Looks That Kill


In a week where we have seen the tragic demise of Motörhead, tonight sees the end of the bad boys of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Mötley Crüe, fortunately by choice unlike Motörhead.

I did actually try to snag tickets for tonight’s curtain call at the Staples Center, but to no avail. It would have been interesting to see how I would have afforded the flights to Los Angeles, but that was a bridge I didn’t have to cross.

I’m surprised a live feed isn’t available tonight so that the Crüe heads worldwide can experience their last outing with the lucky 19,000 in the arena, but it was announced yesterday that a DVD was being shot. That roller coaster in glorious technicolor…

I’m sure there will be more Crüe on this blog in the future, but here’s a track from their break through second album and genre defining release, Shout At The Devil, to “celebrate” the end. Who would have thought back in 1984 four guys wearing makeup and spandex would court so much controversy with a pentagram on their album cover (job done in my book then!)

All the members are going their own way at midnight – if they survive the rumoured guillotine supplied by Alice Cooper – and I’m looking forward to seeing Nikki Sixx bring his latest band Sixx:AM to British shores in the very near future.

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Youth Gone Wild

It hasn’t taken the conspiracy theorists long to dissect breaking news from yesterday that Skid Row vocalist Tony Harnell has quit the band less than a year after joining. So obviously Sebastian Bach is returning to the fold, almost two decades after leaving the band, AND they’ll be supporting the latest incarnation of Guns ‘N’ Roses. Let’s watch this space shall we.

I’ve seen Skid Row a few times and Sebastian Bach too, but never on a stage together. In hindsight I’d loved to have seen them alongside L.A. Guns and Love/Hate in 1991, but again that was scuppered by transport issues. By their next headline visit in 1995 I was more immersed in the hardcore scene. If I knew what I know now and I had a time machine I would be at so many more gigs!

Like Appetite For Destruction their self titled debut is another really strong offering and another personal favourite, but compared to Guns ‘N’ Roses they followed it up with the superb, and much heavier, Slave to the Grind. I remember buying that in my first year at college.

I’ve dabbled with fanzines since I was at school, so sometime around 1989 was my first attempt. I didn’t know how or where to get interviews from so my first “issue” featured a Skid Row interview “borrowed” from a chat that appeared on a local radio station’s rock show (thank you Paul Anthony!). I didn’t have a typewriter at the time so it was all transcribed by playing and rewinding a cassette tape copious times and scrawled out by hand on my mothers living room floor. Needless to say it never saw the light of day

I really don’t like it when I just pick something at random to ramble on about as picking a track to offer you is too hard!! The link below has changed at least half a dozen times so far. I’ve settled on my introductory song to the band from the debut release – and my fingers are crossed the iPod shuffle spits some more Skid Row out sooner rather than later.

It’s So Easy

Well after doing some proper research, rather than just relying on Wikipedia, I don’t need to post the track I was going to do today for another week or so! Say hello to it’s replacement…

  

Over the last few months there’s been a lot of talk of a reunited and original line up tour for Guns ‘N’ Roses. Yesterday information was “leaked” that the band are due to headline 2016’s Coachella Festival in California. Since the idea first surfaced it was going to be what the fans wanted – the Appetite line up. In reality what people might be getting is a rehashed version of Guns ‘N’ Roses with frontman Axl Rose, the return of originals Slash and Duff. Current G’n’R guitarist Richard Fortus replacing Izzy. All rounded out by either current drummer Frank Ferrer or Steven Adler’s replacement Matt Sorum, so not exactly original or even a classic lineup. No doubt if it happens in any shape or form expect European festivals probably on 2017. 

I’ve never seen the band live under any guise and after the band’s tardiness on their last few tours I don’t know if I would pay good money to see this nearly classic line up. 

Appetite For Destruction remains one of my favourite albums and one of the strongest debuts released. To me every track from one through to twelve is a great song and all could have been released as singles. It covers all the bases too. You’ve got the radio friendly tracks, a few cigarette lighters in the air ballads and some short sharp punky numbers which garnered them the tag as “the most dangerous band in the world” at the time. 

My introduction to the band was seeing the video to Welcome to the Jungle on the music video show The Power Hour. Narrowing down a favourite changes almost weekly. So for today my favourite track from the album is the sweary It’s So Easy – but this is an edited version so no need to turn the volume down at your work station! 

  

R.I.P. Lemmy

R.I.P. Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister


Born a Stokie 

Died a Legend

 

What truly horrible news to wake up to this morning, the sad passing of a real Rock ‘n’ Roll legend. I know grown men who will have shed a tear over this news this morning.

For 40 years with Motörhead and three before that with space rockers Hawkwind, Lemmy has been treading the boards all over the globe. Many expected him to be the only thing roaming the Earth with the cockroaches when the world implodes, but cancer really doesn’t care for reputations when the grim reaper is dispatched.

Very rarely seen with out a bottle of Jack Daniels or a packet of Marlboro’s, he notoriously lived the Rock ‘n’ Roll life style to the very end. By no means the right way to live, as I have seen put by some people today, but it was his way.

For me two bands with their roots in Stoke-on-Trent changed the face of heavy music to what we have had for over 35 years, Discharge – the D-Beat punk inovators, but no one more than Motörhead.

Motörhead bridged that gap between rock and punk and were (well, actually still are) embraced by all genres. Just look at at all the tributes paid to the man on social media since the news broke. Rock and metal heavyweights like KISS, Aerosmith, Nickelback, Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica. Thrash metal bands Kreator, Anthrax, Overkill and Dark Angel, prog rockers Rush. Conflict and Anti-Nowhere League from the punk world. Hatebreed, Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front from the hardcore scene. Glam metallers Mötley Crüe and Poison. I’ve even seen a tribute from indie rockers The Wonderstuff! Without Lemmy none of these bands, and countless more, would have existed and the musical landscape on the rock front might have been so so different. Even the usually stuffy Radio 2 have paid tribute to Lemmy throughout the day.

 

Splinter

I stuck the iPod on shuffle when I went to bed last night just to listen to a bit of music before I dozed off. First band up yesterday was Sleeper. No. Not the Louise Werner fronted Britpop band from the mid 90’s, but the John Lisa fronted mid 90’s melodic hardcore band from Staten Island, NY.

I’m not entirely sure where I first heard the band. I’m thinking I may have listened to their track on the Allied Records compilation Music For The Proletariat, then went and brought the Splinter 7″ also on Allied in 1993, a time when I was heavily into the melodic hardcore thing.

I also recall buying the previous self titled release via an auction ran through Armed With Anger Records from Bradford. It is a limited coloured vinyl and I have copy number two out of 500.

When I did my fanzines at the same time I did an interview through the mail with John Lisa. Way before I had a computer to type up the hand written replies it was all done on a type writer, then cut and pasted into place. Actually, it used to be fun, but ultimately very time consuming and the information would be very quickly outdated.

Those with sharp eyes might have noticed this is Splinter by a band called Serpico. I read an interview years ago that the UK band wanted to keep the name so John Lisa sold them the name and he continued the band under the Serpico banner.

Systematic Reduction


Harlott hail from Melbourne, Australia, and have released one of the best unadulterated, pure thrash metal releases of the year with Proliferation. Proper heads down, fast metal. No ballads, no over long solo’s, no death metal screams and grunts.  Thrash metal how it used to be played at it’s height. Comparisons can be made to modern era Slayer with a nod to recent Exodus, but these lights will fade sooner rather than later and some bands will need to carry the torch, and Harlott are doing a mighty fine job with their sophomore effort.

Seen on stages over on this continent when they opened up for Canadian heavyweights Annihilator on their mammoth five week European tour earlier in the year. It was good seeing an opening band have a proper 45 minute set rather than a brief 20 minutes and off they go, and it made it really worth while getting to Birmingham early to see them.

Australian thrash metal is now more than just Hobb’s Angel of Death and Mortal Sin.  There appears to be a cracking scene developing Down Under with some of the most exciting bands I’ve heard for a long time.  Check out fellow Melbourne band In Malice’s Wake some time! Actually, thrash metal is alive and kicking worldwide, so a new school thrash metal thread is most definitely on the cards with this blog next year.

 

Scream


Golgotha (named after the hill in Jerusalem where Christ was crucified) sees born again Christian Blackie Lawless and his cohorts return with, for me, their strongest album since 1992’s The Crimson Idol, and I though previous album Babylon was good.

According to Lawless himself Miss You from this album was one of the first tracks written for the Idol album, but not used.  when I saw them live earlier in the year and it was played alongside other Crimson Idol material it slotted right in.  When you have an epic set piece like The Idol on the 1992 release it does seem hard to think where Miss You would slot into the running order, but it sure would be interesting to know and slot it in yourself and listen to the previously imagined version.

W.A.S.P. (or should that be Blackie Lawless?) haven’t exactly invented the wheel since their 1980’s and early 1990’s heyday, they’ve just taken a break and come back a bit more focused and released something that they used to be so good at many moons ago.