Tag Archives: rock

The Filthy Broke Billionaires – In God We Trust, The Others Pay Cash

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A new year means new releases to look forward to, which is always nice…even more so when it’s a national release! The start of the annual Luxembourgish releases is made by the fairly new band The Filthy Broke Billionaires, that has their debut EP In God We Trust, The Others Pay Cash in tow! And I’m happy to give you my two cents on it before its release on January 15th!

While the band itself has only been around for about a year, all of its members are experienced musicians that wanted a change of scenery I guess, which is why they play something akin to classic rock, with a few hints of blues thrown in for good measure. The quartet has a fairly elementary line-up, comprised of drums, one guitar, bass and vocals, making the five songs a fairly easy listening experience that never throws too much to handle at you.

However, this approach doesn’t entail a boring nineteen minutes, at all! Especially the guitar has some tasty parts that stand out quite a lot, mixed with the tight interplay between bass and drums and the powerful yet soulful female vocals, the time flies by without you even noticing it. The only gripe I have is the fact that the production is fairly old-school and could use a bit more of a punch in my humble opinion…but then again, I believe that the classic sound was one of the main ideas behind the EP.

All in all, I have to say that classic rock isn’t really my thing at all…but after going through IGWTTOPC about twenty times, the EP has definitely grown on me. Personally, I probably won’t have this on repeat until the day I die, but I can absolutely recommend giving it a fair listen! The band will be hosting a release show at Rockhal this Friday, so be sure to head on over if you like what you hear and in the meantime head to their Facebook page for further information! Read you soon, until then: have a good one!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MkOnXDtf6g]

Trash Monday LXXXVII

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“Although the Nail lineup consists of veterans of internationally successful recording/touring acts, the group is currently unsigned and remains independently managed. NAIL official website is www.nailband.com” (source:nailband.com)

Can somebody please tell me why this amazing Canadian progressive heavy rock/metal band is still unsigned??

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOWmgtqOqhw&feature=youtu.be]

Deap Vally – Sistrionix

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One drum kit, one guitar, two ladies and eleven tracks that make one thing pretty damn clear: this band has way more cojones than The Black Keys, not to speak of virtuous and filigree songs. But let’s put aside comparisons to more or less boring two man garage rock and have a listen to Deap Vally and their debut album Sistrionix.

As you guessed, Deap Vally are another rock duo trying to squeeze as much energy as it is possible with only two instruments and one’s own voice. Voice is the perfect cue to describe one great feature of this debut long player: the vocals relentlessly bang somewhere between sex, rock, soul and the 21st century version of Janis Joplin. The overall dirty garage rock production rounds up the energy of Sistrionix.

Nearly all the songs are more or less in mid tempo, but nevertheless, there is always an impression of running wild with 100 miles an hour. The two ladies unstoppably stamp through those eleven songs full of cheeky blues and garage rock, telling you not to come too near, or you may regret it. The songs serve head bangers as well as hip movers, combining groove and pure energy, one of those tasks many other two man or women bands miserably fail. I’d say, together with Indian HandcraftsCivil Disobedience For Losers, Sistrionix is the hardest rock duo performance since Death From Above 1979 and their extraordinary You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine.

So, all you ladies out there, be brave and show us more of your rock, and all you boys, be prepared to be potential groupies, this women definitely have the power to show you which way the cat jumps!

Serj Tankian – Jazz-iz-Christ

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Serj Tankian has recorded a jazz album. So far, so good. Serj Tankian even did a pretty interesting jazz album. And as “interesting” is a damn boring word, let me try to explain why.

I’m certainly not a specialist in jazz music, so for all you connoisseurs out there, let me know if my impressions are for the birds. First of all, Tankian invited a wide range of guest musicians (probably because he isn’t a specialist either) such as, amongst others, Tigran Hamasyan, Tom Duprey, Valeri Tolstov or Troy Zeigler, which would be the first explanation for the advanced level of Jazz-iz-Christ. Besides classic jazz influences the LP combines fusion, electro, also rock, even if it is not so obvious at first listen, and also a number of oriental influences, represented for example by sitars.

The opener Fish Don’t Scream was described somewhere as a System of a Down song in disguise, and I have to say that this an appropriate way of hearing it, especially for the returning stamping parts. One could really imagine the slower jazz melodies as a reflection of a possible Tankian singing performance. The rocking elements on this album are omnipresent without pushing to the foreground at any time. The classic guitar solo in Arpeggio Bust, for instance, is perfectly fitting to the jazzy rhythm section. Moreover, there is a very concise and pushing bass line in a handful of songs.

Besides the rock influences there are especially the electronic and/or the fusion elements that produce the main groove of Jazz-iz-Christ, which generally spoken provides a wide range of musical experiences without being overcharged at any time. Most songs are instrumental; Tankian himself, or his vocals, enter the stage in song number 7, Distant Thing, a very oppressive but chilling song in which his voice and performance perfectly fits, which counts a little less for the following  Song of Sand.

The album clearly has its depressive period towards the middle, guided by melancholic vocals and instruments, combining the feeling of drinking whisky in a dark lounge and Tankian’s typical feeling for tragedy. Jinn then picks the pace up again, being a rock song at heart, and yet very hard to categorise in terms of style. Waitomo Caves would be the next creative bastard, having a 90s electro and beat box groove dancing around the classical jazz instruments. Same as the opener, the closing song Miso Soup then again can easily be defined as being a SOAD song, and this time, to make it more obvious, Tankian takes care of the vocals.

Jazz-iz-Christ is a very enjoyable, nearly 57 minutes long piece of jazz combined with like everything one could imagine, and I think one can really hear the fun the contributors were having during the recording sessions.

Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

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As comparisons seem to be inevitable when it comes to QOTSA, let me say it right from the beginning: no, this is nothing like the self titled debut, it’s not Rated R and it surely won’t reach Songs For The Deaf. There will probably never ever be an album like one of those 3 again, take it or leave it.

…Like Clockwork is the 6th studio album from the Palm Desert rockers, the first in 6 years. Keep Your Eyes Pealed is a dark and threatening opener, unpredictable considering a potential outburst. The bass is hard and dirty, and in fact, this opener doesn’t really give a hint considering the whole LP’s sound, except for the darkness. …Like Clockwork is a very smooth album. Don’t expect any fast and heavy songs like in the past. However, the typical QOTSA sound is preserved in every minute, even if it doesn’t always seem so. The “druggy” Era Vulgaris sound as well as a few Them Crooked Vultures (and even Eagles Of Death Metal) elements are present, but not at all characterising for this record, which in its essence is the darkest, most pessimistic and most sensitive release by QOTSA so far.

Two piano ballads, pending between John Lennon and the great Mosquito Song, even found their way on the tracklist, underlining the melancholic overtone once more. But all this doesn’t mean that …Like Clockwork can’t be considered as a potential soundtrack of the summer, or that the queens totally lost their heaviness, on the contrary! If I Had A Tail is a perfect road trip track, My God Is The Sun is the hard flagship of this release and grows bigger and bigger the more you turn the volume up. Songs like Kalopsia or Smooth Sailing are hidden stars with their melodic and grooving surprising moments.

I Appear Missing (together with My God Is The Sun) embodies the obvious epic moment of …Like Clockwork, combining a western soundtrack with a powerful outflow. This album really works in its entirety. The different sound impressions may sometimes imply a feeling of incoherence, though. One question that remains is about the live compatibility. We’ll find out during this summer’s festival season.

In case you wonder if too many cooks spoil the broth I can calm your worries. Although there is a huge amount of guest contributions by, among others, Nick Oliveri, Elton John or Trent Reznor, they are mostly found in details or in the background. The most obvious and great contribution, in my eyes, can be found by Mister Reznor in Kalopsia. The performances by Joey Castillo and Dave Grohl are noteworthy, as always, but I especially want to pick out Michael Shuman who supplies a great bass play.

To return to the comparisons, and now I’m being very subjective (and as I mentioned above, one probably shouldn’t compare too much), this sounds a little like Lullabies…, but way more dangerous, and also a bit like Rated R, but less aggressive. One may even find moments of the filigree Songs For The Deaf but, like every QOTSA output, this LP has its very own character. Personally, I think this is their best release since 2002, whatever “best” means.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFca32_7YUU]

Werewolves In Siberia – The Rising

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As your blog manages to get bigger and more popular, it happens that people request you to review their masterworks or how they like to call it. Which is a good thing, actually. Thanks to social media we get in touch with new artists and never despair to write new reviews as new material drops by on an almost daily basis. But at what price?

Werewolves in Siberia play, what they call, 70’s and 80’s inspired synth rock. As I never heard of them before, I did my obligatory online researches, checked their bandcamp and twitter profiles but couldn’t get any further informations. Last.fm confirmed my fears, as this band / collective / project only has 2 listeners and 14 scrobbles. Oh boy, what was I getting myself into?

If The Rising is supposed to be a horror soundtrack, it does not fail its task completely. The soundpalette is cheesy and well chosen at least. But that’s it. The opener Introduction to a nightmare and the last track Return to the nightmare could give you the impression that The Rising actually is a concept album, but no it’s not. It’s not that I do not like sterile soundscapes and repetitivity; that’s what made Kraftwerk the most recognized electronic band ever, but one has to put a lot of effort into creating his own sound and identity instead of selecting the most annoying and cheesy instrument in Magix Music Maker and calling it your own creation. It’s all about compromising!

The Rising is not catastrophic, the production is clean; there are even some pleasant moments in it, like Return to the nightmarewhich could sound colossal if only the artist had put more time into his composition and tried to implement real instruments into the track instead of going full MIDI. This album is supposed to be a horror soundtrack but plashes into insignificance and boredom. The only thing my mental cinema could imagine was a group of Ewoks hunting mushrooms in planet Gutter on a real bad Meth trip. And that’s not even as funny as it sounds. But if you’re still into this kind of music (why not?), get it on bandcamp.

Motorpsycho – Still Life With Eggplant

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Prog and Psych Rock veterans Motorpsycho are back with their new studio album Still Life With Eggplant. After a huge double album project in 2012, including cooperation with an orchestra and Ståle Storløkken, this release again is more like a back to basic or classic Motorpsycho album, although this kind of vocabulary doesn’t do justice to the Norwegians variety of styles.

Still Life With Eggplant is a very diversified and, for Motorpsycho standards, even a pretty accessible LP that reminds a litte of the 2010 release Heavy Metal Fruit. But unlike the space odyssey that was built back then, it seems that the band takes us to the countryside this time, producing even a kind of acoustic summer song with The Afterglow in the end. Let’s start with the beginning however. Hell, Part 1-3 is what I would call a typical Motorpsycho song (but be careful, I missed around two decades of this band’s history): progressive and strong riffs compared with hypnotizing vocals, not to forget a jazzy outro to end this nearly 10 minutes opener.

August starts threatening before the clouds are thrusted aside and a 60s Woodstock song made in Norway takes over. The thunderstorm takes over again however, and before you realise it the song is over and you’re left behind with wet clothes. Barleycorn again stands for the band’s talent to mix deep melancholic moments with moments of hope and awakening. This duo permanently goes hand in hand, musically and lyrically.

Ratcatcher is the obligatory 17 minute odyssey, trying to hypnotise you right from the beginning before taking you on a journey through dizzying drums, psychedelic vocals and capricious guitars. There aren’t many bands anymore that design so diverting 17 minutes songs.

Still Life With Eggplant is not as strong as the comparable Heavy Metal Fruit , but if you liked the 2010 release then this is surely something for you! Also very recommendable for Motorpsycho beginners.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NqmxF_GuGE]