Vivid – Living Colour

I got this album because Living Colour should be something I want to listen to. I’ve never listened to it.

This is communication number 2004. Here are some things that happened that year.

  • Transit of Venus which I remember watching at work.
  • Schumacher wins his final F1 title.
  • The Millau viaduct opens.
  • The Boxing Day tsunami.

Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor – Rob Zombie

All the Rob Zombie stuff is good. I bought a load before seeing him at M’era Luna a long time ago apparently, I seem to remember it was just the year before last, covid has fucked memories. I couldn’t tell you anything specific about this album. I don’t think you’d be disappointed if you got it.

This is communication number two thousand and two. Here are some things that happened in that year:

  • The Euro becomes the currency of those countries in the Eurozone.
  • Iraq agrees to disarm wrt UN Resolution 1441.

It’s been curious completing these little lists of things that happened in each year. When I started back in the 1800s I think there were lots of things that stuck out from the rest as I went through the list of events on Wikipedia. I found fires, human rights and climate change things with ease. Now I’m looking at the lists of things from the 2000s it’s becoming harder to find things that resonated with me in that time. The 80s and early 90s were quite clear and events stuck out. But, now, not so much. I wonder if that’s to do with my experience of those years and whether I just wasn’t that aware of what was going on? It will be interesting to see what happens as we come closer to the present day.

Use Your Illusion II – Guns ‘n’ Roses

Each new communication seems we get a little closer to ending the work that has been the album reviews because that is literally the definition of writing about a finite list. But, I will go back to the beginning and start over with all the EBM, Aggrotech music once I’ve finished this. It looks like there’s around thirty or so to go but I don’t think I’ll finish them this calendar year. Here’s a tweet about a journey around the world that I’m undertaking at the moment. Nothing to do with music but it’s nice to add something into these communications.

Here we go with my review of Illusion II. It’s very similar to Illusion I in its feel and atmosphere. They did come out on the same day.

Civil War – boring.

14 Years – Doesn’t have a huge amount going for it.

Yesterdays – plinky plonky boring.

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – great live, but then it’s not their own song. Dull as.

Get In The Ring – something worth listening to. I testament to Axl’s treatment by the metal music press. He calls out the journalists and reckons he could fight them. Look, when you are out of it on drugs and alcohol you think things should be settled in one way only. I do like this song.

Shotgun Blues – Nope.

Breakdown – whatever.

Pretty Tied Up – I quite like this one. It’s a bit more upbeat that most and makes me smile.

Locomotive – I’m playing this right now and I genuinely can’t remember this song!!

So Fine – boring.

Estranged – boring.

You Could Be Mine – used in a film. A good song.

Don’t Cry – AGAIN? What. Isn’t this on number one?

My World – really nope.

I know it looks like I hate this album and I do think I would skip a lot of the songs if they came on now but I loved this and the other one. They forged a part of me. I mean, I saw Guns ‘n’ Roses three times in the early 90s and had a great time at every concert. I’m not sure Illusion II stands the test of time, or possibly the test of my patience with ballads.

This is communication number 1995 and we get closer to the massive TWO THOUSAND each week. I wonder if the end of the second thousand communications will happen this side of my christmas break or in it. It depends how keen I am to keep writing stuff on here. Here are some things that happened in the year 1995:

  • I started learning to be a teacher after a year of doing sabbatical stuff.
  • Genocide in the Balkans.
  • Windows 95.
  • Existence of top quark is announced.

Use Your Illusion I – Guns ‘n’ Roses

There was a time when Guns ‘n’ Roses were the largest band in the world. This is communication 1994 and it’s quite close to the release year of 1991 for these two albums, Illusion 1 and Illusion 2. I can remember walking around near South Kensington underground station trying to find an “Our Price” record shop to buy these things. My thinking was that that there are shops near the tube station and so there should be an “Our Price”. Where I grew up where there were lots of shops there was an Our Price so I think my logic was solid I just hadn’t realised at that point just how “shoppy” London can be. I had to walk all the way to Kensington High Street to find a shop that could sell me these albums. I know I bought them on album and then transferred them to tape to listen more conveniently, record players being quite rare in drivable vehicles.

I have listened to these albums recently and I would think it’s been around twenty years since my last full run through of the songs. There are some songs that I really like and many that I’m just not fussed by. I wonder how much my experience of these songs has changed over the last thirty years. I think I’ve changed a lot in my tastes. I mean, fuck ballads. But then I don’t think I’ve ever really loved Don’t Cry and November Rain – they are too popular and musically written to create that popularity.

Right Next Door To Hell is a good fast song that smashes the sound and experience into your head. But it’s followed by:

Dust N’ Bones which is a bit bluesy and shit. It was with these two albums that G’n’R started having lots of backing singers on tour and it all went a little not-dangerous. But what are you going to do when you are the biggest band in the world.

Live and Let Die can fuck off.

Perfect Crime is a bit boring and so much of the same. Maybe I’m too old for this shit. I’m not bothered by most of this. I do think Appetite is still an amazing album though.

You Ain’t The First is boring.

Bad Obsession I absolutely love the slide guitar at the beginning of this song. It’s an awesome sound. Is that a harmonica in the mix? Not sure, but I don’t think I like it. The song isn’t terrible though.

Back Of Bitch. I really struggle with the term bitch when referring to people. I don’t like it. It reeks of a poor attitude and behaviour.

Double Talkin’ Jive I quite like the solo and overall I think the song works quite well.

November Rain – utter shit.

The Garden – is that fucking Alice Cooper? Such a malevolent voice. Makes this entire song something worth listening to.

Garden Of Eden – nope.

Don’t Damn Me – again, a decent riff and a decent song. I like this one.

Bad Apples – nope.

Dead Horse – OK.

Coma – I quite like a decent opus and this one works for me!

I guess the next album to be reviewed will be Illusion II with bloody Civil War and other songs that are wildly popular but just piss me off. Oh well. I can’t help being a grump.

This is communication number 1994, so here are some things that happened in that year, the twenty-third of my time on Earth.

  • I graduate and prior to that had won an election.
  • Bill Clinton calls for a ban on assault weapons. I wonder how that’s going.
  • The Downward Spiral is released.
  • Kurt Cobain takes his own life.
  • Ayrton Senna is killed the day after Roland Ratzenberger dies.
  • The Channel Tunnel is opened to passengers.

Up From The Ashes – Don Dokken

I really do just like some classic cock-rock. And this I think is classic cock-rock. I don’t know anything about the history of Dokken and Don Dokken, it’s mid to late 80s stuff and all information about rock bands came from magazines in those days. I didn’t really care for that stuff. Does it matter who leaves what band and who fought whom? I guess it’s a bit like a soap opera if you are really into that stuff but I don’t think I was really bothered by it. When Izzy left G ‘n’ R it was more a understanding of “yes that makes sense” than OMG G ‘n’R are breaking up. Bruce left Iron Maiden and I wasn’t fussed and so on.

Sometimes I wonder why people give up on a thing that clearly makes them plenty of money. If I had an acting job that meant loads of money but it was shit TV then part of me would want to keep doing that job. However, the motivation of money is much higher in my personal priorities having grown up with not much of it and as an adult choosing a career where the financial rewards aren’t great [even diminished under the tories]. Ah, now I see my motivation – I chose a career path that I find fascinating and fun and the lack of money is just a side product which I cope with – hence other people choosing to leave their success and seek fulfilment. Good on them.

I don’t think Dokken were ever megastars with the ability to retire whenever they want. One of their songs was used for a film soundtrack and that’s about the limit of their fame and fortune. Their favourite album of mine was recorded in Japan and as a previous headteacher of mine said to me once regarding his own music success in Japan – they buy any old shit over there. So as I write this the songs are playing and they are broadly speaking very well constructed rock songs with reasonable riffs and verses that are a little too ballad for my tastes now. I don’t really like songs which slow down. The verse should be upbeat and then the chorus should be even more so. It’s an 80s thing to have ballad shit in songs and keep repeating it. I don’t think I’ve ever really liked it.

Some song highlights are:

  • When Some Nights – I like the guitar and bass combo in this one. It’s the fist song with some life in the album.
  • Give It Up – good bass sound. Good quality sing along song.
  • Down In Flames – interesting opening with mechanical voice.
  • The Hunger – opening drums – amazing, riff – amazing. Balled verse – shit.

Comms #1991, so here are some things from that year:

  • I was working at Raytheon/Cossors and almost considered joining the air force if the Gulf War became “bad” whatever that means.
  • I started university and met some great people.
  • Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • The Moby Prince sinks killing 140 people.

United Abominations – Megadeth

Here’s the thing with Megadeth; since they gave up drugs and became all christian they’ve kinda gone a bit shit. I understand the reasons for coming off drugs, that makes loads of sense, I’m not sure I understand the christian part because doesn’t that mean that god made them an addict in the first place and he’s a fucking asshole? I do know that twelve step programmes might not work that well and one of the steps is to surrender yourself to a higher power. Fuck that shit. In Scandinavia they have a programme that doesn’t depend on abstinence and that works better I suspect. Anyway, it’s a complicated picture and not one that I’m going to do justice to in this here little blog.

This album is not on my iPhone. I think that says it all really. While it’s in my collection and on the NAS drive in the house I won’t listen to it anywhere else. To be perfectly honest if I want some Megadeth in the house I wouldn’t even put this album on. I think there’s only so much twiddly thrash metal you can have in your head at one time before all the songs start to sound the same [I will admit that typing that just made me sick]. The Megadeth albums on my phone are:

  • Killing is my business . . . And business is good.
  • Peace sells . . . But Who’s Buying.
  • So Far So Good . . . So What.
  • Rust In Peace.
  • That One Night – Live In Buenos Aires.

So, there. You now know what I think of this album.

This is communication number 1989 and as has become a recent tradition these are some things, curated by me, that happened in that year.

  • 47 died in the Kegworth air disaster.
  • Union Carbide agree to pay the Indian government 470million for causing the deaths of 3,700 in the Bhopal disaster of 1984. [$127,000 per human life in case you wondered].
  • 97 people die in the Hillsborough disaster.
  • 51 people die in the Marchioness disaster.
  • 11 die in bomb attack at Deal Barracks, Kent.

Unholy Terror – W.A.S.P.

I had this album playing while I was flying X-Plane yesterday. I had thought that I might recognise some of the songs, but I did not. It could be that yesterday was the first time I actually played this album. W.A.S.P. are a comically larger than life band who sought out the controversy and I’m hoping to see them soon. But this album left me unfazed. Just go listen to Live . . . In The Raw.

This is communication number 1988 and it’s quite exciting writing and finding these little happenings each year as we enter a period of time when I was quite aware of the world and the goings on therein. I was sixteen in this year. ATC summer camp was at RAF Coningsby, I took my GCSEs, it was the very first year of those examinations.

  • 3 members of the IRA are shot dead by SAS in Gibraltar.
  • 167 die in the Piper Alpha oil platform explosion.
  • 75 people are killed in an airshow accident at Ramstein.
  • Total one million dead as Iran Iraq war ends.
  • F-117 acknowledged as existing and first B-2 is revealed.
  • Pan Am flight 103 is blown up over Scotland, the debris lands on town of Lockerbie.

Undaunted – Mordecai

I saw this band live at Download 2013. They were in a smaller tent and Smith and I just went there out of curiosity. They were not terrible. It was perfectly good rock/metal music. So, I bought their album.

I’m not sure there’s anything special about the album. There’s not really anything that stands out enough to say that this band should be massive. But, that might be the crux. The whole album is crafted really well. There aren’t any shit songs and it all works pretty well. It’s a pretty good choice when I want to listen to rock but nothing superstar.

This is communication number 1987 and as with recent traditions I have been adding a few things that happened in that particular year in the current calendar system. Having typed this I’ve remembered I didn’t do it for my previous communication so I’ll head back that way and adjust it shortly.

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury had sent an envoy to the middle east to try and help but Terry Waite was kidnapped and not released until 1991.
  • 193 people die in the Herald Of Free Enterprise ferry disaster at Zeebrugge.
  • 16 people are killed in a massacre in Hungerford, UK.
  • Mathias Rust lands a small light plane in Red Square Moscow.

Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Last night Smith and I went out! Out! To see a band! Well, two bands really but it was out and my first time in London since February 2020 when we saw Aesthetic Perfection. We got the train in and booked into our hotel room – proper full on night out! After getting changed we headed to Electrowerkz, which was quite close to the hotel and entered. I had forgotten my photo ID and the security people were very good at sorting that out as I had photos of all my ID on my phone, they accepted me fortunately.

Electrowerkz Welcome
Electrowerkz Welcome

I loved this touch of some old CRT showing a logo as we walked up the steps. It added to the feel of the place. We didn’t see the first two bands as we were drinking and chatting to the merchandise people. I think I bought some dog tags, but I have no idea where I put them, I’ll have to have a look shortly. I liked the few changes that had been made to the building and ambiance, the main floor looked really good.

Before The Crowds - Electrowerkz
Before The Crowds – Electrowerkz

Reaper is a band/person we had wanted to see for a long time as a couple of his albums are really good. A nice split between industrial and EBM. I enjoyed his set although I think there could have been some other songs added to make it greater but I guess you have to trust the artist and the things they want to play might not be what I want to hear.

Reaper - X-Junkie
Reaper – X-Junkie

I really enjoyed the Reaper set. It was about this time that I started to appreciate the new sound system in the room. I could hear all the nuance in the songs, which I knew quite well anyway, and this was a surprise as normally my hearing dies quite quickly into a gig and I can’t tell what’s going on apart from noise.

Nachtmahr - Electrowerkz
Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Nachtmahr were brilliant. They played a great set and the crowd really liked it. I don’t think this makes a top ten of gigs, but it’s definitely in the top half. I had a great time and danced quite a bit – I think the alcohol helped a lot with that. Overall this was a good gig. A couple of great bands and really good fun. Brilliant!

This is communication number 1977 and so in keeping with recent tradition I list below some events of that year:

  • Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam draft dodgers.
  • The rings of Uranus are discovered.
  • Optical Fibre is used to transmit phone calls for the first time.
  • 165 Killed in a fire in Kentucky.
  • Never Mind The Bollocks is released by the Sex Pistols.

Ultra Payloaded – Satellite Party

I think I got to hear about this album from a television show I watched in Australia, something like that. It’s a side project of the singer for Jane’s Addiction and as such, this is an OK album. I enjoy the songs when they pop up on a shuffle but I don’t think it’s an album I would normally reach for unless it’s summer time and maybe I’m outside in the garden, it’s got that kind of feel to it.

This is the first of the “U” albums and it’s a quite exclusive club. Definitely not as many as “T”, thank goodness. We’ll be at the end of the list soon I guess unless the “W”s have a surprise for us.

This should be communication number 1973 because all the other communications before this one have been building up to number 2000. That’s why I started added year-information-stuff. But now there’s a controversy. WordPress thinks this is number 1972 and not 1973 and I really am unsure why.

I get a “posts” count at the top of my WordPress page and have been using that to figure out the particular comms# but systems have gone wrong somehow. Now I don’t want to repeat a load of information and maybe I should make the content dynamic somehow but I’m going to stick with the system I have been using and hope WordPress catches up with me soon. Maybe this is my “millennium bug”.

Here are some things that happened in 1973:

  • The UK joins the EEC, fore-runner of the EU.
  • US dollar is devalued by 10%.
  • Dark Side Of The Moon is released.
  • Tu-144 crashes.
  • Sydney Opera house is formally opened.