Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Bad Company

They were signed to Led Zeppelin’s label Swan Song.

You had Paul Rodgers from Free on vocals, Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople on guitar, Simon Kirke from Free on drums and Boz Burrell who did some time as a solo artist and with King Crimson on bass,

Supergroup maybe.

The soundtrack they created for a generation.

Legendary.

I got these albums in the 90s from various second hand record shops, so when I started digging into them it was like brand new because apart from the singles, I didn’t really know much else.

The self titled debut dropped in 1974. I also got the CD for this sometime in the early 2000’s.

CAN’T GET ENOUGH
The hit.

It’s on compilations like Best Drinking Songs and Best Driving Songs here in Australia and it was still on radio in the 80s.

It was the song that hooked people in.

ROCK STEADY
That slithering Intro riff; it’s dripping venom.

READY FOR LOVE
It percolates until it doesn’t.

DON’T LET ME DOWN
It’s like soul and rock had a child and this is it.

BAD COMPANY
“The Boys Are Back In Town” had a similar theme about wild eyed boys coming back into town.

Here it’s darker, more moody and atmospheric as the outlaw and his crew come back into town.

And how good is that chorus line, “they call me bad company and I can’t deny.”

MOVIN’ ON
The sound, the riff and the hopeful energy vibe as we move on from town to town.

SEAGULL
There is a lot of variation on this album and it’s why bands like Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Toto and Styx hold a special place for people.

And what a great analogy, about how we can just fly away like a seagull without being asked who we are and where we are from.

The follow up, “Straight Shooter” dropped a year later.

GOOD LOVIN’ GONE BAD
The riff to kick it off. How good is it?

Bad Company grabbed my attention from the outset.

FEEL LIKE MAKIN’ LOVE
And with this, they blew up even bigger.

This song has everything from the acoustic folk guitar, to that melancholic vocal melody and the power chords exploding in the chorus.

And I love the way it goes “Feel like makin’”
and then the guitar and drums and bass smash out some power chords (like de-d-der) and then “Feel like makin’ love” comes in and then the guitars, bass and drums smash around again.

SHOOTING STAR
About Johnny the schoolboy who heard his first Beatles song and the rest is history.

And the world will love him as long as he’s a star. But as Jon Oliva from Savatage sang, once the crowds are gone, then what.

DEAL WITH THE PREACHER
It’s about that tiptoeing through the darkness guitar riff. And those arpeggios in the chorus. It’s that variation again, fusing different styles.

WILD FIRE WOMAN
That vocal line when Paul Rodgers sings;

“Wild fire shooting through my veins
Burns a fever to my brain
Wild fire woman, something you got
I start to shiver when you do that
Do that baby”

Listen to it and you’ll know what I mean.

“Run With The Pack” dropped in 1976. Not as solid as the first two but still enough quality to get people’s attention.

LIVE FOR THE MUSIC
The chord and a vocal line, the chord again and another vocal line. And that funky riff in the chorus.

“But when the nighttime comes I’m ready to rock”

Like Slaughter’s “Up All Night”. Which has the same theme.

SIMPLE MAN
The way the song just rolls after those opening arpeggios.

It’s an anthem. So many good lyrical lines like;

“I’m just a simple man trying to be free”
“Freedom is the only thing that means a damn to me”

RUN WITH THE PACK
The slow down in the chorus. Listen to it especially when the violins come in towards the end.

FADE AWAY
They tried to rewrite “Bad Company” and they did a good job with it. It has enough variation to make it sound unique.

Album number 4, “Burnin’ Sky” dropped in 1977. I don’t own it but wanted to mention the tracks below.

BURNIN’ SKY
The pounding beat, that “Wishing Well” theme in the Chorus, the funky bass in the verses and Paul Rodgers wailing away while Mick Ralph’s takes a flanged/phased solo.

This is is Bad Company, when each band member had their home in the song. Their own special place.

LEAVING YOU
The guitars on this song.

And there are some other good moments like the intro in “Like Water” and “Everything I Need” is no different to “Since You’ve Been Gone” to “Louie Louie” to “I Need A Lover” and I like it.

Album number five, “Desolation Angels” released in 1979 is a favourite.

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FANTASY
The first track and that guitar groove, with the bass, which sounds like the riff that Kip Winger used for “Cant Get Enough” many years later.

CRAZY CIRCLES
An acoustic track. It’s that variation again.

GONE, GONE, GONE
More variation from song to song. And that riff.

EVIL WIND
And even more variation, with a different groove and a commanding vocal performance from Paul Rodgers.

EARLY IN THE MORNING
One of the best guitar intros from the band before it morphs into a Beatles like dreamy song.

LONELY FOR YOUR LOVE
It’s like Rodgers was listening to Bon Scott because he definitely brings it.

Album number six “Rough Diamonds” and the last studio album with the classic lineup.

It was a miracle that it happened. Their manager went missing in action and band members preferred to punch each other out than write songs with each other.

“Electricland”, “Untie The Knot” and “Painted Face” were all good listens but they are not good enough to replace a past song in the set list.

And the band split, until it reformed with a different singer in Brian Howe and started having hits again.

But there is no denying the power of the original line up.

that’s why they call me…..

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Release Day Friday

The Release Day Friday Spotify playlist offered a lot of goodies this time around.

It kicks off with Dee Snider and his new song, “Prove Me Wrong”.

In my book, Dee Snider is a huge part of my youth growing up. I followed him in Twisted Sister, waited for Desperado to release their album, then that album got canned and the band was dropped from Elektra. He then hooked up with Al Pitrelli for the Widowmaker albums, and I waited for those albums, thinking they would never come out. Finally the two albums dropped, the hard rock influenced “Blood And Bullets” and the grungier sounding, “Stand By For Pain”.

And this song is basically about how he has proven people wrong his whole life. He just kept going and going and trying to make it. He made it in music, he made it in radio, he made movies, he was key in getting Headbangers Ball up and going, and he spoke out against censorship while everyone else kept quiet.

I came, I saw, I rocked
I left it all upon the stage
For almost fifty years
Now it’s time to turn the page

It’s a long time to be in the business and in the 80’s he was only on top for a few short years. And the record labels like Neglektra did their best to kill his career afterwards.

I’ve been abused and used
Been over, under, sideways, down
But still my head’s unbowed
Was there ever any doubt?

If you want a definition of grit and perseverance, look no further than Dee Snider. There is a cool lyrical reference to his Desperado album on Elektra called “Bloodied But Unbowed”, where they spent a long time writing, then recording, then a week before the release, the album is pulled and Dee is dropped, but Elektra is holding on to the master tapes because they don’t want Dee to take em to another label and have a hit album. So Dee has the option to just walk away from his songs or buy some of his masters back.

How they tried, but couldn’t prove me wrong

You want to knock off the monster chip on Dee’s shoulder, go right ahead and prove him wrong.

The best revenge is none
Just be happy and live well
Knowing for your enemies
There is a special place in hell
No one could hold me back
Those who tried, I laid to waste

Truth in these words. The best revenge is to be happy and live well. That’s it.

They had every chance to prove me wrong

And they’ve all failed.

“Atlas Falls” from Shinedown was a surprise drop and it’s a nod to their sound up to 2012 which I like. It doesn’t have the “Imagine Dragons” pop sounds from the last two albums.

So I did some reading and found that “Atlas Fall” is an unreleased track from their 2012 album “Amaryllis”. And it just hit Spotify today, but has been out since 23 March 2020 as a digital download to raise funds for Direct Relief (who provides medical supplies to people in need).

Don’t give up now, there’s already so much at stake
If Atlas falls, I’ll rise up and carry us all the way

We need to support each other more these days than ever. If the world we know, crashes down around us, we need to find a way to survive.

“Skyfall” from Vandenberg really got my attention. I repeat, really got my attention.

Adrian has gone back to his roots. This song is epic 70’s style as the riffs ooze grandeur. A five plus minute song. If you like how Europe went back to their roots in “War Of Kings” then you will enjoy this album. If you like Rainbow, then you will like this song. Plus if you like Adrian Vandenberg’s style, which I do, it’s a no-brainer.

When the sky falls down
Fields are burning all around
I’ll be right beside you

Haken dropped another song “Invasion” and their form of groove/riff driven progressive rock gets me interested and so does the atmospheric groove instrumental music of Long Distance Calling and their song “Voices”.

Reach dropped “The Law”. Metallica dropped an acoustic “Blackened 2020”, which James plays with a nod to the style of Ennio Morricone. There is FM and a song called “Change For The Better”.

The melodic rock “Gathering Of Kings” project keeps ticking all the boxes for catchy choruses with “Highway To Paradise”. Scorpions released “Sign Of Hope” which didn’t really give me hope, but they have a lot of goodwill in my book, so it’s okay. “Ghosts” from Paradise Lost also appeared on the playlist, telling me (subliminally) to check out their new album.

Trapt also released “Tell Me How You Really Feel” which is more in the vein of pop than the alt-rock they have been known for, however I’m still interested to see what the full album

P.S.
Spotify still can’t tell the difference between Helix the rock band and Helix (the dance act).
P.S.S.
Spotify still can’t tell the difference between RSO (Richie Sambora Orianthi) and RSO (some dance act).
P.S.S.S.
Spotify still can’t tell the difference between Jasta (American metal singer) and an Eastern European act called Jasta.

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A to Z of Making It, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Bob Rock on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast

I probably own all the hard rock albums Bob Rock has been involved in from a production stand point, mixer and engineer from Loverboy and onwards. And this podcast is brilliant. Bob Rock gives so much information and there are so many takeaways from it.

Currently
He’s sitting on two albums already done, one with Richie Sambora and Offspring. And it looks like the albums will not come out until next year.

To me, the reason why the albums are being held is because the focus is still on sales.

But the time is now.

It’s all about people listening. Not sales.

I read that “The Last Dance” was scheduled for a different release window, but Netflix saw the opportunity to release it during the no sports period of COVID-19 and it hit our screens exaclty then, giving the people their fix of sports and re-creating Jordan as a modern day superstar. It’s like he just finished playing and it’s being over 22 years.

Life
As soon as budgets for recording sessions went super low, labels and artists stopped using mega studios. Hence he has a dormant mega studio at home. And he uses Bryan Adams studio, in Vancouver to record with artists.

He got into music for the love of making records. And even though budgets are smaller he still wants to make records, so he chooses who he wants to work with and he’s okay with a smaller budget.

He’s 66 now and he’s been together with his wife for 35 years, which is huge when it comes to the music business.

But the best advice he gave is;

Mixing is a perspective. The way the Mixer mixes is their perspective on how music sounds.

That’s brilliant, because so many people chase sounds developed by others and Bob Rock is creating sounds on how he thinks it should sound.

He’s A Musician First
Even though he is known as a producer he was a musician first. So he still writes tracks with drums, keys, bass and a scratch guitar. He co-wrote 8 songs on the new Richie Sambora album.

He’s a collector of vintage gear. He collected all the amps and pedals that Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Dave Gilmour used. And he was trying to re-create the Led Zep 1 guitar sound and he found out on the internet he was missing one small effect, which he had, and once he plugged it in, he got the sound.

And he felt like a kid.

He has a warehouse full of amps, keyboards and guitars/bass.

He had a lot of singles because albums were expensive. So he was exposed to different artists, different productions, different styles.

Put Yourself Out There
With one of his first proper bands, they worked jobs, saved money and then they all went to England to make it. That lasted six months before they came home with nothing to show.

His parents were not even happy about their sons choice of careers. And after he came home, he got a normal job again. And it was at one of those jobs, he heard an ad on the radio, to learn basic engineering.

So he went to Vancouver with funds supplied from his parents and the guy who was teaching the course offered Rock a job at Little Mountain Recording Studios.

He got the job because he wasn’t scared to make a mistake. And this opportunity started his entire career.

So the lesson here is to persevere, PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE and don’t be sacred to fail.

Punk Music Opened Doors
Punk made it easy for bands to play clubs and make records, because before punk, the musicians had to be of a certain standard, (just think of Steely Dan, The Eagles, Little Feat, Styx and even Toto). Then punk comes around and three chord songs are getting studio time and club time.

Punk music opened up these doors.

And Bob Rock said, punk music allowed him to make records. The first song he wrote, he got an album deal. The Payola$ and REM got signed on the same week.

The Payola$ name was a poke at the payola scandal where the labels and the radio stations tried to fix the charts.

Find The Home Of The Song
He worked with guitarist Mick Ronson from David Bowie. Ronson produced two Payola$ albums.

Ronson taught Rock the lesson, that you don’t need to re-record everything. Sometimes the demo could have enough in it and a few overdubs could finish it off.

Another lesson Ronson taught Rock is about finding a home of the song and doing it right. In “Sad But True” Rock told Metallica, you have a song here and he was hearing “When The Levee Breaks” but the tempo was too fast on the demo. He told Metallica to slow it down and they found the songs home and the world got a groove metal behemoth. Lyrically I’m not a fan of “Sad But True”, but musically its bone crunching to play.

Bruce Fairbairn
Bruce Fairbairn liked to have demos or do pre-production before he got the artist into the studio. And he kept a tight schedule, pushing artists hard to get a lot of out em within the schedule.

Metallica
So coming into the “Black” album, Metallica never played in the studio together but he got em to do it for the “Black” album which Rock calls the “pocket” album.

Pre-Production for the “Black” album took 2 weeks and it took 15 months to record the album. But originally, he was hired to mix the album, because the guys liked the sound/sonics of the Motley Crue “Dr Feelgood” album.

And it took that long because they spent weeks getting the perfect guitar sound, and weeks for the perfect drum sound and weeks for the perfect bass sound. He sent Lars to get drum lessons and James to get vocal lessons. And they had no idea how big the album would become. All up he spent 15 years working with Metallica, and he realised he just had to move on eventually.

Bon Jovi and Bruce Allen
The manager of The Payola$, Bruce Allen, ended up managing Bob Rock and Allen told him, “you gotta stop doing these gigs because you are a producer and I will manage you as a producer and you will make some money”. And Allen said to him, “you are going to get a point on the next record” and that was “Slippery When Wet” but he didn’t get the point.

So on “Slippery When Wet”, Rock only made $10K Canadian and for “Permanent Vacation”, Bruce Fairbairn offered him $8K Canadian. And the production crew just wanted “Slippery When Wet” to go Gold so they could get another production gig. And in three months it sold 3 million in the U.S alone.

But Jon Bon Jovi wanted Bob Rock to do the next album “New Jersey” and Bruce Allen said that Bob isnt doing it. But Jon wanted Bob Rock and Rock got his point (1%) for mixing the album.

He Keeps On Learning
In every production gig he always learned something new, from either the artists because of what they wanted to do/achieve or the other people he was working with in the production team and he’s still learning right now.

That’s why he’s still in the business, he has continued to self develop, learn and grow as a producer. He never rested on his laurels. And he keeps an eye on what rises to the surface, so he could see what is happening sonically and from a song point of view.

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
And everything Rock has done is because of the sounds on the Motley Crue and Metallica albums he produced.

And Rock goes its because the guys in Motley Crue and Metallica pushed him to step out of his comfort zone and try different things.

Do Your Time
Rock came from jingles, a 1 minute record every day. You need to start somewhere. And be patient.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Black Roses Soundtrack

“Trick Or Treat” and “Black Roses” played on the fears of the bible belters. This fear, that rock and roll music and now heavy metal music was causing kids to commit suicide and live disobedient and decadent lives led to fertile story telling in film.

I didn’t see “Black Roses” or know about it or purchase the soundtrack until sometime between 94 and 96 even though it came out in 1988.

I purchased the LP first and then many years later, I didn’t know that I had the LP, so I purchased the CD for it.

So in the movie, a heavy metal band named “Black Roses” turns a sleepy towns kids into rockers first and secretly into demonic monsters.

Wikipedia mentions how the soundtrack features many prominent bands at the time such as King Kobra, Tempest, Hallow’s Eve, Lizzy Borden among others. I wouldn’t say prominent but hey the past is always rewritten to suit a narrative.

But the reason why I wanted to hear the album is because of guitarist Alex Masi who had a lot of advertisements running in the guitar magazines when his “Attack Of The Neon Shark” album came out in 1989, plus he got a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Rock Album.

But then again, I’m not sure if getting a Grammy is a good thing when it comes to metal and rock music, because, Jethro Tull did get an award over Metallica and then recently, the Grammy sound people played “Master Of Puppets” when Megadeth got the award. Ouch.

Anyway, the Black Roses band is Carmine Appice on drums, Mick Sweda on guitars, Chuck Wright on bass and Mark Free on vocals with Alex Masi assisting on some guitar tracks.

And because we didn’t have the internet to research stuff, I found out that Masi only played the Rhythm’s after purchasing the album.

Damn, No Leads. That was Mick Sweda.

But when I heard the songs, Sweda was never known for having sweep picking in his repertoire of licks, and when you go deep into the credits of each song, you see that Masi is the shredder on the songs from the band titled Black Roses/Masi.

Anyway, lets unpack this soundtrack (which is not on Spotify), but hey YouTube has it. By the way, there is a user called DannyWaysted who has a lot of 80’s album on the account. Some very obscure favourites of mine. Check it out. Just search for the user name.

“Dance on Fire” kicks off the album and it is from the Black Roses band. The riff is derivative, basic and nothing original. But it’s still a good listen.

The next track “Soldiers of the Night” is mentioned as Black Roses/Masi. This song could have appeared on a Manowar album. The difference that production makes to a song is huge. In a Manowar environment, it would have sounded metal, cranked to a Spinal Tap’ish’ 11. In the hands of lesser mortals, it sounds like a pop rock song with keyboards with a catchcry of raising our fists forever high.

Then we get a song “I’m No Stranger” from an underrated hard rock group in Bang Tango. This song rocks.

There was something about Bang Tango that I liked. I once said to a friend that the band takes something from Motley Crue, Y&T, Guns N Roses, Ratt, Scorpions, Judas Priest and Poison and puts them in a blender. That’s Bang Tango to me.

The Black Roses/Masi version is back with “Rock Invasion”. Of course the song is going to kick off with a lot of shred from Masi. And the chorus is derivative, but hey, rock did really invade the masses in the 80’s.

There is this cool bass and drum groove from Carmine Appice and Chuck Wright in the middle when Masi gets a chance to play with his whammy and force out a million notes in 20 seconds.

And Black Roses closes off Side 1 with the ballad “Paradise (We’re on Our Way)”.

And it reminds me of those Stan Bush ballads he did for various movies.

Now Stan Bush was an 80’s movies voice. Who can forget “The Touch” which basically is another derivative version of “Jump”?

The lead break from Mick Sweda is emotional and perfect, but the star on this song is Mark Free, known since 1993 as Marcie Free, who delivers a vocal hero performance. And if you want to know which band does music like this today, look no further than Revolution Saints.

Lizzy Borden’s, “Me Against the World” kicks off side 2 and it’s basically “Rock N Roll’s Gonna Save The World” from Y&T done in Lizzy’s way. I never got into Lizzy Borden and I don’t why, because I do like this song. Especially the harmony solo section. If you haven’t heard it, find the song on YouTube and crank it. It rivals the harmony solo from “Round and Round” by Ratt.

“Take It Off” from King Kobra is okay. I always gave King Kobra a chance because Johnny Edwards is one hell of a vocalist.

The only time I’ve seen and heard of David Michael-Phillips is via this soundtrack. “King of Kool” is the song. And it’s AC/DC in the verses with a melodic rock style chorus attached. But in the end, I kept thinking of Britny Fox and I couldn’t bite.

Tempest with “Streetlife Warrior” is up next and it was the first time I heard the band. That 10 second intro had me interested, the verses lost me, and the chorus really lost me, then that brief melodic lead after the chorus had me interested again. So I listened through the verses and chorus again to see what else they could do instrumentally. But I didn’t commit any further than this song on the soundtrack.

The NWOBHM was alive and well with Hallow’s Eve and their song “D.I.E.”.

Even early Metallica was alive and well in Hallow’s Eve.

I really liked this song and I have no idea why I didn’t go deeper into their catalogue in the mid 90’s when I got this soundtrack. There are lyrical themes like don’t live your life worrying about things you can’t stop (in this instance it’s about death) because if you give into your fears, you became a slave to them.

D.I.E
Death in effect…..

And that’s it, the “Black Roses” soundtrack is a wrap….

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Extra Sebastian Bach

Here is another addition from the box of the CD’s I found, to a previously reported Record Vault collection for Sebastian Bach.

“Give Em Hell” is the album.

It’s Bach’s fifth solo release, but only the third release to contain original studio recordings. It’s also at this point in time his last official release. Bach toured on this album, then went on an “18 And Live” tour and then went on a 30th Anniversary tour of Skid Row’s debut album.

As usual with a Sebastian Bach release, there is a crew of musicians, assembled to write and record the album, produced by Bob Marlette.

Steve Stevens co-wrote the songs, “Push Away”, “Had Enough” and “Gun To A Knife Fight” and also played on em. John 5 co-wrote the song “Temptation” and also plays on it. Duff McKagan plays bass on the whole album. Devin Bronson who is a songwriter and a guitarist co-wrote a lot of the songs and also plays the rest of the guitar tracks. Bobby Jarzombek is on drums, and if you are a Fates Warning fan, you would know of his work.

And there is a cover of “Rock N Roll Is A Vicious Game” from April Wine.

So let’s unpack it.

“Hell Inside My Head” is a rock and roll tour de-force. The riffs are excellent. Especially the intro melodic lead, which goes into a ZZ Top Texan groove.

“Destiny has put me to the test”

Who knows if there is a destiny or a pre-determined path?

What I do know is the choices I make or have made have definitely put me to the test on occasions many years later. Somehow I find a way through the chaos and madness.

“Harmony” has a melodic chorus, which is a good relief from the aggressiveness of “Hell Inside My Head”.

“All My Friends Are Dead” is one of my favourites on this album. The song is written by Bach, Bronson, Marlette and a person called Issac Carpenter. The intro riff is super heavy. Scorpions employed a similar riff for “The Cross” on the “Humanity” album.

The Chorus is catchy and the guitar playing throughout the song, is excellent, which is all done by Devon Bronson who is basically showcasing his abilities here.

“Temptation” has John 5 making an appearance on guitar. The songwriters are listed as Bach, John 5, Marlette and a person called Johnny Chromatic. I don’t know which songwriter wrote the intro riff, but it’s a monster. And the verses have a nice guitar riff, with a powerful melody from Bach.

“Push Away” is another favourite cut. This one is written by Bach and Steve Stevens.

The guitar playing is excellent. Stevens brings it.

And the way the song smoulders in the verses just to explode in the Chorus, works. But it’s the guitar playing that connects with me and from 3.08 to 4.28 it’s one of the best moments on the album, especially that guitar solo between 3.56 to 4.28.

In “Dominator”, Bronson takes the stage again with his guitar playing. It’s down tuned, like “Stockholm Syndrome” from Muse and heavy for a song that deals with bondage. And that last minute, the heaviness, brings back memories of Skid Row’s “Subhuman Race”.

“Had Enough” has a song writing committee of Bach, Bronson, Stevens, Marlette and a person called KS Anthony.

It’s sort of like a power ballad, but hang around for the 2.30 mark rolls around, the bridge riff and then the solo. And to top it off, there is an outro solo. For that alone, the song is high up on a list of mine, plus Bach delivers a vocal performance to rival his 80’s/early 90’s self.

“Gun To A Knife Fight” is written by Bach, Stevens, Marlette and KS Anthony. The verses roll while Bach delivers a vocal performance that will remind you of songs like “Psycho Love” and “The Threat”. And that melodic rock chorus needs more attention. And the lead break again is worthy of guitar hero status. On the three songs that Stevens appears, they have some of his best work on em.

“Taking Back Tomorrow” is needs more attention. But no one cares. The song structure and the riffs are excellent. This one is written by Bach, Bronson, Marlette and Issac Carpenter.

“Disengaged” is heavy, fast and aggressive. It rocks, it speeds, its melodic and Bach delivers a vocal line.

Bach always liked the heaviness in music and this album delivers on that hands down. And if you’re a fan of Steve Stevens and his style of guitar playing, the three tracks he makes an appearance on are essential listening.

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Hexes

“Hexes” is from the Tesseract album called “Polaris” released in 2015.

For those who don’t know, Tesseract are an U.K. act, who play a form of progressive rock. If you like genre titles, then they started off as a djent band which then morphed into a math rock style with atmospheric rock elements.

“Hexes” according to a quick search on the internet, means to cast a spell on/put a curse on.

And in this instance, our own decisions and past histories are the hexes we put on our lives.

It’s a progressive, atmospheric tune.

At its core, is a digital delay riff, which just keeps on building into an explosive syncopated progressive riff.

But let’s not forget the vocal melody and that haunting soft piano which just rumbles under the surface.

And that half time section from about 3.22 to the end.

It isn’t a secret this mind’s shrouded in history
It isn’t a secret this mind spirals in disarray
It isn’t a secret this mind shatters in mystery
It isn’t a secret I find terror in memory

Our thoughts are a secret. Unless we talk about em. But we don’t. Because we feel exposed and we don’t like to be exposed.

So we keep thinking and building more thoughts. Which we store away like memories. Fantasy clashes with reality and the mind is confused as to what is real.

History hexes us
I breathe again
History hexes us
I live again

Whatever happened in our past, it doesn’t mean our future is fixed. Each day is a new chance to breathe and live again.

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Cauterize

For those who don’t know, Mark Tremonti is the guitarist and main songwriter for Creed, which then morphed into Alter Bridge with Myles Kennedy.

But Creed and Alter Bridge live in the heavy/hard rock arena. In between downtime, Tremonti decided to hook up with some friends and pay homage to his metal influences.

If you want to hear speed metal then look no further than the “Cauterize” intro riff. The big thrash acts don’t even write riffs like this anymore.

The song then morphs into a Euro Metal tour de force with open string pedal pi

The last 35 seconds of the song feels like a jazz-fusion jam cranked through the car stereo with the window down and my hand half hanging out as I’m driving on a road full of hope and possibilities.

And the album is called “Cauterize,” but Tremonti was leaning towards “Providence” as the title of the record, until he went through all the lyrics and all the song titles, and when he looked at them “Cauterize” seemed like the most unique title.

Take the sun and cauterize
Make us pure again

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