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First Spin Impressions

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Unwritten Law - 'Elva' ; it's hard for me to shake the fact that this is the same shitty punk band my brothers used to listen to on the way to the beach 5 years ago, but to view this album on it's own merits, it really ain't bad at all. A mixed bag, for sure, but there are some excellent songs. First spin - I liked it... very surprised.

 

Spitalfield - 'Remember right now' ; I like these guys. They sound like Anberlin and Acceptance without being as good as either, IMO, but they're solid and this CD is just as good as 'Stop doing bad things'... again, IMO, based on first spin.

 

Eighteen Visions - s/t ; wow, what is this??? This is what I have started calling a "crossover release". Put a solo or 2 on this and it's pure hard rock as we know and love. The melodies and harmonies... holy shit. 'Burned us alive' is amazing... and then 'Broken hearted' strikes! Holy shit, I haven't felt like that listening to a song for the first time since I first heard 'Stranger than love' by Harem Scarem. Chills, and awe at how excellent the song was. Such a killer intro musically. 9,10 and 12 were awesome too. I really liked this CD.

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SALIVA - Blood Stained Love Story

 

This thing has blown me away totally. I'd expected some ultra-heavy nu-metal (given the band name & the picture of them) but what you get is lush melodic modern rock, thick on the harmony vocals & about as melodic as this stuff gets. If they don't see chart action with tunes like "Going Under" or "Here With You" then it's a total travesty. One of the best modern rock discs (if you skip over the awful "King of the Stereo") I've ever heard.

 

HINDER - Extreme Behaviour

 

Excellent stuff. The guys vocals are an acquired taste, & it doesn't come close to the SALIVA disc, but is still very consistent & very melodic.

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SALIVA - Blood Stained Love Story

 

This thing has blown me away totally. I'd expected some ultra-heavy nu-metal (given the band name & the picture of them) but what you get is lush melodic modern rock, thick on the harmony vocals & about as melodic as this stuff gets. If they don't see chart action with tunes like "Going Under" or "Here With You" then it's a total travesty. One of the best modern rock discs (if you skip over the awful "King of the Stereo") I've ever heard.

 

HINDER - Extreme Behaviour

 

Excellent stuff. The guys vocals are an acquired taste, & it doesn't come close to the SALIVA disc, but is still very consistent & very melodic.

Hey Tim, if you like the Saliva one I'd suggest you hunt down 'Back into your system' asap. That's their last album and although there's a few shitty tracks, there is some excellent stuff on there. I agree this new one is excellent. A heap of great tracks... but it hasn't topped Papa Roach's last one for me yet...

 

I dare say you'd pick up 'Back into your system' for a few cents on ebay too.

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SALIVA - Blood Stained Love Story

 

This thing has blown me away totally. I'd expected some ultra-heavy nu-metal (given the band name & the picture of them) but what you get is lush melodic modern rock, thick on the harmony vocals & about as melodic as this stuff gets. If they don't see chart action with tunes like "Going Under" or "Here With You" then it's a total travesty. One of the best modern rock discs (if you skip over the awful "King of the Stereo") I've ever heard.

 

HINDER - Extreme Behaviour

 

Excellent stuff. The guys vocals are an acquired taste, & it doesn't come close to the SALIVA disc, but is still very consistent & very melodic.

Hey Tim, if you like the Saliva one I'd suggest you hunt down 'Back into your system' asap. That's their last album and although there's a few shitty tracks, there is some excellent stuff on there. I agree this new one is excellent. A heap of great tracks... but it hasn't topped Papa Roach's last one for me yet...

 

I dare say you'd pick up 'Back into your system' for a few cents on ebay too.

 

Thanks Geoff, I'll check it out. I gotta say I'm only on my 2nd spin of it but I like it better than any modern rock disc from the past few years - LOSTPROPHETS being the only exception. One AWFUL track but so many gems & such awesome harmony vocals, & Bob Marlette's perfect production job...

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American Eyes - 'Never trust anything that bleeds' ; pretty cool... different to what I expected.

 

Revelation Theory - 'Truth is currency' ; pretty much the reason why nu-metal is so widely hated. Generic, bland, ordinary. Skipping my way through this one...

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Cornerstone - Two Tales of One Tomorrow

 

GREAT ! As good as the first 3 releases, if not their strongest even.

 

 

Masterplan - MK II

 

A lot of changes:

- Jorn Lande gone

- Uli Kusch gone

- Roland Grapow new producer

- Mike Terrana new drummer

- name Masterplan had to be bought

 

But still strong songs in the traditional style and a very good new voice (Mike DiMeo (Riot)).

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Hinder - 'Far from close' ; Wow, I was so excited to hear this. I never knew it existed (and now I understand why it was kept so quiet) and I was dying to hear it. Well, I almost died hearing it! :lol: No, it's not that bad but it's as bland as modern rock gets. If 'Extreme Behaviour' borrows exceedingly from 80's hard rock, 'Far from close' is 100% in the grunge era. Down tuned guitars like never before, bland songs. I wouldn't even advise this for completists. The vocals sound quite different too, which isn't so bad. It's just not a good album, IMO. Nothing like 'Extreme Behaviour' at all.

 

Beyond the Mirror - s/t ; good stuff. Compared to the commercial side of Queensryche and I guess it's slightly similar. The whole album appeared very strong from the first to last song. Good solid melodic hard rock.

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Listening to Cryder (Feel the heat) and man I don't like these vocals at all! -_-

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Paramore - 'All we know is falling' ; this is very good stuff. Fans of Damone should like this one, even though it's not quite as good. Very solid female fronted modern rock though. Damn I wish it was a dude on vocals though... Good stuff.

 

Finger Eleven - 'Them Vs You Vs Me' ; these guys are just horrible. Like every other modern band, they've had a stab at commercial success here. But IMO they're still just so bland. I don't like thier other CDs and I don't like this either. Horrible band, IMO.

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Radford - s/t ; To be honest I thought for ages that 'Sleepwalker' was their only disc. I always kinda liked that one, especially the killer opening song, so when I saw this for $2 I didn't hesitate. This is pretty much like 'Sleepwalker' and it's a perfect example of middle-range modern rock. It isn't even close to any of the best bands of the genre, but they're a lot better than some of the worst. It's okay, but not great.

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Anberlin - 'Cities' ; Based on the first 2 songs, both with solos and the big 'Whoah' vocals in the chorus of the opening track I thought I'd be blown away by this. But by the end of the 15th track, I wasn't. Every track was good and I 100% believe this will be a HUGE grower... it's a great album... but it's definately not as good as 'Never take friendship personal'- which is what I was hoping for. I did have other things on the mind, but not one track really, really floored me. 'Like 'Feel good drag' off the last CD. Definately a good one though.

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Star Rats - Rebelution

 

 

Whoa.... these guys rock!! Damn... love that aggressive angry 1st track, perfectly titled "The Angry Song". I love any song where the singer screams "Go Fuck Yourself!!". :banger: Kicking into the 2nd track called "Rebelution". I'm digging this track as well. While not as aggressive as the first track, I dig the chorus and the overall vibe of the song. Another surprise as I roll into track 3 "The Devil And I". Awesome lead intro... almost Dokken sounding verses, another cool gang vocals chorus. Love that guitar though.

Track 4 is another kicker called "Slaughterh-h-house". Reminds me of Hardcore Superstar a little. I am so impressed so far with this cd!! Another aggressive track #5 called "Raise Raise Raise". :banger: This kicks ass!! Nice change of pace on track 6 "Diablo Rising". Nice laid back guitar. Another monster chorus. Great song. Track 7 "I Wish I Was" sounds a lot like Skid Row's new disc. Almost eerie. Next we have track 8 "Sinshine", which is sleazy cool. Nice guitar groove. I'm digging it. Rolling into track 9 called "Unleashed". See track 8. More sleazy cool!! Back to aggression on track 10 "Private Hell". The vocalist wails his way into the song. Cool guitar sound. Not the greatest chorus but not a bad tune. Now to the "Bonus" track 11, which is easily the absolute worst song I've ever heard in my entire life!! Strange little "wind up music box" kinda thang... all 54 seconds of it. A very strange "bonus"!!

 

Overall, I AM BLOWN AWAY!!!!

 

This CD will be getting constant play from me. I recommend to this anyone who digs Crashdiet, Hardcore Superstar, Gemini Five, etc. These guys are awesome!!

 

:banger:

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Roses Are Red - 'What became of me' – this sounded restrained, held back. Picture Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights and The Used meshed together. It wasn’t bad, had a few cool tracks but for me it just felt like the band was holding back and didn’t let rip like they wanted to. Another one going for commercial success, but there were too many weak/average tracks. Not too bad overall though but I don’t like bands that think the key to success is holding back.

 

Breaking Benjamin - 'Phobia' – pretty cool, but the routine is getting a little tiring. All tracks, like their last 2 albums, are the same tempo. Slow modern grumble verses leading into a big chorus. It’s so repetitive and the reason I don’t really like this ‘nu-metal’ side of modern rock, but for what it is it was quite good. The first 2 tracks are great. There wasn’t really a poor track at all. Very solid. But what’s with instrumentals on these albums? What, 12 songs that sound the same isn’t enough, you need one without lyrics too? I don’t get it. At least you could kinda see the point of guitar instrumentals back in the day. Still, this is a good solid disc and will please fans. I don’t know how I missed it last year.

 

Fightstar - 'They liked you better when you were dead' – hmmm, not really that good to be honest. Well, maybe I should say not very instant, unlike the excellent ‘Grand unification’. This is their debut indie release and the best songs are easily the ones that made it onto ‘Grand unification’. The rest is okay, but not excellent, but this kind of music needs time to grow. I think this is the only actual “emo” band I know.

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I havent bought anything on Escape Records for a long time & then two come along at once...

 

LAST AUTUMNS DREAM - Saturn Skyline

 

This is terrific, this band are getting better & better & even Erlandsson sounds good on this. Recommended if you liked their last album...

UNION MAC - Lost In Attraction

 

Really good Scandi AOR with the genius of Kriss Largerstrom (Prisoner, Radioactive, Spin Gallery) on vocals. Lush keyboards & some great melodies make this well worth getting, but not essential...

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I havent bought anything on Escape Records for a long time & then two come along at once...

 

LAST AUTUMNS DREAM - Saturn Skyline

 

This is terrific, this band are getting better & better & even Erlandsson sounds good on this. Recommended if you liked their last album...

UNION MAC - Lost In Attraction

 

Really good Scandi AOR with the genius of Kriss Largerstrom (Prisoner, Radioactive, Spin Gallery) on vocals. Lush keyboards & some great melodies make this well worth getting, but not essential...

 

 

Tim

Have both of these on order, so should be here any day now. The Union Mac I am really looking forward to as I have heard 3 full tracks and samples of the rest and it sounds pretty damned good. Will fill you in when they arrive!!

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I havent bought anything on Escape Records for a long time & then two come along at once...

 

LAST AUTUMNS DREAM - Saturn Skyline

 

This is terrific, this band are getting better & better & even Erlandsson sounds good on this. Recommended if you liked their last album...

UNION MAC - Lost In Attraction

 

Really good Scandi AOR with the genius of Kriss Largerstrom (Prisoner, Radioactive, Spin Gallery) on vocals. Lush keyboards & some great melodies make this well worth getting, but not essential...

 

 

Tim

Have both of these on order, so should be here any day now. The Union Mac I am really looking forward to as I have heard 3 full tracks and samples of the rest and it sounds pretty damned good. Will fill you in when they arrive!!

 

Mate the UNION MAC will be right up your street. Is a little too progressive for my tastes, but I love the keys & the more immediate tracks...

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Impression - s/t ; wow, the vocals definately sounds like Robert Ernlund in places, but that's pretty much the only comparison I see to Treat. The first 3 songs are blatant fillers, but after that it's smooth sailing. Pretty much every single other song was pretty good, but nothing as good as Treat. Still, solid scandi melodic rock disc. :)

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Aces Wild - 'The race' ; wow, some killer tracks here, like 1 and 3. Also a decent amount of fillers, but when they're good they're good. I really quite liked this CD overall. Shame the fillers are as bad as they are though.

 

Adrian Dodz - s/t ; very cool stuff. I heard these are the guys that went on to be Silent Witness, a band I also really like. There were some really great tracks on this one. Good stuff.

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Second Heat - S/T

 

Pretty good Melodic Hard Rock on display on this cd. On first listen, i feel that the first half is way better than the second half. The first 5 songs are really good, but the album seems to trail off in the second half. Overall, there is some intense guitar playing, and some interesting drum arrangements. I'm sure that after a few more listens, i'll be liking it even more. Favourite track so far is "Naked Flame".

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Manowar, GODS OF WAR --

Unfortunately, the bad reviews I've been reading for this one on the Net turned out to be pretty accurate. The Kings Of Metal have gone completely off the deep end and have become Kings of Symphonic Orchestral Sorta-Metal Slop. This 74 minute disc is packed with tons of pointless symphonic pieces, foreboding narrations, angelic choirs, orchestral interludes, and dramatic sound effects, but unfortunately it seems like they forgot to include the METAL. From a production standpoint, this disc SOUNDS excellent (it must've taken them forever to arrange and compose all this stuff) but the effect on the listener is kinda like being blindfolded while a "Conan" movie plays on the TV. Without visuals, it's not very interesting.

In short, GODS OF WAR is too long, too over produced, and too boring. My advice would be to seek out used copies of LOUDER THAN HELL or KINGS OF METAL if you want to get a Manowar fix.

 

The only cool thing I can say about it is that on the front cover, the title "Gods Of War" is written in some sort of strange font that resembles ancient "runes," and if you look at them sideways it kinda looks like the title of the album is "TONS OF PBR." It made me wonder, if we'd locked Manowar in the studio with a few tons of PBR (that's Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, for our non-American board members, by the way) would we have actually gotten a decent CD out of them instead of this overcooked dud? ;)

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David Drew - 'Safety love' ; hate his voice, sounds like mid-80's Aussie pop, which I hated. Shame 'cause the songs are mostly pretty good mid-tempo numbers... but an awful awful voice.

 

The Cast - 'Heat and Serve' ; quite good actually. Good solid melodic rock/AOR.

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Unwritten Law - 'Elva' ; it's hard for me to shake the fact that this is the same shitty punk band my brothers used to listen to on the way to the beach 5 years ago, but to view this album on it's own merits, it really ain't bad at all. A mixed bag, for sure, but there are some excellent songs. First spin - I liked it... very surprised.

 

Spitalfield - 'Remember right now' ; I like these guys. They sound like Anberlin and Acceptance without being as good as either, IMO, but they're solid and this CD is just as good as 'Stop doing bad things'... again, IMO, based on first spin.

 

Eighteen Visions - s/t ; wow, what is this??? This is what I have started calling a "crossover release". Put a solo or 2 on this and it's pure hard rock as we know and love. The melodies and harmonies... holy shit. 'Burned us alive' is amazing... and then 'Broken hearted' strikes! Holy shit, I haven't felt like that listening to a song for the first time since I first heard 'Stranger than love' by Harem Scarem. Chills, and awe at how excellent the song was. Such a killer intro musically. 9,10 and 12 were awesome too. I really liked this CD.

 

I KNEW you'd fucking love Eighteen Visions!!!!!!!!! Any fucker out there that hasn't bought that cd is doing themselves a HUGE disservice!!!!!!!!!

 

"Seein' Red" is my favorite Unwritten Law tune.........just love it...LOL

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A promo of the new CD by Spider Rockets, EVER AFTER (P-Dog Records) arrived in my mailbox out of the blue some time ago. Since the band hails from New Jersey, I wondered if perhaps they'd picked me to receive it since I am a fellow Garden State resident. (I later found out that the same disc was sent to everyone on the Detritus e-zine staff, so geography had nothing to do with it. Oh well, guess I'm not special.) Anyway, I don't really know where to begin describing EVER AFTER because to be honest, I thought it was god-awful. This is a hard-edged alterna-rock band that features the squeaky voiced Helena Cos (who sounds like a pissed off Gwen Stefani) warbling over ten tracks of some of the most watery, generic tunes I've heard in ages. The band's web site compares their sound to bands like Velvet Revolver, 7 Year Bitch, Audioslave, and Alanis Morrisette (!), but none of those artists are exactly my bag...therefore it was a chore for me to simply get through one spin of the CD. By the time the disc was done the only track that stuck in my head was the cover of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter," and even that was only because I was imagining how cool it would be if John Lennon and George Harrison rose from their graves to exact terrible vengeance upon the band members for defiling such a classic song. Anyone want a free drink coaster, or a skeet shooting target? I'll be glad to send you my copy of EVER AFTER just to get it out of my house. Sorry, Spider Rockets, I'm sure you're nice people and all, but my New Jersey loyalty only goes so far... If this sounds like it's your bag at all, feel free to peruse http://www.spiderrockets.com, but don't bother to tell them that I sent you....!

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Amity Lane - 'The sound of regret' ; I have to know... why did these guys change their name from Trust Co? Did the other 2 guys have the rights to the name? Basically, this is 100% where the 2 Trust Co releases left off. The same song, but again, each track is very good. I don't know how they do it. Sadly there is nothing as good as 'Stronger Now' and 'War is Over' - BY FAR the 2 stand-out tracks of this band's careers, but again, this is a very good CD. Average production though. Reminds me of GOA's transformation into Relapsed. Same good band, pissier sound.

 

Bowling For Soup - 'The great buritto extortion case' ; any of you guys listen to bands you can't stand, but something about them keeps drawing you in? Well, this is my weakness. These guys are appalling, but I'm back again. The same song again features here, over and over again, but it's still somehow mildly enjoyable to listen to. Exactly the same as the last 4 albums.

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