The early-to-mid 1990s was a wild time for heavy music. With the Seattle bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana blowing up and killing off a lot of hair metal bands, and Metallica and Pantera dominating, and death and black metal gaining steam and mainstream success, other kinds of rock bands struggled to cut through. King’s X already had four albums out by the time Dogman (Atlantic) landed in shops. Their heavy rock flirted with metal, but really they have always bucked trends and classifications. Interpreting their influences and their bare lyrics full of religious symbolism and metaphors have earned them a legion of fans and lengthy career worthy of respect. Continue reading
Search online for bands named Trees and the only entries you’ll find are references to the glorious British Folk outfit of the late sixties and early seventies. Deep in the recesses of Finland, however, comes another such incarnation: one that joins the gathering of acts that have revitalised the genre this year. Continue reading
So here’s me expecting The Mon to be a product of a maniacal Scottish ego. Imagine my surprise to find that it’s an alter-ego of Urlo, bassist and vocalist of Italian heavyweights Ufomammut: and, far from that trio’s cosmic crescendo, Doppelleben (Shadow Kingdom Records) is far more introspective and pared back. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe that the early 1990s are now a full generation plus in the rearview. One of the definitive albums of that era for any music fan is Nirvana’s Nevermind (DGC). Whether you like the band or the album or not, the impact they made with that album is still sending shockwaves being felt today. What about the band themselves? How do you top a masterpiece and a hit album you never wanted? Well if you were Kurt Cobain, you know the answer is you don’t even try. With their follow-up In Utero (also DGC), Cobain undoubtedly felt like they had made an album closer to what they were originally aiming for in their journey as a group: the vibe of raw punk, but with the sophisticated writing of great classic rock. It was a dichotomy that made the band so special and loved by both fans and critics. Of course not knowing at the time it would be their final studio work, but In Utero gives a pretty fair idea of what was possible for the “biggest band in the world” in 1993. Continue reading
From the 1:57 opening strains of the first track of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s newest release, Wrong Creatures (Abstract Dragon/PIAS), ‘DFF’, I know I’m in for a treat. I’m instantly transported back to a Mad Max Thunderdome setting. Leather. Blood. Fire. This puts a smile on my face. I’m totally pumped for what’s to come next! Continue reading
Do you remember where you were on September 24th, 1991? That is, if you were even alive, since it was a quarter century ago. I was in class at community college in my home town. As usual I was hanging out on the soccer field, guitar in hand, hanging with my usual band of freaks, geeks, stoners, punks, metalheads, and the like. The buzz around campus was this song ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ that was not only all over MTV, but also becoming an actual hit song on the radio.