Witticus Insightful Dwelling into Albums + Reviews

WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
edited January 2013 in History of Rock
Today marks a very special day in the history of Rock Band for me. Today marks the day we get one of my all time favorite bands the Toadies into Rock Band with a 3 pack from their Rubberneck album. What better way to start my review series with one of my all time favorite albums? In this series I will be deconstructing each and every song on an album and give it a rating and personal insight into what its strengths and weaknesses are. So lets get to it.

(Note: I'm using live versions of the songs on some links)

Rubberneck by the Toadies

Release Year: 1994
Genre: Grunge

Mexican Hairless
So begins the madness of Rubberneck with possibly my favorite opening track ever. It's essentially an instrumental with one unsettling scream 60 seconds in (on the album version) in concert the scream is placed randomly. It's got driving distorted guitars, booming bass, and chaotic drums. This lets you know 2 things about the Toadies, sure this isn't the fastest or craziest you've ever heard a band play and in fact this song may be the fastest the Toadies ever do play. Two, Mexican Hairless despite any real lyrics is unsettling, would you dance to this? no. Would you feel romantically enticed listening to it? No. It's emotional without words which is the truest form of music where you let the instrument speak for you. This leads us to the power of the Toadies, they are masters of expressing villainous attitudes through simplicity.

Rating: 8/10
No Words, a little repetitive, but short so it knows it's perfect amount of allowed time.

Mister Love
Believe it or not this may be the most important song on this album. It ties everything together in the album.
"Ya gonna make me happy? Ya gonna make me smile?
Can you save me? Tell me, mister love"
I see this song as more or less a continuation from Mexican Hairless. You now hear a man explaining that he needs love and throughout the album there is a continual quest for love from 3 different sources. Family, Romance, and Religion. This track is essentially the mission statement for the album and ties them together into kind of a story. We'll dwell into this song more later.

Rating: 10/10 in the context of the album 9/10 on its own.
Every first album needs a mission statement from the band so you know what they're about. Using cryptic unsettling approach to not just wanting but demanding love helps put the Toadies to light in what they hope to achieve.

Backslider brings us to one of the earliest memories for the narrator to find love. The first form of love we should all experience is love from a family. However by definition a "Backslider" is "To revert to sin or wrongdoing, especially in religious practice." So the narrator is losing the love of his family because he is going against an unspoken sin.

Rating: 8/10
This song teaters between pop and alternative, but still keeps it's signature villainous vibe.

Possum Kingdom
Heere we are to what is considered the Toadies signature song. It's cryptic, unsettling, and 18 years later is still capturing the imaginations of newer audiences. To me this song is the Grunge version of Stairway to Heaven or Bohemian Rhapsody, iconic songs without concrete lyrics that are still sparking debates to this day. What sets this song apart from the generations of normal love songs that came before it was the violent imagery presented in the song. Instead of love being presented as a token of appreciation, its worded as though this love is something forbidden. Possibly the backslider sin mentioned before. But then we're presented the "Do you wanna die?" lyric repeated to an uncomfortable degree.

"Is he going to kill her? What the hell is going on in this song?" Well I'm here to clarify a few of these tidbits.

I feel this is a reference to "Le Petite Mort" which is French for "little death" which is an orgasm and in the culture it was created, orgasms are seen as a spiritual release. (So help me Jesus seems a whole lot dirtier) French literature would have this translate to "I died" in English which is actually quite confusing if you don't understand the context. So essentially "Do you wanna die, means he wants to give her the highest sense of pleasure. Possum Kingdom, that title nobody gets either is the slang term for a lake in Texas where Toadies are from. This is the romance part of the story. Hopefully this clarified the song a bit.

Rating: 10/10
Young love feels wrong sometimes, its awkward and mysterious. This song exemplifies that mood better than any song I've ever listened to.

Quitter follows Possum Kingdom in the sense it goes from the best spot of a relationship to the worst, the end. It's the most obvious song on the album and lacks the cryptic charm of the others. You can guess that the narrator just got his heart broken and he's now regretting everything he ever did for her. To aid my idea that this was his first love, he flat out mentions himself as their "first lover."

Rating 5/10
Great beat, just way too freaking obvious for its own good.

Before we go into my analysis I'd like to point out that this is one of Toadies earliest songs. The origin of this song lies some 6-7 years before arriving on Rubberneck.

Back on topic, Away is a good kick back to the wonderful cryptic attitude of Rubberneck.
"To be in the shade
The oldest trees above my head
When I'm away, I know in my heart
There is a heaven"
Death is being contemplated as many young people feel after being betrayed by a lover. The only love he knows now is the love from religion since his family and girlfriend have rejected him at this point. He sets his sights on heaven and referring to death as just being away.

Rating 9/10
I love this song and its place right after Quitter is perfect. Would I have chosen this as Rock Band DLC. Yes, it would have been part of a full album download, but I digress.

I Come From the Water
This is another one of Toadies songs that appear 6-7 years before its release on Rubberneck. It seems to have arrived from a time period when the Toadies wanted to write songs about being actual frogs. One might take this as the turning point where the album goes insane, but it actually fits quite nicely behind Away. Having contemplated religion as the only option, I come from the water can mean baptism. So he's returning from his religious rebirth. However the narrator has new plans in his mind.
"Life in the desert
Just to be together
The sand forever
The same forever
It moves beneath me
It pulls my body
My pulse beats hotter
So far from the water"
He wants to go back to being the same with his former lover. His love is pulsating through him and he's off to go find his former lover.

Rating: 10/10
At first glance it seems skin deep, but there is way more mischievous fun going on in this song than meets the eye.

Welcome to the creepiest song on the entire album, Tyler.
"And she runs, and she waits, and I wait"
The narrator is back, his name is Tyler and he's going to make his way through the kitchen window to be with her tonight. I'd like to note that the Toadies don't actually explicitly explain in details the terribleness of the actions unfolding, but instead leave it up to the imagination. Is it rape, is it consensual, is she underage, why the hell are they going to Mexico. Is it kidnapping or is it a sick imagination?

Rating: 10/10
This is antihero rock to the maximum. It exemplifies the evil songwriting that had an influence on bands that came afterwards. Seriously go listen to Queens of the Stone Age and you will see the influence Toadies had on them especially this song.

For the longest time I felt this song was out of place on the album. It goes from trying to climb through a girl's window to pushing her away... Or does it. This is when the mental disorder of the narrator comes to light. He wants the obsessive thoughts of this girl out of his mind. When you're not thinking clearly to begin with, death seems like the only option.

Rating: 4/10
I still do not like this song, its gone from using clever references to primitivism. It does feel like the breakdown of the album is happening so it makes sense, just musically it leaves way to much to be desired, especially the strongest points of the album beforehand were the lyrics.

The madness is finally here. And all he can seem to communicate is, "You hurt me you (insert f word or c word depending on the line) I feel the album after Tyler takes a dip in quality, but it still makes sense. This is the confrontation with his lover. He's breaking down to the lowest form by instead of blaming himself for being what she can't love, it was her thats the problem.

Rating: 5/10
Distorted enough and short enough to be interesting still just a terrible dip in quality compared to the other tracks.

I Burn
This is the final arch to the story of a love scorned man and it also represents the development of the album.
In the beginning
We were smarter
And the flame was heaven-sent

Through the ages
We got stupid
Now we must repent
They even acknowledge the dip in quality as a planned event... Holy crap... And you thought I was just pulling things out of my ass. This is the genius planning of this album. This feels like the back to basics reflection on where the narrator has been lead. He's about to kill himself and the former lover in a murder suicide. But not with "tooth and bone" which he finds unimpressive, it has to be fire. Man's first invention and still captives the imagination. The primitivism comes out as He burns the air she breathes and then himself. The story ends. And it was all done in the name of love. Love makes us all do stupid things, especially the rejection of said love. Mister love.

Rating: 7/10 as a song. 10/10 as part of the album.
It ties together the album at the end and acknowledges itself as a degrading beast. The brilliance of it all gets lost in the music which many feel sound too similar. But when broken down lyrically it becomes fascinating.

Rubberneck overall: 9/10 Better than the sum of its parts, some great songs and some mediocre ones intertwined to make something far greater. Not perfect, but a genius finish of self awareness make it an experience more so than just listening fodder.

Favorites: Mister Love, Possum Kingdom, I Come From the Water, Tyler

Tell me if you liked my review and also tell me if you'd like me to review an album.

Upcoming reviews in the coming weeks
Caravan Palace - Caravan Palace
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Ween - The Mollusk
Dandy Warhols - Welcome To the Monkey House
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity


  • BachiGBachiG Inconceivable...
    edited December 2012
    I haven't even read more than the opening paragraph, and I can tell this is gonna be way awesomer than the Cipher's opinion thread. Looking forward to reading this one in a bit when i get home and the JEW post when that comes up.
  • MarlboroMarlboro Road Warrior
    edited December 2012
    Great write up, Witt!

    The only thing I completely disagree with is: "would you dance to this? no." I can totally see myself doing the Beavis and Butt-Head butt shake to that :P

    Thanks for clarifying "Away" in the context of the album, for the life of me I couldn't make sense of it.

    Oh and you didn't really give us your interpretation of "Tyler" would you mind dwelling upon it or you feel as dark as the song is its best left alone?
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    Marlboro;4942872 said:
    Great write up, Witt!

    The only thing I completely disagree with is: "would you dance to this? no." I can totally see myself doing the Beavis and Butt-Head butt shake to that :P

    Thanks for clarifying "Away" in the context of the album, for the life of me I couldn't make sense of it.

    Oh and you didn't really give us your interpretation of "Tyler" would you mind dwelling upon it or you feel as dark as the song is its best left alone?

    Tyler I feel is more of a fantasy. It was based off a stalker who went around Tyler, Texas. He never did anything except peep and it caused a stir around the town even though there were not any real victims. So Tyler is more fantasy in the narrators mind of going into the room of his former lover and what he wants to do with her. However as apparent in Happyface he never carried through with his plan and instead resented her instead of idolizing her.
  • robstin3robstin3 Unsigned
    edited December 2012
    good review sir! you've done this album justice and i commend you highly!
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    Welcome back to another installment of my review series. Today we have an album that has grown to a certain level of prestige over the years despite almost destroying the band after they dropped from Capitol Records for making one of the most highly acclaimed albums of the 90s. Today's review is for Arizona's own Jimmy Eat World. However just to let you know how influential this album was on the alternative rock/ emo scenes of music, I'm going to accompany an artist that was influenced by Clarity. Get angsty it's time to dwell into Clarity, an album that if it hits you at the right point in your life, it never lets go.

    Clarity by Jimmy Eat World

    Release Year: 1999
    Genre: Alternative Rock/ Emo

    Table For Glasses
    In the opener, Table For Glasses we are treated to almost lullaby of sorts. This doesn't get you pumped like Mexican Hairless did for the Toadies, instead it speaks a poem of trying to understand. This is the first hint that Clarity might be the most appropriately named album you're ever going to come across.
    Not asking of me anything, saying nothing about what it means,
    without anybody telling me how I should feel,
    lead my skeptic sight.
    Haha, we've hit a moment of Clarity, nobody is telling you what to do, you're making your own decision. This is the most important step in our lives, the second we understand that we are in control of ourselves even when our parents aren't around. This sets the theme for the album and despite not being the kick we wanted to bring us into the album, it cleverly makes its mission statement to enlighten our mind and think for ourselves.

    Rating: 7/10
    The truth is its a slow song. It's beautiful beyond comprehension, but in the age of ADD, it might turn off who decided to dwell into Clarity.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Blueside by Rooney

    Lucky Denver Mint
    This is easily the most well known song off of this album, it gained a little fame from its use in the hit movie Never Been Kissed, but still the album didn't do so hot. This saddens me in a sense, this song spoke to me more as a teenager than any other crap geared toward my age group... I'll give you a hint, most pop music is geared toward my age group so what made this different?
    This time it's on my own
    Minutes from somewhere else
    Somewhere I made a wish with Lucky Denver Mint
    Exploring the world around us for the first in our lives without parents dragging us around is our first taste of freedom. It's a rational approach to growing up compared to other generic crap that told me growing up meant smoking, drinking, sex all that cool stuff. But really our best experience in our moment of clarity in development is exploration of our world and what we think about it. However its not always what we expect which we're reminded with the chorus of "You're not bigger than this, not better" We're still feeling small in our own allowed area.

    Rating: 8/10
    Lucky Denver Mint may be another great song, but the over drilling of the chorus combined with real lack of musical diversity keeps it from truly thriving.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Lights and Sounds by Yellowcard

    Your New Aesthetic
    Clarity at this point is ramping up, you're starting to see the beginnings of Emo shine through. Looking at the song now, it almost feels like the same tired formula, but this is the song that set up that formula!!! Those angst filled lyrics telling you to not accept rules, that emotional singing, its coming into place. This was new, this was exciting!

    This song reflects forming an identity. We all go through a phase where we feel we have a message and everyone else is just blindly following the same tired trends. That's juvenile narcism, that is the next step after exploring the area around us and seeing what we don't like. We try to make a change to our environment.

    Rating: 9/10
    Although the message may be tired, its got a harder edge that wakes you up from the dreamlike feel of the first 2 tracks. You've been pushed over the cliff and there's no turning back.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    MakeDamnSure by Taking Back Sunday

    Believe In What You Want
    First off I have to recognize that this is one of my all time favorite opening statements to a song.
    Don't bother going through your motions.
    Nothing that makes sense ever works out.
    Don't kid yourself, you know they want money.
    Nothing can be good on its own merit.
    This ironically sums up the relationship between Jimmy Eat World and Capitol records. The hard work they put into making one of the most influential albums ever wasn't seen by the higher ups because of money. Sad.

    Now this represents the heightened sense of not just having self awareness, you realize all the things that hold you back. That first cynical look into realizing you're not going to win this fight, the enemy doesn't want rational, they want substance that benefits them.

    Rating: 10/10
    Incredible lyrics accompany a diverse track that feels like a swirl of emotions. And those harmonies that feel like an argument in singing.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Swing Swing by All-American Rejects

    A Sunday
    I'm going to sum up just how amazing this song is with 3 lines.
    Now as I drive back, there's thirty six less hours
    I have to change the course I send myself
    I've gotta live with that
    Contemplation that whatever you do in your life you're going to have live with the consequences. What does a 36 hour drive have on the impact of your entire life? You could have been doing a million other things, but instead this time of your life is spent in a car. Clarity continues its presence and it grabs you on this song and makes you understand repercussions of whatever action you may choose.

    Rating: 10/10
    The lyrics of this song still bring tears to my eyes. It is the single most criminally underrated song in the history music. It gives you a perspective on what you're doing with your life.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    You Stole by Brand New

    Crush continues the trend of world class song writing with another simile that gives you a new perspective.
    Take in restraint like a breath
    My lungs are so numb from holding back
    Not only has the narrator discovered his heightened sense of being, he's now falling in love. Remembering the snow falling, hands around a waist, the fence on the clothing. Falling in love is a powerful emotion and this is possibly the most powerful emo love song, because the words and music correlate so freaking well.

    Rating: 10/10
    The music even feels like breaths, that imagery, it stays with you. It's absorbing and top tier. I'm not being generous with this album, it really does what an emo album is supposed to do and gives you real emotional impact.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Misery Business by Paramore

    To be fair this is the only Christmas song I like that isn't Transiberian Orchestra. I find the genre normally cluttered with the same message that never changes. However this is one of the exceedingly few Christmas songs ever done right. It actually feels to be continuing the snow theme mentioned in Crush so its another enlightening time in a persons life, spending a holiday with somebody he loves. The anxiousness of trying to make your first holiday perfect, its overbearing and becomes something that is near obsessive.

    Rating: 5/10
    The problem is despite being good for a Christmas song, its still irrelevant 80% of the year, and really there's no thought provoking poetry or intense instrumentation to help it. It's really the weakest song on the album.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    The Kill by 30 seconds to Mars

    Another point of Clarity in our own lives is when we realize something may not last or we see the faults in someone we love. However one thing we rarely do is rationalize it to find a compromise.
    Our weekness is the same
    We need poison sometimes
    So take another drink with me
    Will understanding what is wrong with us that the other person may not like help us? Will this work, will it save us? Or are they stuck going nowhere?

    Rating: 8/10
    Not as emotionally driven or poetically beautiful as others on the album, but still a nice song.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Famous Last Words by My Chemical Romace

    Just Watch the Fireworks
    I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but I found out my copy of Clarity off of iTunes didn't have this song? So this is weird hearing this song. From what I notice it takes a style that later Jimmy Eat World songs tend to resemble. This feels like a song that accidentally got left off of Futures, its kind of weird.

    However it does relate to the clarity of an argument. You want to be honest without hurting the other, but sometimes we need to be put in our place. But the narrator still knows that they're in love so he's going to fight.

    Rating: 7/10
    I'm sad I never knew of this songs existence... It's beautiful and possibly the most instrumentally diverse song on the album. However for what it says, it still goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Nine in the Afternoon by Panic! At the Disco

    For Me this Is Heaven
    This is a saddening change in the relationship dynamic. The characters have now separated. The mention of great plans the narrator has have taken their toll as they now separate in the most beautiful and levelheaded song. Generally there is animosity, but with the character's growth he understands things must end sometimes and that they'll both be much happier.

    Rating: 10/10
    A wonderful song that shows a breakup in a light much better than the douchebag antics of Eminem or countless other people who respond to rejection of love in a worse manner. It's the clarity of knowing you'll both be better off to live what you want to do instead of having to settle.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Situations by New Found Glory

    Blister speaks to me more so than most. I grew up in Augusta Georgia a place full of pretentious conservatives who hate anything different than them almost as much as they hate helping out causes that aren't removing unsightly people from around them. I feel this is my song for wanting to get out of a place you feel trapped in.

    No matter how pleasant the breakup was, no breakup is pain free. You still wake up with thoughts of being hurt no matter how ok you think you are. The narrator doesn't even mind walking across the United States just to get out. This version of clarity is wondering how realistic their dreams really are, a sign we all must confront. This reflects the later part of the album which we'll get to after the song Clarity.

    Rating: 10/10
    That reserved dramatic feeling you have for dealing with an ex to not show weakness has busted out, holding it in is no longer an option. Let it out, it feels good! The most powerful song on the album.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying by Fall Out Boy

    I feel that the album at this point works itself to a climax. The final confrontation to explain its really over in a less civil manner. It's not violent it just reflects raging emotions expelling that were pent up for so long on this album. Blister boiled it out and Clarity bursts it out.
    Wait for something better
    Maybe that doesn't mean us
    Maybe clarity isn't always finding a compromise. It's about knowing what is best and fighting to stay together is not the way most should live. Just because you love someone doesn't mean that they're right for you. You're given one life to live and so are they, don't spend it miserable.

    Rating: 10/10
    After the power of Blister comes a followup that is every bit as intense, but also more levelheaded. Clarity is about seeing through the emotions and knowing what's right and what direction you're going in life as mentioned in A Sunday

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    Check Yes Juliet by We The Kings

    Goodbye Sky Harbor
    We've hit the end and its time to get out of Sky Harbor and on with the rest of our lives.
    So here I am above palm trees so straight and tall
    You are smaller, getting smaller
    But I still see you
    It's a goodbye story to a town and possibly the love as well. The real genius of this song shows in the extended ending. Clocking in at over 16 minutes this song want you to understand you actions and feel for what just happened. Every time I have ever driven away from a breakup or some life changing event, I always play this song. The space in excess that feels like an overdone ending is actually reflection as it slowly fades away.

    Rating: 9/10
    It may be really hard to get through, but it always feels like an accomplishment. After listening to this, you'll feel like you're in a different place in your life especially if you're driving while playing this. Still though its longer than hell.

    Who did J.E.W. influence?
    The Taste of Ink by the Used

    Overall Rating: 10/10
    This is a game changing album. At one time Jimmy Eat World were the greatest song writers that influenced so many people and essentially made an outline that every emo band has followed with their own twist. Emo music takes a lot of flack nowadays, but unhindered emotion combined with songwriting that is smart and heartfelt. Emo is emotion and even though many terrible bands have arisen from the influence of Jimmy Eat World, this is still a world class album. Not a single bad song on the album and many spectacular songs will make this an album that continues to live on after the ones that were popular in 1999 die off into irrelevance hell. This album holds up really well over time. However it also scared Jimmy Eat World into a more comfortable pop crevice due to the rejection of this album.
  • GandWuserGandWuser Road Warrior
    edited December 2012
    I really like your reviews. I didn't want to read them at first, but when I did they were pretty good.

    As a bit of a jerk-ish question, do you take album suggestions for reviewing?
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    GandWuser;4944114 said:
    I really like your reviews. I didn't want to read them at first, but when I did they were pretty good.

    As a bit of a jerk-ish question, do you take album suggestions for reviewing?

    I do, it's actually kind of hidden in the opening.
    Tell me if you liked my review and also tell me if you'd like me to review an album.
    Right now I'm working on ones I actually have something to say for. But that doesn't mean I won't give other stuff a listen. The first ones are going to be albums I really do enjoy.

    So far lined up are albums by Ween, Primus, Franz Ferdinand, Dandy Warhols, and Caravan Palace. Since I find it easier and more connecting to write articles on ones I actually know. But I do want to try an album I've never listened to before the review.
  • GandWuserGandWuser Road Warrior
    edited December 2012
    Witticus;4944129 said:
    I do, it's actually kind of hidden in the opening.

    Right now I'm working on ones I actually have something to say for. But that doesn't mean I won't give other stuff a listen. The first ones are going to be albums I really do enjoy.

    So far lined up are albums by Ween, Primus, Franz Ferdinand, Dandy Warhols, and Caravan Palace. Since I find it easier and more connecting to write articles on ones I actually know. But I do want to try an album I've never listened to before the review.
    Oh I see it now.

    I see you tend to like alternative, if I gave you an album that wasn't alternative (i.e. electronic, metal), how fairly do you think you could rate it?
  • BachiGBachiG Inconceivable...
    edited December 2012
    Finally got around to reading the reviews, Witt. Your writing style and prose are awesome for this. Both of these albums I've listened to previously (hell, I grew up listening to the Toadies, but unfortunately only really got familiar with JEW for Bleed American, and Futures) but your take on them makes them "fresh" again. So, thanks.

    There's a couple of albums rolling around in my head I might think of submitting for your review... Just gotta decide which would be best.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    BachiG;4944302 said:
    Finally got around to reading the reviews, Witt. Your writing style and prose are awesome for this. Both of these albums I've listened to previously (hell, I grew up listening to the Toadies, but unfortunately only really got familiar with JEW for Bleed American, and Futures) but your take on them makes them "fresh" again. So, thanks.

    It was honestly a tough call between Clarity and Bleed American. Bleed American is much more well known, but Clarity has better quality songs as a whole. I love Bleed American and Futures. Futures was the first JEW album I ever owned and ended up buying them backwards to Clarity. I eventually decided that Clarity just had more to say as Bleed American is more popish.

    I'm glad you liked the reviews. I wanted to put something a bit deeper and closer to heart than a simple crappy first impression thread.
    GandWuser;4944140 said:
    Oh I see it now.

    I see you tend to like alternative, if I gave you an album that wasn't alternative (i.e. electronic, metal), how fairly do you think you could rate it?

    I'd do my best, but truth be told alternative, electronic, and indie is where I'm able to put my knowledge. Metal to some extent is good for me too. Country would probably be a disaster.
  • instantdeath999instantdeath999 Washed Up
    edited December 2012
    BachiG;4942795 said:
    I haven't even read more than the opening paragraph, and I can tell this is gonna be way awesomer than the Cipher's opinion thread. Looking forward to reading this one in a bit when i get home and the JEW post when that comes up.

    Cipher got an opinion thread? That people visit willingly? Damn, I leave and everyone goes crazy.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    instantdeath999;4944649 said:
    Cipher got an opinion thread? That people visit willingly? Damn, I leave and everyone goes crazy.

    It was always more of, "how can I compare this unrelated metal band to Dragonforce" or mislabeling something then claiming that genre is his opinion. You didn't miss much. Also Bach started it.
  • GandWuserGandWuser Road Warrior
    edited December 2012
    Witticus;4944325 said:
    I'd do my best, but truth be told alternative, electronic, and indie is where I'm able to put my knowledge. Metal to some extent is good for me too. Country would probably be a disaster.
    Alright. Well in this case I'm going to give you one of my favorite albums, Silent Shout by The Knife. Unfortunately I can't get a full-album link anywhere, but I'm sure you can find it fine. I don't know if you've ever listened to it before, but it's pretty good.

    (Be thankful I'm not giving you Nightwish.)
  • BachiGBachiG Inconceivable...
    edited December 2012
    Witticus;4944948 said:
    It was always more of, "how can I compare this unrelated metal band to Dragonforce" or mislabeling something then claiming that genre is his opinion. You didn't miss much. Also Bach started it.

    Yeah... I started it cause I was amused at 1) how little knowledge he had about music and artists - in the sense of just being n the dark about anything that wasn't in RB - and 2) how his opinions on said music/artists was so grating on most people's nerves. It was a fun generic read, but nothing like your reviews. :)
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited December 2012
    I got an album suggestion =)

    Set the world on fire by Annihilator. A canadian thrash metal band, although this album is a bit easier to listen to than your average thrash metal.

    not sure if all these links will work in the US, but i'm sure you can find m yourself otherwise :3

    Set the World On Fire
    No Zone
    Bats in the Belfry
    Snake In The Grass
    Phoenix Rising
    Knight Jumps Queen
    Sounds Good To Me
    The Edge
    Don't Bother Me
    Brain Dance (you actually already heard this one in TT once, and i remember you saying you loved how weird it was :p )

    also, fun fact: the drummer for this album (on most songs) is Mike Mangini, the current drummer for Dream Theater
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    GandWuser;4945329 said:
    Alright. Well in this case I'm going to give you one of my favorite albums, Silent Shout by The Knife. Unfortunately I can't get a full-album link anywhere, but I'm sure you can find it fine. I don't know if you've ever listened to it before, but it's pretty good.

    (Be thankful I'm not giving you Nightwish.)
    I found it on Spotify and see if there's anything I can think of for it, I'll try and do t some justice. I've actually got several Nightwish albums and I've been mulling over whether I want to do a review on Once later on.

    Also here's a production note. I'm currently working on a review that's a little different than any review you've ever read. It's called "Does it Fit?" mostly because I love innuendoes. It's a review that takes both a movie and an obscure album to see if they compliment or hamper each other. It goes with my real world art style to compare issues in my art. For instance here is me comparing my hate for Dead Sea merchants with Silence of the Lambs.

    Stay tuned guys, I'm really excited for this one.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    Welcome all to a new type of review I’m going to try called…

    “Does it fit?”

    In this section we take an experimental rock or artistically strange album and decide whether this album fits with my chosen film. Art Rock, Space Rock, or Noise on its own can be really hard to grade especially since more often than not it feels like it should be done as a background task. Many of you may be aware of this type of pairing from the popular Dark Side of the Rainbow phenomenon where Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is played along side The Wizard of Oz for a synchronization effect. It’s like that, but we’re trying to see if my crazy idea actually works. However I will not be reviewing any Floyd tonight, instead we’ve got something much weirder planned.

    What we’re grading on here:
    Does it synchronize or sputter? Does it go hand in hand with events? Does it change the story? (Note the volume of the movie will be turned off just so I can concentrate on the music)

    So lets dive into tonight’s review…

    Ween’s “The Mollusk” as presented by V For Vendetta

    Artist: Ween
    Album: The Mollusk
    Year: 1996
    Genre: Experimental

    Film to Accompany: V For Vendetta
    Release Year: 2006

    Musical Note:
    Ween is possibly the strangest band in the history of music. They are possibly some of the most talented musicians to ever form a band as their entire discography can be described as “The best song (insert artist name) never wrote” For instance the two songs we have in Rock Band.

    “Gabrielle” can be described as the best song Thin Lizzy never wrote.
    “It’s Gonna Be a Long Night” is the best song Motorhead never wrote.

    Ween has done everything from writing the shoe tying song from Spongebob to actually being part of Songs For the Death album by Queens of the Stone Age. The only problem is that Ween is not exactly high art. They screw around so much and their songs are quite humorous, which is sad in the sense that they could be so much more. But even after the novelty humor wears off, they're actually fun to listen to. Sorry Weird Al.

    The Mollusk is a loose concept album in the sense that most of the songs relate to the sea, while V for Vendetta is the heartfelt story of a masked hero trying to save England from Fascism. Problem is V for Vendetta is a long ass movie at around 2 hours and 11 minutes while “The Mollusk” is roughly 44 minutes. So where the Mollusk stops is where the movie ends, no exceptions. Will the story hold true? Who the hell knows, lets have some fun!!!

    Dancing in the Show Tonight

    We’re starting V for Vendetta about 2 minutes in at this part where the TV broadcaster is talking. The first minutes are just title sequences and such so we cut to the funny stuff. It’s weird how strange this song correlates. The two main characters are getting ready for their evenings events which I’m guessing involves a show for their local amateur playhouse theater. They’re getting dressed to a pretty appropriate song, its nice, this movie is going to be so lighthearted and warm.

    Rating: 10/10
    The opening track is setting the mood for a great family film. They also end almost perfectly. Weirdness is when their both putting on shoes during the part of the song about feet. Will they do well at the play? I hope so!

    The Mollusk

    Our female lead is now walking the streets and as luck would have it so are the school bullies. They seem to be questioning her about some figure called “The Mollusk.” Soon the guy in the mask shows up and beats up the bullies to save the girl. He must be the Mollusk everyone is talking about. He even has his own mission statement that he says in the middle of the fight.

    “You see there are three things that spur the mollusk from the sand
    the waking of all creatures that live on the land”

    After the fight though there is an extended playing of pan flutes as the girl looks horrified as they both stare at one another silently.

    Rating: 9/10
    The fight scene and confrontation are near perfect timing. And the statement in spoken word in the middle of the song happened at a good albeit could have been better spot. The fight scene ends with the bullies beat up, but the two people on their way to the play just kind of stare at each other awkwardly after the fight ends.

    Polka Dot Tail

    The characters are now talking as the Mollusk is now asking the girl if she’s ever done a series of very weird things. Like if she’s ever tried to “sink like an ice cube in the sink.” I think the Mollusk may be just a little bit crazy, but he fights like a champ and now for some odd reason they end up on a rooftop. This must be where the show is taking place. The Mollusk is now dancing strangely to the beat of the music and waving his arms about like he’s conducting an orchestra.

    Rating: 8/10
    The Mollusk and all his masked heroics are cool, but he seems to be a bit crazy. He may not be the hero that this town wants, but goddammit he’s the hero this town needs!!!

    Johnny on the Spot

    This song plays after the slow tempo of Polka Dot Tail, but strangely it’s fitting. After it plays, the girl looks over the railing of their building stage. Everyone else in the town seems to have noticed this new harder bit playing and has come out to see the show. But oh no!!! The city hall has blown up and the next part cuts to the government discussion how horribly the play went. I’m guessing Johnny on the Spot is the name of the giant face on the screen in front of them. What will they do about this?

    Rating 5/10
    It works well for half the song, but the conversation gets weird when the giant face just keeps telling everyone he’ll be their Johnny on the Spot. I guess you gotta set up character somehow.

    Mutilated Lips

    During this segment there seems to be a poem going on about characters in the story. We’re introduced to Mutilated Lips who seems to be an advisor or Johnny on the Spot. We also find out the girl in the previous scenes is named Sassafrassy Lassy and she seems to be embarrassed as everyone is talking about how terribly her and The Mollusk’s play was last night. So much in fact that Sassafrassy Lassy is at the TV studio bribing them to say the blowing up was a planned demolition on the news. However Mutilated Lips is holding photos of The Mollusk which means he knows their dark secret. Mutilated lips brakes into Sassafrassy Lassy’s apartment and discovers where she works.

    Rating 3/10
    It gave me great material for names of the characters, but still fit terribly in this section. Oh well there’s still 30 minutes to go.

    The Blarney Stone

    Mutilated lips is driving to Sassafrassy Lassy’s work having inappropriate conversation with his partner.

    “that girl, that pretty young thing
    after I f*** her she'll get up and sing”

    Mutilated Lips is really turning into the villain of all this. He has his police friends blocking in her work as Sassafrassy Lassy is trying to escape Mutilated Lips. Meanwhile we hear Mutilated Lips chasing her while talking about his past girls. Meanwhile The Mollusk seems to be at the TV station too, can he save Sassafrassy Lassy?

    Rating 8/10
    It really did look like a drunken search for a girl. However the scenes could have correlated much better. But it definitely has suspense.

    It’s Gonna Be

    The Mollusk is now on television and he is capturing the town’s attention. He seems to be issuing an apology for leaving Sassafrassy Lassy alone to deal with their failed play. All of the town is won over by The Mollusks heartfelt apology. Except for Mutilated Lips his officers break in and see The Mollusk come from the smoke filled room and shoot him.

    Rating 9/10
    This was beautiful and moving and ended right with The Mollusk getting shot. Perfect timing and the reactions of the people watching the television looked like they were listening to him.

    The Golden Eel

    The police have just realized that they shot the wrong man as everyone is now dressed like The Mollusk. From what I can tell in the smoky room, The Mollusk is trying to hide the words of The Golden Eel. Who this is and what they’re relevance to the story is only time will tell. All we know is that The Mollusk fights his way out of the police officers only to almost be shot by Mutilated Lip’s partner. However Sassafrassy Lassy saves him at the right moment and the scene and song end nearly around the same time.

    Rating: 1/10
    This did not match up very well at all. And when it did have feint resemblance, it was kind of grasping for straws. Really sad follow up to how well It’s Gonna Be worked.

    Cold Blows The Wind

    Sassafrassy Lassy has woken up in a place that isn’t her apartment. But from the looks of it she’s woken up in mourning. She keeps talking about losing her true love and going to his grave. The place she’s woken up in actually kind of looks like a memorial to something. I think something happened and Sassafrassy Lassy is going crazy because she looks like she’s talking to The Mollusk. Did the mollusk die, is she talking to a ghost… Was he a ghost the whole time? But how did he beat up all those people? Wait a second its going to a scene of The Mollusk making breakfast… Ghosts don’t make breakfast and why of all things is he wearing a flower apron? Maybe Sassafrassy Lassy is the one who has been dead… Makes sense she was last seen lying on the ground at the end of the Golden Eel!!!

    Rating: 7/10
    It really kind of works the story seems to be taking a turn for the absolute weird. It looks somber and pretty much how I’d imagine a crazy person in mourning to act. The Mollusk may be my new favorite character ever.

    Pink Eye (On My Leg)

    Pink Eye is an instrumental and plays like a montage of a crazy man talking to a ghost. He makes the ghost breakfast, you hear a dog bark, he sets a place at the table, you hear a dog keep barking. Seriously what the hell is happening to you The Mollusk. It then cuts to the television broadcaster shown before in the shower. Not sure where you’re going with this movie, but the crazy seems to be ramping.

    Rating: 4/10
    The instrumental is weird, never really did like the song by itself and still doesn’t work well for this movie. It’s only funnier when you make up your own story for it.

    Waving My Dick in the Wind

    We are now watching a naked man in a towel lie scared on the floor as “I’m waving my dick in the wind!” is sung with The Mollusk standing over him. This may have been absolute best transition in history!!! We then cut to Mutilated Lips on the phone where somebody is telling him “you should have seen old Jimmy Wilson dance” Then we cut to them standing over the previous naked broadcaster on the floor as the 2 detectives keep telling him to dance. The broadcaster’s name must be Jimmy Wilson, so Jimmy keeps saying he’s doing the best he can as he just lies there. The Mollusk is then scene at home as a solo plays as he fights an inanimate suit of armor until Sassafrassy Lassy’s ghost arrives.

    Rating 10/10
    This could not have been at a more perfect part of the movie. This level of timing perfection was only scene at the beginning.

    Buckingham Green

    It looks like The Mollusk and the ghost of Sassafrassy Lassy are hanging out watching a movie. A news report telling them that Jimmy Wilson has died. I’m guessing the Mollusk killed Jimmy Wilson in an act of revenge for his involvement in the death of Sassafrassy Lassy? She tells him to “summon the queen?” OK, The Mollusk, you need to accept she’s dead.

    Rating: 3/10
    I love this song so much, just not used in this location. But it definitely improved how crazy The Mollusk is.

    Ocean Man

    The scene starts with Mutilated Lips and his partner talking to an elderly gentleman. He must be Ocean Man!!! Mutilated Lips is asking him to take him by the hand and take him to the land the he understands. It then cuts to The Mollusk and Sassafrassy Lassy talking about the Ocean Man. I think this man killed her brother or something. All we see as she explains is violent images and a scared girl.

    Rating: 2/10
    Yet another song I love that really does not match up. I’m sorry for dragging you through this mismatched disaster. Can the final song save it?

    She Wanted to Leave

    We see Sassafrassy Lassy as a young girl while I’m guessing the Mollusk explains how long he’s loved her… She looked pretty young in that montage dude!!! We then later see Ocean Man as a reprisal of Dancing in the Show Tonight plays musically without lyrics. As the reprisal goes we see Ocean Man feeling up Sassafrassy Lassy while The Mollusk runs away on the rooftop. So The Mollusk must now be a man that pimps ghosts… Perfect ending!

    Rating: 8/10
    The ending stops at just the right time. But too much dead space in between the bonus track leads to parts you know could have had a gem or two.

    Overall: 6/10
    Some great ones that match up and ends on at a pretty awesome part as well. However some of the best songs on the album sadly do not work well. These kind of things are going to require a bit of imagination anyway.

    Best segments:
    Dancing in the Show Tonight, Waving My Dick in the Wind, and She Wanted to Leave.

    Best songs of the true album:
    Waving My Dick in the Wind, Buckingham Green, and Ocean Man

    Tell me how you liked my mashup and I might do another. Thank you for enjoying Vendetta of The Mollusk.
  • GandWuserGandWuser Road Warrior
    edited December 2012
    I laughed, but you should probably do a straight review of the album too because I don't actually know what YOU think of the album, only how well it lines up with V for Vendetta.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    Tonight’s album is my first request. Jibs requested that I do an Annihilator album and sure why not, lets go for a change of pace.

    Set The World On Fire by Annihilator

    Release Year: 1993
    Genre: Thrash Metal

    I’ve been listening to this over the past few days and finding it… Well you’ll see my thoughts in the review.

    Set The World on Fire

    First off I’d like to start this album by letting you know exactly what a dumb song consists of. Like any dumb song, there is a concrete idea without the use of a metaphor. Such as this gem of a stupid line…
    “Now that it's over and all is said and done
    You've turned the sky to black, no sign of the sun”
    A dumb song does not seek to tell an interesting story, it does not seek enlighten, it exists to rock, which is the AC/DC mentality of music. However if you want to write a dumb song, at least mask it with a cool singer or take the death metal vocals way out. When your music is spoken in barely singing voice we can all recognize, it becomes kind of apparent. When your song is poorly written, it becomes the main focus.
    “I'll set the world on fire
    It's your time to retire
    Because sooner or later
    You're going to meet your maker”
    Lastly the musical delivery is just horribly generic, there are some bits of fun guitar thrown in, but everyone else in the band just sounds like they don’t honestly give a damn.

    Rating: 3/10
    You’re supposed to entice me into this album. A mission statement, a whimsical instrumental, something! Other than a few good guitar solo bits, this is nothing worth noting. Its forgettable, its dumb, and worst of all it reminds me that there are still 9 songs I have to listen to.

    No Zone

    Word of advice aspiring metalists, your hook of a title should not sound like something your sexual harassment counselor would refer to. Surprise me, my friend, prove you are much more.
    “I've been living here a billion years and more
    You're ready to burn me up, so get set for war”
    OK… So the album is keeping up with the setting the world on fire theme, good it’s a consistent thought. It's also good seeing the planet fighting back!!! But seriously, what the hell is the no zone? Is it a play on ozone? Whatever at least the music is distracting enough to take away from dumb lyrics this time.
    “Can't you hear me crying?
    I'm trying to send a message out to you
    It's time to put out the fire
    Get ready for the no zone”
    Wait… Is the no zone the early 90s slang for saying “no”? Like if someone were to say “give me 5 dollars.” Would I respond, “I’ll take you to the no zone.” I don’t understand this.

    Rating: 5/10
    Much better instrumentation and musical intention, however the theme of this album seems to be Annihilator trying to copy a much better thrash metal bands style. The first track had the dumb pizazz only Anthrax can offer, while this feels more Megadeth like a Tornado of Souls vibe. I’ve listened to your Alice in Hell album, you’re better than this plagiarism Annihilator.

    Bats in the Belfry

    Ever wonder where the term “batty” comes from. A belfry is a church tower where a bell is held. Think of your head as a church bell, if you’ve got bats in it, its like saying other thoughts are messing with your sound mind. I sense Annihilator is really trying to capitalize on the smart metal lyrics and titles usually seen by Iron Maiden. What is it about this album that makes me want to listen to other bands, its counterproductive?

    Rating: 6/10
    Nothing exceedingly stupid to note here, just really it’s not that great. You’ve heard this formula done better by many, many other bands so why not listen to them instead?

    Snake in the Grass

    OK… So here we are with a Whitesnake vibe. Every metal band wants to write their own power ballad. Whitesnake has Here I Go Again, Guns N’ Roses has November Rain, and Night Ranger has Sister Christian. This has the progression of slow to the hope of a Stairway to Heaven style payoff. Which does eventually happen, but instead of having a great chorus to ring out at the karaoke bar, you get lyrics that sound like a teenager mad at his dad for borrowing 5 bucks from his wallet without asking.
    “You were the world to me, I thought that I would always be there for you
    I was too blind to see, I would have climbed the highest mountain for you”
    My god is that generic and lacks any real progression… And that’s the freaking opening statement…

    Rating: 1/10
    The song isn’t catchy, the music doesn’t really fit and it doesn’t really express much of a mood or statement that a four year old couldn’t already tell you when you make them eat vegetables.

    Phoenix Rising

    Maybe Tenacious D just ruined this song when they released their own "Rize of the Fenix" album, which the cover proves was a penis. Actually looking back a lot of the songs sound like some sort of ballad to a penis or its misadventures. Snake in the Grass, I could put my bats in her belfry hehe… No zone, no zone!!!
    “Then you'll rise right before my eyes
    On wings that fill the sky
    Like a phoenix rising”
    Hahahaha!!!! No Witticus, you’re being bad, focus, no zone!!! They’re trying this whole soft ballad again about their phoenix which is supposed to represent a memory. But seriously this sounds like a ballad from a man who lost his dick.
    “Day by day, watching you disappear
    Wishing that you were still here beside me”
    8/10 for phallic understanding, on a serious note, 4/10.
    This may be dumb, but the out of context factor alone makes this great. You know what, I’m gonna go let my phoenix tear into the night too.

    Knight Jumps Queen

    What is it like in a mosh!? Oh wait wrong song… Well this is awkward. Here we have them trying their hand at writing something intelligent. When somebody doesn’t know what smart people do, they assume chess, which leads us to this.
    “Good evening and welcome to a test of the minds
    This match begins as our thoughts begin to grind
    I send a pawn towards you, a subtle piece of my attack”
    I hate to say it, but this is song is going to get dumb in 3, 2, ~
    "Knight jumps queen, if you know what I mean
    Anticipation of the final scene"
    For the love of God… You didn’t win chess by jumping the queen… F*** it, I’m putting more thought into this than Annihilator apparently did.

    Rating: 1/10
    Starts of like and Anthrax song, but delivers upon nothing except the over looming promise of a really dumb poorly executed idea.

    Sounds Good To Me
    "Come live in a daydream, this is your wonderland
    Let's swim in the deep sea, so jump in and take my hand
    Dream away don't wait for the night"
    Huh… You know if you’re having a daydream… They don’t take place in the night, it’s kind of specified in the “day” part of daydream. But really the more troubling issue is why in the hell dose he want to get this person to sleep so bad.
    Dream away, everything's alright
    I hope it sounds good to you, sounds good to me
    Have a goddamn message in your song. Vague allusions such as “sounds good to me” sound like “I don’t have the balls to say no you, so don’t crush my hopes and dreams, because I might start crying.” Make a damn statement, stand for something. these vaguely stupid songs can only carry you so far.

    Rating: 1/10
    It doesn’t sound good to me, this song pisses me off in the sense it doesn’t stand for a damn thing. At least setting the world on fire means something. This sounds like a damn conversation of a husband and wife deciding which leftovers they want for dinner.

    The Edge

    Before listening to this song, I was hoping it would be about U2’s guitarist, because this was too early to expect a song written about Alec Baldwin’s 1997 film. But my gut tells me this song will be about a literal edge, something about teetering to doom.
    “The edge, I'm walking a fine line”
    Called it!!! The predictability of this album is starting to mess with me, I think I’m developing psychic powers. Let me guess, there will be a dumb rhyme...
    “If you can't take it,
    you can't make it”
    Now its gonna be something vaguely edgy to appeal to the adolescent appeal for writing of this song.
    “Too young to be waiting at stop signs
    I'm on fire and I can't cool down
    And I'm ready to roll right out of this town”

    Rating: 3/10
    It’s short, there’s a cool little solo, but I keep having this feeling like there is a major fight going on between the lyric writing and the musical composition. Nothing flows right. The tempo of the music is going faster than the singer is singing and they just don’t mesh well.

    Don’t Bother Me

    OK, almost to Brain Dance, we can do this. Huh, this isn’t sounding half bad, it actually sounds like a thrash metal album. And then…
    “I slept through my wake up call
    Forgot to feed the cat
    There's only one thing wrong
    I don't know where I'm at
    Excuse, no use, it doesn't work for me
    You've had your chances, don't bother me”
    So the narrator is now stuck in in some strange place with a starving animal and doesn’t want help. I really can’t feel sympathetic or really attached to this guy. Also I need to note that they’re really trying to be Megadeth again. Just the vocal style alone with singing and then the emotion changing growly voice is warranting a Dave Mustaine lawsuit, but who are we kidding? Megadeth is too concerned with Metallica to give half a crap about this.

    Rating: 2/10
    I like how they’re trying to be Megadeth, except Megadeth actually knows how to make singing and music go hand in hand. This is the type of Brownsville Station level song that makes you cringe, because it’s trying to be bad. The I’m so drunk I don’t care that I have no job now mentality. I feel they’re trying to portray a message, but when 4 letter words are your maximum rhyming capability, the audience you’re trying to gear it toward just isn’t there.

    Brain Dance

    This song offers a very good lesson for the band. When you know you lack lyrical creativity, at least shout something fun. That is the point of a dumb rock record!!! When you know you’re never going to write those cryptic lyrics that will baffle people for years to come and make them think its something genius, just shout a random combination of 2 awesome words.

    When that wonderful line in Snake in the Grass came about on your lyric book…
    "You're just a big disgrace
    Turn around, get out of my face"
    Instead, erase them, and put…


    Hey look you just improved your song!

    Rating 8/10
    The chaos of the music and lyric section not wanting to listen to each other just got solved by making the song about insanity and brain dancing. It’s dumb fun and their horrible lyrics don’t even matter, because its CRAZY!!!

    Overall Score: 3/10
    In the overall scheme of things for thrash metal this album just gets lost especially for the time period. Megadeth just released their Countdown To Extinction album a few months prior and Rust in Peace a couple years before that. Slayer was still touring from their acclaimed Season in the Abyss album. Metallica was trying to follow in Spinal Taps footsteps by releasing their self titled black album. And even Anthrax was creating the genre breaking “Bring the Noise” with Public Enemy just a couple years earlier.

    Annihilator suffered from a very turbulent time with horrible member retention in this time. Hell their next album a year later King of the Kill, only has Water returning as the only permanent member. These member shakeups killed this album as they didn’t feel like a tight high-speed machine, which is what a thrash band should be. Instead we get a confused introspective on trying to do what other bands already did much better. But as I said, John Waters is the only good part of this and luckily he’s the only permanent member.

    My advice:
    Brain Dance is fun, but Annihilator has so much better material. This plays as the beginners guide to thrash and as a metal fan, this album is just a No Zone!!!
  • BachiGBachiG Inconceivable...
    edited December 2012
    Lol....loved this review. Never heard (of) the band or this album, so I had no preconceived notions before listening to it and reading your review... and I think you nailed it. I'm actually surprised to see this is from the early 90's because it sounds more like 80's hair metal to me, which would have just made it a more "fun" album to listen to.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    BachiG;4948623 said:
    Lol....loved this review. Never heard (of) the band or this album, so I had no preconceived notions before listening to it and reading your review... and I think you nailed it. I'm actually surprised to see this is from the early 90's because it sounds more like 80's hair metal to me, which would have just made it a more "fun" album to listen to.

    That's what I thought too at first. So after listening to it in my car, I kept thinking "Are these guys before or after Antrax?" Because I'd hate to make fun of a band that actually set up the dynamic for thrash metal. But after seeing 1993, I said "f*** it, there is no turning back." So I graded it as a thrash album.

    The other thing is I find its much more fun to review bad albums, than good albums. So I might throw in a couple bad albums.
  • BachiGBachiG Inconceivable...
    edited December 2012
    I just thought of a band I'd love to read your review of... and even though i love their music and song writting, I won't care if you rail on them or not, I'll just enjoy your insight. So pick any album you want from Depeche Mode (my preference being something between Black Celebration and Ultra)... and wax poetic if you so feel inclined.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited December 2012
    I was actually thinking about a Depeche Mode review! Now I'll have to knock it further up the list. However next I'm going to try and get out of the 90s with an electronic artist with way more to say than we give him credit for.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited January 2013
    Welcome back everyone to another review. Since the last 4 I did were in the 90’s I decided to that this time I needed to break free and do something newer. So without further anticipation I bring you to…

    LCD Soundsystem’s “This Is Happening”

    Release Year: 2010
    Genre: Dance Punk

    LCD Soundsystem started out as a weird band with their first song they released called “Losing My Edge.” This is a song the then in his 30’s James Murphy, mastermind behind LCD wrote about being too old to be in the Electronic genre. That’s like someone being potty-trained complaining about incontinence. Strangely enough during their final album “This Is Happening,” you can actually see James Murphy’s growing insecurity, which makes the album all the more interesting and thought provoking.

    Dance Yrself Clean

    Right off the bat we’re given a 9-minute epic. Normally long songs are a staple of Electronic music, but LCD Soundsystem has always been a bit different. Instead of an exaggeratingly long instrumental like you’d expect from the likes of Deadmau5, Chemical Brothers, or Daft Punk there is actually a heartfelt story going on here. LCD was weird as an electronic band because they ignored the staples or repetition, but made an emotional song in a genre that typically relies on beats. Sure the beats are there and they are phenomenal with a quiet/slow and loud/fast parts interweaving. Let’s also note that in an average lyric sheet for LCD is longer than your freaking arm.

    “Walking up to me, expecting, walking up to me
    Expecting words, it happens all the time”

    Yeah I do kind of expect words from you, it’s my favorite part of a song unless it’s got a kickass beat, which you seem to have taken care of, please continue.

    “Ah, present company, excluded in the night
    Ah, present company, included in the fight”

    This is really thought provoking. How often in an electronic song do you write a song about an argument? The two distinct sections of the song going back and forth work much like a confrontation. But this is a swan song if you know that a year later they broke up the band. It’s beautiful in the fact that you can tell he’s trying, but sometimes things are just meant to break despite how much you love it.

    Rating: 10/10
    Electronic music has never been one for thought provoking discussions over a failing relationship. It’s either been dance, sex, or drug use in the genre. LCD set out to make a more modern approach to 80’s techno and New Wave, but somehow created something far superior in practice. Sure you could take the 3 above criteria into LCD, but there is so much more to this as well. But let’s continue.

    Drunk Girls

    This is quite jarring. You go from pseudo depressing to an upbeat song about intoxicated women. But holy dang, this a damn fun song. For every thought provoking song LCD makes there seems to be an accompanying stupidly brilliant pop song.

    However for every bit of pop/dance insanity there seems to be bits of incredible metaphor lined within the song.

    “Drunk girls, drunk girls know that love is an astronaut
    Drunk girls, it comes back but it's never the same”

    For a dumb pop song, this is lined with brilliant pieces like this. However with this album I feel is also an allegory of depression. You see depression gives you both high and lows. So for the “Dance Yrself Clean,” you’ve got typical depression behavior, but here you have the high. You’re upbeat having a great time, but still you find the moments where your lows creep out.

    Rating: 10/10
    This is about as far removed from the first song as it can possibly get, but it’s wonderful. This is strangely the song that catches people the fastest. It’s easy to get into and despite having some dumb fun it knows it wants people to dance, but that doesn’t withdraw reason as well. It’s got layers and just works.

    One Touch

    And here we are to a low again or I think, it’s more of a transition that seems equal parts sexual frustration and possibly dangerous intentions.

    No one is dangerous
    We are not dangerous
    Unless we get a closer view

    Huh… I have danced the s*** out of this song. It’s weird how well the singing and the music go so well together, unless you listen to the lyrics. This is practically a mission statement for the song. Once you get a closer view of this song, it is in fact dangerous. It gets you moving, but once you get that closer view, there’s a feeling of disconnect with whomever you’re dancing with. Is this person dangerous?

    Rating: 8/10
    A bit more repetitive, but its also a damn clever and brilliant song. The problem is at over 8 minutes it dwells into normal electronic redundancy and overstates its welcome. You could actually condense out the exceedingly long exit by 2 minutes and not really miss anything important. Other than length issues, this song blows my mind in intentions that are weird for this band.

    All I Want

    The tempo is upbeat again, but geez the opening statement already let’s you know you’re in for an awkward song.

    Wait for the day you come home from the lonely part
    And look for the girl who has put up with all of your ****
    You never have needed anyone for so long
    You learn in your bed you've been gone for too long

    These lyrics are cleverly masked again by the music. LCD is spilling their heart in this song, but is also kind of masking it at the same time. It’s maddening that this careful plan of detail into a heartfelt story is being hidden.

    Maybe this goes back to “One Touch”. Most acts of violence are committed by people the victim already knew or are close with. “We are not dangerous unless we get a closer view,” makes a lot more sense in this respect. When you get the closer view, living or being around someone, that’s when tensions build up.

    And now all I want is your pity
    And all I want are your bitter tears

    Called it!

    Rating: 7/10
    It’s a somber song, with much like One Touch can be a bit overdone. It doesn’t have the same dance magnitude and it just saddens me the wonderful lyrics are masked so much. Not a bad song at all, but I feel there could have been a better implementation of the subject. They’re hiding high emotions in techno songs and its frustrating.

    I Can Change

    This song gave me goose bumps when I first heard it and combined with Dance Yrself Clean is the reason I wanted to do this album.

    It's good in the dark
    Good in the dark
    But into the lover's light
    Here comes another fight

    Sometimes in a relationship, you sit there telling yourself things to make tings seem better than they are. To be in the dark, so to say. You want everything to be as amazing as the first amounts of time with your lover, but sadly things always change. In the first part of the song you find the narrator unwilling to accept this.

    Never change, never change
    Never change, this is why I fell in love

    The problem is people do change. Not every segment of your life is going to be the same, new problems arise all the time and you have to adapt to those or else you’re destined to fail.

    Love is an open book
    To a verse of your bad poetry
    And this is coming from me

    Now this is an eye opening statement to say the least, it’s a self recognition that he’s not the best poet in the world, but what he lacks in that sense, the honesty of emotion has been James Murphy’s most powerful tool.

    I can change, I can change
    I can change if it helps you fall in love

    Here we have a moment of clarity. (Not going into that again, because this is happening) You have a progression of character who wants to still be with this person and is willing to change. This is crucial in a relationship. Kids, bills, work, etc., they all change you despite your best efforts to fight it. This is evolution of character.

    Rating: 10/10
    How often in a song do you see a true progression of a character? How often do you see them deal with an issue and come to a conclusion that it might be partly their fault? How often have you ever heard this in an electronic song? Most songs about a failing love usually blame themselves or the other, but there is no progression, that’s it. There is a true arch of character in this, its profound!

    You Wanted a Hit

    You wanted a hit but maybe we don't do hits
    I try and try, it ends up feeling kind of wrong

    Now that they’ve got their relationship problems on the road to recovery its time to tackle what may have been driving them apart. Now LCD Soundsystem was huge in the underground, but never really achieved huge commercial success despite all their albums being critical successes. That is the sad life of a good artist.

    Rating: 6/10
    This is like the official swan song while Dance Yrself Clean was more of a prelude. The cynicism in this album reached a peak during this part. It reminds us that things sometimes end for the best. So instead of selling out (entirely) they intended to leave us with 3 incredible albums instead of countless mediocre ones.

    Pow Pow

    Well they officially lost it. You Wanted a Hit is where the album takes a dive despite the brilliance of the first half. We’re rewarded to another dance number where they honestly stopped giving a f*** and decided “You know we’re gonna dance, and its gonna have annoying noises!!!”

    From this perspective, from this position
    I have a good grip on both of them because I have stayed home
    And have learned a little more about my neighborhood
    Which is important, you know, there's a lot of good places to eat

    This is a throwback to classic LCD from their first album. Despite these absolutely stupid lyrics this is an all out blast. It’s a fight with the UK that everyone always thought they were from. (New York City baby!!!) But this war is insanely fun.

    One, the king wears a king hat and lives in a king house
    Two, your time will come but tonight is our night
    So you should give us all of your drugs
    Three, we have a black president and you do not, so shut up

    The energy is there, it’s a blast!!! Come on England your move!!!

    Rating: 9/10
    Not thought provoking, but fun in every sense of the word. However despite all the strides they had to reinvent the electronic genre, they fall victim to the clichés. But you know what even when they fall for clichés it is amazing.

    Somebody’s Calling Me

    Yep, they are losing it again. We have a weird song here about god really knows what. Its starts out talking about somebody lusting for the narrator, but nothing seems to go right. It feels like either a dream or… Depression. Which in the later stages when nothing seems to matter like even leaving the house, because what’s the point right? Really this song is a cool down song, but it just hits a nerve, with the keyboard stroke that never f*** stops. Seriously listen for the continuous “dun dun dun dun dun dun dun….” Throughout the entire song and it drives you mad.

    Rating: 4/10
    This song just annoys me. It has no real reason to exist, and is more annoying than wondrous. You can do way better LCD.


    Amazing opening!!! I cannot state this enough, the keyboard flurry is a welcome surprise from the repetition of Somebody’s Calling Me. I feel invigorated like my energy has just returned from whatever the hell the last thing did to it.

    So grab your things
    And stumble into the night
    So we can shut the door
    And shut the door on terrible times

    You know very few bands ever right a goodbye song with heart. They either run into conflict during their production and just put out a crap album to get it over with, one person dies so they conclude it there, or they don’t know when to quit. LCD on the other hand gave us this as the final song.

    Rating: 10/10
    In truth this is the best you could really could expect out of a goodbye song. The band is at the top of their game, they are having a great time, and the energy transfers to you. When people are happy that’s the best you can hope for from them. Don’t make goodbyes sad. Let them understand the situation and give them a heartfelt sendoff and they will never forget you.

    Overall: 9/10
    This album on paper sounds like a complete disaster. None of the songs feel like a continuation of anything and it feels like everything is exceedingly random and jarring. But that can also come from the strength of the songs. Nothing felt similar to anything else on the album and didn’t run into a typical problem with electronic bands where they tend to sound too similar. LCD Soundsystem is a major contributor to the explosion of electronic infused music that the later 2000’s saw burgeoning. As young as this band is you can already see their influence. I recommend this album and also advise you go check out their 2 previous albums as well, trust me they’re worth it.

    Recommend Songs:
    Dance Yrself Clean, Drunk Girls, I Can Change
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