Album Review: The Hu – Gereg (2019 LP)

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I heard an interesting conversation recently. “What band is playing tonight?” a passerby asked the bouncer. “The Hu” he responded. “WHATTTT??? THE WHO!!!!! NO WAY” she exclaimed. “Not that Who. It’s spelled H-U.”

The Hu isn’t trying to fool classic rock fans by having a similar name to the great British band. The band name is a Mongolian root word for human being. Everything about this band reeks of tradition. If not from the 1960’s classic rock roots then perhaps the 1260’s Mongol Empire. Traditional Mongolian instruments such as Morin Khuur (horsehead fiddle), Tovshuur (Mongolian guitar), Tumur Khuur (jaw harp) are mixed with guttural throat singing to form the majority of the music. The band however throws in more modern instruments such as bass and drums to kick it up a notch. They call their music “Hunnu Rock(s)” (Hopefully they stay as far away as they can from Vince Neil).

I am borrowing the following track by track guide(in quotes) for this album from an article in Louder. My comments follow the quotes.

The Gereg – “The Gereg was the first diplomatic passport introduced to the world, by our ancestors. In the 13th century a person who had the Gereg could travel through many countries without any harm and restrictions. We named our album The Gereg so that we can travel to every country in the world freely and share our music with everyone. Our album is our passport to the world.” The pounding drums that begin this one off let you know this will not be another traditional music album. Right away the vocals remind me of Du Hast by Rammstein. The German language can sometimes be perceived by English speaking folks as sounding angry or aggressive even when it is not meant to be that way. That theme continues  throughout much of this album. I don’t understand a word of what they’re saying, but I love it. Thankfully the band was allowed to obtain a Gereg and share their music with us.

Wolf Totem – “We believe that everyone has a warrior in them. Through Wolf Totem we wanted to wake up those inner warrior in each of us so that you can face your fears and overcome them. This song is about facing and accepting the adversaries and coming out as a winner.” The mix of traditional fiddle sounds, the unique guitar tone, the booming bass and pounding drums mix with gutteral noises and driving chants to make an absolute killer of a song. So good!!!!

The Great Chinggis Khan – “We wanted to tell the world our side of the story. He brought to the world so many good things such as postal service, diplomatic passport, international trading and etc. It was filmed at Burkhan Khalduun, the birthplace of Chinggis Khaan, in February of this year in minus 30°C degree weather. The cinematic video shares the story of Chinggis Khaan as he is portrayed in Mongolian culture as an inventor and a founding father of the country rather than the worldly view of him as a warrior and conqueror.” The vocals on this one have an almost angry, forboding tone that do seem to actually be more warrior like than postal service like though.

The Legend of Mother Swan – “This is a tale of the power of a mother’s love for their offspring. In Mongolian culture we deeply respect our mothers because they are the reason we’re here on earth. This song tells a story how a mother swan protects and saves her babies by sacrificing her own life. We felt like this message should be shared with everyone in this modern world.” The vocal harmonies are beautiful and the pounding drums pound.

Shoog Shoog – “Shoog shoog is the calling of the Tengri [Mongol gods], when the shamans connect to ancestral spirits. This song is praising our sacred landmarks and offering our fate and bounty to the hands of the Tengri. With the upbeat tempo we’d like to inspire our listeners to get energised.” This one begins off with a chant not unlike if you substitute the “oi” in TNT with “shoog”.  Any song that reminds me of AC/DC is ace in my book. The vocal sort of morph off into an almost Rob Halford like sound. AC/DC, Judas Priest with a little Rammstein.  Sign me up. I can only imagine that the Tengri would be very pleased with this wonderful sounding song.

The Same – “The lyrics of the song came from a poem written by Tsogt Taij, which was carved on a rock known as “Tsogtyn Khadnii Bichig” (Rock Inscription of Tsogt The Prince) in 1624. The message of the song is that the truth is the same everywhere. You could be the king in heaven or a king on earth but your judgement on good and evil is still the same.” Sabbath-like scary howling wind noises begin this one off. The jaw harp sounds (which originated from the lower class) would place this song in the popular Mongolian hillbilly heavy metal genre that is thrown about all too often these days.

Yuve Yuve Yu – “This song is about respecting our elders and protecting nature. We are asking our generation: ‘why are we like this?’. We travelled over five thousand kilometres in 14 days to Western Mongolia off roads to make the music video. There were times we were freezing on top of a high mountains or sweating in the desert. We wanted to show the world the beautiful nature of Mongolia.” Tapping my feet while chanting “yuve yuve yu…” over and over. A really fun song.

Shireg Shireg – “This is a farewell song for the warriors from their parents. Back in the days when Mongol warriors went to war, their parents would share their wisdom with them and wish for a safe return. When you listen to the song, you’ll hear in the distance the sound of a horse trotting, as the soldiers used to leave their homes for war with their horses. This particular song contains the message about a warrior with a Gereg who travels the world and delivers the words of the Great Khaan to all.” I hope the parents of these incredible lads inspired them to write this song. The use of wood winds set this song apart.

The Song Of Women – “In our culture, respecting women is one of the most important things. They should be respected and loved everywhere in the world. Every woman is beautiful in her own way. We wanted to praise the women through this song and encourage them to be free and to pursue their dreams.” Wonderful words indeed. This is a mellow album closer that inspires both in sound and meaning.

These guys seem like really cool dudes. Someday I would love to sit around a fire listening to them play some tunes, eating sea-buckthorns, drinking Arkhi out of some old wineskin and wondering how we’ll be able to snap a good photo of that snow leopard from the album cover(and beautiful 4th side etching). For now though I can put this album on numerous times while perhaps doing some research on Mongolia. On a side note, Howie Weinberg did an amazing job mastering this album. This pressing sounds beautiful. The production and sound quality are wonderful. Really well done for a band from wayyyy out in left field. If you like Rammstein, AC/DC, Rob Halford and tradition, you will love this album. If you don’t, you will love this album.

9.9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Album Review : The Cars – Greatest Hits Volume 2

After hearing the sad news that Ric Ocasek had passed away I wanted to do an album review as a tribute. The only thing is how to properly convey his music. I figured an album by The Cars would be the best since being the leader of that band was how most people remembered him. The self titled album would have been an incredible one to review since it is practically a greatest hits comp from cover to cover. Heartbeat City would have been a great one as well since most people love it. I however am not a fan of Drive, and felt this album was a just a little too soft for my liking. In 1985 The Cars released a single vinyl comp called Greatest Hits. It had 12 songs and I loved 10 of them. This was a great comp but to me it left off probably a dozen or more songs that could have been included. Therefore I am pretending that the band released this comp, mostly because I hope some of you check out their back catalogue.

You’re All I Got Tonight – I can’t imagine having the nuts to tell this to a woman. Awesome song but I bet a few dummies got a smack down back in the day.

Bye Bye Love – The simple guitar riffs, wonderful keys, vocal mixing of dead pan lyrics and cool harmonies make for one wicked tune.

Moving In Stereo – Easily my favourite song by the band. It just drips cool and the visual of Phoebe Cates getting out of the pool in Fast Times At Ridgemont High just seals the deal. Doesn`t anyone knock indeed (The song is also used in Stranger Things Season 3, but this pool scene just isn`t the same).

All Mixed Up – The guitar work is brilliant, the keys are sublime and the vocal harmonies are amazing.

It`s All I Can Do – The keys have an Emerson, Lake & Palmer feel to it. Sort of a New Wave version of Lucky Man.

Candy O – This song from the album of the same title (which Alberto Vargas came out of retirement to draw the album cover) may have been named for Candy Moore who was the model that inspired the album art. I am not sure, but I know it rocks.

The Dangerous Type – It has sort of Tom Petty meets Talking Heads feel to it.

Down Boys – Panorama may have been The Cars least appreciated albums, but this song and the next sound pretty  good to me.

Running To You – Like the band itself, this song is impossible to tie into one musical genre. Some garage rock, some rockabilly, some new wave, some hard rock guitar.

Cruiser – The guitar  tone has a Kiss feel to it. The band really knew how to shake it up.

Maybe Baby – The wicked drumming and guitar work may just have been the hardest stuff the band put out.

Hello Again – The keys in this one are very much like early Bon Jovi. I just wish I had used this on my answering machine back in the day.

Too bad the band never saw fit to release this album. I would have bought it for sure. RIP Rik. You will be missed.

10/10

 

Album Review: Eddie Money – Life For The Taking (1978 LP)

We got the sad news yesterday that Eddie Money had passed away from cancer. FYC. I figured the best way to honour his memory would be to review an album. While his self titled 1st album and his 1986 come-back album Can’t Hold Back would be the 2 he was most remembered for, I chose to review a lesser known outing. This album features the same musicians that did most of the work on the self titled 1st release. Garry Mallaber and Lonnie Turner (the drummer and bassist from The Steve Miller Band), Randy Nichols (played on Summertime Girls by Y & T among many others) on keys, and relative newcomer Jimmy Lyon on guitar.

Life For The Taking – Right off the bat the listener realizes this isn’t a power pop song that Eddie was best known for. This was a late 70’s hard rocker that feels more like Bad Company than pop hit machine. The musicianship on this one soars, especially the wicked guitar work.

Can’t keep a Good Man Down – This blaster could easily have been on a Whitesnake or Bad Company song. If you fellow rockers thought Two Tickets To Paradise and Take Me Home Tonight were all that Eddie had to give, you need to go back and listen to this one.

Nightmare – This has a 70’s Southern Rock feel that could have helped resurrect the career of Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers careers had they wrote it.

Gimme Some Water – I was always taught that gimme, gimme never gets. That expression is wrong because this listener got a  wicked song jammed into his ear holes. It has a story behind it that involves a young lad about to be hung for shooting another. The theme is not unlike a Johnny Cash or Kenny Rogers song. One of those songs that you can see the character inside your head as you listen. Very cool.

Rock And Roll The Place – The best part about this upbeat rocker is the amazing guitar work.

That is one stellar side of music. If this keeps up it may even push this album into a perfect score. I flip the album over and get ready for side 2.

Maybe I’m A Fool – As the needle drops my first thoughts are “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F?” My guess is the record label wanted to try and cash in on the disco craze that was still huge in 1978. This has elements of disco, r&b, jazzy horns and a whole lot of selling out to the man. So much for a perfect score.

Love The Way You Love Me – Billy Joel was also huge in 1978, so the record execs probably figured they could cash in on a Billy Joel-ish song. It’s actually a pretty good song, but the songs on side A are more my style. Kudos to the guitar and piano work here. Billy would have had a hit on his hands with this one, not that he needed it.

Maureen – Horns, hand clapping and harmonica dominate this one. If you have a weird obsession for the letter H, this might be the song for you. I, however do not, and this isn’t really the song for me. I can only imagine Foreigner used this song as a basis for their song Luanne, although the Foreigner song is much better in my eyes.

Nobody – The horns on this one are more my style. A slower, bluesy track. Sort of in the same vein as a Blues Brothers number. This song brings side B back up a few notches. The vocal harmonies are pretty cool, as is the sax solo. The guitar work was more subtle on this one, but still really good.

Call On Me – A really great song. I have a huge issue with the lyrics though. “I’ve had women yes I have. I’ve had ladies, and I’ve had, had little girls with nails like lace. Had nails just like digging in, digging in. And somehow feeling good….” I had to lift the needle and play that part again because I thought I misheard it. Nope. Anyway, the guitar work here is absolutely sublime. Jimmy’s tone is so wonderful that it makes up for the lyrics that for some reason seemed ok 40 some years ago.

I suggest if you are a fan of Southern Rock, Billy Joel, Whitesnake and especially Paul Rodgers that you give this album a shot. You won’t be disappointed, and it may give you a different perspective on Eddie Money. I know it did for me. R.I.P Eddie. You will be missed.

8.25/10

 

 

 

 

Lee Iacocca Top 5

I just heard the sad news that Lee Iacocca passed away. If you’re not a car nut then you may not know who Lee is. The most famous things he did was bring the world the Ford Mustang and later saved Chrysler Corporation from bankruptcy by making the K Car (in all of it’s many forms), the minivan, and by buying Jeep. He was a great visionary and will be missed.

5

4

3

2

1

75th Anniversary of D-Day

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944 the largest seaborne invasion in history began. Nearly 5000 landing craft carrying over 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel and landed in Normandy France. Allied casualties were over 10,000 men compared to 1,000 axis men. I am not a war monger, but I do have a great deal of respect and gratitude for the men that fought in this battle. I can’t imagine what it was like to step off a landing craft and straight into hell on earth. The reason we have the freedom to write/read blogs today is in part because of the men that fought for democracy.

Leon Redbone(R.I.P) Top 5

I just found out that Leon Redbone died today. He was a very enigmatic man who was usually seen with a Panama hat and dark shades. He was often aloof and never gave his real age or any background information. A humorous statement on his website claimed he was 127 years old. He didn’t really have many hits, but he had a cult following that included a number of other performers. He had a Canadian connection since he moved to Toronto in the 1960’s and played the nightclubs.

 

5 Frosty The Snowman (with Dr. John)

4 Diddy Wa Diddy

3 Ain’t Misbehaving

2 Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)

1 Seduced

Last but not least a video with Leon, Bryan Cranston, Ed McMahon and Alf.

R.I.P. Leon.

Newsflash: Toronto Raptors Fire Drake And Hire Maestro Fresh-Wes!!!!!!!!!!!

Newsflash!!!!! Toronto Raptors have fired Drake partly for his stupid antics and mostly because his music sucks ass. The new team global ambassador is Maestro Fresh-Wes most famously known for this awesome song from 1989. Check out these lyrics and tell me why Maestro didn’t become a worldwide sensation.

 

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Maestro Fresh Wes – Let Your Backbone Slide (power Mix) lyrics

Intro
This is a throw-down, a showdown
Hell no, i can’t slow down
It’s gonna go
“down”
“first offence,” “on the mix”
“down, go on and break”
“down”
“o.k. party people in the house”
“may i have your attention please”
“in a moment the beat will be played in many parts”
“come on and break”
“many parts, many”
“1”, “2”, “3”
“come on and break”

[maestro fresh wes]
This jam is amplified, so just glide (glide)
And let your backbone slide

You listen to every word i say
I every verb you heard i play snaps a vertabrae
You try to cover, a hover me, a roast, a fake,
A flag, then i run a post
Toast, i’m the most
D-e-f’s how it goes
No x’s or o’s or tic-tac-toes
Ltd knows, this ain’t a game, i’m on a mission
Call me a hip-hop, tip-tac-tition
I rap just like a slab of clay that’s shapeless
Jeff ain’t no shimmer, no glass is tasteless
A universe without light is lightless
That’s why i always take time to write this
I mold it in my hands before i start chiselin
Could be a rain, or brainstorm, or drizzlin
Sun could be shining, sun could be showerin
Practice make perfect, and i’m powerin, flowerin
My lyrics are awesome
Tunin’ from human, bloomin’ a blossom
Blowing away blockades and barracades
Make ya black and blue from the blast and the blaze
It’s a bloodsport, bloods builds up back
I make your vision go blurry
While your brain goes black into oblivion
Beats from box to box to bates
Rocks from blocks and blocks
Let your backbone slide

[maestro fresh wes]
Just let it slide y’all, i don’t give a (damn! damn)
If ya backbone quiver
Man oh man, watch ya swiver
Wind some twine your spine while your slither
It’s contagious, an epidemic
You try to lift, you’re cool, but it fell again
Rap scholar, soul like a dominican
But like i said before, i’m not american
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/maestro-fresh-wes/symphony-in-effect/let-your-backbone-slide-power-mix.html]
It’s who you are, not the way you went
We all originate from the same descent
I make alot of cents, sense, and pence
Gold (gold), myrrh and frakincense
When i’m in france they blow me francs
Frank, with your swiss account is the way i bank-pank
At home, i make bills are brown from my sound
In the states green like the grass in the ground
When i’m in england, they pass me pounds now
I clock cash in every town, so i slide (slide)
But nowadays, i’m trapped
(why’s that?)
So many suckers on my sacroiliac
It’s like a rap-sack, backpack
(wic-wic-whack)
Give me some slack jack
Rap is like a jungle
Where rhyme for rhyme is like a vine to vine
Swung line to line of mine
I’m collossal, you’se a mosquito
I’mma play tarzan, you play cheetah
Cheeta, biter, love to forge
Better yet, i’ll call you curious george
’cause curiosty cold killed the cat
Can’t hide so black to the side
Let your backbone slide

[maestro fresh wes]
The keyword is synchronism
Yo, check out my homeboy dance to the rythmn
And hey, this hey, oh, this ain’t forte
I’m coming double-f
Fortissamo, f-f for funky fresh
My dj is ltd, mellow-flex
You listen to the poetry, big jumbo jet
Vocabulary golden, beats from my rollin
Stone cold lyrics with the microphone i’m holdin
Words i rip, egos i strip
I make sucker crews kick, dick van dyke flips
I get busy, they’re dizzy, they start to collide
They should’ve stepped off (stepped off), i let it slide
But now they got brasen, dry like a raisin
I glaze like a vase, i smash you like days
Until they realize, they shouldn’t have ripped
It’s ’89, not beetoven’s fifth or sixth
It’s a throwdown, i’m conducting it
Because like a highrise, i’m constructing it
Was once thoughts, pen, and paper
Now it’s a tower, a soul, a skyscraper
It’s getting out of hand after i’ve created a monster
My musical monologue makes you wanna
Move with the maestro
You feel hot so you set the blend, the cresendo is nice yo
I’m the guy, the rhythm is a ride (the rhythm is a ride)
To the fresh side, and let your backbone slide

This is a throwdown

This 12″ has 5 versions of the same song. The power mix, bonus beat, and acapella version are on Slide A. Club mix and instrumental are on Slide B.

Congrats Maestro and Let’s Go Raptors!!!!!

Album Review: Cochrane – Hang On To Your Resistance (1974 LP), R.I.P Deane Cameron

I just heard yesterday that Deane Cameron died of a heart attack while walking through the woods. Many people would not know who he was. He was only ever featured as a musician on 2 albums, Cochrane’s soundtrack album to the movie My Pleasure Is My Business, and the album I chose to review here. The reason I chose to mention Deane is that even though he may not have been on many recordings, he was an instrumental part of Canadian music for over 50 years. Deane worked his way up from a teenage job in the warehouse at EMI to the president of the company, a job he held for 25 years. Among the bands EMI signed under his direction were April Wine, Corey Hart, Tom Cochrane (his old friend from the Harvest and Cochrane days), Anne Murray, Buffy Sainte-Marie (he was a proponent of indigneous music in Canada before mostly anyone else), Glass Tiger, Stompin’ Tom Connors (Deane along with Rheostatics convinced Tom to come back to music after he retired), Rita MacNeil, The Moffatts, Helix, Econoline Crush, The Tea Party, Moist, Prism, Zappacosta, Luba, Nickelback, Serena Ryder and many others. In 2010 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2011 the Canadian Academy of Recorded Arts and Sciences awarded him the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. More recently he had taken over as president and CEO of Massey Hall (of which he had been overseeing the massive renovation) and Roy Thomson Hall . He was great for Canadian music, and as it turns it, a pretty damn good drummer.

Hang On To Your Resistance – Jangly guitar sounds start this one off, then it morphs into a 70’s country rock feel good song. It has sort of a Jackson Browne feel. Deane has a breezy sort of jazz feel to his drumming. You can tell he was having fun while playing.

West Coast Saga – Great harmonies start this one off in the vein of a certain band The Dude hates. It almost pre-dates itself though as it has a certain late 70’s rock band feel. The guitar work is really great, the drumming airy and Tom Cochrane’s vocals are even higher pitched than we are used to.

Charlie Was A Dancer – Tom sings this one with a whispery softness that grips you. The vocal harmonies are wonderful and the quiet, but powerful guitar gets the point across.

Didn’t I Lorraine – This one seems like a timeless song that could fit into the 60’s (Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash), the 80’s (REM), and the 90’s (Sloan, Blue Rodeo). It just shows that a really good song can fit into any era.

You’re Driving Me Crazy (Faith Healers) – This one has a Jackson Browne feel and the orchestral arrangement sets it apart from the normal 70’s songs. Tom Cochrane hits the high notes on this one very well.

I wish That I Could See You Now – Tom Cochrane’s voice sounds a little more like we are accustomed to here.  Again the vocal harmonies are great and the instrumentation is really good too.

Revelations: Visions In A Dream – This one starts off like an early Yes song, then seems to turn into an early Red Rider song. I bet Tom used this song as a baseline years later for Don’t Fight It.

What’s In You – Dave Cooper (Ian Thomas Band) adds some sweet guitar licks. It has a southern rock feel and is a real toe tapper.

When I’m With You – A really nice number with guest Allan Booth contributing some amazing piano playing. As good as any Elton John or Billy Joel hit from back in the day.

Another Page – A quote from Youtube explains this song better than I can “WOW!! That was staggeringly fantastic. I’m blown away because i didn’t know anything existed from Tom before Red Rider’s debut in ’79. Tom was only 21 here in ’74. Wisdom, and maturity already. Very impressed with the entire album. Thank You!!!”

A really nice album. If you are a Tom Cochrane/Red Rider fan or a fan of great 70’s music, you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. R.I.P. Deane Cameron. We wish you well.

9.5/10

 

Album Review: Big Wreck – The Pleasure And The Greed(2001)

Big Wreck announced on their Facebook page that guitarist Brian Doherty has been fighting cancer for 9 months and it is now terminal. There is a Gofundme page for his family. For a tribute to him I thought I would review the lesser known 2nd album by the band. This album got less promotion, little fanfare and was the end of the original version of Big Wreck, as the band broke up shortly after it’s release. (When Ian & Brian re-formed the band in 2012, David Henning and Forrest Williams were not invited back)

Inhale – The only song I remember getting a sniff of airplay from this album. The music world had changed between In Loving Memory and this album. The Nickelbacks and NuMetal pan flashers had taken over. Both heavy and poppy at the same time. It has a driving beat and the guitars are smoothed over just a tiny bit to appease the masses. Still a very good song.

Undersold – Has a heavy Alice In Chains feel to it for the most part but I also get some early 90’s rap/rock bits thrown in. Wicked heavy guitar mixed with soft acoustic bits and cool harmonies.

Knee Deep – The guitar dominates this one, but the vocals and drums are pretty awesome.

Everything Is Fine – The song has a mix of trippy, almost sitar like Beatlesy psychedelia mixed with heavy grungy blues. Again, wonderful guitar and Ian’s voice is sublime.

All By Design – Has a Led Zep feel. Not enough for the Greta Van Fleet hate mongers to spew nonsense, but it is there. Brian was given music credits on the sleeve, so maybe he was the one that suggested to give the song a Zep feel. This song features backgound vocals by Daniel Greaves (Canadian band The Watchmen).

Mistake – This is one of the slower songs on the album, but the music is definitely heavy.

Ladylike – This one is an odd mix of what sounds like country banjo mixed with pounding bass and drums. Sometimes odd is good and when the amazing guitar gets mixed in we get great success. The solo here is wonderful.

The Pleasure And The Greed – The distorted guitar work accentuates a song that has the best of a number of mid 90’s alternative bands. Speaking of 90’s alternative bands, Daniel Greaves from The Watchmen is welcomed back here on background vocals.

No Fault – The first mellow song on the album. It has a bit of a Fool’s Overture(Supertramp) feel to it. Wait, I spoke too soon. It’s not mellow after the first minute.

Breakthrough – Wonderful slide guitar mixed with heavy ass riffs. How can I not love this one? Speaking of a breakthrough, this song also features background vocals by a pre-Alter Bridge/Slash gent named Myles Kennedy back when he was in a band called The Mayfield Four. This is an interesting note because both Myles and Ian Thornley were considered by Velvet Revolver for frontman at different times(Ian auditioned after Scott Weiland left but he would not be allowed to play guitar which was a deal breaker for him and Myles turned down an audition request before Scott joined the band because he was suffering from tinnitus and taking time off) and the 2 are now friends.

Ease My Mind – A bit more Zeppelenisque mixed with Scott Weiland meets ’40’s bluegrass. If you think you would like to hear this cool combo just as much as I do, proceed with ears wide open.

Broken Hands – This a some heavy mofo guitar playing. The broken hands likely sustained with power chords. Roughly in the last 1/3 of the song, the bass booms us into  submission. Perhaps broken hands from trying to keep up the wall of sound.

Head In The Girl – TMI lads. No seriously, a driving beat that will have your head bobbing (In the girl?)

All Our Days Are Numbered – This one starts off like a metal song mixed with a country twanger. Then morphs with some sweet vocals and an amazing guitar solo.

West Virginia – This one begins off with the sweetest slide you’ve known since your days in the playground. It has chugging heavy guitar mixed with high pitched (but not to the point of being annoying) riffs. If this was what West Virginia was all about, I would visit more.

Defined By What We Steal – Ok. This is the first mellow song of the album. Although this one is not really that mellow, and it does get heavier part way though. It might be the weakest song here by a margin. I would have left this one off. It’s a shame that this song is the last one ever by the original band.

I went into this assuming that a 16 song album would be way too long. It would have way too much filler. I was wrong. It really is a solid, heavy album. Much heavier than anything Big Wreck has done before or since. 15/16 is a pretty damn good score. That would be 9.375/10. I will knock a bit off for the lack of info on the sleeve. Useless quotes and stupid pictures are not what this guy needs. I want the dirt. Who played what instrument and where. I will give most of those points back though for including Jeff Woods and George Stroumboulopoulus in the thank you credits. Those dudes are pretty cool Canucks.

9/10

FYC. Thanks for the wonderful guitar work Brian.

Movie Review: The Dirt (2019)

SPOILER ALERT – You may want to watch the movie first. Just be warned as I will be dishing The Dirt as it were.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it) this movie was released shortly after the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody. I LOVED that movie. Perfect 10/10 from me. I saw it 3 times (I have never seen another movie more than once in the theatre) but I wanted to get the review perfect and life got in the way. By the time I was close to writing it, the movie had won a bunch of awards and was released on video. So I shelved it. The unfortunate thing is, this movie will be held up to a higher standard. The fortunate thing is that new fans that have never heard of Motley Crue may watch it. Partly due to the Queen movie, and partly due to the fact that it’s on Netflix (brilliant plan lads).

The movie begins with a scene on Sunset Strip and the apartment where the band lived. “The cops kicked down the door so many times we bolted it shut. People had to go in and out through the window”. I call bullshit. The lady water fountain scene in the living room of the apartment in front of a large crowd is probably bullshit as well.

The scene changes to Nikki Sixx back when he was a young Frank Ferrana Jr. His mom is portrayed by Kathryn Morris. She is an awesome actress that played on tv show Cold Case. She plays Nikki’s mom brilliantly here. She is so concerned about her one night stands that she has little left for her son. Nikki is mad that his mom blames him for the father leaving, so he cuts his arm with a knife and tells police it was his mom. He makes a deal that if she leaves him alone, he will tell the truth. He later makes his way to California and calls his real dad, who tells him to never call again. He legally changed his name to Nikki Sixx right after that.

The scenes next were of Nikki wearing a Metallica t shirt (probably before that band was formed), and the continuous flashing of the devil horns(probably before that was popular), and Tommy leaving home wearing his sisters pants (seemed to have been taken right from Bohemian Rhapsody).  Tommy goes to see the band London. He meets Nikki in the Denny`s and Nikki tells him that London broke up. (I was sure I had read somewhere that Nikki Sixx sucked at playing an instrument before joining Crue. No mention of this in the film.) Tommy, Nikki and Greg Leon (who seems to struggle with the riffs Nikki wants him to play) reply to an ad in the paper for a ‘loud rude aggressive lead guitarist…’ and Mick Mars arrives. He instantly outshines Greg. Nikki then gets Mick to fire Greg. Nikki wants to find a lead singer that is in the mold of David Lee Roth. Tommy then brings Vince Neil on board and the rest is history. (There are missing former members/try outs such as Michael White, O`Dean Peterson and possibly others). They contemplate band names. Nikki tries X Mass. Tommy The Fourskins.  Mick offers Motley Crew, which is changed to the name as we know it.

Elektra rep Tom Zutaut(who later signed Guns N Roses, Sloan etc.) appears to sign the band to a five album deal 30 seconds after meeting them (while refusing oral sex from a woman under the band’s table). I know it took a lot more than that to sign the band.

The next scene is Doc McGhee meeting the band at a party that also features David Lee Roth. Then Mick tells the audience that this didn’t actually happen this way and mentions how it sucks that Doug Thaylor was cut from the movie. This scene is one of the best in the movie as far as I am concerned.

Jump to hotel pool scene. The band is sitting around the pool and Ozzy yells out “Drinks are on me” while showing his bare ass(with money between his cheeks) to an old lady, then snorts ants and licks piss off the pool deck., and tells the band “Come here and have a talk with Uncle Ozzy” (If I had had Ozzy for an uncle, family reunions would have been wayyyyy cooler). Another great scene.

The band does not sugar coat the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle. As a car guy I have to point out that the car that Vince in the movie is a Corvette, but was actually a De Tomaso Pantera in real life. The scene in the car before the crash is pretty funny, although morbid. Vince asks “Who would you rather fuck? Cyndi Lauper or Boy George?” Razzle replies “How about neither”  (The short stint Vince got in jail for vehicular manslaughter is a real joke, but since either he or the record company forked over $2 million, I guess money talks.)

The next scenes focus on Nikki strung out on heroin and listening to his mom on his voice mail. Then we see the daily routine of Tommy Lee on the road. Waking up chained to a bed, drink, meet radio dicks, go on stage, get stoned and drunk, go to strip joints, do stupid shit, get chained to bed, repeat. Doc allows Nikki’s mom to show up. She says “That song, Looks That Kill. It`s about me right”. Nikki freaks out and fires Doc. Nikki spirals out of control and for a guy who hates needles, I can hardly watch him injecting into any vein he can find.  Nikki is strung out at Tommy’s wedding to Heather Locklear and causes a fight. He later overdoses and while one paramedic is about to call time of death, the other says “No that’s Nikki Fucking Sixx. He’s not gonna die in my ambulance” and gives him a shot of Noloxone into his chest, and Nikki lives. (This scene gives first responders a bad name, as if one life is worth more than another, but it was cool). Later Nikki convinces the band to go into rehab. The sober band records Dr. Feelgood and it becomes their first #1 album.  While on the tour Vince and Tommy miss home and go back to drinking.  Vince’s wife leaves him and he becomes unreliable. There is a funny scene in which Tommy wants to kick Vince out of the band. “It worked for Van Halen.” The scene shifts to Vince watching Van Halen on a tv interview. He takes the battery out of his phone and the band faxes him, ‘Get your ass over here.’ The band fights and Vince complains about the material (which turned into the self titled album, and that album rules so I have no idea) and quits the band.

Surprisingly the band do feature the John Corabi era. The band is interviewed and they mentioned they replaced Vince with someone better, and it’s about now and not the past. Vince is watching this in a bar and the bartender turns off the tv and says “Man they suck without you.” (There are a few scenes with Vince moping in a bar as if that is all he could do without Motley, even though he actually recorded solo albums)

The next scenes are about Vince’s daughter Skyler dying. I did tear up in this part. As a father of a young lady I can’t imagine losing her. I actually felt bad for Vince for the first time in my life. If a movie can make me care even a bit for Vince Neil, it really has done a good job.

The scene flips to Motley Crue before a concert in a mostly empty stadium and fans with ‘We Want Vince’ and ‘Bring Vince Back’ signs. My guess this was possibly true, but may have been more about the changing music scene. They may have been just as empty with Vince. It seems Corabi got the brunt of the blame here unjustly.

Nikki meets with Tom Zutaut and asks him to tell Elektra that the band will give up any money owed if the label will give them back their rights to the music and eventually it works. (Tom meets Nikki at the same table that they met at earlier and Tom mentions the woman under the table in their heyday. Nikki says “Not anymore”.

The band(minus John Corabi) meet with Vince and agree that the band is a family, and they want to get back together. Then the scene shifts to the final tour and some scrolling lines.

“All I can say is we fucking made it dude. I don’t know how we’re not dead or in jail. We shit on a lot of people and did things we regret everyday. But somehow we’re still here. In it together. That’s fate. That’s family, and that’s Motley Fucking Crue.”

The movie has its faults. It shows women in a bad light. There are a bunch of untruths, inaccuracies, and exaggerations. The casting left something to be desired, especially for the band members (unlike the amazing casting on Bohemian Rhapsody). Mick looks too good, and Vince is not nearly pretty enough. However, it did entertain me, made me feel bad for a douche bag, and included parts that the band seemed to have ignored. I am a fan of the band and have seen them a few times over the years. I had no ambition to see their final tour, but I really wanted to see this. It really is a pretty good flick. I say check it out and decide for yourself.

7.5/10