assorted recent thoughts on rock and metal

  • dave ellefson is a really nice, even-keeled, well-spoken guy but he’s a fucking awful bass player and no silly over-explanation of how complex the bassline to symphony of destruction is can change that. i’m sure he fools lots of people by talking a good game but as soon as you hear him play, anyone with any ear for music should realize “oh, this guy can’t play for shit.”
  • tommy lee is a fucking fantastic drummer. i love his fun, flashy techniques and rock solid yet surprisingly unpredictable fills. he clearly LOVES playing drums. his passion for drumming actually reminds me of stewart copeland even though they have totally different drumming styles. his playing spices up crue tunes in such a big way that i think it is integral to what makes most crue material so good.
  • john corabi is a monstrous singer. wow, does he have a fucking powerful range. i love some classic crue with vince neil but there is no comparison between the two: neil is not a natural singer; corabi is. again, you can hear the joy and passion (not to mention chops) in corabi’s voice when he sings. that man fucking belts it out.
  • motley crue’s self-titled album with corabi on vocals is way, way underappreciated. songs like smoke the sky and hooligan’s holiday are among my fave crue tunes. the music and vocals are heavier. it’s like crue finally got serious.
  • similar to crue’s self-titled album, i think skid row’s subhuman race is an example of the interesting shift that occurred in the 90’s where hard rock and metal bands began adopting grunge elements. maybe they did so to remain relevant, maybe it was to sell records, maybe they legitimately liked what was going on the grunge scene, but it was certainly tough for most of us old fans to swallow at the time. however, with hindsight now, i actually like a lot of the elements they adopted, like grittier productions. i’m not a fan of the intentionally out of tune guitar solos (as seen at the 2:00 mark of the video below), i think that’s a bridge too far and sounds silly and out of place compared to the rest of a hard rock or metal song, but in the case below it doesn’t ruin the whole thing for me.
  • i like b-sides, oddities, ‘deep cuts’ from albums. today in my car, slayer’s gemini and disorder came on back to back, and i loved them. fat chance ever hearing slayer play either one live though. i think songs like those were recorded and basically forgotten by the band, and to me, that’s a god damn shame. both those songs are so much more interesting than bloodline or whatever other shitty single the band plays at every fucking concert. i think about these songs all the time. i’d love to see enslaved live, but only if they played tracks like aege’s draum and enemy i. i don’t hate singles or anything, but i think that when it comes to metal — a genre where artists write all of their own stuff — there is more quality work throughout entire albums than in genres where myriad writers and producers are involved. and with more quality material, there is more material i might be pleasantly surprised by in concert settings…but only if those artists are willing to piss off the lame loser fans who just want to hear five minutes alone and cowboys from hell over and over. there are a lot more of those fans than me so i lose this one virtually every time. the cure is about the only band i can think of that consistently has surprising, interesting, varied setlists. i admire the hell out of them for it.

that is all.

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