The 90’s are really trying to claw it’s way back into music, and that is a good thing. The influence of so many great bands from the era are really shining with a newer generation of bands. Not to mention the revival of so many great bands from the 90’s that are getting back together and releasing new music. One band I’d love to see get back together is Orange 9mm. Formed in 1994, they released their major label release Driver Not Included in 1995. This album was produced by Dave Jerden (Jane’s Addiction, Alice In Chains). Orange 9mm had a punk rock mentality that came across in their music all the while being able to throw in other influences that made separated them from the pack. While touring on their first album they shared the stage with bands such as Quicksand, Deftones, Korn and Helmet. The follow up to Driver Not Included was the fabulous album Tragic which was produced by David Sardy (Helmet, Marilyn Manson), Sadly though before the first tour for the album founding member Chris Traynor left the band to go play for Helmet. Not one to retreat, Chaka Malik and the others carried on. They spent a good amount of time writing and recording a great deal of material under a wide range of influences. Periodically, the band would perform one-offs and small weekend runs; during this period they released a split EP in Japan. Following the release of their EP, Ultraman vs. Godzilla, the band released what would wind up being their final album, 1999’s Pretend I’m Human.
Orange 9mm was a band that was full of energy and intensity. Their music had that flair that Quicksand had as well as the diversity as the Deftones. It’s too bad they didn’t last longer with their original lineup, they really could have made a bigger name for themselves.
It’s been way too long since Brand New has put out new music. Thankfully, they have finally put out new music for us to enjoy. Their new song “Mene” is chock full of heavy aggression yet full of the signature sound that Brand New fans have come to love. For a limited time at their site http://www.brandnewrock.com you can download the song (provided you sign up for their e-mail list).
Modern metal has been taking many different turns over the last few years. There are so many new genres within the metal community that it’s hard to keep up with. One of the genres that have stayed the course has been the melodic metal genre. So many bands, have tried but they don’t understand the key component to the “melodic” sensibility. Thankfully, The Bloodline does know how to incorporate melodic with the heavy. The Bloodline have worked to create a sound that is well balanced between the melodic and the more groove oriented styles. The Chicago quartet of Travis Neal, Shaun Glass, Chuck Wepfer, and Frankie Harchut really seem to have bled (pun totally intended) their heart and souls into this album and it shows. Songs like “We Are One,” “With Fire (Comes Absolution)” pack a huge punch of heaviness and hooks that leave you banging your head and singing along. The Bloodline are definitely a band you should watch out for if you are a fan of this type of music.
Faith No More is one of the most underrated yet influential bands of the past 25 years. Back when they released their album The Real Thing in 1989 they had a cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” This is one of the best Black Sabbath covers I’ve ever heard. Mike Patton’s delivery on this song is unbeatable and dareI say better than Ozzy singing it! Obviously the original is still great, the arrangement that Faith No More made for it just took it up a notch!
One of my favorite new bands Dekades, have released a new single from their upcoming EP. This song entitled “The Drones Are Coming” is pulsating and dripping with groove. The dark goth dance rock they have created is cool and different. Instead of relying on just the electronic side you can really feel the instrumentation in all their songs. Dekades are full of talented musicians and they show off their skills appropriately without taking away from the formula that has made them so good. I can’t wait for their new EP.
Dennis Sanders has done it again. The newest track “Jumping The Gun” from his Spirit In The Room project is outstanding. The driving bass throughout the track really guides the song. While the fury of the drums and guitars match the quiet to loud explosiveness of Dennis’s voice. Check it out!!!
There are too many instances when bands come around and aren’t pushed the right way. Especially when they have all the goods to really make it. In 2003, Memento released their debut album Beginnings. Two singles were released from the album, “Nothing Sacred” and “Savior,” Both songs made some impact on the US rock charts. Memento was also a part of Ozzfest in 2003. Their album is heavy, melodic, and beautiful. From what I remember of their live shows, they were super tight and singer Justin Stewart Cotta was always on point and one of the most intense singers up close. His conviction while singing was undoubtably genuine. Musically, guitarist Jason “Space” Smith, bassist Leighton “Lats” Kearns, and drummer Steve Clark were superb. They were able to create a sound that matched the emotional lyrics of Justin. It’s a shame that it didn’t last. Due to personal conflicts amongst the band members, as well as record label issues, the band was dissolved in late 2004. Justin Cotta and Lats Kearns re-emerged as Man Vs Clock in 2005. In early 2006, Memento reformed with a new drummer, Jeff Bowders, under the new name Nine Times Bodyweight. The band went to work recording new material. However, the project didn’t last, and they disbanded again in early 2007.
Memento is a prefect example of a band that had all the right parts, but not the right support. It’s a real shame that this has been a continuing practice amongst the record labels for years. Had this band really been supported by their label, they could have gone on to really big things.
Formed in 2006, and armed with a take no prisoners approach All Hail The Yeti earned a very loyal fan base with their sludgy heavy guitars and strong presence on stage that left audiences wanting more. The band was formed by Canadian vocalist and tattoo artist Connor Garritty. They released an EP titled “Trees On Fire With Songs Of Blood,” in 2010. It began to sink in with local fans with live favorites like “Deep Creek”. During this time the band started playing higher profile show with the likes of Times of Grace, Soulfly, Fear Factory, and Suicide Silence. It had become clear that All Hail The Yeti had grown into much more than a “local” band. In late 2011, All Hail The Yeti entered the studio to record their debut full length, with producers Tommy Decker and Mike Sarkisyan of Spineshank. With songs like of “Suicide Woods” and “After The Great Fire,” the band has been able to transcend on the fringes of an epic journey and churning vocal melodies. Now in 2015 the band after countless tour and shows, have entered the process of recording their follow up to their debut album.
In Decemeber 1998 the singer for the band Snot was killed in a car accident. The band had been riding high after releasing their debut album Get Some in 1997. the band disbanded not too long after Strait’s death. Before his death though, the band had begun work on their follow up album, but Lynn had yet to record vocals for the album. So in 2000, it was decided that the album’s vocal tracks would be completed by friends of Strait as a tribute. The end result being “Strait Up.” Released on November 7, 2000, the album featured appearances by the lead vocalists Serj Tankian of System Of A Down, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Max Cavalera of Soulfly, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber, Lajon Witherspoon, Clint Lowery and Morgan Rose of Sevendust amongst a few others. The album does feature one complete song entitled “Absent” with Lynn Strait’s vocals. When the album was released it was met with high praise from critics and assorted music magazines. A little known tidbit is that song that was sung by Serj on the tribute album actually had lyrics by Lynn, and if you’ve heard the live Snot album alive you’ll be able to hear that version.
The tribute album was very fitting and a really nice send off by all those involved to their fallen friend and brother. If you’ve never heard the album you really should!