Monthly Archives: September 2008

Review: AC/DC "War Machine" [2008]

AC/DC released a second track from their much anticipated album, Black Ice. The new song, “War Machine,” is currently streaming on their MySpace.

“War Machine” begins with the bass guitar and drums preparing for an eruption of rock and roll bliss. The guitars enter the buildup to aid the volcanic rumble. Brian Johnson’s vocals sound awesome as usual — has this guy aged? Angus Young’s guitar solo is fairly short like “Rock and Roll Train,” which was again, disappointing. Hopefully, Young will deliver some old school rock and roll heart when performing these tunes live on the “Black Ice World Tour.” 8/10

ACDC Tickets

AC/DC Live Rock Band™ Track Pack Listing

The very popular video game, Rock Band®, will release a special AC/DC Live track pack for the series in November. The game will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.

Here is the release from Columbia Records:

AC/DC LIVE: Rock Band Track Pack will feature the master recordings from the best of the band’s live performances. The live recording was specially remixed for Rock Band by Mike Fraser. The game features 18 tracks, with more than 99 minutes of game play for each instrument:

“Thunderstruck”
“Shoot to Thrill”
“Back in Black”
“Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”
“Heatseeker”
“Fire Your Guns”
“Jailbreak”
“The Jack”
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
“Moneytalks”
“Hells Bells”
“High Voltage”
“Whole Lotta Rosie”
“You Shook Me All Night Long”
“T.N.T.”
“Let There Be Rock”
“Highway To Hell”
“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”

All tracks from the AC/DC LIVE: Rock Band Track Pack will also be available for play in Rock Band and Rock Band 2 by entering a special export authentication code for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PLAYSTATION 3 versions. As previously announced, AC/DC’s anthem “Let There Be Rock” is featured in Rock Band 2 – the first time the group has been included in a music-based video game. In addition, look for the epic Rock Band 2 TV commercial featuring the studio version of AC/DC’s rock anthem “Let There Be Rock” that premiered during the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards at www.rockband2.com.

Shipping Ocotber 2008, Pre-order Guitar Hero World Tour Now

Worthy Rock Shows On Sale: Mudvayne at Roseland Ballroom

Mudvayne will perform at Roseland Ballroom in New York City on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 at 6:30 pm.

Tickets are on sale now at LiveNation for $29.99 + service charges.

Get Great Tickets on StubHub.com!

Mudvayne tour dates from Billboard.com:

10.28.08 El Paso County Coliseum

TX
10.30.08
TX
10.31.08
TX
11.01.08
TX
11.03.08
TX
11.05.08
OK
11.07.08
OK
11.08.08
NM
11.09.08
AZ
11.11.08
CA
11.12.08
NV
11.14.08
CA
11.15.08
OR
11.17.08
WA
11.19.08
WA
11.21.08
CO
11.22.08
MO
11.24.08
KS
11.25.08
MO
11.26.08
IL
11.28.08
IA
11.29.08
MN
12.01.08
WI
12.02.08
IL
12.05.08
MI
12.06.08
MI
12.08.08
OH
12.09.08
OH
12.11.08
MD
12.12.08
PA
12.13.08
MA
12.16.08
NY
12.17.08
VA
12.19.08
GA
12.20.08
FL
Brought to you by CelebrityAccess/Billboard

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Review: Nightmare Revisited [2008]

With Halloween and Christmas around the corner, now is the perfect time for another soundtrack release to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Nightmare Revisited features new versions of the classic Danny Elfman songs performed by some of rock’s most popular artists.

“DeVotchKa Overture” opens the soundtrack with a haunting instrumental cover by Denver indie-rock band, DeVotchKa.

“Opening” Legendary film composer Danny Elfman continues the haunting journey.

“This Is Halloween” Marilyn Manson, a long time fan of Nightmare, offers a chilling cover of this Elfman classic [DOWNLOAD].

“Jack’s Lament” The All-American Rejects present a surprisingly evil acoustic cover. However, it is not as haunting as it could have been if a hard rock band performed it — but I guess it is good enough for them.

“Doctor Finkelstein/In The Forest” Amiina, an Icelandic musical quartet, offers this solid effort. They are clearly a very talented strings group with excellent production.

“What’s This?” Flyleaf, the other hard rock band with the female vocalist, rocks hard on this tune. Although, this has a very catchy drum beat, it does not compare to the original soundtrack version.

“Town Meeting Song” The Polyphonic Spree, the Dallas vocal group with the cult-like wardrobe, offers this nearly nine minute epic. This song makes this movie perfect for a Broadway production…start the auditions.

“Jack and Sally Montage” The Vitamin String Quartet flawlessly performs this montage.

“Jack’s Obsession” Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous sings as high as he possibly can, where it sounds sort of ridiculous in several areas. However, the simple acoustic arrangement of the song is pleasant.

“Kidnap The Sandy Claws” Nu-metal pioneers, Korn, rock this tune out in their usual form. From the opening note, the listener can tell that they are hearing Jonathan Davis and Korn. After all, we did state that Korn are rock pioneers [DOWNLOAD].

“Making Christmas” Rise Against offers a blended concoction of emo and punk rock on their cover. The song becomes interesting at the 2 minute mark when the guitars take over [DOWNLOAD].

“Nabbed” The Yoshida Brothers are a cool Japanese band that you may remember from the early Nintendo Wii commercials a couple years ago. This song offers an eastern feel that is enjoyable and refreshing.

“Oogie Boogie’s Song” Rodrigo y Gabriela are amazing classical guitarists that always offer a fresh interpretation of classic songs [Check out their version of Metallica’s “Orion”]. “Oogie Boogie’s Song” is no different — in fact I am dancing the samba this moment as I type [DOWNLOAD].

“Sally’s Song” Amy Lee, the other female hard rock vocalist [Evanescence], sings this ballad using her passion-goth-rock filled voice.

“Christmas Eve Montage” RJD2, an electronica artist, offers a fusion of 70’s style Beastie Boys beat stomping techno on his cover.

“Poor Jack” The Plain White T’s perform this cover in a manner that is almost as annoying as “Hey There Delilah.”

“To The Rescue” Datarock contributes their Norwegian brand of instrumental dance rock to the soundtrack.

“Finale/Reprise” The Shiny Toy Guns fuse obnoxious drum loops and Beach Boys harmonies on their offering.

“Closing” The composer, Danny Elfman, ends the story. Too bad Vincent Price is no longer with us — his narration would have been perfect.

“End Title” The Album Leaf, solo project of Jimmy LaValle, closes Nightmare Revisited.

This soundtrack revision does offer some fresh takes. We recommend downloading the killer tracks by Korn, Marilyn Manson, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Rise Against. However, everything else is pretty much filler.

Rent Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas at
Blockbuster.com

Review: Ben Folds – Way To Normal [2008]

“Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hits His Head)” opens up the latest effort, Way To Normal, of piano rock legend, Ben Folds. The album begins with a stomp rock tune in the style of “Benny and the Jets,” with artificial crowd cheers in the background. Like everything else that Ben Folds has done, this track has an irresistible melody that has the listener singing along and head-bobbing like a fool (DOWNLOAD NOW!).

“Dr. Yang” is equipped with a fast intro and a loud buzzing snare, cymbals, and synthesizer. This song has a few moments of dance-able bliss, but the obnoxious sounds can leave the listener disturbed.

“The Frown Song” begins with drums and alien buzzing sounds, before Folds starts singing the verse. It is a nice experimental trip taken by Folds – he even works a “f*ck” into the verse. There are beautifully constructed harmonies in the choruses and a sweet stadium anthem clap beat [2:18].

“You Don’t Know Me” features Regina Spektor on lead and backing vocals. The intro has an R & B pop feel, but that is only temporary, as Ben Folds is far too talented to end up in the direction.

“Before Cologne” is a short (0:53) but beautiful piano ballad that leads into the next track.

“Cologne” is a piano ballad with a cheesy but interesting line in the refrain: “4-3-2-1 I’m letting you go.” Cheesy, because it is cheesy, interesting because it has been stuck in my head all day — obviously this is the first single from the record.

“Errant Dog” gets the listener head-bobbing like a fool again. There is a great bass line in this short track reminiscent of Robert Sledge, from the Ben Folds Five days.

“Free Coffee” seems to be one of those ridiculous songs about nothing. Why? Well, the lyrics tell a story of how the narrator receives free food and coffee now that he is rich. This track features a strange percussion part that gives the listener a headache.

“Bitch Went Nuts” might be one of the most fun songs on the record as it is reminiscent of the classic track, “Song For The Dumped,” but falls short of the nerdy punk classics’ greatness.

“Brainwascht” contains some funky bass lines, but has an annoying drum beat.

“Effington” is an effing fun and funny effing song, or at least the effing lyrics are effing fun.

“Kylie From Connecticut” closes Way To Normal and sounds like several Ben Folds’ ballads that we have heard before about a specific individual. Unfortunately, Kylie is married but has feelings for another man because they had one “magical” night. The Gears of Rock does not condone such thoughts or acts of infidelity, thus, cannot approve this track.

Although, there are some catchy and ultra fun melodic moments on this record, Way To Normal lacks the almighty awesomeness of the original Ben Folds Five. Please consider giving Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee a simple phone call to make a BFF reunion permanent — C’mon, get the army back together…I ain’t f*ckin’ high [excuse the silly BFF pun; it was necessary].

Discography:

Ben Folds Five [1995]

Whatever and Ever Amen [1997]

Naked Baby Photos [1998]

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner [1999]

Rockin’ The Suburbs [2001]

Ben Folds Live [2002]

Songs For Silverman [2005]

Way To Normal [2008]

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Review: Motorhead – Motorizer [2008]

By Artem Altman

Do you remember the age old saying, “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it,” well, Motörhead sure does. Released on Aug. 26, Motörizer keeps with the age old adage that has preserved the band’s musical formula and has served well for the godfather’s of speed & thrash metal. In fact, served so well that Motörhead’s sound has gone almost completely unchanged for the most of the band’s history that has now spanned over 30 years.

The signature growl-delivery of Motörhead’s frontman and bassist, Lemmy Kilmister, is just the same as ever — just as it has been on their self-titled debut, Motörhead (1977), or the seminal release of the Ace of Spades (1980) containing the album’s prototypical title-track which is credited as an influence of bands such as Metallica.

For Lemmy and the rest of the gang, Phil Campbell providing the contagious riffs, and Mikkey Dee beating out the drums, innovation is not a concept that the band is ready to accept right now or if ever. What could be called “musical-monotony,” might frustrate some bands. However, fans seem to appreciate the band’s style and so Motörhead sticks to its guns.

A combination of a charged up-tempo playing style with lyrics that dwell on the two rock n’ roll main staples: sex and rock n’ roll. Motörizer delivers the spunk with songs such as “(Teach You How To) Sing the Blues,” a dark and murky of old timer set on partying; “Rock Out,” an anthem for playing loud and partying hard; “One Short Life,” a rock sermon that preaches living a good life while taking no crap from no one; “English Rose,” a ballad full of sexual innuendos, promiscuity and a good girl gone bad; and “Heroes,” a poignant tale of soldiers fighting a war under a hazy pretense.

In the conclusion, Motörizer is a testament to Motörhead’s status as a band that has managed to put out album after album for 30 years now without shifting from what they stand for. And for the elder statesmen of rock n’ roll (as sung on “Rock Out”), they still manage to “rock out with [their] c*ck(s) out.”

Artem Altman – Official Website

Review: AC/DC – No Bull The Director's Cut [DVD 2008]

AC/DC recently released another classic live show on DVD. No Bull: The Director’s Cut brings all fans, worldwide, to the legendary concert on July 10, 1996 at Plaza De Toros De Las Ventas in Madrid, Spain [“Ballbreaker Tour”].

The main menu features a cartoon Angus Young [Guitar] hilariously playing matador with a bull while “T.N.T.” pumps hard through the speakers.

The concert’s intro consists of a large wrecking ball that swings around the stage until destruction is achieved.

Enter the Aussie legends:

“Back In Black” opens the show with the band in perfect form. Brian Johnson [Vocals] at 5’5″ runs all over the stage, belting the tune directly from his b*lls. Angus runs, jumps, and kicks like a thrilled 3rd grader at the playground.

“Shot Down In Flames” is the next high energy tune that keeps the crowd jumping and fist-pumping. Malcolm Young [Rhythm Guitar] does his signature stationary head bob, while Angus runs side-to-side during the solo. The band is clearly having a fantastic time.

“Thunderstruck” The opening “Thun-der” shouts are not as powerful on this particular night — maybe the sound guy should have turned up Malcolm’s mic, or the crowd should have been mic’d better to fill up the space.

“Girls Got Rhythm” Johnson dedicates this track to the ladies in the house, then does a little lady dance during part of the verse.

“Hard As A Rock” The band is completely drenched in sweat by the opening of this song. While the band is still pumped, the show seems to have a lost a little energy by this point — due to the fact that this was a brand new song at the time of the concert. The crowd responds well when Angus mutters, “harder than a rock” into the microphone before the outro.

“Shoot To Thrill” One of the best moments ever in an AC/DC tune happens to be when Angus plays with the toggle switch following the guitar solo — it is even better live as he runs full speed to the side of the stage. “Pull the trigger!”

“Boogie Man” is the spooky blues song of the concert. Drummer Phil Rudd enjoys a cigarette during the tune as Angus does his guitar call-response thing with the crowd — of course they dig it.

“Hail Caesar” Johnson announces that the building is perfect for this tune. Images of powerful world rulers are displayed on the background screen during the song, while the crowd pumps their fists to chants of “Hail! Hail!”

“Hells Bells” The crowd erupts when the opening bells chime; Brian Johnson actually swings upside down on the rope of a giant AC/DC bell over the stage, then commences with some air guitar.

“Dog Eat Dog” is a classic Bon Scott track that is often forgotten about. Angus duck walks back-and-forth during the fast picked guitar solo.

“The Jack” Johnson informs the crowd that this song is “about a dirty woman,” so they ought to get dirty. After all, the tune is about venereal disease. The crowd gets extra loud to shout the chorus — “She’s got the jack, jack, jack, jack…”

“Ballbreaker” begins with Johnson being lifted on the giant wrecking ball where he performs half of the song from.

“Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” The crowd claps along with the intro blues riff until the drums enter with Johnson’s vocals. However, the crowd disappointingly dies out. Perhaps, this track was not a classic back in 1996 or in Spain.

“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” This is a very high energy version of the tune — a little faster, a little meaner. This song always gets me in the mood for the Norm MacDonald and Artie Lange movie, Dirty Work.

“You Shook Me All Night Long” What’s to say about this classic? There is no such thing as a bad version of this cut. The crowd loves it, the band loves it, Satan loves it, God loves it! It is just one of those tracks that brings everyone and everything together.

“Whole Lotta Rosie” The band plows through this one with a tremendous inflatable pudgy woman on the stage.

“T.N.T.” It is amazing that the band is still breathing after all the running, sweating, and head banging up to this point — it definitely did not prevent them from delivering a great performance of this tune. Angus does a freak out ground dive at the end.

“Let There Be Rock” could have easily been the closer to the show, due to its madness brought on by Johnson and Angus.

“Highway To Hell” The large wrecking ball drops to the stage to introduce Angus with devil horns in a cage, which arises from the floor of the stage. The song begins and the crowd jumps blissfully for its entirety.

“For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” appropriately closes the show with cannons on stage ready to blast. FIRE! The cannons are so cool when they FIRE the blanks.

If you enjoyed Live at Donington concert from 1992 then you will surely dig No Bull: The Director’s Cut.

AC/DC is Brian Johnson [Vocals], Angus Young [Lead Guitar], Malcolm Young [Rhythm Guitar], Cliff Williams [Bass], and Phil Rudd [Drums].

ACDC Tickets

Review: Halford – LIVE at Rock in Rio III [DVD 2008]

By Peter O’Brien

Legendary singer and Metal God, Rob Halford screams his way across the big screen in the new documentary – HALFORD – Resurrection World Tour: LIVE at Rock In Rio III, which made its theatrical premiere this week at the Village East Cinema in NYC. The film provides an in-depth profile of the Metal God’s return to heavy metal and the culmination of Halford’s performance at Rock In Rio III on January 19th, 2001. After almost eight years the world can see and hear what Halford’s resurrection of heavy metal was like in front of a quarter of a million people when the DVD hits the stores on October 7th, 2008.

The event [Rock In Rio III] has been synonymous with a revival in the heavy metal genre since it happened in January of 2001. Iron Maiden headlined the event as part of their “Brave New World” tour, which saw the return of front man Bruce Dickenson after a six-year hiatus. It also saw one of the first performances of Guns n’ Roses with their new line up featuring avant-garde guitarist Buckethead and Bryan “Brain” Mantia on drums. This show also marked the end of the line for Halford and his new band after playing a 95-city world tour in support of their new album Resurrection, which was released August 8th, 2000 on Metal-Is records.

The film chronicles the selection of Halford’s new band members and their role in the writing and recording of Resurrection. Each band member supplies a simple, straight-forward interview (including Halford) discussing why they were selected for this band and what their expectations were working with the Metal God – Rob Halford. The general consensus was to move away from Halford’s other experimental bands (Fight & 2wo) of the 90’s and return to his heavy metal roots that he established with Judas Priest almost thirty years earlier. The interviews are inter-cut with behind the scenes and backstage footage of rehearsals, sound checks, and even recording in the studio. They all take place in front of a simple black background with the respective band member discussing the experience of being recruited and recording the new material. These interviews are in turn inter-cut with a thirteen camera live recording of Halford’s performance at Rock In Rio III in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

As the film progresses the focus turns more towards the recording of the songs than the member’s perspectives of working with Halford. There is a lot of footage of Halford laying down vocal tracks in the studio and discussing the meaning behind some of the songs such as “Silent Screams.” These segments are often followed with a live performance of the song from the Rock in Rio show. One of the highlights and quite possibly the most interesting segment of these recording sessions is when they discuss “The one you love to hate” (featuring Iron Maiden vocalist – Bruce Dickenson). Seeing the two metal icons side by side in the vocal booth and how they work together is incredibly insightful. There are times during this segment when you can tell that Halford seems slightly intimidated and humbled by Dickenson’s vocal capability, which in turn pushes him to step up his own performance.

The live performance is what really what captivates the viewer. From start to finish the band never lets up the intensity and enthusiasm of performing these songs, which include the new material as well as classics and obscure hits from both Fight and Judas Priest. Although Halford remains stationary for most of the performance the notes and range he achieves vocally brings an aural element to the performance that otherwise would not have been present. Visually his presence alone is something to be noted as part of the performance. He stands dressed head to toe in studded and spiked leather – looking like something out of Mad Max. Audience member Ray Zablocki said about Halford’s presence, “he looks like he came from the future to sing about what’s going to happen to mankind.”

The real highlight of this performance is the conclusion where Halford comes out with the Brazilian flag hanging around his neck. He warms up the crowd – enticing them to sing along and finally asking the question, “Breaking the what?” The band then kicks into a savage rendition of the Judas Priest classic from British Steel. Halford simply walks up and down the stage holding the microphone out to the 200,000+ audience members who provide the lead vocals to “Breaking the law.” That alone is a testament to the power of music and it’s limitless boundaries to reach and affect people.

The film that was screened theatrically may be a combination of elements present in the release. That is to say the two may appear separate in the home video release giving you the full concert and then an in-depth documentary on the band. Fans of Halford and Judas Priest will thoroughly enjoy this release, as will fans of the heavy metal genre. The DVD that is to be released on October 7th also includes a remastered edition of the Resurrection album with three brand new bonus tracks.

The Band:

Rob Halford – Vocals

Metal Mike Chlasciak – Guitars

Patrick Lachman – Guitars

Roy Z. – Guitars

Ray Riendeau – Bass

Bobby Jarzombek – Drums

Set:

1. Resurrection

2. Made In Hell

3. Locked And Loaded

4. Into The Pit

5. Nailed To The Gun

6. Stained Class

7. Jawbreaker

8. Silent Screams

9. Cyberworld

10. Nightfall

11. The Hellion

12. Electric Eye

13. Metal Gods

14. Breaking The Law

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Chinese Democracy Coming November 25?!?

antiMusic reports:

(antiMusic) The sky is falling, the sky is falling. But it does look like the long wait might finally be over. Blabbermouth reports: According to RollingStone.com, it is rumored that Guns N’ Roses’ long-awaited new album “Chinese Democracy” will be released exclusively through Best Buy on November 25.

The source of the rumor is a supposed “vendor convention” that Best Buy had on Wednesday in Dallas, Texas.

Guns manager Andy Gould told the 900 employees the news about “Chinese Democracy” before previewing three songs from the album

Yeah right, we’ll believe it when we see it. The chances that this album is actually great are very, very, very, very slim. Please prove me wrong — I would prefer it to be amazing.

Don’t wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.