Skid Row – Skid Row

I’m not sure how I first found out about Skid Row but I do know that they were something to do with Bon Jovi. I suspect I saw them support a band and then I went ahead and bought their album. It is possible they supported Bon Jovi at Wembley Arena and then I saw Skid Row again supporting Guns ‘n’ Roses at Wembley Stadium. Look, this is a high quality cock rock album. It’s a great mix of late 80s riffage and attitude. It’s great. Sebastian Bach has a great voice or at least he did. He left under a cloud of non-disclosure-agreements and such like, I was never hugely interested in all the politics. I remember being slightly amazed by the bass player and the chain he had going from his earring to his nose ring, I always thought that was rather cool.

Big Guns – a classic. Proper rock intro to an album.
Sweet Little Sister – sexualising your younger sister, that’s what the 80s were about.
Can’t Stand The Heartache – showing the sensitive side with a sad song about falling in love with a wrong-un. Oddly it’s quite a nice upbeat song which feels cheery.
Piece Of Me – nice rolling bass riff to start and then continues to be a good song.
18 And Life – obligatory slow one about how shit everything can be for some and how you end up getting detained by the state.
Rattlesnake Shake – one of the weaker songs on this album but it’s still pretty good and fun.
Youth Gone Wild – I love this song, I mostly love the bang bang opening.
Here I Am – Lovely decent fast riff. Well structure quiet bit leading into a bluesy solo. Great.
Makin’ A Mess – fast paced twelve bar blues? Another proper sing along song on an album full of them. Has a really good middle eight with some slamming beats.
I Remember You – Bleaugh, obligatory ballad, a pretty good one though.
Midnight / Tornado – another weaker song, but it’s OK.

I really enjoyed seeing this band and I have always received a decent level of pleasure from the music of theirs that I own,

Singles Original Soundtrack – Various

This is a hugely influential album to me. I don’t know when I bought it but I do remember laying on the floor in the dark with sunglasses on listening to Drown. I guess this album helped launch the Seattle scene into the world. I had seen Alice In Chains before and owned albums by them so this was an obvious extension. I have seen the film but I don’t know if I saw that before or after the soundtrack purchase.

Singles Soundtrack.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

This is a very summer album and one that fills me with optimism. So many of the songs have made me happy or stuck in my head. Some of the songs scare me into dark places.

Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns is a song that is beautiful and haunting. This along with Drown makes for disturbed listening. This is an album I would consider putting on in the background of a dinner party. I’m not sure if that means a dinner party would horrify me or whether I consider this album to be one which is ripe for general consumption. I think none of the songs are potentially offensive.

The strange thing about the Seattle sound is that it pretty much leaves me cold now. I love this album and I really enjoy a few albums by Alice but overall a lot of this music didn’t really tingle my spine. Pearl Jam enjoyed massive success but just failed to do it for me. Soundgarden is the same. Nirvana was good fun while it lasted but I’m not an overblown fan and now I see the sound as tiresome. This is a shame but there’s only so much space in my head and heart and while this album sticks like sticky shit most of the rest of the upper north west productions have dripped off.

Rosenrot – Rammstein

Look. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: Rammstein are amazing. I love it. I can’t get enough and it just stuns me all the time. The thing is, and this is mentioned elsewhere within these communications, I forget song names. Bands I have grown to like over the last twenty years or so, Rammstein included, have suffered from a case of me not having the time to stare at the album packaging. It’s worse these days as I rarely buy physical copies of music and rarely look at the actual titles of songs I hear. This along with a propensity to not really listen to the lyrics combines to mean I don’t know song titles. Unless the chorus is the title over and over.

I know the songs and I know which ones I like but naming them? Almost impossible.

Just go and buy everything by Rammstein. You’ll not regret it.

This Was Warm
This Was Warm

Persistence Of Time – Anthrax

This was the second album by Anthrax that I bought after State Of Euphoria, which gets reviewed later. The problem is that I will compare it to Euphoria in this review! This album is darker and nastier than Euphoria. While I consider the first album a summer album Persistence is not a summer album. To me a summer album has a certain sound and feel to it, a lightness, a happiness, a breeze. Persistence doesn’t feel like that. It’s bloody good though.

I think I would have to say there isn’t a bad song on this album. There’s no song I would gladly skip, even the cover version is a rocking song.

“Time” and “Blood” are both good starters. “Keep It In The Family” is brilliant. “In My World” gives me chills. “Gridlock” is great. The way “Intro To reality” merges with “Belly Of The Beast” meant that for years I thought they were just one song.

“Got The Time” is that rare beast, a cover version that knocks socks off the original and a wonder to the ears, high powered and magnificent.

“H8 Red” was the first instance in my awareness of the number eight being used within a word, like in HATE, good song. “One Man Stands” is a good one. “Discharge” for some reason always makes me think vaginal but this is a great song.

Overall this album is a masterpiece. I love it.

Anthrax are the only band of the Big Four I’ve not seen live and that saddens me.

Love Symbol – Prince

I don’t thin that as a metal head it’s wrong to really like Prince. This album comes after Diamond and Pearls and was when he changed his named to a squiggle.

There is a level of funk in this album which is delightful. I don’t listen to this album as much as Diamonds and I think that’s because the latter has more of a personal connection, I did see Prince on tour at Earls Court.

Turn the bass up and play this loud on a sunny day and it can’t do anything but brighten your life.

Live In The Raw – W.A.S.P.

Ah, when I was young W.A.S.P. were seen as a dangerous band. They were edgy and scary. We heard rumours they threw raw meat into the crowd and they swore a lot. Nowadays I look at things like that and yawn. I mean, it’s all been done hasn’t it? Every generation has to find their edge and music performances get reinvented all the time.

When I saw Slipknot at Download in 2013 I thought it was going to be an edgy show, because Slipknot had that same feeling as W.A.S.P. – a band on the edge trying to go further than others and trying to make a statement. Now, their performance at Download was excellent and I was certainly made a stronger fan but was it edgy? Not really. The next morning in the B&B, I’m old and camping seemed a bad idea, there was a young couple talking about the performance and they were really impressed with the percussionists kit going into the air and turning while the guy played. This impressed me not as I saw Tommy Lee do that with the Motley Crue back in 1991 or so when they played Wembley Arena, but then, I reminded myself, I’m old.

If we want to see the proper shockers then I think we need to look at the generation before mine. Alice Cooper scared the world with his stage magic shows and ritual beheading. Throbbing Gristle combined music and performance art in the 70s with overtly sexual body mutilation. All this stuff is nothing new it’s just that every generation has to find their own way I guess.

I now inhabit a world of people who would be called freaks and perverts but I don’t really see it that way. It’s just people who dress a little differently and enjoy different things. What you may think as strange and shocking is just another person’s every Saturday night out. What I can say is that the community and safety in these environments is better than just walking down the high street on a Saturday afternoon. People’s inability for empathy and tolerance saddens me.

Long Beach Arena, for the final night of their 1986 87 world tour the most outrageous band in the world – W.A.S.P.

I’ve been told that this album was recorded while W.A.S.P. supported Iron Maiden on their world tour and I haven’t checked it but it sounds legit. What a gig that would have been! I first saw Maiden in 1988 and it was good but two years earlier and I would have seen W.A.S.P. rather than White Dwarf!!

W.A.S.P. were most famous to me as a teenager for two main things and they are both song based. One was the song officially called “Animal” but really it’s called “Fuck Like A Beast”, what an outrageous title! The song is so-so but it’s good fun. They also had a song called D-B Blues and while I have no idea what that is there was a line about pussy juice. I mean, how bad do you want to be? [It’s probably best to not mention the cover art for the song Animal].

I love that whole trashy 80s metal sound. I can’t help it. It does something to me. This live album has it in buckets. Plenty of simple chugging and gang vocals. I love it. I have played this album over and over and I definitely have it in different formats. I think it’s amazing.

You should get this album and play it loud while drunk on JD. It’ll really take you back to the 80s. As a native bass guitar player I like the steady combo of a bass and drums and this album has plenty of that. It works really well from a song construction point of view. I love rolling bass lines with drums blatting away being the force behind the main song. It almost doesn’t matter to me what the guitars do. It’s probably why I love AC/DC so much.

I’m not going to do a song by song breakdown of this album. There are some bad songs but mostly they are great and this has such a summer feel it’s good for playing in the garden while you relax on a nice summer’s day drinking Pimms or a bottle.

Now, W.A.S.P. have been accused of being named after a selection of religious idiots who are White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Now, there may be a selection of people out there who would happily wear this label it’s quite likely they are racist pricks. This band can’t be accused of being like that, their singer is a native american FFS. The mainstream likes to pick on all of that which comes across as a little different and demonise it because it’s a good feeling to be outraged by something and when you get to middle age you can’t stand the fun that the youth have.

Go and stream this album or even better buy the damn thing and make sure that the artist gets a fair reward for causing you some moments of joy.

Kill ‘Em All – Metallica

I’ll keep posting album reviews here while I suffer from such anxiety and anger about the current state of politics in this country and the world. The entire Brexit bullshit needs to be mostly ignored else I’ll get too worked up and angry about it all. An electorate who were lied to with illegal spending and Russian money voted to leave an organisation it knew mostly nothing about because of a systematic campaign over thirty years by right wing newspapers to remove cooperation and friendliness between countries. If you aren’t sure about that last bit then have a look at this website. It’s a list of all the lying claims by the UK press.

Now it’s time to be happy about reviewing this album. This album starts a small series of “Kill” albums that are bloody amazing and ground-breaking. Kill ‘Em All is the fist studio album by a tiny band called Metallica and while they are shit now this collection of songs is bloody amazing. The sheer raw power and energy in the songs is more than in anything else they have produced. It is probably something to do with Dave Mustaine having helped write a lot of it. Once you get to the Black Album it’s all gone wrong. I’ll review that one in about a year I guess.

I was asked recently what is the last decent Metallica song. I took some time and went with “Harvester Of Sorrow”. The question asker plumped for “Shortest Straw”. Fair play. Blackened is also a choice for that but the rest of “Justice” aren’t that good.

Back to “Metal Up Your Ass”. This album, in my view, helped create thrash metal as a genre and introduced chugging as a “note” to be used below lyrics rather than the swinging bouncy guitars used by Iron Maiden.

Hit The Lights – starts with a crash ending of a song and I’ve always loved that. It’s hard and busy.

The Four Horsemen – smashes you in the face with it’s blistering pace and makes you want to rush into the pit.

Jump In The Fire – would be great to sing out loud. It’s got a good moshing pace and plenty of Hetfield trademark “yah!”.

Pulling Teeth – blows my mind. The noise and cacophony that Burton pulls from the basss guitar makes me smile and wonder at the talent. When Ulrich enters the drums create a rhythm perfectly matched that gives a good swing to this bass solo.

Whiplash – I can remember playing this at top volume in school. We were in the sixth form and there was a music box in the common room, which was opposite the staff room. We would open the windows, put Whiplash on full volume and leave the common room leaving the music playing as loud and obnoxiously as possible to the staff trying to enjoy their break time away from those pesky kids. Fast, heavy and a standard song in thrash. Seeing Newstead play this at Download in 2013 was brilliant.

No Remorse – chugs away with a canter. Brilliant. No regrets.

Seek and Destroy – I don’t think you can get better on this album than this song. It’s my favourite and I love it. I once saw Metallica at Milton Keynes bowl and I think the concert was broadcast live on Radio 1. I got a friend to record it from the radio for me and the version they played there crunched away in my head for years. Brilliant.

Metal Militia -we all are aren’t we? Why don’t normal people “get” this music? Why is it that when you play metal to someone who doesn’t understand you can hear their brains pop? You can see the disconnect in their minds as they struggle with the noise. I’ve tried to persuade people to metal over the years and now I don’t bother. I’ve tried playing aggrotech to people but they don’t get that either. It’s all fine by me. Being at a music festival with eighty thousand people all enjoying the same music gives a kinship.

Judgement Night – Various Artists

This perfectly amazing album is what happens when a music label crosses over its artists. I will write about this album as if the second song had never appeared on it as I think it’s a travesty. Here’s what you need to know:

“Just Another Victim” by Helmet and House Of Pain: an excellent opener giving you a taste of what’s coming. The grinding opening riff rips your brain out. The pace change half way through bounces your grey cells once more. Brilliant.

“Me, myself & my microphone” by Run DMC and Living Colour: ringing chords leading to heavy riffs and a hiphop beat. Heavy crashing sounds.

“Judgement Night” by Biohazard and Onyx: Yeah, motherfucker. A bouncy beat with squealy guitar sounds throughout. A bonkers song.

“Disorder” by Slayer and Ice-T: Sorry Ice-T but Tom Araya smashes your scream, he takes it, rolls it up into a small box and disintegrates it to a million pieces. We don’t need your war. A rolling beat with classic Slayer riff and solo until halfway. Hold on to your hats because this song knocks you off your feet. It hits you the way the LA riots hit LA.

“Another Body Murdered” by Faith No More and Boo Ya T.R.I.B.E. A classic Faith No More start to this song with pumping rap lyrics and the gentle piano in the background. The screams part way through are horror-movie standard.

“I Love You Mary Jane” by Cypress Hill and Sonic Youth: this is one chilled out song. A slow rolling beat with the distinct vocal style of Cypress Hill. This works. It’s relaxed. It’s strange and smooth.

“Freak Momma” by Mudhone and Sir Mix-A-Lot: I know little of Mudhone but what I do know is this song is in their distinctive style. The beat catches up with itself at times and tries to overtake in your head. Almost a summer garden song.

“Missing Link” by  Dinosaur Jr. and Del the Funky Homosapien: a groovy bass line with rapping and a singing lead guitar. Another chilled out song. Something to relax to.

“Come and Die” by Therapy? and Fatal: imagine you’ve got zombies chasing you around the neighbourhood. You are jogging away, hoping you don’t turn a corner and get caught by a separate hoard. That’s the pace and feel of this song. It’s also the music that should be playing in the movie where you are running from zombies. It’s a meta song.

“Real Thing” by Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill: want to bounce your head, nodding with the beat while walking or chilling in your sofa in the garden. Well, get the wickerwear out, put the cushions on and lay back and relax. Hold a finger in the air and direct the music from your slouch. Feel the beat take you.

The song I’ve not mentioned is “Fallin'” because it’s shit.

This entire album was the soundtrack to a chunk of my time at university. It was amazing and still is. It has that raw powerful sound of anger and sadness. I feel like we haven’t moved on. Society is still suffering and these songs and artists could easily make all this again.

At its time this was an amazing album, a collaboration of artists of metal and rap who weren’t Aerosmith. This crossover is brilliant. I love it. I really love it.

Jar Of Flies / SAP – Alice In Chains

It has been a while since I wrote some stuff about albums I own and what I think about them. Hopefully I’ll have a push to produce more communications over the next while. It’d be nice to get a load of stuff written that isn’t just pretty pictures I’ve taken. This site was turning into a little bit of a photo-blog and while those communications are important I should be getting back to the purposes of originality.

Jar Of Flies.

Don’t listen to this if you are slightly depressed and alone. It’s a struggle to listen to this EP when perfectly happy and emotionally stable and alone so any worse off and you need to hide your shoe laces away.

This EP perfectly uses the haunting vocal style of the lead singer [dead – drugs] and the gentle guitar sounds of Seattle. Every song on this album makes me feel. This was one of the first ten or so CDs I bought, I think I owned it before I owned a CD player. This EP is perfect and tearsome.

You must listen to it at some point. Preferably when you are well. And in a brightly lit room. Laying on the floor, in the dark, with sunglasses on and beer in your system is not the ideal listening position.

Well, it is really but we shouldn’t go there. This album takes me back to 1994 with the opening three seconds.

Get your fucking hair cut.

Heading For Tomorrow – Gamma Ray

I originally had this album on vinyl. I can remember looking at it in the shop and wondering if it will be any good. It had an odd double jacket which I think was just because the branding of the band had changed over time. That was all I knew when I got it.

I think this is a great album. It’s very operatic hardcore German metal. If you like Helloween then you’ll love this. Largely because one of the Helloween members went on to create this band. The whole album has operatic themes and great riffs and remember-able hooks to the choruses.

Heading For Tomorrow
Heading For Tomorrow

Lust For Life, Heaven Can Wait, Space Eater, Money, Freetime and Heading For Tomorrow are all great songs. Just bloody brilliant.