Archive for October, 2010

Napalm Death – Scum

Posted in Metal on October 30, 2010 by evilpacman18

Grindcore; 1987

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^My own upload

In between Side A and Side B on this album, Napalm Death went through a roster change with the drummer being the only person to play on both sides. It results in two very different sides. Most people will tell you Side A is better. I prefer Side B. Probably because of Portal. Side A has some melodies in it that actually make sense. Side B doesn’t.

I just did some math. Pseudo Youth (Side B) has the drummer doing a beat count at the start. I timed that beat count. It came up to .49 of a second for all 4 beats. Rounding that to .5, it’s 8 beats a second which is 480 bpm. That’s ridiculous but I guess it explains why only 2 of the 28 songs on this album are longer than 1:50 and only 8 are longer than 1:30. It also explains why they were able to cram a bass intro, a verse, a bridge, and a guitar solo into the 22 second track Parasites.

Anyway back to what I was saying, another main difference in the two sides is the vocal style. Side A has Nik Napalm doing vocals. He’s got a very gruff growl whereas Lee Dorian on Side B has a gruff deep growl AND a very entertaining high-pitched growl that’s much better than anything Nik Napalm does.

The production on this album is so bad there’s no way it’s unintentional. A lot of the melodies that could have been, especially in Side B tracks like Deceiver, are  thrown out by the production that sort of just blurs everything together. It really makes the drummer sound better than he is I think. He sounds like he’s got about 5 arms in his spasm thing at around 0:34 of Caught… in a Dream. It’s pretty cool.

Another thing about Scum, it’s very ahead of its time.  It’s hard to believe anybody was ready for this in 1987, before Metallica had even released …And Justice for All. It’s credited with creating grindcore which is possibly the most overhated Metal genre.

You Suffer is the most popular song on this album. It holds the world record for shortest song ever at 1.316 seconds.

1. Multinational Corporations
2. Instinct of Survival
3. The Kill
4. Scum
5. Caught… In a Dream
6. Polluted Minds
7. Sacrificed
8. Siege of Power
9. Control
10. Born on Your Knees
11. Human Garbage
12. You Suffer

13. Life?
14. Prison Without Walls
15. Point of No Return
16. Negative Approach
17. Success?
18. Deceiver
19. C.S.
20. Parasites
21. Pseudo Youth
22. Divine Death
23. As the Machine Rolls On
24. Common Enemy
25. Moral Crusade
26. Stigmatized
27. M.A.D.
28. Dragnet

Stand-out tracks:
Life?
Parasites
Siege of Power

-Jerry

Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music

Posted in Experimental/Avant-garde on October 25, 2010 by evilpacman18

Noise; 1975

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^Now my own upload. The original link I gave was broken, apparently.

According to the allmusic review of this album (the reviewer gave it one star out of five), Lou Reed said “Well, anyone who gets to side four is dumber than I am.” That’s probably because this is over an hour long of NOTHING but random noises from a guitar. This isn’t music, this is pure noise and nothing more. There’s no melodies, no time signatures, no structure, no emotion, etc. Everything that music is made of is totally absent on this album.

“The album made Reed a laughing stock in the rock industry…” according to Wikipedia. I can see why. In case you didn’t know, Lou Reed is the only person in The Velvet Underground whose name is worth knowing.  “The Velvet Underground & Nico” their debut album, is considered one of the first and most influential Avant-garde Rock albums. So yeah, Lou Reed was pretty respected before this. He was already known as experimental but this is going a bit overboard.

Now then. NOT SAYING IT’S BAD! It’s actually really interesting. Good luck getting through the whole thing in one listen without your ears beginning to bleed but if this whole thing could be condensed into less than 5 minutes as a single track on an album where the other songs weren’t as jarring, it would possibly be one of the better tracks on the album. This is good stuff, it’s just too long, too senseless, and too random to be a whole hour+ long album.

Reviewing this album was suggested by Distance Equals Rape Times Crime.

1. Metal Machine Music Part 1
2. Metal Machine Music Part 2
3. Metal Machine Music Part 3
4. Metal Machine Music Part 4

Stand-out tracks:
It’s pretty impossible to differentiate between them.

-Jerry

Quick update

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 by evilpacman18

I just went through the comment settings. I’ve made it so that you no longer need to have your comment approved by me for it to be posted and you no longer have to put in your name and e-mail to post. I’m the only person who sees the e-mail addresses people put in though and it’s not like I’m gonna give out your address to spambots :p So whenever you leave a comment, I would recommend you leave your e-mail address and check the box that says “notify me if I receive follow-up comments” or something like that so you don’t leave a post and think you never got a response.

I still gotta get that Sisqo album up, along with an album by Toxik, Fashawn, Napalm Death, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Fruit Bats, Beware of Safety, maybe Ahab, etc. I’m sure I won’t post every one of those bands but that’s what I’m thinking about doing right now. I’ll be posting Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed later tonight, I got a request for it in the comments.

That is all.

-Jerry

Bill Withers – Still Bill

Posted in R&B/Soul/Funk on October 21, 2010 by evilpacman18

Soul; 1972

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Look at those sideburns.

Everybody’s heard Lean on Me. “We all need somebody… to leeeeeeeean ooooon.” Yeah that one. That’s this guy. Apparently another song on this album, Use Me, was also a major hit. Would you believe me if I told you Lean on Me isn’t the best song on this album? It actually ranks fourth in my opinion. This album has mostly really funky, guitar-driven instrumentals with some really cool solos (I love the whistle solo in Kissin’ My Love) and then maybe 2 or 3 of the tracks, including Lean on Me, are really slow more piano or keyboard-driven songs that I don’t feel are as good as the really funky stuff.

I don’t think his voice stands out too much, I wouldn’t say he’s an amazing singer. He has a GREAT voice though. Surprisingly for a Soul album, I think the high point of this album is the compositions, which Withers wrote himself. Every riff on this album is fantastic.

1. Lonely Town, Lonely Street
2. Let Me in Your Life
3. Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?
4. Use Me
5. Lean on Me
6. Kissin’ My Love
7. I Don’t Know
8. Another Day to Run
9. I Don’t Want You on My Mind
10. Take It All in and Check It All Out

Stand-out tracks:
Who Is He
Use Me
I Don’t Want You on My Mind

-Jerry

Hella – Hold Your Horse Is

Posted in Rock on October 20, 2010 by evilpacman18

Math Rock; 2002

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^My own upload.

WARNING: IF YOU TRY TO FIGURE OUT THE TIME SIGNATURE TO ANY OF THE SONGS ON THIS ALBUM, YOUR HEAD WILL EXPLODE.

Not even kidding.

Math Rock is one of those genres that not too many people have heard of, but it’s still better than everything else. This is another instrumental album. Hella is composed of Spencer Seim (guitars, production) and Zach Hill (drums, percussion). Zach hasn’t replaced Steve Shelton at the top of my favorite drummers ranking, but he passed up Dave Lombardo at second by a mile. And I’m pretty sure he’s the most talented drummer I’ve ever heard. Shelton outmatches Hill on rhythm but can’t come close to Hill’s speed. How fast Hill is able to play and how technically is ridiculous.

Spencer Seim shouldn’t get ignored either. His sense of rhythm is as good as any drummer’s and he does something with his guitar that makes it sound like he’s playing guitar and bass simultaneously. And it’s not just the production, he does it live.

I’m curious about how they even began writing any of these songs. It’s really… I mean, it’s insanity that they’re able to compose something this unthinkably complex and then play it so flawlessly as they do. They’re so in sync, even in the many sections where they’re kind of each doing their own thing, they just stay perfectly together.

1. The D. Elkan
2. Biblical Violence (my download link has the first two as one track)
3. Been a Long Time Cousin
4. Republic of Rough and Ready
5. 1-800-GHOST-DANCE
6. Brown Metal
7. Cafeteria Bananas
8. City Folk Sitting, Sitting
9. Better Get a Broom!

Stand-out tracks:
Biblical Violence (I’ll be surprised if somebody doesn’t listen to this three times in a row after hearing it once)
Cafeteria Bananas
1-800-GHOST-DANCE

-Jerry

Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III)

Posted in Pop on October 16, 2010 by evilpacman18

Pop; 2010

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Other person: WHAT?! POP?!?!?! I’M NEVER COMING BACK TO THIS BLOG AGAIN!!
Me: No wait! It’s Prog-Pop!
Other person: What is that even possible?
Me: No, but you’re interested now aren’t you?
-At this point, other person begins to read the review-

This is an 18 song concept album. It’s actually part of a… quadlogy? It’s a 4-suite story in 3 releases. Suite 1 is her debut EP, Metropolis, suites 2 and 3 are this album, and suite 4 will be another EP IIRC. This isn’t your average Pop music, I’m really surprised she’s been getting radio play. Since I’m too lazy to type up an original summary, here’s it copied from Wikipedia. “…the series involves the fictional tale of Cindi Mayweather, a messianic android sent back in time to free the citizens of Metropolis from The Great Divide, a secret society that uses time-travel to suppress freedom and love.”

This album has… wait for it… LIVE INSTRUMENTATION! Where’s your argument now, metalheads? The album has its fair share of produced beat but for the most part it’s live instrumentation. There’s some really awesome bass lines in some of the songs, especially Come Alive, which also has a good-sounding guitar solo, and Dance or Die. I’m generally not a fan of female singers but Ms. Monáe’s voice is so perfect. She can REALLY sing. You can hear her best singing on Tightrope and Oh, Maker.

There’s two singles, Tightrope feat. Big Boi and Cold War. They’re not dumbed down nor do they try to appeal to the general public any more than any of the other tracks on the album. I’m very surprised she’s getting radio play, I wouldn’t call this very accessible. I’m glad though. I think she’s a sort of “ray of hope” for mainstream Pop music. It’s not all crap like people will have you think.

1. Suite II Overture
2. Dance or Die
3. Faster
4. Locked Inside
5. Sir Greendown
6. Cold War
7. Tightrope feat. Big Boi
8. Neon Gumbo
9. Oh, Maker
10. Come Alive (War of the Roses)
11. Mushrooms & Roses
12. Suite III Overture
13. Neon Valley Street
14. Make the Bus feat. Of Montreal
15. Wondaland
16. 57821 feat. Deep Cotton
17. Say You’ll Go
18. BabopbyeYa

Stand-out tracks:
Dance or Die/Faster (must be listened to together)
BabopbyeYa
Come Alive

-Jerry

NoCanDo – Walk the Void

Posted in Hip-Hop on October 13, 2010 by evilpacman18

Hip-Hop; 2006

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NoCanDo is another West Coast rapper. It has the best underground scene hands-down imo. NoCanDo is a battle rapper at heart and a lot of the time they
1. Have no flow
2. Don’t even sound like they belong on beats.

He doesn’t have either of those problems. His flow is just fine. I’m not about to say it’s amazing, it’s not. I’m not one for amazing flow anyway. I like rhymes and content. They’re both there in full-force.
“Why stay sober I want my eyes glazed over/with the ineffective effort to bring Friday closer” he raps in Pagan. As for content, Go Getter is about how his relationship with an underage girl (it’s not the only mention of underage girls on the album, see Come to a Show) ended abruptly so he went and got drunk then went home with this real easy girl (“my hat couldn’t come off as quick as her top”) who thought he was Busdriver. They have similar hair.

A lot of the lyrics are pretty funny. Especially P.C.A., a song about all the ways to crash a party. The production is AMAZING, except for This Stereo which is a clever concept-production that just went terribly wrong and is nothing but annoying. Nothing to worry about though, it’s over in a minute.

1. This Stereo
2. Pagan
3. Don’t Dance
4. Go Getter
5. A.S.S.
6. Come to a Show
7. Been So Long
8. 9MM Lullabye
9. P.C.A.
10. Gutts

Stand-out Tracks
P.C.A.
Go Getter
Pagan

-Jerry