Posts Tagged ‘Rock’

blue-oyster-cult_agents_bIf you were to take the time to look on any Halloween playlist that is out there that involves having classic rock on it then I guarantee you will at least find one song by American Hard Rock/Occult Rock band Blue Öyster Cult. The band which was made up of Eric Bloom (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Allen Lanier (Keyboards/Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Joe Bouchard (Bass/Vocals), and Albert Bouchard (Drums/Vocals) were known for mixing elements of the occult and horror into their music which is why I decided to cover their fourth studio album Agents Of Fortune as this week’s album of the week. It was a unique album for the band as it was the last album to feature every member having vocal duties on some of the tracks, the only album to not feature writing credits from Eric Bloom, and thanks to one lead single, this album made them a huge concert draw as well. The platinum selling album would peak at number 29 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, 28 in Canada, and 26 in the UK. Kerrang! Magazine voted the album 62 on their The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time list while Q magazine said it was one of “The Greatest Classic Rock Albums Ever!”

blue-oyster-cult-agent-of-fortune-2-cd1. This Ain’t the Summer of Love– a monster opener that is all about how the promoters were exposed for being frauds with their Summer Of Love campaigns. 4.5/5

2. True Confessions-a piano driven bluesy rock track that is all about love in the 70’s in the eyes of someone who lived it then. 4/5

3. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper-a classic track from the band that put them on the map and established them as a live force. The track is all about we fear death when we shouldn’t and how we should just be living. 5/5

4. E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)– a bad ass 70’s rock song with swagger that I think is all about The Men In Black and UFO’s. 5/5

5. The Revenge of Vera Gemini– a track that undoubtedly inspired the Marvel character that features vocals by Patti Smith as well as Albert, but rumor has it that it’s about her relationship with Bob Dylan. 4.5/5

3365286259_da7ae4fcc1_z6. Sinful Love– a cool rock track that once again features Albert on vocals and is about drug addiction in my opinion and he is trying to kick it, but he loves it too much. 4/5

7. Tattooed Vampire– an upbeat hard rock track about a tattooed Asian girl at a tattoo parlor? 4/5

8. Morning Final– According to one report that I saw online that the track is about a murder that took place at a famous place in New York City that Joe Bouchard used to like going to. 4/5

9. Tenderloin– Eric Bloom sings this cool as ice rock song about a prostitute (basically) 4/5

10. Debbie Denise– The last track on the album and it’s a track based on a song written by Patti Smith where one line was changed about a girl who patiently waits for her man to come back from tour because she loves him. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I can definitely understand why this is a band that is so polarizing in a way. I saw that because there are people who live and die by Blue Öyster Cult and some that thought they were cheesy. I liked the album overall, but in reality there were only two songs that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am going to give the album 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.

IMG_7714The first time I ever heard the track God’s Gonna Cut You Down, the traditional folk song was by the man in black Johnny Cash who recorded the track for his album American V: A Hundred Highways. It was a different take then the usual versions that were recorded because his was a stripped down version as opposed to the gospel versions that came before it. Apparently during his Heaven Upside Down Tour, Marilyn Manson was performing the Johnny Cash version of the song live, but in fact he recorded a version of the track for the soundtrack to the 2017 film 24 Hours To Live. He talks about the song telling Loudwire, “I enjoyed doing it. I did it in one take and everyone thinks that Johnny Cash wrote it and I looked up the people that covered it and it was great because it’s Elvis, Tom Jones… It’s originally just some soul singer back in I don’t even know what era. The chords that Tyler [Bates] played, it was slightly similar to the version that we’re most familiar with, the one that Tom Jones and Johnny Cash did, most notably.” Check out the track below because Manson does an amazing job morphing his style into the track:

 

covenEvery year, I try to find new and exciting albums to cover while we do Eddie’s 31 Days of Halloween and I think I found one. I was looking on the world wide web when I came across the term Occult Rock and of course I was curious and so I clicked on it. Apparently there was a band that was Satanic before Black Sabbath could ever be considered that and this band was open about it on their music. The band that I am talking about is  Chicago’s Coven, a band that was made up of Jinx Dawson (Vocals), Jim Donlinger (Guitar), Jim Nyeholt, John Hobbs, and Rick Durrett (Organ, Piano, Keys), Alan Estes and Oz Osborne (Bass), and Steve Ross (Drums) would release their debut album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls in 1969. According to metal and rock historians and fans, they are recognized as the first band to put up the devil horns as was recognized by the album which was produced by Bill Traut. Jim Donlinger whose real name was James Vincent (He was in another band at the time and he was asked to write songs for this by Traut) talked about the album and the process and said, “Bill brought me a large box full of books about witchcraft and related subjects. He told me to read them and start writing some songs … Sometime before the sun came up, I had completely written all the material requested of me for the entire album … Coven also contributed four songs to the project.”

coven back1. Black Sabbath– Not to be confused with the Black Sabbath titular track, this track has more of as psychedelic light rock feel to it as Jinx struts her stuff vocally. a track aboutr witches who sacrifice to the dark prince. 4/5

2. White Witch Of Rosehall– a kind of upbeat tempo track that could be telling the story of a haunting that happened in Jamaica. The story is about the spirit of Annie Palmer who haunts Rose Hall. 4/5

3. Coven in Charing Cross– an interesting track that even features chanting done by the members of the band as they talk about a cult who practices the occult. 4/5

4. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge– is the what the F word means. The origin of the word f**k in Ireland meant that you were arrested “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”. I loved the use of the organs in this track, a fun track overall. 4.5/5

5. Pact with Lucifer– literally a track about a farmer who sold his soul to the devil so that he could get fortune and now the devil has come to collect. 4/5

coven vinyl.jpg6. Choke, Thirst, Die– This must be a track about seances or trying to resurrect the dead otherwise I have no idea. 4/5

7. Wicked Woman– a track about a woman who is devilish and she’ll be the death of you if you’re not careful. 4/5

8. Dignitaries of Hell– an interesting track about all of the demons that accompany Satan in hell as they are all Dignitaries of Hell. 4/5

9. Portrait– an interesting song about a portrait and the power that it has over people who come across it. 4/5

10. Satanic Mass– It is literally what it is, the album ends with a Satanic mass. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– The way the world worked in 1969, this was definitely one of the ballsiest releases of it’s time. You weren’t going to get mainstream fame and success with this albuym, but you definitely did somewhat get infamy with it. I am going to give the album 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

sixx am singleThe Opioid crisis in America is real and it’s absolutely no joking matter because I myself know at least 4 people I was close with at one time that has passed away and is just another victim of the opioid crisis. That is why it is my pleasure to make Sixx: A.M.’s new single Talk To Me this week’s Rock Single Of The Week. Nikki Sixx has really taken the bull by the horns on this subject matter as he is a board member of the Global Recovery Initiative Foundation. Their mission reads as, “#TalktoMe is a movement by the National Opioid Action Coalition to use the power of conversation to overcome the stigma plaguing opioid use disorder. Join us in the conversation at http://www.noac.org.” That message accompanies the new track that gives various situations of when Doctors and various situations had gone wrong. Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson were forced to pay out over 570 million dollars to the state of Oklahoma in their involvement in the crisis there. In an interview on MSNBC, Nikki commented saying, “This is a fantastic ruling in my opinion, but the question is ‘what’s going to happen with the money? I hope that it’s used for organizations to help with treatment facilities and to help, also, erase the stigma of addiction.”

sixx amNikki goes on to recount a situation where he was prescribed Opiates, “I just had my right shoulder reconstructed from years of performing and for six days, I had to take pain medication to get through that. I was prescribed that, I took it for the right reasons and then I got off of it. There are purposes for it, but if doctors are overprescribing and they just keep giving and giving and the pharmaceutical companies aren’t being honest about how addictive these pills are, this epidemic is just gonna keep getting worse and worse and worse.” The band has been kind of inactive since 2016, but this year they got together to write four songs for the greatest hits album so this track may be an extra the band had recorded. Nikki meanwhile stays busy as he attempts to bring The Heroin Diaries to the stage and I certainly can not wait for that. So for the time being check out the track Talk To Me and help spread the word so that we can all fight this epidemic together.

amoUsually, I do not like to cover new albums until after the Monster Entertainment Awards, but I have been pretty pumped about an album that came out in early 2019. Bring Me The Horizon is an English rock band that is made up of Oliver Sykes (Vocals, Producer), Lee Malia (Guitars), Jordan Fish (programming, keyboards, backing vocals, producer), Matt Kean (Bass), Matt Nicholls (Drums) and on January 25, 2019  they released their sixth studio album amo. amo is a fry cry from previous releases as the album is very experimental and according to Sykes is a concept album about love, “amo is a love album that explores every aspect of that most powerful emotion. […] It deals with the good the bad and the ugly, and as a result we’ve created an album that’s more experimental, more varied, weird, and wonderful than anything we’ve done before.” According to several sources here are all the genres this album is described as having, “pop rock, electronic rock, electropop, synth-pop, EDM, alternative rock, electronica, hard rock, and pop, hip hop, and trap.” The album was a success for the guys with many comparing their evolution to that of U2’s and the band peaked at number one on the UK charts (it also went #1 in Scotland and Australia) while peaking at number 14 on the Us Billboard Top 200 Charts.

amo back1. I Apologise If You Feel Something– The opening track on this album that is a journey into love and heartbreak. A very electro pop track that is really an intro for the album as he tells you to not be scared because love is all we have. 4/5

2. MANTRA-a hard rock/elctro rock song that Sykes says was inspired by a documentary he watched about controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He says, “As I was watching it and trying to write lyrics at the same time, I was drawing these similarities to cults and love. Starting a relationship – especially a marriage – is like starting a cult, a small two-man cult, because you have to give yourself over completely to this person, you have to trust them, you have to love them unconditionally … so that’s where the thinking behind the song came from.” 5/5

download (2)3. Nihilist Blues– Jordan Fish talked about this Synth-pop/EDM inspired track saying, “This is an example of us really going for it on this record. It’s like this dark rave song or something—it’s absolutely mental, and it might be my favourite on the whole album. I’m sure people will hear it and go, “What the fuck?” but whatever. It’s very different in sound for us. We’re big fans of Grimes and she loved the song. She actually sent it back with all these added elements which we weren’t expecting, but she’s super-creative and she’d completely gone to town on it. That elevated the song to a whole new level. She’s someone we respect, and not really someone you’d expect to find working with a metal band. Or a rock band. Or whatever it is we are…” The track features Canadian singer Grimes as well.  5/5

4. In The Dark– This is personally one of my favorite tracks on the album that has more of that Synth-pop mixed a little bit with some electro-rock. The track talks about being left in the dark about things from your significant other even though they don’t care what happens to you. 5/5

hqdefault5. Wonderful Life– a Nu-Metal styled track featuring Cradle Of Filth singer Dani Filth. Sykes talks about the lyrics saying, “The lyrics for ‘Wonderful Life’ were done freestyle in the studio. It’s stream of consciousness-type stuff about getting old and out of touch, being off tour and loving the mundane things in life, I guess because it’s so novel when your life is mainly spent on the road. Things like weekly shops and mowing your lawn are quite nice. People who spend most of their lives away from home can surely relate. I guess on top of that there’s this inner crisis I have of being a boring person but still having a desire to go wild inside me every now and again… But, yeah, all in all, it’s mostly word vomit… but also some of my favourite lyrics. The beginning is 100 percent legit and the irony was just too good, so we left it like that.” 5/5

6. Ouch-an electro-pop/EDM inspired track with his vocals completely changed as well to fit the tempo in this track about how his wife left him for another guy and while he could see it coming, he hoped that it wouldn’t have happened. 4.5/5

7. Medicine– While this Pop rock song may be about Oliver’s messy divorce, Fish has stated that, “It’s about people who are negative influences and how when they leave your life things get much better. It’s a mixture of the electronic and radio-friendly elements of our band, but it’s still got characteristics of some of the bigger songs we’ve done before. You’d need to ask Oli who exactly that’s about, but I can think of a few people it might be about.” 5/5

8. Sugar Honey Ice & Tea-an electro metal song is more like it when it describes this track which is the sixth single I believe off the album. I believe the track is all about we can be delirious when it comes to the way we look at what is exactly going on and who we deal with. 4.5/5

bring-me-the-horizon-2018-supplied-2-671x3779. Why You Gotta Kick Me When I’m Down?– A hip Hop/trap/Synth-pop like track that is all about how society loves it when someone is struggling and int he dumps cause we love to kick them around. 4.5/5

10. Fresh Bruises– The song just repeats the lines Don’t you try to fuck with me,
Don’t you hide your love, but it’s an electro pop song. 4/5

11. Mother Tongue-a pop rock/dance pop track is the spritual successor to the track Drown according to Jordan Fish and has been described by Fish, “Vocal-wise it’s quite a big song. There’s a little bit of Portuguese in there, which is quite unusual. It’s kind of a big, anthemic song. It’s probably as close as we get to something like “Drown” on this album. It’s a love song, so it’s an emotional one.” The track is also believed to be dedicated to Oliver’s wife Alissa Salls. 5/5

12. Heavy Metal– rap rock styled track that features Rahzel of The Roots beatboxing on the track. The track could be about all the negative backlash the band faced for changing their style on the last record with people claiming that it wasn’t heavy metal, but he doesn’t care. 4.5/5

13. I Don’t Know What to Say– The last track on this experimental journey as the track features the Parallax Orchestra in the beginning along with some acoustic guitars. The track seems to be about no matter how painful the break up, he has had to accept it because that is life. In some parts it has a very Evanescence feel with the orchestral rock sound. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I loved this album because I respect bands that need to grow because that is what life is all about. Is the album too pop? Sure, but what is the problem because this seems to be the natural progression for them. The album is also kind of what Linkin Park had done with their last record when they decided to just experiment and do what they wanted to and that was a great album as well.  I am giving the album 4.65 stars out of five for a final grade.

MFSL1-442-2On Sunday September 15, 2019, the rock world and the Boston music scene lost one of it’s greats in Ric Ocasek who was one of the singers and rhythm guitar player of Boston rock band The Cars. The Cars were a very important band to the identity of Classic Rock in the city of Boston and they were a band that I grew up on. For today’s album of the week, I have decided to cover the band’s fifth studio album in Heartbreak City because it was the album that introduced me to the band. The album was released on March 13, 1984 which marks this as the 35TH anniversary of the album’s release and it was produced by famed producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange who was known for producing albums by AC/DC and Def Leppard to name a few. The album once again featured Ocasek (Rhythm Guitar and Vocals), Ben Orr (Bass and Vocals), Elliot Easton (Guitars and Vocals), Greg Hawkes (Keys and Fairlight CMI programming), and David Robinson (Drums). The album was a huge success and it bounced the band back as it peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 200 Charts making it only the second album to reach this high on the charts (Candy-O also peaked at 3). The album would also chart at number 12 in 1984 and 49 in 1985 on the Billboard Top 200 year end charts as it sold over four million records.

the-cars-heartbeat-city-6-cd1. Hello Again– A new wave rocking hit, but it definitely was experimental as well for the band at the time. I always loved the key and synth opening of the track and we’ve seen the vocal intro effect before with Def Leppard. 5/5

2. Looking For Love– Even though this wasn’t a single, I always thought this was an awesome song for a deep cut on the record. It does a nice job treading on the line of ballad and synth pop single very well as she looks for love. 5/5

3, Magic– The second single released off the album and a number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. You can hear the Fairlight CMI programming being put to use in the beginning before the keys take over. The track has a great charging rock sound to it complete with awesome bass riff from Orr. The track is all about when you find that true love, everything feels like magic, but it doesn’t last forever. 5/5

4. Drive– This is probably my favorite song on the whole entire album and one of the band’s best ballads. This is a track that is sung by Benjamin Orr and his bass riff dominates this great track. The track is all about how anyone can say they love you, but there is one true person who will “drive” to the ends of the earth for you. 5/5

5. Stranger Eyes– I love the intro to this song because it’s so 1980’s with the synth they are using I love it. I could see this song on a soundtrack to an 80’s horror film. A very bass driven track that is once again sang by Orr. 4.5/5

the-cars-602962-2-cd6. You Might Think– The very first single released off of the album that peaked at number one on the US Billboard Top Rock Tracks. I love the balance of it being a rock track with the keyboard playing and the nuances of the synth playing. 5/5

7. It’s Not the Night-a keyboard and synth heavy track that was written by both Orr and Ocasek and it features vocals from the both of them as well. When it comes time for Orr to sing, it turns into more of a rock song with the keys and synths still there. 4/5

8. Why I Can’t Have You– another Keys and Synth drive track whose tempo is a little slower than the other tracks that has that person in distress kind of mode (described as a lush ballad) especially since the song is about a guy who wants this woman, but he can’t have her. 5/5

9. I Refuse– a more upbeat synthpop track from the band in this track about a guy who refuses to be used by someone. 4.5/5

10. Heartbreak City– The last track on the album that was originally titled Jacki on the US cassette release. It’s a synthpop track that is a little bit on the darker side as it has to do with two lovers who can’t seem to be together because Jacki is obsessed with big lights of Hollywood or Heartbreak City. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I love this album and always have since the first time I heard it and that was thanks to MTV who used to play music videos. There’s really only one song on the album that I never really cared for, but other than it’s a solid release. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade. R.I.P. Ric Ocasek

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The album cover when you unfold it

take what you wantI know that this is going to be a highly contested entry due to the backlash the track is already getting online. The worst part about the backlash is not about how good or bad the actual song is, but due to the lack of knowledge on his fan base. I want to first start out by giving Post Malone a lot of credit for putting the Godfather of Heavy Metal Ozzy Osbourne on his track and while it’s not a new concept, it still deserves a lot of props. The song that I am referring to is the track Take What You Want which is featured on Post Malone’s newest album Hollywood’s Bleeding. The track not only features Ozzy Osbourne, but it also features one of hip hop’s hottest artists in Travis Scott as well. The track starts off with that semi-acoustic, clean channel guitar playing that is very similar to Ozzy’s Mama, I’m Coming Home, but it is definitely not. I meant more in the way the track starts, but Ozzy kicks off the song singing the chorus before Post Malone takes over with the verse and then it’s forward from there. The track itself is very catchy and Ozzy does an amazing job lending his vocals to the track. The one thing that I am wondering though is who is the guitar player at the end that shreds an amazing guitar solo because it sounds like Zakk Wylde’s playing. Anyways, I am sure we will find out soon enough who the guitar player is, but I do know that Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers is playing drums on the track. I wanted to end this article by saying that even though most of his fans do not know who Ozzy is, this is a good opportunity for them to learn just who he is. So, check out the track below and enjoy.