Category Archives: Metal

Times Of Yore: Stompbox – Stress

So this is my first of a series of posts about bands from the past or as I like to call it “Times Of Yore”.  Recently I have been digging deep into my collection and found some real great acts from the past and have decided that people need to know about them or at least need to be reminded of their existence.  I already have a few in mind and will continue to look.  Most of the bands I have discovered were from the 90’s when I was buying everything I could get my hands on.

So let’s kick thinks off shall we?

Stompbox - Stress
Stompbox - Stress

In the day and age when Soundgarden was more grunge metal than adult contemporary and Helmet was still united there was a band that I found at Disc Den called Stompbox.  The CD was called Stress and it might have been the best blind purchase I ever made in 1994.

Already being a huge fan of Helmet, this band was right up my alley.  They had a port-hardcore grunge sound that may have been replicated by many bands at the time, but they sounded so good with their hard striking chords and heavy riffs.  The lead singer’s voice, sounding like Page Hamilton (Helmet) mixed with Neil Fallon (Clutch),was even tolerable throughout the entire CD.  It’s too bad that the band did not continue after their first release.

Not much can be found on the internet about why they disbanded.  Formed in 1991 the band hailed from Boston.  From what I have gathered they were picked up Sony/Columbia and then dropped after the release.  They just didn’t catch on like other bands did and it is a shame.

The lead singer of the band went on to pursue other projects and the remaining members stayed together and changed their band name to Slower (which I am still looking for).  I am still trying to confirm this, but there is a possibility that some of the members even helped out The Blue Man Group and even Juliana Hatfield.  I can not find any proof though…

There is no band website, no Wiki even. There are some reviews out there from fans and everything is thumbs up.  I just wish I could find out a little more about what the members have been up to these days.

I do remember this band having a lot of promotional material for a debut release.  There were posters and fliers all over the place after I bought the CD.  I was also handed a couple of sampler cassettes to give out to my friends as well as a square 2 song record…and I still am kicking myself for doing whatever I did with it.  I wonder if the over-the-top-promotion resulted in this band’s dismay.  I know that kind of happened to Sponge and they were out around the same time as Stompbox….hmmmm….

It’s sad nothing else ever came from Stompbox.  You look at bands like STP and Soundgarden who got their start around the same time and look at how they have progressed.  I can only wonder what would have happened to Stompbox if they would have continued.

This was one band I never got to see live during their heyday.  Luckily YouTube exists.

The CD is long out of print but you can find it for $5.00 or less at a used music shop if you look hard enough.  I myself saw quite a few come in to The Exchange when I happily worked here (sarcasm at it’s finest).  It is worth dishing out the cash if you are looking to hear a straight forward rock album.

Here’s a couple of videos I found of the band.  Boy do these bring back memories.

It’s Tenacious D Time (again…)

Tenacious D
Tenacious D: The Complete Master Works 2

Comic Actor/Musician duo Jack Black and Kyle Gass also know as Tenacious D are going to be releasing The Complete Masterworks 2 DVD on November 4th.  This 2 disc DVD release will includes almost 3 hours of footage including a behind the scenes documentary with Tenacious D as they filmed The Pick Of Destiny.  Also included are live performances, videos, and also appearances on SNL and Conen O’Brien.

I have been a fan of Tenacious D since I discovered them one night on HBO back in the late 90’s.  I believe there were only six episodes that were shown and soon it disappeared though as per Kyle Gass, HBO was looking to take over creative control and they band preferred to do it on their own.

In 2001 the band released their debut CD Tenacious D with a full backing band including Dave Grohl.  They toured constantly and I am happy to say I saw them twice that year, once headlining to Agora and the other when they opened for Weezer at CSU. I witnessed the Sax-a-boom…

Their first DVD collection The Complete Master Works was released in 2003.  The DVD included all of their HBO episodes making that alone worth the purchase.  Full of videos and live perfomances I must have watched it a dozen times the week I bought it.  The duo is hilarious.

The movie Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny was released in theaters in 2006.  It was a funny movie but…well you need to see it for yourself if you have not.  That’s all I am going to say about that.  The soundtrack to the movie was all Tenacious D as well making it their second CD release.

Now comes The Complete Masterworks 2.  I am very interested to see what this DVD will contain.

But who can wait???

I found this small clip on MySpace and can not wait to see this DVD….

Tenacious D “Complete Masterworks V.2” Official Trailer

Wes Borland in Marilyn Manson?

Black Light Burns (Wes Borland 2nd from left)
Black Light Burns (Wes Borland 2nd from left)

Ok so apparently I am late on this one…

Former famed Limp Bizkit guitarist (and current member of Black Light Burns) Wes Borland has apparently joined forces with Marilyn Manson, at least temporary while the band tours.  The last time he lent his touring talent was to From First To Last in 2005-2006, he then moved on.

According to BlabberMouth.net:

Manson said, “We have a new guitar player that’s gonna play for the first time tomorrow; it’s the first time we’ll play on stage [together]. His name is Wes Borland and he used to be in a really terrible band that he left because he felt that it was a destructive force in art, and he has his own band, BLACK LIGHT BURNS, but now he is in MARILYN MANSON. We don’t know how permanent that is, but starting tomorrow [Aug 16th, 2008] will be the first step. So this will be the most indestructible MARILYN MANSON.”

Also within the same article:

Manson‘s longtime bassist, Twiggy Ramirez, toured with Manson earlier this year for the first time since 2002. The two co-wrote “Antichrist Superstar”, “Mechanical Animals” and “Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)” together and Manson told The Salt Lake Tribune this past spring that he couldn’t be happier about Ramirez returning.

This could be something huge.  Marilyn Manson is currently in the middle of recording a new album that is slated to land next year.  If Wes Borland continues to stay with the band after the tour he really could help contribute to the best Marilyn Manson album since Antichrist Superster (that of course would be my favorite album).  Twiggy & Borland could be an amazing matchup.

I find it funny that I randomly came across this recently as I just added Limp Bizkit’s debut CD Three Dolla Bill Yall into itunes.  Why?  Was it because I missed the nu-metal sensation?  Perhaps.  I actually think the album is good and only took it out of my collection in the past because I was so burnt out on Limp Bizkit.

I was always a fan of Wes Borland though.  Big Dumb Face is hilarious.  Here, just check out this video and you may agree:

Weird.  I love it though.

Then there is Black Light Burns.  I had no idea this band even existed until recently and to be honest I am pissed.  How could I miss a band that not only had Wes Borland fronting it but also Josh Freese (NIN, A Perfect Circle, and The Vandals) and Danny Lohner (NIN and A Perfect Circle)???

If you have not heard of Black Light Burns you might want to check out the following video just to give you a taste of their sound:

Black Light Burns recently released a deluxe version of Cover Your Heart And The Anvil Pants Odyssey.

Look for Marilyn Manson’s new album to drop some time next year.

Clutch – Full Fathom Five: Audio Field Recordings 2007-2008 – CD Review

Rock act Clutch has recently released Full Fathom Five: Audio Field Recordings 2007-2008, a CD including many of the live tracks that appear on their first ever live DVD.  The CD and DVD appear to be aimed towards the Clutch fan base as it is being sold only through Clutch’s official website, Merch.Com, and other Clutch websites. So far both releases are not available in retail chains.

Where Clutch has released live albums before, this is the band’s first live DVD to be released and also is their first release under the band’s own label Weathermaker Music.  Clutch plans on releasing further material on their own label.

Clutch
Clutch

Formed in the early nineties, Clutch was not your typical rise-to-the-top rock band.  Gaining early commercial attention was something the band seemed to never worry about.  Starting off selling out small clubs, they, through hard work and perseverance, soon found themselves selling out larger shows and were later headlining tours.  Their sound is that of metal, stoner rock, and even a little blues mixed up. Their solid sound seems to lure in new fans with every release.

Speaking of fans, famous skater misfit Bam Margera labels himself and hug fan of Clutch and even helped direct the video for “The Crowd Goes Wild” for the band.  As a return perhaps, Clutch played live for Bam Margera and a few lucky attendees on a ski slope on a past episode of Viva La Bam.  That is about as mainstream the band has ever been as they really do not care for the predictable rock band approach.

If you have never seen Clutch live, you need to know that they are here to rock.  They do not have fancy stage setups nor do they pause a lot in between songs.  I can say this from experience as once I heard them through the doors of the House Of Blues in Cleveland. The show was sold out and my only way in fell through (it sounded great).  I also can say that a year later I went back to the same venue with ticket in hand (visually just as amazing).

The CD and DVD capture tracks played by Clutch on four separate occasions in New Jersey, Pittsburgh (Mr. Small’s Theatre, one of the coolest venues I have ever been to), and overseas in Sydney.  For a review of the DVD check out what Charile Doherty, a Blogcritics.Org writer had to say about it.

Starting off the fifteen track CD was “Dragonfly” a rather grungy track with Neil Fallon roaring throughout as the guitar riffs landed heavy and the drumming was stern.  I especially got a kick out of the track originally found on Elephant Riders going into a little jam session and then unexpectedly slammed into From Beale Street to Oblivion’s “Child Of The City” without even missing a beat.  Upon the completion of these two songs, the crowd went spastic.

“Texan Book Of The Dead”, the first single off the CD, showed Nail Fallon’s voice struggling a tad but hardly noticeable to the point where the song was dire sounding.  “Oh Eee Oh Ahh Ahh” was sung during the track reminding of Alvin & The Chipmunks.  The song is currently in heavy rotation on SiriusFaction Radio.

“The Mob Goes Wild” was nowhere even close to sounding like the studio recording with a slowed down chorus but I loved the organ playing and just the energy that could be felt throughout.  Sometimes a change in tempo and pitch is a good thing.  “Cypress Grove” simply rocked out with help from some sick harmonica playing.   Once again there was a mid song jam session making for an incredible listen.  “Ship Of Gold” and “10001110101” were two other favorites of mine that I enjoyed profusely.

The only vice I have with the performance was that the band really only focused on material from 1995 onward.  Many of the songs played were welcome to my ears but I was kind of hoping to hear a rare track from Transnational Speedway League.  We can all dream, can’t we?

This CD is just a sample of the twenty song live DVD that was released showcasing their abilities.  I now have to go out and order the DVD because after hearing this I need to see it.  Hell, any fan of solid rock music should check the DVD out and if for whatever reason you have no DVD player then this CD should at least give you a small fix of what Clutch is capable of doing.  Do yourself a favor and order the CD or the DVD today by heading over to Clutch’s website, you won’t regret it.

For your viewing pleasure “Texan Book Of The Dead”:

Here is the video that Bam Margera directed, “The Mob Goes Wild”:

Metalli-riffic

I am probably one of the last people who has not talked about Metallica‘s Death Magnetic.  Everyone out there has their opinion on the CD.  My pal over at Pitriff wrote a few things about it earlier as did many other music lovers.  Some said it was a comeback album while others find it brittle.

I think it is great.  It’s hard to say Metallica is back to what they used to be because let’s face it, age and the battle of life takes its toll.  I think Death Magnetic is the best album the band has done in years and I really enjoy listening to it.  I am not going to sit here and pick through songs and say this one could have been better and this one was perfect.

I will just say that in a whole, the boys did a great job.  Way to grab another #1 album!  That right there is impressive. The album makes me think back to the first five albums and forget about the last few.  It’s nice to see that they still have it.

I finally got to see the video for “The Day That Never Comes”:

Reminds me of the video for “One”.  Very sorrowful video.

Metallica is going to be touring in support of Death Magnetic.  The sad thing is that they are hot hitting Cleveland yet but they will be in Columbus.  Some of me wants to see them again.  I have seen them 3 times now but they were all tours in support of the albums I could care less about.  I really want to see them rock out.

I also want to see this tour because Down is opening for them…awesome.