scorpions - virgin killer

Scorpions: Virgin Killer (1976)

Coming back to the Scorpions after the fun of discovering their weird psychedelic side with Fly to the Rainbow I skipped ahead a bit to see what fourth album Virgin Killer had in store. By this time they had already started to hone their songwriting into the tighter, more streamlined commercial approach that would rocket them to stardom in a few short years. Having started their path with with third album In Trance (sadly one I don’t own…yet) I was eager to check out if Roth’s guitar was still as frenetic and alight as my first exposure. So let’s dive into Round 2 of Chris reacts to a virgin listen of Virgin Killer and see what hits, what misses, and where I’m left standing with the Scorpions’ 70s output.

Continue reading “Scorpions: Virgin Killer (1976)”
scorpions - fly to the rainbow

Scorpions: Fly to the Rainbow (1974)

Back from a week of vacation where weirdly enough I spent most of my time listening to a lot of metal. Usually it’s a ton of funk and more sunny music to complement the beach weather, but there you go. Anyway, right before I left picked up Fly to the Rainbow, the second album from Scorpions: I’m familiar with what I would call the “classic” period from Lovedrive to Love at First Sting, but beyond some excursions into the late 70s my early knowledge is severely limited. I know the real early stuff is supposed to be significantly different, so as an experiment I’m going to review this real-time as I listen to it for the first time. I guess it’s a reaction post – is that a thing? I don’t know. Let’s dive in.

Continue reading “Scorpions: Fly to the Rainbow (1974)”

Detective: Detective (1977)

Kicking off my dive into 1970s hard rock with this recommendation from Sea of Tranquility. I grabbed Detective on CD without hearing anything besides the description: a band that impressed Jimmy Page so much he immediately signed them to his Swan Song label. The band’s eponymous debut is a killer rock album that certainly hews close to late-period Zeppelin were putting out but contains some surprising detours along the way, making it a real catchy hard rock gem with enough of its own identity to (for the most part) keep the clone hounds at bay. In other words, here there be hooks, and they will most assuredly get into you.

Continue reading “Detective: Detective (1977)”
stormkeep - galdrum

Stormkeep: Galdrum (2020)

Even though my drive for metal – particularly new metal – has been on a significant wane, an ember still burns. It’s become more selective, and when I hear something that registers it can still pull me into that space where I am transported. Black metal has always held place for me; after all, it was the musical language that I used as the foundation of what would grow into whatever Necrolytic Goat Converter is. Over the years I’ve become more picky as to what I listen to within the genre, and it’s heartening to hear a band like Stormkeep keeping the old school flame alive without actually…you know, burning churches or spewing hate. I missed the boat on grabbing their debut Galdrum on vinyl but nabbed a CD because hey: support the bands you love, right?

Continue reading “Stormkeep: Galdrum (2020)”
ben folds - way to normal

Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)

I wish this was a case of “second verse, same as the first” but the sad reality is I think there was a moment in time where the music of Ben Folds really impacted me, and that time is past.  The music I experienced at the time still holds up and connects me to those moments in time, but Way to Normal feels like it trades too much on the nostalgia of past albums, and beyond a few key moments doesn’t hook with either its music or its lyrics. Continue reading “Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)”

ben folds - rocking the suburbs

Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001)

There’s no way for me to be impartial when it comes to Ben Folds, and specifically his first solo album Rockin’ the Suburbs.  Sorry if that makes me bourgeois or vanilla or uncool.  Ben Folds Five was a huge deal for me finding a way through a lot of feelings of depression and anxiety during my 20s, and the way the songs on this album mirrored so many moments of my inner life was scary.  It’s a huge musical touchpoint for my life, one I can’t listen to without getting emotional. Continue reading “Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001)”