Aug 3, 2013

Aerosmith, The Vibrators & more!

By Bob Suehs

AEROSMITH

”Rock For The Rising Sun” DVD

Steven Tyler & Joe Perry are the American equivalence of Mick Jagger & Keith Richards...they defined 2 decades of rock n roll and somehow are still going in 2013.

In 2011 Japan was hit with tragic natural disasters which caused the land of the rising sun to falter...this is where Aerosmith decided to help out by playing a string of concerts in order to help Japan. The shows were all filmed and released as a package entitled “Rock For The Rising Sun” which spliced together the best of each nights performances coupled with band interviews, and random off stage footage .....for the most part this is a fun documentary on the bands 2011 Japan rescue shows.

Oddly enough “Dream On” is not featured on this concert which is actually fine because most of the tracks on this set are all rockers which include “Draw The Line”, “Mama Kin” & “Last Child”.

The sad reality of this dvd is that the band is no longer as vital as they once were....Tyler’s voice is clearly not as strong as it once was, the band members come off a tad weathered and old and I think the only saving grace for Aerosmith at this point is Joe Perry’s guitar playing which is still strong sounding.

When you watch “Love In An Elevator” it’s interesting to watch the lead guitar breaks because quite often many Aerosmith fans forget that Brad Whitford plays just as much lead as Joe Perry although you tend to forget Brad simply because he stands in Perry’s shadow....Whitford definitely shreds though!

“Train Kept A Rollin” is the last track of the movie & it’s coupled with an Aerosmith mega fan...that footage is quite funny and the bonus section features 2 rare Aerosmith gems that the old school fans will dig!

I could easily bitch about this dvd & say that the band are old, far from their glory days and not as relevant as they once were BUT I’ll look at the positive aspects and state that it’s pretty cool that the original band is still up there, they still play solid for their age and at this point I’m glad we still have Aerosmith in 2013!

KING COUNTRY QUEENS

”Ladies & Gentleman, Your....”

Musically this cd sounds cool with soothing indie rock tones...the guitars are clean & nothing’s super heavy with each song emphasizing mood more than tone.

I hear The Lemonheads as a big influence on this band and each song is a solid singer/songwriter styled gem.

THE OF

”Oh It’s The Of”

Depending upon what you call art this record will either be the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard OR the biggest piece of crap you’ve ever heard.

Musically this disc is all over the place, there’s avante jazz, dark blues, weird rock licks, art, bombast & it’s hard to even describe the psycho-frantic styles on this record which take the listener on a journey...that journey is what the listener makes it because the music on this record is 100% pure artistic expression and I’d say this record is the soundtrack for a full frontal lobotomy! (that last reference is a good thing btw!)

THE GRISLY HAND

”Country Singles”

As the title of this cd infers, this is a country record for the most part & it’s an interesting mix of pure country, alt rock, singer/songwriter & a tad off from what Rock N Roll Experience usually reviews but it’s good overall.

LIQUID CASING

”A Separate Divide”

I give this band BIG props for putting together really cool interactive artwork on their latest release entitled “A Separate Divide” because everything was clearly put together as a labor of love and I think it’s awesome when a band takes the time to create cool artwork which enhances the visual aspect of the physical product of music.

The sounds on this record are weird, spontaneous, hard to explain & very much like the soundtrack to a nightmare because the slow moments are shaken by the harsher moments.... overall this record is more of an experience than a record where you can break it down to singles...each track is an epic journey to another realm where you either lose your mind or you miss the point to each track.

My only complaint would be that each song is a tad too long because most people have short attention spans and when your songs are 6+ minutes in length you get into the Iron Maiden / Lynyrd Skynyrd “Free Bird” area where the songs are sooo freakin’ long that you can zone out at some point....that’s just my personal opinion though & musically Liquid Casing are an amazing musical experience!

THE VIBRATORS

”Greatest Punk Hits”

This ultra cool 17 track compilation pulls together the best tracks from all of The Vibrators releases & it’s an interesting listen because you can hear how the band changed gradually...”Baby Baby” is probably my personal favorite & to be honest with you I don’t really consider The Vibrators to be a full on punk band because they are actually too good to be punk...punk rock refers to a scene & a sound BUT The Vibrators touch on the 70’s glam sound a tad and I like the band simply because they have a style that’s fast, loud & punchy....I mean I guess there is a tad bit o’ punky energy in the bands sound but I don’t really lump them in with bands like The Stooges or The Ramones because their style is just very different & they play a cleaner style of rock which has a polished sound to it.

IN HEAVEN THERE IS NO BEER

”The Kiss or Kill Music Scene” DVD

From 2002 - 2007 the LA Music scene had a unique sub scene that was split from the Sunset Strip...the bands of the Kiss or Kill scene all supported each other, the fans stuck together and it was a fun little community of Cali-misfits but the thing is, unless you were a part of this scene this documentary will eventually get boring as you watch it. What I mean by that is, the Kiss or Kill scene was a small, tight knit community of bands & fans which lasted for 5 years BUT there were no stars from the scene.... the average Joe’s that tell the story of the Kiss or Kill scene begin to bore you with their teary eyed retrospectives on a scene that they lived for, yet no one really knew of.

Every town in every state across the USA has a small, tight knit community for local bands and I don’t really think most people will find a documentary on unknown local bands extremely interesting after a few minutes because in this era of reality tv & internet over saturation EVERY person who pics up a guitar is a “rockstar” according to their facebook page and I’m not so sure the rest of the world cares to see a 2 hour documentary on bands that never made because this story is happening in every small town for the most part.

Don’t get me wrong, this documentary was put together well & the footage is good, I just didn’t find it interesting past 20 minutes because if you are part of your local scene in your respective area you will realize within a few minutes that they are telling the same story you have already lived.

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