More in-my-ears action! Can you handle it?
Emerson, Lake and Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery I do have a lot of time for ELP but for some reason I really struggle with this album. And it’s weird because this is often cited as their classic but I don’t think it’s as good as any of the albums that preceded it, which all knock this into a cocked hat. It certainly has its moments but Benny the Bouncer is just awful and Still… You Turn Me On is a great tune frustratingly hobbled by pish lyrics. “Someone get me a ladder”. Someone get him a rhyming dictionary!
Rainbow – Difficult to Cure All deference to the Dio years but this is my favourite Rainbow album these days. Spotlight Kid deserves a special mention for its… um… Russian bit. And the most hilarious keyboard solo of all time, courtesy of Don Airey.
Hell – Curse and Chapter This narrowly missed out on winning my private “Top album of 2013” spot but after this week’s listen I’m thinking this is the album that will endure the most in my affections. The astounding Darkhangel easily takes last year’s top song spot though.
Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones The debut of Tom G. Warrior’s post-Celtic Frost band is a strong album but it lives in the shadow of CF’s towering Monotheist as far as I’m concerned. I’ve heard a couple of tracks, Breathing and Boleskine House, from the upcoming Melana Chasmata though and it looks like this band is going to keep going from strength to strength.
Samhain – Final Descent The final Samhain album is well worth investigating for Danzig fans as the second half features early versions of some songs that would appear on the 1st Danzig outing. There is also an early stab at Elvis’ Trouble with some bizarre keyboard playing. ELP, Spotlight Kid and now this! It seems to be a week for the keyboards.
Pantera – Far Beyond Driven Famously the most extreme album to top the Billboard chart. The real horror here though is the stark realisation that Phil Anselmo has sex. It’s enough to put you off your dinner. Although, in fairness, it sounds like everyone involved was fairly out of it. What’s the drug equivalent of beer goggles?
King’s X – Out of the Silent Planet A brilliant debut but, strangely, my enjoyment of it has never transferred into investigating the rest of their career. I have Gretchen Goes to Nebraska on standby though. I’ll get round to that eventually.
Rod Stewart – Storyteller (Disc 1) This opening disc from the Storyteller Box Set has a real evolutionary feel to it. Pre-fame stabs at Blues and Soul make way for the Jeff Beck Group’s proto-Metal before the great man finds his own identity as a solo artist and with The Faces. An engaging Sunday morning listen while I adjust to British “Summertime”.
Blue Öyster Cult– Spectres Obviously this band had talent and brilliant material to spare but I’m always most impressed by Albert Bouchard’s songs and vocals. Fireworks is a great example here with its enigmatic lyrics and blissful melody. I think he was the band’s secret weapon. Discuss.
Entombed – Left Hand Path A bit of old-school brutality to finish the week off. Ultra-heavy stuff but skilfully arranged, leaving enough space for the songs and riffs to breathe. Death Metal doesn’t get much better than this.
SONG OF THE WEEK Just for the sheer, giddy excitement it induced… and that keyboard solo… I’m going to have to go for Rainbow’s Spotlight Kid. Insanity and genius.
[Rainbow – Spotlight Kid]