Concert review: Archer Nation

Archer Nation, at Vamp’d, Las Vegas Nevda

May 18, 2017 was the worst possible day imaginable.  I woke to the news that Chris Cornell had died, and I had to work all day trying not to break down.  My headspace was foggy, my eyes were watery, and my legs were numb.  All I could think about was getting to Vamp’d and fill that headspace with something other than the sadness that was overtaking me.

On my way home, a wind storm was sweeping through the valley of Las Vegas.  I hate driving in those conditions and I just prayed, “Lord, please stop this wind,“ and you know what?  He answered my prayer.  It was around 8:30pm when the storm had passed, so I got changed, hopped in the car and drove off.  On the way, Badmotorfinger was turned up to full volume as I headed down the near empty motorway.  Upon my arrival, I headed to the dark corner of the club so no one could see my pain.  There I posted on Facebook that I was at Vamp’d.  I continued by saying, “Archer Nation is gonna’ heal this broken heart.”

Archer’s set was filled with new songs that they have been writing for the coming record, due out not soon enough.  Let me tell you, the songs from the first record, Culling the Weak, are pretty heavy, but the new songs like “Not My Own” and “Shackled” are going to rattle heads!  Archer gets tighter as a band every time they roll through.  With new tunes on the rise, the sound has gotten more aggressive, more powerful, and more mosh worthy.  They make me wish I was 21 again, ‘cause in those days I could head bang till the cows came home.  These days, if I turn around to fast, I’m laid up for days!

What I really enjoy about Archer is that every song, groove, beat, and solo is different.   Dylan nails a few trademark pinched harmonics here and there, but it’s rad when he hits them.  I have seen guitar players that riff the same solo progression in the same neck position, hitting the same two top strings, using the same bends, and it gets old in a hurry like that last sentence.  Not in the Nation, my friend!  Musically, they sound like Motörhead, Megadeth, and Anthrax got in a fight and started playing hockey!  As musicians, they are learned, as songwriters they are genius, and as people, they are humble.  With that attitude, they will have longevity and a growing fan base with ne’er a complaint.

They closed the show with my favorite tune from Culling titled, “The Day that Never Came”.  I said more during that song, mainly because I was singing along, than I did the whole night, aside from small conversations with the band afterwards.

As I said, my heart was in need of healing, and that’s exactly what they did that night.  Music is a healer, and when Archer Nation is the doctor, you’re in good hands.

Archer Nation

 

The Saturday Metal Review

PRISMIND

Disciples by Design

(Independent Release 2017)

Written by Tim Duran

10 out of 10

For about a year, I have had the fortune to hear and follow this power prog band from Canada.  Prismind (pronounced, “Prism-Mind”) has all the elements of progressive heavy metal that a band can put together, and  I would go as far as to say that they are a more insane version of Dream Theater’s Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.  They have a thicker tone, and the manic melodies that surround the listening device have gotten me admitted.  PRISMIND is fronted by power vox John Mamone; ultra rad bassist, Justin Faragher; cannon fire by Mike Harshaw; and one of the most technical guitar players, next to Vai and Satch, Kelly Kereliuk.  I have seen and heard many a fine axe grinder, but Kereliuk is one of the finest – another true king of the seven string for the 21st century.

As I mentioned above, Prismind has a deranged atmosphere to their music.  They suck you in with heavy metal intros and spin your head off with all kinds of musical nuances and mosh worthy rhythms.  As a bassist, I am all about rhythm and Justin kills unsoftly with his.  His arpeggios match Chris Squire and his scales are like a six fingered John Myung.  Case in point, “Our Broken Fate” has such a moving bass line; it’s like everything revolves around the bass riff.  He even gets a short (too short) solo in “Void 5:14”.

Speaking of riffs, the intros and all around mayhem of the first two tracks, “Pawns of the Dammed” and “Dagger”, will have you swinging from the chandelier while the tune, “Last Breath” drops some Anthrax vibes on you. True to speed metal, here comes “Time Unforgiving”.  It’s less prog as the others, but the breakdown is an exercise for the fingers and the thrash factor is turned way high on this track.  “Slaves to the Machine” has an interesting, clean guitar during the second part and an easy arpeggio adding grace to impending doom. “Palace of the Mighty and High” is rhythmically similar with the heavy down strokes, and Kelly even throws in some pinched harmonics for a tension builder. Lastly, “Diamond Eye” is like the anthem for the namesake of the group.  Kelly does some house cleaning with all the sweep action in this song!

Downside is moot.  Upside is that throughout the whole record, each musician takes the spotlight.  The vocals are strong and not overexerted, the drumming keeps the heartbeat of the band at break-neck speed, the bassist is percussive and takes the lead in places, and the guitars are phantasmagorical. This record and work of art was a pleasure to listen to and for me to give my thoughts on.  I cannot give Disciples by Design anything less than a ten simply because it never slows down.  It’s a bullet straight into your mind with no exit wound.

Check out PRISMIND at www.prismindband.com and www.facebook.com/prismindband

Disciples by Design available now on Spotify, cdbaby, and iTunes

Prismind at the Rivoli

Prismind/Driftglass/Slyde at the Rivoli, Toronto ON.

Thursday, June 8 2017

 

One of the hottest shows to take place last week in Toronto was tearing it up big time when Prismind, Driftglass and Slyde got together for a night of unbridled rock goodness. The show started promptly at 9pm and it was Prismind that took to the stage first, unleashing songs from the debut CD Disciples By Design.

Prismind performed about 8 songs in the set, giving the crowd a taste of what this band can offer in a live setting. I’ve long admired the progress Prismind has made with these songs over the course of three years, and to finally hear the album played so expertly by 4 guys devoted to their craft – well it all comes up smelling like roses.

They began the set with “Slaves to the Machine” and let the festivities roar into action. The song is a pure foot stomper and arguably the catchiest chorus you will find on any album of this magnitude. From there they played “Dagger” which I have a close affinity to, since the band was gracious enough to allow us usage of this track for a video package promoting an upcoming project being helmed at HMS. Dagger exhibits superb lyrics, allowing singer John Mamone a chance to really shine on stage.

The next few numbers show how diverse this progressive Canadian Metal act swiftly enthralls an audience with the power of their sound. The beefy bass tones of “Our Broken Fate” perk up my ears and I have to give it up to bassist Justin Faragher on this one. Then, “Palace of the Mighty” drives the show with Mamone’s impassioned vocals and the razor sharp riffing provided from guitarist Kelly Kereliuk illustrates how good this band is live. Of course we can’t forget the splendid “Diamond Eye” performed here to thrashy perfection and getting the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up!

The band closed the set with a pair of my favorite tracks from the album. First up we got a total thrasher in “Last Breath” – galloping to life with burning speed and bombastic riffs guaranteed to blow your head off. This track showcases the strength of both Kereliuk and Faragher; a surefire tandem if I ever heard one; not to mention Mike Harshaw’s rousing back support on the drums. The last number closing the set “Pawns of the Damned” soars into a musical flourish of synergy and energy proving that Prismind are a force to be reckoned with on any stage they play.

As a musical entity, Prismind deliver on every level, bringing together a sound from four devoted musicians with lofty goals and ideals. Having seen them play live on a number of occasions I will go on record and say the bar has been raised high and Prismind is here to take that brass ring to great heights.

Just don’t take my word for it, go and see them live!

Wormwood Prophet Society

HMS staff writer Mark Slade is back with another interesting project called Wormwood Prophet Society. It’s a thrilling book of anthology stories centering around a secret society published  by Rogue Planet Press.

We have an audio Ad posted right here! Click on the link and give this a listen to!

ACTORS: PETE LUTZ AND LAURA NICOLE. PUBLISHED BY ROGUE PLANET PRESS, WILL BE AVAILABLE ON LULU.COM.
Reserve your copy now!!
WPS LOGO 2

https://archive.org/details/WPSAD1

 

The Saturday Metal Review

Soundgarden

Superunknown

(Polydor Records)

March 8, 1994

For decades Soundgarden has been a mainstay in my CD player. I haven’t heard a record from them I didn’t like. My favorite album is Louder Than Love, but I am here to tell you about the album that put them over the top commercially. (Badmotorfinger was a huge success, but) Superunknown had more “radio” hits and had a darker reality to it. In light of the untimely death of Chris Cornell I wish to open up to you my thoughts about the place where there is no time or space – a place where every pain is brought to life and every dark corner has no light; a universe known as the Superunknown.

The record opens up powerfully and with almost every nuance that Soundgarden is known for. “Let Me Drown” is a heavy duty number on the ears musically, and weighs heavy on the heart. If you thrash about too much, you’ll miss the deeper meaning of this song.

“My Wave” is another punk-ish ditty about people trying to push their ideology on you. The lyrics are simply explained, “Do what you want if it makes you who you are, but don’t tell me I need to be you. Surf on, just keep it off my wave.”

To mellow things out, “Fell On Black Days” is a trip through Cornell’s deepest fears and a search for a way out. This adagio does get heavy towards the end, adding emphasis and passion to what’s being sung. The next song makes no mention of the title in the song. “Mailman” is a slow groove that gives you the feeling of driving down a highway with your hand out the window, making waves to the wind.

“Superunknown” always reminds me of “Magic Bus” (The Who) and The Magical Mystery Tour (The Beatles). It has an ultra 60’s feel in the rhythms and the chorus is like a mock pop vibe.  It’s like being stuck on a runaway ferris wheel.  The content is like the battle of depression. He wants out, but can’t find the exit.

The mid tempo, modern psychedelia tune, “Head Down” features a rare, soft falsetto in the vocals. Kim Thayil lays on the East Indian chord progressions, but this one always saddens me when I hear it. The lyrics are all about saving face. Smile when you’re down; keep your head up when you’re sad: a game that is perfected in depression.

“Black Hole Sun” is a tune that needs no introduction. I would just copy and paste the lyrics right here; another mellow song with a heavy hand on the drums. Matt Cameron really drives this song home with his jazzy/hard rock style. Another radio favorite,”Spoonman”, is a heavy alternative song written about a dude who was (or still is) a street performer out somewhere in Seattle. The tribal atmosphere of the song is like a war dance, but only in a circular format. Aside from an outrageous guitar solo, they bring in the “Spoon man” (if you will) to shred on a spoons solo. Steal the rhythm while you can!

“Limo Wreck” is one of those songs, where you say, “You know, I’m just gonna’ sit here and watch you destroy yourself.” Too many times society is told to go right, but they want to go left. No one heeds warnings anymore, so you know what, when your world comes crashing down, don’t come crying to me!” Some days you just wish you never got out of bed. “The Day I Tried To Live” is a song about just that. Waking up to find you’re just like those snobs stealing from the poor to feed the pockets of the rich. The lyrics make it out to be a bad dream, but it’s so easy to make it a reality.

Kicking things into overdrive, “Kickstand” is 90 seconds of pure punk with metal overtones. This was always a favorite of mine. Back in the day I had an old school P.A. that sat in the middle of my bandmate’s studio. Whenever we’d relax after recording or writing, we’d prop our feet atop the P.A. One night while having many beers, listening to this record, playing dominos, “Kickstand” played. We both looked at each other and surnamed that P.A., “Kickstand”.

“Fresh Tendrils” is a somber tune that’s easy to get lost in. The beat is smooth, the guitars jangle, the bass locks in with the kick drum, and the vocals go from low to high, to higher, until glass breaks around you. The next song, “4th Of July” defines what “Grunge” is all about. From start to finish, intro to outro, beat and tone, style and feel, emotionless and numb. “Half” is a tune filled with that East Indian style riff, like a sitar on acid. Going back to a more “normal” sound is, “Like Suicide” – this one is heavy. The record ends with “She Likes Surprises”. It opens with a rich Beatles sound in the intro and verses, then slams down the grunge factor with vigor in the chorus.

As far as the releases before Superunknown, they had a much more raw edge to them. This one slows things down for the most part. The few rocking tunes really get the blood flowing, but the melancholy melodies and helpless lyrics of some of the others leave you thinking, “What the hell is he talking about?!”

Some know all too well what Chris Cornell is talking about, and hopefully as they relate to his lyrics, they can find peace and escape. I am not rating this record, I encourage you to play this on your own and come to your own conclusion.

 

 

The Saturday Metal Review

Demon Hunter

Extremist

Solid State

March 18, 2014 

Streaming bright light into darkened corners, Extremist by Demon Hunter spreads truth and hope through the soothing sounds of Death Metal.  Bearing the old school, classic sound with brutal fury, they will melt your soul while firing up a mosh fest.  The title says in a nutshell what the record sounds like.  Extreme lyrics, music, and intensity, the Extremist will lift your spirits, encourage your soul, and pound you like a jack tamper!

Still gargling with sharp rocks and spilling poetry, Ryan Clark is lead vocals; Patrick Judge and Jeremiah Scott show no mercy with guitars; holding down the bottom end, Jonathan Dunn destroys on bass; and everyone’s favorite bear, Yogi Watts, utterly abuses the drums.

The first track begins with a tribal beat and Latin chant.  It rises in volume and then, under the heaviest of rhythms and powerful description, heads straight into two and a half minutes illustrating “Death”.  “Artificial Light” fluxes between Ryan’s guttural punch and his melodious clean vocals, all while the Demon Hunter crew exercises brutality with a mild breakdown.

“What I Am Not” is a classic heavy metal song that tells about the spiritual struggle we all face, and “Last One Alive” carries that classic sound through heartfelt poetry.  In these songs, Ryan uses his clean range to bury the lyrics deep into your mind.  When I think of Demon Hunter, I think of the lyrics and their delivery whether it’s extreme metal or mellow and full of melody.  “I Will Fail You” is one of those songs that burns into my soul, without the music being insane.

“One Last Song” is tucked in the middle of this musical gem with intense rhythms, heavy hand on the snare, and speed to spare.  While on the subject of speed, “Cross to Bear” is venom towards fake martyrs taking on their own punishments and the fact that they have no idea what it means to bear a cross.  It goes beyond simply dragging one down Sunset Strip.  Crucifixion was no joke and was meant to cause the worst of pains and an agonizing death.

“Hell Don’t Need Me” is a mid tempo ditty about finishing the race of this life into a better one, crossing the finish line, even if you’re the last one across.

Okay, enough with the merry melodies, because here comes the pain. “In Time” is an execution in brutality. The chorus breaks down a bit as well as the ending, but everything else is pure power. “Beyond Me” is a beckon to not let your heart grow hard and wander a road beyond the love of God.

Back to the grind in a slow-fast-slow fashion with another set of lyrics that light up the fire in your soul and smothers out the flames with “Gasoline”!

Extremist ends with “The Heart of a Graveyard”, a mid-tempo classic 80’s hard rock sound, (de-tuned of course) that poses the question of, “where do you find your hope?” He begs, “Tell me that your final home is not a shot in the dark/ tell me that your hopes and dreams don’t end in the heart”.

As a long time follower of Demon Hunter, I would say it’s like Part 2 of The Triptych.  The heavy, powerful, and melodic tunes are equal, the lyrics cut to the heart, all from a band that makes no apologies.

Vocals are what matter, here and on every Demon Hunter record, the music is gravy.  Demon Hunter delivers with Extremist, an album that will make you feel every emotion from sadness to happiness, loss to freedom, and finally hope.  They constantly challenge the listener to look deep in their soul and seek truth.  Demon Hunter embodies boldness, humbleness, and honesty, and they do it loudly.  This record gets a 10 for its extreme stand for righteousness and extremely powerful band of musicians that make each song memorable.

Written by Tim Duran

 

Ash Vs. The Evil Dead Season 2 Overview

Ash vs Evil Dead has consistently proven itself to be one of the most entertaining and skillful shows on television.  I’ve previously covered the first the first two episodes of season two.  It is in these episodes, entitled Home and The Morgue respectively, that we were introduced to the new set of circumstances at hand.  Ruby (played wonderfully as always by Lucy Lawless) is having a problem with her children, who have turned on her and now they are at odds.  This new situation finds her on the same time as our protagonists.  The Ghost Beaters are back at it, taking down Deadites.  Kelly and Pablo are badass and awesome as ever and match El Jefe’s wit at every turn. Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago are such talented actors and more and more show themselves to be an example of perfect casting.  It is also in these early episodes that we were introduced to new characters such as Chet, Ash’s best friend from way back as well as Ash’s distant father Brock.  We also meet Ash’s old flame Linda (Michelle Hurd) as well as her antagonistic husband and local Sheriff Thomas Emery (Stephen Lovatt) and their daughter Lacey (Pepi Sonuga).

Ash and his friends find themselves back in Ash’s hometown, where there is still quite a bit of hostility and tension.  He is still blamed by a lot of locals for the deaths of his friends and sister.  They don’t know the supernatural side of things and believe that that he just snapped and carved up a bunch of innocent loved ones.  He has even been given the nickname of “Ashy Slashy.”  In the season 3 episode Last Call we are given the treat that is Ted Raimi in a wonderful role as Chet.  Raimi and Campbell have a long history together and it’s great to see them share the screen once again.  I couldn’t think of a better character for Ted Raimi to pop up in the show as and their interactions are priceless.  When Ash’s beloved Delta is stolen with the book in the back seat, it is at Chet’s bar that a trap is staged for the young people who took off with it.  This is where Lacey gets more involved.  And for a time, the Delta, Ash’s oldest and most consistent companion, temporarily becomes a villain itself.

Things don’t go quite according to plan and Kelly’s displeasure with how Ash is handling things leads her to join forces with Ruby.  They aren’t at odds with Ash and Pablo but for this time they are separated.  Ruby is not really an antagonist in this season and the dynamic shift is so much fun to watch.  She doesn’t always get along with Ash on a personal level, but in this season they found themselves on the same side, doing battle against evil.

I was happy to see Raimi stick around as Chet as I wasn’t sure if it was a one-time thing.  But his continued presence helped prove that this is a show that truly gets better and better with every step.  Also, the abrupt demise of Brock by way of the Delta running him down showcases Ash vs Evil Dead’s commitment to dark humor and an “anything goes” mentality.  Especially considering Brock was just about to tell Ash something important.  Lee Majors does a great job in the role of the Brock and another example of fantastic casting.  This also allowed the show to go a little more deep into Ash’s past and the abandonment he felt from his father after the initial massacre at the cabin.  This is matched by Brock feeling abandoned by Ash for leaving town.  It’s these little moments that add a nice little touch of humanity to the overall series.

The primary antagonist of this season winds up being the “Father” of Ruby’s children, a sinister being called Baal.  Played by Joel Tobeck, Baal is a fascinating character juxtaposing horrifying powers and a strangely down-to-earth vibe.  Trying to defeat Baal proves difficult for the gang.  In the episode Confinement, the characters get stuck in the police station together and see first-hand the manipulative nature of Baal.  This is where we are treated to his ability to wear human skin and take on whatever form he finds nearby.

Eventually Pablo becomes more and more at risk, finding himself becoming one and the same with the book.  Even their ultimate goal may mean Pablo’s destruction leaving Pablo has the most tortured character of the season.  This subplot really shows the group’s commitment to one another.  Even when they are temporarily divided, they care for one another.  Ash puts on a show of his “nothing touches me” personality but it comes through clear that he is unwilling to accept Pablo’s death as a possible outcome of what they are doing.  Ash needs his friends and this truly comes through in this season.

Filling in as a minor antagonist is Thomas, the cop who hates Ash with a passion.  The two knew each other growing up and he and Ash was not exactly buddy buddy.  Throw in Linda, a former girlfriend of Ash’s who is now married to said cop and the whole situation adds some nice little drama along with the slicing and dicing.  The chemistry of all the characters is as sharp as ever and I’m finding myself only more drawn into the story.

Eventually the season finds Ash in an asylum, putting reality to the test.  It is here that Ash is told that he has been there for decades, ever since killing all his friends and sister at the cabin those years ago.  We see Pablo as an orderly, Kelly as another patient.  Ash isn’t fooled, however, and when we see the real Ghost Beaters show up outside the asylum walls, ready to break Ash out it’s a wonderful moment that brings us back to what’s really going on.  I was also delighted to see Evil Puppet Ash, as throwing puppets into the mix only adds to the fun and fluidity of the overall season.  The gang gets the best of Baal and Pablo uses his new powers to cast Baal away.  However, it leaves him in two pieces on the floor.

This mixing up of different fun and exciting concepts continues when the characters go back in time to the 1980’s.  This is when all the cabin stuff was first getting started and Ash must step back into the moments preceding the first film.  It never for a second feels hokey or audience-pandering; the cabin is genuinely worked in with great result.   It’s nice to see the familiar territory, although the continuing story is anything but expected.  Eventually the past version of Ruby who is still working with Baal comes into the mix and present Ruby who is on the same side of the Ghost Beaters ends up dead.  Eventually Ash does battle with Baal and although Baal backtracks on a previous promise to leave Ash and his friends alone, Ash gets the drop on him and slices him back to where he belong.  As the cabin explodes, Past Ruby and Baal enter the depths of hell.  And thanks to time travel and the will of Ash and Kelly, Pablo is once again part of the gang, alive and well.

It’s nice that at the end of the season, Ash finds himself a hero staring down the crowd of adoring fans that once wanted his head on a plate.  After giving what is now one of myfavorite hero speeches of all time it is clear that Ash is moving back to Elk Grove and will protect it at every turn.  However, a little glimpse of Past Ruby gives us reason to believe that there is plenty more in store for our hero and his companions.  Ex-Girlfriend Linda is back on good terms with Ash.  Now having loss a daughter and husband who didn’t survive the ordeal in the end, it makes sense she would stay around for whatever comes next.  Linda may have ended things on bad terms with Thomas, as he turned on all of them and was used as handyman for Baal, but her daughter Lacey’s death will most likely fuel her own Deadite hatred.

There are some great blood and guts moments strewn throughout.  Ash vs Evil Dead has a wonderful way of using gore and violence in such a creative and artistic way.  From having to venture into a human corpse to bathroom chainsaw splatter action, the red stuff flows in the form of pure entertainment.  Overall, this season is fantastic.  It doesn’t lose even an ounce of the charm and thrill of season one and only ventures further into what makes it all so great.  Plus, the chemistry between the characters is sharp as ever.

Ash vs Evil Dead is the kind of show where anything can happen but whatever happens, it’s always the right move.  The show’s cast, crew and creators have such a firm grasp on what they are doing that it provides a level of trust in the viewer.  The show shows a great respect and love for the franchise’s fans without cheaply just tossing out references to gain some quick acceptance.

Few shows stay this consistently wonderful and I have a strong feeling that not a single dip in quality will occur throughout the entirety of the series’ run. That may sound like a bold statement but there is such a find handle on everything, I’m nothing but excited for what is to come for Ash, Kelly, Pablo and the friends and foes they’ve collected along the way.

Written by PJ Griffin

Ash Season 2

 

Butcher the Bakers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The official trailer for Butcher the Bakers, a new slacker horror/comedy from Hometown Hero Production.

MEDIA CONTACT:

P.J. Starks (executive producer) – starks.pj@gmail.com

SYNOPSIS:

A grim reaper terrorizes a small town, killing and collecting souls for a purpose only he knows. Sam and Martin, slackers who work at the local bakery, are hired by a mysterious stranger to stop him from killing again. This leads them on a ridiculous journey full of blood, guts, monsters, and cookies!

ABOUT THE PROJECT:

Hometown Hero Productions is an independent film studio hell-bent on making delightfully weird films your mother will hate to love. Founded in 2015 by a naive group of small town fools, it has turned into a productive team of passionate and creative people. Butcher is third film from writer/director Tyler Amm (River City Panic, Grace’s Room) and executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood franchise.

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z7rfTuB1N0

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Become a fan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HometownHeroFilm/

You can also find more information here at our official site http://hometownherofilms.com/

Here’s what the director had to say:

“Butcher the Bakers is made up of all the elements I love about my favorite films: blood, guts, comedy, a sense of adventure and most importantly, bizarre characters. From The Evil Dead, to Bill & Ted, to The House of the Devil, I’m a fan of horror in whatever form I can consume it. I’m excited for the release of my newest film because I really feel like our team channeled elements from those films and created something weird and special. Bringing on P.J. Starks as an executive producer was really the next logical step to help us grow our audience. Being a small outfit from the Illinois Valley, it’s a hit when 500 people buy tickets to the local screening of your film. With P.J. on the team now, we have a wider reach and are looking forward to hitting the festival circuit, seeking out distribution, and leaving copies of the film in random mailboxes.”

Review/Spotlight on Logan’s Room

Logan’s Room EP

(Independent Recording)

Written by Tim Duran

9.5 out of 10

Call it the rebirth of 80’s hard rock, but it’s 100% Hollywood glam with heavier instrumentation and painfully powerful vocals.  Logan’s Room from Long Island, NY mixes the wonderful sounds of glam with grunge and heavy metal.  Blending the vibes of L.A. Guns, Alice In Chains, a touch of Rage, and Slipknot they play with vigor along side lyrics that spew venom and vinegar.  A combination I’m sure that will please the metal purist.

Logan’s Room is fronted by Jordan Klinger who also plays rhythm, Matt Capitano on lead axe, and David Kaufman on bass.  Mike Giordano plays drums on the EP, but Tommie McGuckin replaced him December 2016 on drums.  Together they rise up and drop the beat on your noggin until you’ve memorized each song.  I’m sure this five-song, self titled EP is only a taste, rather a tease, of their repertoire.

“Flip Me Off” kicks off the lyrical smack down.  It’s melodic, catchy, and Klinger gets all Corey Taylor in some spots.  “Locked Inside” has that mid-tempo, dark, early Alice in Chains feel.  I like the songwriting here.  It has that Alice in Chains tone; yet, it has tons of originality.

“Karma” is a fast train through a tunnel of distorted guitars and some sweet triplets.  This one and “In Vain” have deeper bass tones and intensity.  “In Vain” feels too short for a four minute long song.  It grabs you in a choke hold right away but then lets you go before you pass out.

The EP ends with “Our Boys”, a somber number about soldiers that have died in war.  It starts with a marching beat on the snare, like a funeral drum, then the other shoe drops as it becomes intense, heavy, heartfelt, and with no “F” bombs.  It’s interesting in the second verse where Jordan sings in English and Hebrew.

Downside, the download didn’t come with the “Parental Advisory” sticker for the lyrical content, so parents, be forewarned!  Upside, are tracks one thru five.   Although the songs are short, they leave you wanting more and that’s the selling point.  If they were boring, you’d hear two songs and think; okay I get the gist and go onto something else.  On this EP, every song is different from the other.  Each grabs your attention and keeps it.  I would have liked it if they did a little more at the end of “In Vain”.  It’s a great song, but I think a solo at the end or a chaotic, winding crescendo would add to the intensity instead of fading out.  The other songs either had a natural decay or a quick end.  All in all, I dig the sound, love the flashback, the songwriting is fantastic, and the musicianship is prodigious.  I give Logan’s Room a 9 ½.

You can check them out here:

https://www.facebook.com/LogansRoomOfficial/

Logan's Room 2

The Saturday Metal Review

8

Def Leppard

Pyromania

Vertigo/Mercury Records

Released January 20, 1983

In 1983, one of the colossal releases of the 80’s dropped heavily like a bomb on Hiroshima. Even the title, “Pyromania” suggested this was going to be one of the hottest releases ever. It surely proved that Def Leppard were more than a just a fledgling NWOBHM act; releasing two metal friendly albums in the late 70’s. With this being their third venture, the band transitioned into a more radio-friendly approach – offering a platter of glam, metal and rock and thus creating a formula of successful releases for the next few decades to come.

Pyromania was the first to feature guitarist Phil Collen, after founding member Pete Willis was let go for excessive drinking midway through the recording process. The album was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, helping the group shift their sound and ensuring a successful entry at #2 in the Billboard 200; following that with positions on the Canadian Charts at # 4 and # 5 on the UK Charts. The album received mostly positive reviews, despite a few notable journalists calling the album a step-back from what was previously recorded. Luckily, fans didn’t agree as the album sold over ten million copies in the US alone!

As for the songs on this release; all the tracks are fire-laden-emotionally charged numbers that are still played to this very day on the radio. The heavier numbers like “Rock, Rock (Till You Drop), “Stagefright” and “Die Hard the Hunter” will grab you by the balls – but the Top-40 hits like “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin’” have all been firmly cemented into the rock stream consciousness; forever becoming synonymous in the band’s live set-list. The melodic/heavy hooks are infused throughout the songs; helping to obtain major exposure on MTV; proving to be a massive success for the 80’s hard rock movement.

There’s not a bad song to be had here and the balance of heavy riffs with the synthesized sounds, was the perfect calling card for the newly improve Def Leppard. My favorite tracks are: “Action not Words”, “Comin, Under Fire”, Rock Rock (Till you Drop), “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin’”. Albums like this are hard to rate just given the mythical status they ascended to over the years, but if I’m ever going to give a perfect 10 then this is going to be it.