Tag Archives: New Release

The Faint – Fasciinatiion – CD Review

The Faint bring yet another installment of their new wave/dance/indie tunes to your ears with Fasciinatiion.  Once a solid staple to Saddle Creek Records, the band parted ways in spring of 2008 stating they would be releasing material on their own label blank.wav.  This is their first album in four years and is also the first to be entirely fashioned by The Faint.  Fasciinatiion proves that this five-some has no problem doing things all by themselves.

Formed in Omaha, Nebraska around 1995 the band lured me in thanks to the release of 1999’s Blank Wave-Arcade.  Their unique sound that had similarities to 80’s dance but with indie rock and even a little punk rock flair; something I had not found myself getting into before.  Soon thereafter, I was listening to them on almost a daily basis.   They were one of the original bands that introduced me to Saddle Creek records and helped get the indie label some well deserved recognition.

The Faint
The Faint

I was excited to check out their latest release seeing how I really have not listened to The Faint in quite some time.  Fasciinatiion started out strong with “Get Seduced” refreshing me on their dance rock style.  Their electronic rock music was not missed by my ears.  It would appear even after four years the band still has it.

“The Geeks Were Right”, the band’s first single off the album, was my favorite track.  The more indie pressed song reminded me of She Wants Revenge and Interpol, but heavy on the electronic side.  The music video for the song is extremely interesting too almost visualizing what a Max Headroom acid flashback might look like.  Even better there are remixes of this track floating around on the internet; my favorite was “The Geeks Were Right (Does It Offend You? Yeah Remix).

The album seemed to stray away from the Faint’s unique sound I had grown accustomed to with more experimental tracks like “Machine In The Ghost” and “Fulcrum And Lever”.  The vocals were a tad too robotic for me and the sounds were too experimental and unhurried.

The funky “Psycho” saved the album for me as it took direction back away from the slow, unusual songs previously mentioned.  Deep blimps and bleeps at the beginning of the song  kind of exceeded it’s welcome, but soon it mellowed out building for an good listen.  “I Treat You Wrong”, with poor lyrics, really was a good track but was nothing to dance about.

I really feel that The Faint created a roller coaster effect on Fasciinatiion.  The album does not seem nearly as constant and up-tempo as prior releases nor was there any of that punk rock flair that could be heard on Wet From Birth.  It is one of their more unique albums, but certainly not their best effort.  I am not saying this album is bad, but it does not compare to their more recent efforts.


 

Horrorpops – Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill – CD Review

Horrorpops
Horrorpops

One of the more unique acts out there in the music world, The Horrorpops, released their third studio album Kiss Kiss Kill Kill earlier this year.  The Danish act with original members (who are also married to one another) Patricia Day on stand up bass and Kim Nekroman on lead guitar have been rocking out since 1996, thanks to their unique mixture of rockabilly, surf, psychobilly, and punk rock music.  They were a huge success overseas but it was not until around 2003 that the band got their US break thanks to Tim Armstrong’s (Rancid) label Hellcat Records.

Recently finishing up their mini-set tour on the 2008 Van’s Warped Tour, the band just announced their headlining fall tour in support of Kiss Kiss Kill Kill.  With bombshell Patricia Day’s giant stand-up bass and smoky singing, layered with Kim Neckroman assaulting his guitar, and Niedermeier’s drumming, the band should have no problem entertaining the masses.

The CD seemed to have a rebel theme with the song titles and lyrics, with many in reference to many female films. The CD cover mimics a poster for a B-Movie.  The sound on their third release seems to keep the same as previous without going over any boundaries to make a significant change.

Opening track “Thelma & Louise” of course makes suggestion of driving just like Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis did in their girls gone wild of a film.  Patricia Day sings strongly in this track and the music backing her up is very catchy.   “Heading For The Disco?” already is played a lot over the airwaves, especially on Sirius Radio’s Faction.  The song is a bit poppy but still delivers the pop-rockabilly feel with bass plucking and drumming making you want to boogie down.

“Kiss Kiss Kill Kill” really sounded like the Cure at the beginning, that is until the harmonies began.  The song holds Patricia Day’s cries “Kiss kiss kiss me dantly, kill kill me quietly…” with a “whoa oh oh oh” in the wake.  The song is a little gloomy, but I really dig the guitar playing.  It is a simple riff but is the type that sticks out.

Starting with what sounded like a repeat of a bass line from another Horrorpops release was “Everything’s Everything”.  The track about not wanted to let go of a complicated relationship was a reminder that this band is not about sunshine and rainbows.  Nekroman strums away during “Private Hall Of Shame” with almost a southern rock feel to his playing.

By no means is this a traditional rockabilly/psychobilly band.  They stray away from the rest and incorporate their own style to make for a more unique feel.  On their third release, I say the Horrorpops still have it and I really enjoyed what I heard.  If you want real rockabilly this band may bestow you mixed feelings but if you are looking for something fun to listen to and have a good time, then this is the perfect release for you.

Ex-Korn Releases Solo CD

Brian "Head" Welch w/ daughter Jennea
Brian "Head" Welch w/ daughter Jennea (still sporting ADIDAS!)

Remember a few years back when the guitarist from Korn up and left the band due to his own personal beliefs?  Everyone thought either Head went crazy or was just pulling a huge publicity stunt.

I thought it was a big joke at first.  Slowly I forgot about it.

Today I found out he has released his solo CD three years after he departed from the nu-metal rock band Korn.  I honestly thought he just fell off the face of the earth.  Then again I really was not looking for updates on him.  I respected his decision at the time and left it at that.

There was a lot more to the story though.

Brian "Head" Welch looks a lot like someone I have seen before...
Brian"Head" Welch - Looks like someone I have seen before...

Truth be told; him leaving the band was not a stunt at all.  Brian “Head” Welch left the band to focus on more important things in life like being a father and following his belief as a born again Christian.  The guitarist fought a terrible battle with drugs throughout his rock star years and once he departed from the band he soon weened himself from his addiction.  After being baptized in front of the world, he began a new life.  He started traveling to other countries to help the poor and while doing so wrote material for himself.

Last year Brian “Head” Welch released a book titled Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, And Lived To Tell My Story.  The memoir is all about the rock star’s lifestyle he had, didn’t want, and how he changed it.  I have not had the chance to check it out just yet, but from what I hear it is a good read.

His new solo album titled the same as his book, Save Me From Myself, dropped yesterday in many stores.  I have not had a chance yet to check it out but I did find this video he just released as well of the song “Flush”.

This video is proof he has not completely lost it…or has he?  You can be the judge.

FLUSH – BRIAN HEAD WELCH — THE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

Note:  To each their own on beliefs upon religion.  I request that no one discuss religion on this site.  I respect your opinion and all, but there are plenty of other forums and blog-sites that cater to religion discussion.  This blog was about a musician and even if I did include his choice in religion, that is as far as I am taking it.  If you do, I’ll be sure to delete it.

Alice In Chains To Record New Material

Alice In Chains (AIC) will be releasing new material for the first time in 13 years.  Can you say AWESOME?

For those of you who are scratching your heads right now wondering did I just say AIC is releasing new material, I need to let you know that the band never broke up.

Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains (w/ Layne Staley)

Formed in 1997 by Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell the band became quite popular with two albums becoming #1’s on Billboard 200.  The band was a great commerical success and even though started off more metal soon mellowed to a rock that everyone seemed to enjoy.  After 1995 the band stopped recording material.

The band never called it quits though, they just paused while lead singer Layne Staley fought the bad battle with his publicly known chemical addiction and dealt with heartbreak.

In 1996 Staley lost his fiancee from bacterial endocarditis and chose to stay alone and cope his loss with drugs.  In 1998 Staley recorded two songs with the rest of the band but really never did anything else onward.  His addiction took over his like and he even willingly admitted in in many interviews.

Months before his death, Staley admitted in an interview, “I know I’m near death, I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way” In 2002 the worst, but expected, happened as Staley was found dead in his condominium from an apparent drug overdose.

With Layne Staley’s passing in 2002 I really never thought AIC would put out another release.    I figured the band would go their separate ways.  I was wrong…

After some time AIC chose to continue.

The remaining members Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, and Sean Kinney played for a benefit concert in 2005 for the tsunami that hit Asia with Damageplan singer Pat Lachman.  One year later they appeared on VH1’s Decades Rock Live: Heart with another singer William DuVall, one time singer of Comes With The Fall. AIC hit the road soon after and toured select cities with positive reviews. They rolled through Cleveland and of course I missed it. I know someone who went and he said it was amazing.  Go on Matt, rub it in.

Seems like things went well as earlier this year AIC announced they would be recording new material.

I still have yet to see the new AIC live or even hear it for that matter.  I never even got to see the old AIC live and they were one of my favorite bands of the 90’s.  I am really curious to hear what they have to offer.  From what I have heard William DuVall seems to have picked up where Staley had let off.

With new material and the possibility of a tour (I sure hope so) it looks like AIC is making a comeback.

Straight from the band’s website, a band associate named Baldy said:

“October will arrive and Alice In Chains will reconvene to record the new album.  So, as 2008, winds down, band activity will be gearing up, and at some point in 2009 you’ll finally hear what I’ve been raving about for the last several months.”

I think Baldy knows something…and I am hoping he is right!

Some videos:

Chris Cornell Teaming Up With Timbaland

Yes you read the title correctly…

If you would have asked me 15 years ago what I would think if the lead singer of Soundgarden would be teamed up with  rap artist/producer Timbaland I would have called you crazy.  I never would have thought that Chris Cornell would depart with the rock grunge band he started in, work on solo material, and then join a super group with members of Rage Against The Machine called Audioslave.

Well it happened…it all happened…

…and now Chris Cornell is releasing a solo album once again.  This time with help from R&B / Hip-Hop producer Timbaland.  How the hell did this happen???

Of course my curiosity got to me so I used my old friend the internet to hear this crazy combination.  This is indeed an interesting mix and after listening to samples of ‘Watch Out” and “Ground Zero” on his MySpace page I must say I’m not sure if I like what I hear.  The beats created by Timbaland mixed with Chris Cornell’s vocals make for a sound reminding me of Gnarls Barkley mixed with Jamiroquai.  “Long Gone” another sample track almost upsets me to hear this once rocker toy with pop rock.  Chris Cornell’s voice is still amazing but I just do not know about this…

Before I say other comments I’ll just wait until Scream is released on Oct. 14th.

Chris Cornell time line….

Once upon a time this was Chris Cornell:

One of my favs:

Years later:

EDIT:

My good buddy Matt and I spoke tonight and he commented on how he got a kick out of my Chris Cornell time line.  We joked about how now Soundgarden will NEVER reunite now.  You see, Chris Cornell stated back in 2005 that Soundgarden would probably never reunite.  From the looks of things I am pretty sure the remaining members of Soundgarden will never want to be associated with him.   After my phone call with Matt from AddictedToVinyl.Com I decided I should elaborate a little more about my humor towards Mr. Chris Cornell.

Matt and I joked about a pseudo phone conversation between Chris Cornell and once guitarist Kim Thayil of Soundgarden.

It would go something like this:

Chris:  “Hey Kim”

Kim:  “Chris”

Chris:  “Kim, I just had to call you and tell you about what I have been doing lately”

Kim:  “Ok…”

Chris:  “I knew you would want to hear!”

Kim:  “…”

Chris:  “So yeah, I was thinking about what I could do to totally make myself look even cooler than I already am.  I decided what could I, Chris Cornell, do that has never been done by a once grunge rockstar turned supergroup rock hero.  I decided to put out a album called ‘Scream’ with help from my newest friend on the block, Timbaland

Kim:  “What?  You did what?”

Chris:  “Yeah!  I know!”

Kim:  “Chris, are you even listening to me?”

Chris:  “Exactly.”

Kim:  “Umm…”

Chris:  “Good question!  I wanted to completely ruin my image by putting out a pop album with glorified beats.  I wanted to disregard everything I have ever done by putting out an album named after one of Timbaland’s hit songs.  I wanted to record garbage.

Kim:  “And you are telling me this because?”

Chris:  “I am going to take over the world.  My new album not only will be the greatest album ever made, it will also prove to the world how awesome I am and they will all bow to my feet.  I will bathe in glory.  I am wonderful… my voice is all controlling… I will rule the… ”

Kim:  “That is not possible, I already contributed to Probot.”

Chris:  “Money, glory, fame…”

Kim:  “I have to go now”

Chris:  “My hair will turn to gold, I will become a robot like Michael Jackson did in Moonwalker and I will save all the lost children…”

Kim:  “Bye Chris, I have to go out and be a musician.”

Chris:  “Mr. Big you look out!  I am power.”