Posts Tagged ‘Rush’

ultraspankFor the last two weeks, we have been exploring the Nu-Metal scene which was a scene that I heavily promoted on my early college radio show from 2000-01. One of the bands that I was admittedly obsessed with back in those days was the band Ultraspank which formed in 1995 after the break up of another band. On May 30, 2000, the band would release their most critically acclaimed album Progress which featured Pete Murray (Vocals and Programming), Dan Ogden (Bass), Jerry Oliviera (Guitar), Neil Godfrey (Guitar), and former Snot drummer James “Fed” Carroll. The album was produced by the great Peter Collins who had produced albums for bands such as Alice Cooper, Gary Moore, Rush, Queensrÿche, and so many more. I can’t find much online as far as the band’s chart history or how many albums the band sold, but it is considered by some critics as the best Nu-Metal album that was ever released.

51NZls8K2bL1. Push-An cool industrial like bass riff along with some drums opens up the track and launches into overdrive as soon as the chorus kicks in. I think the track is about that fear of growing old and knowing change is taking over, but you just have to push through it. 4.5/5

2. Crumble– A cool guitar riff leads us in to this track that is about someone who realizes that they are not growing as a person like their counterpart, so they need to change it. 4.5/5

3. Stuck– A ferocious track right from the get go, the song follows someone who feels like they are stuck in a situation that is going nowhere. You can hear elements that are very similar to bands like Taproot in this track. 4.5/5

4. Feed-The opening riff reminds me of Korn’s Shoots and Ladders until the song progresses forward. the song is about someone who constantly feeds you BS and pretends to be your friend, but they prey on you because he thinks you’re weak. 4.5/5

5. Smile-Bass and drums once again open the track with a mellow guitar riff that eventually follows in this track that has a huge similarity in style to Tool especially as Pete channels his inner Maynard James Keenan. 4/5

6. Click-A rockin tune that has a driving riff that will have you grooving to it especially when the chorus hits. The chorus has a flare to it that sounds like Static-X’s Push It. One of the best tracks on the album for sure. 5/5

R-11096097-1509798523-3387.jpeg7. Jackass-A hard driving rock track that slows down the tempo for the verse to the point that it’s only bass and drums with that ominous guitar riff that comes in to signal the chorus is near. This is another amazing track on the album that seems to be talking about someone who thinks they are great, but there really a…. 4.5/5

8. Crack– A track that seems to be talking about someone who is cracking under the pressures of what life brings that they are shutting themselves off to the world. 4/5

9. Invite Yourself In– A 16 second intro to the next track 4/5

10. Thanks-A track that is purely metal and in your face as it may be one of the heaviest tracks on the album for sure. 4.5/5

11. Left-A cool track that starts off heavy, but then it gets very melodic and evil sounding which is pretty cool. It has that Tool influence to it which I think is a cool touch in a track that seems to be about someone who needs to leave the place he is over guilt for something. 4.5/5

12. Where– This is one of the best and my personal favorite Ultraspank track that I played every chance I could on my radio show. It starts off with this cool acoustic side to it then a cool programmed riff comes in before the band launches into overdrive for the chorus. I just think it’s about keeping your head up because somewhere out there is a better place than this. you just have to find it. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The track features so many sounds that would be utilized in the scene right after it’s release and you can definitely hear the similarities with bands on the scene. This was an amazing release and it’s too bad that the band would break up shortly after the release, but those things happen. Check this one out on Spotify, iTunes, and on CD if you can find it. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five.

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lucy-hd-wallpaperFor this week’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, we wanted to showcase how women can be just as badass as the men. I chose a film that stars Scarlet Johansson (The Avengers) in the film Lucy. Scarlet plays the title character who is a timid, naive woman who thanks to her new boyfriend is caught in a very dark drug deal. Lucy is to transport some new synthetic drug inside her abdomen, but after the contents break loose inside her, she starts to change. Lucy starts to gain complete control of all her senses, cells, and the people around her so she decides to turn the tables on the dealers who put her in this situation in the first place.  The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Professor Norman, Min-shik Choi (Oldboy) as Mr. Jang, Amr Waked (Syriana) as Pierre Del Rio, Julian Rhind-Tutt (Rush) as The Limey, Pilou Asbæk (R) as Richard, Analeigh Tipton (Warm Bodies) as Caroline, Mason Lee (The Hangover II) as Regent Hotel Concierge #2, and the film was directed by Luc Besson (The Professional). Before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some stats from the film:

Lucy Stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lucy-2014-movieAs far as the stats are concerned for Lucy, she has a total of 32 kills/knockouts and they are some pretty creative ways to kick people’s asses. She doesn’t really have an origin story to speak of other than I believe she is a student living in Taiwan. We find out in the beginning that Richard is her boyfriend so it safe to say she has a love interest and he is killed right away so that answers the next question. The big boss is defeated, but it’s not by Lucy so you’ll have to see how it happens. She has some pretty badass abilities after the drugs inject into her system and as she starts using more of her brain capacity. She can see through walls, she can create force fields, and telepathically move people. It was definitely a cool attempt at creating a different kind of Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller from a great director like Luc Besson. One of the things I liked about the film was in the beginning with the images that flashed on the screen. Richard is trying to get Lucy to deliver the package for him and as she starts to think about, you see an image of a mouse taking the bait which is cheese. After she enters the building, Mr. Jang’s people are all of sudden represented by images of a pack of Cheetahs closing in on their kill as the men start to approach. I thought that was pretty cool and the idea of what a human can do with so much control of brain capacity is actually a fascinating idea because we do wonder these things. It wasn’t film of the year material, but it was an interesting watch for sure. I am going to give the film 3.5 fists out of five for a final grade cause Scarlet Johannson is a bad ass just watch The Avengers films.

2016 rock hall.pngThe rock and roll hall of fame from time to time has shown us how off they are at recognizing who belongs and when they deserve to get in. Guns N Roses, Metallica, Van Halen, and Green Day were all inducted into the hall of fame before Deep Purple and Cheap Trick. If it weren’t for bands like them, none of these bands would be around. For years, the hall had snubbed acts like Rush and Kiss inducting these bands way after the time they were eligible to be placed in. This year, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame made up for some hefty mistakes as they finally inducted Deep Purple and Cheap Trick into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Class Of 2016. It has been a long time coming for a band that has had so many members and so many amazing albums over the years n Deep Purple. Along with the two, the Hall also inducted Gangster Rap pioneers N.W.A., Steve Miller, and Chicago.

maxresdefault.jpgIt’s kind of ironic how Deep Purple was in the news before the announcement talking about the Hall Of Fame and now they’re in. Ian Paice, the drummer for Deep Purple recently spoke about being inducted saying, “I knew it would probably happen one day. I do appreciate how difficult it probably was for them to do it with so many lineups, so many different members. It’s a minefield, really. I suppose it’s rather nice.” That’s Ian Paice being optimistic, but earlier in the week he suggested it could be chaotic when the band members step on stage. He spoke about what could happen on stage saying, “You also have to bear in mind, that if some people are inducted together, it could end in a punch-up. I don’t need to tell anyone certain key members and former members of this band do not get on. Personally, I think they would be better off inducting us individually. That avoids the problem.” Nevertheless, he is happy about the induction as we are as well. When asked if Ritchie Blackmore would be there, Ian said this, “That’s questionable. He can confuse you sometimes. You think he’ll do one thing and he’ll do the other. I wouldn’t put money either way on that one.”

PaiceyWhat Line up will be inducted, well here is what Loudwire.com pointed out about all the different incarnations of Deep Purple, “Before splitting up in 1976, there were famously four incarnations of the band, labeled MK I, II, III and IV. MK I included singer Rod Evans and scored hits with covers like “Hush” and “Kentucky Woman,” II was the most successful including frontman Ian Gillan, III saw the entrance of David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes and IV experienced the departure of Ritchie Blackmore and a one-off album with guitarist Tommy Bolin who died of an overdose before the band folded. The MK II lineup reunited in 1984 and famously stormed back withPerfect Strangers. Deep Purple have undergone several lineup changes since, but still remain active on tour and in the studio.” I’ll be interested to see where the drama leads us before April 8, 2016 when the bands are inducted. Stay tuned for more info as it comes.

seagullmenHow many Supergroups can any of the members of Mastodon be a part of and where are they finding the time to do so. Well, so Troy Sanders was the only member so far to be in a supergroup, but now guitarist Brent Hinds is in a supergroup with a member of the legendary Tool. Hinds has teamed up with Danny Carey of Tool, OFF!’s Dimitri Coats, and Jimmy Heyward (director of Jonah Hex) who will serve as the producer of the album to form the supergroup The Legend of the Seagullmen. The band has unleashed two new songs that if you would like to hear them, you can do so by visiting the consequence of sound website by clicking here. One thing that we do not know about this band is whether it’s a one off collaboration or whether it will continue forward. One thing is for sure is that while we wait for a new album for Tool, we have this to listen to from Carey.

jay jamesBullet For My Valentine were supposedly in the studio recording  new album, but the band has just hit a temporary road block along the way as longtime bassist Jay James announces that he is no longer in the band. The whole bit of news has hit everyone by surprise as an earlier statement on Facebook made things seem like they were going as usual as the band was in the studio with Colin Richardson to record their fifth record. Jay James joined the band in 2003 and he was apart of the band’s four landmark records and was a big part of the vocal scheme along with lead singer/guitarist Matt Tuck. The band released a statement that read as follows:

To all our fans around the World,

It is with regret that Bullet For My Valentine has to announce that Jay James is no longer a member of the band. Jay has been a part of this band for well over 12 years and part of our lives forever, and we’re gonna miss him as much as we know you guys are too. We wanna wish him all the best and success with whatever he chooses to do next and will always be grateful for his contribution and sacrifices he made for this band.

We’ll announce a replacement for Jay when we feel the time is right, but until then we’re gonna be busy and focused recording our next record and making sure its the best album we’ve ever made.

2015 is already shaping up to be a massive year for us with lots of exciting things going on behind the scenes which we’ll be announcing as soon as we can.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Matt, Padge, Moose.

There is an awesome tribute album that is coming out that honors the legendary Randy Rhoads with artists playing each one of his tracks. The tribute album is called Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute and it features players like Rudy Sarzo, Tom Morello, Serj Tankian, Chuck Billy, Alexi Laiho, Jon Donais, Gus G, Bruce Kulick, Frankie Banali, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Vinny Appice, and so many more. The track that I am going to link to this piece is Tom Morello and Serj Tankian doing a cover of Crazy Train. You can check that out by clicking here. There is also a video that surfaced that is included in a bonus disc where the producer of this tribute album Bob Kulick conducts an interview with Rudy Sarzo. Bob asks Rudy what it was like to work with Randy and other questions. Check that video out here. The album drops on March 3 via UDR Music.

Michael Vescera who sang with Yngwie Malmsteen made some comments earlier in the week in an interview about his former employer. He says, “I think the main thing with Yngwie — [fellow ex-Malmsteen singer] Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and I were talking about this earlier — Yngwie could have been the biggest guitarist in the world today, by far. And he’s destroyed his career, just by burning bridges and just pissing people off. And it’s unfortunate, because he changed the face of guitar. And to be where he’s at today is kind of sad. But, look, I don’t have anything bad to say about Yngwie. It was an experience. There was some crazy s**t that went on. But I wish him well, and I hope he straightens out his stuff and comes back. But… you know, we would need about two years [to tell our] stories [about] him.”

VH1 Classic has developed and is getting ready to release a new series titled Rock Icons which promises to be different than Behind The Music. It seems to be in the style of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and it will feature episodes with Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Slash (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Rush’s Geddy Lee, Ted Nugent, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, Heart’s Ann Wilson, and many more. Here is how the network describes the show, “10 groundbreaking 30-minute episodes that go past the veil of mystery and beyond the velvet ropes with in-depth, intimate portraits revealing who these rock stars really are, and the road that lead them to their iconic status today. Each episode is jam-packed with exclusive interviews, never-before-seen footage with featured artists and key people who helped shape their exemplary careers.” The show will debut on February 21 on VH1 Classic.

LouBrutus-60 TIGHT.jpgThe voters for the 2015 Radio Contraband Rock Radio Awards chose legendary nationally syndicated rock radio host Lou Brutus as the Best Nationally Syndicated DJ Award Winner. This was the second year the award was handed out and the second time that Lou won the award beating out Nikki Sixx, Jackie Kajzer, The Chop Shop, and Skratch N’ Sniff. Lou is the legendary man behind great shows such as hardDrive and hardDriveXL and he was the first to play many acts like Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, and Sevendust. So, congratulations are in order for Lou Brutus on winning the award.

Black Label Society 'Unblackened' TourZakk Wylde is taking Black Label Society back out on the road, but in a very diffent capacity. A couple years back the band played a one off show in LA and released it on disc called Unblackened which is pretty much an acoustic record. So, they will be taking that record and style out on the road with very intimate shows. Zakk said, “I always wanted to take ‘Unblackened’ on the road, we just didn’t have the time until now. You can take a song that you’ve played thousands of times and rearrange it, and all of a sudden it’s something totally fresh. The attitude of the songs doesn’t change when we play them acoustically — the tunes are gritty regardless.” It will be a very interesting show to see live and one of those once in a lifetime experiences. Check out the tour dates below:

4/3 — Huntington, N.Y. — The Paramount
4/4 — Hampton Beach, N.H. — Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
4/6 — Sayreville, N.J. — Starland Ballroom
4/8 — Baltimore, Md. — Rams Head Live
4/9 — Fort Wayne, Ind. — Piere’s
4/11 — Grand Rapids, Mich. — Orbit Room
4/12 — Milwaukee, Wis. — The Rave
4/14 — Wichita, Kan. — The Cotillion
4/16 — Grand Junction, Colo. — Mesa Theater
4/17 — Salt Lake City, Utah — The Depot
4/18 — Sacramento, Calif. — Ace of Spades
4/19 — Anaheim, Calif. — City National Grove of Anaheim

roll the bonesI figured since Rush announced the fact that they were going on tour for their 40TH anniversary tour, that I would cover one of my favorite Rush albums for the album of the week. The Canadian Progressive Rockers released Roll The Bones on September 3, 1991 to a lot of critical acclaim. The album which featured Neil Peart (Drums) composing all the lyrics as usual along with Geddy Lee (Bass) and Alex Lifeson (Guitar) composing all of the music for the album. The album peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Top 200 charts becoming only the second albums since 1981’s Moving Pictures to do so and it’s the latest Rush album to achieve Platinum status to date. When it came to discussing the lyrics for the album Neil Peart commented, “No matter what kind of song you choose to play, you’re betting your life on it, for good or ill, and what you believe is what you are… No one can ever be sure, in this best of all possible random universes.That’s why the essence of these songs is: if there’s a chance, you might as well take it. So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap. A random universe doesn’t have to be futile; we can change the odds, load the dice, and roll again…. For anyone who hasn’t seen Groucho Marx’s game show You Bet Your Life, I mean that no one but Groucho knows the secret word, and one guess is as good as another… Anything can happen. That is called fate.” The album won a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) for best album cover and it’s definitely one of my favorites.

rollthebones-back1. Dreamline– An amazing song with amazing arrangements about the pleasures of being young and full of life while falling in love, being adventurous, and following your dreams. 5/5

2. Bravado– This is another amazing track whose lyrics are all about persevering in life and not being afraid to fail, because bravery does not recognize failure. 5/5

3. Roll The Bones– This is an interesting track, but pay attention because Rush would model their sound of the 90’s after this. The song was kind of an experiment for Neil Peart who wrote a rap section that Geddy would end up rapping. Peart said he had been listening to the better rap artists like LL Cool J and Public Enemy when he wrote the rap. The song has an amazing bass line along with what sounds like a horns section with amazing guitar laying by Lifeson. 4/5

4. Face Up– This is one of those tracks that starts off with a bang or musical explosion of wonder and skill. The song is very deep in its lyrics, but it may have to deal with depression in some way, but even I don’t feel that it’s doing it justice. 4/5

5. Where’s My Thing? (Part IV, “Gangster of Boats” Trilogy)– This is an amazing instrumental and the third one the band performed in their career. 5/5

6.  The Big Wheel– An amazing rock song on a track whose lyrics kind of take a religious spin on not knowing what life has in store, but everyone wants to spin the wheel so that they can know. 4/5

roll the bones cd7. Heresy– This is a great Rush song that talks about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and Russia. Peart spoke about the inspiration behind his drums parts saying, “The drum part in this song was inspired by a different part of the world. One hot night I lay under the stars on a rooftop in Togo and heard the sound of drums from across the valley. Even on the edge of sleep the drumming moved me, the rhythm stayed in my head, and while working on this song I used variations of it and other West African influences.” Once again, this is another song that shows you that the guitars play a prominent role with organs and keyboards joyously in the background. 4/5

8. Ghost Of A Chance– This is my favorite song on the whole entire album and it’s one of my favorite Alex Lifeson guitar riffs. The song’s lyrics deal with the issue of love, but in a very different way because Peart thought that the word love was to cliche. This is just an amazing hard rock song. 5/5

9. Neurotica– The music explodes on to your speakers before it calms down and then it starts up again in this song about life and the choices we all make and how it impacts us. 4/5

10. You Bet Your Life– It starts off with some col drum playing and a cool guitar riff in a track about taking a gamble with your life and what choices you decide to make, which seems to be a huge theme on this record. 4/5

My Final Thoughts- This was the album that made me want to explore more from Rush. My brother was a huge fan of this record hence the reason why it’s the first record I heard from the group. It just showed you how intelligent of a song writer Neil Peart was with his lyrics and how amazing Lifeson was a guitar player. I definitely recommend checking out this album, it will blow your mind. I am giving it four and the half stars out of five.

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Jason Merritt, Getty Images

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been chomping at the bit waiting for Rush, the legendary Canadian, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducted, Progressive rock act to announce another tour. I unfortunately have never seen Rush live and I am happy the band is granting me another chance to see them as they announced tour dates for their R40: Rush 40TH Anniversary tour. The tour is going to span over 34 cities and the band has stated on their website that it’s probably going to be their last tour of this size. So, you definitely want to check them out as they play songs that span the band’s whole career. Below are the tour dates, but below that enjoy a Rush song from an album that I absolutely love and that I will cover for Album Of The Week.

5/8 – Tulsa, Okla. – BOK Center
5/10 – Lincoln, Neb. – Pinnacle Bank Arena
5/12 – St. Paul, Minn. – Xcel Energy Center
5/14 – St. Louis, Mo. – Scottrade Center
5/16 – Austin, Texas – 360 Amphitheater
5/18 – Dallas, Texas – American Airlines Center
5/20 – Houston, Texas – Toyota Center
5/22 – New Orleans, La. – Smoothie King Arena
5/24 – Tampa, Fla. – Amalie Arena
5/26 – Atlanta, Ga. – Verizon Amphitheater
5/28 – Greensboro, N.C. – Greensboro Coliseum
5/30 – Bristow, Va. – Jiffy Lube Live
6/8 – Columbus, Ohio – Nationwide Arena
6/10 – Buffalo, N.Y. – First Niagara Center
6/12 – Chicago, Ill. – United Center
6/14 – Detroit, Mich. – The Palace of Auburn Hills
6/17 – Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
6/19 – Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
6/21 – Montreal, Quebec – Bell Centre
6/23 – Boston, Mass. – TD Garden
6/25 – Philadelphia, Pa. – Wells Fargo Center
6/27 – Newark, N.J. – Prudential Center
6/29 – New York, N.Y. – Madison Square Garden
7/9 – Kansas City, Mo. – Sprint Center
7/11 – Denver, Colo. – Pepsi Center
7/13 – Salt Lake City, Utah – Maverik Center
7/15 – Calgary, Alberta – Scotiabank Saddledome
7/17 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Rogers Arena
7/19 – Seattle, Wash. – KeyArena
7/21 – Portland, Ore. – MODA Center
7/23 – San Jose, Calif. – SAP Center at San Jose
7/25 – Las Vegas, Nev. – MGM Grand Garden Arena
7/27 – Phoenix, Ariz. – US Airways Center
7/30 – Irvine Meadows, Calif. – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/1 – Los Angeles, Calif. – Forum

File:The Real Thing vinyl cover.jpg

The Un-cropped Vinyl Cover
Courtesy of wikipedia

In 1989, the world had gone through a change in music and Hair Metal was about to face darker times in the years to come. Faith No More had a brand new lead singer in Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle) who replaced Chuck Mosely and they were about to release their masterpiece, The Real Thing. In 1989, Rush Had released A Show Of Hands, The Cult released Sonic Temple, Warrant and Skid Row released debut albums, and in a couple of years Nirvana would release the album that forever changed a decade. In the meantime, Faith No More had burst onto MTV with their big hit Epic getting massive television time. It was the first time I had been introduced to elements of rap and funk being mixed with rock and metal. It would help influence my taste in music to change as soon as Nirvana arrived. Roddy Bottum (Keyboards), Mike Bordin (Drums), Bill Gould (Bass), and James Martin (Guitars) would round out the rest of the lineup.

File:Faith No More - Epic.jpg

courtesy of wikipedia

The first track off the record also happens to be the first single released off the album called From Out Of Nowhere. Right when the track kicks off, you can hear their metal influence in the playing along with the funk bass riffs intertwined with Patton’s signature vocal style mixed with some keyboards. The track is hard charging and it kicks ass because I love what the Bottum brings to the track, it’s almost as if he adds more depth to the track. Epic is the next track on the record and as everyone knows it was a bigger hit than the first track. This is the first time we also hear Patton with his hip hop styled delivery mixed with the singing in the chorus that he does. The track is very bass heavy and funky while Martin gets to flex his metal muscles in the chorus. Falling To Pieces is the next track on the record and it’s a total funk-hop-rock all the way through. The beginning of Surprise! You’re Dead! starts off sounding like a Black Sabbath track with the bells before it kicks into overdrive. For two minutes it’s nothing, but metal madness all the way through. The track was sort of ahead of it’s time in 1989 and it sort of foreshadows where Faith No More would eventually take it’s direction. Zombie Eaters is a track that I will never understand the lyrics, but man it’s one of the coolest songs on the record. It starts off being very slow with acoustic guitars and Mike Patton singing in a way that swoons all of the ladies before it blasts off into a world of chaos. The lyrics seem to make me think that he is singing in the point of view of a baby.

a3The Real Thing is an eight minute opus which at the time was unusual to see from a band like Faith No More because it was a trait of Heavy Metal genres like Power Metal and Thrash. It does however make sense since Jim martin was in a band with the Late Cliff Burton before Cliff joined Metallica. Underwater Love is the next track on the album and its one of those songs that is like an oddity like I Started A Joke or Just A Man, but in reality it’s a very cool funk driven track. The Morning After is much like Underwater Love in which is a funk driven track that features the genius of Mike Patton’s songwriting abilities.  Woodpecker From Mars is an instrumental track and I feel that every band should have one to showcase their music writing talents. If you were lucky enough to buy the CD version then you noticed it came with two additional tracks like their awesome cover of Black sabbath’s War Pigs and Edge Of The World. This is definitely one of my favorite albums from Faith No More and I can’t really say that there isn’t an album I love from them because they’re all amazing. I am giving this one 4 stars out of five.

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