From Ziggy With Love: David Bowie’s New Video for “Valentine’s Day”

16 Jul

More creepy video goodness from David Bowie arrived today in the form of this new video for “Valentine’s Day”. For all you vinyl lovers out there, Bowie’s latest record, “The Next Day”, was pressed into a limited edition red vinyl in May. But before you get too excited, the UK only release comes with a hefty price tag; $250.

Grab The SPF 666! New Summer Metal Releases Will Melt Your Face Off

14 Jun

Summer is here, and that means the time is right for me to tell you about six more metal releases you need to make room for in your record collection. Read on and listen to the latest sounds of Japanese serial-killer band, Church of Misery, the blunt-force trauma that is High on Fire live, the new Queens of the Stone Age, my thoughts on the new Black Sabbath record, “13”, and the first full-length from Austin’s heavy metal cowboys, Scorpion Child.


Scorpion Child – Self-Titled

Scorpion Child’s self titled debut is due out on June 25st (June 21st UK), and according to the band’s official site, “Scorpion Child rocks like 1975, like somebody scrawled Physical Graffiti all over southern rock“. A comparison that smacks you right in the face when you hear the vocals of Aryn Schwartz on the track, “Polygon of Eyes“. Guitars hurtling at 100 mph, backed by hard-crashing percussion? Check. Songs about booze, women, and rocking out on the top of a mountain? Check. Straddling the line between classic rock and 80’s hair metal, Scorpion Child has made a record full of sweet, summer ear candy. And for all you wax-loving metalheads, the band is also releasing the double record on aqua colored vinyl, etched with the Polygon of Eyes logo. Via Nuclear Blast.


Power Trip – Manifest Decimation

There must be something in the water in Texas, because there is some great metal coming from them thar parts this year. Thrash metal band Power Trip hails from Dallas, and their first full length, Manifest Decimation is a face melting masterpiece. It’s a hardcore adrenaline rush from the get go, not unlike the one you get listening to Pantera (another Texas export), while running from the cops after knocking off the corner liquor store. Tracks like, “Murderers Row”, and the drudge of “Drown” will make you form a mosh pit in your living room. Decimation also broke through to my inner 80’s headbanger with the  track “Power Trip”, and the flat out frenzy of “Heretics Fork”. Power Trip vocalist Riley Gale is in full mayhem mode throughout Decimation’s 35 minute journey of must-have, head-throttling thrash. Out now via Southern Lord.


Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork

I generally like to feature bands that fly a bit lower under the radar than Queens of the Stone Age. However, the band’s latest release, Like Clockwork, took me by surprise. Not just because it was good, but because it’s easily the band’s best release to date. Clockwork is full of beautiful melodies, lyrics, and whining, doom-y sounding guitars. Speaking of lyrics, Josh Homme somehow manages to coolly channel Shawn Cassidy, by working the multi-decade lyric “Da Doo Ron Ron” into the impossibly ear-wiggy track “If I Had A Tail”. As if Queen’s didn’t have enough power on their own to make this one of 2013’s best records, they also get some help from Trent Reznor, Elton John, and regular co-conspirtor, Mark Lanegan.


Black Sabbath – 13

As a huge fan of every version of Black Sabbath in history, and since the reception to the band’s first record with the original lineup in 35 years “13” has been somewhat varied, I thought I’d jump into the heavy metal fray with my thoughts on 13. First of all, I don’t think that 13 sounds like it’s trying to recapture it’s former sound and glory. I’m also not saying that 13 doesn’t harken back to the band’s iconic back catalog, because without question, it does, but in the most carefully crafted way.

Sabbath came together and made a record that sounds better than I had expected, and not like one that got pushed through a meat grinder for money, as I had feared. Tony Iommi’s textbook riffs are clearly the stand-out stars of 13. Sounding as heavy as he did in the 70’s, especially on the tracks “Methademic”, and “Live Forever”. Iommi proves that Sabbath’s classic stoner groove is still very much alive and well. Speaking of classic, “Damaged Soul” sounds so much like vintage Sabbath, it even comes complete with a harmonica-playing wizard. And what about Ozzy? I won’t lie; I’ve always been a huge fan of the man. That said, it’s entirely possible, that despite my 30+ years of adoration, even I wasn’t sure Ozzy was up to the task of manning the mighty helm of Sabbath’s satanic ship again. As it turns out, I was dead wrong. Osbourne’s vocals are strong and controlled; steady, and haunting; nearly matching Iommi’s sludgy, epic chops, track for track. 13 is full of pushed-to-the-limit, ominous, bell-tolling metal. And it appears that Black Sabbath’s fans agree, as 13 is currently poised to become the band’s first ever #1 record.


Church of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum

Thy Kingdom Scum is Japan-based Church of Misery’s fourth full-length. Scum picks up where the band’s 2009 record left off, and continues their obsession with writing songs about serial killers. Historically, the marriage of serial killers and heavy metal go perfectly together, kind of like Jack and Coke. Here’s Scum‘s bad-guy breakdown: “Brother Bishop” takes on Philadelphia murderer, Gary Michael Heidnik; “All Hallows Eve” is based on 70’s spree-killer, John Lynley Fraiger; and if you are a student of the school of serial killing, the thunderous, psychedelic track B.T.K. requires no explanation. Scum‘s dark focus gets laid back on the creepy track, “Cranley Gardens”, named for the address of Briton’s answer to Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Nilson. There’s also completely shook up, non-murder-related cover of “One Blind Mice”, originally done by 70’s prog-rock band, Quartermass. Like San Fransisco’s Orchid, Church of Misery is also possessed by the ghost of early Black Sabbath. Thy Kingdom Scum is an awesomely heavy, utterly dark, fuzzy freaked-out record. Out now from one of my favorite record labels, Metal Blade.


High on Fire – Spitting Fire (Live)

The brutal force of High on Fire comes through loud and fucking clear on the band’s new live record, Spitting Fire. The double-live record’s production is so clean, it’s almost like being there. Which is what any live album worth it’s salty licks strives for. Recorded last winter during two back-to-back New York shows at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, and the historic Bowery Ballroom, all 15 crushing tracks from the band’s decade-plus old catalog will pummel you until you’re black and blacker. If you haven’t seen the veteran Oakland-based trio (a band that gives the almighty Slayer a run for their money if you ask me), live yet, you must let the unbridled power of High on Fire live, whip you into a frenzy by way of your turntable immediately. Spitting Fire is out via Relapse Records on June 18th.

as recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:
as recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:
was recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:
was recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:

Interview with Chris Wade of Dodson and Fogg

29 May

Purple Dog Records is based in the US but we certainly don’t limit ourselves to a specific region when it comes to discovering independent musicians.12750544779bc5e91347700601 I was recently made aware of a band called, Dodson and Fogg from Leeds led by the very talented, Chris Wade.   Their second album, Derring Do hooked me immediately with a beautiful acoustic introduction. The whole album continues heading steadfast toward prog folk perfection. The word, “chill” is often overused in describing music but damn it, I can’t think of anything else to call it. It’s just so good. With songs like “The Leaves They Fall”, and “What Goes Around” it’s hard to tell in what era they were recorded. Chris Wade’s musical style gives the impression of a man who could have been friends with John Lennon, but by no means is he repeating the sound. Each song had a timeless quality and a brand new feeling attached to every guitar lick and yes, even trumpets (trumpeting?). I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris about his band’s new album coming out this July among other fun tidbits of information.

PDR: Have you written and performed music prior to Dodson and Fogg?

CW: Yeah, I started playing music when I was really young. Me and my brother started learning guitars early on. Before I had a guitar I remember making one with rubber bands and an ice cream tub. I was always obsessed with music. I remember my first favourite c wadebands were Nirvana when Kurt was still alive, when I was 8 or 9, and Black Sabbath, who I was totally obsessed with, and who I still love to this day. I started collecting their vinyl and saving pocket money to go to Relics in Leeds to get the records. We started writing songs then, me and my brother… well, I say writing. My dad has some tapes of them and they are grotesque haha. In my late teens I had a 4 track tape machine and used to make demos in my bedroom whenever I got home from work, back then I worked at a toy shop which was a fun place to work. And in my early 20s I had a band with my friend Shawn and my brother, which then turned into a band with my brother and my sister, and that “line up” did some gigs in Leeds where I live in around 2007 and 2008 I think. But that was more straight forward punk rock really, not like what I am doing now which I prefer. We were playing in some really ropey venues sometimes, but family and friends always came along and made parties of these gigs. That fizzled out though, and I started  writing and illustrating in about 2009 and left music for a while until last year when I made the first Dodson and Fogg album. I firstly wanted to be a fiction writer, and did some really weird broadly comic novels that were made into audiobooks, narrated by Rik Mayall and Charlie Chuck, but there was no way I was going to be able to get that into a proper direction. Some of them stories were just mental, haha. This is different though, and really satisfying.

Chris Wade and Rik Mayall
*Editor’s note – If you are a fan like me of that complete bastard, Rik Mayall then you’ll love “Cutey and the Sofaguard”.

PDR: Who are some of your main influences? 

CW: Well I love Black Sabbath and I also listen a lot to early Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Incredible String Band, early Leonard Cohen, Kinks and especially Donovan, who I think is just a brilliant artist. There’s loads of stuff I listen to. I really like Goldfrapp at the minute, been listening to Air as well, and Amy MacDonald, alongside Yes, and early King Crimson, the first two albums in particular. But I don’t know how much they have influenced me knowingly. When I make music it comes out naturally and I know I am happy with a track when I feel I could put it on myself and listen to it for pleasure. So maybe musical tastes just seep in for any artist subconsciously affect what music they record. I basically like to record music I could listen to myself I think. That’s why I never understand the bands or artists who can’t listen to their own songs. It’s questionable, like almost as if they’re in it for the money really, as Frank Zappa might say. But I will say that any band recording and mixing music these days, and paying close attention to it, HAS to be influenced by The Beatles, even if they don’t know it…

PDR: One of my favorite songs of yours is “All Day Long” (featuring Celia Humphris of Trees) off of the debut album. How did she become involved?

CW: Thanks, glad you like the song. My dad has always been a big music fan and he was into Trees when I was a kid. First he had two of their tracks on these old samplers, one of which was called Fill Your Head With Rock (a classic compilation that anyone reading this should check out) and then he finally got a hold of their two albums, On the Shore and Garden of Jane Delawney. I was a fan right from then thanks to my dad and I interviewed Celia in 2009 or 2010 for my Hound Dawg Magazine (which was a free online PDF then, and now it’s a print magazine) and asked her about the band. I hadn’t stayed in touch with her though, but in around May or June last year I sent her some tracks to see if she was interested in collaborating and I could not believe it when she said she would sing on them! That’s when I took this project seriously and dived right into it. She is one of my favourite singers, her voice is a proper instrument in itself, and on Derring Do she is doing all sorts of amazing things I wish I could do with my voice. On All Day Long as well, like you say, her voice on that is fantastic. I used three or four of her harmonies on that and mixed them all together. Worked out great I think. 

PDR: Do you have a preference of one song over another? I can imagine it’s almost like playing favorites with a child though.

CW: It’s weird answering questions about your own music. It’s funny because the Dodson and Fogg first album was only released last November, and most of these songs are pretty new to me really, so it’s hard to look at them in a retrospective way. I will say though that Meet Our May, I wrote that when I was about 18, ten or so years ago and All Day Long comes from a melody I had in my had for years and never did anything with. So them two, and Crinkle Drive off the first album with Nik Turner of Hawkwind on it, I do have a soft spot for them chappies. To be honest though, the next album has my own favourites on it so far. I am really pleased with it.

PDR: You also have a solo project released, titled, “Moonlight Banquet”. How does this differ from your work in Dodson and Fogg?

CW: That was a side thing really, because I had these instrumentals that didn’t quite fit with Dodson and Fogg and my girlfriend said ‘why don’t you release them?’ So it isn’t really a major project or anything but it is a nice way to use some ideas I really liked and never got round to releasing. They’re longer and more progressive I suppose, with extended solos and worked out sections. Fun to do actually, but Dodson and Fogg is definitely staying as my main focus. Working at home though, and with music being my hobby as well as a job type thing, I have plenty of time on my hands to try all sorts of things out. 

cover bigger file-page-001

PDR: Finally, do you think of the third album, “Sounds of Day and Night” as a continuation of the last two or are they all completely separate concepts?

CW:Well the third one is kind of following a concept, different characters so to speak and situations from the morning to the night, all kinds of scenarios and set ups, but it sounds similar to Derring Do, with the instrumentation and production. But it also sounds a little different too. It’s hard to describe it, but I kept working on it, rewriting songs and getting rid of certain tracks, then bringing in new ones from around January when I started recording it (just before Derring Do came out) and it was last month or so when it actually started sounding like a step on from Derring Do. I’m finding myself listening to the albums and thinking that if they sound like a progression from their predecessor I am doing something right and pleasing myself. Then I think, well if I am happy with it, the folks who liked the other two albums might be up for it too. You have to not think about the whole process too much, as you know as a writer, because if you look too far into it  you end up taking it too serious or you risk over analyzing your stuff and taking the fun out of it all. So while it is a little different in some of its moods, it is also like a continuation, but broadening the scope hopefully. That said, Celia is going to be singing on it again so it is nice to have her on board, and there are some other possible guest artists, but I won’t say who just in case it doesn’t happen. Also, my girlfriend Linzi Napier is a painter and she has done the cover art for the next album, one of my favourite pictures of her’s. She has an exhibition in July which we are both excited about and some of the work for this next album will be on display.

Thank you, Chris for taking the time to chat! Be sure to check out Dodson and Fogg’s latest album “Sounds of Day and Night” coming July 2013. Let him know what you think!

Article and interview by Erin Gavin

Spring Brings Sounds Of Doom, Southern Sludge, And Stoner Rock

9 May

Spring is here. Which means the arrival of more metal releases to help cancel out the sounds of the birds chirping at four AM. So, without further delay, here’s another set of six highly recommended new metal and hard rock records, that you should give a spin about.


Orchid: The Mouths of Madness.

If you love metal, then you are probably a Black Sabbath fan of at least one or more era’s of the bands existence. Ozzy, Dio, Gillan, I love it all. And if you’re banging your head in agreement to that last statement, you will love “The Mouths of Madness“, the latest record from San Fransisco doom band Orchid. I know it sounds impossible, but Orchid sounds more like Black Sabbath, than Black Sabbath does. Madness is the bands second full-length release, and while it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite, the last track, Wizard of War might be it for me. It is impossible to not dig on Madness’ powerful LSD-laced rock, and Theo Mindell’s soaring, vintage sounding vocals. Doom rock awaits you!


Coliseum: Sister Faith.

Sister Faith is the fourth record from Louisville band Coliseum. Released on April 30th by Temporary Residence, Faith is full of feedback, tight percussion, and a surprisingly clean metal sound. A beautiful and big sounding record, Faith quickly gets it’s riffy hooks into you, and never lets go. Among Faith’s many musical contributors, is Jason Loewenstein of indie cult band Sebadoh, and The Fiery Furnaces. Even if you’re not the most fist-pumping metalhead on your block, after listening to Sister Faith, you’ll likely be prompted to dig through the bands decade old back catalog, and filling some of the holes in your ever growing record library with other Coliseum releases.


Howl: Bloodlines.

How black and dark do you like your metal? If you answered “very” to either or both of those questions, then Rhode Island band Howl is going to shake your doom-maker to it’s core. Out on April 30th on Relapse Records, Bloodlines is the bands sophomore record. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of metal fit for the apocalypse, but Howl thrashed me over while I listened to it on a cold, spring day last weekend. In Bloodlines press release, the band describes the records sound as “the child of sweet southern riffs with “primal urgency”. Sold.


Ghost BC: Infestisumam

Swedish heavy metal band, Ghost formed in Linkoping back in 2008, and has built a substantial cult following over the last five years. Although at times the bands second record, Infestisumam, had me scratching my heavy metal hair, I wasn’t able to stop listening to it. The band dresses like netherworld church figures on stage, and their music reflects that with it’s sound. So what does black mass sound like at The Church of Ghost? It’s a wide variety of anti-alterboy music infused with organs, crashing percussion, chanting about Lucifer, airy vocals, and buzzy guitars. The records strange likeability is also likely due to the incredible production by Nick Raskulinecz (Deftones, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver). Infestisumam is the bands first major label release (Universal off shoot, and current home to Soundgarden and Cut Copy, Loma Vista) but despite that milestone, Ghost isn’t for everyone. Still, my money is on the fact that Ghost just might give you something you didn’t even know you were looking for.


Black Tusk 7″ split with Dead Yet?.

Two new Black Tusk tracks make their debut on a 7-inch split with fellow Savanna metal band, Dead Yet?. Out now via Hyperalist Records, Black Tusk is readying a new EP for release on July 23. Both tracks, “Fearing Your Mind” and “Iron Giants” are standout heavies. In a recent interview, Black Tusk guitarist Andrew Fidler says that the bands music really doesn’t have a distinct message, but rather many collective ones. According to Fidler, much of the bands music deals with “the shortcomings of our fellow man, or their own, as well as religion, and control. But of course some of it is about partying, but in an “apocalyptic sense.” And since I know you’re still scratching your hair, wondering how a metal band from Savanna is actually a thing. Fidler confirms what you’re assuming. The music scene in Savanna is dead. While profoundly sad, it is perhaps the desire to fill that void that drives the band, who’s sludgy stoner rock vibe has been hammering it’s way along for the last 13 years. I was lucky enough to catch Black Tusk live last week, and am happy to report that much like the trios music, they show no signs of slowing down.


Tracer: El Pistolero.

It took about five seconds for me to fall in love with UK band Tracer, and their new record, El Pistolero. After listening to the entire thing, color me completely obsessed with the band and their grungy guitar rock. El Pistolero has legitimate vintage metal sound to it, (think Scorpions/Dio), but also possesses plenty of 1990’s NW throwback appeal. And if that’s not enough, as the album title would imply, Tracer throws in a little tex-mex-metal for good measure. With 13 tracks in all, you definitely get your metal money’s worth on this one. Out on Netherlands based label, Mascot.

The Melvins Cover Venom, Bowie and Queen On “Everybody Loves Sausages”

24 Apr


Everybody might not love sausages, but everyone definitely loves the Melvins.

DJ Cherrybomb

On Tuesday, the Melvins started streaming their new record online, Everybody Loves Sausages. From start to finish, the band brings it’s A-game to the album’s menagerie of metal, alt, pop and classic rock cover tracks. Sausages kicks off with a snarling homage to Venom, thanks to Scott Kelly of Neurosis on vocals, and the track “Warheadfrom Venom’s 1984 album, At War With Satan. The record then continues on it’s noisy upward spiral with classic covers from Queen, an indulgent 11+ minute cover of Bowie’sStation to Station” with J.G. Thirwell of Foetus on vocals, and 1979 Kinks track, “Attitude“. When it comes to Attitude, the Melvins simply own it. Much like Johnny Cash did when he covered the likes of Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails.

Other non-Melvin members appearing on Sausages include Mark Arm of Mudhoney, who supplied the vocals for “Set it on Fire” from Aussie band Scientists, and Jello Biafra on the track “In Every Dream Home a Heartache“, originally done by Roxy Music. Obscurity proves to be the Melvins’ friend when they take on early 80’s Sacramento band, Tales of Terror. The band only put out one self-titled record in 1984, but their crunchy, junkie business brand of raunch & roll lives on in future sounds from Green River and Nirvana.

As we keep rolling along the obscure/bizarre musical train track with the Melvins, we arrive at the year 1974, and the bands cover of “Female Trouble” by Divine. According to Buzzo, John Waters has always been a huge influence for the band. Recorded on Christmas day in 2011, Buzzo sounds more like fellow weirdo Tom Waits than himself. Which only elevates the heavy darkness of the three-minute track. Sausages is a record as diverse as it is divey, loud and fuzzy.

Also included in the online album stream is some great commentary by the king of metal and hair, King Buzzo himself. Listen and read along as Buzzo talks you the through each track over at Spin. The band’s 30th anniversary summer tour kicks off on July 12th in Phoenix.

Full track listing follows.

1. ‘Warhead’ (Venom; Guest: Scott Kelly of Neurosis)
2. ‘Best Friend’ (Queen; Guest: Caleb Benjamin of Tweak Bird)
3. ‘Black Betty’ (Original artist unknown)
4. ‘Set It on Fire’ (The Scientists; Guest: Mark Arm)
5. ‘Station to Station’ (David Bowie; Guest: JG Thirlwell)
6. ‘Attitude’ (The Kinks: Guest: Clem Burke of Blondie)
7. ‘Female Trouble’ (Divine a.k.a. John Waters)
8. ‘Carpe Diem’ (The Fugs)
9. ‘Timothy Leary Lives’ (Pop-O-Pies)
10. ‘In Every Dream Home a Heartache’ (Roxy Music; Guests: Jello Biafra and Kevin Rutmanis)
11. ‘Romance’ (Tales of Terror)
12. ‘Art School’ (The Jam; Guest: Tom Hazelmeyer)
13. ‘Heathen Earth’ (Throbbing Gristle)

Notable Hard Rock And Metal Record Store Day 2013 Releases

26 Mar


It’s that time of year again when audiophiles, vinyl junkies, and collectors across the country wake up early on a Saturday morning (for once), camp out outside their favorite Independent record store,hoping that they might get their hands on a few of the coveted vinyl releases that will be coming out on April 20th. Otherwise known as the 6th annual Record Store Day 2013.

Below are a few of the more metal from the massive RSD list this year. I also did an expanded list on, where you can see everything I think you gotta have this year. It wasn’t easy, but here it is.

Now, onto the harder, faster rockers, set to hit the shelves of your favorite record store this year. Check here to see a list of participating shops in your zip code. Record Store Day is April 20th!


Earache Records’ contribution to RSD this year is something they call “The Worlds Shortest Album”. Clocking in a only 83 seconds, the mini-5″ vinyl comes in a 12″ gate fold sleeve. The shorand brutally metal track listing follows:

Side A:
01. Napalm Death – You Suffer (1.9s)
02. Napalm Death – Dead (2.7s)
03. Napalm Death – Your Achievement (4.2s)
04. Wormrot – False Grind Sodomy (2.5s)
05. Wormrot – You Suffer But Why Is It My Problem (4.0s)
06. Brutal Truth – Collateral Damage (4.0s)
07. A.C. – Howard Wulkan’s Bald (4.0s)

Side B:
01. Lawnmower Deth – Be Scene Not Heard (4.7s)
02. Painkiller – Trailmarker (6.0s)
03. Brutal Truth – Blockhead (7.3s)
04. Morbid Angel – Bil Ur-Sag #2 Lava (6.9s)
05. A.C. – Windchimes Are Gay (9.5s)
06. Insect Warfare – Street Sweeper (13.5s)


Dio – Magica Picture Disc

Another Record Store Day thankfully means its time for another completely evil Dio picture disc. 2000’s Magica, was Dio’s first concept record. I can’t say enough about the art on these Dio discs, except for that they are even more amazing in person. Dio’s classic track Holy Diver does double duty, as the chosen cover for another RSD’s 7″ Side by Side with Killswitch Engage. Making this one even more metal is it’s pressing on opaque, ox-blood red vinyl.


Misfits/The Lemmonheads: “Skulls” Side By Side.

Something RSD is doing this year is a “Side By Side 7”. The release pairs a recording of an original classics on the A. side, with a cover of the original on the B. side.  This Side by Side has the Misfits and The Lemonheads, going head-to-head with the track “Skulls”. The track does double duty on the 7″ picture disc (above), with the Misfits version from 1982 on Side A., and The Lemonheads cover version from 1991.

7 Picture Disc [GD17PD]

Testament –  Dark Roots cover 7′ picture disc.

This 7″ picture disc from Testament has the band banging out two very metal covers, from two other, equally metal bands. Side A. has Chuck Billy and the boys doing The Scorpions proud with a title-track cover from their 1980 record, “Animal Magnetism“. Side B. features Testament’s take on another title track, 1983’s “Powerslave” from Iron Maiden.


Mad Season – Above (Expanded edition)

This 180 gram vinyl, expanded edition of the only Mad Season record, 1995 ‘s Above, will get it’s exclusive release as a double-LP on RSD. Included on the expanded edition are  three songs from the unfinished second Mad Season album with new vocals and lyrics by Mark Lanegan. There is also a previously unreleased instrumental “Interlude”, and a remixed version of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Wanna Be a Soldier.”


Aerosmith: Reissues of: Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic, and Get Your Wings.

Aerosmith is reissuing three records form their early catalog, their self-titled debutToys in the Attic, and Get Your Wings, all on 180 gram vinyl. If you only pick up one, my money would be on the bands first, blues-riddled release from 1973.


Soundgarden – King Animal Demos 10″

Soundgarden is releasing a few of the demo version of songs from their latest record, King Animal. Track listing follows:

Bones of Birds (demo), By Crooked Steps (demo), Halfway There (demo), Worse Dreams (demo), Black Saturday (demo), A Thousand Days Before (demo)


Wolvhammer and Atlas Moth 7″ Split.

This RSD exclusive split 7” features the heavy sounds of two Chicago metal bands. The originally appeared on a comp soundtrack on CD for the book DTV written by Andrew Bonazelli of Decibel Magazine. Init Records and the bands thought it would be cool to put these two covers out again on a limited 7” with new artwork by Stavros Giannopoulos (THE ATLAS MOTH), for a limited Record Store Day release. Pressed on color vinyl, and limited to 500 copies total; Side A – The Atlas Moth -“Black Trees(a cover of a Horray for Earth original); Side B – Wovhammer – “Burn” (formerly done by The Cure for The Crow soundtrack).


Golden Void – Rise to the Out of Reach b/w Smiling Raven 7

Both of the tracks on from San Fransisco’s Golden Void 7″ are brand new, and will get their exclusive release on Record Store Day 2013. After digging on the bands 2012 debut (the vocals on the record are very Ozzy/Sabbath era so do the math. Golden Void = Awesome), it’s truly excellent metal news that more sonic sounds from Golden Void are on their way.


Akimbo – Live To Crush.

This is the final release from Seattle heavy metal riff masters, Akimbo. The band disbanded in the fall 2012, but recorded one final skull-crushing record, Live To Crush, numbered, and limited to 500. Track listing follows:

1. The Fucking French!
2. Southern Hospitality
3. A Real Barn Burner
4. Weasel Rope
5. The Retard Blues
6. I Am Very Successful
7. Equal Opportunity Asshole
8. Acid Grandma
9. Building A Body


Dust: Dust/Hard Attack.

Dust was called the first “American Heavy Metal Bands”. Formed around 1969, the Brooklyn trio was also the first band of Marky Ramone (Ramones, Voidoid). This RSD release features both of Dust’s records on 12″ vinyl. The self-titled “Dust” (1971), and “Hard Attack” ,(1972). Members of Dust went on to play with with artist like Richard Hell, Joan Jett, Kiss, and Brian Setzer. Dust is easily the most bad-ass, proto-rock band you never heard of from New York.

You can see the full list of all the releases for Record Store Day this year, via RSD’s official site. And while you’re at it, check out the excellent vinyl for sale in the archives of Purple Dog Records.

Stars shine at The Metro; Milo Greene a pleasant surprise

25 Mar

Although they’ve been around since 2000, Stars is still going strong. The Canadian band came to Chicago’s The Metro on Saturday and played a sold-out show that was well worth the admission price.

Said the Whale
The night’s first act, indie rock band Said the Whale, wasn’t bad. They just didn’t fit the sound of the other two groups. The 5-member Vancouver band played an upbeat set that would have been perfect for a day at the beach. I wasn’t struck by anything particularly original, although I was impressed by the keyboardist’ ability to play the piano and sing for an hour while smiling the entire time. Check them out for an entertaining listen, but not much more.

Milo Greene
Milo Greene was the surprise of the night. Weaving complex memories that put in mind Explosion in the Sky, the instrumental-heavy group belted a cover of Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago” that may have been better than the original, alongside original compositions that will have me going back next time they’re in the city. Haunting and ethereal, their sound sticks with you long after their set is over.


The Stars
I expected the headliner Stars to be good, and, aside from a few moments when Torquil Campbell’s microphone was inadvertently switched off, they were. Campbell and lead female vocalist Amy Millan (also of Broken Social Scene) have distinctive, story-telling voices that sound just as good (actually, better) live as they do recorded.

What I didn’t expect was for Stars to be absolutely, mind-blowingly awesome. The music was good, yes, but the performers were great. Every single one of them threw themselves completely into what bordered on a two-hour show. They performed with an intensity I have rarely seen in a live performance and it made for an amazing concert. Even if you aren’t that in to indie pop with lyrics waxing cynical on love and sex, The Stars are worth it.

Of particular note was the closing number, which Campbell sang as an acoustic solo. Many Stars songs almost spoken lyrics, but Campbell proved his range and left the audience hypnotized with the power of his voice.