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SOS – Adult Situations

SOS – Adult Situations (2008, self-released)

Track Listing:
1. “Walk of Shame” … 3:14
2. “Fear & Ferocity” … 3:31
3. “Do You Want to Go Bowling…?” … 2:38
4. “Daddy Like” … 2:58
5. “Wasteland Temptress” … 3:15
6. “Hypoxyphilia” … 4:34
7. “Frames” … 4:11
8. “The Bane of Joe Smolinsky” … 4:08
9. “Half Mast” … 2:26
10. “The Thing Is…” … 4:20
11. “Life of Love and Peace and Harmony” … 2:46
12. “Separation to Survive” … 4:13

Adam Mastrosimone – Vocals, Bass
Ted Matwijiw – Guitar, Vocals
Mike SOS – Guitars, Vocals
Travis Harrison – Drums, Percussion
Brett Thompson -Drums, Percussion

SOS brings a New York hardcore metal sound and adds a bit of stoner rock and alternative metal. This isn’t the band’s first release, but it is the first I’ve ever heard and it’s a decent release and the whole album has straight-forward gritty, dirty punch to it. The sound isn’t really similar to any so called “modern” acts. The album could’ve easily been released in the late 80s/early 90s alternative & hardcore metal scene.

This normally isn’t my type of music, but there are a few bright spots here and SOS is definitely a band loaded with potential.

SALIVA – Every Six Seconds

Saliva – Every Six Seconds (2001, Def Jam/Island Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Superstar” … 4:03
2. “Musta Been Wrong” … 3:33
3. “Click Click Boom” … 4:12
4. “Your Disease” … 4:00
5. “After Me” … 3:52
6. “Greater Than/Less Than” … 4:50
7. “Lackluster” … 5:12
8. “Faultline” … 3:49
9. “Beg” … 3:40
10. “Hollywood” … 3:50
11. “Doperide” … 3:26
12. “My Goodbyes” … 6:29

Josey Scott – Vocals
Wayne Swinny – Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Steel Guitar
Chris D’abaldo – Guitar
Dave Novotny – Bass
Paul Crosby – Drums

Produced by: Bob Marlette

Saliva, I find, is like a lot of new (nu?) metal/hard rock bands… More filler than killer. This isn’t the only Saliva album I own and while I think the singles they release range from decent to good, I’ve always been disappointed after buying one of their albums.

Every Six Seconds is easily their worst outing though. They burst onto the scene in the middle of the nu metal & rap metal craze and fit right in. And that’s NOT a compliment. But…  I will say they were a bit more melodic and old school hard rock than most bands of that time were. That would be a side of the band that would be further explored in future outings. Conveniently, they did that  just as the rap metal scene was fizzling out.

Highlights: “Superstar”, “Click Click Boom”, “Your Disease”, “After Me”, “Greater Than/Less Than”

HINDER – Take It to the Limit

Hinder – Take It to the Limit [Deluxe Edition with Best Buy Exclusive Tracks] (2008, Universal Republic Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Use Me” … 3:49
2. “Loaded and Alone” … 4:06
3. “Last Kiss Goodbye” … 3:48
4. “Up All Night” … 3:33
5. “Without You” … 3:52
6. “Take It To The Limit” … 3:11
7. “The Best Is Yet To Come” … 3:22
8. “Heaven Sent” … 3:41
9. “Thing For You” … 3:59
10. “Lost In The Sun” … 3:52
11. “Far From Home” … 4:03
12. “Heaven Sent (Live)” … 3:42
13. “Loaded and Alone (Acoustic)” … 3:34
14. “Lost in the Sun (Live)” … 3:46
15. “The Best is Yet to Come (Acoustic)” … 3:21
16. “Without You (Acoustic)” … 3:52
17. “Use Me (Live)” … 4:30

1. The Making of Take It to the Limit
2. Behind the Scenes at the Photo Shoot

Austin Winkler – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Joe “Blower” Garvey – Guitar
Mark King – Guitar
Mike Rodden – Bass
Cody Hanson – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Mick Mars – Guitar (“Take It to the Limit”)
Brian Howes – Guitar, Keyboard, Backing Vocals
Paul Laine – Backing Vocals

Produced by: Brian Howes

This band became big with their debut, 2005’s Extreme Behavior. They came off as just another bland modern hard rock band to me at the time, and their big hit, “Lips of an Angel” didn’t appeal to me lyrically at all (it’s about cheating your girlfriend).

I did like Winkler’s voice though and while I’m not sure how Extreme Behavior sounds, this album absolutely rocks. There’s a movement going on in rock right now where the bands are actually (GASP!) having fun and incorporating the fun and party style of the 80s hard rock scene and I think that’s great. Hinder actually reminds me a lot of Buckcherry with this release. They aren’t *as* 80s sleazy as Buckcherry is, but the influence is definitely here. The album pretty much only about one thing: sex. Breaking it down further, it’s about having sex and getting cheated on.

The use of “gang vocals” and catchy glam-inspired guitar work makes this album a winner. I bought the deluxe CD/DVD edition, but because I bought it at Best Buy, I also got six exclusive Best Buys tracks with it (with are live & acoustic takes of some of the album’s songs). I’m not sure how much work was done on those live cuts, but the band sounds great.

And the album packaging? Nothing but a total winner. I was very surprised to open up the flaps and see some absolutely gorgeous naked women (Playboy Playmates!) and breasts so up close. The deluxe edition even includes some “photo cards” done up to look like Polaroids that feature the band with even more naked girls. The booklet has EVEN more naked girls laying about while the band parties on. This is one the greatest album packaging jobs EVER! 1o out of 10! This is what 80s hair bands *wish* their labels would’ve let them done. If you’re still not convinced of Hinder’s dedication to L.A. strip excess, the managed to snag Motley Crue’s Mick Mars for some guitar work and even ex-Danger Danger lead singer Paul Laine to help with the backing vocals.

The DVD ‘Making of’ feature is actually pretty cool. It walks you through (DUH!) the making of the album and the band walks you around the studio, their living spaces during the recording and just generally goofing around. They also mention the success of Extreme Behavior allowed them more freedom with this release and they were able to use their 80s influences more in writing and recording the songs. So there ya go, I guess Take It to the Limit *is* different sounding from their debut. The photo shoot portion is, obviously, very cool and it’s full of “hot-ass fuckin’ chicks” as bassist Mike Rodden says.

If I had heard this album in 2008, it probably would’ve made my Top 10. That just how good I think it is. I’m definitely converted now and would love to see these guys in concert. Modern sleaze metal is big in Europe, but Hinder gives me hope for the good ol’ USA. Watching the DVD, it’s obvious they are starting to make the kind of music they like and are determined to bring fun back to rock.

Just a great release that I can’t stop listening to.

Highlights: “Use Me”, “Loaded and Alone”, “The Last Kiss Goodbye”, “Up All Night”, “Take It to the Limit”, “Without You”, Heaven Sent”, “Far From Home”, “Loaded and Alone (Acoustic)”, “Use Me (Live)”

Metal Excess News Desk #3

Chinese Democracy unleashed upon the world and debuts at #3 on Billboard, world calls it a complete failure! Axl still in hiding, label angry!

So the numbers finally came out for GNR’s Chinese Democracy… 261,000 copies putting it at #3 behind Taylor Swift (#2 with 267,000 copies sold) and Kanye West, the week’s other big release, who came in at #1 with 450,000 copies sold.

People are blasting this #3 debut as if it’s the end of the world because they didn’t get #1. #1 would’ve been great, but for a group that hasn’t released a studio album of new material since 1991, and seeing as how this is essentially The Axl Rose Band now, the #3 spot and 261,000 copies is exceptional, as far as I’m concerned for a group that has had virtually zero precence in the mainstream since the early 90s and it considered by some to be an “80s hair band”. 261,000 copies + praise from highly respected industry critics = good enough for me. What, were people expecting this album to ship diamond to make up for that $13 million+ that has been sunk into this album? Even if this was a hugely anticipated album: perspective, people…

By the way, Axl has been incommunicado with the label pretty much since handing the album in, so it’s been said. Universal/Interscope/Geffen/whatever execs are miffed about Axl’s disappearance and lack of promoting the album. Yes, I’ll agree with that, he should be out there promoting this. But knowing Axl (which I don’t), I think he’s probably just sitting up there in his mansion reading every word people are saying about the album and taking that into account for the band’s next move (which I hope is to tour). After the world waiting 17 for new original material, I think he decided it would be best to let the music talk for him. He’s never been a fan of the press anyway.
Now, as much as Axl is to blame for not helping to promote this album, I have to point a finger at Best Buy as well. Where were the commercials for Chinese Democracy? Where were the huge in-store banners and special sections of GNR merchandise & albums? There weren’t any. Not at my local store, at least. I go to Best Buy frequently, and you wouldn’t have known the album was even coming out if you weren’t on top of the situation already. There was NOTHING there to let you know “HEY! GNR is BACK!!! And it’s EXCLUSIVE RIGHT HERE at BEST BUY!!!!”
I picked my copy up the day it was released. I came in about an hour and half AFTER the store had already opened and they were just then starting to put up a (small) cardboard stand to put GNR’s albums (including the new one) on. I mean, I know Best Buy isn’t Wal-Mart, but should have at least *tried* to follow the extremely successful formula that Wal-Mart used for AC/DC’s Black Ice.

Eleven Seven Music rock label performing well thanks to Motley Crue, SIXX: A.M. and Buckcherry


Eleven Seven Music, the independent rock label, dominates the iTunes Critics Picks for 2008. BUCKCHERRY’s “Black Butterfly” is named the Best Rock Album of 2008, MÖTLEY CRÜE’s “Saints of Los Angeles” is the top rock song, SIXX: A.M. is named a Best New Rock Artist of the Year and SIXX: A.M., BUCKCHERRY and MÖTLEY CRÜE top the sales chart. Eleven Seven Music’s releases comprise 25% of the Top 20 Best Rock Songs as selected by iTunes’ Editorial Board with MÖTLEY CRÜE’s “Saints of Los Angeles” at #1, BUCKCHERRY’s “Too Drunk…” at #2 and their “Rescue Me” at #8, SIXX: A.M.’s “Life Is Beautiful” at #10 and TRAPT’s “Who’s Going Home With You Tonight” at #17. iTunes Best of 2008 can be seen in its entirely at this location (you may have to re-enter link address once iTunes opens).

Eleven Seven Music is among the best-performing rock labels, taking hold on a good portion of the rock charts since its inception in January 2006. With the recent #1 independent release from MÖTLEY CRÜE (the label scored the #2 position last year with SIXX: A.M.’s “The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack” and BUCKCHERRY’s platinum and Grammy-nominated “15”), Eleven Seven continues to build on its model of research-based marketing strategies targeted directly to the fans and building out from that base. At rock radio, SIXX: A.M.’s “Life Is Beautiful” was the most played song of the year. Helmed by President Nikki Sixx, the label’s roster includes MÖTLEY CRÜE, BUCKCHERRY, SIXX: A.M., TRAPT, DROWNING POOL, MARION RAVEN, THE LAST VEGAS, CHARM CITY DEVILS and THE EXIES.

Really happy for all these bands and the label. Hopefully the label won’t fizzle and Nikki can stay interested enough to help keep it afloat. Great roster of talent.

Stone Temple Pilots a thing of the past… again?

USA Today

“When you commit to a band that big that sold so many records and touched that many people, you can’t easily get out of it,” he said. “I’m finally on my own, at a place I’ve wanted to be for so long.”

On being gun-shy about band duty, he said, “There’s a beauty in being part of a band, when there’s equality and trust. But at this phase of my life, I want to write and not have to think about whether a song is going to be a hit. I want to explore the music that inspires me, and I don’t want to ape myself.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that I couldn’t see myself shaking my (butt) in leather pants when I’m 40. My goal in STP was to leave an imprint. That was done. I want to move forward and be in control of what I do musically. I have kids, and I don’t want to spend my life on the road.”

This is kind of disappointing to read. STP are my favorite alternative band (probably because they had so little in common with most of the bands from that genre). As much as I don’t like Weiland these days, STP always delivered great music and I’m sure they could do it again.

These comments are quite odd though considering the band still has a few dates to play this month and Weiland has already gone on record to say the’ve written tons of new songs while on the reunion tour… Bait and switch?

And the 2008 Grammy nominees are…

A few categories in which some of the nominees are relevant to this blog:

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

* Rock N Roll Train – AC/DC

* Violet Hill – Coldplay

* Long Road Out Of Eden – Eagles

* Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon

* House Of Cards – Radiohead

Best Hard Rock Performance

* Inside The Fire – Disturbed

* Visions – Judas Priest

* Wax Simulacra – The Mars Volta

* Saints Of Los Angeles – Mötley Crüe

* Lords Of Salem – Rob Zombie

Best Metal Performance

* Heroes Of Our Time – DragonForce

* Nostradamus – Judas Priest

* My Apocalypse – Metallica

* Under My Thumb – Ministry

* Psychosocial – Slipknot

Best Rock Instrumental Performance

* Castellorizon – David Gilmour

* Suicide & Redemption – Metallica

* 34 Ghosts I-IV – Nine Inch Nails

* Hope (Live For The Art Of Peace) – Rush

* Peaches En Regalia – Zappa Plays Zappa

Best Rock Album

* Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends  – Coldplay

* Rock N Roll Jesus – Kid Rock

* Only By The Night – Kings Of Leon

* Death Magnetic – Metallica

* Consolers Of The Lonely – The Raconteurs

It’d be really cool for Priest to win at least one of the awards they’ve been nominated for. I listened to Nostradamus again two weeks ago and I’m becoming a big fan of it.

FOO FIGHTERS – There Is Nothing Left to Lose

Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999, RCA Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Stacked Actors” … 4:17
2. “Breakout” … 3:21
3. “Learn to Fly” … 3:58
4. “Gimme Stitches” … 3:42
5. “Generator” … 3:48
6. “Aurora” … 5:50
7. “Live-In Skin” … 3:53
8. “Next Year” … 4:37
9. “Headwires” … 4:38
10. “Ain’t It the Life” … 4:17
11. “M.I.A.” … 4:03

Dave Grohl – Vocals, Guitar, Drums
Nate Mendel – Bass
Taylor Hawkins – Drums

Produced by: Adam Kasper & Foo Fighters

Though the alternative scene has never been my preferred genre, Foo Fighters are one of the bands that stands far above the rest. This was my first Foo Fighter album (though I was familiar with their singles from their two previous albums) and probably my favorite.

The first half of the album rocks the hardest, the second half for the most part slows down and gets a little too melancholy for me.

Highlights: “Stacked Actors”, “Breakout”, “Learn to Fly”, “Gimme Stitches”, “Generator”, “Headwires”

THE CROW – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Crow – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1994, Atlantic Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Burn” – The Cure … 6:39
2. “Golgotha Tenement Blues” – Machines Of Loving Grace … 4:01
3. “Big Empty” – Stone Temple Pilots … 4:56
4. “Dead Souls” – Nine Inch Nails … 4:54
5. “Darkness” – Rage Against The Machine … 3:42
6. “Color Me Once” – Violent Femmes … 4:09
7. “Ghostrider” – Rollins Band … 5:46
8. “Milquetoast” – Helmet … 3:59
9. “The Badge” – Pantera … 3:55
10. “Slip Slide Melting” – For Love Not Lisa … 5:48
11. “After The Flesh” – My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult … 3:00
12. “Snakedriver” – The Jesus And Mary Chain … 3:42
13. “Time Baby III” – Medicine … 3:52
14. “It Can’t Rain All The Time” – Jane Siberry … 5:35

I don’t know why I own this. I guess it was just me trying new things, even though I wasn’t a fan of grunge/alternative. I took this from my sister’s collection years ago… She never knew it was missing! BWA-HA-HA!

This is a real moody bit of a soundtrack, but that’s appropriate considering the movie it was spawned from. To me, this is pretty much the good, bad, and the ugly of the early 90s alternative scene. STP, The Cure and NIN deliver in spades, but the rest..? Pass. Never could really get into the whole depression rock stuff.

Highlights: “Burn”, “Big Empty”, “Dead Souls”, “It Can’t Rain All The Time”

END OF DAYS – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

End of Days – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Clean Version] (1999, Interscope Records)

Track listing:
1. “Camel Song” performed by Korn … 4:22
2. “So Long” performed by Everlast … 5:00
3. “Slow” performed by Professional Murder Music … 3:58
4. “Crushed” performed by Limp Bizkit … 3:24
5. “Oh My God” performed by Guns N’ Roses … 3:40
6. “Poison” performed by The Prodigy … 6:15
7. “Superbeast (Girl On A Motorcycle mix)” performed by Rob Zombie … 3:52
8. “Bad Influence” performed by Eminem … 3:40
9. “Nobody’s Real” performed by Powerman 5000 … 2:54
10. “I Wish I Had” performed by Stroke … 6:34
11. “Sugar Kane” performed by Sonic Youth … 5:58
12. “Wrong Way” performed by Creed … 4:20

Soundtracks can be a great (and not so great) snapshot of a certain time in music history when said soundtrack is full of contemporary songs & artists. The soundtrack to 1994’s The Crow perfectly captures the grunge & alternative rock scene and End of Days does a fairly good job of showing what rock music was at the turn of the century: rap metal, nu metal, industrial metal and post-grunge rock.

BUT… While the soundtrack covers it’s musical bases just fine, that doesn’t necessarily mean those genres were any good in the first place and that this album is. Okay, okay… I’ll be honest, there’s actually some solid stuff going on here and not your usual soundtrack throwaway filler.

I could mention that, surprisingly, I like the Korn, Limp Bizkit, Creed and Eminem songs, but that’s not what is important about this album. What IS important is that it holds the only officially released single from the mythical Chinese Democracy from Guns N’ Roses. Of course, I’m talking about “Oh My God” which is a loud, aggressive NIN-inspired song that is just awesome and features Axl at his angriest and most sneering. It’s a far way from “November Rain” or “Nightrain”, but so what? Good is good and I love this song and it’s the only reason I bought the soundtrack. At this time though, if Democracy does ever come out, I think it’s probably best to leave this one off the record due to the time that’s elapsed since it’s original release.

In the end (of days), despite the genres involved, this album actually offers up some really great tunes and to this day, it’s an album I’ll occasionally pull out and listen to. Which is a lot more than I can say about the supposed “comeback” the movie was meant to be for Arnie.

And yes, I have the “Clean” version, picking it up at Wal-Mart and not realizing until later that there was an explicit version.

Highlights: “Crushed”, “Oh My God”, “Superbeast [Girl on a Motorcycle Mix]”, “Bad Influence”, “Nobody’s Real”, “I Wish I Had”

ROB ZOMBIE – Hellbilly Deluxe

Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe (1998, Geffen Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Call of the Zombie” … 0:30
2. “Superbeast” … 3:40
3. “Dragula” … 3:42
4. “Living Dead Girl” … 3:21
5. “Perversion 99” … 1:43
6. “Demonoid Phenomenon” … 4:11
7. “Spookshow Baby” … 3:38
8. “How to Make a Monster” … 1:38
9. “Meet the Creeper” … 3:13
10. “The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore” … 3:55
11. “What Lurks on Channel X?” … 2:29
12. “Return of the Phantom Stranger” … 4:31
13. “The Beginning of the End” … 1:52

Rob Zombie – Vocals
Riggs – Guitar
Mark Matcho – Guitar, Bass
Blasko -Bass
Tempesta -Drums

Additional Musicians:
Tommy Lee – Drums (“The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore” and “Meet the Creeper”)
Danny Lohner – Guitar (“Meet the Creeper”)

Produced by: Rob Zombie & Scott Humphrey

I wasn’t a fan of White Zombie. In fact, I barely knew who they were. But I had a friend who had a few of their CDs and he picked this one up as soon as it came out. I took me a few months, but I finally picked it up myself because it’s darn good industrial metal filled with tons of grooves. “Industrial dance metal”?

I initially was put off to Rob thanks to the pentagram on the cover, but now I see Rob for what he truly is… Alice Cooper for a younger generation. The songs are just really fun and infectious and the album’s tongue-in-cheek B-horror movie artwork really shows this.

Highlights: “Superbeast”, “Dragula”, “Living Dead Girl”, “Demonoid Phenomenon”, “Meet the Creeper”

Halloween Scream @ Metal Excess

Well, I’m doing my 2nd annual Halloween-themed posting with ‘Halloween Scream 2008’ over at my pop culture blog,, and I decided to let my music blog partake in the festivities.

So all month long in October, I’ll be looking at the darker, evil side of my album collection. Well, okay, “evil” in a tongue-in-cheek Alice Cooper/Rob Zombie/Misfits kinda way. None of that Norwegian death metal for me, thank you.

Anyway, I’ve got a huge stack of CDs to get through, so barring life getting in the way, I hope to average one themed album post a day, so keep checking back all October!

CREED – Weathered

Creed – Weathered (2001, Wind-up Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Bullets” … 3:49
2. “Freedom Fighter” … 2:36
3. “Who’s Got My Back?” … 8:25
4. “Signs” … 4:29
5. “One Last Breath” … 3:58
6. “My Sacrifice” … 4:54
7. “Stand Here With Me” … 4:17
8. “Weathered” … 5:30
9. “Hide” … 4:27
10. “Don’t Stop Dancing” … 4:33
11. “Lullaby” … 3:04

Scott Stapp – Vocals
Mark Tremonti – Guitar, Bass
Scott Phillips – Drums, Keyboards

Additional Musicians:
Aimee Stapp – Background Vocals (“Don’t Stop Dancing”)

Produced by: Kirk Kelsey & Creed

My hatred for Creed (and Scott Stapp) knows no bounds. So I surprised myself when I went out and bought Weathered. Previously, I had friends and a girlfriend who were obsessed with this band and their first two albums, which to me, embodied everything that was wrong with rock music at the time. Creed were the poster boys for the extremely bland genre of post-grunge rock (Nickelback have since taken that honor).

There was and is an arrogance about Scott Stapp, a supposed Christian who always did the “Jesus on the Cross” pose while in concert (seriously, I saw them once in 2000 and he just stood there with his arms out the whole time) and in videos. He probably does it when he’s in the shower too to make sure his armpits get a good cleaning. So really, Scott Stapp was my big issue with Creed on a personal level because his “holier than thou” attitude really got to me (even their bassist quit before this album started recording because he couldn’t handle Stapp’s ego any longer).

So why, oh why, would I pick this album up not liking their previous music and having a strong dislike to their singer? Well, I’m a big wrestling fan, I watch it every week and WWE was using Creed’s lead single “My Sacrifice” for a series of videos at the time and I actually liked the song!

This album is another bit of a time capsule for me as I heavily listened to it upon it’s release and on my way back up to Winchester, Virginia, from Florida to live and go to college (I lasted a full semester before getting homesick and taking my butt back home to my family). That was a dark time in my life as far as being on my own and having relationship problems with girls and friends (over girls). A song like “One Last Breath” really spoke to me at the time and is pretty powerful stuff that summed up how I feeling at the time.

Anyway, so a band that I usually hated actually turned out something decent. “My Sacrifice” I guess is your typical inspirational Creed song, but I actually thought it was catchy this time around and “Bullets” kicks off the album to a great raging start.

To be honest, I haven’t listened to this album in years, I just picked it randomly to listen to today, but the stuff I remember as being good still holds up, and the lame stuff is still lame. Decent effort all around. I don’t know, I just thought this album was catchier and rocked better then their previous efforts, and I was HUGE Creed hater.

One of the worst album covers of all time though, it looks like something *I* could do in Photoshop.

Highlights: “Bullets”, “Who’s Got My Back?”, “One Last Breath”, “My Sacrifice”, “Hide”

Lowlights (It’s Creed, one of my mortal enemies, I had to bring it back just for them): “Weathered”, “Don’t Stop Dancing”

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