Posts Tagged ‘Tom Morello’

audioslave-51b7801809abeLast week on May 17, the world lost yet another legend as Chris Cornell died at the age of 52 in Detroit, MI. Chris Cornell left behind a legacy that is full of amazing music ranging from his time in Soundgarden to his solo career and his time in Audioslave. Chris had one of the most amazing voices in all of rock and metal music that will never be matched no matter how hard the music industry tries. For this week’s album of the week, I wanted to pay tribute to Chris by covering one of his albums and after already covering a Soundgarden I decided to cover the debut album from one of the best supergroups ever in Audioslave. The band featured Chris on vocals with the members of Rage Against The Machine in Brad Wilk (Drums), Tom Morello (Guitars), and Tim Commerford (Bass). After the album was almost sabotaged by someone close to the studio, it was finally released on November 19, 2002 (ten years after Rages debut album). The album would shoot to the top of the charts peaking at number seven on the Billboard Top 200 charts with four top five hits on the Modern Rock charts as well as landing at number 100 on the year end charts for the US Billboard top 200. The album would be certified triple platinum meaning 3 million in sales.

Audioslavebsck1.Cochise– A song that was named after Cochise, an Apache Indian starts off with a cool build up with Morello and Wilk before it explodes right into the track that is just an in your face rock anthem in the vein of what Rage sounded like. The lyrics have nothing to do with the actual Cochise, it has a lot of religious themes in it. 5/5

2. Show How Me To Live– The song keeps that Rage funk like guitar and bass riff going with Cornell’s amazing vocals. Towards the end of the song, Cornell hits his throat with the side of his hand to have an effect while he changes the pitch of his vocals. Most people think the song is religious, but I believe the song is referencing Frankenstein and his monster. 5/5

3. Gasoline– The song kind of mixes that grunge sound at first with the Rage sound before it gets a little cool with the effect on Morello’s guitar during the verses. The song seems to be about escaping whatever or where ever your are in your life. 5/5

4. What You Are– The tempo is turned down a little compared to previous tracks and it’s a track that is pretty deep about being in control of someone or something’s power. Chris was always a deep person lyrically. 5/5

5. Like A Stone– One of my favorite tracks on the album and from the band in general. The song has a very cool tempo with a sick bass line from Commerford. Cornell has described the meaning of the song’s lyrics saying, “It’s a song about concentrating on the afterlife you would hope for, rather than the normal monotheistic approach: You work really hard all your life to be a good person and a moral persona and fair and generous, and then you go to hell anyway.” 5/5

6. Set It Off– a return to the bombastic in your face Rage sound that we all love with lyrics that could be stemmed in religion or MLK. 4.5/5

7. Shadow on the Sun– Another favorite of mine from Audioslave period. The tempo is slowed down and Chris’s vocals really shine through on this track. The song’s lyrics are definitely about a relationship, heartache, and maybe even reconciliation (or maybe not). 5/5

Audioslave-Audioslave-Part-1-Cd-Cover-468488. I Am The Highway– A very cool track that also has a mellow melancholic tone to it in a track that seems to be about someone who is just fed up with life and the way that its’ going. 5/5

9. Exploder– A col funky bass line helps drive this track about a man who is going through some sort of psychosis where he is freeing himself of everything. The choruses are cool because Morello comes in with those huge power chords that are bombastic and in your face. 5/5

10. Hypnotize– A very different kind of track for Audioslave that almost has a English dub sound to it, but it features that signature solo from Morello. The song is all about sharing the wealth. 4.5/5

11. Bring Em Back Alive– The track starts with a driving metal like riff with Cornell having some cool effects on his vocals the reminds me of something Ozzy did on a Black Sabbath track. 4/5

12. Light My Way– A cool funky track that has Morello throwing some cool effects with his guitar as Cornell sings about a man who had strayed from God asking for forgiveness. The chorus has that sound you all love from Morello and co. 4.5/5

13. Getaway Car– Another slow tempo track from the band which is all about having to learn to love yourself before you can learn to love others. The track features a very bluesy solo from Morello which is cool. 4/5

14. The Last Remaining Light– The last track on the album from the band and its kind of an eerie track just from Morello’s guitar playing and Cornell’s delivery. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I honestly feel like the first nine tracks are drastically different than the last five and I don’t know if that was done on purpose, but very noticeable. Nonetheless, this was an amazing album from start to finish. It’s just very sad to know that Chris won’t be back to perform these songs or even write new material ever again. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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Rage-Against-The-Machine-Evil-EmpireThere is some really exciting news in the air and to be honest, it should really say exciting speculation. We have already seen Axl Rose reunite Guns N Roses with Slash and Duff McKagan followed by a reunion of the Misfits for Riot Fest. Now there is speculation that one of the greatest Rap Metal groups of all time in Rage Against The Machine could be the next to reunite. The group has set up a countdown clock on a website title Prophets Of Rage which you can see here. So for this week’s album of the week, we are going to be covering an album from the band and we picked the group’s sophomore effort Evil Empire. The album once again featured Zack de la Rocha (Vocals), Tom Morello (Guitars), Brad Wilk (Drums), and Tim Commerford (Bass). The album was a huge success for the band when it was released on April 16, 1996 as it would debut at number one the Billboard Top 200 charts. It would spawn a Grammy win for one track as well as two more nominations for other tracks on the album. The album has been certified triple platinum as well as going platinum in Canada and Gold in the UK. In an interview, Zack described the origin of the title of the album saying, “The title “Evil Empire” is taken from what Rage Against The Machine see as Ronald Reagan’s slander of the Soviet Union in the eighties, which the band feels could just as easily apply to the United States. Rage is currently finishing up a European tour but they’ll be back on our evil U.S. soil for a tour in late July.

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1. People Of The Sun– The second single released off of the album that starts with the cool guitar riff followed with the amazing bass playing of Commerford in a track that is about the Zapatista Revolution. 5/5

2. Bulls On Parade– One of the most amazing Rage Against The Machine songs with that bombastic in your face riff and the bass playing from Commerford is amazing in a track about the corrupt government. The song also featured that world famous solo that sounds like a DJ is scratching.  5/5

3. Vietnow– The third and final single off the album whose riff sounds very similar to The Wanton Song by Led Zeppelin. The track attacks right wing AM radio shows hosted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Oliver North, etc. 5/5

4. Revolver– Some unique sounds open the track into another funk filled riff whose lyrics speak of spousal abuse. 4/5

5. Snakecharmer– An interesting track that is never outdated considering the subject matter and what is currently happening with elections in 2016. The track is about politicians who will lie in order to charm you for your vote. 4.5/5

6. Tire Me– This is the only track on the album that won a grammy for Best Metal Performance even though it was never released as a single. Zack has claimed that the song was written to celebrate the death of Richard Nixon. 4/5

Rage_Against_The_Machine-Evil_Empire-CD7. Down Rodeo– One of my favorite tracks on the record whose lyrics deal with social and finiacial inequalities in America and the social class warfare. The song has lyrics that say, “So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo with a shotgun, These people ain’t seen a brown skin man, Since their grandparents bought one.” Rodeo as in Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills where all the rich people live and how it’s all white. 5/5

8. Without a Face– A song with a dope bass line from Commerford that is almost G Funk like in a track that deals with immigration and other social issues an immigrant deals with in the US. 4/5

9. Wind Below– a track with a cool bass line that refrences the NAFTA agreement as well as the Zapatistas and a story written by Subcommandante Marcos, entitled A Storm and A Prophecy  in which it references the section titled The Second Wind: A Wind from Below. 4/5

10. Roll Right– An interesting track from the band that sounds different from the rest of the album, but I like it. It’s a track that looks at various social issues and corrupt governments. 4/5

11. Year Of The Boomerang– The last song on the album that looks at the representation of minorities as far as racism, sexism, and colonialism. The title of the track references a speech that Algerian Revolutionary Franz Fanton had made. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– When it comes to politically charged music, Rage was definitely the best of the best as these guys were radical. While the first record was phenomenal, this album put them on the map. This album made me take notice of who they were as it was the first Rage record I ever owned. I am going to give the album 4.4 stars our of five for a final grade.

I know what you’re thinking and it’s probably what the hell is this music and movie blogger doing writing an article about same sex marriage? While I openly admit that I am not gay, I have always believed that they should have the same rights as anyone else who wants to get married. I have always been in favor of human beings being able to enjoy life to the fullest even if it meant approving same sex marriage nationwide which is what the United Sates Supreme Court did today. The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor that the constitution of the US allow same sex marriage nationwide. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion that read as follows, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.” Even United States President Barrack Obama commented on Twitter saying, “Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else.” Of course people of the various news media outlets around the country and probably the world are not the only ones to comment on this massive decision as some rockers got involved in the talk. All That Remains Phil Labonte, Tom Morello, and various members of Motley Crue reacted to the news and we have it for you below. This is a huge human rights decision and if you want to read more about it from the Supreme Court, then just go here.

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primusFor the album that I chose for this week’s album of the week, I wanted to go outside my tastes a little so that I could expand my horizons musically. Plus, I have a lot of respect for Primus bassist/lead singer Les Claypool who may be the best bassist out there in the metal world. The man has done great things for the bass guitar as many have done for the electric guitar. I chose the album Antipop because it was the very album the band was supporting when I saw them on Ozzfest 1999 with Buckethead (Note: Buckethead is not credited on the album). The album features lots of musical guests from Tom Morello to James Hetfield of Metallica as well as some guests also producing tracks on the record. It was the band’s sixth studio album, it was the last to feature drummer Bryan Mantia, and it would be their last until 2011’s Green Naugahyde. When talking about the record Les has stated, “Antipop was the most difficult record we ever made, because there was a lot of tension between the three of us, and there was some doubt at the label as to whether we knew what the hell we were doing anymore. But there was some great things to come out of it, like the tune we did with Tom Waits, ‘Coattails of a Dead Man’. I love that song.” The album peaked at number 44 on the billboard top 200 charts and unfortunately songs from this record are rarely ever played live.

1. Intro- The intro is only 17 seconds long and it features Tom Waits.

2. Electric Uncle Sam– The track has an intro to it, but once the music kicks in it’s like a funk metal party that rocks. The track is about The Man and you shouldn’t be surprised as it was co-written and features Tom Morello on it. 5/5

antipop back3. Natural Joe– This is a track that is co-produced by Matt Stone of South Park fame and it’s another bass driven funktastic track that is about how people aren’t always what they appear to be. 4/5

4. Lacquer Head– This is a track that was produced by Fred Durst which the three verses in it are all about three different kids who puff on inhalants and the harm that comes to them from doing it. Fred has said that he wanted Primus to go back to their heavier sound and it worked. The track is amazing with a thumping bass line. 5/5

5. The Antipop– The track starts off real slow and with an eerie bass line in the beginning and then Mantia’s amazing drumming comes in before the song kicks into overdrive about being Anti-pop because pop music is just bland and not compromising just to get on the radio 4/5

6. Eclectic Electric– This is the track that features Jim Martin (ex-Faith No More) and James Hetfield (Metallica) playing guitar on the song and it’s another track that starts off slow as it is an 8 minute track. The track seems to be different stages of someone not being able to grow up. 4/5

7.  Greet the Sacred Cow– At first there is something playing in the beginning that sounds like praying in the Middle East before the music kicks in with a middle eastern flavor to the guitars, but in the chorus they get heavy. 4/5

antipop cd8. Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool-This is definitely a bad ass rock song with a little more guitars thanks to the fact that it is the second track to feature Tom Morello playing guitar and producing os it has that rock/rap flavor to it. 4/5

9.  Dirty Drowning Man– The track starts off with some crazy bass beats from Les before it settles down during the verses in a track that is about calling out to see who your real friends are. The track features Martina Topley-Bird on it and it was produced by Stewart Copeland 4/5

10. Ballad of Bodacious– a bluesy guitar track with funky bass riffs in a track that is about a bull (I think). 4/5

11. Power Mad– This is the third and last track that features Tom Morello’s guitar work and production in a track that talks about various presidents of the US that were power mad. 4/5

12. The Final Voyage of the Liquid Sky– When the track first starts you feel like you are in space and then Les’s creativity comes in with his opening bass riff and then the funk starts in a track that is about going against the grain. 4/5

13. Coattails of a Dead Man– Surprisingly that someone had the balls to do it, but the song is essentially about Courtney Love ridding the coattails of Kurt Cobain. The song features vocals from Tom Waits and Martina Topley-Bird. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I have to say that back in the day, I didn’t understand the craze behind Primus, but after listening to this album and loving the guitar, I have a whole new found respect for Primus and what they were doing and still are doing. I really liked the album and enjoyed listening to the creativity that is displayed on it. I am going to give the album four stars out of five for a final grade.

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Tom Morello has worked with so many artists in his day spanning genres whether it be with his groups Rage Against The Machine, The Nightwatchmen, Street Sweeper Social Club, or Audioslave. He has also worked with artists like Bruce Springsteen, Primus, Johnny Cash, Cypress Hill, Device, Linkin Park, and now he can add GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan to that list. GZA along with Morello, Hanni El Khatib, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson for a funky cover of Babe Ruth’s The Mexican and I chose the song for this week’s cover of the week. The song was covered in the 80’s by a band called Jellyfish, but this version is more like a re-imagining. What I love about the song is the flamenco guitars in the beginning before the song gets funky with GZA laying down some fresh lyrics with Morello’s guitar skills on the track as well. The song is a stand alone track so I believe it won’t be featured on GZA’s new album that he is working on called Dark Matter. This is an amazing cover of the song and if you’re into Morello’s playing then you’ll get his signature style on the track during the solo. You can download the track directly from Soundcloud if you like it, otherwise check out the track below.

randyOn March 3RD, UDR Music is going to be releasing a brand new tribute record that will honor one of metal’s greatest guitarists in Randy Rhoads. The name of the disc is Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute and it features tons of today’s metal acts like Tim “Ripper” Owens, Brad Gillis, George Lynch, Kelle Rhoads, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jon Donais, Dweezil Zappa, Gus G, Tom Morello, Frankie Banali, Serj Tankian, and so many more paying tribute to the Guitar God. The track I have for you guys today from the album for the cover of the week is Chuck Billy, Alexi Laiho, Vinny Appice, Rudy Sarzo, and Kelle Rhoads (on Keyboards) playing Mr. Crowley from the Blizzard Of Ozz record. I have to say that one of the things you are going to be pleased with is the playing on this track from the band. These guys play the track almost flawlessly including Alexi who had the hard task of doing a Randy Rhoads guitar solo and he did a terrific job. Chuck Billy sings the song in his way which is a relief because Billy does a great job and who wants to hear someone sound like Ozzy. There is only one Ozzy in the metal world. This track alone has me excited to hear the rest of the record and I would love to know what other songs they cover on the disc. Check out the track below and go to UDR-Music.com for more information.

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