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Music Review: April’s Hot Picks – Mike Patton, Soilent Green, Rush, and More

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Mike Patton – A Perfect Place(CD/DVD)
Who listens to movie soundtracks anyway? I’m a huge Star Wars fan but I’ve never sat down to relax, or to rock out for that matter, with the score of The Empire Strikes Back. However if you are going to listen to a soundtrack, listen to the score of A Perfect Place. Mike “The Man of a Thousand Bands” Patton creates a mix of cocktail music and eerie interludes that creates a perfect ambiance for the 25 minute short film A Perfect Place. The way that the is integrated the film is brilliant and no less would be expected from Mike Patton who also performed the vocals of the creatures in the movie I Am Legend.

As for the film itself the story of A Perfect Place revolves around two shiftless layabouts who attempt to bury a body after an “accidental killing.”  It works as a short movie and the attempts of humor are decent but would quickly wear thin if the film were any longer. Mostly this is a release for hardcore Patton fans but may also be of interest to indie film makers. (Available April 22nd)

Soilent Green – Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction
The story of Soilent Green is an interesting one. Part of Louisiana’s underground death metal scene, the band seems to have a dark spirit following them. The band is still recovering from van crashes in 2001 and 2002, the effects of a murder/suicide involving the bands former bassist Scott Williams in 2004 and the aftermath of hurricane Katrina that that took the life of the band's last singer Glenn Rambo.

The band's latest album is their most brutal yet. Songs like “Blessed in the Arms of Servitude,” and “Superstition Aimed at One’s Skull” are admittedly born from their past. There is no doubt that this is disturbed music from disturbed people. Somehow, the band has survived for two decades and still remains a staple of the metal underground. Rolling Stone Magazine once named them one of “the 25 most influential metal bands.” If you want something that will really rattle your brain this dose of sludge rock/death metal will work. (Released April 15th)

Rush – Snakes and Arrows Live
Tech-rock hero’s Rush capitalize on their return to the mainstream with their fourth live release. The 2 CD live set also precedes the encore round of the bands world tour and focuses on the band's 2007 release Snakes and Arrows. Both the Grammy nominated song “Malignant Narcissism” and the band's latest single “Workin’ Them Angels” are included along with a handful of their classics like “The Spirit of Radio” and the social commentary of “Subdivisions.”  Mixed by Richard Chycki the album is as vibrant and mind-blowing as they come.(Released April 8th)  

New Found Glory – Hits
One of the pioneering bands of “punk-power-pop,” New Found Glory helped move punk rock from the streets of New York to the Mall of America. Now, New Found Glory releases their first greatest hits collection. The group has a host of hit singles and this release collects them all as well as the rare tracks “Constant Static” and “Situations.” Fans will want to pick this up the next time they are shopping for a new pair of Converse or grabbing a corndog. This was actually released in early March but the band is giving it an extra push on the heels of their new E.P. Tip of the Iceberg that will be released on April 29th. (Released March 18th)

Testament – The Formation of Damnation
The latest album from Bay Area Thrashers Testament is their strongest in almost twenty years. Seemingly blessed with renewed creativity, the band stomps ahead with soon to be classic tracks like the sharp criticism of “The Persecuted Won’t Forget” and the lean metal power of the album's title track. (Available April 29th)

Michael Bracewell – Re-make/Remodel: Becoming Roxy Music 
Remake/Remodel is a well thought out, insightful look at the creation of Roxy Music and their rise to fame as the spark that helped start many flames including the punk rock movement of the early 70s and created the look that we all, some lovingly, call “glam.” (Published April 15th)

UFO – The Best of UFO
Roxy Music mainly influenced the look of the 80s glam rock scene while UFO influenced the music. Every Sunset Strip mongrel from Axl Rose to Lars Ulrich has claimed the group as an influence. This collection covers all the band's important tracks from 1984 to 1973 and provides a great look into the roots of hard rock and metal music. (Released April 15th)

Story of the Year – The Black Swan
Story of the Year return for another round with Black Swan a record that promises to make the band more accessible. The majority of the album displays the bands thoughts on current political and social agendas. (Available April 22nd)

Sevendust –Chapter IIV
With their seventh record Sevendust attempt to play psychologist on eleven songs while exploring the human range of emotions. They have succeeded, providing insight into the many phases of the human condition with a truly moving album that has more kick than a strong of Ritalin. Now fans just have to cross their finger and hope the band doesn’t get caught doing something stupid like their buddy, Creed singer Scott Stapp. (Released April 1st)

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  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Mike Patton singing for Mondo Cane is pretty damn good as well. Unfortunately, it’s a concert we can’t see here in the U.S.