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Friday, 18 March 2011

You're the best, around...

A few mates and I used to play a game, normally during working hours whilst we were pretending to be busy and professional. You've probably all done it but the rules are simple; who would be your ultimate super group? You can have as many people as you like provided that combined, they make a cohesive band, so twelve lead guitarists is not acceptable. But if you feel the need to put in a sitar player then it's perfectly acceptable to get yourself a bit of Ravi Shankar in the lineup.

Today I've decided to revisit this high level piece of musical analysis on a genre-specific basis, although I'm not breaking down into 'death metal', 'black metal', 'hardcore' and so on because some total bellend will invariably have a hissy fit about who fits where. So with this in mind:

Punk Supergroup

Vocals - Greg Graffin, Bad Religion
Lead guitar/backing vocals - Frankie Stubbs, Leatherface
Rhythm guitar - Eric Melvin, NoFX
Bass - Matt Freeman, Rancid
Drums - Derrick Plourde, formerly Lagwagon

Metal Supergroup

Vocals - Ryan McCombs Drowning Pool
Lead guitar - Dave Mustaine Megadeth
Rhythm guitar - Dimebag Darrell Abbott formerly Pantera/Damageplan
Bass - Steve Harris Iron Maiden
Drums - John Boeklin DevilDriver

Stadium Rock Ultra Awesome Supergroup

Vocals - David Coverdale, Whitesnake
Lead guitar - Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits
Rhythm guitar - Steve Stills, Crosby, Still and Nash
Bass - Bakithi Kumalo, African bassist, played on Paul Simon's Gracelands album
Drums - Keith Moon, The Who

It's something you can spend a bollock-achingly long time on and it brings out the twat in us all, as no-one agrees. But the beauty of it is there's no right or wrong answer. Unless your line-up includes any members of My Chemical Romance.

If you can be arsed, post your winners on here.

Peace, love and painful intercourse,


Friday, 11 March 2011

Good times are upon us

I have to confess that I'm a little on the excited side. In the next few weeks, new albums from a number of epically awesome bands will be gracing the shelves of your local record store, or however it is people procure music nowadays.

Rise Against's sixth outing Endgame is out on March 15th and lead single Help Is On The Way indicates that yet again, these punk stalwarts have got it spot on. Tim McIlrath's political ire is back and he's been telling the press how Endgame is a warning of how fucked up the world is, and how we need to sort ourselves out before everything goes properly tits up. He may have been a wee bit more eloquent than that, mind.

Children of Bodom returned with Relentless Reckless Forever on March 8th and despite them having detractors amongst the metal elite (who doesn't?) it's impossible to deny the quality of this Finnish mob. Despite numerous people thinking Alexi Laiho is a total dick, as a vocalist/guitarist I think he's shit hot and as this is my blog, my opinion is the only one that matters. Their death/groove/glam/blah metal has just gotten better and better over the last few albums so my expectations are high. I'm also massively excited about their forthcoming double-header tour with Amon Amarth, who are also releasing Sutur Rising on the 29th of this month. I've heard this album (keep an eye on for the review) and it is a fucking belter.

And of course, Black Stone Cherry's Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, coming out at the end of May. BSC are easily one of the most authentic rock and roll bands to emerge this century and I'm hoping the notoriously tricky third album follows their trend of producing absolute classics. Me and Hot Chick treasure our limited edition CD from their October 31st, 2007 London show, which they recorded on the night and pressed a thousand copies of. All four of the lads signed it, and drummer John Fred Young is the only man in existence who can get away with writing my wife's name and putting a heart around it. I'm a very, very jealous man.

Finally, let's not forget Whitesnake's latest love song-filled outing, Forevermore (March 25th). David Coverdale's husky vocals continue to deal with the issues of love, romance, loving, being in love and lovers from start to finish and it's pure cheesy class.

I'm already excited about my Top Ten of 2011...

Go drink beers.


Friday, 4 March 2011

How to not win friends or influence people

As some of you probably know, when I'm not hiding behind a daft alias and masquerading as a music scribe, I work as a corporate suitwearer in a suit-wearing corporate organisation. I'm currently attempting to find a junior minion to do my bidding, which means interviews. Obviously.

Most prospective lackeys type their CV into Google Translate and go from 'English' to '80s Wall Street Bollocks' so once people are in front of me, I like to find out more about them as people. I generally ask what their taste in music is in the vain hope that someone will say "I may not fulfill the stereotype but I'm actually into blistering, riff-laden thrash and abusive grindcore". Sadly the answer tends to be "oh, well, I like a bit of everything really". No, you don't.

Earlier this week I interviewed a chap and asked the music question. His reply was "repetitive beat music", which we established meant house, trance, electro, and so on. My colleague mentioned that I should never be asked my taste in music as it's shit, to which the interviewee replied "right, so you like heavy metal?".

Application: DENIED.

Have a beery weekend scummers

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Beast from the East. Of Scotland.

Our man North of the border, The Red Wizard, gives us his take on the new outing from the mighty DevilDriver:

Let me start by saying these days most new metal seems lost on me. The influx of so many new "metal" bands with screamy vocals and Fall Out Boy meets Tim Burton visuals leaves me cold. It takes a lot to get me hot and sweaty for any new metal releases from bands I don't know too well.

Having said that I do posses all the DevilDriver back catalogue but wouldn't consider myself a die hard fan like MADman. So onto Beast, the 5th offering from Dez's boys. From the off this is a ferocious piece of work. Dead To Rights literally sounds like you're having rivets pounded into your head and the offbeat guitar parts work a treat. Everything on Beast sounds incredibly tight and extremely punchy as is often expected of DevilDriver.

Whilst not bulging with tons of shreddy guitars the lead work is very tasteful and never dominates any of the 16 tracks on the special edition version of the album. My main gripe with these songs is the titles themselves. Tracks like Shitlist and You Make Me Sick sound like the angst of a petulant teenager (though if I should ever meet Dez Farfara I'd never tell him as he sounds absolutely demonic). My song title gripe aside the content does have a degree of maturity that lacks from a lot of metal music that's coming out these days.

The special edition of Beast gives us 3 bonus tracks (one being a live version of Grinfucked) and a DVD featuring five music videos. However, the icing on the cake has to be the hour and a half documentary 'You May Know Us From The Stage' chronicling the rise of DevilDriver from day one through to the present day. All in all a package showing how determined DevilDriver are to go down in the history books as a metal band to take notice of.