Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth Stonking comeback record from the Diamond Dave-led VH. Strong contender for Album of the Year and You and Your Blues is even a contender for Song of the Year. Love how dirty and raw this is and Roth’s got a charismatic bluesy croon to his voice now. I’m not sure I can handle living in a world where Dave Lee Roth is anything less than an alpha male so this is welcome stuff!
Public Image Ltd. – First Issue John Lydon’s first post-Pistols venture. It’s pretty adventurous stuff with some fantastic jaggy guitar playing. I thought I’d check this out as I’ve been reading Simon Reynold’s Rip it Up and Start Again which covers this band in a couple of chapters. Although the album is often quite naïve and atonal it’s also surprisingly hypnotic and the lead-off single Public Image livened up an otherwise dull bus journey!
Def Leppard – High N’ Dry I really love Def Leppard and this is an excellent album. Just couldn’t get into it this week for some reason. It happens.
Deep Purple – Live in Japan (Disc 1 – Osaka Show) Live Purple Overload! This excellent set features the three separate shows that were drawn from to make up the Made in Japan album. I only listened to the first show on CD1 and got right into it. Ian Gillan once described this band as “ a monster of the individual contribution” and he wasn’t wrong! Top notch.
Mastodon – Leviathan My girlfriend is listening to the 135-day-long Moby Dick Big Read Podcast so it gave me the notion to check out Mastodon’s hefty take on Melville’s classic tale. I see that the band chose to jump straight to the Whale stuff and gloss over the touching White Christian/Pagan Cannibal bromance. Shame.
Danzig – Danzig Not enough people mention Danzig when Rick Rubin’s name comes up. It’s all Johnny Cash-this and Reign in Blood-that. Fucking Danzig! Maybe I will move in with him…
Yes – Yessongs Another monster of the individual contribution. This is an absolutely transcendent live album. As you listen you feel like the full, rich possibilities of music are being explored! At least I do anyway. I just got this on vinyl so it’ll be appearing in a “Buying Round-Up” sometime soon.
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion I really like the Frosties and while this is regarded as one of their best albums I can never quite get into it for some reason. But it must have something going for it cause I refuse to give up on it and often pop it back on for another whirl.
Isengard – Vandreren Darkthrone’s Fenriz gets his Viking on for this 1993 demo. Really raw stuff but also has some stirring riffs and swarthy Nordic vocals. While listening to this I found myself drifting off into a reverie of longboats and helmets and basically grinning like an idiot.
The Black Crowes – The Lost Crowes (Tall Sessions) This is a great album but was scrapped for… reasons. Features many alternate versions (some better) of songs that would eventually end up on the excellent Amorica and Three Snakes… albums.
Journey – Trial by Fire Listened to this after reading a review on the excellent LeBrain blog. The post caused a surprising amount of debate over the album’s merits. I had a listen and chipped in about it in the comments section there so you should go and check that out and save me repeating myself!