What has the HMOverlord been listening to this week?
Robert Calvert – Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters Brilliant concept album from Hawkwind vocalist/lyricist Robert Calvert. The story centres on the Luftwaffe’s purchase of dodgy Lockheed Starfighters from the US. These were subsequently nicknamed “Widowmakers” due to their poor safety record. It’s an odd topic for a Rock album… Python-esque sketches and zee crazy German accents mingle with powerful, spacey Rock featuring Lemmy, Dave Brock, Brian Eno and Arthur Brown and more!
KISS – Monster I didn’t find Sonic Boom very enduring so I’d been trying not to get my hopes up for this. I’m happy to report that this is a vast improvement. Looking back to their formative years and influences (Zep, The Who, Slade, Hendrix etc…) has helped KISS come up with a very fresh and forward-looking album. The Thayer/Singer line-up finally has a sound it can call its own.
Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and Nursery Cryme Lamb is my favourite Genesis album and one that keeps on giving. It’s much tighter and more economical than the previous Gabriel-era albums. There is a moment in Fly on the Windshield that is not just one of the most thrilling moments in the history of music but also in the history of… humans.
Nursery Cryme is an earlier album of theirs that I enjoy but only The Musical Box, Return of the Giant Hogweed and The Fountain of Salmacis stick out for me. The rest always seems to go in one ear and out the other. Those three tracks are more than sufficient to invite further listens though.
Manowar – Hell on Wheels Enjoyable but frustrating live debut from the Metal Kings. Wimps and posers, leave the blog!
Kansas – Kansas The band’s debut is not as good as later albums like Leftoverture or Point of Know Return but this is good stuff anyway. Proof that the US could do Prog too! With Fiddles! Gaun’ yersel.
Celtic Frost – Monotheist The Frosties comeback album is a staggering achievement. An absolute black pit of a record that you just sink into until the gorgeous orchestral finale puts the lights back on and you emerge, blinking and in disbelief. Love it.
Mastodon – Leviathan and The Hunter Still a lot of Moby-Dick chat going on at HMO Mission Control lately so what better reason to stick on Mastodon’s modern Metal classic? And while I was at it I gave their last album The Hunter a spin too. I’m still feeling that one out but I’ve enjoyed it so far… doesn’t seem as good or as bad as people are making it out to be. But it’s early days and Mastodon albums always take a few listens.
Gerry Rafferty – City to City A bit of a mellow one for a Saturday night. I bought this for Baker Street but every time I put this on I like another track from it. Eventually I’ll like the whole album! Gerry is a major figure in Scottish music and there was a cool BBC documentary on him a while back, Right Down the Line, that is well worth a watch.