allman brothers - brothers and sisters

The Allman Brothers: Brothers and Sisters (1973)

My brother and I were recently debating the whole “Southern Rock” thing as we drove through Brooklyn record shopping.  His tastes run along the classic, laid back chill rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker band typify; I run more Little Feat (basically give me anything with Lowell George).  But one band we could both agree on was The Allman Brothers, and when it came to naming an album we both immediately agreed on Brothers and Sisters.  With one foot firmly planted in southern country there’s enough blues and rock to keep anyone happy, even if “Ramblin’ Man” wasn’t on it.  Continue reading “The Allman Brothers: Brothers and Sisters (1973)”

allfather - bless the earth with fire

Allfather: Bless The Earth With Fire (2016)

There are epochal moments in my life as a “metal” dude that will never fade.  In 2016 I went from being a guy who listened to and collected a lot of metal records, keeping largely to himself to a guy who recorded and released a metal record (even though I called it a demo) and connected with a larger community of folks who did the same thing.  One of the earliest bands I connected with both on a personal and musical level was Allfather, a hardcore sludge/doom band from the UK who had at that point released a handful of cool singles and EPs.  Then Bless The Earth With Fire came out I got to witness a band go from “cool guys putting out cool songs” to “Holy crap these guys are the real deal and shit I need to get better if I want to do this for real.”   Continue reading “Allfather: Bless The Earth With Fire (2016)”

allan holdsworth - iou

Allan Holdsworth: i.o.u. (1982)

Guitarists whose playing is truly unique and identifiable are few and far between.  Sure, you can maybe listen to two seconds of a solo and know who’s playing it and what song it’s off of, but what if it were a new song?  Eddie Van Halen?  Sure.  Brian May?  Maybe.  If Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn were alive I’d throw them into the mix.  But one person truly deserving of being in that conversation is the late, great Allan Holdsworth, whose virtuosity on the instrument is matched by his unique way of using harmony to construct massively complex chord structures that delicately balance straight jazz, fusion, and pop.  I.O.U. stands out as a masterpiece that recalls the best of what Holdsworth brought to music, still vibrantly alive almost 40 years after it was recorded. Continue reading “Allan Holdsworth: i.o.u. (1982)”

all that remains - for we are many

All That Remains: For We Are Many (2010)

And so we come to the end of the All That Remains run.  After the disappointment of Overcome I tried one more time with For We Are Many, mainly because Adam Dutkiewicz returned to the producer’s chair.  The band curbs a bit of the active rock polish and brings the melodic death from earlier albums to the fore, making for a solid album the nevertheless failed to get me to return to the fold. Continue reading “All That Remains: For We Are Many (2010)”

all that remains - overcome

All That Remains: Overcome (2008)

You can hear it within the first 10 seconds of “Before the Damned” on Overcome, the fourth album from All That Remains. After re-listening to the previous albums I thought it was going to be the further dilution of the band’s sound into a washed out puddle that killed the record.  But nope, as soon as the Overcome starts I remembered exactly what the biggest problem was.

Your Honor, the Prosecution calls to the stand Mr. Jason Suecof. Continue reading “All That Remains: Overcome (2008)”

all that remains - the fall of ideals

All That Remains: The Fall of Ideals (2006)

I picture All That Remains sitting in a dark room, having just finished another show where attendance was maybe…less than optimal.  Heads down and sweaty, they’re deciding what the next step is when a slick dressed and well-fed gentlemen enters, exclaiming, “Hey!  Maybe do a little more with those clean vocals and homogenize those lyrics so you’re not alienating folks!”  He leaves, the scent of cash wafting in his wake.  Enter Overcome.

Haha, that’s tomorrow’s review.  Instead the band takes all that advice to heart in a way that doesn’t suck at all and gets The Fall of Ideals, my vote for All That Remains’s best album. Continue reading “All That Remains: The Fall of Ideals (2006)”