M. Drew's blog

Concert Review - GWAR, Whitechapel

After so many years of constant tours, going to a GWAR show is now like visiting an old friend. There will be some new stories to be sure, but you know when you arrive, it’s going to be a jovial retelling of some of the same old classics.

Concert Review - Finntroll, Blackguard

It was a strange night to be in Worcester, Massachusetts. Stranger than usual, that is. At the Palladium, the city’s cardinal music showcase, two very different forces were converging on the city. Finntroll was in town with Blackguard in tow, a powerful double bill of folky heavy metal. On the same night, in another part of the same venue, was a foam party. As one can imagine, this made for excellent people watching, as there were booty shorts, furry footwear and studded belts as far as the eye could see.

EP Review: Tech N9ne - "Therapy"

Sometimes you are introduced to music through unusual means. The name Tech N9ne first popped into the popular lexicon when he had the grows-on-you single “The Beast” placed on the soundtrack of Madden 06 (the one that debuted the horrible QB vision, but that’s beside the point.) The cut was impressive enough and reached enough eardrums that suddenly the name Tech N9ne was worth knowing. The Kansas City-based rapper kept up a relentless grind, working wonders in the independent rap scene following the release of concurrent hit single “Caribou Lou.”

New Zombie OST, And it Ain't Half-Bad!

It's quite an undertaking to write a soundtrack from scratch. It's probably even more difficult to write said soundtrack without the solid visual reference of a movie that actually exists.

Yet one man, Magnus Sellergren has taken on the task, and performed it with an ear that belies a loving admiration for the horror films and soundtracks that haunted our cinemas past.

Album Review: The Melvins - "Tres Cabrones"

The Melvins remain, after thirty years, part of the bedrock of underground alternative music. The steadfast genre-denial and complete inability to keep still of King Buzzo ensures that The Melvins will always be an entity unto themselves. For “Tres Cabrones,” (literally ‘three goats’ but in slang ‘three assholes’ in Spanish,) as if to accentuate the point, there’s a credit in the liner notes for someone playing a toy piano. With that reinforcing every belief about the eccentricity of The Melvins, “Tres Cabrones” rolls on.

Album Review: Red Fang - "Whales and Leeches"

There was a time when grunge was an indomitable empire. A musical transcendence that touched and shaped all corners of popular culture. For reason abound that empire crumbled quickly, vanishing within four years of its apex, the symbolic final nail coming in the form of Soundgarden’s dispersal following “Down On the Upside.” The Seattle scene fell silent and the embers went dead as they were either ignored, or worse mismanaged, by the bands that followed. Grunge went to seed, living on in memory and the shadow of Pearl Jam’s adaptive evolution into a popular, relevant rock band.

Album Review: Ra - "Critical Mass"

Ra has been a name in my personal rolodex for a long time. For whatever reason, the Los Angeles band has a notable following in my hometown in Upstate New York, a connection that I still don’t understand. So it is with marked interest that I approach the new Ra release “Critical Mass.”

Album Review: It's Casual - "The New Los Angeles II"

Answering a question no one asked can be a dangerous enterprise, because the greatest uncertainty involved is in assuming someone cares about the answer. It’s Casual, the punk-ish band with roots in Los Angeles, is the erstwhile answer to the question “What would a mix of Black Flag and Rush sound like?” While that question seems to land on the spectrum somewhere between ‘untenable’ and ‘impossible,‘ the evident answer lies in the band’s new record “The New Los Angeles II”

Album Review: Warbringer - "Empires Collapse"

Whoa, what is this?

You ever seen the Robert Redford movie “Sneakers?” There’s a scene where the character Whistler (played by one of the all-time great character actors David Strathairn,) figures out that the computer hardware his crew stole is the most powerful decryption tool ever created; that possessing it gave him complete access to every secure network in the United States. Whistler’s reaction, accompanied by a symphonic crescendo, is “Whoa.” That’s how I feel about Warbringer’s new album “Empires Collapse.”

Album Review: Soulfly - "Savages"

Consistency is a difficult thing to deliver, particularly over a long period of time. To churn out a high caliber or product over and over again, particularly in the arts, where one must constantly find new inspiration, is a herculean task, and attaining or failing consistency has been the respective hallmark and demise of countless artists and musicians over the last couple centuries. Soulfly, still the bedrock of Max Cavalera's current musical career, has been extremely successful at continually turning out a product that fans will recognize, embrace, endorse and consume.

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