Thursday, 16 October 2014

An Album Review Issue

To start off, yes I said album. I guess this does nothing but show my age. It is just that when I was young music was on a vinyl disk, and album art was a big selling point. Cassettes became popular due to portability, and yes I still have quite a few of them also, but LP's were the purists choice in music. At present I have over a hundred LP's and that collection is ever growing, because there is just something incredibly authentic and satisfying to listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Violent Femmes, and Iggy Pop on vinyl. As clear and flawless digital becomes it still leaves something to be desired by the old style album.

 Well, enough about how old I am, on to some album reviews:


Relapse Records has put out a free sampler of 26 tracks from their current roster of artists. Metal legends such as Obituary, Death, and Tombs lend new tracks to this sampler. If you like your metal heavy and loud then you should check out this collection.

Obituary's "Violence" starts off the metal onslaught with an excellent rush.  Death is as every bit heavy as they have ever been; delivering each note with the delicacy of a jackhammer during "Pull the Plug."  If speed and thrash is your desire Ringworm's "Psychic Vampire" will get you head banging for sure! One definite gem on this offering is "Reeling" by Nux Vomica if for nothing but the vast atmosphere it creates. They even have some straight out rock and roll worth listening to from Publicist UK, Ecstatic Vision, and Nothing.

It doesn't mater if your into Doom, Black, Thrash, Grindcore or experimental metal this cd has something for you.

You can find out more information on Relapse Records acts Here!

The boys from Boston known as Theatre Nocturne are delivering more Black Metal to the masses. Depictions of Life and Death is another well executed onslaught of death and destruction.

Even before the growls and screams begin on the  track "Sordid Reflections" the classical intro, "Dreams of Scarlet Paradise (Ave Chaos)" eases you into the morbid world you are about to witness. Like a roller coaster once the pulsating guitars and aggressive attack of the drums initiate there is no turning back. Hell, it even ends well with a beautifully crafted deathly call titled "Above the Mists of Sorrow."

If your addiction to metal reaches into the dark shadows that is Black Metal then make sure to get this little gem of an album. You can find it on their Facebook account. Once you do get it crank it loud enough to welcome all the denizens of Hell.

Theatre on the Web            Bandcamp            YouTube


Moving away from metal, Return for Refund is a rock group out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I was fortunate enough to see some video of these guys from a gig at the famous Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto before I got my hands on the cd.

This is the first album from this self described New Grunge band. Their self-titled album is full of really good guitar based tracks. From the first track "The Fields" the EP just starts rocking and does not stop. The third track, "Between My Sheets," is my favorite live numbers from them - it reminds me a bit of old Black Sabbath. "Yolo" is a great number that has a cool and fast chorus that makes you want to rock out.

This is definitely a group that you should check out. They have produced an excellent first foray into rock recordings, and I look forward to what will follow this project. In the meantime keep your ears peeled to CFOU 89.1FM, and 101.9FM in Kingston to hear their single "Some Is Better Than None."

Return on the web           Twitter             iTunes 

Not content to sit on his laurels and just enjoy life, the guitarist for the legendary Canadian rock group The Tragically Hip released the album Not Guilty last year. He followed this extra curricular activity up by loading a bunch of his musician friends into a bus and touring Canada to promote it. Both the tour and the album were welcomed with great enthusiasm and reviews.

One of the things I very much enjoy about this cd is that it does not sound like The Hip, for as much as I love the groups music the last thing I was wanting from hearing this was a Gordon Downieless Hip album. Instead, Langlois, offers a truly Canadian bonfire rock compilation of great stories.

The title track is a perfect example of his talent for crafting a catchy and smooth rock song. Songs like "Waiting on my Train" and "Watching You" perfectly display his expertise drawing the listener in with guitar and words.

You can find this CD for sale on iTunes, and if you enjoy it you may want to check out more stuff from his music label Ching Music. Oh, and check out the music video below for "Not Guilty."

Since we are on the subject of Paul Langlois, The Tragically Hip are reissuing their third album Fully Completely, and announcing a 2015 tour based on the reissue.

Fully Completely is chock full of great Hip songs; "Courage," "At the Hundredth Meridian," "Locked in the Trunk of a Car,"and "Fifty Mission Cap" just to name a few. It almost reads as a greatest hits collection for the internationally famous Canadian group. There really are no weak spots on this Goliath of an album. Lesser known songs like "Pigeon Camera" and "We'll Go Too" are every bit as infectious as the monumental hits on this offering. In every aspect this is a classic Hip album worthy of listening over and over again.

If you are a fan of this great Canadian rock outfit than check out the live shows listing here! You really have to see one of their live shows, they are amazing and you may even get to hear them play Killer Whale Tank.

The Hip web            The Hip Facebook              The Hip Twitter

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