Silver And Gold – A.S.a.P

Way back in the past Adrian Smith decided to leave Iron Maiden and do his own thing. This was a little sad for me as I had always preferred Smith to Murray for some reason and I wondered what Maiden would do to replace him. Smith then went on to produce this solo album and I bought it, except that I didn’t really. At some point Jannick Gers joined Maiden and then Smith came back so now they have three guitarists. Not a classic line up but the longest running line up I guess.

Smith released the single Silver And Gold from the album Silver And Gold and I went to Our Price in the Harvey Centre in Harlow to buy the single on CD. In those days people weren’t trusted to browse real CDs and so the cases were in the shop and the CDs were kept in cardboard wallets in the back of the shop. I guess we were all thieving bastards back then. I took my CD case for the single up to the counter and the person went to the back to get the music disk. Once I’d paid my money and left the shop I looked inside the case and would you believe it?, the shop person had put the CD for the same named album in the case instead of the single CD. I had won “shopping”!

As an album this is, for me, OK. I don’t listen to it often and while I don’t mind it, it’s not something I normally seek out. Sometimes while I write these I have the album playing in the background but I couldn’t even be bothered to do that this time!

Shout At The Devil – Mötley Crüe

I’m pretty sure that a friend of mine, Mark Hodges, gave me this on tape initially. I expect that at some point I went and bought the album but I don’t have my usual clarity on personal album history with this one. I remember liking the Crüe from Girls, Girls, Girls onwards. All that 80s metal came at the right time for my teenage years when humans seem to make most of their musical brain connections. There might be a PhD in there somewhere, I know people ten years older than me who either really love the 70s rock – Pink Floyd – or Ska or Punk, the link between those formative years of brain changing chemistry and the music that rebels at that time seem strong.

I do enjoy this album, I love that trashy L.A. sound but these days I feel slightly embarrassed at the obvious sexism within the industry and songs. I don’t necessarily think that these bands were socially unaware I just think that the zeitgeist was a pretty bad place. Until a few years ago I would have said that the world was heading in the right direction and becoming more tolerant of differences but I’m not so sure now. Hatred seems on the rise and it saddens me. Maybe the only silver lining will be the eventual destruction of most of the population through climate change. Perhaps then those that remain will be able to rebuild a fairer society.

Every Mötley Crüe album has a shit song. It’s almost as though they do it deliberately. There’s Nona on GGG and this album has God Bless The Children Of The Beast. These additions seem to be short songs and utterly terrible. I don’t know why they did it. I’m not sure I care but skip these songs I will.

ShoutattheDevilCD2.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

Have you seen a bunch of men look more scary? The overtly heterosexual band Mötley Crüe going out of their way to shock and horrify the older generations while endearing themselves to the youth of the time by rebelling and scaring the baby boomers. This stuff freaked people out! They thought all this loud music was caused by the devil and tearing their children away from their control. A small secret is that all children seek to provoke and find themselves, they aim to select something to make them different, make them stand out, make them original. The irony of this is that we’ve all been there and some of us tolerate it while others condemn. I’m always curious to see how the next generation finds their “thing”. I’m old enough to have been around the block a few times and have seen the rebellion time and time again. Maybe my professional life helps keep me informed also? The close contact with the next set of teenagers and hearing about how they get their identity. It’s just a shame so many of them seem greedy and a bit “tory”.

If you want to see what shocks the “grown ups” then have a look at the Daily Mail and see what they show of the younger generation. I suspect it’s all about the drugs and parties, especially for the DM because then they can show pictures of young ladies behaving bad and there’s nothing the older DM reader likes more than looking at pictures of young ladies behaving badly. This also goes for the Daily Telegraph. To some extent I think it comes down to the oldies being jealous of the care-free days that they lost and won’t find again. All that awaits is the slow degeneration of bodies into permanently aching lumps of meat before death and so those in charge of society get upset at what they have lost.

I enjoy this album and would recommend it to any of you.

Shake Your Money Maker – Black Crowes

I’ve seen the Black Crowes twice and both times it was pretty good. The first time was at the Monsters Of Rock festival at Donington Park in 1991, I went to this with my sister, Angela, to see AC/DC. The Black Crowes were the first band on stage and I really enjoyed them. I don’t think I knew anything about them prior to that. I suspect that I went and bought their first album after that. I know I had the album on music cassette and then I eventually updated it to a digital copy. The second time I saw the Black Crowes was at Brixton Academy and there are three main things about that I remember most. One; I was in the pit and the crowd collapsed and that was my first experience of that. Two; I’m pretty sure the band had a lot ofwhite fairy lights above the stage and it looked pretty nice. Three; the journey back to South Kensington with SR did not go that smoothly and for some reason we ended up on a night bus heading to Edgware and it was most definitely not Sarf Ken.

This album has a very southern/country feel to it. There’s a nice gentle rolling ambience to the songs. This band’s second album never really struck me as much as the first. I have listen to this over and over. Listening to it as I write this I that the addition of keyboards and plonky piano sounds really adds to the feel. Bluesy Rock ‘n’ Roll.

There’s also a melancholy feel to some of the songs. For me I think this album is a very “summer album”. It fits with beers in the garden and a sunny day. I don’t think this would be a “shit mood” album. I can only listen to it when emotionally happy. It would upset me more if I was down a little.

Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son – Iron Maiden

This is playing as I write this and also while I composed the previous communication. I guess I have to start somewhere and as a spotty teenager I was descending into Heavy Metal. This was the first Iron Maiden album to be released while I was a fan. Everything else was just catch up, I missed the live released of Somewhere In Time, which gets reviewed soon I guess. My mum bought me this album from out of nowhere. She just came home one day and gave it too me – this was quite strange for my mum.

For me this takes me back to being a fifteen year old and soaking up all the atmosphere and myth behind this album. I would spend ages looking at the artwork, reading the lyrics and trying to figure out what it all meant. This was Maiden’s seventh studio album and it was their first “concept” album. I guess you write a concept album once you’ve been around the block a bit. You’ve got a solid fan base and you try something new. This album is based around the story of the seventh son of a seventh son who is meant to have magic powers.

So, this was the second album with keyboards which for Metal is wrong but that’s not really a worry. If it adds to the song then it’s fine. I think my biggest problem is that the guitar work isn’t that clear. I don’t like the sound of the guitars on this and “Somewhere”. It’s all rather vague. Maybe it’s a product of the time, new sounds, new effects, trying something different, but for me it just doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing album and should be rated somewhere near the top but there’s something “missing” for me.

My first concert attended was Iron Maiden on their Seventh Tour. Seeing the band at Wembley Arena was amazing and the set amazed me. It was an amazing first gig. Songs from this album featured heavily as you would expect and I loved it.

  • Moonchild – A good concert opener.
  • Infinite Dreams – I always found this to be quite a romantic song.
  • Can I Play With Madness – not great.
  • The Evil That Men Do – Good but not as good as they think it is.
  • Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son – A tour de force, hints of Rime but still good.
  • The Prophecy – I think this could be my new favourite on this re-listening.
  • The Clairvoyant – Another classic, it’s OK.
  • Only The Good Die Young – Pretty good.

Semi-Detached – Therapy?

I’ve been playing this while writing some communications on here and I don’t think I’ve really listened to this album. I don’t recognise any of the songs. This is bad, I think. I’ve seen Therapy? and I really enjoyed the gig.

Sehnsucht – Rammstein

Look, you know what you are getting with a Rammstein album. Excellent, hard German industrial metal – or whatever genre the posh people think it is – which I’ve just checked and it is Neue Deutsche Härte apparently. This is Rammstein’s second album. I first heard this band in the early 2000s when a friend, Sara, gave me two albums because she had to many and she thought I would like it. I mean, she wasn’t wrong. This band is one of my all time favourites.

What you need to know is that you should have all the Rammstein albums and you should play them regularly. Don’t think too much about the lyrics, I’ve found it’s best not to know. This band is amazing.

This album has Engel, Du Hast, and Bück dich all massive songs with excellent live performances.

It would appear that many very good albums begin with an S. Or it’s that many decent album titles just happen to begin with an S. I’ve found in life it’s often helpful to think about the direction of causality.

Second Toughest In The Infants – Underworld

I bought this album on the back of the brilliance of Born Slippy which I had on the Trainspotting soundtrack. It’s an amazing song but cutting it short is a sin. I really love the ten minute build up once the main section is over. I can remember being at a wedding at the Weald Of Kent Golf Course and after imbibing rather too much alcohol I got a little angry with the DJ when he cut short Born Slippy. He did then go on to play the rest of the track and I loved it. Not sure anyone else did.

This album is a good chill out album I think. I haven’t played it in ages and I seem to remember it lacked the brutality that I wanted.

Seasons In The Abyss – Slayer

It’s been too long since I last wrote a review on this topic, I’d actually forgotten I had done some of the “S” albums. To have Seasons In The Abyss as a resumption of service is great. This album is absolutely fantastic. It’s hard, heavy, powerful and will smash you apart. I’m not a megafan of Slayer I have seen them twice I think and I enjoyed the shows. They are one of the big four and so deserve their place in history. Every now and then the music of Slayer is a requirement because it’s just right. Make no mistake this is thrash metal and a perfect example.

War Ensemble – fast, powerful, lasting lyrics, what’s not to like? I remember Slayer at the Clash Of The Titans concert in Wembley arena announcing that they were going to record the music video to this song and were going to play along to a backing track – that did not go down well with the crowd – so they played it live.

Expendable Youth – Very good song. I do like some heavy cymbal use.

Dead Skin Mask – creepy and scary. This song messed me up the first time I heard it. I bought this album on music cassette [tape] and was playing it while walking from the record shop. Towards the end of this song a girl’s voice comes on asking for help. I hadn’t realised it was part of the song and thought it was someone behind me asking. Pooped myself.

Hallowed Point – see below lyrics, need I say more?

High velocity bullet at close range
Can damage the mind
Shattering the skull shredding the brain
Severing the spine

Slayer – Hallowed Point

Seasons In The Abyss – a tour-de-force of a song. Absolutely amazing. Calming, heavy, spooky. All of that.

I know I haven’t written about every song and there are times when I do. I think the biggest endorsement I can give this album is that I don’t skip any of the songs and love the whole thing. It’s a well rounded collection of songs.

Screaming Symphony – Impellitteri

This is going to be a terrible review of this album. I’ll explain why in a moment. I wrote about Crunch much earlier on in this series of reviews and my gut instincts are still the same. At some point soon I will write about “Stand In Line” which is amazing – I love it. I was given a tape of this album in the late 80s and I have always enjoyed it.

I would describe this music as a cross between Yngwie J Malmsteen and Megadave. You have that speed melody and heavy crunching guitars at times. Sometimes the riffs sound almost Dio like, especially “Rat Race” and “You Are The Fire”.

This album is quite poor and derivative. It’s been done better elsewhere. I was listening to it while writing this but I am more looking forward to the next album review!!