OK, so the story on this release is that some guy who was a member of the NIN live production team secretly recorded this rehearsal session straight from the soundboard one day while the band was getting ready for a Fall tour for their new album Hesitation Marks, and the guy was, of course, fired because of it. In a spiteful move he puts the recordings up on some NIN fan only message board, and they all, of course, lose their collective minds over the recording, and I can easily see why. This shit sounds infuckingcredible and is worth it's weight in gold just to hear the instructions that Trent gives out to guys in his band, like how to pantomime during the backing tracks, what to pretend to play during the sequenced parts, how to sing back up vocals, etc. He's even giving the guy behind the mixing board directions on how to mix the sound during the set. Anyone who's been in a band will get the whole 'making jokes of the song titles' thing that he does, because the monotony is just too much to bear at times, and a couple of songs are started and restarted because hey, no matter how good you are, sometimes mistakes are made. This is a really interesting listen. I'm not even that big of a fan of NIN per se, but there's some killer versions of some classic material on here, well, stuff I'm familiar with anyways, early stuff like Gave Up and Head Like A Hole, as well as the hits like March Of The Pigs, 1,000,000, Closer, I'm Afraid Of Americans, Terrible Lie, Piggy, Hurt, and a shitload of songs from the new album. Like I said, some cool stuff on here. Check it out if you're a fan, or just looking for some updated powerful new versions of songs you may already be familiar with.
Available on the Interwebz - DUH!!
The Clash - The Clash Hits Back
Was I high when I bought this? Probably, but that's got nothing to do with anything. I totally fell for this bullshit 'Greatest Hits' collection, bought it as soon as it came out, because I thought this was going to be another live album, like From Here To Eternity: Live was, because when I pre-ordered it I read the description of the upcoming release as: "This record is based on Joe’s set list from The Casbah Club UK Tour, Brixton Fairdeal, 10th July 1982." Again, I was obviously incapacitated, and I was hugely disappointed that this wasn't a live album. I have the audience recording of this gig, which isn't the best quality, but I thought they had found a newer, cleaner source for the gig recording, and that they cleaned it up and released it, but this is nothing more than the flogging of a very dead and very rotting horse corpse. There are dozens of Clash sets professionally recorded over the years which are beyond amazing - the 02/09/1980 Paris gig, 06/09/1981 NYC gig and 12/27/1979 London gig immediately come to mind, and I can only hope I live long enough to finally see them get polished up and sonically enhanced and put out there for everyone to enjoy. Why don't they release those recordings instead of this bullshit compilation masquerading as a live album? I dunno. It's pretty cheaply priced, and comes with a cool little 16 page booklet with a write up of the bands history, written by Pat Gilbert, who wrote the incredible book Passion Is A Fashion: The Real Story Of The Clash, so I guess if you didn't shell out the big bucks for the Sound System box set, then this is a good way to hear all 32 of these classic Clash songs remixed and remastered, and believe me, you'll definitely want to hear that, because they did a good job with it, but other than that? Fuck this release. Turning Rebellion into Money indeed!
Available everywhere and anywhere crass commercialism is perpetrated, like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or Target, and brought to you by Sony Music Entertainment U.K. Limited.
Black Sabbath - 13
That's a pretty sick looking cover. The actual '13' thing is pretty tame though, which is pretty much how I feel about this album. I'm not even getting into the whole 'original lineup reunion' bullshit, because, let's face it, no Bill Ward, no original line up reunion, simple as that, and this album was promised as an all original reunion release, but whatever. I'm just taking this album based on what it is and how it sounds on it's own, and I'm still disappointed. They totally phoned it on on this album. Every song on here just drones and drones and drones on, and every riff, every beat, it sounds 'very similar' to other classic Sabbath tunes. Opening track End Of The Beginning sounds ALOT like the song Black Sabbath, Loner sounds like N.I.B., Zeitgeist sounds like Laguna Sunrise, etc. I'm sure this might have a little to do with Producer Rick Rubin's influence, as he's done the same thing before with Metallica and ZZ Top. And it's so heavy it's boring, if that makes any sense. All the songs are ragas, averaging in the 7-8 minutes in length category. Snooze. All the elements are there - Ozzy's still singing about the Devil, Jesus, the notion of God being dead, which is funny coming from a self admitted Christian man of the Lord, but whatever. Yeah, nobody does Tony Iommi better than Tony Iommi, and his guitar sound on this release is absolutely ghastly in it's immense size and depth and tone, and Geezer's bass playing is still in my Top 10 of all time, but somehow this just doesn't rock, and it hurts me to say that, because no bigger Black Sabbath fan will you ever find. Is it because the guy from Rage Against The Machine played drums on this? Maybe. Who ever considered him to be a good drummer anyways? Rage's stuff was rudimentary at best, and he definitely lacks Bill's swing and bombast and ability to just sit in the pocket and ride the groove. I had high hopes for this album, I really did, but ultimately, I'm disappointed and can only ponder the 'what if's' about it. Phooey.
Available from Republic / Vertigo Records worldwide.