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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Araya’

29. Zwan – The Number Of The Beast

Some days you wake up wondering how many straight punches to the face you can unflinchingly take before your instinct kicks in and you crumble to the floor like a sack of anemic tomatoes. Then you get all confused trying to figure out which option hurts a whole lot less and you’d probably sink in the armchair, desperately holding on to a cigarette. At that time you’d be well advised to play this track; the fact that it is a cover of an Iron Maiden classic only adds to the cruelty of life that Zwan’s version briefly soothes.

28. Super Furry Animals – The Man Don’t Give A Fuck

I sometimes wonder if I scourge the web for bands with ridiculous monikers and force myself to appreciate their music. Rhys, Bunford, Pryce, Ciaran and Ieuan (Super Furry Animals) laugh uproariously at such contrived pop psychology with this amazing track released on Out Spaced, a collection of their B-sides and rarities. It even boasts of a grand chorus that samples Steely Dan’s Showbiz Kids. One of those precious moments during the Nineties when quasi-juvenility lent itself to a mean artistic streak. Isn’t it remarkable how everybody takes any side but that of the censorship board? Makes me want to have faith in humanity and stuff.

27. Belleruche – It’ll Come

Belleruche lovingly evolves Nineties blue-eyed soul into something funkier and far more soulful. In 2007 Kathrin deBoer, Ricky Fabulous and DJ Modest put out possibly the best album in their label Tru Thoughts’ brief history. You should go out of way to pick up their album – Turntable Soul Music. Matter of fact send them an email or give them a shout-out on Facebook and tell them how awesome they are. I bet they’d be all “ah shucks, thanks…do you want a free CD?” but you should refuse and pay for it anyway.

26. Tricky & Martina Topley Bird – Hell Is Around The Corner

The coolness of Tricky’s deeply breathed poetry has found an irresistible bedmate in Martina Bird’s sweaty and sultry cooing. Go back to when Don Henley paired up with Patty Smyth in 1992 to sing about how sometimes love just isn’t enough. Remember how unholy and irritating that was? This has the exact opposite effect. Great video too.

25. Solace – Mother Godzilla (Download)

Just so you know, New Mexico-based MeteorCity Records is home to plenty of great stoner rock bands. Now, Solace comprises a bunch of unruly guys from Jersey Shore who pay proper respect to the almighty riff. Their sound is gargantuan with downtuned rhythm sections exploding like heavy metal shrapnel over fiery solos. Mother Godzilla, from the ultra cool Destroysall (A Tribute To Godzilla) album, wakes from its fuzzy slumber around the 1:15 min mark and launches itself into a superlative free metal jam that haunts as much as it rocks.

24. Broken Bells – Mall and Misery

Broken Bells is all that and then some. The talents of Brian J. Burton a.k.a Danger Mouse and James Mercer (The Shins) mix like green candles and decent sex. Dueling vocals effortlessly, one sulky and the other cherubic, drip through a bubbling canvas of warm snares and quirky electronics on this track; and once again, my minions, we stand a good chance of getting our ears wetted by sticky sweet pop goodness.

23. Dead Can Dance – Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove (Live in Hague)

Singer/composer Lisa Gerrard and multi-instrumentalist Brendan Perry were the purveyors of neo-classical medieval pop exotica that caused the wind chill to bite through a large chunk of underground goth clubs during the Nineties. In this 2005 live version of a Dead Can Dance classic, Brendan and Lisa revisit those incredible double reed instruments, tripped-out percussion arrangements and ethereal vocals that reach such heights it’s a wonder how Enya could sleep at night knowing she was making more money than these guys.

22. Soulfly & Tom Araya – Terrorist

If I was a super villain with access to thousands of vicious flying monkeys, I’d watch them wreak havoc on the general populace while listening to this. Max Cavalera and Tom Araya were once Ares and Hephaestus of the thrash metal scene and they have proudly shown it off in Soulfly’s Primitive album. They shred their throats dry over Roy Mayorga’s apocalyptic percussion blasts and frenzied four-stringed riffing to create an atmosphere so brutal that the least you should do after the track ends is watch a Kim Ki-Duk film. Fly, my monkeys, fly.

21. Air – Playground Love

Air’s possibly one of the underrated electronic duos out there; problem being when they’re ordinary, they sound truly horrendous, but when in form they sound like a distant male cousin of Cocteau Twins with a voracious appetite for trespassing uncommon grounds in the electronica genre. They were in spectacular form during the recording for the Virgin Suicides’ soundtrack and it shows in this moody gem with its sleepy-eyed saxophone licks coaxing us to beg for more. You can move on to Cherry Blossom Girl and Alone In Kyoto after this.

20. The Deftones & Maynard James Keenan – Passenger

Barring the ferocity of My Own Summer, The Deftones never sounded as compelling as they did on the 2001 album – White Pony. This had so many fantastic tunes that picking just of the lot should rightfully be both insidious and misleading…if it weren’t for Maynard James Keenan absolutely tearing the goddam roof off with a jaw dropping vocal performance on this , of course. “Ahhhhhhhh I’m your passsssengerrrrr”.

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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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