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Posts Tagged ‘slayer’

Supergroup Them Crooked Vultures comprise Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones. Nine years earlier, the coming together of a grunge outcast, a savior of stoner rock and the son of one of the greatest bassists ever could have meant great things for rock and roll. Today, it amounts to little else than a consistent rock and roll album. Their debut album, despite its southern fried anthems, a couple of solos that should have little straitjackets dangling by the guitar chord to contain their ferocity and one of the coolest album covers of 2009, humbles itself in front of the altar of the almighty groove.  While songs like the sleazy and sweaty Scumbag Blues or the decidedly indie Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up make me want to believe in Them Crooked Vultures, the rest just meanders, endlessly flirting with stoner rock and garage rock and roll. I’ll just wait for another Josh Homme Desert Sessions mixtape to whet my appetite for rock and roll’s eventual resurrection.

*****

Truth be told, Pearl Jam are the most successful emo band ever. We don’t like to admit it because of our tryst with their music. Don’t worry, my minions, we have all clutched our pillows, and drowned ourselves in tracks like Animal, Alive and Even Flow to escape the tedium of wading through post-pubescent tears. Still, go back and listen to your favourite Pearl Jam songs and listen real close. Sshhhhhh. Can you hear it? Hopelessly romantic lyrics, monotonous riffs, crispy clean guitar solos and socially-responsible drumming. Case in point, the weeping Black, one of those songs that I, along with my friends, have out-drank pirates, Vikings and Malayalees to. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the song ends with Eddie Vedder crying out “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a sun in somebody else’s sky, but why whyyyyy, whyyyyyyyyy can’t it be, can’t it be mine?” followed by the rest of the band vocally harmonizing with a fading solo. If that’s not emo, I don’t know what the fuck is, man.

*****

My fondness for heavy metal went for a ride in a hearse three years ago. I haven’t heard from it since then. With my favourite metallers Sepultura and Pantera calling it quits, Machine Head discovering musical horizons that are quite frankly beyond their natural abilities, and Ozzy Osbourne becoming a parody of the parody he was a decade ago, Slayer is now the only metal band I still listen to. See, Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King and Dave Lombardo have been creating gnarly, blood-soaked metal for years; they just might be one of the most consistent metal bands out there right now. While God Hates Us All remains Slayer’s most impressive case study of this  evolved sound, their new album World Painted Blood finds them in supreme form, as they churn out skull-crushing anthems against a hateful world that has wronged them by offering all the intoxicants they could dream of, lucrative record deals, mainstream popularity, free guitars and respect from their friends and peers. No wonder they are so pissed off. Cynicism besides, Playing With Dolls is the best they have sounded since the wickedly groovy Bloodline from GHUA.

Watch

Them Crooked Vultures – Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up

Pearl Jam – Love Reign Over Me (The Who cover)

Slayer – Playing With Dolls

Buy

Them Crooked Vultures’ debut album

Sleepless In Seattle: Birth Of Grunge

Slayer’s World Painted Blood

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preorder_mmbosstones_imageMost ska bands I have heard so far have been depressingly bad. I despise all that “surf’s up, dude” pseudo-mellow trombones-hugging bullshit. 311 once ruled with a bunch of great melodies, but soon they joined the bandwagon of suck by impersonating Linkin Park. But as for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, well they are really really awesome. By whipping up a cocktail of straight-edged British punk and sunny ska vibes and lacing it with some good ol’ blue-collar humour, Mighty Mighty Bosstones moved to the mainstream with dissonant ease but stayed true to what made them cool in the first place…being nerdy and badass at the same time.

belleruche-turntable_soul_music_bThe great thing about Portishead’s Beth Gibbons is that you can ape her vocal styling and take it to weird wonderful places without sounding like a cheap knock-off. Geike Arnaert channeled Gibbons perfectly on HooverphonicsPresident of the LSD Golf Club album. Martina Topley-Bird sometimes gets it when collaborating with Tricky. As for Belleruche’s Kathrin deBoer…well, she has fucking nailed it with her vocals sensually dancing all over the beats, just like Ms Gibbons. It also makes me feel all warm and sunny to listen to her take a rain-check on hitting portentous high notes; instead she breathes ridiculously catchy basslines and hums sweaty drops of soul and jazz. Seriously, best fucking pop band fronted by a woman…like ever. Yes, even better than Beach Boys.

album-the-feedingSometimes I think that I am being too hard on heavy metal. I guess, my recently accumulated disgust for the vaguely ignorant and the pointlessly rebellious has something to do with it. I admit, anger is only purposeful when channeled through art and metal quite honestly is little else than rage-fueled post-Freudian bullshit. But hey, I don’t have a problem with post-Freudian trash when it sounds vaguely inspired by the fiery bolts of thunder that once drove millions of minions towards bands such as Pantera, Black Label Society, Slayer and Propain. For instance, here’s a curious case of American Head Charge. Inspired by Sabbath? Check. Recorded album with Rick Rubin. Check. Friends with Slipknot? Check. But also here’s the difference between American Head Charge and a million other ‘I have a vague memory of a creepy uncle touching my wee-wee and I can’t get over it” posers who piss on the mighty gods of metal by sporting fashionable frowns and black T-shirts…they do not suck. They channel their rage and let bloody riffs and maniacal double-bass stomps talk shit on their behalf. That’s pretty metal.

Watch

Mighty Mighty Bosstones – The Rascal King, Someday

Belleruche – It’ll Come, Northern Girls

American Head Charge – Ridicule, Cowards

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