Disc Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Endeverafter - Kiss or Kill

Endeverafter - Kiss or Kill

Endeverafter

Album Title: Kiss or Kill
By Sarah H. Grant
Posted: Mar 2008
Label: Razor & Tie
(5379) Page Views

Fathers warned their daughters about them, but somehow these classic bad-ass types just keep knocking on the dooror rather, sneaking through the window. Kiss or Kill, Endeverafter’s debut album plunges into a mysterious fury with astonishing force and finesse. The rockers revel in their imperfections, offering raw, dirty, fret board bites of a bygone era on every track. Mixed by Machine (Lamb of God) and Mark Needham (The Killers), Kiss or Kill hearkens back to the primeval depths of rock n’ roll, and is a ruthless mélange of electrifying rhythms and killer riffs. Grant’s vociferous yowl on “I Wanna Be Your Man” launches dueling guitars with excruciating clarity. “Baby x3” works in the same vein, with impressive guitar solos and extraordinary vigor that are reminiscent of Crue’s infamous Girls Girls Girls album. Directed by renowned adult-film aficionado, Jax, the “Baby Baby Baby” video could be the raunchy sequel to Britney Spears’ schoolgirl routine. The hedonism subsides to make way for the plaintive, “Next Best Thing” and “Long Way Home,” which divulge Grant’s maturity as a songwriter, and are two impeccably crafted ballads. In the first, there is a note of genuine lament at love lost, better expressed in a heart-searing guitar solo. Grant reaches his wistful core in “Long Way Home,” which ends on a forlorn but stirring high. The road to success is a daunting journey for those who crave originality. As Grant asserts, “You have to be hungry for it. You have to want it more than anybody else. And I assure you, everyone in this band is hungry.”

Endeverafter Online
WebsiteWiki


Dad The Plow - The Heavy

Dad The Plow - The Heavy

Dad The Plow

Album Title: The Heavy
By Jeff Muendel
Posted: Mar 2008
Label: Self Released
(2834) Page Views

This band’s name well describes the type of music on the CD: it is big, powerful, and moves mass at a steady pace. The opening track, “Angry Sunday,” sets the tone for the rest of the album, and the song’s title alone will give you more than a hint of where it’s going. The meter isn’t fast, but the bass and drums push hard underneath sizzling guitars and throaty vocals. Much of the album follows in this way, and by the end, your ears will indeed have been thoroughly plowed. What’s interesting about this Milwaukee group’s self-released debut is that while it’s as hard as the name implies, it seems to defy categorization. Certainly, heavy metal would be the easiest bin in which to drop it, but it also has elements of punk, especially in the lyrics and vocal style, and the occasional synthesizer bursts lend a trippy characteristic that makes the group sound more like Pink Floyd at their heaviest than anything else. The band (Chris Howard, Mike Runge, and Remo) are still shopping a distribution deal, but the CD is available at shows and at [DadThePlow.com].

Dad The Plow play their rescheduled (snow) CD Release party at The Main Stage in Waukesha on March 29th with The Motor Primitives in support.

Dad The Plow Online
WebsiteWiki


Ministry & Co Conspirators - Cover Up

Ministry & Co Conspirators - Cover Up

Ministry & Co Conspirators

Album Title: Cover Up
By Kimberly E. McDaniel
Posted: Feb 2008
Label: 13th Planet/Megaforce
(2074) Page Views

Ministry fans know that Al Jourgensen is putting the infamous industrial giant to sleep following the upcoming final tour. Apparently, one reason he is doing so is to have more time to record and collaborate with other artists. This new CD, “Cover Up,” is but a taste of what’s to come and any Ministry fan will instantly fall in love as Jourgensen delivers the goods yet again.

“Cover Up” is due to be released on April 1, 2008, and Jourgensen covers all manner of great songs, giving them a hard and heavy Ministry beating. From the opening track, “Under My Thumb”, to “Bang A Gong” and “Just Got Paid,” this ain’t your father’s classic rock, folks! Although the songs are recognizable, Jourgensen has twisted them into modern, thumping, grinding party tunes. He brings in Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory, as well as his Rev-Co counterparts, to spice up yesterday’s hits for today’s sound.

I can think of no downside to this, or any other, Ministry release. All Ministry fans, rejoice and proudly add this to your collection. If this is the future, I not only embrace it, I can’t wait for the next installment. Grab this, play until your ears bleed…repeat.

Ministry & Co Conspirators Online
WebsiteWiki


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

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

The Eels

Album Title: Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996 2006 Volume 1
By John Noyd
Posted: Jan 2008
Label: Geffen
(1861) Page Views

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.

The Eels Online
WebsiteWiki


Too Pure To Die - Confidence and Consequence

Too Pure To Die - Confidence and Consequence

Too Pure To Die

Album Title: Confidence and Consequence
By Justin Beckner
Posted: Jan 2008
Label: Trustkill Records
(1945) Page Views

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.

Too Pure To Die Online
Website


Sebastian Bach - Angel Down

Sebastian Bach - Angel Down

Sebastian Bach

Album Title: Angel Down
By Kimberly E. McDaniel
Posted: Jan 2008
Label: EMI/Caroline
(2330) Page Views

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.

Sebastian Bach Online
WebsiteWiki


Pachyderm Studio Compilation - So Large We Ran Out Of Room

Pachyderm Studio Compilation - So Large We Ran Out Of Room

Pachyderm Studio Compilation

Album Title: So Large We Ran Out Of Room
By Justin Beckner
Posted: Jan 2008
Label: Pachyderm Studio
(2187) Page Views

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, www.projectpachyderm.org.

Pachyderm Studio Compilation Online
WebsiteWiki


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

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

Album Title: The Unholy Alliance: Preaching to the Perverted
By Kimberly E. McDaniel
Posted: Dec 2007
Label: Columbia Music Video/American Recordings
(2180) Page Views

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.

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


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

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

The Ramones

Album Title: Too Tough To Die: A Tribute To Johnny Ramone
By Jeff Muendel
Posted: Dec 2007
Label: Starz Cinema
(2111) Page Views

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 www.starz.com. It’s worth the bandwidth.

The Ramones Online
WebsiteWiki


Deering & Down - Break This Record

Deering & Down - Break This Record

Deering & Down

Album Title: Break This Record
By Brett Lemke
Posted: Nov 2007
Label: Diamond D
(2893) Page Views

In an unexpectedly fresh change, Deering & Down has sloppy, downtrodden rhythm guitarwork reminiscent of the seediest of bars, and the player, lead singer Lahna Deering sounds like a chain-smoking banshee from rural Gerogia. It borders on urban funk, with popping lead guitar lines courtesy of Rev Neil Down. A rockabilly road through Country that seeps Wanda Jackson and Hank III, Deering & Down is a contemporary answer to the influx of pop music, with sultry Vegas crooning, and the occasional extemporaneous keyboard. Recorded at Yellow brick Studio in Memphis, TN, the players on “Break This Record” sound like they have been playing together since childhood.

Deering & Down Online
Website


3 Inches Of Blood - Fire Up The Blades

3 Inches Of Blood - Fire Up The Blades

3 Inches Of Blood

Album Title: Fire Up The Blades
By Kimberly E. McDaniel
Posted: Nov 2007
Label: Roadrunner
(2363) Page Views

An entry from the “screaming vocals and how fast can we play” crowd, 3 Inches Of Blood have both of these areas covered. Musically, the band is tight and the drummer is working the double bass, but vocally, I have no clue what they are saying. When the singer lets loose with the high pitch wailing, he is slightly reminiscent of Rob Halford, but I still can’t understand him. It appears from the song titles that the band is likely influenced by some type of fantasy literature, although I couldn’t say which authors. “Trial of Champions” talks about a battle between the enslaved and the warlords who did the enslaving. There are a lot of references to killing, battles of great ferocity and feasting in great halls where great deeds are recounted. There are also a couple of instrumentals, “Rejoice in the Fire’s of Man’s Demise” and “Through the Horned Gate.” The CD comes with a booklet, which features the lyrics and drawings of horned demons and a scary guy in armor who has a severed head impaled on his sword. If you are a fan of this type of heavy metal, 3 Inches Of Blood is better than most. If you aren’t into this, listen at your own risk.

3 Inches Of Blood Online
WebsiteWiki


Ellis Hooks - Another Saturday Morning

Ellis Hooks - Another Saturday Morning

Ellis Hooks

Album Title: Another Saturday Morning
By Brett Lemke
Posted: Nov 2007
Label: Evidence
(2467) Page Views

Gritty, forceful, and steeped in the tradition of James Brown and Junior Wells, Ellis Hooks has put out a Nashville recording loaded with soul and horns from Memphis, Tennessee. Slinky guitar lines soaked with groove and ballads that cross over into Country are to be expected, as the production focuses on his vocal groove as opposed to his rhythm guitar lines. Wilson Pickett’s producer and guitarist Jon Tiven convinced Hooks to record this record when he was considering moving back to Alabama to work as a preacher. Convinced to record again, “Another Saturday Morning” was put together as an amalgamation of southern sounds, focusing on Hook’s immense vocal presence.

Ellis Hooks Online
WebsiteWiki

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