Dapper Dan Man…

March 20, 2010

Powerplay reviews – March issue

Obliteration

“Nekropsalms”

Genre: Death Metal

Label: Fysisk Format

Nicke Andersson, Entombed’s former drummer and one of the figure heads of the early Scandinavian death metal scene was quoted saying in a Swedish magazine a few years back that the best death metal was made in the period of 85-89. He’d absolutely love Obliteration, a young Norwegian band that has taken all the best parts of the American and Swedish old school, and pays homage to that era by delivering another gem.

After a good debut the band have now developed their dusty old sound even more- along with the raw and sloppy death metal there is a new ingredient, a slow and doomy psychedelia. Listen to “Catacombs of Horror” for proof of a slightly cosmic vibe among the lurching riffs, or “The Spawn of a Dying Kind” for an almost stoner-like atmosphere.

A song like “Ingesting Death” has that “Scream Bloody Gore”- like griminess but the slow parts bring to mind Autopsy and that particular brand of sludgy death they specialized in. Here is the beauty- Obliteration have managed to take the best from that genre and put their own twist on it. “Nekropsalms” is miles above any melodic death metal release of any year.

Rating:7


Elvis Jackson

“Against the Gravity”

Genre: Pop-Punk/ Ska

Label: Antstreet Records

This melodic punk group from Slovenia sounds so blatantly American that they will probably end up on a soundtrack to a college film in the very near future. “Against the Gravity” is quite possibly the sunniest, most feel-good recording so far this year- fans of this genre will no doubt enjoy beach parties while this is playing in the background.

It is difficult to be too be negative about this kind of uplifting melodic punk; it may not be original but it is played with competence and does put a smile on your face. What you get is the usual fast-paced songs with infectious choruses along with mellow ska/ reggae tunes like “Dry Your Tears”. Billy Gould (Faith No More) has done a great job with the production and this is a worthwhile investment for fans of cheerful punk to enjoy on a sunny day with a cold beer.

Rating:5


Blue Origin

“The Prism” EP

Genre: Heavy Metal

Label: Self-Released

One of the more striking things while listening to this mini-album by Blue Origin is how good the sound is, aside from the music itself being of high quality. The Stoke band are as yet unsigned but “The Prism” does not sound like the work of novices and also boasts a great production.

In a climate of extreme metal and off-the-cuff sounds, Blue Origin stick to the traditions and play riff-heavy classic heavy metal and do it with style. The songs are as heavy as they are catchy- a piece like “Darkside” is instantly memorable as are the following three and the bluesy vocals really enrich the songs.

It remains to be seen if the same quality can be delivered across an entire full-length album but “The Prism” is strong enough to make you believe it.

Rating: 6

Powerplay reviews #2 – February

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 11:45 AM
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More reviews from the February issue:

Devilfork – Devilknife

Genre: Metal

Label: Independent release

There is a sense of a band having a lot of fun with their music on “Devilknife”. The eclectic mix of music along with the sarcastic press release is a testament to that. It starts normally enough with “Ju88”, a slab of groove metal that actually brings to min now defunct nineties rockers Transport League. By song three Devilfork all of a sudden throw in a sleazy cock-rock song, “When two embrace one”. They execute it well enough but that particular genre is hardly a favorite, which makes the classic heavy metal-influenced “The Dragonslayers Swordquest” all the more welcome.

The humor is very evident on the aforementioned sleaze song but it especially comes up on “Tip”, where the band mix melancholy rock with a self-help tape for eleven minutes. It is good to see a band that has fun but sometimes it can also make you not take them seriously, which is a shame as they certainly can be a very good metal band when they want to.

Rating: 5


September 21, 2009

Four New Reviews Published

New reviews have been published- two each on StonerRock.com and Scenepointblank.

Click on the links below to read.

Behold! The Monolith – Behold! The Monolith EP

Melon – Never Eat on an Empty Stomach

Lanterns – Apocalypse Youth EP

Black Market Fetus/In Defence – Split 7″

November 5, 2008

Oh no Oh my! – Dimitrij Dimitrij EP

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 6:06 PM

The brilliantly titled opener “Wham bam thank you spaceman” starts off in a very promising way with its spooky intro. The song doesn’t disappoint, and the rolling rhythm keeps a great tempo at the same time as the rest of it has a background of sadness and melancholy. Halfway into the song there is a brilliantly ambient guitar sound before the second half builds up to its crescendo.

This indie four-piece from the vibrant music scene of Austin, Texas are a new introduction to this reviewer, albeit a very promising one. They utilise a multitude of instruments to create emotion and ambience in their songs and are, lest we forget, incredibly catchy at the same time.

Most of the songs on “Dimitrij Dimitrij” are upbeat in their tempo but melancholy in sound. It’s only the second song, The boy with an anchor that has a cheerfulness which is slightly out of place. Variety is something to applaud but it is when Oh no oh my! write emotional songs that they excel. More of that on the full length album please.

“Dimitrij Dimitrij” is still an interesting collection of pop songs and it evokes a mood that is perfect for the current season. – Mirza Gazic

New review, was published yesterday on Jerseybeat. Go and read it suckers, right here. No time for any blurbs today, I’m off home to listen to Witch’s album “Paralyze, that I traded today at a record store in Camden. I left them some crappy promo albums and those free cd’s you always get from magazines.

September 30, 2008

Album review – Lizzy Borden: An appointment with death

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 2:26 PM
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Lizzy Borden are only one of very many grizzly old metal bands that have either picked up the sticks again and decided to have one last shot at glory or that have ultimately experienced a revival of sorts and made their sound more in sync with the modern times.

This new attention to their music and the other musicians’ new found energy can have many underlying factors, but one of the biggest ones is definitely the fame of new young pups – Trivium are a good example – paying tribute to their childhood heroes by name dropping, re-using their riffs, and wearing t-shirts that would get you kicked in the head in the eighties.

Thrash metal is revived because of this and many old “heroes” are even touring as support bands to kids that used to stare at posters of these guys plastered all over their bedroom walls. What this says about kids and trend-following these days is a different debate altogether but it is clear that Lizzy Borden have gained from this interest. And this is in no way meant to belittle their career and their old output, but merely an observation on music today.

They sound better for it. Plenty of younger musicians, such as Corey Beaulieu from the afore mentioned Trivium and former Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan, are guests on An Appointment With Death and that adds to the cutting edge. Rutan has also undertaken production duties here and his work sounds crisp and clear, and provides Lizzy Borden’s music with a more modern sound.

It is just a shame that these guys play power metal, or at least traditional heavy metal with strong power metal tendencies – kudos for throwing in some chugging thrash riffs though – in the vein of Helloween and other such metal bands veering slightly on the cheesy side.

The singing is what ruins it, for there is nothing inherently wrong with the actual music. Metal should not sound chirpy and have all too obvious sing-along qualities. Piercing screams like the one halfway through opener “Abnormal” are really enervating. It sound happy and if you were singing this to karaoke then you would be throwing ironic shapes and pulling silly faces. Try doing that to a Slayer tune.

But enough with the negative aspects. I’ll openly admit that this style of metal really is not my jug of mead, but I am not that single-minded that I can’t recognize its qualities.
The riffs are chopping and Lizzy Borden definitely know the art of shredding. The short breakdowns, like the brooding “Bloody Tears” demonstrates, add rhythm and show some versatility. There is also pace to these compositions and a good solid drive, thus keeping your pulse up for the record’s duration. As before mentioned, there are distinct thrash elements as well, particularly in “Abnormal” and to these ears at least, these are the most enjoyable parts of the album.

Borden have managed to inject new interest in a traditional style of metal by keeping fresh and by decent song writing. If only the singing was more Mille Petrozza then Bruce Dickinson then this would have been great, but if you wear denim vests with Blind Guardian patches on then you will like An Appointment With Death . I, however, am off to listen to some power violence.

This is the full review that was published yesterday on Scenepointblank. Click here to read it on the site and to browse some more music news and other excellent record reviews and features.

I really like that site, it has some very good writers contributing consistently.

I tried to write the review of Lizzy Borden’s latest record as objectively as I possibly could. Under normal circumstances I absolutely loathe power metal but I thought a somewhat balanced review would be best. I did after all claim the promo personally and there are definitely parts of that record that I find to be quite decent. In other words, it’s not for me but I can see why certain people might like it.

I was also in a good mood when I wrote it so next time I might not be so generous. But I promise to try.

Over and out, battallion of saints…

September 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 12:06 PM
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This video is really cool, even though it’s a tad bizarre. Ben Kingsley, legendary English actor from films such as Gandhi and Sexy Beast plays hardcore hero Ian MacKaye from hardcore heroes Minor Threat.

It’s a great idea and nice as a tribute although Kingsley looks a tad funny trying to throw angry hardcore shapes on stage.

It’s wort a look. I found this through Mean Magazine on Vimeo. Check it out.

Gaz

September 23, 2008

More reviews – On Clickmusic

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 4:53 PM
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It’s been a bit quiet here during the last week but I haven’t really had much to report. This blog is for the most part in an existing state because I want to link to all the writing that I’ve done. Apart from that I’m not much of a blogger, partly due to the fact that I have never had one.

This may change in the future. We shall see.

In the meantime I have some more reviews published. Three to be exact, but they are only single reviews and thus short, snappy and hopefully decent reading.

To read them go to the Clickmusic site.

Mystery Jets – Half in love with Elizabeth

Bec & Beth – Bec & Beth ep. I really enjoyed this one. Mellow and dreamy, definitely worth a look.

The Invisible – Monster’s waltz.

September 10, 2008

New review published – The Pack A.D. – Funeral Mixtape

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 2:33 PM
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I love discovering new bands. It truly is a great feeling when you put a record on by a band you’ve never heard of before and it turns out to be a dazzling piece of music.

This ocurred last week when I received The Pack A.D’s second album in the post. They’re two girls, playing nothing more than guitar and drums and they play some of the best blues I’ve heard from a contemporary band. It was a very pleasing feeling and I’ve been listening to it every day since.

I reviewed the album for Clickmusic and today they posted it on their web site.

Click here to read the full review and keep your eyes out for more writing coming up.

Adios

September 5, 2008

New review- The Sump Pumps

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 12:04 PM
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I’ve just had another review published today. It’s an album review and it’s on www.scenepointblank.com

The album is from a synth-punk group called The Sump Pumps, and the album title is ‘The revenge of The Sump Pumps. It’s not a bad record, a very boisterous rock recording with synth samplse aplenty.

Check out the review here.

Over and out

September 1, 2008

New review published today

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 4:50 PM
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Hi there,

Last weekend I went to a festival in Brighton called Beachdown, possibly the first one in East Sussex and it’s meant to become an annual event. It was great fun and there were some really good and obscure bands there.

I wrote a review on it for the website Myvillage, and it has now been published. If anyone actually manages to find this place then take a gander at it here.

Enjoy and I’ll be back soon.

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