March 27, 2009
Last weekend I was with my family at my wife's parents' house. My father-in-law and I were talking about music a little, which is rare because honestly we don't relate at all on this kind of thing. But there we were. Somehow or another we get on the subject of Iron Butterfly, and he tells me that when he was in Vietnam, his nickname was Iron Butterfly because he was such a fan of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", which, of course, he identified by asking "what was that one song they did that was like 30 minutes long?" It was painted on the side of his plane or something, anyway. So I'd decided that I was going to post Iron Butterfly's "Metamorphosis" in honor of the guy, and so I could tell this little story here, but as I listened to the record again I was reminded that Iron Butterfly mostly sucked aside from the aforementioned opus. I should track down In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and give it a chance some time. I think my brother had it back in the day. So anyway, instead, you're getting Iron Maiden, who sound like what I want Iron Butterfly to sound like when I think about them. C'est la vie.
This is, of course, not the same Iron Maiden you're thinking of. These guys formed in the late 60s in Essex, England, and played bluesy hard-rock. The funny thing, though, is to listen to some of these tracks and imagine them done by the more famous Iron Maiden. The first track in particular features a plodding rhythm that would make Steve Harris proud. Also, "Liar" could've been reinterpreted to fit in nicely on one of the first two Maiden records. At any rate, this stuff could be seen as another version of the same downtrodden rock that Black Sabbath played, but it's got more of a loose, Pentagram feel rather than the thicker, fuzzier stuff that eventually evolved into doom and stoner metal. Think Jethro Tull, a less motorcycled-out Steppenwolf maybe. I dunno. It's pretty good, though. Better than Iron Butterfly at the very least.
March 26, 2009
When I was in middle school, Necropolis were big shit in the Atlanta metal scene. At least, that was my impression from hearing them on the local metal show and hearing older metal dudes talking about them. I was a little young to ever catch them live. Actually, I think they carried on into the early/mid 90s, but by that time I was too punk to pay attention, so I may've just missed them when I had the chance. At any rate, this is classic third-tier thrash, influenced by Exodus and maybe some early Megadeth. Sloppier and more poorly produced than the big guys, but no less fun. I was listening to this in the car the other day and thinking about the huge divide between the "big four" and the rest of the thrash world in the late 80s. If someone didn't know what thrash was, and you played them Master of Puppets or Reign in Blood or whatever, you'd really be giving them a false impression of the genre. This right here is what most thrash sounded like.
I have no idea how popular this band was nationally, but I suspect not very. But they were played every Friday night on WREKage, the metal show that still airs on Georgia Tech's college station (WREK 91.1).
March 20, 2009
Too Much Ain't Enough
Seduce was Detroit's answer to the glitzy Sunset Strip glam bands. If you've seen The Decline of a Western Civilization II: The Metal Years, then you saw singer/bassist Mark Andrews driving a classic convertible through Hollywood, talking about Seduce's role in the scene. But like many of the segments in that film, the whole thing is staged. The truth is, Seduce was grittier and darker than the Hollywood glam bands, more akin to Appetite for Destruction or Shout at the Devil. Motley Crue is a fairly good comparison timeline-wise too, since Seduce got their start in the very early 80s, long before the pop-metal bands that made it big. Why these guys never made it, I'll never understand, because this is one hell of a good record. In fact, it stands with the two aforementioned records as the only of the late 80s "hair metal" scene that I've consistently listened to over the years without ever feeling like I was too punk for it, too metal for it, or just too cool for it. A power trio in the true sense, Seduce on this record is full of ballsy riffs, wailing solos, and bluesy vocals. And yes, the cover is kind of cheesy, but whatever, it was 1988.
Too Much Ain't Enough
March 9, 2009
Swamped in Gore
Last weekend I attended the Scion Rock Festival in Atlanta. As the evening was winding down, I found myself watching Cryptopsy play. A deep sense of boredom set in as I watched their swashbuckling bassist and mall-core guitarist playing loopy technical death-core whatever they are now. I found myself longing for some good old fashioned gore-obsessed death metal. The kind Chicago's Broken Hope played.
Swamped in Gore
March 6, 2009
You know Thin Lizzy from "The Boys are Back in Town" and "Jailbreak" and maybe "Whiskey in the Jar", but what you might not realize is that they released twelve records, and they were all friggin' great. By 1981, they'd gotten simultaneously heavier and slicker, producing tracks like the opener "Angel of Death", a sort of hard rock "Sympathy for the Devil" and the nu-blues "Fats", which features a lengthy piano solo. "Mexican Blood" combines southwestern acoustic strumming with new-wave keyboards and steel drums. It's just crazy. And of course, Phil Lynott's storytelling vocal style is as awesome as ever. Allmusic will have you believe that this record blows, but don't listen to them. They're idiots. Just download it fer pete's sake.