FLOGGING MOLLY



Speed Of Darkness



Borstal Beats Records



8 out of 10



Flogging Molly is best known as an Irish Drinking Punk Band. So somewhere in the mix of Jameson, Guinness, violins and accordions are the politics of an Irish Pub band. Frontman Dave King and crew have turned their focus this time on the current economic blue collar common man climate of the Mid West United States.

With Speed Of Darkness, Revolution, & Don’t Shut Em Down the bands lyrics look at the working class Middle American worker struggling to make ends meet in our toughest economic times in almost 100 years.

If you aren’t familiar with Flogging Molly this is actually a perfect record to pick up and sink your teeth into. Musically it is Flogging Molly at their finest, and lyrically it may be the easiest FM album to absorb and rock out with as the subject matter hits closer to home than their previous efforts.

The Powers Out while lamenting the inability to pay the power bill, the song itself is a great jig that moves from raucous noisy and cheering to quiet mandolin interludes. ‘The Power is out, well there’s fuck all to see. Well the powers out, like this economy. Yeah the powers out, its par for the course unless you’re a bloodsucking leech CEO.’ Sure it isn’t ‘feel good’ music, but when are Irish jigs? It’s about commiserating over warm pints locking arms and shoulders and roiling through the pain and despair. And nobody does it better than Flogging Molly.

There are the quiet moments like So Sail On to give one a chance to catch their breath, refill their pint glass, shoot a lil whisky and brace for the next anthemic ditty which in this case is the very next track Saints & Sinners replete with its sing along at the end.

This is Flogging Molly at their finest in my opinion. I don’t know if it is because I can relate to the subject matter of the lyrics more than previous efforts, or the songwriting is just that much better than previous albums. But beginning to end this is a solid album and the first Flogging Molly album that I can listen to the entire thing without wanting to change it.

They have many great songs in their repertoire, but this is the first full album of good songs to me.

So, grab a pint or ten, a bottle of good Jameson, and fire up Speed Of Darkness. But don’t do it alone. Irish Drinking music isn’t made to be enjoyed alone. You can’t commiserate with yourself now can you? And who wants to drink Jameson alone, who's going to hold your hair back at the end of the night?









For more FLOGGING MOLLY click here.

FILTER



The Trouble with Angels



Rocket Science Ventures



9 out of 10



Richard Patrick first gained attention as the guitarist for NINE INCH NAILS. His only recorded material with them was on the end of ‘Sanctified’ off Pretty Hate Machine, but he toured/performed with NIN from 1989-93. He left NIN forming FILTER and released Short Bus in 1995. More rock than industrial, FILTER took off in a big way, but it wasn’t until their second album Title of Record that they gained huge commercial success with the single ‘Take a Picture’.

A full studio album and greatest hits compilation not to mention a plethora of soundtrack singles round out Filter’s studio work.

FILTER is back now with a new studio album The Trouble With Angels and from what I’ve heard of the new album so far (giving it a 2nd spin as I write this), the album is harder, heavier, more electronic than anything since Short Bus. Gone is the commercial gleam, and slick sound that permeated later FILTER albums.

The Trouble with Angels starts off with static laced am radio sounding vocals that kicks into a gritty guitar riff and the lyrics, ‘Come along Sally let’s have a break down’. This is ‘Drug Boy’, and it is as dirty and gritty as any back street dime bag shooting alley you can imagine. The demonic reverberated screams throughout the bridge would bring any fiend to his knees begging for sobriety and sanity instantly. A straight forward rock riff over laced with pulsating drums and a bass line that makes your blood simmer in your veins lends itself very well to the melodic chorus that

FILTER has been known for. But this is no ‘Picture’ ballad. This is balls out FILTER at their best.

For the radio rock “we must have a ‘Take a Picture’ ballad” folks out there. FILTER offers up ‘No Love’ to you, but again, this is no overly produced slick sticky sweet ballad. Once the chorus kicks in, and the scream of ‘No Love’ rings out the teeny boppers out there might just switch the station. But that would be doing FILTER and this song a grave disservice. Sit back, give it a listen, and let the music and message sink in. You’ll thank me for it later.

No Re-Entry’ is a psychedelic tripalicious love scorn ballad complete with noise/muse rock keyboards filling out and flowing out (of) the song nicely.

Overall the album has a much heavier electronic feel than albums past. Drum loops, noise loops, and wicked vocal effects layers each song, making it impossible to get the full effect even after multiple listens. This is why this album works so well. You can’t get it all immediately. It takes several listens for you to get everything that happens in each and every song. This makes the album last. This is what makes a great album. Every time you put it on, you hear something new. The songs never get old, because you constantly are introduced to something missed in prior listenings.

I was a little hesitant when I first put this on as Short Bus was the pinnacle of FILTER for me. But I’m here to tell you that The Trouble with Angels may actually be two steps better and beyond their debut!
The Trouble with Angels will be released August 17th.

You can find all things FILTER, their new album, and upcoming tour right here.
You can pre-order The Trouble with Angels at amazon.com here.

DUFF McKAGAN’S LOADED



The Taking



Eagle Rock Entertainment



5 out of 10



Duff McKagan of Guns & Roses fame and Velvet Revolver fame is back with a third album from his own band Loaded entitled The Taking.

You first heard Duff sing on G&R’s The Spaghetti Incident on a punk classic Ain’t It Fun. And a decent job he did. So when you hear that he is fronting his own band, you shrug and go, ‘Ok, I think I can be down with that.’

Upon checking out the new album, his voice is still the same, rough, a little sleazy, raspy, and unfortunately a little one dimensional. Maybe sharing vocals with another band member may work to strengthen the songs, but when your name IS the band’s name I understand that may not be the easiest thing to do.

Musically this is the hardest album the band has put out to date. Sure there’s some punk elements still rolling through the songs, and yes, the Sunset Strip sleaze can be felt in the grooves of the songs too. But the album as a whole is a lot stronger than previous efforts, and would be more on the HARD side of the Hard Rock moniker.

According to Duff this is a real band, not just a bunch of studio musicians he threw together for the album, and they will be touring together in support of The Taking soon. And hopefully this all plays out better live than on CD.

Giving the album 3 or 4 spins I really want to like it, I want it to be… What Velvet Revolver wasn’t, what G&R should STILL be… but what this shows is a slightly one dimensional songwriting to go with the vocals. There are plenty of great riffs here. In fact the first single Dead Skin has a huge thick rhythm guitar riff that pushes the song above most of the others musically. The lead off track Lords Of Abbadon is another decent track and upbeat tempoed enough to get you moving and ready for even more, even better tunes. Unfortunately after three songs or so, you can’t get past the flat vocals, and the songs, the riffs, the bass lines, all start to sound the same, and you aren’t sure if you’re still listening to the second song or the eighth.

Again, I really wanted to like, no love, this album, I recently saw Duff on That Metal Show, and listening to him talk about it made me want to go get it. Upon cranking it up, I was left feeling like I was missing something.

I could actually move past the vocals as they aren’t that bad if the songs had more variety to them, but they all come off sounding the same, and leaves you feeling a little annoyed at the monotony of them all.

Guess I’ll wait for the ‘new’ Velvet Revolver if it ever happens, or the G&R reunion that will never happen.









To pick up your copy of DUFF McKAGAN’S LOADED The Taking click here.
For more DUFF McKAGAN’S LOADED click here.

death angel relentless retribution
Death Angel



Relentless Retribution



Nuclear Blast



6 out of 10



I had the opportunity to interview Death Angel two weeks ago, and sitting talking with Mark Osegueda, I mentioned how I first heard about the band. It was on a Concord, Ca high school radio station, KVHS. In 1987 all they played was Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, and mostly Bay Area Thrash Metal. One afternoon they threw on The Ultra-Violence. The 10 minute instrumental title track to Death Angel’s first album. I forget where I was headed, but I do remember it didn’t matter anymore. I drove to Tower Records and picked up The Ultra-Violence immediately. KVHS turned me on to many great bands and albums. They are still around today, still playing great Metal and Hard Rock, and all run by high school kids.

Death Angel is still around today also. They are releasing their sixth studio album Relentless Retribution on September 14th. Yes it’s been 23 years since their first release and they are only on their 6th album now. We all were robbed of a few years of new Death Angel music due to a bus accident in 1990. But thanks to the Chuck Billy Cancer Benefit Thrash Of The Titans in 2001, the band reunited and has released 3 stellar albums in the last 9 years.

The lead off track ‘Relentless Revolution’ heralds Death Angel’s ‘new’ sound of a more straight ahead thrash, than the groovy funkified thrash that they exhibited and became famous for on Frolic Through The Park and Act III.

While ‘Claws In So Deep’ showcases Rob Cavestany’s vocals alongside Mark’s, and some great acoustic guitar playing midway through the song. ‘Claws So Deep’ reminds me more of The Organization (the band minus Mark after the 1991 breakup) than Death Angel, but is a great song none the less.

'River Of Rapture' starts out run of the mill, but soon turns into a guitar orgy of riffs and sounds. The breakdown and solos save this song from mediocrity along with Mark’s vocals on the second half of the song.

Unfortunately not many songs jump out at you, or stick with you through repeated listening. And this is from someone who has been a vocal proponent of theirs since they reunited. I have pushed their previous efforts of The Art Of Dying (amazing album) and Killing Season (also a very strong album) on everyone I can. And while this IS Death Angel, it isn’t quite up to previous efforts. ‘Claws In So Deep’, 'Volcanic' and ‘This Hate’ are the strongest cuts on this disc.

That being said, GO SEE THEM LIVE! They still put on a hell of a show. You won’t be disappointed, and you will thank me later.

For more DEATH ANGEL click here.
To pre-order RELENTLESS RESTRIBUTION click here.

 

 

danzig deth red sabbath
DANZIG



Deth Red Sabaoth



Evillive Records



7 out of 10



1988 – Glenn Danzig released Danzig I. I remember it well. Never having grown up on punk I didn’t know about Samhain or the Misfits. But I heard that James Hetfield of Metallica was doing background vocals on this song about cocaine, and well, I was hooked the first time I heard ‘Twist of Cain’.
Danzig’s first two albums were stellar works. And there are a handful of songs on the last 7 albums that I still listen to, but overall the production and the songwriting has deteriorated from album to album.

2010 – Deth Red Sabaoth is released; it is Danzig’s ninth studio album and may very well be his best in 20 years. Upon first listen he still has that ‘rough’ production feel. Leaving the guitars very gritty while other parts of the production are overlaid quite polished and pristine. The first song to jump out at me on first listen is ‘On a Wicked Night’ with its acoustic opening and stripped down sound. Stark, barren, and ominous it leaves one envisioning a bleak winter’s dead forest, breath hanging frozen in the air, and unspeakable beings swirling around just out of sight.

Immediately following is ‘Deth Red Moon’ almost as a reprise to ‘On a Wicked Night’ the guitar work is nonstop and frenetic throughout the song.

The opening to ‘Ju Ju Bone’ is a spoken piece by Glenn who seems to be channeling Elvis Presley not only while speaking but his inflection while singing gives the listener pause, This ‘sounds’ like a Danzig song, but damn, Is that Elvis singing ‘JU JU Bone’? Again, very solid guitar work and soloing throughout the song.

'Pyre Of The Souls: Incanticle’ is a direct descendant from Glenn Danzig’s Arias. Leading into the darkest, heaviest of the albums tracks ‘Pyre of the Souls: Seasons of Pain’.

The final cut, ‘Left Hand Rise Above’ starts out almost as an epic, a very grandeur opening leading to a sparse soundscape of verses crescendo rising only to fall on the sparse musical landscape of the next verse.

While this is not Danzig I or Danzig II level music, it is definitely his strongest material since How the Gods Kill and his most cohesive album by far.
You can pick up Deth Red Sabaoth today on Amazon and download it on Amazon mp3.

For more information visit Danzig's website here.

 

 

zztop a tribute
VARIOUS ARTISTS



ZZ TOP: A Tribute From Friends



Show Dog/Universal Music



7 out of 10



ZZ Top is one of those bands that you hear on the radio and think, ‘Well it rocks, but it doesn’t sound complicated. It couldn’t be THAT hard to cover them.’ Then you heard this album and you think, ‘Wow, Kudos to ZZ Top for being criminally underrated for what they do!’ Apparently Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard are much better blues drenched rockers than one would think given this latest tribute album to them.

There are some notable exceptions, and one of them you are all going to scream for me to never grace this wonderful website with my opinions again, once I tell you who it is, and how fucking good their rendition of a certain ZZ Top classic is.

The highlight of this album, for me, has got to be Grace Potter & The Nocturnals singing about Tush! The song takes on a whole new meaning when Grace croons ‘I’m just lookin’ for some tush’. Musically the song is a solid rocker, and a fine effort by The Nocturnals, but when Grace squeals, ‘Ooh give it to me!’ I am sold! Lord, take ME downtown for Grace is lookin’ for some Tush… Indeed. And the breakdown they create in the middle of the song…. Should make every man stand tall, and every woman weak kneed as she whispers, moans, and sings about her tush obsessed journey.

Wolfmother turn in a great version of Cheap Sunglasses. Pretty much straightforward rendition of the song, although they take it on a Wolfmother tinged journey at the end for the outro. Fuzzy is an understatement here. But it is well worth its wooliness because it may be the 3rd or 4th best cut on the album.

The odd song out unfortunately seems to have the best possibility of being huge just based on the people involved, M.O.B. (Mick Fleetwood, Steven Tyler, Jonny Lang, John McVie) is one of those super group side projects that on paper looks appetizing as hell, but when the finished product is displayed there lacks a certain heart in the song, and Sharp Dressed Man comes up a bit flat.

Duff McKagan’s Loaded take on Got Me Under Pressure, and it is the best I have ever heard them. It is a sleazy dirty rendition of one of my favorite ZZ Top songs, and while the bearded ones had their bluesy sleaze on this, Loaded go pure Sunset Strip sleaze all over it.

Daughtry hold their own on the 8 minute long Waitn’ For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago. A difficult song to pull off well, but Chris and his boys do it justice.

La Grange may be the most ZZ Top song that ZZ Top has ever recorded. There isn’t another band or person out there that can possibly pull off La Grange and make it sound good. Oh Wait! Jamey Johnson just proved me wrong! Holy shit, if ZZ Top ever wants to pull a KISS and retire and just let someone else play their music, then the trio from Texas need look no further than Jamey Johnson. Musically this track is the jam. Jamey and his band go OFF on La Grange. God Bless the Hammond B organ, which is used to perfection on this. And just when you think they’re going pulling it back in, off on another tear they go. If it weren’t for the beautiful Grace Potter singing about ass, this would be my favorite track off the album. For sheer musicianship it is. As good as Daughtry was on Waitin’ For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago, Jamey Johnson and his band show them and everyone else how it is to be done. This song alone is worth the price of the CD. Don’t believe me? Go buy it, listen, love it, you’ll thank me later.

Filter takes Gimme All Your Lovin’ and make it 100% their own. Yes it is a ZZ Top song, and yes, if you know the song, you’ll know it is ZZ Top, but once Filter gets a hold of it, it is 100% all Filter from there.

And now, this is where you start throwing stones at me. Nickelback has the unenviable task of taking on the uber classic Legs. And I defy you to find anything wrong with their rendition. The guys stick to the song, and tear through it with great aplomb and finesse, and KILL IT! Say what you will about them, they knock this one right out of the park and this may be the 2nd best track on the album musically.

Oddly The Texas Trio known as ZZ Top were executive producers of this album. Which I think is the first time I have ever seen the original band involved with a tribute album to themselves. That being said, with them at the helm of this project I can’t understand how Wyclef Jean’s version of Rough Boy ever made the final cut. That track alone dropped the rating on this disc to what it is. But one skipper on an eleven song disc is definitely a keeper disc and worth picking up. Grace Potter and Jamey Johnson make it well worth the money for just their two tracks alone.

Go to iTunes to download it or head on over to Amazon and pick up the CD today!

 

 

sin atra
SIN-ATRA



Various Artists



Armoury Records



7 out of 10



Who doesn’t love Frank? Seriously, who out there doesn’t like at least a little Frank Sinatra? If you don’t, you probably haven’t really listened to him. And if you haven’t ever sat down and really listened to Mr. Sinatra then do yourself a favor and grab a CD of his and sit down and find out for yourself what all the hub bub is about.

When I first heard about SIN-atra the rock/metal tribute to Frank Sinatra I was very excited. I thought it was a great idea. And when I heard all the names attached to the project, I was even more excited to hear the album.

Upon hearing the album I was surprised and disappointed at the same time. Some of it worked, but most of it kind of left me scratching my head.

You have one of the greatest song writers of a generation, one of the most popular singers of all time supplying the material, then you have such great voices like Glenn Hughes, Geoff Tate, Time Owens, Eric Martin, and Dee Snider to belt out the great tunes. How could this go wrong?

There are two schools of thought about doing covers. One is to make the song ‘your own’ and change it up a little or a lot. The second school of thought is to stay true to the song and redo it note for note. Both are valid, but I have found that when a band or artist ‘reinterprets’ a song, it is usually to the detriment of the song. Just my opinion, but that’s why you’re reading this, to get my opinion.

The artists on SIN-atra have for the most part taken the songs and put their own touches on them. For the most part the songs are recognizable as the originals, but the arrangements and vocals throw a new spin on old classics. Some work, sadly for me, most didn’t.

The stand outs for me were Dee Snider’s It Was A Very Good Year (for the simple balls out vocal performance), Jani Lane’s That’s Life (last song on the disc, and may just very well be the closest to the original, Kudos to Jani for a great performance here), and Dug Pinnick’s I’ve Got The World On A String (for another great vocal performance).

The best laughs were the over the top performances of Franky Perez’s High Hopes, Elias Soriano’s Love And Marriage, and the tripped out and possibly best song on the album Robin Zander’s Fly Me to The Moon. And when I say best laughs, I don’t mean they are so bad they are good, I mean they are so over the top they are good. Very tongue in cheek, nudge nudge, wink wink, and if you get it, you can enjoy the hell out of it.

I was disappointed in Geoff Tate’s Summerwind. The man has an amazing voice, but the arrangement of this song was flat and uninteresting. It was one of the most anticipated songs for me, and there for almost the most disappointing. But taking the cake was certainly Joey Belladonna’s Strangers In The Night. Completely out of his range, he should have picked a different song to perform. Just a completely horrid song. So bad it is bad. But… it wasn’t the worst cover I’d hear today… for that gem (or turd) you’ll have to read my review on Stryper’s new album The Covering.

Great attempt here, but a few too many misses to be a great album. The disc is worth picking up for Dee Snider, Robin Zander, Franky Perez, and Elias Soriano’s performances alone.

Check out AOL's listening party where you can listen to the album online right here.

You can pick up SIN-atra right here.

 

 

metallica lulu
METALLICA & LOU REED

Lulu

Warner Bros Records

-10 out of 10 (THAT'S A NEGATIVE 10 OUT OF 10!)



When Metallica & Lou Reed performed Sweet Jane at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 25 Year Anniversary show a couple years ago, it was a good rendition of a great song.

Then someone somewhere, smoked a huge vial of expired rancid cow shit, and thought what a great idea it would be to have them collaborate on an entire album together. Now to be fair, the idea isn’t that bad. Who knows how good or bad the final outcome would be? I mean it is the legendary Lou Reed and Mighty Metallica after all? How bad could it be?

Well, you’ve heard the single streaming for sometime, and I swear, I SWEAR, I thought it was a goof! I thought there was no way in hell that THIS was the final product. But alas, I was wrong. It wasn’t a goof, it wasn’t a ploy to throw us all off the scent, this was the final product, they were serious, and this was the roasted dog turd that they were serving up known as Lulu.

Now lest you think I am a Metallica hater, I have always and still do defend St. Anger. There are some great riffs, and songs buried in that album. Yes the production stinks, but go back, and really listen to it. Ok, well listen to the DVD of them playing it all live, it is much better than the CD itself. And listen to the songs again. Buried in the repetitiveness and overkill of each 10 minute song is a great 4 minute song struggling to get out.

That being said, it saddens me to call this album worse than Limp Bizkit’s Gold Cobra. Hell, this is even worse than Stryper’s cover album The Covering and that was a steaming dog turd!!!!

I just reread my review of Stryper and realized that musically (and for song choices they covered) I had them at 4 out of 10 before Michael sang. And that dropped it back to 0.

So in all fairness I should give this ‘Less Than Zero’, as it only garnered one point for some of the underlying riffs that Metallica lays down throughout this horrible horrible album. So, as I said with Stryper’s attempt at recording the worst album of 2011, DO NOT PICK THIS UP. You’ll thank me later.

If you HAVE to listen to it for yourself, you can listen to the entire album streaming here.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My heart hurts. I have to go drown it in some Slayer now thank you.

 

 

crossfade we all bleed
CROSSFADE



We All Bleed



Eleven Seven Music



2 out of 10





Crossfade came on the radar of most of our consciences in 2005 when their first single ‘Cold’ took over every Active Rock station on the FM dial (and Sirius/XM too). Cold was a catchy Modern Rock tune that earned the South Carolina boys some well deserved attention.

Their second album Falling Away failed to capitalize on the buzz they had created and they were dropped by their major label in 2006.

Five years later Crossfade returns with We All Bleed on Eleven Seven Music.

The story of the last five years of their singer Ed Sloan would make for a great album if it were put into good songs. Way too many noises and processes in the music is a cheap attempt at hiding simply poor songwriting. If you are a live rock band, I want to know how you are going to play all these noises and effects on stage and make it appear you aren’t playing to tape?

Crossfade is not a progressive rock band. And they do not have the chops or songwriting ability to try and pretend to be. If you want the music to be druggy and edgy like you hear in your head as you are battling your personal demons and now trying to capitalize on them on record, let me help you.

Write a good song first. Add the trippy effects AFTER the song is GOOD. Don’t try to make a crap sandwich a shiny crap sandwich. Because it will taste like shit no matter how much you try to polish it. And a turd album will still leave shit in your ears no matter how much you try and put ‘cool’ noises in it.

More power to Ed Sloan for returning from his own personal brink and being able to turn himself around and attempt to continue his dream in music. But while this album may be his most personal and honest one, that sadly does not automatically make it good.

For more CROSSFADE click here.













isabelles gift posession with intent
ISABLLE’S GIFT



Possession with Intent



Isabelle’s Gift Label



8 out of 10






South Carolina’s ISABELLE’S GIFT have been described as ’The second most dangerous band in the world’. Their ‘balls out’ raw energy approach to hard rock is very reminiscent of early Guns & Roses. And with their lyrical content wavering between illicit drug use, child molestation, rampant self immolation and desecration, titty bars, cocaine pentagrams, lascivious worship of the female form and orgiastic liquor consumption, it’s really no wonder they wear that tag as a badge of honor.

Their latest album, Possession with Intent, isn’t just another Isabelle’s Gift album; it is a middle finger to the state of rock and roll. It’s a .45 caliber bullet to your temple. It’s everything a good hard rock album should be, and then some.

Upon first listen, as the opening track Million Dollar Joke begins, you may think to yourself, ‘Self, why is Nickelback blaring from my speakers?’ And you wouldn’t be far off. The opening riff could be pulled right off the latest Nickelback disc. And this isn’t a bad thing, as it is a killer riff; it just grabbed me immediately and made me check to make sure I put the right disc in my stereo. Even after the bass and drums kick in, it still doesn’t quite have that IG signature sound to it, until it breaks down, and as Chris Sutton’s voice comes in, you sit back, relax, and begin the descent into monster swinging riffs, and a cavalcade of madness, piss, and vinegar from one of rock’s unheralded best frontmen out there today.

While Million Dollar Joke may be a pleasant ‘slight’ departure for the band, Sonofabitch is 100% born and bred Isabelle’s Gift fare. I hate to say ‘classic guitar sound’ of Kyle and James because most of you have sadly never even heard of IG until right now. But the tone, the riffs, the rawness is all IG and for those of us privileged enough to be in the know for several years, it has become a signature sound.

Sonofabitch and 88 show the anger and venom that boil beneath the surface of the best of Isabelle’s Gift’s music. From the strung out junkie redneck vibe to the white trash romance gone bad, to the simple misunderstood man standing amongst the shit hole that is his life somehow; the music is a bombastic rock and roll soundtrack to the glorious highs and lows of being at times simultaneously high and low.

It seems impossible to do at times, and not many can do it as well as IG, but from one lyrical line to the next they can celebrate the excesses of music and drugs, of tittybar superstars and pill head rockstars, the highest highs that only succeed in bringing on the lowest of the lows. The band doesn’t glorify the lifestyle they may lead and or portray in their music, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is some sick and twisted shit going on in lead singer Chris Sutton’s head to bring out a song such as Edward 40 Hands or Lazy Suzan.

The nihilistic excesses of rock and roll are alive and well and the band named after a sexually transmitted disease is flying their scars, demons, and drive high, loud, and proud. Nothing exceeds like excess and Isabelle’s Gift is here to prove that creed.

My only complaint is that the second half of the album is/was their last EP. So if you are already following the band, then you are only getting what amounts to two EPs. Bubblegum Diesel (Sunnshine, Kill the Cheerleader, Save the World, and West Virginia) then 4 new songs, (Million Dollar Joke, 88, Sonofabitch, and Haulin’ Oats and Ass) and a reworked Edward 40 Hands off their last full length album American Idol.

Still, all told, the nine songs that make up Possession with Intent are better than almost anything you are listening to right now. And sure as shit it is 100 times better than ‘the most dangerous band in the world’sChinese Democracy.

Yes, while this should really be considered an EP of new music, it will surely be on my top ten list of albums for 2011. Because even 4 new Isabelle's Gift songs are better than no Isabelle’s Gift and because they are better than EVERYTHING you can hear on FM radio today.

Download Possession with Intent on amazon.com and iTunes today. You’ll thank me later.

For more Isabelle’s Gift click here.