domingo, fevereiro 27, 2005

220. Rollins Band - the end of silence

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Before he hosted bad tv shows, had bit parts in movies, went on spoken word tours and covered himself in red paint to play a 'liar', he fronted Black Flag, a punk band that i honestly don't know much about, but that along with the Dead Kennedy's, Fugazi, etc, formed the basis of the hardcore punk movement. Anyway, this I believe was his first solo effort, and the band is incredibly tight, loud and furious. The majority of tracks are seven minutes plus, with arrangements as complex as Mr.Rollins personality. I always loved the track 'Tearing', where Henry sings 'sometimes things don't work out, and sometimes happens all the time'. Having heard it again for the first time in years I'm afraid the album hasn't aged as well as I had hoped. Henry's vocals sound strained and the songs are annoyingly long instead of epic. Still the band consists of great musicians, a group of guys he would later trade in for his next album, the songs are poignant and well intentioned.

7 out of 10

219. Hum - downward is heavenward

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This time around the vocals are louder, not stronger, but louder - but the music is simpler, not saying as much as before. It almost sounds like this album should have come out first, then 'you'd prefer...'. It was pleasant enough, just not moving.

5 out of 10

sábado, fevereiro 26, 2005

218. Hum - you'd prefer an astronaut

originally uploaded by jrd550.
On the bottom right of this blog you'll see that I have added genres for my music as we go through the collection, and I realize that these guys aren't industrial at all, but I am not quite sure where to put them. Sure they could have lived in 'grunge' or 'metal', but that wouldn't have been right either, the band is an interesting mix of emo and grunge I guess. Released in 95, the album had a minor hit with 'stars', but no matter how advanced they sounded musically the vocals - and it always seems to come down to the vocals - are just weak. A vocalist can have a bad voice and still be good, making it work for the band's sound - but a weak voice just has no soul. Here Hum's music says so much and the vocals are drowned out - sure it is okay at times, but who wants okay?

7.5 out 10

sexta-feira, fevereiro 25, 2005

217. Nine Inch Nails - the fragile

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Well if a concept album worked the first time, then why not do it again i guess. Isn't every album a concept album sort of? Anyway, I am not too sure what the concept is behind 'the fragile', David Carson the designer for the album obviously thought it had something to do with Tulips - but whatever it may be Trent does a pretty decent job of not repeating himself. As with many double albums though you wonder why not get rid of the filler and put out one solid disc. I am sure it pleased many hardcore fans, but for the casual fan you can end up getting somewhat distracted. Still it is a decent musical acheivement.

8 out of 10

216. Nine Inch Nails - the perfect drug

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I have no idea why I got this since I have the 'Lost Highway' soundtrack. Contains five remixes for the song, which contrary to the band's remix track record, all pretty much suck. A shame.

3.5 out of 10

terça-feira, fevereiro 22, 2005

215. Nine Inch Nails - further down the spiral

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Again another fairly solid remix album put out by trent and co. The songs are re worked with almost no musical faithfulness to the originals just a nod, which is the hallmark for any decent remix. Aphex Twin provides some inspiring moments and Coil exceeds my expectations. The album just sort of trails off into audibly flat terrain which is a shame.

6.5 out of 10

214. Nine Inch Nails - the downward spiral

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I remember hearing 'closer' at Respectables in West Palm Beach. I had had the album for a while already, had seen the video that was edited by MTV, but it wasn't until I was at the club, slightly drunk, that I fully understood that song (or at least thought I understood it). It brilliantly piles up into a sonic fuck of sorts, to only bring you back down like every good climax does. The balance of the album explores similar territory, trying to do more than the typical loud, quiet, loud structure that so many bands employ. It definitely helped define a genre to the mainstream, and created the first industrial concept album, at least to the best of my knowledge (although I am sure Skinny Puppy must have done something along those lines at some point).

8.5 out of 10

213. Nine Inch Nails - fixed

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Above average remix album of the 'broken' EP. I just remember always wanting to have this when it first came out for some reason, so when I saw it on sale I jumped on it. This was first time I gave it a proper listen, and as I stated earlier, it's above average, with just a couple of dull moments that are quickly reversed. As opposed to repition, the songs seem to be carefully deconstructed and then recreated, straying pretty far from the originals.

6 out of 10

quarta-feira, fevereiro 16, 2005

212. Nine Inch Nails - broken

originally uploaded by jrd550.
On this EP (6 listed tracks, 2 hidden) Trent continues to develop the bands sound. But here he starts to leave the techno clash sound from Pretty Hate Machine behind and employs a more industrial metalish sound that bands like Stabbing Westwards bastardized. It's interesting but not exciting.

6 out of 10

terça-feira, fevereiro 15, 2005

211. Nine Inch Nails - pretty hate machine

originally uploaded by jrd550.
This turned out to be better than what I remembered. Sarah did introduce me to these guys on the dancefloor at Kitchenette in Rio and I was hooked. If anything just the lyrics seem a little stale, to self deprecating. But musically I like how the album sounds more like Depeche Mode and less industrial. Trent is pretty good at building and layering sounds and also pulling and isolating certain melodies, always grounding his tunes.

9 out of 10

segunda-feira, fevereiro 14, 2005

210. Ministry - psalm 69

originally uploaded by jrd550.
For some reason I remember this album being better than it was on this repeat listen. It's more dynamic than 'Mind' but still just sounds like a mish mash of sound effects and clips. It does have some inspiring moments; 'NWO' is a solid track complete with Bush senior saying 'it's a war of good against evil, right against wrong', 'Jesus built my hotrod' is mildly interesting - I had the t shirt in college which always turned heads in my baptist school, and 'Just one fix' sounds just like you'd think it would sound like. Overall the album is noisy, vintage, and laced with Aleister Crowley paraphernalia.

7 out of 10

209. Ministry - the mind is a terrible thing to taste

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Sarah was my first real girlfriend and she introduced to a ton of great bands. she was very much into being 'goth', wearing black and over analyzing 'bela lugosi's dead'. Ministry wasn't really one of her favourites but she did think they were cool - and cool they were. 'Thieves' is basically just a cool song and not much more. The entire album is unfortunately more repetitive than cool, as if Robocop is constantly being turned on and turned off. Granted that was somewhat of a novel sound back then, especially in music, but nowadays that audio byte can be found in sneaker commercial for kids.

6 out of 10

domingo, fevereiro 06, 2005

208. Filter - hey man nice shot

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Pointless single of 'Hey Man' featuring uninspired remixes.

2 out of 10

207. Filter - short bus

originally uploaded by jrd550.
It's funny how it wasn't just too long ago that if you were curious about a band the only thing you could do was buy the cd - no mp3's to download, couldn't make a copy from a friend, you were at the mercy of your local radio stations and MTV. Well I was curious about these guys, hadn't even heard a song and so I bought it. Filter doesn't produce an original sound but a couple of these songs do have some great memories attached to them of my summer in 1995. 'Hey Man' is a decent track, I really like 'Under' and Chad loves that song with the lyric 'watch your back I got mine'. Short of the memories there is nothing to write home about here. And as we all know the band became progressively worse.

6 out of 10

206. Local H - as good as dead

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I saw these guys open for STP in 96' or 97' and I was pretty impressed with the sound that came from a two piece band. After this recent listen I found some songs to still be interesting but the Nirvana comparison was just too strong and annoying – not as blatant as say Bush, but still too close for comfort. So, there is no real need for me to pop this in again, I think.

4 out of 10

205. SOAD- toxicity single

originally uploaded by jrd550.
A german single I got at HMV, it features the title track, plus live versions of 'X', 'Suggestions' and the b-side 'Marmalade'. The live tracks aren't noteworthy, and the b-side is an uneventful, but pleasant little ditty.

4 out of 10

204. SOAD - toxicity

originally uploaded by jrd550.
The American Armenian Army are back, just days after the September 11th attacks. Less manic and more focused, the album is loaded with sonic power and to an extent, forewarning lyrics: 'I don't think you trust in, my, self righteous suicide'. Again brilliantly produced by Rick Rubin, the band marches into a territory that is farther away from their nu metal origins. I won't run out to pick up their new album, but I am curious as to what it will sound like.

7.5 out of 10

203. SOAD - system of a down

originally uploaded by jrd550.
First let me just clarify that this isn't really a bootleg, but what I own is a copy Chad made for me, so since it isn't an original, I'll call it a bootleg. System of a down are too good for their own good. The album is produced too well by Rick Rubin. The songs are able to cut a paste so many different sounds, beats, riffs, and samples that it sounds like one big collage, and ends up becoming too overwhelming to appreciate. Sure there are moments where they sound like Static X making out with Ministry, but more often than not they go the extra distance to make their sound truly their own. This version comes with the bonus live disc, containing 4 live tracks - which are impressively recreated to near perfection.

6.5 out of 10