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CD Review The Eels - Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996  2006 Volume 1


Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996 2006 Volume 1
Record Label: Geffen
Review by John Noyd
January 2008

L.A.‘s Eels are eclectic intelligence set to a rockin’ beat - imagine American Bandstand hosted by Hunter S. Thompson. A scatological novel where tragic memoirs are sung without remorse, “Essential,” beautifully ties together ten years of sabotaging formulas and stretching perspectives with Blue Velvet cool. The surreal and ideal congeal as corrosive curlicues of bluesy grooves melt into lyrical chamber pop then blend into literate hip-hop as acid-etched solos run over poetic piano reminiscing in childhood reverie. Sunny sarcasm meets cruel clichés as parables of parasites compete among the casualties of heartbreak, wringing truth and hope from bruised ballads and seething symphonies.  “Meet,” includes a visually stimulating DVD, but collectors should also investigate the companion set, “Useless Trinkets,” a collection of B-sides, soundtracks and rarities.


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CD Review Too Pure To Die - Confidence and Consequence

Too Pure To Die

Confidence and Consequence
Record Label: Trustkill Records
Review by Justin Beckner
January 2008

From the corny fields of Iowa comes a new force in hardcore music. Too Pure To Die has made a brutal entrance onto the scene with their debut album “Confidence and Consequence.” The entire album pulses with pure unfiltered anger, raspy vocals, squealing guitar riffs, and a relentless pounding beat that keeps it both edgy and catchy. The band’s raw talent and rabid hunger for touring will bring a smile to the face of any fan of hard rock.


CD Review Sebastian Bach - Angel Down

Sebastian Bach

Angel Down
Record Label: EMI/Caroline
Review by Kimberly E. McDaniel
January 2008

Sebastian Bach took a bit of a hiatus from rock music to concentrate on other projects after departing from Skid Row, most notably his critically-acclaimed turn on the WB’s “The Gilmore Girls.” It appears he’s back and ready to show the young whippersnappers a thing or two, and he has help from another 80’s icon on “Angel Down,” his first solo album in eight years. Probably the most talked about aspect of the album will be Axl Rose’s guest-starring turn on three tracks, a rocking cover of Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle,” “(Love is a) Bitchslap” and “Stuck Inside.” While this does remind me a little of Skid Row, it’s the heavier Skid Row a la “Slave to the Grind.” Bach clearly hasn’t lost his edge, or his trademark vocal stylings. Where this will fit in today’s alternative world remains to be seen, however, it is a great metal record. Fans of Skid Row and ‘80s metal will love this, and it’s probably the closest thing to a release from Axl Rose that we’re likely to see, well, ever.


CD Review Pachyderm Studio Compilation - So Large We Ran Out Of Room

Pachyderm Studio Compilation

So Large We Ran Out Of Room
Record Label: Pachyderm Studio
Review by Justin Beckner
January 2008

Pachyderm Studio is one of the true “vintage” studios still in operation today. Located on a 40 acre plot of old growth forest, the magical location is home to a Frank Lloyd Wright styled guest house as well as a separate building that houses the famed studio. The mixing board came from the old Record Plant in New York City which was Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland studios. Everyone from John Lennon to AC/DC has recorded on it. Nirvana recorded their “In Utero” album there as well as Live’s “Throwing Copper.” Pachyderm is also rumored to be haunted, but that’s another story.

The latest release from Pachyderm Studio, “So Large We Ran Out Of Room”” is produced by its new owner, Madison entrepreneur and musician Mattew Mueller, and was recorded by a mix of Pachyderm’s world-class engineer group including Brent Sigmeth and Paul Maino.

“So Large We Ran Out Of Room” features recordings of both Madison and Minneapolis artists and offers a quality look at our diverse Midwest rock scene west of Milwaukee. The best part is that you can experience this great album online while contributing to a great cause, the Pachyderm Preservation Project, an initiative to save the old growth forests surrounding the famed Pachyderm Studios from condo developers. Make at least a $1 donation to preserve these forests for future generations and to maintain the quiet surreal backdrop that has set the stage for so many great albums to be created. And in return, download a DRM free song from “So Large We Ran Out Of Room.” Artists on the compilation include White Light Riot, Gypsy Foot, Snake Beard Jackson, Shades A Grey, Down Lo, Fire the Gun (Donny Bakken’s Bliss under an assumed name doing Key of D), Karie Marie, the New Congress and more. Take a stand against the destruction of our world at the hooves of evil -swine, this may be the best money you’ll ever spend. Go to the web and check it out,


DVD Review Slayer, Mastodon, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Thine Eyes Bleed - The Unholy Alliance: Preaching to the Perverted

Slayer, Mastodon, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Thine Eyes Bleed

The Unholy Alliance: Preaching to the Perverted
Record Label: Columbia Music Video/American Recordings
Review by Kimberly E. McDaniel
December 2007

The Unholy Alliance tour was hailed as the “heaviest, darkest tour of the summer,” and with the line-up of Mastodon, Lamb of God , Children of Bodom, Thine Eyes Bleed and metal masters Slayer, it’s hard to imagine anything heavier. Each band is introduced with a short interview and the DVD then jumps to concert footage. Thine Eyes Bleed performs “Dark White,” Lamb of God “Vigil,” Children of Bodom“Angels Don’t Kill” and “In Your Face,” and Mastodon offer live performances of “Capillarian Crest,” “Crystal Skull” and “Blood and Thunder.” The bulk of the performance is, of course, Slayer, who perform ten songs, including “South of Heaven,” “Hell Awaits” and “Angel of Death.” In all, the DVD runs about two hours and is full of metal goodness, as well as behind the scenes interviews. If you missed Slayer on this tour, the DVD will give you an up-close-and-personal look of what you missed. It’s a little like having a front-row seat, so even if you were one of the lucky ones who caught the live show, you’ll likely still see something you missed the first time around. For fans of these bands, it doesn’t get much better.


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DVD Review The Ramones - Too Tough To Die: A Tribute To Johnny Ramone


Too Tough To Die: A Tribute To Johnny Ramone
Record Label: Starz Cinema
Review by Jeff Muendel
December 2007

In September 2004, several groups put on a show to honor Johnny Ramone as he battled cancer. While this movie revolves around that one-night benefit and tribute, it also serves as an excellent documentary about The Ramones as a band. With Rob Zombie acting as the host, acts including Debbie Harry, The Dickies, X, Eddie Vedder, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Henry Rollins took the stage to pump out Ramones songs. It’s brilliant, fun stuff. The show served to celebrate the Ramones’ 30th anniversary and to raise money for cancer research, but it was primarily a celebration of Johnny, who was the core of the band. Unable to attend because he was so sick, Johnny Ramone had meticulously put the show together. He died two days later, and many speculated that he only held on that long to see this show come off. His last show, if you will. In the weeks before his death, Johnny said of his band, “We knew we were good, we knew we were innovative. Still, I would never have expected that thirty years from then, it would really take off and grow exponentially, and we would be bigger than ever.” The live performances alternate with historical information and footage of The Ramones, which makes for an enjoyable romp between eras. Most of the performances are great, but X steals the show as their trademark sound blends perfectly with The Ramones’ no-nonsense songwriting. The documentary ends with Johnny Ramone’s funeral, and it is a truly touching tribute to his quest for both rock stardom and rock and roll perfection. While the movie is not yet released on DVD, it will be, and until then it can be downloaded at It’s worth the bandwidth.


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