Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tenacious Z

I don't know what I was searching for when I stumbled upon this lo-fi gem but it raised enough of a dry smile to earn a spot in my somewhat selective music library. Recorded at some point in 2011, Best Songs Ever compiles several (each entitled Best Songs Ever 2, 3, etc. etc.) short YouTube recording sessions into a full-length LP (and many thanks to the person who had the patience/tolerance to rip said videos). Obvious comparisons to Tenacious D aside, some of the songs are pretty funny, some of the more offensive ones ("Ever Since I Fucked My Sister (She's Been Acting Kind Of Strange)" and "Remember That Time That Your Dad Molested You?") actually elicited a guffaw from my jaded soul. Based out of New Orleans, the Straight-Eff's consisted of TJ Kinkaid on vocals and Cody Weber on acoustic guitar and while basically a duo there appears a guest bassist as well whose name escapes me. There are also some pretty solid (i.e. professional) remixes tacked on as well but you'll just have to listen to the record to understand it all. Unfortunately it seems the guys had somewhat of a real/fake falling out after a few months and their tethered musical future dissolved just as quickly but both have continued to do online shit here and here. In short, the album works a little bit better in its original 10-minute bursts, after half an hour of TJ screaming it can get somewhat nerve-frying so be forewarned and enjoy. For those who dig, they have a bandcamp page with some extra material for sale - check it out.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Stimpak Soundtrack

Like the 15 million+ other people out there I am painfully addicted to Fallout 4, just like I was to 3 and New Vegas. Currently on my 28th in-game day or whatever in the post-apocalyptic Commonwealth, there are times I feel like I'm more concerned what's happening in that world then the real one. The commercial is an absolute work of genius and using "The Wanderer" was an ideal choice; fitting in perfectly with the frozen-in-time 50's art deco vibe of the whole game. I was surprised to see that Dion didn't burn out as the teen idol I pegged him to be, he's still churning out records to this day - switching genres through the decades from blues to eventually more religious-themed stuff; impressive for a guy pushing 80. "The Wanderer" was on the second single from his 1961 Runaround Sue album, his first solo LP after splitting with the doo wop trio The Belmonts. Paired with "The Majestic", "Wanderer" ended up with a ton more airplay than its A-side and ended up actually hitting #2 on the Billboard charts. Will all that being said, here's something a little different than my usual posts, an oldies revisit thanks to a game taking place 200 years in the future. Of course you'll know some of the songs on the album, notably the title track but and "Dream Lover" but there are a couple humorous forgotten rock & roll treasures worth a listen. Ironically, "Kansas City" sounds almost exactly like the "Wanderer" and has become my second favorite track on the record. So grab some RadAway and enjoy a trip down memory lane.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Old Nü Metal

No folks, this blog's not dead just yet, just been too busy juggling two jobs along with all the other miserable shit in life to get around to this forgotten corner of the web. Oddly, been listening to a lot of music as of late so hopefully there will be some regularity/frequency to forthcoming posts. Regardless, let's jump into the time machine back to the early years of the new millennium where 90% of bands that could have simply gone the way of radio-friendly alternative rock simply downtuned their instruments, added some quasi-witty white-boy rap lyrics and tagged themselves nü metal. Cincinnatti, OH's V-Mob (or V-MOB depending on which website you visit) was birthed in 1997 and released a few demos, ep's and samplers before calling it a day with 2002's Equilibrium mini-album. While it's a huge jump in quality from their rather unlistenable demo from five years earlier, I'm simply not terribly wowed by it. Case in point, the opener "Transparent" (arguably the best song on the record) sounds like a weird remix of Slipknot ("Sic"), Korn ("Need To") and Phunk Junkeez ("Snapped") songs from years before. I guess there was just such a ridiculous demand for this stuff back then that no one called 'em out (or cared). "Mime" is pretty good but devolves into a weird Vanilla Ice-ish bridge at one point which just sounds funny and "Reflection" opens pretty strong. Evidently Equilibrium got the band a legit record contract which they never signed, fired their lead singer, and promptly faded into obscurity. The band has since been compared to Slipknot, I'm not sure if that's due to their very similar sound or the fact that they come from Ohio and people are just confusing that with Iowa (shit, they're basically the same state) but it's probably better than the band deserves. There seems to be a rather strong cult following for V-Mob and the guys have done some reunion shows through the decades but maybe I just missed the bus or by 2002 simply didn't care about the genre any more. Come to think of it I can't remember anything i was doing in '02 so whatever. Long story short, if you're craving some obscure nü metal then you can't go wrong with these 20 minutes. Enjoy.