Posts Tagged ‘Howard Benson’

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.


61PDxvu686LWe apologize for not having an album of the week last week as we took some time off in Orlando for a vacation. We are getting right back into the thick of things with this week’s album of the week from Papa Roach with Getting Away With MurderGetting Away With Murder was the band’s third album overall and a drastically different record than the band’s previous two. I saw drastically different because there is absolutely no rapping on the album as the band’s singer Jacoby Shaddix claimed that he was sick and tired of rapping. The band went with ore of a hard rock sound than their traditional Nu Metal sound we all knew from them. The rest of the band is rounded out by Jerry Horton (Guitars), Tobin Esperance (Bass), and Dave Buckner (Drums) while the album was produced by Howard Benson (Motörhead, P.O.D.). The album is actually considered very successful for the band as is it features the band’s biggest hit and only song to ever be featured on Billboards Year End Charts in the track Scars. The album peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and went platinum in the US and has sold over 5 million world wide.

gawm-back1. Blood (Empty Promises)– The album kicks off with this barnburner whose theme of betrayal of a loved one is a common theme on the record. 4/5

2. Not Listening– a high octane energy track about how society always tells you have to be a certain way, act a certain way, but Jacoby is not listening anymore. 4.5/5

3. Stop Looking Start Seeing– An interesting track that kind of tells you to stop being blind to what’s happening in your life and see the wrongs. 4/5

4. Take Me– The track starts off very melodic before the band kicks up the energy a notch in a track about being apart of something instead of being an outsider. 4/5

5. Getting Away With Murder– The title track and first single released off the album that starts with a chunky bad ass bass line. Jacoby talked about the song’s meaning saying, “I wrote it so you can take it in different ways. It can be about when you’re doing some sh– behind some people in your life’s backs and they don’t know about it but it makes you feel like sh–, which I’ve done. But it can also be about what’s going on right now in the political world [in the Middle East], or about these big, huge corporations who are so corrupt.” 5/5

6. Be Free– an high energy, in your face track about wanting to break free from that significant other. 5/5

Getting away with murder CD7. Done with You– a straight up rock track with a punk flavor about being completely done with someone. 5/5

8. Scars– One of the band’s most popular songs as you can see above in the first paragraph. The song’s meaning according to Jacoby is, “about trying to help someone who really doesn’t want you to help them.” 5/5

9. Sometimes– One of my favorite tracks on the record that to me is about being stuck in a rut as you try to figure out what to do. 5/5

10. Blanket of Fear– A sledgehammer like track that I believe talks about not giving up on your dreams because life can be tough without them. 4/5

11. Tyranny of Normality– Another high octane energy track that the band is known for that mixes that punk flavor to it. The track talks about being enslaved to what the man wants you to believe what the norm is. 4/5

12. Do or Die– The last track on the album and it’s very different from most of the tracks on the album musically. The track deals with being strong in the face of adversity and getting off your keister and doing something. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This album is still one of my favor Papa Roach albums to date because the album represented a step forward in the right direction for the band.. It took their high octane energy sound and boosted it even more with great lyrics and music. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

One of my favorite bands and all around nice guys from the Nu Metal era that is still kicking it to this day in P.O.D. (Payable On Death) has unleashed some important info for fans of the band. The band released information on the upcoming release of their new album The Awakening which is due out August 21ST. In an interview with Billboard, singer Sonny Sandoval said, “The Awakening is meant to be listened to in its entirety. Every song ultimately explores a character dealing with life, making mistakes, fighting, trying. But we also live in a singles-type world, and it works on that level, too.” Traa Daniel (Bass) added, “[It’s] definitely an evolution from where we’ve come from. It’s this amazing piece of art that we’ve been able to put together as four guys who are like brothers — this is really special.” The band also unleashed a new track for all of the fans to hear and the track This Goes Out To You is also dedicated to the fans. The song is exactly what fans would expect from a P.O.D. track where it’s bumpin and it has a kick ass groove to it. Sandoval spoke about the origin of the track and why Producer Howard Benson was a big part of it stating, “Howard said, ‘Let’s do this for the fans who have been there for 23 years, who are growing with you and love your band and get you and your bigger-picture ideas, but let’s also make it accessible for other listeners and fans.” Fans can pre-order an autographed copy of the new record, but it’s limited to 500 copies so get it while it’s still available by going here. Check out the song below: