Sunday, January 16, 2005

What's the deal with ducks not being lame, but lame ducks being lame? Who are these people?

Sometimes reviews I write, for whatever reason(although it could be lame duck-ism), never see the light of day. So I thought I would make you bloggenheimers privy to my private writs. Here are some:

Daysend Severance(Metal Blade)Rating:1(out of five)
Big solos and boringly screamed voice work make for an unoriginal and frustrating listen to what should be Christian rock, but strangely isn’t. Why does so much of this bullshit sound the same? At times there’s a heaviness present that isn’t found in most crud like this, but it isn’t enough. If you are ever fired from a job, this Severance will give you no consolation.

NOFX The Greatest Songs Ever Written(Epitaph)Rating:2 (out of 5)

Each song featured on this best-of also features a shitty part, whether it’s in the lyrics, the musical or lyrical concept behind each song, or the whined vox that bring to mind the billions of bands that have taken NOFX’s fun spirit and bastardized it further than the already-bastardy original ever seemed able to be bastarded. Also, the liner notes revel in the many bad reviews the band has had in the past, so this tepid review is an obvious try to get in their box set’s liner notes. My motives are as transparent as the visible man.

Vader The Beast(Metal Blade) Rating:3 out of 5

These Polish metalheads have been kicking it for almost twenty years now, but you might not notice if you picked up The Beast, their newest record, because it sounds like it could have been recorded in any chamber of Hell at any point in the history of man, as long as it was during a point when guitars existed. This contains a great deal of mid-tempo brutality with solos that start and stop on a dime. in the end, what makes or breaks this is if you can deal with the cookie monster vocals. The choice is yours.

Mr.Cheeks Ladies and Ghettomen(Legal Drug Money/Cantango)Rating:3 out of 5

The original east coast Nelly is back, and this time(as always) he’s brought his friends! Yes, Lost Boyz veteran Mr.Cheeks will hopefully use his Lil’ Kim-aided musical relevancy to pole-vault into the lofty heavens of popular hip-hop. Actually, Cheeks has stepped his game up, expanding on what was once a one-note flow and sounding pleasantly varied throughout the disc, at times approaching the go-to Jay-Z flow that many MCs these days approximate, but it’s the three Pete Rock-produced jams that help keep this musical boat afloat, as well as the overall good production and unpretentious vibe.

Dry Kill Logic The Dead and Dreaming(Repossesion Records)Rating:2 out of 5

This is super-technical stuff, filled with loud-to-quiet breakdowns and growled and screamed vocals. The songs are all like that to various small and larger extents, with a seemingly ‘90s alternative Alice In Chains/Helmet cast to Cliff Rigano’s vocals, when he isn’t using a deep guttural bellow. After 10 tracks of fairly samey but well-played alterna-metalcore, the whole production ends with No Reason-a mellow and Creed-sounding investigation of why there is no reason for things. This is fine for what it is, but a lot predictable.

Akon-Trouble(Universal)Rating:3 out of 5

This former Refugee Camp All Star(not John Forte) is a double threat, handling production on his debut album, as well as providing his gangsta R&B vox to the effort. He’s not the worst singer, with a good handling of his range and little oversinging, and the production is decent, but this is yet another 2004 R&B record that is almost tinny-sounding while at the same time coming off as a bit too polished. I suppose people polish tin all the time, so it makes sense. At the same time, Akon’s R&B is at the very least personalised, and there’s a lot of tuneage nowadays that ain’t.

Eugene Mirman Title:The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman Rating:4 out of 5

Russia-to-Boston-to-New York based jokesmith Mirman is a double threat—in that his CD also has a DVD packaged with it thus, thus threatening humour for both the eyes and ears. The album is the more involved project, taken from performances in New York and Cambridge, and they showcase Mirman’s oddball delivery and and penchant for absurdist jokes, like his ad campaign for shapes(“Square--the other rectangle”). The four short films on the DVD are also humourous, particularly his anti-pot short movie and Backdraft 2: Backdraftier. With liner notes by David Cross and a discography that apparently includes Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, Mirman has a commendable silliness.

Al Franken-The Very Best Of The O’Franken Factor(Artemis)Rating:1 out of 5

If you need to buy one compendium of topical radio comedy this year, make your own and buy it from yourself, because it will probably be better than this preachy piece of evidence that a program’s first year on the radio doesn’t stand a chance at being entertaining ,especially when it’s presenting buzzword evidence(Haliburton! Mission Accomplished! Bush is rich!) coupled with Franken’s self-importance, songs that would make funny-song king Tom Lehrer turn over in his bed, and pettily shrill gags that are terrible, at best . In fact, it could be possible that this CD’s badness is intentionally designed so that more people vote for Kerry, in order to curb Franken’s Bush material.

Duran Duran-Astronaut(Epic Records)Rating:2 out of 5

Who needs new bands when old bands keep putting out music? Imagine time froze if those who hadn’t already contributed to pop culture were not allowed to in the future. Nobody would get old, and God would finally smile. Perhaps God finally has smiled, because orginal lineup Duran Duran at least look like time froze for them, and have released a light and poppy new LP, with a glut of songs featuring what should be a welcome electro sound , but the record is generally lacking the vague creepiness that made them such a daring first love for so many schoolgirls, and also is dull. The best news: their worldly arrogance remains intact.

Papa Roach-Getting Away With Murder(Geffen)Rating:2 out of 5

Papa Roach still have that vaguely funky, dull, huge-chorused thing going for them, with some dude strongly whine-yelling(including dropping ultimate cliche line ‘I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired’) for twelve songs that will undoubtedly be featured in B-level horror and sci-fi movies throughout 2004 and 2005.Maybe just see those movies, and don’t buy the album. Or do both--it doesn’t really matter. Do what you you feel. They have a song where they mention conservative talking point ‘the death of outrage’. It must be dead-their album left me not outraged; only a little queasy and tired, particularly in the ear area.

Insane Clown Posse-Hell’s Pit(Psychopathic Records)Rating:2 out of 5

This is supposed to be the final card in ICP’s ‘occult deck of albums’ or something, but it doesn’t sound very final, but really, you need only listen to 17 ICP songs(the amount that’s on this album) and if you really need to, watch the DVD that comes with it, so if you buy it, you could certainly make it your final ICP purchase. These dude are still pioneers though-if not lyrically or thematically, there is little that is as awkwardly terrible as these two jerk clowns. Listen to this on a discman while smelling a used diaper to get the full effect Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J want to have on you.

Pillar-Where Do We Go From Here(Flicker Records)Rating:1 out of 5

Do you know why this album only gets one N? Because it’s bland faux nu-metal Christian pop rock with self-righteous vocals. It sucks the bag so badly that I am now sterile because of listening to it. On the plus side, if you learn to tolerate it you will probably get into the better parts of heaven, aka the areas with seating. Please take a vow of musical abstinence, Pillar.

Alter Bridge-One Day Remains(Epic/Wind-Up)Rating:2 out of 5

I think it’s unfair that Florida is being punished with hurricanes for being a big market for bands like Creed. So, I would say that in order to avoid more hurricanes, Florida should not enjoy anything done by any member of said now-broken up band, including this release from Alter Bridge, which consists of everybody from Creed save Scott Stapp, although he’s replaced by another guy with a shoddy keening vibrato voice that drives me nuts, as do all of the tunes. Only listen to this if you like God.

Patton Oswalt-Feelin’ Kinda Patton(United Musicians)Rating:4 out of 5

This LA-based standup and contemporary of Dave Attell, Louis CK and David Cross has released his first album; a drink-filled live show taped at Atlanta’s 40 Watt Club, and it’s as funny as the world’s funniest whoopie cushion. It encompasses numerous bits that he’s done over the years, including a fairly funny comparison between TV recording device tivo and a kid with a learning disability. His take on producer Robert Evans’ ESPN commericals is also classic. Oswalt’s quickness, funny references and hilarious wording lead to laughter that, if we all listened to the record simultaneously, would bring about world peace, or at least, a moment of peace in a quarter of the world. The least populated quarter.

Well, I feel purged. And lazy, considering this entry was a cut and paste job TO THE EXTREME!!!


Anonymous said...

What do you think of Martina Gail o wise one?

Flans said...

Well, that's a left field question. What do I think of Martina Gail? I once heard that repeating a question is used to give one time to prepare an answer. So it's needless when writing. And yet I do it anyway. Martina Gail is fine--to give background to anybody reading this, she hosted a room at Slack Alice for awhile, a mixed-sexual-orientation bar in the midst of Toronto's gay village. It was one of the first comedy rooms I worked at. It was a fairly fun room, although I think I've been comedically banned from there more than once.
Martina has a strong presence and almost a borscht belt feel, at least in her hosting. I haven't seen her one woman shows. I know she does or did some stuff on Scream TV, and I have googled her name in the past.
My friend once videotaped a show I played at Mayday Malone's, and hers is the only laugh when I say 'I wish pedophilia were not a true thing'. I appreciated that. She also once wrote an angry letter to NOW magazine decrying what she saw as the misogyny of Aaron Berg, a comedian around town who had written an article the week before about trying to bed a hooters waitress . Also, we both have had points where we've hung around the Drake hotel.
I found out she had a blog and checked it out. It detailed her getting sick of the standup scene and her aspirations to become a bassist. It was interesting, but then it was gone. This is what I think of when I hear the name 'martina gail'.