Archive for AC/DC

Review: The Answer – Everyday Demons [2009]

Posted in Answer with tags , on March 14, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-answerIf you were fortunate to attend AC/DC’s Black Ice tour in 2008, you were most likely exposed to the brilliant rock energy eminating from the opening act: The Answer of Northern Ireland. Everyday Demons is the followup to the successful Never Too Late EP and features an all-out blistering classic rock sound. The Answer’s style honors rock and roll royalty, from Black Sabbath (“Why’d You Change Your Mind?”)  to Queen (“Demon Eyes”) to R.E.M. (“Comfort Zone”). The hard-edged rock and roll boogie heard on tracks such as “Walking Mat,” “On and On,” and “Too Far Gone” makes this one of the best albums of 2009 thus far. B+

Gears of Rock Quick Start Guide

Posted in Metallica with tags , , on January 13, 2009 by gearsofrock

While reading over some my favorite posts from the past year, I decided to put together a short sampling, consisting of nine entries, that define the key content, aims, and overall essence of this blog. Without further ado, here is the 2009 “Gears of Rock Quick Start Guide”

  1. Single Review: Metallica – “My Apocalypse” [2008]
  2. Track-By-Track Album Review: AC/DC – Black Ice [2008]
  3. Traditional Album Review: Exodus – Let There Be Blood [2008]
  4. Album Brief: Deadbird – Twilight Ritual [2008]
  5. DVD Review: Halford – Live at Rock in Rio III [2008]
  6. Concert Review: Twisted Sister on Broadway 12-5-08
  7. Rock-in-Movies: The Wrestler [2008]
  8. Rock-on-Television: Kat Von D & Nikki Sixx on L.A. Ink [2008]
  9. Gamer Rock: “Guitar Hero World Tour” Nintendo Wii [2008]

Yes, I could have easily added a 10th category and post but these nine currently feel the most right to me. Cheers.

Top 10 Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Albums of 2008

Posted in Top 10 with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by gearsofrock

Here are the lists of “Top 10 Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Albums of 2008” by Meds, Pete, and our awesome readers:

amazon-metallica-death-magnetic2Meds [Administrator]

  1. Metallica – Death Magnetic
  2. AC/DC – Black Ice
  3. Maiden Heaven – Kerang! Tribute to Iron Maiden
  4. Tesla – Forever More
  5. Extreme – Saudades de Rock
  6. Motorhead – Motorizer
  7. Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild
  8. Judas Priest – Nostradamus
  9. Motley Crue – The Saints of Los Angeles

amazon-toadies-no-deliverancePeter O’Brien [Frequent Contributor]

  1. Toadies – No Deliverance
  2. Metallica – Death Magnetic
  3. Cccome? – Raccoon
  4. Buckethead – Albino Slug
  5. Devotchka – A Mad & Faithful Telling
  6. The Clash – Live at Shea Stadium
  7. Exodus – Let There Be Blood
  8. Iron Maiden – Somewhere Back In Time (Recommended classic: Powerslave)
  9. Megadeth – Anthology: Set The World Afire (Recommended classic: Rust In Peace)
  10. Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy (Just because it isn’t a collection)

acdc-black-ice1Gear of Rock Readers [According To Page Views]

  1. AC/DC – Black Ice
  2. Metallica – Death Magnetic
  3. Motley Crue – The Saints of Los Angeles
  4. Exodus – Let There Be Blood
  5. We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
  6. Toadies – No Deliverance
  7. Extreme – Saudades de Rock
  8. Tesla – Forever More
  9. Staind – The Illusion of Progress
  10. Maiden Heaven – Kerang! Tribute To Iron Maiden

Thank you to all our readers for making the Gears of Rock a great place to read hard rock and heavy metal reviews. 2009 will be even bigger and better with more album reviews, concert reviews, and give aways. Have a very Happy New Year!!!

Update: Mike SOS’s [Frequent Contributor]

  1. Metallica – Death Magnetic
  2. Death Angel – Killing Season
  3. Torche – Meanderthal
  4. Raw Radar War – = =
  5. Nachtmystium – Assassins: Black Meddle Part I
  6. The Haunted – Versus
  7. Venomous Concept – Poisonous Apple
  8. King’s X – XV
  9. Byzantine – Oblivion Beckons
  10. Gojira – The Way Of All Flesh

Recap: “That Metal Show” Episode 7 [12-27-08]

Posted in That Metal Show with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2008 by gearsofrock

metalshow_logo3That Metal Show starring hard rock DJ Eddie Trunk, comedian Jim Florentine, and Inside The NFL’s Don Jamieson aired its seventh and final all-new season 1 episode on VH1 Classic last night at 11 p.m.

The hosts opened the show with a discussion of recent trends in music distribution by bands like Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC, referring to their decisions to exclusively sell their latest albums in Best Buy and Walmart, respectively.

“I can [also] do Christmas shopping for my girlfriend,” joked Florentine about purchasing Black Ice from Walmart. Jamiseon pointed out that this trend is not good for “ma and pa” stores.

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush were this week’s special guests. “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, are you kidding me?” said Trunk right off the bat, referring to the Hall’s inappropriate decision to not induct Rush. Lee did not seem to mind but felt sorry for the fans that care.

amazon-rushOn the bright side, Rush was incorporated into the hit video game Rock Band 2. Lee thinks that the game is “terrific” because it turns on kids to rock and roll. Lifeson agreed  that the game is “wonderful” because more kids will become excited and learn to play a real instrument.

Recently Rush released Snakes & Arrows live DVD. Jamieson noted the band’s sense of humor on the DVD because the band performs with a running dryer and a chicken rotisserie cooking on stage.

Rush does not have an opening act these days and takes an intermission between sets. “We’re getting old,” said Lee.

Lee and Lifeson noted that the reason Rush has lasted for over 30 years is that they get along really well, they are friends, and they laugh together. “I’m still into drugs,” joked Lifeson, meaning prescription medication.

Trunk went 2 for 3 on this week’s “Stump The Trunk” segment. He answered questions concerning Kiss and Brides of Destruction correctly but could not remember Megadeth’s mascot, Vic Rattlehead. Trunk’s final average for the first season is .480 (12/25).

amazon-classic-rockThe “Pick of the Week” was Classic Rock magazine from Great Britain which happened to have Rush on the cover. Florentine described the magazine to be “like old school Kerrang!”

This week’s “What ever happened to?” email concerned the whereabouts of White Lion guitarist Vito Bratta. According to Trunk, he “chooses to stay home.”

“The Throwdown” debate was a battle between the ’80s video vixens, Tawny Kitaen and Bobbie Brown. Lifeson, Lee, Florentine, Jamieson, and the studio audience chose Kitaen. Jamieson mentioned that Kitaen married David Coverdale who is “cooler than Jani Lane.” Florentine joked that she “dated OJ and is still alive.” Trunk chose Brown, however, citing that Kitaen is a “whack job.”

Overall, the final all-new season 1 episode was another delight for hard rock and heavy metal fans. Lee and Lifeson of Rush proved to be entertaining guests that brought a heightened sense of humor to the episode. Florentine was also funnier, particularly during “Stump The Trunk” when Eddie was trying to get half-credit for the Megadeth question.

Since Trunk finished the season under .500, I wonder if they will bring “Stump The Trunk” back for season 2.  Whatever their decision may be, I am sure season 2 will only get better as the hosts have made improvements in each episode as they have all settled into their roles on the show.

According to Eddie Trunk’s official website, http://www.eddietrunk.com, season 2 begins filming in February. If you are interested in getting tickets to a taping then make sure you are registered with his website.

In the meantime, you can watch the full episodes of That Metal Show on vh1classic.com.

Review: AC/DC Live @ Madison Square Garden November 13, 2008

Posted in AC/DC, Shows with tags , , on November 14, 2008 by gearsofrock

AC/DC’s decision to destroy Madison Square Garden was most likely made to honor their sold-out crowd of loyal rock ‘n roll fanatics. The legends blasted through their radio hits “Back in Black,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and “Highway To Hell,” and blazed through new cuts “Anything Goes” and “War Machine,” making last night’s rock show a grand celebration.

The pre-set video of a cartoon Angus Young riding a locomotive to it’s doom was one of the show’s highlights. Following the video, the set began with a powerful version of the single, “Rock ‘n Roll Train” [see video below]. The fans found the new material very pleasing, responding with unending fist pumping and head banging.

Brian Johnson and Angus Young are still in great shape—constantly running the area (length x width) of the jumbo stage for the full 1 hour 40 minutes. Malcolm Young, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams continue to make up one of the tightest rhythm sections in rock music.

There is not much left to say—AC/DC has mastered the formula for delivering an amazing rock show. The bell (“Hells Bells”), the strip tease (“The Jack”), and the canons (“For Those About To Rock”) make this an absolute must-see tour that will surely fill you up with rock ‘n roll bliss.

Setlist

Rock n Roll Train
Hell Ain’t a Bad Place To be
Back In Black
Big Jack
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Thunderstruck
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot to thrill
War Machine
Anything Goes
You Shook Me all night long
TNT
Whole lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock

Encore:
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock

ACDC Tickets

Miscellaneous Rock Links: Guns N’ Roses, Beatles, AC/DC…

Posted in AC/DC, Guns n' Roses, The Beatles with tags , , , on November 1, 2008 by gearsofrock

1. Billboard’s mediocre review of the new Guns N’ Roses’ single “Chinese Democracy” [reuters.com].

2. Rock Band: The Beatles edition is in the works for middle-aged gamers [mtv.co.uk].

3. The Hard Rock Theme Park is already up for sale after just 6 months of operation and 7 years of planning [ap.google.com]

4. Heavy Metal makes a triumphant return to Iraq — video of MSNBC news report and performance included [blabbermouth.net].

5. A respectful Chicago Tribune review of AC/DC’s performance at the Allstate arena [chicagotribune.com].

ACDC Tickets

Review: AC/DC – Black Ice [2008]

Posted in AC/DC, Track-By-Track with tags , , on October 15, 2008 by gearsofrock

AC/DC doesn’t want this record downloaded for a very simple reason — they don’t make singles, they make full albums. As singles, none of these tracks will make much, if any, sense to the listener. However, as an album this record destroys.

Here is the Gears of Rock Track-By-Track rundown. If you already own the album, feel free to pop it in and rock along.

“Rock N’ Roll Train” opens Black Ice, the new album by the legendary Aussie rock band, AC/DC. The song begins with a classic Angus Young riff, followed by steady drums and bass, which cues up the Brian Johnson growl. It is a basic rock n roll blues song with a wonderful sing along chorus. The Angus guitar solo is a little weaker than usual; I figured after waiting 8 long years he’d unleash more fury on the opening track. Overall, true fans of AC/DC will not be disappointed with this tune. 8/10

“Skies On Fire” begins with a cruising drum beat while the guitar brings in a solid groove with the rock n roll flavor. The listener can’t help but bang their head to the tune’s rhythm. Young’s guitar solo is equipped with a lot more personality than “Rock N Roll Train,” as it is extended several additional bars. 8.5/10

“Big Jack” is a classic AC/DC rock n roll blues song from the opening note to the end. There is a cool drum break [2:45] that transitions the tune into a brief guitar solo. 8/10

“Anything Goes” includes an uplifting tone that forces an uncomfortable grin upon the listener. It also does not help that there is a refreshing lead guitar part during the intro…the uncomfortable grin widens. Malcolm and Angus Young work the dual guitar attack really well on this tune. This song could be a classic on the same spectrum as “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” “Shoot To Thrill,” and “Thunderstrck.” 8.5/10

“War Machine” begins with the bass guitar and drums preparing for an eruption of molten rock and roll bliss. The guitars enter the buildup to aid the volcanic rumble. Brian Johnson’s vocals sound awesome as usual — has this guy aged? Angus Young’s guitar solo is fairly short like “Rock and Roll Train,” which was again, disappointing. Hopefully, Young will deliver some old school rock and roll heart when performing these tunes live on the “Black Ice World Tour.” 8/10

“Smash N’ Grab” wastes no time and smashes the listener right in the face from the start. This tune has the rock n roll heart that we love as rock fanatics. Additionally, the guitar solo has the right phrasing and soul that we demand from Angus. 8/10

“Spoilin For A Fight” has one of the best titles on the record and delivers the beatdown well. It doesn’t make me want to fight anyone like “Dirty Deeds” once did, but it gets the job done. 8/10

“Wheels” begins with a blues guitar intro that contains a faster rhythm than most of the other tracks. There are a few guitar fills reminiscent of the High Voltage era which is always a refreshing accomplishment. 8/10

“Decibel” opens with a guitar riff that sets up the rock stomp beat heard throughout the track. The main riff is one of the better ones on the record. Angus works, but comes close to abusing, the unison guitar bends like a monster. 8/10

“Stormy May Day” The main riff sounds like it could have been found on a Tesla or Cinderella record in 1986 [Gears of Rock compliment]. However, the song seems to end too soon before the listener finishes their ride. Towards the end, the track becomes quiet while Brian Johnson softly sings the title’s words. Rather than kick the listener in the face with a rocking final chorus, the song just ends. 7/10

“She Likes Rock N’ Roll” has the heaviest sounding guitar on the record, the most elaborate bass line, and is the most dance-able — makes sense, since this track is about a girl that digs rock music. As reflected in his lead work, Angus seems to play it up for this rock chick. After all, “she gives rock n roll?” 8/10

“Money Made” is a sing along stadium tune from the opening chorus. “Money Made” may be the catchiest track on Black Ice, as it has just the right amount of rock and cheese — I can’t wait to hear this one live. 8.5/10

“Rock N Roll Dream” seems to mellow out the record. This would be considered “the ballad” of the album, or as much of a ballad as AC/DC can muster – nope, I spoke too soon. After the first minute, the song’s choruses rock your face off. 8/10

“Rocking All The Way” is the fourth track on the album with “rock” somewhere in the title. At first, this track sounds like an album filler, but then the chorus makes the tune a more interesting. The first guitar solo is very generic and doesn’t sound like Angus put much heart into it. The second solo towards the final chorus contains more rock and soul. 7.5/10

“Black Ice” is the title track that closes the album. The song opens with a great guitar shuffle riff that may be the best on the record. It does become very redundant as it is heard consistently throughout the tune, but is probably the most fun to play. 8/10

After the early releases of “Rock N Roll Train” and “War Machine” on the internet, it was difficult to understand why Angus held back from ripping his Gibson SG. As the listener follows through on the entire record, it becomes clear that AC/DC, under the guidance of Brendan O’Brien, worked hard to assemble a full rock record. On those particular tracks an extended solo may have been deemed inappropriate.

Black Ice is not perfect, as it could have been even better if it was limited to an 11 or 12 track format. This way the listener is left wanting more instead of waiting for the end. By the 13th track, the record will become boring to the non die-hards. Next time save the extras for B-Sides on the Japanese imports.

Overall, this is another good record by these rock legends. Yes, everything sounds the same. No, their music has not evolved much since the 1970s, but that is why we love AC/DC. Some bands are meant to evolve and go through certain stages, while some should just keep the same path, forever and ever. Amen.

Buy all the classic AC/DC albums