cowboysOn December 8TH, it will be 12 years since one of the greatest guitarists in Metal history passed away from a senseless crime. I am talking about the one and only Dimebag Darrell Abbott who was shot and killed while performing on stage in Columbus, Ohio. While the metal scene has persevered forward, it has truly never been the same since. To honor his memory, we are covering the major label debut and fifth studio album overall from his first band Pantera in Cowboys From Hell. The album which also featured Phil Anselmo (Vocals), Rex Brown (Bass), and Vinnie Paul (Drums) was one of the hottest debuts that made the step forward in saving metal. After being rejected 28 times by major labels everywhere, the band finally found a home at ATCO Records and released the record on July 24, 1990. The album would peak at number 117 on The billboard Top 200 as well as eight on the Catalog albums chart. It would go Gold in 1993 and eventually it would go platinum by July 1997. It’s an album that is often overlooked due to the follow ups, but this is an important record in the band’s history.

pantera-cowboysfromhell-back1. Cowboys From Hell– Probably one of the most famous album openers, the hard charging bass line that opens the track followed by Dime giving us some of his guitar licks before Phil helps the band slam it into overdrive. The track is a tongue in cheek as far as the lyrics are concerned because most bands come from LA or New York and these boys are outsiders from Texas. 5/5

2. Primal Concrete Sledge– The track starts with hammering drums from Vinnie with a bad ass bass line from Rex when Dime comes in on a track that could be about breaking down the walls of a government that shuts you out. 4.5/5

3. Psycho Holiday– The track starts off with Vinnie’s drumming that sounds like a machine gun going off and then the music kicks in with the low sounding draw of the guitar. The track seems to be about a man in a mental institution. 5/5

4. Heresy–  Dime’s riffing opens up this absolute headbanger in a track that explores all that is wrong with humanity. Check out the lyrics and tell me different. 5/5

5. Cemetery Gates– This is probably the greatest Pantera song ever in the history of the band. This is the song that captured me and made me interested in finding out more about them. 5/5 (if I could go higher I would).

6. Domination– Definitely one of the most bad ass Pantera tracks that makes you want to bat your chest and get your frustrations out. The end of the song is the absolute shit!!! 5/5

cowboys-27. Shattered– A killer drum riff and guitar riff open the track that features more of Phil’s high vocals. The track could be about war or Armageddon. It features a killer guitar solo too. 4.5/5

8. Clash with Reality– A track that may not be the best on the album, but it’s bad ass and it’s about that time when you finally have to face reality. 4.5/5

9. Medicine Man– an amazing guitar riff fades in on a track that is about you know what, that’s right a drug dealer. I love how the track is mellow during the verses before it launches into overdrive on the chorus. 4.5/5

10. Message in Blood– an insane track that talks about someone as diabolical as Charles Manson. This track and all the others prove what kind of a genius Dimebag really was. 4.5/5

11. The Sleep-The beginning opens with amazing clean channel playing from Dime before Rex helps them move forward. 4.5/5

12. The Art of Shredding– A killer track about banding together and kicking ass through the greatest art form which is Heavy Metal. A killer bass line from Rex opens the track before Dime does his best shredding. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is a record that should not be taken fro granted because it is one of the best Pantera records of all time which is a hard thing to choose with Pantera. If you want to get to know the boys, start with this and move forward. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

You may be wondering to yourself how the staff here at Moshpits and Movies have chosen a track from an album that came out ten years ago has a music video of the week? Well while that is a good and legitimate question, we must also realize that there is a special reason for it. Back in August of 2006, Stone Sour released their critically acclaimed sophomore album Come What(ever) May which contained amazing tracks like 30/30- 150, Through Glass, Sillyworld, and my personal favorite Zzyzx Rd. Now the track which also happens to be the albums closer, never got the music video treatment it deserved and the band is about to release the tenth anniversary edition of the record which will feature bonus never before heard acoustic and b-sides. To help celebrate that, the band unleashed a music video for the song and we have it here. The video doesn’t feature the band at all, but it features various people walking down the same road as they ponder their life choices. I have always found the songs lyrics to be powerful and just absolutely amazing to listen to. Check it out below and you can pre-order the album right now here.

lp-cover-pink-floyd-wish-you-were-hereFor this week’s album of the week, I wanted to go way back and check out an album from an artist that I love and appreciate. One of the coolest rock bands to ever come out of England is definitely the one and only Pink Floyd. A band that has written iconic albums such as The Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall, AnimalsThe Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and today’s album entitled Wish You Were Here. Wish You Were Here was the band’s ninth studio album and the first to split a track (Shine On You Crazy Diamond) into book ends instead of using it as one long track for one side of the record. The band was made up of David Gilmour (vocals, guitars, lap steel guitar, EMS Synthi AKS, keyboards, tape effects), Roger Waters (vocals, bass guitar, guitar, VCS3, tape effects), Nick Mason (Drums), and Richard Wright (keyboards, VCS3, clavine). The album itself was a smash hit as it went number one in the US (Billboard Charts), the UK, New Zealand, Holland, and Australia. The album went 6X platinum in the US, 2X platinum in the UK, Italy, and Austria, 3X platinum in Canada, and 7X platinum in Australia.

tumblr_l0tckvetev1qzrurso1_5401. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)– This alone is a 13 minute track that is split into five parts and is a tribute to Syd Barrett.

Part I– The synthizers and keys slowly fade in like an epic score of some sorts before Gilmour plays a bluesy riff on his guitar using heavily compressed sound and reverb.

Part 2– Opens up with a four note theme that is known as Syd’s theme that is repeated throughout. We also begin to start seeing other instruments like the drums come in. A very cool instrumental section.

Part 3– This is the solo we get from Richard Wright on the Minimoog.

Part 4– This is the part when Waters begins to sing his lyrics for the track.

Part 5– It opens with two guitars recording an arpeggio variation of the main theme and we get a sax solo. 5/5

2. Welcome To The Machine– a buzzer and door opening is symbolic for Roger Waters in this amazing track because it’s about the record industry of how it takes bands and chews them and spits them out. 5/5

pink-floyd-wish-you-were-here-014236769853. Have A Cigar– One of the most popular songs to not feature a member of Pink Floyd on vocals. The song is sung by English Folk singer Roy Harper. The song is about greed record executives who sit and smoke cigars while stealing your money. 5/5

4. Wish You Were Here– A truly amazing song that is partly a tribute to Syd Barrret, but it also deals with Waters character who struggles with greed while trying to stay compassionate. It’s said that Gilmour recorded the opening to have it sound like someone was listening to the radio and decided to play along to it until the full band comes in. 5/5

5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)– The second half of the tribute to Syd Barrett.

Part 6– The wind from the last track continues in before we here Gilmour come in with a bass line and Waters adds a second before Wright comes in with the ARP String Ensemble Synthesizer playing. We get some Lap steel guitar solo from Gilmour in this part with a reprise of the solo from part 4.

Part 7– we get some lyrics from Waters in this, but they are shorter than part IV.

Part 8– For a couple of minutes on this part things get funky before Wrights keyboards dominate this part.

Part 9– Gilmour once described this part as “a slow 4/4 funeral march… the parting musical eulogy to Syd.” Wrights keyboards once again dominate this part, but it features some great drumming from Mason. 5/5

syd_barrett_abbey_road_1975

The Last Visit Syd Barrett Ever Made To See The Band

My Final Thoughts– This album officially joins the five star club here on Moshpits and Movies because it is just that amazing. Musically these guys were phenomenal and masters of their craft. It’s sad to here about Syd Barrett though who came to visit the band one day when they putting the final touches on the tribute to him. Apparently no one recognized him at all because he was fat, bald, and had no eyebrows. Sadly that day in the studio is the last time they would ever see Syd until his funeral. Give this record a listen, it’s well worth it. Five out of five for a final grade.

sudden-impactThis year we’ve been exploring films that I have never seen for a challenge that I have been doing for another blog. So, we’ve been exploring the Dirty Harry collection which stars the legendary Clint Eastwood (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) as Harry Callahan. For this week’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, we are checking out the fourth film in the series in Sudden Impact. Jennifer Spencer (Sandra Locke) and her sister were brutally raped by some men years ago, but the men never went to jail for it. Now years later, she is on the hunt for revenge which in turn grabs the attention of Harry Callahan (Eastwood). When things begin to heat up, he is forced on a “vacation” to Sao Paulo, California where he investigates the case in the small town that is linked to the crime in San Francisco. The film also stars Pat Hingle (Batman Forever) as Chief Jannings, Bradford Dillman (Escape From The Planet of the Apes) as Captain Briggs, Paul Drake (Beverly Hills Cop) as Mick, Audrie Neenan (Doubt) as Ray Parkins, Jack Thibeau (Escape From Alcatraz) as Kruger, Albert Popwell (The Enforcer) as Horace King, Wendell Wellman (Sommersby) as Tyrone, and the film was directed by Clint Eastwood. Before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some stats:

sudden-impact-stats

images-2So in our third Dirty Harry film, how did Harry Callahan do as far as the stats are concerned? As far as knockouts/kills, he has about 21 of them while there is still no origin story. I put down that he had no love interest because as far as the film went, it seemed that he didn’t have any and as far as we can see it was a one night stand (so that answers the sexual conquest question). I kind of dropped the ball on the hurt question because his good friend or partner is killed when he comes to visit and his new pet Bulldog is hurt as well and the big boss definitely gets what’s coming to him. I was surprised at first to see that Clint had directed the film, but then again why wouldn’t he t this point. This wasn’t his foray into directing anyways so it only seems natural at this point in the series. Callahan is still taking people out one by one and thee San Francisco PD an District Attorney still hates him for it. The film has plenty of action scenes to please any Dirty Harry fan, but it some of the shots of the film I love like the sequence when Harry comes back to save the day. I loved the look of that sequence which is why I chose it for my stats above. On a side note, I noticed that Albert Popwell has now played three different characters (A pimp, social activist, and a cop) in the series. I just thought that was a cool tidbit. I definitely enjoyed this one better than The Enforcer, but the first two are still gold. With that being said, I am going to go ahead and give this film four fists out of five for a final grade.

van-halen-vs-mott-the-hoopleLast week, we corrected our cover segment naming it Cover Battle and we had our very first one officially. Last week, Guns N Roses battled Britny Fox for supremacy over a cover of Nazareth’s Hair Of The Dog. You voted and named Guns N Roses the superior version. This week, we have one of the most interesting cover battles of all time because we take two classic rock bands from the 70’s and we are pinning them against each other. This week LA Rock outfit Van Halen does battle with UK classic rock giants Mott The Hoople in a cover battle of who did The Kinks You Really Got Me better. Let’s take a look at the contenders:

Van Halen– In the late 1970’s, Van Halen was the hottest thing to come out of Los Angeles in a long time and they did so with their self titled debut album. The chart topping amaing album featured tracks like Runnin’ With The Devil, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, and the very first single on the record that launched them into super stardom in their cover of The Kinks You Really Got Me. The song did so well for the band just as it had done for The Kinks back in 1964. When you hear this version, Eddie Van Halen adds some serious balls to the track and David Lee Roth is well David Lee Roth.

Mott The Hoople– The UK rock band originally released an instrumental version of You Really Got Me on their 1969 self title debut album. In 1980, they would release the version with Ian Hunter on vocals on the compilation record Two Miles From Heaven. Their version really has that 70’s UK Glam feel to it and the flow of it is definitely a tad slower than Van Halen’s. The thing I like about this version is the fact that they kept the keys in the song which definitely add to the overall composition and Mick Ralph’s solo is is good as well.

Now it is time for all of you to be the judge as to who did the cover better? Was it Van Halen? Or was it Mott The Hoople? You be the judge!

One of my all time favorite frontman in metal will always be ex-Pantera/current Down and Superjoint legend Phil Anselmo. He will always be an icon in my opinion and that is why when I see he has a new release, I usually pay attention to it which is why for this week’s metal music video of the week, I chose the new track from the rebranded and reformed Superjoint called Caught Up In The Gears Of Application. This is the title track off the band’s latest disc which came out a couple of weeks ago and it’s like any other Superjoint track where it is punishing and chaotic at the same time. The music video the band presents is definitely unique in where it has that old time silent film feel and look to it while switching back and forth to the frontman singing the lyrics. Anselmo described the video very well saying, “The video is supposed to be as ridiculously abstract as the song itself. But regardless, it makes its ridiculous point(s) dreadfully well.” I couldn’t have said it better myself as you see the band dressed in old time clothing handing out flyers in New Orleans to people who look uninterested. Check out the video below:

beastie-boysThere was some terrible news on the tele the other day about some people desecrating the Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York. While I am severely disappointed in humanity over that, I thought we would celebrate his life and work on the blog by covering the band’s debut album License To Ill for our album of the week this week. The Beasties Boys were made up of Adam “MCA” Yauch, Mike “Mike D” Diamond, and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. The group would release License To Ill on November 15, 1986 and the album would literally skyrocket to the top of the charts as it peaked at Number One on The Billboard Charts and it was the first rap LP to top the charts. It’s also one of Columbia’s fastest selling debut records in history and it eventually sold over ten million records worldwide. After the death of Adam Yauch, the album re-entered the Billboard charts at number 18 and it reached number one on Billboard’s Catalog Albums chart.

1. Rhymin & Stealin– The track opens with the sample of Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks before the sample of Black Sabbath’s Sweet Leaf drives the song. 5/5

beastie-boys-licensed-to-ill-insert2. The New Style– The track features a cool guitar/drum sample and features one of the most famous lines in “Ummm Dropppp!”4.5/5

3. She’s Crafty– A very educational track on the kind of girls the group likes which sees the band sample The Ocean by Led Zeppelin. 5/5

4. Posse in Effect– a track that showcases the groups talents as MC’s in the business. They sample Catch a Groove by Juice, Pee-Wee’s Dance by Joeski Love, and Change the Beat (Female Version) by Beside. 4.5/5

5. Slow Ride– The track starts off with the band sampling Low Rider by War before it just goes with a hi hat beat during the verses. 4/5

6. Girls-a simple and great track that features a keyboard beat and they sing about Girls. 5/5

7. Fight For Your Right– an amazing track that was written as a parody to all the party songs on the scene like I Wanna Rock or even Smokin In The Boys Room. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the record. 5/5

_18. No Sleep Till Brooklyn– A track that was a play on Motorhead’s No Sleep Till Hammersmith and features Kerry King of Slayer playing the guitar parts and solo. 5/5

9. Paul Revere– a track that was inspired by Run from Run-DMC where the music sounds like it’s being played in reverse. 4.5/5

10. Hold It Now, Hit It– The song contains a ton of samples in, but there have been lines from the track that have been sampled by Eric B & Rakim and even Eazy-E. 4/5

11. Brass Monkey– a track that is about a certain brand of alcohol that the group raps about in the track that samples Bring It Here by Wild Sugar. 5/5

12. Slow and Low– a track that samples 8th Wonder by the Sugarhill Gang and Flick Of The Switch by AC/DC. 4.5/5

13. Time To Get Ill– The last track on the album that samples a laundry list of groups ranging from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Steve Miller Band and even Kool & The Gang. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of my all time favorite records, but the group would take the ultimate risk with their next album. They wanted to get away from what they called the frat party scene and they wanted to be serious rappers. They wanted to be respected for their craft and they would ultimately leave Def Jam after this record. Nevertheless this is a classic and that is why I am giving the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

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