Saturday, June 29, 2013

Electric Six - Switzerland, 2006

Electric Six did happen to become an accidental discovery for me. Shuffle did its job of starting Pink Flamingos only to be switched to normal playback after few seconds. And it were the following tracks which managed to turn one happy accident into the deep interest for the band.

Six people: dedicated vocalist, two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards – you could play pretty much everything with such lineup. And this is exactly what they do – with musical irony and lyrical sarcasm, Detroit's optimism of a dying city and a kind of talent that seems unrealistic for the popular music of the 21st century. Although being rejected by the musicians themselves, my favourite definition of the genre they're playing is „disco metal“. And the place they've taken on my shelf is right next to Queen.

Switzerland – their third and my debut album. All other musical merits aside, it happens to be the most „rocky“ item in Electric Six' discography, thus becoming the perfect candidate for an introductory role (since the rest of repertoire, brilliant which it is, might request a little warm-up from a die-hard oldschool rocker).

Openning with The Band in Hell – a song in the best traditions of Tito & Tarantula and From Dusk Till Dawn. Have you ever been thrown overboard? Well, you're gonna recall it. By the way, the Southamerican topic is almost symmetrically supported at the end of the LP in Germans In Mexico. Fast songs have quite uniform distribution in the tracklist: I Buy The drugs, Pulling The Plug on the Party, aforementioned Pink Flamingos and a gastronomical rejoicing Slices of you – all worthy and melodic. Other titles like Mr. Woman, Infected Girls, Rubber Rocket and Chocolate Pope clearly state what this record is all about. Love.

I wish This Song Was Louder.

Wikipedia: Album|Artist

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Deep Purple - Machine Head, 1972

At the age of 16 I used to be a zealous purist of the seventies' progressive rock movement. I was barely beginning to discover the greatest rock discographies, and from within that yet undiscovered abundance could afford a luxury of not liking Deep Purple. Feeling respect, but by no means affection – finding their songs too chopped compared to the fluent melodism of Uriah Heep's golden line up's sound. Plus a touch of a teenage snobbery was involved to be completely honest. But that's not the point – the point is that even back then Machine Head moved every single muscle of my weird soul and I considered it exceptional at the very least. And by the way, for a long time I wouldn't believe that the cover art was produced in a precomputer age.

The record sounds rather a greatest hits compilation than a studio album. No, seriously - Highway Star, Maybe I'm a Leo, Pictures of Home, Never Before, Smoke on the Water, Lazy, Space Truckin' – all on the same album?! Juicily heavy, without a single slow three-hankie but with a plenty of marvelous guitar and organ sections, recorded by likely the greatest line-up of one of the greatest bands from the Known Universe – it's a freaking work of art! Once in Berlin I happened to see a “best of '72” compilation CD, which (out of about 20 tracks) included 2 titles from Machine Head.

So would it come as a surprise there is a Wikipedia article for each song and a tribute album to the album? And could it be you haven't heard it yet?

Wikipedia: Album|Artist

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards, Magician's Birthday, 1972

These two are one. You can tell it just by looking at the magnificent cover artworks painted by Roger Dean (also famous for his Yes and Asia covers). Then you check the release dates - only six months between two greatest albums Uriah Heep have ever put together. They were pushed hard, but they managed with honor - the newly formed lineup of unearthly gifted musicians which will forever stay the golden one, and which was not going to last long. In few years Thain would join the 27 club; the bottle would take over Garrick; star sickness over Hensley; even Kerslake would try his luck with Ozzy; and Box would be desperately searching for powers to save the ship, of which only the flag remains above the waterline. But all that was only going to happen later, right now they are in 1972, in the very middle of progressive rock blossoming over the United Kingdom and the rest of the Known Universe. 

And then you hear them... One after another, one as the continuation of another. Albums. And musicians. Opening with a delicate acoustic fingerstyle of The Wizard it immediately starts building up melodies in layers, twisting and overlapping within each song, still never obscuring the melody itself - clear and fluent. Faster and heavier with Traveller In Time and its a little bit surrealistic bridge in the end to the eternal action hit Easy Livin'. Poet's Justice takes off the tension a bit, leading us to the ending of the original side A - Circle Of Hands, which actually took me a while to appreciate. Nevertheless this ballad is exactly when Byron's voice makes me shiver and Thain reminds that bass guitar is an instrument indeed. 

Moving on to side B, Rainbow Demon probably did more for my artistic career than quarter of art instruction books I've ever read. I still ultimately adore the character, the image painted so thick, vividly and subtle at the same time with Ken's pen and David's voice. Measured and powerful - just stepped out of Warhammer universe – he... 

Guess that was enough bullshit for you to realize Uriah Heep are my favorite band. Thus it would be fair to deprive you of suffering further lines and discover the rest on your free will.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The list of recommended rock albums

So here goes THE LIST, which is the essence of this so-called website. It will be going through constant changes and adjustments, but at least from now on it is published. With time and despite laziness I'll be trying to share my notes, reasons and impressions for each album included. Let me know if you'd happen to find some use in it.

Adam West - Longshot Songs For Broke Players 2001-2004
Asia - Arena
Axxis – Back To The Kingdom
Bad Religion - The Process Of Belief
Beatles, The - Help
Beatles, The - Revolver
Beatles, The - Sgt. Peppers’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Beatles, The - Abbey Road
Black Sabbath - Never Say Die!
Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
Black Sabbath - Born Again
Black Sabbath - Seventh Star
Black Sabbath - Forbidden
Blue Van, The – Man Up
Cooper, Alice – Brutal Planet
Def Leppard – Slang
Dio – Holy Diver
Dio - Strange Highways
Dire Straits - Communiqué
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms
Dire Straits - On Every Street
Dream Theater – Images And Words
Electric Light Orchestra - Time
Electric Light Orchestra Part II - Moment of Truth
Electric Six – Switzerland
Electric Six - Kill
Emerson, Lake and Powell
Green Day – American Idiot
Hangmen, The - Cacklefest
Hangmen, The - We’ve Got Blood on the Toes of Our Boots
Humpers, The - Euphoria, Confusion, Anger and Remorse
Idol, Billy - Cyberpunk
Idol, Billy – Devil's Playground
Iggy And The Stooges – Raw Power
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Kiss - Carnival of Souls 
Kiss – Psycho Circus
Lake of Tears – Black Brick Road
Lawton, John – Heartbeat
Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Led Zeppelin - Presence
Madness - Wonderful
Manfred Mann's Earth Band – Angel Station
Meat Loaf - Welcome to the Neighbourhood
Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose
Monster Magnet - Powertrip
Monster Magnet – 4-Way Diablo
Motley Crue - Too Fast for Love
Motley Crue - Saints of Los Angeles
Nazareth – Exercises
Nazareth – No Mean City
Queen – Sheer Heart Attack
Queen – A Night at the Opera
Queen – Made in Heaven
Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow
Rainbow - Down to Earth
Rainbow - Stranger in Us All
Rush - 2112
Rush - Counterparts
Rush – Test For Echo
Santana – Supernatural
Sour Jazz - American Seizure
Sting – Ten Summoner's Tales
Supersuckers - The Sacrilicious Sounds of the Supersuckers
Supersuckers – Motherfuckers Be Tripping'
Tankian, Serj – Elect The Dead
Throw Rag - 13 Feet and Rising
Tito & Tarantula – Little Bitch
Uriah Heep – Magician's Birthday
Uriah Heep – Firefly
Uriah Heep – Conquest
Uriah Heep – Sea Of Light
Webber, Andrew Lloyd - Jesus Christ Superstar
White Stripes, The - Elephant
White Stripes, The - Get Behind Me Satan
ZZ Top - XXX

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hello World

I have a good reason to start a blog - Greed - strong desire to increase the income as effortlessly as it might seem. And for sure I know it won't work out. So what? Looks like I have something to say anyway.

Rock is dead. Nothing to listen to. No light in the end of the tunnel. All good records were issued in the previous century and are known by heart by now. Some of those guys are still alive, though just pretend to be kicking. Young punks... I cannot tell the difference between them. And the saddest thing is that's mostly true. 

Mostly. So long live rock. N'roll.

The problem is I'm not a teenager anymore (big issue, I know - still working on it). Which means I don't need music to show off, stand from the crowd or declare my unique and perfectly subtle taste. But I still need it as a drug, and these days mostly as a drug. I don't care that much how do they look, what do they play or where are they from anymore, I just need them to get me high. And I like rock. And rock is dead.

All my statements are completely subjective, usually intentionally unproved, hopefully provocative and most likely wrong. I know nothing about music, I just get my kicks from some of it. Neither I know anything about those musicians. But still there is my rock'n'roll. My stories. Don't take a word seriously - try to enjoy instead.

And instead of trying to review records (the World can survive without extra flow of expressed disappointment) I'd rather try to recommend - to write only about albums which I consider one of a kind - and to explain why.

I would have given a lot for a person who would name me the albums I will like. So if somehow my taste would seem close enough to yours - there is a chance you might find the crap I'm going to post useful and get some fun out of it. There might be even a slight decrease in the universal entropy - who knows.

The whole story in one picture...
This whole story in one picture...