Month: August 2014

Bands That Should Come Back: Operation Ivy

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The 1980’s were a very interesting time for music. Hardcore Punk was created as was Thrash metal. Towards the late 80’s a group formed in Berkeley, California. Operation Ivy was one of the first bands to mix hardcore punk and ska. Their mix of the two genres is regarded as part of the vanguard of the second wave of American punk rock which swept the country in the 1990s. Operation Ivy was critical to the emergence of Lookout Records and the so-called “East Bay Sound.” Although the band released just one full length album Energy, before breaking up in May 1989, Operation Ivy is well remembered as the direct antecedent of Rancid (Tim “Lint” Armstrong and Matt Freeman were both in Op Ivy) and for wielding a lasting stylistic influence over numerous other bands. A fun fact about the band at their last official live performance. This show was Green Day’s first performance at the famed 924 Gilman St. This was also supposed to be Operation Ivy’s record release show. As for a reunion, the group has stated a number of times that Operation Ivy reunion is unlikely to happen. frontman Jesse Michaels addressed reunion issues in a Myspace blog years ago, citing the legal and logistic difficulties in getting the four members together for a reunion, as well as the fact that the band “never belonged in a big rock club in a one to two thousand seat joint.” He concluded the post with the following: “[Will] it happen? The most honest answer is probably not.” The closest thing ever to a reunion happened at a Rancid show at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on December 17, 2006, Jesse Michaels reunited with Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman to perform the tracks “Unity” as well as “Sound System”. It was Jesse’s first time on stage with Tim and Matt in over 15 years.

Operation Ivy is one of those bands that if they were to come back would immediately be welcomed. There is such a high regard for this band in all circles of punk, and even parts of the metal community. One can only hope that one day this happens before it’s too late.

By: Brian Lacy

Album Rank: Nine Inch Nails

03 - Nine Inch Nails

I present to you the album rank of my all time favorite band… Nine Inch Nails!

Note: These are just the “ALBUMS” not the REMIX ALBUMS.

 

10) Ghosts:

 

09) The Slip:

 

08) Not The Actual Events:

 

07) Hesitation Marks:

 

06) Year Zero:

 

05) With Teeth:

 

04) Pretty Hate Machine:

 

03) Broken:

 

02) The Downward Spiral:

 

01) The Fragile:

 

 

 

 

Greatest Bassists

Bass is one instrument that often goes overlooked. The following list are the best bassists (In no particular order).

1. John Paul Jones- Led Zeppelin
2. John Entwistle- The Who
3. Geezer Butler- Black Sabbath
4. Noel Redding- Jimi Hendrix Experience
5. Mike Inez- Alice In Chains
6. Mike Starr- Alice In Chains
7. Krist Novaselic- Nirvana
8. Ben Sheppard- Soundgarden
9. Jeff Ament- Pearl Jam
10. Sergio Vega- Quicksand/Deftones
11. Cliff Burton- Metallica
12. Steve Harris- Iron Maiden
13. Caleb Scofield- Cave In/Old Man Gloom
14. Chi Cheng- Deftones
15. Sergio Vega- Deftones/Quicksand
16. Dave Edwardson- Neurosis
17. Rex Brown- Pantera/Down
18. Greg Edwards- Failure
19. Billy Gould- Faith No More
20. Tom Araya- Slayer
21. Frank Bello- Anthrax
22. Robert Trujillo- Metallica/Infectious Grooves
23. Jason Newstead- Metallica
24. Duff McKagen- Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver/Walking Papers
25. Jack Bruce- Cream
26. Pino Palladino
27. Eric Avery- Jane’s Addiction
28. John Bakers Sanders- Mad Season
29. Troy Sanders- Mastodon
30. Roger Waters- Pink Floyd
31. Tim Commerford- Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave
32. Brian Cook- Botch/These Arms Are Snakes/Russian Circles
33. Marcello Diaz- Abloom/Soulfly
34. Doug Yule- The Velvet Underground
35. Jeff Caxide- Isis/Palms
36. Trevor Dunn- Mr. Bungle/Tomahawk/Fantomas
37. Chuck Dukowski- Black Flag
38. Nate Mendel- Foo Fighters/Sunny Day Real Estate
39. Danny Lohner- Nine Inch Nails
40. Nick Oliveri- Queens Of The Stone Age
41. Scott Reeder- Kyuss/Unida
42. Mike Dean- Corrosion Of Conformity
43. Ryan Martine- Mudvayne
44. Ty Zamora- Alien Ant Farm
45. Les Claypool- Primus
46. Justin Chancellor- Tool
47. Victor Wooten

Band Of The Week: Young Hunter

429002_243144619110462_654680814_nThe Portland music scene is getting bigger as time goes on. Stoner/Doom metal in particular is growing by leaps and bounds. Young Hunter is one of those bands that has the elements of stoner/doom but adds something else to the mix. Their use of 70’s psychedelia really makes their music stand out. There are some comparisons to Torche and Black Mountain in the way their music sounds. Their recent EP Embers At The Foot Of Dark Mountain is soothing and seductive all the while being powerful. One can tell by listening that the members of Young Hunter really have a feel for what they create. 

http://younghunter.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Young-Hunter/127424170682508

By: Brian Lacy

Cover Thursday: Ryan Adams (Black Flag)- Nervous Breakdown

A while back there was an album curated by Henry Rollins featuring all Black Flag songs redone with different vocalists. All the proceeds went to help the West Memphis Three. One of the tracks on that album  that really stood out was Ryan Adams’ version of “Nervous Breakdown.” It’s a totally different and interesting version. Check it out!

 

 

By: Brian Lacy

Unsung Masterpieces: Rammstein- Mutter

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In 2001 Rammstein released a masterpiece of an album called Mutter (Mother in English).  The eleven songs on this album stretch beyond their normal hard pounding industrial metal sound. The band used the incorporation of strings in certain songs and added more melody throughout. There is also an underlying concept to the album as well. Rammstein has also been a band that has always come with a bit of controversy. For example the album’s cover image is a photograph of a dead fetus. One other fun fact before I delve into the album. During this time Rammstein appeared in the ever forgettable Vin Diesel film XXX. The band is seen in the opening scene, performing their song  “Feuer Frei!”

The album kicks off with “Mein Herz Brennt (My Heart Burns).” Beginning with a delicate string section and Till Lindemann quietly and hauntingly speaking then the heavy comes crashing down. There is also a huge melodic swing that starts in this song and expands throughout the entire album. “Links 2-3-4 (Left 2,3,4)” is the typical type of song that Rammstein is known for. The guitar tone that is found throughout their albums shines big and bright on this album. Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe have a knack for heavy distorted guitars all the while playing with a steady hand that helps the clarity shine. “Sonne (Sun)” The churning guitar guides this song perfectly into a deeply melodic chorus. Also the keyboards by Christian “Flake” Florenz are very prominent on this song. “Sonne” is one of my favorite songs on the album. “Ich Will (I Want)” has a little bit of a dance vibe to it. Christian Schneider’s drums and Oliver Riedel’s bass balance each other out tremendously on this song. Showing the power of their rhythm section. “Feuer Frei (Fire At Will)” is another of the classic signature Rammstein songs. “Mutter (Mother)” is my favorite track on this album. It’s such an intriguing song. You can hear the passion in the voice and the way it’s written and played. “Spieluhr (Music Box)” is a very strange song and almost doesn’t fit, but musically it has some interesting parts. “Zwitter (Hermaphrodite)” has a very pulsating guitar riff, thrusting the song into familiar territory. “Rein Raus (In/Out)” has a similar feel to Du Hast but with more melody. “Adios (Goodbye)” is a gem of melodic goodness. Closing the album is “Nebel (Fog)” is one of the slowest, delicate songs Rammstein has ever created. There are moments that harken back to the textures of the song “Mutter.”

This album is one of those that you should play all the way through to fully grasp. There is something really intriguing and exciting about this album.

 

 

 

By: Brian Lacy

Classic Soundtracks: Empire Records

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

As you all can tell I’m relishing the fact that the 90’s are starting to come back in a big way. From album and film anniversaries, bands that are finally getting their due, and the all around general vibe that it brought out of people. There was no sense of entitlement like kids now. We all fought for what we wanted and believed in. To quote the movie in which I’m writing about “Damn The Man! Save The Empire”

Empire Records came out in 1995 to very little fanfare. In fact it was slammed by critics and it bombed while in theaters. Though over the years this movie has become a genuine cult classic. The soundtrack that accompanied the movie was fantastic. The soundtrack album featured tracks by Better Than Ezra, Cracker, The Cranberries, Evan Dando (of The Lemonheads), Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms and The Martinis (featuring former Pixies members Joey Santiago and Dave Lovering). One of the more intriguing notes about the film and soundtrack was the inclusion of Coyote Shivers, who played aspiring musician turned store clerk Berko in the film. Coyote became involved in the Empire Records by virtue of being the stepfather of Liv Tyler, Shivers being then married to Tyler’s mother Bebe Buell. The soundtrack album peaked at #63 on the album chart.There were also plenty of other songs featured in the movie that didn’t get included on the soundtrack release. Bands like Quicksand, Gwar, ACDC, Sponge, Suicidal Tendencies, Dishwalla, and many many more.

Do yourself a favor, and go home and watch this movie and revel in the songs that accompany your youth!

Greatest Drummers

I keep seeing lists for greatest this and greatest that, and I always wind up yelling at the magazine or article on the internet. So I thought I’d make my own list, that way I don’t get angry anymore. So here is a list of who I think are the greatest drummers of all time (In no Particular Order).

 

1. John Bonham- Led Zeppelin
2. Keith Moon- The Who
3. Abe Cunningham- Deftones
4. Mike “Puffy” Bordin- Faith No More
5. Roy Mayorga- Abloom/Stone Sour
6. Sean Kinney- Alice In Chains
7. Chris Robyn- Far/Black Map
8. Dino Campanella- Dredg/Crosses
9. John Densmore- The Doors
10. Kellii Scott- Failure
11. Taylor Hawkins- Foo Fighters
12. Stephen Perkins- Jane’s Addiction
13. Barrett Martin- Mad Season/Screaming Trees/Walking Papers
14. Brann Dailor- Mastodon
15. Neil Peart- Rush
16. Jason Roeder- Neurosis
17. Aaron Harris- Isis/Palms
18. Morgan Rose- Sevendust
19. Dale Crover- The Melvins/Shrinebuilder
20. Danny Carey- Tool/Volto
21. Matt Cameron- Soundgarden/Pearl Jam
22. Chad Smith- Red Hot Chili Peppers
23. William Goldsmith- Sunny Day Real Estate
24. Dave Lombardo- Slayer
25. Ben Koller- Converge/Mutoid Man
26. Brad Wilk- Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave/The Last Internationale
27. Josh Freese
28. Eric Kretz- Stone Temple Pilots
29. Jimmy Chamberlain- Smashing Pumpkins
30. Dave Grohl- Nirvana/Them Crooked Vultures
31. John Robert Conners- Cave In
32. Steve Shelly- Sonic Youth
33. Chris Hornbrook- Poison The Well
34. Dave Turncrantz- Russian Circles
35. Jon Theodore- Mars Volta/Queens Of The Stone Age
36. Tony Hajjar- At The Drive In/Sparta
37. Ilan Rubin- Nine Inch Nails
38. Jerome Dillion- Nine Inch Nails
39. Chris Vrenna- Nine Inch Nails
40. Nicko McBrain- Iron Maiden
41. Mikkey Dee- Motorhead
42. Phil Taylor- Motorhead
43. Bill Ward- Black Sabbath
44. Bill Stevenson- Black Flag
45. Justin Foley- Killswitch Engage
46. Tommy Lee- Motley Crue
47. Faust- Emperor
48. Jose Pasillas II- Incubus
49. Adam Carson- A.F.I.
50. Mitch Mitchell- Jimi Hendrix Experience
51. Brooks Wackerman- Bad Religion
52. Atom Willard- Against Me
53. Nick Menza- Megadeth
54. Buddy Rich
55. Charlie Mingus
56. Joey Jordison- Scar The Martyr/ex Slipknot
57. Ginger Baker- Cream/Blind Faith

Band Of The Week: Silver Snakes

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Building on the post-hardcore/alternative hybrid, Silver Snakes delivers a heavy, uncompromising, melodic sensibility to their genre. Silver Snakes recently released Year Of The Snake, the follow up to 2011’s Pictures of a Floating World. This new album is well rounded. It goes beyond the normal post-hardcore formula and expands to include delicate textures, acoustic elements and more of a heavier foray. Throughout their time as a band, Silver Snakes have toured with bands such as HRVRD, Broadway Calls, Sainthood Reps, Defeater, Junius, Souvenirs and Aeges (who have been featured here!) and done scattered dates with Coheed & Cambria, Balance & Composure, Shiner, Touché Amore, and Narrows. The band has also appeared at festivals such as Sound & Fury, Gainesville’s The Fest, Fun Fun Fun Nights and South By Southwest. Silver Snakes are definitely a band to look out for when they come to your town! Singer/guitarist is also a sought after producer/engineer. His credits include Silver Snakes, And We Are Them, Touche Amore, Nails, and more.

http://www.yearofthesnakes.com/

https://www.facebook.com/yearofthesnakes

http://bridge9.bandcamp.com/album/year-of-the-snake

 

By: Brian Lacy