Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hole : Nobody's Daughter

On first listen, I kinda drop kicked this album across the room. I put it on the shelf pissed off that Courtney Love failed to deliver a decent Hole album after being on hiatus for like, 8 years or whatever. After listening to Korn's "Remember Who You Are" album, I tossed this one on again to try and wash out my ears of Korn's crap with a different type of crap. Meh, it's not too bad on a fresh listen with no expectations and having Korn as an opening act. Those variables aside, the album gels together somewhat well for those looking for a Courtney Love fix. You're not gonna find another "Doll Parts" or "Miss World" on this album, but "Nobody's Daughter" & "Skinny Little Bitch" do evoke some of Love's mid-90's rage. So for nostalgia, it's worth a listen. Just don't walk into it expecting her version of "Nevermind".

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Korn III : Remember Who You Are

Hold up a sec, I'm trying to get together enough phlegm to spit on this album. Unfortunately I don't think i could generate enough bodily fluids to effectively display my disdain for this drab album of retro 90's nonsense. "Remember Who You Are" would have been good advice when they went into the studio. This turned out to be a bland and dull outing for a band that tends to kick things up a notch when plugged in. Korn's Untitled at least had the track "Evolution" that one could walk away with, but this leaves the listener with nothing new, fresh or innovative. The trademark vocal work from Jonathan Davis is emotional enough to convey his feelings, but that spark of youth and spontaneity to his deliver has faded away... along with my patience for this band. For fans of Korn, it's probably more of the same, and that's fine for most. I just lost interest in this album 2 tracks in. I didn't even bother watching the bonus DVD on the Special Edition, because frankly,  I just don't give a damn enough about the music to sit through in-studio recording sessions.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Destroy Angels : EP

Trent Reznor puts together another band and I shrug my shoulders in total indifference. The music is distinctively NIN for the most part, but this incarnation has his wife, Mariqueen Maandig taking the lead role here. Kinda drab as a vocalist in my opinion. Though obviously backed by Reznor she lacks the intensity that Trent can pull together vocally. She breaks down into odd whispers, repetitive phrases,  and low murmurs over some well put together, feedback riddled instrumentals. I kinda dislike "Husband & Wife" teams. Rarely do they work out for the better. Be it John & Yoko, Kurt & Courtney, etc. This just perpetuates the theory for me. Instrumentally those looking for a NIN fix, go for it. Those who don't want to hear a half-assed, watered down female fronted version of NIN, skip it.

Music Tags : Why Are People Stupid?

Ok, every so often when I put CD into my drive to convert it for digital playback, I get a retarded set of information. For example, why do people tag every track on an album "Album Version"? I know it's the fucking album version because I'm ripping the whole album! If it's a "Single" version, fine. Put "Single" next to the track title. "Live Version" is also acceptable. (Remix), I'd like to know about... but there is no reason to put "Album Version" after every track title on an album. It's redundant stupidity. Any track that does not have the phrase, "Single", "Live", "Remix" or any other descriptive variant should automatically be left alone and assumed by all that it is the proper album release version. Period. I should not have to go through tracks individually and remove the phrase "Album Version" from every title. If you submit information to the CDDB like this, you're a jackass.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pagan Babies : Demo Tape 1986

Not many people know that prior to the whole Kurt Cobain / Hole thing, Courtney Love was in a band called  Pagan Babies. (She was also in Faith No More for 5 seconds or so. Scary thought, no?)  Anyway, for those into digging up the past looking for rusty demos of years gone by, this is actually an interesting find. Hole's "Best Sunday Dress" is on this one in all it's lo-fi infancy. Kinda haunting in a way especially taking into consideration this was '86, 5 years prior to the whole "grunge" thing exploding. (Currently a B-side to the Celebrity Skin single & a Japanese Bonus track on the album import.) Another noteworthy member of this band was Kat Bjelland from Babes In Toyland. The demo for Babe's "Quiet Room" was on this cassette as well. Cassette! Who would have thought I'd review a freakin' cassette. WHAT YEAR IS THIS!?! Anyway, antiquated formats aside there seems to be a digital copy of sorts floating around here : RIGHT HERE!!!
(Don't say I never share any on my hidden treasures)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Suzanne Vega : Close Up Vol 1

This is going to be a short review, because unfortunately there's not much to say. The "Close Up" series is just intimate performances of Suzanne Vega's previous work. Which would be fine if the original versions weren't already so intimate. Her voice hasn't changed in like, 25 years either. So you're not going to get more weathered variations to the notes. This doesn't add or take anything away from her catalog. It's just like having a shuffle option on all her other records. If you want to go with an intimate performance, try to track down Suzanne Vega : Sessions at West 54th. It's an excellent EP with a nice audience vibe.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Korn : MTV Unplugged

Some Unplugged sessions are just kinda so-so. Korn unfortunately fall into this category for me. I don't really get any excitement from this recording, nor does it hold my attention. The first 4 tracks are so slow you'll go looking for a pillow. The cover of Radiohead's "Creep" is, meh. Robert Smith from The Cure doing back-up vocals on "Make Me Bad". Er, doesn't really work for me. Amy Lee doing backup kinda works, but didn't really grab me. The plus side of all this is the bass lines still hold up and the final track "Throw Me Away" comes together nicely.

Korn is a band with a brutal sound, so an unplugged session, though not out of the question, seems an odd choice. I know Pearl Jam pulled it off, as did Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, R.E.M. etc. But what Korn lacks that these bands had, were the under-writing of riffs that can translate well acoustically. Let's face it, plugged in they rock. Unplugged. It's sleepy time.

For fans of the band though, this is a totally different way to experience Korn and could be a real treat. I've always been on the fence with Korn so I can't speak for the hardcore fans on this one. As a casual listener, it ranks up there with soothing ocean sounds, John Tesh & Yanni