Archive for the independent record labels Category

EARLY MAN – “BEWARE THE CIRCLING FINS” EP IS CAN’T MISS METAL

Posted in cool album covers, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, independent record labels, Metal, metal music, metal music ep's, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, speed metal, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal music, thrash metal music 2008 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

EARLY MAN. Beware The Circling Fin is an EP of 4 songs, only don’t be fooled, these songs are can’t miss Metal. I only wish Early Man had slapped down a few more tracks for this EP, their Metal is that good. Early Man is no newcomer to the Metal world, they released back on April, 5, 2005, the Early Man EP, which contained 3 songs. Early Man then signed on to Matador Records and released their first full length album – Closing In on October 11, 2005. Beware The Circling Fin was released on October 14, 2008, on independent label The End Records. I find Early Man to be quite the Old School Metal Band, (Traditional Metal, if you will), with total disregard for all things commercial… I like that very much.

Beware The Circling Fin was produced by Jack Endino, who has worked with Nirvana, High On Fire and Mudhoney, to name a few. Early Man hooking up with with a producer of this caliber is not too shabby, in my Metal opinion. Back in 2005, when Early Man first hit the streets with their debut EP, the Thrash Metal revival was heating up. Revival aside, Thrash Metal, (all Metal for that matter), never crawled under a rock… it has only grown stronger. With veteran Thrash Metal Bands making valiant returns, (hello Testament), while other veteran Thrashers like Slayer and Megadeth never relented, younger bands like Early Man can only solidify and bond the Metal cause all the more. (That’s another Metal opinion of mine).

Beware The Circling Fin EP has been my starting point… venturing into the Early Man brand of Metal. One characteristic of this EP that I like is the overall rawness that seems to creep around each song. I’m not talking demo raw here, just good ol’ Metal. Amongst this trio of Early Man, I don’t here one overpowering the other… the vocals and Metal Music seem to gather steam together… another good quality.

Suck Me Dry tends to sway away from total Thrash, this song borders on the Punk side… with it’s play time of 1:31, it’s aggressiveness wrapped with attitude and especially the vocals of Mike Conte. Is that bad? Uh, not for me. Beware The Circling Fin has Mike Conte reaching for the high notes vocally, sounding credible and reminding me of vintage Rob Halford of Judas Priest. The riffs, leads and all encompassing sound of Coiled Like A Snake has me feeling Early Man knows a thing or two about Metal’s founding fathers. Sinking The Blade is for me, the heaviest and fastest song on this EP. If Thrash is Early Man’s forte, they proved it with Sinking The Blade – in my Metal opinion. Early Man has shown they can intertwine their sound from Thrash to semi-Punk, what’s in between these songs is all the stuff I’ve always admired about Metal in the first place.

EARLY MAN as they appeared on Beware The Circling Fin:

Mike Conti – vocals, guitar & bass

Pete Macy – guitar

Adam Bennati – drums

* Tim Ramage is listed as the current bass guitarist, as seen on the Early Man myspace music page.

* Early Man’s myspace music page has their current location listed as Los Angeles, California. You can check out the Early Man myspace music page by clicking here: EARLY MAN – myspace music page

* An eagerly anticipated and forthcoming new studio album from Early Man is titled – Death Potion. This info can be found directly on Early Man’s official website: EARLY MAN ARMY.com – Official Website of EARLY MAN

* Lead singer and guitarist Mike Conte has his own blog, click the link below to check it out:

WHIPLASH HEAVY METAL – Early Man’s Mike Conte blog

BAD BRAINS – 1989 “QUICKNESS” ALBUM ENTWINES GENRES… AND BURNS

Posted in 1980's hardcore punk bands, 1980's punk rock bands, 1990's hardcore punk bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's punk rock albums, 1990's punk rock bands, 1990's punk rock music, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock albums, 1990's rock albums, alternative rock albums 1989, collecting rock music, current heavy metal bands, current punk rock music, diverse metal music, diverse punk rock music, essential hardcore albums, essential punk rock albums, essential rock albums, hardcore punk rock history, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, independent record labels, metal odyssey, Music, old school punk rock, punk rock album covers, punk rock albums, punk rock history, punk rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Bad Brains. Forget about music genres. If there ever was a band that fuses together multiple Rock genres and flips the bird at the status quo simultaneously, it is Bad Brains. When I’m in the mood to listen to a band that plays from the gut, the heart… Bad Brains. Punk Rock, check. Hardcore Punk, check. Reggae, check. Hard Rock, um, check. Some flashes of Thrash? Bad Brains can. Oh, don’t forget about some Funk in the rhythm either… Bad Brains will deliver. Ska and Heavy Metal… it’s been part of Bad Brains diverse musical identity as well. If you are totally new to Bad Brains and all of this sounds confusing, need not worry, Bad Brains is the antidote to stagnant music listening. In other words, you are never going to hear of or find another band like them… and if you do, it would have to be a cover band of Bad Brains, which in the end would never come remotely close to the original.

Since Bad Brains released their debut, self titled album in 1982, there has been untold “flavors of the month” in Heavy, Extreme, Alternative and Punk Music. Since 1982, there has only been one Bad Brains. To span three decades while releasing eight ultra legit studio albums is monument. (Granted, their 2002 release I & I Survived was/is an instrumental dub album, with H.R. not present on vocals. Regardless, it shall always remain as a unique musical representation of/from Bad Brains). Think of it this way, it is easier to span three decades and release fifteen albums, all the while just two or three are justified. As I see and hear it, Bad Brains has accomplished what the Beatles, Ramones, The Who and Led Zeppelin, (to name more than a few), before them already had… an astoundingly identifiable style of music, which sound is impossible to confuse with any other band.

Bad Brains will forever be regarded as a Hardcore Punk originator and rightfully so. Only at the end of the day, what really matters is the overwhelming uniqueness that flows from their songs hot as magma, ultimately creating a cooling down – experience in music listening, which once again gets ramped up from the Bad Brains ride you embark on… a Bad Brains trip never stays the same. Sound cool? Bad Brains is just that. In the sad event you have never listened to Bad Brains, there is still time to redeem your hijacked and commercialized, MTV and/or VH1 soul. I picked the Bad Brains album – Quickness, as my listening choice today. Quickness may not be heralded as the greatest Bad Brains album made, regardless, I am not into any unfair comparisons to their iconic, self titled, debut album either. Quickness is a listen into just how an album can encompass so many great qualities of heavy, hard and at times softer song structure. This fantastic Bad Brains album was, (and always is), a slap to my forehead reminder that a band does not have to sell out sports stadiums and win multiple Grammy Awards, in order to be appreciated and accepted as realistically legendary, genuine, unapologetically diverse and damn right hard & heavy.

Bad Brains – Quickness was released in 1989, on Caroline Records.

Bad Brains – Quickness Track Listing:

Soul Craft

Voyage Into Infinity

The Messengers

With The Quickness

Gene Machine/Don’t Bother Me

Don’t Blow Bubbles

Sheba

Yout’ Juice

No Conditions

Silent Tears

The Prophets Eye

Endtro

The original Bad Brains lineup:

H.R. – lead vocals

Dr. Know – guitar

Darryl Jenifer – bass

Earl Hudson – drums

W.A.S.P. “CRAZY” FROM “BABYLON” ALBUM IS WOVEN WITH HEAVY METAL MATURITY

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1985, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

W.A.S.P. Babylon small album picThank you Blackie Lawless. Thank you for not going away, taking an extended leave of absence or selling out. There are too many 1980’s Heavy Metal Bands that did just those things, now they are scrambling to make their triumphant comeback or best album ever. Some are doing just that, only Blackie Lawless does not belong to that club. The Heavy Metal membership card that Blackie Lawless holds says two words… for life. Why shouldn’t it say just that? The true fans of Heavy Metal and/or W.A.S.P. are in it for life. While the 1990’s ushered in the Grunge genre and scores of pretentious bands (being mistakenly labeled) Heavy Metal, all the while lining up at Hollywood’s red carpet gala’s for accolades, W.A.S.P. was too busy making real Heavy Metal albums of integrity. The politically correct mainstream press was not a necessity for W.A.S.P.’s survival then, it certainly is not now. There is no return of or part ll theme happening with W.A.S.P., just a band that is a Heavy Metal mainstay, due to the perseverance and creativity of Blackie Lawless. To take a quote from Blackie Lawless, (as stated in the liner notes from Babylon)… If it is not the truth, it will not stand.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be writing a series of reviews on the new W.A.S.P. studio album, Babylon. Concentrating on individual songs, musical elements and lyrics from Babylon makes for a more enlightening Metal experience for me, hopefully visitors to Metal Odyssey will agree. When an album of Heavy Metal has such a powerful impact on me, as does Babylon, a generalized review is about as fulfilling as a stale beer sitting in the hot sun. Could I have predicted Babylon would have impacted me in such a fantastic way? Of course not, yet the surprise is more expected than unexpected.

W.A.S.P. "The Last Command" small album pic #1Crazy is the opening song on Babylon. The weight of the world always seems to be put on the opening track of any album. The first song sets the table for the remainder of the album, good or bad, this all important track can either be the demise or exclamation point for the songs that follow. With Crazy, this song kicks and extends it’s Heavy Metal tentacles like a giant sea squid on a caffeine rush. Crazy is the prelude to nine Heavy Metal songs of substance, this song alone foretells that W.A.S.P. connects in 2009. Blackie Lawless borrowed some of his Old School Heavy Metal and fused it with a more mature presentation, both with lyrics and tempo. Sure, Crazy is a fast moving song, only it’s the streamlined sound of it’s speed that makes it so appreciable. The consistency of Heavy Metal muscle is what I have come to expect from W.A.S.P., Crazy illuminates and flexes it from the opening note. My best Metal buddy Scott cued me into the comparison of Crazy to Wild Child, from the 1985 W.A.S.P. classic, The Last Command. (This was well before I owned a copy of Babylon, Scott was a lucky one who nailed Babylon on it’s import release date of October 13th). The opening guitar intro to both Crazy and Wild Child are very similar, still not a mirror image note for note.

The vocals of Blackie Lawless during Crazy extends maturity, not a voice that needs a stretcher… Blackie Lawless is not fooling anyone or pulling any high tech tricks. Doug Blair on lead guitar sounds like a rising star that Ozzy Osbourne would have plucked out of the bushel to call his own, decades ago. Instead, Blackie Lawless has a guitarist that doesn’t just play… emotion is emanated from the guitar of Doug Blair. Listening to the guitar solo on Crazy reminds me as to why I love Heavy Metal in the first place. Crazy is as commercially viable as any song from the storied Heavy Metal history of W.A.S.P., (only it has never been about accessibility with this band)… thank God for that. This is absolutely not an accusation that Blackie Lawless has set out to make a hit single, rather it is a Heavy Metal song that is so melodically driven that it is awe inspiring.

Lyrics, as with music itself, is art. One persons interpretation of a songs lyrics will differ far and wide against another’s. My interpretation of the lyrics for Crazy is – don’t fall in love with anyone or anything that cannot love you back. The symbolic person or thing that won’t accept love in Crazy sends a deep message of steering clear from personal hurt. Human emotion is a very volatile subject and Blackie Lawless has penned some intriguing lyrics with this song. You cannot draw love from drugs, alcohol or hate. These are things that will make anyone look crazy for loving. Inanimate objects are never going to love anyone. A tremendous Heavy Metal song is Crazy, this is the one song I have listened to the most from Babylon thus far… isn’t that crazy?

W.A.S.P. "Babylon" large album pic #2

I SOLD MY LITA FORD “WICKED WONDERLAND” CD!

Posted in 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, Album Review, annoying music, annoying rock albums, bad heavy metal albums, bad heavy metal purchase, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, everyday social experiences, hair metal music, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal music shopping, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, rock guitarists, rock music, scary album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Lita Ford "Wicked Wonderland" small pic #2Yes! I got rid of it! I actually sold it! The “it” I am referring to is the absolutely annoying new album from Lita FordWicked Wonderland.  I foolishly bought the CD at Walmart for an even $10.00, (factor in the 6% sales tax and it set me back $10.60). The good Metal news is, I sold it today, finally! I brought it to f.y.e. and man, I never expected to get this much loot for it… f.y.e. took Wicked Wonderland off my hands for $6.25!! I’m NOT complaining. An extremely generous price that f.y.e. is, (for some reason), willing to pay for this CD. I was issued store credit towards other Metal purchases at f.y.e., a fine deal to me. Sure, I am out $4.35 at the end of the day, however, getting rid of this CD for any amount of money is a joyous Metal memory for me. I did state in my review, on this album, that I was definitely going to sell it… I actually held onto it for way too long.

I won’t get into the specifics as to why Wicked Wonderland is unentertaining here, (I could not put myself through writing about it a second time). You can read my fully detailed review about Wicked Wonderland on Metal Odyssey still… look for or type in – LITA FORD – “Wicked Wonderland” Is Naughty And Bad Combined. (That is the complete title of the review I posted on Metal Odyssey). At the end of the Metal day, all I can say to myself is phew, I rid my collection of some bad music. Bad. Hopefully something like this will never happen again.

MetalOdyssey

I BOUGHT MISFITS “LAND OF THE DEAD” AND IT SERVES ME RIGHT!

Posted in 1970's punk rock, 1980's punk rock bands, 1980's punk rock music, 1990's punk rock bands, 1990's punk rock music, Album Review, classic punk rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current punk rock music, current punk rock songs, essential punk rock albums, essential punk rock songs, extreme music, guitar legends, halloween, halloween rock music songs, halloween songs, horror punk, horror punk album covers, horror punk album review, horror punk albums, horror punk rock bands, horror punk rock music, horror punk songs, independent record labels, Metal, metal odyssey, misfits album covers, Music, new punk rock album, new punk rock music, old school punk rock, Punk rock, punk rock album covers, punk rock album review, punk rock albums, punk rock bands, punk rock bands today, punk rock music, punk rock music 2009, punk rock music today, punk rock musicians, punk rock songs, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, scary halloween songs, spooky album covers, vintage punk rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MISFITS. Jerry Only, Dez Cadena and Robo. Punk Rock royalty. Horror Punk Royalty. Yup, I am a fan, excuse me if you please. I bought the brand spanking new… Land Of The Dead maxi single off of itunes on Halloween. I deliberately waited to buy these two new songs on Halloween too… it is only fitting and it has served me right. The two new Misfits songs are: Land Of The Dead and Twilight Of The Dead, both songs paying tribute to the Geoege A. RomeroLiving Dead movie series. Land Of The Dead clocks in at 2:13 and Twilight Of The Dead clocks in at 2:45. I will take this five minutes of new Misifts Horror Punk and thank my damn lucky dark skies, that this legendary band still Rocks in 2009. Jerry Only has taken his Misfits and Horror Punk into a fourth decade, recruiting new generations of fiends along the way.

Yes, the lyrics are Horror themed… blood runs cold… ’nuff said. Yes, Jerry Only sounds outrageously great on lead vocals and bass. Yes, Dez Cadena delivers the licks as profusely solid as ever. Yes, Robo is on drums and hits the skins with vintage Punk beats. In comparison to past Misfits sound, both new songs follow in the Misfits Punk footsteps of their Project 1950 album. The Horror Punk and Roll of Misfits is alive and well in 2009. I am so gloriously thrilled to have these two new Misfits songs in my personal collection. You too can serve yourself right this Halloween weekend by snagging these two new Misfits songs off of itunes – they are only 99 cents each!!!! Hell, that is way less expensive than a damn large fry, burger and milk shake from a plastic fast food chain! Plus these Misfits songs are not a detriment to your health either! Make your life that much better and GET THESE NEW MISFITS SONGS TODAY! I’m not bashful about any of my recommendations, obviously. Happy Halloween Weekend – fellow Fiends.

For those who are new to Misfits and need to know more about their spooky background, check out their MySpace Music page http://www.myspace.com/themisfits

Misfits "Land of the Dead" large album artwork

RANCID “…And Out Come The Wolves” – Punk Rock To Cure The Rainy Day Blues

Posted in 1990's punk rock bands, 1990's punk rock music, Album Review, american punk rock bands, classic punk rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current punk rock music, essential punk rock albums, everyday experiences, feel good stories, independent record labels, legends of punk rock, metal odyssey, Music, old school punk rock, personal stories, Punk rock, punk rock album covers, punk rock album review, punk rock albums, punk rock bands, punk rock bands today, punk rock music, punk rock music 1995, punk rock music 2009, punk rock music today, punk rock musicians, recent punk rock albums, rock & roll, rock and roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

RANCID "...And Out Come The Wolves" small album picI am listening to Rancid today, all day. In my house, in my car, it does not matter. Rancid is my band of choice due to the slick and groove saturated Punk Rock style they bestow. They are Street Punk at many turns, yet they are so much from the Old School Punk Rock mold of the Ramones too. Kickin’ and fun, (gasp), did I just use the F word there? In my area today, the weather is miserable – rainy, semi-cold, of course cloudy and dank. What better band for me, than Rancid… to get my energy level back on high and to kick start my day and attitude. I am actually going to settle on one Rancid CD to crank today – …And Out Come The Wolves. The richness and foundation of Rock and Roll 101 is so evident in the Punk Rock of Rancid, especially on this album. My adoration for Rancid grows each and every time I listen to their Punk Rock. Out of the nineteen songs on this album, there is not one to skip over. I apologize to no one for being a rabid Rancid fan. Life is too short, I love the music I listen to – end of Metal story. Uh, not really… Rancid rules.

I have my core Punk Rock Band favorites… getting swallowed up by this addicting genre is an easy thing to do. It is funny, to see me today, driving the family taxi and picking up my daughters from school… you would never know that I am a devout lifetime Metalhead, who is experiencing his Punk Rock fever of Rancid. I’m certain I am not alone… there are too many of us out there who look like the average Johnny or Beatrice… and were cranking up the Metal and/or Punk Rock in the family taxi’s or mini vans. Funny stuff, however, it is the Metal truth.

RANCID "Let The Dominoes Fall" small album picI just can’t explain it though, there are those certain bands that just make you feel like everything is cool and alright. Rancid is just that band for me. Over the weekend, I just hung up the very large Rancid poster that comes inside their new CD – let the dominoes fall. The front of the poster is the front cover group photo on that CD, (pictured to the left of this paragraph). On the back of the poster are all of the songs lyrics – real cool. I put this poster inside a very large, thick plastic sleeve for protection too. It is hanging up in my Rocked out basement. It serves me right. Plus, my daughters dig Rancid like there is no tomorrow and this poster being hung makes the basement that much more homey for us all. Rancid is a Punk Rock Band that you should give a try, especially those who are sitting on the fence about wanting some Punk Music in their life. The social commentary and relevance of Rancid’s lyrics are entertaining as they are legitimate. In my most honest of Metal opinions, I just cannot resist the damn credibility of Rancid. The overall realness of …And Out Come The Wolves and any of the other Rancid albums overflows. I can’t ever jump onto that dreaded word – Pop, and attach it to this band… never. Rancid is not Pop Punk – period.

So, if you are looking for something really cool to do today, take my advice and buy RancidAnd Out Come The Wolves. If you already have it, you know what I am talking about. (Hey, it is not like I am telling you to go out and buy the latest artificial crap from some televised talent show winner). Here is some more solid advice to adhere to from Metal Odyssey – buy any Rancid CD today and know that this is Punk Rock that was Made In America.

RANCID IS:

Tim Armstrong – vocalist, guitarist and all around musician

Lars Frederiksen – guitarist and vocalist

Matt Freeman – bass guitarist

Branden Steineckert – drums

** Brett Reed was the drummer for Rancid on …And Out Come The Wolves

* …And Out Come The Wolves was released on August 22, 1995.

* let the dominoes fall was released on June 2, 2009.

RANCID "...And Out Come The Wolves" large album pic

EXODUS – “Bonded By Blood” I Still Bond To For Old School Thrash Metal

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1990's thrash metal music, Album Review, classic metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current thrash metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album reissued, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1985, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school thrash metal music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, Thrash Metal, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews, thrash metal songs, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

EXODUS "Bonded By Blood" original album cover large picExodus… a Thrash Metal originator. Exodus… Old School Thrash Metal. Exodus… Bonded By Blood, was the first album released by this very important Thrash Metal Band, (back in 1985). Why I feel Exodus is a very important Thrash Metal Band is due to their being one of the first Metal Bands to introduce this genre to the world. Back in 1985, there were not the hundreds of thousands of Thrash Metal Bands there are now… you can thank Exodus for influencing countless musicians and bands alike for embarking on their careers in Metal… Thrash Metal. Just seek out and read some interviews of past and current Thrash Metal musicians, you discover after awhile, that Exodus and especially their initial album Bonded By Blood is ultra revered. Yes, I am an Exodus fan, since 1985 until this very day. Lineup changes within Exodus has not made me wince one Metal bit. Guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting have held the Thrash Metal fort for Exodus over the past three decades, serving Exodus and their fans well… extremely well. (Note: Paul Bostaph has stepped in on drums for Exodus, he is an unreal great Metal drummer at large).

Last night, I watched my beloved New York Yankees lose to the Angels… ugh. A great game, yet I was anticipating the Yankees to close things out and head to the World Series to beat down the Phillies. Not feeling the cheeriest, I headed down to the basement… to my Metal oasis. Once I began staring at my CD racks, I decided I needed a lift-me-up, some Metal to clear my senses and put me back in the game of life. Exodus Bonded By Blood caught my eye… this CD was just aching to get heard – once again. I put this CD on, sat back and let the Thrash Metal of Exodus infiltrate my senses. Well, it was only halfway into the first song – Bonded By Blood, that I then got off of my butt and began to stalk around my basement like the fiendish Metalhead that I have been my entire life. I raised and pumped my fists into the air, played air guitar and bass, then did some pummeling air drums like there was no freaking tomorrow. Yes, life is not good, it is great when I can turn to Metal… turn to vintage Exodus, to whip my mood into the positive realm where it belongs.

Exodus "Bonded By Blood" alternate cover small picListening to the late and unreal great – Paul Baloff on lead vocals is as inspiring to me as all damn hell. His vocals were not your stereotypical Thrash Metal type… he resonated with the influence of early Rob Halford of Judas Priest… in my Metal opinion, still exuding his very own style that to this day is untouched. I reached for my CD jewel case of Bonded By Blood, (my copy is the reissue by Combat Records, it also has the alternate cover that is shown at the left and bottom of this post). The original front cover artwork is damn more cool than the alternate version, just look at it at the top of this post for proof. On the back cover of Bonded By Blood, it has a group photo of Exodus… Paul Baloff is shown wearing a Pipers Pit sleeveless t-shirt. Rowdy Roddy Piper… Paul Baloff… man, that is as fitting a shirt as any for him to wear back then. I used to be the f’n biggest Rowdy Roddy Piper fan around, imitating his wrestling moves and voice too… silly and cool memories, all courtesy of one photo of Exodus.

This Bonded By Blood album kicked my butt last night, just as it did back in the day. Having the private freedom to go bonkers to the Old School Thrash Metal of Exodus last night exhilarated me into feeling tired enough to finally go to sleep. Exodus was a friend to me last night, their music strikes that Metal chord with me. No Love and Deliver Us To Evil are my two extra favorite tracks on Bonded By Blood… holy crap, does the psyche out meter catch on fire for me when these songs are cranked up. I can’t use the word recommend to prospective fans when discussing Bonded By Blood, instead the words I will use are: get this album if you have not already – otherwise you are missing out on a Thrash Metal achievement that catapulted Thrash Metal into what it is today.

Exodus as they appeared on their first album Bonded By Blood:

Gary Holt on guitar

Rick Hunolt on guitar

Paul Baloff on lead vocals

Tom Hunting on drums

Rob McKillop on bass

Track Listing for Bonded By Blood:

Bonded By Blood

Exodus

And Then There Were None

A Lesson In Violence

Metal Commando

Piranha

No Love

Deliver Us To Evil

Strike Up The Beast

* Two bonus tracks are found on the Combat Records reissue that I own… they are both live recordings of: And Then There Were None and A Lesson In Violence. Steve Souza is the lead vocalist on these live tracks… yeah, I think Steve Souza is really cool too… convict me of being an Exodus fan boy already, that is just the damn way it is. I am a Metal fan that has been around the Metal block a few times, paid my Metal fan dues and could give a rats rotting and infected butt if anyone out there considers me a fan boy of any band.

* Exodus under the leadership of Gary Holt, covered the entire Bonded By Blood album, with the current Exodus lineup and released it on October 28, 2008. Yeah, I own that version too and I have nothing but Metal praise for Rob Dukes, the guy is the real deal for Exodus. Again, see my fan boy explanation above in regards to my being enthralled by Exodus’s Rob Dukes. I am quite Metal certain, that I am not alone in my reverence for this band… both past and present. Exodus does not need any stinking Guitar Hero game named after them or useless strolls down any damed red carpet to be considered unreal great by me. I have spoken my Metal mind and it feels really, really, good.

Exodus "Bonded By Blood" alternate cover large pic

Charm City Devils “Let’s Rock-N-Roll” – A Charming Hard Rock Album

Posted in Album Review, baltimore hard rock bands, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current rock albums 2009, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock bands 2009, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, independent record labels, melodic rock bands, metal odyssey, Music, new hard rock album, old school hard rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Charm City Devils "Let's Rock N Roll" large album picI picked up my copy of Charm City Devils – Let’s Rock-N-Roll this past Summer, it was towards the end of July. On July 10, my mother passed away, she was as splendid, caring, giving and loving as a mother could possibly be for me. I received the news of her passing from my father… over the cell phone. We, (my wife and I with our twin daughters), were on our way to Connecticut by car with my courageous wife driving when this tragic news was conveyed to me by my father. We live in Pennsylvania, a solid three and a half hours away from our parents and relatives. The shock and sadness we all felt in the car at that moment can not be expressed in words here. Why I am telling this story is due to the Charm City Devils song Almost Home. You see, upon my first listen to Almost Home, I felt instant sadness, goose bumps formed all over my body and my thoughts instantly were directed to that awful moment in time – of receiving my fathers phone call about my own mothers passing away. It was only a couple of weeks after losing my mother that I first listened to this song.

I had not listened to Almost Home again until today, October 17, 2009. (I just could not bring myself to listening to this song again right away, I needed time to heal, so to speak). The emotional feeling of sadness still erupts within me when I listened to this song again, however, Almost Home actually has now helped me deal with my very own personal experience. It feels good to get this off of my chest… this is a perfect example of how Hard Rock Music or any music for that matter, can connect with you on such a deeply personal level. If this song is to be a true story, connected to any member of Charm City Devils, then I express my deepest sympathy to that person who experienced that phone call too. The lyrics of Almost Home are just too deep and emotional to be fiction.

Alright, now for the cool and Hard Rockin’ part of this album. I will start with stating that the first three songs come out of the Hard Rock gates with the sincerest of enthusiasm and energy. Very memorable are these songs, sing-a-longs if you will. Let’s Rock-N-Roll (Endless Road), House Fire and 10,000 Miles have all the sound and flavor of a hungry up and coming Hard Rock Band. The youthful energy I hear is a kick to my butt to stay in shape and think and act young! (Within reason of course). Best Of the Worst is a mid-paced ballad that sounds like the hit to me, a very commercial sounding song that won’t hurt this bands career. I am a ballad frowner my whole life, still this song has an almost uplifting sensory feel about it. Money has a Punk Rock vibe happening, especially with the rhythm section and arguably with the vocals as well… very cool song for me.

By me stating that Let’s Rock-N-Roll is a charming album, I am not trying to sound sappy, cute or funny here. I really mean it, this is a damn decent – Rock and Roll meets Hard Rock album here. A viable nod to Old School Hard Rock has been established, with Charm City Devils first album. Based on what I here from this album, Charm City Devils can use that old cliche and say the Hard Rock sky is the limit. There is heaping pounds of Hard Rock potential for Charm City Devils to get even better… and they already are quite the Hard Rock band on the rise. Heck, if Bon Jovi could become a household name writing and playing this kind of music, then why not Charm City Devils? I also like to compare this band to Airbourne, although I hear more diversity in song from Charm City Devils which is admirable. At the end of my Metal day, I concede that Let’s Rock-N-Roll is an album worth catching onto and Charm City Devils is a Hard Rock Band worth keeping an eye on.

* Let’s Rock-N-Roll was released on May 26, 2009, on Tenth Street Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music. * Eleven Seven Music has as it’s label president, the legendary Nikki Sixx.

* Charm City Devils hail from the Charm City itself – Baltimore, Maryland.

Charm City Devils as they appear on Let’s Rock-N-Roll:

John Allen – lead vocalist

Vic Karrera – guitar

Anthony Arambula – bass

Nick Kay – guitar

Jason Heiser – drums

Charm City Devils "Let's Rock n Roll" x-large album pic

THE HEARTACHES – “Lunacy & devastation” bleeds Punk authenticity

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, essential punk rock albums, hard to find punk rock albums, independent record labels, metal odyssey, Music, obscure punk rock albums, old school punk rock, Punk rock, punk rock album covers, punk rock album review, punk rock album reviews, punk rock albums, punk rock albums 2003, punk rock bands, punk rock music, punk rock musicians, punk rock songs, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, underground punk rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Heartaches small album picI have found another Punk Rock Band to jump up and down about and raise my fist in the air to. The Heartaches and their Lunacy & devastation CD, (released in 2003). I needed some music on Sunday to get me out of the funk I was in, The Heartaches was the remedy… a Punk Rock remedy at that. While Rancid and The Casualties have landed on much larger record labels, The Heartaches are on one bona fide underground label at that, are you ready for this one? Here is the record label – “I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison” Records. Now that is a Punk label if there ever was one.  I take it, from the record label logo of the red devil that is on the liner notes of this CD, that the abbreviation for this record label is – People Like You. From what the liner notes state, this record label is out of Germany. People Like You Records has a really cool website, Punk Rock and Horror Punk are their forte. Their website is packed with their current signed bands and info. My whole life, I have always been intrigued and keenly interested in any underground band that I come across while shopping around for music. The Heartaches are an underground Punk Rock Band for sure, their style of Punk is a blend of Old School meets modern day social angst. Now, that does not sound so unique for a Punk Rock band, yet those are the two main characters in The Heartaches style of Punk. The Heartaches brand of Old School Rockabilly has been recharged with slick speed and extremely contagious riffs that meld within the frenetic stomp of their rhythm section.

The Heartaches small album picThe Heartaches deliver 13 genuine Punk Rock songs on Lunacy & devastation, each song carries it’s own Punk weight, no one song sounds like the other. My favorite song on this CD is Safe and Sound, it just has a cool groove happening from the opening note. If a Punk Rock song can be harmonious, Safe and Sound proves it. A continuous pissed off theme does not let up throughout these songs lyrics, a Punk Rock staple that can work as long as the music itself has legs to stand on. In my Metal opinion, the songs on Lunacy & devastation have legs… Punk strong at that. Lead vocalist Leroy has everything I look for from a Punk Rock front man. Leroy’s vocals exude extreme Punk credibility, as do each member of The Heartaches, from what my ears tell me. Sammy on vocals and guitar, does not impede with his backup duties with Leroy, this guy adds greatly to the total Punk essence of The Heartaches. After my third listen through with this CD, I shake my head and wonder why The Heartaches were never signed to a major label, (I’m not talking Atlantic Records here), a label like SideOneDummy? Yeah, I think The Heartaches sound that cool. Heartattack Radio is the last song on Lunacy & devastation, the Punk fervor of the vocals alongside the rhythmic enthusiasm of The Heartaches makes it a Punk exclamation point of an ending.

I have been trying to find out more information on The Heartaches, utilizing the world wide web has not brought me much luck. The Heartaches are not listed on the People Like You Records website either. The Heartaches that I am discussing here should not be confused with the Swami Records signed Punk Band of the same name – The Heartaches. This other Heartaches band released an album on Swami Records in 2006 titled – Too Cool For School and they are found on the Swami Records website as well. Each band has totally different named musicians. Maybe someone out there knows more about The Heartaches that made this terrific Punk Rock album called Lunacy & devastation… if so, drop Metal Odyssey a comment about it.

**I found The Heartaches – Lunacy & devastation CD on CM distro.com also known as Century Media Records online. This cool Punk Band and CD was keenly hidden away in the “clearance” section of Century Media Records. Great find for me… could be for you too – if you give it a try.

The Heartaches as they appeared on Lunacy & devastation:

Leroy – vocals

Sammy – vocals & guitar

Joey UK – bass

Bram – guitar

Joe Dynamite – drums

Lunacy & devastation Track Listing:

1. S.O.L.

2. Action

3. Hoboken Riot

4, Lunacy & Devastation

5. Safe and sound

6. Let me be

7. Never Come Back

8. 5 Cents in a hat

9. Dead man’s diary

10. Ripped to shreds

11. Sin City

12. Landscape

13. Heartattack Radio

The Heartaches Large album pic

Great White “Rising” rises to the top with A+ Hard Rock

Posted in 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential hard rock albums, Great White, great white 2009, Hair Metal, hair metal music, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, Music, Rock, rock music, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Great White “Rising” for me, is a retrospective listen, and it is not Heavy Metal. This is some inspiring, well written and high quality – Hard Rock. I can even go as far to say that “Rising” can be defined as a Rock album. You are not going to hear the 1980’s flamboyant, grandiose, guitar riff – infused Heavy Metal tunes here. No insanely – Metal driven solos either, some tastefully crafted solo’s do appear however, (“Danger Zone”), so do not despair. What I do hear on “Rising”, is a band that has clearly found themselves creating music straight from the heart. I am not trying to sound sappy here, sappy is not allowed on Metal Odyssey. What I am trying to convey is that Great White has proven to us Metalheads years ago, that they can play heavy and light up an Arena or two. I am convinced, after listening to “Rising”, that Great White is just as enthusiastic and talented as ever. Great White are real musicians… they do not need to carbon copy their past albums onto a 2009 release. “Rising” has some really addicting Old School Hard Rock flavor throughout.

Jack Russell on lead and background vocals has close to no resemblance of the Hair Metal heyday of his 1980’s voice. Forget the comparisons anymore to the legendary Robert Plant! (It started to get very old, even though Great White is what I consider the greatest Led Zeppelin cover band in the world). It is refreshing to hear Jack Russell not sound like a 1980’s retread. His vocals are absolutely superb on this album. “Danger Zone” and “Down On The Level” are two of the more hardest rockers on “Rising”, giving way to some of Jack Russell’s vocal past. “My Sanctuary” exemplifies what the Hard Rock ballads sound like on this album… free flowing with plenty of catchy grooves. “Situation” and “Shine” are songs that are similar, being heavy enough that they are very far removed from being mellow meltdowns. “All Or Nothin” is laden with enough grooves, hooks and foot stomping moments to make this my favorite track. Loveless” is a real retrospective visit to late ’70’s early ’80’s Hard Rock sound- only it is a really good visit at that. Great White in my Metal opinion, has found the perfect balance of melody and harmonious vocals with just enough heavy guitar and rhythm section to make “Rising” a legitimate Hard Rock keeper.

I cannot possibly compare Great White of the ’80’s to Great White of 2009. I dig the music from both Great White eras. I find it cool when a band, especially one that is renowned for Heavy Metal, digs a little deeper into their musical souls and delivers a knock out of an album, filled with tunes you were not really expecting. Great White “Rising” should appeal to a very vast audience of genres… Hard Rock, Rock and Heavy/Hair Metal fans should find what they like on this album, I know I have. With all of my mentioning of retrospective on this review of “Rising”, I am steadfast against the labeling of music as being dated. Just because music brings back memories of other decades or sounds like music from the past, does not make it uncool. Look at how many CD’s and albums that the immortal Elvis and legendary Beatles sell on a weekly basis… if dated music does exist, then I guess dated music is in. Great White of 2009 is happening for me. I have spoken my Metal point.

“Rising” was released on April 21, 2009, on Shrapnel Records. And now, a Metal Odyssey roll call of the members of Great White, as they appear on “Rising”: Jack Russell – lead and background vocals, Mark Kendall – guitar and background vocals, Audie Desbrow – drums, Michael Lardie – guitar, keyboards, mandolin, sitar, harmonica, percussion and background vocals, Scott Snyder – bass and background vocals.

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