The 1980s were a curious time for music. It was one of the most creative and cool times ever for all kinds of music from Rock, Heavy metal, Pop, Hip-Hop, and Dance Music. Art and music is an expression of society and what people are feeling, and rarely just artists pushing their opinions on fans. But forces were aligning against personal freedom, especially in the United States Government and the Parents Music Resource Center (The P.M.R.C.) led by Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of former Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius.
Long-running progressive metallers Amorphis are closing in on the release of their new album, Queen of Time, due out May 18th from Nuclear Blast Records. In this trailer exclusive to Ghost Cult, watch Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari discuss motorcycles and bike culture in their home country of Finland. Continue reading
This Is Hardcore Festival has just announced the lineup for this year’s festival, and it’s unbelievably awesome. Continue reading
The music world was in shock again this Christmas Day as news came down that pop star George Micheal had been found dead in his home in Oxfordshire, England. He was 53 years old. Continue reading
August 4th, 2015 was a special day in Boston, MA history and not because of the freakishly sized hail and multiple thunder storms. This night was the return of the legendary Faith No More. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion was packed in tight with fans (some still damp from the storms) ready to have memorable sing-a-longs with Mike Patton and company. Before they were to hit the stage, the crowd was warmed up by opening act, Refused.
Never having a chance to listen to them previously, I made sure I was right on time to catch the entire set from Refused. The lead vocalist, Dennis Lyxzen, was entertaining to watch as he danced around the stage and was literally oozing charisma. There were a few occasions where he even jumped down into the crowd, walking among the rows of seats filled with fans, and high-fiving everyone. As for the set list, they played three tracks from their latest release, Freedom (Epitaph Records), and then mixing in older material as well. One of the bigger pops of the set came during ‘The Deadly Rhythm’ when the band hit the interlude and busted out the intro section of Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’. Overall, Refused did a great job in getting the Boston crowd pumped up and ready for Faith No More.
After what seemed like hours waiting for the set to start, Faith No More was on stage and delivering hit after hit. The stage was completely white outside of the large array of plotted flower arrangements all over the stage. The set list was stacked from the opener, ‘The Real Thing’, down to the closing encore tracks, ‘Motherfucker’ and ‘Just A Man’. Given that this tour was to promote the latest album, Sol Invictus (Reclamation Records), it did not surprise me that a majority of the tracks would come from this album. Some favorite new tracks played include ‘Separation Anxiety’, ‘Superhero’, and ‘Matador’. Since barring the recent show this spring, Faith No More had not been in Boston in a handful or two of years, it was imperative that the rowdy fans got to hear some old classics. ‘Be Aggressive’, ‘Midlife Crisis’, ‘Evidence’, ‘Epic’, ‘Ashes to Ashes’, and of course their cover of ‘Easy’ were some of the highlights of the set. During the last song of the evening, ‘Just A Man’, Mike Patton crowd surfed into the seated audience while still belting out the lyrics flawlessly. Certainly a first in my concert going experiences. After the encore ended, most fans stayed for a few extra minutes trying to work a second encore out of the band, but security unfortunately ended this quickly.
Overall this was everything I had hoped for and more for my first time seeing Faith No More after listening to their music for the better part of fifteen years. The openers, Refused, got everyone worked up and ready to go. Faith No More’s live presence, the set list, sound, really everything, was downright flawless. I could go on about how I really wanted a different song here and there, but I consider myself beyond fortunate to see this band play live since when I started listening to them, they had already broken up. It was an absolute pleasure watching this band live and I was not let down as these guys still bring it!
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN
The hotly contested reunion or comeback album. Purists will bitch and list off 40 million reasons why a band should never re-enter the studio after calling it quits. They’ll tarnish their legacy. They can never re-achieve past glories. They’re too old. They’re not the same band anymore.
The list never ends.
And in a way, those points have some merits. After all it has been 17 years since Refused put out the revolutionary The Shape of Punk to Come. A recording that is universally considered classic and difficult to categorize. And shortly after the release of that record, the band imploded capped it off with a fiery press release stating “Refused are Fucking Dead.”
As new album Freedom (Epitaph) clearly points out, they were not fucking dead. After a series of reunion shows in 2012 and 2014, frontman Dennis Lyxzen, guitarist Kristofer Steen, drummer David Sandstrom and bassist Magnus Flagge still had some of that future punk left in them. Best of all, is that much like Carcass in 2013 and At the Gates last year, Refused sound as good and confident as they did in their 90s heyday.
Lead single ‘Elektra’ probably states it best: “Time has come, no escape.” It indeed is time for Refused’s left-of-center brand of noise. America at least, seems to be in an odd state of regression. We count corporations as people and have segments of the population that see the Confederate flag as “heritage”, and view same-sex marriage as a threat to their religious freedom. That’s without counting those denying global warming or the anti-vaccination movement.
And to show their discontent with the state of affairs, Refused keep the vitriol and attitude going in other punk scorchers like ‘Dawkins Christ’ and ‘Thought is Blood.’ And when they choose to turn down the assault it’s with tracks like ‘Old Friends/New War’ that while not as a raucous still keep a sharp edge as Lyxzen finds that “there’s no other choice but to create some noise and sharpen up my mind.” And we’re glad that you’re up to your old tricks.
Also, much like in The Shape of Punk to Come, these Swedes find room for eccentricity in Freedom. In the liner notes you’ll notice that both ‘Elektra’ and ‘366’ were produced by Shellback, the hitmaker known for his work with Adele and Taylor Swift. Once again proving that they are the most punk by following their muse rather than convention.
We need more records like Freedom. We need them because they remind us that certain genres are supposed to be the dangerous ones. I’m disgusted by the fact that the punk bands that prevail today happen to fall under the abomination known as “Pop-Punk.” A musical oxymoron whose practitioners are perfectly content to play arenas and extol the virtues of eating pizza and wearing fitted hats.
It’s nice to see that some are still choosing to live dangerously.
The 2015 edition of United Blood Fest lineup is now set for March 27-28, 2015 at The Canal Club in Richmond, VA and will feature:
Down To Nothing
Crown Of Thornz
Malice At The Palace
The 2015 Black N Blue Bowl have announced a new batch of bands playing the event. It will be at Webster Hall in New York City, NY on May 16-17, 2015. The confirmed acts include:
Sick Of it All
Agents Of Man
Wisdom In Chains
Bands already set for the fest include:
Further bands will be announced in early January.
The Black N Blue Bowl will be happening on Saturday May 16 and Sunday May 17, 2015 at Webster Hall in New York. Crumbsuckers were announced as one of the featured acts, as well as 100 Demons, Bitter End, Expire, Freedom, King Nine and Rude Awakening were part of the partial band announcements. More names will be announced on December 31, 2014.