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

Australian Method Series – Bad Juju

I only got into these guys last year. The cover got me interested.

There is a normal looking human hand reaching out from dark grey water and another human hand trying to pull up the 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.

I pressed play on the EP called “You’re Not Alone” (released in September 2020) and became a fan. I mentioned it in my September 2020 post. Prior to this, they had another EP release called “Hidden Desire” in 2018, which I pressed play on today, but it’s nowhere near as accomplished as this EP.

So I did some reading.

They are from Melbourne, Australia. A lot of the websites have them listed as an emo act or a pop punk act or an alternative Brit Pop act but this album is basically anthemic rock.

“Disappoint”

The layered guitars of the intro is enough to get me interested. It reminds me of bands like Anberlin.

I don’t want to disappoint you
I don’t want to ask the question where I already know the answer

None of us want to be hated. Acceptance is important. It’s instilled in us from birth. If we are not part of a group, then something must be wrong with us. But that’s not the case.

Sirens

Another catchy guitar layered intro hooks me in which also serves as the chorus music.

Picture Us

It feels like a Brit Pop 90’s song, mixed with The Cure and a little bit My Chemical Romance and Blink 182.

Dawn

My favourite song.

The fuzzed out intro reminds me of Bowie and The Wallflowers. The song deals with being lonely at night and giving life to those dark thoughts. And it’s another song, created on a bed of layered guitars.

Bad Juju’s vocalist Russell Holland mentioned that the song was influenced by a text message which said, “Do you get lonely? Because I get lonely too”.

What do you do when a friend is using drugs to deal with isolation.

The “wo oh” slow interlude section needs to be heard.

Say It”

It feels like a track from “Mellon Collie” from The Smashing Pumpkins. There is also some Blur, maybe some Cure and New Order and maybe a bit of a grungy alternative rock sound if anything.

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

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

Because the truth is, we always have doubts and fears.

Let’s Talk”

It’s a pop song about giving up on a toxic relationship.

“I’ve been feeling really really shitty, since you came and moved to this city”

And eventually, he’s leaving town on the interstate, with the window down and a feeling of freedom as to what is next.

After two EP’s, I am interested to hear what is next.

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

The Record Vault – Crawlspace

They appeared on a show called “Hey Hey, It’s Saturday”, performing the song “Afraid”.

There is a YouTube clip of it. They are from Western Australia.

This EP/single release is the only release I’m aware of.

“Afraid” is a cool little rock song with a pop influence. I enjoyed it back then and showed my support by purchasing.

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

The Record Vault – Cold

On Geffen Records.

“13 Ways To Bleed On Stage” is the album in which their spider logo made its first appearance.

It was a bargain bin purchase in Australia even though it was a Gold selling album in the U.S.

I really liked the Staind/Bush vibe of the album.

Scooter Ward on vocals sounded a lot like em but I didn’t care.

“No One”, “End Of The World” and “Confession” stood out right away. Modern rock songs.

“It’s All Good” has a vocal melody in the verses which is catchy.

“Bleed” has an acoustic arpeggio riff that reminds me of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. As the album closer it is my favourite.

So I went down a rabbit hole listening to their catalogue on Spotify.

On a side note, guitarist Terry Balsamo would depart after the 2003 follow up “Year Of The Spider” to fill the vacant guitarist spot left by Ben Moody in Evanescence.

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

The Record Vault – Conception

“In Your Multitude” is the first album I heard from Conception but it’s their third album.

It’s not on Spotify Australia, but YouTube has it.

And the CD had an insert with advertising of those previous albums called “Parallel Minds” and “The Last Sunset” along with some other artists on the “NOISE” label. 

Conception is from Norway and they started off as a power metal band.

Record after record, the band slowly incorporated progressive elements to their music. But it’s not progressive like a thousand notes per minute progressive. Its progressive in its poly rhythms and the atmospheric song structures. It’s the progressive style I like. Even bands like Styx and Toto had these kind of progressive moments albeit more Rock than Metal.

“In Your Multitude” is a fine progressive metal album. And if a person was new to the progressive metal genre, this album is a good entry point.

“Under a Mourning Star” kicks off the album with a syncopated guitar riff which reminds me of the “Metropolis, Pt: 1” verse riff from Dream Theater. Guitarist Tore Ostby takes centre stage here and vocalist Roy Kahn delivers a great melody in the verses and the Chorus.

“Missionary Man” has a heavy palm muted riff under a Kashmir style drum beat. And the Zeppelin influences continue with the vocal delivery and the exotic scales used. It’s perfect.

“Retrospect” starts off with a progressive riff, before it moves into a Queensryche “I Don’t Believe In Love” verse.

“Guilt” is one of the heavy songs, with a groove straight from a Pantera album and melodic vocals.

“Sanctuary” is a short acoustic song, that gives Ostby a chance to play some nice arpeggios and flamenco styled licks, while Roy Kahn delivers a haunting vocal line.

“A Million Gods’’ is the most progressive track on the album. At 7.45 minutes, it doesn’t feel like it’s that long. And the chorus is memorable. Also check out the bass playing in the verse. It takes centre stage, the way Ostby took centre stage on “Under A Mourning Star”. 

“Some Wounds” has a heavy verse and an arena rock chorus. 

“Carnal Comprehension” is a hard rock song with some nice guitar hero moments. This would become the sound on the next album which alienated a lot of fans.

“Solar Serpent” has a great bass riff in the verse and a melodic chorus. It reminds me of Accept and Judas Priest, with acoustic guitars, fast bass and drums and fast electric guitar solos.

“In Your Multitude” closes the album with its Pink Floyd influences in the intro before the full band kicks in after a minute, sort of like Black Sabbath’s “Sign Of The Southern Cross”. Make sure you check out the guitar solo that goes on and on after 4 minutes.

And they did one more album in the 90’s called “Flow” and then disappeared for a long time. Members went into the band’s Kamelot, Ark and Royal Hunt.

And in the last 4 years they have re-appeared.

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

The Record Vault – The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect are from Brisbane, Australia. Formed in 1999, they dropped their debut EP in 2001.

“Crave” is from their “Begins Here” album released in 2003. The next song “Saved” didn’t appear on any album until their 2016 release, “B Sides, Live and Rarities”. “The Cell” and “Take It Away” appeared on their six song EP, released in 2001. It was “Take It Away” from the EP, which got me interested in the band. 

“Imago” was released in 2006.

It debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts.

You could hear in this album that the band was progressing in their song writing department. You can hear the onus on more melody. Getting older, playing live, building on experiences and relationships all enhance the song writing.

But it wasn’t so smooth making the album.

“I think, as a grown man, I can probably say it would have been the most stressful seven weeks of my life”

Drummer Ben Hall 

Joe Barresi was hired to produce the album. He heard the demoes the band sent and was enthusiastic to work with them. He just finished recording Tool’s “10,000 Days” album and the band flew to LA as soon as a slot came up in Barresi’s calendar.

But the band wasn’t really ready to start recording at this point in time. And Barresi sure let them know it. The band started to not enjoy the process, but the experience with Barresi, showed them gaps in their commitments which they used to realign their goals with their music career.

From the opening one minute instrumental “Imago”, to “Aisles Of White” to “Gone” to “A Slow Descent”, it’s a four punch combo. The ending of “A Slow Descent” is excellent. But the album gets better. “Before They Knew” and “In A Memory” are my favourite cuts on this album. 

“In A Memory” has this bass riff inspired by Tool as it rumbles along and leads the song. But when you think the song is over at the 3.30 minute mark, it moves into this beautiful section which starts with chords and then arpeggios and a haunting vocal melody. And it’s got an ending as good as “A Slow Descent”. And those endings are pure gold.

It’s just a memory of all that we could have been

It’s just a memory and all that we could have been

It’s just a memory, I’ve seen

It’s just a memory, I’ll see 

The way these words are delivered is haunting, like a dream you’ve just had and you are not sure when you wake up, if it’s a real memory or a dream memory.

As good as “Imago” is, their piece d resistance album is “Final Conversation Of Kings” released in 2008.

I have no photo to share of this album because I gave it and the debut EP to my ex drummer, along with “The Dirt” hardcover book from Motley Crue, a  Rush “Live in Rio” DVD and a Coheed and Cambria live DVD. I should have gotten my stuff back first, before I booted him.

And speaking of band members not getting on, The Butterfly Effect had some issues between founding guitarist Kurt Goedhart and lead vocalist Clint Boge. So it was no surprise that the band members went their separate ways, until a few years ago, when they released a new song and announced a tour around Oz. 

Welcome back. 

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

The Record Vault – Bond

The song “Explosive” was used as the Australian theme song, during the 2004 Athens Olympics TV coverage in Australia, so without a doubt, it sent this album and the song to Number 1 and platinum sales.

And “Classified” is the third studio album. The band still performs to this day, only changing one member, who left to have a child.

The performances are top notch and credit needs to be given to Croatian songwriter Tonci Huljic who wrote the score to the song.

To me it’s a melodic rock instrumental done in a way which is very accessible.

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

The Record Vault – Angel

You could be paying your dues for years and nothing happens, because no one wanted to get out of their comfort zone to believe in you and invest time to get you signed.

Gene Simmons at this time was prowling for bands. Van Halen was recording demos financed by Gene, Angel got a record deal with KISS’s label Casablanca because of Gene and he also told George Lynch he would never make it as a rock star if he didn’t change his name. He probably got the Lynch one wrong or right, depending on which definition of rockstar you believe in, the dictionary one or Gene’s definition of rock star.

Angel for me, was all about the path of Gregg Giuffria. It was his first label band, before he formed a band around his surname called Giuffria and then another band called House Of Lords. Throughout it all, he had small successes here and there. Actually Gregg Giuffria’s story is a typical “trying to make it” story with highs and lows.

You know the one, said artist plays in bars and clubs to get their name out and they finally get a label deal, however after five albums they have a debt they can’t pay back to the label and a record deal which no longer exists.

Then a new offer comes, to form a band around you instead of you being part of the band. But this is 1982 and metal and rock music was breaking through into the mainstream. And Giuffria, the band became a bus stop band for musicians who had bigger ambitions.

From the first Giuffria album, Craig Goldy on guitars, Gregg Giuffria on keys and Chuck Wright on bass are well known for their role in other bands, while on the second album Lanny Cordola on guitars is also known for his role in House Of Lords rather than Giuffria.

Giuffria however released two albums on MCA, had a third album ready to go but it didn’t get the green light.

And Gregg Giuffria was again at the cross roads. Good ole Gene came to the rescue again and basically said to Giuffria, “I’ll sign ya to my label, but you need to change the name of your band and you need to fire your lead singer”.

So in 1987 and after 14 years of trying to make it, Giuffria was still trying to make it.

And remember that third Giuffria album which didn’t get the green light, well they ended up on the debut “House Of Lords” album which did sound very derivative but was still a cool listen.

But let’s go back to the beginning.

On Earth As It’s On Heaven

Released in 1977. It’s their third album but it was the first album I heard from them and Eddie Kramer is on hand to produce.

The funky “White Lightning” musically hooks me in and a young Lenny Kravitz must have been listening to “Cast The First Stone” on repeat because he rewrote it many years later and called it “Are You Gonna Go My Way”.

White Hot

In 1978, Angel became like ELO for album number four.

Flying With Broken Wings (Without You)

The outro of this song is excellent.

It’s like Tesla heard this and combined both “Hey Jude” and this one for the ending of “Love Song”.

Over and Over

I feel like Zebra was listening to this song over and over again as Angel took a 70s derivative riff and turned it into their own song.

You Could Lose Me

A sleazy riff kicks it off and how cool is that synth lick after the Chorus.

Sinful

The fifth album is their best album released in 1978.

 

Don’t Take Your Love

The keys are prominent especially in the verses, however if one thing was clear in the 70s, the guitarists didn’t have it in them to become background musicians. So by default, you hear guitar, left, right and centre.

And the chorus is a perfect example of AOR pop with a riff which reminds me of a lot of songs and as I type this, I can’t remember any of them.

LA Lady

The honky tonk piano rocks, and the Rolling Stones influence is all over this song about an LA Lady who drives them crazy by the look in her eyes.

Just Can’t Take it

It’s just a good hard rock song which reminds me of REO Speedwagon.

Bad Time

The keys in the intro dominate, but that verse riff hooks me in and then that Chorus riff, keeps my interest going, followed by a wailing guitar lead, while the drums lay down a hard rock open/closed high hats beat which also borders on disco. Musically this song is excellent.

I’ll Bring The Whole World To Your Door

Yep, it’s got a Kashmir style riff in the verses, but not as exotic as the Led Zep version, however it then morphs into a pop rock song which is an excellent piece of song writing, merging different influences into a cohesive work.

I’ll Never Fall In Again

That Chorus keyboard riff is epic and it sounds like it’s in a 5/4 timing.

Wild And Hot

It’s like the best song Slade, Sweet or Alice Cooper wrote in 1978, which they didn’t write.

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

The Record Vault – Asia

The cover artwork for the albums I have is created by Roger Dean. His art made the “Yes”, “Uriah Heap” and “Asia” albums iconic. He even sued James Cameron for using one of his covers as an inspiration for an Avatar scene.

So how did Asia come into my life?

It started with the magazines “Guitar World” and “Guitar For The Practicing Musician”. Steve Howe always made an appearance and the storytelling in the interviews always revolved around the influential “Yes” albums and his pop “Asia” career.

So into the 90s when everyone traded in their record collection and purchased CDs instead, I managed to pick up the first three “Asia” albums and most of the “Yes” catalogue up to the early 80s at a very cheap price.

By cheap, I mean each record was $3 but buy 10 records for $20.

And when I got home, I played “Asia” first because hey, those albums came out in the 80s and I was an 80s child.

Asia

The debut album released in 1982.

Heat Of The Moment

I dropped the needle and I heard “Heat Of The Moment” and I was like, fuck, is this Asia. At that point in time I’d heard the song heaps but never knew the artist.

Only Time Will Tell

I love the way it starts. Then it’s AOR Journey like in the verses and very Euro like sounding in the pre-Chorus.

You can hear why Asia had huge sales in 82, as fans of rock music gravitated to this style.

Time Again

It’s progressive rock mixed with jazz and it’s perfect. It could have been a format to go with but it didn’t seem to be.

Wildest Dreams

It has this middle jazz like drum solo with some simple chords behind it which gets me playing air drums.

Without You

That guitar lead from 3.05. Yeah, it’s the most simplest lick Howe has played, but the most powerful.

Cutting It Fine

The intro leads are brilliant, going over three octaves.

Asia – Alpha

“Alpha” (released in 83) sold a lot but it was still seen as a failure by the record label.

For me, Steve Howe was in the band, but he wasn’t really part of the song writing, so you don’t hear his progressive jazzy bluesy fusion vibe in the songs.

John Wetton and Geoff Downes did most of the songwriting and it’s pop rock all the way.

Don’t Cry

For some reason the start just hooks me in. It’s like a REO Speedwagon song merged with the groove/chord progression from “Stand By Me”.

Musically and melodically it connects. Lyrics, not so much.

The Heat Goes On

Again how cool is the intro. It reminds of the “Staying Alive” movie which Stallone directed, merged with Aldo Nova and Billy Squier. I dig the melodies and music, but as bands overused the word “rock” in song titles, Asia overused the word “heat”.

True Colors

As soon as I heard the start of the song I thought of Marillion, but Asia came first.

And all those people you call friends
See who defends you when you’re down again
Don’t count on money-spinners then

The truth is no one defends you when you’re down. Everyone is serving their own interest.

Open Your Eyes

And see the world that stands before you now

So true. Open your eyes people and see what stands before you. Do your own research. Read far and wide and listen to arguments for and arguments against your views.

Astra

Released in 1985 and Steve Howe is missing, because of a power play by vocalist John Wetton, as part of his return to the band. Mandy Meyer from Krokus is on guitar duties for an album which is really lacking.

A song called “Rock and Roll Dream” had no rock and roll. And when Brits write a song called “Voice Of America”, well it comes across as a money grab for the US market. So it was no surprise the album failed commercially and the tour was pulled.

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

The Record Vault – Autograph

It pisses me off how some hard rock albums are not on Spotify. Maybe it’s an RCA label thing, or a Steve Plunkett thing, because the 80s recorded output of Autograph isn’t on the streaming service.

Autograph were either loathed or liked. There was no in between. I liked the first album and loathed the second album. I guess I fit that description.

I didn’t get their records until well into the 90s via the usual second hand record stores and record fairs.

Sign In Please

Before I dropped the needle on this, all I knew was “Turn Up The Radio” and a few interviews with Steve Lynch in the guitar mags I purchased.

Send Her To Me

Its basically a simple keyboard driven song like Night Ranger. It rocks, it’s melodic and it’s fun.

And that outro lead.

Steve Lynch starts off with a super melodic repeating lick and then he puts the pedal to the floor and shreds.

Turn Up The Radio

Again, it’s a simple riff made gold worthy by some keyboard chords over it.

And again, Lynch and his 8 fingers hammer-on technique is the star. Maybe it was a California thing as Jeff Watson also had that technique down.

Deep End

How can you not like this song?

To me, it’s got the riff which I call the “LA riff”.

But it was finally made super popular with “Fight For Your Right (To Party)” by the Beatsie Boys.

And again, Steve Lynch steals the limelight with his lead break.

Thrill Of Love

The melodic riff in the verses could have come from Vinnie Vincent, the Chorus is a let down and the lead break again steals the show.

Friday

Yep, it’s a song about the start of the weekend. It’s got that vibe and the riff reminds me of EVH merged with Loverboy.

Did I mention the lead break is fucking good?

Yeah, it’s good.

In The Night

It reminds of Kiss “Unmasked” era and I like it.

All I’m Gonna Take

The best song on the album and it’s the closer. The melodic lead is AAA and when Steve Lynch decides to burn, he burns.

“That’s The Stuff” came next and it really wasn’t the stuff, while the second track “Take No Prisoners” is a rewrite of “Turn Up The Radio” and basically this is an album that is lacking in ideas and very hard to listen to.

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

Redemption

To me, this kind of metal started with Iron Maiden. Then the shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine and Joe Satriani evolved it a litle bit more.

The “..And Justice For All” album from Metallica pushed the boundaries of metal even more with its time changes in the composition while Savatage was also pushing these metal boundaries, with “Gutter Ballet” and “Streets A Rock Opera”, metal masterpieces rooted in story-telling. In between here, you had Queensryche, who with each album kept pushing the progressive metal bar into further directions.

By the start of the 90’s, Fates Warning had morphed from a power metal act into a progressive rock one and Dream Theater changed the game even more with “Images and Words”.

And since then, progressive metal has kept on evolving. One of the most important acts in this scene is Evergrey, so it’s no surprise that Evergrey founder, singer and main songwriter Tom Englund is doing vocals here.

Some artists have a huge impact/influence on you.

For me Tom Englund is one such artist. He’s been pushing his main band “Evergrey” since they formed in Sweden in the mid 90’s and with each album they get stronger and more diverse. The last two albums, “Hymns For The Broken” and “The Storm” are excellent releases, incorporation atmospherics into their music. They are one of those bands with a cult following, and these fans have supported them into a ten album career over 20 years. And the thing with Evergrey is, they keep growing a little bit more with each release.

So I was surprised to read that Tom is doing vocals for Redemption.

I remember really digging their “The Fullness Of Time”, “The Origins Of Ruin” and “Snowfall On Judgement Day” albums, all released between 2005, 2007 and 2009 respectively. After that, they sort of dropped of my radar. I remember seeing new albums advertised, but I never got around to checking em out.

Now for people who don’t know who Redemption are, here is a quick summary.

They are a progressive metal/rock band from the US, who had vocalist Ray Adler from Fates Warning fronting them from “The Fullness Of Time” album. They’ve also had their fair share of tragedy/bad news, with founding guitarist Nick Van Dyk being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2008 a form of blood cancer considered incurable. But the metal gods are shining and he’s still rocking to this day. In 2014, co- guitarist Bernie Versailles suffered an aneurysm and he’s currently on indefinite hiatus while he continues to recover.

And here we are in 2018, with “Long Night’s Journey Into Day”. Without any disrespect to the guys in Redemption, because they had Ray Adler fronting them previously, I always said they sounded like Fates Warning on the previous album and now with Tom Englund fronting them, they sound like Evergrey. These two vocalists have a unique tone and style which will always tie them back to their main bands.

In saying all that, this is a cracking album. If it sounds like Evergrey, it’s purely coincidental due to Englund’s vocals. And I like how Englund is trying new things, outside of the Evergrey domain. It looks like he finally understands the game. Those who are not creating and releasing constantly are either calling for the old days to come back or are waiting for the telegram to arrive. Things change and that also means the record business.

Eyes You Dare Not Meet In Dreams

If you like Megadeth, (hell, Megadeth musicians always seem to make an appearance on Redemption albums) then you will like the intro riffage.

There’s a storm on the horizon
There’s a shadow on your door
There’s a sense of dread that’s rising
And it’s coming back for more

It’s ominous and of our world and of our times.

Capitalism has overthrown democracy and it’s more dangerous than communism and dictatorships. If there is a threat to a company’s profits, they will sue a sovereign state to get their way or they will scheme and pay for laws to be passed, to get there way. And politicians are all too eager to accept the lobby dollars.

The GFC happened and trillions of dollars in taxpayer bailout funds went into the economy from the Government. The people responsible for the GFC, lost nothing. They went into nice jobs with the firms that benefited from the bailouts and they went on college speaking tours. However, the middle class and the poor suffered and lost a lot. Some still haven’t recovered.

And people still haven’t moved on from then. There is a fear, an anger and a dread which is all floating in the undertow. And the politicians who are meant to represent the people have more or less disappeared. All they represent are the companies who pay the most.

The instrumental/solo section is a medley of Yngwie Malmsteen and Dream Theater and it’s a great combination in my mind.

Someone Else’s Problem

The intro riff hooks me and “The Ytse Jam” nod before the verses is a perfect tribute to their influences.

So now I’m standing in the ashes
Remembering your face
If I’m honest and don’t think too much about it
There are things that seem a challenge to replace
I know I let myself be played
Trying to fix a broken toy

Lyrically, it deals with removing yourself from a relationship which is leaching you.

I tried
But I won’t bleed for you no more
Because your someone else’s problem

And then there is another wicked instrumental/solo section.

The Echo Chamber

It has a very similar riff to “Someone Else’s Problem” which has a similar riff to “The Ytse Jam” which is very similar to.. I guess you know how it goes.

But from the minute mark, this could have come from the “Scenes From A Memory” album by Dream Theater.

You surround yourself with thinkers of your kind
Never challenging your view or opening your mind

Lyrically it deals with social media, it’s impact in our lives and how people seek out views and ideas which they agree with, even if they are crap or wrong, and shutting out any other viewpoints, even if those opposing viewpoints are true.

Impermanent

Still a part of us will fight it
Til our dying breath
Nothing can be permanent
The machines in this place will fail
The illusion of stability

Change will come. Change is inevitable. And as the chorus lyrics state, accept the tide of change or it will drag you under.

Indulge In Color

The intro is brilliant with influences ranging from Joe Satriani to Dream Theater to Fates Warning to Rush.

They must have changed the way the game is played
Or I never knew the rules
I could see the prize within my grasp
And watched it slip away from view

Yes, the rules of life change based on the companies which stand to lose the most. You see, every law and every decision made by government is based on legislation that companies lobbied hard to make happen. And by having these laws passed, the rules of the game change.

Little Men

It’s a song Metallica wishes they wrote.

The world must be so frightening to make them feel so small

You know, those little politician men who want to feel important.

Face of an arrogant man
Striving in the shadows
Cursed by his success
He tries to reinvent himself
But isn’t sure he can
So he tries to stand so tall
Because he knows he’s small

The world is full of insane people holding positions of power. Now it’s unstable, insecure rich people holding positions of power.

And Yet

I know that you were using me
I know I should have won
You consumed the very best of me

Englund delivers vocally on this ballad.

I curse myself for caring and I hate because I’m weak

It’s human nature to care. The majority of us have a heart. And then you have the others who don’t care. Like a locust swarm they come in and strip away all the essence of the crop/person before they move on. Machine Head covered this topic with their song, “Unto The Locust”.

The Last Of Me

We have reached a point in life
Where it takes more than it gives

It’s a shame that for the majority of people, life has become about taking more than they give. There is no balance. We might see on the news, people rallying to give help to others in a time of need or a disaster, but what happens in between these events.

How are they helping each other?

People used to have veggie patch gardens and they would share what they grew with others in the street. Why let it go to waste? But people had to know each other in the street to share. These days, I am pretty sure if I ask people to name the people who live in their street, they wouldn’t be able to.

New Year’s Day

This is a cool U2 cover and hearing Englund do his take on Bono’s melodies is totally worth it.

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers say it’s true
It’s true
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one.

Eastern Europe was under communism. The governments controlled the media. So they showed what they wanted to show and they printed what they wanted to print. As the lyrics state, if the newspapers say it’s true, it must be true.

I read somewhere about how the song’s lyrics deal with the 1980 demonstrations in Poland against oppressive and how the people demonstrating got arrested and put in jail.

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