Category : reviews

Fear and Loathing in Maplewood

Catch my review of a recent All-American Rejects show in Maplewood over at PerfectPorridge.com! Despite what you may think it was a pretty crazy time. Here’s a quick excerpt:

Just when I was about to write the youth of today’s idea of rock’n’roll off as about as rebellious as a church picnic, the crowd started to raise some hell. Crowd surfers erupted in the pit and the girl next to me tried to climb onto the stage. When security dragged her back down she refused to stand up and had to be physically removed from the building; outside there were cop cars with lights flashing and sullen occupants in the back seat. Clearly, a good time was had by all.

Read the rest of it!

Bob Dylan is so fucking overrated…

…But he’s still good. People have been talking about Dylan’s new album, Modern Times, saying it’s one of his best. I got my hands on a copy and I must disagree. I thought it was quite disappointing except for the last track, “Ain’t Talkin’” which is damn good. Too bad the rest of the album is impotent and paint-by-numbers tripe.

I don’t expect Bob’s voice to soothe me or even sound decent. Shit, there’s tracks on the album where old Bob sounds like he’s just been gargling with battery acid and peanut butter. He sounds like Zombie Dylan on a couple tracks. I think maybe Dylan’s been dead for a few years and he’s been re-animated with some Frankenstein-esque machine, doomed to wander the world as the undead while recording songs when his rotten voice box feels up to it.

But that’s not what bothers me about his new album.

No, it’s his backing band. On most tracks they sound like a shitty wedding band, playing the blandest, most inoffensive tunes your Aunt Marge could possibly ask for. I know, I know; it’s Dylan, not Killswitch Engage. But c’mon, Bob! Crank it up a notch. The band sounds like they’re on horse tranquilizers and auditioning for a gig as studio musicians for the Muzak corporation.

I saw Dylan live on this tour and the band was a bit better on stage, but maybe that’s because you have to be loud in a 20,000 seat theater. They seemed a little more energized, even playing (sort of) the Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower.”

Still, Bob’s not what he used to be. He’s a living legend, but it’s not like he could write “Like a Rolling Stone” or “The Times are a-Changin’” at age 66.

Instead we need a new generation of musical geniuses to move things forward; guys like Colin Meloy of The Decemberists. Their new album, The Crane Wife, is fucking brilliant.

The Decemberists are so fucking literary they sound like a band fronted by your old college English teacher, but in a good way. Despite the focus on words and lyrics (like Dylan) the band is about much more than that. They actually have great tunes! Their sound has been described as progressive-folk rock. They’ve clearly listened to a few Pink Floyd albums, but also a lot of Dylan.

Like Dylan, Colin Meloy has a…. uh.. “unique” voice. It takes some getting used to, but he can sing and hit the notes, just like Dylan used to be able to. Colin’s timbre is reedy and somewhat nasally, but he sings with more melody than dear old Bob.

If you’re a little disappointed with 7th decade Dylan, check out a band in its prime: The Decemberists.

More Reviews at Perfect Porridge

I reviewed a few more albums for Perfect Porridge. Check’em out! We’ve got a little Pestilence for you, along a nice slab of Sadus! Fuck yeah! Some thrash metal from the late 80s/early 90s for ya! You know you love it.

Reviews at Perfect Porridge, pt. 1

Yours truly has two new reviews up at Perfect Porridge. Go check them out.

I’m doing a bunch more, all focused on some fairly obscure late 80s/early 90s thrash and death metal. Some good stuff, some not so good. Keep checkin’ back for more!

In my years upon this planet I have discovered that there are two basic types of people in this world: Those who talk about starting a hardcore death metal band with a parrot for a lead singer, and those who actually do it. Hatebeak, my friends, is the latter.

No, I’m not kidding. After you’ve heard their music you’ll know what awaits you in the bowls of helllllll!!!!! They sound like Cock & Ball Torture, but the unholy screeches are like the howls of demon…. uh parrots. Seriously, give it a listen. Download a copy. Play it at your prom. Let your grandma jump in the pit. Fuck yeaaah.

Personally, I think we should give Hatebeak the keys to the kingdom. Who else has given so much to humanity? There should be parades, fireworks, medals of honor, world acclaim and they should get their choice of our finest virgins.

Fuck your Britney Spears records. Her time is over. It’s time for… HATEBEAK!!!

Idiocracy is Brilliant

I just saw Mike Judge’s new movie, Idiocracy, and it’s such a brilliant satire that I can see why Fox tried to bury it.

It’s a potent look at our present, despite the fact that the movie is set in 2505. Intelligence declined precipitously over 5 centuries, leaving the people of 2505 incredibly stupid. Luke Wilson’s character, Joe, is frozen cryogenically for 500 years and when he (implausibly) wakes up to discover this horrific fact he is arrested for not having a barcode like everyone else in the future. Though arrested, he simply talks his way out of jail and runs off to try and find a time machine to take him back.

Although Joe is the smartest man alive in the 2505 he certainly isn’t very smart by 2007 standards. It is with this dark idea that Judge weaves his vicious comedy. If this idiot can solve the world’s problems, why can’t the rest of us?

The idiots of the future think Joe’s intelligent points are actually the pompous ravings of a “fag”. During Joe’s speech to the nation at the end he says, “… And there was a time, a long time ago, when reading wasn’t ‘just for fags’.” When was that, exactly? I’m afraid the idiocy Mike Judge is skewering is our own.

Idiocracy is very good, but Fox decided to release the movie the same way most of us release a monster piece of shit; quietly and discretely. (I hope that’s how you take a dump anyway. It could be loud and with a huge PR campaign, but I’ll be discrete and refrain from asking) The movie was quickly flushed away and won more praise from reviewers than it did from Fox’s publicists. Surely, the world is upside-down and the idiots are in charge. There can be no doubt at the end of the movie that the decision to bury the movie was a political act. The movie’s depiction of corporate and political life hits too close to home. And the best part is: it’s funny! You might even learn something.