Monday, November 24, 2008

At a glance reviews: Miseration, Architect, and Science Faxtion

So I've basically recently really gotten into reviewing CDs for my radio station, WMTS. I basically listen to them, break them down so the average DJ will be able to see what the album is all about on the fly, and then decide if they want to play it or not. It's pretty important stuff cause it gets new music out there into our playing rotation. Here's what I've been reviewing lately:

Miseration - Your Demons, Their Angels: it's pretty much just straight ahead death metal with the typical growling vocals and the loud, heavy as hell guitars in the background. But there is a twist though: the singer actually throws clean vocals into the mix too, and does a pretty decent job of it. I compare them loosely to Opeth or maybe an extremely heavy death metal version of Iced Earth. Possibly what IE might have been like if they had gone totally over the edge on Burnt Offerings.
Rating 6 out of 10

Architect - Ghost of the Saltwater Machine: Gotta be honest, I didn't like this album very much, but I've heard that these guys have a pretty loyal underground following. It's metalcore, which basically means that you can expect extremely loud, intense, and in your face metal. The guitars blaze at decible levels of a jet engine plane, and the singer pretty much just screams the whole time. It personally isn't my cup of tea, but if you like metalcore then this may be for you.
Rating: 3 out of 10

Science Faxtion - Living on Another Frequency: Funk bassist Bootsy Collins teams up with guitar superstar Buckethead to make a strange but original funk/metal/space type of record. Brain, drummer from Primus, also joins the mix to form something of a supergroup. For those, who don't know, Buckethead is a masked virtusoso guitarist who always goes around wearing his signature KFC bucket on his head, and is known for highly creative riffs, mind-shredding solos, and adding odd quirks to his music. Collins, meanwhile, is well respected in the funk circles for his contributions to . Primus's drummer brain also joins the mix to fo
The album certainly is creative and has it's high points, but overall it just sounds like the group is trying to do too much. Tracks like Lookin for Eden stand out, as does What It is on which Chuck D guest stars. I see rockets is another great track where Buckethead actaully has a rare chance to sound like Buckethead, but overall it would be better just to grab a few singles off this record, cause that's probably all you'll be listening to.
Rating: 5 out of 10

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why it's good to be a moderate

The other day in one of my classes, the topic of hate radio came up. It's shocking to me some of the things that are put out there everyday.

Let's take a few statements made by right-wing talking head and nutjob Michael Savage:

This one is his well-thought out opinion on autistic kids:
"Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

He also told Muslims to "take your religion and stick it up your behind" because "I'm sick of you." He also referred to the Catholic church as being "rotten from top to bottom."

Not to mention that he was also linked to Jim David Adkisson's shooting in a church which claimed one life when Savage's books were found in a raid on Adkisson's home. Savage's opinion on how the liberals are ruining American was rumored to have played a role in leading Adkisson to commit the crime.

There are plenty others, too. Jim Quinn and Glenn Beck have been equally as visceral. But don't fool yourself into thinking that this type of thing comes only from the right. Liberal blogsite ran a piece in which they basically said they were glad Tony Snow died.

If Janus is the god who represents good and bad, then might the new Janus album be the album that represents good and bad?

I’ll be honest: I really wanted to like this CD. As soon as I saw it sitting there in the metal box in our radio station’s office, I snatched it up. Something about the cover artwork signaled to me that this album would be different.

The bright colors, the bright reds, oranges, and yellows on the cover, as well as the picture of the oriental guy on the front, immediately signaled to me that this would be different than the usual derivative pounding metalcore crap that I usually get stuck reviewing. And indeed it was different, but I still can’t help but walk away with the feeling that I wanted something more…
Overall, I guess this is a pretty solid metal record. The sound of the guitar is pretty loud and heavy, but it’s not hardcore to the point that causal listeners of rock and hard rock can’t get into it. I’d say they sound a lot like Chevelle with a singer who sounds like the guy from Audiovent or Hoobastank. He has a higher, melodic voice but is able to strike a nice balance. But all in all, I wasn’t able to find anything here that really caught my attention.

The guitar is pretty nice and heavy, but it never really does anything to catch your attention. It just kinda gets pushed into the background and is more or less relegated to the role of a support instrument. I guess what I mean to say is there are no catchy or memorable riffs. It just basically drones on, which is a pretty good way to describe the album as a whole.

So I’d say that this a definitely a solid band with an interesting sound. I think they could have a future, but there just simply isn’t enough variation on this record. My advice would be to take a listen, and if you like it, then go on iTunes and download a track or two, cause once you’ve heard one track you’ve basically heard them all.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is it just me, or does the music scene seem like it's becoming trashier by the moment? Songs are starting to light up the radio with a penchant for exhorting sexuality. But something's different this time. Some of the songs I've been hearing lately are just way over the top. But I'm not offended... in fact, I think it's hillarious. Take some examples, like "Addicted" by Saving Abel. In a 3 and a half minute song, the singer tells us no less than five times how awesome it is to have his girlfriend sucking him off. That's great, but don't you think we get it already? Another prime example is the new Theory of a Deadman song, "A Bad Girlfriend." In it, he describes his girlfriend as being a dick magnet who likes to shake her ass and gets her ass grabbed. A less recent but just as viable example also comes from Puddle of Mudd, "Control." Where he keeps repeating over and over again how much he likes "the way you smack my ass."
I just really think that sometimes music can be way over the top when it comes to being explicit and in your face about describing sexual activity and sexuality in general, especially when there is no other redeeming values lyrically or otherwise.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A word before the election

So today is the day in which we will finally find out who the president will be. Today, we will learn who will be the man to lead us for the next four years. Somehow, I feel who we select will be more important than any election we've had in quite a while. I could make this a post hailing one candidate and deriding the other, but I won't. I just hope that we pick the best man for the job, because I think the last two elections have proven how crucial that is. I sometimes wonder what this nation would be like today if we had eight years of Gore instead of eight years of Bush. But all I really want to say is that I hope whoever it is will utilize their wisdom, courage, and integrity to lead this nation to a period of greatness in economic and social affairs and in world standing. And if you haven't voted, get out there and vote. Even if it's for a 3rd party candidate; there's nothing wrong with that, although some people would probably have you believe so.