Tag Archives: grindcore

A look at Sirius/XM for the Metalheads

 

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Satellite radio has been around for awhile and I finally jumped on board a year ago. My job requires me to drive a lot so I am in my car a lot. I used Pandora and my iTunes a lot but there is just something about a radio station. I heard Sirius/XM when I was with an ex. Driving around in her car I got a good opportunity to hear what was offered. Sadly, that was the only positive experience I got from that horrible horrible woman. I loved how this product satisfied my musical tastes, all of them. However I just want to focus on the ones that service the heavier stuff. With the Clear Channel effect all over our terrestrial radio dial, satellite is something that metalheads should really look into. The channels I want to concentrate on are Channels 38 to 40, Ozzy’s Boneyard, Hair Nation, and Liquid Metal.

ozzyBoneyard, I refuse to use the Ozzy label because of the horrible woman that is Sharon Osbourne, is a really good classic hard rock/metal station. They do a real nice job of mixing stuff up so you are not hearing “Iron Man” every 30 minutes. Band selection is nice, besides the obvious, Sabbath, Priest, Maiden, you get Tank, and Diamond Head and a plethora of others. You will find yourself saying “I haven’t heard that in a while” a lot. No shows except for an hour hosted by Jim Norton and Ultimate Sinner where a listener gets to pick 5 songs. A nice little feature. They occasionally play some new music from veteran bands already on the play list. Music wise, it is a great listen that you will have no problem leaving on for hours straight.

The big drawback to me is the Ozzy affiliation. Granted I probably hate Sharon way more than anyone else. And that hatred has tarnished Ozzy’s music to me. I cannot even listen to his era of Black Sabbath anymore because of her but I can overlook that most of the time. What bugs me is that every promo for the station is Ozzy related. From him mumbling about some story from 1984 or hearing Sharon or one of their idiotic kids tell a story about him, it’s stomach churning. The ball washing gets worse when they have famous metal musicians talk about how great Ozzy is. It is really sickening and it is the main reason I change the channel.

hairNext on the dial, is Channel 39 Hair Nation. As the name suggests it has all the bands from 80’s and 90’s with big hair that were the lifeblood of Headbangers Ball. This was the station that really hooked me one getting Sirius/XM. I remember driving with the awful ex and on came Sleez Beez. C’mon where else are you going to hear Sleez Beez? When I first got the radio I remember hearing a D:A:D song and thinking this was the greatest purchase that I ever made. What I didn’t realize is that they would play that same song over and over again. I know I am in my car a lot but it is like bad FM radio overkill. Then I noticed that they did this a lot. Heard “Gimme Your Love” from McAuley Schenker Group and got that D:A:D happy feeling. Then I heard it again and again. The station has a pattern of pulling out a band and playing their hit. Then they play that song over and over and then put that band back on the shelf. Why they won’t play another song I have no idea. They will however play the fuck out of Bon Jovi. Someone there loves them some Bon Jovi because you will l hear a BJ song every 30 minutes and that is not a good thing. I seriously think that Bon Jovi has a deal with this channel similar to what Ozzy has with Boneyard. This station never plays new music even though many of the bands the play have released new material. They did however play the new Richie Sambora single, furthering my Bon Jovi conspiracy theory. Plus they do not have a listener show like the other two stations do. This went from being one of my favorites to being one that I hit and run on. Hair Nation is also the home to Eddie Trunk who has a show on Monday night. However he plays more stuff you hear on Boneyard but that vile cunt Sharon had him kicked off that channel because he dared to criticize Ozzy.

sirius_xm_liquid_metalLast but not least is Channel 40, Liquid Metal. They play all of the new metal bands plus lots of the originators. When I say Metal I mean METAL. Cannibal Corpse, Slipknot, High On Fire, real heavy stuff. They do a nice job of crossing the many genres of Metal. Thrash, death, stoner, black you name it. Liquid Metal also does a great job on featuring new bands and letting listeners know when an important album is coming out. Occasionally they play some bands that are better off on Octane, a channel for new Hard Rock, but that is being picky. They also have Listener Domination, their show lets a listener a chance to pick three songs and say why. One of my favorite things about the station is Bloody Roots a show hosted by renowned Metal author Ian Christie. He will have a different theme for each show and does a fantastic job of giving tidbits and back story plus lots of the stuff he plays you will not hear any other time.

I think the reason that Boneyard and Liquid Metal are run so well is that Jose Mangin seemingly is in charge of both. His voice is on promos for both channels and they both have a listener show. He is the afternoon host and some may remember him when MTV did a Headbangers Ball special. He is a nice enough guy that obviously loves Metal. However he kind of bugs me. Maybe because he is always UP or maybe it is that he still has a faux hawk and still wears Affliction shirts. Logic would dictate that he would be in charge of Hair Nation as well and if so he is doing a shitty job.

Earlier I mentioned Octane on Channel 37. They play modern hard rock a long the lines of In This Moment, Chevelle, and Sevendust. It’s not a bad station I listen occasionally but a lot of what they play I don’t care for.

Yes I do realize there is a huge “Kids these days” factor present.

While I have become disappointed in Hair Nation and the Ozzy ass kissing makes me want to puke on my passenger seat, but I cannot recommend getting Sirius/XM enough. It really satisfies my musical desires plus there is a bunch of other great stuff available. I love being able to go from Mastodon to Glen Miller to listening to an Astros game. I got the Onyx model and I am able to take that from my car to another car or inside. Terrific if you drive more than one vehicle plus you can listen to it on your smartphone or online from your computer.

Seriously go get it.

Now.

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Pig Destroyer-Book Burner

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There is nothing wrong with being chaotic, energetic, and very very quick. Normally I am trying to explain this to my girlfriend, but this time I am referring to Pig Destroyer. The grindcore legends are back with their newest offering Book Burner. I haven’t really listened to a lot of their stuff but when this was coming out the various metal websites and Liquid Metal were going ape waiting for it to drop. Well it was worth the wait as this is a fantastic work of dizzying metal awesomenss.

The reason why Book Burner is so good is that it defies its genre. The metal community has the burning desire to categorize everything and the break it down even further. Then break it down one more time. Grindcore is this strange concoction of thrash, punk, industrial, and noise. What sets Pig Destroyer apart from their contemporaries is that they seem to blend the styles together while others mash it. A lot of that has to do with Scott Hull’s guitars. He is a master riffsman that has some of the crunchiest tones this side of Dimebag.

It’s tough to do a normal review for Pig Destroyer. With the average song being a minute and a half long, it takes longer to type about the song than the actual song. To me some of the best tracks are “Eve” and “The Diplomat”. Both of those tracks are the most metal-like and will be an easy way for people to discover the band. There are also lots of sub-60 second tracks that serve as tasty appetizers til the “normal” track comes.

Book Burner is one of the best albums of the year. It has made me a Pig Destroyer fan and I think once you hear it you will be one too. I’m just mad that it took me this long to find out.

 

 

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

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General Surgery-Live An Ever Flying Limb

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There is an old saying, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s true then General Surgery are flattering the pants off of Carcass. It is the grindcore equivalent of what early Krokus or Dirty Looks did to AC/DC. And like those two, who cares because it is awesome. The reason why General Surgery should get praise instead of scorn, is that Like An Ever Flying Limb comes from a place of reverence and worship. Not born out of laziness or a desire to succeed off of someone else.
Like most of there releases Like An Ever Flying Limb is an EP, in fact the running time for the 5-song platter is shorter than a quarter of NFL gametime. Even less is you took out the spoken medical intro dialogue. But again, you don’t care. You’re just happy to get your Caracss fix. Just the opening notes of the album opener/title track will have you moshing in place. That feeling is retained all throughout.
The unsung beauty of this album is it showcases how truly awesome EP’s are. Music wise they get in and get out and every one wins. If they’re good, they leave the listener wanting more. If they’re bad, it was so short it’s not that noticeable. Plus it allows bands that may only have a handful of songs to get them out and not wait around til they have a full LP worth. Or God forbid they do the lazy thing and add on re-recorded versions, live songs, or covers.
Otherwise known as pulling a Scorpions.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

 

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Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire-Songs Of Ill Hope and Desperation

If you have ever been to the palatial worldwide headquarters of heavy As Fuck, you know of the plethora of CD’s that litter the mail room. With so man to chose from it can be tough on decided on which ones to listen to. Being the metal guru that I am, any cover that has a dragon, or skull or scantily clad lady always ensures listening. If you happen to have all three, you go to the top of the stack. The other way is to have such an unusual name that you stand out. That is how I chose Clinging To The Trees Of a Forest Fire. Bad grammar aside, how could you resist that?
Now on to the music, the band describes themselves as a mixture of grindcore and doom. That is actually a apt one, since their sound has the fastness,  punkyness and shouty-ness of grindcore that gets accented with the  slow and heavy of doom.  That combination, while at odds with one another, gives the band a uniqueness that helps separate them. You go from a one minute bash fest of  “Shat At My Bones” to 5-minutes of desolation and haunting of “Gold Frankincense & Myth”. That pattern is repeated throughout the album giving it a b-polar nature.
The band has a very misanthropic lyrical approach that calling it cynical or pessimistic would not be enough. While understanding the lyrics would be tough due to the vocal stylings, just by looking at songs titled “Bouquet of Self Pity”,  “I Walked Away From the Human race”, and “They Smeared Shit on Their Skin So they Could Blend In At Night” Those three alone should let you know that there are no shoe-gazing, emo wannabe songs from this group. It is safe to say that their words are as brash and gloomy as their music.
While Clinging is a unique band there just wasn’t a lot to grab on to. While this music does have a certain  “stay away” ethos to it, it comes across as crazy for the sake of being crazy. Stylistically, the abrasiveness seems to me the main desire not necessarily a song. Which I think will keep most Metal fans away from this. Fans of grindcore may like this but they may be turned off by the slow passages.

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