Posts Tagged ‘Riot’

Just how good are Anthrax? Heaps good! Now I saw Anthrax back in 1990 on their Persistence Of Time tour and they were great. Like really great. And here’s a story from that show: They played at the Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide. This was back in the days when cameras were not allowed into venues so being a 15 year old punk with complete disregard for the rules, I snuck my camera in. Stuffed down the front of my pants, as I ran to the front of the stage, I got busted by security and they told me that I couldn’t bring my camera into the venue and that I had to hand it over to them. I wasn’t gonna hand over my camera so I told the security that I’d take the film out and give to him as I wasn’t going to give him my camera in case I never saw him again. Also, cos I sneakily had a second roll of film in my pocket. Yep, I’m that guy. So I opened the camera and gave him the roll of film inside and then got my place in the front row. Was quite happy with my spot. I befriended a photographer who was waiting to take photos of the bands and he had a bunch of photo passes around his neck. Since I was a punk kid with no manners, I asked him if I could have it. To my surprise, he happily gave the pass to me and to this day it resides in my office hanging with my other passes and knick knacks. Pretty happy with that! But the awesomeness of this story doesn’t end there. Trust me, it gets better. So on came the support band, Massappeal, and they were tops. I was a huge fan of their recorded works and was super happy to see that they were added as the support band to the Anthrax show, no matter how much of a mismatch some would say these 2 bands were. They played all the hits from their Nobody Likes A Thinker and Jazz albums and I was left with a feeling of “best 3rd gig ever!”

After Massappeal’s set was done, half an hour went by and the lights dimmed and out came Anthrax. I was stoked! They sounded awesome. The Thebarton Theatre is always good for sound and it’s a decent venue all round. So I started snapping photos, all the while trying not to let the security catch me (keeping in mind I was front row so it wasn’t an easy task) when about 45 minutes in, vocalist Joey Belladonna notices me taking a photo of him. I was like “oh fuck! I’m screwed now” as he leaned towards me and asked me to give him the camera. I was like “what do I do?!?!?!?!” and being the fanboy I was (and probably still am), I handed the camera to him, thinking to myself that I was busted and not allowed to take anymore photos and I’d be lucky if my mum ever saw her camera again. To my surprise, Joey aimed the camera at me and snapped a photo of me in the front row enjoying the show and handed the camera back to me. I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe what had happened. Especially the way the security were on my way in with my camera but instead, the security did nothing to stop it so my guess is that once the approval from the band was acknowledged, not a single fuck was given. The metal heads around me all seemed surprised at what had happened and were all like “fuckin’ hell! That was awesome!” This photo still makes me smile and is a good reminder of my youth.

Now here I am, 21 years later, reviewing one of the most anticipated albums of the year! Anthrax have returned to form with their latest album of awesomeness, Worship Music, complete with vocalist Belladonna back in the saddle; His first studio album with the band in almost 20 years. I was eager to hear this new offering because I always liked Joey’s melodic style of vocals. So when I first heard this new album, I was blown away. Anthrax are back. Bigtime, baby! They’ve always been a band who know how to write great tunes and this album shows a true return to form with great riffs, huge tight production and Joey’s vocals are in fine form. While yes, it is a far stretch from the likes of Spreading The Disease, Among The Living or State of Euphoria, Worship Music is still a collection of tunes that kick some serious ass. Not only fans of Anthrax will dig it but if you’re a fan of metal, there’s something here you’ll enjoy. It’s the 80’s Anthrax that’s modernised themselves with the times without losing the spirit that made you dig ‘em in the first place. Pretty damn happy with this one.

Order your copy now from Riot!:


Today was a long day. After working 8 hours straight at my crappy job, I headed to the Espy to conduct an interview with Baroness vocalist and guitarist, John Dyer Baizley (which you will be able to read on this site very soon). After that was done, I headed to Albert Park and played some golf with Willie from the band Lamb Of God. How do these things happen? Who the fuck knows but it’s times like these I actually like my life. Outside of doing anything to do with music, I pretty much think my life is complete shit. But lets not get all emo now, this is about Baroness, not me.

After heading home to collect the car, I headed back to the Espy to see Baroness play one of their sideshows to their Metallica support (get there early otherwise you will miss them as they are on when doors open at 7pm). They got 2 shows left from this Metallica tour but this one, this was their show. No half hour set, no playing to a half empty arena, this was their time and dude, did they make sure that it was.

I arrived in time to see half of Akaname’s set as they played to a packed solid venue. These guys play heavy instrumental stuff kinda like Pelican meets Keelhaul. Very cool. Great riffs and a huge sound. They have a self-released, self-titled album out now. Grab yourself a copy. Akaname went down a storm. Great stuff! I was unsure just how many people ‘get’ the whole deal with Baroness but it appears there’s a shitload more now than there was when I saw them at the Corner Hotel earlier this year when they shared the stage with ISIS. Excellent!

Baroness came on at 11:15 and within minutes they tore the stage apart. Pulling tracks from every release (bar the split with Unpersons), they delivered. Bigtime. And the best thing, you could tell these guys loved every minute of it. They gave it 110%. You couldn’t have not been impressed by the high energy coming off that stage tonight. I mean, really, this was something else. These guys have grown in leaps and bounds since their last visit here and it appears no one left unimpressed. How could you be? These guys have the songs, they just need to deliver them in the best way possible… which they did… and then some. There’s a place in everyone’s life for Baroness and if they didn’t win you over this time then you’re either boring or you don’t listen to music, you just hear it and that’s your loss.

Baroness have proven themselves to be a major player with the big boys and to be honest, those guys at the top, they better watch out cos this band is gonna show ya whose boss… unintentionally too. That’s just the kinda band they are. They aren’t out to be better, they just love playing music and it just so happens that they damn well are better than most of the crap that is being branded as ‘heavy’ these days. Well played. If you were there, well, you were there. If you weren’t, you either had a neck injury or were just not awesome enough. Sorry. Better luck next time, eh?

Baroness’ latest epic, “Blue Record” is out now on Relapse / Riot!

DANKO JONES – “Below The Belt” (Bad Taste)
How good is this dude? I mean, really? Oh, if you live in any country that isn’t either in Scandinavia or Europe, you probably have no idea who Danko Jones is and that’s a shame. Mr Jones seems to play primarily in those regions these days… kinda like how Manowar don’t play in the USA or any other country where English is a first language. The mind boggles… I am not sure why DJ isn’t one of the biggest names in rock. He has it all; the songs, the style, the live show… it’s a great combination. Maybe it’s cos he’s Canadian cos nobody really knows who Devin Townsend is either these days.

I remember when Danko Jones toured Australia on the ‘We Sweat Blood’ tour. My band, Muscle Car, got to open for them. There were around 30 people there. Serious! A measly 30 payers! Granted it was a Wednesday night and it was in Adelaide, but still, I knew right then it was going to be one of those gigs that people would talk about and people who didn’t go will say the usual “Yeah, I should have gone to that… I dunno why I didn’t” Um, cos you have no fuckin’ taste? Yeah, exactly! ANYWAY, I remember watching the show and being completely blown away. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. For a trio, the power coming from the stage was just over the top. It just sounded unlike any other band playing live at the time, and to this day, Danko still sounds like Danko. He’s one of those artists that keep on releasing quality albums, one after the other. It’s like the dude just knows how to write a good tune.

‘Below The Belt’ kicks off with a quality balltearer titled “I Think Bad Thoughts”; a lyrically awesome track of guts and glory. I have felt and thought the same things. It’s good stuff. “Tonight Is Fine” brought back shades of KISS for me which is cool cos at least Danko’s albums aren’t filled with filler and his lyrics are 1000x better than Gene’s will ever be. Really, the dude’s a lyrical genius. I used to think he hated women but further investigation had me realize he doesn’t hate them all, he worships them; just not those lying, cheating bitches who like to fuck up people’s heads and cause bullshit. But I could be wrong. This is just speculation, after all.

There’s a song called “I Can’t Handle Moderation” which I found amusing as I have always believed Danko to be straight-edge. When we did that show with him, we never saw him indulge in anything except awesomeness. He stayed calm and collected and most quiet after the show while everyone else was in party mode. I think my favourite tune on this album is “Full Of Regret”; I love that use of the cowbell. I’m a sucker for good percussion, plus, the song kicks serious amounts of ass.

I gotta hand it to him, Danko Jones is one talented guy and ‘Below The Belt’ is another fine edition to his catalogue of cool. If you’re a fan of rock, no, I would go as far as to say that if you are even a fan of music, you are already diggin’ his shit, am I correct? If you answered ‘no’ then you seriously need to re-evaluate your loyalty to the rock!

Side note: I wonder why he has never recorded the song ‘Mountain’ on any of his albums. If you don’t know the song, here’s a YouTube video. He played this at the show in Adelaide and I remember my drummer’s girlfriend freaking out when he started hitting himself. Good times!

KLONE – “Black Days” (Season of Mist)
Whenever I see a band line-up and a dude is credited as to playing “atmospheric guitar” I know I’m gonna be subjected to a bunch of arty wank. Well, I had never heard Klone before (that’s a terrible band name although I am thinking Klone probably means something weird and wacky in their native tongue… which is French. Trop bien!) but I read the back of the promo disc and immediately saw in capital letters the word TOOL. Now, I am by no means a TOOL fan so I was getting’ kinda worried. What was I getting myself into here? Still, I had to have an open mind so the disc was played with open ears.

Some describe this band as prog-rock, others call them a stoner rock band, and well, to me they’re kinda both but I also hear a lot of 90’s grunge in there too. A weird mixture of Neurosis meets Pearl Jam cross genre heavy music. I like Neurosis but never got Pearl Jam. I know, I was one of those guys. I did like Green River though and Mother Love Bone were heaps awesome, and of course, Mudhoney were the cream of the crop, but I digress… this is about Klone! These guys started in 1999 and I had no idea they existed until today when this appeared for review. I’m glad it showed up too cos it was good to hear something so different to the blasts of grindcore I was also sent (which you can read about following this review).

For me, this album was a bit long to sit through. Yes, I know it’s a bit double standard of me to say such a thing after praising Watain for their 80 minute long opus “Endless Lawless” but you gotta understand, they’re heaps evil and might stab in the neck with an inverted cross. I would have preferred more of an EP cos this album’s 54 minutes long and you gotta keep in mind that I think Screeching Weasel’s “My Brain Hurts” is one of the most perfectly crafted albums of all time with it’s fitting nicely on to one side of a 60 minute tape. Still though, I toughened up and sat through all 54 minutes of it. I found that some of the songs just dragged on a bit. Like they mean well and they have the right ideas but I guess you need to be in the right mood to enjoy Klone at their best… or a hippie stoner (of which I’m not).

I was quite impressed though with what they did with the Bjork cover, “Army of Me”. Even though I went to University and studied an arts degree, I am not a fan of Bjork’s music at all but I do think she’s an interesting character and her music videos are always unique and something outside of the standard music video formula. This cover by Klone made me want to check out the original just so I could see how different it sounds. I like it when that happens cos it gets me listening to other bands and I may end up liking it (although this is Bjork and I doubt I’ll be rockin’ away to the Icelandic princess anytime soon).

This Klone album was alright. It wasn’t a smashing success but it will get a bunch more plays around the office, albeit in parts. I think fans of grunge and stoner rock will really enjoy this one.

LENG TCH’E – “Hypomanic” (Season Of Mist)
I always know I am in for a big night when a Season of Mist release winds up on the desk and this one comes from grind kings, Leng Tch’e. You see, when I was in highschool, there was this dude named Stuart and he had a holiday in the UK and came back with this video that had this TV program hosted by Elvira that was about the history of metal. The buxom beauty sat on her couch and told us random facts about the metal bands she played. The highlight for me was a double header segment on Slayer and Napalm Death. Especially the Napalm Death segment. This was the real deal line-up of ND. The one that I believe was the best one; Lee Dorian, Bill Steer, Mick Harris and Shane Embury. Keep in mind that I haven’t ever seen ND live (this will soon change though come September), but the line-up has changed so much that I am sure it isn’t at all like what is seen in this video. It’s brutal. They’re all so young and they only play songs from “Scum” and “From Enslavement to Obliteration”. The real brutal stuff! ANYWAY, my point of this is that there’s this dude down the front trying to light a cigarette on the monitors and this proves unsuccessful but he doesn’t care and starts headbanging anyway with the unlit cigarette in his mouth. Oh and I should point out that there is usually more people on stage than in the crowd while ND pound out songs like “The Kill” and “Control”. So why all this Napalm Death malarkey? Well, that is how I discovered grindcore. All thanks to that video tape.

Leng Tch’e I am sure listen to tons of ND. Probably not so much the “Scum” record but no doubt the “Massappeal Madness”-era. And I am guessing Pig Destroyer are one of their favourite bands too. But hey, who doesn’t list Pig Destroyer as one of their favourite bands? I mean, isn’t that the given thing? Like, you go to a bar and you see a nice lady having after work drinks with her friends so you strut up to her and say “Why hello there… I saw you from across the room and was wondering if you’d like to come back to my house and listen to some Pig Destroyer?” I am sure it works everytime. That’s like heaps sexy. Well, my friends, now you can use the new Leng Tch’e to add to your pick-up lines and draw the ladies in. This stuff will hook ‘em by the truckloads. Not that I have tried it or anything but I’m sure it works. How could a girl resist the chance of a night at your house while “Death’s Head Cockroach” blasts through the speakers at breakneck speeds? Or what about the soothing sounds of “Refined Torture”. Sure, they’re clichéd song titles for a grind band but if it’s fine for Manowar to use hammer or steel in every song title then it’s ok for Leng Tch’e to crank out happy numbers like “Anthropocentric Suicide” or “Corrosive Rotgut”. The latter has me just itching to say to someone “you’re a rotgut!”

Leng Tch’e are one of those bands that you either love or hate. There’s no sitting on the fence with this one so don’t bother trying. It’s grindcore metal; fast as fuck, full of riffs, and indecipherable lyrics. Yep, you love it.

SEVERE TORTURE – “Slaughtered” (Season Of Mist)
This album was heaps funny. It was grindcore death metal from some Dutch dudes. Very well produced / recorded with a big beefy slick sound n stuff. I totally don’t listen to this type of music unless I am sent it to review so sometimes sitting through an album like this is a hard task for me. This was one of those times. I am a big fan of harmonies and melodies (of which this album has none) so when I just hear a bunch of fast riffage and lots of gruffy vocals that I can’t make out a single word from, I do kinda get bored and just phase out. I know, totally not cool of me and I should be paying attention if I am writing a review but I can’t help it. I’m a fan of Cheap Trick and Redd Kross, not Severe Torture. I ain’t saying this band is terrible or anything, it’s just not doing it for me. I need more variety in my grindcore; especially if I am expected to sit through a song that goes for 4 and a half minutes. That’s a real chore for me. My attention span is too short and I usually find myself shopping on eBay for Motley Crue action figures or a new skateboard deck. It’s a bit like that Leng Tch’e album, only not as good for some reason. The drummer plays like a motherfucker though. So fast and his blast beats are out of control. I wish I could steal him for my band. I am sure live this band would be pretty good. I like seeing grindcore live cos the sheer power of it is something to witness. As for this album? Well, I made it about half way and needed a break from it; just after the guitar solo in the album’s title track (which I might add was about the most melodic thing on the whole album).

All of these albums can be purchased from Riot! Entertainment.