Way back in 2001 after the break up of The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain formed a new band called Zwan. There was two sides to the band and the more acoustic based side was called The Djali Zwan. Then in 2002, Billy was approached by visionary director Jonas Akerlund to create the music for his upcoming film Spun. A slew of original songs were written by Billy, as well as different approaches to a variety of other songs like a very stripped down version of Iron Maiden’s “The Number Of The Beast.” The film would go on to become a sort of cult movie but, the soundtrack is one of those sought after items for many fans of Corgan’s. These songs have taken on a life of their own and really helped to give a vibe to the film.
The opening credits sequence of the The Hangover has one of the best songs to accompany it. Having Danzig’s “Thirteen” in this place is haunting and it absolutely sets a tone for what is to happen in the film. Interestingly, Danzig originally wrote the song for Johnny Cash. Cash’s acoustic version appears in an edited form on his 1994 American Recordings debut, while a full length version is on the Johnny Cash box set. No matter what, “Thirteen” is a great song and it’s use was perfect.
Industrial music is one of the genres that I have an affinity for. There is something really cool about bands in this genre that can make something so rhythmically intricate and dark. Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry have made industrial music a household name. I’d like to introduce you to Fact Pattern. This industrial doom metal band from Los Angeles is making quite a name for themselves. This three piece band led by singer/guitarist Ian Flux along with drummer Rannen Bozzio and bassist Jack Lowd are bringing back that classic industrial sound but are injecting a bit of a doom metal vibe to their music. Their 2017 EP Structures is full of doom churning melody with a balanced backbone of industrial, giving it the grit it needs. Fast forward to today and Fact Pattern have released “My Guard Down,” the first single from their upcoming album. Fact Pattern are more than just your run of the mill industrial or doom band. They add lush landscapes of sounds to really set the mood. The melodic nature of the songs also make their style something that is accessible but not in a way that it’s watered down. Do yourself a favor and check out Fact Pattern. You won’t be disappointed!
Since the turn of the century, there is a band that I truly feel is the band of the 2000’s. That band is Mastodon. From the moment their album Remission was released all the way till their newest, Emperor Of Sand, Mastodon, has been the most consistent and best band of this new era. On each album they’ve been able to push themselves creatively and have made timeless and classic albums. Mastodon, doesn’t have many b-sides, though I’m sure their vault is full of great songs they didn’t use. Here are a few tracks that didn’t make their albums.
Deathbound (from The Hunter):
The Ruiner (from The Hunter):
White Walker (from Game Of Thrones Soundtrack:
Cold Dark Place EP (North Side Star, Blue Walsh, Cold Dark Place were recorded for Once More Round The Sun. Toe To Toes was recorded during Emperor Of Sand):
Thrice has never been a band to repeat what they did on their last album. They’ve always pushed forward and tried new things. Sometimes those experiments worked (Vheissu) and others not so much (Beggars). Now on their tenth studio album, Thrice have returned with Palms, a record that picks up where To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere left off. Palms is chock full of those signature Thrice moments from the riffs, lyrics, melodies and rhythms that makes Thrice a special band.
There is no doubt that when Thrice writes a “heavy” song, you know that it’s going to be a favorite. Rather than go all out heavy on the first track, “Only Us” starts it off with a very subtle mid tempo track that is heavy but full of melody. Then on track two with “The Grey,” they step it up a bit more to really push the album further. “The Dark” then takes it back to the melodic with it’s dark brooding body. Dustin Kensrue, really shines on this song. “Just Breathe” which features guest vocals from Emma Ruth Rundle, is another stellar track that shows a bit of a different side of the band. As the album continues on with songs like “Everything Belongs” and “My Soul,” Thrice explores a bit of their ballad side, then they bring it back up tempo with the distortion heavy “Hold Up A Light.” Closing out the album is “Beyond The Pines” a very stark and haunting track that continues on the bands experimental path but doesn’t stray from the overall sense of the album.
Overall, Palms is very much a Thrice album. They aren’t trying to sound like anyone else but themselves. The experimentation works for these songs. Since the band returned with To Be Everywhere, you get the sense that Dustin, Teppei, Ed, and Riley are feeling inspired again and have something more to say. The playing and performances on this album are top notch and hark back to their early days, when making music was fun and full of life. The only complaint I have about Palms, is that the mix on this album is pretty weak. Often times, the drums are buried, the bass just becomes a rumble, the crisp/bright guitars are often lost amongst the distortion, and the vocals at times seem to be too compressed. But if you look past these things, Palms is a very enjoyable and full album. Thrice have really pushed themselves to not repeat the past and on Palms, they achieve that and show their collective maturity.
Korn is one of the most recognizable bands of the last 25 years. Not only are they cemented in the rock n roll history folklore but they continue to be one of the most consistent and hard working bands out there. One thing they were always keen on was putting out quality music videos. So here are Korn’s top ten videos.
When bands explore different genres and sub-genres the end result can be hit or miss. For those that it works for, the music created and the “art” of it has its way of standing out. I recently came across a band hailing from Texas called Super Thief that has been pushing the boundaries of the “noise rock” sub-genre. While exploring the influence and inspiration of bands like Sonic Youth, Shellac, and The Jesus Lizard, Super Thief as taken what they’ve learned and combined a bit of a punk tinge to make some pretty rockin tunes. Their new EP Eating Alone In My Car, is rocking chaos full of noise, grooves and riffs and rhythms that get you up and moving. Check out Super Thief. They’ve got something going on that is quite fun to listen to and full of a slew of energy.