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.
20 Years Ago, PANTERA redefined metal when Atco Records released COWBOYS FROM HELL, the legendary album that opened the "Cemetery Gates" and introduced a legion of metal fans to the true "Art of Shredding." With their unmistakable brand of Texas groove-metal, PANTERA quickly became of the biggest acts in heavy music.
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.