Month: April 2015

Cover Thursday: Rise Above- 24 Black Flag Songs To Benefit the WM3

In 2002, Henry Rollins put together a compilation album of different singers, taking on Black Flag songs. The album was made to raise money and awareness for the West Memphis Three. This album featured some really amazing covers of Black Flag songs. Some of the singers that took part were, Iggy Pop, Lemmy, Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Tom Araya (Slayer), Mike Patton, Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), Cedric Bixler- Zavala (At The Drive-In/Mars Volta), and so many more.

Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs To Benefit The West Memphis Three:

Guest Vocalist: Serj Tankian of System Of A Down

2002 MTV Video Awards Latin America - ArrivalsSerj has one of the more distinctive voices in heavy music. He also has a knack for creative melodies that resonate really well with different songs and types of music. Here are a select few songs that Serj has guested on over the years. Some you may have heard and others not so much.

Strait Up- Starlit Eyes (Snot Tribute)

Tony Iommi- Patterns (Iommi)

Deftones- Mein (Saturday Night Wrist)

Dog Fashion Disco- Mushroom Cult (Anarchists Of Good Taste)

Hed P.E.- Feel Good (Broke)

Limp Bizkit- Don’t Go Off Wandering (Demo- Unreleased)

By: Brian Lacy

Album Debate: System Of A Down: Self Titled vs Toxicity

soadlogoWhen System Of A Down first came on the scene, it was something intriguing and exciting. Their debut album was released in June of 1998. At first they enjoyed a bit of success following the release of the singles for “Sugar” and “Spiders.” It was also during this time that they went out on tour with Metallica, Slayer and Ozzfest. The group’s big break arrived when their second album Toxicity was released September 4, 2001 and debuted at No. 1 on the charts. Even through the events of September 11, Toxicity would go on to see over 3 million copies in the US and has since sold over 12 million copies worldwide. With songs like “Chop Suey,” “Toxicity,” and “Aerials,” it’s no wonder this album went on to be as big as it was.

Personally, I enjoy the first album more. The message is still the same throughout all their albums, but the sense of urgency of the delivery on the first album really comes through. The production on the first album is a bit more raw as well. Not to take anything away from how good Toxicity is, that album to me just has a bit too much polish on it, almost to the point of being too theatrical. The first two System albums are awesome. It’s too bad they couldn’t carry on this level after. Their follow ups were miserable and lackluster.

What do you think?

System Of A Down- System Of A Down:

System Of A Down- Toxicity:

By: Brian Lacy

Band Of The Week: Royal Thunder

10606411_10155069203080024_6098434554060827427_ni’m really loving the return to form of bands trying to write albums. One band that I’ve heard recently that released a great album is Royal Thunder. This four-piece rock band based out of Atlanta, Georgia, blends the timeless elements of heavy classic rock, 90’s grunge and progressive rock. Frontwoman Mlny Parsonz vocals are powerful, emotional, and oh so striking.The balance of their guitar tone, mixed with the thunderous drums and bass really solidify the impact this band has and can continue to make. In 2007 Royal Thunder self-released their debut EP and started touring.  By 2010 Relapse Records took notice and signed the band starting with an official re-release of their self-titled EP and later in 2012 releasing their full length debut, CVI. Their newest album Crooked Doors, is a masterful piece of epic rock. Just listening to the first song on the album “Time Machine,” you know this band means business! 

Royal Thunder- Crooked Doors:

Time Machine Video:

By: Brian Lacy

Album Rank: Smashing Pumpkins


I’ve had a very complicated relationship with The Smashing Pumpkins over the years. I go through phases when I think wow, This is great, and then on the other hand I think gosh I can’t stand this. Lately I’ve been back to wow, this is really great. So, with that in mind, I present you the album rank of Smashing Pumpkins albums from not their best to their best.

Machina II:



Monuments To An Elegy:


Pisces Iscariot:




Siamese Dream:

Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness:

Live Review: Brand New @ Shrine Expo Hall

20150415_215749When you go to a show to see a band that has really influenced you or has left a mark on your life it really has a special place amongst all the other shows. Brand New is one of those bands that has a special place for me. Their album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is one of my favorite albums of all time and is in constant rotation amongst all the music I listen to. So, when the opportunity came to procure tickets to this show, it was a no brainier. Kicking off their set was a brand new song called “Mene.” This was a great high energy song that set the tone for the night. The crowd was in full force once “Millstone” was played. While looking around the crowd during that song, there wasn’t one person who wasn’t singing along. Hell, throughout the entire night there really wasn’t one person that wasn’t singing along to the songs. Other highlights from the set were “You Won’t Know,” “Sic Transit Gloria…Gloria Fades,” “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows,” “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t,” “Degausser,” “Sowing Season” and “Jesus.” Actually the entire setlist was wonderful. The band had so much energy and you could tell they were really enjoying being on stage playing for the sold out crowd. Singer/Guitarist Jesse Lacey, is one hell of a songwriter, as is the rest of the band. His performance of these songs was astonishing, and his vocal delivery live is just wow.

There were two other bands that played the evening. Built To Spill and Desaparecidos were the openers. Both bands were just eh. I would have expected more from Built To Spill. They are talented musicians, but I was expecting a more upbeat performance, not something that was so laid back.

There are a couple things worth mentioning about the venue. The Shrine Expo Hall is a horrible place for a show. There is no acoustic treatment in the place, so the sheer magnitude of volume is just bouncing off the walls. Also it’s right by USC so it’s in the middle of South Central Los Angeles, which isn’t fun at all.

Brand New made it all worth while. I can’t wait for their new album to come out, whenever that might be. They really know how to put on a show and pack one hell of a punch live.

Brand New Setlist:

1. Mene
2. Sink
3. Gasoline
4. Millstone
5. You Won’t Know
6. Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades
7. I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light
8. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
9. Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t
10. Mix Tape
11. Untitled 04 (Missing You)
12. At The Bottom
13.You Stole
14. Brothers
15. Sowing Season
16. Luca
17. Degausser
18. Jesus


19. Sealed To Me

By: Brian Lacy

Photo By: Alisa Diaz

Great Guest Vocalists: Eddie Vedder

108484247-22fn1_307922cEddie Vedder has one of the most distinct voices in all of rock music.  His approach to the way he sings is unrelenting. You may not know that he has guested on a bunch of different albums over the years. Here is just a taste of some of the songs he has lent his vocals to.

Bad Religion- American Jesus (Recipe For Hate):

Ramones- Anyway You Want It (We’re Outta Here):

Cat Power- Evolution (You Are Free):

REM- It Happened Today (Collapse Into Now):

Jimmy Fallon- Balls In Your Mouth (Blow Your Pants Off):