This is just meant as an observation and not as a judgment or anything, but... anybody'd who'd buy a Jackson Browne album would suck a cock. Which is fine if that's what you're into, nothin' wrong with that, but, just know where you stand. Or kneel, however you go about it, and god bless ya.
When I was a kid he was always described as "rocker Jackson Browne," but I beg to differ. What did this guy ever do that "rocked"? Okay, "Running On Empty" could possibly be good if The Drive By Truckers or somebody kicked it in the crotch and did a beefed-up, grittier version of it, but that's about as "rockin'" as I've ever heard this tired, Daryl-Hannah-smackin' washrag ever get. Most of his stuff makes James Taylor sound like... well, I was gonna say Lemmy, but that's not really true, because even a comparison with Bread can't make James Taylor sound like Lemmy. But Jackson Browne does make The Eagles sound like Motorhead! How's that? The accuracy sends chills down your spine, no? I guess it's wrong to hate somebody just for making music, but when it's that music, I think maybe it's fair enough. Death to false soft-rock!
Is it wrong to wish that Jackson Browne start dating Tila Tequila? They deserve each other. (If you haven't heard about that, read up on it here and here and here - it's one of the most pathetic ploys for attention anyone's ever done. Did she really think nobody was going to check up on that shit? She says she has multiple personalities, but from what I've seen she doesn't even have one). Who mated Angie Dickenson with a chihuahua, that's all I wanna know.
Wow, I'm really being an asshole today.
Anyway, since I've told you what's bad, I guess maybe I should do a few music reviews and tell you what's good, eh? Okay... attention, you fucks! (Man, I still miss Bruce Rohers). The best stuff I've heard in the past several months is actually something I heard in the mid-80's. Medieval. I got this band on vinyl back then, one of my blind "this looks heavy" purchases, and I quickly loved the damn thing. The crunchy, dirty home-grown production made them sound like a garage band, and they looked like a bunch of preppy high-school kids. Nobody in a thrash band had short, normal-guy hair back then.
And while they were speedy enough, they weren't trying to play faster than everyone else, like most bands at the time were doing. And while bands were coming up with crazy names like "Slayed Necros" and "Satanic Slaughter," these guys were three brothers named Timmy, Willjious, and Terror (okay, maybe that one was made up, but he just did production so I'm not sure it counts) with a bassist named Elwood Chew. Seriously... Elwood. And they were from Kalamazoo, Michigan. In other words, there was NO pose to this band. They weren't playing the game, just the music.
Would Slayer or Venom include such a photo on their lyric sheet? I think not!
And the music was crazy-great. It was stripped-down and simple (except for some crazy shredding frequently layered all over the bottom end) Motorhead-influenced stuff, but ultra-catchy. When all my vinyl got buried under piles of video-hoarding and I didn't hear 'em for over a decade, I could still remember nuances of this music. Finally Renaissance Records released a limited-to-1000 CD of it, and I promptly went to their website to order one. Never do that -- Renaissance Records is a rip-off and took my money and never mailed me anything, never answered e-mail, nothin'. But, a couple months ago I found a guy in Greece selling a copy of the CD for a reasonable price, and he delivered and it hasn't left the stereo since. Until a reliable company re-releases this masterpiece on CD, you can find a download on this site. I don't usually recommend downloads 'cuz I'm all into supporting-the-band and stuff (I tried, guys!), but since it's so hard to track down and a definite must-have, you may want to try it. Up to you. The band is apparently still somewhat-active, since the CD had a few new tracks on it, and those also killed! I hope these guys put out some new material, 'cuz I'd definitely be buying it.
I've gotten a few other CDs lately... I'm not sure I've really listened to them enough to be reviewing them yet, but, what the hell, I'm irresponsible, I'll do it anyway.
Exodus has a new one, Exhibit B: The Human Condition, which they may be considering the second half of a double-album that started with the unholy-great The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A. Exodus is keeping up with Slayer for the title of ol'-man-band-that-still-kicks-ass. Listen to this as you read (you fucks!).
Lyrics to that are a bit cheesy (but considering the previous post covered Manowar, I think we've established that cheesy lyrics can actually be pretty cool), but that riff kills. And you gotta love thrash bands that let you hear the bass. Is Tom Araya even plugged in? This next one starts out a little Iron-Maiden-y and then goes into this crushing thing, laying waste to all in its path.
And you can always win me over with an attack on the Christian right, and this one rages. New vocalist Rob Dukes sounds kind of like an amalgamation of their previous vocalists, and I like that you don't really need a lyric sheet to make out most of what he sings.
While I'm on Exodus, let me harken back to a song on a previous album, Shovel Headed Kill Machine. The song is "Deathamphetamine," and it has possibly the craziest, how-the-fuck-are-they-playing-that?!? riff I've heard in a decade. It starts at exactly a minute into the song, and it's insane.
Another good thing I got lately was Same Thoughts Different Day by The Subhumans (the Canadian punk band, not the one from the UK, although I love them, too). This is a re-recording of their classic Incorrect Thoughts LP. The band wanted to re-release the original, but discovered a defunct label they never heard of claimed ownership of it, even though they never got a penny from this company. There was no documentation to prove ownership, either from the label or the band, so rather than go through a legal fight the band decided to do what Doom did with their "Fuck Peaceville" album and just re-record all the songs, problem solved. I've heard the original (thanks to the magic of bootlegs) and these new versions have much more oomph to 'em. I'm fond of the spare, minimalist sound of the original, but the re-recording is a definite improvement in every way. Can't find anything off the new one, but here's one of their old versions just so you can get the flavor of the band. Top-notch punk for you fucks!
Got another punk band, Th' Inbred, Legacy of Fertility. I'm a bit dense, I guess, 'cuz I didn't get the joke in the title until I noticed that the font was a copy of The Misfits. They're rough hardcore with some weird time signatures thrown in there (they used to be compared to Victims Family, and I can understand why, although these guys were more hardcore and raw than VF, and perhaps not as musically talented (but then, who is?)).
Speaking of Victims Family, Ralf is now playing for Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, which sounds a good bit like the Dead Kennedys did at the end of their career (Frankenchrist, Bedtime For Democracy). I was never super-crazy about the Dead Kennedys last couple of albums, so I feel pretty similar about this new project. Jello's lyrics aren't as cuttingly clever as they once were, but still, it's nice to see him still in the game, and even though this band didn't blow me away, they're far, far from bad, either, and I'm still glad I bought it.
The intro is long, but Jello's always fun to listen to, so, go ahead and click it.
Nice, ominous bass intro on this one...
Anyway, if none of this stuff appeals to you, then I suggest some Jackson Browne.