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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Moosic Roundup!


So my recent forays into the world of the Bruce Dickinson Rock Show (still a thrill for me to hear a show DJ-ed by him, even if he makes terrible embarrassing dad jokes) had me checking out a few new (to me) acts based on the songs he played.

(Kiwis may be interested to note that he recently played the classic Shihad track "Screwtop" during a Jaz Coleman-themed segment)

First, and surely the least impressive, are Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry.


Anyway, this may sound harsh, but if you've ever heard a Chris Cornell project - be it Soundgarden, his solo stuff, or Audioslave - then you've heard all that Black Stone Cherry has to offer. Which is not to say they're bad, but there's nothing really new going on, and just like Cornell an albums worth starts to feel like too much. In their defence, they sound like the kind of band who are probably fantastic live but just can't capture that when they go into a studio. Which isn't helped by the slick production on their eponymous album. Couple of standout tracks, but just a bit dull I'm afraid. Oh...and lyrics?

When the weight comes down
Watch for foreign soldiers
They'll try to break your neck
And I just wanna break your heart

Well...quite. Not going to win any prizes then.

Next up, Virginia rock outfit Alabama Thunderpussy!



Oh shit yeah!

Okay, so big points for the name. How can you not be charmed by that? And you have to admire their staunchly retro album art (check out their discography) which really lets you know where they're coming from out the gate. But are they any good?

Well, they could be. Which is to say, with a little tightening around the edges, they could be great. Their music has an unfortunate tendency toward the instrumental bloat of stoner rock, which for bands like Kyuss is fine, but when these guys break down it all sounds a bit Battle of the Bands. A little fat-trimming would serve them well.

But there's a lot to like in a trashy 70's American rock sorta way, and they do have some great tracks, including "Words of the Dying Man"- the one that perked my ears in the first place. The new album "Open Fire" has a new lead singer, and it's a definite improvement on the old stuff. Plus, he brings to the table lyrics like:

Hag women cackling,
Acknowledging their fate.
Waiting for just a taste,
From Lord Satan's plate.

So, off to a good start then!

And the last band I've been checking out? The mighty Volbeat!

Nice young chaps.

Volbeat (AKA My New Favourite Band) are a Danish outfit fronted by an Elvis-sounding frontman (or a slightly more melodic Danzig if you prefer) who dabble in country and rock'n'roll melodies mixed in with metal riffs. And they have been played pretty much non-stop on my ipod since I got the album ("Rock the Rebel / Metal the Devil"). Great vocals, hook-ish tunes, occasional Danish lyrics I can't's got it all.

Tons'a'fun. And lyrics?

Left my mama and papa's nest
I got the fever rambling my bones
Papa said : my boy, take my Johnny Cash vinyls and go
Well i got my pocket full of real tales, and a broken guitar mode
And the story keep on rollin', out from a sad man's tongue is their second language....

Look! A video!

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