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Mother Feather shorthand themselves as ‘pop cock rock’ but that is a far too
insufficient capsule to contain their glam infused explosive energy within.
The Brooklyn based band are theatrical, melodic and hard hitting with an edge
not often seen these days, brimming with enough possessed pizazz to get them
inked to Metal Blade despite being a far cry from the rest of the current
roster like Abornamilty, Sourvein and Criminal.

Listening to their forthcoming full length (order HERE right nowwwww!!!) , arguably the most rock n roll
record that streets in May, you can’t help but feel like the East Coast is
finding a pulse again. It’s been awhile, maybe since The Star Spangles caught
my ear, that I have heard a band who can embody gutter garage meets arena
worthy punch within the same skin so well. Anybody sick of the pretensions of
all the micro blogged sub genres out there today who just wants to get fuckin’
rocked and maybe vanish for awhile in a golden cloud of sweaty club rock with
attitude should eat this shit up fast.

Restaurant personality Chris Santos was impressed with the band and was tweeting about them, bringing them eventually to the attention of Metal Blade owner and rock and metal tastemaker Brian Slagel.

“He kind of pointed Brian in our direction and Brian checked it out and was excited,” says vocalist Ann Courtney. “Our Twitter feed was blowing up with metal guys. We are definitely on one end of the spectrum of the label, which is cool. I think a lot of metal heads think Brian is being subversive or something, but really I think it is just that he is a sincere music fan! He’s said we remind him of the 70’s stuff like KISS and Thin Lizzy that he grew up with.”

It’s pathetic we live in a time where we have to have a show like Vinyl
(admittedly a good program, no slight against it) to remind assholes that rock
n roll even exists. Mother Feather are the real thing, though. Ann Courtney,
Elizabeth Carena, Matt Basile, Chris Foley and Gunnar Olsen are hopefully as
commited as they sound to the cause, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts and
while we have them because this is lightning in a fuckin’ bottle, after all.

Read More BELOW.

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‘Yeah, records on vinyl are a big thing here. Frankly, I prefer it the way it was, as an outsider thing with record fairs, hole in the wall record stores and seedy second hand shops crammed with used porno mags and Bonnie Tyler maxi singles. No, wait, maybe I don’t.’ – Benediktator

If you want to have your day or night irrevocably changed, like entering into a magical and demented forest from which you might not return for a hundred years, look no further than the third release from Norway’s saturnine prog force Tusmørke. Fort Bak Lyset is the album in question, a veritable circus of odd riffs, vertiginous chanting, danceable merry making and impishness on a profound scale. Svart Records is lucky to be releasing this insanity on the masses, dangling a truly adventurous musical carrot out there for the brave souls willing to follow the super weird music into the laughing forest.

Enlightened psychedelic progenitors Benediktator, Krizla and the phenomenon Marxo Solinas speak to us today from a realm of imagination so that we might glimpse a slight understanding of the inner workings of this peculiar and splendid group’s latest.

More below.

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“We started off as a government experiment gone right for once. Designed by
naval science officers aboard the “USS who gives a shit” ~Montana (vox/guitar)

Gossip Girl, Megan Fox, Taylor Lautner, Sugar Ray, Jar Jar Binks. What do they
have in common? I’m pretty sure they all were on the cover of Rolling Stone in America before
the fucking Ramones ! Chew on that awhile, lovers of rock n roll.

Maybe it is because, like NYC’s Tournament, the Ramones were a band who arguably make rock critics less of a necessity. Just press play/drop a needle and the music packs so much punch that it tells your body and brain most of what it needs to know. It speaks for itself.

I nerd out a lot, and today at the dentist’s office waiting room I was reading Terry Goodkind’s Phantom. There is a part where the characters are discussing the magical Sword of Truth and someone says ,“It is not the weapon that matters so much as the man who wields the weapon.”

This is also very true of the guitar (with a disclaimer that it doesn’t just have to be a “man”). Proof can be witnessed when Tournament play The Acheron with Ex-Cult on May 28th.

Tournament take Brooklyn radittude to new heights and decimate mere hipster bands with antics, alcohol consumption and fiery live shows that have garnered them a reputation as great rockers and solid songwriters. Along with bands like PMS and the Mood Swings, Tower, Mother Feather and The Compulsions, Tournament prove the Big Apple can still be a place where rock n roll can’t be killed. We support this message and recommend you check out the following interview with Montana (vox/guitar) and Jordan (drums) from the group as well as purchase their The End Records debut Teenage Creature post haste.

Read on BELOW.

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Judas Priest’s ‘Turbo’ turns 30!

Posted by longhairedpoet on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 4:58 PM (PST)

Judas Priest

Turbo turns 30 on April 14! In commemoration of this – a foray by Judas Priest into Glam Metal, I took a look back at the album to see how it holds up after all of these years.

Ten years after Sad Wings of Destiny Judas Priest had really come into their own sound as any owner of a Judas Priest greatest hits collection or any ‘80s metal will understand.

Whereas Sad Wings of Destiny was seen as straight heavy metal, Turbo is seen to have glam metal influences.

Check out the full retrospective on the album here.

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For this generation a lot of self-esteem comes from the phone or a picture like on Instagram. A Facebook comment. Since we didn’t have that when I was a kid we would talk about bands, shows, ideas. So I try to get back to that with my daughter or my circle of friends. – Jamey Jasta.

It’s always a pleasure to interview Hatebreed as one of the most consistently heavy, scowling bands in the world are actually some of the most down to Earth and grateful dudes in the business. Hatebreed are a band whose (cough) perseverance makes me never believe haters or doubters in my own life who say things can’t be
accomplished, the worm-tongue types or divider who will whisper negative mantras or lazy couch warriors who give up too soon for want of trying rather than take a hard
fucking look at why they are such losers.

New album The Concrete Confessional proves this unkillable band never settle for living in the past or resting on their laurels. It is a barrage of meaningful and
impactful tunes that will earn more praise and respect from anyone worth a shit. There are some bad ass pre-order packages up HERE.

Album deets from the press release:

The Concrete Confessional was recorded in Connecticut, produced by long-time collaborator Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel), and mixed by Josh Wilbur(Lamb of God, Megadeth). Artwork was created by Marcelo Vasco (Slayer). The new music is crushing and heavy with provocative lyrics that touch upon a number of topics that have become front-and-center in today’s New Normal: the rise of terrorism, police brutality, moral decay, greed and betrayal, increased divisiveness, and the fading promise of the American Dream, potently covered on the track “A.D.”

Read more below.

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“We needed a name. We did this surgically in a sense that it was me and Sam. Jello came down for a weekend but otherwise it was two of us hashing out ideas. So it was surgical. The first half of the record was so fast. I did the guitar and bass on it and had stiff little fingers playing meth music to keep up with the kids. And the drums were machines because Sammy did all the programming. So, Surgical Meth Machine. And it is funny because now I am doing more press on this than Ministry, Revco and Lard combined! It’s pretty gross.” -Al Jourgensen.

Surgical Meth Machine is the latest brain boggler from industrial legend Al Jourgensen. It is pretty much down to Al and Keef Richards in the rock n roll unkillable deadpool at this point, but Al shows no signs of releasing anything less than crazy before the apocalypse (or being in a Disney movie). SMM is a rollercoaster of a weird record that has some of his most unhinged, white knuckle/teeth gnashing machine thrash in years but gets increasingly through the looking glass and trippy as the record eggs you on into a black hole.

The album was crafted off-and-on over a period of 12 months, mostly in the
Cuban-American singer and multi-instrumentalist’s Burbank, California studio
with longtime engineer Sam D’Ambruoso.

So, first time I interviewed Al years ago he told me I should make a necklace out of my vas deferens and about how doctors lost his toe once and teaching his dog to be a designated driver.It was awesome to talk AGAIN to Al today and pick his brain about medical marijuana, the algorithms of the apocalypse, politics and this awesome new record from Nuclear Blast.

More Below.

Comic Book Review: Black Canary Vol. 1: Kicking And Screaming

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 3:58 PM (PST)

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DC sadly dropped the ball on the bloated BVS so fucking hard (Deadpool and Ant Man both blew it awayyyyy in terms of quality and are both  initially lower profile non team movies from other studios) but one thing that they are currently behind which rocks is the new Black Canary series helmed by Brenden Fletcher. Not since Dazzler’s days of fronting a band in the pages of X-Men has there been such a fun blend of pop art and punk rock in a comic book (unless you count the Brody Dalle inspired lead character of American Dark Age).

Black Canary is now a punk rock/new wave band who sort of sound like The Sounds or White Lung mish mashed with Missing Persons. Yes, I said sound like because in an awesome viral move the band have an EP out on Bandcamp! In a world where we can have Gorillaz, why not? “Fish Out Of Water” is actually a pretty fuckin’ great song! I wonder who the real performers are? Kudos on this great idea, a way better reinvention of a character than making Lex Luthor a sad Riddler rip off wuss.

Is the comic good? Well, the Vol. 1 Kicking and Screaming trade is plenty fun. It is campy but still has some depth, albeit a bit of the male fantasy side that usually happens when super hero blondes front rock bands in comic books. Black Canary’s Dinah Lance in this current incarnation sort of recalls the real band Barb Wire Dolls‘ Isis Queen if she took the time to beat the living crap out of many of her fans or those foolish enough to heckle.

The supporting cast is great, from a mute pre teen band member named Ditto who Dinah protects to Lord Byron, a sort of Gail Ann Dorsey ringer who tries to bring restraint and reason to the chaos and anchors the band. Some things are silly like the band always using a tour bus. Empire also is a pretty absurd depiction of the music industry these days. It just isn’t how things are any more. But this is a comic book and the Black Canary band is supposed to be pretty controversial and popular. The art by Annie Wu, Pia Guerra and Sandy Jarrell recalls what worked best about Jill Thompson’s epic Invisibles issues in the 90’s with perfect bright colors from Lee Loughride really bringing this book to life even more than the more fun than vital writing.

It’s not as life changing as Transmetropolitan or as groundbreaking as the body positive Faith over at Valiant, but Black Canary is certainly a fun ride. If you only know the character from CW’s Arrow, you’re going to be confused as heck, but this is a great book for readers who love rock n roll and want to jump into a newer comic that isn’t as brooding as Batman yet still mixes some real world stuff into a crazy Universe. There is also a good sub plot about rivalry between a former singer of the band and Dinah, the new singer. It kind of underscores well how sucky it is that women more often than not are competing in music rather than helping one another form a united front.

Order the first graphic novel collection HERE.

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Deep Cuts: Aerosmith

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 9:07 AM (PST)

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Call them the epitome of excess , call them dinosaurs or call
them out for managing to weasel their way into pop culture discussions decade
after decade, there is no denying the eternal power of Aerosmith. Critics and
haters can scoff as they aren’t high brow or dark enough, but at any moment
Aerosmith can still whip out a handful of classics or a bluesy new number and
sound as huge as they ever did. No one gave Judas Priest half as much shit for
being on American Idol as Steven Tyler gets for many of his, admittedly,
ridiculous more “pop” targeted choices of late but check out what he did for
this nice Ontario boy with Down’s Syndrome. Plus, he gave us Liv Tyler.

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Personally, we are in way worse hands nowadays with pop stars who just don’t
have the talent or the larger than life personas (is Bieber anything compared to
Steven Tyler in his glorious prime, really? No fucking way. Stop hugging him, Lady Gaga).

Where are the icons who can last another 40 years? You can blame it on
the record industry and album sales or marketing but at some point it is also
on the bands for not being lifers and for being chicken to stick it out.

For this hard rock centered Deep Cuts I picked three tunes that may not be as
fucking perfect as “Last Child” but which still could burn down any barn.
Aerosmith are amazing when they bring the boogie, stomp and no pity/no
apologies street glam to their stadium ready bar fight rock so I choose to
write about that side of the band rather than, say, “Pink” (lmao).

Listen to NYC’s The Compulsions, Krist Novoselic’s low end groove, Royal Trux’ Neil Hagerty’s
extended hazed out mid period soloing ( the cig smoke reeking “…Horror James” comes to mind), the recent Danzig cover of “Lord Of TheThighs” (by far the coolest tune on Skeletons) or any of the early material by
a little comeback band called Guns N Roses, you know that we still aren’t
worthy.

Let’s hope Steven wraps up the fully unnecessary solo shenanigans soon and gets back in the
saddle.

Read the 3 song picks below.

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http://opethbook.com/

It is hard deciding if the best approach to reviewing such an exhaustive and important milestone  for Opeth as The Book Of Opeth, a super rewarding and fans in mind work of art (would you expect anything less?) from one of metal’s most revered bands, with a more exhaustive or impressionistic approach.

Aesthetically, it is as stunning visually as any of the band’s greatest achievements. The moody respect for the essential mystery of nature and the spirit and cerebral leaning craftsmanship with an emphasis on complexity has carried over, albeit instead of actual riffs we have the stories in the book which allow a hand swiped view through the foggy window of awe; a peak into the inner workings of a group who have earned every inch of respect over the past 25 years and change.

Much like the crucial Decibel anointed Choosing Death or Only Death Is Real from Bazillion Points, this Opeth doozy is fun while chock full of enough respect for sociology and the genre to warrant such an endeavor even if the band wasn’t as important as they ARE. You really get a sense of their development over the course of hundreds of killer photos, lush layout page detailing and fantastic reflections from members. Like Sean Yseult’s recent I’m In The Band or even, say, the massive Emperor 24 vinyl box set which the mere thought of makes me weep and shiver, this is a serious fucking beast of merchandise of the highest order and a celebration of accomplishment with a major sense of adventure and wonder for the entire business of it all. More than a labor of vanity or love, this says pay attention, this is about the collective work of amazing lives.

More below.

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It’s been a good few years for die hard stoner fans, from C.O.C. kicking butt
to Geezer, The Midnight Ghost Train, Tarpit Boogie, Monolord and others
keeping the scene burgeoning like a fat bowl of lettuce. One of the most
solid efforts you’re likely to hear, Greenleaf‘s Rise Above The Meadow is a
hard rock infused crunching mass of bluesy riffs, pounding drums and a
distinctively Swedish sense of melody to vocals that fall between the schools
of Danzig, Wino and Ozzy.

“A Million Fireflys” is a must hear newly forged anthem that anyone into QOTSA, Dozer, Born Again -era Sabbath etc. will be keen to savor or start spreading as the new gospel. The band’s Napalm tenure is sure to stay great.
I’ve been recommending them to everyone lately, ranging from Trevor of Pelican to probably your grandma. It’s such a good single I stopped listening to Future Brown’s “Wanna Party (remix)” for a minute or two to remember rock is really good when it actually exists.

I’m writing this on the anniversary of Van Halen’s 5150 album. Whether you are a Hagar fan or not, those were the days rock and metal ruled the charts. Greenleaf are proof that you can knock back a shot celebrating that rock n’ roll will never die.

More below.

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From Celtic Frost’s Into The Pandemonium to Metallica’s S&M to the mind blowing latest from blackened chamber doomers Wolvserpent to the fucking insane Bach shredding of shred dominatrix/violinist The Great Kat, many metal artists have flirted with or amalgamated classical influences into their sound, to drastically varied levels of success. Ontario’s The Visit, comprised of Musk Ox’s very skilled Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello) and the strikingly talented Heather Sita Black (voice), get it more right than most of the others put together.

Starting in the reverse fashion of four feet and cello planted firmly in classical yet with a deep, romantic and soul pulling fascination with the darker side of the musical world, the pair have managed to make music that could stir esteemed concert halls and gothier types alike. Through Darkness Into Light, a late self-released 2015 triumph, was one of the loveliest and most breathtaking releases of late 2015 (with a stellar Alan Douches mastering job that really makes it feel cinematic). Additionally, this was  one of the most primary of a handful of albums that kept me “sane” last year (along w moody stuff like Tearist, The last temptation of christ, He Whose Ox Is Gored, Vowws, Marriages, etc.)

During a particularly dark time I found The Visit‘s gossamer heartache and striving sounds that float throughout Through Darkness Into Light to be a comforting sort of oxygen that I could trust in, a record I didn’t talk much about because I was holding it rather close. That is, ironically, often the best compliment we can give something…exclusion via the intimacy of overly processing how something powerful makes you feel which you aren’t yet willing to vocalize.

Metal fans of a certain type may scratch their caveman heads but others will get that heavier stuff like permanence, desire and the magnitude of self in a vast cosmos are at play, a certain naturalist’s existentialism that perhaps is a product of being an avant garde act from Ontario. Or maybe I am just projecting. When the bowing gets heavy enough on “Without This Flesh” I dare you to not be hit by the impact of feel anyway, even if other passages are somehow too floaty for you thrash types.

Personally, I think The Visit are a breath of cold, fresh air and make inventive, soul stirring art of the highest musical caliber.

Raphael and Heather answer my questions below.

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Candace Kucsulain has been an underdog, a hardcore heroine, a mom, a fighter
and much more. Her band Walls Of Jericho are true veterans of the metalcore
scene, trench fighters who have done a lot over the years until a recent near
decade break between albums.

One listen to Napalm Release No One Can Save You From Yourself will not only
knock the dust from your skull but you’ll be really thankful the Detroit
natives are back to shitkick some sense into the current crop. Through and
through this album is a fierce winner, full of engaging topics, inspiring
motivational lyrics, ballistic breakdowns and crowd friendly chants that don’t
suck. Prepare to get very fired up.

It was great to talk to Candace about her career, her beliefs and how this
time it was very cool having everyone in the band contribute something to the
lyrical hardcore cookpot.

Read more BELOW.

Boston: Deep Cuts

Posted by longhairedpoet on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 11:26 AM (PST)

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By Premier Talent Associates (management company) (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

At first I was a little worried that all of Boston’s good songs were singles. For most of their albums they have like three to five singles.

But as I looked in to it, I realized that there were lots of songs that were overlooked, or just simply did not have the time to make it to single status in an album cycle.

Of course, a person really can’t talk about Boston deep cuts without talking about Tom Scholz and Brad Delp.

Delp’s vocal styling is unforgettable. The belting in “More Than A Feeling” are instantly memorable and known by folks of all generations. When the album Boston came out in 1976 I almost wonder if the world of rock ‘n’ roll knew what they were getting themselves into when this kid with a master’s degree from MIT and another toiling in the local music scene got together to record what became known as the 17x platinum, number 3 on the Billboard 200 self-titled, debut album.

This duo reminds me of another favorite musical pair of mine – Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman, though arguably Scholz and Delp had a much better go with the record labels than Meat and Steinman did.

Also worth nothing before we get underway here is that Boston by Boston turns 40 in August! The band will embark on a 40th Anniversary tour from April to August, make sure not to miss it!

Check out the deep cuts here.

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Judas Priest’s ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’ turns 40!

Posted by longhairedpoet on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 9:55 AM (PST)

Judas Priest

Sad Wings of Destiny turns 40-years-old on March 23 and to celebrate this mammoth fucking album, I present to you a retrospective on it!

Sad Wings of Destiny is Judas Priest’s second album. It is the only album which features drummer Alan Moore. That year Kiss’s Destroyer came out, Rush released 2112, AC/DC released High Voltage internationally and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap in Australia, Black Sabbath released Technical Ecstasy and Deep Purple broke up. But for Judas Priest, things were just taking off. Off the back of Sad Wings of Destiny Judas Priest signed to CBS Records and got 60,000 pounds to record their next album Sin After Sin, which came out the very next year.

Read the full retrospective of the album here.

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Doro Pesch, the German heavy metal Queen, is touring the US with a mini-tour starting tomorrow. It is always such an honor to speak to Doro, not only an incredible survivor, powerful presence and legendary metal beauty but a timeless and unique voice who holds a deeply important place in the history of the evolution of Heavy Metal. Whenever you hear her proud banshee call there is no doubt who is singing.

I’d rather spend my time listening to Doro than do most things in life. Hail, Metal Queen!

Doro is evidence that there is no half assing it, ever.

More below.

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