Posts Tagged ‘Rock’

joe walshThe inspiration for today’s Album Of The Week is thanks to comedian and Podcaster Marc Maron who hosts the show WTF with Marc Maron. One of the guests that Marc had on the show was legendary guitar player Joe Walsh who is best known for being in the James Gang, solo, and The Eagles. Marc talked about his love for the first time he had heard Rocky Mountain Way and so I figured that I would cover the very album it’s on which is titled The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get which is a play on the expression “The higher you get the better you play!” When Joe left the James Gang, he started a group called the Barnstorm when he moved to Colorado. The band made up of Walsh (Vocals/Guitar), Kenny Passarelli (Bass Guitar), Joe Vitale (Drums), and Rocke Grace (Keyboards) played on Joe’s first two albums and left after the success of this record. The album was a huge success for Joe as it reached number six on the Billboard Pop Charts and it eventually went Gold in the US and silver in the UK all on the back of the single Rocky Mountain Way which was a top 40 hit.

JOE_WALSH_THE+SMOKER+YOU+DRINK,+THE+PLAYER+YOU+GET-130499b1. Rocky Mountain Way– One of the coolest rock songs ever recorded that featured Joe playing the Talk Box. Ultimately the song is about his experience in Colorado, but Joe has said this before, “I’m living in Colorado and I’m mowing the lawn. I look up and there’s the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and there’s snow on them in the summer. And it knocked me back because it was just beautiful. And I thought, ‘Well I have committed. I’m already in Colorado and it’s too late to regret the James Gang. The Rocky Mountain way is better than the way I had, because the music was better.’ I got the words. Bam!” 5/5

2. Book Ends– This is one of the tracks on the album that Joe Vitale sings on as he is talking about the good ole days. I love the overall vibe of the track as it has a little bit of a Beatles feel to it like a Hey Jude. 4.5/5

3. Wolf– I love the melodic beginning of this track because it sets the tone for the rest of the track in this very dark tale of life and the tribulations that we go through to live while the rich (wolf) get richer. 5/5

4. Midnight Moodies– A very cool instrumental track that features a mixture of instruments as the band flexes their muscle like a flute in the track. He may have gotten the influence from Jethro Tull on that part. 4.5/5

5. Happy Ways– This is the only track on the album that Kenny Passarelli sings lead vocals on. I love the bass intro in the beginning to go along with the War style music with the Caribbean influence. 4.5/5

joe_walsh_the_smoker_you_drink_24ktgdrem09_back.jpg6. Meadows– A little scat singing and screaming from Joe kicks off this cool rock track that has a similar feel to Deep Purple’s Women From Tokyo. 4.5/5

7. Dreams– The beginning of the song starts with some piano playing an effect that sounds like a clock is ticking in a track that talks about being a dreamer, taking care of a woman, and giving knowledge to people. 4/5

8. Days Gone By– This is the other track that Joe Vitale sings on that talks about how you need to live your life before you start wondering where it has all gone. 4.5/5

9. Day Dream (Prayer)– The last track on the album that starts with some piano and lyrically it only has four lines. The track has a very Pink Floyd vibe with the organs and the harmonies that are being sung. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– You could definitely tell that Joe was heavily influenced by what was around him at the time. He says in the interview with Marc Maron that he was influenced by everyone that he had met and learned some tricks from this guy, etc. My favorite tracks on the album are Rocky Mountain Way and Wolf. I didn’t dislike any of the tracks, but if I had to pick a least favorite it would be Dreams. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

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aliceinchains faceliftOne of the greatest bands to come out of the Seattle grunge scene in the early 1990’s was hands down Alice In Chains and I still to this day believe that they are not a grunge band by any means. Alice In Chains was your new wave of great American rock from the Pacific Northwest and the world was ready for a change at the time in the form of Layne Staley (Vocals), Jerry Cantrell (Guitars), the late Mike Starr (Bass), and Sean Kinney (Drums). On August 21, 1990, the band would release their debut album Facelift via Columbia Records with the record produced by Dave Jerden who had produced records by the Talking Heads and Frank Zappa to name a few. The album’s title could be symbolic for what was about to happen to the music scene once the people discovered this album. The album did pretty well on the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at number 42 and it sold two million copies and all of it done with hard work. The band was given an opening slot on the Clash Of The Titans tour which was Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax as the other bands on the bill. The band dealt with a lot of heckling from the crowd, but according to the bands on the bill they earned a lot of respect. Frank Bello commented once about it saying, “If there was a guy starting shit, Layne would jump into the audience and beat the FUCK outta that guy!”

aliceinchains facelift 21. We Die Young– A fericous riff opens up this track that Jerrry Cantrell says is about, “I’d just temporarily moved in with Susan Silver because Sean and I had just had a fight. So I was riding the bus to rehearsal and I saw all these 9, 10, 11 year old kids with beepers dealing drugs. The sight of a 10 year old kid with a beeper and a cell phone dealing drugs equaled “We Die Young” to me.” 5/5

2. Man In The Box– The bass heavy track was the second and most powerful single released off the record that besides being stoned while he wrote it, Layne says it was about “censorship in the mass media”. I love the use of the talkbox by Jerry in this track because I feel it adds to the track. The track was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Vocal Performance too. 5/5

3. Sea Of Sorrow-The track starts off with a bluesy riff by Cantrell before launching into the track that is about a guy who knows he’s in a toxic relationship, but needs to get out of it. 5/5

4. Bleed The Freak– A track that would be an anthem for all those that felt they were different and battling against those who didn’t like the fact that they were different. 5/5

5. I Can’t Remember– Jerry Cantrell has defined this as the track that helped develop the Alice In Chains sound. The track starts off with an eerie riff and it continues forward along with some great bass playing from Starr. The track seems to be about being mixed up in too much crap that you start forgetting what is important. 4.5/5

6. Love, Hate, Love– Jerry Cantrell has called this number the masterpiece of the whole record and he also says that the guitar solo in this track is his favorite of his career. It starts off much like the previous track with a very brooding/ominous riff in this track about a guy who gets cheated on and is shocked because he thought he owned her. Layne’s vocals on this track are haunting and beautiful at the same time, the man had an uncanny voice for such a dark bluesy track. 5/5

alice-in-chains-facelift-10-cd7. It Ain’t Like That– The riff to this track Jerry Cantrell admitted was a mistake, but in the end it was a very good mistake to make. It’s actually a very cool riff that has that sludgy chug like riff to it that we would grow to love from the band. The track is about suffering and then overcoming it. 5/5

8. Sunshine– A very bluesy track that is actually a tribute that Cantrell wrote too his mother who passed away some time before. He commented saying, “When I was a little kid, I’d always tell her, “I’ll be famous and buy you a house and you’ll never have to work again. I’ll take care of you like you took care of me.’ When she passed away, it was a really shitty time for me. I didn’t know how to deal with it then, and I still don’t. But it gave me the impetus to do what I’m doing.” 4.5/5

9. Put You Down– This one is more of a bluesy rocker from the band that could compete with anything out at the time. I think the song is about someone struggling with addiction. 4.5/5

10. Confusion-The track starts off with some clean channel guitars before Jerry turns it up a notch in this track that has a sort of dreamy effect especially with Layne’s vocals. The track has elements in it that remind me of Rooster in a way. The track is about how men and women are constantly hurting each other, playing mind games, etc. 4.5/5

11. I Know Somethin (Bout You)– A track that has elements of funk in the opening guitar riff that reminds me of the Chili Peppers to be honest. The track is about having so much info on someone you don’t like that you are going to royally f**k up their day. 4.5/5

12. Real Thing-a dark and brooding track with a blues twist that is all about drug use which is a cautionary tale of sorts for this band. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Ozzy Osbourne once said that this album was number two on his top 10 Metal albums list. Facelift was the perfect name for an album that was describing what was about to happen to the music scene overall. This was rock’s much needed Facelift that it needed at the time. My favorite tracks are the first four tracks plus Love, Hate, Love. My least favorite track is Real Thing even though I don’t really hate the track either. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

1000x1000One of the cool things about Spotify is that they have playlists set up on their app that allows you to discover new and exciting bands. One day, I was exploring a playlist entitled New Core when I discovered a metalcore act from Australia named The Amity Affliction. Now, I know what you guys are thinking, how in the hell are you just discovering them now? One, I do not typically listen to metalcore so it’s easy to miss an act like this, but I’m checking them out now. The band recently released an album this year, but I want to travel back and I chose the band’s fourth studio album Let The Ocean Take Me which was released on June 6, 2014 via Roadrunner Records. The band at the time was made up of Joel Birch (unclean Vocals), Ahren Stringer (clean Vocals/Bass), Troy Brady (Lead Guitar) in his last appearance with the band, Dan Brown (Rhythm Guitar) in his first appearance, and Ryan Burt (Drums). The album did pretty well for the band as it sold 10,000 copies in it’s first week landing it at number 31 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. The album also landed at three on the Billboard US Top Hard Rock Albums and 11 on the US Top Rock Albums.

1000x1000 21. Pittsburgh– The first track on the record and one of my personal favs. Rumor has it that on one of their tours, Joel was going through Alcohol withdrawls and they had to cancel their Pittsburgh date. So, the song kind of takes that vibe as to someone who is struggling with something. 5/5

2. Lost & Fading– The track starts off strong right out of the gates with an all out metal assault in this track that is all about someone who is struggling with life in general and no one is there to help them. 4.5/5

3. Don’t Lean On Me-a very melodic, but heavy when it needs to be track about someone who desperately wants to help someone he influences, but he can’t because he needs to fix his own problems. 5/5

4. The Weigh Down– lyrically this is a pretty deep song from the band about someone who has so many demons in the closet that he puts up a facade to everyone else, but who knows how much longer he can last. 5/5

5. Never Alone– a very melodic track with the added piano into it in this track that says that no matter how much life sucks or what it throws at you, you have to be strong because you are not the only one. 4.5/5

LTOTM-16-Disc6. Death’s Hand– this an Ok track that talks about how much a substance or alcohol can take over and ruin your life if you abuse it. 4/5

7. F.M.L.– An interesting track that I don’t know if it means F*** my life, but it’s definitely about someone who feels that their life is a complete and utter disaster. 4/5

8. My Father’s Son– Joel was dealing with a lot when they were recording this album because themes of alcoholism and past mistakes run rampant through out the album including this one. 5/5

9. Forest Fire– another track that looks at the idea of someone who is so down int he dumps that he needs a spark to get him out of his funk hence the metaphor for forest fire. 4/5

10. Give It All– The last track on the album that is just fierce as hell that is all about giving it your all no matter how many times you might fall flat on your face. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– There was a time when a lot of bands had that Atreyu like formula down and it was huge at one time. I definitely enjoyed listening to the album as their were real memorable moments like Pittsburgh, My Father’s Son, and Don’t Lean On Me. There were some least favorite moments on their like F.M.L. and Death’s Hand. I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

stp case closedI have done many of these when Metal bands fight posts and usually there has never been any resolved circumstances except for maybe one. One instance that definitely closes out a case is none other than death because one side can not obviously fight back in their case. I am going to take the time now to close out some of our cases that have been left out there in When Metal Bands Fight: Case Closed. The first one that was closed was the case of Scott Weiland vs the members of Stone Temple Pilots. I first reported on the case back in April of 2015. Unfortunately on December 3, 2015, Scott Weiland passed away without ever resolving any of the issues. The band has since moved on with a new vocalist in Jeff Gutt and a brand new album as well. The next case that was closed was the only one to actually be resolved and that is the case of Axl Rose vs Slash which saw the duo reunite along with Duff McKagan for the Not in This Lifetime Tour that was a record breaker in 2016. The band has since gone strong since then, but I feel people are thinking that it’s about time for Axl to finally stop messing around and reunite the two remaining members of the band (Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler).

pantera case closedSome cases are just cases of people opening their mouths and nothing ever comes of it ever again until something else happens between the two. For instance, N.W.A. has already been inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and there is nothing that Gene Simmons can do about it. The Mayhem Fest is officially dead and all Kerry King may have done is just predicted the ending of it especially now that he doesn’t have to deal with Kevin Lyman anymore. The one case that was never going to be resolved regardless of who lived is the case of Vinnie Paul vs Phil Anselmo which is really a sad case that breaks a lot of hearts. Vinnie Paul recently passed away which is what prompts me to say case closed. I was supposed to come out with a second part to it, but I just didn’t have the time. In an interview that Ultimate Classic Rock posted, Vinnie comments on what could be considered the reason it would never be resolved saying, “He’s done a lot of things that tarnish the image of what Pantera was back then, and what it stood for and what it was all about. And it’s sad. But I carry on with what I do, which is Hellyeah – which I’m very, very proud of. And, you know, I can’t control anything that goes on with that dude. I mean, honestly, I haven’t spoken to him since 2000. We tried to make amends of things when we were doing Damageplan, and he didn’t want anything to do with it. And then the horrible thing that happened to my brother happened. And, to me, that was the nail in the coffin. Period”

sabb_ozzy-1_2jpg copyIf I was a betting man I would say that was evidence enough that it would have never happened anyways. One case that could potentially become a case closed is one that involves the case of Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler) vs Bill Ward. Apparently, Birmingham, England is going to be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games and according to Loudwire there are parties that could be interested in reuniting for a one off gig. Ozzy Osbourne told ITV that he loved the idea and that he would perform, “with Black Sabbath or on my own.” Tony Iommi apparently loved the idea and told the Birmingham Mail, “I think that it would be a great thing to do to help represent Birmingham. I’m up for it! Let’s see what happens!” The only question that really remains is whether Bill ward will join the gang for the one off gig for a proper send off the original Godfathers of Metal. It remains to be seen and if there is any news of it then we will deliver it to you.

Update 6/24/2018 8:19PM ET: Sources are reporting that someone close to the Abbott family are telling TMZ that Vinnie died from a Major heart Attack. Loudwire reached out to his management and this is the statement they released:

We have no knowledge of who spoke with TMZ.
Whoever spoke to them did so on their own and not
based on any factual information or authorization
from Vinnie’s family or Pantera management.

Our official statement remains:
Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul passed away on Friday, June 22.
Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands
Pantera and Hellyeah.
No further details are currently available.
When they are, an updated official statement will be released.
The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.
Thank you for your query.

 

180623013401-vinnie-paul-pantera-super-teaseI am still not quite sure what words I need to say to express the utter shock that the rock/metal world and I are in after the news broke of the passing of Former Pantera/Damageplan/Heallyeah drummer Vinnie Paul. At first, I had to do a search online to find out if this was one of those fake articles that are always posted on Facebook when it says a celebrity has died. CNN, the new site confirmed for me that Vinnie Paul born Vincent Paul Abbott died at the age of 54 years old. We still at this time do not know what the cause of death is, but what we do know is that he is finally reunited with his brother Dimebag Darrell. Vinnie along with his brother Dimebag were the co-founders of the groove metal band Pantera who dominated the metal scene with the release of Cowboys From Hell in 1990 and they continued to dominate with albums like Vulgar Display Of Power and Far Beyond Driven until the band broke up in 2002. They went on to start a new band in Damageplan releasing their only album in 2004 entitled New Found Power and toured with the act until the death of his brother in December of 2004.

getty638images-115361519jpgVinnie had taken some time off from the music scene releasing the home video collection Dimevision, Vol. 1 in 2006 as well as a never before heard collaboration album with Country music legend David Allen Coe entitled Rebel Meets Rebel. He didn’t get back in the studio until 2007 when he officially became a member of the supergroup Hellyeah which featured Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne, Tom Maxwell of Nothingface, and Damageplan bassist Bob Zilla to record the self titled debut album. Together the band would release five albums with the latest Unden!able coming out in 2016. It is said that Vinnie has laid down drum tracks for an upcoming album, but it is not known yet what will become of that album as of this time. The band however has released a statement with Tom Maxwell saying, “Just so broken hearted and in shock. I’m struggling to write this but we want to thank you all for your kind words and support in this tragic time. We don’t have much info to give you other then Vinnie is now with Dime and they are together in a better place. Sadness, shock, confusion, anger, despair. We feel it all together. Hug your loved ones and keep them close. Thank you all again for all your love. Vinnie will be and is greatly loved and missed but his music will live forever. Crank it loud today and scream to the heavens so he can hear you.” Fellow musicians and other celebrities have come out to pay tribute to one of the greatest drummers of the modern era. There is a lot more tributes online and on Twitter, but the ones below are just some of them. R.I.P. Vinnie Paul (1964-2018)

bray wyattbretcorey gravesdeeffdpjamey jastamark tremontimegadethpaul stanleyslashvince

 

 

ghost vs nameless ghoulsOne of the things we have learned over the years is that being in a band is a very difficult thing to do. We have learned that being in a band is like being in a committed relationship with your bandmates and we have learned from bands like Kiss, Motley Crue, Skid Row, White Zombie, Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath, and so many other countless bands that sometimes divorces happen and those can get pretty ugly pretty damn often. A little more than year ago, a nasty break up was definitely the case when came to Swedish rock/metal act Ghost after four Nameless Ghouls came out and revealed some information to the world. The Nameless Ghouls came out and revealed their names and claimed that the frontman of Ghost Papa Emeritus a.k.a. Tobias Forge had screwed them out of money. Simon Söderberg (Alpha, Guitars), Mauro Rubino (Air, Keyboards), Henrik Palm (Ether, Guitars), and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth, Drums) all filed a lawsuit for compensation that basically totals $22,000. If you look below, you will see a full statement that Söderberg posted on Facebook airing out all of his grievances.

75071_0_wide_ver1527249826.jpg@642Of course, Tobias Forge didn’t stay quite for a very long time and he basically responded saying that Ghost was a solo project and that when the band was formed that, “none of the plaintiffs were present at the time.” He basically says that they were paid a price like hired guns that was fixed and that he is basically the mastermind of the band having created the image and music. If you want to read the full response to the lawsuit you can do so by clicking on article one and two. In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Gazette, Tobias told Scott Mervis, “There was a string of events that led up to that, of course. As any individual in some tandem with other individuals, there are times when you need to break up and times when you have to get divorced, and do a spring cleaning. That itself is not different than any other band or any other social circle. Of course, it’s never a joyous experience, but it was something that needed to be done. We’d come to a point where we’d exhausted …I’d done everything in my power to try to accommodate a few of my friends to enjoy this ride that I had taken them on, but the project and myself had just come to a point where I couldn’t make them happy, whichever way I chose to go. It was only met with resentment and complaints and general obtuseness, and at the end of the day you had to come to a point where, “Well, you guys don’t even need to be there. You’re free to go. I need to survive. I need to do my thing. This is my thing. None of you were here from the beginning and you have no responsibilities except to be on stage at 8 o’clock and you’re getting paid.” What you heard it just a culmination of years, years, of complaints and ungratefulness, let’s put it that way.”

papa-tobias-768x506One of the things that bothered me the most as a fan of the band was the fact that his identity was revealed. I thought it was a very cool mystique to have as people continually tried to figure out whether it was Tobias Forge behind the mask. Tobias doesn’t seem to be sour about it tell Blabbermouth, “I haven’t felt very anonymous for many years. I don’t feel very bummed by that. I can feel bummed about the reasons why it was revealed. [Laughs] But, it didn’t do much harm. I don’t feel, in any way, like a loser here and it didn’t seem to do a lot of harm. No, especially with a little bit of hindsight and couth. It’s fine. I feel good. It’s going well. I’m out here working. I made a record. [Laughs] You know, it’s always alarming, obviously, when you have people, and some of them used to be close to you, working diligently to destroy your life. That’s always a bummer. That sucks. Sometimes that happens in all parts of the world: at workplaces, in schools, in families, in relationships and friendships. There’s nothing new about it; it’s perfectly natural. It’s a sad avenue to ride down on, but it’s a part of life and it’s fine.” He also added to the convo about who he will choose in the future saying, “You should hire people because of their abilities and not proximity. You usually learn the hard way, unfortunately. I learned that. [Laughs] So, lesson learned! It’s all good. I’m never, ever going to do that again.”

GhostOf course, the band responded to the claims of Ghost being a solo act saying on Reddit, “Forge has certainly been the band’s main songwriter, has had the role of cinematic front figure ‘Papa Emeritus,’ has been a driving force in the band’s business, as well as in the handling of the band’s business affairs. However, the activities carried out with respect to Ghost were extensively handled jointly by the members – for example, by making decisions jointly regarding the band’s image, by participating in interviews, and by the fact that every member has, at certain times, contributed when recording albums and singles, and by touring together almost continuously since 2011.” They went on to add, “To the contrary, Tobias Forge always emphasized that it was a collaboration that everyone was involved in, and would share in the profit of, once the business became profitable. The first time Tobias Forge, through the band’s management, mentioned that he saw them as hired musicians rather than full-fledged members of Ghost was in the context of a contract proposal presented in April 2016.” One thing is for certain and that is I agree 100% with Tobias and this statement regarding the lawsuit, “I took it almost as an acknowledgment that I must be doing something right. If things were going down the fucking tubes, no one would care.” Think about it, if Ghost was on their way out, none of these guys would have cared as much about it. It remains to be seen what happens next, but stay tuned for more because Justice will be served!

Afd_locked_n_loadedIt has been quite some time since we last did a rock video of the week and there is a video that I have buzzing about lately from one of the best pure hard rock bands to come out of the 80’s. On June 29, 2018, Guns N’ Roses is going to be releasing one hell of a box set to commemorate one of the greatest debuts of all time in Appetite For Destruction with the Lock N Loaded edition. Here is what is included in the box set according to wikipedia, “The box set will include 73 songs on four CDs (49 of which were previously unreleased) and seven 12-inch 180-gram LP’s. It will include remastered versions of the album, Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide, an EP of b-sides, 25 recordings from the group’s 1986 Sound City Studios sessions, and two previously unreleased tracks from the group’s sessions with Mike Clink. All of the songs from the G N’ R Lies album will also be included, with the exception of “One in a Million”. In addition to the music, the set will include a 96 page book with unreleased photos from Rose’s personal archive, 12 lithographs visualizing each song on the album, and assorted replica memorabilia.”

gnrThe real thing that I am buzzing about is the band has released a never before seen music video for one of it’s classic tracks. According to the video, the video for It’s So Easy was worked on, but it was never finished hence why it’s unreleased. The video for the track starts off with Axl talking to the crowd at the world famous Cathouse that was once owned by Riki Rachtman and he tells them about how they were given money to make a video for MTV to try and help sell more records. He then tells them that he wants to make the video on GNR wants to see and then the chaos and excess begins. The video itself is primarily a performance based video with some extra shenanigans thrown in there to show you how decadent the 80’s really were. There is just something so amazing about seeing the original lineup in this video. There is something magical and electrifying that you wish you could see once again and you know these guys had it. Check out the video below and be sure to pick up the box set.