Friday Fix – 6/14/2013

Posted in Friday Fix with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by heavyuberalles

I am kinda redoing my Friday posts. Instead of something new every Friday, the Friday Fix is just an assortment of cool shit i have come across in the past week. It may be new, it may just be interesting. Enjoy!

1. The White Mandingos

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This hybrid project, the brainchild of rapper MURS, Sacha Jenkins, and Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer, is just awesome. Sometimes a little more rap, sometimes a little more punk, oftentimes right in the middle, this is one hell of a good time. The whole album is up over on Soundcloud, but check out one of my favorites from the album, “Warn A Brotha” below. TWM was going to be playing at U St Music Hall in DC this Saturday, 6/15, but the show has been postponed. (Which works PERFECTLY for me, cause Stanley Cup hockey on on Saturday night. WIN!)

 

2. Black Sabbath

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The first studio album with Ozzy since 1978’s Never Say Die, and the godfathers of heavy metal have really done well. I wanted to hate this, honestly. I’m still a little bitter about Bill Ward getting a raw deal and not being a part of this. That being said, this is a pretty damn solid album. Some of the songs sound like they could have been written for Dio, and the songs are fairly long (6 of the 12 songs are over 7 minutes). The lead single, “God Is Dead?” has been played to death already. I am loving the opening track, “End of the Beginning.” Well done, lads. See you in August.

 

3. Death

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I can’t talk enough about this band. I just did a whole post about them today, so I will just link another song here.

 

4. Carol Kaye

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I read a fascinating article this week, one that blew my mind. Carol Kaye was a popular studio musician back in the ’60s and ’70s. I had never heard her name until this week, and when I did, I was shocked to see some of the songs and albums on her resume:

Richie Valens – “La Bamba” (on guitar)
Simon and Garfunkel – “Scarborough Fair”
Lalo Shifrin – Themes to Mission: Impossible and Mannix
The Monkees – “I’m A Believer”
Tennessee Ernie Ford – “Sixteen Tons”
Nancy Sinatra – “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”
The Righteous Brothers – “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”
The Beach Boys – “California Girls,” “Sloop John B,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” and “Heroes and Villains.”

HOLY SHIT! This woman was a beast. Paul McCartney was praising the Beach Boys’ bass sound on Pet Sounds in an interview, and unbeknownst to him, was complimenting the bass playing of Kaye. This woman is a legend, and not many outside the industry know who she is. Incredible. 

Read the whole article here.

Flashback – You may not know DEATH…but you should

Posted in Flashback with tags , , , on June 14, 2013 by heavyuberalles

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So I freely admit it – I am a music junkie. I can’t get enough. I am always searching for new music, not because of the lack of good music (there’s plenty of it, past and present), but because there’s always that one thing you haven’t heard, or the one band you have yet to discover that truly touches your soul. Every once in a while, if you are really lucky, you will come across that one band that literally knocks you back into your seat or off your feet. Those times when that musical gem makes you feel as if you’ve found an ancient scroll or buried pirate treasure.

For me, the latest band to do that is called Death.

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My friend Jon at work, after a week-long stint in New York City comes up to me on his first morning back, all excited about something. “DUDE. have you ever heard of a band called ‘Death’?” My reply was something like, “Um, yeah. Everyone has. You know. Death metal band from Florida.” It was quickly apparent that we were not talking about the same band. Not by a long shot. He tells me a brief story, and as he presses play on the cd, tells me, “This is from 1974.” What I heard next gave me chills, and just floored me. As the opening chords of “Keep on Knocking” began I was curious, tilting my head like a dog. Then the song kicked in, and WHOA. I was confused. “Who are these guys? Am I the last one to find out about them? WHY were these guys not huge?” A totally wonderful mix of Detroit rock and one of the earliest punk sounds ever recorded.

My jaw still hanging slack, he handed me the cds and said “Go. Listen, and enjoy.”

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 I did just that, and as I made my way through songs like “Rock-n-Roll Victim” and “Freakin Out,” I was in such a state of shock, I could barely function.

A revelation hit me….“THESE GUYS STARTED AMERICAN PUNK. AND MUCH THE WORLD DOESN’T KNOW WHO THEY ARE.” I listened to the 2 albums, 1975’s For The Whole World To See, and Spiritual•Mental•Physical, taken from demos that predates “For The…” I listened over and over, just in awe of what I was hearing. This was taking what MC5 and the Stooges had started, and making it their own. There was an article written by the New York Times called “This Band Was Punk Before Punk Was Punk.”

I feverishly started researching the band. I had to know their story.

Back in 1971, three brothers from Detroit- David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney – formed a funk/soul band called “Rock Fire Funk Express.” rockfirefunkexpress550 After a little bit of recording, the brothers saw The Who and Alice Cooper in concert, and everything changed.

Death was born. David came up with the new name for the band, knowing it might be controversial. Said brother Bobby, “His concept was spinning death from the negative to the positive. It was a hard sell.” It would ultimately be their undoing, with the band refusing to change its’ name causing their best shot at a deal – Clive Davis and Arista Records – to walk away. On top of that, in the ’70s, black musicians were typical not playing rock, mu ch less this new breed of burgeoning punk. bands like the Stylistic, Earth, Wind and Fire were the predominant styles of black musicians. Yet, in true punk rock form, Death did not compromise their sound for anyone or any stereotype.

The band self-recorded a single, and unsuccessfully tried to get it out to the masses. The masters were stashed away in an attic, lying in wait to unleash upon the world. After Death not taking off, the brothers formed a rock gospel band, and David Hackney passed away in 2000. Bobby and Dannis, meanwhile, formed a reggae band called Lambsbread while they were living in Vermont.

What you have just read is an extremely abridged version of the story of the Hackney brothers and Death. There is much more to the story, and I strongly encourage you to watch the documentary “A Band Called Death: The Documentary.” death-movieIt is inspiring and emotional, with the attitude amongst the family being “family first,” and “back up your brother.” It takes you through their early years, the passing of their father, and the struggles to get off the ground while being held back by their name alone.

My favorite part of the movie is when you have met Bobby Hackney’s children. The Hackneys had never told their kids about Death – they had no idea it had existed. One of Bobby’s sons was at a party, and the 45 of “Politicians in My Eyes” was playing. You feel the exhilaration along with them, as the sons discover the music that is in their bloodline, and that exhilaration is very tangible and electric.

The sons formed a band called Rough Francis (the name of David’s project before his death), and helped bring the music of Death to a modern audience. Seeing the joy and pride on Bobby’s face, watching his sons bring their music back to life, was joyous. Death has started resurfacing, with guitarist Bobbie Duncan taking over the guitar duties. They played the Orion Stage at the Orion Music and More Festival in June in their hometown of Detroit, and even got an introduction from Metallica’s Robert Trujillo (more on their Orion performance here).

If you are a fan punk rock, you are doing yourself a grave injustice if you don’t, at a minimum, give Death a listen. Listen to them, and think about how differently the history books would look. Know your roots, even if they are ones you didn’t realize were there.

Death homepage

Rough Francis on Facebook

Tuesday Six – 5/14/2013

Posted in Tuesday Six with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2013 by heavyuberalles

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Ghost – Elizabeth

I had to go with this one today. I got to see Ghost at the 9:30 Club last night, I am still blown away thinking about it. I could go on about the show (in fact, I will in my review for The Vinyl District, online in a couple of days), but this song in particular was amazing. Papa’s voice was spot-on, and the Nameless Ghouls sounded great. This is my favorite song from Opus Eponymous, a haunting ode to the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory. Check out a live video from the Boston show on 5/10 here.

 

Black Sabbath – God is Dead

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVfUimq2KeI]

Ok, so this one is really growing on me. I still have a little bitterness about the whole Bill Ward thing, but c’mon…it’s Sabbath. I found it interesting that they chose a 9-minute song for their first new single. That being said, it’s a tad long-winded and the song could probably be a good 4 minutes shorter, but it is pretty heavy, solid Sabbath. It has the vibe of Heaven & Hell/Dehumanizer-era Sabbath, and I can’t help but think that this sounds like a Ronnie song more than an Ozzy song. but I am diggin it, and looking forward to hearing the rest of the new album.

 

Hatriot – Weapons of Class Destruction

Steve “Zetro” Souza, former lead singer for Exodus, is back in action with a new band, Hatriot. This is old-school, in-your-face thrash metal with a newer edge to it, led by Souza’s trademark snarling voice. The band includes Souza’s sons, Cody and Nicholas, on bass and drums, respectively. This is the first single off of the album Heroes of Origin. You can stream the album in its entirety below.

 

Demolition Hammer – Infectious Hospital Waste

While we’re on the subject of old-school thrash metal, let’s go back to 1991. Hailing from the Bronx, New York, Demolition Hammer never hit the big time, but their music was solid. “Infectious Hospital Waste” is a crushing example of that. In a bizarre side note, drummer Vinny Daze died of globefish poisoning in Africa in 1996. Not sure if that’s a metal way to go out or not. Anyway, put on your jean vest and rock out to this thrash classic.

 

Strife – In This Defiance

The LA hardcore kings are back and brutal as ever. It’s a little confusing(ish), that the new single is called “In This Defiance,” which was the name of their 1997 album (that did not feature a song by the same name). Sort of odd, that would kind of be like Kiss putting a song called “Rock and Roll Over” on Dynasty. Vocalist Rick Rodney is spitting pure venom on this one, and the riffs are heavy and tight. Hit the heavybag to this song.

 

Twisted Sister – Destroyer

This one came on Sirius/XM Liquid Metal the other day, and I just had to crank it up. So damn heavy! One of my all-time top Twisted Sister tracks.

Black Friday – A Look Back at Jeff Hanneman

Posted in In Memoriam, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 3, 2013 by heavyuberalles

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To say it has been a weird day would be a vast fucking understatement. I spent the day in the hospital, watching one of the nicest people I know lay in his hospital bed as his body is trying to heal.

Family members and friends got into car accidents today. I head to the 930 Club, my musical home away from home, to see Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite rip up some blues.

I had been at the club for maybe 10 minutes, when my friend Sam comes up and says “DUDE. Did you hear about Jeff Hanneman?”

My natural response is to spout out what I already know: he is sick, he is taking a break from Slayer to heal, etc. The last thing I expected to hear today was “Dude…he died.”

I pretty much blocked it out. Overload. Way too much to process after the day I had. I am already delving deep into my soul thinking about my mortality, then this…this is JEFF HANNEMAN. GUITARIST OF SLAYER. SLAYER. This cannot be.

Continue reading

Tuesday Six – 4/23/2013

Posted in Tuesday Six with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by heavyuberalles

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Sacred Reich – The American Way

In one of the best announcements about Maryland Deathfest that could have ever happened, Exodus announced that they couldn’t do the show (which sucks, Exodus is awesome) BUT that old school thrashers Sacred Reich would be taking their place! I haven’t seen these guys in many years, and couldn’t be happier to be seeing them in a month.

 

Fu Manchu – Laserbl’ast

Had the chance to see Fu Manchu in a small venue last night, playing the entire album The Action Is Go. This song starts with a swanky little groove, and just gets better as it goes. Awesome band. Look for my full review of the show on The Vinyl District very soon!

 

Orange Goblin – Your World Will Hate This

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBKhRjE98J4]

Ok, so I know I’ve kinda been going on about Orange Goblin lately, but what can I say? I freakin love these guys. Got to interview them for TVD, and FINALLY get to see them playing in the States! They played this one from 2002’s Coup de Grace on Saturday, and I kinda went a little nuts. I love that, like tourmates Lionize and Clutch, OG changes the setlist up every night. Wish more bands did that.

 

Kreator – Phantom Antichrist

Nothing like some good old thrash metal to get you going! These guys have been at it since 1982, and they are sounding pretty damn good these days. This one, the title track from their 2012 album, absolutely rips.

 

A Pale Horse Named Death – Shallow Grave

The second post-Type O Negative project to emerge (that I know of, I could be wrong), and it’s pretty cool. Very Type-Oish, dark, gothic metal featuring former drummer Sal Abruscato on guitar and vocals, and other former Type O drummer Johnny Kelly on drums. Looking forward to hearing more from these guys.

 

Behemoth – Lucifer

Always insanely heavy, Behemoth’s combination of brutal blackened death metal and stunning visuals make their videos captivating and frightening to watch. Sorta seems weird that they are playing the side stage in a gravel parking lot for Mayhem Fest this year. Only seems fitting to see them in a dark club if you ask me. Glad they got on the tour though – they needed to inject some serious metal on that tour.

Friday Find – 4/19/2013 – The Quartet of Woah!

Posted in Friday Find with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2013 by heavyuberalles

TQOW

The Quartet of Woah!

I love nothing more than hearing a band for the first time, and thinking, “People NEED to hear these guys!” Such is the case this week when I heard The Quartet of Woah! These four guys from Portugal were brought to my attention by a friend, and I am glad he did. It would be easy to write them off as “stoner rock,” but that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Imagine if Deep Purple, Yes, Fu Manchu and Black Sabbath and the Black Keys all got melted down, swirled around, and poured back out…that might start to cover what you get from The Quartet of Woah!

Take a listen to their single, “U Turn,” from their 2012 debut album Ultrabomb.

The heavy guitar and bass is there, but that organ is what sets them apart. The organ sound is a gut-punch, with a sound like Jon Lord come back from the grave. The guitar and bass tones are thick as syrup, the drums thunderous, and the vocals, performed by all 4 members of the band, are passionate, both wailing and subdued in all the right places.

The songs on Ultrabomb just exude such a groove, if you are not, at a minimum, tapping your foot, you are probably dead. Seek medical attention.

TQOW_Live

Mixed in with the heavy rock sound is a collage of sounds and styles, blended in perfectly so that you’re never questioning whether you’re hearing a different band, just different aspects of the same band. Songs like the piano-driven “The Ultrabomb,” or just the raw rock heaviness of “Taste of Hate” or “How to Build a Bomb” are great, and when TQOW channels Yes on “Prodigal Son,” it shows yet another side of the band. By the time the album wraps up with the soulful, bluesy jam “The Machine Limps Towards the End,” the listener feels like they have taken an enthralling musical journey through time, space, riffs and notes.

If you are lucky enough to live in Europe and can catch them live, DO IT. Plans are in the works for The Quartet to make it to America, hopefully later in 2013. Keep your eyes peeled, and don’t miss them! Meanwhile, take a listen to Ultrabomb below.

Tuesday Six – 4/16/2013

Posted in Tuesday Six with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2013 by heavyuberalles

LifeofAgony

Life of Agony – Through and Through

Back in college, my roommate and I had a system called Digital Music Express, a precursor to Music Choice and other cable-based music services. To see what was playing, you looked down at a little screen and it told you what was playing. The remote looked like this:

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I digress. I discovered some amazing music on here, like Type O Negative and Life of Agony. The first time I heard “Through and Through,” I was completely blown away. Very different from the metal bands of the time, there was so much real feelings and emotions in their music, like putting someone’s diary to music. River Runs Red is a concept album of sorts, following a troubled teen dealing with problems in love, work, school, and abusive home environment. Interspersed with asides between songs of what the teen is going through, the end of the album will give you chills.

 

Amon Amarth

The Vikings from Sweden are back! Not a lot of new ground tread on the new song, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Johan Hegg and company continue to do what they do best, making heavy ass metal and being bad ass Vikings.

 

Anthrax – Among the Living

A great song from one of the best thrash albums EVER. Period. I had just read The Stand by Stephen King before hearing this for the first time back in 1987, and that kind of blew me away. Stephen King, Judge Dredd…I instantly fell for Anthrax.

 

Misfits – Attitude

This is about as punk as it gets. “YOU GOT SOME FUCKIN’ ATTITUDE!” Hard to believe this song is 35 years old.

 

Slayer – Raining Blood

I’m driving down the highway on the way home from the Anthrax show on Sunday, and Raining Blood came on Sirius/XM. I am listening to one of the most classic thrash metal songs ever, remembering hearing for the first time way back when, and it dawned on me…this song is my generation’s “Black Sabbath.” Older folks talk about the first time they heard the song “Black Sabbath”, and how the infamous “tri-tone” was the creepiest, most evil thing they had heard. That is EXACTLY what I felt the first time I heard the main riff kick in after the thunderstorm in “Raining Blood.” 26 years later, I still get the same feeling when I hear THAT RIFF.

 

Carnivore – Ground Zero Brooklyn

Hardcore doomy heaviness from the big man in green, pre-Type O Negative. This week was the 3rd anniversary of Peter Steele’s death, a man missed by many. Do yourself a favor and listen to the old Carnivore stuff if you never have. Seriously heavy stuff, and you can hear the influence Carnivore had on the earlier Type O material.