Damn do I love these boys from Texas. 100% American Rock N Roll that would sound totally comfortable blaring from some dooshbag's Trans Am in the 1970's. If you've ever get a chance see them perform live, The Heroine put on such an energetic, action packed show that you can't help but love them. Throw in the fact that they're playing this sick ass, greasy Punk Rock N Roll that reminds me of bands like the Midnight Evils and Thunderfist, but sometimes just barely sounds like something Mötley Crüe would spew out, and I guess you can see why I love these guys. Think Montrose, AC/DC, or even Black Oak Arkansas to give you an idea of what they sound like. The Heroine just play some fast, loud, obnoxious music that's really guitar heavy and easy on the ears. And that's kind of the problem. Like with their previous release, this record suffers from the sterility and stiffness of the arid studio environment, with these songs containing none of the fire and vibrancy the band infuses them with in a live setting. It kind of takes away from the enjoyability of this release but still, there's some good stuff on here, songs like Night Rocker, Texas Star and The Ballad Of Lenny King and just kick major ass and smokes what most bands would consider their best song ever. This CD from The Heroine is some fantastic stuff. Get it. You won't regret it. Grade A 'chit maang.Available from 1st Amendment Records.
I'm not even sure if 'disappointed' is the right word to describe how I feel about this album. It's just boring, and sounds like a Down record, all heavy riffs and Black Sabbath sludge, wandering aimlessly in a random direction. Sure, there's flashes of brilliance, like on Leeches, River Of Stone, or Your Tomorrow, but those flashes are too far and few in between to make this a listen-to-it-more-than-once release. It doesn't even sound good, despite the fact this was recorded at Dave Grohl's studio. I mean, the guys are all playing good, but the recording could of been mixed a bit better, IMO. I was expecting shades of Animosity era Genius from this release, especially after hearing that the original line up for that beloved album was getting back together for playing gigs and recording some new material. I was a happy panda indeed! YouTube footage of the reunited line up playing clubs and festivals and just fucking killing it had me salivating at the teeth like a fat kid at Johnny Rockets, but after hearing this, I'm just gonna shut my mouth and go eat somewhere else. Corrosion Of Conformity swung big but ultimately struck out with this one. Damn shame too. I was really hoping that this was going to be good.Available from Candlelight Records.
I had to. I really did. I saw the video for Tattoo and ever since then I've been obsessing on if the rest of the album was as bad as that piece of shit song. I'm glad to say that it isn't, but not by much. Probably 50/50, and for some classic sounding Van Halen, I'll take it. The songs I like on here are the ones they went back into the vaults and re-recorded, songs like She's The Woman, Bullethead and Blood And Fire, which was originally called Donut City and appeared as background music in a movie Eddie Van Halen did the soundtrack for in the early 80's called Wild Life. Did you see it? Probably not, and it doesn't matter. I'm just bringing it up to illustrate the point that some of this stuff goes waaaayyy back in the Van Halen catalog, but, some of this stuff on this release is brand new, and that's scary, because it's really fucking good, standing up alongside anything Van Halen has ever released in their illustrious career. Honeybabysweetiedoll, Stay Frosty, all just fantastic, even if Stay Frosty is just an update of Ice Cream Man with a superior hook in it. Look, I'm a long time Van Halen fan, saw them many times back in the daze, and I can say that this is a real deal Van Halen album. I totally didn't give a shit about Van Hagar, so I haven't been keeping up with the band, but man, after putting this CD in and just cranking it up and hearing the pomp and bombast of it all, it's Rock & Roll familiarity brings a warm, fuzzy feeling to my old jaded heart. Eddie's guitar work on here is nothing short of phenomenal. Gawd damn can that man play. And to address the white elephant in the room, yes, Diamond David Lee's voice is shot - kaputski - but it's still cool to hear him shucking and jiving and riffing on what Eddie's shredding away on the guitar with, but still, this would of been an AMAZING release if DLR could still sing like he used to. Booooooooo. When you hear the spots where you'd expect a yelp or a scream, ala the good old days, and instead, you hear this old, cracking, straining voice trying to hit the high notes, it's pretty sad. And oh yeah - Wolfie's bass playing sucks, and so do his back up vocals. Bring back Michael Anthony or it's not a real Van Halen reunion. But for a 3/4's reunion, this album will do just fine. I dig it. :-) Available from Warner Bros. Records.
Man, this is one trippy Nirvana tribute CD. Sounding more like a collection of over-hyped, up and coming trendy bands being pushed by their agents to be a part of this compilation than so-called 'true fans', the bands on here are all given carte blanche to reinterpret and run wild with the songs from Nirvana's seminal 1992 release Nevermind, which was a musical landscape changing album. Some bands do sort-of note for note renditions (Surfer Blood, Titus Andronicus), some of them Country them up for some gawd forsaken reason (Meat Puppets), some make the songs all dubbed out for easy club listening, (Midnight Juggernauts) some do jazzy piano lounge versions (Jessica Lea Mayfield), some turn the songs into haunting hymnals (The Vaselines), and some just do some shit to these songs that you have to hear for yourself to believe (EMA). Not a really good version of any Nirvana song on here, which is to be expected I guess. I mean, Spin magazine hasn't been relevant in years, right? Right!This release is available for FREE from the Spin Magazine website, so grab it and check it out yourself.
Man is this record BRITE - and LOUD!!! Too much Mid range and waaaaayy too much everything else - it distorts the music as well as the vocals. Makes it a very hard listen, to say the least, but I guess that's PFR for ya! If you can get past all that you got a pretty decent collection of songs from 3 kids who I think are still in high school, and for that fact alone they deserve to be commended - for having their shit together enough to play gigs and release a CD, something which some bands of much more experience can't do even if they wanted to. G.P.B. play some really catchy, fun sounding Punk Rock tunes that will definitely get your head bobbing and your toes tapping. They sound like 90's Punk Rock personified - think Rancid or the Casualties, and you'll get an idea of what G.P.B. sounds like. I'm not saying it as a bad thing, per se, just saying it for the fact it is. ;-) The bass player on here is a MONSTER!! The stuff he's playing is pretty impressive. I don't think Matt Freeman was this good at this kids age. Fucking shredder that's worth the price of the CD alone. If you're looking for some youthful, energetic Punk Rock than check out G.P.B. They're better than drinking a 40 oz. in the parking lot before a gig! :-) The CD is available from the band, and you can go to the G.P.B. Facebook page facebook.com/gpbmusic to ask them for a copy of it, or go see them at a gig and pick one up yourself.