Scorpions at Charter One

Scorpions at Charter One last night veered between great and horrible. I wouldn’t mind their trio of power ballads early in the set if they would have just gotten on with it and cranked out more of the good songs. But they lingered way too much on their sucky post-1984 hair metal era, and felt compelled to f around with grandstanding on every single song, unaware that a thunderstorm was fast approaching. They finally realized they’d have to shut it down, and played “No One Like You” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane” with some awesome lightning overhead. Sayonara Scorps. You all looked great and had amazing energy for 63+ yo geezers, but should have been prouder of your legacy of 70s albums that totally shaped modern metal.  Continue reading

New album of the week: Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage

French death-prog band’s fifth album is a biggie. Another masterpiece as usual, but I feel they’ll be reaching more people than ever as they’ve finally caught the fickle attention of the lumbering mainstream media. Intellectuals can ponder their well-done environmentalist and spiritual lyrics, heads can be awed by one of the best drummers in metal, all can surrender to their pummeling ferocity. | BBC Review

Soda Shop Review: Through The Woods Into Deep Water by Wight


Wight have returned with their follow up album to 2010′s Wight Weedy Wight. The band announced today it’s available for streaming. Instead of waiting for a physical copy to arrive, I decided to review the album from the Bandcamp stream that just went live. This album was on my radar and one of my most anticipated albums of 2012. Was it worth the wait? Well hell yeah it was.  If you liked Wight Weedy Wight and the split with Stone Axe, more of the same is one way to describe it but yet, is so far from it. Here’s a track by track breakdown of each song on the album.

Continue reading

Top Ten Female Punk Bands in Pop Matters

Remember Slant 6? Lunachicks? LiliPUT/Kleenex? Definitely different from what my list would have been, but a cool tribute and reminder of one of the more important doors that were blown open in the music industry by punk. Despite the fact that punk devolved into a sort of yobish subculture of boneheaded style copyists and mostly didactic hardcore, women made up some of the most original bands.

Distort Me Deadly: The Top 10 Female Punk Bands

Women in Metal issue of Decibel

Remember real magazines? It’s over a decade since proclamations of print publishing being dead were made, and bowed and battered, most are still at it. Decibel is by far the best one I subscribe to. Next month’s issue features Women In Metal, which makes an excellent expanded companion piece to my own Metal Sirens feature.

It should hit the newstands within the next week or so. What are newstands? Those places you used to buy magazines. Sadly, even in the third largest U.S. city, Chicago, they’ve become increasingly rare, and with Borders gone, the only place I’ve found Decibel is at the two remaining locations of Barnes & Noble. But you can go ahead and order your copy online, or maybe splurge on a subscription.

Neneh Cherry & The Thing – The Cherry Thing

Wow it’s been 16 years! Where ya been Neneh? You’d think after all this time she’d have some songs written, but the covers are cool, especially the one of The Stooges’ “Dirt.” Growing up with the legendary Don Cherry as her father, it was inevitable that Neneh returned to her jazz roots. While she’s known for her groundbreaking 1986 hit “Buffalo Stance” that merged hip-hop with pop and soul, her first band was the brilliant jazzy post-punk group Rip Rig + Panic in the late 70s. Then she receded from the spotlight in Sweden and raised a family, producing music with family members in CirKus, which I wasn’t even aware of until now. The Thing is Neneh with a Swede and two Norwegians, doing mostly free-jazz interpretations of songs by Suicide, MF Doom, Martina Topley-Bird (“Too Tough To Die”), Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. This may not be anything new, but still sounds startlingly fresh. | Pop Matters Review

New Album of the Week: Turbonegro – Sexual Harassment.

Norwegian smut rockers Turbonegro are so good that there’s already no less than FIVE (!) tribute bands – Trouser Snake, Ass Cobra, Scandinavian Pleather, all-female Turbonegra, and a lounge & bossa version. Vocalist Hank Von Helvete departed to make bad industrial music, and has been replaced by Tony Sylvester. Their 9th album, first in 5 years, Euroboy’s trash-punk guitar leads are as raucous as ever. Highlights, “TNA (The Nihilistic Army), ” “Dude Without A Face,” and “Shake Your Shit Machine.” I know there are high-profile releases by Smashing Pumpkins and Fiona Apple that aren’t too bad, but this is way more fun. | Review