Monthly Archives: November 2008

Recap: "That Metal Show" Episode 3 [11-29-08]

metalshow_logo3That Metal Show starring hard rock guru Eddie Trunk, comedian Jim Florentine, and Inside The NFL’s Don Jamieson aired its third episode on VH1 Classic last night at 11 p.m.

The first topic of discussion was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s shortcomings when it comes to hard rock and heavy metal. Trunk, sporting an interesting “Ruben Studdard” style leather jacket, stated that the Rock Hall of “Shame” is a joke even though Metallica is on the short list for induction this year. Florentine, wearing a cool “Blizzard of Ozz” long sleeve tee, pointed out that Metallica was never accepted by the Rolling Stone critics and the Grammy’s until they cut their hair.

blizzard-teeDee Snider and Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister were introduced as this week’s special guests, and continued the discussion. Snider described the Rock Hall as “offensive,” citing the lack of metal icons like Alice Cooper in the Hall. French noted that the museum’s section depicting the “History of Atlantic Records” stops at 1979, when Heavy Metal exploded.

According to Snider and French, TS began as a NY Dolls “clone band” with French unable to sing Led Zeppelin tunes. Snider joined the band and they worked the east coast bar scene playing much of Led Zeppelin I.

It turned out that Snider and French inspired Florentine to pursue comedy with their live stage banter. Snider even picked on a teenage Florentine at a concert for not pumping his fists, who was holding two beers in the front row.

amazon-twisted-sisterFrench and Trunk recently attended a Heaven and Hell concert at Radio City Music Hall, where French was amazed at how well Dio can front Black Sabbath. However, Snider thinks Dio is too old.

Florentine stated that TS “kicked ass” when they closed “Rocklahoma.” Snider is proud that all five original members can still perform and that the only excuse not to play a reunion show is “death.”

French explained three upcoming TS events: #1 is the recently released Live at Astoria DVD, #2 is the Dec. 5 “Twisted Christmas on Broadway” show (I’ll be there, so make sure you say “hey”), and #3 is next year’s 25th anniversary “Stay Hungry” tour with the original stage setup. Snider noted that this will be the final time TS will perform in costume and makeup.

kissologyTrunk remains with a .500 average on “Stump The Trunk.” I was surprised he forgot that Metallica’s James Hetfield was scorched in Montreal…Trunk answered “Salt Lake City.” The studio member couldn’t remember the guitarist that replaced Hetfield for several shows, but neither could Trunk. The guy ended up picking two prizes from the “Box of Junk.” The prize box greatly improved this episode by including some classic albums and DVDs rather than the same “Kissology” DVD. Trunk answered questions regarding The Scorpions and Mötley Crüe drumming correctly. However, Trunk originally answered the Crüe question with Randy Castillo but then changed to Samantha Maloney, the correct answer.

The “Pick of the Week” was the Heavy Metal box set issued by Rhino records. It has been out for just over a year and is shaped like a Marshall amp head with knobs that go to 11.

amazon-heavy-metal“What’s up with Cinderella?” was the email question of the week. Trunk said that Tom Keifer has been having some trouble with his voice. Snider said that singers like Keifer and Brian Johnson [AC/DC] have a style that is very harsh on the vocal chords.

The “Throwdown” question had to do with the most loyal fans—The Kiss Army or Rush fans? French and Florentine sided with Rush fans while Trunk, Snider, and Jamieson picked the Kiss Army. Trunk pointed out that Kiss fans have put up with lineup changes and even disco. French said that Rush fans have far more class and then ripped on Gene Simmons for embarrassing the Kiss trademark and went as far to say that Simmons “doesn’t respect his fans.” Florentine joked that Clay Aiken has an army too. Jamieson asked the studio audience, “Kiss or Rush?” and the audience seemed split right down the middle. Last week, the crowd was overwhelmingly for Black Sabbath over Led Zeppelin.

Overall, another great episode of That Metal Show. I must note that there was no comedic bit with Jamieson and Florentine as seen in the first two shows. Instead, the additional time was devoted to the week’s guests, which of course worked out very well with Snider and French providing interesting insights. Looking forward to next week’s show with Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater.

Catch Twisted Sister on tour—Great Tickets on StubHub.com!

Addendum: Watch the full episodes of That Metal Show on vh1classic.com now.

Review: Eddy Dyer – …Into Doves of Grey [2008]

amazon-eddy-dyerA subdued and melancholic aura envelopes the 14-tracks contained on Eddy Dyer’s latest offering …INTO DOVES OF GREY. Consisting of mainly acoustic guitar and voice with some mandolin peeking through at times, this 14-track endeavor showcases traces of psychedelica on “Nthru Nbeon,” issues with spirituality on cuts like the not so subtle “Jesus Christ,” the protest-esque “Snakes out of Boston” and “Out at Night” and a glimpse at Dyer’s personal relationships on “Song for Jamie” and the richly strummed “Jennifer.” Meshing the stark nuances of Jack Johnson with a rebellious streak poised at full strength, Eddy Dyer’s unique subject matter and stark arrangements yield an unexpectedly hearty listening experience.
www.rootsuckerrecords.comMike SOS

Riphouse 151 Documentary Showings, Radio Interviews, and More

Be sure to check out the thrash metal documentary Riphouse 151: Could’ve Been’s & Wanna Be’s on Dec.5 at the Nyack Village Theatre this Friday Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. You can purchase tickets in advance for $8 here.

ripposter-dec-flyer1

Here is the film synopsis from the PR:

RIPHOUSE 151: Could’ve Been’s & Wanna Be’s is a retrospective documentary feature film which showcases the local music scene of Rockland County, NY. The film is focused around a band (RIPHOUSE) from Congers, a hamlet within the county. Based just thirty minutes out of NYC the band had everything going for them, except themselves. Beginning as a local high school cover band they quickly began writing original material that inspired a community of their peers. On the cusp of breaking through to the national circuit their founder and front man veered down a life changing path which his band members could not follow. Filled with truth, fame, success, drugs, and death, Could’ve Been’s & Wanna Be’s is the story of the house that ripped and the family that died. Narrated by the band members themselves and including interviews with 30+ people including Rob Dukes of Exodus and Don La Greca of ESPN Radio.

Featuring: Mike Clancy, Jim DeMaria, Jon Eleazar, Joe Galvin, Rob Dukes, Don La Greca, Rob Moschetti, J.R. Maloney, and Ken Ortiz.

Dir. Peter O’Brien

Run Time: 106 min.

Riphouse 151: Could’ve Been’s & Wanna Be’s (Trailer)

Before the screenings, tune in to Rockland World Radio tomorrow [Nov. 30] at 4 p.m. for interviews with the filmmakers and band members. There will also be promotional giveaways for the listeners. Listen online at Rockland World Radio

Review: Ekser – Patterns of Reprisal [2007]

ekserArizona extreme metal quartet Ekser demonstrate their firm handle of technical death metal intricacies on the 10-track PATTERNS OF REPRISAL. This offering combines blinding percussive work and breakneck rhythms with clinical guitarwork on tracks like “Sinners Reflection” and “Cold Blooded Embrace,” much like the wares of bands like The Black Dahlia Murder and Arsis. Despite this outfit’s undeniable talent though (just check out the Megadeth-esque instrumental “Redemption” as an example), this affair lacks that intangible spark to get them ahead of the curve. Even though Ekser boasts a sturdy front and solid compositions that can hold their own, there’s still something distinct missing here that keeps them from clearing the hurdle. www.shivenrecords.comMike SOS

Review: Dropclutch – The Reason [2008]

amazon-dropclutchUpstate NY quintet Dropclutch have incorporated the best moments from modern rock radio into their 10-track jaunt THE REASON. Heavy downtuned guitars, thunderous basslines, and tasty drum work fills out this unit’s Staind meets Godsmack by way of Seether approach on tracks like “Understand” and “Hollow,” while cuts like “Make Your Move” and “Over & Over” really hammer out the aggression a la Mudvayne. Armed with an accessible yet rumbling sound while demonstrating an endless array of bass and guitar chugging to keep the heads bobbing and the bodies grooving, there’s a place on your shelves between Sevendust and Nonpoint for Dropclutch’s latest fist-pumping release. www.dropclutch.comMike SOS

Review: Rob Zombie "War Zone" The Punisher Soundtrack [2008]

amazon-punisherRob Zombie offers a song titled “War Zone” for the upcoming movie, The Punisher: War Zone, scheduled for release on Dec. 5 through Lions Gate Entertainment. Here’s a quick rundown of the new Zombie tune:

“War Zone” begins with a heavy tom-tom percussive groove—guitars soon enter that build up to the signature Zombie ax squeals heard in his work before. The song features haunting clean guitars and creepy effects throughout the verses. John 5 delivers one hell of a shredfest during the guitar solo. Strangely, at 3:04 the drums and guitars enter what feels like an interlude, but then the track abruptly ends. Despite tricking the listener in the end, the song is a typical Rob Zombie heavy rocker—if you are a fan, then surely you will dig this track. As far as comparing this song to Zombies previous work, “War Zone” would fit better on Educated Horses than The Sinister Urge. 8/10

Listen to “War Zone”

Buy the single or soundtrack here

Full Soundtrack Song listing
  • Rob Zombie “War Zone”
  • Slayer “Final Six”
  • Slipknot “Psychosocial”
  • Rise Against “Historia Calamitatum”
  • Seether “Fallen”
  • Kerli “Bulletproof”
  • Contest Winner- TBD
  • Senses Fail “The Past Is Proof”
  • Machines of Loving Grace “Butterfly Wings”
  • Justice “Genesis”
  • Pendulum “Showdown”
  • Hatebreed “Refuse / Resist”
  • Static-X “Lunatic”
  • Ramallah “Days of Revenge”

The Punisher: War Zone Movie Trailer

The White Zombie box set, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is in stores now. It features every song recorded including rare demos. Check out the full track listing at amazon.com

Heavy Metal Music For Your Thanksgiving Playlist

turkeyThere are hardly any Heavy Metal cuts that I can think of that deal with the themes of Thanksgiving, but here are some that we can loosely connect to the holiday (click on the songs to listen).

“Indians” by the thrash metal pioneers Anthrax can work with the following lyrics that honor the Native Americans (sort of):

Cry for the indians
Die for the indians
Cry for the indians
Cry, cry, cry for the indians
Love the land and fellow man
Peace is what we strive to have
Some folks have none of this
Hatred and prejudice

“Run To The Hills” by Iron Maiden—every holiday list seems to include at least one Iron Maiden tune, even if the content of the tune speaks of the opposing view:

White man came across the sea
He brought us pain and misery
He killed our tribes, he killed our creed
He took our game for his own need

“God Gave Rock n Roll To You” by Kiss—barely fits on the list, but shouldn’t we be thankful for rock n roll on a day devoted to giving thanks…amen.

God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you
Put it in the soul of everyone

“Kayboldum” by Moribound Oblivion—it’s only logical to incorporate some black metal from Istanbul, TURKEY!

Well, this list pretty much sucks as finding the ultimate Thanksgiving Heavy Metal tunes proves to be pretty difficult (for me). If you have any ideas, please share, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Miscellaneous Rock Links: Phil Misses Pantera, Metallica's Internet Album, Top 10 Car Tracks…

1. In an interview with Antiquiet, Phil Anselmo misses Pantera, wonders if Dimebag Darrell would still be here if it weren’t for the media’s portrayal of the band’s split, and affirms that he’s “f*ckin’ stronger than f*ckin’ most f*ckin’ men” his age [blabbermouth.net].

2. Metallica’s record contract is finally fulfilled, which means that they will explore some fresh options for their next record given their freedom. Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone that this could include “an internet thing” [musicradar.com].

3. The New York City Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex is now open for business. Obviously, this is worth checking out if you are within the tri-state area. Tickets are $18-$26 [rockannex.com].

4. This week Autopia listed their “10 Best Songs About Cars.” Sammy Hagar made the #8 spot with “I Can’t Drive 55,” while Prince took #1 with “Little Red Corvette.” Autopia listed “Highway Star” by Deep Purple as an honorable mention, while “Dragula” by Rob Zombie and “Jerry Was a Racecar Driver” by Primus are no where to be found making this list very weak [blog.wired.com].

5. Metal Blade records, which launched Metallica, Slayer, and King Diamond under Brian Slagel, have partnered with digital distributor INgrooves. This deal should increase online advertising and marketing of upcoming Metal Blade artists such as Austrian Death Machine and Cattle Decapitation [marketwatch.com].

Review: Various Artists – Pagan Fire [2008]

amazon-pagan-fireThose looking to become acquainted with the pagan, folk, and Viking strain of metal would be remiss to pass on picking up PAGAN FIRE, the 16-track compilation disc assembled by Nuclear Blast. Running the gamut both spatial and stylistically, this collection showcases pioneering squads such as Bathory to the latest acts ranging from Eluveitie to Thyrfing. A bevy of multi-layered metal assaults containing the genre’s unique instrumentation, well-textured songwriting, and a flair for the fantastic in all of its glorious splendor is delivered here with a deserved pageantry and revelry leading the brigade. Providing a one stop shop for a place where tin whistles,  thrash guitars, symphonic keyboards, and folksy overtones coexist, if your interested has been piqued by the likes of Turisas and Amon Amarth and you’d like to delve further, this is a great place to start. . www.nuclearblastusa.comMike SOS

Scott Weiland's "Happy In Galoshes" Lacks Greatness

amazon-weilandScott Weiland’s new solo effort Happy in Galoshes is basically one unexciting journey. Weiland is one of the best frontmen in rock music today and arguably one of the all-time greats. However, since leaving Velvet Revolver, he hasn’t been performing to his full rock and roll potential as demonstrated on last summer’s Stone Temple Pilots reunion.

One interesting aspect of this release is that the members of No Doubt make up Weiland’s rhythm section. Tom Dumont [guitars], Tony Kanal [bass], and Adrian Young [drums] are very talented musicians that serve as a great studio band and are probably responsible for making this record listenable.

Opening the record is “Missing Cleveland,” a catchy ditty that would please most STP fans and serves as an album highlight. The single, “Paralysis” contains pretty guitars and a fun drum boogie that makes the listener want to get down. However, the yucky stuff seems to outweigh the greatness, as heard on the lackluster cover of David Bowie’s “Fame,” that makes Tommy Lee’s version [Never a Dull Moment] seem genius. Slower tracks such as “Beautiful Day” and “Arch Angel” seem to go on for far too long. Then there is “She Sold Her System,” an experimental tune with fake drums, soft vocals, and guitars that fall short of triumphal.

Overall, the execution of the music is pretty good, but bearing Scott Weiland’s name, the album is disappointing—someone with such great rock showmanship can deliver far more powerful material. However, as a No Doubt record, with Gwen Stefani singing lead, this record would by an A+ all the way. B-/C+

Track Listing:
Missing Cleveland
Tangle With Your Mind
Blind Confusion
Paralysis
She Sold Her System
Fame
Killing Me Sweetly
Big Black Monster
Crash
Beautiful Day
Pictures & Computers (I’m Not Superman)
Arch Angel
Be Not Afraid

Scott Weiland [vocals], Doug Grean [guitar/bass], Tom Dumont [guitar], Tony Kanal [bass], Adrian Young [drums].

myspace.com/scottweiland