Friday, March 14, 2008

Now's the Time, The Time is Now...


I want to acknowledge the fact that Silverchair's debut album, "Frogstomp" is a true grunge classic. Was it revolutionary? No. Was it groundbreaking and inspiring? Not really. Does it come across as raw visceral energy with towering riffs that take no prisoners? You better believe it! The album was released in 1995 by Sony Records, and was recorded when each member of this Australian three-piece were only fifteen years old. Fifteen! They were mere high school kids, whose music didn't change the industry by any means, but certainly left a blistering mark in the grunge archives. People compare them to being clones of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Bush, but when you get down to it and actually listen to their album, they don't really sound like clones, but more a combination of their influences. Certainly the guitars have their Pearl Jam influence, as can be seen on their smash hit breakout single, "Tomorrow." Daniel John's voice however soars with a raw angst that is very genuine. Even the band looks down upon this album, as they no longer will perform any of its tracks live. In an interview, Daniel Johns spoke on the album as being from a high school garage band. Well Mr. Johns, it just so happens that high school garage band went on to sell over four million copies of their album worldwide, and firmly placed Silverchair on the map. The entire album was recorded in less than two weeks time, after the band had won an independent radio contest in Australia. "Tomorrow" achieved massive radio airplay in America, Australia, as well as Europe. The track served as the most played Modern Rock track of 1995 on U.S. radio. An excellent track, with great guitar textures, and an awesome video to accompany it.

While Johns' wails of anguish and teenage angst can sound like a mix of Eddie Veddar and Gavin Rossdale's voices, is that really a bad thing? It is hard to believe that a fifteen year old kid can sing like that at all. His voice doesn't sound like any high school kid I've ever met! His lyrical subject matter is diverse for a grunge act, ranging from genocide awareness, child abuse, and family issues, to the more typical songs about animosity, alienation, and suicide.

The music rages and chugs like a train speeding into a tunnel, while Johns' vocals soar high above the heavy sludge. Stand-out tracks include: "Israel's Son," "Tomorrow," "Pure Massacre," and "Shade." A solid and consistent release from start to finish, it is truly remarkable how young they were yet still possessing such musical talent. While they may not have been the strong songwriters they have become these days, that should not take away from the moody intensity and sheer rock fury they have created. The band develops sonic sculptures crafted from the overdrive and distortion of their sound, to come together as a comprehensive simplistic raw unnerving masterpiece.

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Today marks the release of my BRAND NEW mix, Dan Goldin presents...Good Rock Music vol. 17! With my recent discovery of the unreleased Toadies album, as well as the release of The Gutter Twins album, a new mix was much needed. Most of the selections on this edition come from albums and artists I have been writing about on this blog. While taking the time to write in depth track by track analysis, I have been discovering great new appreciations for many of the songs.

NOTES:

Christian Langdon made his songs available to download on myspace and I am pleased to have my own copy of "Rock n Roll." That really is a great, simple song.

The Whigs are a far more indie band than I typically listen to, but I just can't stop listening to this song of theirs. I saw them perform it live on Conan O'Brien one night, and I've been hooked since. Their new album is a thorough mix of all things 90s.

The Gutter Twins music is hypnotic and mesmerizing. You would be hard pressed to find two singers whose voices complement each other greater than the pairing of Dulli and Lanegan.

Glacial are an underground band from Salt Lake City, Utah of all places. I first discovered them on CDbaby.com when they were recommended for fans of Failure, Shiner, and Pelican. The thought of these three bands sounds all being mixed together intrigued me, and I ordered the CD. When it arrived, it was every bit as good as I imagined it would be. Their style of mixing wide heavy atmospheric guitar riffs with the space rock melodies, progressive drums, and great vocals blows me away. Imagine the sheer thunderous musicianship of Isis, with the vocals and melodies of a Ken Andrews project. A full review of their album will be coming in the near future.

I gave White Zombie my first real listen of their music since I was probably in elementary school, and I definitely enjoyed it. The same Rob Zombie singing as always, but the band chugs and churns behind him with a heavy b-movie groove. Doom filled sludge that somehow gives way to monster funk and psychedelic blasts.

I realized that until the very last mix I made there were never any Stone Temple Pilots songs on any of the previous fifteen volumes. I have no excuses for this other than a lot of their songs are almost "too classic," and seem redundant to include. Never-the-less though, they have countless great songs that have a timeless quality to them. In light of their reunion this summer, I thought I'd include one of these.

Last month I was lucky to have a friend recommend the band Barkmarket to me. They were the brainchild of super producer Dave Sardy, Rick Rubin's right-hand man, and released albums from 1987 to 1996. Their music is certainly not accessible to the mainstream and can be difficult to describe. The sound is about as gentle as sand paper, with roaring guitar arrangements that almost seem randomly placed throughout the songs. Heavy distortion and carnage run rampant in their music, while all somehow seem highly calculated at the same time. Picture a combination of "Downward Spiral" era Nine Inch Nails mixed with the dense heaviness and crunch of Helmet. A full post about their album "Gimmick" is coming very soon!

dan goldin presents...GOOD ROCK MUSIC VOL. 17 (compiled and released on 3/14/08)

1. The Octave Museum - Red Headed Butterflies (S/T)
2. Tripping Daisy - Motivational (I Am An Elastic Firecracker)
3. Christian Langdon - Rock N Roll (www.myspace.com/christianjameslangdon)
4. Toadies - Waterfall (Feeler)
5. Local H - California Songs (Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?)
6. The Whigs - Right Hand on My Heart (Mission Control)
7. The Gutter Twins - Bete Noire (Saturnalia)
8. Glacial - Complicated (S/T)
9. White Zombie - Thunderkiss '65 (La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1)
10. Stone Temple Pilots - Big Bang Baby (Tiny Music Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop)
11. Toadies - Unattractive (Cable Guy soundtrack)
12. Tripping Daisy - Prick (I Am An Elastic Firecracker)
13. The Gutter Twins - Circle the Fringes (Saturnalia)
14. Toadies - Send you to Heaven (Feeler)
15. Barkmarket - Whipping Post (Gimmick)
16. Graveyard - Thin Line (S/T)
17. Shun - Michael in Reign (Michael in Reign)

DOWNLOAD HERE: Good Rock Music vol. 17
password - Rishloo

ENJOY & LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

2 comments:

Mike said...

thanks for introducing me to frogstomp and "stoned", i always had tomorrow on file but never took the time to really listen to the cd, im a huge toadies fan and i also enjoyed those articles, i didnt know that you needed feeler or i would have gave it to you, keep up the good work

ridd1 said...

100% agreed. silverchair's best album, by far, is frogstomp. too bad they hate it.