Posts Tagged ‘Alternative’

crow soundtrackI honestly believe that if you were to ask me what were some of the greatest movie soundtracks of the 1990’s, one of them would definitely be the original soundtrack to the 1994 film The Crow. The Crow was a film that starred the late Brandon Lee that was based off of a comic book created by James O’Barr about a man who comes back from the grave thanks to a crow to have vengeance against those who killed him and his fiance. The soundtrack featured some of the best 90’s alternative acts like The Cure, The Jesus and The Mary Chain along with some really awesome up and comers in the Industrial rock scene like Machines Of Loving Grace, My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult, and the Nine Inch Nails. The soundtrack also featured some bands that were either already on the rise like Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, or about to make a huge splash like Rage Against The Machine . It was definitely the album that made a splash on us because it made the film come to life and helped bring out the raw emotions of the characters. It did well on the charts as it peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and it has been certified platinum three times.

crowost1. Burn by The Cure- This is my favorite song on the whole album that made me fall in love with Simon Gallup and his bass playing abilities as he drives the song forward while Robert Smith does his best invoking the spirit of the Crow in his lyrics. 5/5

2. Golgotha Tenement Blues by Machines Of Loving Grace- Machines bring the industrial rock sexiness with this blues tinged goth classic. Golgotha is the place that Jesus was crucified so the track could be their way of saying that this is where Eric Draven was “crucified” if you want to use those terms. It’s an awesome track. 5/5

3. Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots- This is a classic STP track, but it’s not the original track intended for the soundtrack. Apparently, they had written one song called Only Dying, but management thought it wasn’t a good idea to release since the death of Brandon Lee had happened. This was definitely a great substitute as this is an STP classic. 5/5

4. Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails- Trent Reznor went all out with this cover of Joy Division’s Dead Souls which is amazing. This is a very haunting track lyrically and Trent does a great job adding his flair to it while trying to remain true. 5/5

5. Darkness by Rage Against The Machine- A very young Rage brings this track to you with all the in your face, boombastic sound that we are used to while Zach De La Rocha spits that gospel. Zach is talking mostly about how AIDS was an epidemic in Africa and America was barely doing anything about it. 5/5

6. Color Me Once by Violent Femmes- Life can be cruel and tough and that is the message that legendary folk rock act Violent Femmes brings to you on the soundtrack. The track features a very cool bluesy guitar solo that is a true highlight. 4.5/5

7. Ghostrider by The Rollins Band- Henry Rollins reverting back to his punk roots as he covers Suicide’s Ghostrider for the soundtrack. This was always a surprise track for me because the music is just infectious with those big bass riffs. 5/5

BSO_El_Cuervo_(The_Crow)--CD8. Milktoast by Helmet- this is an alternate version of the band’s track Milquetoast where this one was mixed by Butch Vig as it features a distorted outro and some feedback loops that weren’t there before. This track also features some bad ass bass playing by Henry Bogdan. 5/5

9. The Badge by Pantera- Any soundtrack that features the late and great Dimebag Darrell is a winner in my book. This is Pantera’s cover of Poison Idea’s The Badge. It’s heavy and fast and it showcases some of Phil’s other influences. 5/5

10. Slip Slide Melting by For Love Not Lisa- I had never heard of this group, but the song has quite the kick to it cause the track drives. 4.5/5

11. After The Flash by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult- an industrial banger that is bound to get the inner goth out of you with it’s Ministry/Electric Hellfire Club like industrial dance beats. This track kicks ass and you can’t help but groove to it. 5/5

12. Snakedriver by The Jesus and The Mary Chain- an alternative rock track that is a little different than the rest of the songs on here and it’s a good change as the singer talks about how life can be just as we thought it would be. 4.5/5

13. Time Baby III by Medicine- I think this is a very underappreciated song on the soundtrack because her voice is hypnotic. The band makes a cameo in the film playing the club. 5/5

14. It Can’t Rain All The Time by Jane Siberry- This is the actual version of the track that Eric Draven’s band’s song that appears on the soundtrack. The track is about no matter how tough or bad things get, it can’t be that bad all the time. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of the greatest soundtracks of it’s time and it will live on in the hearts of all those that loved the film and soundtrack. My favorite tracks on the record are Burn by The Cure and Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails. My least favorite track is probably Color Me Once by Violent Femmes. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

R-1259237-1377112122-2012.jpegIf you have been following my blog for quite some time then you will have learned that I like paying tribute to artists that I respect in the industry. Today’s album of the week is one of those tributes to another artist that we lost, but right in the beginning of 2018.  Dolores O’Riordan was the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Cranberries who on January 15TH was discovered and pronounced dead at her hotel room in London. There are no details on the cause of death, but I wanted to pay tribute to her by covering Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? for this week’s album of the week. The album was released on March 1, 1993 and it featured O’Riordan (Vocals), Noel Hogan (Guitars), Mike Hogan (Bass), and Fergal Lawler (Drums). The album was a huge success for the band as it went number one in the UK and Ireland while peaking at number 18 on The Billboard Top 200 Charts. The album sold over 5 million in the US making it five times platinum while being certified two times platinum in the UK (selling 600,000 units).

MI00021791721. I Still Do– The very melodic and brooding opening track starts and Dolores amazing voice carries you through. This is a track about Dolores having to make a tough choice because she knows she is not going to be around and long distance relationships don’t always work, but she loves him and can’t leave him. 4.5/5

2. Dreams– One of my favorite Cranberries songs ever with it’s upbeat tempo that reminds me of the glory days of 80’s post punk music. I think the track is about how things always change in one’s life, but one thing is for sure and that is she’s in love. 5/5

3. Sunday– The beginning of the track makes me think we are in a dream state at first, but when it kicks in it’s a pretty good mid tempo track. The track is about a guy coming into her life, but she couldn’t muster up the words to say that she needed him. 4/5

4. Pretty– The tempo is slowed down while Dolores just takes over the track vocally while she talks about the same thing saying we know you’re pretty, but there’s no need to act like your better. 4/5

5. Waltzing Back– A track that has some acoustic elements to it with some cool yodeling from Dolores in the track. I’m not really sure what the track is about, but it could be about the wife of a soldier who is mad that he husband is being taken to fight in the cause. 4.5/5

6. Not Sorry– A cool track that starts with some piano before some clean channel guitars come in in this brooding track that is about a girl basically saying that the way you treated me you shouldn’t be mad that I hate you. 4.5/5

everybody-else-is-doing-it-so-why-cant-we-56e9f3c411d647. Linger– An amazing track on the album that Riordan once said is about her first kiss with a soldier that she once fell in love with. The track has that element of regret in the lyrics which puts it into perspective. 5/5

8. Wanted– A more upbeat tempo track about a relationship in which she feels like she likes them, but they don’t like her. 4.5/5

9. Still Can’t …– The element of post punk in this track is incredible and it sounds great too in this track that is about a guy who did wrong, but he hasn’t done anything to fix it. 5/5

10. I Will Always– a very beautiful track musically that is yet so tragic in lyrics because it’s about how she holds on to a relationship even though it’s bad for her. 5/5

11. How– Another cool track on the album that is once again about a relationship gone wrong and how both parties pretend like the other isn’t there except she knows. 4.5/5

12. Put Me Down– The last track on the album which is very haunting especially with Dolores’s breathy vocals. If you guessed it, I think it’s another track about a relationship that is just no good. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Dolores is an incredible vocalist that I feel is extremely underrated and deserved more than what she had. One thing is for certain and that is her fans know how incredible she is. Check out the album for yourselves, I am going to give the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

highly suspectWe are one week removed from October which means we pick up right where we left off and we cover some interesting albums for the album of the week post. I love discovering new bands and I love covering their albums and that is definitely the case with this week’s band which also has local ties for me. Have you ever heard a song, liked it, but had no idea who the recording artist was? This week’s artist Highly Suspect is one of those artists that when I was asked if I had heard of them, I had not (to be perfectly honest). When I was told to listen to a couple of tracks, I immediately knew that I had heard the track before so I did a little investigating. I realized that the band hailed from Cape Cod, Massachusetts before they relocated to Brooklyn, New York for obvious reasons (more exposure). The band who is made up of Johnny Stevens (Guitar, Vocals, Synths, and Piano), Rich Meyer (Bass), and Ryan Meyer (Drums). In 2016, the band hooked up with producer Joel Hamilton and together they recorded and released the band’s second studio album The Boy Who Died Wolf. The album received some critical acclaim as Loudwire named it the number one on their 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016 post. The album also peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Top 200 charts while also peaking at number one on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums.

highly suspect back cover1. My Name Is Human– The song has a very full sound with the bass before the rest of the band kicks in on the album’s lead single. Johnny Stevens described the song saying, “A lot of people think the song is about being a human. I believe some of us aren’t human at all. Or at least not completely, but that is still our name. At some point in the last couple hundred years something changed. The androids, the aliens…They aren’t coming. We are here.” 5/5

2. Look Alive, Stay Alive– The track kicks off with a punk attitude before it calms down for the verse in a track that seems to be talking about how our narrator has come to the realization that he’s content with trying to stay alive then acting like he knows everything. 4.5/5

3. Little One– This track to me has a little bit of Soundgarden in it mixed with a little of today’s alternative especially in Steven’s amazing vocals. He seems to be talking about someone he has sacrificed so much for, but it’s going nowhere so he leaves. 5/5

4. For Billy– A rock tune that reminds me a little of Bush from the Sixteen Stone era, but they are reminiscing about someone they knew and loved. 4.5/5

5. Serotonia– An interesting track that starts out with a line of how he wishes he could be naked and masturbate all day. Nonetheless, he feels that he has done everything he could in New York and that it hasn’t made him the person he’s wanted to be so he thinks he should move to Hollywood. 4/5

6. Postres– Another interesting track on the album that has him talking about how he’s happy with where his life is and he’s going to enjoy it and especially his Postres (a Spanish desert). 4/5

Highly-Suspect-600x4007. Send Me An Angel– I love the original version of the Real Life track so I was interested to see how the band handled this one. They basically slowed it down and made it seem a little more ominous and creepy. 5/5

8. Viper Strike– This is a very angry track that has the band attack racists, homophobes, and anyone that just hates. They definitely voice their opinion on the track attacking all the hate in the world with some bold statements. 4/5

9. F.W.Y.T.– A very simple track with a little hip hop flare thrown in there that has the narrator giving up on the idea of a dystopia and F*** what you think! 4.5/5

10. Chicago– a cool piano track that shows Stevens flexing his musical abilities in a track that is about a girl he met in Chicago that became pretty special to him, but it didn’t end well. 5/5

11. Wolf– Another relationship related track, but this time it’s all about how he has to leave to live his rock and roll life because this one is a lie. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I can see why Loudwire chose this as their rock album of 2016 because the band has so much range, but there is also a lot of honesty in their music. The band definitely was influenced by Chris Cornell or at least Stevens was because you can hear the pain in the way he sings. This is an incredible record that everyone should check out. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

downloadOne of the brash and most unapologetic musicians in the world in Adam Darski a.k.a. Nergal of Polish Blackened Death Metal act Behemoth has some thing a little different that he is releasing to the world. While being in a folk/alternative/indie band may not be what fans of his imagined would be next, his newest project Me and That Man is something you just cannot pass up on. I have always been a big fan of the American Recordings of Johnny Cash, the mellower Danzig tracks, and I just discovered a love for Leonard Cohen and that is exactly what you get with Me and That Man and their new music video for the track Ain’t Much Loving. The video is mostly a performance based video whose visuals match the tone of the audio where it’s very mellow and dark. Nergal talked about the project to Noisey saying, “With Me and That Man, the songs just come out in a very organic way. One would be bluesy, one would be more of a ballad, but put together they all made sense. I need Me and That Man to keep the balance, as the potential of my mother band seems limitless. It gets bigger and bigger, more advanced and more sophisticated… and darker …and blacker, but Me and That Man is at the opposite pole, artistically speaking. With all the best art, once you have it in you, you have to release it, otherwise it becomes intoxicating and dangerous to your own system. This is how I deal with my emotions and my dark feelings and shadows. This is not happy music, but it’s liberating.” I think this is an album that everyone should check out on March 24TH when Songs Of Love And Death is released via Cooking Vinyl.

janesWhile the 2015 Pedal To The Metal Tournament may be going on as we speak, I wanted to travel outside of the metal world for this week’s album of the week. In the 80’s, there was another movement that was forming around the country that was outside of the metal genre completely and it was gaining steam with fans. The name of the movement was called the alternative rock movement and LA Alt-rock group Jane’s Addiction was spearheading the movement right into the mainstream with the release of their debut studio album Nothing’s Shocking which is in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You DieThe album was released on August 23, 1988 via Warner Brothers and the album quickly gained critical success even though it peaked on the Billboard Charts at number 103 and number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks for the song Jane Says in 1988. The band which was made up of Perry Farrell (Vocals), Dave Navarro (Guitar), Eric Avery (Bass), and Stephen Perkins (Drums) all contributed to the record in their own unique way. Navarro was quoted about the writing process saying that, “Some came from Eric’s bass lines, some from guitar, some came from Perry, some came from drum riffs, and some just came from free-form jams. There was really no formula.”

1. Up The Beach– The song starts off very warm and inviting before the band kicks in and it seems like controlled chaos wrapped into something beautiful and serene as Farrell repeats the words home. I feel like this is a song you could put on when you reach paradise. 4/5

2. Ocean Size– This was the band’s third single that they had released off the album and it’s one filled with epic rock riffs as he sings about wishing he was a stronger person like the ocean, but being strong enough not to hurt anyone like the ocean with the beach. 4/5

nothings_shocking_silver_u_card3. Had A Dad– This was a track that Avery wrote and he also wrote the conceptual lyrics about discovering his biological father that Farrell would eventually run with. 4/5

4. Ted, Just Admit It…– This 7 minute long opus starts with Perkins playing his kit before Avery comes in with a cool bass riff. The song also features an opening quote from Ted Bundy admitting how watching pornography and violence on TV warped his mind. So you can figure what this song is about because we live in a world that is desensitized to violence. The music is pretty bad ass as well with all the tempo changes throughout the track. 4/5

5. Standing In The Shower…– The lyrics to this track are simple if you think about it, but’s brilliant because it’s about all the things that go through his head when he takes a shower. The music is rocking, but it has that typical alternative sound with elements of ska as far as tempo. 4/5

6. Summertime Rolls– Avery wrote the song and created the guitar parts for this track whose lyrics could reference that moment in every relationship where things seem perfect. The song’s tempo is slow and steady and very ominous and serene. 4/5

7. Mountain Song– Perhaps one of the most famous tracks on the record for that iconic opening, thumping bass riff before the song explodes into action in a track that would make Zeppelin proud.  5/5

8. Idiots Rule– This is the ska like rock track on the record that also features Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers on Trumpet as the band sings about how the people in power are idiots. 4/5

Eric-Avery-Really-Quits-Janes-Addiction9. Jane Says– This is the iconic track from Jane’s Addiction about a friend of Perry who is the namesake of the band and it’s muse. The song also features references to drugs and kicking the habit while Stephen Perkins plays the steel drums while Navarro plays the same two chords for most of the track. 5/5

10. Thank You Boys– The 1 minute track has a swing feel to it while he simply says thank you boys. 3/5

11. Pig’s in Zen– the track features a kick ass funk like riff to it in a track where Perry reveals his envy over how pigs live there lives. He believes that there no care attitude makes them close to zen then him. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is the definite favorite album of the four Jane’s Addiction have released in their career and it’s a cool change in pace as you sit back and enjoy the noise. The album’s hero is definitely Eric Avery with his amazing bass playing that clearly made the album great. I am giving the record 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

The Smashing Pumpkins is one of those bands that I was never a huge fan of, but don’t mistake that for me saying that I don’t like them cause I certainly respect them. They have always been a band that has been able to hit the melodies to make a song intimate and they’ve certainly been able to rock out with the best of them. The honest truth to the matter is that when I heard that Tommy Lee (one of my favorite drummers) of Motley Crue was playing drums on the new Smashing Pumpkins album, it certainly peaked my interest. The name of the new record is Monuments to an Elegy and it is apparently apart of a trilogy that the band is creating called Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. The single we are covering today for the Single Of The Week (which is one of two today that you’ll get) is called One And All and it’s a hard rocker. Billy Corgan can still hit those distinct notes that he has hit since day one and the music is in your face like some of the music they released in the early days. Billy Corgan talked about the album saying, “I basically sang the whole song the first time I wrote it. It had written itself.” Remember this is one of two albums that we can expect within a year and this one will be available on December 9TH. Check out One And All below:

 

fitzandthetantrums-cover-4-1367600401I figured before I dived into October with my horror themed album of the week posts that I would cover a band that I truly enjoy listening to all the time. I can not get Fitz And The Tantrums off my iPod, their music is so infectious that it brings out the pop sensibility in me. I know their not rock or metal, but I love their music and last week I covered INXS. The band which is made up of singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs along with James King (Saxophone, Flute), Joseph Karnes (Bass Guitar), Jeremy Ruzumna (Keyboards), and John Wicks (Drums) have been often describe as either Neo-Soul and alternative music just in case Neo-soul is too confusing. The band garnered some attention with their brilliant 60’s soul filled first album Pickin’ Up The Pieces with their big hit Moneygrabber. So for their second album More Than Just A Dream, the band enlisted the help of producer Tony Hoffer who was best known for working with Beck, M83, Depeche Mode, and so many more. It also marked the band’s first release with Elektra Records because the band intially signed with Dangerbird Records, but when Jeff Castelaz (the man who originally signed them) moved over to Elektra he brought the band with him.

Fitz_And_The_Tantrums1The first song on the album is Out Of My League which became the band’s first number one hit on the alternative charts in a song about someone who can’t believe that they are with someone they thought was out of their league. Break The Walls is an club anthem for shedding the conventions of life that drag us down and just break the walls and be free. The Walker was the second single off the album that starts with the infectious whistle before the band kicks up the tempo in this club banger. It was the band’s second consecutive number one single on the alternative charts as well. Spark starts off with a reggae like beat before they go into their typical high octane dance party with infectious choruses that leave you singing along. 6AM is one of my favorite songs on the album as it has the calm easy tempo to give you break from the madness that was the first part of the album. Fool’s Gold does a little of the same as the last track, but they kick the tempo up a bit with the hip hop like dance beats. Keepin Our Eyes Out follows with it’s piano driven drum machine madness and scratchy breaks that help drive the chorus. The song’s production reminds me a lot of Beck and his overall sound and it would make sense with the producer they had for this record.

content_Fitz-and-the-TantrumsLast Raindrop has the pop sensibility to be an instant club hit the second the beat hits your speakers and the both of the singers harmonizing the second verse is where it’s at. House Of Fire starts off with a hip hop like beat, but as the verse begins the tempo changes with it’s soul and funk bass lines. The beat in The End reminds me of Dr. Dre The Chronic like beats while Get Away gets the dance party started all over again. Get Away is one of my other favorite tracks on the record that kind of blends the band’s neo-soul sound with a 90’s twist attached to it. MerryGoRound is essentially the last song on the record and it contains all the elements of the record with it’s 90’s pop like beats mixed with some great 80’s synth pop thrown in for good measure. The treat is the bonus track Tell Me What Ya Here For which would have been a huge hit in the 90’s and the band mixes the 60’s pop soul sound in the track to close out the album in style. I love this record and this band so I am giving the record four stars out five.