The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for January 2011

Metallica – Master of Puppets: The Recap

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I was pretty excited when this first came out.  I thought Ride the Lightning was one of the greatest albums ever made at the time and was really looking forward to what Metallica had to offer on their 3rd album.

I’m pretty sure picked this up from Drew at Unicorn Records (RIP) the week that it came out.  I was 16 and my allowance money or whatever cash I made from cutting grass or other little jobs typically got spent on tapes and gas.  Drew was always pretty good about selling me something the day before its release and I think this was one of the ones I got early (Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son were 2 others that he hooked me up on).

In general I liked this album a lot and listened to it quite often.  My band, like most other cover bands at the time, messed with the title track in our setlist.  But I think I listened to it so much that I started to dislike it…immensely.  I think another thing that turned me off from this album was an interview I read in Modern Drummer with Lars and he stated that none of the drums in any song on the album were played all the way through.  He punched in most of the fills, so I recall from the article.  At the time, I was a pretty big Metallica fan and was even a fan of Lars’ drumming.  As I became a better drummer in subsequent years, I realized how average he is as a drummer.  I was really turned off by that interview.  Sure, everyone does that studio magic and I’ve even done it on some of my past recordings, but this was one of my hero bands at the time.  I’m not sure how my irrational 16yr old mind would have reacted had I read an article saying that Nicko did it too, even though now I’m sure he did and probably still does.  Whatever.

One pleasant memory I have of this is sitting in my 66′ Nova in the church parking lot before church started with Kelz listening to it.  Moments like that made church more tolerable for sure.

I’m actually writing this whole post today because I decided to listen to Master of Puppets on my ride home today since I am sure I haven’t spun it in at least 10 years and probably even more.  Battery sounded fresh, as did Disposable Heroes and the rest of the album.  To be honest I skipped the title track, I’ve heard that enough in recent years.  I could go the rest of my life without hearing it again and be alright with it.

But one thing happened that struck me as funny.  When Orion started, I thought my iPod screwed something up.  I listened for about a minute to figure out what song it was and by whom and was totally lost on it.  I looked at the iPod (while driving – d’oh) and saw that it was Orion.  Apparently I skipped that one back in the day as I did not recognize one note from the entire song.  It sounded like a brand new song to me.  Hell, even though I thought it was a weak instrumental today, Metallica hasn’t written anything that cool in 20 years!  It really made me laugh.  Orion?  Really?  What song is this?  By whom?  hahahaha.

While this album doesn’t match the awesomeness of Ride the Lightning, it’s surely a good album although I’ll likely not listen to it again for another 10 years.

Good times.

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January 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Joe Jackson – Night and Day (1982)

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Christmas 1982. 

In an effort to curve my hard rock/metal listening ways, my Mom bought 2 albums for me on Christmas.  She was never too keen on metal and wanted to try and sway me to listen to something else.  As I am unwrapping gifts, I got to the records, both of them wrapped together.  I knew they were albums before I unwrapped them but had no idea as to which ones they were.   On top was Regatta de Blanc by The Police.  Behind it was Joe Jackson’s Night and Day.  To say I was disappointed would have been the understatement of the century.  It was like the kid in Christmas Story not getting his BB gun.  I was hoping to get something like a KISS, Black Sabbath or Judas Priest album (wishful thinking, I know).

So I basically said, “Oh.  Cool.  Thanks.” and went on to play with my Stomper trucks or something.  haha.  Shortly thereafter, though, I did put the records on to at least give them a shot.  I was already familiar with the Police so that was nothing new and I did fall in love with that album by them.

But the Joe Jackson was something completely different.  I listened to it a lot and still do.  It’s a pretty interesting album in many ways.  One, the only guitar used on the album was a bass.  No 6-string whatsoever anywhere.  The album is very well-written and performed.  Joe has a way of lyrical phrasing that really works with his music.  The album has sort of a NYC punk feel to it without sounding punk at all.  It’s hard to explain.  I love this album and always will.  I never delved into his other works although I am familiar with some of his other “hits” thanks to Anthrax or the radio.

The album seems to be sort of a concept album about life in New York City in the early 80s and touches on the gay culture a bit.  It’s a fine record overall and anytime I listen to it, it’s front to back, nothing skipped.

So, thanks Mom.  While you didn’t get me out of hard rock/metal, you did open my ears a little bit to some other stuff.

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January 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

Sweet Pain – S/T (1985)

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I remember it like it was yesterday (it was 1986).  I went over to a former friend from high school’s house and he said, “Dude, check this out.”  It was Sweet Pain’s self-titled debut record and he put it on.  Before hearing it and just looking at the album cover I was in hysterics.  Were these guys for real?  Let me state right now that I was never a fan of the glam/sleaze rock and metal minus a few rare exceptions.  The album started and we were rolling.  It was awful.  So awful that we spun it all the time.  Made fun of it every chance we got. Kelly Nickels of LA Guns/Faster Pussycat was in this band.

Looking at the back of the album I saw that they were on Combat Records.  COMBAT?  Really?  How in the hell did that happen?  What the hell were these spandex chumps with teased up hair doing on this awesome metal label?  Whatever.  They were the running joke with me and some of my teenage metal pals for years.

Oddly enough I found this on vinyl some years ago and had to have, purely for nostalgia’s sake.  For as many times as we listened to it, I could still recite almost the whole damned thing to this day when I hear it.  A few years back a friend of mine made a CD of the vinyl for me and I still get reminded of that feeling of hanging out when we were just stupid teenagers.  They were great times.

About 6 or 7 years ago through the advent of Myspace, I met a dude online named Scarlet Rowe who was in a band from New York City called Joker Five Speed.  I dug his band a lot and got to hang out with him a little when they played a show in Portsmouth, VA.  They kicked ass even though there were only about 20 people there.  About a year or so ago I was browsing some of his photos and saw a promo photo of Sweet Pain with him in the picture.  Looking at my vinyl I saw that he wasn’t on it and started asking him some questions about his involvement with the band.  He wrote and played on it but was not credited nor in the final photo.  Pity.  Seems like it was a torrid split from the band.  Scarlet’s still rocking though and is a king amongst men.  100% good dude.

If you liked the NYC and Hollywood glam stuff, you’ll likely dig this a lot.  As I said, it was never my thing but it does bring me a great amount of joy when I hear them now.

Download from here.

Sweet Pain w/Scarlet.

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January 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Crows – The Dying Race

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Here’s another band that I’m sure most people haven’t heard of.  They only did this one album and it was one of the first Century Media Records releases in 1991.  I happened upon this when I was in Los Angeles in 1997.  I had my own small time online CD and t-shirt business (Acacia Music) which was mainly supplied by Century Media and Metal Blade Records.  I went out there on a buying trip to meet and talk to my sales reps.  It was pretty cool that both companies offered me a position out there and I was certainly considering taking one of them and moving out there from Virginia.  Unfortunately family issues arose and I needed to stay put for a while.  But that’s neither here nor there.

While perusing the Century Media warehouse and filling up a shopping cart full of CDs, I saw Crows’ The Dying Race sitting on a shelf all by itself.  I had never heard of them and confirmed with my rep that it was for sale and not just something someone left there.  When he was tallying up my stash, the Crows CD didn’t show up in his inventory so he just gave it to me.  I didn’t get a chance to hear until after I got back from California, but man am I glad I picked it up.  This is some good stuff.  Their main lyrical theme seems to heavly lean on American Indian culture and the poor treatment of them.

Members of this band were also in Scanner, Angel Dust, Mekong Delta and Sodom.  Musically it’s sort of a NWOBHM style with great vocal melodies.  This has been long out of print and I wanted to share it.  Enjoy!

Download it here.

Here’s on of their slower tunes:

 

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January 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Ghost – Opus Eponymous

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Have you heard Ghost yet?  This new band hails from Sweden.  Doesn’t seem that too much is known about them.  Singer wears a costume and I sort of think this may be a joke band of sorts, like Brujeria.  The flip side to my claim is that it’s definitely a listenable album.  I bought it off of iTunes for $8.91 and have listened to it about 10 times in the last week.  They are very retro 70’s stoner rock sounding and really seeming to take a cue from Blue Oyster Cult.  Lots of simple yet effective vocal harmonies.  It’s not a heavy record but I do like it.  It’s sort of sloppy here and there and sounds very analog.  No heavy distortion or anything like that…think of the Witchcraft albums, it’s got production more like those.  Very stripped down and basic.  Some of the vocal phrasing reminds me a bit of early Mercyful fate as well, which is not a bad thing.

I do find it funny how overtly Satanic their lyrics are.  Just think Eric Bloom singing about his love for the Devil.  haha.

Overall it’s a fun album and I do recommend it.  The USA release comes out soon on CD but as stated before, it’s available pretty cheaply on iTunes.  Get it!  7/10

The vids on YouTube don’t really do them much justice as I think this is an album that needs to be listened to from front to back.

 

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January 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

RIP Y&T’s Phil Kennemore

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Cancer takes another.  While I’m not the biggest Y&T fan in the world, I do believe that Earthshaker, Black Tiger, Meanstreak and In Rock We Trust should be in everyone’s collection.

RIP dude.  He was a killer bassist.

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January 7, 2011 at 10:34 am