Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NXT angle is now DOA + "Hey Yo" I've been canned

Well that lasted long. Last week WWE had one of themost talked about angles when the NXT rookies jumped John Cena, CM Punk, the announcers, the ringside crew and destroyed the ring. It was great because no one knew it was coming and you had a bunch of rookies laying waster to a current and former World Champ. Then cam the news that Daniel Bryan, Bryan Danielson, was fired for choking announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie and then spitting on Cena. The complaint was reported to have come from outside the company and Bryan was being let go unfairly.
Now debating the hypocrisy of one getting fired over a tie choking and others suffering no repercussion when they handcuff and beat someone or a myriad of other offenses, just does not matter. Of course any wrestling fan will tell you that logic has gone the way of kayfabe these days.So on this weeks show everyone was curious to see how the angle would continue especially since it's best worker has supposedly fired. You see the day before Cena put out a Tweet that made this all seem like an elaborate angle. The show opens with Wade Barret, season 1 winner, and the other NXT guys in the ring. The would not apolgize for what they did the were just made at WWE management and wanted ti ake a point. Cue GM Bret Hart's music and he basically tells the guys they are fired. The all shuffle off and we are done. Except that half way throught he show John Cena gives a speech about how the NXT desicrated the sanctuty if the ring, I thought the Great Khali has done worse things in there, and even though they left he hopes they comeback. Naturally they do and right before the jump him, 75 year-old Jerry Lawler, Santino Marella, Steven Regal and other 2nd tier guys come out and give Cena aid. This is where the angle really dies by putting an old announcer and several joke wrestlers on the same level as teh NXT guys it killed their legitimacy. The locker room emptied as all the big names came out and hut their moves on the rookies sending them scurrying away as Santino and Mark Henry chased them away.
It was all high fives as they sold the fact that everyone came together to repel a common foe, something WCW never realized during the NWO run. During the final match the lights go out and we see the NXT guys destroying catering, oh no, and making a mess. They are carrying a beaten Bret Hart and throw him in the back of a limo. The limo then proceeds to run into several cars om purpose. Why this is supposed to be harmful when we ll know that cars have seat belts plus limo's are kind of big so it could not be that big of a deal since the driver seems fine.
The way it kills the angle is that we are now seeing that someone else is helping them, most likely Vince McMahon. He forewarned Bret a couple of weeks ago so it makes sense. What it does though is push the NXT guys in the background so a 65 year-old juiced up CEO can show everyone how tough he is.

On the other side TNA decided to shit can Scott Hall after he no-showed his court date fro public intoxication. No one in that company should be surprised at all. He has a HUGE problem with substance abuse and even burned teh company twice before.However, Hogan and Bischoff thought that since Hot Tub Time Machine was a big hit so would their retro approach to TNA.

Friday, June 04, 2010

TNA debuts the new monster Knockout. EPIC FAIL!!

The death of the KO division got a little bit closer with the debut of Rosie Lottalove. When she was signed she was supposed to take the place of Awesome Kong as the monster of the division. When we all saw her debut on Impact I think we can safely say that there is no chance in Hell of that happening. So the geniuses decided to make her into a 21st Century version of Bertha Faye. The gimmick is of a large woman who thinks she is sexy.
Get it, she's fat but she dresses skimpy so it's funny. Right?
Not really since I like big girls so I did dig her but the gimmick automatically makes her a joke character.
The great thing they did with Kong is that they never made light of Kong's size knowing that it would undermine her credibility. Seemingly with the departure of Dutch Mantell logic in the KO division is gone.
In the long line of recycling WWE storylines and talent, we will now have TNA doing the Piggy James storyline that was just done 3 months ago.
At least she did not layout the current champ in her debut even though the champ has a title match against someone else. OOPS.
Oh, I almost forgot the "best" thing, they decided to model her after Rosie O'Donnell. You know the same actress/comedian that isn't on TV and when she was most of the country hated her?
That same one because when you keep signing WWE/WWF/WCW personalities that are over 50 that seems like a current idea.
Fucking morons.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sade-Soldier of Love CD Review

The Caribbean songstress Sade has returned with another disc of songs to do the nasty to. She may as well have called this release Panty Dropper because we all know what is about to happen once her music is playing. Maybe Sade is Jamaican for Spanish Fly

He voice and delivery is as smooth and sultry as ever, capably backed by her stellar band. It would be a huge oversight not to mention them as they allow the platform for which she is able to do what she does best.

The album kicks off, actually it is more turns off the lights, with “the Moon and the Sky”. Its’ lyrics are bout undying love as tired subject matter that is honestly what all her songs are about but she does such a great job on the lyrics and feeling that you just want to kiss someone. The title track is next and it may pause you at first upon hearing the near hip-hop beat. The threat of a rapping duet is unfounded and the beat along with the military drums underscores the subject matter.

While almost every song is love of some form, the feeling and sincerity about her performance is never questioned. You feel the emotion and honesty in every word and never doubt what she is saying. Someone needs to sit the guys from H.I.M. down and make them listen so their gothic love shtick isn’t so corny.

There are 11 tracks on Soldier of Love and while they are all not winners the album coalesces into one great candle lighting, wine drinking, fireside sitting, love making excursion,

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ultra Siberian Pant Factory-Omniumgatherum CD Review

This band must really hate writers. How else can you explain naming your band The Ultra Siberian Pant Factory. Length and depth of syllables aside, the inclusion of Pant and not Pants like it should be is a mother humper. Then on top of it all the band names their album Omniumgatherum. What the fuck is that? Do they realize how many times an album title is used in a typical review? Well I can tell you in this review it will be one, and you just saw.
Trying to define USPFx, that’s the acronym they use, is as difficult as diving how they chose their name. The bands sound is best described as a souped-up combination of Dream Theater and Every Time I Die. Just think of the most insanely progressive bunch of metalcore guys you could ever hope to meet. What makes this band so good is that they eschew the “look at me” masturbatory leanings of a typical progressive band. While the band does play their ass off and they have skills that are unparallel, every note seems to fit the song it is played in. Guitarist George Heathco is beyond phenomenal. While he does show an influence of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, he also mixes in the sounds of such modern acts like math metallers Dillinger Escape Plan. His backing members are no slouches either. Both drummer Gus Alvarado and bassist Jack Gordon do the remarkable job in providing a solid foundation for the song while showcasing their own proficiency as well.
The lone drawback is singer Benjamin Cunningham. I am sure that he is a nice guy and calls his mother once a week but his vocals are very off putting. Most of the time he comes across as a bad Corey Taylor. His growls are far from menacing and about as intimidating as Twilight fan club meeting. Unfortunately, his clean vocals are about as good. He does not seem to possess the ability to hit a nice high note, Whenever he does it sounds like he is struggling. I do not mean to pick on Mr. Cunningham but his performance detracts from what his bandmates are playing. A couple of the tracks his voice sounds a lot better so maybe this CD was recorded over a time period to where he was able to progress.
All in all USPFX has released a very interesting record that will appeal to a fair amount of people, Plus, it is so well played that you discover new things everytime to hear it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quest For Fire-S/T CD Review

Quest For Fire? Really? That’s the band name you decided on? I mean why not at least do one of those 12 word names or something with “wolf” in that all the hipsters dig? With a name like this everyone is going to think that you are 1) a group of archeologists doing authentic cro-magnum music, 2) a caveman version of GWAR or 3) a bunch of stoners cranking out fuzz ladened tunes.
Since your album is on Tee Pee Records it is obviously 3.
Moniker aside, Quest For Fire’s self-titled slab is one bodacious piece of work. In this day and age of bands trotting out what they think are throwback sounds and aping bad stereotypes passed down by supposed authoritarians, QfF is a real breath of fresh air. Even though that breath may cause you to fail a drug test.
What makes this album so much better than all the others is this sounds like it could have come out in the early 70’s. Singer Chad Ross sounds like a 2nd generation Amboy Dukes ala “Journey to the Center of Your Mind”. His voice helps weave the tapestry that the rest of the band fills out. The album starts of with “Bison Eyes” a song that would be the byproduct if Josh Homme was born in the early 60’s. Guitarist Andrew Moszynski’s guitar playing propels the band by not playing the same distorted feedback tricks. The band does a nice job of changing tempos and allows “Strange Ways” to borders between a Crazy Horse song and what stoner legend Wino’s definition of stoner music is. For him the meaning is that the music should take you to a place that makes you feel like you are stoned. Mission accomplished. What is remarkable about this song is nearly 8 minute song does not drag at all. “Hawk The Hunts the Walking” unfortunately does and a minute or two should have been trimmed off this near 9-minute opus.
Any review of this band would be best served by mentioning the rhythm section. Drummer Mike Maxymuik and bassist Josh Bauman do a remarkable job in balancing the traditional job of providing a music foundation for the songs and doing some free form jamming of their own. Bauman especially does a nice in making the bass a lead instrument at times.
Quest For Fire’s debut is not merely another slab of 70’s psych/stoner rock. It is shows what is wrong with the milieu of acts that profess themselves to be and how good it should sound when done right.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Overkill-Ironbound CD Review

Now this is how you kick off a year of metal music. Legendary metal stalwarts Overkill are back and as cliché as it is to type, they are better than ever. Original band members, singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni have been making music for 30 years is an impressive accomplishment. When you consider that they have been cranking out thrash metal classics for three decades, the task becomes damn near mind boggling. Ironbound is the band’s 15th studio release and has to be ranked as one of their best. Roaring out of the gates with “The Green and Black”, a nut busting ode to their loyal fans. From the title track to “Endless War” every song is a winner and could be considered a Best Of, just on its’ own. Track after track of thrash metal goodness that makes you want to go and buy a denim jacket and put a huge back patch on it. don’t forget the puffy white sneakers, high tops of course.
Ironbound is the second album for guitarists Derek Tailer and Dave Linsk, as the pair seems to have settled into their roles and have churned out riffs upon riffs that do the job of incorporating the classic thrash elements of the bands beginning and infusing them with a power and crunch of today’s metal.
These 10 tracks of unrelenting metal power and aggressiveness are a true testament to the never ending dedication of Ellsworth and Verni. Even though both guys have been on the business for over a generation, they have never stopped striving to create quality music.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Top 10 Metal Happenings of 2009

Since there are no more pages left on our collective Adam Lambert wall calendars, let’s all look back and see what the Top 10 Metal Happenings of 2009 were. At least according to me.

10-The launch of www.takebackthehorns.com. This website made it’s entrance onto the information superhighway this past Summer and it bravely tackles an issue that many have ignored. The purpose of this site is to remind people where the \m/ symbol came from and what it stands for. There is nothing more upsetting to a troo metalhead than for them to be watching TV and see someone on American Idol or The Jonas Brothers or someone on the Country Music Awards throw up the hand signal that the honorable Ronnie James Dio had made into metal lore. None other than Dee Snider is behind the site and it was his stint, aka please pay attention to me, on Going Country that he saw John Rich throwing up the horns and knew that this scourge upon our metallic society must be rectified. That and he would appreciate you paying $20 for a t-shirt. Also check out the gallery of photos of troo metallers and poseurs. The pics are priceless as are the comments that follow. Hey, it is the least you could do plus I have yet to make a “we’re not going to take it” joke all throughout this.
No that does not count.

9-No touring Ozzfest this year-Ozzfest is the festival safe haven for metalheads that one could look forward too each year. However lately the wheels have come off. First, there was the spat between Sharon Osbourne and Iron Maiden, where she and her talent less fat daughter threw eggs at the band and had the sound messed with much to the dismay of the 18,00 ticket buyers. Then, they did a tour where the tickets were free since the bands weren’t paid and Sharon got a nice chunk of change from various product placements that turned the already ad heavy show into something out of Minority Report. The story for the cancelling of this years show was that Ozzy would not be touring until he finished his new album. Curious since he has played at least a half dozen times with new guitarist Gus G. The real reason, at least in my opinion, is that Sharon cancelled this years festivals in hopes that the ill-conceived and horribly executed Osbournes Variety Show would take off. Thankfully in never did but one thing we have learned over the years is that Sharon Osbourne is more interested in making herself and her talentless, in rehab before they were 18, kids famous. Since the show flopped as have everything else that have tried to milk from their father’s fame has, at least with no Ozzfest Sharon will not be getting any of the money from the metal community.

8-Clay Guida’s Silver Star UFC 107 shirt- This is the most metal piece of clothing that I have seen that does not involve something from the times of King Arthur. With it’s true throwback look of a red sleeved black jersey that features the likeness of UFC fighter Clay Guida if he was somehow cross pollinated with Iron Maiden icon Eddie. It evens features the fighters name in Maiden lettering. In an extra cool tough, his nickname of The Carpenter is written in same font as Killers. Now having a shirt that takes liberty of a more famous logo is nothing new, Hell every alternative band in the 90’s did it. Why this one is so good is that it treats the source material with respect and not simply as kitsch. Add in the fact that MMA is rapidly becoming one of the most popular sports and that the corresponding clothing lines themselves have become cultural landmarks. This would have been higher but Clay lost his fight and he does come out to “The Taste of Ink” by The Used. He should have used Maiden’s “Die With Your Boots On” it fits his fighting style perfectly.

7-Iron Maiden-Flight 666 the movie-This was the documentary of Iron Maiden’s 2008 Somewhere Back in Time tour. The tour was unique in that the band was flown on their own private plane by lead singer Bruce Dickinson, himself a licensed pilot.
Take that John Travolta.
The film was made by Sam Mendes the same guy that made the tremendous Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey. On Flight he was not on camera but it maintained the same loose and non-intrusive style. While we are treated to nice profiles of the various band members and do get a glimpse of life of the road, what makes this film special is the highlighting of the power of music throughout the world. It is never more prevalent when the band is in South America and you see fans that have waited in line for days and were robbed and brutalized by police just for going to the show. At the end of one show we see a fan still standing in the arena as most of the audience had left. Still in reverence for what he saw and in a moment of pure gratitude, look up to the sky and thank God for what he just witnessed. That scene perfectly represented the unique and unbreakable bond between metal fans and the music.

6-Slayer-World Painted Blood-When legendary bands keep releasing new material it can bee almost disheartening to longtime fans. Usually the new stuff is not even remotely as good as the legendary stuff and fans start wondering is the band is now just going through the motions. Otherwise known as the Paul McCartney theory. With 2006’s Christ Illusion being a spotty record at best, the hopes were low for World Painted Blood. However Slayer showed that they still have the same intensity and power and twisted evilness that made them what they are. All 11 tracks are nutbusters and could easily fit in the timeline of their early hardcore influenced stuff. You can search the site and see my full write up on the album.

5-Megadeth releases a great album and no one cares-If you would have told me 10 years ago that Megadeth would release one of their best records in a decade and no one would buy it, I would have called shenanigans. However, in reality Endgame came out to rave reviews and all of those that did buy it fully agreed. Dave Mustaine created a riff laden album that harkened back to the glory days. His band is a great mixture of youth and experience with former BLS/White Lion bassist James Lomenzo and new guitar god Chris Broderick joining the lone veteran, drummer Shawn Drover. Endgame was one of the angriest and most pissed off records of Mustaine’s career and quickly made everyone forget about the last couple of suspect releases. That is if they heard it. The only reason for the disappointing sales is that fans are fed up with Mustaine’s antics. In the past he has gotten Rotting Christ kicked off a festival because they offended his newly founded Christian beliefs. When he guest hosted Headbangers Ball on the weekend of Dimebag's death he used to opportunity to get himself over. He has a knack for still whining about being kicked out of Metallica over 20 years ago and now writers have to agree not to bring it up. This fall Dave physically threatened a female reporter for bring Metallica up even though he was the one that brought it up. Add in the constant right-wing rhetoric that has filled his endless internet postings and fans have walked away. The last part is curious because Megadeth has always had a political slant to them but political anger from an up and coming band and political anger from a millionaire are two separate things. The tour with Slayer could help reach out to many disaffected fans but his feud with Slayer’s Kerry King may have turned them permanently.

4-Cobalt-Gin-The idea of listening to another two man metal band seems very unappealing. That band “ideal” seems best suited for The White Stripes or The Dresden Dolls. Quick aside , why do two-man bands all have a “the” at the beginning? Anywho, Colorado’s Cobalt have made a remarkable piece if art with its’ release Gin. They have combined the dark, heavy, frantic sounds of black metal with the jam band aspects of the better know dual person groups. What comes out is the mishmash of a very seductive and frightening nihilistic tome. With tracks averaging 7 minutes, Gin allows the listener to be seduced into its’ madness like a Fulci movie. The extreme vocals may be offsetting for some but it helps to emphasize the power in the music when they are used. When they are not used it underscores the change in mood and helps to pull you in. In a recent issue of Decibel, multi-instrumentalist described how Gin is a great driving record. He said that his unit would listen to while driving their Humvee while on duty in Iraq. A more perfect metaphor for this album could not be found than finding solace in a war zone.

3-Mastodon-Crack the Skye- It would have been easy for Mastodon to take the easy way out and release and album of rock radio friendly songs and cash in on the success of their last two albums. Add in the fact that guitarist Brent Hinds had a nearly debilitating accident and Crack The Skye had stinker written all over it. However, the Atlanta quartet turned in one of the most creative albums of the year and will be one of those releases that people will rediscover years from now. Containing only 7 tracks and only one of them clocked in under 5 minutes. The length allows the music to be the showcase along with the lyrical concept revolving around time travel and Russian monk Rasputin, Gone are the screaming vocals and replaced with Hinds near breathless style taking most of those duties. They interlace with instrumental passages that take twists and turns that keep the listener wanting more. Skye is the creative masterpiece that national music writers save their “pants down one handed prose” for Radiohead.

2-Lamb of God-Wrath-Unlike #3, Lamb of God was coming off a very disappointing release in 2006’s Sacrament and many were wondering if the band was all hype. With the release of Wrath the band showed that they were for real and will lay waste to al those that oppose them. From start to finish Wrath is a near masterpiece. It is brutal and fast and technical and catchy, creating a unique mix that normally does not work in concert with the others. Vocalist Randy Blythe spits anger and venom in every lyric and it is never more evident than on “Contractor”. The ode to Blackwater Security is such a pissed off homage that the security firm may want to hire more mercenaries. There is a section after the breakdown in the song that is arguably the heaviest thing ever recorded. If you put this in your CD player it will ensure that nothing else will ever get listened to for the next month. That and it will increase sales of Icy Hot and heating pads for all the ‘banging done to it.

1-Anvil-The Story of Anvil-When I first read that there was going to be a movie on 80’s metal pioneers Anvil I assumed that they were really popular in Canada and never broke through the US market. A music equivalent of Corner Gas if you will. However what we got was one of the most enduring and emotional tale, of two bandmates who have been best friends since high school and now in their 40’s are still trying to make it. On the movie poster there is a quote from some reviewer that referred to this as a “real-life Spinal Tap”. I think that phrase is more of an attempt to be dismissive of the band and their genre. While there are several unintentionally comedic elements, playing to a room of 5 people, the most memorable moments are incredibly emotional and very real. There is a scene in the recoding studio when things are not going well and after borrowing thousands of dollars from his sister, singer/guitarist Lips Kudlow almost buckled under the pressure and you can see his resolve to continue fight with the his desire to quit. The film is a testament to two things, the guys never ending friendship and the fact that even though there have been bumps in the road, sometimes really big bumps, they never gave up.
An unintended side effect of this movie is that there are many upset wives and girlfriends that had significant others ready to put down their instruments, are now reinvigorated and are now watching them full of vigor and desire thanks to Anvil. That fact alone is more metal than ‘87 Hetfield.