Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

bleachAs I get older, you start to realize that maybe you didn’t fully appreciate what you had in front of you when you were in the age of discovery. The 90’s was that age of discovery for myself and I had largely ignored a lot of bands, but I certainly acknowledge and always have the impact that one band had on a whole entire scene. By 1992, the world was still listening to pop music and hair metal while a band in Seattle was getting ready to wake everyone up with their major label debut. The band was Nirvana and Nevermind was about to change the way we thought about music and it got us away from the mechanical stuff that Labels had been throwing at us for years. I’m not saying that the grunge scene wouldn’t become saturated with bands because that is what labels do. I for today however want to backtrack a little with Nirvana’s career to check out an album that was raw and fresh. Nirvana’s first album Bleach which was released in 1989 and it was the calm before the storm that the LA scene had no idea was coming. The band was made up of Kurt Cobain (Vocals/Guitar), Krist Novoselic (Bass Guitar), and Chad Channing (Drums). I didn’t name Jason Everman even though he was credited, but in reality he didn’t play a single note. In 1992, the album peaked at 89 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts while in 1994, it went number one on the Billboard US Top Catalog Albums charts. The 20TH anniversary release peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200.

bleach back cover1. Blew– Krist shines on this song in the beginning with his cool bass riff in this song about someone who just doesn’t live up to people’s expectations. It has the distinction of being one of the only songs the band continued to play throughout the time they were together and it was the second to last Nirvana song ever performed on stage together. 5/5

2. Floyd The Barber– The song has a very metal tinge to it which may have been thanks to a Celtic Frost tape that Krist admitted that the band listened to. The song’s lyrics talk about Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show, but it’s about a town that seems so perfect can have it’s dark secrets. This track features Dale Crover on Drums. 4.5/5

3. About A Girl– One of my favorite songs on the record that has a very melodic pop riff to it and that could be because Kurt spent a whole evening listening to Meet The Beatles!. 5/5

4. School– Distortion opens up this bass heavy track in Kurt’s love letter to school in which he actually hated. An amazing song on the record that has that punk flare to it mixed in with elements of rock. 5/5

5. Love Buzz– This is the band’s cover of the Shocking Blue track and it’s a perfect track for Krist to shine on. 5/5

6. Paper Cuts– Another track that has that metal feel to it especially in the beginning with the big drum beats, bass riffs matched with the distortion of the guitars. A very tortured track that seems to lead us to a point of Nirvana. You can see the similarities in this song with what Alice In Chains did with their careers. 4/5

sp34black7. Negative Creep– This is probably one of the most bad ass Nirvana songs ever recorded in history about an antisocial person in his perspective. 5/5

8. Scoff– a cool track that sees Kurt fire back at all the people that scoffed at him and didn’t believe he’d make it. 4/5

9. Swap Meet– A track that can be interpreted as a track about the Swap Meets that maybe Kurt was used to going to and a combo of a sorta love song too.  4/5

10. Mr. Moustache– This was a punk driven track that is all about Kurt distaste for racist bigoted jerks out there in the world. 4/5

11. Sifting– The last song on the record that is metal as hell in nature with some cool riffs from Kurt and a killer bass line from Krist. The track is about Kurt’s distaste for authority figures. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is an amazing record if you actually take the time to listen to it. The seeds in this band’s rise are planted on this record and obviously perfected with the next album. My favorite tracks on the record for sure are Negative Creep and About A Girl with my least favorite track being Swap Meet even though I didn’t hate it. Just on the scale of things, it would be my least favorite. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

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ghostbloodIt has been our mission with the Unsigned Band Of The Week post to do two things with one being to try and give some exposure to some deserving bands and the other being to have a band from all 50 states. I think that we have done a pretty good job so far and after covering Michigan last week, we are going all the way to the west coast for our very next band. When most people think of Seattle, Washington, they think of Grunge music, Heart, and Queensryche, but they fail to recognize the diversity in the scene. The band that we chose for today can be best described as, “Gore-splattered ghostly thrash-blackening death-blood music from Seattle! Smash, burn, and eat the dead!” which is a direct quote from the heavy metal power trio GHOSTBLOOD. These guys are the real deal as they mix in punishing elements of thrash metal (maybe even a little Crossover?), Black, and even death metal all in a rage filled harmony on the track I provided for you today in Eviscerama. The track is amazing and is leaving me wanting to listen to more. So, if you want to check out more from the band, pay their Facebook page a visit and give it a like. Otherwise, check out the track below:

layneOut of all the bands that came out of the Seattle grunge scene, no band had as tragic of an ending as Alice In Chains. I say that because the band housed what one of he greatest and gifted vocalists from that scene in Layne Staley. He had a voice that was beautiful, but haunting at the same time. Vocalists since then have been trying to emulate him to no avail. He had a voice that was so unique that it was purely untouchable. Today (August 22) would have been Layne’s 48TH birthday had Layne lived. It’s truly a tragic story because Layne was such a talented individual who was essentially the voice of Alice In Chains and will always be, but had a little bit of a problem. I remember the day I had heard the news that Layne had passed away back in April of 2002. I was hanging out with my best friend and when we left a club, we turned the radio to a local radio station (94HJY) and the Doctor of Metal Mike Gonsalves (who passed away a year later in the Infamous Station Nightclub Fire) was on the air. He out of nowhere announced that Layne had passed away and I couldn’t believe it. I called the radio station and the doc confirmed it with me that it was true. I had high hopes that the band was going to get back together, but unfortunately it never happened. It’s okay because I have my DVD’s and CD’s of music from Layne that I will always cherish. Happy Birthday Layne.

badmotorfingerWhen you think of the early 90’s and the scene from Seattle one of the first bands that I think of that I actually enjoyed from Seattle was Soundgarden. I’ll never forget the first time I saw them on Headbanger’s Ball and it was the video for the song Outshined and I was blown away by the band’s sound which was heavier in my opinion than Pearl Jam or Nirvana. That video made me want to explore the very album I am reviewing for the album of the week in 1991’s Badmotorfinger which was released on October 8, 1991 via A&M Records. The band which was made of Chris Cornell (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Matt Cameron (Drums), Ben Sheppard (Bass), and Kim Thayil (Guitars) released this power packed album that even features a song that Johnny Cash would cover later on. The album has been certifed platinum twice, was one of the top 100 selling albums of 1992, and it peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Top 200 chart even though it was overshadowed by the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind. The band also gained some notoriety after the release of the music video for the song Jesus Christ Pose which many viewers of MTV deemed anti-christian so the music video was banned from airplay on MTV.

1. Rusty Cage– It is something special to have written a track like this one that is eventually covered by the man in back Johnny Cash. The track featres soem amazing playing from the band and the change in tempo is just craz going from a fast paced tempo to the sluggish doom like Sabbath riffs. 5/5

2. Outshined– This is one of my favorite tracks on the record that just grooves and it keeps on giving all the way through and Cornell’s vocals are just as amazing. The song could be about a priest who has lost his faith, but nevertheless it kicks ass. 5/5

badmotorfinger back cover3. Slaves & Bulldozers– The track begins with a very sluggish bass riff before Thayil comes in with a real doomish bluesy riff in a track that where Soundgarden talks about getting ripped off on their first record deal. 5/5

4. Jesus Christ Pose– a track in drop d tuning and 4/4 time as Thayil has said about the composition, “The song’s groove reminds me of helicopter blades. I bent the strings at the beginning and end of the song.” A track that talks about the exploitation of religion for profit. 4.5/5

5. Face Pollution– The track is laced with punk rock riffs as the band shows off a little of their influences in a track that could be about dealing with fake people . 4/5

6. Somewhere– A track in 6/4 timing in a track that they could be talking mourning over a love they lost. The song has all the elements that the band was known for in it and it’s actually a pretty good track written by Ben Sheppard. 4/5

7. Searching with My Good Eye Closed– A track where the bottom E string was tuned all the way low to a B in a track that is all about sticking up for what you believe in and never compromising on your beliefs. 4/5

8. Room a Thousand Years Wide– Thayil has said that this track is about experience in general and the track is pretty heavy with those chugging riffs. This is an amazing track on the record. 5/5

9. Mind Riot– a track where every instrument is tuned down to several E’s in a track about Andy Wood of Mother Love Bone who used to be Chris’s roommate. 4/5

Badmotorfinger cd10. Drawing Flies– What an amazing riff the track has that sounds like a sludge metal classic that rumbles along throughout the whole track in asong whose lyrics just like insanity written on paper. 4/5

11. Holy Water– This is a track that was written about people who try to force their religious beliefs onto others and it’s another track where the bottom E string is tuned down to a B. 4/5

12. New Damage– This is the final song in the album and it’s a track that heavily criticizes the right wing government of the US (you have to remember George H.W. Bush was president at the tie time) and the track is in both 9/8 and 4/4 timing. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This album certainly started the trend of classic records from Soundgarden as their follow ups were equally as good or even better than this one. Soundgarden heavily criticized the record themselves saying Terry Date kind of forced them to go with a more metal sound with this record, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. The band dubbed this album the heavy metal white album. I loved it and it’s definitely one of my favorite records. I am giving it 4.2 stars out of five for a final grade.

Seattle may have lost the Superbowl, but the city still has one of the most kick ass and influential scenes in all of music when it comes to Grunge. The scene that spawned ac ts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and the featured cover of the week artist in Soundgarden. Badmotorfinger was the first album that I ever purchased from Soundgarden based solely on the video for Outshined which was a kick ass track. It was a break through album for the band which landed them a gig on Lollapalooza 1992 which saw them share the stage with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Ministry, Pearl Jam, and even The Jesus And Mary Chain. To commemorate the fact that they were going on this tour the band recorded an EP of three covers, an original track, and a live track called  Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas (SOMMS) which happens to be a palindrome. The EP featured the band covering Black Sabbath with alternate lyrics, a Rolling Stones track, and today’s cover of the week in Devo’s Girl You Want. Devo may be a new wave act, but Soundgarden knows how to turn the track into that bass heavy, sludge Seattle sound that we all love and the track is pretty kick ass. Devo I believed loved the cover so much that when they reunited in 1995, they recorded a version of the track in the style of Soundgarden with Jula Bell from Bulimia Banquet for the soundtrack to Tank Girl. Check out the cover below:

musicbowl 49As everyone knows, The New England Patriots are taking on the Seattle Seahawks and their Legion Of Boom in Superbowl XLIX (49). Both cities have a very unique music scene that has boasted some pretty big names over the years and with that being said, I present to you Musicbowl XLIX. New England may have a little bit of advantage as there are six states that make up the area to one city which is all Seattle is. New England has had some pretty legendary bands in Boston, The Cars, The J. Geils Band, and Aerosmith just to start this conversation. Seattle before a certain era had Ray Charles, Heart, Queensryche, and Jimi Hendrix was born there (Dick Dale was born in Boston). In the late 80’s and early 90’s a music scene exploded in the Seattle ea which would be known to the rest of the world as Grunge music which featured giants Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, The Melvins, and Alice In Chains as well as The Screaming Trees and Candlebox round out other bands in the scene. After a couple of Nu-Metal bands in New England formed like Staind and Godsmack, New England had it’s own musical scene explosion in The New Wave Of American Metal which boasted bands like Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, and Unearth. Not to mention, we also had bands like Til Tuesday, Mission To Burma, Dropkick Murphys, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Joan Baez, The Pixies, and James Taylor. I know Seattle has the Foo Fighters as the current biggest band of America, but you can’t mess with the history that Boston and New England has for music even though it gets no respect from Dave Grohl and his Sonic Highways show. So, I ask all of you to decide who do you think has the better music scene New England or Seattle? Here are some videos to help you decide:

Foo-Fighters-Sonic-HighwayI was super excited for this week’s album of the week because one of the coolest records was released this week from the Foo Fighters, the band led by Dave Grohl (Guitar/Vocals) and featuring his band Taylor Hawkins (Drums), Pat Smear (Guitar), Nate Mendel (Bass), and Chris Shiflett (Guitar). The album is called Sonic Highways and it’s the eight studio album the band has released through RCA Records. A documentary series that aired on HBO titled Foo Fighters Sonic Highway accompanied the album which saw the band record eight songs in eight different cities and you got to hear stories from the band and various musicians from each city. The album also features guest musicians from all eight of the different cities on each track and the cities are Austin, Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, New York, and New Orleans. Butch Vig produced the record with studio assistance from the people at each studio.

1. Something From Nothing– This was the track that was recorded in Chicago at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studio and the guest musician on the track is Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. The music is just as rocking as it is hypnotic and psychedelic at times as it lyrics were inspired by the Chicago scene which started from nothing and turned into something great. 5/5

2. The Feast And The Famine– One of my favorite tracks on the record that was recorded at Inner Ear Studios Arlington County, Virgina and the lyrics were inspired not just by the music scene in Washington DC, but by the spirit of the people in the city that actually tried to stand up for something. Bad Brains is the guest musicians on this particular track. 5/5

3. Congregation– This was the track recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Southern Ground Studios with Zac Brown as the guest musician. Besides the lyrics being inspired by the mind set of people in Nashville, but the sound of the song kind of reflects that Nashville sound. 5/5

4. What Did I Do?/ God As My Witness– This is the track that was recorded at the world famous KLRU-TV Studio 6A in Austin, Texas that was once home to Austin City Limits. The song features Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. as the guest musician that sort of mixes the same style of music as Congregation, but with a little more swagger. The song is broken into two different parts, but it kicks ass. 4/5

65525_735414266511670_8160993083404654011_n1-960x6005. Outside– This was recorded at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, California with legendary Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh as the guest musician. The track is very melodic with Joe Walsh playing lead guitar which is pretty awesome and I love the harmonizing during the verses which reminds me of how great The Eagles are. 5/5

6. In The Clear– This track was recorded at Preservation Hall in New Orleans with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band as the guest musicians. While the song can get melodic at times, it’s a hard charger with a driving guitar riff, but what I love is the inclusion of the trumpet, trombone, etc. that give the song that New Orleans influence within it. 4/5

7. Subterranean– This is apparently the track that Dave Grohl writes about the end of Nirvana and how he felt before he started the Foo Fighters. This is one of the most honest songs that I think Dave has written that sounds like it comes from the heart. The song was recorded at Robert Lang Studio in Seattle, Washington with Benjamin Gibbard as the guest musician. 5/5

8. I Am A River– This is the last track on the album that was recorded at Magic Shop in New York City. The song sounds like it’s the perfect ending to an album and a journey that the band went on. The song is very melodic and melodramatic at times, but it has a nice orchestral string piece to it. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I had a lot of fun watching the series and discovering every song and all of the meanings behind each song. This is a great release for the band and it’s definitely one of my favorite Foo Fighters releases besides The Colour And The Shape. This is definitely an album worth checking out if you love music and Dave Grohl and Co. I am going to give this album four and the half stars out of five for a final grade.