As I get ready to clean out my colon for my cancer operation on Monday, I figured I would reduce my review music pile to none. I might not be able to muster a column next week, so the review CDs may pile up while I recuperate.
Guns n Roses: Use Your Illusion I & II
As the title suggests this is quite a painstaking analysis of the historic follow-up albums to GnRs classic Appetite for Destruction. It was a tall order to release two double-LPs at the same time. It had never been done before and it probably won't be done again any time soon.
You get an overview of the songs on here, interviews with those involved in the band, a basic history of the group, and a breakdown (and that is an accurate term) of the massive tour that accompanied the album. Usually I would say these kind of releases add nothing for the fan; however this is an exception and you will find yourself glued to this 85 minute documentary. I really enjoyed it.
One of the most impressive demos I have ever seen, to be honest. This lot know how to do presentation in extemis. It's a soft-back, gate-fold sleeve with all the right info and none of the rubbish you don't care about. Three tracks of female-fronted melodic rock from this Texas lot are contained here. It's pretty polished for such a young band and you find yourself seeing them go big. The only criticism I have of the three tracks is that they might want to make more use of male vocals, either for backing/co-lead.
While Zena has a wonderful voice, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. The music cries out for a bit more male voice. The band certainly have all the right bits to make it large. Lets hope that someone important catches on quick. Check 'em out so you say you knew them way back when.
Scum of the Earth: Sleaze Freak
This is the second album from this lot. Packaged together with a warts and all CD with a few live tracks, this is sleaze rock done well. Rob Zombie's guitarist, Riggs, makes a good sub-Zombie material on here. It's similar, if not the same, but with all the right bits remaining. From the title track through the rest of 'em this is sleaze rock done with oodles of talent and lots of attitude.
If you like this sort of rock, and who doesn't, then nothing on here will disappoint. Until Rob Zombie stops trying to scare the kids with his movies, SotE will fill that void left by Rob's band's hiatus. Lets face it, we all know a "Bombshell from Hell." Not outstanding but just about fills the void nicely.
The 69 Eyes: Angels
More sleaze rock, this time from across the pond in Scandinavia. Finnish nutters with a vocalist who has a gothy tone to his voice mixed with a bit of Elvis and Bowie. This is straightforward hard sleaze that is simple, blunt, and not that clever. Take the song "Rocker," but who gives a shit as the whole point of the song is a drunken sing-along live. And they even have a track called "Frankenhooker" for good measure.
This is rock, not for your brain but for your loins. Best listened while pissed off your gord on a late night out. And no this is not a criticism at all.
Rick Wakeman: Sixty Minutes With… & Tribute
Yes, I know as a whole I loath tribute albums by any artists. However in the form of Rick Wakemen you know the song is going to sound like it never has. As one would expect tracks like "Eleanor Rigby" just come alive when Rick takes a crack at them with his band. Never mind what he does to "My Guitar Gently Weeps" by George Harrison. This is a good type of tribute where the artist actually adds something to the song.
The former disc is just what it says on the tin. An hour of Rick Wakeman's solo stuff which would serve a rather good intro for those who have never delved into his extensive solo career. It's all here from "Jane Seymour" through "Starship Trooper/Wurm". Let's face it Wakeman rarely does crap. If you are a novice, you are alright as long as you avoid some of his long-winded live material.
Well that is your lot for this week. I am listening to music from a band called Carnival of Souls featuring the talents of Gronk from the UK.
As always stay safe, healthy, and catch live music whenever you can. I will be back as soon as possible to suggest what music should be in your life. Now, it's time to prepare to get rid of the little free loading bastard in my colon.