The mail has been kind to me with quite a nice pile of new material to review developing. Always wanting to keep things eclectic I have slipped a copy of Artic Monkeys into the music mix. I gave it a chance and ignored all the (over) hype this lot has been getting. Read on to see what I think of the lads.
Dio: Holy Diver Live
Recorded at the historic Astoria here in London; this is one of those live CDs that has you kicking yourself for not going to the gig. Seventeen tracks (on two CDs) of classic Dio firing on all cylinders. As you can tell from the name this is Holy Diver played in its entirety by Dio and the boys. The fact Ronnie James Dio, who is in his 60s, can still belt the tracks out with such force is damn impressive. He tosses in a few crowd pleasers from his time with Black Sabbath in the form of “Heaven & Hell” and “Sign on the Southern Cross.” And a trio of Rainbow tunes in the form of “Tarot Woman,” “Man on a Silver Mountain,” and “Long Live Rock & Roll.”
All of Holy Diver live plus a bunch of classic metal tunes with his other bands…what is there not to like. While maybe not a classic live album it certainly is a must for any fan of Ronnie James Dio that is for sure.
Venom: Metal Black
The name is their first album’s name back-to-front and that is about the only joke on this album. It suffers from the same thing that hurt the second Spinal Tap CD; it is too bloody good. Venom were known and loved for being loud and crude and crap — this ain’t Venom. This is merely a good death/black metal album of the type that, thanks to the inspiration of Venom, fills the pages of Metal Hammer and Terrorizer. Stuff like “AntiChrist” and “Lucifer Rising” are wonderful slabs of Black metal goodness. In terms of quality it is by far the best Venom album ever…hold on maybe that’s the joke!
Carmine Appice Project: Ultimate Guitar Zeus
Guitar Zeus is a series of CDs released under the band CAP that feature some of the world’s best guitarist both well known and not. This compilation of those releases features my blood brother Ted Nugent, Slash, Brian May, Ted Nugent, Zakk Wylde, Neal Schon and several others. Hell Carmine even manages to Yngwie Malmsteen from going too wanky on the track they share. For vocalists you get to hear Carmine (who drums on the tracks naturally) Doug Pinnick of Kings X and Edgar Winter.
Oh yeah and Glenn Hughes plays bass throughout though presumably not on Doug Pinnick’s track “This Time Around.” One of the most interesting tracks is Carmine singing “Do ya think I’m Sexy” which he co-wrote for Rod Stewart back in the day. Carmine Appice has played, as has his brother Vinnie, with lots of bands, check out his discography, in the last 40 years. This is an excellent collection of bluesy rock and “Gz Blues” could be no more appropriate ender.
Artic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Overhyped by extremists and overplayed on radio this lot are the talk of the indie scene here in the UK. Their quirky Northern (England) lyrics can be sometimes hard to understand; especially if you don’t have an ear for the accent and dialect. It is their first, so the album can be patchy at times but that does not change the fact that “I bet you look good on the dance floor” and “When the Sun goes down” are cracking tracks and bloody good tales as well. They are probably the best thing to come out Sheffield since the mighty Def Leppard. If you like your tunage quirky, eccentric, and interesting then this might be for you. They could be the Madness for the 00s.
I have nothing new to report on the digital music front this week. Our tracks are selling on Musicane and they seem to have worked all their kinks out of the system.
As always keep on rocking, support the live scene and take care of yourself.