Archive for f.y.e.

Thank you, my Metal Buddies At The South Mall f.y.e., You All ROCK!

Posted in classic rock, Extreme Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on December 30, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Life is filled with surprises, sometimes good, sometimes lousy. This “thank you” post is about a lousy surprise that came through my email box this past Christmas weekend. My neighborhood f.y.e. store is closing. Closing. Could it be? Is this some sort of vile prank? No, unfortunately, this email came directly from f.y.e.’s online marketing department… just letting me know that there were to be closeout deals to be had, due to the Allentown/South Mall store being eventually closed. Deals. I think it is a RAW deal whenever any store closes, especially a store that is notoriously known for stocking the best assortment of Metal CD’s this side of the Atlantic.

Deals. What about the store employees? Their losing their jobs is no deal… and being notified on the Christmas bulls eye, right during the heart of the Christmas holiday, is no damn deal. Plus, this will now be one less store that record companies can have their CD’s and merchandise stocked at… no deal. Maybe for the “casual” customer, the one who buys two CD’s and/or DVD’s per year at f.y.e. will see this as a “deal”… where they can walk in and stock up on the six CD’s that they would have purchased throughout an entire year… at 30% off. This is NO deal for the customers, like myself, who spends quite an impressive amount of money throughout the entire year, on dozens of CD’s.

Factor in the relationships a customer like myself makes, with the employees of this f.y.e. over the years and this store location closing – is no damn deal. The employees of this f.y.e. store were and still are world class when it comes to professionalism and knowledge in their product. Never did I encounter a situation where any employee at this f.y.e. did not know what I was asking for… or talking about. Besides knowledge of music, these employees I dealt with here, also bestow something else that is not commonly found in retail this day and age… they were all (gasp) friendly.

It is a sign of the times, that CD sales are dipping and the mp3 is celebrating it’s dominance upon music fans. I can’t dispute any corporate entity for having to cut costs and make their bottom line look appealing to investors… it’s a cyclical force of capitalism. What I can point out, however, is the lack of vision that giant retailers have towards the music industry as a whole. There is a product out there to sell, CD’s and DVD’s along with entertainment merchandise will never go away, (unless CD’s and DVD’s are no longer manufactured)… some other retail location “somewhere” will have it for sale. In the meantime, with all of the “shrinking aisles” of CD’s and music store closings happening in realtime, I don’t want to hear anyone balk about Super Walmart carrying the goods… and having CD’s for sale at competitive prices too.

Where I live, there is no abundance of independent CD and record stores. There’s flea markets during the non-winter months. Then, there’s Super Walmart. Sure, Best Buy still carries CD’s and limited vinyl releases… only their aisles are shrinking with this product too. Forget Target… it’s the flavor-of-the-month when it comes to their CD aisles. Super Walmart never had an Extreme Metal selection as an f.y.e. does… and they never will. If there was/is any competition between an f.y.e. and a Super Walmart, it is for the Walmart “only” titles of CD’s and bubble gum Pop Music. When it comes to Metal, forget it… f.y.e. has the biggest selection. Apparently, having the biggest Metal selection is not enough, if your not selling at a level where the corporate profit margin is not making the rich happy… and richer.

I will miss my neighborhood f.y.e. and without question, miss the interaction I continuously had with their employees. Each one of them made Stone feel like he belonged in their store… each one listened to what Stone had to say. I wish I could say that about every store I frequent, only I can’t. I have to grin and shake my head, while realizing that f.y.e. has NO CLUE as to the quality people that have worked very hard for them at this location… working diligently to make f.y.e. rich. So, f.y.e., it’s no deal for me to save 30% on my CD purchases I made today… it is an important and sad deal though, to have to say goodbye to these following exceptional employees:

NATALIE

STACY

JOHN

ERIC

DANNY

Whenever a company or store closes it’s doors, PEOPLE are affected… and employees are people. I wish the above named employees of this f.y.e. store all the very best that life can bring them. They all made my shopping experience at this f.y.e. store worth my time and money, as well as memorable. Thank you, my Metal Buddies at the South Mall f.y.e., YOU ROCK!

LONG LIVE THE CREW OF SOUTH MALL’S F.Y.E.

Stone.

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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

SKELETONWITCH – “Breathing the Fire” Set My Metal World Ablaze

Posted in Album Review, Black Metal, black metal 2009, black metal albums 2009, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current black metal albums, current black metal music, current death metal albums, current death metal music, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current metal albums, current thrash metal, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, Death Metal, death metal 2009, death metal guitarists, death metal music, death metal vocalists, essential death metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, essential thrash metal albums, Extreme Metal, extreme metal bands, extreme metal music, extreme metal music albums, extreme music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, melodic death metal albums, melodic death metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, new thrash metal albums, scary album covers, scary rock music songs, spooky album covers, spooky metal album covers, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal music, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Skeletonwitch "Breathing The Fire" small album picSKELETONWITCH released their second full studio album with Prosthetic Records, Breathing the Fire, on October 13, 2009. I could not resist the Metal temptation and need of picking up this new CD on my visit to f.y.e. today. As I stood there staring at the hellish and downright evil artwork on the front cover of Breathing the Fire, it dawned on me… the Metal wait is over for this new Skeletonwitch. Yeah, very often enough I want my Metal pretty damned fast and extreme in every musical facet. All twelve songs on this album are extremely worthy, I can’t point out any skip overs whatsoever. Skeletonwitch does not fall short of Extreme Metal – every song on Breathing the Fire is blended with the very best of several Metal genres.

Skeletonwitch brings forth the Thrash Metal attack combined with Old School Speed Metal, adding Death Metal and Black Metal influences just for great Metal measure. With all of these incredible Metal genres explored here, Skeletonwitch is a Metal band that I cannot pigeonhole into one genre. That is fine with me, I am sure Skeletonwitch could care in the least as well… Metal is… Metal. Breathing the Fire is one incredible Metal album to look back upon for 2009, it is like the late season, supercharged and extreme power blast of Metal Music that has set my Metal world ablaze. I always say, that with Metal bands like this, it makes me feel confident knowing that the flag for Metal will be waving high for years to come. Chance Garnette on lead vocals is as mean and talented as I could hope for – his dual Death Metal growls and Black Metal screams are what this music is about. Anyone familiar with Extreme Metal should agree, that this style of Metal was not meant for crooning out the ballads. Chance Garnette gets my Metal horns with thunderous praise. In my Metal opinion, Skeletonwitch can play, it’s not the easiest task to make an album of this Metal genre sound like a standout.

The guitar leads, dual leads and solos have a melodic, Old School – Speed Metal appeal, while never taking away from the overall dark mood of any of the songs. The rhythm section holds everything together like a vice and these songs grip my Metal psyche with pure Metal domination. I once read a professionally paid Rock critic write – melodic and heavy do not coexist… uh, they do. The Metal proof is in actually listening to Skeletonwitch and Breathing the Fire… the rest is Extreme and at times, melodic Metal candy for your ears. To extract each song and dissect it here would be nonsense, the overall themes to know are that these songs are about death and submitting to evil. ‘Nuff said. Ah, Metal. I will state, Blinding Black Rage is as horrific, evil and nightmarish of a song lyrically that I have ever heard. Ah, Metal… Extreme Metal, I love this stuff. This is the new generation of Extreme Metal, take it or leave it… I’m taking it. If you are looking for the current Metal that is happening now, take my advice and give Skeletonwitch – Breathing the Fire a thorough listen… it served me right.

Skeletonwitch as they appear on Breathing the Fire:

Nate “N8 Feet Under” Garnette – guitars

Chance Garnette – lead vocals

Derrick “Mullet Chad” Nau – drums

Scott “Scunty D.” Hedrick – guitars

Evan “Loosh” Linger – bass

Track Listing For Breathing the Fire:

Submit to the Suffering

Longing for Domination

Where the Light has Failed

Released from the Catacombs

Stand Fight and Die

The Despoiler of Human Life

Crushed Beyond Dust

Blinding Black Rage

Gorge Upon My Soul

Repulsive Salvation

Strangled by Unseen Hands

… And into the Flame

Skeletonwitch "Breathing The Fire" large album pic

SLAUGHTER – “STICK IT TO YA” HAS STUCK TO ME

Posted in 1990's classic rock music, 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal hits, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's rock music, Album Review, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock music, collecting music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, hard rock music, heavy meta albums 1990, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Slaughter "Stick It To Ya" small album picSlaughter – Stick It To Ya is an album that has really stuck to me lately. I have been listening to Stick It To Ya each day this past week, these songs on this album just seem to have hit me the right way. Released in 1990, Stick It To Ya has at least four songs that were played quite steadily on FM radio back in the very early 90’s. Up All Night, Spend My Life, Fly To The Angels and Mad About You were the hits, if you will. I have always liked this band for certain, the vocals of Mark Slaughter and the straight up Heavy Metal sound of Slaughter never fails to put me in a cool mood. Labeling Slaughter as a Glam/Hair Metal Band just does not jive with me, their brand of Rock will always be Heavy Metal, in my Metal opinion. I saw Slaughter live back around 1990 or so, they were opening up for Poison. The other opening act that night was BulletBoys. Slaughter did an all acoustic set that evening… I was disappointed that they were not going to let it all Rock out, frankly I was stunned. Despite my initial feelings with Slaughter doing the acoustic versions of their songs, it turned out to be quite cool after all. I was able to see a different look of Slaughter that night, this band showed me they were damn good musicians. This concert took place at Lake Compounce Amusement Park, in Bristol, Connecticut.

Slaughter "The Best Of" small album picI have owned for some time, the CD – The Best Of by Slaughter, the ten songs on this disc are great, only Fly To The Angels and Spend My Life are missing from the song selection. Not cool. So, I promised myself to add the real Slaughter albums to my CD collection over time, starting with Stick It To Ya. About one week ago, I found the used copy of Stick It To Ya at my local f.y.e., the astounding Metal price of $4.49 is all it took for me to claim this CD as my own. Man, I cannot get enough of this album… every single song too. Going back to 1990 for just a Metal second… Spend My Life was a song that reminded me of my girlfriend I was going steady with back then, it still does remind me of her for she is my incredible wife for the past fifteen years now. My wife, (girlfriend was her title back in 1990), gave me unconditional love and support when I needed it most back in the early 90’s. (Believe me, she still does). Spend My Life could  not have been released at a better time than 1990, this song means a ton to me.

I just spoke about Stick It To Ya today, in a conversation with my best buddy Scott, (he digs Slaughter too)… telling him that I could not believe it has been 20 years since this album was released, (give or take a few months). He understood where I was coming from. I told Scott, it seems like it was just a couple of years ago, when Slaughter made their move onto the Heavy Metal scene. This is what happens as you get older I guess, albums and bands you really dig don’t age, they only get better with time and are there for you at the push of the play button. I will be pushing that play button for Slaughter and Stick It To Ya for a very long time to come.

Track Listing for the original release of Stick It To Ya:

  1. Eye to Eye – 3:57
  2. Burnin’ Bridges – 4:07
  3. Up All Night 4:16
  4. Spend My Life – 3:21
  5. Thinking of June (Instrumental) – 1:05
  6. She Wants More – 3:55
  7. Fly to the Angels – 5:05
  8. Mad About You – 4:05
  9. That’s Not Enough – 3:25
  10. You Are the One – 3:55
  11. Gave Me Your Heart – 3:51
  12. Desperately – 3:34
  13. Loaded Gun – 4:18
  14. Fly to the Angels (Acoustic Version) – 3:22
  15. Wingin’ It – 1:11

Some Extra Info on Slaughter’s Stick It To Ya… to better fulfill your Metal Soul:

* Stick It To Ya has gone double platinum, selling over 2 million albums – very cool.

* Stick It To Ya was nominated for best Heavy Metal album of the year, by the 1991 edition of the American Music Awards.

* Stick It To Ya was released on January 27, 1990, on Chrysalis Records.

Slaughter as they appeared on Stick It To Ya: Mark Slaughter – lead vocals and guitar, Tim Kelly – guitar, Dana Strum – bass guitar and Blas Elias – drums

Slaughter "Stick It To Ya" large album pic


THE LAW – Paul Rodgers and Kenney Jones 1991 album revisited

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock albums 1991, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, everyday experiences, family, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album review, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Law - small album photoOn Saturday, of this 2009 Labor Day Weekend, I set out on a trip to buy back to school necessities for my daughters. The local mall, which is only minutes away, provides for a cool stroll… an f.y.e. is located inside. (Yessssss!). As my daughters and wife are perusing the kids sneakers, all I kept thinking was… what is currently hiding in the batch of used CD’s over at f.y.e.? The trip to this particular mall proved to be very worthwhile, no sneakers were found that my daughter liked, however, we had some fine pizza slices for lunch while we were there, plus I found The Law. The debut album The Law was nestled within the many used CD titles for sale at f.y.e.. With my f.y.e. Backstage Pass Platinum store card, the final price I paid for The Law used CD was $2.81… amazing. Not a bad price to pay for one of the most underrated Rock/Hard Rock albums I have ever listened to. I really get a kick sometimes out of what I will find in the selection of used CD’s at f.y.e., I have scored some real cool used CD’s at f.y.e. over the past few years. Upon leaving this mall, my wife did not hesitate for a second, in getting The Law into the car’s CD player… the family and I listened to this CD in it’s entirety as we continued on our quest for back to school sneakers.

I bought The Law on cassette tape back in 1991 and still have it to this day, an upgrade to CD was long overdue. The Law was released on March 19, 1991, I instantly knew I would purchase this album back then, due to my admiration for Paul Rodgers with his Rock-cool and legendary vocals. Plus, I always immensely enjoyed Bad Company, Free and The Firm… whatever band Paul Rodgers fronted, I was listening to. My favorite song from this album is Laying Down The Law, it is a solid Hard Rock song that ripples with a tough vibe and reminiscent of Bad Company… in my Metal opinion. Paul Rodgers wrote and even plays the piano on Laying Down The Law. Overall, this is not the greatest album or band/project that Paul Rodgers was a part of, still I like The Law enough to recommend to anyone into quality Rock, Hard Rock or Classic Rock music. This album had it’s share of song writers and guest musicians, yet the end result are eleven songs that possess the Classic Rock sound that hooks me each time I listen. Paul Rodgers on vocals with The Law is the main reason why I like this album. Kenney Jones on drums, (Small FacesFaces and The Who), is another valid reason why I will always look back at this band and album with the upmost respect.

The way I see it, you have to listen to bands and albums that you like, regardless of how successful the respective album was/is on the charts or mainstream radio. Album sales never have determined for me, the quality of a band or album, I shall never be swayed by mainstream Rock critics or here-say. The Law is a prime example of record sales not being impressive and a band short lived. Do I care? No. It’s what I like that matters most and I would not recommend this album if I thought it to be a stinker.

The Law notable guest musicians and/or song writers:

Phil Collen (lead guitarist for Def Leppard), wrote Miss You In A Heartbeat for The Law and later recorded by Def Leppard for their Retrospective album. The ever legendary David Gilmour plays guitar on the song Stone. Chris Rea also plays guitar on the song StoneBryan Adams cowrote and plays guitar on Nature of the Beast.

The Law - large album photo

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