Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The other "C Word"

Can anyone else relate with me here? There are many popular songs out there which are sold to us in various different ways, but I will only purchase them the traditional and correct way. By buying the full album. I want to experience every track a band has to offer, to experience their full range of musical abilities. I will never buy a single, unless the song is avaliable only on a single and I very much disagree with the modern trend of purchasing one track from an album and sticking with it, then repeating it endlessly. It's something I used to do, always, often because I had heard a song on a video game - often Burnout 3, Tony Hawk's Underground 2, the rock music section of Midnight Club 3 on PSP and many more - until I realised just how incomplete and unsatisfying it seemed. I have since completed almost all of these albums, and I have gained many new songs I could refer to as favourites as a result.
Though I would never now buy a single or a lone track from an album, it's clear from personal experience that it's gotten people more into bands and encouraged the purchasing of entire albums. However, the other way in which music is sold to us, I simply despise. It is a way is which music is sold without any passion and are created with the presumption that any idiot will pick it up and make the record companies a little richer. It is a word that in the world of music, I view as a swear word. And that word, my friends is: Compilation.
Yes, I can't stand the endless stream of compliation albums that are presented to us, wether it be to present a collection of popular rock songs, or to have a collection  of songs hopelessly linked together by some ridiculous theme. I view them as being annoying and unnecesarry. This is why:
The collection of songs is awful. Many compilation albums are put together to be aimed succesfully at the general British public. And it is quite clear that these groups putting the albums together view us as a group of morons. According to them, the British public are crazy for groups who were at their most popular in the 1980s and that includes one hit wonders, or cheap sounding pop tunes from the safest and most dull boy/girl-bands. We seem to all be loving people who stay by eachother and do family things, have a painfully simple sense of humour and like our music to be all fuzzy and poppy, which we often know because we heard the song in an TV show or advert. It's humiliating. As a consequence, we are presented with compilation albums with songs that supposedly link together and are songs to listen to for some mundane theme and is filled with god awful songs, which allow middle aged parents to get all nostalgic and allow their children to empbrace the fuzzy safe crappiness the compilation has to offer.
Many compilations feature songs that should not be put together. It's very sad because I often see tracks by Queen, once of the most powerful and legendary bands in the world, who have left a grand and influencial legacy on the world of rock music, loaded onto these horrible collections, surrrounded by horrible 1980's acts like Bananarama and Spandau Ballet. Queen's music surely does not deserve to be degraded like this.
Themes are created which I cannot agree with. These companies responsible for these compilations think they can create a collection that everyone will take to fondly. This is clearly bullshit, these CD's cannot impress everyone, so let's use myself as an example. There is a compilation album lying around in my house somewhere called something like "101 Hits of the 80s". it claimed to contain all the greateset hits from the 1980's, yet at no point did "Master of Puppets" or "Angel of Death" make an appearance. I found another one of these collections "101 Running Songs", a theme that is ludicrous to base a collection of songs on, which featured "How to Save a Life" by The Fray. How on earth is that a running song? It's slow and bleak sounding. That, to me is not a suitable running song and I know I'm not the only one who thinks this, but the selection of tracks on the whole album are not tracks with which I can agree are good running songs, because for me, a good running song would be something like "Clouds Over California" by DevilDriver.
Only radio edits of songs will appear on these albums. As I have said, the majority of compilation wish to keep things fuzzy and safe, therefore many songs will be shortened and swear words will be censored. It's probably why I never see any favourite bands of mine, as they are often anti-censorship and good on them for expressing their wish for freedom. Other artists will just be desperate to have their music flogged around the place as possible, so will make any possible sacrafice to their song they can. It's probably why the majority of music on these albums to be absolutley awful.
Since I often do shuffle songs, it's been argued before that compilations should be perfect for me, but this is absolutely not the case. Though I don't always listen to an album as a whole, I always want top own every track from the album to experience the full range of music a band has to offer, and if that makes me sound like some obsessive collector, then I will gladly take on that title. The compilation albums I have seen released over the years are nothing but a pitifully predictable collection of awful songs aimed at idiotic, middle aged fools who try to cling onto the past. And my mum. But she's different. I think the best way to top things off is to say that compilation albums represent everything I hate about music marketing and their mass popularity seems to show a worrying sign about the world in which I live. Basically, I'm surrounded by idiots.

Monday, 27 June 2011

My first album review: Kaiser Chiefs - The Future is Medieval

Yes, it's about time that I begin doing some real music magazine type work by reviewing a new album and what better album to take a look at than "The Future is Medieval", the fourth offering from everyone's favourite bunch of cynics, the Kaiser Chiefs?
Actually there is a few since I dream of working for K! who have never touched that group, but hey, I've been a  long time fan since fist hearing "I Predict a Riot", so I had to get a hold of this album and see what I thought of it.
On the whole, I was very impressed. Their three year hiatus has clearly given them an opportunity to create something quite different to what the general public have gotten to know them for. And while the band do make occasional use of chart-friendly indie pop techniques, The track "Things Change" being a good example, it is more mixed in with a New Wave sound, due to their experimental and effective uses of keyboards and electronic synthesizers. As a result, many tracks are reminiscent of the work of Kasabian on their self-titled debut, such as the surreal "Man on Mars" and the slow paced electronica of "Out of Focus". Elements of New Wave can also be seen the ska-ish sound of "Coming Up for Air" and the gothic bonus track "City". Frequent use of distorted guitar introduces elements of noise rock onto "The Future is Medieval" best seen in tracks like "Little Shocks" and "Starts with Nothing" as well as "Dead or In Serious Trouble" which reminded me of a fuzz-rock version of Biffy Clyro's "The Captain".
Some tracks stood in in their unexpectedness. Though I should have expected a track like "Heard it Break" on a New Wave inspired album, I was not imaging a genuine dance-rock sound. The bizarre keyboard and synth usage of the tracks reminds me of the backing music to a song one may find on Panic! At the Disco's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, without any use of guitars or actual drums. Looking at past Kaiser Chiefs albums, I should have also expected the acoustic, folk rock love song "If You Will Have Me", which is not so spectacular as acoustic ballads go.
Overall, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the Kaiser Chief's latest offering. It was more experimental than previous efforts and is also pretty fun to listen to, due to the sheer catchiness that can be felt from almost all the tracks. Also, it's an alternative rock album, that occasionally gets a bit heavy. So what's not to like about it? The medieval times seemed to bleak and dark, but I would say the future of the Kaiser Chiefs is looking in the opposite way.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Blink-182 - What is your problem?

A recent post from Blink-182 bassist and vocalist, Mark Hoppus has revealed that the Californian pop-punk trio are near completion of their as-of-yet untitled new album. Hoppus states that the band are "getting to the point where we talk about mixers and finishing up songs." It's exciting news, obviously as I do love Blink-182 and am looking forward to seeing a new album, following an eight year gap. But wait a minute, haven't we been seeing this post every fortnight for the past five months?
Yes, as happy as I am about this album being made, I can't help but feel that Blink are ever so slightly screwing their fans over in almost everything they do. They release constant statements of how close their new abum is to completion, and act in absolute devotion  to the making of this album, then continue to act in a way to suggest a lack of progress being made. For example, they say that this album has been in the making for the past three years, since the band chose to reform following drummer, Travis Barker's plane crash, however it seems like they've taken more of a rushed approach to making the album in the past few months. Well what were they doing over the past three years?
A better example of the how they have screwed their fans over is in the way that they clearly dissapointed their masses of UK fans when cancelling all their summer tour dates in the UK, postponing them until 2012. This included pulling out of their massive headlining slot at this years T in the Park festival, resulting in them being replaced by my most hated band, The Arctic Monkeys. Hoppus claimed this was because they wanted to spend more time on finishing the album, and that they wanted to have more time for tracks from their new album to be known by the public so they could be sung along to at concerts. Following this, the band then commited the biggest act of hypocrisy I've seen for a while. A few weeks later they announced they would be touring the United States with My Chemical Romance, aas part of the Honda Civic tour. That doesn't suggest progress on making an album to me.
So yes, it's obvious that Blink-182 have been taking the piss out of their fans, especially in the UK and I can only hope they realise that they pretty much need to make this generation's "Back in Black" if they are to gain any forgiveness. For all they have done, and in all the ways they have screwed their fans the way they have, they have to come back after eight years with the greatest album man has ever heard.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

20th Anniversary reissue of "Nevermind". Really?

This September, I think we may be able to create a new alternative to renewable energy. The solution is simple. We did up Kurt Cobain's grave, then when Nirvana's classic album "Nevermind" is reissued to celebrate its 20th anniversary, with a 4-CD set, including previously unreleased tracks, rarities, BBC session recordings and B-sides, as well as a DVD featuring unseen footage of the band in concert, Cobain will spin in his grave uncontrollably. At this point we attach generators to Kurt, and hey presto! Infinite energy! God, I'm sick.
Seriously, I love "Nevermind" and all, but it seems surprising that the remaining band members would allow the album to be honoured in this way. When I listen to tracks from "Nevermind", particularly "Smells Like Teen Spirit", as much as I enjoy it, I can't help but feel a morsel of guilt for doing so. It's because I'm fully aware that "Nevermind" is basically responsible for ruining Kurt Cobain's life, with tracks like "Teen Spirit" and "Lithium" becoming anthems for a generation for misunderstood teenagers and giving Cobain the position of a leader of this generation. A position that he was clearly not willing to take. Cobain did not take well from the amount of fame he received from the album and it's evident that it gave a perception of him and Nirvana to the public that he was not keen on having. Nirvana was presented as a band who just made popular radio-friendly Alternative Rock. An image they had a go at destroying on 1993's "In Utero" with tracks like "Milk It" and "Tourette's". "Nevermind" can also be seen in this way, as it's been claimed that it has been an influence towards many bands who I just know Kurt would have detested. Maroon 5 being a good example. So as I say, I feel a little guilty whenever I listen to anything from Nevermind, as I know it's from the album that turned Nirvana into reluctant superstars and led to Kurt Cobain's heroin addiction, morbid depression and suicide in 1994, causing an increase of sales of "Nevermind", a cause he was most likely trying to prevent.
Perhaps all the extra material to come with the albums reissue will do more to take away Nirvana's radio friendly image. For all we know, the disc of unreleased tracks may be tracks deemed unsuitable for "Nevermind" and are more like songs found on "In Utero" and the live DVD is most likely to include the bands infamous refusal to play "Teen Spirit" onstage. Speaking of which, though the BBC recording Sessions ought to be interesting, I imagine I'm not the only one who associates Nirvana's appearances on the BBC with this:

In spite of all that was caused by the album, I cannot possibly deny that it is a great collection of Alternative Rock. I guess for this re-issue, we will have to focus our attention away from the artists, and focus on the masterpiece that is, "Nevermind" itself.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Chimaira - "Trigger Finger" and "Born in Blood"

It seems that just an hour ago, another favourite band of mine, Chimaira have made the singles "Trigger Finger" and "Born in Blood" from their soon to be released album "The Age of Hell" available for purchase. While I plan on waiting for the album itself to get my hands on these songs, I have had a good listen to them, and they make me very excited for the 17th of August.
Both songs feature the anger-fueled metalcore that I fell in love with on "Resurrection" and has pretty much come to define the group. "Trigger Finger" begins with a very tense buildup into the main riff, which creates a feeling of suspense which makes listeners, me certainly, very excited for what's to come next. Once the main riff does kick in, during the first verse, you have no choice but to headbang in the slowly, but powerfully. The best way to headbang. Played in a slower pace, the song packs a powerful punch and is simply great to just lose your head to.
"Born in Blood" gives a better view of Chimaira of a band. This is powered purely by anger and though sounding slightly more stripped down than any tracks heard on "Resurrection" the song is still incredibly powerful sounding. This comes largely from Matt DeVries' insane guitar riffs and deathly growls from special guest, Phil Bozeman from Whitechapel. An atmosphere of anger is incredibly prominent and by the time we reach Rob Arnold's solo, it feels like a war has started in my ears. Good lord, I'm excited to enter "The Age of Hell".

Agree? Disagree? Anyone else as stocked as I am?
Check out "Trigger Finger" here,
and "Born in Blood" here,
and see what all the fuss is about

Sunday, 19 June 2011

My (slow) reaction - The K! Awards

Yes, the results of the Kerrang! Awards 2011 have been known for some time now. I guess I just wanted to save my reaction post for when I could actually watch the award show on TV, but I can't seem to find it on Kerrang!, which is a shame, because I really want to see the charismatic hosting abilities of Corey Taylor and Scott Ian again. However the list of winners at the award show was revealed in this weeks K! so I may as well check it out.

Best British Newcomer - Asking Alexandria
First up was the award for the best new band from the homeland, which went to Yorkshire based metalcore group Asking Alexandria. Personally I'm pleased with this. I really enjoy their electronica infused metalcore. It's certainly a break from the past. I did vote for these guys, but admittedly my knowledge on the bands listed in the British Newcomer category was limited. In fact, at the time, I had only heard Asking Alexandria's single "The Final Episode", which I had decided to check out after the band's name clogged up the Youtube search bar, while I was looking for "Ask That Guy with the Glasses" videos. Well, I enjoyed it so, cast my vote for them. Fair enough.

Best International Newcomer - Black Veil Brides
This doesn't really surprise me at all! Kerrang! has had a lot of positive things to say about the Hollywood quintet. Musically, they have a pretty cool, grimy hard rock sound and an influence to Mötley Crüe and KISS - both of whom they often refer to in interviews - is obvious. However, it seems like their rise to success may be case of style over substance, due to the bands famous war paint make up and tight leather outfits. While I think this makes them look like KISS rejects, I certainly admire the effort they put into their look and the fact that they've established an iconic image for their band through their style. Especially when most bands today perform on stage simply wearing what they would have had on earlier that day. So, congratulations on your award BVB, but I actually voted for The Pretty Reckless. Wether they will go on to become to become a genuine group who focus only on making music and touring, or remain simply a side project for frontwoman Taylor Momson remains to be seen, but the raw, heavy and swaggering rock and roll found on their debut, "Light Me Up" was certainly enough for me to cast my vote in their direction.

The Devotion Award - Skindred
Can someone please tell me what "Devotion Award" means? Is it a band who truly puts their all and goes through a hard time making their albums and do loads of touring, therefore are dubbed "devoted"? I'm not at all sure, but the Welsh "ragga metal" crew rather epic. Their single "Warning" featuring Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix was completley off the wall and I absolutely love it. So... I'm glad they won something.

Best Single - 30 Seconds to Mars - "Hurricane"
Hmm... satisfying I suppose. I love 30STM, but I don't think "Hurricane" is their best single, nor do I think "This is War" is their best album. Neither of the the tacks that one could vote for were the best singles from the artists who created them and I would have had a similar reaction if any of the other tacks had won. Apart from if the track I had voted for, Bullet for my Valentine - "Your Betrayal", had won. I love that song for it's truly epic heavy metal intro and Matt Tuck's powerful scream vocals, which ought to have made more use of on that rack and on their album "Fever" in general.

Best Video - My Chemical Romance "Na Na Na"
"Na Na Na" is actually a superb video and I'm glad it's won an award. Mainly because it's just so much fun. The band are all in their Fabulous Killjoys outfits, shooting laser guns in muscle car chases. I also love that they manage to include the album's 30 second opener "Look Alive, Sunshine" into the video as well. I really love that video. It's a joyful experience to watch. But it's not what I voted for. Similarly fun to watch and filled with action and tricks is The Blackout's video for "Higher and Higher". Seriously, the band get kidnapped by a psycho woman, while putting equipment into a lorry, then they're performing in the lorry while it's moving, then their tour manager has to rescue them, then the tour manager does all these cool stunts, like jumping over cars, to find them, then the picture of rapper, Hyro Da Hero on the lorry comes to life and starts rapping, and it's all totally WICKED!!! Yes, action packed. Sometimes I can get captured by these kinds of things.

Classic Songwriter - Biffy Clyro
As, I've said before I listen to music more for the actual music that the lyrics and Biffy Clyro have written some amazingly catchy and enjoyable tunes to their songs in the past. Lyrically, Biffy are certainly unique. I get the feeling that I'm not the only person around who is sometimes confused by their lyrics though. Either way, it's good to see them awarded again. Because I'm Scottish. And all Scottish people have patriotic tantrums of joy when other Scottish people win stuff.  I'm sure I could reference Andy Murray right now, but I don't pay much attention to tennis. Oh well.

Best Album - Bring Me the Horizon - "There is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen it. There is a Heaven, Let's Keep it a Secret,"
Uh Oh. I don't actually own this album, so I can't fully comment. However I've heard the singles "Anthem" and "Blessed with a Curse". They're good songs ("Blessed with a Curse" just passing the level of an acceptable song), but they have absolutely nothing on what I've heard on "Suicide Season". My vote went towards "Nightmare" by Avenged Sevenfold. "Nightmare" was definitely my favourite album of 2010. It was full of sheer power and emotion on every track and served as a wonderful tribute to their fallen bandmate, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, with drum parts from Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, one of The Rev's influences, Avenged Sevenfold effectively conveyed their feelings of loss and grief towards their brother. My favourite tracks on the album in particular being "Danger Line" and "Natural Born Killer", the entire album was a masterpiece and truly deserving of a K! Award.

Best Live - All Time Low
Sadly I don't get all that much of an opportunity to visit gigs. So I didn't really know what I was doing when voting here. I think i voted for Bullet for my Valentine again, because a friend saw them and claimed they were awesome. Um... yeah. I do like All Time Low's music though and I imagine seeing them live would be pretty fun.

Best British Band - You Me at Six
I certainly think You Me at Six are one of the best pop rock bands around and much of their songs are irresistibly catchy. Apart from "Finders Keepers" Josh Franceschi's vocals on that song really annoy me. But not on any other. As great as they are as a pop rock band, I'd rather have some heavy and thrashy metal more, so once again, Bullet for my Valentine recieved my vote. 

Best international band - 30 Seconds to Mars
Unsurprising that 30STM won this. We do love them here in the UK. They've even managed to fill Wembley. And fair enough, their hard, modern progressive rock is just fantastic. But I really love them for one album, "A Beautiful Lie". I needed to vote for a band who I love through and through, who I enjoy every album by, a band that has a place in my heart. Thus, I voted Sevenfold. If I ever make a list of some kind on the greatest bands I've ever heard, which is unlikely, I know Avenged Sevenfold would near the top. Everything about their music is just wonderful. Synyster Gate's screaming guitar solos, Zacky Vengeance's heavy and heart rushing rhythm guitar work, M. Shadow's voice of pure raw power, the list goes on. Once again Avenged Sevenfold were truly worthy of winning an award. Silly majority of Kerrang! voters.

Kerrang! Legend - Ozzy Osbourne
Erm... About time! He's only the guy who... well started heavy metal off, with Black Sabbath.

Kerrang! Hall of Fame - Korn
Fair enough. Seems a little weird that they've only gotten in now. I'm not too sure what they've done as of now to make them particularly awe-inspiring. Maybe it's because they've helped keep Nu Metal alive, and I do love Nu Metal.

I don't really have much else to say on the final two awardees though. The Kerrang! Inspiration award went to Def Leppard and the Kerrang! Icon award went to Alice Cooper. Make what you will of that. All I have to do now is find the award show on TV and get the lowdown on what happened afterwards. All those bands together sounds like the ingredient to an awesome after party.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Linkin Park's change of style, and why Nu Metal doesn't annoy me.

So, this is a topic of relevance, since this weeks Kerrang! Cover star is none other than Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington. He's once again telling the magazine about how satisfied he and the whole band are with their latest release, "A Thousand Suns" and how free they are due to their change of style from the Nu Metal sound hear on "Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora". I read the feature feeling a slight sense of bitterness. It's because I want to join the band in their joy over their latest album and share a sense of their satisfaction and freedom and agree with their view that it's the greatest album they've ever done. But I can't. Because I absolutely can't stand A Thousand Suns. I figure this is also a relevant subject for this very reason. "A Thousand Suns" is another great example of an album which has divided opinion, just like Metallica's St. Anger, which I discussed in my previous post. I think that what happened after releasing "Meteora" was that the band got fed up with creating Nu Metal music and chose for their next albums to create music based on the various aspects of the sub-genre. Therefore, the hard rock and heavy metal element of Nu Metal was effectively emphasized on "Minutes to Midnight", as can be heard on tracks like "Given Up" and "No More Sorrow" and on "A Thousand Suns", Nu Metal's element of electronica and dance music is focused on in depth and played particularly well. But I hate electronica and dance music.

I am not for one second saying that I'm annoyed with and no longer like Linkin Park for releasing "A Thousand Suns", nor am I going to protest against it and demand LP to make more Nu Metal, but I am always going to choose their Nu Metal albums over the albums the band claim to have set themselves free. (Not to discredit "Minutes to Midnight" because I really love that album and I suppose it could be considered Nu metal, just more sophisticated). I've always loved Nu Metal, despite the constant criticisms heard all round, and while I can't really explain why I like it so much, I can explain why the criticisms pointed towards nu metal do not bother me:

"Nu Metal isn't real metal!!"
A statement used often by people who only listen to totally extreme metal like the black and death metal sub-genres, or so I imagine. I would say Nu Metal makes use of the distorted guitars and pounding rhythms that characterizes Metal. If you disagree, the fact that it's not metal is no real problem for me. I listen to plenty of music that could never possibly be considered metal. I'm a real sucker for Indie Rock and Pop Punk as well y'know.

"Nu Metal is too commercial!!"
Not really something I can help with. Those who use that as a complaint sound kind of hipster - like, as in they hate anything popular. I really don't mind if I'm listening to an album that has sold over a million copies though. It's fair to say that given that music taste of most people around me consists of obsessing over the top ten singles, I will never face the criticism of my music taste being too mainstream directly.

"Nu Metal is so unfashionable!!"
Oh well. I suppose you could say Nu Metal and I were meant to go together, then. Also I sort of have an image of someone using this comment to be wearing a hoodie. In which case, their remark would be somewhat hypocritical.

"Nu Metal is for 13 year olds!!"
Well, I probably have the mental age of 13, so Nu Metal is perhaps suiting. Anyways, this is clearly untrue. Or at least I hope so, since Slipknot's (If you choose to refer to them as Nu Metal) live DVD "The (sic)nesses" features several shots of women in the crowd taking their tops off and displaying their breasts. If they were 13 years old... Well, I'd surely be owning an illegal DVD.

"All the songs on a Nu Metal album sound the same. How can you sit through all those songs that sound the same?"
As I have made clear, I enjoy the Music of Nu Metal. Lyrically, some songs may be weak (Linkin Park's "Don't Stay" would be a good example) but if you've read all my posts, you've probably worked out by now that I care more about the actual music made. To tell the truth, when I listen to music I normally use the "Shuffle Songs" feature of my iPod, so there's normally a decent space between each Nu Metal song I hear. I could be listening to Linkin Park one minute, then the next minute it'll be Blink-182. Then Kings of Leon. Then   Opeth. Shuffle Songs is just extraordinary in that way.

So, I hope to have made it clear that my hatred towards Linkin Park's "A Thousand Suns" is legitimate, and that those who would say that it's great because it is a breakaway from their Nu Metal past can understand that I still love Nu Metal and posses the ability to love it, since none of the main complaints against it get in my way. Even though Linkin Park have moved on from Nu Metal, the genre is still very much alive today, through many bands who originally brought the genre to the masses in the late 90's and early 00's such as Korn and Disturbed, and may it continue to reign for many years to come.

Ideas and Possibilities - Metallica and Lou Reed to collaborate

Yesterday, I believe quite an positive reaction was created after it was announced that Metallica and Lou Reed are to release a 10 Track album together. This is obviously awesome, but one must wonder what overall kind of sound will be created. Now, I'm more into reed's work with The Velvet Underground, than his solo work and I hope it is this work that has the main influence on the work of the collaboration and songs similar to "Heroin" will be created. I'd even be satisfied enough if there was just a heavy metal cover of "Heroin". There is a chance songs like these will be created, but I also feel Reed's voice would be very suiting with Metallica's slow blusey style, so the album may also include songs similar to "Low Man's Lyric" or "One". Wow. This is beginning to sound like one of the greatest albums ever made.

A more recent collaboration featuring Lou Reed that comes to mind was in 2007 when he performed the track "Tranquilize" with The Killers. (A band who I should also have more knowledge on, as it's suspected they may be about to make a comeback). Tranquilize also had a blues-esque sound (in an Alternative Rock sort of way), but was also quite grimey, alsost carried elements of grunge rock, if you will.
Now when I associate Metallica with Blues, grime and grunge all at once, I'm afraid the first thing that comes to mind is... "St. Anger".

At this point I must explain - and hate me if you will - that I enjoyed St. Anger, but I'm fully aware that the album spawned a dramatic change of style for Metallica and divided opinion across fans. Don't worry though. As much as I like the album, I would never consider it their best piece of work. That would be "Master of Puppets". St. Anger was just a different style but it was really cool. Perhaps, not a style to last more than one album.

Anyways, i feel it's better late than never to give a view on St. Anger. However, metallica are surely aware the album was unpopular enough to return to its style, especially when using their talents for a project as amazing as a collaboration with Lou Reed.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bad timing for bad knowledge

I'm beginning to realize that now wasn't exactly the best time to set up a rock music blog? Why? Download just happened and I have very little knowledge on what went on. If I had the full lowdown on the festival, it would have been an awesome way to start things off. However, I've seen some photos in this weeks K! and I'm very excited about reading the review. Speaking of K! (as I often will be) does anyone know when the award show is being broadcast? I'd like to share some views on the winners 'n stuff. I'll probably have little knowledge on Sonisphere as well, when it comes to the UK, but then I'll be somewhere in Germany when that happens. Oh well...

A soundtrack for touring.

It won't be long now until I'll be travelling through Germany, Holland and Denmark with my Dad for the holidays and I hope to post updates about the tri[p and the kind of things we manage to do. Since we're getting around on this trip purely by car, my Dad has allowed to pick 20 CD's to play in his car as we travel. I am constantly trying to get all those around me into heavier music and I figure this will be a good opportunity to do so. Recently however, I've been doing quite the opposite and getting my Dad into gentle alternative rock bands like The Courteeners and Arcade Fire. Therefore with these CD's a plan on having them played so that the first album has a lighter sound and through the 20 CD's the content gets progressivley heavier. These are the 20 CD's I plan on using:

Kasabian - Empire
Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Jimmy Eat World - Futures
Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
Skillet - Comatose
Good Charlotte - Good Morning Revival
Foo Fighters - One by One
Lostprophets - Liberation Transmission
Seether - Disclaimer II
30 Seconds to Mars - A Beautiful Lie
Breaking Benjamin - Phobia
Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
Alter Bridge - Blackbird
Linkin Park - Meteora
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
Papa Roach - Infest
Disturbed - The Sickness
Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold
Metallica - Metallica (The Black Album)

I figure this should be a good selection as the music on many of these albums is played heavily but the majority of vocals remain clean on all albums. My family won't go anywhere near scream vocals and have a perception that metal music consists only of scream vocals. Now that I've made the list I don't really want to change it, but when I initally planned out what CDs to use, I thought of using Funeral for a Friend's "Tales Don't Tell Themselves" but forgot about it. Thinking on it now, I'd really like to include that album but I can't think of any album I could replace. Any ideas? Is my overall choice good or is there any better albums I could use for this?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

My first review thing: Trivium - In Waves

Well, there are a few things going on in the world of music right now, but I'd like to start this blog off by writing about something that really pleases me and believe me, when I discovered heavy metal group, Trivium had released a new song onto the internet, I was totally ecstatic. I figure Trivium is a great band for me to review first, as they certainly are favourites, they're the third proper metal group I listened to, after Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold (It could be argued I was introduced to metal unconventionally) and I'm going to give them a positive review. The bad seem pretty positive as well about the release of their latest album, "In Waves", as frontman, Matt Heafy states "There's no question about it, in our eyes, this is the most complete project we've ever done." A statement I find to be bold and exciting, especially after the release of "Shogun". If "In Waves" does manage to top "Shogun" I will probably break down and cry and cry and cry... with joy. I hope this announcement of news and addition of my opinion has gone well, since I intend to make the majority of my blog like this. Anyways, now the review. However their's not too much to review, apart from the albums title track, which has been around for a while now, but as I say, I'd like my first proper post to be about something I love. The track "In Waves" gives Trivium much more of a metalcore sound than heard before, due to the large amount of breakdowns heard throughout. Hearing this I saw similarities to bands like All That Remains and Killswitch Engage, who they've always been compared to, but the comparison is much clearer. However, the track still contains it's own flare of originality, due to Heafy's unique soaring vocals. I imagine many people who have gotten into Trivium because of "Shogun" will not like this as much since there os more of a metalcore sound than a Thrash metal sound. I love the song though and "Shogun" is my favourite album by them so far, but I listen to a lot of different rock genres. Seriously, now that I've listened to some metalcore, I'll probably go listen to some Stoner Rock. Anyways, that's my first review. Again I hope it's enjoyable and the kind of thing Kerrang! Would approve of. I kind of plan on making a career from this kind of thing.

Check out "In Waves" on the link below. Do you guys agree? Disagree? Have your say but don't make your comments too bleak.

An introduction, I suppose.

Hey guys! I'm Andy, welcome to my blog, "Ramblings of a Rock fan". As I begin this, I remain a little unsure about the whole process of blogging and from what I've seen, much blogging involves families discussing vacations. Though I may occasionally discuss this type of thing, I'm more interested in creating a blog for the experience of journalism, a future career prospect. As a journalist, I'm not too sure if I'd be so keen on being the one who has to do the giant stories, y'know, I'm not too sure if I'd enjoy being the one to tell the world nuclear war is beginning. I'd be more into writing about my views on society as a whole with relations to personal experience. This is succesful in newspapers as I've seen from the hundreds of Close Reading tasks I've had to do in English classes in the past. However, as it is clear, I am a fan of various different types of rock music and the career of music journalism has also been of great interest to me and the idea of writing for magazines like Kerrang! has become increasingly prominent. With all this in mind, I would like to use this blog for several things; discussing various things that happen in my life that are of interest; share my reaction to any kind of news story that takes my interest; discuss big news in the world of rock music and give reviews of any new albums or singles from the world of rock. Perhaps even write about any gigs I go to, if I ever do and even present a clear view of myself as a person, since I often find I have a weird kind of personality and I've always wondered if anyone else can relate. Well, now that my goals are set out, let's see that things go succesfully.