Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Iron Maiden - Singles - Can I Play With Madness/The Evil That Men Do

When it comes to the Can I Play With Madness/The Evil That Men Do single there are certain parts of it I love, namely the music. The two single tracks, and the respective musical B-side are great. However anything on this album that doesn't contain music is pretty much nonsense. Even the Listen With Nicko! I just can't really get into this one. It's not a lack of a sense of humour either. I love Black Bart Blues, and that song is a right proper chuckle riot in the same concept of the original album version of Cheech & Chong's Black Lassie. It's the jibberish for the sake of jibberish that I find bothersome. But, on to the tracks themselves.

Can I Play With Madness is not one of my top five songs from Maiden. I don't think I would even put it in my top ten, but I do enjoy this song everytime I hear it. It's a great, fun, and upbeat track, that takes you on a journey.

I love Black Bart Blues. It's this great song, that's fun, funky, and all kinds of Iron Maiden trade mark bits and pieces. However, there's parts of this that are also totally comic in a subtle kind of way. As I've also mentioned the track reminds me of Cheech & Chong track as well. This is just so much fun. However, after the actual song completes there a whole bunch of silly pointless rambling outakes, that are slightly enjoyable, but not when they are running back to back to back.

Massacre isn't a bad track and if it followed directly after Black Bart Blues, without all that crap in between, it would be more enjoyable, although a filler. Filler and stock are two words that work well for this song.

The Evil That Men Do is one of those songs that I don't mind on albums, but I prefer it live. It's such a better song live. But that doesn't mean that it's not great on here and that I dislike it in anyway.

Prowler '88 is the classic track from the original self titled album, that the band decided to redo during the recording of the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album. The coolest part of this song to me is that it contains Bruce Dickinson doing his best Paul Di'Anno impression. It very litterally sounds that way to me.

The exact same thing can be said about Charlotte The Harlot '88. Both track are really good and I would love to hear more of those tracks redone this way. It would have been great.

Of the three parts I have in this series, Listen With Nicko! Part IX, is the one I like the least. I never listen to it and I'd rather read a transcript with only the facts in it.

By the end of this single disc, I'm happy I don't have to hear anymore of the forced silliness, but I'm craving more of the music. The music is so much fun.

7/10 - content

7/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias

Friday, April 25, 2014

Iron Maiden - Singles - Running Free / Run To The Hills

The next single I picked up was Running Free/Run To The Hills, which contains live versions of two of my top five Maiden tracks. Also two of the most insane drumming tracks the band has ever released, done live. In fact every song on this album is from the Live After Death recordings. Until Iron Maiden finally decided to release their big extended version of that live album, this single was the only way to get some of these live recordings.

The tracks that are found on Live After Death have been covered before but not very well I'm discovering as I re-read that review while doing this. I'm also discovering that there seems to be some odd difference I'm noticing now that I didn't notice when I did the review for Live After Death, or the review I did for that was digitally remastered. I'd have to double check, because the production on this single seems a bit thin at the time.

As I mentioned before I love the song Running Free. The version on this album is cut down almost ten minutes from the lengthy one found on other editions. Cutting this one down doesn't change the pure energy used to end the night, it just doesn't let you hear how hard Maiden works at tiring out the crowd either. It's not the orignal, but that's okay, it doesn't need to be.

This may be the one version of Sanctuary I actually enjoy. Normally I tend to rip on the song, but in this case I'm happy to hear it.

I made a joke about there being no songs from Killers when I wrote the original review for Live After Death, only to later be greated by Murders In The Rue Morgue on this disc. I'm actually glad to hear it on here. I haven't listen to this single in years and forgot it was even on here. I can see why it was removed from the original album release, but if you are into live recordings it's cool to experience.

Run To The Hills I'm mentioned how the tracks on this album seem a bit thin, but in the case of this song it really hurts because it's the drums that always come off the thinnest on the recording. Nicko McBrain is an amazing drummer with a very full and lush drum set, and you can hear it, but only quietly in the background.

Phantom Of The Opera live. Um, the only thing I can say is "Fuck yeah!" I know it's a bit lame to sum up this track, but what are you going to do. The only flaw to this song is that the vocals get a bit muddied, but when you listen to how they are delivered it's easy to understand why. However, the music is amazing.

Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) I know nothing about outside of this album. It's a really kickin' track though. It has a great upbeat vibe and comes off to me as a pretty cool jam.

Listen With Nicko! Part VII is pretty much a giant comedy set, and pretty much the way I feel about this track sums up how I feel about this entire single. It's really wicked to listen to if you are a fan, but if you are just the casual listener, don't bother.

9/10 - content

6/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Iron Maiden - Singles - Flight Of Icarus / The Trooper

After writing the review for Mastadon's The Hunter, I decided to grab a few of my Iron Maiden singles and put them together, because there are some great moments here that might never be covered other wise. But more so because if it wasn't for Drew I never would have bought these discs. Sorry, that's not true. I would have bought the first single I'm going to cover. The other two were totally because of the man I have dubbed The Guitarist of Doom.

The first single is Flight Of Icarus/The Trooper. My two favourite Maiden songs that have Bruce Dickinson as the vocalist. Since I've covered the two album tracks when I reviewed Piece Of Mind I'm going to just cut and paste the original write-ups in here.

Let me start by saying that I don't know if there is an Adrian Smith/Maiden song I don't like. However, Flight Of Icarus does not have just Adrian (my favourite Iron Maiden guitarist) writing, but also Bruce Diskinson has a credit as well.

Now the story is simple enough. It's about the flight of Icarus. Not that you'd be able to figure that out from the title or anything. However, for those that don't know what that story is about, the fastest way to learn is by listening to this song. So, stop reading this and go listen to the song on Youtube or something, then come back when you know the story.

Now, musically speaking the guitar work in this song gets me off. One of the reasons it's so magnificent is that while being an Iron Maiden song, it's still uniquely different in its delivery. For starters, the gallop isn't there.

I do believe this is Bruce's best vocal performance to date. The super length held note for "Fly" at the 3:02 marker is an orgasm for the ears. Of all the songs I need to see Maiden performe live, this is the highest on my list. Sadly, Bruce doesn't seem to try risking it much anymore.

I've Got The Fire is the original B-side to Flight Of Icarus. It's a cover of a Montrose tune, that to this day I have never bothered to look up. I dig this song and it's fun, but for the most part I feel very indifferent to it. You can also tell this was more of a "one off" by the way the production sounds.

Let me start by saying there are only two songs I like more than The Trooper. I've already mentioned one, and the other, Running Free, which isn't on this album. First off, this is the quintessential Iron Maiden gallopping riff song. The insane gallop that only Steven Harris can so perfectly play is what this entire song is all about. Then the lryical content is real fun, especially the simple chorus of "Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh" repeated twice. Why such a simple chorus? With a verse like "You'll take my life but I'll take yours too / You'll fire your musket but I'll run you through / So when your waiting for the next attack / You'd better stand there's no turning back / The bugle sounds the charge begins / But on this battle field no one wins / The smell of acrid smoke and horses breath as I plunge on into certain death", a couple of"Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh's" is all you need.

The next song is so cool. I mean it is ass kickingly cool. I knew Cross-Eyed Mary before I ever heard this version. I've covered the original even, when I covered Jethro Tull's album Aqualung. The song I'm talking about is Cross-Eyed Mary. To hear the guitars replicate the flute parts so perfectly, and then Bruce clearly out do Ian Anderson's original vocal performance, and the light production doesn't because it's not an album track, only makes it sound that much more authentic. Iron Maiden's version of this song captures the essence of the original so amazingly as well as jacking up the song to make it Metal. This song is the whole reason I bought this single and had to own it.

Listen With Nicko! Part V is the fifth (if you don't know Roman Numerals) installment in a series with Nicko McBrain (the drumer on this single's songs) that was released with these specific set of singles. Off hand I don't know how many discs were in this special series, but I'll look it up but the next time these reviews are done.

These tracks are Nicko telling the stories behind the songs on the various singles that were released. In this case this is the story behind the songs on this album, including Nicko's part in the Flight Of Icarus. Plus tidbits and various little stories related to the songs, in a very humorous manner.

This is a single I would recomend anyone that enjoys Iron Maiden pick up. It's the one that I still listen to every now and then.

9/10 - content

7/10 - production

10/10 - personal bias

Monday, April 14, 2014

Guns N' Roses "The Spaghetti Incident?"

There are some albums that you buy because you are a dumb stupid fan, and some albums you hang on to because you see the true value and merit of the content. Then you find yourself having to defend that album, which you can do with ease just by talking about how fun some of the songs really are.

Let me start by saying that this is a Punk album. This is the album that essentially created Pop Punk, but they did it right. Basically The Spaghetti Incident was a resonably produced album that had a budget and studio available that most classic Punk bands could have dreamed of. So what you get are a bunch of songs that sound great originally because they were these raw balls of pure energy and attitude, being covered by a band that was all attitude, and on a downward spiral from self destruction, with nice sounding modern audio qulity. Basically an album designed to be enjoyed years later in retrospect.

Some of the songs on this album I knew before hearing them on here, others I got to hear later, and the rest I still only know the versions found on this album. The main reason being that I'm not the biggest Punk fan, and after a while I find it gets pretty boring. There's very little experimentation in Punk. I may use this review as a stepping stone to check out some of the original bands, now that I have youtube to help me experiment first.

As one last thought, I really think this album would have more appeal to modern kids than it did for me and my friends when we were kids. At least kids that still listen to music that isn't digitally synthesized.

The album opens with Since I don't Have You. This is the song that killed this album. It was the only single, and it was complete bullshit and crap. Punk bands should not do songs like this, unless it's the Ramones, because they can't sing them right. Axel sounds like a complete joke, and I'm hoping it was done on purpose. Musically the track is performed decently, but it's also just a really basic and boring song. Seriously, I hope the idea was to put a giant pile of steaming turd at the front of the album, just to get it over and done with. Some one really should get bitch slapped over this one.

Duff can't sing, unless Duff is singing Punk, and that's why New Rose works. This works well as an album filler, and a decent track the whole way around. It almost sounds like the band was actually playing together when they recorded the track. I can honestly say I like this song much more now than I did when I first heard this album.

Down On The Farm should have been the lead off track on this album. It should have been the first single, and it should have been the track that was used to really push this album. I mean this is the track that really brings it home, and is totally bad ass. This is one of those songs that makes me think I ought to go back and check out The U.K. Subs. The best part about this song is that the energy is totally there, and I really can't help but singing every word with my own fake British accent. "All I need is some inspiration / Before I do somebody some harm / I feel just like a vegetable / Down here on the farm / Nobody comes to see me / Nobody here to turn me on / I ain't even got a lover / Down here on the farm / They told me to get healthy / They told me to get some sun / But boredom eats me like cancer / Down here on the farm / Drinkin' lemonade shanty / Ain't nobody here to do me harm / But I'm like a fish out of water / Down here on the farm / I wrote a thousand letters / Till my fingers all gone numb / But I never see no postman / Down here on the farm / I call my baby on the telephone / I say come down and have some fun / But she knows what the score is / Down here on the farm / I can't fall in love with a wheatfield / I can't fall in love with a barn / When everything smells like horse shit / Down here on the farm / Blue skies and swimming pools / Add so much charm / But I'd rather be back in Soho / Than down here on the farm / On the fucking farm! / Are you born in a fucking barn or what? / Baaaaaah! / HOLD STILL".

Have you ever listened to the Lies album? Do you remember how all the live tracks sounded? If you answered no to either of those questions, please go listen to that half of the album before continuing with this review. Human Being, sounds like it would be right in that mix. Some where between Move To The City and Bad Boys. In fact if I were making a G'N'F'n'R mixed tape for a road trip I would put this on there right after Move To The City, for that fun Rock N' Roll vibe.

Raw Power is a song that I discovered the orginal after hearing this version, thanks to Matthew "Doc" Kell. I grew to like the Iggy And The Stooges version, once I was able to hear the album on a blasting stereo. As for this version of the song, I still don't care for it. I'm not sure why there's piano for starters. It's distracting, annoying and takes away from the song. There's no piano in Punk. If you removed the piano the song might be a lot better. I mean seriously the piano really really wrecks this song.

If you haven't listen to this album in years, you need to seriously go back, grab a beer, something to smoke, crank this next track and try not to get excited and emotional. I mean I really do enjoy Ain't It Fun a shit ton more here than I did years ago. This is one of those songs I think needs to be aged to enjoy, like a shot of Jamison's Whiskey.

Buick Makane (Big Dumb Sex) is a combination of T. Rex tune and a Soundgarden track. It's a decent album filler, and enjoyable while just letting the album play.

The one song I knew inside and out before I ever heard this album was Hair Of The Dog. Is this the original Nazareth version, nope, it's a little too evenly balanced for that, but it's still a pretty decent cover. The timber of Axel's vocals lend perfect to the original vibe, and as for the musicianship, well, I'm always a sucker for a song that uses a talk box.

When it comes to The Misfits one of the greatest parts about them was Glenn Danzig's vocals. His Elvis like ghoulish sneer makes all their songs sound awesome. The Guns N' Roses cover of Attitude does not have Glenn singing. Also this is G'N'R' not Metallica, so that won't work either, so this cover never stood a chance. You have to have the right sound and walking monster like vibe to do The Misfits.

I've always liked Black Leather. Oddly I don't know the original, but all the same this Steve Jones/Sex Pistols cover works for me. As far as I'm concerned this track could be song from the original Appetite recorded sessions. It would have fit on there with Out Ta Get Me or Nightrain, to which many people right now are going what the fuck is he talking about. But while you are thinking about it, seriously break out the three Mp3's and play them in a row, it works. I know I've tried it.

You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory was never meant for this album. I mean that seriously. Duff had recorded it for a solo album. Once again this is a track that would have worked on Lies. It would have been a great bridge between the Accoustic set and the live one.

The album finished with I Don't Care About You officially. Unofficially there's still another track. However, the last listed track is a good way to finish the album. It's a typical shitty ass punk song, with very singable lyrics, and even a little meaning, if you need to get something off your chest. "I'm from South Philadelphia up on Avenue C / I've seen empty hands that was waitin' to freeze / Up from the power at home / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / I've seen Hollywood Boulevard / Welfare hotel / And I spent the night in jail / At the Wilcox Hotel / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / I don't care about you / I've seen an old man have a heart attack in Manhattan / Well he died while we just stood there lookin' at him / Ain't he cute? / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / I don't care about you / I seen mad rollin' drunks / I seen bodies in the streets / I saw a man who was sleepin' in his own puke / And a man with no legs crawlin' down / Fifth Street tryin' just to get somethin' to eat / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / I don't care about you / Fuck you! / [spoken] Uh, that hurt man / Alright / Perfect".

The actual last track on the album is an accoustic number written by Charles Manson. Yes, that one. Since that's the type of guy Axel is, sportin' his Manson shirts and singng soft accoustic numbers called Look At Your Game, Girl. You have to wonder what the fuck type of stupid publicity was he going for.

Sometimes, on certain songs, when the moon is right, and the sky is full, the cosmic alignment comes together and a whole song works. The rest of the time I really think the issue with the album is that most of it wasn't recorded as a band and you can hear it. Most of Slash's solos sound punched in, the vocals aren't blended very well into the mix. I would love to hear this album re mixed from the ground up from the master tapes, because I think it could be greatly improved with much better care.

6/10 - content

5/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias

Monday, April 7, 2014

Newsted - Heavy Metal Music

I found myself in a large chain music store, because they need my business too, and I ran across an album being promoted in the Heavy Metal section that caught my eye. Jason Newsted's first solo album. I couldn't help myself, and I had to pick it up. It's about time he released an album. This is something I've been looking for for years. Well, I haven't literally been looking for it, but it's something that should have been done.

I want to start by saying that there is only one draw back to this album for most people that would make up the basic audience. Jason's vocals are not for everyone. I think he is a great back-up vocalist, and when he and James Hetfield would trade off during Whiplash live, it was great, but a whole album is too much. There are tracks when it works perfectly, but on the other tracks I think another vocalist might have been better.

As for the music on this album it's all really Heavy Metal music in the sense that you can hear Motorhead, Metallica, Black Sabbath Deep Purple and so many other great Heavy band's influence all over this album. The album's title is just a true indictment of what you find on this album.

Heroic Dose kicks the album off, and sets the feel up all wrong. This song is pretty basic and has no real substance. It's very basic and doesn't offer much to make you look forward to anything.

Soldierhead isn't helping things for me, and if I was the one putting the album together these first two tracks would be buried in the mix or left out. They aren't bad, but they could be better.

...As The Crow Flies is the first song on the album that really grabs me, and with good reason. This song has a heavy bass groove, some killer hooks, and the lead guitar adds dynamics that give the song some real vibe. Oh, and on this song Newsted's vocals are bitchin'. I mean he really gives it the perfect performance and it's one of those songs where the style works perfect. I'm a fan of the lyrics as well. "I spin around the sun I thank you may I have another / I am an army of one honour and respect my brother / The night is young crowded hearts are nine to four / If ever daylight comes save yourself and save your soul / As the crow flies I will make my way / As the day dies I look back and say / I look back and say well spent time today / I make my own way and I am not afraid / In from the word go bang those troubled thoughts out of your head / What you live is what you know any day alive is better than dead / Lets stay out all night and watch the shadows play in the light / And just look at us now I'm not afraid of failing I'm not afraid of flight / Beautiful in life unforgettable in death / Don't stop dreaming until the last breath / Until the last breath the hunger to be / To think and feel don't stop dreaming until it becomes real". This is the song that should have started off the album.

When it comes to Ampossible all I can think is Jason really knows how to right a rich and full song. I'm not sure who get's the credits for what on any song, because it just isn't listed, so I'm going to say that Jesus Mendez jr. (drums and percussion), Jason Newsted (bass and vocals) Mike Mushok (guitars) and Jessie Farnsworth (guitars and backing vocals) come together in a great way and work this song in ways that Metal should be worked.

I dig Long Time Dead, this is really just a fun song. It's one of those tracks you want to use to help fill out the album. It has a great Punk like vibe to it, that gives it a great bouncy feel until the breakdown where it gets a great Funk like feel, until it spins back into some high speed adrenaline. It's like Motorhead meets Alice Cooper in the late eighties.

At this point I'm still totally digging the album, and when Above All get's into gear it really just keeps me going. This is how a really solid album should sound. I also really dig the sound of the lead on this album. It adds sound and vibe, and not just simply notes.

King Of The Underdogs sounds like a Gene Simmons Kiss song if God Of Thunder had been one of their lighter songs. This is a filler song for this album. It's like the first couple tracks on the album. It's not bad, but it's pretty basic and stock. It's chugging for the sake of chugging.

The first time that Andria says anything about the album is on Nocturnus. "This is very Alice sounding." She's right. This could have easily been on Dragontown. This is a very solid song and I think I will look forward to hearing it in the mix over time. This song is just really nice and heavy.

Twisted Tail Of The Comet is a pretty bitching song. This song is bouncy, full of energy and totally fun to listen to. Based on my limited knowledge of Voivod, I would say that this one came from Newsted's time as their bassist.

Kindevillusion, let me start by saying, what's with the odd titles Jason? Part of me really likes the titling, and part of me thinks it may be too much for some people, those accidently making the song less appealing to the memory. Moving on from that, and onto the music. It's good solid album filler.

Futureality finishes off the album. It's a good way to close it down. It's good, and solid and heavy and has an epicness to it that reminds me of a track from Judas Priest's Angel Of Retribution.

I'm not sure if this is an album that I'll play over and over through the years, but it's an album that will spend time in the mix for sure. It's a really good disc, with some very solid tracks, and as a first solo record it's a place to start and a really good one at that. I hope it doesn't take long before another comes along. With any luck there will be even more Metal experimentation than is found on this album. I'd like to see Jason open metal right up. Were it not for the prodution on the vocals, I think that I would have rated the album a little higher. I was torn on the rating for the production, part of me wanted to give it a six, another part of me wanted to give it a seven, and if I were basing it on just the vocals it would have possibly ended up a four.

7/10 - content

7/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Pretty Reckless - Going To Hell

I love when bands get better with follow up albums. I was worried that The Pretty Reckless would end up going Poppish, or rely way too much on ballads and lighter acoustic songs. Just so they can gather the fan base. Instead we get Going To Hell , which is some major bad ass, balls to the wall Rock N' Roll. Let me say this with the praise that it deserves. This is an album that could easily be released by the original Alice Cooper Group now a days. I've heard what they can do, and if they got back together this is what the album would sound like. Yes, this album is that good.

Let me start by saying that Taylor Momsen is a fantastic Rock vocalist. She clearly gets what Rock is about and she doesn't let you think any differently, and on this album she's only matured and gotten better. However, it really helps that guitarist Ben Phillips really brings it, with Mark Damon and Jamie Perkins filling out the rhythm section. I should also mention that it is really hard to pick which song lyrics to post because a lot of them are really good. I can stress hard enough how well Talyor understands what real Rock is. This is the real deal. I mean this is Rolling Stones on heroin, AC/DC with Bon Scott, or Gun's N' Roses when the original band was still together.

The album kicks of with Follow Me Down which is a good solid start to the album. I don't think it's anything overly crazy, but it is a really solid rock track, with some good hooks, and catchy lyrics. I also love the acoustic chugging guitar riffs. It really adds some balls, that aren't even needed.

Now let me be clear, the first song on the album is just a warm up track, because the album's title track is fucking big, bad, and heavy. Going To Hell, would be this band's Cold Gin and God Of Thunder rolled up together, with a really bitchin' breakdown that just makes the song so sexy, in that dark and bad Rock N' Roll way.

There is nothing original about Heaven Knows. You have heard this rhythm and singing pattern a million times. Even Adele has used a variation on her album 21. However, it's one of those songs that's about the lyrics and the presentation. Also the children doing the back up on the chorus really helps sell it. "Jimmy's in the back with a pocket of high / If you listen close / You can hear him cry / Oh, Lord, heaven knows / We belong way down below / Sing it / Oh, Lord, heaven knows / We belong way down below / Way down below, way down below / Judy's in the front seat picking up trash / Living on the dole / Gotta make that cash / Won't be pretty / Won't be sweet / She's just sittin' here on her feet / Sing it / Oh, Lord, heaven knows / We belong way down below / Go / Oh, Lord, heaven knows / We belong way down below / Sing / Oh, Lord, tell us so / We belong way down below / Oh, Lord, tell us so / We belong way down below / Way down below, way down below / Way down below, way down below / I've had better days, man / I've seen better days / I've had better ways, man / I know better ways / One, two, three and four / The devil's knocking at your door / Caught in the eye of a dead man's lie / Start your life with your head held high / Now you're on your knees / With your head hung low / Big man tells you where to go / Tell 'em it's good / Tell 'em okay / Don't do a goddamn thing they say / Oh, Lord, heaven knows / We belong way down below / Oh, Lord, tell us so / We belong way down below / Way down below, way down below / Way down below, way down below / I've seen better ways, man / I know better ways / I've seen better days, man / I've had better days / Gina's in the back with a pocket of high / If you listen close / You can hear the crying / Oh, Lord, heaven knows / We belong way down below / Oh, Lord, tell us so / We belong way down below / Oh, Lord, heaven knows / We belong way down below / Oh, Lord, tell us so / We belong way down below / Way down below, way down below / Way down below, way down below".

House On A Hill is the first song on the album that goes soft, but it doesn't go soft in a silly love song way. It goes soft with a powerful feeling and message. "Somewhere in the end of all this hate / There's a light ahead / That shines into this grave that's in the end of all this pain / In the night ahead there's a light upon this / House on a hill / The living, living still / Their intention is to kill and they will, they will / But the children are doing fine / I think about them all the time / Until they drink their wine and they will, they will, they will / Somewhere in the end we're all insane / To think that light ahead can save us from this / Grave that's in the end of all this pain / In the night ahead there's a light upon this / House on a hill / The living, living still / Their intention is to kill and they will, they will / But the children are doing fine / I think about them all the time / Until they drink their wine and they will, they will, they will / I am not afraid / I won't burn out in this place / My intention is to fade and I will, I will / In this house on a hill / The dead are living still / Their intention is to kill and they will, they will / Keep your children safe inside / Out of pocket, out of mind / Until they drink their wine and they will, they will, they will". This is the type of mellow song on a Rock album you can really get behind. This is so decent and well produced that it could easily cross genres on the radio.

Sweet Things is Metal. It's not just simple Metal either, this has some Heavy Prog like arrangements going on. Also this song relies very heavy on the back and forth between Momsen and Phillips which works so well. This was the track where I pretty much went, "Hello, next Alice Cooper Group." I was just floored. It is so much fun. There is also this one part where Momsen sounds like Courtney Love during one of her classic screaming, screaching part from Miss World or Violet.

Dear Sister is sweet, nice, pretty, and a great little tribute. It doesn't run long, and in the days of vinyl it would have finished off the first half of the album in a nice way.

The way that this band uses and utilizes the acoustic chug on the album is brilliant. However, Absolution uses it the best as it evolves into an electric chug with a more and more instrumentation forming around it. Then there's the textures, and the whole bad ass cowboy feel to this one. This is motorcycles riding through the desert for the modern age.

I really get a kick out of Blame Me. This is one of the lighter songs on the album, but really it's not that light. It's just not thunderingly heavy. But it's the lyrics and the arrangments that really pull it all together. "Sittin’ in the back / Baby park it or drive / Breathing out the cracks just to stay alive / Earthquake body shake joke is all on me / I remember when I remember the time / Didn't have to take just to feel alive / Eyes black head back joke is all on me / Blame all your life on me / Blame all your life on me / I gave it all for free / Blame all your life on me / All on me, oh / All on me, oh / Everything I wanted was in my hand / I gave it all up for a better man / Who beat me down but on the ground I stand / Sitting in the back baby hardly alive / If I'm about to crack kick the pedal and drive / All this time the joke was all on me / Blame all your life on me / Just blame all your life on me / I gave it all for free / Blame all your life on me / Hit me with the wind again hit me with the wind I know / I have lost a friend again I have lost a friend I know how the / Story goes / Blame all your life on me / Blame all your life on me / Cus I gave it all for free / So blame all your life on me / All on me, oh / All on me, oh / It’s all on me, oh / All on me, oh".

Burn is the worst song on the album. I hate saying that because the only way I knew it was my daughter playing it. But seriously, my daughter's cover is so much better than this one. I was given to understand it was one of the early singles, and if I had heard it prior to the rest of the album, I would have been really put off. The vocals honestly sound like shit. I have no clue what she was thinking. The song ends abruptly in a bad way, and it really sounds like they didn't have time to get it out of the demo phase. I also mean a pocket recorder demo.

Andria and I have slightly different views when it comes to the rest of the official album. She possits that the rest of the album is pretty much stock, and I can totally see why, and for the most part I agree. Why'd You Bring A Shot Gun To The Party which is the next track help prove her point, however the full point is that the stock is really good. It's one of those stock songs that will always be great when The Pretty Reckless bust it out live, and will get the crowd pumped for sure, but it's nothing she hasn't done before.

Fucked Up World is why I don't think the the rest of the album is stock. This one has some sweet arrangments that rely on simplicity that has been used since music was first being played, I'm guessing, but then moves into some pretty kicking music, and I like the percussion breakdown. But that's my own bias.

Waiting For A Friend is girly acoustic Pop, but it's not Avril Pop, this is a little like White Stripes on the first two albums, except with a clearer sound quality. I also must say that this was an odd way to end the official album. It works, but it only works because it is one of those mellow saying goodnight kind of tracks.

Normally when it comes to bonus tracks, I find they don't do anything for the album. In this case that is simply not true. In the case of this album it's acoustic versions of two of the heavier tracks on the album.

First off is Going To Hell ('Live Acoustic), which is one of those songs that I would call Country Metal in this rendition. I mean it's pretty badass and heavy.

The album closes with Sweet Things (Acoustic). I really do enjoy the original, but this version is better and is even more evil sounding. I won't say for sure, but this may be my favourite song on this album. The chemistry between the two vocalists is just as good and melodic as one could ask for, in a song that sounds like it's an amazingly produced acoustic demo. Oh, and it's on this one that I say you need to read this tale. "Evil knocking at my door / Evil making me its whore / I don't mind if you take what's yours / But give me mine / Evil want you to know / I'm much too young to be old / I don't mind if you take what's yours / But give me mine / Hey there, little girl / Come inside I've got some sweet things / Put your hair in curls / Paint you up just like a drag queen / I don't mind decay / You are the night that saves my day / Hey there, little girl / Come inside don't be afraid / I'll keep you safe / I'm evil knocking at your door / I'm evil making you my whore / I don't mind if you take what's yours / But give me mine / I am like decay / I rot the ground to guide your way oh / Hey there, little girl / Come inside I've got some sweet things / Put your hair in curls / Paint you up just like a drag queen / How you like me now? / Did I succeeded in making you proud? / Hey there, little girl / Come inside don't be afraid I'll keep you safe".

If people wonder where the bands are that will help save Rock N' Roll I will point them in this direction. This is seriously one of the best rocks albums I've heard in a long time. Sure a lot of it sounds like stuff that's been done, but that's what happens when it was all originally done by 1975. That doesn't mean that this isn't a great album, with solid songs, and even the stock is totally enjoyable.

As a side note if it wasn't for Burn I would have given this album a higher production rating.

8/10 - content

7/10 - production

9/10 - personal bias