Free Friday 6/06/08

7 06 2008

So welcome to another new segment of are blog Free Friday where we go looking for new independent band that give away there music for free. So this week we look at some punk, some garage band, and some hardcore metal.

First up we have Absent_Vt a metal band out of Vermont that release a lot of great tracks, with a blend of screaming and singing the band has great sound overall. They follow the traditional metal approach with Intro-Bridge-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Solo-End. There first track you should download is the Rising which has a great blend of traditional and new metal.


Next up is a band called Crown Atlantic. I really think there the pick of the week for me main because they have this really great cross genera sound. If you took At the Drive-In (which I hope will some day reunited and take out the sheer intensity of that band you would have Crown Atlantic. There sound takes a poppy sound and add garage tone to the band. If your into that sorta music this is definitely up your ally.

Crown Heights

Finally is the punk quota for the week with DC Fallout, my favorite song of the two is One Nation a fast song. They successfully pull off the speed of Bad Brains and they also have a lead singer who can command a crowd to the likes of Henry Rollins of Black Flag. For those out there who said Punk was dead they need to download some DC Fallout and then rethink that statement.

DC Fallout

And with that have a good weekend everyone!



10 Best Guitar Players (Late I Know)

5 06 2008

So were all getting ready for finals so the sites been a little slow so I decide to do a top fifteen on my favorite guitarists ever. So here is your Wednesdays list.

1. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Purple Haze

All Along the Watchtower

Spanish Castle Magic

2. Jimmy Page

Stairway to Heaven


3. Pete Townshend (The Who)

My Generation

Baba O’Riley

4. Kerry King (Slayer)

Raining Blood

Angel of Death

5. Kirk Hammett

…And Justice For All


6. Buckethead


Asylum of Glass

7. Santana

Soul Sacrifice

Black Magic Women

8. Tom Morello

Killing in the Name

Bulls on Parade

Guerrilla Radio

9. Matthew Bellamy

Time is Running Out

New Born

The Small Print

10. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Wax Simularca

Roulette Dare

Sorry for not updating in a while but were getting ready for are finals and buying are sound equipment, we hope to get the podcast running soon so hope to see that up by the end of June.


Top 15 Frontmen and Frontwomen

29 05 2008

Before you read through this list I want every one to know that I am not saying who has the best voice, I counted in stage performance, crowd control, everything. So with that in mind here is my list.

1. Freddie Mercury (Queen)

Best Songs

Another One Bites the Dust

Killer Queen

We Will Rock You

2. Donald Thomas Scholz (Boston)

More Than A Feeling


Piece of Mind

3. David Bowie


Queen Bitch

Ziggy Stardust

4. Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)

Stairway to Heaven

Black Dog

Dazed and Confused

5. Roger Daltrey (The Who)

Won’t Get Fooled Again

My Generation

6. Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart)

Crazy On You

7. Lou Gramm (Foreigner)

Juke Box Hero

8. Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses)

Sweet Child of Mine

Welcome to the Jungle

9. Trent Renzor (Nine Inch Nails)

The Hand that Feeds

March of the Pigs

10. Henry Rollins (Black Flag)

Rise Above

11. Trey Anastasio (Phish)

Chalkdust Torture

Bouncing Round the Room

12. Bono (U2)

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Where the Streets Have No Names

13. Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat and Fugazi)

In My Eyes

Waiting Room

14. Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)


Can’t Stop

Under Bridge

15. Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At The Drive-In, Mars Volta)

One Arm Scissor

Wax Simularca

Blackpaca and I are going to make this a regular thing so Wendsday Countdown is a Go


Minor Threat and Mars Volta

23 05 2008

So for this weeks reviews I am going to look at two completely different albums. First up is Minor Threats Complete Discography followed by The Mars Volta’s Bedlam In Goliath. Both albums demonstrate great leaps forward in music and the band own genera’s.

First up is Minor Threats Complete Discography. The first thing you may notice about this is its one disc with 26 songs total. Many don’t buy punk albums because of them being short and really basic. I would have to disagree with this just because something is short doesn’t make the music bad. My feeling is that Minor Threat gets their point across and feels no need to extend out into long solo’s and jam sessions. The quick lighting fast songs at the start of the album highlight Minor Threats sense of speed. Their lighting fast riffs and quick (somewhat same) drum beats paint a picture of a Band that never really stops but instead pauses for a minute. The first big song on the album that I really loved was Minor Threat, Ian MacKaye blaring lyrics and almost violent tone scare me and after watching live shows I see what so many were talking about. The Band seems to have lure and control over the crowd to the point of near complete control. Theirs is a lot to be said for Minor Threats lyrics and message, it was one that was not really common in that day in age. Many credit MacKaye with the founding of the Straight Edge movement within Hardcore Punk an aspect that goes against what the culture idea of the Punk scene was in late 80’s. To this day people still follow the principles “No Drugs” “No Drinking” “No Promiscuous Sex”.

Throughout the album MacKaye comment on the problems (social, economical, political) occurring throughout America and feels that Straight Edge would help the situation. This idea is highlighted in In My Eyes, MacKaye seems to slowly build up to his explosion of anger an contempt for what sounds like a friend. The seems to be a one on one confrontation between MacKaye and the individual over how the person treats himself, the song seem to be half a speech and more of an attempt to stop the person from doing what ever he .

The Final real highlight of the album is Salad Days the final song ever released by Minor Threat and a different one at that. If you listen to the start and end of the album you would find two completely different bands. While Salad Days is a good song its still not Minor Threat. With a more constructed formula to their music its more controlled and tamed then their songs at the beginning of the album. Overall the album covers Minor Threat from start to finish and shows a side of punk rock that is rather lost in today’s modern punk. The album brings you back to a time when all you could do was Do it Yourself.

4 out of 5

Minor Threat

Next up is The Mars Volta Bedlam in Goliath their newest album to their ever increasing library of songs, while the first couple of Mars Volta albums could be considered concept albums that really never materializing into true albums more long solo’s and ambient noise. Though I don’t feel that way towards the first couple of Mars Volta albums I can see the perspective of those listening. Though their newest album is the one of the most constructed and focus albums of their career.

The album seems to open up and really never stop, the first single of the album Wax Simularca highlights the furious style of the band. After much searching the band has seemed to find its formula, with the addition of drummer Thomas Pridgen who adds really intricate drumbeats and appropriate and sometimes utter stunning fills. The next highlight of the band is Omar Rodgruiz Lopez the left hand guitarist from El Paso and former member of At The Drive In. With no problem Lopez changes from style to style to fill the voids and gaps within the album. With great solo’s and cool blend of effects and true skill Lopez grinds out great songs with a mixture of prog rock and jazz. The Final highlight to the lineup is Cedric Bixler-Zavala the lead singer and un questionable leader of the band, with great singing style Cedric is one of the biggest highlights of the band. The album slowed down only at one point, the song Tourniquets Man a slow song that seems to only allow them to catch their breath for a moment just to get back into it.

The final great song is definitely Soothsayer which has a weird Arab overtone to it combined with a group of strings give the song a creepy build up to the start of this eight minute masterpiece. Overall Bedlam in Goliath is one of the best of albums for the Mars Volta but it is still not their greatest work, I would also say thought this is a great entry album for someone who has never listened to anything by them.

4 out of 5

Bedlam In Goliath


Weezer (The Red Album)

22 05 2008

It’s been more then three years since the release of Weezer last album release Make Believe. The album is greatly remembered by their many hits within the album and the disappointment of some of their fans with the album. Overall my opinion of the albumis middling, its pretty low on my list of favorite Weezer album’s (Maladroit being my favorite), while this is rather sudden (I only learned of the albums existence maybe  for me their is also a werid feeling inside of me. In three years my musical tastes have expanded greatly, as you probably just read in my last blog I started to appreciate other genres. Here’s a short list of what I have started listen to and what I have found since Make Believe. At the Drive-In, August Burns Red, Arcade Fire, King City, Cake, Big D and the Kids Table, Rush, Rage Againstthe Machine,  Reel Big Fish, The Grateful Dead, Phish, The Mars Volta just to name a few.  Now I am not pre-judging this album at all, personally I am rather excited about the album. I belive that my expanded tasted in music changes and so does my mindset, but hopefully Weezer will suprise me. Look for a review a couple days after it releases on June 3rd.

Red Album



Metal Past Present and Future

19 05 2008

For todays post I decide to chose a topic I am not very knowledgeable about, and that is Metal. While I believe all genres have there place in music metal I have always had a hard time with. It was just until recently when a friend of mine suggested and album to me, after listening to it I was stunned by the quality of musicians and their producers. Since then I tired to go back through what Metal I own and try to retrace the steps of one of the most successful genres to date. I started my look back at the late 1980’s with Slayer. Though I had heard only one song of their (Raining Blood) I had foolishly placed them in the no talent rack. I then was given a copy of Reign in Blood there most successful and most highly praised album to date. Both my friend and others that I know who like Metal suggested that I start here.

Reign In Blood is Slayer’s 3rd album and is their most structured to date, only 30 minutes long the album breaks barriers with its striped down songs and faster then light tempo. Slayers opening song “Angel of Death” starts with a deathly scream that sets the mood for the rest of the album. Of what I could get from the lyrics the albums seems centered around the Nazi extermination camps of World War Two. The paces seems to never really slow or falter at any place. After “Angel of Death” comes another highlight of the album “Piece By Piece” sticking to there strip down style of the album the song only runs to about two minutes. After “Piece by Piece” the next great highlight is “Postmortem” which builds up to the finally song of the track which pretty much every kid knows now (including myself) “Raining Blood”, while out of context (say in Guitar Hero 3) its an odd song when you mash it in with the whole album its truly one of the best ending songs to an album ever.  Its power and sound smooth finish the album of with a great breakdown that then leads into a crack of thunder and rain. Overall I feel like I should go try to repent my sins to the music gods for ever labeling this as bad. This album really feels like an essential to anyone wanting to see where most modern metal bands got there inspiration .

5 out of 5

Slayer's "Reign In Blood"

Next up on my metal Journey we turn to one of the current leaders of American metal Lamb of God, I always thought the whole screaming thing was there to compensate for lack of talent. I then was forced to listen to Lamb of Gods “Ashes of the Wake” and I will say I was impressed. Though I am not totally sold on the vocal styles and the ideas behind them I still feel like they convey an emotion of some sort which I feel is rather important. The album begins with the well known song “Laid to Rest” (another Guitar Hero song) though powerful I thought it truly lacked the extra one two to be considered greatest thing ever as some put it to be. Don’t get me wrong its is a great son but not as good as some of the other tracks on the album, like the next song on my highlight reel “Omerta” which begins with a great speech about laws of life. With a driving beat and great heavy drum part I would put this up as one of if not my favorite song of the album.  With a great breakdown toward the center that crescendos towards a great ending. My finally song I really like on this album is “Ashes of the Wake” which has a very odd speech that has an odd Iraq overtone to it, the song starts and is constantly elaborating on it self, mostly instrumental the feeling of the overall song is one of anger. Overall it comes in second for favorite song of the album. Though overall I think at points some put Lamb of God to high up there as greatest Metal band of all time, they have their share of both hits and misses like every band.

4 of 5

Lamb of God "Ashes of the Wake"

For my final review I chose to look to the future of metal and a small outfit out of my home state of Pennsylvania, August Burns Red. Originally I was planning to talk about their second album Messengers but started to listen to their first album Thrill Seekers during my trip out of state and grew more and more fond of the structure of the album. Opening with the powerful “Your Little Suburbia in Ruins” which then mold into a set of three really powerful and well molded songs, the speed dips up and down as the album elapses in and out of its own mold. The next highlight of  the album is “Barbarian” that opens with a great drum beat that molds into a great speed beat that just seems never to want to back down. The singer grow more and more intense overtime giving off almost a violent tone to himself leading many including myself to be intimated by him. The final highlight of the album is to date one of my favorite songs I have ever heard, “The Seventh Trumpet”, I first heard this performed by a kid at my school and thought it was just a original. I  later asked him what song it was and if he had copyrighted it because it was so good, he then told that it was just a cover. I then and went and listen to the original and I was stunned, the song gave such a raw feel and attitude and also had the greatest breakdown ever. At one point it quiets just for the lead singer to quietly whisper “and the stars begin to fall” that line put chills down my spine. I really could not explain to this date why it did that other then it just brought up an image of nuclear weapons and missiles. It a song that I will never forget and that in some way would get a place in my mind. If you have never heard of them or never thought of listening to them give them a try. To this date they are still I feel the future of Metal as both a genera and driving force in music.

5 out of 5

August Burns Red "Thrill Seekers"

So after this great journey I feel that I should try to better understand Metal as both a genera and an art form, I now need to go beg the music gods for forgiveness and hope they don’t smite me.



Blind Melon Returns

19 05 2008

After eleven years of nonexistence following the death of lead singer Shannon Hoon, the jam-band Blind Melon has recently (2006) reformed with a new singer, Travis Warren, releasing an album in 2008 entitled For My Friends.  Although many Melon fans were skeptical concerning the prospects of an album (and a singer) that could rival Hoon’s former genius, I for one was not dissapointed.  This album avoids a complete rebirth of the old band, and takes the listener down a new musical path.  Taking on a slightly darker, fuller, punchier tone, the new Melon songs are much more in-your-face than many of the older recordings.  Some of my personal favorites off of this record include “For My Friends”, “Down on the Pharmacy”, “Harmful Belly”, and “Last Laugh”, all displaying what I consider to be excellent songwriting and musicianship.  That being said, I believe that the lyrics of many of the songs on this album leave something to be desired.  Some of Warren’s lyrics sound underdeveloped, a few bordering on the cliche.  This is something that Shannon did not struggle with in the least, and for this reason I believe that the old and new versions of the band cannot truly be compared.  They are two different entities, and must be treated as such.  Overall, however, I thought that this album was quite good, and definatly deserves a listen by both old and new fans alike.

4 out of 5