Jan 20, 2020

Pearl Jam, Junkyard, Band VS Brand

Category: CD/Video Reviews

 

 PEARL JAM

“Gigaton”

 Release Date:  March 27, 2020

 Produced by Josh Evans and Pearl JamGigaton features 12 tracks including the first single, “Dance of the Clairvoyants”.

 Gigaton track listing:

1. Who Ever Said
2. Superblood Wolfmoon
3. Dance of the Clairvoyants
4. Quick Escape
5. Alright
6. Seven O'Clock
7. Never Destination
8. Take The Long Way
9. Buckle Up
10. Come Then Goes
11. Retrograde
12. River Cross

 

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JUNKYARD

“Old Habits Die Hard” 

Junkyard’s ill-fated 3rd release which never truly happened on Geffen Records is finally seeing the light of day…sorta.  This collection of songs are demos from what would have been the bands third release.

 This record was set for release just around the time that Nirvana’s “Nevermind” came out and that release destroyed Hair Metal.

 The opening song “Pushed Too Far” explains where the band was headed, and what they were about; if this record had came out either a few years earlier or a few years later it could have been the bands breakthrough release.  Chock full of riffs, raunch, blues, and attitude, this record has a heart and soul which still beats strong in 2020!

 “Out Cold” has a chunky groove, big chorus, and strong songwriting.  “Tried and True” opens with a bluesy guitar passage and this power ballad is a tender moment on the record.

 “Fall To Pieces” sounds like a long lost SuperSuckers song with dirty rock n roll swagger.  “Blue Sin” is straight up blues riff rock and is heavily influenced by AC/DC.

 “Holdin’ On” could have been a radio single with it’s hooky vocals and flavorful rhythm.  This song could have been a hit if Grunge didn’t squash this record before it was ever released.  At times this song sounds like an amped up Gin Blossoms.  

 “Staredown” is a juicy slab o’ metal and punk with a touch of slide guitar.  The rhythm in this song is straight up Malcolm Young.  

 “I Come Crawling” has a quirky opening riff which makes this song the oddball on the record.  The sound of this one is amped up power punk and the heaviness is intact with elements of punk being stronger than metal.

 “Hangin’ Around” is a mellow track.  “Take Me Home” is a 70’s styled riff rocker and “One Foot In The Grave” closes out the record in a powerful way.

 Listening to this record is both exhilarating and sad because on one hand this record sounds amazing and is a well written slice of American hard rock, BUT, this record could have been the catalyst that made Junkyard a bigger band IF it had received a proper release.  Sadly, it was a victim of bad timing. 

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BAND VS BRAND

Documentary

 This documentary delves in the world of how a band becomes a brand and how the brand manages to sustain itself through the years.

 KISS is mentioned as one of the most successful brands in rock n roll and most of the guests in the documentary make comments about how KISS have paved the way for modern rock bands to market themselves.  Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo comments on the subject of KISS continuing without Ace and Peter in make up, that without Ace, Peter, Paul, and Gene it’s not KISS to him.

 Former KEEL guitarist Marc Ferrari is the white knight of this film.   Marc’s commentary, his insight on the music business, and his explanation as to why he decided to no longer pursue rock stardom explains how the inner workings of the music business truly is.

 The subject of multiple acts touring under the same name, illegal internet downloads, and holograms are all touched upon in this documentary.  For the most part this documentary explains ho branding works and it wraps up by explaining how the music business pretty much died.  The core theme is that there are no more rockstars because technology and the death of record companies were the things that killed rock n roll in a nutshell.

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COME ON FEEL THE NOIZE

“The Story of How Rock Became Metal”
DVD

 This documentary starts with the British Invasion, dabbles in the punk movement, and evolves into the birth of glam, speed metal, and ends with current day hard rock.

 Highlights of this dvd include a private guitar jam from Michael Schenker and if you look closely at Michael’s guitar you can see a layer of dust!  James Hetfield from Metallica offers up exclusive interviews, Michael Monroe gives his opinions on the birth of glam rock, Dee Snider explains who he thinks are the kings of hard rock, and Nikki Sixx is randomly in some scenes.

 At times it feels like certain artists simply did this documentary for shameless self promotion while others are clearly in it to explain their love of heavy music.

 Steel Panther offer up witty banter but the interviewer seems to overlook the jokes.  Michael Starr sings “Wait” by White Lion during part of the bands interview yet the interviewer seems to just not realize the joke.

 This documentary has a few small gems including a version of “Orgasmatron” by Motorhead which features Lemmy in goth styled makeup and Lemmy DOES NOT play bass, he just sings!

Author: Bob Suehs