Friday, November 30, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 287 - Orange 9MM - Tragic

Album - Tragic
Artist – Orange 9MM
Key Players – Matthew Cross – drums and percussion. Taylor McLam – bass. Chris Traynor – guitars. Chaka Malik – vocals and percussion

Produced By – D. Sardy

Release Date – July 30, 1996

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Any time I want something hard/heavy but still on the “clean” side of things I always drift towards the band. Rough commutes this week had me needing that “slight edge”

Overview – The band formed in New York City in 1994. This album here was their second major label release. Mixing hardcore, punk and rock and roll the band would not really be on many folks radar. Radio liked the style at the time, but O9 never seemed to get a fair shake. The band would be put on some pretty heavy tours (Deftones, Helmet, Korn etc). Right before the tour was to kick off to promote the album Traynor left the band to join Helmet (Meantime FDF). The band would make some line up changes but despite a large tour the label dropped them. They'd release another ep and a full length, but by 1999 it was all over.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - As a note, Traynor also played bass in the studio for this record, but McLam moved to bass, then guitar. Try to follow along...Thirteen tracks total kick off with “Fire in the Hole”. The track builds will slow swirling guitars before it takes off. Cross hits the drums pretty hard and the guitars from Traynor have a solid layer. After a few bars the bass and Cross set the tempo and Malik begins the vocals. He is quiet, until he pushes it hard at the chorus. There are no backing vocals so Malik really pushes and the band seems okay with the role they have. The punch on the bass takes over and Cross really has a vendetta on his drums it seems. The intro on “Tragic” is just a big wall of awesome. The guitar riffs and again that punch on the bass. Cross calms it down and Malik comes in with some distorted spoken vocals. Traynor lays the bass line, but then we all come back around and punch it up. Stand out track. Track 3 is called “7” and the bass is again the focus with the slow notes rolling until he decides to put the hammer down. Cross is right there with him and he continues to hit hard. Traynor on guitar, is late to the party, but when let in he makes is presence known. The track has a torrid pace. The track just exploded and the chorus is what kept this from being widely heard as it is sung “What's Fucking Wrong with your Head”. The slow burn of “Gun to your Head” rolls out of the speakers. Cross keeps it slow, but the bass finds a solid swooping groove and Traynor slowly builds on to that with guitar. Malik is hushed, and seems to be at ease with the verses being almost spoken, before he explodes on the chorus. “Stick Shift” is mostly an interlude track. Tripped out bass line and Cross on the kit with Malik in a heavily compressed vocal. Its all of 55 or so seconds..largely shippable. The tempo is slower, but no less heavy as “Dead in the Water” gets underway. The bass and drums still stand out and Malik never seems to be in a hurry. Traynor strums the acoustic guitar on this and the percussive instruments are up in the mix. The track shows a different side to the band, and there is also the first notable guitar “solo” on the record. When records are heavy you often expect them more often then not, so it is nice that it is not a cliché thing. “Method” has a solid slappy bass open that has a great ring on. Malik is in a hurry here and come the chorus the band really explodes and the clean distortion from Traynor adds to the impact of the tune. For the second tune in a row we get the guitar solo, but it is short and on point and it rolls right back in to the chorus having the full band get the musical explosion. “Crowd Control” is another interlude type track. We are slowed down again as “Muted” begins. This time it is just Traynor (guitar) on the lead before the band comes in. The song feels a little strained to me, just seems like it wants to get somewhere, it just never seems to. “Take You Away” is just perfect in every way. This to me is Orange 9MM. Everything..just listen below...everything done right in a rock song. Hooks, drive, fist pump chorus...its all there. “Failure” starts off with the track muted before the band opens up. This is a bit more of a radio friendly type track with the riffs big and there being a radio format of verse/chorus/verse delivery. Twelve songs in and the love for Traynor's bass intros continues as “Feel It' gets the treatment. Come the chorus the band really opens up. This is one of those tunes that has the energy of a show closer/set closer with the ferocious playing. This just drives it right at you. The album closes with the track “Kiss it Goodbye” a foot stomping blues track. The band really breaks out of their comfort zone and ease back some and you can see them sitting in a circle with the slides on their guitars and a snare drum, upright bass. They put their own twist on it, but you get the idea I trust.

Where are they now? - The band would release a final record after this as well as an ep, but there was a lot of change in the band. Traynor left the band before it was released to join Helmet. He then went on to join the band Bush and follow Gavin to his other project Institute and is now back with Bush. He joined, and recorded with Rival Schools, but that music has not been released. McLam moved from bass over to guitar during this albums release. He too worked a bit with Rossdale (Bush) (We looked at Sixteen Stone here) and has since gone on to be a composer and producer working on film scores, tv ads etc. Check the link on him below, its 300+ ads and you've seen/heard far more than you think!

I've been unable to find much on Matthew Cross. Chaka went back to his first band “Burn” and they released another album before calling it quits. On line searches show he was doing some DJ work in New York City, but nothing solid/recent that I have been able to find.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - The very first time I saw O9mm was opening for Ned's Atomic Dustbin  (Are you Normal FDF)   at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence Rhode Island. When the band completed the set the crowd was so ravenous they all but demanded an encore. The band obliged, plugged back in and rocked the living hell out of the place. Thus began a love affair with them. They toured CONSTANTLY it seemed for 3-4 years and I saw them with such acts as Downset, Downset FDF)  The Deftones  (Around the Fur FDF) and many others. All told I count seeing Orange 9mm live 11 times. The final few shows I saw them I actually taped their shows, wish I had a rig earlier. I got to be a little friendly with both Chaka and Matthew over time.

FDF Overall Take – There is no doubt this is a snap shot of the early days of rock/rap and it holds up pretty well. Overall there are few misfires. The interludes are skippable, but when the band is on, they really are on. This is some good clean hard heavy stuff. Check em..really.


The band was around early on in the “web” days so there is not even a fan page I can find. Needless to say..

Taylor - information

Taylor bio page -here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Take You Away (Live)

Long out of print but you can find them here

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, November 09, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 286 - My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything

Album – Isn't Anything
Artist – My Bloody Valentine
Key Players – Debbie Googe – bass. Colm O'Ciosoig – drums. Bilinda Butcher – guitars, vocals. Kevin Shields – guitar, vocals.
Produced By - My Bloody Valentine

Release Date – November 1, 1988

What caused me to blow off the dust? - News of a follow up to “Loveless” this week is what got me back to it.

Overview – Formed in 1983 by some teenage friends Dublin Ireland band My Bloody Valentine was formed. Named for a movie of the same name the band would struggle, even with a home base, early on. They'd come back to the UK in mid 1985 and they began to work on an ep. Band members would leave full time work to concentrate on the band, but success continued to elude the band. The band then lost their singer (Dave Conway) and the task ended up with Shields and Butcher. Viewed as the “Irish Husker Du” the band in early 1988 the band was singed to a label, released a single and then this album followed. The band would go on to be extremely influential in the “shoegaze” genre.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) O'Ciosoig is the lone instrument as the first track, “Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)” from the 12 song just short of 40 minutes record gets underway. Machine gun like rat-a-tat before the swirling guitar and hushed vocals begin. To some it sounds almost out of tune, or like the batteries in your player are dying as it feels sort of slow, and drone like. That is a thing MBV does, at least that I've noticed. After the first verse there is a short breakdown with Googe and O'Ciosoig bringing it all back. Butcher and Shields battle with the long drones of guitars and swirling tones. Switching to acoustic guitars “Lose My Breath” follows. There is a haunting feel to it. Butcher takes the lead vocals on this track and she is hushed and somber. The acoustic guitars have a deep, rich tone to them and Butchers delivery seems fitting. “Cupid Come” is heavier, more what fans of the band are used to. The dueling guitars are only offset by the Googe bass line. O'Ciosoig keeps a slower tempo on the kit, using more cymbal crashes than we've heard to this point. Shields takes the lead vocals here and he seems to “sing” a bit more but we get more of a sonic payoff as the song heads towards the end. The buzzy urgency is just an audio assault. “(When You Wake) You're Still In a Dream” is another guitar attack. Shields and Butcher sing together. Butcher with some of the higher backing vocals that are more “oohs/ahhs” but Googe and O'Ciosoig are on task, hammering away the back tempo. For me, we are off to the races on this one, a solid track. Changing gears the far more “sound scape” sounding “No More Sorry” gets underway. This is a slower and darker, almost confusing song. There is no real tempo to it, and it feels to remain stagnant. That all changes as it gets loud on “All I Need”. The vocals are never forced, but musically you get hit on all sides. The song continues with this, but also has a spaced out fade out at the end. Now we are talking!! “Feed Me With Your Kiss” has the rumbling bass line and the guitars battle once more. Drums pound and the band is about as frantic as they have been. Butcher and Shields are pretty much buried in the mix, and the bass line stands out the most. This is a bit of a frantic tune from the band. You are hit again on all sides. This can be a hard listen for some, but this is what makes the band so good to me personally. The guitars battle again as “Sueisfine” starts. O'Ciosoig is more frantic and his fills are fast and mechanical. The two guitars cut through, but you hear the solid bass work from Googe under it all. Shields attacks his guitar about one minute in to the track and they seem to ease back some, but just comes right back up. This may be my favorite track on the record. “Several Girls Galore” is back to that sort of swirly out of tune/slow delivery of a track. They are curious to listen to, but you think something is wrong with play back. Barring the vocals being “on speed” it seems a bit tilted. The band seems to be more on the attack later in the record and “You Never Should” continues that trend. The guitars do come at you like double barrels and the drums a solid. Googe has a cool fuzzy, yet clean bass sound on the track. Has that sort of pop-punk tone used by bass players underneath the guitar work. Shields and Butcher share the vocals again giving a hint to their harmonies. O'Ciosoig does his best impression of a multi armed drummer at the start of “Nothing Much to Lose”, but nobody seems to want to keep that tempo so it eases back some. This track as a more “verse/chorus/verse” feel but O'Ciosoig wants to let it rumble again and does so a few more times. The album concludes with “I Can See It (Bit I Can't Feel It)”. More acoustic guitar on this that prior tracks but the vocals are bit more prominent in the mix. That doesn't keep away from some of the guitar line being fuzzed out at times. It feels like a slow burner of a closer, just creeping towards the finish line. A wall of sound might have been better suited, but its a nice change of pace for the record as well.

Where are they now? - After this debut the band would take over two years to record the followup. “Loveless” is considered one of the best albums, some say ever, but it would nearly bankrupt the label and it was not met with big sales. They were dropped by the label. The band was then signed to Island records in 1992 and struggled on many levels with much more than a random single for a collection. There were rumors Shields had gone “crazy” and the band members decided to go their own ways. In 2007 the band reformed and there was wild speculation of new material and even shows. The material has since to be realized, but the band played a series of shows (mostly festivals) in 2008. The band has reported a new record should be out before the end of the year, as well as an EP in the next year. Read more here

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I have never seen the band live. I'd like to see them..very much. I have earplugs at the ready.

FDF Overall Take – There are a few moments on this record that are a bit hard to take. The sound that the cd (or record) is slowing down sort of get on my nerves. That is the smallest issue I do have. There are just these massive walls of sound a times. The bass work is solid, and drumming is very good but if its guitars (and minus the solos) look no further than this record. Its with good reason this record is so highly regarded.


Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
You can get a remaster of the disc here

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, November 02, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 285 - Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

Album – The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
Artist – Roger Waters
Key Players – Andy Brown – Hammond Organ, 12 string guitar. Ray Cooper – Percussion. Eric Clapton – Lead Guitar. Michael Kamen – Piano. Andy Newmark – Drums. David Sanborn – Saxophone. Roger Waters – Rhythm, bass and Lead Vocals.

Produced By – Roger Waters

Release Date – April 30, 1984

What caused me to blow off the dust?  - I am not sure what had me go back to this one.  It has been some time since I even listened to a single bit of it.

Overview – This was the first solo album from Roger Waters. Waters, most well know as the bassist and founding member of Pink Floyd presented the idea of this album to his band mates around the same time as what would become “The Wall”. The concept album revolved around a man's thoughts during a road trip that focused on a midlife crisis as well as committing adultery with the passenger he picks up. The whole album is meant to be very early morning in succession. After Waters left Pink Floyd in 1983 he returned to this work. The album would be released in 1984 with a series of guests appearing on the album. The album's image of a naked woman (Linzi Drew) was met with controversy forcing the label to put the black bar over her buttocks. The album would crack the Billboard top 50 (peaking at 31 in the US) but it was not even certified gold (500K sold) until 11 years passed from release. It finally achieved this milestone in April 1995.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 12 track 42 minute album opens with “4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad)”. The track slowly creeps up and sounds like a thunder storm, but then all you hear is a solo Clapton on a few short notes. Waters finally starts to sing shortly after the 1:20 mark. He is hushed and it fits with the time of day for the story. He almost speaks the lines and now and again the band seems to hit down at the same time giving an over anxious “gasp” moment and the track continues, mostly with ambient sounds and acoustic guitars. Tracks don't pause and you are brought right in to “4:37 AM ( Running Shoes)”. A louder and more grinding tune. Sanborn has a big saxophone portion early in the song and Clapton and Waters slowly keep things moving. Cooper and Newmark don't seem to want to push it to hard or fast. The backing vocals from Madeline Bell, Katie Kisssoon and Doreen Chanter really add to the sax work from Sanborn. A car peels out and you are in for a ride when listening on headphones. It smooths out some before a guitar solo and some female seductive groans are smuggled in to the mix. The supporting cast on this track really make a name for themselves early on. It gets frantic again and calms down. It takes you on a roller coaster ride that is for sure. The tracks all continue to flow together and “4:39 AM (Arabs with Knives and West German Skies)” follows. The same mood is there, dark and somber vocal delivery with light drum work, a flash of guitar. The orchestra comes up here and sounds a bit like an ompah band, and you get that growl from Waters as Clapton climbs over and Sanborn returns. Everything seems to build quick, then fall back as quickly. Clapton has a solo here as well, but it is not flashy or quick, long notes are the focus here and it blends in to “4:39 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 2) has a much more rewarding guitar section from Clapton. The track itself seems to have snuckup on you, but he solo has you realize it is a new track. The strong female backing vocals are there as well, which is always a plus. Sanborn seems to close out this section as Waters shouts “stay with me!” and the sax seems to answer his calls. “4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution)” comes right at you. The bent guitar notes and big band sound are something to behold here. Not that anything hasn't felt like Roger Waters to this point, but you really get in to what is going on here. The drums from Newmark are really tight and the scattering of thunder in the back continue to set the listener right in the story. This is the longest track on this section of the record and Clapton gets to take off on the guitar, which many be “waiting for”. Waters is even more engaged and seems to almost be yelling at you, but the soaring work from Clapton, and the backing vocals fill out the sound. The album was broken out in sections and “4:47 AM (The Remains of Love)” ends “Side A” if you will. We have calmed down once more, hushed vocals and acoustic guitars. There is a nice piano section as well from Kamen and the guitar has a wonderful resonance to it. There is a seemingly long gap of silence but it is not longer than 10 seconds and the second half begins with “4:50 AM (Go Fishing)”. It sounds like an early morning. Car doors closing etc. It is the longest track on the whole collection coming in close to 7 minutes. Again, the moods change from light to dark, to soothing to urgent. Casual listeners would realize right away that this is Roger Waters telling a story. The strings are full and even more piano and resonating guitars. Sanborn has a big sax section as well and we rotate back and forth from the big booming drums and sax. “4:56 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 1)” is a sort of come down track from what you just heard. Calmer vocals with Waters and short saxophone portions. The female vocals are always solid and the track fades towards “4:58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarian, Dunlivin)”. We keep going up and down with moods. Again we are back to a more hushed vocal track with the swirling Clapton ready on the attack.. The track I swear you could hear on the radio “5:01 AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking Part 10)”. This feels most like a “song”. With that verse, chorus feel. The female vocalists return, Sanborn is there, Clapton is playful and Waters keeps the bass work simple until the chorus. The mix is solid here with the guitars and bass all on the same levels, The vocals are clean and the percussion and drums are at that right level throughout. It sounds like we are not in a diner getting coffee as “5:06 AM (Every Stranger's Eyes)” begins. We go calm again, with acoustic guitars and piano. Kamen seems to be the focus here as there seems to be more piano work on this track. We close out the album with “5:11 AM (The Moment of Clarity)” a very short and orchestral based song and the final line sung is “I couldn't take another moment alone”

Where are they Now: Roger has taken the  last few years of touring to re-create "The Wall" both indoors and out.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I have seen Roger Waters solo just once. August 4, 1999 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. It was more a Pink Floyd set as one would expect. I am not sure Roger really touches songs from this collection live.

FDF Overall Take – The supporting staff is really solid on this. I think casual fans would be happy with Pink Floyd stuff. Waters is a strong story teller and his records do need your attention. This would be a hard record to just throw on and try to get in to. A long road trip (cliché as that sounds) is probably where this is better suited. It need to be listened to in full.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Stream the whole thing right here

Then jump here and buy yerself one!

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.