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.

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 11, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 343 - Fugazi - Instrument

Album – Instrument Soundtrack
Artist - Fugazi
Key Players – Brendan Canty – drums. Ian MacKaye – guitar and vocals, Guy Picciotto – vocals, guitar. Joe Lally - bass
Produced By - ?

Release Date – March 23, 1999

Overview – This is a largely instrumental soundtrack for the documentary about the band. Mostly outtakes and a few unreleased songs. The band, which formed in 1987, has always been the band looked to for the DIY ethical stance. Never making t-shirts, keeping concert tickets under ten dollars and all ages shows. The band has released six studio albums up to this point.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – There are 18 tracks on this collection and “Pink Frosty Demo” opens it. Uncannily quiet for the band. Lally has a very nice bass line and Canty is in no real hurry. The guitars are hardly there until about the 2 minute mark, but they too are in no rush. This is not the Fugazi anyone might think of. “Lusty Scripps” is almost a funk track with Lally and Canty finding the funk as MacKaye and Picciotto buzz in on the guitars. "Arpeggiator Demo"   is a cool sounding track with phase on the drum and the single choppy guitar notes stand out all the more. The audio has that swirling left to right and around your headphones. The band is really experimenting with their sound. “Afterthought” is a mellow track with keyboards and drums being the focus. It feels like interlude music vs a track, still interesting enough. Lally intros on “Trio's” as he finds a solo bass riff to circle on and the guitars are hesitant and Canty slowly moves things up but it never really breaks out, keeping its steady pace.  "Turkish Disco"  has quick guitars and Lally again has a solid bass line. We get the nice dual guitar attack on this so its cool to hear MacKaye and Picciotto work together whole Canty and Lally hold it all in place. For the first time he have some vocals. “Me and Thumbelina” has some spoken word, and an almost “after the fact” feel with the vocals. Its under 40 seconds long and sort of is a toss away. “Floating Boy Demo” finds Lally in that familiar places with a nice fluid bass and the guitars taking turns but it turns in to a longer track where the guitars take over, not aggressively, just with some set up feedback. More fluid work continues on “Link Track” another showcase for Lally who really does impress. We get a bit more “rocking” as  "Little Debbie"   and this is the first one that feels like you are listening to Fugazi. The pushed vocals, the urgent playing make for a welcome addition to the album. Fuzzy bass, that is how “H.B.” starts up and its really a bass track, sounds like Lally laid down his idea on what the band could work with. The piano ballad “I'm So Tired” is sung by MacKaye is a huge departure from this album as well as Fugazi. Just nothing you'd suspect. Its well done too. “Rend It Demo” is another vocal track with offset playing and hushed tones. Its a demo version for sure in that it feels (at least to me) it never really gets going. The shrill of the guitar and haunting bass make “Closed Captioned Demo” a must hear. “Guilford Fall Demo” gets the rocking treatment with the two guitar attack and the bass and drums right along with them. They mean business here, and are just as focused and on point as you'd like. “Swingset” is back to a minimalist approach with the two guitars and bass before Canty pushes it more with the drums. Lally puts down a 12 bar blues bass riff as “Shaken All Over” gets underway, but he stops after 20 or so seconds, takes 10 seconds off and starts the same riff up. He bends some notes but again this never materializes and in under a minute its done. The collection closes with “Slo Crostic” in which Canty counts it off and the slow drum progression begins. The guitars are there and its a mid-tempo track that seems fitting to close with.
Where are they now? - The band has been on hiatus since 2003. The band members have worked on various projects during this hiatus. They guest on records, produce, write and record. Some 800 of the bands 1000+ shows were recorded and fans can download the shows .  Picciotto has continued to work both playing and producing.  Deathfix is Canty's latest side project where he sings and plays guitar.  They released a record in 2013.  He works a lot as a session musician and does film work.  Lally, who lives in Rome now has released a few solo records and at one time ran a label.  Back in 2011 I was able to interview Joe for the web site Visible Voice.  I hope you'll check it out  here.  MacKaye is busy as an author, musician, activist and Dad.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - When songs from this collection come up on shuffle I often do the old “double take”. Fugazi is a band that is polarizing and fans can have some heavy opinions on what is good/bad or otherwise. The nice thing about this is it feels like a complete departure from what the band typically does. If you are new to the band you might get this album towards the end of building their discography, but its still a solid listen and its always interesting to hear bands pushing their own comfort zones.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!
The band has always been pretty DIY but there are some links.  The official site is off their label, the IMDB link sends you to the IMDB page for "Instrument", the next link allows you to watch the film, then the final is to grab the physical copy from the bands label.

 Official site

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 04, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 342 - ZZ Top - Rio Grande Mud

Album – Rio Grande Mud
Artist – ZZ Top
Key Players – Frank Beard – drums. Dusty Hill – bass (vocals on “Francine” and “Chevrolet”. Billy Gibbons – lead guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, vocals.
Produced By – Bill Ham

Release Date – April 4, 1972

Overview – This is the second album by Houston, Texas blues/boogie rock band ZZ Top. Formed in 1969 the three members have remained for over 40 years. The first few years were rough for the band but by the third record the band started to find a larger audience and they'd continue to grow and reach mainstream popularity in 1983 with the help of MTV and clever videos. The band was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. They have released 15 studio albums to date.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – 36 minutes is the run time on this 10 track album. Opening with
“Francine” you get some of that ZZ Top feel right away. The guitars are the most noticeably as Gibbons has that smooth, yet heavy guitar playing. Hill (who sings the lead vocals) and Beard are the rocks to this roll, and you get a tight unit going right along. The blues influence is strong and the solos are great. Its a hot weather, back yard game type soundtrack song. One of the songs I feel don't get the band enough credit is the track "Just Got Paid" . This is just a dirty swampy riff that begs to be cranked. Gibbons has this sort of evil delivery vocally and its just slays. The mid song guitar solo will then want you cruising in your car with the windows down. Gibbons takes on the harmonica as “Mushmouth Shoutin” begins. This is a bit more of that delta blues type track. It's slower, but the band has that big sound and it takes its time. This might be a whole new ZZ Top to fans that came on board much later. The rock comes back in "Ko Ko Blue" and the mix is solid. You can really hear the great bass line put down from Hill and Beard is solid on the kit. The harmonica is back and the groove they find is a real solid. Hill has the lead vocals on “Chevrolet” and it has the same overall feel as the record. The slide guitar is found at the start of “Apologies to Pearly”, which is the shortest track on the album and ends up being instrumental. It is a 12 bar blues riff something you'd expect to hear coming out of a smoky small town bar in a movie....not that there is anything wrong with that. When you see the song title “Bar-B-Q” you pretty much should get what you expect...and you do. “Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell” is a much slower (but still bluesy) track and is a cool track to hear the band break out of their mold. It sounds musically as you'd expect, even vocally, but its nice to hear the change of pace on this 7+ minute tune. “Whiskey'N Mama” and “Down The Brownie” are solid tracks to wrap up the record each with it wonderfully full guitar lines.  Where are they now? Still at it. Same three, still making records and touring. Their most recent studio album came in 2012 and was called “La Furtura”

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - The record was panned by critics, and as an aside, the band didn't even have the trademark beards at this point. Full disclosure I don't have a lot of experience with their earlier stuff, but I find the record “not bad”. It has some big riffs and something you can play at a BBQ and not totally embarrass yourself. For “Just Got Paid” this is worth it.

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.