Wow, 12 posts on the Year 2000. And one more to come after this.
Sammy Hagar – Ten 13
I was just listening to his “Lockdown 2020” album released with “The Circle”. Cant say I’m a fan. It’s not the album I wanted to hear from him.
Then again, how can you not listen to a record featuring Sammy Hagar?
Check out “Let Sally Drive”. The riffs, the vocal melodies and that Acca Dacca vibe.
Then “Serious JuJu” kicks off with a Tool like vibe/feel in the riffs and the variety between the songs is intoxicating.
“All politicians speak in jive, they lie to keep the lie alive”
It’s not just the politicians these days. A lot of people are trying to get ahead by putting down others.
“The Message” is one of those slower type rockers. Think of “Right Now”. It still rocks as hard as it rolls.
“Little Bit More” has Sammy showing all those Alt Rockers how it’s really done.
“Protection” is “Humans Being”, with a bit more soul and boogie instead of the fast paced rocker that Van Halen delivered. And Sammy is singing about how we all need “protection from the system”.
Check it out.
U2 – All You Can’t Leave Behind
It was the perfect time for a comeback and they delivered.
“Beautiful Day” is classic U2. Musically, they had returned to the well of rock, after dabbling in electronica, techno and dance synths previously. It came out in Australia, just after the Olympics finished and it was a beautiful time.
I know a lot of us sang it as “it’s a beautiful day when you got bills to pay”, smiling and laughing while we sung it.
“Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” sounds like one of those soul blues rock tunes that hangs around for a while. It’s slower in tempo, almost ballad like, but it still rocks for me.
“Elevation” continues the knockouts and “Walk On” makes it four from four. “Kite” at track 5 and its melancholic mood captures me. Five from five.
And this album was a high peak for the band.
“All That You Can’t Leave Behind” went to number one in 32 countries and won seven Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album.
Bono kept on saying in interviews how U2 was “re-applying for the job of ‘biggest band in the world'” with this album. And in my view they succeeded.
Oasis – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
It still did good business in Australia, coming in at number 6 on the ARIA charts.
But hindsight is a wonderful thing for Noel Gallagher, who didn’t want to make the album as he was devoid of inspiration, and had no reason or desire to make music, but Liam kept pushing him to write as the band needed a new album to go on tour.
And for an album which Noel sees as uninspired, I think it’s pretty good.
“Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is” has this “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep” riff and a “Roadhouse Blues” vocal line, which connected with audiences. It’s one of my favourites from the album. “Go Let It Out” wouldn’t be out of place on earlier Oasis album.
“Gas Panic!” is an underrated gem, exotic and progressive in feel and atmospherics. At almost 7 minutes long, its anti-pop.
“Where Did It All Go Wrong?” could have crossed over onto the country rock charts. Hell, I will even call it Southern Rock. “I Can See A Liar” starts off with an AC/DC style riff before it moves into the psychedelic rock from The Beatles.
The album closes with the six minute and thirty seconds “Roll It Over”, another melancholic track which percolates slowly. Make sure you stick around for when the guitar solo starts and the gospel singers kick in. It’s worth it.
The Smashing Pumpkins – Machina/The Machines of God
All albums that came after “Siamese Dream” and “Mellon Collie” would be compared to those albums instead of standing on their own. Regardless, the album still did good business in Australia and most major music markets. But poor business when compared to the other albums.
“The Everlasting Gaze” is a bloody good song. Listen to that intro riff, which re-appears in the verses and don’t tell me it’s not metal.
“Stand Inside Your Love” is different, more Brit Pop like The Cure and “Heavy Metal Machine” has this massive blues rock groove, all fuzzed up and heavy as lead.
“Glass And The Ghost Children” feels like a Neil Young song, when he went electric and all fuzzed up and experimented. “This Time” is one of their signature ballads. “Blue Skies Bring Tears” percolates at a slow tempo.
Overall, “Machina” at that point in time was the second lowest-selling Pumpkins album. Their label made sure they told them the same. Maybe it was the reason why they broke up.
Drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, who returned to the band for this album, said it was like watching your kid get straight A’s for ten years, and suddenly flunk out of school. Billy Corgan, said the album wasn’t heavy enough or alternative enough to compete with Korn and Limp Bizkit, plus it was a concept story which nobody understood.
But their viewpoints are based on sales, not art.
For “Machina”, Billy Corgan delivered a piece of musical theatre, that is still waiting for the massive double album reissue in the way it was always meant to be.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Rated R
As soon as the bass groove starts of for “Feel Good Hit Of The Summer”, I was hooked. Of course a certain Dave Grohl used that same pattern for the Foo Fighters.
“Better Living Through Chemistry” feels like a cut from “The Tea Party”. And I like it. Make sure you check out the riff in the middle of the song. “Tension Head” is another that has a riff that gets me to pick up the guitar. “I Think I Lost My Headache” is a lost cut from Black Sabbath.
Porcupine Tree – Voyage 34
Only four songs are on the album. Each one at least 10 minutes or more. Phase 1 kicks it off and Phase 4 ends it. You can guess the song titles of the other two songs.
And after the spoken intro which mentions participants eating sugar cubes laced with LSD, the Pink Floyd inspired single note echo riff kicks off. And the themes of experimenting on humans while they consume drugs continues. It’s not the album I wanted from em at this point in time, but I am a fan of the courage Steve Wilson had to experiment and push boundaries.
Catherine Wheel – Wishville
“Sparks Are Gonna Fly” has this wah wah tremolo riff to kick it off, before it explodes without any effects. Its blues rock and its foot stomping. “What We Want To Believe In” has a fuzz wah drenched intro lead to kick off the song, and I like.
“All Of That” is a favourite. So is “Idle Life”. They are both slower tempo, ballad like.
Spiritual Beggars – Ad Asra
The retro looking cover and band name graphic was good enough to get me interested. Like QOTSA and other acts that brought back the heavy rock from the 70’s, Spiritual Beggars did it Euro style.
And Michael Amott on guitars and founder of the band after he left Carcass, is a true guitar hero when it comes to riffs and leads.
If the name sounds familiar, he also founded Arch Enemy and if you read his interviews he talks very highly of his influences like Ritchie Blackmore, Glenn Tipton, Adrian Smith, Tony Iommi, Frank Marino, Michael Schenker, Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, and Uli Jon Roth.
Opener “Left Brain Ambassadors” is a heavy blues rock tune.
“Wonderful World” has a verse which drips Sabbath and a Chorus that comes from Swedish pop and a solo section which is brilliant.
The outro solo section in “Sedated” needs to be heard, if you haven’t heard it already.
“Angel Of Betrayal” is your typical 70’s Hard Rock tunes, more like Blue Oyster Cult.
And there isn’t a bad song on the album.
There are the fast riffs (“Save Your Soul” comes to mind as I type this), the melodic riffs (“Per Aspera Ad Astra”) and the slower heavier than lead riffs (“Until the Morning” comes to mind, which has an acoustic opening and then a big heavy riff that reminds me of Sabbath. The vocals are distorted and perfect.)
And for a closer, check out “Mantra” is it plods along acoustically with an eerie keyboard before it explodes like “Stairway To Heaven” explodes.
Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes – Live at the Greek
Chris Robinson said he “didn’t have fun doing it”, but regardless of what he thinks, the team up of Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes is brilliant. And Robinson actually does a wonderful job on the vocals. Even though he didn’t have fun doing it.
It’s a shame that contractual issues stopped a lot of The Black Crowes songs from being released officially, so what we get are a lot of Led Zep classics and some standard blues songs.
“Nobody’s Fault But Mine” is still a favourite for me.
Check it out.