Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Alice Cooper 2011

Alice is going back to the future with his latest album a sequel to his 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare.

A lot has changed in the last 35 years, Alice as much as anything. Constantly evolving as musical tastes change, so a reprise of an earlier album was going to be interesting.

Alice’s alter-ego Steven gets another outing, with his haunting piano theme introducing the album and his rythmic muttering on “The Nightmare returns”

“Caffine” and “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” are typical Alice crowd pleasers, I’m guessing the latter will become a staple of the live shows.

“The Last Man On Earth”, is a strutting top hat and cane song in the same ilk as “Some Things” whilst “The Congregation” has a touch of Ozzy Osbourne vocal and Marilyn Manson beat about it.

“Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” somehow reminds me of Lordi while also managing to be completely different from anything that they’ve done, followed by “Ghouls Gone Wild” a Lordi song title if ever I heard one which turns out to be homage to Alice’s surf-song origins (With maybe a touch of Weird Al).

In some ways, this album is “Greatest Hits” of songs he’s never written before. Each song somehow harkening back to an earlier incarnation of everybody’s favourite anti-hero, whilst still being new and fresh.

Funny thing is, all the elements are there but it just doesn’t quite gel with me yet. Not to say that this won’t become a favourite, but like quite a few of Alice’s albums it takes a while for them to mature like a fine wine.

AC/DC had Bon Scott and Angus Young, the rest of the band (visually) faded into the background, the heirs to the throne Airbourne, have Joel O’Keeffe a frontman infused with the ghost of Scott and the spirit and energy of Angus.

Erupting onto the stage with ‘Raise the Flag’ the crowd immediately roused out of the stupor induced by the two support bands and the stage was set  for an hour and a half of high energy rock. With hardly a pause for breath Airbourne powered through their set.

Halfway through ‘Girls in Black’, the band go into an instrumental as Joel jumps off the stage to run the length of the front row, playing all the while. Next thing he’s disapeared, we can still hear his guitar, but he’s disapeared into the crowd. A moment later he’s back, not on stage but coming down the aisle in the circle across the front row of the balcony and out through the emergency exit stage right!!!

Back on stage the energy never seems to dim whether leaping from the drum riser or rocking from the top of the amps, O’Keefe is never still, behind the mic for just enough time to belt out the lyrics before he’s off again.

Just when you think things can’t get any better ‘No Way But the Hard Way’ lights another fuse and the crowd errupt somehow finding a hidden reserve as the band leave the stage with ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’

The pause before the encore is brief, the rest of the band starting a heavy riff and getting a little limelight before O’Keefe leaps back onto the stage with renewed energy to lead the band into ‘Runnin Wild’ and the final number ‘Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll’

“Just how many Hayseed Dixie albums can one man own?”

Well the boys are back (after a quiet year) to put this to the test with their eighth studio album (due out in February)

I haven’t heard the full album yet, but luckily Barley has been posting teasers on YouTube for a couple of months now.

While I like Hayseed Dixie’s tongue in cheek original songs (There’s seven on this release), the good news is that the cover versions are back in the mix with rockgrass assaults on bands like Queen, The Prodigy, Black Sabbath and Mozart, all chosen to highlight the album’s theme of killing and death, although the other three elements to any song worth singing also get a good airing.

“There’s still plenty of drinking, cheating and hell in there too, as them 4 elements all go together like stink on poop,” remarks front-maniac Barley Scotch.

If that isn’t enough to get you to put your hand in your pocket though, the package also comes with a DVD with six music videos from the album and five tutorials. Want to know what to do if your banjo playing brother accidentally cuts off one of his arms, or how to play Duelling Banjos with an African darbucka, the answers are right here.

Still not enough?? Well now it’s time to try your hand at being a record producer…

The DVD contains (in full CD quality) all the multi-track audio files for the album so that you can mix the songs yourself, there’s even a track – Love Cabin – that is only available if you mix it yourself, a first for any band.

So what are you waiting for (well apart from February), get out there and fund the band’s ambitious project to drink like students.