Lyric Quote of the Month!

APRIL 2015

"And on the eighth day God made the art of war, and laughing, planned the end."
from 'Deconstruction' by Nevermore

MAY 2015
"If your circle stays unbroken, then you're a lucky man. Because it never never never has for me."
from 'Invisible' by DIO

JUNE 2015
"I'm Sorry I can't control my dreams. They just mean everything... to me."
from 'Delusional Reality' by SixPOiNTsummer

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Metallica Mix Challenge

Post # 311 (The Metallica Mix Challenge!)



I thought of this challenge as a way for Metallica fans to exercise their fandom while awaiting the release of the next Metallica album. The challenge: what 13 tracks would you put in your Metallica mix (and can you keep it under 80 minutes-to fit it on an audio-CDR?) Try to make the track-list flow with a purpose and direction, and give your reasons for your picks. The hits? The covers? Deep tracks? Early tracks? Later tracks? From the radio-staples to the rarities, anything is game. I polled several of my friends and followers through this blog's facebook page to get some people to participate.

Here are the Metallica mixes that were created by some of the most die-hard Metallica fans I know. You will see that to each fan, different songs speak to them. Sure, there are several examples of truly essential songs that appear in most of these mixes, but as a long-time fan who appreciates every era of Metallica's career, it is interesting for me to see the songs that mean the most to others. Starting with my own Metallica Mix....

HappyHeadbanger's Metallica Mix: I wanted to compile some of Metallica's recent contributions to tribute albums that have not appeared on a Metallica record yet, plus their performance with Lang Lang from the recent Grammy Awards show, then round out the playlist with some deep tracks- favorites of mine that are never played on the radio, and rarely- if ever- performed by Metallica in concert.
1-The Ecstasy of Gold (Studio version, from the tribute to Ennio Morricone: We All Love Ennio Morricone)
2-Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover)
3-The God That Failed
4-Fight Fire with Fire
5-The Unnamed Feeling
6-No Remorse
7-53rd and 3rd (Ramones cover, from the tribute to Ramones: We're a Happy Family)
8-Dyers Eve
9-Broken, Beat and Scarred
10-Phantom Lord (Live- taken from the 'Jump in the Fire/Creeping Death EP')
11-Rebel of Babylon
12-Ronnie Rising Medley (From 'Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life' a tribute to Ronnie James Dio)

Lance H's Metallica MixAll are just my favorite Metallica songs:
Wiplash
Blackened
Harvester of Sorrow
One
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Call of Cthulu
Dyer's Eve
Orion
Battery
The Thing that Should not be
The Four Horsemen
Hit the Lights
The God that Failed

Matt A's Metallica MixHere is my list. This would be my Metallica concert setlist in order. 13 songs is tough. I want it crazy the whole way 

Battery
Creeping Death
Don't Tread On Me
(Anesthsia) Pulling Teeth
The Four Horsemen
And Justice For All
Welcome Home Sanitarium
Fade To Black
Last Caress (cover)
One
The Day That Never Comes
Blackened
Whiplash

Denny J's Metallica Mix:

1. One
2. Creeping Death
3. Call of Kluto(spelling I'm sure is wrong lol)
4. Damage Inc.
5. Cyanide
6. Master of Puppets
7. Breadfan (cover)
8. Battery
9. Fade to Black
10. Four Horsemen


Norry M's Metallica Mix:
The Unforgiven (Black album)
One
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Seek & Destroy
Blackened
...And Justice for All
Battery
Enter Sandman
Master of Puppets
Orion
Creeping Death
Wherever I may Roam
Sad but True


JP S's Metallica Mix:
In no particular order:
All Nightmare Long
Sad But True
Hit The Lights
Devil's Dance
Creeping Death
Disposable Heroes
The Frayed Ends of Sanity
Bleeding Me
Wherever I May Roam
Battery
Sweet Amber
Ain't My Bitch
Ride The Lightning

Mauricio S's Metallica Mix:


1 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
2 Damage Inc.
3 Orion
4 Battery
5 Fade to Black
6 Blackened
7 2X4
8 The Four Horsemen
9 Motorbreath
10 Fight Fire with Fire
11 Disposable Heroes
(1st 12th pick- later omitted: Bleeding Me)
12 My Friend of Misery
13 For Whom The Bell Tolls



Aarin O's Metallica Mix:
1. Unforgiven
2. One
3. Leper Messiah
4. Battery
5. Sad but True
6. Of Wolf and Man
7. Trapped Under Ice
8. Ride the Lightning
9. Seek and Destroy
10. Enter Sandman
11. Creeping Death
12. Harvester of Sorrow
13. Turn the Page ( Cover )

Ian A's Metallica Mix:
1- The Ecstasy of Gold (Live version)
2- The Mechanix (Live '82)
3- No Remorse
4- Fade to Black
5- The Thing That Should Not Be
6- Dyers Eve
7- My Friend of Misery
8- Ronnie
9- Where the Wild Things Are
10- So What? (cover)
11- Unnamed Feeling
12- The Day That Never Comes
13- Hate Train

Ryan B's Metallica Mix:

One
Enter Sandman
Fuel
Cyanide
The Unforgiven
The Unforgiven II
The Unforgiven III
King Nothing
Breadfan (cover)
Master of Puppets
Battery
The Day That Never Comes
The Memory Remains
Turn The Page (cover)

Some fun facts about these 10 Metallica Mixes:

Most picked songs: Battery (8), One (7), The Four Horsemen (4), Fade to Black (4), Blackened (4)

Most picks by album: Master of Puppets (23), Ride The Lightning (19), ...And Justice For All (19), Metallica (17)

Mixes featuring every Metallica studio album: Ian A's, JP S's

Mixes that remained under 80 minutes: Happy Headbanger's, Matt A's, Denny J's, Ian A's, Aarin O's

Master of Puppets was the only album to have every track picked for somebody's mix out of these first ten mixes.

Feel free to post your own Metallica Mix (13 songs or less) as a comment on this post, or on this blog's Facebook Page.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Her Name is Mercy-Oceans (2015)

Post #310

Her Name Is Mercy are the current Independent Band of the Year for this blog, and although I've been trying my best to keep up with announcing their shows throughout the year, I am long overdue to review their recent album 'Oceans'.

Her Name Is Mercy are a hardcore metal band from Lafayette, IN. Their  eight-track debut album, 'Oceans', gives you a little bit from each facet of their musical formula. The most prominent features of their music are of course hardcore screamed vocals, heavy crunching guitar riffs, and intense tempos with powerful double-bass drum rhythms. This is essentially their hallmark, but their talent and creativity doesn't stop there. A close listen to this album in its entirety reveals more layers to their sound...

The first track is simply entitled 'Intro', and sets the mood for the album. Fade-in with the sound of ocean waves washing upon the shore, and gulls squawking in the background. Then a minor key melody begins playing on piano. Cellos join in on the melody, then synthetic percussion followed by true bass-drumming. Lastly come the electric guitars with their powerful heavy riffs. All this is simply to prepare you for the over-the-top intensity that is to follow.

'Faceless' is non-stop riffage and hardcore screams. Vocalist Kory Rogers' voice dwells in the guttural death-metal range for much of the song. This song's formula may be the norm for the album,but there are a few small departures...

'Aftermath' is without a doubt the biggest departure for Her Name Is Mercy on this collection of songs. A clean-tone melodic guitar at the start lets you know this song has something different to offer. While this soft riff continues at a mild tempo, a lead guitar joins the mix. These solos are reminiscent of Metallic's 'Fade to Black'. In fact, 'Aftermath' does for Oceans what 'Fade to Black' did for Ride the Lightning; it gives the album some true variety and depth, making it more memorable in the process.

'Oceans', the title track, is probably the album's crowning achievement. It may not provide anything new, but the intensity, hardcore heaviness, and downright insanity of the vocal delivery are done with some intangible precision that elevates this track a notch above the rest. They even have a music video for this one. Check it out:

For any of you who appreciate hardcore and death metal, take a minute to download Oceans from Her Name Is Mercy. It's currently available for free/name-your-price through their bandcamp page: http://hernameismercyofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

Recommended Tracks:
-Faceless
-Hurricane
-Aftermath
-Oceans

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Her Name is Mercy playing in support of Makeshift Tragedy at their CD release show

Post # 309
Her Name is Mercy, are performing in support of Makeshift Tragedy's CD Release show this Friday, May 29th in Indianapolis, IN and the 5th Quarter Lounge. It's another chance to see this year's Independent Band of the Year live...

Click the link below for details!
https://www.facebook.com/events/715152171938474/

https://www.facebook.com/events/715152171938474/

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Her Name Is Mercy: FREE SHOW This Saturday, April 18th! (Frankfurt, IN)

Post # 308

Her Name is Mercy are about to perform another free concert. 21 and over/no cover, this Saturday, April 18 at the Animal House in Frankfurt, IN. Show starts at 6pm. Guaranteed to be a night of blistering hardcore and death-metal!! Also performing: Damn Us All, Speed God, Only Human, Born Under Burden and more!
https://www.reverbnation.com/show/15496196
 
 
Download their album 'Oceans' from Bandcamp.com

Monday, January 12, 2015

Her Name Is Mercy: FREE SHOW, January 17th- Frankfurt, IN!

Post #307

Her Name Is Mercy recently won the title of 'Independent Band of the Year' here at www.happyheadbanger.com. Their first show of 2015 is a free show at Animal House in Frankfurt, IN. As chance would have it, last year's 'Independent Band of the Year', Psychopathic Daze is also playing this show. Wonder if they'll do any 'Passing of the Torch' ceremony as part of the show? In any case, pure face-melting metal is sure to be heard! Don't miss it!
https://www.reverbnation.com/show/14070657

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Psychopathic Daze: December Shows

Post # 306

Psychopathic Daze are keeping a busy schedule right up to the end of the year. Here are their remaining shows for 2014. One last Chicagoland performance at Elgin's Gashaus, then they travel to Michigan for a pair of shows in New Baltimore and Taylor...

http://www.psychopathicdaze.com/


Sat, 13 Dec
Elgin, IL
 
Fri, 19 Dec
New Baltimore, MI
 
Sat, 20 Dec
Taylor, MI


Catch this band at one of these shows and be sure to follow them on Facebook! Starting in January, the new Independent Band of the Year will be Her Name is Mercy ...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sinister Fate-Hellbound (2013)

Post #305

Sinister Fate are a heavy metal band from Chicago that excel at delivering demented, graphic, hedonistic, and horror-themed lyrics with a traditional, classic heavy metal sound.

https://www.facebook.com/SinisterFateofficial
Their newest album is entitled Hellbound, and is appropriately titled given the band's opinions on sins of indulgence and their affinity for breaking cultural taboos. At times their lyrics depict sexual S&M types of behaviors, so there's even a double meaning behind the phrase Hellbound. The titles may be a little campy and cliché but this band is about delivering the fun side of metal music within the context of the horror subculture.

The album opens with a sampled snip of dialog and it sets the tone for the album as a whole:
"Who are you?!?
Explorers in the further regions of experience. Demons to some, Angels to others".
Then the riff assault begins, and Sinister Fate have no shortage of awesome riffs to throw your way. They sometimes sound like groove metal, mid-tempo thrash, or the heavier side of sleazy hair metal. Their songs convey a dark edge of R-rated Horror-cult themes.

Songs like 'Natural Born Killer' and 'Zombie Bomb' give you headbangable riff fests, complete with classic-metal guitar solos, there are other songs like 'Frankenstein Valentine' and 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' that slow things down, and rely on a melodic and plodding bass line to deliver the song's dark ambiance. Incidentally, 'Natural Born Killer' has a riff that reminds me of Pantera's 'Primal Concrete Sledge'...

Musically Sinister Fate could be described as a heavier Motley Crue, or a more thrashy Rob Zombie. While each of those comparisons has some merit, neither is either of them entirely accurate. Suffice to say, the best way to get the understanding of Sinister Fate's sound is just to hear it for yourself. Hellbound is one of those rare gems of independently produced music where there is not a bad song out of the whole 12-track album (13 if you count the hidden track ;-).

So do yourself a favor, don't wait another second, and just click some of the links that follow, and treat yourself to some hedonistic metal music by Sinister Fate. Your ears will thank you, though your neck may protest!

Recommended Tracks from Hellbound:
-Hellbound
-(S&M) Anthem
-Frankenstein Valentine
-Zombie Bomb
-Drop Dead Gorgeous
-Fetish
-I Love to say Fuck! (hidden track)

Check out their website: http://sinisterfate.com/

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Reagan Youth Interview (11-15-14)

Post # 304

I had the opportunity to interview the 80's hardcore punk band Reagan Youth prior to their show on November 15th at Reggies Rock Club in Chicago. I was curious to hear about how the band's current line-up came together, their decision to start performing again after a long abscence, their new material they are currently working on, as well as their thoughts on music, politics, and life in general. Here is how our conversation unfolded...

 
Transcript follows...

http://www.reagan-youth.com/
(Reagan Youth- clockwise from bottom left: Paul Cripple, Greg Whisper, Tibbie X, Trey Oswald)

HappyHeadbanger: This is Joel Beverley for www.happyheadbanger.com (at) Reggies Rock Club in Chicago with Reagan Youth. Reunited since the 80's and doing a shout tour this year and they're headlining tonight.

Paul Cripple: Yes, yes, we don't really tour that often, we just go like a week away, you know like 10 days at the most. Every two or thee months y'know we play and sing our songs of protest. People like to prortest to our songs by getting fucked up and have a good time, and show society that we can do it ourselves and have a good time and I don't know what the fuck I'm sayin'...

Trey Oswald: And that Peace and Anarchy is a real thing!

Tibbie X: Do what you are.

Paul: Do what I am...

HH: How about you guys just introduce yourselves quick 'cause I assume...

Paul: I'm Paul, the guitar player. I was always in the band...

Greg "Stig" Whisper: I'm Greg. I'm the drummer. I'm relatively new. Two years on...

Trey: I'm Trey. I'm the loud-mouth.

HH: Awesome...

Tibbie: Tibbie X, I'm the bassist.

HH: Ok, so I guess you guys disbanded back in the day...

Paul: Yeah...

HH: So what was the thing that got you to reunite, to get a line-up back together and start playing again?

Paul: You know what, the internet was a big part of it. People liked the band. I didn't think they liked it, but they liked it. And then I played a gig, and people started kinda talkin' shit, and I was like, "Fuck that shit man! I'll show 'em!" And then I got some of the old members and we played and it was fun to play music again. And then I started comin' up with some new songs. It's like I'd been empty for awhile.

HH: Alright, so...

Paul: And so that's what keeps me goin'. It keeps me goin', you know?

HH: And how about the rest of the line-up? How'd you guys come to be in the band?

Greg: For me, I ah, my drum teacher actually introduced me to them. He played for them for a little while. He wasn't a big fit. He used to play with Davey Jones. He's not playing with him anymore obviously, he's deceased, but he turned me onto them. I checked them out, and we got along famously, and ever since then it's been like a family. So...

Trey: What was the question?

HH: How did you come to be in the band?

Trey: Oh! Ah, I sought Paul out in 2006 when the band got back together, back in like... it was like summer 2006. I can't remember the month. And I heard the second record for the first time. I mean I was living in Austin, Texas. I sought him out. We hung out and became buddies. Listened to 70's muscle-car-rock, trade shows. Then I did a Reagan youth tribute band called New Aryans back in 2008-2009 just for the fuck of it on Halloween. Pardon the French. And, we just kind of like were together, and they needed a singer, and then I'm here, y'know? Sweet home Chicago, yeah!

HH: Alright!

Tibbie: Paul and I had a series of tremendously fucked up friends in common. So, they brought us together. And they're not around anymore, and we are.

HH: Alright, so um... when you were like getting into music when you were growing up when you were kids. Who was like some of your early influences that really turned you on to, like, 'Oh! I want to sing music. Or perform, or play music.' Stuff like that...

Trey: The Rolling Stones are the reason I started playing music. And like Guns N' Roses back in like the 80's, man. I'm still kinda young. I'm in my 30's. And you know the Ramones, the Misfits, and ah Reagan Youth. That kinda got me here.

Tibbie: I'd say Reagan Youth, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Adolescence, Agent Orange, Diamondogolas, Lydia Lunch... and ah anyone I could find in the underground 'cause I was stuck in the suburbs where it's really fuckin' boring, so...

Trey: And The Struggling Masses! Even though they didn't get us playing music, they got us here.

Greg: I'm a little different: Blink 182, old Green Day, No Cash, NOFX, Pennywise, Social Distortion, Bathroom Souls. Those are some of the big ones.

HH: Alright Cool.

Trey: Generations, man. It's all tomato/tomato, you know?

HH: Alright, so now...

Tibbie: Smelly Tomatoes.

Trey: Smelly Tomatoes! Smelly Tomatoes were an influence!

HH: Of course, when like the early days of Reagan Youth it was obviously a very political band. Obviously form the name, from the imagery you guys did. And it's like, it's maybe a better question for Paul if he's around, but anyway...

Paul: Yeah?

HH: Early days of Reagan Youth: very political. Very, you know, like reactionary towards the Reagan era...

Paul: Yeah!

HH: Everything like that...

Paul: And it's that same regime is still kinda pulling strings, so I could see why the music has lasted all these years. And that's the brilliance of original singer Dave Insurgent's vision and everything, that he made musically, artistically, and lyrically. So I can see why this band's music is still relevant. And I... as long as it's relevant, I'll have fun playing it.

Trey: The problems are still relevant today. You we have ah... the leaders that are in charge today were originally around when the Carter administration and the Nixon administration went out; the new Republican party came in. And those same people are in charge now! We'll just go ahead and say that.

Paul: Dick Cheney actually used to suck Reagan's cock every Thursday night! And they have that on the White House tapes!

Trey: Now it's Wednesday nights. They've switched it up...

Paul: Ahhh, I think Reagan's dead now. I think Nancy Reagan.... honestly she's a vampire. How could she live so long?

Trey: She just said "No!" "Just say no!"

Paul: How could Cheney have like 8 different hearts put in his chest? He must have real health care. He must have Obamacare!

Trey: Today's open enrollment for Obamacare, by the way.

Paul: I mean, We're just about, you know, exposing the evils of society through some catchy lyrics, and some cool-ass music...

Trey: And to talk about Obamacare!

Paul: Yeah.

HH: So you... any comments on current... I mean, you kinda already are, a little bit, commenting on the current political landscape, and whatnot. I mean it's...

Trey: We have socialist tendencies, which could be alright.

Tibbie: I think this is a very rebellious group of people that are going to be fighting for freedom in one way or another. So we might as well all be in this band together, travelling around the world.

Trey: What Tibbie said!

Paul: Eventually, I think eventually things are gonna catch up with America in the sense that it's... it's...  It can't sustain itself. The system is wrong. It's not sustainable. And I think it's gonna just, this country isn't gonna be the greatest country in the world when your sending jobs overseas. When you're trying to always look at the bottom line is the dollar as opposed to, as what's best for society as a whole.

HH: OK, Now. So you guys obviously have the hardcore punk roots and everything. But I heard the rumor that you're going to be performing some of your House of God material tonight?

Paul: Um, yeah we could do 'Ten Thousand Years From Now'. We do that, but that's kinda a fast song, but it just has such a great arrangement. And I just wanted to do it 'cause I hadn't heard it in so long, live. We did it in Germany. But we could play it anytime we want.

HH: OK, so um, just comment on that, on that project. The last, unreleased demos.

Paul: Yeah, me and Dave...

HH: It's available , by the way, I'm going to just drop this. It's available at bandcamp: houseofgod.bandcamp.com.

Paul: Yeah. For free. Music is free. Just take it.

HH: Yeah I downloaded it myself before I came to the interview and everything. I like it. It's got some good grooves. I'm more of a 'metal' guy myself so I kind of dig that a bit more.

Paul: Cool.

HH: But anyway, um, you want to talk any more about that um, project itself?

Paul: Well, um, no, um... I wish we, wish it had come to fruitition. Yeah but it didn't, and whatever the reasons why. It's a shame and basically it's drugs, and stay away from drugs.

HH: Alright, so... What was the decision to do that back then, to take that new direction? A little bit of change of pace?

Paul: Um, we were getting better musically. We were growing. Mentally we didn't want to be kids taking on the Republicans, we wanted to be grown-ups taking on a higher authority: God.

HH: Alright, Awesome. And then I also hear you're working on what's reported to be, going to be, the final Reagan Youth album. Talk a bit about that...

Paul: Yes, yeah. Um, I've go a bunch of songs. It's just going to be about, like we have a song 'Hapless Misfits'...

Trey: It's about a Crazy Diamond we all know...

Paul: It's just basically about the life and times that Dave lived. New York City in the 80's, Reaganomics, there's a song 'Idle hands' about how you don't want to work a job at 3, America's dream for society, to be a zombie in a factory, or stood up for the company. I don't know, lyrics like that, but it'll work. And at the end, Dave is dead but still fighting the power.

HH: Any references to like specific events from his tragic life?

Paul: No. No, no, because... Yeah there's this song 'Necrophilia', but I want to be like The Who, and have some humor in it, you know? I don't want to be that literal. You know, I want it to be a loose interpretation, but yet still capture the essence of the man, his message, and his 'fight the power' mentality.

HH: Let the fans read into it what they will...

Paul: Yeah! And if it's good and it's catchy and you can play those songs with the old songs, and they all fit together, and everyone's slam-dancing to it then I know it's good.

HH: Alright, awesome! Um, everybody want to chip in: of the songs in your set, what's your personal favorite when you play it live? The one you really dig the most.

Tibbie: 'Jesus was a Communist'. It's my favorite.

Greg: 'No Class'. The drum rolls are awesome in that song. I love it.

Trey: Right now, this tour, it's the hibernation tour. I like 'What Will the Neighbors Think?' That one, I'm killin' it right now. I love that song. It's so good!

Paul: I love when we cover, "The devils Grip, The Iron Fist". Our cover-song.

HH: Alright. As a band, you're up there, this is what you do. You're putting your heart out there for the fans. Get into the music. Is there like a take-home message? Something like you want them to walk away from the show thinking what?

Paul: Individuality. Think for yourself. Be an individual and embrace the differences in yourself and in others, because that's what makes the world beautiful. Don't shave ya head and walk around with a bunch of other people who shave their heads just to hate on a bunch of other people who haven't shaved their heads.

Trey: Breed skin-heads...

Paul: Or have different shades, you know.

Trey: ...Not the sharks.

HH: I'm gonna paraphrase King Missile here and say, 'Don't want to be comparable, even to yourself.'

Paul: Yeah, yeah...

Trey: Yeah yeah and remember: Love love, and hate hate and when in doubt, just BE.

Paul: And don't be redundant.

Greg: Don't take everything so literally either. Don't read into everything so much. Have fun!

Paul: Yeah, have fun. Have fun, and also look at a deeper meaning in life, you know.

Trey: And listen to Burning Streets!

Greg: Hell yeah!

HH: Alright, any other like, ah.. bands your into? You want to like kinda just say , "Oh! If you like us, check theses guys out?"

Paul: Hank and the Hammerheads, from New Your City. They're making a name for themselves. Trey?

Trey: Ahhh... Call Me Bronco, from Louisville, Kentucky. Bullrep, Louisville.

Tibbie: I'm a sexual catalyst in a band called Gash, from Philadelphia.

HH: Awesome.

Greg: I'm in a band called Lawless Few from New Jersey. Sounds like Gas Light Anthem. A lot of fun band.

HH: I was going to ask about your side-projects. Other bands you've played in. Is that going to be like your ah, you going back to that once Reagan Youth plays out?

Tibbie: Gash is going on tour. We have three tours booked. Our first one is in Boston, and then we're going down south, and after that's California.

Greg: Awesome shows booked with bands like OC45, The Scandals. We're actually about to go record in the studio right now and make our first LP. We're super-stoked about it. We're going to work on that like all winter, so...

HH: And what was your band's name again?

Greg: It's called The Lawless Few.

HH: Ok, and is that like, comparable to the Reagan Youth material? Is it different...

Greg: No. Absolutely not. It's completely different.

HH: How is it?

Greg: It's more like Gas Light Anthem, Bath of Souls...

Trey: It's rock music. It's rock music.

Greg: It's got a soul. It's real cool. Check it out.

HH: Alright. And ah, as for Gash? You were saying?

Tibbie: Gash is an S&M Punk band from south Philly. So we're kinda like Iron Maiden, um Angel Witch, but with a punk rock edge.

HH: Alright, sounds awesome.

Trey: I'm just trying to stay alive until the next tour.

HH: Yeah, that's the best way to get to the next tour.

Trey: Yeah, long live it: stay alive through it, you know what I mean?

Paul: Alright so, um hang in there. We're going to go eat. Hope you enjoy the show. and be good.

HH: It was a good time you guys, thanks for talkin' with us.

Trey: What was the show?

HH: Huh?

Trey: What was the name of the show?

HH: Name of the show?

Trey: For the...

HH: Oh! My blog?

Trey: Yeah.

HH: It's Happyheadbanger.com

Trey: This is Reagan Youth, and a big fat peace, love, and anarchy to happyheadbanger.com. Thanks!

HH: I'll be out there bangin' my head tonight. You guys give us some rock, we'll let it roll...

Tibbie: Thanks!

Grey: Good time, man.

HH: Take Care... thanks.

https://www.facebook.com/ReaganYouthNYC
(Reagan Youth, from left-to-right: Tibbie X, Greg Whisper, Trey Oswald, Paul Cripple)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rob Zombie-Hellbilly Deluxe (1998)

Post #303  [Poll winner: Favorite Rob Zombie Album]

When Rob Zombie released his first album after his previous band White Zombie broke up, he delivered a true metal classic for the late '90's. Hellbilly Deluxe was embraced by Rob's fans as much as either of the previous White Zombie albums, if not more so. This album's legacy is easy to find in the hit singles it produced: "Dragula" "Living Dead Girl" and "Superbeast", but the whole album is a quality listening experience for any metal fan who loves scary themes and sounds.

In keeping true to the style and formula established by the late White Zombie albums Hellbilly Deluxe doesn't miss a beat. Eerie sampling from cult-classic horror flicks, ear-splitting nu-metal guitar riffage, and Rob's psychedelic yet twisted and often graphic and disturbing lyrics, along with the occasional sick humor; Rob and his band were truly at the top of their game on this album. Hell, the album's lengthy subtitle is enough of a selling point on its own: "13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International"

Hellbilly Deluxe remains the best example of Rob Zombie's music. It has proven to be the peak of his career, at least commercially, and perhaps creatively as well. If you've not added this album to your collection, then you're missing out. For its own era, this is one of the most significant recordings of its genre for the time it was released.

Recommended tracks from Hellbilly Deluxe:
-Dragula
-Living Dead Girl
-Superbeast
-Demonoid Phenomenon
-Meet The Creeper

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Psychopathic Daze on the Road in November 2014...

Post #302

Psychopathic Daze are keeping busy still! Five shows in the Month of November. If they're coming to a club near you, check them out for some face-melting hardcore metal!!!

Fri, Nov 7th
Mt Prospect, IL
 
Sat, Nov 8th
West Lafayette, IN
 
Thu, Nov 20th
Chicago, IL
 
Sat, Nov 22nd
Yorkville, IL
Fri, Nov 28th
Joliet, IL

 Follow Psychopathic Daze on Facebook and keep an eye out for when they'll be playing in your neighborhood...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Genotype-Design Intent (2014)

Post # 301

Genotype are a band that I first discovered at Dame-Nation 2013. Since then they have completed their second full-length, independent album Design Intent. From their live performance I recall they were a hardcore metal band with hardcore vocals, interspersed with melodic singing on most of their songs and captivating tempo changes that enhanced the mood of their performance. What surprised me about their recorded album was how prominent the elements of electronic music and progressive music themes are throughout the whole recording.

https://www.facebook.com/GenotypeBand
Design Intent begins with "Amalthea", an intense hardcore metal song I would expect from what I saw of Genotype live. Though the hardcore metal sound dominates the song, a subtle electronic element parallels the percussion and drumbeat in the background. Kathryn Kirby's vocals on this song are recorded in layers, and often there is a hardcore scream echoing in the background while her melodic singing is in the top layer of sound.

The next track, "Blight", has a soft vocal delivery with synthesizers at the start, but when the bridge comes, hardcore screams return, and heavy guitars again take over. This formula is utilized on many tracks on Design Intent as they are constantly changing things up, however it is far from one-dimensional.

"Nothing to Hold" departs from the intensity to reveal the softer side of Genotype. It works well in the middle of the album. As a listening experience, it is where you catch your breath, get your second wind, and allow yourself to slip deeper into the music. This song features acoustic guitars throughout, a milder tempo, some melodic synthesizers and keyboards which fill out the sound, and entirely melodic singing from Kirby. The lyrics give a sense of helplessness, and a struggle for control of one's circumstances.

This musical theme of a fusion of metal and electronica continues throughout the album. The recording and production of this album are very top-notch. The blending of these musical elements is practically flawless. In every instance they sound like perfect complements for each other. The band executes these tracks like seasoned pros. The guitar parts keep the elements of rhythm, melody, and chord progression very tight. The drums and bass guitar provide a concrete foundation for the upper layer elements of voice and electronic effects. The heavy elements provide intensity, aggression and power, while the melodic and softer elements give you an equal dose of beauty and harmony. Guitar solos and synthesizers add to Genotype's technical repertoire, and make Design Intent all the more enjoyable on so many levels.

The last track, 'Nether Reflex' is primarily effects and electronic music at the start. Then some guitars and drums come into the mix after a couple minutes. There's a voice that sounds like it is conducting tests on an artificial intelligence of some sort. As the dialog draws to a close, the music transitions to heavy riffs and hardcore vocals which later give way to melodic singing. The song builds to a crescendo, then stops abruptly, leaving your senses ringing at the auditory experience that Design Intent has been. My only criticism about this entire recording might simply be the track sequence- I feel 'Nether Reflex' actually would work better as the opening track, rather than the closer. But you can just put your CD or playlist on repeat and get the desired effect when it rolls back to the start. In the end, if that is all I can muster up for criticism, then you should know you're in for an awesome listening experience with Genotype!

Recommended Tracks:
-Amalthea
-Blight
-The Awakening
-Nothing to Hold*
-Trine
-Nether Reflex* (featuring Moshua)

Follow Genotype on Facebook to get all their updates and upcoming performances...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Arcane Framework-Colorblind (2014)

Post # 300

Nearly 3 years after the release of their self-titled debut EP, the Chicagoland female-fronted melodic-metal band Arcane Framework return with their long-awaited second release Colorblind.

https://www.facebook.com/arcaneframeworkrocks
Colorblind opens with the track, "Some Kind of Grace", a heavy number that quickly lets you know you're listening to a real metal band. Katy Pryzbytek then begins singing in her melodic voice, recalling the style of Halestorm's Lzzy Hale or Lacuna Coil's Cristina Scabbia. The lyrical theme is that of soul-searching and identity resolution. The song's highlight is the melodic break near the end, which is then followed by a killer guitar solo.

The next track, "Wish I Knew" picks up the pace a little, and adds a little something new: Katy sings with a harder edge through a scratch box effect. It is just enough to push the boundaries of the Arcane Framework sound.

Then comes the title track. "Colorblind" employs some pretty cool sounding guitar effects. It reminds me a bit of Metallica's "The Unnamed Feeling" off of St. Anger. The song really rises to a higher level with the lyrics, which are filled with metaphoric phrases rich with many layers of meaning. Another guitar solo highlights lead guitarist Scott Tomaselli's skill on the fretboard.

 The track, "The Bitter End", is a piano driven song that gives us glimpse of Arcane Framework's softer side. It is a soft and subdued song driven by the prominent bass line. It is also a great showcase of Katy's smooth and soulful voice. With the instruments stripped down to just the piano and bass guitar, the vocal track jumps more naturally to the forefront of the song.

With Colorblind Arcane Framework give us everything we heard on their debut EP and more. The heavy alt-metal vibe that emanated on most every track on that EP resonates strongly here again. Lead guitarist Scott Tomaselli provides several top notch guitar solos throughout the album. Their formula routinely migrates from heavy riffs to melodic and clean guitar segments. There are a couple examples of the band stretching their comfort zone and trying a few new things. All in all, a great, modern heavy metal recording, well worth the price to get it through iTunes!

Recommended Tracks:
-Some Kind of Grace
-Wish I Knew
-Colorblind
-The Bitter End
-Keep On Running

Follow Arcane Framework on Facebook.

Independent Band of the Year Reader's Poll-2014

Post #299

-Her Name Is Mercy (Lebanon, IN)
https://soundcloud.com/her-name-is-mercyofficial
A hardcore/metalcore band from Indiana, these guys deliver intense hardcore metal is a similar vein to several of their influences, such as The Dillinger Escape plan and Between the Buried and Me. Check out:
-Oceans
-Hurricane

-The Phoenix Philosophy (Minneapolis, MN)
https://www.facebook.com/thephoenixphilosophy?fref=photo
This band's style is self-described as Pop/Rock/Electronic. Their execution of this vision takes a heavy rock guitar sound and pairs it with synth-electronic elements, all the while maintaining a catchy vocal melody in the top layer of the mix. I would be tempted to compare their sound to Skillet.
Check out:
-Up In Flames
-Going Down Swinging

-Dellacoma (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
https://www.facebook.com/dellacoma
This band is hot on the rise from 'down-under', already touring in the states while having formed less than a year ago... Simply put, their sound is straight up hard rock. Their influences stem strongly from any band Scott Weiland is associated with, and they emulate the vibes of both Velvet Revolver and Stone Temple Pilots with their live performances.
Check out:
-Change
-Dead Will Rise

-Grand Evolution (Boston, MA/Providence, RI)
http://www.grandevolution.com/

A female-fronted alternative rock band form the southern New England area. Their sound captures vocal melodies mixed with both clean and distorted guitar riffs. While their singer's voice reminds me of Liz Phair, their musical style rings true to the likes of their mid-to-late 90's influences, including Radiohead and Soul Asylum
Check out:
-Hello

-Amicus (Chicago, IL)
https://www.facebook.com/amicusofficial?fref=photo
This band follows more closely to the post-grunge genre of hard rock. They present a heavy-yet-melodic sound, tight grooves, and a voice that at times mirrors Staind's Aaron Lewis. You can catch them playing somewhere in the Chicago area supporting their new release 'Collapsing Chemistry'.
Check out:
-Collapsing Chemistry
-We Are the Truth

-False Hope Fades (Chicago, IL)
https://www.facebook.com/falsehopefades?fref=photo
A female-fronted heavy metal band that gives you heavy mid-tempo riffs and a bluesy melodic vocal. Perhaps best described as groove metal, this band keeps the sound heavy and the mood dark...
Check out:
-Coward
-Break

-Deadiron (Cleveland, OH)

https://www.facebook.com/deadiron

This band is one that gives you a bit of a throw-back sound and fit the 'traditional metal' subgenre, or maybe 'power metal' as well. Fast and technical guitar work is a perfect compliment to the vocals which are powerful without being screamed. 
Check out: