Archive for October, 2009

NZA’s Review: “This Is It” Michael Jackson Movie Review [2009]

Posted in Michael Jackson with tags on October 29, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon This Is ItThis Is It? Maybe “this was it” or maybe “this could have been it.” Either way you slice, dice, or dissect it, This Is It is a remarkable and outstanding swan song to the King of Pop. He definitely could still sing. He definitely could still dance.

Michael Jackson breezes effortlessly through gems from every era of his career. Not to say he was slacking, but remember this was just rehearsals and prep for the big return. I just can’t imagine what the real deal would’ve been. Anything less than amazing, I would be shocked.

The production of the stage show is way over the top and really would’ve been a spectacle to see. A great standout moment is the production that was put into “Smooth Criminal.” Director Kenny Ortega places Michael inside the movie His Girl Friday and has him chased and shot at by gangsters. “The Thriller” sequence is amazing and makes you even stop to think, how ahead of it’s time the track and album truly was. The jazzy intro makes “The Way You Make Me Feel” even more likable. A trio of Jackson 5 hits is thrown in and shows Michael’s voice was still capable of hitting those high untouchable notes.

All the musicians, dancers, choreographers, and stage handlers were all top shelf. Michael still outshines them all and you even gain more respect for his musical knowledge and passion as he too plays director and producer. A standout in the film is Orianthi Panagaris, Michael’s sexy and riff stealin’ lead guitarist. She pulls off the solos that Slash and Eddie Van Halen perfected and looks damn good doing it.
4.5 StarsIt is a shame that the world lost this man before his redemption and from what I just witnessed, this would’ve put Michael Jackson on his way toward that. Long Live The King of Pop –NZA
Orianthi on MySpace

NZA’s Review: Weezer – Raditude [2009]

Posted in Weezer with tags on October 28, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon WeezerRadOh boy! You are either gonna love or hate this. I love it. Weezer serves up a great mix of pop and rock on Raditude. Tapping into an infectious groove somewhat reminiscent of Katrina and The Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” the first track and single “(If Your Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” makes you smile and toe tap the night away. It doesn’t stop there, not by a long shot. Rivers Cuomo, with a little help from some friends, taps into his inner most nerd (although he has never hidden that from us) “ooohing and ahhhing” on “The Girl Got Hot.” Tight and snapping rhythm is key provided by the  teammanship of Pat Wilson and Scott Shriner. Don’t worry Brian Bell fans, his presence is felt every so much on key track “Let It All Hang Out,” which also pays homage to a night on the town with the fellas. Obscurity sets in on the disco-esque “Can’t Stop Partying” which even taps into a rap interlude in the middle. “Love is The Answer” has beautiful sitar and amazing harmony work on it that gives “Jai-Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire a run for its money. Weezer, for me, really hasn’t lost a step and continues to entertain my inner most nerd (which i hide well until i open my mouth) –NZA

3.5 Stars Weezer is Rivers Cuomo (Vocals/Guitar), Brian Bell (Guitar/Vocals), Scott Shriner (Bass/Vocals), & Pat Wilson (Drums/Vocals).

Track Listing:

  1. “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”
  2. “I’m Your Daddy”
  3. “The Girl Got Hot”
  4. “Can’t Stop Partying”
  5. “Put Me Back Together”
  6. “Tripping Down The Freeway”
  7. “Love Is The Answer”
  8. “Let It All Hang Out”
  9. “In The Mall”
  10. “I Don’t Let You Go”

GOR Recommends Alice in Chains Black Gives Way To Blue

Review: Slayer – World Painted Blood [2009]

Posted in Slayer with tags on October 24, 2009 by gearsofrock

You would think that even a pioneering thrash metal band would evolve and head in a different direction at some point during a career that spans nearly 30 years. Not Slayer. On World Painted Blood, Slayer is just as devastating, fast, and angry as they were in 1986.

This is a band that has consistently opted for the conservative and rare “stick to your guns” approach while mastering the craft that they began in the process. Slayer delivers thrash perfection offering musical aggression at its finest. Standout tracks such as “Snuff,” “World Painted Blood,” “Psychopathy Red,” and “Beauty Through Order” might as well have been A-Sides on Reign in Blood and Seasons in the Abyss.

The lead guitars of Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King not only trade shotgun blasts of shreddage throughout but also harmonize in the most demonic of manner on “Playing With Dolls” and “Human Strain.” You can expect the fist throwing “Hate Worldwide” to be a hard stomping pit-pleaser on the supporting world tour and beyond.

Dave Lombardo’s powerful drumming is thunderous and explosive particularly on “Unit 731” and “Public Display of Dismemberment,” while Tom Araya continues to display his dominance as the official voice of thrash music. All in all, World Painted Blood is flawless and immaculate, a 5-star performance, and the album of the year -Meds

5 StarsSlayer is Tom Araya (Vocals/Bass), Jeff Hanneman (Guitar), Kerry King (Guitar), & Dave Lombardo (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “World Painted Blood”
  2. “Unit 731”
  3. “Snuff”
  4. “Beauty Through Order”
  5. “Hate Worldwide”
  6. “Public Display of Dismemberment”
  7. “Human Strain”
  8. “Americon”
  9. “Psychopathy Red”
  10. “Playing With Dolls”
  11. “Not of This God”


GOR Recommends Megadeth Endgame and Alice in Chains Black Gives Way To Blue.

Top 7 Hot And Sexy Ladies Behind Heavy Metal

Posted in Top 10 on October 24, 2009 by gearsofrock

GOR Top 7 Metal GirlsWhen I decided to devote an entire post to the top 7 (I couldn’t think of 10) hottest girls, girlfriends, fiances, wives, and companions of heavy metal, I had only one thing in mind: generating thousands of additional stray and random hits on Google searches from people like you! So yes, I completely pimped out my wonderful, authoritative, and well-respected heavy metal review blog like a cheap groupie whore offering twofers and freebies to low level security personnel in the hopes of reaching Bret Michaels’ sweaty nut sack after a Poison show on a hot August night. I feel disgusting. No, I am disgusting. Anyways, here is the final result of this new Gears of Rock low:

#7 Fai McNasty (Mick Mars of Motley Crue) When I first heard of 25 year old McNasty with Mick Mars, I was worried. Seemed like the Zurich native was only looking to make a name for herself, setting Mars up for disappointment. Then again, Mick wouldn’t tolerate such nonsense.

Fai McNasty Photo

Hotness: 6     Coolness: 6      Heavy Metal: 7     Avg: 6.3

#6 Taya Parker (Bret Michaels of Poison) Rock of Love was dumb. Rock of Love Bus was dumber. We watched ’em all and we are now brain dead.

Taya Parker Photo

Hotness: 9     Coolness: 5     Heavy Metal: 7     Avg: 7

#5 Carmen Elektra (Rob Patterson of Otep) Ms. Elektra is certainly getting up there in age these days and has built quite a resume (from Prince to Rodman to Navarro) but is still composed of a high level of hotness that is also fueled by the rock attitude that she continues to embrace.

Carmen Elektra Photo

Hotness: 9     Coolness: 7     Heavy Metal: 6     Avg: 7.3

#4 Tera Patrick (Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard and The Spyderz) Evan Seinfeld wrote a few sick metal tunes for Biohazard in the 90’s, now he is married to one of the hottest and most talented chicks in the porno biz.

Tera Patrick Photo

Hotness: 8.5     Coolness: 8     Heavy Metal: 7     Avg: 7.8

#3 Kat Von D (Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue) Nikki Sixx is very bad ass and would only date a super bad ass gal. Kat Von D has been the epitome of hard rocker chick as we have seen on her reality show L.A. Ink. Whether you find her tattoos to be repulsive or a brilliant work of art, you can’t deny the fact that she rocks.

Kat Von D Photo

Hotness: 6     Coolness: 9     Heavy Metal: 9     Avg: 8

#2 Cristina Scabbia (Jim Root of Slipknot) Cristina “no damn h in it” Scabbia is not the hottest beauty on the planet. Instead, she is the hardest rocking woman in the universe. Even though Lacuna Coil’s last album was dull, a hot Italian girl that can front a metal band is many guy’s fantasy.

Cristina Scabbia Photo

Hotness: 6.5     Coolness: 8     Heavy Metal: 10     Avg: 8.2

#1 Sheri Moon Zombie (Rob Zombie) She’s metal. She’s hot. She’s into horror. She’s, well, all Zombie!

Sheri Moon Zombie Photo

Hotness: 7     Coolness: 10     Heavy Metal: 10     Avg: 9

Disclaimer: The arbitrary rankings used to compose this list are based on a scale of 10. None of the links above will take you to smut websites or pages with pornography, I hope. I also hope that you enjoyed the new low to which this blog sank.

Review: “Guitar Hero Van Halen” [Nintendo Wii 2009]

Posted in Guitar Hero, Van Halen with tags on October 18, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon GHVHNeversoft and Activision did something very cool in these tough economic times and offered Guitar Hero Van Halen free to those that purchased Guitar Hero 5 prior to Oct. 1, 2009. As a free game, GHVH is another excellent addition to the franchise, but is it worth paying for?

Better tunes, better calibration: The hard rocking set list of 44 songs clearly outshine GH5’s tracks and that is the single make-or-break factor of all rhythm games. Additionally, the World Tour style instrument calibration is back instead of the awful experimental settings offered in GH5.

Lookin’ good: The avatars stage antics of Diamond David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, and Alex Van Halen came out great. As you rock out on classics like “Beautiful Girls” and “Feel Your Love Tonight,” the game offers current day depictions as well as the 80’s style (see game trailer below).

Only buy if half-price: However, GHVH has several shortcomings that would have kept me from purchasing the game at full market value. You can tell that more effort and care was put into GH:Metallica than this game in terms of stage setups and overall band culture, as only half of VH’s career is accounted for. Therefore, I would only buy this if it is $29.99 or less.

You can’t do that: Furthermore, Van Halen had the audacity to leave Michael Anthony out of the game and then ignores the Sammy Hagar years all together (lack of Gary Cherone not a big deal). Instead of Anthony on bass, we are stuck with Eddie Van Halen’s chubby teen son Wolfgang, who has yet to record a classic album. It is very awkward to see Wolfgang in the band when the setting is the early 80’s. But I did hear somewhere that Wolfgang selected most of the non-VH tracks.

Crowd overkill: One thing that this game does different is the crowd participates and sings along with the hooks and choruses. At first, the increased audience participation took me by surprise and threw me slightly off my drum rocker. It turns out to be overkill because every track from “Panama” to “The Best of Me” by the Foo Fighters contains this feature.

3.5 StarsThis game is worth it for early Van Halen die-hards at full market price of $49.99, worth it for fans of the franchise if at half price, and worth it for everybody if free. Unfortunately the USA has limits on the practice of price discrimination -Meds

amazon.comwikipedia.comofficial site

Track Review: Rob Zombie “Sick Bubble Gum” Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls, and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool [2009]

Posted in Rob Zombie with tags on October 17, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon RobzombieHELLBILLY2

Update: Hellbilly Deluxe 2 full album review

The second Rob Zombie track leaked from Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is “Sick Bubble Gum,” a dizzying mutha flucking journey that surpasses “What?” in production, but lacks in comparable riff assaults and diabolical programming. John 5’s diligent lead guitars finish out the tune in a manner similar to “War Zone” from The Punisher soundtrack, which means this song also lacks an adequate instrumental break mid way; a demonstration of poor orchestration. I’m not sure where Zombie is headed on the Hellbilly sequel at this point. It seems that if he offers the coherent lyrics of “Sick Bubble Gum,” an instrumental break where John 5 can shine, and some of that old infectious spookshow programming, he could have another solid album –Meds

2.5 StarsRob Zombie is Rob Zombie (Vocals), John 5 (Guitars), Piggy D (Bass), & Tommy Clufetos (Drums).

Upcoming Releases: Rammstein “Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da,” Slayer “World Painted Blood,” & Rob Zombie “Hellbilly Deluxe 2”

Posted in Rob Zombie, Slayer with tags on October 17, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon RammsteinRammstein – Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da [Oct. 20, 2009] Never fully got into these guys, don’t consider myself a fan, but you can’t dislike their one hit track “Du Hast.” Have they released anything as powerful since? Not so much. Pre-release verdict: Rammstein’s music is always amusing from an American’s perspective. There is something about the aggression, hostility, and anger in their presentation of the German language.

Amazon SlayerSlayer – World Painted Blood [Nov.3, 2009] I have been looking forward to this album since  last year’s release of the thrash punk track “Psychopathy Red” that was offered during the “Unholy Alliance” tour. Pre-release verdict: Slayer is legendary and is not capable of releasing bad thrash music. This could be in the running for best metal album of the year, even with its November 3 release date.

Amazon RobzombieHELLBILLY2Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe 2 [2010?] Just got word today that Zombie pushed this release from Nov. 17 to next year. Why? Perhaps “What?,” the first single did not receive a great reception. Pre-release verdict: Weird delays like this make me very nervous. Probably won’t be as great as the original Hellbilly Deluxe or The Sinister Urge. Let’s see how the fall/winter tour progress.

2009 is really winding down now. Make sure you vote for the best hard rock and heavy metal album in the Gears of Rock poll. I am really looking forward to your picks. The results will be posted in December -Meds

NZA’s Review: Kiss – Sonic Boom [2009]

Posted in Kiss with tags on October 14, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon KissI can’t say that I underestimated Kiss before listening to Sonic Boom maybe just “underexpected” (my new word) them. That’s all gone now. Raise up your horns kiddies and let the ol’ Knights in Satan’s Service take you on a nice and rockin’ ride! Sonic Boom reinvents Kiss and brings a whole new respect of the band personally for me.

They follow the formula that best suits them: Keep it Simple, stupid! Tracks like “Never Enough” and “Stand” make me forget that its 2009 and feel like im listening to the vintage Kiss records of the 70’s.

Ace Frehley and Peter Criss aren’t here and for the first time, I really don’t miss them. Eric Singer provides the big BANG Kiss needs while Tommy Thayer rips and shreds like the bastard nephew of Ace Frehley, Bruce Kulick, and Vinnie Vincent.

“I’ve got the power any hour, baby, feel my tower of power” is the poetry of Gene Simmons and he is the only one that could get away with sayin’ it (“Hot & Cold”). Paul Stanley still does his “ooooohs” and “ahhhhhs” and I could just see him strutting his stuff playing along to these tunes.

All in all, Sonic Boom is the best stuff the originators of the rock n roll circus have to offer in merely two decades. Welcome back Kiss and I am sure, not that Sonic Boom helped, you will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame before your tour is “officially” over -NZA

3 StarsKiss is Paul Stanley (Vocals/Guitars), Tommy Thayer (Guitars/Vocals), Gene Simmons (Bass/Vocals), & Eric Singer (Drums/Vocals).

Sonic Boom is available exclusively at Wal-mart in a 2 disc+ 1 DVD set. Disc 2 is Klassic Kiss hits rerecorded w/ Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer and the DVD is Kiss Live in Buenos Aires. 3 discs for under $15 bucks ain’t that bad. OHHHHHHHHHHH YEAH!!!!!!

Track Listing:

  1. “Modern Day Delilah”
  2. “Russian Roulette”
  3. “Never Enough”
  4. “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)”
  5. “Stand”
  6. “Hot and Cold”
  7. “All for the Glory”
  8. “Danger Us”
  9. “I’m an Animal”
  10. “When Lightning Strikes”
  11. “Say Yeah!”

Read Meds’ review of Sonic Boom

Review: Kiss – Sonic Boom [2009]

Posted in Kiss with tags on October 12, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon KissKiss offers a heavy rocking release, the first since 1998’s mediocre Psycho Circus, titled Sonic Boom. Without Ace Frehley and Peter Criss in Kiss, it is very difficult to love and enjoy the band like the early days.  But putting that prejudice aside, Sonic Boom undeniably contains powerful rock tracks that only Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons can orchestrate.

Stepping in for Frehley and Criss on guitars and drums are Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer respectively. The final product is a sound that leans more to the mid-80’s than the mid-70’s. “Modern Day Delilah,” the first single and album highlight, is fueled by Stanley’s relentless vocal performance, rock and roll screams and all.

The guitar riffs on most of the tracks are intoxicating particularly in the beginning of the record, but far from groundbreaking. By the fifth track, the 80’s presence begins a mild takeover in direction; an infectious takeover that forces an uncontrollable singalong, similar to “God Gave Rock and Roll To You Part II” and the dining scene of Beetlejuice.  Simmons’ bass chops on “Hot and Cold” are impressive and demonizing on “I’m an Animal,” but his lead vocal tracks on “Yes I Know” and “Russian Roulette” are very weak against the backdrop that Stanley establishes earlier.

While Sonic Boom lacks the raw and rebellious feel of the original lineup’s classics, the polished riffs and choral hooks make for a good hard rock album. My prescription for a great Kiss album: take one Frehley, one Criss, and call Rick Rubin in the morning –Meds

3 StarsKiss is Paul Stanley (Vocals/Guitars), Tommy Thayer (Guitars/Vocals), Gene Simmons (Bass/Vocals), & Eric Singer (Drums/Vocals).

Track Listing:

  1. “Modern Day Delilah”
  2. “Russian Roulette”
  3. “Never Enough”
  4. “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)”
  5. “Stand”
  6. “Hot and Cold”
  7. “All for the Glory”
  8. “Danger Us”
  9. “I’m an Animal”
  10. “When Lightning Strikes”
  11. “Say Yeah!”


Review: Lita Ford – Wicked Wonderland [2009]

Posted in Lita Ford with tags on October 12, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Lita FordThe 80’s hard rock queen Lita Ford returns with her first new album in 14 years titled Wicked Wonderland. Unfortunately shoddy production techniques like muddy vocal mixes, buried lead guitar licks, and repetitive electronica-modeled drum loops hinder this album from shining in today’s hard rock market. Additionally, the lyrics serve up a stinky batch of stale French cheese to a degree scorned even by 80’s glam standards. It is difficult to point to a specific location of Wicked Wonderland that exhibit the aforementioned flaws because all 15 tracks employ them. However, the ballad “Sacred” comes the closest to resembling her classic sound rather than hiding her voice in ProTools gear. I was really hoping for Ford to deliver a triumphant return after her emotional appearance on the first episode of That Metal Show and her blazing duet with Dee Snider at last year’s Twisted Christmas on Broadway show. Maybe Scout Taylor-Compton’s portrayal of Ford in 2010’s The Runaways will assist her in returning to her punk and hard rock roots –Meds

1.5 StarsLita Ford is Lita Ford (Vocals/Guitar/Production), Jim Gilette (Vocals/Production), Greg Hampton (Production/Instruments), & Stet Howland (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Crave”
  2. “Piece (Hell Yeah)”
  3. “Patriotic S.O.B.”
  4. “Scream 4 Me”
  5. “Inside”
  6. “Wicked Wonderland”
  7. “Indulge”
  8. “Love”
  9. “Betrayal”
  10. “Sacred”
  11. “Truth”
  12. “Everything”
  13. “Bed”
  14. “Garden”
  15. “Push”


GOR recommends Anomaly by Ace Freheley and Endgame by Megadeth