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

2000 – Part 7

Dokken – Live From The Sun

So George Lynch was out again after the disastrous “Shadowlife” album and whatever stuff Lynch was smoking at the time, fertilized with the terrible hip hop album from Lynch Mob called “Smoke This” in 99, while Dokken regrouped with Reb Beach from Winger on guitar and released the excellent hard rock album, “Erase The Slate”.

“Live From The Sun” is a perfect capture of the Reb Beach era of Dokken and the excellent return to form album “Erase The Slate” from Dokken.

So no surprises here as the concert kicks off with “Erase The Slate”, a fast rocker with a brilliant lead break from Mr Beach himself.

Is it just me hearing “Race The Snake” instead of “Erase The Slate”?

Fake crowd noise then chimes in, as Reb Beach moves effortlessly into “Kiss Of Death” and it’s a one-two knock out combo.

That’s all followed with “The Hunter” and “Into The Fire” before “Madhatter” is played from the “Erase The Slate” album and so far it’s a pretty stellar set list.

But it gets better.

“Too High To Fly” is up next from the underrated “Dysfunctional” album, followed by some Lynch era classics in “Breaking The Chains”, “Alone Again”, “It’s Not Love”, “Tooth And Nail” and “In My Dreams”.

Don Dokken still cared about how he sung live during this period, and he’s pushing himself. On some songs, he’s struggling like “Breaking The Chains” but hey, his jeans needed to be tighter to pull off the highs he did back in 83.

And if he struggled, the backing vocals of Brown and Pilson gave him enough cover. And Reb Beach remained faithful to the Lynch classic solos with some improvisation here and there.

And I wanted to hear the Mark II line-up of Don Dokken on vocals, Reb Beach on guitar, Jeff Pilson on bass and Mick Brown on drums make new music again, but it didn’t happen.

Matchbox Twenty – Mad Season

This band really filled a hard rock void for me with the album “Yourself Or Someone Like You” released in 1996. Then Rob Thomas did “Smooth” with Santana and it was a smash everywhere. And so was Rob Thomas.

Then in 2000, four years after the debut was released, they dropped “Mad Season” and I was like, what happened to the hard rock on it. There’s still distorted guitars and a rock feel, but its more experimental. Which I also like as well.

And it went straight to number 1 in Australia.

Of course it’s got enough songs on it to satiate the fans of the debut with “If You’re Gone”, but “Rest Stop” is a lot better and more or less forgotten.

And “Bent” is grossly underrated.

As well as “Leave”, which is one of those pop style ballads that percolates and you feel like its gonna explode but it doesn’t, but the guitars keep getting layered and Rob Thomas keeps it going with a heartfelt vocal. And that passion continues with the closer, “You Won’t Be Mine”.

But there wasn’t enough on this album to keep me interested and I fell off the Matchbox Twenty train.

Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet

I really liked “The Last Temptation”. But that album came out in 1994 and I was like, when is Alice Cooper going to release his next album.

Well that happened six years later with “Brutal Planet”.

Its Alice being brutally heavy.

I’m a fan when artists incorporate the sounds of what is current into their style and this album suited the menacing voice of Alice Cooper to a tee.

Songs like “Brutal Planet”, “Sanctuary”, “Pick Up The Bones” and “It’s The Little Things” keep the album interesting.

And the band for the recording is excellent. Eric Singer is pounding away on the drums, while Phil X (future Bon Jovi guitarist) and Ryan Roxie (who started working with Alice Cooper in 1996 and is still there assisting) are on guitars. Bob Marlette rounds out the band as rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, bass player and producer.

Listen to the industrial groove metal infused riff of “Brutal Planet” and then go to the punk grunge infused “Sanctuary” with its speed rock style riff. You’ll either be banging your head in glee and the “Poison” loving fans will be spitting in their cups in disgust. “Eat Some More” musically, could have come from a Black Sabbath album in the 70’s with its doom riff.

My favourite is “Pick Up The Bones” and the way it moves between the clean tone arpeggios to the arena rock Chorus all within the sounds and grooves of Industrial Metal, but it’s a hard rock song at its core.

VAST – Music For The People

VAST stands for Visual Audio Sensory Theatre.

The drummer from a band I was in shared the CD with me. The influence of world music instruments and chants from different people and religions reminded me of Led Zeppelin (Kashmir) and The Tea Party, so I was immediately interested.

And “Touched” was the song that really got me. It starts off with a strummed acoustic guitar and a Pink Floyd’ish like vocal. Then these Afghan like voices kick in and I’m all in, as the drums kick in and out and in again adding power and stillness to the song.

“Flames” is an acoustic guitar, a violin and some synth strings with a sombre vocal melody. “Temptation” sounds like it could have come from The Tea Party album.

“Three Doors” has that exotic middle eastern sound and “The Niles Edge” has Gregorian Chants with a percolating tribal hand drum and an melancholic acoustic riff.

“You” is the album closer and it has this TonePad lick that keeps repeating almost metronomically, with choir voices and a guitar riff. Its slow, its atmospheric and it’s a great closer.

I do recall another album afterwards and then nothing, but by looking at Spotify, there seems to have been quite a few albums. I guess it’s time to dig in and see what’s been happening. In between listening to Van Halen of course.

Well, I guess it’s time to go back to 1985 for its part 7.

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

Less Talked About EVH Songs – Part 2

“5150” achieved what “1984” couldn’t.

The Billboard Number 1 spot.

Actually all of the Sammy Hagar albums achieved what the David Lee Roth albums couldn’t.

Then again DLR needed to contend with Michael Jackson and “Thriller” and Adele with “21”. Two genre skipping albums that became cultural must haves.

And songs like “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “Dreams” and “Summer Nights” take up most of the press and listens but it’s tracks like “Good Enough” and “Get Up” which get me really interested.

And they are the least played live while “Inside” has never been performed live.

Check out the head banging riff on “Good Enough” after Sammy screams “Hello Baby” and then go to the speed rock of “Get Up”.

Coming into “OU812”, I wasn’t sold on “When It’s Love” and “Finish What Ya Started” but tracks like “Mine All Mine”, “Source Of Infection” and “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)” definitely got me.

Especially “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)”.

A.F.U kicks off with a groove funk beat while EVH does some guitar arpeggios. And then it really kicks in, with EVH playing a chromatic bluesy riff which then has some passing notes chucked in so EVH can transition to those verses.

And how good are those verses?

It’s like two different songs in a song as the Chorus riff and Verse riff are not meant to be together. But EVH makes em work.

Then there’s that metal riff in the section before the solo which makes me pick up the guitar to learn it.

And the solo, no overdubs or backing guitars, just drums, bass and EVH wailing away.

Then came “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and a return to more distortion and an acoustic drum kit for AVH after his previous two albums electronic drum kit experiment.

“Right Now” was a song that EVH felt strongly about to finish on his own as the band members didn’t like it. “Top of the World” is a song that EVH dislikes but finished off because the band members liked it. And these two songs have appeared the most in their concert setlists with Hagar.

“Runaround” and “Poundcake” had radio and TV play as singles.

But it’s tracks like “Judgement Day” that got me head banging.

Just listen to that verse riff?

And that bluesy like solo!!

“The Dream Is Over” is another song with some good EVH riffage (and Sammy Hagar sings a catchy pop chorus) along with the funky “Spanked”.

And there was a break for a few years before “Balance” came out, which Sammy Hagar said was a difficult record to do but to me it has some bone crushing EVH riffs.

“The Seventh Seal” and “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)” crunch away, while “Amsterdam” and “Big Fat Money” bring the fun and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” brings the pop with “Feelin” and “Not Enough” rounding out the ballads.

But it’s “Aftershock” that got me really interested from the first listen. It has so much guitar in it, every section is inspiring to play but my favourite part of the song is the Bridge part.

Just listen to it.

And the Bad Company/Zeppelin III/Beatles influenced “Take Me Back” also got me interested.

For an album that both Hagar and EVH found difficult to do, the songs don’t show it.

The Cherone album, the songs on the Best off albums and the DLR return album are coming up next.

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

Less Talked About EVH Songs – Part 1

“Little Dreamer”

The riff is so funky and danceable, even dare I say it “disco”.

While Eddie’s guitar theatrics got the dudes interested to see him play, it was the way he wrote these swinging funky riffs that got the women to dance to David Lee Roth’s swinging hips and karate kicks.

The debut is seen as a classic today (with over 10 million in sales), but back in 78 Warner Bros. weren’t so sure. The album came out in February 78 and it was certified Gold in May, 78 and then Platinum in October 78. The label wanted to capitalise on this momentum and by December the same year, the band was in the studio again for VHII which came out in March 79. Quite a whirlwind 12 months.

And when it comes to the live setting, “Aint Talkin’ Bout Love”, “You Really Got Me”, “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “Feel Your Love Tonight” get played, along with “Eruption” in the solo moment. “Jamie’s Crying” got EVH a song writing credit on Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing”.

But “Little Dreamer” is not talked about.

VHII had so many serious riffage in “Dance The Night Away”, “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”, “Bottoms Up”, “Women In Love”, “Light Up The Sky” and “Beautiful Girls” and its these songs that get added to the set lists. Plus the groovy cover of “You’re No Good” is so unique it sounds like an original.

But “D.O.A” and “Outta Love Again” are also favourites.

“D.O.A” has a cool sped up outro, but it’s that intro riff which reminds me of “Ain’t Talkin about Love” that gets the foot tapping and the head nodding.

“Outta Love Again”

That solo. Just a bass guitar, drums and EVH wailing away. Live and no overdubs.

In other words, live without a net. And again, there is this funky bluesy riff, which is infectious.

Then came “Woman And Children First” and the riffage kept coming with one of my favourite riffs in “And The Cradle Will Rock”, “Everybody Wants Some”, “Romeo’s Delight” and “Take Your Whiskey Home”.

“Fools”

That main riff after all of the monkey wails and doodling, sounds like it inspired Queens Of The Stone Age and their song “No One Knows”.

“Tora Tora”

Not sure what was meant for this but what about the Sabbathy like feel on this one?

It only goes for a minute before the open string E note starts from “Loss Of Control” which sounds like a young James Hetfield was listening.

Then came “Fair Warning” and it’s hard to move past classics like “Unchained” and “Mean Street”.

And no one is talking about “Push Comes To Shove”.

Listen to it.

It’s funky and sleazy with that Michael Anthony bass line, reggae like with the guitar and those arpeggios brings it back to a rock song.

And that solo section. it’s progressive rock.

“Diver Down” was more a covers album than an original album but the original “Hang Em High” is as good as anything from the earlier albums. But according to setlist.fm it’s the least played song from the album when it comes to the live arena.

Also listen to the sexy and funky groove riff of “Little Guitars”. EVH definitely knows how to swing.

And “1984”.

Man that album makes up most of the DLR era set lists.

But “Drop Dead Legs” has only made an appearance on 41 setlists compared to “Panama” which has made 859 setlists.

And it’s got all the good things that make EVH great. A groove oriented riff, major key arpeggios and that solo/outro section inspired by fusion legend Alan Holdsworth.

In a Forbes interview, EVH said that one of his favorite songs is “Drop Dead Legs” regardless if it was a hit or not.

It’s one of my favorites as well.

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September 2020 – Part 7

Here is the final post for September 2020.

Black Stone Cherry

“Ringin’ In My Head” is one of the lead off singles from their upcoming album “The Human Condition” which will be released on October 30, 2020.

And the riff and the melody go back to 2017.

People, people, your attention, please
I need to tell all y’all about a new disease
It’s crept right up from beneath our nose
And what happens next, we already know

Lockdown, and quarantine and then more lockdowns and then masks and a lot of alcohol on our hands than inside our bodies, and sadly infections and deaths.

Rise Against

It was the Guitar Hero game which got me into this band and I’ve been a fan since. Their form of punk borders on fast metal like riffs, with melodic vocals.

“Broken Dreams, Inc.” is the song.

What a great title?

They contributed the song to the “Dark Nights: Death Metal” Soundtrack, DC’s new Batman comic-book series. The song deals with levelling the playing field for everyone to have a chance at achieving the American dream.

People vote our leaders in so our leaders should work for the people and put power in the people’s hands. Instead our leaders put power into the hand of businesses.

When we owe more than we’re worth
And they’re changing the locks on the doors

In Australia, each household is in so much debt it’s not even funny. The banking industry got wealthy from selling debt.

How’s that for a career?

How does it feel to make billions because you gave mortgages to people who never shouldn’t have got one.

When the factories are automated
Broken dreams incorporated
Gather your things, but there’s nowhere to go

When one business closes, a new one begins. Kids starting school this year, will be working jobs that haven’t even been created.

Tygers Of Pan Tang

I’m an original fan of this band because of John Sykes. And throughout the years, they’ve kept on going with some breaks here and there. But in the last twelve years, I’ve jumped back in with TOPT.

Original guitarist and founder Robb Weir re-started the band back in 2001 and from 2008’s “Animal Instinct”, I’ve been on board. Italian born signer, Jacopo Meille is brilliant and very melodic as he brings a Jeff Scott Soto / Robert Plant / Paul Rodgers like feel, with Craig Ellis on drums and Gavin Gray on bass.

The “Ambush” album is good. Produced by Chris Tsangerides.

“Keeping Me Alive” kicks it all off, with a riff straight from the Sunset Strip.

“These Eyes” is an excellent Dokken/Lynch inspired cut which isn’t written by Dokken/Lynch.

Do you reckon the band would have succeeded if it was called Lynch Dokken instead of Dokken?

“Rock N Roll Dream” is a roller alright, with a rumbling bass riff in the verse and a Freddie Mercury style vocal line.

“Play To Win” sounds like the old TOPT with a nod in the direction of AC/DC.

“Burning Desire” is an excellent Bad Company inspired song, which isn’t written by Paul Rodgers or Mick Ralphs. And the lead break had me playing air guitar.

“Hey Suzie” feels like a Guns N Roses cut from the Appetite era.

“Mr Indispensable” sounds like a song from The Cult and the closer “Cruel Hands Of Time” is my favourite cut.

Basically TOPT are still delivering the goods, 40 years later.

Bad Juju

I checked these guys out based on the album cover.

There is a normal looking human hand reaching out from dark grey water and another human hand trying to pull up that person who is submerged. Then there are two other hands, withered and decaying and white, trying to keep the submerged person in the water and trying to bring the unsubmerged person also into the water. And this takes place in front of a red moon.

And I pressed play and became a fan.

So I did some reading.

They are from Melbourne, Australia. There ya go, from my own back yard. Even though the websites have them listed as emo, to me this album is basically anthemic rock.

“Disappoint” opens the album, with its layered guitar riffs and melodies courtesy of Abe Miller and Armarin Saengsri with aggressive drumming by Drue Herring and solid bass playing by Matt John, which allows Russell Holland to wail.

“Picture Us” feels like a Brit Pop 90’s song, mixing The Cure with My Chemical Romance and Blink 182.

“Dawn” deals with being lonely at night and giving life to those dark thoughts. Again, it’s a on a bed of layered guitars.

“Say It” feels like a track from “Mellon Collie” from The Smashing Pumpkins.

“The truth is I’m not fine and it’s not okay / tell what you want to be hearing I will say it like I mean it” is the hook in the Chorus.

It’s basically a fuck you to “Are You Okay?” day.

“Let’s Talk” is a pop song about giving up on a toxic relationship.

And that’s a wrap for the massive month that was September 2020.

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

September 2020 – 10 Years

From the US and formed in 1999. Signed to a label a few years later.

But I didn’t get into em until 2008.

Basically from 2000 onwards, I was really into the groove progressive rock of Tool.

But Tool songs just kept getting longer and I was looking for something to listen to, which was similar and more accessible.

So bands like Chevelle, Adema, Earshot, Deftones and 10 Years appeared on my radar, who played that form of groove rock and metal and I became a fan.

“Violent Allies” is produced by Howard Benson. Benson also produced the “Feeding The Wolves” album back in 2010.

That album is a favourite of mine, but there is a portion of the fanbase that hates what Benson’s generic pop production did to 10 Years.

If you don’t know what I mean, just check out his albums with Daughtry, Seether, Skillet, Theory Of A Deadman, Scott Stapp, Three Days Grace, 3 Doors Down, Red and many others. But for me, it’s that style of pop production I like.

The band entered the studio with 20 songs written and Benson cut 75% of the songs. The band then to write new material and revisit some of the other material to make the songs stronger.

“The Shift”

I never knew a shift was happening / The scenery just seemed to be stuck on, stuck on, stuck on repeat

And that’s how people pull one over you. Governments give us a tax break here, a stimulus payment there and in secret negotiate trade laws and tax laws that create monopolies and suddenly we are living in a democracy that’s more about supporting big business than its people.

We go from silence to sirens without a space between / we are a violent virus without a remedy

We are scared of an actual virus that infects and kills us, but are we the biggest virus to the planet and each other.

Killing each other, no problem.

To reflect superiority over each other, no problem.

To reap every resource from the Earth, no problem.

All that we’ve managed to make is just a comfortable cage / Oh god, I gotta get out

And once we are in that cage, which is basically our home, we are comfortable, we are safe and we don’t want to change. We don’t want a shift to happen. All we want is a job till retirement so we can pay the bills and mortgage.

“The Unknown”

It’s a bit softer than the opener.

But time moves on and carries us / Into the wild of the great unknown

Kids today will be working jobs that haven’t been created yet. They will be living in places and buildings that haven’t been built. It’s exciting that the future is a great unknown.

“Déjà Vu”

Turn off my brain this all feels the same

The echo chamber of social media can get overwhelming as our finger keeps going on the infinite scroll.

Then we read the news and it feels like we’ve read this before or seen the TV footage before. Police brutality is nothing new. Citizens protesting against injustice is nothing new. Corporations and politicians filling their pockets with profits of the Earth’s resources is nothing new. Another copyright suit against a famous song is nothing new.

So you got heart and soul
Born to break the mold
You’re oh so original like someone I used to know

We are all young for such a brief time and believe that we are born for something different. So we pour our heart and soul into our work, thinking we will be rewarded with untold riches.

But it doesn’t work that way.

“Without You”

I am brand new now without you / Everything I can do now without you

Truth.

You don’t realise how stifling and restrictive a relationship could be until both sides are free of it.

“Cut The Cord”

I lied to myself to stay above the tide and ignore the warning signs

I used to have this viewpoint to “stick with things forever” because I’ve spent time on it already and I don’t want to waste the time I’ve spent to start something new, because it means that all that time spent was for nothing.

Just reading what I typed is doing my head in.

It took me a while to realise that the time spent is all learning and preparation for the next thing to come. This is true for everything, from self-development, to changing jobs and relationships.

“I Wish”

Take it all in and let the flood begin to wash away our sins
Open your mouth, let the fire out and burn me down
All is fair in love and war

It’s a great set of lyrics to sum up arguments, because as soon as the barrage starts it’s like a flood or a fire.

You can fire back, you can ignore it, you can escape it or you can apologise if you are at fault.

Trying to get the other person to see your point of view or your side is pointless because that just doesn’t happen.

“Start Again”

As these hands of time tick on by the song remains the same
Circling the drain, I’m done

It’s the end, there is nothing else that could have been done. Once you start circling the drain, you end up in the wastewater.

And there’s going to be one more final post to wrap up September 2020 releases because 10 Years took over this post.

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

September 2020 – Part 5

I feel weird even writing about other bands after the death of EVH.

My first born is even named after him, with a V instead of the W because my wife didn’t like Edward, she liked Edvard.

But life goes on and I just got my ears around AC’s new song “Shot In The Dark”. But that’s for a different post.

The Pineapple Thief

From Somerset, England.

This is their self-produced thirteenth album.

And I only got onto their train a few years ago and I’m slowly going through their back catalogue. And as much as I want to have my finger on the pulse to all new music and to what is good, I am always late to the party.

The band is made up of the main songwriter Bruce Soord on guitars and vocals, Steve Kitch on keyboards, Jon Sykes on bass and Gavin Harrison on drums.

It’s hard to explain their sound, with influences ranging from Porcupine Tree, A Perfect Circle, Pink Floyd, Muse, Radiohead, The Police, Marillion, Queensryche (Promised Land era) and Genesis.

“Versions Of The Truth” is moody and progressive, with the Chorus catch-cry of “It’s not how I remembered it”.

And they are pushing the boundaries that Pink Floyd created on this song, especially the sounds and moods from the “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason” album.

Then “Break It All” sounds like it came from the “Promised Land” album from Queensryche.

“Demons” sounds like the best Porcupine Tree song that they didn’t write and “Driving Like Maniacs” has a pretty basic music foundation with an emotive vocal line. In the old days this piano led tune would be on the charts. Check out the Chorus.

“Leave Me Be” sounds like a song from Powderfinger, one of Australia’s premier hard rock bands before they called it quits while “Out Of Line” is impressive. It has this acoustic guitar pattern that keeps on repeating and a vocal melody which is addictive. It’s very Porcupine Tree like, more in the vein of tracks like “Trains” mixed with A Perfect Circle with Gilmour like vocals.

“Stop Making Sense” has sounds that appear on “The Police” and Marillion albums. Even Gotye used those sounds on “Somebody I Used To Know” and “The Game” closes the album off, with a subliminal message to press repeat and listen to the album again.

The Smashing Pumpkins

“The Colour Of Love” is a good song.

It reminds me of “Love Song” from The Cure, so it’s very different from the Pumpkins sound I like, which is more or less captured on two albums, “Siamese Dreams” And “Mellon Collie”.

Nevertheless, I am interested to hear more.

Smile Empty Soul

They always stick around in my life with a song or two from each release. The glory from this EP goes to “Land Of The Lost”.

Billy Raffoul

“Big City” has this Springsteen and Gaslight Anthem vibe which I dig, so it was a pretty easy save. Musically its an acoustic guitar, harmonica and a vocal line. And that’s all you need sometime.

The Score

From New York City, which is going through a decent second wave of COVID-19 illnesses.

So how did The Score come into my life?

Well, my kids were listening to the song “Best Part” from em. It had enough there to get me curious to check em out.

Their sound is like the Imagine Dragons sound when they broke out big and a sound which Shinedown would push on their last few albums.

And I had no idea how massive the band is. On Spotify they have 4.28m monthly listeners. Some of their earlier songs are over a 100 million streams, while the songs “Stronger” and “Born For This” which appear on this album are at 54m and 34m streams respectively on Spotify.

So I did some reading.

The Score is basically two dudes.

Eddie Anthony sings and plays guitar and drums. Edan Dover sings, plays keyboards and produces.

I think this is the sign of the times. You don’t need any extras who don’t contribute to the song. The days of just being a drummer or just a bass player or just a guitarist in a band are over, unless you play instrumental music. And in the history of music it was always one or two and maybe three writers in a song.

So I’m listening to the “Carry On” album, released towards the end of August 2020.

“Golden” is basically an 80’s song, all dolled up and ready for a night out in 2020.

Take be back to my youth, bring me back to my roots
I don’t know where I am going, but I know that its golden

It doesn’t matter that we got older because our youth and our roots are what made us who we are. Those innocent and hopeful dreams, every single one of em, golden till the end.

“Running All Night” is another song worth of attention.

“Alone in the dark just my thoughts in a room”

That’s the scary part of life. We could be at our worst or at our best. We could be the most creative or the most depressed.

“I’ve been running all night in my head”

And that’s what we seem to do on a daily basis. Our thoughts move from different paradigms into a blend of paradigms and into a single paradigm. Running through different scenarios of certain events and what if’s.

And there are songs like “Fire” and “Stronger” which sound like they came from the recent Shinedown album.

Well Part 5 is done and from the looks of my playlist, there will be one more part to close off the September releases.

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

September 2020 – Part 4

Seether

Originally from South Africa.

Seether these days are founding members Shaun Morgan on vocals and Dale Steward on bass. Drummer John Humphrey joined in 2003 and now they have Corey Lowery on guitar who has been in a few modern rock bands like Saint Asonia, Dark New Day, Eye Empire and Stuck Mojo and is the brother to Clint Lowery, the guitarist from Sevendust.

The album is called “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”. The title translates from Latin to, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’.

There form of fuzzy rock always gets me interested. And man, Shaun Morgan can write riffs.

And the first track “Dead And Alone” starts. It’s doomy and very Sabbath like with a very Tool meets Rage Against The Machine vibe in the verses. Or Deftones.

On a side note, did you know that guitarists Tom Morello from RATM and Adam Jones from Tool were in a band together before they went and formed the bands that the world knows. These two dudes changed modern rock guitar.

And the bass guitar is always prominent in Seether like in “Bruised And Bloodied” with an addictive and melodic vocal melody showcasing the pipes on Shaun Morgan.

“Dangerous” is another melodic post grunge rock song. The bass guitar kicks it off again and the vocal line is catchy.

The last two minutes of “Buried In The Sand” are so doomy yet melodic.

“Failure” is another track that kicks off with the bass and a catchy melodic vocal line. And man, the lyrics.

And yeah I live my life like a broken-hearted failure / I’m trying to shed some light on the scars left by the razors

The feelings of depression, self-loathing, and anxiety are conveyed in the lyrics and the music builds in intensity at the right moment.

And the closer, “Written In Stone” keeps the melancholy going, with its clean tone arpeggio intro and slow build as it percolates. And I’m waiting for it to explode in intensity, but it doesn’t, which is also a good thing.

I read a Kerrang review of this album which said the “songs are either power-chorus cheese that’s still waiting to see if the invitation to appear on the Spider-Man soundtrack with Chad Kroeger turns up in the post, or mid-paced nu-metal with the volume turned down.

In other words the review states the album sounds dated.

But that’s exactly why I like em.

Needtobreathe

The first time I came across this band was via an Amazon referral when I purchased either a “Casting Crowns” or “Skillet” or “Thousand Foot Krutch” album back in 2012. So I went to the pirate sites and YouTube and sampled em. And I moved on. There was a lot of material there to digest and I wasn’t really in the mood to explore deep. My third child was under six months, I had surgery on my foot three times to put screws in and then to take the screws out and my mindset wasn’t on exploring new music.

Fast forward many years later and Mr Jon Snow at 2loud2oldmusic.com is a fan of the band and writes enthusiastically about em. You can read the review from 2loud2old here. The enthusiasm rubs off and I’m keen to explore, and my mood is very different.

“Alive” kicks the album off nicely and “Out Of Body” feels like a Springsteen song in the verses and I like it. “Riding High” sounds like a cross between Bad Company and The Eagles. And there are other songs to check out like “Who Am I”, “Banks”, “Bottom Of A Heartbreak” and “Seasons”.

Disturbed

“If I Ever Lose My Faith In You” is Disturbed trying to re-capture their “The Sound Of Silence” moment.

Stryper

Michael Sweet is working hard, writing and recording new music via his many different projects but the project which is his bread and butter and which led to him being who he is, is Stryper.

“Even The Devil Believes” is basically pushing the metal Stryper sound of the last few albums, which in reality was a return to their “Soldiers Under Command” sound from the 80’s and it showcases the influence of Judas Priest to their music.

Standout tracks are “Blood From The Above”, “Make Love Great Again”, “Do Unto Others”, “Even The Devil Believes”, “How To Fly”, “Invitation Only” and “For God & Rock ‘N’ Roll” which starts off with the same drum pattern that Robert Sweet uses for “To Hell With The Devil”.

Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen is always here and there with me. “Letter To You” means he’s back to being here. It’s one of those “My Hometown” style tracks which I like.

And theres this interview video of Springsteen doing the rounds on social media about “when Trump loses the next election”.

The Boss has spoken.

Mastodon

This is an old track that appeared on a new compilation album.

And how can you not like a track called “White Walker”?

But the tribal drum start that gets you. It makes you feel like you are in the snow, living the life of a Wilding with the threat of these ancient beings.

September became a big month for releases in 2020 because so many albums got pushed back to this month because of coronavirus, so there will be a few more posts to come.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Choirboys Extra

Well those pesky 7 inch singles keep on getting forgotten when I’m doing these Record Vault posts.

Here is “Boys Will Be Boys” from the Choirboys.

I remember I wanted to buy the “Run To Paradise” single but it wasn’t available, and this one was.

I guess physical had its limitations and no one knew that “Run To Paradise” would become so big. That’s the big secret the labels don’t like to tell. They don’t have a clue what connects and what doesn’t.

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

No Prayer For The Dying

30 years old.

How does it hold up as a Maiden album?

Would any of the songs on the album replace a song in the classic concert set list?

And why the two different covers when they remastered it a decade later?

I purchased it on day one on cassette.

How can you not purchase it after “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”?

I had a tape deck that used to chew tapes up so I demanded my Dad let me use his pristine Toshiba cassette player.

He said “no”, because he believed that tapes with heavy metal music would somehow wreck his tape deck.

I went to Mum to smooth him over and that didn’t work, but I had a plan.

When he was at work, I would use his tape deck. But Dad was smart. He caught on.

He woke me up early when he was leaving for work and told me that it’s okay to use his tape deck because he had a feeling that I would use it while he’s at work as that’s exactly the same thing he would do.

I already heard the lead off single in “Holy Smoke” and the “flies round shit, bees around honey”.

So I pressed play.

And “Tailgunner” started.

How good is the bass playing on it?

That whole intro is built by Steve Harris and his four fingers.

“No Prayer For The Dying” is super underrated with the powerful ending around “God give me the answer to my life…”

“Public Enema Number One” has lyrics relevant to what’s happening today.

In the cities in the streets / there’s a tension you can feel / the breaking strain is fast approaching / Guns and riots.

The politicians gamble / and lie to save their skins / and the press get fed the scapegoats / Public enema number one

“Fates Warning” feels like it could have come from the “Somewhere In Time” album. Check out that harmony solo.

“Mother Russia” sounds like it came from the “7th Son” album but it felt unfinished.

“Bring Your Daughter” was a hit.

And all the other songs had some good sections.

I labeled the album, the worst of the Bruce Dickinson era at the time.

And then they released “Fear Of The Dark” and I kept that viewpoint.

Then Bruce left and Blaze came in.

Then Bruce came back and they released a shitload of albums from “Brave New World” to “The Book Of Souls”.

And I still have that view point even though I believe that “The Book Of Souls” could have used some John Kalodner editing.

But I enjoy listening “No Prayer”. I can’t explain it.

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