After a year and change of no live shows, every single band on the planet has got to adapt themselves into the world of live streaming. The few live stream concerts I’ve seen have portrayed each band’s unique style and vision, but none as bizarre as The Melvins’ Volume 3: Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! which aired last Saturday, May 1st. The complete show is exactly what you would expect from this legendary band. The live stream started with acoustic versions of ‘Dark Brown Teeth’, a King Buzzo cover, and ‘Up The Dumper’. The most interesting and funny aspect of this particular live stream is that it felt like you were hanging out with the band in between songs. Each transition from song to song had a small interview that started with the whole band, then with Buzz Osborne, followed by Steven McDonald, and finishing with Dale Crover. Each interview featured hilarious stories of the band and their lives that covered the usage of masks to, of course, weed. The overall performance of the band was superb with a sound the sound quality you would expect from a band like The Melvins and the visuals were in the more psychedelic side that went along well with each of the played tracks. Overall this was a fun and refreshing way of conducting a live stream event and one that only sets up for the upcoming return of live shows.Continue reading
The last live show I attended was on February 22nd, 2020 watching Opeth at the Apollo Theater in New York City. It was a magical night, but little did I know that was going to be the last live music I was going to be watching perform in a year. I miss live shows, as I’m sure every single one of you does as well and I was particularly reminded of this since the beginning of last week. Having said that, when The Ocean Collective announced that they were going to play a live stream show of their amazing album Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Pelagic Records) in its entirety, I immediately jumped to my feet and said: “I NEED to watch that”, I knew it was going to be magical as everything the German band does.
Avatar took my live stream “virginity” away in this concert Ages|Madness from their series of Livestream concerts titled Ages, which has been running since January 9th and will end this upcoming weekend on January 30th. The Swedish band demonstrated why they are one of the most popular and entertaining bands in the genre right now by giving a performance that very well is worth the “price of admission” that COVID normalcy has given us for these types of events since we cannot go to live shows for the time being. Avatar was able to set a tone and ambiance like no other with this performance which was concentrated on tracks from the albums Black Waltz (Gain Music Entertainment) and Hail the Apocalypse (eOne Music).
After the bluesy Southern Rock of 2018s rollicking Family Tree and the two blues covers EPs Back to Blues comes The Human Condition (Mascot Records) – out and out hard rock upon which they built their career. Like Clutch, Black Stone Cherry do not make bad albums and this new one – their seventh – is another example of this.
Over 35 years ago, Fates Warning was one of the main trailblazers and influencers in the Progressive Metal movement. With so much history, there has been a lot of lineup changes throughout the years, but the band has always been known for its exploration and expansion of the scene. Even today this East Coast act is still examining their special sound. Earlier this month FW released their newest full-length album, Long Day Good Night (Metal Blade Records). These boys went big and completed 13 songs to celebrate their 13th full-length release. The group took their time to dig deep into their assorted inclinations to expose the wealth they found there.
Over thirty years ago, England’s own Carcass came to the scene and shared their glorification of grind and gore. The unhinged and manic sound they conjured found an audience and quickly gained popularity, along with their contemporaries Napalm Death and Godflesh. The surge of the extreme had its time in the sun, but after their 10 year hiatus, Carcass came back in a slightly different mood. In 2013, the group took their well-known viciousness and molded it in with more melody on their sixth full-length, Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast). They married Grindcore and Melodic Death Metal on that record which got a lot of attention and reminded everyone why these guys are such an original act. After seven years, the band is back again with their EP, Despicable (Nuclear Blast). In just four songs, Carcass takes their significant union of sounds and exemplifies them with new levels of pandemonium. Continue reading
As last year wound down, 2020 was looking bright for music, with tours galore and a litany of reunions. Nashville’s rock ‘n rollers Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown were looking forward to building on their busy 2019, which included tours and festivals across the US and Europe, most notably with Stone Temple Pilots, Rival Sons, Clutch, Sevendust, Blackstone Cherry, and Airbourne, among others, and the release of their critically-acclaimed album, Truth and Lies. But as 2020’s landscape changed, big plans did too. Some artists went on hiatus, while others decided to take the time to reflect and write. In this case, guitarist/vocalist Tyler Bryant, drummer Caleb Crosby, and guitarist Graham Whitford did not slow down, took on the latter approach, and hunkered down in Bryant’s home studio to craft some of their best work with the help of co-producer/engineer Roger Alan Nichols. Aptly titled Pressure (out October 16th on Snakefarm/Spinefarm Records), the album takes listeners on a journey through the emotional and tumultuous year. Coincidentally, many of the songs began to take shape before Nashville faced a destructive tornado, COVID, and racial justice rallies. However, the release could not have been timed better, as it offers up 13 tracks to headbang and air guitar away the trials and tribulations of the last seven months and beyond. With a multitude of moods and tempos, and a collage of rock, blues, roots, and country stylings, Pressure follows the roller coaster that is 2020 life. Continue reading
Rising Australian rock stars Starcrazy have teamed up with Ghost Cult to stream the first single from their debut EP, due in early 2021. “Long Way Home” calls it back to a simpler time of spazzed out licks, breezy hooks, catchy verses, great vocals, and real rock n roll swagger. A song like this is the polar opposite of today’s fake everything and too clean substitute for pop pulp. The band already counts legends such as Alice Cooper and Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore, and chances are you are next!
If you clicked the link to read this review is because somehow you have heard about King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, or because the name was too odd for you to pass on discovering what the hell Is a band called liked that being covered in a Metal magazine, well let me first tell you that this band with the weird name released the critically acclaimed Thrash Metal album Infest the Rats’ Nest (Flightless Records) in 2019 which added a new genre in their vast catalog of albums that include a wide range of genres that go from psychedelic to garage, to progressive rock, among others. On the other hand, if you have heard King Gizz, you know exactly what I’m talking about and you probably agree with me that this band is one of the most creative musical acts in the world at this moment.Continue reading
A legend of Rock N Roll has died. Jimmy Webb, who dressed four generations of rockers and fans from his East Village boutique Trash and Vaudeville. He was 62. At press time there has been no official cause of death. Jimmy spent many years as the manager and primary buyer for Trash and Vaudeville before opening his own boutique, I Need More, in 2017 on Orchard St. Over the years Webb had styled for MTV, Rolling Stone, and Vogue, and regular customers/clients were a Who’s Who of punk and rock, including Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Debbie Harry, Slash and many more. One of the holdovers from the 1980s punk and metal spirit of the era, he helped define that class of that era, and Jimmy continued to innovate and create looks synonymous with the rock, punk and metal ethos. We met Jimmy several times over the years, notably when we interviewed his friend Doyle on his tour bus in 2018. Continue reading