Posted by KingShamus on October 22, 2012
Rockety Rock Rocktober.
With Soulfly and Sepultura singer Max Cavalera on lead vocals.
Probot was the brainchild of Foo Fighters head fighter Dave Grohl. He wanted to create a tribute to the metal and hardcore groups of his youth. Where most people would unpack their old Judas Priest albums and make a an Ipod playlist, Grohl wrote and recorded songs inspired by the singers from old-skool 80’s and 90’s heavy bands. Even better, he got those vocalists to sing on the sessions that would eventually become the Probot album.
All told, Probot is a faithful homage to classic metal. “Red War” captures Chaos AD-era Sepultura in fine fashion. The menacing “Centuries of Sin” goes from a brisk stomping groove to a hurtling breakneck finish. “My Tortured Soul” is an inspired bit of sludge metal. ‘Shake Your Blood”, with Motorhead’s own Lemmy playing bass and growling, leers as good as anything on Ace of Spades.
If there is a criticism to be made, it’s that Grohl could’ve used some more musicians to flesh out the tunes. Grohl’s drums, bass and rhythm guitar work is spot-on, but a few strategically placed guitar solos would’ve turned a few of the unpolished gems into masterpieces. Unfortunately more than a few songs, like “Big Sky” and “Sweet Dreams”, feel like half-completed ideas. Another collaborator, adding guitar parts or secondary riffs, could’ve helped a great deal.
These are niggling complaints though. For most metal fans, Probot is a faithful valentine to some of the best heavy music ever made. Dave Grohl’s work in the Foo Fighters might be a little too poppy and he might be a flaming liberal bedwetter, but you can’t front on his immense talent.
More importantly, when it comes to Probot, the disc ultimately works because Grohl unashamedly lets out his inner head-banger for all to see. His obvious love of the material and the metal-bro energy he brings to the project mostly smooths over any rough patches along the way. If you like heavy music, Probot is a must have album.
ALSO: I’ll be live-tweeting the debate tonight. You know where to find me. Say, do you think Bob “Not Claudia” Schieeeeeeeeffffeerrrrrrr is going to try to buck up St. Barry’s sagging poll numbers?
Posted in Music Monday | Tagged: Dave Grohl, Max Cavalera, Music Monday, Probot, Red War, Sepultura, Soulfly | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KingShamus on July 18, 2011
First, some acoustic rock from Mondo Generator.
Mondo Generator, led by wildman bassist/vocalist Nick Oliveri, has specialized in documenting the seedy drug-fueled rock underworld. Oliveri has had more than his share of run-ins with the law over the years, but last week the former Queens of the Stone Age bassist just might’ve finally hit rock bottom.
TMZ has learned … cops were called to the home of 39-year-old Nick Oliveri after a neighbor called 911 to report a “disturbance” between the rocker and his girlfriend.
Sources close to the couple tell us … Nick’s GF told police the rocker struck her during an argument the day before … and she had come back to the home to collect her stuff so she could move out. That’s when the two got into another heated argument … and Nick locked themselves inside the duplex.
When cops arrived, Oliveri — who played bass with the Queens for years before parting ways with the group — refused to allow cops inside the residence … and would not let his girlfriend leave.
A S.W.A.T. team was called to the scene — and a standoff ensued. After two hours, Nick finally agreed to let his GF exit the duplex … and two hours after that, he gave himself up without further incident.
When cops searched the home, we’re told they found one high powered rifle — which was FULLY LOADED.
Oliveri was booked on felony domestic violence. He has since been released after posting $100,000 bail.
For me this is sad news. When Nick Oliveri was in Queens of the Stone Age, they were unstoppable. Rated R is one of the top ten rock records of the 2000’s. Songs For The Deaf, which featured Dave Grohl on drums, is an epic piece of work. Since QOTSA leader Josh Homme fired Oliveri in 2004, both of them have been busy putting out spotty, ho-hum discs.
Homme’s work since he gave Oliveri the boot has been really uneven. For one of the most dynamic and quirky guitar players to come out of the 90’s rock scene, Josh’s QOTSA albums without Nick have been surprisingly boring. The only thing Homme’s put out recently that actually jammed was the Them Crooked Vultures supergroup project with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl.
On the other hand, Oliveri’s various projects have been even worse. Dude has been unable to get decent distribution for his albums, mostly because Oliveri’s widely rumored drug problems and subsequent emotional instability seem to have scared off a lot of record labels. Artistically, the bass player’s post-QOTSA work has suffered. While Homme can probably limp along putting out Queens stuff and still get people to buy it, Oliveri definitely needs a collaborator to make solid records.
And now Nick Oliveri has really screwed the pooch. One can only hope this arrest is a wake-up call for the bass player to get his life back together and quit taking drugs like a maniac.
Oh well. Here’s another song from Oliveri’s back catalogue that seems pretty appropriate given the circumstances.
“Meth, I Hear You Callin'”
Get sane soon, Nick.
Posted in Music Monday | Tagged: All I Can Do, Dave Grohl, I Hear You Callin', John Paul Jones, Josh Homme, Meth, Mondo Generator, Music Monday, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KingShamus on February 28, 2011
Dave Grohl, reintroduce yourself to the amped-up rock we all loved on your first two albums.
Amped-up rock, reacquaint yourself with Dave Grohl’s epic scream.
Fans, go ahead and rejoice.
I dig the fact that it’s so lo-fi and crappy. The goofy video premise mated with the rocked-out tune-age? It’s like it’s 1997 again, in a good way.
This song is not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. God, I was getting so sick of the limp pop turds Grohl’s been laying on the public for the last ten years. I might have to buy the new Foo disc.
By the way, it’s also nice to see the face attached to Lemmy’s massive cheek warts is doing well too.
Posted in Music Monday | Tagged: Chris Shiflett, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Lemmy, Motorhead, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins | 3 Comments »
Posted by KingShamus on December 1, 2009
Yes, it fits the dictionary definition of a super-group. Yes, it’s got two guys that have spent the better part of the new millenium resting on their laurels. Yes, none of that stuff really matters. What actually counts is the quality of the music and for the most part Them Crooked Vultures’ self-titled debut delivers the goods.
I’ll admit that it took me a while to get over the band’s pedigree. I found myself picking through the tunes playing ‘Spot the Old Band’s Sound’. Instead of just listening to a song, I’d be trying to figure out how the influences of Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin affected the tune. Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones have fairly outsized musical pedigrees, and the temptation to pick through the material for nuggets of their former groups was too tempting to resist at first. Once I got over that, I found myself enjoying the album on it’s terms.
First, at this point the term ‘old pro’ is too weak to describe these guys. The musicianship and technical mastery isn’t Yngwie Malmsteen-level wankery…thank God…but these three know their way around their instruments and around a recording studio. That expertise definitely helps to create a solid sound. Grohl and Jones are especially synced in, interlocking together to crank out some phat grooves. As far as Homme is concerned, he seems to have been inspired by his new bandmates. His riffs and lyrics haven’t seemed this lively since Songs for the Deaf back in 2002. The snarky humor, the oddly-endearing lyrical wordplay and spunky riffage have all made a welcome comeback for Homme.
All of those factors and more work to create moments of true magic. “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” is the exuberance of a band finding a winning riff and letting it rip. “Reptiles” wobbles and lurches like a drunken bar band doing brilliant Rolling Stones-ish sleaze rock for the 21st century. The surprising “Gunman” makes you think that if they wanted to, TCV could pound out an album of tough dance numbers and beat The Bravery or Franz Ferdinand at their own lame game. Best of all is “Scumbag Blues”. Grohl’s drums snap and march with a ruthless intensity, as Homme croons out his trademark falsetto and Jones’ clavinet turns add funky textures to the proceedings. It’s a truly masterful piece of work and one of the best rock songs of 2009.
There are weak moments. “Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up” has a title almost as long as the song itself and by the four minute mark you find yourself wanting to hit the ‘skip’ button. “Elephants” starts off promisingly, but it too feels like it was stretched out far past the band’s ability to pull it off. If there is a general criticism to be made about TCV is that the album’s songs feel overpacked with ideas and riffs. A little paring down would’ve served the record better.
I would’ve liked to hear this band attack slightly more rocked out material. These three guys have written some of the most pounding grooves in the rock canon. For most of this album, they eschew their heavier side and keep things more on the straight and poppy. While I like the album in general, it could’ve been interesting to see what would’ve happened if they had cranked up the crunch just a bit.
Overall though, Them Crooked Vultures packs a strong punch. Is this disc as world-smashingly great as Zep’s Houses of the Holy, FF’s The Colour and the Shape or R by QOTSA? Certainly not, but then again that’s not the point. For what it was meant to accomplish, TCV is a rousing success. With word that the group intends on making a second album, Them Crooked Vultures seems less than a one-and-done affair and more like a real live band with a bright future. As solid as this album is, I can’t wait for volume two.
Posted in Critiques | Tagged: Album review, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, John Paul Jones, Josh Homme, Kyuss, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures | 7 Comments »