What do you think of these?

Posted: April 3, 2014 in Jack White, New, Rock

So, I’m not sure how I feel about some new music. I want to like them, but I am not that into them. For both, there is just something missing. They are both decent rock, but to me, something is lacking.

First, Jack White’s new song, “High Ball Stepper.” No lyrics, which threw me off at first as it seems to me its just one giant intro to a song that never comes. Much more rock than his last stuff, very….Jack White and eccentric, but to me something is just missing. I’ll be interested to hear the rest of the album. You never really know with him.


Second, a band I heard on the radio. I know, the actual radio. A two piece British rock band. I like the drums, not a huge fan of the vocals. Again, I want to like it, but to me, there’s just something missing…and its not the bass. There are some good riffs, but I’m not a fan of the slow/mellow verse. I checked out some of their other stuff and its not bad. Again, I want to like it, but the vocals don’t do it for me. It reminds me of Muse, who I am also not a fan of. The vocals need more…..more force, more singing from the diaphragm. Again, I think the drummer is good and gives it a good driving force, while also having that good dragging beat. Oh, the band is Royal Blood, here is the song I heard on the radio “Out of the black.”


You know, while I’m at it, how about a third. A metal supergroup I read about last night. Members of Dillinger Escape Plan, Sepultura, Mastodon and the Mars Volta. They came together to form Killer be Killed. This one is a bit heavier than the last two. As with the other two, I wanted to like this, and there are some catchy parts to it. But, something is missing. I like the bassist from Mastodon’s vocals (the first you hear), and I like the catchy part (I think its the guy from the Dillinger Escape Plan), but some of it seems forced. Trying too hard. It is surprising, given the heaviness of the respective bands (the Mars Volta aside) how catchy these songs are (there’s two in this clip).


So, there you go. At least there is some guitar driven music, but it still leaves me wanting something more. Would I spend my money on any of these? Probably not. I’ll listen to them on youtube until the novelty wears off. Enjoy.


Name that tune.

Posted: January 29, 2014 in New, Rock

Well, its winter. And I am getting cabin fever…..bad. To add insult to injury, I feel there is a COMPLETE lack of any good music. I thought the internet was suppose to make music more accessible. Instead, I fear it is making it harder to find new music, without spending hours upon hours traveling down the rabbit hole to find something half way decent. Radio barely plays new bands. But, I did happen across a new song the other morning. Not a new band, as I’ve known about this band for a bit. They’re earlier stuff was ok, but I saw the video for this song on Palladia the other morning, and its not bad. However as I listened to it, I realized why I liked it, the ‘chorus’ part of the song sounded familiar. It took me about a day to figure it out, but I finally realized what song it songs like, almost a little too similar.

The band is, Band of Skulls, and here is the song. At first I was a bit happy, I thought okay, maybe some new decent rock. Its not a bad song. But, now that I know what song it sounds almost exactly like, I can’t get the other out of my head. Lets see if you can figure out what other song I am thinking of, I’ll give you a hint, the first time they play the riff I’m thinking about is around 1:01. The other parts of the song that remind me of other bands that I can’t think of, so I’ll be interested to see what you think.


Posted: December 10, 2013 in Forgotten, Uncategorized

One of the better and less well known Black Sabbath songs. Also fitting for the recent weather here.

The nineties.

Posted: November 24, 2013 in 90's, Post-hardcore, Uncategorized

I’ve been thinking a lot about the music of the nineties. It was good. I miss it. There was good rock. There was angry music. There was integrity. I may do a series of posts on music from the 90’s, depends how busy things get. But, as I sit here and try to work on a paper that is now 3 years old, I turned to yourtube for a distraction. In this post I’m going to focus on one of my favorite things from 90’s music, the post-hardcore staccato.


In the 90’s there seemed to be a lot of bands that had these very staccato rhythms, ending abruptly, not much flair from the drums, simple, technical and driving. Some bands did it better than others. Helmet is probably the best example. Clutch used to fit into this category. And there were a myriad of others. There was also a clear presence of the bass, the nineties had some good bass. The bass seems to slowly be going the way of the buffalo in rock music. Its still there, but not like in the 90’s.

So, on this cold windy Sunday, lets take a trip back down memory lane to the 90’s.

The first video is for Pete. A week or so ago when I was running, I couldn’t think of the name of this band for the life of me. Then, somewhere on the trail it hit me. Stompbox. I knew it started with an ‘S’, and I kept running through words. In the post-hardcore world of the 90’s, these guys were a one hit wonder. I think I had the album on tape. Pete and I went to see them, and there was literally 12 people in the audience. It was awkward when we left early, probably because we had school the next day. I think we were in high school and our ride was there, so we were probably to young to drive. This is the only song I remember from them and in hindsight, they sound like Helmet and White Zombie had a baby.

Oh, I just thought of another, and this one too is for Pete, for we saw them when we saw Clutch for the first time when we were….15? Just babies. I heard this song a few years ago at a bar playing pool in Davis, CA. What a flash back. Still a good song. Prong: ‘Snap your fingers, snap your neck.’ You don’t hear bass like this in music today, at least not that I’m aware of. Not really post-hardcore, more industrial metal, but who’s keeping track anyway? This song might also be in my running for best random scream in a song. Also as an FYI, Tommy Victor (singer) often plays guitar in Ministry; and on keyboards I think is Rhys Fulber who has worked with Fear Factory. Ah, the collaborations of the 90’s.

How about one more? Lets end with one from Helmet, who I think epitomized this music style. Sure Page Hamilton couldn’t really sing, but they’re drummer (John Stainer, who is from Baltimore apparently) is one of my favorites. He plays in Tomahawk now, and I’ve always liked his very solid, staccato, technical drumming. Not a lot of flair, but he constantly has this driving beat, feeling like its pushing the music along. Here’s one off the album ‘Betty’ from (I think) 1996. And again, you can hear the bass.

Ah, the 90’s. Maybe its because its the decade when I was teen, so it was the most influential on me, but there was a lot of good music. I’m sure I’ll post more. Back to trying to write.

Getting me through the grading

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Discovered, New, Punk, Random

I heard this on the internet radio today. Actually I’ve heard this band before, Alt-J, ¬†and they’re ok, but I like this song (Fitzpleasure). I’ve also liked the lower register on the keyboard, music scale, etc. and this song uses it extensivley, so that’s probably why I like it. I listened to some of their other stuff, its interesting. Not sure how to describe their music. Mellow, lots of harmonies, non-sensical words (sort of like the ramblings of this post), but this song is getting me through the last bit of grading I have. Here is a live version.


While I’m at it, I woke up with this in my head.


And after watching the movie CBGB, I realized The Dead Boys sang sonic reducer. I never knew who sang it originally. But here it is. Did someone cover this? I’ll look it up. Lets go with the live version from 1977 at CBGBs.

The good thing about traffic….

Posted: September 18, 2013 in New, Pearl Jam

….Well nothing. And it has been bad here. But, this morning as I was sitting there staring at the car in front of me I got a pleasant surprise, a new song, but an old band. I heard this song, and liked it, upbeat, good vocals, it has almost an old school punk throwback feel. I can imagine it in a skateboarding video game. I sort of recognized the vocals. I thought, this sounds like Pearl Jam. But then I thought, no this can’t be Pearl Jam, the music isn’t them at all. But, low and behold the HD radio came through and told me it WAS Pearl Jam. Apparently a new song off an upcoming album. I have always had mixed feelings about Pearl Jam, some of their stuff I like, some I flat out don’t. This is one of their best in my opinion. Eddie Vedder has a great voice, I just don’t like the slower stuff. They should do more songs like this, fast paced rock songs. I’ll be interested to hear what this new album sounds like. In the meantime, enjoy this new song.

Edit: Motorhead, that’s what it reminds me of. I saw that on the comments of the youtube video.

Pearl Jam: Mind your Manners

Analog versus Digital

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

If you have the music channel Palladia, check out the movie they started showing called Sound City. Its done by Dave Grohl and starts off highlighting the recording studio Sound City outside of LA. It then goes into the whole analog versus digital debate. I’m on the analog side, plug in, hit record, play. The subtle mistakes are what make it real. One of my favorite examples of this is the Misfits “Walk Among Us” album, its not perfect, but that’s part of what makes it, especially in the vocals. I digress, Sound City is a good documentary and features people from Stevie Nicks to Lee Ving of Fear, all who recorded at Sound City. Apparently, thanks to pro-tools, it closed, but Dave Grohl bought the mixing board, which has its own part in the documentary. Its an analog mixing board, and contributed to the sound of the artists (first thing recored on it, Buckinham and Nicks). So, he got a bunch of musicians together and recorded an album on it, in his studio. Here is a link to the the entire album they did. I’m giving it a full listen as I make a lecture on the arteries and veins. So far not bad, great sound. Favorites so far, the song with Rick Springfield (yup ‘Jesse’s Girl Rick Springfield, he got his start at Sound City) and the one with Lee Ving. At another date I’ll get into the analog versus digital argument more. In the meantime, enjoy!