Archive for Guns n’ Roses

Recap: “That Metal Show” Season 2 Episode 1 [3-7-09] Vinnie Paul

Posted in That Metal Show with tags , , , , on March 8, 2009 by gearsofrock

metalshow_logoAfter journeying through four hours of Heavy: The Story of Metal, VH1 Classic debuted the second season of That Metal Show, starring hard rock DJ Eddie Trunk, comedians Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, and special guest Vinnie Paul of Pantera, Damage Plan, and Hell Yeah.

Before bringing out Vinnie, the hosts briefly discussed the reception of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy since its release in November. Trunk, Florentine, and Jamieson were split on the success of the record due to exclusive retailing contracts and fan indifference.

Legendary drummer Vinnie Paul walked on the set from the front of the audience instead of side stage sporting a bad ass black cowboy hat and black button down shirt fully exposing his signature thick Texan chest hair. Paul mentioned his adult entertainment facility, The Clubhouse in Dallas because he was partying there the night before the taping. The discussion turned to the recently released book about his deceased brother, titled Dimebag Darrell: He Came To Rock and said a few emotional words about Dime’s character. Vinnie concluded the interview on a high note announcing a new release on Big Vin Records called Seventh Void featuring Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly of Type-o-Negative [editor’s note: please send us a promo copy as soon as possible!].

The comedic bit concerned the search for the “Miss Box of Junk” who would have the job of escorting the Box of Junk during “Stump The Trunk.” Jamieson, Florentine, and a random guy sat on an American Idol styled panel as strippers, a burlesque dancer, a molecular biology major, and nitwits presented their box skills. One auditioner made this hilarious comment: “I don’t have much experience with black box. Jim, you do right?” (haha…Robin Quivers joke).

stump-the-trunk-2-1Trunk answered a Cinderella and Rush question correctly on the first “Stump The Trunk” of the season. However, in order for the viewers to meet Miss Box of Junk, he had to miss the third question concerning Dream Theater’s debut album When Dream and Day Unite. Kerri Lee from Tenessee brought out the Box of Junk for the stumper, who picked out a copy of Wolfmother’s Dimension, which is a very lame prize since the CD is a couple of years old now and it’s a cheap prize. Last season, someone received Rock Band 2. Trunk is 2 for 3 thus far opening his stats at .667 and raising his career average to .500.

Thin Lizzy’s Still Dangerous: Live at the Tower Theatre Philadelphia 1977 from the “Renegade Tour” was the “Pick of the Week.” Dave King of Fastway was the topic of “Whatever Happened To.” Trunk noted that King is the lead singer for the Irish American Celtic punk band Flogging Molly.

amazon-metallica-death-magneticOld Metallica (Kill – Justice) vs. New Metallica (Black – Magnetic) was the subject of “The Throwdown.” Paul chose old but admitted that Death Magnetic made Metallica a better live band. Trunk also sided with the old stuff. Florentine and Jamieson both picked new Metallica which proved to be very unpopular with the studio audience. Florentine comitted metal heresy when he said that he liked St. Anger on national television. Jamieson commented that he thought Death Magnetic is their best album ever. Needless to say, the audience overwhelmingly went with old Metallica.

The first episode of season two contained an awesome guest in Vinnie Paul. Jamieson and Florentine tossed more funny one-liners at each other rather than at Trunk. Florentine wore a gray That Metal Show t-shirt instead of a cool band shirt like last season and the fixed “Stump the Trunk” segment was disappointing. They should work on making the bit more natural in the future. Next week’s guest is Frank Bello of Anthrax.

Watch full episodes of That Metal Show on vh1classic.com.

Classic Moment In Heavy Metal: Backstage Metallica & Guns N’ Roses Tour [1992]

Posted in Guns n' Roses, Metallica with tags , on January 12, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-year-andIn this scene from A Year And A Half In The life of Metallica James Hetfield reads Axl Rose’s list of show demands and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row does a mock MTV interview with Lars Ulrich and an intoxicated Slash. Also, hanging out backstage is the greatly underrated Jim Martin, former guitarist of Faith No More.

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.

Recap: “That Metal Show” Episode 5 [12-13-08] Mike Piazza

Posted in That Metal Show with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2008 by gearsofrock

metalshow_logo1That Metal Show starring hard rock guru Eddie Trunk, comedian Jim Florentine, and Inside The NFL’s Don Jamieson aired its fifth episode on VH1 Classic last night at 11 p.m.

Episode 5 began with the question, “Do people care about new music from classic hard rock bands?” Florentine made the point that the classic bands only play one or two of the new tracks live and he disliked the trend of rerecording and/or remastering old records. “That is why I ripoff Columbia house,” said Florentine.

Jamieson cracked that “Christine Sixteen” is now in the nursing home. The hosts agreed that the bands that have stuck to their guns such as Metallica, AC/DC, Judas Priest, and Motorhead still release albums that are worth buying and hearing live.

piazzaBaseball’s all-time greatest hitting catcher, Mike Piazza was this week’s special guest who is a die hard Heavy Metal fan.

“Johnny Bench is here?” joked Jamieson as Piazza was introduced.

Mike Piazza talked about his first Kiss concert between 1977 and 1978, as well as his uncle’s role in introducing Piazza to the universe of rock.

Trunk and Piazza told a story about a Guns N’ Roses show they attended at Madison Square Garden in 2001. Axl Rose did not make it on stage until 12:30 a.m., so Piazza and Trunk hung out at the open bar for far too long. Piazza did some entertaining drunk impressions of himself from that night.

Rose took the stage wearing team jerseys of the local team’s top players throughout the performance. He wore a Messier, Strahan, Jeter, and even a Metrostars jersey. A highly offended and intoxicated Piazza yelled at Rose while standing on his seat for most of the set. Later, at the meet and greet, Piazza confronted Rose who was very apologetic. Florentine joked, “That is why Axl has been isolated for the last 12 years.”

Trunk and Florentine interviewed Brian Johnson and Angus Young of AC/DC during a pre-recorded segment. They asked them the typical questions: Where have you been? School boy attire? Practical jokes…etc. A coffee chugging Young was barely audible throughout the short interview but he said that he couldn’t play without his uniform on. Throughout the interview Florentine seemed obsessed with Young’s rear end.

Trunk went 2 for 4 on this week’s “Stump The Trunk.” A familiar “Gary from the Bronx” [asked a question on a previous episode] stumped Trunk on a Sabbath Bloody Sabbath question, and another dude stumped him on a Spaghetti Incident question. Trunk answered Florentine’s young nephew’s question correctly as well as a Dokken bass player question posed by Jen of Long Island. Trunk’s seasonal average is now .474 (9/19).

amazon-rules-of-hellThe “Pick of the Week” is a Black Sabbath box set, The Rules of Hell, which features all of the Dio recordings. “I’m not gonna get it again,” said Florentine referring to the show’s opening discussion about re-issues.

The “Email of the Week” concerned the 80’s Kiss guitarist Vinny Vincent. Trunk talked about a sex change rumor and how Vincent sued Kiss for songwriting credit. Piazza did a Gene Simmon’s impression about Kiss’s superior lawyers winning the suit.

This week’s “Throwdown” was the “Battle of the Brits: Judas Priest or Iron Maiden?” Piazza and Florentine sided with Maiden while Jamieson and Trunk went with Priest. They seem to purposely split 50/50 every episode. Trunk argued that there would be no Maiden without Priest, and Jamieson added that, “they don’t mind working with a gay guy.” The debate broke down into better replacement singer, “Blaze or ‘Ripper’ Owens.” Predictably, Tim “Ripper” Owens dominated that quick discussion. The audience sided with Priest however the hosts never asked the audience how they felt about Maiden.

Season 1 Episode 5 featuring Mike Piazza is enjoyable, entertaining, and interesting but too short. Piazza was not as involved in the episode as Mike Portnoy, and I am sure Piazza had plenty of funny stories to share. Hopefully, there will be future specials that are one hour in length. Since, they filmed a couple shows a day, there were familiar faces and boobies in the audience; I am pretty sure Gary from the Bronx asked a question in an earlier episode and I know for a fact the large chested blond from last week was in attendance.

Watch the full episodes of That Metal Show on vh1classic.com now.

Next week’s episode features Ace Frehley of Kiss.

Review: Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy [2008]

Posted in Guns n' Roses with tags , on November 22, 2008 by gearsofrock

chinese-democBy Peter O’Brien

In 1994 Guns n’ Roses recorded a cover of The Rolling Stones song “Sympathy for the Devil,” which was featured on the soundtrack for the Neil Jordan film, Interview with the Vampire. That recording prompted a lot of speculation and anticipation for the next Guns n’ Roses album, following 1993’s The Spaghetti Incident? and 1991’s pinnacle double release Use Your Illusion 1 & II. However, since then “it’s been fourteen years of silence, it’s been fourteen years of pain, it’s been fourteen years that are gone forever, and I’ll never have again.” Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 marks the release of the most anticipated hard rock album of the past two decades when Guns n’ Roses’ sixth studio album—Chinese Democracy FINALLY gets released on Geffen Records.

The album has been in the works for the past decade, with high hopes for a release in 2000 following the inclusion of the song “Oh My God” on the soundtrack for the film End of Days. It was the first song recorded by the new line-up (at the time) and due to lack of popularity it has subsequently been left off the final track list of Chinese Democracy. After several more line-up changes and cancelled tour dates throughout the early to mid 2000’s the album was finally completed at such a staggering price tag that it was thought the album would never be profitable. As a result, this delayed the release even further while a distribution and marketing deal was worked out. The album will be exclusively available through Best Buy retailers as a compact disc, digital download, or LP with a free digital download.

The album leads off with a string of recently released singles including the title track, “Chinese Democracy,” “Shackler’s Revenge,” and “Better.” From that list it’s easy to say that the album starts off strong. The fourth song, “Street of Dreams” has a very classic GNR feel to it, which along with some other tunes gives the album a good balance of transition and segue to the newer material.

The next song is “If the World,” which was featured on the soundtrack for Body of Lies released last month. There are so many sounds happening in this song that it’s more like an R&B song than a rock song. And for a reason that remains unclear, there is what sounds like a porno guitar riff underlying it all. This leads off a sort of lull of compositions in the middle of the album. The following songs: “There was a time,” “Catcher n’ the Rye,” “Scraped,” “Riad n’ the Bedouins,” and “Sorry” all have their strengths and weaknesses. They just seem to have more of the latter than the opening group of songs. Of these middle of the road (and album) tracks “Catcher n’ the Rye” and “Sorry” are the most enjoyable. “Catcher” falls into that same category as “Street of Dreams,” as their compositions are very similar in tone and structure. “Sorry” leads off with a very tranquil guitar rhythm that gradually becomes enveloped by Axl’s lyrics.

In a way this song leads nicely into the remaining tracks, which are among the best on the album. These songs: “I.R.S.,” “Madagascar,” “This I Love,” and “Prostitute” are probably the closest to classic GNR tracks on this record. While listening to them you can hear how great they could be with the right collaborators. What they all seem to be lacking from, and this includes the rest of the songs on the album, is inventive, passionate, guitar playing. The whole album has this stale, generic guitar work that provides flattened filler, which occasionally compliments the composition, rather than give the songs signature riffs and licks. It is the piano work of both Axl and Dizzy Reed that dominates the majority of the songs on Chinese Democracy, and that is the limitation of Axl as a songwriter. Many, if not all, the songs are multi-layered compositions that are riddled with samples.

That being said, the thing that makes Chinese Democracy great to listen to is Axl’s vocal performance. His vocal arrangements, coupled with his lyrical ability, are clearly his strengths as a songwriter. The harmonies and vocal melodies he displays on this record are the one parallel that can be drawn between the old and new Guns n’ Roses albums. Much like his former band mates: Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum’s recent albums with Velvet Revolver sound like they are lacking a vital element to take them from average to superior, the same can be said about Chinese Democracy and their absence on it. The two (GNR & Velvet Revolver) seem to be on par as far as their writing abilities are concerned, but it is clear that they are better together.

The album has a very consistent sound in terms of performance, tone, and production quality. Listening to it you can hear Axl’s influence in the earlier Guns n’ Roses work, which in many (kind of obvious) respects makes Chinese Democracy more of an Axl Rose solo album rather than a collaborative group effort. The replacement of every single band member (with the exception of Rose) doesn’t allow Chinese Democracy to really show an evolution of music growth within the band. Instead the band has been re-contextualized into a new dynamic with a new musical direction that falls short of its previous incarnation. There are no songs on Chinese Democracy that stand out and resonate musically the way tracks from Appetite for Destruction, or Use Your Illusion I & II had in the past. B/B-

Be sure to check out Peter O’Brien’s thrash metal documentary “Riphouse 151: Could’ve Been’s & Wanna Be’s” which is currently on the festival circuit.

Video game rentals! Click through into GameFly’s registration page.

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