Friday, August 29, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 349 - Morphine - YES

Album - Yes
Artist - Morphine
Key Players – Billy Conway – drums. Dana Colley – baritone sax. Mark Sandman – 2 string slide bass, vocals.

Produced By – Marks Sandman and Paul Q. Kolderie

Release Date – March 25, 1995

Overview - This is the third studio album from the Boston band “Morphine”. Formed in 1989 the trio blended jazz and alternative rock. Using non conventional lead instruments the band carved out a niche. They were more successful over seas, but this album was their first to crack the Billboard top 200. The band would build a niche audience and actually become very popular outside the United States. The sudden passing of Mark Sandman halted the band in their tracks.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The albums 12 songs track out to just 37 minutes. Opening with
"Honey White"   the band sets that tone right away..a very unique sound with a baritone (in a rock band) being such a dominate instrument. Conway settles a great back beat and Sandman and Colley just rumble with the bass that finds a both swing and kick to it. Sandman doesn't have a ton of vocal range on the track, but his voice is perfect for the layers of bass being used. With just two strings on his bass Sandman has a pretty cool intro on “Scratch” and then Colley comes right up. The track is a bit more laid back than the opener, but the groove on the track is infectious. Colley gets a bit more of a showcase on the track and your toes will be tapping along with your head bobbing. He nails it. “Radar” has a bit more a dual layer with Sandman and Colley at the intro. Conway never really opens up huge, but holds that back beat. Sandman has another cool bass intro on “Whisper” and Conway eases back as does Colley who almost whispers his notes, but spreads out mid song with a soaring solo.  “Yes” is another departure for the band. They change it up on each track it seems. A bit more smooth, but still a funky rumble of a track while a track like “All Your Way” just grabs you with the bass line and baritone sax. It always grabs you, but the band will change from a hard punch to a smooth groove to grab your attention. “Super Sex” as the title would imply is a track with a bit more of a drive to it with swirling bass lines and quivering saxophone sections. “I Had My Chance” slows it down with Sandman having the lead and Conway in no rush. Colley then comes in and its enough to give you chills. The swell of it all is grand. “The Jury” intro sounds like something Tim Burton would use in one of his films. There is a spoken word intro but the bass guitar has a “watery” sound to it and Colley sounds busy, but its not overpowering. We get a rock-a-billy intro with "Sharks" . When Sandman is singing the band lays back, but once its their turn to play it all takes off. “Free Love” has much of the same feel as sharks, a bit plodding at times, but the band continues to alter their sound on each track. Wrapping up with “Gone For Good” the band takes a real departure. Mark plays an acoustic guitar and the vocals are very hushed, almost just a man and his guitar.

Where are they now? - On July 3, 1999 Sandman collapsed on stage while performing in Italy. He was pronounced dead of a heart attack and the band disbanded. Following Sandmans death Colley and Conway set up “Orchestra Morphine” a band set up to tour and celebrate Marks life, as well as raise funds for the Mark Sandman Music Education Fund”. Conway and Colley also worked with former Face to Face lead singer Laurie Sargent to form “Twinemen”. The two have also worked in management and production and got together again in 2009 as “Members of Morphine”. With new vocalist Jeremy Lyons the band changed their name to “Vapors of Morphine” and still preform live.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - It is a fun and interesting listen. I will admit I don't know a ton about the band. Them being “in my backyard” I wish I saw them live as the tunings, instruments and just overall cool factor are just off the charts. There is a best of collection out now where new fans can dip in, but I am sure you'd be pleased with any of the releases.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Facebook page (quiet since 2009)
There was a documentary made about Mark called “Cure for the Pain” you can read more about it

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 348 - Clinic Internal Wrangler

Album – Internal Wrangler
Artist - Clinic
Key Players – Carl Turney – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals. Jonathan Hartley – guitar, clarient, keyboards. Brian Campbell – bass, flute, backing vocals. Ade Blackburn – keyboard, melodica, lead vocals.

Produced By – Gareth Jones and Clinic

Release Date – May 1, 2000

Overview – The band had its earliest formation as far back as 1984 Hartley and Blackburn made demos and worked their way slowly up. By 1999 the band was singed to a label and released this record, its first full length studio album. The quirky keyboard sound is the bands trademark and the off tempos kept the music interesting to many. The garage rock feel was prominent and they'd continue to release a steady stream of records. This early one was a critical smash and audiences took notice.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – This is a pretty short one. 14 tracks just over 30 minutes. Opens with “Voodoo Wop” a funky bass line and conga drums slowly build before fuzzy guitars buzz in and out and slight “ohhhhs” compliment the keyboards that build with it. The bands big trade mark is the sound of these quirky and funny, almost toy like instruements. After the build up it changes direction, mellows out to a swing drum/piano as it wraps up."The Return of Evil Bill"  opens with keyboards and then the odd tempo of the track unfolds. Blackburn begins to sing in sort of a haunting, unassuming style. The track has a build to it, but never really seems to break out. It is unlike many things you've heard before. Almost impossible to narrow down. The third longest track on the record comes in the title track, “Internal Wrangler”. Clocking in at a whopping 3:03. The track seems a bit out of focus but the swiringling keyboards are almost diorienting to the listener. There is a lot going on here and Turney gets over on the ride cymbal pushing things at his pace. “DJ Shangri-La” is a 52 seconds interlude type track. A mechanic metronome, some keyboards and basic drum line. A transition track leading to “The Second Line”. A bit more of an electric drum tempo with the bass and drums working in tandem. Again Blackburn is hushed but relies on the backing vocals for a hushed delivery. The tracks each stand on their own and the mix is interesting, in that bass might be heavy on one track, the next organ is heavier. The vocals never seem pushed up though. “C.Q.” is a loud and rowdy track. It almost sounds like a demo track with so much noise thrown at you. Its over in just over a minute which is the bands homage to punk rock one has to assume. Sticking with the 2 letter song titles we get"T.K." next. This is a track that is easy to get your feet tapping. A heavy focus on the drum line laid out with layered with those funky keyboards. Campbell continues to be impressive with the bass lines.  “Earth Angel” is a rare track in that it clocks over 3 minutes. Hartley seems to get his due here, with a simple and pretty guitar intro. Samples of crashing waves compliment Blackburn vocally who is really in no rush at all. Campbell finds his groove and the track is just a smooth ride. “Distortions” has the honor of being the longest track, at 4:01! Keyboards and a simple drum track are under Blackburn and again the band seems in no rush. This is the bands “ballad” track, we get the flute for the first time here. “Hippy Death Suite” is a big change from the prior track. Back to that garage punk rock feel. The track is instrumental and just builds in speed for its short duration. “2nd Foot Stomp” has the off tempo drums and keyboards and Blackburn is even more buried in the mix vocally.  "2/4"  might be one of the more unique intros with the frantic bass, guitar, drums, keyboards and vocals. Its not often you hear that crunchy keyboard, listen for yourself.... There is a four second 'track” before the final track “Goodnight Georgie” begins. A quieter album closer than one might (well me at least) might want or expect.

Where are they now? - The band is now 7 studio records deep and going strong. The band members today are the same as the debut. They continue to perform live as well.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There are some really cool moments on this record, and the band overall is fun to listen to. Its not like something you hear all that often.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, August 08, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 347 - Catherine Wheel - Ferment

Album - Ferment
Artist – Catherine Wheel
Key Players – Neil Sims – Percussion. Dave Hawes – Bass. Rob Dickinson – Lead vocals, guitar. Brian Futter – guitar and vocals.

Produced By – Tim Friese-Green

Release Date – June 9, 1992

Overview - This is the first full length album from Greath Yarmouth, England alternative rock band “Catherine Wheel”. The band took their name from a firework, that took its name from a midevil torture device. The band would be active for ten years and have mild levels of commercial success. They'd release four additional full length studio albums and in 2000 went on hiatus, but the band has done nothing in the time since.

We had a look at "Chrome" many years ago. Have a look if you'd like.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Twelve tracks and 57 minutes the album opens with the big and full sounding “Texture”. Futter and Dickinson get after it on the guitar and Sims attacks the cymbals. After the intro the band cools down some and Dickinson puts his croon right up at you. He has a nice deep and full voice that ebbs and flows from quiet to loud and has a breathy feel at time. Its a soaring album opener. By the second verse/chorus you hear more of Hawes bass work and the guitarists duel it out towards the end as Sims just smashes his drum kit. At the start of "I Want to Touch You" the guitar has that slow build and the band seems locks and loaded to join in. Like the prior track we get a full band to come in as the verse gets underway. Dickinson is in fine form and the band seems focused on the swirl of the guitars while the bass and drum drive forward. Futter has two runs at longer guitar solos which is a change for the band. If you are familiar with the band at all you know “Black Metallic”. The bands epic track with its great build up and tempo changes. I was hesitant to put this track up as a reminder, but upon listening it just needs to be part of the write up. “Indigo is Blue” hits you with two guitars strumming the same notes for over 30 seconds until Sims hits the drums and the band changes gears. What you feel might have been a loud and quick eases back some. Hawes bass compliments a bit more of a calm Dickinson on vocals. Even for a slower feeling track Futter gets time to solo and its a gritty wash of guitar. “She's My Friend” has Dickinson and Futter on the wall of guitars again and by the time Dickinson sings it has this really full sound. His voice is strong and deep so it resonates well with what the band is doing around him. Sims keeps that steady pace and Hawes continues to hold the bottom down tight. “Shallow” is a straight up rocker with the machine gun drums while the title track “Ferment”is the polar opposite at the start. A singular guitar with Dickinson practically whispering the words. Its not until close to the three minute mark that the band erupts for a short burst before going back to the quiet, but that is short lived..another brick wall of sound. Its repeated a few times resulting in an extending big ending. “Flower to Hide” is a great side of the band, the big sound, the full vocals, but feels a bit “different” for some reason. Could be a bit more laid back style from Dickinson, but is a cool sounding track. One guitar is on point, the other swirling and distored as “Tumbledown” begins. Dickinson is calm again but Sims and Hawes don't seem to want to be too laid back so they burst, but settle back for the verses. “Bill and Ben” seems to have the same vibe as the prior track while “Salt” has that lone guitar at the start before the band comes in. More of “shoegaze” type track you hear the layer of vocals from the guys as the band plays on. You can almost feel the fog machines rolling as you listen. Closing out with a stand out track,"Balloon" they really leave on a high note. You can almost tell from the great guitar intro that works right along with the bass and drums. The band is just locked in. A stellar track.

Where are they now? - The band stayed intact for most of their duration. Hawes left the band before the release of the bands final studio record. This is a band that, in my opinion, would do well on a reunion tour. Package with another band from the period and they'd be golden. Dickinson has done a solo record and some songs here and there. Based of wikipedia he enjoys working on old cars. As always if you know of any further updates feel free to comment and I'll update for like minded and curious fans.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There are some stellar moments on this record. When this came out it felt big, fresh and exciting. It holds up very well. Easily one of their best records and should be the launching pad if you choose to go down this just need to least for a tour.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Monday, August 04, 2014

The Call get a fitting tribute!

Very cool news for fans of "The Call"

Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club pays tribute to his late father's music with an unforgettable live performance leading his father, Michael Been's, legendary band The Call in the upcoming live album The Call Live Tribute With Robert Levon Been (available September 2nd, 2014 via Label Records/Lightyear/Caroline).

While The Call (Michael Been, Tom Ferrier, Jim Goodwin and Scott Musick) got their official start in Santa Cruz, CA in 1979, its roots as a band go back to Michael Been's childhood in Oklahoma City, where seeing Elvis Presley perform on television changed the course of his life. That early interest in musical performance inspired his career, from the very beginning performing at the age of seven on local radio and television programs, to his eventual move to Chicago at the age of 16, where he was drawn into the blues scene by Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Junior Parker. Been eventually made his way to California, where he connected with drummer Scott Musick, as well as Tom Ferrier (guitar, vocals) and Jim Goodwin (keyboards, vocals) to form The Call.

Despite having their initial demos rejected by all the major labels, the band found themselves in demand by nearly every major producer in America. The Call's debut album was ultimately produced by Hugh Padgham (David Bowie, The Police) and the band were suddenly opening acts for major artists including Peter Gabriel and Simple Minds.

The Call were signed to Mercury, Elektra and MCA, and released seven critically acclaimed albums over the next eight years, featuring several iconic hit songs including "Let The Day Begin" and "I Still Believe (Great Design)." In 1997, after a seven year break, the band reformed to release the album Heaven & Back, before disbanding once more. Michael Been began serving as sound engineer for his son Robert Levon Been's band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but passed away from a heart attack while working backstage at the 2010 Pukkelpop festival in Belgium.

Now after twenty years, The Call reunited at legendary Los Angeles venue The Troubador and gave an incredible live performance with Robert Levon Been stepping into his father's role and joining Musick, Ferrier and Goodwin for the one-of-a-kind event. For Robert—who grew up going out on the road with The Call anytime he had a break from school—the performance offered the chance to honor his musical legacy and perform nearly a dozen and a half songs from the band’s esteemed catalog. And for original members Musick, Ferrier and Goodwin, the show allowed them the opportunity to honor their friend and their own musical legacy while revisiting a bond they thought was gone forever.

The Call Live Tribute With Robert Levon Been will be available as a DVD+CD Deluxe Set on September 2nd 2014 and will also be available on CD, 180 gram double vinyl, and digitally (with 5 extra bonus tracks).

Friday, August 01, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 346 - The Wonder Stuff - Hup

Album - Hup

Artist – The Wonder Stuff

Key Players – Martin Gilks – drums. James Taylor – organ. Martin Bell – fiddle, banjo. Rob Jones – bass. Malcolm Treece – guitar, vocals. Miles Hunt – lead vocals, guitar.

Produced By – Pat Collier

Release Date – October 3. 1989

Overview - This is the second album from the band. The band was formed in 1986 and originated out of Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom. The alt rock band blended acoustic guitars, banjo and fiddle for some rowdy fan sing along anthems. The band would have a revolving door of members but would continue to release records but break it off in 1994. In 1995 a Live album was released and the band would go off to solo projects. By 2000 the band had re-formed and a one off show became a series of sell out shows. The band continues to be largely Miles Hunt's project and their most recent studio album came out in 2012.

This is the second time The Wonder Stuff has gotten coverage on this blog, The first time was when we looked at “Construction for the Modern Idiot” back in 2007.  Read about it here if you like

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Twelve tracks in just under 40 minutes is how this breaks down.
“30 Years In The Bathroom” opens with sound effects and a TV Broadcast that run for close to a minute before the band comes in. The guitars bass and drums slowly build as Hunt begins to sing. The song has a mid tempo feel with Hunt pushing things. Jones has a cool bass line and Treece and Hunt seem to play off one another on the guitar. Gilks has some conga rolls as Treece has a very brief solo and the song loops back and winds to a close. In an homage to the radio business and payola you get
“Radio Ass Kiss”. Gilks snare has a cool effect as he “rat-a-tats” the intro and the full band comes right on. A more uptempo track than the opener the chorus, as expected, is a great sing along. For the first time you hear more from Taylor and Bell as “Golden Green” gets underway. The country feeling track will have your toes tapping and Treece adds great support on guitar and vocally. “Let's Be Other People” is a track that I'd sum up as being the classic Wonder Stuff sound. Great guitars, an equally pushing bass line with simple, but tight drums. The build up to the chorus is where Wonder Stuff songs tend to shine, this is no exception. Treece goes after the wah wah pedal and is up to the task with Hunt vocally. A shining moment on the record comes in the track "Piece of Sky"  . Just have a listen and hear the harmonies and layer upon layer of instruments.   "Can't Shape Up"   is another track that stands out with the wall of guitar intro and heavy hits from Gilks. Buried a little in the mix are the swooping bass riffs from Jones as Treece locks in to a progression. Hunt seems to really push himself, but keep the range tight. Another stand out track.
 "Don't Let Me Down, Gently"  was released as a single to radio in the US and its rollicking beat makes complete sense it was chosen as a single. The bass and guitar play is solid and Gilks really gets a work out on the drums. We slow down some with the track “Cartoon Boyfriend”. For the first time you really hear Bell on the fiddle as it seems to be a key component to the track. When Hunt sings the verse the bass and acoustic guitars reign supreme and the vocal harmonies are strong. The punchy bass that comes with the keyboard intro on “Good Night Though” builds to a frantic full band eruption. The vocals are quick and sung with urgency as the track rolls.  “Unfaithful” has a country feel to it with the acoustic guitars and fiddle. The melody is nice and its a cool “other” side of what the band can do. Where one comes up with a title like “Them, Big Oak Trees” is a mystery, but it is one heck of a catchy track. The bass on this track is only second to the great vocal work with the band. The nice thing about the Wonder Stuff is its never really a full on showcase for one instrument. You get that whole “big” sound all the time. Closing out the record is“Room 410” another track that uses spoken samples as part of the intro on the song. The drums have a particular snap to them, even the tom toms, and the guitars are busy melding back and forth. A bit on the trippy side, but that is okay. The Wonder Stuff want to keep you interested, and guessing.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 1994, but reformed in 2000 with Hunt being the lone member still from this period. The last studio record from the band was in 2012 called “Oh No It's..The Wonder Stuff”. Jones left the band in 1989 and moved to the United States. He passed away in 1993. Gilks passed away in 2006 as the result of a motorcycle accident. I don't have any information on Treece, Bell or Taylor, so please hit up the comments!

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - I spent a LOT of time with this record soon after it came out as my friends and I dove it to this record. It was played a great deal and the band I was in at the time would try to work up some of the tunes. For me personally it brings back some very fond memories. For the outsider, there are some very rocking tunes on here. Even some of the bands today like the Avett Brothers for example probably unknowingly dip in to the pool that the Wonder Stuff laid down with the heavy acoustic guitars, fiddle and organ. A best of collection for the new fan would have you excited for sure to go back to the individual releases.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 25, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 345 - Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar

Album – Antichrist Superstar
Artist – Marilyn Manson
Key Players – Ginger Fish – drums, programming. Madonna Wayne Gacy – keyboards/loops. Twiggy Ramirez – guitars, bass. Daisy Berkowitz – guitars. Marilyn Manson – lead vocals, guitar, pan flute
Produced By – Trent Reznor

Release Date – October 8, 1996

Overview – This is the second studio album from Marilyn Manson. This record is the one that made them a household name and with it the trappings of stardom. The album title is loosely based off “Jesus Christ Superstar” and is a rock opera, even part of a three album trilogy. The wild videos and the press always on Manson himself it was difficult to not be aware of them. This album would do well on the US Charts, going as high as #3 and would sell over 7 Million copies worldwide.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – There are 16 songs listed (17 if you include the old “hidden track”) clocking in at 77 minutes. “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” opens the albums with audience cheers, giving it a feeling of a live album. There are chants and about 30 seconds in it gets loud and heavy. Fish gets it rolling and Ramirez finds the chugging bass line. Manson has a loud howl to his voice and its offset with heavy screams and the band comes in all around him. The track actually has some tempo changes keeping it interesting, rather than going quiet to loud it does have some off tempo breakdowns. Its not as cookie cutter as one might think. The swirl of  "The Beautiful People" swells and its the drum roll from Fish and the chugging guitars from Berkowitz that are most well known. Even casual fans of the band know this song, not a lot to talk about. You've made up your mind a while ago on this one, but the guitars are pretty awesome. “Dried Up, Tied and Dead To the World” is much calmer that the prior track with a bit more focus on the keyboard line put down by Gacy. Its has the industrial, robotic feel to it, but continues with the buzzy guitars. Ramierez opens the bass up as  "Tourniquet" begins. The dual guitars ring well with the bass and Fish is heavy on the crash cymbals. Manson sings about as hushed as he'd ever sing, but as the chorus approaches he rinses with whiskey and razorblades and lets it fly. The drum bass and guitar play mid track keep with that heavy and thunderous rumble that push the track onwards. Fish gets on the ride cymbal and slows it, but crashes it soon after and we get a final run at the chorus. “Little Horn” is part of cycle B on the record (there are 3). The guitars lock on a single riff as Manson sings, he pushes beyond that opening verse and the full band comes in. You can hear the touch from Reznor here, very industrial feeling with hints of the edge of Ministry. Fish and Gacy start off “Cryptorchid” and Manson starts the vocals pretty early on. He speaks the lines more than he sings at the outset,but there are some background high harmonies and later on when its just Gacy on keyboards under some heavily distorted “quiet” vocals. The effect will remind you of a Clockwork Orange soundtrack with the indecipherable lyrics, but you know there are words there and it fades right to “Deformography”. Another slower to build type track but with no heavier a back layer of bass/guitar/drums. The robotic drumming just has all the more accent on the strikes before guitars take over the layers and Manson grows increasingly angry sounding. It calms, then does the sort of “rinse-lather-repeat” thing. “Worm Boy” has a bit more of that classic Manson feel. The off tempo buzzy guitars and drums with Manson taking the lead in pushing everyone. Fish is particularly interesting rotating from computer drums to standard acoustic drums. The slow burn of the guitars builds as
“Mister Superstar” gets underway and by the first verse it locks in to a cool riff. Ramierez has a cool bass line that has some nice melodic runs as Berkowitz then hammers down and the band explodes. This is the Marilyn Manson your mom knows about. “Angel With The Scabbed Wings” blends right in to the prior track with the same rumble of bass and guitar. This track has a solid back beat and, although I've used it a lot, the “chugging” is sort of cool. The band gets after it and not instrument is not beat on heavily! “Kinderfeld” is the last song of the section “b” segment. Again Ramierez finds a cool bass line to lock on and Gacy throws in the keyboard flourishes. Fish is slow to get the drums moving along but Berkowitz is idle for the first verse. Gacy throws in some chops, and by the chorus the guitar is light and largely an accompaniment before offering up some harmonic layers. The bass is the driving force on the track.  "Anti Christ Superstar" is the first track of “Cycle III – Disintigration Rising” segment of the record. Another sonic assault. The guitars are at the front of “1996” and Manson and company go right after it on this. A frenzy of bass and drums pushing the eardrums of those daring to stay locked in. The drum machine tempo and simple bass open “Minute of Decay” with the guitar shimmering in the background before it switches on the distortion, albeit it still “in the background” as the bass remains steady. Manson again is very hushed but he grows with an angry howl even as the band doesn't get too wild along side him. Manson is the first thing you hear as“The Reflecting God” gets underway. The industrial feel is back and this is the Manson that fans are looking for, that angst and dark stuff with huge down beats. As far as the official track listing the album concludes with “Man That You Fear”. Starting off much slower it has a quiet piano but moments of aggression at times. As an album closer it works with everyone almost “tired” Once that is done, go to track 99 to hear the hidden track “Empty Sounds of Hate”. This is a loop track in that if you play the start of track 1 its a continuation. Its fuzzy spoken word, not a song,but the idea is to have the album “loop” as a continual story.
Where are they now? - Berkowitz left the band left the band soon after the album was completed. He continues to work in music but was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2013.  Ramirez also works in the business playing with A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails and doing production work.   Fish works with Rob Zombie. Manson himself is working on a new record that may see release in late 2014.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There is no way around this, Manson is a polarizing artist. At the time this was pretty heavy and he kept it interesting both with his music and in the public eye. Every interview I ever have seen or read with him he always comes across as a very well educated guy that believes in what he is doing. I think his calm demeanor in the face of everyone what wants to protest him makes him all the more interesting. This is a great snap shot of the time, and musically its very strong. His popularity may have waned some, but its worth putting your toes back in this pool at the very least.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

 Official Site


Buy It

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 344 - Isis - Oceanic

Album - Oceanic
Artist - Isis
Key Players – Jeff Caxide – bass. Aaron Harris – drums. Michael Gallagher – guitar. Bryant Clifford Meyer – electronics, guitar, vocals. Aaron Turner – vocals and guitar
Produced By – Isis and Matt Bayles

Release Date – September 17, 2002

Overview – This is the second full length album from Los Angeles (via Boston) post metal band Isis.
This album would land on year end “best of” lists and garner“tops of the decade” accolades. Critics and fans point to this record as a “game changer” in the genre.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The nine song 63 minute album is a theme. A man on the brink of emotional numbness finds a female who completes him. He finds out she has a long term incestuous relationship with her brother. He loses hope and commits suicide by drowning. The tracks tell the tale and it starts off positive as “The Beginning And The End” begins. The band finds fluid movement as the bass, drums and guitars lay in but you can hear the light keyboard work from Clifford Meyer. When Turner sings its hoarse, and gruff, but it is filled with that raw emotion you focus on what he is saying but the band continues around him to build tension. The band musically is interesting to listen to. The Caxide bass lines are punching and clear. You can hear the two guitars and each of the instruments that Harris hits on his kit. The length of the tracks help the band as well. Outside of two songs under 3:05 in length six minutes is “short” so they have some things you can really latch on to. “The Other” feels like its comes right as part of the lead off, but the bass melody is off just that much. Again the band is letting each person come in and slowly building. The build puts all the more punishment in Turners howls. Gallahger and Turner chug the guitar lines and the track continues to pummel for the 7:15 duration. In following the story you feel the change as "False Light"  begins. Turner is right there and the angst pours out but the guitars are to die for. The big riffs are excellent and slowing it down some about half way in to the track shows the band as being skilled, and willing to take risks. The monster riff on the back end is a payoff. There is not a gap and “Carry” feels like a soft bookend (at the start) to the conclusion of the first part of the album. There are more electronics at the intro with players finding their spot on bass and guitar, but its more drone than playing. Harris gets to about 1:20 in before he starts to get the things moving some. Turner and Gallagher are not in a hurry and they each go in opposite directions keeping the track on the quiet side, showcasing their “slower” guitar skills. Dare one say “pretty” in a case like this, but its always interesting to let the music alone tell you a story (or part of). Its not until 4:15 that Turner comes in and he is as urgent at always and Harris is all the willing to play along. Following that track is “-”. Yes its just a dash and at 2:06 its a track to progress you on to phase two. “Maritime”, which follows, is the second shortest song and it does set up phase two. Feeling more electronics based the guitar and drums keep this instrumental track moving right along. “Weight” is the longest song on the album and Harris gets the bulk of the work at the start, he is not going wild on the drums, simply setting the pace as a lone guitar and bass come along. The female vocals are a unique addition and the track continues with its slow burn as Harris goes harder on the hi-hat and Turner and Gallagher build on each others guitar progression. Maria Christopher has the vocals, but she repeats the line vs singing a verse. It hits its peak and fades on an orchestral held note.  "From Sinking" brings back the sludgy metal that is so appealing to these ears. Caxide has some great bass fills as the guitars really grow along with Harris' heavy drum strikes. The band spreads out this 8 minute track pretty well, changing tempos and really taking you for a ride musically. If this is the “suicide” track, its spot on. The album wraps up with “Hym” Clifford Meyer sings the first part and he has a bit more of a soaring voice that Turner. Caxide and Harris work well as Gallagher and Turner layer the guitars on each other. Clifford Meyer pushes himself vocally and the band does a few start/stops to keep us all at attention. The breaks give you chances to exhale, and the build to the end really wraps this album up on high note.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in June 2010. At the time the band said they had done everything they had set out to do and decided to end it. Caxide has done some solo work and was on the “Palms” album which featured Chino from the Deftones. Clifford Meyer was also a part of the Palms project and worked with other bands such as Red Sparowes. Gallagher has worked under the moniker MGR and released two solo records and done some work with films. Harris has done work as a drum tech (for Tool) and was also involved with Palms. Turner is an artist, worked with dozens of bands and even founded and ran Hydra Head Records. He is busy.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - Okay okay..Turner has a “difficult” voice to listen to. When it comes down to it, the emotion is what drives it. You need to break out of comfort zones at times and really let things sink in. The story, the urgency all add up. That being said, this should hardly gain dust. It's a watershed record for this band and just a thrill to listen to. You might not be able to toss on at a party, but in your car...its a must. Give those speakers a workout. There are many reasons this was picked as one of the best records of the year (and then some). Dig in.

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