Friday, February 29, 2008

El Chupa Cobras-s/t

Acerbic Noise Development

Montgomery, Alabama’s El Chupa Cobras play a rather furious, head spinning style of heavy rock that will pass you by if you don’t focus in rather quickly. They draw on metal/punk/indie and just plain noise plus the styles are oftentimes mixed together to such a point that it’s slightly difficult to distinguish as to where one style ends and another begins. Their approach is most often presented in short bursts that assault your ears at a vicious pace although they do seem in control. The energy level of this band almost always stays towards a high level as they frequently fly, twist and rip though the material. If you can center your ears fast enough than you might realize that beyond the chaos there actually is a great deal of rhythm at the heart of this band’s approach. The writing definitely has peaks and builds to and from them yet that’s not always very obvious. There were a couple of times where I think they repeated some tones or twists, but it was only a few times and it was fairly brief. It’s certainly not a sing a long in the shower style of music, but then again I wouldn’t want to hear myself sing in the shower or anywhere else. Instead it’s a bash at your senses style of music that’s rather harsh at times, but it will sure keep you on your toes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clash of the album covers

It's Motorhead's Rock and roll


Van Halen's 1984


***Which cover do you prefer?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fireborn-A deadly premonition


Fireborn are they play melodic death metal. The vocals are of a fairly typical death metal style and sometimes they lighten up to an old style thrash approach as well. The rhythm section is decent, but sometimes a bit too much into the background at times when they are really needed to be more a part of the action. The best part of of "A deadly premonition" was definitely the guitar work which may not be stellar in originality, but they were sure solid and very active. I heard a large Iron Maiden influence in the guitar style and that's fine with me plus I heard some Helloween and Gamma Ray as well. I liked they took their time and that they spent as much time with perfecting different guitar tones as they did with playing fast and heavy. Sometimes bands in this style run into the problem of the vocals being too much of a contrast to the music to the point of where the two work against one another. Fireborn don't have that problem at all as the vocals work very well the music and they go along together while each add to the total sound. The band is also proficient in their timing and control of the overall pace on just about all of the songs. They never seemed rushed or forced and primarily got the most out of what they were playing. Although the album was fairly fresh and avoiding being repetitive I do think they could have dug a little deeper at times with the music and maybe been a little less predictable. There were a few hints of some potential to really open up, but I think they could have pushed in that direction a little more plus I think they already have the playing skills to do so. With "A deadly premonition" Fireborn have created an album that is immediately likable and it has enough to appeal to fans of different genres of metal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Interview with Smashed Alley


Smashed Alley are a glam band from North Carolina. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing bass player/vocalist Fenix Anthony to find out more about this band.

MM-Tell us some about how this band came to be?
Fenix: I'd say that it started w/ 3 guys that just loved the whole look and sound of the 80's galm/sleaze rock bands.Those bands put on a fucking show.Their energy and party attitude was amazing.We wanted to put on the fun rock n roll show that no one else was doing around here.I think the idea when we Kris Klark and I started the band was to create the band that we would want to go see.Just a fun party rock band.

MM-Who are some of your influences?
Fenix: Coke,Jager,Bud light...hahah.musicly bands like (Motley) Crue,Poison,GnR.that kinda stuff.Thats what I grew up listening to.I had an older brother that use to bring home cassette tapes of those bands and blast them 24/7.So while all the other kids in school we're listening to shit like New Kids On the fucking Block,I was rockin out to "Shout @ The Devil".

MM-What are you currently working on?
Fenix: We're about to embark on a nice little line up of gigs starting Feb 16th w/ Rockets To Ruin in Covington GA.& well also be playing Cruefest Atlanta. We're really psyched about that. So we'll be playing out through April. Then we'll be going into the studio for two months to work on our next album.


MM-You are obviously very big into glam bands from the 1980’s. What are you doing with your music that has not been done in glam before?
Fenix: Honestly, nothing haha. We're not trying to make any kind of big statement with our music.I love glam rock & wanted to be in a glam band. Its like the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. "We sing songs about sex drugs & rock n roll. It’s feel good music. Some of our songs may be a little more aggressive than other glam bands. And we you some off time breaks in some tunes.But all in all we're very similar to 80's Icons we look up to.

MM-Why should someone buy your CD?
Fenix: So we can afford booze,hookers & blow.

MM- Tell us about some of the best shows that you have played so far?
Fenix: Vains of Jenna was a great show. Although I think they have some of our clothes. And I have Nikki Kin's Murderdolls T.hahaha.Ya know hair spray & chic pants all look the same .So I guess we left w/ each other shit. They have insane energy onstage. Any time we play w/ Rockets to Ruin is always fun. And there have been some really great gigs that we don’t remember all the details of. But those were some FUN nights.

MM-What is the hard rock/ metal scene like where you are at?
Fenix: There’s a lot of really heavy metal bands & bands w/ a STAIND kind of sound. But there are some really good rock bands too.

MM-Are there any great unsigned bands there that we should know about?
Fenix: Oh,yeah North Carolina has some great unsigned bands.The first few that come to mind are The Fifth,Downfall & Romeo,Pyromatic,Blackwell. Theres alot.

MM-It looks like you have played with several cover bands before. What cover songs do you guys play live?
Fenix: You know,we use to play some Poison & LA Guns.Stuff like that.But we really don't play covers these days.We will be playing a couple of Motley songs @ Cruefest in April.

MM-Is there any difference between young glam bands today and glam bands of the 1980’s? If so then what?
Fenix: I really don't see that much of a difference. I think the new glam bands play this style out of love & respect they have for 80's bands.

MM-Where do you expect this band to be in the year 2010?
Fenix: Dead or in rehab. This is rock n roll. Its sex drugs rock n roll balls to the wall 24/7.That catches up to you sooner or later. Ya know, its the facts of life. And the hazards of what we love.

MM-If someone gave you $15.00 to be used for buying an album that came out in the last two years then what would you buy?
Fenix: Wow. Thats a good question hmmmm...The last CD I got that I can put in and let play all the way trough was "Love Drugs Rebellion" by Rockets (To Ruin) plus if you buy the album that will help their midget porn fund. 'Cause a midget is a terrible thing to waste. And you'll fucking love the CD.

MM-Pick the band from the following pair that you prefer and tell why.

Crash Diet or Vains of Jenna
Fenix: I'll say VOJ, ‘cause we've seen them in action live. And I wanna get my Crue shirt back. haha

Bang Tango or Faster Pussycat
Fenix: Ooooh. That's a tough one. But The T-Army has always supported us & My vocals get compared to Taime a lot. So I'll go with FPC.

LA Guns or Roxx Gang
Fenix: Damn!You're not making this easy are ya? Love LA Guns & was a HUGE Roxx Gang fan growing up. I know I'm in a minority here. But if I could go back to 1988 and see one concert, I think it'd be Roxx Gang.

Guns and Roses or Motley Crue
Oh shit! you're killing me here. Overall I am a bigger Crue fan. But I'd love to have seen the old GnR live. I've seen Crue 100 times.

MM-Is there anything else that you would like to say about your band or your music?
Fenix: Just want to thank everyone that has supported Smashed Alley. All those that have bought the CD,come to the shows & our sponsors.You allow us to play rock star.And for that we are grateful.And if you don't know who Smashed Alley is check us out @

Thanks to Fenix for doing the interview.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thor-Into the noise

Sudden Death

I remember looking in a Hit Parader or one of those magazines back around 1984 or 85 and seeing a picture of this huge bodybuilder looking guy with leather, chains and it seems like he had some mean, snarling dog on a leash as well. Upon reading the short article I was enlightened to the fact that this was Thor and he was a metal vocalist. Now being a teenager then I was into metal as well as comic books and pro wrestling. So a huge guy who was also doing metal was a thing of interest then or at least a somewhat interesting gimmick. Fast forward twenty plus years and Canadian Thor is still plugging away with this his latest release. His look is different, but his vocals still sound well enough and his music is generally along the same lines as most of his previous releases. Somehow I inevitably think of Manowar while listening to this album. It's not that the music sounds that much like them per se, but the lyrics contain a lot of the battle and stand up and fight type lyrics. The lyrics are pure cheese, but they make no pretense about being otherwise so I guess it's part of the image. The majority of the tracks are medium paced, fairly heavy and very much rooted in a 1980's style of metal. The most unusual aspect of this album is likely the amount of instrumentals as five of the twelve tracks are instrumentals. The instrumentals are very much focused on the guitar, but not of the self-indulgent variety. I liked all of those tracks enough, but I am not sure it really needed that many instrumentals. I found the album to be decent enough yet there were a few moments where I was losing interest because there isn't much of an attempt to reach past a very basic approach. Thor's image might still be larger than life, but despite some good guitar solos his material is closer to being just somewhat above ordinary.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jetboy-The Glam Years


This set includes a DVD and CD so I'll guess I'll tackle the CD first. It contains 21 tracks recorded between 1984 and 2006. The first ten tracks were far and away the best material here because they have a definite Hanoi Rocks influence. All of their tracks were fairly simple yet it's the raw energy of the earlier material that seems to suit them far better than the later material. The songs from 1987-1989 have much more of a safer almost more processed sound. They are decent enough, but far from being special. After that we get into the early 1990's and the band got heavier as they were trying to get back on a label and they thought playing more metal was the trend to follow. This disc as a whole is of decent sound quality and it's a fairly good retrospective of the band's different styles over the years. Next up is the DVD which includes a live show from 1986, a band history type film and a photo gallery. The live show was done at the Whiskey in the summer of 1986 and the sound and picture quality are a little fuzzy, but good enough. The band's sound at this point still had some of that rough quality that I certainly liked. The music is very basic and the lyrics are nothing to get excited about, but it's fairly pure, fun hard rock that's played with a fair amount of attitude. It's a shame they didn't push this sound further once they got signed. The band documentary tells the story of the band from their formation in 1983 up to their current comeback statis in 2007. The story is told through interviews with the current line-up of the band. They are honest and candid as they tell their tale of how they rose from playing in San Francisco to eventually getting signed. They also share their their frustrations about being dropped by two major labels and their sadness about the situation with their original bass played. This documentary is better than others of the same variety that I have seen just due to the fact that there was no rock star attitudes and not a lot of complaing either. They were just sharing their story and it across as being very genuine which really worked. Jetboy are a bit of a casualty of the time because they never really made it into the big time and part of that was who they signed with and part of it was just that the scene was a crowded battlefield at the time and not everyone came out a winner. Still this is a great package with a pile of material that will please and fan of the band and could certainly serve as a good introduction to those just starting to get into the band.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What's coming up?

What does this bear have to do with metal? Not much except I left work early because of the weather and I checked out a DVD of Yogi's cartoons and watched them with my kids when I got home. He was one of my favorites when I was a kid. Last night after the kids finally went to bed my wife and I played the 1980's version of Trivial Pursuit while we watched Cheers. It was fun and I did better than I thought would at the game. Anyways here are the topics I hope to have out this week.

Interviews with...
Smashed Alley

Reviews of...
Jetboy-The glam years
Fireborn-A deadly premonition
Thor-Into the noise
Death Angel-Killing Season

and probably a judge the album cover or clash of the album covers.

***Have a great week.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ten things I think about hard rock/metal in 1988.

Hard to believe that 1988 is twenty years ago. Here are some thoughts I had in thinking back to that year.

1)I think this was the year that major labels really starting signing a number bands without a good idea of how to use or promote them.
2)I think that for the second time a David Lee Roth album was better than the Van Halen album released the same year.
3)I think that Megadeth should have taken more time in doing their album "So far, so good, so what".
4)I think that overall 1988 was one of the weaker years in the 1980's for metal and hard rock.
5)I think Slayer's "South of heaven" was a good album, but unfortunately it was bound to be compared to "Reign in blood".
6)I still can't believe the sound and image change that Celtic Frost attempted in support of their "Cold Lake" album.
7)I think that Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime" is overrated.
8)I think that Iron Maiden's "Seventh son of a seventh son" is underrated to some extent.
9)I think AC/DC hit the lowest point of their career in 1988.
10)I am not big on Metallica's "And justice for all", but I do think that it's popularity very much helped metal stay in favor.

Interview with Vanity Ink


Vanity Ink hail from Finland and recently I got to interview guitarist Juha Bandit and bass player Miki Peltola. There were times here where I felt like I was in an Abbott and Costello routine on this one. However, after hearing their "On your skin" CD I can certainly say this is a band that is really worth checking out.

MM-Tell us about your band?
JUHA BANDIT: It..s a rock band.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, and a good one.

MM-Your sound seems rather varied. Who are your influences?
MIKI PELTOLA: Uuuhh, where to start...? Anything everything anywhere everywhere anytime everytime. You live you learn and pick up things from what you see and do. This is our life, you know?

MM-What was the first or some of the first rock albums that you really got into?
MIKI PELTOLA: Mötley Crüe: Shout at the Devil, Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind and Motörhead: Iron Fist. Still love them.
JUHA BANDIT: Dingo: Nimeni on, Guns n.. Roses: Appetite for Destruction, Smack: On You, Rattlesnake Bite and Salvation, Mother Love Bone: Apple, Joan Jett: Good Music.

MM-Were any of you in any bands prior to forming Vanity Ink?
JUHA BANDIT: Yes many of us were.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, I totally agree.

MM-Your album “On your skin” came out earlier in 2007. What has been the reaction to it?
JUHA BANDIT: At first I didn..t want to listen to it until I fell in love with it.
MIKI PELTOLA: A kick ass album I would say. Try it, you might like it.

MM-Have you written any new material? If so then how do they compare to your previous material?
JUHA BANDIT: We are currently writing new material to the second full-length. Nah... writing sounds too artistic. We have a good time together, drink beer, put riffs together and wake up wondering where the songs came from.
MIKI PELTOLA: That pretty much sums it up. And of course the new songs are louder faster dumber more!

MM-What have been some of the top highlights for this band so far?
JUHA BANDIT: Finding these amazing friends in the band and touring. Every gig is a highlight for us. It doesn..t matter if there is two or two thousand people watching, we are still having a party of our own on stage.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, the party thing is our thing. Vanity Ink is a highlight.

MM-The line “rock n’ roll is not a lifestyle, rock n’ roll is a bloodtype” is in your song “Voyeur Boy”. On your Myspace page your have written “rock n..roll is not a lifestyle, it's a bloodtype” in two different places. So where did this motto come from,what does it mean to you and why is it important?
JUHA BANDIT: It runs in your veins and you have no other choice versus superficial crap.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, that's right. No choice. And being a walking talking rock'n'roll cliché is so groovy.

MM-Have you played much outside of Finland? If so then what size crowds have you played to?
JUHA BANDIT: Our debut album On Your Skin brought us to Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There's a lot of people there.

MM-You have done two EPs and one full length album now. Has your approach to songwriting and recording changed any since this band first formed?
JUHA BANDIT: When we were doing our second EP Vanity is a Full-time Job we wanted to try writing lyrics together. It worked even better than we thought so we wrote most of the lyrics to our full-length On Your Skin together too. You know, being wasted on the sunny rocks of Herttoniemi where you can see the whole Helsinki city...and to wake up wondering where the rhymes came from. That's something we are definitely going to continue with, being wasted together at the Herttoniemi rocks... I just figured out that it might as well be some good willing homeless bum who wrote the lines and put them in the hands of passed out rockers. Thank him...or her!


MM-Where do you get the inspirations for your song topics?
JUHA BANDIT: You have to find that bum to figure it out.
MIKI PELTOLA: I think I met him/her once when I was getting wasted in Kallio. The guy got some really wicked lines so we don't have to worry about the next album. There's going to be a lot of inspiration where to draw from...

MM-Why should people listen to Vanity Ink?
JUHA BANDIT: Just because. Let yourself be the one who found Vanity Ink in your neighbourhood. That makes you the cool guy around, a step ahead of your pals. And you can start a street team too.
MIKI PELTOLA: It's cool to listen to Vanity Ink. Be the first in line. Be trendy and love us.

MM-What goals do you have for your band in 2008?
JUHA BANDIT: To record the next album and to play more gigs in Finland, Italy , Bosnia and Herzegovina and maybe Russia too.
MIKI PELTOLA: And play some more gigs around the world.

MM-Is there anything else that you want to say about your band or your music?
JUHA BANDIT: Rock n roll is not a lifestyle it..s a bloodtype!

Thanks to Juha and Miki for doing the interview.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sir Lord Baltimore-3 Raw

JG Records

The early 1970’s saw a fairly large outpouring of early metal bands. Some had immediate impact on the scene like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple while others never quite got their due. I think Sir Lord Baltimore managed to really establish their own style on just their two albums. Those being Kingdom Come from 1970 and the self-titled release from 1972. The band did begin work on a third album in the mid-1970’s, but it fell through. However in 2006 original members vocalist/drummer John Garner and guitarist Louis Dambra got together and finished recording six tracks to make their third album. The bass duties were handled by Sam Powell on two tracks and Tony Franklin (The Firm/Blue Murder) on the other four. The opener "(Gonna) Fill the world with fire" rips on with some big thick drums and it is somewhat of a cross between the 70's and maybe even some 80's influences as well . Garner's voice is a little less deep, but a perhaps far more in control. Obviously the band’s lyrics have developed a christian leaning that was not present in their other albums. Next up is “Love Slave” which is kind of a medium/slow with vocals that remind me a little of ZZ top and then it takes off and the vocals and music just carry it along. “Wild white horses” is the first song here that really sounds like it could have come from 1970’s. It’s slow and steady with and accoustic beginning and again it's another solidly crafted track. Track four “Rising Son” reminds me a little of perhaps mid-70’s Led Zeppelin with the way drums are arranged. However the vocals go up really high and kind of stay there. It felt like a rock band trying to do disco and it just really didn’t work for me. However they tear back into it with “Cosmic Voice” which has a simple, but huge riff plunging forward. It’s probably as based in the 70’s as “Wild white horses”, but it’s perhaps the song on this album that is closest in style to their other two albums. Yet, it still has a confidence and even a sense of patience that they never had before. Again Garner reaches out with range and it's really hard to believe that he is still this good thirty plus years after their last release. The final cut is “Mission” which wastes little time in getting started and it's a strong, plowing rocker. The album is certainly different from their other releases and that’s expected as other veteran acts that are still going like Deep Purple, Blue Cheer and Budgie all sound different than they once did. I liked that SLB took their time with the songs and displayed a real confidence in what they were doing. I would prefer a band do what they are confident in rather trying to imitate the past just because that’s what they think should do. I think this album shows that they still had a lot to give. Definitely one I will be playing over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Rainer Wiechmann & Mole

Rainer (guitar/bass) and Cindy Wiechmann (vocals) are known on this release as C and Rhino, but both were members of Helix at one point. The music contained on this disc is certainly more than a little removed from Helix. The style here is far more metal than hard rock with some definite roots in say a mid-tempo 1980's style of metal. The first perhaps four tracks were honestly kind of unimpressive. Not exactly bad, but just kind of bland and predictable as far the music goes. The vocals were a little better, but they just fairly limited in what they could or at least what they were trying to do. I was actually having trouble forcing myself to go on at that point, but I was glad that I pushed on. Then on track five the music suddenly came alive as the bass can be heard, the guitar gets beyond just couple of parts and the vocals have emotion and a decent amount of range. I am not sure how or why this transformation occured, but after this switch the band keeps this momentum going through most of the rest of the album. They manage to change the pace easily and get beyond the simplistic and generic sound I was afraid they would be stuck on. The vocals of C are really on for most of the album although they could have come up a little in the mix. The music moves along well enough and they are not pushing any boundries, but it kept my attention. I would have liked this style a lot twenty years ago and it's appealing enough now as well. I still think this band's playing talent is greater than their writing and if the writing could come up to the level of the performances than they might really have something.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008



Sotckholm, Sweden's Badmouth just formed last summer and already they have an EP out and are touring soon. The opening track "Pedal to the metal" comes blasting on sounding somewhat like a cross between early Skid Row and Dokken. The music is simple, but tight and the vocals fit in well enough. The next track "Super-Sassy glossy lips" is fortunately not as awkward as the song title. This finds the band going at more of a mid-tempo yet they have a steady grip on where they are going and it works well enough. However, they begin to lose me a little after that. "Cocaine girl" has more of an AC/DC rhythm at it's heart, but unfortunately not enough energy to make it more than just okay. "Rivethead" is an uneven track that just sounds like nothing about it is ever really fleshed out. The music is just kind of there at best and the vocals kind of happen, but they don't do much on their own or help out the song as a whole. This song honestly felt about twice as long as it really was. "Dance Little Sister" has a thick guitar sound, but it's somewhat undermined by being too repetitve and the flat vocals ensure that the song never really gets going. "The Last Train" has the band raising the bar somewhat as everyone seems on the right page and they actually seem to have a gameplan as to how to make this song work. Nothing special, but decent enough and better than the previous three songs. Really this is just a mixed bag although even the better songs are really just fairly good. I like some of the guitar sounds and it's maybe a little refreshing that a band from Sweden is playing straight hard rock instead of glam. However, they are really lacking the hooks, and the energy and drive that the better hard rock bands bring. Also the vocals were oftentimes a bit too flat for me and that didn't help as it actually made the songs even more tedious. I really think they need a lot work to avoid getting swept under by a lot of much better bands that are coming out today.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Battle of the band names

This is very simple, I just list two band names of obscure or at least semi-obscure bands and you say which one you prefer. So we have....




**Which band name do you prefer?

Elegantly Wasted-Desolation Row


With all the hard rock/glam bands pouring out of Sweden and other places it almost seems a little shocking these days to find a young hard rock band that is actually from LA. Yet Elegantly Wasted are indeed based in LA and this is their second release. It took me several plays to really figure out what I thought about this one. It's likely that I was taken aback by the somewhat simple approach at first, but eventually it set in that this style works for this band. Sometimes a little is more than enough if you know what to do with it. This band sounds roughly like a mix between Guns and Roses and Stone Temple Pilots. That woulds be G-n-R back when they were about music instead of just about empty promises and STP say during their first two releases. The music is simple, but overall effective due to the fact that they know how to use their chops and they waste no time in moving the songs along. The vocals from Lenny J. were also consistantly appealing and managed to be both smooth or raw according to what the moment called for. Somehow this album sounds like a band who loved 80's hard rock, but unlike a lot of hard rock bands they were not put off by early-mid 90's rock as well. The two styles are not that different in some ways and this band took some of the stronger elements of both and blended them. No, the result is not overwhelmingly different from anything you have ever heard. However it's a bare bones rock album that actually rocks and I think that is all they are trying to accomplish. In a day of sometimes overpolished, overdone and overcomplicated music I found this album to be a fairly refreshing release that I will probably being loudly over the next few weeks.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Interview with Rick Ferrante of Sasquatch


Sasquatch play a very 1960's/1970's influenced style of metal. They are based in LA and are on Small Stone records. I recently interviewed drummer Rick Ferrante to find out more about this band.

MM-Tell us some about the history of this band?
Rick: Can’t really remember dates, but it started in Philly by Keith, and then he moved to LA. I {Rick} met him in 01 or 02 through He met Clay & Tom Oz, played with them a while, then I came in.

MM-What are you currently working on?
Rick: Writing songs for CD #3, TRYING to line up a Euro tour & more US dates. IF the gas prices don't get too fucked up.-You changed bass players last summer.

MM-How is the current line-up working out?
Rick: Great! We knew Cas from other friend's bands, plus we shared a rehearsal space with him already. Great guy, responsible, plus he is Italian! Now we have an all Wop band!

MM-Is Cas from LA or did he move them from some place else like he rest of the band?
Rick: He is from Chicago & used to play in the Small Stone band "Tummler".

MM-What is the most difficult thing about adjusting to living in LA?
Rick: Traffic, crowded, expensive to go out, rent, competing with trendy "Scenester" band bullshit to get good shows at good clubs.

MM-Has your approach to playing and writing changed any since this band formed?
Rick: I think just by staying together long enough, makes you want to try new things. We try to be somewhat consistent as well. We don't really mess with alternative/artsy/odd time/curve ball shit in songs. We still focus on a groove & a hook. It's all about "songs".

MM-You toured Europe with Roadsaw last year. How did that go?
Rick: We never did get to do that, the thing kinda fell through with the booking agent. This year hopefully.

MM-How are audiences in Europe different than over here in the states?
Rick: From what I gather, they seem to be more "into it" or appreciative of bands that come all the way out there to show them a good time. That is just plain bad ass cool! In a lot of those countries, it's all those kids have & they really show up & support. Here they seem to be more "Trend Followers".


MM-Obviously you like a lot of 1970’s hard rock/metal. What do you think made bands from that decade so special?
Rick: Feel, Soul, Identity, great singing & Blues influenced guitar playing. All that is really non-existent anymore. Listen to the acoustic song "Nikki" from our 2nd CD. That's old school "Singing".

MM-Since you are in LA have you shared a bill with any bands that you thought were way different from your style of music?Rick: Well, not by our choice, but sometimes we end up playing with a Punk influenced band, or a College/Alternative/Underground band or a "Modern" style Metal band. We prefer the latter. Not a lot of "our kind" of style Rock around here. You play on a mixed style bill; that band’s crowd sometimes ends up leaving after they get done. Wankers.

MM-On your Myspace page you talk some about your live show. What are you guys doing live that no one else is doing?

Rick: I would say focusing on good, old school guitar leads for one. Kind of a lost art it seems. A shame really.

MM-What do you hope to accomplish in 2008?
Rick: New CD & playing out more, Europe & here.


MM-Are you “Planet of the apes” fans or did you just think that picture would make a good cover for your second album?
Rick: Both! Roddy McDowell ruled! Plus, it symbolized the 70's influence & the ape/Sasquatch connection.

MM-Pick the band from the following pair that you prefer and tell why.

Fireball Ministry or Nebula
Rick: Both. Fireball for the old school solid Brit Metal {Preist/Saxon} that we dig. Nebula for the loose trippy Blues, Detroit/garage vibe.

Cactus or Mountain
Rick: Both. No explanation needed! Rest in Peace Rusty.

Budgie or Pentagram
Rick: Budgie. More Bluesey & Rock-n-Roll. But the darkness of Pentagram is great as well.

Electric Wizard or Orange Goblin
Rick: We are into more Rock than Doom, so I would say OG. I like the more Rock stuff from OG better than their older Punk influenced. stuff as well. I like the Electric Wizard stuff the same way I like the Pentagram stuff. Jus & Liz are nice people as well. Wish they would come back soon, we want take them to the pub for some beer & grub again! We can do German this time.

MM-Is there anything else that you would like to say about your band or your music?
Rick: Just that we hope to make some sort of mark & re introduce kids to the way Heavy Rock used to be like & should be like. Again, Bluesey influenced guitar leads & singing, feel, good hooks & grooves, solid drumming with a slight jazz influence with nice little fills...I am the drummer so I must throw that in...ha ha......Cheers brothers & Sisters!

-Thanks to Rick for doing the interview.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What's coming up?

I hope to out the following this week...

Interviews with...
Vanity Ink

Reviws of ...
Sir Lord Baltimore-3 Raw
Elegantly Wasted-Desolation Row

Something about an up and coming band on Myspace
and maybe a new feature called Battle of the band names if I get to it.

Have a great week!

Thieves and Liars-When dreams become reality


For some reason I always tend to frown whenever I find out a band has done a concept album unless it's King Diamond. With King Diamond I know by "concept" he means "bad horror story" so doing this format doesn't take away from the music, but for many other bands sticking to a concept often turns out to be a distraction. I guess the hard part is getting a balance between the music and the story. San Diego based Thieves and Liars have done a concept album about the story of Joseph. Perhaps a major key to doing a good concept album is to confortable with the story you are telling. That sounds simple enough in theory, but I think too many bands tackle lofty ideas and it can come off as stiff or dull. I think these guys are very much in touch with their topic and they come across as pretty good storytellers. Nothing is forced and they take their time and really build up their material which is a sign of good storyteller. The music has strong influences from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and even AC/DC on a pair of tracks. There isn't much of a blending of influences as each song seems to just sound like one of those and then the next track would only sound like one other band. Now they toss in their own ideas as well such as the strong vocals and they are a little heavier and play a little faster than the bands that influenced them. There were parts here and there where they rambled little, but generally it's a very promising effort and I seem to like a little more each time I listen to it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Interview with Gein of Gein and the graverobbers

Gein and the Graverobbers are a heavy surf instrumental band from Massachusetts and they have been around for about a decade. I recently interviwed guitarist Gein to find more about them and what they are wokring on.

MM-Tell us a little about how and when this band formed?
Gein-Myra and I formed the band in the winter of 1998 and Sloth joined shortly there after. By 2000 we had a steady line up and released our first EP.

MM-Who are your influences?
Gein-The major influences for G/GR would be Dick Dale, The Phantom Surfers, Iron Maiden, Slayer, and early Metallica.

MM-What are you currently working on?
Gein-Well, we just got a new bassist so now that he’s pretty much all got up on older songs we’re starting to show him the newer stuff. We’ve got about 5 new songs in the works right now. Once we have 10 or so we’ll look at recording the next CD.

MM-Why do you think it is that there seems to be a lot of surf and rockabilly bands from the New England area? Why do you so many of them choose a horror or sci-fi theme?

Gein-There’s definitely more rockabilly bands than surf in this area. Boston has had a pretty good rockabilly scene for a while now. There was a good surf scene about 7 or 8 years ago, but it’s kind of dwindled over the years. A lot of surf bands go with the Sci-Fi theme, but horror was always more my thing. I guess neither one really has any kind of connection to surfing, but the music lends itself well to different thematic elements. Also, I think shtick is important for any instrumental band… you need something to take the place of a lead singer.

MM-Who are some of the best unsigned bands in your area?
Gein-Mustang Cobra and Black Pyramid are two of my personal favorites.


MM-How do you think that this band has progressed since you first formed?
Gein-Our songs have got more complex over the years. We’ve gone from 2 minute songs with just 3 or 4 parts to 5 minute songs that have more of an Iron Maiden type of arrangement. Although we keep the “surf-tone” we’ve been getting more metal with our writing.

MM-You have toured Europe before. Are the fans there any different than here in the states?
Gein-People in Europe seem to be more open to different types of music. When we played over there no one asked why we didn’t have a singer. They seem to just get it. Maybe it was just because we’re from the US, but they seemed a bit more star stuck too… asking for autographs etc. That was pretty cool. All and all we got treated very well over there, both by fans and by the venues.

MM-You and Myra are both in other bands besides this one and you run your label Necro-tone with James Kozik of the Crimson Ghosts. How busy are you with all of those projects and does it give you enough time for each project?

Gein-We keep pretty busy with all of our various projects. Between Ghouls Night Out and Gein and the Graverobbers Myra is playing most weekends. My side band Crimson Ghosts pretty much just tours once a year and doesn’t do a lot of local shows… so it’s pretty low key. Other than that we just try and keep up with mail-order, working with distributors, booking shows, etc. etc….

MM-What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Cannibal Holocaust

MM-Are the Phantom Creeps still around, on hold or is that band done?
Gein-Nope, the Phantom Creeps broke up a few years ago. John and I still have our side project The Crimson Ghosts. We don’t typically play many local shows; we just go on tour once a year and put out a release every now and again.

MM-What sets your band apart from other bands?
Gein-As far as surf bands are concerned, I think we’re the only one with a real metal influence. We’re also the only horror surf band that is totally instrumental (as far as I know). Everything from the stage shtick, to the songs and album titles is dark/horror themed.

MM-What do you hope to accomplish in 2008?
Gein-I’d like to get our next album out and do some more touring.

MM-What should someone who comes to see you live expect?
Gein-I think we always put on a good energetic stage show… there is much trashing and the like. We usually adorn the stage in our spooky props and even get covered in blood from time to time. All that plus our fang-tastic music… quite a combo!

MM-Pick the band you prefer from the following pair and state why.
Iron Maiden or Judas Priest
Iron Maiden. I just think they’ve got cooler songs. They are definitely more intricate than JP. Not to mention they’ve got Eddie.

Misfits or Samhain
Samhain. Samhain is much darker and more creative than The Misfits.

Dick Dale or Link Wray
I guess I’d go with Dick Dale based on speed. He’s been more influential on my style of playing.

Metallica or Slayer
Well, if Metallica quit after “…And Justice for All” I’d pick them. But, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. So, I’ll go with Slayer. Slayer has been much more consistent than Metallica when it comes to putting out good records.

The Surfaris or The Trashmen
Definitely The Trashmen… they are way more surly and mean. I dig the more trashy sound.

MM-Is there anything else that you want to say about your music or your label?
Gein-I guess I’ll just plug the websites –

-Thanks to Gein for doing the interview.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Scarlet Violet-Ready to rock

Self – produced demo

This glam band from Milan, Italy formed back in the fall of 2005. Their five song EP is of fairly good sound quality and the music is certainly promising as well. They are more guitar heavy than a number of bands playing this style and that certainly works to their advantage. I was also impressed by the guitar solos which were far above the norm as a number of glam guitarists tend to struggle in this department. Not only did the solos sound very energized, but there was also a good sense of rhythm to most of them. The vocals have a deeper sound that reminded me a little of say 80’s Alice Cooper and Diamond Rexx vocalist Nasti Habits. Musically they sound like a real mixture of numerous 80’s bands, but they also sound like somewhat current Swedish glam revivalists Crash Diet and Loud n’ Nasty. Scarlet Violet have a certain amount of grittiness to their sound and that certainly appeals to me. The only problem I had was that a song or two tended to overstay it’s welcome and they probably could have ended thirty seconds sooner and that would have made those tracks a little tighter. That’s a minor complaint though as overall this demo certainly showed the band’s ability.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Iron Maiden-Live after death

Iron Maiden-Live after death

I remember back in late 1985 being in awe of the huge Live after death display at the mall record store as I stood in line waiting to pay for my copy of it on cassette. I was even more in awe when I actually listened to the tape and of course I just about wore the tape out. A few years later I bought the VHS version and was just struck by the overwhelming sounds and sights of this show. Of course I wore out the VHS copy with many repeated viewings, but now twenty some years later we get it on DVD. It’s a two disc set and the first disc is the show that was recorded at the Long Beach Arena back in 1985 on the huge World Slavery tour which was of course in support of Maiden’s fifth effort the 1984 release “Powerslave”. When this was recorded live concert videos were a fairly new concept yet Maiden set out to capture their live show and indeed they did. The visual side is that it was amazing then and it still is with the huge sets and incredible lightning. However that only adds to the real attraction which is the music and what an attraction it is. As individuals each member of this line-up was a tremendous musician, but together they sounded effortlessly phenomenal. Then add in the writing and you have undeniably the best metal band of the 1980’s and perhaps the best of all time. For this show Bruce is all over the place, hitting every note, running and just helping keep the machine constantly going. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith are easily the best all time guitar duo in metal and it normally liked Maiden’s songs had enough guitar parts to make three songs for normal bands yet it never felt cluttered because they knew how to arrange the songs just right. Nicko McBrain is just tearing it apart behind the kit and looking like he is having the time of his life and he probably is. Of course Steve Harris just makes it look way too easy as he lays down the meanest, busiest bass lines in metal and rarely even looks at what he is doing. I am sorry, but if you like metal and I mean real metal than you just really have to realize the greatness of this band and their importance to the genre. All too often hard rock and metal gets put down for being more about image than talent yet Maiden were and still are the prime example of a metal band with tremendous writing and playing ability. On DVD this show looks and sounds better than ever. The second disc has the band’s show from Rock in Rio in early 1985, video clips for Aces High and Two minutes to midnight, ‘ello Texas feature from 1983, the Behind the Iron Curtain documentary and The History of Iron Maiden - Part 2 documentary. My favorite feature from disc two is the History of Iron Maiden – Part 2 documentary because it tells all about the making of Powerslave and the subsequent tour. It includes a lot of interviews and behind the scenes footage that really allows one to fully appreciate the huge endeavor that this band undertook. This DVD would have been an amazing release if it were just the 1985 concert, but all the extras are just icing on the cake for this great package.

Interview with Kim Hooker of Tigertailz


The past few months have seen some real highs and lows for Tigertailz. Their "Thrill Pistol" album was released last year, but sadly their bass player Pepsi Tate passed away. The band decided to soldier on and I recently checked in with vocalist Kim Hooker to see what the band was doing.

MM-What are you currently up to?
KH-You mean Tigertailz? We're writing some new songs, waiting to hear about tour plans for 08 getting our website updated - and just getting used to things without Pepsi.-

MM-What has been the response to your album Thrill Pistol so far?
KH-It's been a really positive responce, lots of reviews and it was great to do a proper tour to support it.

MM-Did you approach writing and recording Thrill Pistol any differently than you did with Bezerk 2.0?
KH-We all have our own way of writing stuff. It was great to come up with new tunes that were completely new and not things that had been re-written.

MM-Any plans to re-release “Young and Crazy” or are the rights to that album tied up?
KH-We don't have the any plans to re-release it as yet but we may make it available to download from our website, along with the covers.

MM-When Pepsi Tate passed away last year was the decision for this band to carry on automatic or was there any talk of deciding to call it quits?
KH-We did talk about it. It's not only a question of what Pepsi would want as we know he would want us to carry on. It was a question of how we felt about things, how we should carry on if we decided to.

MM-How difficult has it been to carry on without Pepsi?
KH-Extremely difficult but it's like any artist, whether you paint or write songs or poetry, you can't just turn it off. Pepsi will always be a member of Tigertailz. He never left and he was never sacked.


MM-What have Tigertailz yet to do that you would like to accomplish?
KH-Just to have the recognition our songs deserve. If we get that then everything else will follow on.

MM-If someone came up to you and said they had never heard a Tigertailz album, but wanted to then which one would you recommend and why?
KH-Thats a really good question. I think Thrill Pistol as it's the newest and most relevant album. Plus I like the songs!

MM-How do you think the music business has changed since say 1990?
KH-The music business you mean record labels? Labels will cease to exist in their current form. I think artists will always need a form of label and representation but it won't be like it is now. People like Live Nation will become more involved in the other aspects of artists, merchandice, live performances. Recording and releasing music will start to become a smaller part of their role.

MM-It seems like your band had more in common with the LA glam scene than with glam from the UK. There didn’t seem to be a lot of LA glam style bands coming out of the UK. Is that accurate or not? If so then why do you think that was?
KH-We had our influences at the time such as Motley Crue, Ratt and Kiss. We were never interested in Poison or all the other L.A. bands that came after Crue. Our influences are mostly Crue, Ozzy, Priest, Van Halen Y&T bot the type of bands you would expect from us. Wrathchild were a little before us but I think they suffered from the industry and the way it treated them, just as we did. They had a great look and Stakk Attakk is a classic. I personally think the reason the U.K. never produced a band of any decent quality is becouse it became too diluted. Crue wanted to sound like Ozzy, Sabbath and Priest and then everyone wanted to sound like Poison so the third or fourth generation bands just didn't have the quality of songs and talent. I still don't see any good bands coming out of the U.K. All the 'new generation' of bands who think they're like us are really a mile off, nothing like us at all. We always tried to write songs that would stand up and had a good 'hook' look at Sweet and Slade, Mud, Bowie, those are the bands they should be listening to.

MM-What is the UK hard rock/glam scene like these days?
KH-There's a lot of bands around but I don't see a lot of quality. But I wish them all the best of luck.

MM-What younger hard rock/glam bands do you like?
KH-I don't really like any. The only new bands I like are people like Deathstars, I think they're really fresh and have something new to offer, they don't fall into your catagory I know but that's the sort of bands that interest me.

MM-Pick the band from the following pair that you prefer.
Hanoi Rocks or Motley Crue
-Crue always, worlds apart.

Aerosmith or KISS
-Kiss for me up until 81. Nothing could come close but then you had Motley Crue.

Wrathchild UK or Poison
-Wrathchild for sure.

-New York Dolls or Slade
Slade, I never dug the Dolls, never tuned into them, but Noddy's boys couldn't fail to write a great song! I recently saw them on tour and they were still great.

MM-Is there anything else that you want to say about your band or music?
KH-Kim, Jay and Matt have agreed that TIGERTAILZ will continue to release music and play Live in memory of Pepsi. The band are looking to play a few shows later this year and will announce details as soon as shows are confirmed.Promoters be advised - TIGERTAILZ are open for business.....Coming Soon TAILZ online Web site brings you the first full interview with Kim, Jay and Matt (to be uploaded here in the coming weeks). Get the official word straight from the band members themselves. In the interviews the guys talk about what they've been through over the last year and how they see the future of TIGERTAILZ. New TAILZ Web site. Talks are underway to refresh this official TIGERTAILZ site. The new site will feature a Pepsi Tribute section plus deliver new features where fans can register and manage their own details and get added to the TAILZ email list so you never have to miss out on what's going on. The new site will also move towards an ecommerce site whereby fans can purchase TAILZ music/video directly from the band as Digital downloads.

-Thanks to Kim for doing the interview.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Panzer Princess-Legacy of ignorance

2007 Demo

Sweden has been churning a great deal of bands in recent years who sound and look like the acts that dominated the Sunset Strip twenty some odd years ago. Panzer Princess certainly falls in this category on their four track demo. For me glam in the 1980’s sense wasn’t usually a gray area because I generally either loved a glam band or I hated them. Typically I liked the bands with grooves and distinctive vocals and got nauseous listening to watered down tripe to syrupy singers. Anyway, I need to get off my soapbox and back to this CD. Panzer Princess is in likable camp fortunately as they rely on thick not entirely predictable grooves and spirited vocals. They don’t exactly sound like any one band, but they are probably most similar to early Faster Pussycat and Star Star. I like the type of the glam that’s at least somewhat raw and has a spontaneous feel to it. I think this band has those qualities to an extent although it’s a little difficult to determine from just a few songs. My only real complaint would be that I think they may be lacking a little intensity at times. They tend to slip into parts than charge and while that may be minor I think it’s a trait that can separate a good band from a great one. Still I like what I heard and hope they get signed and keep pushing on in this direction.

Judge the album cover


It' s Human by Death. So do you like the cover, don't like it or is it just alright?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tarja-My winter storm


This is the second solo album from Finnish soprano and former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen. This is obviously her show as the music is largely in the background and her vocals take center stage. There is both classical arrangements as well as some metal guitar. There is certainly more symphonic elements here than just straight out metal stylings. There is little doubt that Tarja has a huge voice and a tremondous range. However, this style of music isn't just about range, but it's also about the vocalist's ability to convey emotion. As far as that category goes I think she is a bit hit and miss at times. Some songs are rich and flow nicely and the vocals cut in with an instant amount of charm and she manages to sway the mood of the song with her vocal inflections. However on other tracks her vocals although strong sound more like she is doing vocals exercises because the emotion is just not coming across. Great talent doesn't always translate to great songs if there is just not enough going on to sustain the whole song. The music although lush and spectacularly produced doesn't always work. It is more in the background and meant to compliment the vocals and many times it's enough and other times it just exists. This album is an ambitious effort considering how much really relies on the vocals and the fact that it's over an hour long. It's overall more hot than cold yet there were numerous moments where everythings came across being a little bland and cold. If you love her voice then this may be for you, but if you are expecting a complete solid album then it comes up way short.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Aces Wyld-Wyld Tonight


For some reason I think that I expected the EP from this Northern Virginia band to be more like mid-late 80's hair metal. Obviously I underestimated them because that's not really their style at all. The sound is much more like late 70's-early 80's hard rock with a firm emphasis on the rock part. There is no push towards sappy ballads or big sing a long lyrics, but rather it's straight ahead, rip and tear rock. The vocals have a definite edge and the rhythm section is certianly above average for this type of music. There are only five songs, but no fillers here as each track had it's own personality. At times they had a groove that was similar to Aerosmith and the tenacity of Ted Nugent. I also liked how the guitar just came in rather than feeling everything was planned. They certainly had several times where there was a bit of a spontaneous feel to the music and that's a huge plus because way too many hard rock bands try too hard to stick to a predictable format. The vocals were a little low on the first track, but they were on the rest of the tracks. This band has only been around for a little over a year so they could continue to grow even more. I believe they are recording another EP this winter so it will be interesting to see what they come up with on their next batch of songs.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

What's coming up?

It's going to be difficult to adjust to no football (no the pro bowl does not count as real football) this weekend. This week I hope to have out the following.

Interviews with...

Kim Hooker of Tigertailz
Gein of Gein and the graverobbers

Reviews of...

Aces Wyld-Wyld Tonight
Tarja-My winter storm
Scarlet Violet-Ready to rock
Thieves and Liars-When dreams become reality

and maybe a vinyl spotlight or a judge the album cover as well.

***Here is a question for you although it may only be me that thinks about things like this. What year in the 1980's do you think was the best of that decade for hard rock and metal?

The Devil and the sea-Heart and spine

Acerbic Noise Development

Acerbic Noise Development seems to be quickly developing into one of the top labels for cranking out consistently good and oftentimes unique acts. Louisiana’s The Devil and the sea fall into that mold on this their debut album. Playing basic rhythms without being overly repetitious or dull is a feat for any band, but these guys seem to be rooted in that style and they come fairly close to perfecting it. They know when play fuzzy, slow as can be riffs and they know exactly when to kick it up a notch and change gears. The sound is primarily stoner rock mixed with doom metal yet this band lean away from the typical “just sound like Sabbath” approach that too many bands stick to. Instead they have elements that also remind me of Sleep,YOB and others plus they bring some of their own ideas to each and every track here. The vocals alternate between growls, screams and other styles that fall in between those two categories. What I like most about this album is that the band does not in anyway feel obligated to do something just because that’s how everyone else in this style does things. This style allows them to erupt at different stages of songs, start the vocals well into a song and start a song way differently than you would expect. They are in control and they know it and this allows them to lead us around, but we are glad for this journey because it’s a trip then we have not all taken before. The Devil and the sea have found a method of delivering music that manages to be both comfortable and alarming and then go back and forth between the two. A very interesting release from these newcomers.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Interview with Aleksander Eriksen of Molotow


Molotow hail from Norway and recently released their album "feat. Rock & Roll". I interviewed vocalist/bass player Aleksander Eriksen and got to find out more about this band.

Tell us a little about how and when this band formed?
Molotow as we know it today first met in September 2004 when drummer Terry the Tank joined and finally completed the band. The rest of us had played together for a few years, but was moving out of our hometown, Horten, and heading for the capital, Oslo. We soon decided to build our own place to rehearse and record and that was the beginning of Molotow and “feat. Rock & Roll”.

Who are your influences?
It’s different from member to member, but mainly everyone who makes good music. Actually it can be everything from 80’s giants as Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi through Swedish 70’s pop acts, symphonic metal and Norwegian rock acts as Turbonegro, Span and Gluecifer. It’s all about getting the influence from the right part of the music! In other words: The raw guitar licks and the catchy melodies.

What is the music scene like in Oslo, Norway?
Musically it’s a good mix of rock, indie, metal, pop, singer/songwriter, both great and shitty bands, like everywhere else. Like many other places there are more bands than places to play, which makes it hard to get good gigs without the right contacts. It’s actually nothing to complain about, after all the more bands the more great (and shitty) music you get, so it makes us more eager to stand out in the crowd. We play the local rock scenes from time to time, but we’ll focus on getting out of Oslo in 2008. Sweden, Germany and Norway will be our priority this year, though we welcome record buyers from all over the world!

What has been the response to your album “feat. Rock & Roll”?
The reviews we get are beyond every expectation! Playing 1980’s style rock & roll these days you don’t expect good reviews, though we think the album rocks (of course, we wrote it!). Surprisingly almost every review gives us credit for standing out as a fresh breath in the sleaze-rock genre. We have record buyers from Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, USA and Switzerland. We get fan mail from Italy and Japan. Our single, “Beam me up (for glam and glory), is listed on radio stations in Norway, Italy, USA and UK and it was also chosen to promote Glamnation vol. 1 in USA and another compilations in China.
What can we say? It’s been a good year!

Where is your album being distributed so far?
Our album is digitally distributed in over 200 online music stores in 26 countries. It’s also available in records stores in Scandinavia.


Do you have a tour lined up yet? Any chance you will play any festivals in the summer?
We are currently working on booking for 2008 and we’ll play as many gigs as possible. Hopefully you’ll see us in a few festivals in Europe as well. Check out the gig section on for updates!

Obviously you guys are very much influenced by music from the 1980’s. Why do prefer music from that decade to music from other decades?
It’s just the whole setting. The rock & roll image, the stories, the music. If we only were teenagers in the 80s…

Why should people buy your album?
Because it’s great 80’s rock & roll with a modern sound! And if you like it, you should really look forward to the next album, which we are recording right now.

One of the things I was most impressed by on your album was the production. Has anyone in the band had much prior experience in producing any music?
Our lead singer has a sound engineer education and has written and produced music of his own for several years. We ended up building our own studio to record this album, which made us “time independent” to experiment and do things the way we wanted. The album was mixed by our good friend Jonas Kroon at DaVinci Studio ( and he has also been involved as a producer. He’s done a fantastic job and we decided to bring him in earlier in the process now that we are working on our second album.

Since you are playing a style of music that’s based on something from 20 years ago, do you get many younger fans or is your crowd mainly over 30?
Actually it’s everything from 10 to 50 as far as we know. It’s not about age, it’s about the dedication to rock & roll.

Do you play any cover songs when you play live?
No. We used to mix a few covers into the set a few years ago, but we feel we have enough good songs of our own.

What current bands do you like?
Oh, that’s tough to answer because we all have quite a different taste in music. Some like the mother. Some like the daughter. In Molotow we like the whole family! Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Gluecifer, Span, Nightwish to mention some…


How has your music and songwriting progressed since you formed?
It’s taken a hell of a step forward from the first songs! I guess it’s natural to use a few years to find your style and we are now pretty confident in the sound we’ve created. Every new song sounds Molotow one way or another and variety is more and more present. Arrangement is important to us so that’s something we work a lot on, though less is more doesn’t quite cut it for us.

What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2008?
At the end of 2008 we have released our second album, which hopefully is a huge success. We have created a name in the rock & roll business and our fan base has grown from big to huge!

Is there anything else that you want to say about your band or your music?
Get your ass to and listen to a few tracks. If you like it, buy the album! If you don’t, come back in spring 2008 and listen to some new tracks. If you don’t like them either, just keep your distance!

-Thanks to Aleksander for doing the interview.

Lillian Axe-Love and war

Metal Mind
1989/2007 Re-issue

The band’s sophomore effort was the point in their career where they spread their wings out musically and really establish their own style. They were still a hair metal/hard rock band with huge melodies yet they began to add more elements of progressive music. The result is that the styles compliment each other and Lillian Axe were playing a style that was at least fairly unique for 1989. Even though the lyrics were standard for the day, the overall feel was a perhaps bit more serious than the other big-hair topped, spandex wearing bands. They had a good grasp on to really use their music to get as much out of every note, change and turn as they could. That’s say something for the time as I think too many of their peers were only too glad to crank out something that was light, easy and oftentimes very repetitive. The overall feel is that this was tight release for a band at any stage in their career, but perhaps that’s a fairly impressive point considering this was only their second album. There are times where they remind me of Dokken and Def Leppard at times, but they are a little more involved than those two bands. Again Metal Mind has delivered another quality re-issue that sounds great, comes with a booklet and goes for a decent price.

Lillian Axe-s/t

Metal Mind
1988/2007 Re-issue

I always think of 1988 as possibly the first year of a real outpouring of hair metal/hard rock bands. Most major labels were really starting to pick up a lot of these bands although they didn’t always give a lot of thought as to how to market them. Louisiana’s Lillian Axe had the look that a lot of other bands had and the lyrics were very typical of the style and the times. However even on their debut they obviously had a bit more playing ability than the majority of the pack who were swarming around this style at the time. Yet the overall writing is somewhat typical of the upbeat, party-going type hard rock that was peaking by this point. This band also had Ratt guitarist Robin Crosby produce this album so that connection was thrown out a bit at the time, but they didn’t really need it because stands up pretty well on it’s own merit. I always thought this band a had smooth flow to their music and even when they do slower songs then tend to be low on sap and a little higher on style. The band would soon grow after this album, but it’s a nice start. This CD had been fetching high prices in recent years on eBay, but now the good people from Metal Mind have re-issued it for a reasonable price and it includes a rather thick lyric booklet.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Clash of the album covers

It's a battle of the birds or something like that. We have Manowar's Battle Hymns




Saxon's Wheels of steel

***So which cover do you prefer?

Naked Beggars-XXX

SMA Recordings

I have always a been a big fan of Cinderella (that being the band not the princess), but this band that includes Cinderella bass player Eric Brittingham and his wife vocalist Inga doesn’t sound exactly like Eric's other band. Their third album is sort of blues based, but quite a bit different as it touches more on say a 1970’s style of rock. Maybe early Aerosmith and early 70’s Stones come to mind briefly yet they are carving their own niche as well. There is a definite groove that relies largely on a subtle yet smooth approach that really allows the listener to soak in everything. It’s very much the opposite of bands who feel they get in your face from the get go because I think this band is confident enough in their ability to carry a solid song for the entire duration of the track. They slip into the hard rock style at times, but this is certainly just as much a regular rock album with a dash of southern rock sprinkled in. The production is slightly raw as well and that approach tends to bring out the strengths of this release. I would say the hooks could have been a little sharper and more plentiful at times. A few songs give the impression that the band is gliding to the end of a song rather than trying to make the most of the moment. Still it’s a satisfying release that benefits from being different from most of the hard rock that is coming out these days.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Check out Keep the victim warm


Keep the victim warm are from West Virginia and play a style of metal that darws on death, thrash and ever progessive elements. They have four tracks up at their Myspace page for you to check out. I like how they really attack their material and easily use different tones here and there. The pace is often chaotic, but they generally seem very much in control so that works to their advantage. My only real problem was at times the vocals sound like they are being swallowed by the enormity of the music. That might a production issue, but it did happen a few times. Still these guys are really doing quite a bit and easily manage to keep it interesting.
So hop over and check them out.

Interview with Paul Arnold of At War

Speed metal band At War hail from the Virginia Beach area and released a couple of albums in the 1980’s. Now they are back, they have been playing shows and have a new album in the works. I recently got to speak with vocalist/bass player Paul Arnold to find out more.

MM-You reformed about a year ago, what are you currently working on?

PA- We are currently working on our newest CD it will be called "Infidel"! We are also rehearsing for our first appearance in Germany at the "Thrash Assault II" Festival.

MM-Do you currently have a label or will you be shopping your album around for a label or releasing it yourselves?
PA-We will shop and do have interest already, but we mat choose to release it on my label "Warmetal Records". It all depends.

MM-What were you doing before reforming the band?

PA I have an Electrical and HVAC contracting company that keeps me busy.

MM-Why did you break up in the first place?

PA-We never really officially broke up. Other things in our lives consume our time, but we never broke up.

MM-There have been a number of younger bands that play old style thrash popping up recently like Merciless Death, Fueled by fire and Municipal Waste. Do you think old style thrash is making a comeback?

PA-It looks as though it has, and I couldn’t be happier. The thrash scene seems to be one of the more tightly knit groups out there and we're proud to be a part of it. I also dig bands like Merciless Death, Toxic Holocaust, and Municipal Waste.If so then what role does At War play at this point?I'm not sure we have a "Role". Hell we do what At War does for the people who want to hear it and mostly for ourselves. People are always going to try to put you in a specific place in the scene and I just leave that to the people who want to do that. In the meantime I think we'll just keep playing real metal!

MM-You formed into 1983. Where you playing speed metal when you started or did you progress into that style?

PA- We started out playing the more obscure and faster songs from the bands we looked as at the time as being cutting edge in the world of metal, but we always gravitated towards the faster and more aggressive styles.

MM-Back in the 1980’s were there that many metal bands besides you in the Virginia Beach area?

PA- There we're a few hair bands but nothing like At War... that's for sure.

MM-Did you ever play much outside of the east coast?

PA-Absolutely! We played all over the US and Canada. We also got tons of airplay and record sales in Europe and South America.

MM-You still have the same band line-up. It seems like every band that formed in the 80’s has changed at least one member. What’s your secret?

PA-We are great friends and we all share the same feelings about At War. It is "OUR" band collectively. At War is held in high regard among all three of us and see it as our badges of honor to be proud of.


MM-Did you have any other label interest before signing with New Renaissance?

PA-Yes we were offered quite a few deals from Combat, Road Runner and Metal Blade, but went with NR. Their deal was what we felt was the best for us at the time.

MM-Along with you, New Renaissance also had such great bands as Executioner, Medieval and Blood Feast. Yet it seemed everyone who was on that label never went anywhere. Any ideas why?
PA-Small label, small budget. In retrospect it is true that NR just didn’t have the resources to really develop a band the way the bigger labels could.

MM-With the war going on, have you ever had anyone say something negative to you about your band name?
PA-Never. Even if they did it wouldn’t mean a thing.

MM-What metal bands do you like that have popped up in the last say ten years?
PA-I like Merciless Death, 3 Inches of Blood, Toxic Holocaust, and even though it's more punk, I really like the Casualties.

MM-Is there anything that you wished you had done differently in your career?
PA-You know... you can go down this would of, could of road all day and in the end it's not going to change a thing. Do I wish some things could have happened differently? Hell yes I do. I do feel that what we did do and are doing and will do with At War is definitely going to make an impact on metal fans all across the world. There are plenty of At War fans and we are here for them.

MM-Anything else you want to say about your band or your music?
PA- Keep your ears open for the new CD from At War entitled "Infidel" and an all new Live DVD all to be released in 2008. Thanks to you and all the At War fans for all the support through all the years. Check us out at

-Thanks to Paul for doing the interview.