Archive for punk rock album review

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

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THE CASUALTIES – “we are all we have” is REAL, aggressive, Punk Rock

Posted in Album Review, essential punk rock albums, extreme music, extreme music today, Music, old school punk rock, Punk rock, punk rock album review, punk rock album reviews, punk rock albums, punk rock music, punk rock music 2009, punk rock music today, punk rock songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Casualties "we are all we have" small picThe Casualties are a smack to the head reminder that Punk Rock is not dead… one listen to we are all we have and I listened again. The Casualties new album, (released August 25, 2009 on SIDEONEDUMMY Records), comes across fast, heavy and embracingly aggressive. Standing amidst what I consider, an enduring crowd of veteran and rising Punk Rock and Hardcore Punk bands that are all current and real, The Casualties approach is take no damn crap or prisoners, in my Metal opinion. The Casualties have never been bashful about making a social statement lyrically, we are all we have gives more than a nod to what is pissing off this band. I cannot resist the Old School backing/gang vocals that makes this album so darned Punk infused. If we are all we have was a book, an appropriate title very well could be Real Punk Rock and The System Sucks. Integrity heard and felt in music is open for interpretation, a personal opinion, if you will… I hear and feel the upmost integrity from The Casualties, always have, there is no saran wrap shrouding this band from their convictions.

The United States has without doubt, gone through a major political change within the past year, along with an unprecedented mortgage crisis, throw in the environmental issues of the day and The Casualties will inevitably get their point across with a new album. One of the greatest freedoms I cherish and hope will never be tinkered with by my government, is freedom of speech. When a band I like has something to say through song, I’ll listen, I always find it damned cool when a band like The Casualties have opinions. Apocalypse Today and War is Business are the two meaty social songs that gets their messages out with true Punk angst and bite. Hey, I have always been concerned about my drinking water too… The Casualties make a damned good and cool point on Apocalypse Today, with vintage Punk driven intensity. War is Business has The Casualties reminding me that yeah… I am thankful the war is not here and it’s over there. Despite the location of war, The Casualties sadly remind me that innocent families and children fall victim to war overseas… war does suck, war is hell. Nevertheless, I am grateful to the service men and women who have protected my country from terror. War has unfortunately followed societies around since the dawn of time. I could not agree more with the lyrics to Life Clone, I can’t stomach plastic/artificial people who buy themselves through life either. I raise my fist in the air to this song and bellow – hell yeah! The Casualties bring forth the social images and opinions that are either too taboo or uncomfortable for some of us to speak up about in a public or open forum.

Putting the social factor aside, we are all we have is as pronounced a Hardcore Punk Rock album as you can hear, vocally, musically and lyrically in sync, producing a bastion of Punk vibe. The album finishes off with Rocker’s Reggae (Working Man’s Dub), it is laced with a Reggae sound, with the messages of Punk pride through Punk songs and these same songs will never be taken from the Punk genre by anyone, for the Punk genre knows the true meaning and feelings of these working man/Punk songs. I am not out to fool anyone, I will never pose… I am not a Punk myself, yet I still will get the maximum Punk enjoyment from The Casualties as I always have. I listen to many Punk Rock bands, I have for decades. I am a Metalhead who has expanded his Extreme Music appreciation a very long time ago… with no regrets.

The Casualties are: 

Jorge– vocals
Rick – bass
Meggers– drums
Jake – guitar

The Casualties "we are all we have" large pic

RANCID – “let the dominoes fall” is Punk Rock to devour

Posted in 1990's punk rock music, Album Review, current punk rock music, essential punk rock albums, extreme music today, punk rock album reviews, punk rock albums, punk rock music, punk rock music 2009, punk rock music today, punk rock songs, recent punk rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

fullsizeRancid“let the dominoes fall” took me by surprise as I walked the CD aisles at Target today. Why is this? Well, for one, it was actually there, in stock. Secondly, the humane price of  $7.98 was screaming out at me to – buy now! $7.98… that is cheaper than buying two happy meals for my daughters. Talk about value… there are also 19 songs on the new Rancid CD as well. It is a cool treat to finally not get ripped off by the retail CD prices… when I find a great deal, I tell people. The liner notes in this Rancid CD are a bonus – it is a very large Rancid poster (depicting the CD cover of band and logo). This poster is so large, it is suitable for hanging on your wall of choice. (Sorry, I did not take an actual measurement of this poster, take my word for it, it is large). On the backside of the poster you will find all the lyrics to the songs. 

As for the songs – excellent stuff, this Rancid Punk Rock is. What I like most about Rancid, is there are no hidden agendas – just Punk Rock comin’ at ya’ the way it should be… with plenty of Old School Punk Rock sound and feel to rejoice over. I always found the Ramones and Misfits to be an instant cure to the doldrums and stagnant complacency, that an ordinary day may bring. Rancid fits this bill for me as well. I need Punk Rock as much as any of my Metal Music genres I revere. To make my point about curing the doldrums… my first listen to the tune “LA river” and I was stoked. “LA river” now and forever will get me moving, this songs beat and lyrics are instantly memorable and very addicting. In my opinion, Rancid does a convincing and yet, modest job at airing out some social commentary… “this place” tackles the subject matter of monster corporations causing the demise of Lake Shore foundries. “civilian ways” is for me, lyrically, a commendable Punk Rock statement. This song touches on the life of a U.S. soldier returning home from war… only this soldier now finds civilian ways to be foreign. Rancid does not overstate themselves while staying true to their music, the lyrics of “i ain’t worried” is a proud rallying cry for the Punk Rock genre.

Overall, “let the dominoes fall” has proven to be an excellent Punk Rock CD for me, Rancid has 19 tunes here for a reason… they’re all credible. Truth be told, I listened to this CD four times today alone… not counting the number of times I listened to “LA river”, which was many times more. I highly recommend Rancid “let the dominoes fall” to all Punk Rock fans and all Extreme Music fans across the globe. Rancid are: Tim Armstrong on guitar & vocals, Lars frederiksen on guitar & vocals, Matt Freeman on bass & vocals and Branden Steineckert on drums. Rancid “let the dominoes fall” was released on June 2, 2009, on Hellcat Records/Epitaph Records.

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BLACK FLAG “LIVE ’84” – extreme, real and essential Punk Rock

Posted in 1980's live punk rock albums, 1980's punk rock albums, 1980's punk rock music, Album Review, black flag albums, essential punk rock albums, Extreme, legends of punk rock, live punk rock music, Punk rock, punk rock album review, punk rock albums, punk rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Black Flag “Live ’84” is a listening lesson of the early days of Extreme Music. There is no denying… Black Flag is Punk Rock. In my Metal opinion, when I think of the Punk Rock bands that laid out the blueprint for Hardcore and Extreme Music, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Misfits and Black Flag come to mind instantly. Each of these bands are so instrumental in the development of the Punk Rock, Extreme and Hardcore movements. Listening to “Live ’84” and I cannot help myself by becoming absorbed by the distortion, feedback, speed, heaviness and pissed off sound and attitude that engulfs me. Nothing beats listening to a vintage, live, Punk Rock album like this. The raw solos and low production only add to the real Punk spirit of this live Black Flag album. Henry Rollins as with each member of Black Flag, bestowed the take it or piss off approach to their music, I personally hear and feel it on “Live ’84”. For me, I am taking it… every Black Flag second of it.

I know this sounds like a cliche here… they just don’t make Punk Rock like this anymore. Heck, they don’t make bands at all like this anymore – bands that aren’t encapsulated and sheltered by their respective genre and packaged up for a massive marketing campaign for the masses. To review the songs on this Black Flag album would be a waste of my Metal time. Take my Metal word for it… this is an essential, live, Punk Rock album from Black Flag. The sum of all the musical parts here, make for an unquestionable exposure to what Punk Rock was supposed to sound like in 1984. Grit, angry, blue collar, loud, very, very fast, non-synchronized (in parts) and maddeningly abrupt musically. There is my music review for “Live ’84”. I will say that “Rats Eyes” is my favorite track, it is extremely heavy and maniacal – just Punk perfect. Take it or leave it, Black Flag is as essential to the history of Heavy Music as is the blast beat. Henry Rollins, made for as formidable a front man, as there ever existed in Punk Rock or any Heavy Music genre for that matter. Listen to this album and you might just agree with me on this.

19 songs are on “Live ’84”, only 3 tracks clock in under 2 minutes each. There are 9 songs that clock in at over 4 minutes each – with the opener “The Process of Weeding Out” coming in at 8:37. Black Flag were not your stereotypical Punk Rock band when it came to the playing times of tunes. If a martian came down to Earth, asked me for a prime example of Punk Rock and/or Extreme Music from the 1980’s, well, I would definitely hand this alien a copy of Black Flag “Live ’84”. To give proper credit where it is due, I would also hand over to this smelly space creature… a copy of the Misifts “Earth A.D.”, which was released in 1983. I think what makes me gravitate towards Black Flag “Live ’84” is hearing the brutal Punk Rock belief, in the music these guys were playing, throwing heavy caution to the wind, while not giving a crap what the commercial music world and sappy pop critics thought or said.

A Metal Odyssey roll call of the members of Black Flag, as they appear on “Live ’84”: Henry Rollins on lead vocals, Greg Ginn on guitar, Kira on bass, Bill Stevenson on drums and Tom Troccoli and various audience members on backing vocals.

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Misfits “Project 1950” – a Punk Rock blitz of cover tunes

Posted in 1950's cover songs, Album Review, cool album covers, cover songs, current punk rock music, Misfits, Music, Punk rock, punk rock albums, punk rock music, Ramones, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I love Metal and Punk Rock. Both genres are more similar than many people realize. Both genres are filled with loud, proud and against the grain outcasts. Based on the junk music you see and hear on network television these days, Metal and Punk Rock are the underdogs. That is why I subscribe to and adore both of these immensely great music genres. With that said, being a fiend, uh, I mean fan of the Misfits became a natural choice for me years ago. The Misfits “Project 1950”, in my Metal opinion, should and/or could be embraced by any Metal fan. Jerry Only, Marky Ramone and Dez Cadena rip out ten 1950’s Rock and Roll classics with heavy and intense Punk enthusiasm and skill. It is my personal belief, that Jerry Only not only can tear the house down with his bass playing, he can flat out sing too. Jerry Only’s vocals makes the songs on “Project 1950” sound like a continuous Punk Rock party. 

There are no special or secret musical ingredients to find here, just straight up Punk Rock and Roll courtesy of The Misfits. Marky Ramone being a part of The Misfits, appearing on drums for “Project 1950” makes it all the more special and inspiring. Marky Ramone (and of course, the Ramones) being enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, gives the Misfits incredible added status on this album. (Yes, I did use the word special earlier). Dez Cadena is blistering on guitar, he plays the old fashioned way… he just plays man. It is my opinion, that these three Misfits are undisputed legends. “This Magic Moment”, “Dream Lover” and “Monster Mash” are my three favorites, however, I have to admit that I like each song that is covered here immensely. “It’s Only Make Believe” is a thunderous, heavy, Punk trip of a cover tune. Truth be told, after listening to “Project 1950” for untold number of times, I find myself continuing to listen. This album has realistically become an addiction that hopefully will never falter.

Overall, “Project 1950” has a tad of Heavy Metal flavor, this obviously is not the Misfits from the Glenn Danzig era. Still, this is Punk, this is the Misfits and each song covered here makes this fact known loud and clear. If I can turn on anyone out there to this great album, then I have done a great deed. This is an album that should make any fan of heavy music grin, move and yell out the lyrics to. I hope and pray that Jerry Only would consider doing a “Project 1960” – that would be insanely great. I honestly feel this is one incredible crossover album that bridges the gap between Metal and Punk Rock.

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