Category Archives: hard rock

Nirvana – Nevermind: Is It a Great Album?

Album cover for Nirvana "Nevermind"

We were restless. We were young and passionate and starving for great music, music with an edge, music that expressed the turmoil of how we felt. It was 1991 and it was a difficult time to love rock. Hard rock was dominated by bands like Warrant and Extreme and Tesla, bands who could sell out arenas but were devoid of… Read more »

The Dictators – “Let’s Get the Band Back Together”

The Dictators are notoriously ill-timed. Their debut came out a year before the Ramones. The year they were finishing up Manifest Destiny, their follow-up, the Ramones were working on album #3. The Dictators just missed that wave. They broke up too soon to remain in the popular mind as the music they helped spawn gained in popularity. Now, in the… Read more »

Marty Friedman – Tokyo Jukebox 3

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Full disclaimer: I was only able to get through about 2/3 of the 51 minutes of this album. Marty Friedman is the kind of guitar player I really hate. He can put his chops up against anyone, but it’s all wasted on flash rather than performances with substance. Tokyo Jukebox 3 is even more frustrating, because there are hints of… Read more »

Review: Stone Axe/Mighty High split 7 inch

Released: June 29, 2010 Label: Ripple Music Stoner rock always conjures up images of slow, sludgy tunes played in dark, smoky rooms…but it isn’t always like that. The bands on this split EP are perfect examples. Stone Axe’s “Metal Damage” is a mid-paced tune that mixes metal heaviness with a 70s hard rock groove. It has more punch and a… Read more »

Review: Dirt Mall – Pacifuego

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Released: February 2, 2010 Label: Daykamp Records Dirt Mall’s last album, Got the Goat by the Horns, survived more on raw energy than on innovation or spectacular songwriting. The songs were solid, to be sure, but it was the kick behind them that really propelled the album. While that album was well-worth checking out, the band had to kick up… Read more »

Review: Tia Carrera – The Quintessential

Label: Small Stone Records Released: October 27, 2009 Over the course of just a few releases, Tia Carrera has proven not only to be among the best of the modern stoner psych bands, but also one that has paved its own path through the influences that permeate the genre. Their latest album (and first for stoner haven Small Stone Records),… Read more »

DVD: Thin Lizzy – Are You Ready?

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Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment Released: November 10, 2009 Are You Ready? finds the great Thin Lizzy in 1981, on tour for the less-than-great Renegade album. It also features guitarist Snowy White who, by his own admission, never felt suited to Thin Lizzy’s hard rock sound and lifestyle. One would think this would add up to a disjointed and/or disenchanted performance,… Read more »

Review: WASP – Babylon

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Label: Demolition Records Released: October 13, 2009 Are you sick of the 80s? I certainly am. Having the synthpop of my youth sold back to me as if it’s a new thing is bad enough, but the more egregious offenders are the old hair metal dinosaurs who not only want to resell their corporate sound, but also the mindless, superficial… Read more »

Review: Kiss – Sonic Boom

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Label: KISS Records Released: October 5, 2009 Before even listening, Sonic Boom suffers from some degree of disingenuousness just because they dressed Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer up as Ace and Peter. C’mon guys, at least Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent got their own Kiss persona. And gee, the cover art looks a little familiar too. Sonic Boom does look… Read more »

Review: Ace Frehley – Anomaly

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Label: Bronx Born Records Released: September 15, 2009 Anomaly is the latest release from Ace Frehley, but it’s also a good description of Space Ace himself in a sense. After all, he’s the only member of Kiss to make any good records on his own. So, score one for Ace. On the other hand, it’s been 20 years since he’s… Read more »