Posts Tagged ‘Black Sunday’

cypress-hill-black-sundayWe are changing things up a bit here on Moshpits and Movies because not only are we a fan of metal and rock and the sub-genres in between, but we are a fan of old school 90’s hip hop and Gangsta Rap. I was watching a documentary on TV about the LA Riots of 1992 (Burn Motherf***er Burn!) and I was reminded of one of the coolest acts out of Southern California in Cypress Hill. Cypress Hill was made up of B-Real, Sen Dog, and DJ Muggs and they were the first Latino American Hip Hop group to have a number one Rap album in history and they also recorded the highest soundscan for a rap group at the time as well. The album Black Sunday (which we are covering this week) debuted at number one on The Billboard Top 200 charts selling 261,000 copies in it’s first week with the help of crossover hit Insane In The Brain (was also a Top 20 track on the Billboard Hot 100) which attracted a rock audience. The album would eventually go triple platinum as it sold about 3.4 million records and I believe that is to date. The same week it debuted at number one, it did the same thing on the Top R&B/Hip Hop charts as well.

Cypress Hill - Black Sunday - Back1.I Wanna Get High– A pretty self explanatory track that samples Taxman by Little Junior Parker and Get Outta My Life Woman by The New Apocalypse. 5/5

2. I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That– The third single from the album that samples The Wizard by Black Sabbath for the basis of the track while mixing in Galaxy Around Olodumare by Alice Coltrane and Rainmaker by Harry Nilsson. The track always seemed like a statement from the group that they were here to stay and the wannabes will fade away. 5/5

3. Insane In The Brain– The song that launched the band into the mainstream world was actually a diss track aimed at Chubb Rock. DJ Muggs had produced House Of Pain’s Jump Around and he used as the basis of the track with some real obvious changes with tons of samples. 5/5

4. When the Shit Goes Down– A bluesy sample from DJ Muggs drives the song about being ready to go when the sh** goes down. 4/5

5. Lick A ShotEpistrophy by Richard Davis and Sweat Pea by Tommy Roe help drive this Gangsta Rap track. 4/5

6. Cock The Hammer– A killer bass line drives the song with samples from Uri (The Wind) by Flora Purim and Blind Alley by The Emotions. The song is about being ready to go to battle and it touches a little upon how the Latinos in LA have just as many problems as others. 4/5

7. Lock Down– an interlude that samples Is It Because I’m Black by Syl Johnson. 4/5

black-sunday-4dd1b01105a0c8. 3 Lil’ Putos– A bunch of samples drive this bare bones drum driven track about life on the streets. 4/5

9. Legalize It– an intro track that samples Hallelujah, I Love Her So by Gene Chandler with a bunch of different sound clips of people giving the benefits of Marijuana. 4/5

10. Hits From The Bong– One of the most bad ass Cypress Hill songs that heavily samples Son Of A Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield as the basis of the track. I think you can guess what this song is about. 5/5

11. What Go Around Come Around, KidGet Out of My Life Woman by Grassella Oliphant drives the track which is essentially about being careful because what goes around comes around. 4/5

12. A To The K– The track actually samples A to the K by Wild Style in another track about life on the streets. 4/5

13. Hand on the Glock– The track samples Oh, Pretty Woman by Albert King for the basis while every know and then they inject another sample in between like Midnight Theme by Manzel or You’re A Customer by EMPD. 4/5

14. Break ‘Em Off Some-The last track on the album that samples Money In The Pocket by Joe Zawinul as the basis of the track while interjecting samples from Critical Beatdown by Ultramagnetic MC’s and Kool Is Back by Funk, Inc. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– One of the best albums from a hip hop/Rap group like Cypress Hill that at a point in time made it easy to like rap music because it was fresh, new, and it sounded dangerous. That is why I am giving Black Sunday which had an amazing cover to boot, 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.

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2003-year-of-the-spiderThere was once a time in the world when Nu Metal was a genre that was ruling the airways and video play on MTV with bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit competing with the likes of The Backstreet Boys and Nsync. Some say that it was a glorious time to be alive while others are very troubled by it’s mere existence. For me, it was a time when I was discovering my love of the metal sub-genres all over again after a brief falling out period. At one point, Flip/Interscope thought it wise to hire Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit as an A&R man and his signings were hitting it big in the industry like Puddle Of Mudd, Staind, and today’s band of focus in Jacksonville, Florida rock act Cold. Cold was made up of Scooter Ward (Vocals), Terry Balsamo (Guitar), Kelly Hayes (Guitar), Jeremy Marshall (Bass), Howard Benson (Piano/Keys/Produced The Album), and Sam McCandless (Drums). Together in 2003, the band would release their most commercially successful album of their careers in Year Of The Spider which peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 200 charts even featuring a top Hot 100 track as well.

cold1.Remedy– A real driving riff starts off the song before this amazing bass riff takes over the verses before the band comes back in. The song seems to be about someone with issues who pushes people away and know this, but doesn’t anyone to really change it. 5/5

2. Suffocate– A clean channel guitar drives the song for the most part before the chorus. The song is about a relationship that is just toxic. The song features former Dollshead/Black Eyed Peas singer Sierra Swan and Sam McCandless’s drum laying is awesome on this track. 5/5

3. Cure My Tragedy (A Letter to God)– a touching track that Scooter wrote about the struggles his sister went through with her battle against Cancer while the band was recording the album. 4.5/5

4. Stupid Girl– This was the band’s lead single and the only single they ever wrote that cracked the Billboard top 100 that was co-written by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. 5/5

5. Don’t Belong– A bass driven track until the band comes in for the chorus about feeling like you just don’t belong or you can’t do anything right. 4/5

6. Wasted Years– a cool track with violins in the beginning and some acoustic guitars that compliment them. It is said that Scooter described the track as, “this song is basically about how I let little things take away the things I needed in life.” 4/5

7. Whatever You Became– A slowered tempo track whose melody/structure reminds me a little of first track Remedy. The track seems to be about how people have changed because of his fame, but he hasn’t changed. 4/5

Cold-Year_Of_The_Spider-CD8. Sad Happy– a very eerie track about a someone who is stuck in a very abusive relationship and cant get out of it. A sad reality that is too true in the world we live in. 4.5/5

9. Rain Song– A cool track about someone close to Scooter who may have harmed herself in some way and when it rains it reminds him of her. 4/5

10. The Day Seattle Died– A great track on the album that is the band’s tribute to Seattle’s music icons Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. 5/5

11. Change The World– The track starts with a drum cadence before the band comes racing in with a killer riff on a track that is basically about relationships. 4/5

12. Black Sunday– A track that starts with some acoustic and clean guitars in a track that is about loss of someone close to Scooter, a reoccurring theme in a lot of songs. 4/5

13. Kill The Music Industry– The bands response to the music industry who were constantly telling them that they were going to fail. It also features the track Gone Away at around the 2:55 mark or so. 4/5

My Final Thoughts: Despite the success of the album, the band would soon go through it’s own troubled times as the label refused to promote any more singles from the album and Terry Balsamo would exit the band in 2004 to replace Ben Moody in Evanescence. I am going to give the album 4.4 stars out of five for a final grade because it was a kick ass album.

death wishIn all of the years that I have known about Charles Bronson and his films, I didn’t realize that for a long time he was not a star in the US, but in Europe which kind of surprises me. It wasn’t until the release of Death Wish in 1974 I believe that put Bronson on the map in the US. In this film, Charles Bronson (Once Upon A Time In The West) plays Paul Kersey, one of the top architects in all of New York City. He has everything going for him from a beautiful wife, a loving daughter, and a great job until his world gets severely rocked by tragedy. While grocery shopping, a couple of thugs (one of them is Jeff Goldblum) stalks, rapes, and kills Kersey’s wife and severely traumatizing his daughter. Upset over the fact that nothing has been done to fix the problem, Kersey will take matters into his own hands as he becomes a vigilante and starts cleaning up the streets of New York despite protest from the NYPD. The film also stars Hope Lange (Blue Velvet) as Joanna Kersey, Vincent Gardenia (Little Shop Of Horrors) as Frank Ochoa, Steven Keats (Black Sunday) as Jack Toby, Stuart Margolin (Kelly’s Heroes) as Aimes Jainchill, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Hank, Robert Kya-Hill (Shafts Big Score!) as Joe Charles, Edward Grover (Serpico) as Lt. Briggs, and the film was directed by Michael Winner (The Sentinel). Before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some of the stats: 

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death wish 2There is nothing more I can really say about this film other than that it is a classic. I feel like this film took the vigilante/action sub-genre to a whole new level. The film made him an icon for the next 12 years as more and more sequels would eventually be released. In the film, he only has 11 kills/knockouts and there is no origin story that we know of in this film. As I described above, his wife is his love interest and she is killed and there daughter is in a mental hospital. There is actually no big boss in this film as he doesn’t go after Jeff Goldblum and the other thugs who did the actual crime. Upon the film’s release, critics tried to trash the film because they felt that it was going to corrupt society and how we should handle crimes on our city streets. Even the author whose book inspired the film was pissed off because the film advocated vigilantism and his books didn’t. Nevertheless, the acting in the film was superb, the cinematography was great and gritty at times, and there is nothing I can really complain about. This is one of those films that fans of this genre type should check out if they never have before. For the picture I used for the stats, I thought it was a cool moment in the film when he looks up at the billboard and sees the articles that are talking about him. I thought that was pretty cool symbolism considering he’s going out for one last time. For a final grade, I am going to give the film four fists out of five.