Posts Tagged ‘Blues’

led zeppelin led zeppelin_IIThe album that I chose for this week’s album of the week was inspired by the trailer for the new Thor: Ragnarok film which features the track The Immigrant Song. Now before you jump to any conclusions, I know that The Immigrant Song is not on Led Zeppelin II but rather on Led Zeppelin III. It’s just that you can’t review III before II considering we already reviewed one before. That is why for this week we are reviewing the band’s second album which was aptly titled with a II and it once again featured the classic and only line up that matters in Jimmy Page (Guitars), Robert Plant (Vocals), John Paul Jones (Bass), and John Bonham (Drums). The album was probably one of the most successful albums for the band and it helped them avoid the sophomore jinx as it went number one in seven countries that included the UK, United States, West Germany, Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Spain with three other top three finishes as well. The album has been certified platinum in the United States 12 times meaning that it has sold 12 million records (it went 4X platinum in the UK, 9X Platinum in Canada, etc.).

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 2-Back1.Whole Lotta Love– One of the most popular and probably overplayed song on the radio from the band that is about what you think it’s about. Using the AABA formula, Jimmy came up with the track on his houseboat that sees the track go from a blues feel right into a free jazz like break complete with a theramin solo and a bad ass drum solo from Bonham as well. 5/5

2. What Is And What Should Never Be– One of the first tracks that Page recorded with a Gibson Les Paul that contains that cool effect where it pans back and forth on the channels. There is also a cool effect used on Plant’s vocals during the verses. It has that cool effect where it changes in tempo from a cool bluesy tune into a full on rock track. It’s also the first Zeppelin song that Plant received writing credit for in this track that is about a romance he had with his wife’s sister. 5/5

3. The Lemon Song– A very sexual bluesy track in nature, but the song was inspired by Howlin Wolf’s song Killing Floor (Both first verses are indentical). In fact in 1972, the band was sued by the handlers of Howlin Wolf to which they settled out of court and Howlin Wolf is given credit on the track. 4.5/5

4. Thank You– One of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs that was for the first time completely written by Plant. It was the track that showed Page that Plant could handle himself in the lyrics department. A very cool power ballad from the band that everyone should check out. 5/5

5. Heartbreaker– A bad ass bluesy rock track with huge balls is the best way I can describe this track because it has that feel to it. Page told Guitar World in 1998 once that, “The interesting thing about the guitar solo is that it was recorded after we had already finished “Heartbreaker” – it was an afterthought. That whole section was recorded in a different studio and it was sort of slotted in the middle. If you notice, the whole sound of the guitar is different.” 5/5

II6. Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)– A cool hard rock track from the band that Page recorded with a Vox 12 string guitar and just to let you know, it’s Page’s least favorite song which is why it has never been played live. I definitely approve of the track. 4.5/5

7. Ramble On– If there was ever a track back in the day that made it cool to read The Lord Of The Rings, it was this track from the band. The song starts off with an acoustic feel which is just Page using regular open chords, but played a little higher on the fret board. It’s also a track that Jones and Bonham shined on showing how unique their relationship was in the band. 5/5

8. Moby Dick– For all the John Bonham lovers in the world, this is definitely your track as it was basically Jimmy Page recording all of Bonham’s jam sessions in the studio. The only thing is that in the beginning and the end, Page and Jones lead the way for him and end the track with him. 5/5

9. Bring It On Home– This is the last track on the record and it’s a cover of blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson II’s track that was written by Willie Dixon. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– It is almost the perfect album by the band and one that is considered to be one of the most influential rock albums of all time. Who in their right minds then did not want to be Led Zeppelin. The band’s sound which change however as they went for a more folkier sound with the next album. This is definitely must listen album for any fan off Zeppelin. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

For today’s Soundtrack Saturday track, we are exploring the soundtrack to the brand new Ghostbusters film which I reviewed for my other blog (read here) which I am going to throw my two cents in and say it’s awesome. The soundtrack to the brand new Ghostbusters film is a very interesting one that features music from Fall Out Boy featuring Missy Elliot, G Eazy, DeBarge, DMX, and our featured artist for today Elle King (she is Rob Schneider’s daughter). I really like Elle King’s music because it touches upon a little bit of soul, blues, mixed with elements of pop music today. The track she provided for the soundtrack is called Good Girls and while it’s a basic riff, it moves you and you can hear those elements I described in the track. I think the thing I love about her the most is the raspy voice which has that Janis Joplin quality to it. Do yourself a favor and check out the film and this amazing track below:

YBSC High PlainsFor this week’s album of the week, I am doing something a little different and something I have yet to do for the blog. Back in late February/March, I started a new segment for the blog called Unsigned Band Of The Week and it’s been a cool experience discovering bands I would have otherwise not discovered. One of those bands that I discovered while doing that blog piece is Youngblood Supercult, who come to us from Topeka, Kansas are my first unsigned band that I have covered for Album of The Week. While I was listening to a track on Youtube, their name popped up on the suggestions to the right and their name caught my eye. The band which is made up of Bailey Smith (Guitars), Weston Alford (Drums), and David Merrill (Vocals/Bass) can best be described as kind of a stoner rock/bluesy doom band that would make fans of the genre very happy. I have decided that for this week’s album of the week, I would cover their latest album High Plains which the band released back in February of this year. The album is the band’s follow up to their debut disc Season Of The Witch. The album marks a significant change for the band because of the fact that they have had some member changes since the first record.

ybsc1. Stone Mountain Blues– The band flexes their creative muscles with this awesome blues infused rock instrumental.

2. Monolith– The band lays out a nice juicy, thick doom driven riff with some ominous vocals that are both chilling and beautiful. The track reminds us why we love Black Sabbath and Pentagram. 5/5

3. Nomad– An absolute rocker on the album that grooves and drives that reminds of the stoner rock era C.O.C and The Sword. There’s a kick ass part in the track where the band speeds it up and the track rips. 5/5

4. Before The Dawn– I love the intro to this track with the cool bass line before the band comes charging in with the chugging riffs, this is amazing. I love how the vocals have that reverb to it, very cool effect. 5/5

5. Mind Control– I love the riff to this song, sounds very thick and full and it grooves hard with the blues tones. All of these tracks are hypnotic in nature. 4.5/5

youngblood supercult6. White Nights– A folkier track on the album which is an nice temporary departure from the previous tracks. Very atmospheric and cool 4/5

7. Hell Hath No Fury– Another track that grooves and has spunk as the band rocks out that has Sabbath in it’s blood. 4/5

8. Forefather– I love that during the verses, the song takes a sort of less is more approach which works. One thing to remember though is that these guys can jam and their riffs are excellent. 4/5

9. Black Hawk– While the band proved they can doom it up, they prove on this track that they can speed up the tempo a little and rock out. The vocals are little edgier which is cool too. 4.5/5

10. Acid Tongue– A really heavy track that has a really cool guitar solo that is my favorite part of the track. 4/5

11. Down 75– The band ends the album on the lighter/folkier side once again, but it works. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I like the New Wave of Doom/Stoner Rock bands that I have seen like Miss Lava, Gorilla Pulp, and of course Youngblood Supercult. You can tell that they are definitely coming into their own and they sound like well oiled machines throughout the record. It just definitely works and it pays off when you listen to this record. These guys need to be signed already!!! I am giving the record 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade. Check them out on Facebook for more info.

youngblood supercultFor this week’s Unsigned Band Of The Week, we leave Rhode Island and we head all the way to the heart of the Midwest in Topeka, Kansas for Youngblood Supercult. First you must be wondering with a name like Youngblood Supercult, what kind of music do they play and how did I hear about them. If you are a fan of Black Sabbath like stoner rock like I am then you will absolutely love these guys. I discovered them by chance on Twitter when they came up on my suggestions of pages or people to follow. The name of the band alone instantly made me curious and when I heard the featured track for today in Season Of The Witch I was instantly hooked. From the first bluesy chord of the guitars to the monstrous bass riffs and the powerful vocals of David Merrill you are instantly mesmerized and you can’t turn back. For more information on the band, give them a like on Facebook, check them on Reverbnation, and follow them on Twitter. Check out Season Of The Witch below:

You may be asking just who is Motor Sister and I don’t blame you, but if you watched VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show a couple of weeks ago you would know. The band formed as a birthday wish from Scott Ian of Anthrax where Jim Wilson of the band Mother Superior performed songs from his with Ian along with Joey Vera (Armored Saint/Fates Warning), Pearl Aday (Scott’s wife), and John Tempesta (The Cult/White Zombie). I believe that the show went so well that they decided to form the band as a supergroup and they named it after the Mother Superior song Little Motor Sister. The band also recorded an album called Ride that is all Mother Superior tracks and they have just unveiled a music video for the song A Hole. The video itself is a performance based video, but the music is pretty bad ass. It’s blues based metal with a singer who is as amazing at vocals as he is on the guitar. Jim Wilson has some rhythm and blues with some soul sprinkled in there for a voice. You can pick up the album Ride now via Metal Blade Records and who knows if they’ll tour. Check out the video below and rock out.

Led Zeppelin 1For this week’s album of the week, I wanted to chose an album that was so iconic that everyone knows who it is no matter what song you play. It can be argued that the self titled debut album from Led Zeppelin (otherwise known to their faithful as Led Zeppelin 1) could be the album that kick started the hard rock and heavy metal genre. I know Sam Dunne explored this theory in many of his documentaries, but one thing that you can’t deny is that their fusion of rock and roll and the blues laid the ground work for what was to be known as hard rock. On the UK album charts, it peaked at number 6 while it peaked at 10 on the Billboard 200 selling 8 million copies (8X Platinum) with 10,025,000 world wide sales (this includes the US sales of 8 million). The legendary band that featured Jimmy Page (Guitars), John Paul Jones (Bass), Robert Plant (Vocals), and the late great John Bonham (Drums) released an album that has awards and accolades that include The Grammy Hall Of Fame and it made the definitive 200 list for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The album cover for the record is just as iconic as the music as it features the Hindenburg disaster picture of the crash in New Jersey.

Led Zeppelin Back CoverGood Times Bad Times is one of the most amazing tracks that opens up this iconic record with their in your face approach matched by some amazing drumming from Bonzo. Bonzo was so innovative that drummers would immitate him for years especially since he was repeating a series of two sixteenth-note triplets on a single bass drum. It was so amazing for it’s time that Page once said, “The most stunning thing about the track, of course, is Bonzo’s amazing kick drum. It’s superhuman when you realize he was not playing with double kick. That’s one kick drum! That’s when people started understanding what he was all about.”  Babe I’m Gonna Leave You is Led Zeppelin’s cover of the Anne Bredon penned track that originally featured Joan Baez singing. You Shook Me is the band’s blues tinged cover of the Muddy Waters classic. Dazed And Confused is a song that takes you on a musical journey of ecstasy and is one of a few tracks that features Page playing his guitar with a bow.

led zeppelinYour Time Is Gonna Come is the first track of side b that features Jimmy Page playing an out of tune 10 string steel fender guitar and it features John Paul Jones playing the organ in the beginning of the track. Robert Plant shows off his love for the blues in this track as he sings about a girl who is very unfaithful. Black Mountain Side is a very creative instrumental that featured Page creating his magic with his guitars. Communication Breakdown features a kick ass pounding guitar intro from Jimmy Page before the band explodes into full throttled rock and roll madness. I Can’t Quit You Baby is Led’s  blues rock cover of the Otis Rush classic that was originally written by Willie Dixon. How Many More Times is the ninth and final track on this classic album and it’s an epic 8 and the half minute long song that is divided into sections that were held together by a bolero rhythm named after Beck’s Bolero by Jeff Beck. This is one of my favorite Led Zeppelin albums and a real asset to the history of Hard Rock. That is why I am giving this record five stars out of Five for a final grade.

File:A7XHailtotheKing.pngAvenged Sevenfold released their latest album last year with a lot of ridicule and allegations that they blatantly ripped off artists like Metallica, Guns N Roses, and Megadeth to name a few. It’s the band’s sixth studio album and the fourth via Warner Brothers. It also marks the debut of new drummer Arin Ilejay and the first studio album without any contributions from their late drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. For some reason, the band changed it’s original album cover design to the one you see above. When talking about the musical style for the album, here is what Synyster Gates had to say, “I think our songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds. Sonically, this record is our biggest record by fucking far. When you turn this fucking thing on, it blasts your fucking head off.” M. Shadows talked about the music itself, “On this record, we want a very bare bones, riff-oriented approach. Because it’s really easy for us to say ‘That melody would sound great here, throw this background vocal here, here’s this harmony.’ We had to restrain ourselves from doing that just to keep it more badass and just more straightforward rock.” Despite all of the allegations, this is definitely an album worth listening to in my opinion.

File:Hail to the king single cover.pngShepard Of Fire is the first track on the record and it was specially released as the theme to Call of Duty: Black Ops II zombies map Origins. The song is absolutely epic reminding me a lot of The Black Album‘s overall balls to the wall sonic attack. I am very impressed so far by one track which says a lot. Hail To The King is the next track and the first single we were all treated to about a tyrannical king who strikes the wrath of vengeance against all who oppose him. Doing Time reminds me of something that would have been of GNR’s Use Your Illusion because it’s a balls out rock song. Synyster Gates does his best to show that he’s today’s modern era Slash with an amazing solo. I’m sorry, but This Means War sounds way too much like Sad But True by Metallica except with different lyrics. Requiem‘s beginning sounds like something Ghost B.C. does until the band finally kicks with their groove laden metal. The riffs are nice and beefy almost as if the riffs are taking illegal growth hormones.

avengedCrimson Day starts off on the softer side like we have seen Avenged do many times in their career. For example, the style of the track reminds me of Afterlife or Seize The Day proving they can turn the harder than hell switch anytime they choose to. Heretic is such an amazing hard rock song that features some nasty grooves and chunky riffs that remind mes of Megadeth’s Symphony Of Destruction. The beginning of Coming Home looks like the band took influence from Iron Maiden with the epic guitar intro that eventually explodes in the metal madness and delivery that made people love Iron Maiden. Planets is a punishing metal track that the stars have delivered to us from Avenged Sevenfold. The riffs are meaty and you won’t be able to not bang your head to this. You will be in their trance listening to this track. Believe me, I couldn’t help, but play air guitar to this when it was on in certain parts and air drums to other parts. Acid Rain is the last track on the album and it feels like the end of the adventure with the epic piano behind the band’s playing with the neat sound effects that come in. The track is pretty bluesy showing off a side of the group that not too many people realize exist. These guys are deeply rooted in metal and hard rock and they aren’t afraid to show it off especially with the bluesy guitar solo that comes in at the four minute mark. I am giving the album four stars out of five because it is truly an amazing album again despite all of the allegations. It’ll be interesting to see how they address all of their detractors as the band has announced they are working on a new album as we speak.