Soundtrack Only Songs: White Zombie- Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls from Beavis & Butthead Do America

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Back in 1996, one of the biggest movies of the year was Beavis and Butthead Do America. I still remember seeing that movie countless times with my childhood best friend. It was and still is one hell of a funny movie. One of the coolest parts of the movie was the soundtrack. In particular the song that White Zombie contributed to it entitled “Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls.” Even the scene in which it’s featured is superb and super trippy. This White Zombie song was also the last thing the band would release before they broke up.

White Zombie- Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls:

 

 

The scene in Beavis and Butthead Do America:

 

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Great Debut Albums: Weezer- Weezer (Blue)

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It’s pretty crazy to look at all the albums that came out in 1994 and see how many of those have gone on to become true classics. 94 was a golden year for music and it will be regarded as such for generations to come. There’s one album that came out during this time that helped to change the landscape of things. That album is Weezer’s debut also known as The Blue Album. The 10 songs that make up this legendary album are substantial and highly influential. Along with the pop charm and sensibilities, the melodic melancholy that is the backdrop for this album, helped to spawn a new sub-genre.

The Blue Album has quite an interesting history in regards to the writing and recording of it. The album was produced by Ric Ocasek (R.I.P) of The Cars and recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York. In case you didn’t know, Electric Lady Studios was Jimi Hendrix’s studio. Originally the band wanted to self produce the album but, the label insisted on a producer and they chose Ric. Original guitarist Jason Cropper was let go during the recording of the album and replaced by Brian Bell. Cropper had already performed all his parts on the album but, after he was let go, Rivers Cuomo redid all of his parts and according to Ric Ocasek, he did all those parts in one take. Cropper did receive writing credit though on the lead track “My Name Is Jonas.” Something else that I’ve always found funny was that for the album cover photo, original bassist Matt Sharp wasn’t happy with the way his head looked so photoshop was used to replace his head with another one from a different shot.

There are a hodgepodge of different influences and inspirations that can be found on the album, making it something quite spectacular. There’s pop elements to go along with garage rock, bits of post punk, punk rock, and even a tinge of metal at times. Right out of the gate “My Name Is Jonas,” sets the tone for how the dynamics of the album are. It’s also one of the coolest first tracks to an album. “No One Else” has this really fun playful bounce to it and an almost Beach Boys pop vibe to it. “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” is one of those songs that the more you listen to, the more you relate. While it has a pop formula, it’s one of the more darker songs on the album. “Buddy Holly”  was actually the second single off the album but, it was this song and fantastic video (directed by Spike Jonze) that really put Weezer on the map. Even Rivers Cuomo was hesitant about putting the song on the album as he felt it didn’t represent the sound he wanted. Ric Ocasek persuaded Rivers to put it on the album. “Undone- The Sweater Song” was the first single. Rivers has even said that this is an inadvertant rip-off of Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).” This song is super catchy but, it’s also quite poignant and deep. It’s also one of my favorite songs the band has ever written. Plus the guitar solo on the song is perfect. “Surf Wax America” is another super catchy song with a punk rock sensibility a la the Ramones. “Say It Ain’t So” is another of my all time favorite Weezer songs. It was the third and final single released. The heavy guitars on this song are exquisite and this tone has become often duplicated. The song itself is one hell of a track. It’s dark and hits all those right feels. This is also one of the bands most covered songs (Deftones, Finch and Dashboard Confessional and more have covered this song). “In The Garage” is quite an introspective song set against a poppy melody with cruchy guitars. This is one of those songs that many a suburban kid can relate to and still do. “Holiday” has some of the best guitar and bass tones on the album. It’s also a heartfelt song that has this layer of optimism to it. There is also this really fun barbershop quartet section in the middle of the song. Interestingly, while preparing for the studio sessions, Weezer focused on their vocal interplay by practicing barbershop quartest style songs to feel more comfortable collaborating vocally.  Closing out the album is my absolute favorite Weezer song, “Only In Dreams.” The song’s lyrics tell the story of a young man who wants to be romantically involved with the girl of his dreams. But because he cannot do so in reality due to how nervous he is, he can only fantasize about being with her in his dreams. Though in an 2010 interview Rivers said of the song  “I think most of our audience always thought it was a song about a girl when I’m really singing about my artistic process.” No matter what the song is about, one thing is for certain, this song is epic. The dynamics on this song are astounding. The precision of quiet to loud along with guitar, bass, and drum tones should be studied. The gradual increase in heaviness that leads to the guitar solo give me chills to this day. This song is sincere and absolutely immersive and as an album closer it’s perfect.

The Blue Album is one of those that you can listen to from start to finish without ever tiring of it or wanting to skip a song, even if you’ve heard “Buddy Holly” 500 times. The  pop elements and brightness hook you in as they should but, it’s really the meticulously crafted songs and performances that make this album stand out. These songs don’t just fit in the era they were released making this album timeless. The Blue Album is a pre-cursor to the emo movement that bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Jawbreaker helped to create. This album is truly one of the best albums of the 90’s and 1994. Take a few moments out of your day and (re)discover how great this album is.

 

Weezer- The Blue Album:

Live Review: Korn- The Nothing Album Release Show

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It’s pretty crazy to me that just a couple weeks ago, I was in Irvine to see Korn and Alice In Chains, and then this past Friday, here I was seeing Korn again. Only this time, it was one of the coolest most intimate performances ever. I had no idea what to expect as I walked into this warehouse/sound stage. I really thought this was going to be a listening party with a pop up merch shop and a couple of the guys from the band would be there. What happened was, I walked into this giant room and there, all set up was the bands equipment. At that point, I knew it was on. Looking around there couldn’t have been more than 150 people there and we all were surrounding the barricade waiting for Korn to come out and play.

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After about 40 minutes of waiting, the room went dark with the exception of a few scattered lights, and the band started to appear. It was then that the notes began to ring and the intro for the classic “Falling Away From Me” started, and as soon as that one note hit, the crowd was fully engulfed into it. Following that was “You’ll Never Find Me” from their new album The Nothing. They had been playing this song on their summer tour and it surely sounded huge and the crowd knew every word. After that, Munky was playing with his talk box and some effects, and after a couple minutes of noodling, “Dead Bodies Everywhere” took the audience by storm and the place erupted at that point. That song has always been a favorite of mine and live it sounds soooo good. From there, they debuted “Can You Hear Me” for the first time. This song is a standout on the album and live it sounded even better. “Here To Stay” was after and again the crowd was going nuts singing along. “Cold” another new song from The Nothing was debuted this evening and this song hit so hard, it almost felt like an eruption occurred underneath us. At this point you could tell they were playing old songs than new songs and that was pretty awesome especially, as they then blasted out “Clown.” One thing I’ve noticed over the years is when Korn plays songs from their first album, the audience absolutely is taken over by these songs, and this was no different. The sheer volume of the audience singing along with Jonathan Davis was nuts. The next song was another new one called “Finally Free.” This song is one of those songs on the new record that leaves you with chills and live, let’s just say if you go see them and they play this song live, you’ll love it even more. Ending the night with “Faget” was pretty damn awesome. That song has always been a fan favorite and it was a great choice to be played this evening. This was another one of those songs that just hit the crowd in the right way and the rest is history.

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The band’s 9 song set was perfect. It was a great performance and one of the best I’ve ever seen Korn do. Looking at each member as they played, you could tell they were enjoying it and having a great time. The crowd reaction as they alternated between old and new songs was astounding as well as how loud the crowd was singing along to the new songs. I was thinking over the weekend as I replayed the show in my head and had the new album on repeat, that it’s pretty surreal to know that I’ve been listening to this band for 25 years. I’ll be honest there was a period of time that I didn’t dig on what they put out but, for the past few years I’ve been reinvigorated as a fan by their new material. The new album The Nothing, is phenomenal and outstanding. It’s surely the best album that have put out in years and it stands up with their ground breaking debut as well as my favorite album, Issues. I mentioned this in my album review but, it’s worth noting again, the original core 4 members have found their footing again in this band and having Ray Luzier on the drums really helps to elevate the band and allows them to go to different places musically. Korn is back in full swing and I couldn’t be happier to say that.

Set List:

01) Falling Away From Me
02) You’ll Never Find Me
03) Dead Bodies Everywhere
04) Can You Hear Me
05) Here To Stay
06) Cold
07) Clown
08) Finally Free
09) Faget

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

 

Korn- The Nothing:

New Release: Onesidezero- Chasing The Sun

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On October 11, Onesidezero will be re-releasing their self titled album (via WURMgroup). This album never got the due it fully deserved due to a very limited release and a label that was, well let’s not get into that. The re-release features a remastered version along with new artwork as well as the song “Chasing The Sun.” This song was written around the same time as the self titled album, so it’s only fitting that it should be released as part of this.
You can pre-order the album HERE

 

Onesidezero- Chasing The Sun:

 

Album Review: Korn- The Nothing

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13 albums in and 25 years since the beginning, is it still possible to be relevant? Well, In Korn’s case, yes, yes it is. For many years and albums, Korn has tried new things and the results were very hit or miss. Then, Brian “Head” Welch returned to the fold and things starting getting back on the right track. The bands previous album, The Serenity Of Suffering was surely a step in the right direction in terms of sound and getting back to what they do best. Now, on their new album The Nothing, Korn has really stepped up and made their best album since Untouchables. This new one has bits of Untouchables, Issues and their debut all wrapped into one. The end result is something that the band can look back on and be very proud of what they created.

The over arching theme of The Nothing is obviously the loss of Jonathan Davis’s wife and how he’s dealt with it. Never one to shy away from his pain, this album has some of the most vulnerable performances from JD in a very very long time. Opening the album is “The End Begins” which features bag pipes, rumbling percussion, and fuzzy bass along with JD putting himself deeply into this and uncontrollably sobbing as he asks “Why did you leave?” From that point, the album then begins to take shape as “Cold” hits with an impact that harks back to the way Issues started. “You’ll Never Find Me” is part 2 of the 1, 2 punch of how the album starts. The riffs and rhythms that accompany these two songs are some of the best of Korn’s career. One of my favorite songs on the album “Idiosyncrasy” is one hell of a song. The Pantera-esque riff along with melodic chorus makes this song one of the true standouts on the album. This album has a bit of everything for Korn fans. It hits the heavy, melodic, and experimental aspects that have made up the bands career. Such songs like “The Darkness Is Revealing,” “Finally Free,” The Ringmaster,” Gravity Of Discomfort,” and “H@rd3r” are great examples of that and showcase the different vocal approaches of Jonathan Davis as well as the band at a very creative turn that hark back to the origins of the band while adding a more modern approach. In true Korn fashion, these few songs have a life of their own but stay true to desperation and realism that the album carries. “Can You Hear Me” has a very cool Queen Of The Damned vibe along with a bit of a Follow The Leader melodic tinge. “This Loss” is one of my other favorite songs on the album. The band really honed in on the melodic aspects they’ve become known for. The interludes that appear also give the album a bit of a schizophrenic aspect but, help to tie in the thoughts being conveyed.

The Nothing stands up quite high in the bands catalog. There are some really classic Korn elements on these songs, along with memorable hooks and catchy choruses. The dueling guitars that became signature to Korn are extremely prevalent on this album and Munky and Head really shine. Fieldy’s bass hits the way it used to along with his percussive style bass that balances the guitars and drums. Ray Luzier finally sounds like he fits on a Korn record. His groove on this record is reminiscent of what David did on the older albums but, it’s done in a way that doesn’t sound rehashed and it stays true to the beast of a drummer that Ray is. Jonathan Davis’s vocals and melodies on this album are some of the best since Issues and Untouchables. Obviously the pain and grief of loss is ever noticeable but, they catharsis through the performances really makes the whole thing shine.

I’m sure many people have given up on Korn over the years. I know there was a point that I just didn’t care but, on the last album and on this one, Korn has recaptured what they do best without it coming across as forced. Working with Nick Raskulinecz has been a blessing for the band. He’s one of the few producers out there today that really understands the essence of what bands are and how to capture that magic again. The Nothing is an album that will draw older fans back into the fold while giving those skeptical ones something to sink their teeth into. Are there moments that are hit and miss, sure, but that doesn’t take away from how genuine and pure this album is.

 

Overall Rating: A

 

Korn- The Nothing:

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Beats Per Minute: Betty Moon

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I really enjoy when I get a new band/artist in my inbox to check out. I listen to everything that gets sent my way. Sure there are things that I don’t like but, then there are things that I come across that I enjoy and definitely think that those of you that read Audioeclectica would enjoy too. Recently one of those artist that was intrigued by is Betty Moon. Betty has a new album out called Hellucination and the first single from that, “Crazy” is quite the infectious track. You might have even heard Betty’s music featured in a variety of television shows and films including Californication and Dexter. The thing that intrigued me most about this was that it wasn’t your run of the mill pop or electronic music. Musically, it’s poppy and full of hooks but, there is real depth to the words and it’s not superficial. Betty has a very sultry yet raw voice to go along with a rock n’ roll attitude, which helps to separate her from the rest of the pack.

Betty Moon- Crazy:

 

 
Betty Moon- Save My Soul:

 

Songs In Film: Motorhead- Ace Of Spades in Grosse Pointe Blank

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Grosse Pointe Blank is one of the best films of the past 25 years. It’s funny, heartfelt, violent and all around great. Plus the soundtrack to the film is superb. This movie is one of those that you can watch constantly just for fun. It’s also one of those that when it’s on, most people tend to watch it no matter how far in the movie already is. John Cusack is perfect as Martin Blank. I was recently watching the movie the other night and there was a scene I made a note of and had to present it here. Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” was featured in the movie in one of the coolest scenes. Check it out!

Motorhead- Ace Of Spades in Grosse Pointe Blank: