POINT OF NO RETURN
The single hardest working new thrash band in the world has returned with a quick four song EP that is designed to do one thing and one thing only - give them a reason to stay on tour! Mission Accomplished.
Since this is a four song EP, there's not a ton to write about. POINT OF NO RETURN featured two new songs and two covers. Starting with the new material, this stuff has to be material that didn't make TIME IS UP. I have no idea why.
BIG BLACK BUS
I'm one of those music snobs that doesn't like the "known" music nearly as much as the stuff that flew under most people's radar. That said, there was a band that came and went in that I loved in the late 90s called Boiler. While I'm sure most of you don't remember them, I do. Two brilliant CDs and an EP...THE NEW PROFESSIONALS, COW TIPPIN' IN C SHARP and YEEHAW...three releases that have found permanent residence in my music collection, and three that still get played a lot. Boiler was one of those bands that you could always put on to give you an energy boost as well as a shot of attitude along the way. Songs like "Railroaded" or "Stegasaurus" are addictive as Hell.
Job For A Cowboy
For many years now, Job For A Cowboy has been somewhat of a whipping post for me. From their start, they were a metalcore band that wanted to be a death metal band, but were seemingly afraid to take it all the way over the edge and become just that. Their album GENESIS was kind of laughable to be honest; a collection of songs from a band that wasn't sure if they wanted to hop on the trend or have integrity. Their followup, RUINATION was a step in the right direction, but still featured a bit too much of that deathcore spirit for my taste. Somewhere along the way though, Job For A Cowboy must have heard from guys like me that wanted them to become a full fledged death metal band and stop messing around with trendy gimmicks. DEMONOCRACY is just what the doctor always ordered from them - full on brilliant death metal.
The brand new episode of Ron Keel's "Streets Of Rock N' Roll" has be posted.
To listen to the latest episode, recorded from the road as Keel traveled on tour throughout the western portion of the United States, visit the player on the right side of the screen!
For more information on "The Streets Of Rock N' Roll", click HERE.
IMAGINE ME ALIVE
Sometimes things happen for a reason. Cult favorites Rude Girl were all set to become a dominant force on the metal scene back in the 80s, and that didn't happen for whatever reason. It certainly wasn't because they didn't have the talent. Vocalist Leather Leone was widely regarding as one of the very best heavy metal vocalists of that era - having the rare distinction of being compared favorably to guys like Halford and Dio at the time. Still, it didn't happen for Rude Girl, and following was some solo work, and then a solid and equally brilliant but unappreciated run as the vocalist of the long underground heroes Chastain. For whatever reasons, she just up and disappeared and was never heard from again...until recently.
It's interesting to follow the progress, or lack thereof, that some bands make. Since 2004, Hydrogyn has been a band that has tried to market the hotness of their frontwoman Julie Westlake, hoping that it would overshadow their ultimately boring and clandestine music. Album after album, there's been nothing but photos and videos of Westlake to promote the band, and nothing behind it musically to fully capture any interest her looks might have enticed. By contrast, a band like Benedictum is also fronted by an appealing woman named Veronica Freeman, and yet the focus with them is always on the tunes and not Freeman's looks. Not surprisingly, they are a lot farther along, respected and known than Hydrogyn.
There's always bands that everyone knows, and then there are bands and musicians that made an impact on you that weren't what any would call commercially gigantic. For me, vocalist Leather Leone has long been one of those musicians. While she never broke through like a contemporary like Doro Pesch did, her work was always as good (maybe better, to be honest) than the reigning queen of Metal's output was. Be it the work she did with Rude Girl, the critically acclaimed recordings as the frontwoman of Chastain, or even solo, Leather Leone was almost never considered as a "female metal singer". Instead, her grit and integrity always left her known as simply a "metal singer".
REGRINDING THE AXES
What could be more useless in 2012 than a new Molly Hatchet studio album? Clearly the band knew. The correct answer is: a Molly Hatchet covers album. Look, I've got no real issues with Molly Hatchet. Every tractor pull and ribfest has to have their live band entertainment, and Foghat always needs a co-headliner. As far as recorded music though, I have to assume that Molly Hatchet recorded music stopped meaning anything to anyone around the time the replacement players started outnumbering the original members in the band. Still, they want to continue on, so God bless 'em.