EXODUSExodus Blood In Blood Out

Blood In, Blood Out

Nuclear Blast Records

7 out of 10

Exodus has always been underrated in my book on every level: song writing, musicianship, vocalists, ‘frontman’, live show, the band, as a whole deserves more credit and certainly more album sales than they’ve ever received.

It may stem from the fact that the band has had a very long on again off again status as well as changing vocalists more than I change my overly ripe shorts. We’re talking starting off with the vocal stylings of the Mad Russian Paul Baloff (RIP) then moving on to Steve Souza, back to Paul Baloff, back to Souza, off Souza, back to Souza, off to Rob Dukes, and now finally (hopefully FINALLY) back to Steve Souza again. Time will only tell, it’s always been a tenuous relationship between Steve and the band to begin with.

Coming back from one of their many hiatuses the band with Souza as frontman released Tempo of the Damned. A solid ridiculously brutal album that should have seen them rise to the stratosphere... but the rise was short lived as tensions rose faster than the album sales and Souza was done touring yet again. In comes Dukes for three albums that were good, but never really accepted as real Exodus by many fans. Souza and Baloff had a very similar style and sound which was very distinct, Rob came in and his style and sound was something completely different, dry, raspy, growly, but not in the ‘traditionalExodus sound. It’s never been explained completely to the masses why Dukes left, but nobody was surprised that Souza was once again in (his 4th stint in the band now).

When Exodus started out in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 80’s they were gods among men. Their shows were legendary, their crowds were rabid and brutal and unforgiving to any other band on stage (including Metallica). It was Exodus or it was shit. And if you weren’t an Exodus fan and you happened to be in the pit… may the metal gods have mercy on your soul because you were going to leave bloody and battered.

The pits at the band’s shows were so legendary that they even wrote a song about it called the Toxic Waltz. Their pits rival Slayers and would exceed theirs if their core audience were larger.

Their music has run the gamut of Thrash Metal stylings from balls out bay area thrash to the more tongue in cheek metal with a sense of humor to the head scratching wtf were they thinking (late 80’s early 90's) musings that eventually were their downfall. After a short break of about 4 years the band reunited and broke up again. In 2001 the band reformed as most Bay Area Thrash bands did for the fabled Chuck Billy Benefit Show with Paul Baloff who died shortly afterwards and in came Souza. They finally put out Tempo of the Damned in 2004 and myself and many others thought they were well on their way finally in a clear direction with a monstrous album full of enough riffs, piss, and venom to take on the entire world. And then Souza left…. Again.3 Albums with Dukes later, Gary Holt has been performing with Slayer in the absence and (sadly) eventual death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman (RIP). And many wondered if Exodus were again done.

But in early 2014 rumor of a new album rose and as the album was about to be announced the band revealed the departure of Rob Dukes and yet another stint with Steve Souza.

And here is where I think the album suffers a little.

It is chock full of traditional Gary Holt riffs and pissed off lyrics that will satiate any staunch Exodus fan, but where Tempo was an education in brutally via metal, Blood In, Blood Out feels rushed and slightly incomplete. Maybe working together another few weeks on it or giving the material the time it truly needed it would have gelled a bit more and truly been a contender for the throne of ‘best Exodus album ever’. However Blood In, Blood Out comes across as a poor attempt at greatness.

Let’s hope Souza is on board for the long haul this time. They deserve better and so do we.

All that being said, this is still a good Exodus album. It is better than the last three, and it is a damn sight better than Force of Habit or Impact is Imminent. The title track is a good crowd chant along cut, Collateral Damage shows some great chops from drummer Tom Hunting, Salt the Wound is a stellar cut on the album and features Kirk Hammett on a wicked guitar solo. And Chuck Billy himself is featured in BTK.

Blood in, Blood Out is everything that is right and wrong with Exodus. That said it is a great album and better than most ‘metal’ being released this year. There is no doubt this album will be on my Top of 2014 albums list. I just expected the proper follow up to Tempo of the Damned that we never got.

Blood In, Blood Out comes out next Tuesday! Go get it and thrash on… you’ll thank me later, and your neighbors will hate me.

Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold Songs From The Vault
Stevie Nicks

24-Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault

Warner Bros Records

9 out of 10




Stevie Nicks had some down time between her last tour cycle and Fleetwood Mac’s new tour with the recently reunited Christine McVie, so she decided to go through her gigantic catalog of demos over the last 30 years and pull a collection together highlighting the best of those that didn’t quite make the cut over the years.

24-Karat Gold may just be the album every Stevie Nicks fan has been waiting 20 years for. I mean if we must get right down to it, it has been a very long time since the Great Laced One has released a solid album. The only exception to that is Trouble In Shangri-La. That album is outstanding and the production top notch. Sheryl Crow was able to bring out something in Stevie that had been missing for some time.

2011’s In Your Dreams was decent and is still in heavy rotation on my iPod, but it isn’t a Stevie Nicks album as much as it is a Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart album. His influence is heavy on that album and since he played and co-wrote (lyrics aside) almost every song on the album it stands to reason that his influence would be felt and heard heavily throughout. That doesn’t make In Your Dreams a bad album, but it, to me, makes it a duo album more than a Stevie solo album since the sound and the feel of the album is less Stevie than it is Dave.

Which brings me back to 24 karat Gold. Again, this is the album all Stevie Nicks fans have been waiting years for. The sound…. The song writing… the vocals… the music. It is classic Stevie Nicks. Which makes sense considering some of these songs are 30 years old or more. That being said, this album doesn’t sound dated by any means. The songs still resonate today and are as powerful as they were the day they were written. Dave Stewart’s production can only be felt in just that, the production that is flawless. The broad scope of sound from the delicate acoustic guitar strummings in Twisted to the bottom heavy thumping bassline opening of the title track, and even in Stevie’s vocals themselves. They aren’t overly processed; they aren’t hidden in the tracks or too stark and naked. They are perfection. Simple, elegant, and pure Stevie.

The whole feel of the album could and should be a little disjointed since the songs were all written over such a long time span, but the reality is, the entire album feels as if it could sit somewhere between The Wild Heart and The Other Side of the Mirror. In fact considering how disjointed and ill sounding Rock a Little is, this probably should sit right between those two albums in sound, and texture. The album as a whole is surprisingly cohesive and flows well from song to song.

As a long time fan and ardent collector, I’ve had most of these songs in their original demo forms for many years. And I am happy to report that even though the songs were recorded in such a short span of time they’re true to the demos and time they represent. So if you’re concerned that say, Cathouse Blues (one of her first songs if I remember correctly) lost its swagger, or Lady loses the intimacy of Stevie and her piano.

Just rerecorded, updated a bit, and polished nicely.

Sure many of you have heard these songs over the years; sure you may have two or three versions of most of these lying around somewhere like I do. But to hear them in all their crystal clarity is nothing short of outstanding and magical.

Mabel Normand and Belle Fleur are the stand out cuts for me. From the basic autobiographical nature of Mabel Normand and the gritty tone and lost oasis magical landscape of Los Angeles in Belle Fleur they both smack of pure unadulterated Stevie Nicks and you wonder why they never made the cut the first time around? Then there’s cuts like All the Beautiful Worlds and I Don’t Care, and Blue Water, and If You Were My Love, and on and on and on… that just blows you away over and over again, song by song. And you can’t ever imagine these songs sitting on the cutting room floor somewhere.

And then you silently thank Ms. Nicks for going back, rescuing these gems, and giving them the treatments they deserve and sharing them all with us.

Stevie Nicks 24-Karat Gold Songs from the Vault is currently sitting now at #2 on my top albums of 2014. And that’s saying something considering what’s been released this year.

24-Karat Gold is out now. Go ahead, you know you want to go get it… go ahead; you’ll thank me later. And enjoy All the Beautiful Worlds.

blatant disarray the harbinger

The Harbinger

Dirt Records

10 out of 10

Several years ago I dubbed Blatant Disarray 'The New Princes of Thrash'. Their sound back then was pure Bay Area Thrash performed with a precision that was beyond compare. They had some great riffs and kick ass hooks but their songwriting might not have lived up to their ability to shred your face right off at the time.

Enter The Harbinger and forget everything you’ve ever heard or thought of Blatant Disarray. Their second full-length album leaves their former song writing back in a high school locker in some deserted and desolate hallway.

The new album shows a marked maturity in almost every area. From the song writing and lyrical content to the vocals and performance. Granted the band is 50% new members since the last album but that’s a positive step even if the reasons for some of the personnel changes are quite dark (all will be revealed in an upcoming interview on away-team.com).

Mike Schaefer’s vocals have grown and filled out quite nicely since the release of their debut album Everyone Dies Alone. It could be the fact that he oversaw the entire recording process himself as Producer and finally found ‘the sweet spot’ for his voice in the studio, it could be the drama of the past three years adding layers of maturity, or it simply could be that he’s come into his own and found his voice.

The addition of Trey McLamb on the drums is the second biggest change behind the balls to the wall vocals. Where the former drummer Tim Worrell was an insane timekeeper and precision personified, Trey brings a completely different energy and looseness to the Blatant sound now. I’m not talking sloppy loose like yer aunts ragged aged cunt, I’m talking allowing the drums to be just that, drums, a sense of percussion, a thrash vibe to them as opposed to the technical virtuosity of Tim. It truly adds a new depth to the band’s sound live as well as in the studio.

The stand out track here that really sets the bar at a ridiculous height is There will be Pain, a fast paced thrashfest that has one of the heaviest riffs I’ve heard in some time. Mike’s vocals are simply beyond anything he’s ever done before, and the drums and bass line are something straight out of 1986’s San Francisco if you catch my drift.

How are Ryan Johnson’s solos you ask? Forget about it! Simply stellar and mind crushing. The man could play a solo only using slices of cheese cut in the shapes of the 50 states and it’d still be fifty times better than one hundred percent of the shit that is out there today.

Eviscerate might actually give There Will Be Pain a run for it’s money as it gallops along at a breakneck speed. And again, Ryan’s guitar solo is spot on. Thankfully I gave up playing guitar long ago, because listening to these monstrous riffs and solos would utterly crush my soul. I’d have to put on track # 8 Quench, slit my wrists from hand to elbow and slip slowly into the warm water of my tub and the sweet release of death.

Quench, as well as Rust are quite the dirge filled sonatas. I had the privilege of hearing a working version of Quench a couple months ago and wasn’t that impressed. I was told there were several guitar parts missing and that once done, it would be pure Blatant Disarray epicness. And not only is it nut pulverisingly heavy and epic, it went from my least favorite song of theirs to rising just behind Pain. The subject matter may be tough for the band to deal with, and in a way, it may be the only way they can deal with the loss of their former drummer. Knowing its origin doesn’t make listening to the song any easier, and even a casual fan that hears the song for the first time has to get the chills while traversing through the 8-minute requiem.

The Slayer-ish Born In a Body Bag clocks in at a mind-numbing 2:29 minutes as a fitting brutal ending to a record that takes no prisoners from the opening notes to the frenetic end.

Blatant Disarray’s The Harbinger is out today via Dirt Records and you can pick it up on amazon or iTunes now.

The Harbinger stands alone atop my possible best of 2014 records and it is only May.

Go pick up a copy for yourself and see why, you’ll thank me later.

And if you’re in Raleigh, NC this Friday you can see Blatant along with Jonin and Broadslab at the Lincoln Theatre for their record release show.

Hello Ladies and Gents, it is that time again for everyone's 'Best Of..' list and I'm not going to be left out. It's been a great year for all kinds of music. You just had to go and look for some of it. Some of the selections on my list are predictable but I think there are a few on here that may surprise many of you too. So let's kick off Slim Jim's Top 13.5 (I'll explain that later) Best Albums of 2013.

13 - King 810 - Midwest Monsters EP
king 810 memoirs of a murderer
Wish Korn would go back to being Korn and still putting out music as powerful and brutally painful as their debut self titled album? Don’t we all?
King 810 isn’t Korn, they might be the poor man’s Korn, or they may just be brutal and murderous without having the mommy and daddy issues of Jonathan Davis (or maybe more issues than Davis??). They aren’t quite as strong musically as Korn either. Every song sounds similar to the one before it. The only thing that seems to change is the breakdown of each song and the vocals/lyrics.
I swear this is a Best Of.. list, and King 810 are part of it despite how it sounds so far…
Instead of screaming and crying about mommy/daddy/molestation/etc ala Korn they are more about murder/death/mayhem it seems. I’ve seen them labeled ThugCore (that’s a new one to me), and the lyrics support the label. They paint a bleak portrait of life in the bowels of a hellish American City (the band hails from Flint, Mi) and the attitudes, antics, and dealings done to simply survive (or not survive as the theme of some of the songs go. 
With titles like Murder Murder Murder, The Death Posture, KIA, and Dragging Knives (see the common theme?) this isn’t feel good metal at all. But the cathartic nature of it, after 25 minutes of crawling through the dregs of humanity portrayed in this EP you can’t help but feel reborn, renewed, and whatever bullshit you carried with you before you put the disc on all fades away against the abrasive, concussive, sludge of inner city hell portrayed by KING 810.
Song of Note: K.I.A.

12 - Queensryche - Queensryche
queensryche ST
for many years was pretty much my second to third favorite band (1. Metallica 2. Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac). But over the years I had a hard time supporting them as each new album came out. Their EP, The Warning, Rage For Order, Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, and Promised Land were all exceptional albums but from there on it was all down hill. American Soldier was decent, and Operation: Mindcrime II was a valiant effort but it wasn’t enough to really be a good album. I won’t even go into the covers album.
And then the shit show started. The very public, very dirty, very scandalous breakup began. And so now you have two versions of the once mighty Queensryche touring and recording. Just to fuck with the public some more. Regardless what side of the fence you fall on this one, you must admit that of the two Queensryche albums that were released this year, only one sounds like the real Queensryche. If left simply to public opinion and album sales (which is a direct reflection of public opinion if you ask me) there is no mistaking that the Geoff Tate-less Queensryche, the Queensryche with new singer Todd La Torre is by far the reigning version of Queensryche.
The self titled album featuring the new singer is the bands best effort in recent years. The sound falls somewhere between Empire and Promised Land. They say it harkens back to the original Ryche sound of the first 4 albums, and while it is close, there is a little missing from it to be truly from The Warning ‘era’.
Todd’s voice is remarkably Geoff Tateish. Think Judas Priest with Ripper Owens, and had the band been able to go on after firing Geoff and just be ‘the’ Queensryche then there is a real chance that they’d be on their way back up the charts, and back into the arenas again. His voice is that strong and that ‘Tateish’ that if you just put the album on, and didn’t know the line up change, you’d never know that Tate wasn’t singing.
The album is solid, and because it is a step in the right direction and is completely listenable on it’s own even if it isn’t missing it’s ballsiness somewhere along the way, it limps its way into my top 10 list of 2013.
Again, this is more Empire than Rage for Order or The Warning, and while there isn’t anything wrong with that, I don’t think it is enough of a departure from the last few Ryche albums to really be a great album. I’ll take Empire era Queensryche over Hear in the Now Frontier era, but if I had my druthers, you can give me Rage era Ryche any and every day thank you very much.
This being the first album without Geoff wrangling the writing or pawning the writing off on third parties (depends on whose story you believe), it shows enough promise to give us long time Ryche fans hope that the forthcoming music from the band will continue down the path they’ve begun to go.
Song of Note: Open Road

11 - Deep Purple - Now What?!
deep purple now what
Without going on a tirade against the R&R Hall of Fame here… It is a travesty that Deep Purple has once again been overlooked by them. While I’m glad that they didn’t get in based solely on the fact that this year marked the death of the greatest keyboard player ever, Jon Lord, It pains me to see pop artists get into the Hall before one of the most influential bands ever (and arguably the first band to create the ‘heavy metal’ genre just a couple of years before Sabbath).
That aside, Deep Purple has had a rough couple of years in the quality of the recordings they’ve been putting out. They’ve admitted as much themselves in recent interviews.
And while they can never return to the strength and might that they were with Jon Lord, the current line up with Don Airey at keyboards has finally captured the sound and vibe that is at the core of any great DP recording. 
Now What?! bears a striking resemblance to Perfect Strangers which in my opinion is the last good album they’ve put out as well as possibly their greatest album ever.
It sees the band in grand form and Ian Gillan while somewhat restrained here vocally still delivers a great performance.
If you’re looking for a good strong Deep Purple album that harkens back to their better songwriting days and performances, this is the one for you.
Song of Note: Vincent Price

10 - Trivium - Vengeance Falls
trivium vengeance falls
I had to put Trivium on this list. I’ve tried liking their previous albums. I enjoy them to a certain extent but they just seemed to be missing something. Then I saw them live, and I understood what Trivium was all about. It’s been said a million times, and I’ll say it here because still holds true… There are live bands and there are studio bands. Some bands shine on a stage and their albums are just so so, others make killer albums but they just don’t come across right on stage. Trivium for me is the former. Until the release of Vengeance Falls. I don’t know if their writing has improved, if changing producers and having David Draiman helped, I don’t know if it just sonically sounds better than the other albums, or it is just lighting in a bottle, but the band has finally released an album that represents their sound onstage properly.
The band took a lot of heat for having Disturbed’s David Draiman produce the album from the ‘all knowing’ sheeple out there. But having a new set of ears listen and help pull out the best possible performance out of the band seems to have worked. This is the first album from Trivium I can listen to front to back. And because of that, because it is such a strong album, because it is the hardest and heaviest album to come out this year, because the band is such a great live band, they deserve to be in my top 10 list this year.
Song of Note: At the End of this War

9 - Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Vol 1
5fdp The Wrong Side of Heaven the Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1
When this album came out I wanted to dislike it just like I did their first three albums.
Look, their sound is ok, the songwriting is ok, and while the band seems to have a lot of fun on stage performing, the lead singer Ivan Moody seems to posture just a little bit too much for my taste. Their breakout song (a cover of Bad Company’s ‘Bad Company’) was a cover that ranks up there with Shinedown’s Simple Man as the top covers that never should have happened.
The fact that the general public ate up both of those shitty versions of great songs irritated the fuck out of me and so I take it out on the bands and refuse to like/listen to them.
So FFDP comes out with the first of two albums dropping this year and damned if the first one isn’t chock full of killer guest vocalists. We’re talking Rob Halford, Maria Brink, Max Calavera, and Jamey Jasta here. That’s enough to make me give the disc a good solid listen. At least one good listen.
I’ll be damned if the album isn’t really fucking good. Again, a total surprise here and even more so that this band ended up on my top 10 list!
The title track is a stellar song that, had they released it 5 years ago it would have been a weak muddling milquetoast abortion of a song. But they have clearly matured in their songwriting and it shows here.
The disc kicks off with the infectious Lift Me Up featuring Rob Halford and it is this song that kept me intrigued enough to keep listening.
Moving through the various tracks they all have their high points and keep the album moving along nicely. Until you get to what may end up being my third grossest mistaken cover song ever. FFDP and Tech N9ne cover LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out. At face value it could be a really strong cover. The original song was done by LL Cool J with a full band supporting him on it. So it isn’t too far of a stretch to see a metal band cover it. But the execution is less favorable than chowing down on a three month old abortion. It should have never been done.
the first half of Diary of a Deadman continues to push the suck factor here. Think Metallica’s To Live is to Die but in reverse. Had the instrumental been ALL of the song it would have been a solid song. But if you skip both of those songs the rest of the album is a great solid metal album.
Look, no one is more surprised than I am that this album is in my top 10 list. I almost feel the need to apologize for it. But the majority of the disc is so strong and so surprising to me that I feel it is worthy to be here.
The second album (Volume 2) is really more of the same. It isn’t bad, it isn’t better, it is missing the guest vocalists, and it carries it’s own shitty cover version of House of the Rising Sun.
Maybe FFDP should stick to having guest vocalists and not doing ANY covers (because they all come out shitty). To be fair House of the Rising Sun is a lot less shitty than Mama Said Knock You Out. So they’ve got THAT going for them.
Song of Note: Wrong Side of Heaven

8 - Newsted - Heavy Metal Music
newsted heavy metal music
After leaving Metallica Jason Newsted has been in a lot of projects to keep himself busy as he properly recovered from the neck/back injury that forced him out of the worlds biggest metal band (well, that and the all the inner turmoil bullshit going on at the time. See: Some Kind Of Monster). From performing with Ozzy, Voivod, Echobrain, etc, etc. to finally starting his own band Newsted it's been a long journey.
Jason plays bass and sings/growls vocals and does an admirable job singing. It’s a bit one dimensional but it does work. And even after listening to the whole album it doesn’t grate on me. I usually prefer a little more depth in the vocals but this works and works well.
I think because the music behind it is so Motorheadishly groovetastic that the vocals lends itself to the grittiness of the sound.
And that is the biggest compliment you can pay this album. For that is what it is to the T. It is Motorheadishly groovetastic. Think Lemmy and Co. thrashing it out instead of Punking or Rockabillying it out. And that is where Neswsted sits. Motorhead with thick as fuck Thrash riffs and chops.
The biggest surprise here isn’t Jason singing… it has to be Staind’s Mike Mushock’s performance on the disc.
This isn’t Staind’s emo metal whiney baby bullshit, this is Mike unleashing heavy metal mayhem riffs all over the album. Kudos to Mike for finally showing the world his metal chops. They are a true treat and joy to behold.
Song of Note: King of the Underdogs

7 - Volbeat - Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
volbeat album
Luckily I was turned on to Volbeat a few years ago by a good friend. And have been a fan ever since. I mean what’s not to like here? You like Hard Rock? You like Rockabilly? You like Danzig? You like Elvis? Well, let me introduce Volbeat to you.
They are all the above and a little bits of all the above. The bastard son of Elvis and Glenn Danzig singing 50’s era Rockabilly with a 2000 twist mixed with great hooks and enough swagger and hair gel to put the sleaziest greaser to shame; add in exceptional songwriting and you have Volbeat.
The most notable difference between Outlaw and the albums before it is the addition of Robb Caggiano. I think that is what sets this album apart and above its predecessors. With Robb in role of producer the album is more straightforward Hard Rock(abilly) than a mish mash of Metal(abilly) and so the sound is more coherent and fluid.
If I had a complaint it is that there is a certain sameness to each and every song they do. If the songs weren’t so good it would be a little off putting and dull. I think it lies in the vocals of Michael Poulsen. While they are unique and undeniably good, they don’t have much range, so each song sounds like the last. The exception being Room 24 which features King Diamond and has the older thrashy Volbeat sound to it. Past that, the album kind of comes off as a 45 minute song with different passages throughout it. Not sure how you change that, as it is really the main part of their signature sound.
The Hangman’s Body Count has a great riff running throughout it chugging along like a juggernaut and the soloing is top notch.
Lonesome Rider has the rockin’ist Rockabilly/Country/Metal vibe of them all. It doesn’t hurt that Sarah Blackwood is singing in the worlds thickest twang on it and what a trippy song it is. You have to hear it to understand all the elements at play in this song.
Song of Note: Doc Holiday

6 - Monster Magnet - Last Patrol
monster magnet last patrol
Monster Magnet is a band that should be much bigger than it is. But because they don’t write radio friendly hard rock or are perceived to be something they aren’t they don’t get the respect they deserve.
They’re mostly known for their one hit Space Lord and their great video for it. But take a listen to the rest of that album or any track on this album and you’ll find that they have so much more substance than that one song.
Ask me what Last Patrol sounds like and I’d be hard pressed to tell you. It’s epic. That’s the one word that comes to mind. Fucking EPIC. It is truly a journey of an album. It takes you for a ride and you end up in places you’d never think you’d go from a band like Monster Magnet.
Let’s just give them their own genre and call it Space Rock shall we? Because that’s what this is. It’s the closest I can come to ‘naming’ the sound. There’s acoustic shit in there, spacey jams, middle eastern tinges mixed in, and it isn’t until you get to Hallelujah almost halfway through the disc that you get to what you’d call a straightforward rocker. 
And that is what is so great about this album. That is all part of this journey. The music is heavy as hell. And not in the traditional sense of heavy metal, think Muse but a lot more restrained and laid back.
This is a groove heavy album. Maybe that’s what I missed. The album grooves deeply. It doesn’t go so deep as to be sludge, but heavy on the groove factor here. Every song whether slow, low, or jukin’ and jivin’ all have their own fat groove to them. EPIC GROOVE SPACE ROCK.
There you go.
Now, go get it. You’ll thank me later.
Song of Note: Paradise

5 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away
nick cave push the sky away
Has Nick Cave ever released a bad album?
Fuck no.
Has he released albums that fail to live up to the Nick Cave standard? Yes, but then a Nick Cave album is a lot like fucking. Even if it’s bad fucking it is still fucking.
Nick Cave has gone back and forth over the last few years releasing albums with and without the Bad Seeds and has even done some ‘side projects’ (how you do a side project from yourself I have no idea), and it is my opinion that the best Nick Cave is the Nick Cave that is backed by The Bad Seeds.
The opening cut We No Who U R sets the mood for the disc with a ethereal and bleak sound. This isn’t the aggressive Nick Cave set to a cacophonous wall of noise. Think more Leonard Cohen and less The Birthday Party.
Wide Lovely Eyes continues the stark ethereal sound while Water’s Edge still keeps the minimalist theme going musically but steps the tempo up. You feel the song building, restrained, strained, pulsing, waiting to tear loose, only to be tamped down suppressed and leaving you edgy and wanting more.
It’s only when Jubilee Street starts that you get a full band sound, or traditional band sound. The electric, eclectic, ethereal sound gone but the morose lyrical vibe maintains its hold. The irony being the title of the song comparative to the overall feel of the song.
This is Nick Cave’s best work in a long time. I’ve followed the man for a long time, and this may rank right up there as his 3rd best album behind Let Love In and The Murder Ballads. That’s enough to ensure his place in my top ten of 2013.
Song of Note: Water’s Edge

4 - Ghost - Infestissumam
ghost infantissumam
Hail Satan!
Hail Satanic Metal!
Hail Satanic Circus Music!
Hail Satanic Psychobilly!
The second album by the enigmatic Ghost may not be as straight forward in the metal vein as their first album Opus Eponymous but it is still a great album that has so many subtle layers to it. And I think that’s why so many people seem to like the first album more.
But what Ghost brings to the Satanic Metal genre is something that one would never have though possible… FUN!
Yes Satan can be fun. Who knew?!?!?!??!
Give Infestissumam one listen and you’ll agree. Worshipping Satan and glorifying the great evil one can be fun.
The track Per Aspera ad Inferi sounds like some kind of psychedelic 70’s hard rock groove song until you catch the lyrics… ‘Oh Satan Devour us all Hear our desperate call’.
I’ve always wanted to start a band that plays music in the vein of Barry Manilow but has lyrics so dark and fucked up that people upon first listen give you the puzzled dog head cocked to the side expression.. ‘HUH?
This isn’t quite Barry Manilow music but is is close in idealism.
This isn’t Black Metal. This isn’t Satanic Metal. This isn’t King Diamond or Slayer by a long shot. But it is good solid hard rock/heavy metal that is a trip to listen to.
So put your sullen and brooding Black/Death/Satan Metal away, put on your clown pants and rock the fuck out to Good Friendly Fun Satanism!
Song of Note: Year Zero

3 - Micheal Monroe - Horns and Halos
michael monroe horns
Hanoi Rocks was poised to be the biggest band in the world. The year was 1984, they had just released their best album to date, Two Steps From the Move, they had taken Bowie’s and the New York Dolls’ and MC5’s drag/androgynous look and glommed the fuck right out of it and had invented what became Glam Rock. Motley Crue, Ratt, hell ALL of the Sunset Strip bands of the 80’s stole or adopted the look from the originators. And Guns & Roses would have never been the Guns & Roses we knew if it weren’t for Hanoi Rocks. G&R even rereleased all of Hanoi Rocks albums on their own label as a tribute to them to show the world what they may have missed.
That all changed when Vince Neil got behind the wheel of his Pantera one night highly intoxicated and took Hanoi Rocks’ drummer Razzle on a liquor run. He ended up running head first into a Volkswagen Bug seriously injuring the occupants of that car and killing Razzle instantly. The death of Razzle effectively put an end to Hanoi Rocks.
And the world was a much worse place for it.
Michael Monroe went on to a successful solo career but never reached the heights that Hanoi SHOULD have.
Hanoi Rocks reformed a few years ago and put out a couple of really good albums but things ran its course and Michael once again has gone out on his own.
His latest disc is Horns and Halos and it is the strongest album he or Hanoi has released in 20 years.
This guy is 51, his voice is stronger on this album than in the last 20-25 years easy. The songs are well written and more tight and cohesive than in previous recent efforts. The playing is mush stronger and well written also.
This may be the best Michael Monroe album he has ever put out.
The albums starts off with the bombastic TNT Diet that sets a solid rollicking pace for an album that doesn’t let up once. There are 13 cuts on this album and everyone of them shines in its own way.
Ballad of the Lower East Side is probably the truest Hanoi Rocks style song on the album. The swagger and sleaze running off this song harkens back to the early 80’s not to mention the lyrics are singing of the glories of the Lower East Side of NYC in the 80’s with its pushers, pimps, and whores.
Horns and Halos is a straight out cock rock song that may be the jewel of the disc. 
The more I listen to the album the more I hear Social D or TSOL vibe running through it more than Monroe’s normal glam rock sheen.
And this may be why the album works so well. It may be the most mature album he’s ever written. Throwing nods in it to his roots, as well as his influences, but the new ‘sound’ lies less in the glam rock we’ve come to love and expect and more in just great Rock & Roll songwriting.
Nobody writes a better hook than Michael Monroe, and every song on this album has a great hook that instantly sinks into you and pulls you right to the end of the song and deposits you squarely on the other side wishing the song wasn't over. That is until the next song sets in, drops it’s hook in your face leaving a big mushroom stamp on your head and dragging through it’s glory and deposits you once again on the far end wishing your could hit replay and dig the song over an over again.
That to me is the sign of a great song. As soon as it ends you want to go back and listen to it again. When every song on an album does that to you… you have a great album!
And this friends and foes, is a great fucking album.
Song of Note: Ballad of the Lower East Side

2 - Scorpion Child - Scorpion Child
scorpion child
Holy Fuck. I hate kicking myself for missing something. We get tons of Press Releases that cross our desk every day for a million bands you’ve never heard of and probably never will, let alone the ones you wish you never did. Scorpion Child PRs were coming at me fast and furious this past spring/early summer and I read a couple and just moved on. And THAT is what I thought of Scorpion Child. Read and dumped the PR without a second thought. I have to thank Sirius/XM for actually opening my ears and eyes to the wonder that is Scorpion Child and showing me what I was missing.
Think Robert Plant meets Rainbow who goes in a back alley and has a 17way with David Coverdale, Deep Purple, and Fastway is standing there circle jerking all over the place. THAT is what Scorpion Child is. Yet they are so much more.
I always tread lightly when I say a band has a sound from the 70s/80s/particular band name here because I don’t want you to think they’re some kind of rip off or retro sounding band for a goof (think Steel Panther). The above mentioned bands are nothing more than influences on what Scorpion Child bring. They take those influences and churn out something old and familiar feeling but with a new twist and spark of life that should propel them into the stratosphere.
There are a million ‘new’ bands out there vying for your attention, but this one right here stands head and shoulders above them all.
Their sound may not be as diverse as Led Zeppelin's were from album to album, but there is enough diversity here from song to song while still holding the primary Scorpion Child sound to entertain and enthrall one and all alike.
Song of Note: Polygon of Eyes

1 - Clutch - Earth Rocker


A few years ago Clutch released what many consider to be their best album ever, Blast Tyrant.
Well the Maryland band have not only matched the excellence that is Blast Tyrant, but they may have even surpassed it with their latest opus.
Earth Rocker does just what the title suggests… It rocks.
Out of all the great music that has been released this year, this is the album that has received the most listens in my iPod.
This is just a ridiculously good album. Sonically, musically, lyrically, and vocally. The sonic part makes sense because Machine produced the album, the same genius producer behind Blast Tyrant.
Clutch has experimented the last couple of albums and have had mostly missed in my opinion since Blast Tyrant, but Earth Rocker takes off right out of the gate and only slows down for the Gone Cold haunting ‘ballad’ only to rev right back up and shake the foundations with ‘The Face’ and the band doesn’t look back.
There isn’t a bad song on this disc. There isn’t a bad moment on this disc. There isn’t a bad note on this disc. The only complaint would be that they could have added 5 more songs or so as it seems to end way too quickly for me.
The tracking of Earth Rocker is to be lauded also. Starting with the title track, and accelerating with Crucial Velocity, right into Mr. Freedom, and without blinking you’re thrown into D.C. Sound Attack. Each song building on the tempo of the previous, each song propelling your forward until it explodes with Unto The Breach. 
The aforementioned Gone Cold cools us off long enough to catch our breath and begin the crazy ascent again with The Face, Book Saddle & Go, all they way through to the finale The Wolfman Kindly Requests… .
This is the only album I’ve given a 10 out of 10 on in a very long time. I don’t think last year’s number one album In This Moment’s Blood received 10 out of 10 from me (yeah I’m too lazy to look it up, it MAY have…) But that means out of all the albums released since THAT album dropped (we’re talking hundreds of albums people [ok thousands, but for all intents and purposes hundreds that would/could be worthy of being in my top 10]) only Earth Rocker has again received a perfect score. Hence the top spot this year.
Song of Note: Unto The Breach (but it is really hard with this album to pick just one song from)

So that's my top 10... er... 13.
Almost. I decided to go to 13 this year because there were so many good albums I couldn't stop at 10. I have one more I'd like to add, as an Honorable Mention. It was originally in my 'long list' of top 10 albums of the year. But once I finished compiling all the great albums released this year, it just wasn't as strong as the rest of them. But after writing up my Best Of... list I couldn't just let it go to waste. The material is that strong in my opinion. So here is the 13.5 Best Album of 2013.

Natalie Maines - Mother
natalie maines mother
So I purchased Mother by Natalie Maines because, well, as a person and artist I respect who she is and what she has done (former Dixie Chicks), and I heard her perform the Pink Floyd cover on Howard Stern one day and loved it. She does a great job on the song keeping most of the original arrangement together in her version retaining the feel of debilitating maternal oppression while changing it up just enough with a glorious Hammond B organ to put her own mark on it.
I was excited to hear the rest of the album after about 5 spins of Mother alone. And came away pleasantly surprised. Between Mother, and her take on Jeff Buckley’s Lover You Should Have Come Over (back to back those two songs will push any mortal person so far into a melancholy stupor that you need to make sure there are no sharp objects near with which to slit ones wrist with) along with her original songs Free Life, Vein in Vain, and Take it on Faith one comes away from the album with the impression that Ms Maines is the perfect woman to compliment Morrissey. The two of them could crush the world with their combined melancholy and infinite sadness.
There are a couple of decent rockers on the album that harken to Bonnie Raitt just a little less bluesy.
Overall this is a great album. Skip past the opening track, and enjoy the hell out of an album that should have come packaged with it’s own razor blade to open your veins as the disc ends.
Song of Note: Mother (Duh)

Ok, as a chid raised on Thrash Metal in San Francisco I'd be ashamed if I didn't address two great Thrash bands that released albums this year. Metal Church reformed this year and released Generation Nothing and Death Angel released The Dream Calls for Blood. I'd love to have included them in my list this year, but sadly, they just weren't up to snuff for me. I really wanted Metal Church to come back strong and hard, and unforutnately Generation Nothing did just that for me... nothing.
Death Angel's release was a little better but the weakest album they've released in since they reunited a few years ago. Both albums are 'by the numbers' Thrash and that just isn't good enough with all the great music out there today.
So kudos to Metal Church for reuniting and let's hope they put out better stuff soon. And the same goes to Death Angel. I want to root for you guys, I want you to be huge, I want to be blown away by your stuff again. So please... let's just do that in 2014 shall we?

scorpion child

Scorpion Child

Nuclear Blast

10 out of 10

When was the last time a debut album topped your best of the year list?
When was the last time a debut album grabbed you by the balls and made you sit up and pay attention the first time it was played for you?
Well, that time is now, the band is Scorpion Child, and the album is their self titled debut album on Nuclear Blast.

Austin Texas has put out a ton of great bands in the last few years. Most notably The Sword (in my book anyway) and now another epic sounding band that reminds you of Led Zeppelin on steroids. I hate comparing any band to Zep but when the lead singer, Aryn Jonathan Black, sounds like a young hungry Robert Plant and the rest of the five piece band comes off as the be all end all of 70’s super groups it is very difficult to not make that comparison.

There seems to be a resurgence of that epic hard rock sound from the 70s coming back. I for one am all for it. But this is no novelty act. This is the music that could very well save Rock & Roll (and FUCK FALL OUT BOY for even tongue in cheek insinuating it could) and put it back in the forefront of popular music.

Part hard rock riffs, melodic rock vocals, prog rock noodling wall of sound, and psychedelic pop sensibilities Scorpion Child is is nothing short of mesmerizing. If there is a single flaw on the album it would be that there are only 9 songs on it. And in this day and age of bands rethinking the full length album and releasing two very strong songs with 10 cuts that are glorified b-sides, Scorpion Child comes out swinging for the moon with a full album of great songs that should put every band bemoaning the current state of the music industry on notice that if you put out a full length album of quality songs and not just filler that it will be received and heralded as a full length album worth owning and listening to in its entirety.

Scorpion Child doesn’t miss a beat here. There isn’t a bad song on this album.

If you don’t run out and purchase this right now… There is no hope for you or Rock & Roll. Because this is the PERFECT ROCK & ROLL ALBUM.

Get it.
You’ll thank me later.

And I predict this album will be on almost everyone’s top ten list and should be most of their #1 pick.

deep purple perfect strangers live

Perfect Strangers Live
Eagle Vision
8 out of 10 (Ritchie Blackmore's solos suck!)






In 1986 I saw the video for Knockin' At Your Back Door on MTV. While most of the subtleties of all the double entendres for anal sex were lost on my 15 year old brain, the music captured my rapt attention. That was the first time I can remember heavy keyboards in hard rock music. I'm sure at some point prior I had heard Smoke on the Water and who knows what else by Deep Purple, but this was my first conscious exposure to them.

Perfect Strangers remains my favorite Deep Purple album to date. I don't know if it is because it's the first time I heard them, or if it is because the album is utterly fantastic front to back. I don't know, and don't really care. It's Deep Purple motherfucker… that's all that is important.

The band has been releasing ridiculous amounts of live CDs and DVDs over the years, sometimes two or three a year. And this year we get a show from my favorite DP time period. The rebirth of the Mark II era. For those of you who don't know there are somewhere around 1,452,994 versions of Deep Purple (or so it seems). So for all the various incarnations of members coming and going, the band has always differentiated it as Marks. Mark II is the version that originally released Deep Purple In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head, and Made In Japan. Ian Gillian and Roger Glover quit and the band moved on without them. This version featuring Ian Gillian, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, John Lord, and of course Ritchie Blackmore released Perfect Strangers, House of the Blue Light, and Nobody's Perfect.

In 1984 Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers was released and in 1985 they hit the road starting in Australia. This concert, Perfect Strangers Live is the only film footage of that time period supposedly. And now Deep Purple fans can watch what is undoubtedly the best DP lineup perform one of their best set lists ever.

Having watched and heard many DP shows over the years (all the while never having actually seen them live yet grrrrrrr), I can honestly say, that this DVD shows the band at their all time best. I've seen official releases and bootlegs but none of them hold up to this show in terms of audio, set list, performance, compatibility (yes that's an issue when watching DP shows because if Ritchie Blackmore is on stage then he's usually pissed of or has pissed off someone else and it always comes out on stage whether he's throwing dirty looks or glasses of liquid at fellow bandmates), and visual quality.

The band seems truly in tune with each other here. From John Lord and Ritchie trading 'licks' on the keyboards and guitar, to John and Ian, even Roger and John riff together at times. It's different, because usually a band will riff with the drummer keeping time, but in this case it's usually with John who seems to be directing the show from his myriad of keys (don't tell Ritchie though… I'm sure it'll piss him off).

The set starts out with Highway Star and it's a great way to begin any show. Fast paced, rollicking tempo, and the band rockets out of the gates. For the most part the entire first half of the show are all tracks taken from Perfect Strangers.

I'm going to piss off Ritchie again here… But I've never heard a worse guitar solo than the one he stumbles through an extended jam in the middle of Under The Gun. It doesn't appear he was struggling or even mad at the end which would indicate he didn't mean to play that poorly… And that 30 second may be why it's taken almost 20 years for this footage to officially come out.

I keep coming back to it, but the setlist from this show is… well… for me the be all end all of DP setlists. We're talking 5 tracks from Perfect Strangers, Lazy, Child in Time, Space Truckin, Speed King, and of course Smoke on the Water, with Difficult to Cure, Black Night, and the aforementioned Highway Star. Really the only song that would make this truly complete for me would be to include Burn. But that being David Coverdale's song… I understand why Ian didn't include it in his shows.

The show is over 2 hours long and shitty Ritchie solos aside (Knockin' at your Back Door's is a little lacking too) is definitely a must see/hear!

The DVD came out yesterday and you can pick it up now.



merciless book of metal lists

Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins

Abrams Publishing

8 out of 10

Review by: Slim Jim Keller





So I'm sitting in a hotel room in the middle of BFE Indiana and I've just received a book to review called The Merciless Book of Metal Lists.

My first thought is what kind of bullshit can this be? A whole book of nothing but lists? I'm thinking it's going to be somewhere just north of 'That Metal Show's Top 5 bullshit list to kill 5 minutes and not actually make a statement' lists. I was wrong. It is actually a fairly well put together book about metal that just happens to be in list form. I mean, who needs to write out all their thoughts with nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, conjunctions, complex sentences, and shit? Just think of a snappy title, and throw 5 to 10 items under it, and voila you have you own list of crap that hopefully someone else finds insightful or amusing, and in the best cases... both!

The latter is where this book sits. It has two authors but the key to the success of the whole book is that the lists within aren't just from them. Flemming Rasmussen (Producer on 2.5 Metallica albums) has a couple of lists (Kill Em All Vs Ride The Lightning Vs Master of Puppets, Vs ...And Justice for All), Kerry King writes the forward and Phil Anselmo writes the Afterword and there are a host of other contributors.

Sticking with the Metallica theme, one of the best lists in the book (though I disagree with it 100%) is 'The Very Best Qualities Of METALLICA'S Load and Reload Albums'. And the entire page is blank. If you don't get it, then this book isn't for you.

It's hard to argue with a book. I mean, all lists are just opinions and opinions are assholes and assholes smell to high heaven. Well, that's not quite right. It's hard to argue with a book of lists, though it can be thought-provoking at times, it can also be nothing but shit stirring. Which isn't a bad thing, but reading it, in said hotel room, in said BFE, Indiana, I had no one to argue the finer merits of the 20 Greatest Metal Voices (Manowar's Eric Adams is #4? Really? Above Geoff Tate and King Diamond? Above the likes of John Bush and Cory Taylor? Bullocks I say. Pure rubbish!

But that's the point of this, isn't it? To get you thinking, to enlighten you just a bit, and to get you and your friends with a few cold beers to discuss and dissect meaningless things like 'Rob Halford's lyrics re-examined' or 'Paul Baloff's Stage Banter'.

The Merciless Book of Metal Lists is just that. Merciless and Metal. That being said, you can go get your copy HERE or HERE, you'll thank me later.

1. “yoU’Ve GoT ANoTheR ThING ComIN’
I’m callin’ all the shots / I got an ace card comin’ down on the rocks
Rob’s like, “Shut up bitch—I’m the top here, and I’m gonna pound you until my load drips down your balls!”
2. “BReAKING The LAw
Nobody cares if I live or die / So I might as well begin to put some action in my life
Obviously, Rob feels alienated because his friends refuse to accept his lifestyle, so he hops a bus to San Francisco to get laid.
I’m all geared up to score again, loaded, loaded / I come alive in the neon light
Rob seems to not have gotten any in a while, so during a visit to Amsterdam, he hits the Red Light District in search of a Dutch stallion.
4. “hoT foR LoVe
I can’t shake you off / You’re a wolf on the prowl
As he stated in “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” Rob fancies himself a pitcher, although as evidenced by this here passage, he doesn’t necessarily mind role-playing as Yogi Berra now and again.
5. “RoCK hARD RIDe fRee
Get a grip on the action / Moving heaven and earth
Really . . . Who DOESN’T like some nice hand release???
6. “Some heADS ARe GoNNA RoLL
If the man with the power / Can’t keep it under control / Some heads are gonna roll
If this isn’t the perfect slogan for premature ejaculators, we don’t know what is!
A new beginning has arrived / At the crossroads of my life / This new love keeps me alive
Finally, Rob Halford finds himself free from the shackles of discrimination and prejudice. Homophobia is fucked up and wrong. All due respect to a true Metal pioneer.

the doors live at the bowl

Live at the Bowl ‘68

Blu Ray

Eagle Vision

6 out of 10


I have never seen a decent version of a Doors concert, and being a fan of a lot of their stuff (Ok, so their 2 CD Best Of is always in heavy rotation but never got into a full album of theirs), I was excited to hear of this show getting a proper release and modern treatment.

In fact it dawned on me as I was watching it that the show I was watching/hearing probably sounded 100 times better than what the crowd heard on July 5, 1968 at the Hollywood Bowl. The 5.1 mastering sounds superb, and may very well be the best I’ve ever heard The Doors.

Having been listening to The Doors for the later part of 25 years I can’t believe it never occurred to me that they didn’t have a bassist! As I watched the show, it hit me about two songs in; there is no bassist on stage. So I had to do some research to figure out what was going on, and Ray Manzarek was credited with playing the ‘keyboard bass’ as well as the keyboards. So presumably he had a loop going of a bass line for the songs.

If you’ve seen the movie The Doors then you’ve probably seen a more energetic and charismatic version of Jim Morrison then you will on this disc. The first time he really seems to come alive was during Light My Fire when he begins screaming at the crowd after the lengthy jam and before they reel it back in to the last refrain.

The band is ridiculously good. Even when they breakdown into the extended jams they still hold it all together tightly and don’t lose you as they nod out and let the music take over.

I’ve never really understood the fascination with him; I mean he is almost revered as a demi-god by many. And after seeing this show, I understand it even less.

Morrison never seems to actually ‘be’ there. And his between song banter, or poetry slam, just leaves you scratching your head. Right, so it leaves ME scratching my head, point taken.

I know he was phobically afraid of crowds and the stage fright was crippling to him. And only being three years into the band when this concert was filmed may be a big part of this, but his eyes are closed through 80 percent of the show, and he moves very little (which is true for the entire band, yes a keyboardist and drummer can’t really move around too much, I get that) but he and Robby Krieger aren’t the most energetic on stage.

The execution during The Unknown Soldier is gripping and Jim’s vocals throughout the entire show are great. What he lacks in on stage charisma he more than makes up for vocally.

Some songs are difficult to pull off live, and you would think that an epic song such as The End would be almost impossible to make work in a live situation. Especially during the 60s and 70s when everyone was always sitting down because there were no arenas at the time just large theaters with seats. But damned if The End wasn’t as strong live as the recorded version. And yes, live it is still chilling and enthralling.

The extras on the Blu Ray are worth the price of admission alone. Two mini documentaries on the show at the Bowl as well as an in depth look at how the film was restored and remastered for this release are included with three bonus performances.

THE DOORS Live at the Bowl ’68 is out now on DVD, Blu Ray, CD, and Double LP.

gary moore blues for jimi
Gary Moore

Blues for Jimi


Eagle Records

7 out of 10




Gary Moore is a great guitarist; this is not up for dispute. Gary Moore throwing down some Jimi Hendrix can’t be viewed as a bad thing, ever.

Where this live CD works is in Gary’s masterful interpretation of Jimi’s licks. Where it seems to fail is in the mix and vocals. If Gary were to just stand back and shred and allow for someone else a little more Jimi ‘sounding’ to sing it may make up for the bad mix. But as it stands the vocals just seem to add to the bad mix and almost ruin the CD as a whole.

When Gary isn’t singing and just wailing away at Hendrix classics like Purple Haze, Manic Depression, The Wind Cries Mary, Fire, and Voodoo Child (slight return), all is right with the world. Gary stays as true to the songs as possible and even though it’s live and Jimi would be known to go off on his solos, Gary never seems to take over the song, just channels Jimi into and through the guitar and lets it wail.

The concert itself was recorded in 2007 in London. The band includes Dave Bronze, Darrin Mooney, and the end of the set Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell from the original Jimi Hendrix Experience join Gary on stage for Red House, Stone Free, and Hey Joe.

Unfortunately Gary Moore is no longer with us, as I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be continually on one of the Jimi Hendrix Experience tours going on now.

A great guitarist paying homage to another is a wonderful thing to behold. Sadly the mix is just a little muddy for the drums and bass. With today’s technology I can’t imagine why the sound ended up the way it did. If anything I guess it puts you back into the late sixties and gives you that ‘retro’ feel.

danko jones bring me the mountain

Bring on the Mountain


Bad Taste Records

9 out of 10


 Review by: Slim Jim Keller


Ever heard of DANKO JONES?

Well you should have. They’ve only been around for 16 years. Yes, 16 years. They should be the biggest rock band out there today. They should be. You should agree with me. You should.

That being said, I have a great way for you to find out more about DANKO JONES than you ever thought you needed to know. Bring on the Mountain is their first ever DVD and it is chock full of DANKO JONES' history. The format of the DVD is great in that it has Danko and band sitting around essentially just telling you stories about how the band started interspersed with video clips from ‘back in the day’. That’s 90 minutes of Danko and company telling you about their KISS inspired Punk Rock roots through lineup changes through today. It is a great visual and spoken word history that is well presented.

But there’s more to Bring on the Mountain than just a Danko Jones history lesson. You have a mini movie based on their video trilogy from Full of Regret, Had Enough and I Think Bad Thoughts. There are 15 live clips of some of Danko’s best songs and all 19 music videos that the band has ever done.

Yes 19 videos! The best Rock & Roll band out there has 19 videos and you’ve never heard of them. It could be because they are from Canada and the Canadian media is all about Rush and Nickelback apparently. Or it could be it has taken them this long to get this good, and now is their time and Bring on the Mountain is the vehicle that is going to take them to the top of said mountain and everyone will know that greatness that is DANKO JONES!

Because this band does NOT deserve to be held in obscurity any longer.

The only reason this great package got a 9 instead of a 10 is that there needs to be a full length concert with it. Yes there are 15 live videos here, but it isn’t all just one show. Hopefully the littlest biggest band in the world will offer up a full live show for us rapid fans.

Check out Bring on the Mountain and discover Danko Jones for yourself. You WILL thank me later.