We’ve all heard bands that were so good, but it seemed they were ahead of the time. In 2000, long before bands got fully into the 80’s culture of glam and new wave again, The Start was THE band. The only problem is not many people knew who they were. All the bands that came out after them in their genre, were all bland, rehashed, and boring. The Start brought a new vibe to the 80’s new wave style, writing songs that were eye opening and full of emotion. You might know or not that the band was formed of the ashes of Human Waste Project and Snot. Aimee Echo’s voice is one of “the” most original I’ve ever heard and he lyrics were top notch. Musically, the band delivered a sound that mixed new wave, with punk and hard rock. Their debut album Shakedown is wonderful from start to finish. I’ll even put it out there that it’s one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard. Their other albums are stellar and different, showing that the band can evolve. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing The Start a bunch of times. Let me just tell you that, you missed out on one of the coolest, best live bands ever. So if you did miss out, now is your chance to begin!!
I can’t even begin to think about how many bands I’ve listened to in my life that are so good that many people missed out on. I’m sure there are plenty that I’ve missed out on too. There is one band that has been on my mind the past couple weeks that I feel never really got their due. That band is Hurt. In 2005 the released their major label debut entitled Volume I. That album is truly great, top to bottom from the vocals, music, lyrics and production. Songs like “Rapture,” “Overdose,” “Falls Apart,” “House Carpenter, and “Danse Russe,” show how powerful this band is. Volume II picked up where Volume I left off. Songs such as “Summer’s Lost,” “Ten Ton Brick,” “Talking To God,” “Loaded,” and “Assurance,” really stood out on the album and if anything got heavier in the music and lyrics. Their third album Goodbye To The Machine is a little bit of a let down especially with the first two albums being so good. Thankfully not too long after, Hurt got themselves back on track and released The Crux especially the song “How We End Up Alone.” This album to me summed up what the band is. It’s got all the greatness from Volumes I & II along with the more subtle simplicities of Goodbye To The Machine.
Hurt live is spectacular. I’ve seen them a few times and each time was even more powerful than the last. Singer J. Loren Wince is so intense with his vocal performances live, that it becomes hypnotic when you watch and listen to him. His general delivery and belief in each song comes through beautifully. The rest of the band has changed a lot over the years but the songs seem to bring out the best in whomever is playing the songs.
One of the early bands of the week Ghost Idols, released an epic 7″ early in the summer this year. The 8 minute opus entitled “Monsoons,” goes from ambient to heavy that showcases the bands ability to build sonic landscapes with their music. The cool thing about this release is the experience of listening to it. The song is split into two sides, giving the listener a really intriguing sense of what the band is all about. Ghost Idols are a great band that deserves your attention. They are currently working on a full length expected out late this year or early 2016.
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.
There are some bands out there that get lumped into a genre and are seen just as “one of those” bands. When that happens people miss out on something that can be really good. Hailing from San Antonio, Nothing More is a band that has broken through the mainstream with their single “This Is The Time (Ballast).” Their self titled album which was released in June 2014 is one of the more underrated albums to come out last year. Sure the production is more on the “produced” side but the songs are what you should be paying attention to. The band has been around since the early 2000’s and have waited for this moment. Nothing More emits raw aggression with its vocals and riffs, thunderous bass and at times tribal percussion not to mention an energy level that rivals most headlining acts. Nothing More’s mission for their music is to create honest, passionate art with real intent, and they have done just that.
Finally in 2000 after nearly 5 years in the making, Tony Iommi released the be all end all of solo albums featuring guest vocalists. All of the songs on the album were written by Tony Iommi, producer Bob Marlette and each of the vocalists that appear on the songs.The album features Phil Anselmo, Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Serj Tankian, Billy Idol, Ian Astbury, Peter Steele, Skin, and Ozzy. According to Tony Iommi, he and Phil Anselmo had recorded three tracks together for the album, but only one was put onto the album. Phil had later on said that there was a chance that they might have done a full album had time permitted amongst other things. The album peaked at number 129 on the Billboard chartsand its only single released, “Goodbye Lament” featuring Dave Grohl reached number 10 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. This album is quite a remarkable album, as it shows what Tony Iommi’s playing sounds like with different types of singers. Slash tried to do something similar with his first “solo” album, but to me he failed miserably mainly because he is overrated and picked the wrong people to have on his album. Tony Iommi is a true legend and master of his craft, and this album is a testament to his legacy
Tony Iommi and Phil Anselmo- Invasion Of The Saviours:
Born from the ashes of what was Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft was a band comprised of Nate Mendel, William Goldsmith and Jeremy Egnik. This band was formed in 2001 and released one album in 2003. This was originally a side project for Sunny Day. Musically the band is similar to Sunny Day Real Estate, but there was something else that came with this band. There seemed to be a lot of passion and personality put into these songs. I’ve been a Sunny Day fan for many years, and this album to me is a fitting part of their catalog, even if it is under a different name.