INFECTIOUS GROOVES were the soundtrack for many nights of chaos and mischief in my high school years. In fact, there was one occasion where I was asked to leave the classroom after telling a substitute teacher that my name was Aladdin Sarsippius Silamanagic Jackson the third. If you've ever listened to an Infectious Grooves album, you know exactly who I'm talking about. If not, shame on you - and for the record, I did leave the room, but never got in trouble.
I still remember seeing KORN for the first time when they were the opening act on a tour that included MEGADETH, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, and FEAR FACTORY. At the time, much of the black-shirt crowd had no idea what to make of them. Their self-titled first album was fresh onto the record store racks, and I was pretty-much hooked. The combination of Korn's bass-heavy rumble, Ross Robinson's production skills, and a slight aura of mystery were enough to rope in listeners from the darkest corners of the musical spectrum - and well beyond - to catapult the band to mainstream stardom.
When M.I.A. seemingly came out of nowhere to score pop-gold with her second album KALA in 2007, music critics nearly creamed their pants with overindulgent praise. While I enjoyed the album, I never could understand the hype around it.
On her latest album /\/\ /\ Y /\ (or simply MAYA), the multi-faceted artist has assembled a collection of barely-listenable audio diarrhea, that without the support of a major label would find itself buried alongside countless "experimental" indie noise releases.
There's a scene in the 1990 Renny Harlin film THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE where the title character (portrayed by the great ANDREW DICE CLAY) stumbles upon a less-than-stellar recording session where Wayne Newton (as Julian Grendel) claims that "the next big thing" is being packaged. Fairlane promptly stops the session to pull the vocalist aside, asking the unfortunate singer "What is that shit?" "You're killin' rock-n-rape-n-roll here. I mean, Keith Richards is rolling over in is grave- the friggin' guy isn't even dead yet," he explains.
Back for their fourth studio album, Mesa, AZ's AUTHORITY ZERO carries the flag for timely and politically-charged punk rock.
Like many of their older peers (BAD RELIGION, PENNYWISE, et al), Authority Zero works an in-your-face angle with their fast and ferocious punk rock chords laying down the foundation for crystal-clear vocals that convey emotion without becoming overbearing, though they break the mold on occasion to throw in some tasty ska and reggae grooves. STORIES OF SURVIVAL continues that musical tradition, while tackling the current Global Climate from economic downfall to the state of the ever-changing music industry.