Strays – Jane’s Addiction

Jane’s Addiction was a band that I kinda missed the first time around. I was aware of the name and knew people liked them but I couldn’t tell you anything about them. Then there was a reality singer competition show on TV and Dave Navarro was one of the judges. I think I first saw this show when I was in Melbourne, Australia. EW introduced him to me as the replacement guitarist from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but I was more impressed he was in Jane’s Addiction – music from whom I still didn’t know.

I bought this album as an attempt to get into Jane’s Addiction and while the songs are OK there’s something about their style that just doesn’t do it for me. It’s a bit like Pearl Jam – some people absolutely rave and love them totally but for me I’m left a little cold. It’s not their fault, obviously, but I can’t explain it.

Strange Little Girls – Tori Amos

I think I’ve listened to this album twice and both times it made me feel unwell. I remember buying it because it seemed a really neat concept. But I can’t listen to it. It’s a bit like White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin – I can’t listen to that song either but for very different emotional reasons.

Stiff Upper Lip – AC/DC

Yes, I own a copy of this album but I’m not convinced I’ve ever played it. I’ve got it on now as I write this and I know not of these songs. It doesn’t matter. It’s an AC/DC album and you know how they go.

State Of Euphoria – Anthrax

From the opening cello to the finale this is a great album. It was the first Anthrax album I owned and to me it is a complete summation of their style. They are the only band of the big four that I haven’t seen live and I do hope that changes one day.

Be All, End All – great riffs, fast pace, tuneful vocals and changes of pace. Such an excellent song.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind – the second song with a comma in the title and another where the opening riff changes to fast paced melodic riffage. I think Anthrax manage to make excellent pace and riff style changes really well, a great band.
Make Me Laugh – some superb reverse drumming in this and while I know what I mean I’m not sure you will. Doesn’t matter. Pretty sure this song is about evangelical christians screwing money out of people.
Antisocial – not written by Anthrax but by Trust, a French metal band whose music is pretty cool. I think the original is better but this is a great version and brings obscure French rock to the masses.
Who Cares Wins – a lovely acoustic opening heading into lovely ringing chords and finally thrash riffs.
Now It’s Dark – I love this riff. Bouncy and excellent for the pit. The vocals are really melodic and overall this is great. A little bit of swearing too which is always excellent. The change of pace half way is brilliant.
Schism – a great song.
Misery Loves Company – I’m pretty sure this is about the Stephen King book but I’m not really a lyrics man so maybe it’s about something else completely but the book hypothesis seems to work well.
13 -spooky opening, strange sounds, lovely short instrumental.
Finale – The opening sends shivers down my spine, that echoing guitar blat. Lovely. Over, finished, done, gone, out.

Stand In Line – Impellitteri

I have spent ages trying to remember who lent me the tape of this band back in around 1990. I know it was a friend of SR and I also know which shop this person’s mother ran but I just can’t remember her name. I’m genuinely not sure why this was leant to me but I do know that I really liked it. It’s got a particular 70s rock fantastic feel to it especially with the vocals. There’s a cover of Since You’ve Been Gone which wasn’t really needed but it’s ok and rocked-up quite a bit. There’s also the “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” which, I think, annoys the shit out of me. This album is kinda what would happen if Yngwie J Malmsteen got hold of some of your favourites.

The album opens with an ominous bell tolling introduction to “Stand In Line” which contains the lyrics “in front of the cigarette vendor”, who does that? “Secret Lover” is a speed assault on melodic rock and works, I think. I like the bass sounds. “Tonight I Fly” chucks along and hits all the right early 80s sound points, the verse sounds slightly discordant but over this is a good song. “White and Perfect”, is this about cocaine, Jesus, white people? Oh, it’s about British colonialisation of Africa and India, but the bad bits. “Leviathan” I do like the operatic feel to this one. “Goodnight and Goodbye” doesn’t really stand out and along with “Playing With Fire” closes out the album.

This is the last, alphabetically, of the three Impellitteri albums I have. It is the best of those as the others are, amusingly, incredibly religious and while that doesn’t necessarily make an album bad it does not make it any better.

Stacked Up – Senser

Holy Shit – This Album!

This album changed my views on music. Most of the music I have ever listened to has been recommended by Smith. He says stuff, I listen and then I like. Our journey through music together has been one of the defining relationships of my life. Without him I wouldn’t have discovered or even felt comfortable liking most of the music I do. I was in the second year at university when this recommendation came through to me. I think the thing that this album had was raging guitars along with some electronica songs and sampling etc. It’s a complete and utter game changer for me and stunning. I have loved this album since then. Why is it that the best albums are written by musicians with a left-leaning political bent?

So, the lead singer rap/sings his way through the songs. There’s another vocalist who is female and sounds amazing. Heavy guitars. Superb bass work. Drums that sound a little “Manchester” but that’s forgivable. Flutes! Sampling. Everything is here. This album is a real good one for chilling out and laying on the floor in the dark with sunglasses on.

I’ve seen this band twice and I think I wish it was more than that. I saw them in Southsea and also at The Underworld. Both times I really enjoyed it.

I might have been obsessed with some of the Eject remixes and I’ll mention them later.

States Of Mind – Electronica opening to a heavy wavy riff with rap singing over the top. The chorus swaps things around to calm glow. The band use bass only and guitar only well. Even the change of key does not make me cringe as it does in most other songs. I guess this song is about how we should change our programmed prejudices. Brilliant.
The Key – This song canters along with a rolling bass line and power chords ringing out. It has all the elements of Senser here with samples, scratching, funky sounds at points, haunting vocals from Kerstin.
Switch – The metal feel softens with this song as the guitars are mostly high pitched and wavy. Lots of programming used in this one with a rolling bass line as the main feature for me.
Age Of Panic – Straight from the start you know this is high tempo. Great build up to the main part of the song, another one with screamy high pitched guitar lines. The chorus for this one increases the bass line to assault your ears. It’s great.
What’s Going On – Heavy opening riff that dissolves into a beat with flute. The production on this one focuses less on the guitars and hits home with bass and electronic sounds.
One Touch One Bounce – This almost seems a non-song and comes over as the first attempt at calming electronica. This allows you to breathe in the centre of this album.
Stubborn – more rolling bass lines [I’m very jealous] then the guitars and vocals join a great riff. This song has a gorgeous bit in the middle with a mixture of sounds to set the ears afire.
Door game – The flute opens to a decent beat with different sounds and structure. There’s an off-beat hi-hat which is lovely. No heavy guitars in this one so a change of pace.
Peanut Head – Another excellent bass line with a cantor gait. This song has a more funky feel. The structure of the songs starts to feel “Senser” by this song. Middle sections with drums and samples, build up with bass and guitar intros building to the last section of the song.
Peace – This is an important song because it calms you before the next. It soothes you into careful breathing, such loveliness.
Eject – This song. This MF song. Upbeat. Rattling guitars. Galloping through the verses and I can imagine the crowds bouncing together and then moshing as the chaos increases. This song feels just as relevant to me today as it did twenty five years ago. We are all conditioned to to this thing, to work, to accept what we have. It’s time to Eject the power.
No Comply – Thrash speed and a massive antifa anthem. This song links more politics with lyrics and hits home with explanations of how racism is created in people. Fantastic song.
Worth – After the last two songs of high intensity this one lets you down calmly. It’s a fantastic outro to a fantastic album. I still want to play the whole thing at incredible volume.

I wrote about Elect EP in 2014 and to me that feels quite recent! I must be getting on a bit. This album is a good one for the car Mr O.

Spreading The Disease – Anthrax

I think I bought this album for the song Armed and Dangerous. I haven’t really listened to it that often. For some reason the early Anthrax stuff doesn’t quite work for me! Not sure why. I think this is one I’m going to have to play over this week to get used to and observe properly.

South Of Heaven – Slayer

It has taken a while to get around to writing this particular album review. Mostly because I wanted to make sure I give an honest view and make sure I listen to the album before I write this. Some albums I know instantly what to write. Sometimes I need to listen to them. This one deserved time. My last album review was published on 25 December last year so it’s been a while.

This is the album that got me into Slayer.

There isn’t a bad song on here.

This is an amazing album and along with Seasons In The Abyss I consider them masterpieces.

Every song on this album is great. They all have moments of glory and should be listened to the world over.

Pretty much all the albums reviews have been written leading to this point where I quote the lyrics from a verse of South Of Heaven:

“Bastard sons beget your cunting daughters,
Promiscuous mothers with your incestuous fathers.
Engreat souls condemned for all eternity,
Sustained by immoral observance a domineering deity.”

Look at it. Amazing. Who writes this stuff for songs?

I don’t think I can write a review of each song because they will all use the same words. A wordsmith I am not. You should have realised that by now. Shout outs belong to South Of Heaven, Mandatory Suicide, Behind The Crooked Cross for the chugging intro – I love it.