led zeppelin - houses of the holy

Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (1973)

Sorry for the brief break. Life and new work woes got in the way, but that stress moved from “No time to write about records” to “Christ on toast I don’t care I need a break so will write about a record.” Discogs has this lovely little randomizer that picks a record from your collection and Houses of the Holy popped up. Led Zeppelin was there at the very start of my record collection – Led Zeppelin II was the first vinyl I took from my father when I was a kid so I could play air guitar along to “Whole Lotta Love” – so why not listen to something I love, push the world away for a bit go over the hills and far away, so to speak?

Continue reading “Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (1973)”
iggy and the stooges - raw power

Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power (1973)

Let’s be fair: there’s probably very little I can contribute to the enormity of writing on the righteous rock god status of that street-walking’ cheetah Iggy Pop and the incendiary power of The Stooges. The man and the band are untouchable in the annals of rock, stone cold classic purveyors of the form and I’m not going to dispute that. So instead I want to talk about how Raw Power, that nuclear A-bomb of ripping rock helped me to understand thats much of an album’s power comes from how you listen, as much as what is on it. So let’s get into the Bowie vs. Iggy mix…

Continue reading “Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power (1973)”
beasts of bourbon - black milk

Beasts of Bourbon: Black Milk (1990)

It took album #3 for The Beasts of Bourbon to fall prey to what we’ll call for lack of a better word “safe” music.  Which is not to say that Black Milk is a bad album; on the contrary, it’s a terrific amalgam of everything that was present on the previous two records (their debut The Axeman’s Jazz is a terrific gnarled album, but I don’t own a physical copy, so no review).  But that amalgam is tempered, somewhat.  There’s a tunefulness and restraint that doesn’t have the vital spark of Sour Mash, but is sweet just the same. Continue reading “Beasts of Bourbon: Black Milk (1990)”

beasts of bourbon - sour mash

Beasts of Bourbon: Sour Mash (1988)

We all have those people in our lives who act as our musical sherpas, guiding us on paths we would not have otherwise taken to discover aural delights that reverberate in our souls and ears.  Over the last six or so years the largest of those people has been Henry Rollins, via his weekly KCRW radio show (seriously, listen here) as well as his collection of Fanatic books where he provides liner notes for every radio show.  Through him I discovered the hotbed of great music that’s been coming out of Australia for years, specifically the swerving, booze-drenched blues insanity of  The Beasts of Bourbon, here represented by their second album,  Sour Mash. Continue reading “Beasts of Bourbon: Sour Mash (1988)”

bad religion - the dissent of man

Bad Religion: The Dissent of Man (2010)

I used to think that Bad Religion alternated between great and okay records.  And at the time of picking up The Dissent of Man I thought this was proving the hypothesis: after the rage and aggression of New Maps Of Hell this felt lighter, less substantial.  Maybe the Obama years weren’t providing the fodder the band needed to thrive?  Closer, older listening over the weekend proved otherwise; here was a band moving into different sonic landscapes, but underneath a more relaxed rock vibe still lay the ire and rage of a much younger band. Continue reading “Bad Religion: The Dissent of Man (2010)”

bad religion - new maps of hell

Bad Religion: New Maps Of Hell (2007)

It took three years for Bad Religion to craft their follow-up to The Empire Strikes First, and while New Maps Of Hell doesn’t quite reach the heights its predecessor did, there are moments where it almost manages to strike that particular nerve.  It’s a little darker, a little angrier, and a little faster, but it’s still Bad Religion, which means it’s still a blast to play. Continue reading “Bad Religion: New Maps Of Hell (2007)”