Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Beatles: Tomorrow Never Knows (Review)

Do we really need another Beatles compilation? Well, where The Beatles are concerned, I have to admit that the word on and sound of these original rock and rollers can’t be spread about too much. Even though The Beatles is a brand now, hence the need for ever recycled and repackaged compilations of their music, more than a fondly remembered and insanely influential group of four guys from England who changed the music world, the songs that they wrote are truly timeless. Recently though, there has been a great deal of Beatles music repackaging that touted them as the original “boy band” or pop stars whose most edgy music was the mass consumable “Love Me Do” and “Hold Your Hand.” While these songs are great little pop-rock ditties, other songs like “Helter Skelter,” “Revolution,” and “It’s All Too Much” are rock tour de forces that the likes of everyone from U2 to Pearl Jam to Metallica to Nirvana to The Flaming Lips have tried with varying success to emulate and build upon. So a collection that focuses on and compiles a powerful cross section of The Beatles most discernibly guitar rock/hard rock songs is welcome, if only for the fact that it helps point out that The Beatles could really, really rock when they wanted to. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fear Factory: The Industrialist (Review)

Way back in 1992 to 1995 Fear Factory were something to behold. Fast and hard metal riffs backed by some techno-industrial noise of the type that Trent Reznor would agree with, double bass throbbing drums, and alternatingly death and melody metal inspired vocals coalesced to give rise to some of the most harsh and at times frightening metal on the market. Now, Fear Factory, despite being all of those things still (in addition to once again being composed of its core members Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares) is just a tad repetitious. That’s great if you are a Fear Factory purist, but for the average metal fan, repetition can be the touch of death…at least as far as sales are concerned. That being said, The Industrialist is probably the best Fear Factory album since Demanufacture, simply because this Fear Factory purist is quite happily reminded of Fear Factory’s glory days when listening to The Industrialist.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Orbit: Libido Speedway (Retro-Review)

The best thing about late ‘90s rock was that it all vaguely sounded like early ‘90s rock, mostly Nirvana. The worst thing about late ‘90s rock was that it all vaguely sounded like early ‘90s rock, again mostly Nirvana. There were a few bands out there that formed around the same time (or 5 years or so later), but ended up getting caught up in the backlash that most grunge/’90s alt-rock purists unleashed against these bands for “ripping off Nirvana” though. One of these bands, that was pretty much on the receiving end of my scorn, was Orbit. A three piece comprised of fuzzy, distorted and feedback drenched guitar, bass, and drums from Boston, MA (home of The Pixies-Orbit’s main influence-and the band that Nirvana ripped off), Orbit would actually win me over with their one and only major modern rock hit, “Medicine.” It was one of those rare songs that I could just listen to over and over again without getting tired of. It still is…