Saturday, February 12, 2005

More CD reviews, because you care immensely

Black Label Society: Hangover Music Vol. VI/1919 Eternal/The Blessed Hellride. I listened to all three of these albums back to back a couple weeks ago, so while I remember each had different qualities I can't remember which album had what. I THINK "Hangover Music" was the diverse one, with the fast and slow tunes. If that was the one, it was my favorite. In either case Zack Wylde is getting much better at putting together a well-rounded album. BLS is basically Ozzy without Ozzy's vocals. I can only take so much of this stuff. Here is the part where I'm required to say my sister met Zack Wylde backstage once, and he was a really cool and down-to-earth guy. I'm down with that.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions: Get Happy!!/Armed Forces. These two albums were rereleases with b-sides and whatnot. Rhino is such as dorky label, but so good to the music fans: now I see that these have been RE-rereleased with an extra disc each of demos and more whatnots. Does Costello really write and record 60 catchy tunes every time he goes into the studio? That bastard. Some of these lyrics are genius in a Poor Richard's Almanac sort of way. I also heard . . .

Elvis Costello & The Imposters: This Delivery Man. It's just as good, and maybe my favorite out of the three because it didn't drown me in bonus tracks. :) Musically, it's much better, like the way Bob Dylan's new stuff may be light on the lingo but high on listenability. A tip: don't listen to three hours of Black Label Society one day and three hours of Elvis Costello the next. Trust me.

Fishbone: The Essential Fishbone. I saw them open for Stone Temple Pilots and Red Hot Chili Peppers a few years ago, and while I thought they put on a good show I didn't totally get into them. All of these songs are great tracks, however, and if you didn't mind those couple years where ska beat out techno for Overplayed Genre of the Year this is a good listen.

U2: Boy. Definitely of its time, and among the best of it. When Canisius College "Radio" gave up on vinyl I took their collection, and while I've only listened to about 10% of those 400 or so records from '78-'91 I consider myself an expert in '80s alternative detritus. This is on top of a very short "keep" pile.

Youth Brigade: Sink With Kalifornja. It sounds a little messy at first but that's it's charm. Fun '90s punk that you can either mosh or sing along to, depending on where you are in the song.

George Thorogood & The Destroyers: The Baddest Of George Thorogood And The Destroyers. Bad to the bone, of course; exactly what you'd expect. Not to be confused with Thurgood Marshall & The Desegregators. The Brian Setzer of blues rock.

Supergrass: Life On Other Planets. Like Oasis, it's a great rock diversion. Not a lot sticks to your brain afterwards, but did *anything* from early '70s culture stick to our brains?

Cream: Fresh Cream. Excellent classic rock! A joy to listen to! Great licks! Now if only they'd spent more than ten minutes on the lyrics. "The sky is gray and I am gay," or something of that variety.

Cure: Disintegration. Not to be confused with Boston: Bus Integration. (Bad, bad joke.) I don't know why goths are so depressed all the time; some of these songs are happy and about love and stuff. Maybe because the album moves so slooooooowly? I picked this up because supposedly "Disintegration is the greatest album ever!" What *real* eight-year-old would listen to this? Not Tweak, that's for sure.

Faith No More: This Is It: The Best Of Faith No More. Unlike George Thorogood & The Battleships, there are some bands whose careers can't be put on one CD. This collection especially is too diverse, leaving you unsatisfied after the full 80 minutes. That's a good thing: I'll check out their albums some time.

Beatles: Christmas Records/Zombies: various. A mix CD. The Beatles recorded a side every year for their fan club, and while it was mostly banter and impromptu Christmas singalongs, you can definitely see the band go from happy-go-lucky to John and Yoko, all within 35 minutes. The Zombies are up there with the Beatles, and the tracks I downloaded really make me want to buy their Sgt. Pepper, "Odyssey & Oracle". Did I spell "odyssey" right? If so it's the first time.

Sick Of It All: Just Look Around/Suicidal Tendencies: How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today? Two albums burned onto one disc. Pretty much the same punk messages, as seen by the titles. Punk is not for the mindless, and it's too bad those people show up to the concerts. :)

Santana: Live At The Fillmore '68. Dude, it's like the guy's TALKING to the guitar! And the guitar is TALKING BACK! Duuuuude! How did it take 40 years for this guy to get famous?

Miles Davis: Kind Of Blue. I'm no jazz expert, but this sounds great. I should invite sexy ladies over so we can play this record and make out. Very smooth sound and transitions.

Husker Du: Warehouse Songs And Stories. I listened another album by this band and I was on the fence, but this is solid pop-rock.

Sum 41: All Killer No Filler/The Queers: Love Songs For The Retarded. Sum 41 is pop-punk raised on mid-80s metal, well-produced for mass consumption. Not too bad. The Queers sound like early stuff from Lookout Records. In fact, I think it IS early stuff from Lookout Records. I think they also have a song called "I Can't Stop Farting" on here and it's not as stupid as it sounds.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Live From The Middle East. A great live album overall and the best thing they've ever done. The only Bosstones album you'll ever need.

Kiss: Alive! See above, except that this is the exact opposite. If I'm running for President and I have to somehow give a speech at a KISS convention, I'm still going to tell everybody they're a sucky band. Then the Silent Majority will vote me in so I can disarm the KISS Army. Peace and prosperity will reign forever more.

Iced Earth: The Glorius Burden. Patriotic and history-themed metal. Some of it is cheese, but most of it is not. The Gettysburg trilogy actually, really, rocks out. Real professional stuff.

Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake It's Morning/Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. I got copies of these from a friend but the format was all screwy in my computer and the CDs sound like they'd been Brilloed. But from what I can hear, I'm really impressed with the songwriting. Maybe they're something salvageable in emo after all.

Circle Jerks: Group Sex/Wild In The Streets. Sarcastic British prigs. I love it.

Ramones: All The Stuff (And More) Volume One. Hey! Ho! Let's go! Eighty minutes of that! :)

Misfits: Legacy Of Brutality/Modest Mouse: Good News For People Who Love Bad News. Both of these were better than I expected. The Misfits weren't as angry and depressing as I hoped they wouldn't be. Modest Mouse wasn't as choppy and overly quirky. Also, it feels real good when you can fit two albums nicely onto one CD.

Madness: Absolutely. More people should like Madness! What did they do wrong to be forgotten? Solid pop songwriting, a decent horn section . . . didn't they have like twenty hits in the UK?

Parliament: various. Another collection of junk I had on my hard drive. But it's so FUNKY. How could a song called "Count Funkula" NOT be funky? When I'm rich I'll start buying more of these guys. "Rumpofsteelskin" inspired Sir Mix-A-Lot. That's one heck of a letter of recommendation, IMHO.

Iggy & The Stooges: Fun House/Raw Power. Music that's fun to listen to and even more fun to play. Not that I've tried playing it, but if I did I'm sure it'd be really, really fun. I also heard . . .

Iggy Pop: Lust For Life. Also very good but much more calm and song-oriented. David Bowie is all over this one. Gender roles are bent into a pretzel in each song.

The Jam: This Is The Modern World/All Mod Cons. Reminds me a lot of Elvis Costello had his work been more band-written. They do harmonies sometimes! It sounds "nice".

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros: Streetcore. Remarkably good for some cobbled-together recording sessions, but every Real reviewer has said that. The covers sound authentic, like they're Strummer's own. It feels too short, but there's only One Guy to complain to about that and His decisions are pretty much final.

No comments: