All posts by Heavy Metal Overload

The HMOverlord

Noise-some Notes – A Week in Listening 27th August 2012

Paradise Lost – In Requiem Paradise Lost have had a remarkable career and this is one of their greatest releases. Classy Doom Metal with great melodies. Vocalist Nick Holmes gets better with every release and sounds particularly Hetfield-esque on this one as does the mighty guitar crunch.

Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power and The Great Southern Trendkill Vulgar Display is another album with the Hetfield “mega-crunch”, as Phil Anselmo would say. Got right into this so I stuck on the less familiar Trendkill too as it features Drag the Waters, one of my favourite tracks of theirs.

The Darkness – Hot Cakes It’s great to have this band back. I really enjoyed One Way Ticket a lot so I had high hopes for this. As with their other records it takes a while to fully reveal its charms but this is already an album of the year contender. Absolutely loving this and it’s been getting played a lot. She’s Just a Girl, Eddie is possibly one of the best songs of the year so far, along with Van Halen’s You and Your Blues and Ginger’s Forget About It.

Danzig – IV Got to love Glenn Danzig. For all he’s become a sort of walking meme (I especially like that he appeared on Google Street View), he’s had an enviable career and been a massive influence in Rock and Metal. I have to fess up and admit I’ve not followed his career beyond this album though as this was the last to feature the classic Danzig line-up that featured John Christ on guitar. Am I missing much?

Ginger Wildheart – 555% Been listening to the first Disc of this a lot but I’ve finally progressed to the weirder second disc which is… weird. If the third CD of this album continues to be weirder it might just be an hour of Spooky Halloween Farts or something like that but we’ll see. You can pledge money for the prolific Ginger’s next two projects(!) here. One of these, Mutation, is going to be Ginger’s first venture into Grindcore which I’m pretty intrigued by.

Queen – News of the World (and Bonus EP) Is it possible to say the phrase “Classic Queen” without doing it in Alan Partridge’s voice now? Not for me. Anyway, this is “Classic Queen” and went down a storm this week as did the stingy but enjoyable bonus EP.

Def Leppard – X Er… I quite liked this when it came out. A shameless but failed stab at pop stardom. There are good tracks on here but it really could do with a bit more beef and a lot of the tracks are just a bit doleful sounding. They also show themselves up by channelling Steve Clark on the track Scar at the end of the record so you come out of it wondering why the whole album wasn’t that good. An uncomfortable entry in the Lep canon.

Rollins Band – Hot Animal Machine Been on a real Rollins kick so thought I’d revisit his debut solo record. It reminded me of Discipline-era King Crimson. Angular and jazzy with Henry’s righteously angry vocals and lyrics. More listens required so I think this’ll be showing up here again.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis Bold as Love My favourite Hendrix album. This is perfect bliss and a great late-night listen. Dug this out after reading a great piece on it in Record Collector.

Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation Only managed Side A of this and I was done. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love the song Magic Touch.

Hirax – Not Dead Yet Gave this a good whirl while writing up my Buying Round Up last week. Fun stuff but I can’t remember anything about it other than the opening track, the excellently named Demons Evil Forces!

Sammy and the Wabos – Live Hallelujah (Review)

I’m not the biggest Sammy Hagar fan in the world but I particularly enjoyed the period that followed his (initial) acrimonious split from Van Halen in the mid-90s. Having put together a great backing band called the Waboritas he proceeded to bring out a trio of  joyous Rock albums – Red Voodoo, Ten 13  and Not 4 Sale. With the Waboritas, Sammy had also become a formidable feel-good live act too and following a very competitive jaunt with Dave Lee Roth (the Sam and Dave tour) it was decided to capture the fun on CD.

The first thing that has to be said about Live Hallelujah is that it is LOUD. I actually can’t think of a live album that sounds more like being in the front rows of a concert than this one. Sammy’s older tracks are bristling with the kind of unhinged guitar assault that would make Ted Nugent proud and the Van Halen-era tracks are feel-good bliss (some featuring a speaker-rattling Michael Anthony and When It’s Love features Gary Cherone). Although Sammy and Vic Johnson are fine players they sensibly chose some of the least flashy Van Halen tracks which means they sit more comfortably alongside the non-VH songs. The newer tracks like Shaka Doobie, Deeper Kind of Love and Little White Lie are also strong, fitting in perfectly with the old favourites like Three Lock Box and Heavy Metal. In fact, one of the great features of the album is how it assimilates material from a long and varied career into a really cohesive set.

This has obviously never become a classic of any description but I really enjoy this and it actually served as a gateway for me to get more into Sammy’s and Van Hagar’s albums. Overall, if your ears can take the remorseless pounding of the production, this is just great fun and one of the best examples I can think of where a live album manages to evoke the excitement and vibe of a being at a really entertaining Rock show. If I’m looking for an album to put a smile on my face and a spring in my step this would be a strong contender and there can’t be a higher recommendation than that.

HMO Rating: 4 out of 5

W.A.S.P. – Live… in the Raw (Review)

 

Live… in the Raw 1997 Reissue

Many of the great live albums functioned as “end of an era” releases. They documented a period of a band’s career and placed a full-stop on it before evolving into something new.

Ever since the release of their debut single (Animal) Fuck Like a Beast, controversy had dogged W.A.S.P. and they soon became a prime target for the PMRC, while also experiencing death threats and even assassination attempts. The stress had tired the band, causing tensions in the ranks but also galvanising band leader Blackie Lawless who felt that the focus on the band’s image and antics had meant their musical merits were under-estimated.

Live… in the Raw was recorded over three dates on their successful world tour promoting their third album, Inside The Electric Circus. Opener Inside The Electric Circus is thrilling and has some great sawing guitar riffs. The band proceeds to tear through a taut, muscular set that mixes classics and new tracks alike. In fact there are three tracks on here that would have previously been unavailable: two excellent live tracks Harder Faster and The Manimal and one studio track Scream Until You Like It recorded to promote the Horror sequel Ghoulies II.

2011 reissue of Inside the Electric Circus relegates Live… in the Raw to mere bonus disc.

Like many of the best live albums, some of the songs here enjoy their definitive performances on this album. Inside The Electric Circus, L.O.V.E Machine, Wild Child and 9.5.-N.A.S.T.Y. are all superb. The only thing that stops Live… in the Raw being all the W.A.S.P. you’ll ever need is the notable omission of (Animal) Fuck Like a Beast (although they would atone for this with the release, in 1988, of the Live Animal EP).

Live… in the Raw would prove pivotal to the band’s career. It boosted the profile and legitimacy of their catalogue and functioned as a historically important “end of an era” release. The album would provide a full-stop on the sex, parties and gore period of their career. From now on, W.A.S.P. were going to get serious!

HMO Rating: 4.5 out of 5