Friday, July 21, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 374 - Coheed and Cambria - Second Stage Turbine Blade


Album – The Second Stage Turbine Blade
Artist – Coheed and Cambria
Key Players – Claudio Sanchez – vocals and rhythm guitar.  Joshua Eppard – drums, piano.   Michael Todd – bass, vocals. Travis Stever – lead guitar.
Produced by – Coheed and Cambria with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner


Release Date – March 5, 2002

Overview – This is the debut album from the New York band Coheed and Cambria.

FDF Comments (aka “the Songs”) – The album is 10 tracks just about 55 minutes in length.  It begins with the short (53 seconds) “Second Stage Turbine Blade”.  Sort of a warble piano interlude that seaways right in to “Time Consumer”.  The guitars are light with the bass and drums kept simple and after a little bit the full band comes in.  Sanchez has a high/nasal voice that some might find a little off putting, but his range is wide and the band takes the track to a prog rock infused interlude.  “Devil in Jersey City” was the track that found radio play from the start.  Eppard lays a pretty tight back line while Todd follows along to keep the track on point allowing Sanchez and Stever to layer their guitars over it. “Everything Evil” finds the band falling in even tighter as Eppard seems to really set the tone and the chorus is a rowdy sing along.  Simple guitar and bass open “Delirium Trigger” and then after a few bars it hits a little harder, and by the conclusion they are going hard.  An almost funky guitar riff kicks off “Hearshot Kid Disaster” and as the bass and drums come in Sanchez gives it a good hearty scream and the riffs pour down and that rolls right on in to  “33”.  This track showcases Eppard.  “Junesong Provision”and “Neverender” continue with the overall vibe of the record.  The record concludes with “God Send Conspirator”.  Another track that really does the band justice, showcasing the vocals to instrumentation.  A solid album closer.  Adding to the albums length is some silence before an acoustic strummed spacey track finds its way to your ears after the 7/8 minute mark.

Where are they now? – The band is still recording and touring.  Eppard left the band in 2006 but returned in 2011. Todd left the band for about a year in 2006 and then left permanently in 2011 after a drug arrest.  Sanchez and Stever have remained with the band continuously.  The band is just wrapping up/currently (depending on when you read this) tour for “Good Apollo I'm burning star IV part 1, fear through the eyes of madness”



FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dusting Off? – Coheed is an interesting band for me.  Mostly because I seem to buy all their records as soon as they come out, enjoy them but then shelve them.  Its an odd relationship.  When I do go back I am reminded as to why I like them. The big and progressive rock sound.  They can be a challenge for some to listen to, but if you get it..you get it.  I need to not be away for so long.

Links, find out more, follow them, buy

Official Site
Twitter
Facebook
Wiki Page
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 14, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 373 - Swervedriver - Mezcal Head


Album – Mezcal Head
Artist – Swervedriver
Key Players – Adam Franklin – vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, bass, Jimmy Hartridge –guitar and bass, Jez Hindmarsh - drums
Produced By – Alan Moulder and Swervedriver.


Release Date – August 5, 1993

Overview – This is the second album released by Oxford England based band Swervedriver.

FDF Comments (aka “the songs) –  The 11 tracks span over 60 minutes and “For Seeking Heat” leads it off.  The track slowly builds over the first 30 seconds and then it opens up.  It’s a heavy track, with the bass being really heavy.  The vocals begin and the guitars swirl underneath. There is a psychedelic feel but the speed and volume of that might confuse the listener.  “Duel” was a big single from this record and it has a clear pop feel to it.  Very radio friendly with big guitars and choruses.  This track still is outstanding all these years later.  “Blowin Cool” comes right in with simulated waves crashing meets jet taking off sound effects.  What is interesting is the cd player (yes I know) sits on track time 0:00 for some time before the track really starts, with a nice punchy bass and then swirling vocals.  Another fine example of what had people so excited for them early on.  The chorus on this track especially.  We slow it down some on “MM Abduction”, so you’d think until the first verse is done then it all breaks loose with crushing guitars bass and drums.  The same is true for “Last Train to Satansville” which unloads for a good 2:30.  “Harry & Maggie” is an urgent song continuing with the vibe the band has set forth. “A Change is Gonna Come” showcases the bands ability to layer sounds.  The guitars either ring or crunch over the 4/4 drum tempo.  The band shows about as mellow as it gets on “Girl on a Motorbike” and that is really not “that” mellow.  You still get the urgent chorus and big guitars, but the verses are not as rushed.  “Duress” is an ambitious track as it runs over 8 minutes long.  The bass line solid and holds it down as the guitars seem to compliment.  One rings out slow passages while the second has more of a wah wah/distortion sound and that builds to vocals after three minutes.  What stands out to these ears is the simplicity (and rock solid) bass line.  “You Find it Everywhere” is another solid track.  The album closes with the 11 minute opus “Never Lose that Felling/Never Learn”.  The saxophone is an interesting touch and the track just pulls you in as the whole track is just sensory overload.  Kudos to Stewart Dace on sax.

Where are they now?  The band was active until 1998 then took some time off.  In 2008 they re-formed with the intent to tour and are still at it.  The band released a new album in 2014 and it 2017 they will be touring the US again playing this album (Mezcal Head) as well as “Raise” in full.

FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dusting Off? I am not sure I ever could say I was a big fan of the band at the time.  I am not sure why or what was holding my interest.  The new album I bought the day it came out though and it had me go back as I had a few others.  Probably at the time I just saw it a bit of a tedious listen, who knows.  My loss for losing the time, but something to be excited about all over again!

Links, find out more, follow em, and buy

Official Site
Facebook
Twitter

Wiki Page
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 07, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 372 - God Is An Astronaut - The End of the Beginning



Album – The End of the Beginning
Artist – God is An Astronaut
Key Players –  Torsten Kinsella – guitars, keyboards, vocals and programming.  Niels Kinsella – bass guitar, guitars, keyboards.
Produced By – God is An Astronaut


Release Date –  2002
Overview – This is the debut album from the Irish band.  The album title is taken from a Churchill speech and the bands unique name from the film “Nightbreed”.  The twin brothers wrote and produced the record and would remain largely a duo until almost 2010.


FDF Comments (aka “the songs) – The 11 track 47 minute album opens with “The End of the Beginning”.  The guitar has a haunting swirl to it and the bass rises with it and it falls into a simple back beat.  For just a duo there is a lot going on, and you know a lot of it is sequenced/programmed.  Still the band find a way to keep it interesting and flowing.  On most post rock records you look for diversity across tracks, but still want things to be the same.  Its an odd mix.  The music pulls you in and wants you to pay attention.  Sometimes the changes are subtle, others more explosive.  “From Dust to the Beyond” follows the trend of the first track as does “Ascend to Oblivion”.  “Coda” seems to pick up the pace a little more and feel a little “heavier” yet still holds a mood.  Although there is piano/keyboards throughout “Remembrance” seems to have it most pushed to the front.  The guitar uses some ebow and then keyboards layer to that.  “Point Pleasant” has a nice bass line over the robotic drum beat and towards the end get a little more frantic, something that these ears have been waiting for. “Fall from the Stars” keeps up the more up tempo feel from the previous track with a little more buzz on the guitar and punchier bass work.  This would be the first track I’d personally play for someone off the record.  The ending is what makes it all worth it. “Twighlight” rolls in to “Coma” which is a quick track (1:16) and feels more of a segue in to “Route 666”.  “Route” has some buzzy keyboards and the bass work is solid.  The click track drum is the norm for the record but the urgency seems to lift a bit more off this track.  “Lost Symphony” is the final track on the album and once again piano is the dominant instrument on the track.

Where are they Now? – The band is still active.  They released Helios/Erebus in 2015 and continue to tour as a four piece.

FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dustin Off? – As noted this is the first record form the band.  In later years they have gotten to be more guitar based and a little “heavier”.  I tend to like their heavier stuff.  This won’t get a party started, but something you could put on in the background and not drive people off.  For my preference I’d go with some of the more recent records.

Links, find out more, follow em, and buy

Official Site
Facebook
Twitter
GIAA on Wiki
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, June 30, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 371 - The Melvins - Stoner Witch



Album – Stone Witch
Artist – The Melvins
Key Players –  Dale C (Dale Crover) – drums, guitars and backing vocals.  Mark D (Mark Deutrom) – bass, guitar and backing vocals. King B (Buzz Osborne) – vocals, guitar and bass.
Produced By – The Melvins and Garth Richardson


Release Date – October 18, 1994

Overview – This was the seventh album released by the Melvins.  Formed in 1983 in Washington they have almost always been a (very loud) trio.

FDF Comments (aka “the songs) –  The band is listed as a doom metal/stoner rock band on many websites and “Skweetis” sure does fit the bill.  For a trio the bass is just thunderous and the drums are equally as pummeling.  King B is sort of all over the guitar with no real distinct guitar line but the bass and drums are just heavy heavy heavy.  “Queen” follows with a little more fluidity.  It has a bit more of the structure you are used to with songs, but it takes a little to get rolling.  Once the first verse is done the weight comes down.  “Sweet Willy Rollbar” is another short, yet explosive track (like the opener).  It’s easy to hear their impact to the grunge sound as continues to be evident with the opening of “Revolve”. The track locks in to a swampy, hot weather day jam.  This is the stuff you put on while tossing a Frisbee.  “Goose Freight Train” is a slower track that lets you come up for air after the first few tracks.  Good thing you caught your breath because “Roadbull” is right back in your face.  The bass sound on this track ranges from wondering chorus laden tones, to buzzed out riffs.  It takes almost 2:30 in to “At the Stake” before we hear vocals.  King just strikes notes as Dale and Mark set the pace, and they are in no hurry.  About a minute later the full band kicks in.  Its “heavy” but not a quick track.  “Magic Pig Detective” is a little more of a payoff song.  The listener has about 3 minutes of feedback/noodling before the track begins.  Once it gets going it is about as hard as the bulk of the record.  There are some bass harmonics opening “Shevil”.  It is a slow track that, for me, never really gets going.  Mark D sets the tone on “June Bug” a track that is really bass and drums until about the 40 second mark when King just plays some lighter notes, but then stomps his pedals and look out!  It’s quick and to the point, but so good you almost want the whole record to be like it.  The album concludes with “Lividity” a track that I personally find “skippable”.
Where are they Now? – King B and Crover have been members since the start (you can read the Wiki page on how Crover became involved).  Deutrom left the band in 1998.  The band are almost always on tour and releasing records.  In 2016 they had two releases and are slated for a new release (A Walk with Love and Death) in 2017.

FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dusting Off? – There are absolute killer moments on this record.  Anyone that is new to the band would probably be told, if they asked a fan, to start with this record.  There are some great riffs and the band is really solid.  A few throw away tracks aside this is a real gem.


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, June 23, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 370 - The Icicle Works


Album – Icicle Works
Artist – Icicle Works
Key Players – Ian McNabb -lead vocals, guitar and keyboards.  Chris Layhe – bass and backing vocals
Chris Sharrock – drums.
Produced By – Hugh Jones


Release Date – March 23, 1984

Overview – This was the debut record from Icicle Works.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 10 track 42 minute album had various versions.  Even the cover between the US and UK was different.  Reviewed here is the US version.  "Chop the Tree” opens up the album and you have those electronic drum rolls before the bass and guitar join.  McNabb is in fine voice and doubles the harmonies on the chorus. "Love Is a Wonderful Colour" and "Reaping the Rich Harvest" continue the album.  There is bits of the “same” but by the same token each track so far feels fresh.  There is a heavy emphasis on the bass and drum and there are no “guitar solos”.  I struggled to hear much in the mix for backing vocal support, but the tracks have a good pop feel to them.”Reaping” has a bit more of the bass as the focal point, and with some heavy chorus effect on the bass line, it really rings. "As the Dragonfly Flies" has a more keyboard than previous tracks and it also hums along as the quickest track to this point.  The chorus has some nice layers vocally and the frantic drum tempo really is showcased. "Lovers' Day" starts with a flute of some sort and slow progression in to the track.  McNabb sings much of the first verse with just a few guitar strums and keyboard fills it swells but simmers back to the melloncholly intro. "In the Cauldron of Love" finds McNabb shredding his vocals on the chorus with a darker track that seems to rumble forth like a freight train. "Out of Season" uses some looped keyboards before a shimmery guitar plays and McNabb is a little more laid back, but still of full voice.  From laid back to frantic we then get "A Factory in the Desert".  The tempo is up, the guitar ring out, the drums hit a real hidden gem on the record.  We then reach the track 99% of people would know as being Icicle Works and that is “Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)”.  This is the song that got me to buy the record.  Gone from this version is the female spoken section over the start (which seems to crop up on radio) but the song just stands alone, it really is a terrific track.  Need a refresher?  The Video!  The record ends with the longest track “Nirvana” which is just over 5 minutes long.  The trio has done a lot to make a lot of great noise.  The record has something for everyone, especially at the time not sure why they didn’t take off more in the US.  The rumbling bass and drums and frantic guitar strums suck you in and shake you for the duration.  A solid album closer.

Where are they Now? The band was active from 1980-1991 and according to Wikipedia have been active again since 2006.  In reading the bands Wikipedia page they seemed busy until 2011, but little has been posted since.  Chris Sharrock played with bands from The La’s to Robbie Williams and was last involved with “Beady Eye” which was a Liam Gallagher project.  Layhe has a quiet Wiki page with information only as late as 2009 that he was back playing bass in a project called “Shadow History”.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting off? – I will be the first to admit I knew nothing outside of “Whisper to a Scream” even back when this band was making new records.  For a long time this record was pretty hard to find even, and during my heavily “alternative music days” (which still exist) this was cd that eluded me.  Even with some good shops in my area I could only ever find “the best of..” and some crazy “import” price.  Overall the record is a fun stroll down memory lane.  Largely because the “sound” of the record.  Nothing fancy, just some great catchy well crafted songs.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy
Icicle Works on Wiki

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, June 16, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 369 - Elvis Costello - Live at the el Mocambo


Album – Live at the El Mocambo
Artist – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Key Players –Elvis Costello – guitar, vocals.  Steve Nieve – keyboards.  Bruce Thomas – bass.   Pete Thomas – drums.
Produced By – ?


Release Date – October 1993 (Recorded in March of 1978)

Overview – This is an early live album from Elvis Costello and the Attractions.  It was a live Radio Broadcast from CHUM-FM and the Canadian division of CBS Records released it as a promotional item.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) –  The tone is set quick for this rowdy set as “Mystery Dance” gets the whole place rocking.  The track has a 12 bar blues feel and Nieve is up front in the mix on this as well as “Waiting for the End of the World” all the while both of the Thomas’ keep things rock steady. “Welcome to the Working Week” is another ultra quick burst (all 1:19 of it) with frantic audience “woos” inserted in the middle.  The band slows it down, well so it seems on “Less than Zero”.  Nieve continues to really be the focus on the tracks as the band drops back and he runs through a quick organ solo before the builds back up.  Pete Thomas really shows his chops on the drums working it all with precision and ferocity.   “The Beat and “Lip Service” are rowdy and spirited tracks.  Bruce Thomas gets to show off on “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”.  The bass line is tight and the band all seems to latch on to the groove laid out.  Pete Thomas gets to rumble the kit as the band has an epic conclusion.  “Little Triggers” mellows it down some before we take off with one of the bands more popular songs “Radio Radio”.  You can FEEL the room explode as Nieve unleashes the keyboard intro.  It stands alone, it’s a terrific live version.  Pete Thomas again rumbles across the kit on “Lipstick Vogue” as Nieve holds this lengthy note and Bruce comes along.  Elvis sings at a rapid fire pace and the band seems up for the challenge.  The longest track of the evening came with “Watching the Detectives” and it has a little more noisy/rushed intro than the track falls in to.  This is one of the bands trademark tunes and it doesn’t really break the mold from the studio version. “Miracle Man” has Costello in a crunchy guitar mood and the band plays right along. Costello takes some time to introduce the band and after is introduced they do a short “solo” but its more a call out that they are there.  “You Belong to Me” feeds of the frenzy that then leads in to the closer “Pump it Up” which just has the fans going wild.  The album fades and you are left to wonder if there was an encore, but by the same token you can feel the heat of the room from that night, so it was a good thing!

Where are they now? – Elvis Costello continues to write and play live.  The members of the Attraction disbanded in 1986 (but reformed from 94-96).  Nieve continues to write and perform as well.  He, along with the band were inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.  Bruce Thomas continued to work after disbanding w/the Attractions, but by many reports his relationship with Costello is forever tainted.  Pete Thomas also keeps busy with many studio guest appearances.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting off? –  This is a pretty hard record to track down and I find Costello to be night and day live, this one he is REALLY on though.  I can see why it was heavily bootlegged at the time and now can be snatched by fans easier.

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, June 09, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 368 - Iron Butterfly - Inna Gadda Da Vita


Album – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Artist – Iron Butterfly
Key Players – Doug Ingle – keyboards, lead vocals.  Lee Dorman – bass and backing vocals.  Erik Brann – guitar.  Ron Bushy  - drums
Produced By – Jim Hilton


Release Date – June 14, 1968

Overview – This was the second album released by San Diego band Iron Butterfly.  It would peak at #4 on the US charts and has sold over 30 Million copies worldwide.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) –  This is a short album, well when you count tracks with just 6.  The album opens with “Most Anything you Want”.  Dorman has a solid bass line as Ingle gives the heavy downbeat on the organ.  The guitar is awash over the top but the vocals are that sort of fun 60’s Summer of Love feel.  Realize that makes total sense based off when it was released, but one doesn’t quickly think of Iron Butterfly and “pop”.  The mix is clean and you can really hear each player.  “Flowers and Beads” is just 3:05 long and feels a little like a Doors outcast but with a splash of the Monkees. “My Mirage” would be right in place on the soundtrack to any film around the time.  The chopping guitar, swinging bass line and soaring vocals.  The band is pretty laid back on the track and they allow the music to take the listener on a ride.  “Termination” is just exactly 3 minutes long and the band shows it can write a catchy, almost “pop” song.  Sure the guitars are fuzzed out and the bass thumps more than a “pop” song but this track has a particular feel to it.  “Are you Happy”  has a rumbling drum line and the psychedelia seems to be most dominant here.  It is easy to hear where Deep Purple got some influence from.  Ingle has a strong voice and the band is really very tight.  The album concludes with the title track.  In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida when originally released was the full side B of the record.  The track runs a legendary 17:05, about 2 minutes shorter than the full running time of the prior five tracks!  Easily the bands most well know track there are solos after solos.  The first is a guitar solo early on that is well complimented with a terrific walking bass line under it.  That fades of course to the stand alone drum solo that is heavy on the tom toms.  That changes course and it’s the organ solo that takes off.  It’s a slow build on the organ solo with more long chords than fast runs.  The isolated solos end around the 12:30 mark and the band comes back in and hangs on the groove for a bit before the drum solo takes off again and everyone gets short bursts to show off.  The band does some additional runs playing off one another which leads to one final crescendo of organ and then we end.

Where are they Now? There has been a lot of incarnations of this band.  The band still does preform.  They have not released new material.  Brann passed away in 2003.   Lee Dorman passed away on December of 2012.  Bushy is the only member that appeared on all 6 of the bands studio records.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting off? – I will fully disclose that I bought the record for the title track.  For whatever reason I had always felt this band was a joke.  I don’t mean that like they couldn’t play but you know..what band releases a track that is 15+ minutes long and is not pretentious etc.  The backstory on the band is fascinating as well, adding to the lore.  It took me a long time to get back to those first 5 tracks, but I am glad I did.  You should check them out too.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy
Doug Ingle official page
Iron Butterfly on Wiki


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.