Hail! And welcome to the return of the Noise-some Notes. I hope these will be a fairly regular feature from now on. Weekly or fortnightly depending on my posting schedule. I’ve been focussing on full reviews for a while but there are always albums and music that I’m listening to that I might like to talk about without going in to any great depth. So this is my chance. If you’re familiar with these posts from the past you’ll know the drill but basically these are a collection of my thoughts on selected albums that I’ve been listening to. And in addition to the old format, I’ll also use these posts to mention any news items that have caught my interest.
The main news from the last few days has been the announcement that Def Leppard’s new album will be due in October this year. As usual, it’s scheduled to be “their best since Hysteria” much in the same way as every new KISS album is scheduled to be “their best since Destroyer”. Pinch of salt required there basically, but I got a lot out of their last studio album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge so I’m happy to have them back. As long as they can stay out of the X and Euphoria danger zone then I’m happy.
I also just read that the venerable Scorpions are lining up reissues of Taken By Force and Tokyo Tapes with extra tracks and whatnot. Count me in. Those albums are gold nuggets hewn out of purest Metal. They’re lined up for November. Can’t wait.
And what have I been subjecting my ears to? Here are some highlights:
Satyricon – Satyricon
I felt lukewarm about this album when it came out in 2013 but I’ve grown much more attached to it recently. It’s got a creative oddness about it. Black Metal is usually the stuff of night and darkness but this has the magical effect of soft, warm chinks of daylight running through it.
Richard Thompson – Action Packed: The Best of the Capitol Years
Nary a week goes by where I don’t listen to some RT. This CD is a selection of tunes from his Capitol albums, some of which are firm favourites. It’s a tight comp and it’s got a couple of enticing rarities too for existing fans (songs from the Mock Tudor album which previously only appeared on a vinyl edition).
Yes – The Yes Album
The sad passing of Chris Squire sent me back to this classic album. Not my favourite of theirs but has a special place as my intro to the band. The first Yes album I bought after hearing the opening track Yours Is No Disgrace and being thoroughly blown away by it. It’s still one of my favourite Yes tunes. And while we’re on the topic, check out this excellent list of the Top 10 Yes studio albums over at Vinyl Connection.
Iron Maiden – BBC Archives (Disc 2)
This is from the Eddie’s Archive box set. And I was specifically listening to the 1988 Monsters of Rock segment. I got a bass guitar recently which has resulted in an almost-daily process of marveling at Steve Harris’ right hand! But you know, I’ve been at it for a couple of weeks now and I’ve got a decent gallop going. Reckon I could step in at a moment’s notice if needed. Nae bother.
Midnight – No Mercy for Mayhem
I bought this recently. It’s a definite could-have-been-a-Top-10-album-of-last-year-if-I’d-gotten-round-to-buying-it-sooner album! It’s a refreshingly riotous slab of Venom-y goodness. And you need some of that in your lives. Trust me.
Cathedral – In Memoriam
This was one of my How Tempting picks a wee while back and I finally bought it at the weekend there. It’s top-notch Doom. Like the liner notes say, it’s “more than just a demo”. It’s got an identity of its own in their catalogue. I’ve only listened to the demo tracks so far but it’s crushing, desolate stuff.
Sarcófago – I.N.R.I.
Some facts. This is absolutely essential, raging proto-Black Metal from the mean streets of Belo Horizonte. This band stars Wagner Lamounier who had just left Sepultura because they weren’t extreme enough. They really hate Jesus. No-one seems to be sure if their drummer is a badly-programmed drum machine or not. And they really hate Jesus. If you are a false don’t entry!
UFO – Strangers in the Night
Listening to this one right now. I love UFO. Go and buy this right now before I start laughing at how crap you are for not owning this.
SONG OF THE WEEK
RIP Chris Squire. Superlative musician and songwriter.
[Yes – Yours Is No Disgrace]
And that’s quite enough of my thoughts for one week. Hope you enjoyed the return of the Noise-some Notes. They’ll be back. Happy listening!