How Tempting! – June 2013

I'm sure the market can figure this out.
I’m sure the market can figure this out.

June brings with it a vexing problem… 2 Queensrÿches! If I can paraphrase Charles Bronson a little… that’s 2 Queensrÿches too many.

Last month’s victory over the stingy £40 budget has left me feeling pretty confident. I have a slightly more generous £60 to play around with in June so I’m thinking if I keep up last month’s good habits I can really make this month count.

With that in mind I’m reluctant to pry too much into June’s new releases as it will only cause undue temptation. Off the top of my head I know there are a few titles out this month that are of real interest.

Black Sabbath – 13 The much-ballyhooed comeback release for Sabbath with Ozzy at the mic. I should really be excited about this but for some reason I’m not. Is that so wrong?

Megadeth – Super Collider Bizarrely, despite the mixed reviews it’s been getting, I am actually quite excited about this one! Dave Mustaine is a genius and it sounds like, for better or worse, they’re trying to experiment a bit and I’m all for that. It’s getting compared to Risk but I like Risk so that’s not a problem.

ZZ Top – The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 A tastily-priced selection of ZZ Top albums. Crucially, this features the original mixes of the early albums. Many of these were remixed in the 1980s and in some cases this is the first time the original mixes have made it on to CD.

KISS – Monster (International Tour Edition) I bought this on vinyl last year but I was quite disappointed with the meat and potatoes nature of that edition so this might be an good upgrade. It has a bonus track that was previously only available on iTunes too. This is probably a bit superfluous but it’s KISS!

And the 2 Queensrÿches? I’ll vote Toddrÿche as the most interesting prospect but what I’ve heard so far has sounded workmanlike at best. I’ll give it a proper listen online before commenting any further but I can’t see me spending money on either of the ‘rÿches  this month.

Last month’s lack of spending means there are still a lot of albums still lingering on my wish-list. The new Alice in Chains is demanding my attention and the Cheap Trick Complete Epic Albums box set is much cheaper than I expected which makes it a contender. I’m pretty impressed with The Meads of Asphodel/Mayhem split CD I bought in May too so I may want more from both of them.

Overall though, I think this month’s buying strategy is going to be… a new album (Megadeth and/or Alice In Chains) and one of the box sets (either ZZ Top or Cheap Trick). That would give me plenty of listening and still bring me in a good £10 or £20 under budget. What do you reckon?

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55 thoughts on “How Tempting! – June 2013”

  1. Not wrong to be un-excited about Sabbath. While I like the single more all the time, it is NOT the original Black Sabbath. It’s the next Black Sabbath album after The Devil You Know. I will buy it (Best Buy edition has 4 bonus tracks) but I won’t get excited until/unless it blows me away.

    That ZZ Top box set excites me too. It’s not in my budget at present but my birthday is coming.

    I WILL be buying Kiss. Again. Fifth time now.

    As for the two Queensryches, I have already passed on Geoff’s (which was 2 CDs for the price of one when you include the free mail-away remix CD) but I will buy Todd’s. I consider that to be the “next” Queensryche album, regardless of what the courts are gonna say. I’m not expecting too much, except an album better than the last one.

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      1. Haha almost a good one, very quick-witted. But nope. It’s probably because I can’t bring myself to fully care about them, 20 years after I was into them. I dunno man.

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      2. Yeah, but I’ll point out that in my above comment, nowhere did I judge Sabbath’s music before hearing it. I merely pointed out two facts: This is not the original Black Sabbath, and the last album was The Devil You Know.

        If I were excited about it rather than un-excited, you would say the same thing: “Wait until you hear it”. I have many opinions on many subjects and I like to express them. I am indifferent on many subjects. I passionately research and live day-and-night with others. I’m the only guys you know who can name every member of Black Sabbath, in order.

        Don’t you watch movie trailers to see what the film looks like?

        I don’t really like being told when to have an opinion. I have a right to them and I will express them when I am comfortable doing so. I ask you to respect that.

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      3. Whoa man, it’s all good. I just don’t want you to get ahead of yourself on something I know you care so much about. I mean, whatever form it has taken this time around, this is SABBATH. It’s easy to get swept up in the build-up, is what I meant. You are absolutely entitled to whatever you think, I wasn’t implying you aren’t. I am sorry if that’s what you got from that. There’s just a lot riding on this one, is all.

        No, movie trailers aren’t something I seek out. Never did. Not really interested.

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      4. Well I may as well take the last word then. I grant you that your intentions are good but I don’t need help when it comes to my third favourite band. When Rollins puts out a new album I welcome your advice.

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    1. Yeah, I’m not sure I’m in enough of a Sabbath or a ZZ Top mood at the moment to justify buying either of those. I’m sure I’ll get the ZZ Top at some point though.

      Hahah 5 times! If I buy this it will only be my 2nd time, at least.

      I’ll certainly be giving the Todd album a listen online but I’ll be very pleasantly surprised if I like it enough to buy. I think my “personal canon” ended with DTC… and should probably have ended 1 album earlier!

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      1. And also, I was never that fussed about The Devil You Know so it’s interesting you brought that up. That album was hard to love and I think that may have dulled my interest in hearing any more Sabbath (cause, let’s face it that was a Sabbath album by stealth!).

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      2. I think I saw that! Did he not say it was about bankers? Fascinating stuff… zzzzzzz

        The big question is: will it be a Queensryche project or solo? Only time (and a court case) will tell!

        Thanks for the info!

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  2. Having just now dropped a total of $500 dollars to send my two kids to Black Sabbath — AT THEIR REQUEST!! — as a graduation present (high school and college respectively) and myself to see the last-chance(?) Stones, I clearly lack your budgeting skills. So, having already thrown caution (and probably food money) to the wind, I’ve also gone ahead pre-ordered both the Black Sabbath and Megadeth albums already. After that, I feel like I MUST buy the ZZ Top box, having been one of those saddled with the remixed “six pack” for well over a decade now. But, dang it, I also want to follow you into last month’s Strangler’s box. Plus, LeBrain says the new Alice in Chains is pretty good.

    Sigh, I need more money. Maybe you could burn me a copy of some stuff? I’ll keep it on the down low …

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    1. Got Sabbath pre-ordered too dude! I bought the deluxe-whatever from their site only to find that Best Buy has their own bonus track called “Naivete in Black”. No kidding.

      So I’ll buy both…I’m like that.

      One thing though — hang on to your ZZ Top Six Pack even if you buy the new box set. Those things are rare, at least around these parts, in good condition. I don’t have one.

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    2. Man, they were saying it was the last chance to see the Stones back in 1989/90, when naysayers were calling it the Steel Wheelchairs tour. And I heard it over and over again when I saw them in Toronto in 1994 for Voodoo Lounge.

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    3. Whoah!! I have to tell you, I gave up the gig-going thing a few years back for this reason. Way too expensive! I’ll occasionally be drawn out of hiding but only for very special acts that I’ve never seen before (Manowar a couple of years ago, Danzig in 2 weeks time!). Getting to go and see Sabbath is a very cool graduation gift though! I might have actually went to Uni if I’d been offered that! Hahaha

      We definitely need more funds… at least the Stranglers set and the ZZ Top set are value for money. Lots of bang for your bucks there!

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  3. Still very impressed that you were under budget on such a small month, Dude. WELL DONE! As for your list, all of these things are very tempting.

    I’ll be getting the Sabbath myself (unless Mike can get me the bonus version). Either way, I will have it. And I’ll be waiting until I hear the whole thing before I make up my mind about it. Ahem.

    That ZZ Top is REALLY tempting, but it ain’t in my budget either (although my birthday is also coming soon, I’m dreaming more of a butterscotch blonde Telecaster…). I’d just be happy if somebody found me a decent CD copy of Eliminator, but that box is gonna be seriously awesome.

    New Megadeth is cool. Even though they’re ‘experimenting,’ I’d wager it sounds… just like Megadeth.

    The KISS will be a must for you collector geeks. If anybody is ditching their regular copy of it, I’m offering a warm and loving home for it. If you can imagine, I still I don’t have it yet.

    I’m so tired of hearing about Queensryche. Both of them. So. Tired. Enough!

    I’d go for the Cheap Trick over the AIC or, failing that, the Megadeth over the AIC. Man, I know Mike gave it a 5/5, but somehow it doesn’t feel like a must to me. I need to hear it, I guess.

    Get more Meads and Mayhem! Yeah!

    I reckon. Haha reckon. I like that you used that word. Makes me feel like I just siddled up the saloon’s bar, spurs a-jangling, and hawked a good one into the spitoon.

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    1. Cheers A!

      I never said I’d made my mind up about the Sabs. I’m just not excited about it, that’s all. It’s allowed. If the mood takes me, I’ll listen online and see what I think. Just like you said about AIC, I just can’t bring myself to fully care about them… how else do you decide what music to buy? You’re either excited by it or you’re not. I hate buying albums just because of the “brand” on the front cover. The HMOverlord demands EXCELLENCE! Hahah

      “I’d go for the Cheap Trick over the AIC or, failing that, the Megadeth over the AIC” I fully agree with you. Not that I’m not keen on AIC, but I’m sure I’ll still be able to buy it later on when I’m more in the mood for them. I’ve been listening to a lot of CT and Megadeth lately so they’re both right up my street at the moment.

      I reckon! I’ve got a right clear notion.

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  4. I am cautiously excited about Sabbath 13. The parts of Megadeath I heard were odd. Like he is using some Zeppelin and Sabbath classic riffs…have you heard anything like that? I agree with one of your commenters it won’t be classic Sabbath even if its great

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    1. The parts of Megadeth I’ve heard have sounded odd too. One song had bluegrass banjo running through it. But it sounded interesting. And one song had a total rip-off of “Children of the Grave” running through it. I don’t think it will be a great album but it might sound a bit different rather than all the same old, same old. I hate it when bands settle into a box-ticking comfort zone!

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      1. Wierd I thought I heard some stolen zeppelin too. I agree bands need to move forward….although Megadeth is one that I want heavy. Metallica was a band that changed for the worse IMO

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      2. I’ve only heard 2 or 3 tracks and not in any great detail… so I may not have heard the Zep steal or I may have missed it!

        I don’t know if I need him to be heavy all the time. I really loved some of his songwriting on albums like Cryptic Writings and Risk. I think he’s more adaptable and creative than a lot of his Thrash peers.

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      3. Sure it doesn’t ALL need to be heavy…that is just a band I can always count on to be heavy…although we all change. How about AIC have you heard any of that yet? Ive heard very little nothing that grabbed me but that isnt really fair yet…

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      4. No, I understand what you’re saying though. A lot of bands are great at the heavy stuff but when they move in to different styles start to become decidedly wobbly. Mustaine always struck me as being more versatile than that. Any time Metallica have moved into a new style they have lost what made them special in the first place.

        I’ve not heard much of the AIC either but I’ve heard very good things. Lots of rave reviews going around (see other Mike’s comment).

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  5. When it comes to “old” Hard Rock bands releasing new material I always approach it with trepidation. That is if I even approach it at all. Hard to consider Alice in Chains “over the hill” with a twenty year career, especially when we are still talking about the Rolling Stones (50 years) and ZZ Top (40 years). The problem is with Black Sabbath (55 years) is very simple in my opinion. When the Rick Rubin-produced reformation album was announced, there was a reason to have maybe a little nostalgic excitement and even hope. I believe a great deal of that hope went out the window when the guy from Rage Against the Machine joined the fold. Great drummer? Yes. But there are 1000 drummers that could successfully play drums for Black Sabbath. Considering some of the crud (my opinion) that has been released under the Sabbath name in the last 20 years, its hard to be excited about 13. Everyone knows Ozzy can’t really sing anymore and his voice is so over-produced in God is Dead that it might as well not even really be him.

    My biggest problem with a lot of later Sabbath is this. I liken them to old men pumping iron and trying to look all ripped. It just lookGRANDFATHERS OF HEAVY METAL title that it ends up sounding silly. Especially from older gentlemen. Those two things 9 (for me) are all I need to know to avoid excitement of the release of 13. Grandpa might have thrown a mean fastball in his day, but it still looks awkward when he is throwing the ball around with little Junior. Or its like Bruce Willis playing John MacLean (yet again) in another Die Hard movie. Before seeing it, everyone knew it would be very unlikely to be truly inspired by that movie. Just as I can educationally-guess before hearing the finished product that 13 will sound great… look great ….But also not BE great overall. Will some people love the album and think it is great? Of course some will. Just count me as one of the people who in 2 months will be more inspired to put on Sabotage again, than I would be to putting on an album of mostly 65 year old dudes trying to be some kind of Heavy Metal Monster.

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    1. unfortunately a line was unintentionally deleted out of my post at the beginning of the second paragraph before i sent it. My apologies.

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    2. Hi Uncle Meat! Thanks for all your thoughts… interesting stuff. It’s a good point that there hasn’t actually been much great music come out under the Black Sabbath name for ages. I think the last album I genuinely enjoyed was Dehumanizer and that was… 1992? Bill Ward’s exclusion is a real missed opportunity and I think what lowers my excitement is the whole reunion aspect of it. It seems to me like a bunch of old guys trying to figure out the best remaining configuration of the band that can make the most money. I’m fairly sure if Dio was still alive that they wouldn’t be doing anything with Ozzy.

      I’m more interested in older bands that have changed style and make music that reflects their age rather than trying to keep up with the younger bands. Great examples like Deep Purple (you’re a Morse fan right?) and UFO who have made superb albums that still suit their advanced years.

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      1. Yes sir… Huge Morse fan. And that is a good example of a band that has done a good job of adjusting to age etc and still makes relevant music. Ozzy cant do what we know of Ozzy to have been able to do. Been that way for awhile actually. That is alot of my hesitance to embrace a new Black Sabbath album at this point. But its also exactly what you said…and what I said earlier. Trying to be this heavy entity still is like watching a guy who won Olympic medals in the Long Jump at age 22… trying to jump the same distance at 62. Entertaining to watch? yes .. But entertaining in a curiousity way, but not to see him actually make that jump again … Because he can’t.

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      2. Like you said earlier too, I’m sure the album may be great and may even be brilliant. But after the hype and excitement over 13 has died down everyone will be going back to Sabotage like nothing happened!

        … and there is something really heartbreaking about watching Ozzy try to do those jumps now.

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      3. The leapfrogs, you mean? Yes they are pretty comical in a sad way.

        And I agree: If Dio were alive they would not be doing anything with Ozzy. They would be touring behind a second Heaven & Hell album by now.

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  6. Gentlemen heroes:

    The above comment streams make clear to me (once again) why I would suck as a critic and why I choose not to write album reviews, per se. I tend to like stuff more than I tend to dislike stuff. (I like Lulu, for crissakes!) I also tend to give bands that have made me happy consistently over some multi-year/multi-album period in the past the knee-jerk benefit of the doubt when it comes to deciding whether to buy their new stuff. To cite some bands mentioned here, I’m going to buy new Megadeth and new Black Sabbath and new ZZ Top and new Cheap Trick automatically (just as I never thought twice about getting the most recent Cars and Devo, to change up the genre). And chances are, when I first spin those albums, I’m not going to hate them. The proof for me comes in the long-term pudding. For example, I don’t remember ever actively “hating” Headless Cross, but I surely haven’t actively sought it out for a listen in well over a decade and a half.

    In other words, I am somewhat lacking in the skill of discernment. A second problem I face is that I get some satisfaction from “owning,” separate from the joy of “listening.” Moreover, I am highly susceptible to thoughtful suggestions about new (to me) music and bands from others (like you all) with whom I’ve determined I share some crossover in tastes. I don’t know how HMO does it in setting and keeping to a budget, but I praise him.

    Finally, having 65-year-olds out there playing new heavy music gives me hope. Sure, I’ll also buy what the 20-year-olds are putting out if/when I get the chance to hear them and be moved (Orchid and Kadavar have great new albums out!), but I like the idea of living in a world in which my generation keeps trying rather than just heading out to pasture to make way for the kids.

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    1. Brilliant stuff, Mr. Victim!

      All the ways you’ve described yourself here (the benefit of the doubt and the “owning” as opposed to “listening” – there are very few albums I own that I don’t like) are all things that have applied to me in the past. There’s no problem with any of that but lately I got tired of a feeling that I HAD to buy every new album that came out from particular artists.

      I guess my budgeting is a way of exerting an element of control that I haven’t had in the past. By not treating album releases as an obligation I can buy the things that are genuinely interesting and exciting me right now. And, let’s face it, none of these albums are going anywhere. I can always catch up later if I decide I’m in the mood!

      I’m not saying my way is better at all, either. Just better for me! I was really starting to feel like I was consuming rather than enjoying and this blog is me trying to change that… and writing about my buying antics saves me having to do “proper” reviews too!

      This post seems to be bringing out some fascinating comments from everyone!

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    2. Victim: One of my earliest reviews on my site was Lulu, which I think I rated 4/5. I liked weird fucked-up shit and Lulu was right up my alley.

      I too get satisfaction from “owning”. That’s why I bought that Kiss album 4 times already!!!

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      1. I have to own the music I listen to as well. I’d like to clarify that when I’m cutting down my buying I’m not supplementing it with downloads or anything like that. That just doesn’t scratch the itch for me.

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      2. Yeah same here man, when I do pause on purchasing, I don’t just start downloading. Do I really need to? I have 3000 albums man! It’ll take me 10 years to listen to them all in order.

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      3. I might have mentioned this before Scott, but I have the Megadeth War Chest (which you have mentioned before on your fine site) and I think there are two virgin discs in that one.

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      4. I used to, but I almost never watch them anymore. Of course they’re still there if I’m in the mood.

        The hardest thing for me is to review a concert DVD…sit through the whole thing! I have a hard time sitting still on the couch for an entire concert DVD.

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      5. And I’m not as fascinated by a concert DVD like I used to be as a kid. I used to watch Kiss Animalize Live WEEKLY! Van Halen Live Without A Net almost as much! It was a chance to glimpse the mythical world of the Rock Concert.

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      6. Haha I used to watch Animalize Live every other day for years! Maiden England and The Who Live at Isle of Wight all got pretty heavy rotation too. But, I agree with you, they are less fascinating now that they were when I was younger. I tend to watch newer ones once or twice and then forget about them.

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      7. Same here, and it doesn’t seem to matter much how great it is, I just don’t have that kind of time anymore! Judas Priest at the US Festival — watched once.

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      8. I think the only newer ones I’ve watched with any regularity have been the (many) Manowar ones. But with those I tend to just be picking out particular tracks and performances… I don’t sit through them front to back.

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      9. Same with me and Marillion. They have so much live video material out there, that I often just watch the rarely played songs — stuff like Hey Jude or whatever.

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      10. There is a couple of theirs I used to watch quite a bit… the Afraid of Sunlight one, the Brave one and the “Popular Music” set that was in one of the Marillion Weekend box sets.

        But if I remember, that was at a point where I had still to actually see them live so I think they might have been more interesting for that reason.

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