk band be too poppy? Asking ALL TIME LOW to tone down the catchy hooks is like asking the ARCADE FIRE to stop catering to hipsters - it just can't be done, because that's what they do.
If you've ever seen the 1990 film DAYS OF THUNDER, you're in for a surprise on KHAOS LEGIONS, the new album from ARCH ENEMY (out this week via Century Media). As soon as you get past the introductory instrumental Khaos Overture, you'll arrive at Yesterday Is Dead And Gone. Everything is chugging along nicely until we hit a bridge that sounds lifted from CARCASS' HEARTWORK album followed by a lead at 1:11 that sounds just like the HANS ZIMMER score to DAYS OF THUNDER. While the thought of Tom Cruise chasing Michael Rooker around a race track (or hospital) to the music of ARCH ENEMY is appealing, this is just a hint of something even more... off about this album.
Easily one of the most iconic albums in the history of rock music, BLIZZARD OF OZZ not only established OZZY OSBOURNE as a force capable of moving beyond the mighty shadow of BLACK SABBATH, but set the stage for heavy music to come. The playing of guitar virtuoso RANDY RHOADS would become instantly recognizable, inspiring shredders to follow, and while the album lacked a mainstream radio hit at the time, BLIZZARD would spawn both Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley - both of which are still staples of rock radio some thirty years later.
The second solo album from OZZY OSBOURNE is often cited as being the personal favorite of The Prince of Darkness himself, and its easy to see why. It's a great album.
Currently celebrating it's 30th Anniversary, DIARY OF A MADMAN was released just a year after BLIZZARD OF OZZ but feels drastically more polished than it's predecessor. While BLIZZARD was the album to launch Ozzy's post-Black Sabbath career, the total package of music and imagery was not fully achieved. On DIARY listeners got to see and hear what the name 'OZZY' would conjour images of throughout the metal decade.
In a lot of ways, FLOGGING MOLLY is kind of like McDonalds. If that's your thing, you know you like it, and what to expect. Sure, there's new offerings every so often, and you try 'em out - but in the end, McDonalds is McDonalds. Maybe you like it and maybe you don't, but there's consistency. Once in awhile though, you get a surprise. What you were expecting to be the acceptable standard is really, really, good. Shockingly good, in fact. If you already like FLOGGING MOLLY, this is one of those moments.
EP's are back in vogue as a tool to keep thirsty listeners' attention in between full length albums, and WITHIN THE RUINS have successfully managed to take full advantage of that fact. Having just released their latest full-length INVADE last August, the band made a brief return to the studio this spring to bang out a quartet of new tracks. Out this week via Victory Records, OMEN compiles those tracks into a blistering 17-minute set of mosh-worthy aural delights.
For the uninitiated, the thought of a live album and concert film from an electronica act might seem to be a dry affair capturing a laptop-toting DJ nodding in rhythm to a set of pre-programmed loops and beats. While that may be the case for some, THE PRODIGY has never been your run-of-the-mill dance act, and that's something well-documented on their latest release WORLD'S ON FIRE. Captured live at their own Warriors Dance Festival in the UK last July, this CD/DVD (or CD/Blu-ray) presentation showcases the band as a ferocious troupe capable of bringing a crowd of 65K+ under complete and utter control.
LOSING SCARLET is one of those musical head-scratchers around these parts. Performing regularly throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, this quartet falls into that catch-all pit known as modern rock, creating an array of unmemorable music that aims for the radio but misses by a mile. On their recently-released 8-song set LEARNING TO BLEED , the band delivers one of the year's worst offerings thus far.