Ritual de lo Habitual: Alive at 25 – JANE'S ADDICTION

As a prelude to the band’s new live anniversary package, “Ritual de lo Habitual: Alive at 25”, Perry Farrell speaks of JANE’S ADDICTION playing at a crazed tilt in 1991. He equates the experience viscerally to a pair of boxers not merely dancing and baiting, but going full throttle, in one another’s faces and those of everyone absorbing their slugfest. The potential stuff of legend, moments, as Farrell conveys it, that make you reminisce with privilege years later about having been there. Don’t look now Generation Y, but you’re rapidly assimilating into the nostalgic ranks of those before you. PEARL … Continue reading

Under Cöver – MOTÖRHEAD

Cover albums dropped during a career are often dubious contract fillers, though the exceptions can be downright glorious. THE RAMONES‘s “Acid Eaters” being one case, SLAYER‘s “Undisputed Attitude”, SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES‘s “Through the Looking Glass” and BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME‘s “The Anatomy Of” being others. What those ageless wonders the THE ROLLING STONES‘s did on its stunning 2016 album, “Blue & Lonesome”, defies all odds. Cover albums dropped following the passing of a legend, well, they are going to have both its supporters and detractors. Yes, there’s a morbid, sentimental fascination in hearing one of the late Lemmy … Continue reading

The Rise of Chaos – ACCEPT

One of metal’s most enduring tropes is devastation. While much of this horror and calamity is figuratively conveyed through bombastic, guitar and drum-driven textures, metal historically tends to hold an ugly reflection against what’s happening in the world. Two notable past metal classics were released during the first Bush administration, particularly its affiliated desert conflicts and brittle political affairs. MINISTRY‘s “New World Order” and MEGADETH‘s “Symphony of Destruction” carried warnings of communal collapse and global annihilation. Hell, while we’re at it with MEGADETH, we can add “Holy Wars…the Punishment Due”. ACCEPT, which has weathered and won the day amidst its … Continue reading

Paranormal – ALICE COOPER

Alice Cooper‘s first studio release in six years shares many of the same elements as 2011’s “Welcome 2 My Nightmare”, which was a reimagination of Alice‘s first solo effort, 1975’s “Welcome to My Nightmare”. The album was intended as a collection of standalone songs to contrast with the previous “concept” offering, and on it, original ALICE COOPER group producer Bob Ezrin once again returns. In addition to production and assorted collaborative duties, Ezrin serves as co-songwriter and instrumentalist. “Paranormal” also echoes “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” with a long list of musicians, songwriters and special guests. The only member of Cooper‘s … Continue reading

The Solace System – EPICA

If you’ve been following this act since “The Phantom Agony” and “Consign to Oblivion”, you’ll attest to how greatly the band has matured. It’s been a joy watching EPICA not merely stand toe-to-toe against anyone within its symphonic metal ranks, but prove to be a viable leader. The core team—Simone Simons, Mark Jansen and Coen Janssen (and drummer/vocalist Arien van Weesenbeek, who has been around since 2007)—remain from the band’s formative years, and EPICA‘s graduating accomplishments are remarkable. The band has even hosted its own power prog gathering, 2015’s “Epic Metal Fest”. Suffice it to say EPICA has come into … Continue reading

Add Violence – NINE INCH NAILS

Many have been eagerly awaiting “Add Violence” since Trent Reznor said we should expect a trilogy of Eps; the first, “Not the Actual Events”, surfaced in December of 2016. Though Reznor is the infamous heart and soul of NINE INCH NAILS, he is rejoined by his longtime collaborator/cowriter Atticus Ross, the duo has worked on NINE INCH NAILS material as well as various movie soundtracks. Having performed on a recent episode of the highly popular “Twin Peaks” revival, NINE INCH NAILS might be reaching deep into the collective cultural consciousness yet again. Considering his bold and fearless willingness to wander … Continue reading

Red Hands Black Deeds – SHAMAN'S HARVEST

Jefferson City, Missouri’s SHAMAN’S HARVEST has already dipped its toes in the ocean of commercial success, most notably with “Dragonfly” from 2009’s “Shine”. The group has the right sound and style at the right time rendering them fit to capitalize and ride that wave. The band’s sixth full-length album, “Red Hands Black Deeds”, exists at the point of a Venn diagram where fans of contemporary hard rock, pop music and modern country circles overlap. (The group isn’t country per se, but there are a few overt flirtations with country, namely “Off The Tracks”, in addition to obvious traces of Southern … Continue reading

GENE SIMMONS On KISS Turning Down TRUMP's Inauguration: 'In This Polarizing Era, It's Not A Good Idea'

Gene Simmons has confirmed that KISS was inivited to perform at Donald Trump‘s inauguration but turned it down because it was “not a good idea.” It was Gene‘s wife Shannon Tweed that originally revealed Trump‘s camp approached Simmons and his bandmates about participating, telling a TMZ cameraman last December that the KISS bassist/vocalist “politely declined.” Asked in a new interview with The Daily Beast if Shannon was correct in saying that KISS was asked to appear at the January event, Gene said: “That’s true. We were invited to perform, but in this polarizing era, it’s not a good idea.” Simmons … Continue reading

FOO FIGHTERS Top Billboard Chart With 'Concrete And Gold'

According to Billboard, FOO FIGHTERS‘ new album, “Concrete And Gold”, moved 127,000 equivalent album units in first week of release to debut at position No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Of that sum, 120,000 were in traditional album sales, which also makes the effort the top-selling album of the week. The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). FOO FIGHTERS previously topped the chart in 2011 with “Wasting Light”. Seven of the band’s albums have landed in … Continue reading

STRYPER Frontman To NFL Players: 'Play Ball And Do The Job That You Get Paid Millions Of Dollars To Do'

STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet has seemingly expressed his support for President Donald Trump‘s criticism of NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick and dozens of other athletes who have protested police shootings by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games. On Saturday, Trump reiterated what he said at a rally in Alabama the previous night — that NFL players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired, and called on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to tell them to stand. The controversy started simmering over a year ago when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was … Continue reading