Archive for November, 2009

Review: Nonpoint – Cut The Cord EP [2009]

Posted in Nonpoint with tags on November 30, 2009 by gearsofrock

Alternative metal veterans Nonpoint serve up a five-track EP that features so-so acoustic renditions from their eight year old studio catalog.

Luckily the band chose to leave the annoying “Bullet With A Name” song off of the Cut The Cord EP. The five songs chosen however offer a somewhat eclectic mix that displays their ability to rock with a Spanish guitar flare (“Rambia”), mainstream rock radio pizzazz (“What A Day”), an aggressive strumming screamer (“Victim”), and a profound ballad (“Your Signs”).

Even though the guitar harmonics in the verses are done well, “Circles” turns out to be the least interesting tune in the mix due to the highly predictable and repetitive chorus; Incubus covered this concept better on 2001’s Morning View.

Overall this effort is a decent extended play disc that should hold off fans until Nonpoint finishes recording their next studio album –Meds

Nonpoint is Elias Soriano (Vocals), Zach Broderick (Guitar), Ken Charman (Bass), & Robb Rivera (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “What A Day”
  2. “Circles”
  3. “Rabia”
  4. “Victim”
  5. “Your Signs”

Cut The Cord on Amazon.comOfficial SiteWikipedia.com

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Review: Halford 3 – Winter Songs [2009]

Posted in Rob Halford with tags on November 27, 2009 by gearsofrock

Rob Halford offers the most highly anticipated Christmas album of the season Winter Songs, another fantastic contribution from the world of heavy metal to the most wonderful time of the year.

To be honest, I did not feel the holiday vibe in the beginning as I did on A Twisted Christmas and We Wish You A Metal Xmas. However by the fourth car ride to work with Winter Songs, the metallic yuletide spirit orchestrated by Halford III forced itself upon me in a somewhat uncomfortable manner, that wasn’t as far as a violation of my soul, but not far from it.

While there are a couple of gems on the first half of the disc such as the blistering opener “Get Into The Spirit,” ironically it is the second half that was responsible for this hostile spiritual abduction. The last five tracks consist of brilliant interpretations of the Christmas ballads “Come All Ye Faithful” and “Oh Holy Night.” It is on these slower tracks that Halford allows his voice to shine bright, resulting in a very moving listening experience.

I am sure there are many metal heads that would disagree and argue that Winter Songs is not a true Halford record because of the ballads, but you simply cannot discount great music because it is not as heavy as “Painkiller.”

In addition to the devastating tunes in the beginning and the aforementioned ballads, “Christmas For Everyone” features an upbeat and quirky boogie that will even please your girl, hence the title.

Winter Songs is the must own holiday album of the year. If you have difficulty embracing it in the beginning, do not give up. Within several listens, the Metal God will once again own your soul. It is your responsibility to give it that chance –Meds

Halford III is Rob Halford (Vocals), Roy Z (Guitars), Metal Mike Chlasiack (Guitars), Mike Davis (Bass), & Bobby Jarzombek.

Track Listing:

  1. “Get Into The Spirit”
  2. “We Three Kings”
  3. “Oh Come O Come Emmanuel”
  4. “Winter Song”
  5. “What Child Is This”
  6. “Christmas For Everyone”
  7. “I Don’t Care”
  8. “Light Of The World”
  9. “O Holy Night”
  10. “Come All Ye Faithful”

Winter Songs on Amazon.comOfficial SiteWikipedia.com

Review: SwampDaWamp – Rock This Country [2009]

Posted in SwampDaWamp with tags on November 25, 2009 by gearsofrock

Imagine for a moment the bastard child of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the 90’s WWE character Papa Shango (the singer’s image bears some resemblance), and you get something along the lines of SwampDaWamp. Rock This Country features 12 tracks of good Southern Rock music. SwampDaWamp is a great garage and bar band that you would be happy to throw a few pints down to, but would not expect to hear anything epic or legendary from. Unfortunately, as long as Kid Rock is around the rock country scene, there won’t be much room in the mainstream for SwampDaWamp, even with a giant stage show –Meds

SwampDaWamp is Gig Michaels (Vocals), Michael Hough (Guitars/Vocals), Keith Inman (Guitars/Vocals), Mike “Scooby” Huffman (B3/Keyboards/Vocals), Cody Bennett (Bass/Vocals), & David Lee (Drums)

Track Listing:

  1. “Lady”
  2. “Helluva Night”
  3. “Double or Nuthin'”
  4. “Good God”
  5. “American Man”
  6. “Six Tons”
  7. “Daddy Said”
  8. “Rock This Country”
  9. “Half My Life”
  10. “Shame”
  11. “Welcome To The Inn”
  12. “Stoned”

Review: Artie Lange – Jack And Coke [2009]

Posted in Artie Lange with tags on November 24, 2009 by gearsofrock

Howard Stern Show personality Artie Lange has released his first stand-up CD Jack And Coke, a set of mediocre material that he built and tested — on the show and in clubs — over the last several years.

If you are a listener of Stern’s Sirius Radio Show, you will find most of the jokes and stories told on this Gotham Comedy Club set to be very redundant. You have heard many of the stories from simply being a fan of Howard Stern and, it is widely known, that Lange’s best material comes naturally in the moment on Stern’s show, not in a club.

On the night club stage, Lange is more of a character than a genuinely funny comedian. The crowd seems to over-applaud jokes that are decent at best, cheering mainly because they are loyal to Lange and the Stern Show.

There are several funny bits on the disc such as his Chris Rock story, Eagles Fans story, and the Mike Tyson bit, but even these fall just short from making you laugh out loud.

Lange is not afraid to drop f bombs galore during his routine and I have no problem with strong language either. The problem is that the usage of the f word rarely advances his story telling and the punchline.

Overall, Jack And Coke is fun for fans but weak on the laughs. I love the Howard Stern Show and know Artie is the master of quick one-liners, but his planned stand-up routine is disappointing from this fan’s perspective –Meds

Track Listing:

  1. “Gay Cowboys”
  2. “Drugs And Hookers”
  3. “The Fattest Cokehead”
  4. “Tom Brady”
  5. “Lawrence Taylor”
  6. “Swine Flu”
  7. “Oscar Host”
  8. “Hiking”
  9. “Afghanistan”
  10. “Mike Tyson”
  11. “YouTube”
  12. “Over/Under”
  13. “Eagles Fans”
  14. “Special Olympics”
  15. “A-Rod And Uecker”
  16. “Italian Mother”
  17. “Chris Rock”
  18. “Political Correctness”

Track Review: Volbeat “A Warrior’s Call” [2009]

Posted in Volbeat with tags on November 22, 2009 by gearsofrock

Danish metal outfit Volbeat offers all you freaks “A Warrior’s Call,” a brand new and fresh anthemic fight song. Without sounding too contrived (remember Megadeth’s “Crush ‘Em”), Volbeat has created a tolerable and memorable arena track suitable for any competitive event. After all, the track was written and recorded specifically for boxer Mikkel Kessler’s recent fight. The band employs their signature rockabilly and swing-heavy beats, which draws some comparison to Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” only Volbeat is equipped with significantly more talent. The only possible addition the song could use, is a brief guitar solo at about 2:15. If you dig “The Human Instrument” and Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood, then you’ll definitely sink your soul into this beast as well. Download the song for free at volbeat.dkMeds

Volbeat is Michael Poulsen (Vocals/Guitar), Thomas Bredahl (Guitar), Anders Kjølholm (Bass), & Jon Larsen (Drums).

Track Review: Fear Factory “Powershifter” Mechanize [2010]

Posted in Fear Factory with tags on November 21, 2009 by gearsofrock

Update: Read the Mechanize full album review here

The new single “Powershifter” from Fear Factory is the most devastating and brutal tune in metal at the moment. The long awaited return of Dino Cazares on the guitars combined with Gene Hoglan’s drums most likely account for the powerfully aggressive rhythmic patterns that leaves the listener with facial blisters and a battered-in skull. Burton C. Bell continues to be one of metals greatest front men, alternating between his signature death grunts and trademark melodies.  The frenetic breakdown at 2:10 just rips and tears through flesh with pure ferocity. The new album Mechanize is due out February 9, 2010 on Candlelight Records and is promising to be the band’s best work since Obsolete and possibly Demanufacture, if “Powershifter” truly is an accurate representation of the new material –Meds

Fear Factory is Burton C. Bell (Vocals), Dino Cazares (Guitars), Byron Stroud (Bass), & Gene Hoglan (Drums).

Review: Age of Evil – Get Dead EP [2009]

Posted in Age Of Evil with tags on November 19, 2009 by gearsofrock

When the Age of Evil Get Dead EP arrived on my doorstep, the two cover tracks — Skid Row’s “Slave to the Grind” and Judas Priest’s “The Hellion/Electric Eye” — immediately gained my attention. “This is going to be a killer disc,” I thought to myself. The band has a cool name, some teenage angst, and a sick taste in music, therefore how can this CD possibly fail?

The covers themselves aren’t half bad as the band consists of talented musicians, especially the lead guitarist Jordan Ziff. However, the original tracks are disappointing and lame, resulting in some mild and unfortunate hilarity.

Clearly, AOE worships Dave Mustaine and the early thrash giants of the 80’s as heard in their style, but the lyrics are just awful. “You think you’re tough, think you wanna die, well kiss my bullet then you’ll wonder why,” sings Jeremy Goldberg on “Get Dead.” Fascinating.

On a different song, the exact same topic, the words are, “you can run, you can hide, but in the end you are going to die.”

The band’s image does not seem to match the style that they are portraying. If they were trying to be for metal what Steel Panther is to glam, I would totally get it. But the band seems to be dead serious.

I would suggest that they keep making heavy music since they can play hard and fast. But come on, put some genuine emotion into the lyrical content, tell a story, and provide some sort of intelligent message. Yes, heavy metal can be thought provoking, just ask Dave Mustaine and Tom Araya.

Age of Evil is Jeremy Goldberg (Vocals/Guitar), Jordan Ziff (Guitar), Jacob Goldberg (Bass), & Garrett Ziff (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Cruel Intentions”
  2. “Get Dead”
  3. “Slave to the Grind”
  4. “The Hellion/Electric Eye”
  5. “Eye for an Eye (Live)”
  6. “Glimpse of Light (Live)”