Well, I intend trying to post the new CD reviews on-line before the they go into the printed zine, so that hopefully they'll be more uptodate. There's nothing worse than having a new CD early in the existence of a new issue that you want to shout about, and by the time the issue is finished, the CD is 3 months old. So this is to try and remedy it.
Angelwhore - Superman
Ok, when I saw these I was probably a little unfair as I didn't really pay them much attention. So what's the mini album like then. Hmm, not really my bag. There's too much Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznoring going on here, not allowing the band to establish their own identity. It's evident in opening song Superman, the vocals grate in that Mansonesque serrated drawl sort of thing, decrying fundamentally how no-one really understands me.
"I am superman, I am not what I am, Not what appears to be, Not what you think of me, And I hate everyone"
The problem is, it's too easy to understand most people. Especially those that think they're somehow "enigmatic" or even "misunderstood". I mean yeah, musically it's ok, but it winds me up the wrong way. And to be honest that's how the remainder of the CD goes. Cut is better, with it's atmospheric opening, but once the song itself gets going, it's pretty unmemorable. That's their other big problem, the songs simply aren't memorable. Of course the lyrics stir , Cut reads like it's talk of people cutting themselves, not being understood and the contemplation of suicide. Which will get them talking on the streets of Loch Lone 'em tonight (sorry, beem watching the rugby again, ain't Bill McClaren great! And Wales won again!!) Nausea has the heaviest most mechanical riff going on, but those vocals again - there's just nothing to get excited about. Background white noise builds until it engulfs the entire thing. The final track is maybe the most interesting, a techno gonzoid kind of thing, almost remix sort of thing, not normally my bag, but somehow the best thing here - which I'm not sure is a good sign. Maybe it's lack of vocals, although the ones that are present grate, ah, I've figured, it must be a remix of Superman - superman is being repeated ad nauseum. Still don't really like the name, it's almost trying for sensationalism that is a waste of time, at least to me. The picture doesn't help, just looks stupid. But that's me, I don't understand and all that. Oh and please, I know nothing about goth, but please don't start on that "they're goth thing". Manson ain't goth, Type O are barely goth and this isn't goth. This is metal hanging on to the coat tails of a man who upset the "totally unflappable" Americans. There is a world of difference. Some can get away with it, others just follow and hope. I'm afraid the latter is where Angelwhore stand for me at the moment. If you like that MM blokey, then you may enjoy this, if you think he grates, then you'll find this does to.
Available on Casket Music PO Box 4429 Henley on Thames Oxon, UK.
Hardcore Superstar - Someone Special
I think I've said it before, I hate bios. Bios are shit. Bios are the work of the devil. Bios can completely spoil your view of a track before you listen to it, setup your judgement of a band without actually listening to what matters the most - the music. And here we go again. "THe most dangerous band since Guns'n'Roses". Or words to that effect. Yeah, they're stirring up the undergrowth. Oh for fucks sake, not another dangerous band. And Guns'n'Roses. Never really was a fan. Anyway, c'mon Dave, put your judgement aside, it's wrong of you. I know I know, but that's what bios are - double edged swords. They can serve good. They can serve to be BAD. But the music. Well, it's a 3 track single from a Swedish band. You put it on, the vocalist opens his gob and shit, out comes Axl Rose. So that's where the buggers been hiding all these years. Forget that recluse stuff. He's actually been inside the gob of a Swedish bloke. But something strange happens - half way through he turns into whichever bloody Gallagher it is that sings for Oasis. I kid you not. There's moments where the link between Rose and Gallagher isn't just that they're both twats. The song, well it's catchy enough, big chorus, yeah, could imagine it being big - if you accept it for good time rock sort of thing. But dangerous? Michael Owen is more dangerous. Well he is in the six yard box. It's just a decent song, that's it. Next track is Send Myself To Hell, which in itself is dangerous, specially if you're wearing a wooly jumper at the time. It's not bad again, nothing original at all, but if this sort of music is making a comeback, what with the likes of I guess the Backyard Babies, Hellacopters etc, then you can make a case for this lot being with them. So Deep Inside follows that blueprint, and has the classic fall back lyric when the dangerous imagination has dried up, yep it's time for one of the "easy come is easy go" moments. It makes me think of The Scorpions. Dunno why, they just popped into my mind for a few moments. With Axl Gallagher on vocals of course. Now how dangerous would a line-up like that be!
Available on Music For Nations.
Fuck, why do I bother. Here we go, I've got a whole bunch of scary looking blokes CDs to listen to, otherwise known as deathy metal of some sort. But this first one, well, I can't read the band name, on either the cover or the CD. Neither can I read the name of the CD and the lyrics are all in their native language whatever that is (which is fair enough.) So I'm going to have to go to the bio just to find out the name of the band. I mean, what the fuck is the point of that? Why should I bother? Ok, I will, hang on a mo, just going to find the relevant shit of paper, sorry, that was sheet, having a bad typing day! Ah, they're called Sorhin. Course they are. How could I have been so bloody stupid as not to have realised that!
Anyway the music, ah yeah, that thing. It's actually not as extreme as I was anticipating. There's a lot of the hyper speed concept going on, usually at the expense of a memorable riff and there's plenty of those scare vocals going on. Business as usual there then. Actually the second track - no, I'm not going to bother trying to type it or read the translation, actually has a couple of nice breaks in there. And the third and final track, when it goes at just fast actually has some nice enough riffs in there. But for the most part, my problem with this sort of music, apart of course from the fact that I probably don't give it the length of time to try and sink in as I should do, is that I can't find anything to readily distinguish the different bands between. Levels of production seem to be the main thing, because I really can't tell if it's actually good for what it is, or a big pile of satans shit. Oh yeah, and the other big problem. Those STUPID fucking indecipherable logos. I swear I'm going to write a review one day in an indecipherable font.
Distributed Via Copro.
Ok, so next we've got a 4 track demo from midlands based band Creep. Dunno why, but initially I was expecting a nu-metal by numbers kind of thing. Oh yeah, I just remembered why, because just about metalcorehardrockangst band offers up a "nu-metal" offering. It's getting very boring. Plus there's the feeling of the cover which looks like hand drawn puppets on strings, evoking visions of some band that appears to use child based imagery on their covers. Fortunately although Creep are dealing in contemporary rock music, they at least avoid most of the cliches that exist at the moment. Overall the production lets it down, but to repeat for the 150th time, production in demos matters little, it's the songs that count. The other problem, that many demo bands have, and is probably inextricably linked to being a demo band, is the somewhat restrained bordering on timid nature of the vocals - though after a few listens they grow on you. There's a voice there that could well suit the music, just needs to sounds more confident. The music itself offers little that's 100% original, but during first track dvda there's a really nice break. Blindspot trundles along in a way that actually makes me think of Nirvana, until towards the end they spoil it by doing the nu-metal shoutbynumbers angst kind of thing. There's only so much you can do with your voice, and some can do more than others, but it's just that so many end up sounding so samey when they try that particular style. Seperation has a familiar groove underpining it, which is nothing to be worried about, familiarity can be breed contempt, it can also breed great moments. This is neither, but who knows. Final track Broken Wings is sadly not a cover of the Mister Mr track, well hey, everyone else is doing a cover these days. Yep, there's a definite Nirvana feel about the dynamic and atmospherics of the songs, some nice simple grooves, maybe in a way too simple. One of the feelings this evokes is that the songwriting is simple and effective but maybe needs to just get a little more complex. The ideas all sound good, but too much like it's too obvious. But they've laid a solid enough foundation. It's up to them to try and take it forward, which of course means taking themselves forward at the same point.
Right, I'll remember to look up the address at home tonight.
Day Be Mine - True as Told.
This is a strange one this is. The title invites comment. Well it does when you place it up against the Truth As Told that is a press release. It's described as Hardcore / Stoner which in itself feels just like completely incompatible bedfellows. Truth is this is a metal album, no matter which of the current trends you try to dress it up in. Take it for that and it's ok. Some decent riffs and songs, a few moments which almost bring to mind Offspring vocalist geezer (though not quite as nasal), who in turn of course brings to mind The Scorpions vocalist geezer who is German, which is what Day Be Mine are as well. Ah, the circles always close don't they. It's one of those "don't actually put a track listing on the CD cover" jobbies, so no track titles. The songs themselves have a variety of time changes, there's quite a few guitar solos and as far as I can tell, not a hint of hardcore going on here. Headswim meets Fudge Tunnel this is not, despite what the press release may claim. There's some nice chuggy moments though. One to listen to a few times. One not to listen to if you're expecting hardcore. That's the truth as told by me. Which of course could be a complete lie.
Available on SPV