by Brian LeTendreAs a diehard music fan, one of the most satisfying trends of the past several years is that the bands I grew up listening to are enjoying a renaissance, and many of the albums we are getting from them are among the best they've ever made.
Recently, Queensryche returned with a fantastic self-titled album, Motorhead just put put the killer Afterschock, and today, Stryper releases their latest effort, No More Hell to Pay. After listenting throigh it a few times since its midnight relase, I can confidently say this album fits right alongside The Yellow and Black Attack, Soldiers Under Command and To Hell With the Devil.
There is no filler on this album, only huge riffs, screaming solos and Michael Sweet's amazing vocals. The band sounds tight, with Oz Fox, Tim Gaines and Robert Sweet all in top form. This is Stryper at its best, and it's worth your money.
Check out the video for Sympathy below, then go grab this album from your favorite music shop, or over at www.stryper.com.
Are you sick of all the podcasts and books that Brian and I keep doing? No? Good!
I just posted the inaugural episode of my music show 'The Radio Eclectic'! Each month, I will spotlight a favorite band or artist and counting down my ten favorite songs by them. But it's not just me stringing music together, I'll be telling stories about the bands and songs and sharing some personal memories. To me it's like radio used to be. And of course...the show is all ages!
This episode is dedicated to the Beatles! For me music has always begun and ended with the Beatles. Their songs have been the soundtrack to my life more than any other and I look at this show as a celebration.
Not to mention the impossible chore of narrowing down the Beatles catalog to the ten best songs...then putting them in order!
I hope you enjoy the show and get ready for next month when I count down my 10 favorite songs from Deep Purple!
I have no idea how I missed this before, but as I was perusing Funny or Die this morning, I came across this little ditty that's an ode to G.I. Joe. It's a start-studded music video featuring Zack Galifianakis, Tony Hale, Julianne Moore and a bunch of other well-known faces. Thought I'd share it--Brian
by Brian LeTendre
I’m glad I waited several days before completing this review, as my knee-jerk reaction to hearing Megadeth’s new album Super Collider was not a good one.
Megadeth is by far my favorite band of all time. I’ve seen them in concert on almost every album since 1990's Rust in Peace. I have listened to Megadeth for more hours than I’ve listened to any other band (and as a metalhead since my middle school days, I’ve listened to a ridiculous amount of music). I was the kid who boycotted Metallica because they kicked Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine out of the band.
So it truly pains me to say that while Megadeth’s new album Super Collider is a decent, maybe even good rock album, it is not a good Megadeth album.
It’s not just that this album is less heavy and speedy than most of their catalog--although it is. It’s the fact it’s so vanilla. Megadeth has always been a band that consisted of amazing musicians, and Dave Mustaine is known for writing complex rhythms and iconic riffs. This album has little of of either of those things. Even the album’s best songs “Kingmaker” and “Dance in the Rain” show only flashes of brilliance before descending into cliched fills and flat solos that drag the overall songs down. The rest of the songs are just a grab bag of rehashed riffs, bad lyrics and phoned-in solos.
I might sound harsh here, punishing my favorite band for daring to experiment and try something new. But that’s just the thing--there is no new ground being broken here.
And that’s the real difference between Super Collider and the band’s previously most controversial album, Risk. While there was one real clunker on Risk ("Crush ‘Em") and the album was a tonal shift from their previous ones, Risk was full of creative and musically complex songs that still contained elements of Megadeth’s signature sound. Super Collider almost sounds like Dave Mustaine singing on someone else’s hard rock album. Risk is a better album than this one from top to bottom.
After several listens through the record, I can’t help but think that the music on Super Collider is beneath these guys. They are so much better than this.
Now, after 30 years of being one of the best bands on the planet, Dave Mustaine and company can do whatever they want. I can’t thank them enough for the thousands of hours of enjoyment I’ve gotten for their music. Megadeth’s catalog is full of amazing albums that I will be listening to for the rest of my life.
But Super Collider won’t be among them.
2.5 out of 5 Not for Me’s
P.S. If you want to hear an amazing Megadeth album, you need only go back as far as their 2009 masterpiece, Endgame. Twenty years after Rust in Peace, Megadeth proved they were still a force to be reckoned with. Yet another reason Super Collider is so disappointing.
by Brian LeTendre
While Suicidal Tendencies never rose to the level of metal’s “Big Four” (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax), they were definitely high up on the next tier with bands like Testament, Exodus and Overkill. Suicidal was a late entry into the thrash metal genre, as their roots were more in the hardcore punk scene. But, albums like How Will I Laugh Tomorrow and Lights, Camera..Revolution cemented Suicidal in thrash history.
I always appreciated the punk roots of Suicidal, as they brought a style to the thrash scene that few other bands did. Combined with the unmistakable vocals of Mike Muir, they were a band that had their own sound, and could stand toe to toe with anyone else.
Suicidal has broken up a few times and changed members over the years, and they haven’t been as active as some of the other 80s bands like Megadeth and Slayer. In fact, it had been thirteen years since their last studio album when they released the aptly titled 13 a couple months back.
My review can be summed up by the quote Mike Muir exclaims in the album’s first song--Suicidal’s back!
What a pleasant surprise this album is. From start to finish, 13 is full of energy, catchy riffs, great melodies and that skater punk vibe that Suicidal has always been known for.
From the opening tune “Shake it Out,” to the finisher “This World,” 13 is a great listen. it’s a complete record, with no throw away songs, and a consistent feel all the way through. I couldn’t be happier with it. And like most great albums, it gets better with every listen. When you start to listen past Mike Muir’s vocals, you can really start to appreciate how great guitarists Dean Pleasants and Nico Santora, bassist Steve Brunner and drummer Eric Moore are. All of them are outstanding on the entire album--Moore especially.
If you’re a Suicidal Tendencies fan from back in the day, absolutely pick this one up. It’s a worthy return for one of the best metal bands to come out of the 80s.
4 out of 5 Cyco Mikos
No matter what your taste in music, there is no denying the legacy and influence of the Ramones!
The Ramones emerged as part of the New York Punk movement of the 1970's but became more than just your average punk band.
"For me growing up, the Ramones were my bridge band," remembers Matman. "When my sister first introduced me to them around 1979, not only did I discover and love punk, but I went back and discovered much of the music that influenced them."
In 1978 The Ramones, in need of a drummer, added Marky Ramone and the classic line up of music's 'first family' was born. But Marky's life and career didn't slow down when the band broke up. In fact Marky is probably busier than he ever was.
Marky Ramone's Punk Rock Blitzkrieg can be heard on SiriusXM Faction Ch. 41 on Tuesdays from 8:00 PM - 11: 00 PM EST.
Musically he can be seen (and heard) laying down the beat for his own band Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, which includes ex - Misfits Michale Graves on vocals.
This weekend at Boston Comic Con you will be able to meet and chat with a true music legend. But if you want a more personal time than click the link below to find out about the Image Personalized Autograph Experience. This event is happening the night before the show on April 19th.
For information click here:
To find out more about Marky's amazing career, hectic schedule and cool stuff including PASTA SAUCE, head over to www.markyramone.com
by MatmanEveryone who listens to Secret Identity know that Brian and I are huge music fans! Next to comic books, music is probably our biggest passion. For me it has never just been about listening to the music, I needed to know everything about the bands I love.
For the past four years I have loved the music bios written by Martin Popoff! Martin's writing is not only clear and easy to understand, but the way he puts the books together (year by year, album by album) is the only way to write a music biography. In fact, Martin is the single biggest influence on my writing style.
His latest release is a must read for any music fans; 'Epic Ted Nugent'! In this almost 300 page read, we will see and hear the Motor City Madman like we never have before. If you know anything about Ted Nugent he doesn't hold back and according to Martin "Ted’s an amazing interview and one of the ones I had with him, is like one of the most outrageous I’ve ever seen."
To find out more info about this book, as well as other books I recommend (with the highest possible rating) about UFO, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and RUSH. He has other books about Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, and an incredible art book featuring the images of Derek Riggs, the artist of all things Iron Maiden.
To start your (and my) Christmas shopping now, just go to www.martinpopoff.com and shop, shop shop!
Well, we're finally home after the four-day odyssey that was New York Comic Con 2012. To say that this was a successful show would be an understatement, as we conducted over 40 interviews with creators, publishers, developers and business owners over the course of the show.
This year's interviews were a mix of familiar and new and while you'll hear the full list in the near future, here are a few of the folks we spoke with:
Jeff LemireJoe Caramagna Chris Giarrusso Jason May Jamal Igle Tim Seeley ...and many more.
We have a lot of people to thank, starting with ReedPop for allowing us to cover the show for another year. NYCC gets bigger every year, and really appreciate the folks at ReedPop supporting us again this year. We also want to thank Vin Ferrante and his lovely wife Lisa, for putting us up as well as giving us space at the Monarch Comics booth all weekend--they are the best.
Finally, thanks to all of you who listen to the show every week, as we would never be able to do shows like NYCC without your support.
We had a blast hanging out with a lot of good friends and talking to a lot of great creators. We look forward to sharing our expereince at the show with you over the next several months.
And we can't wait to do it all again next year.
There is always a fear of going to see a favorite band from the 1980's play live, one of those being the financial investment. Parking, ticket and dinner out may make you expect more from the band just to make your financial investment back.
But when you pay nothing for parking and tickets (because its all free) you can just relax and make devil horns!
Performing outside at Enfield, CT's annual 4th Of July Celebration, L.A. Guns were part of a three band bill featuring Warrant and Skid Row! I have always ranked 'the Guns' very high on my list of metal bands. They combined hard crunching riffs, ripping solos and a sense of melody that I loved. In fact, their second album 'Cocked And Loaded' is in my top ten of favorite metal albums. The current tale of L.A. Guns is a strange one! There are two versions of the band touring; one led by former guitarist Tracii Guns and this version (the real one) featuring vocalist Philip Lewis and drummer Steven Riley. You can switch out musicians much easier than the vocalist.
Hitting the stage as a four piece band (that took a little getting used to) they tore into classic song after classic song! Joined by guitarist Stacey Blades and bassist Scott Griffin, L.A. Guns put together an incredibly tight set that made me feel like time stood still. 'Never Enough', 'Electric Gypsy' and 'I Wanna Be Your Man' sounded as good now as they did then with Lewis hitting all the notes he needed to or changing a few arrangements so he didn't have to. Even newer songs such as 'You Better Not Love Me' and 'Revolution' fit in nicely. Not a weak song in the set! And yes... they did 'The Ballad of Jayne'! If L.A. Guns show up in your town you need to clear your schedule and check them out. And don't go expecting just to relive the crazy 1980s! Go to hear some incredible music and watch a band that live still is better than most out there. Matman Rating: 5 out of 5 great times!To find out more, please go to L.A. Guns official website at www.laguns.net.
In this weeks episode of the ‘SI Radio Show’, Matman spends some time with one of his favorite musicians, John Wetton.
Recorded at Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA, following the second show of UK’s ‘Night After Night 2012’ tour, Matt and John chat about the reformation of UK, the new ASIA disc coming out in June, the School of Rock and what it means to ‘slow down’!
“I’ve been a fan of John’s since 1982, when I first heard ASIA’s ‘Heat of the Moment’, Matman said. “In 2002 I met John and we became friends. What was real cool about interviewing him was we could talk about music and stuff. Usually we talk about our families, sobriety and God.”
Currently John is on tour with UK (with Eddie Jobson and Terry Bozzio) and in September he hits the road with ASIA. For more information just go to www.johnwetton.com.
To hear the interview, click onto the Listen Now page.