Foo Fighters

Categories: 1995 and Music.

What I wrote in 2011: “I hate post-grunge.  It’s one of those few genres that I discriminate against as a genre (a practice I try to avoid).  But this has a lot going for it that most post-grunge doesn’t, namely: energy, passion, a teeny tiny bit of grit, and a relative amount of stylistic diversity (I said relative). But there are some big problems: I hope that sometime in the future Grohl started writing decent lyrics (I haven’t listened to any other albums).  These ones are…um…not very good.  And he very clearly wants you to hear them (as only one Read More

Jagged Little Pill (1995) by Alanis Morissette

Categories: 1995 and Music.

If you were born in the late ’70s, or early or mid ’80s (and especially if you’re Canadian), you probably know at least five of these twelve songs whether you like it or not. (Certainly, at age 13, I was not happy to be subjected to these five songs ad nauseum.) If you’re younger than me, you might not have been aware that Morissette was a teen pop star (in Canada anyway) prior to this release. (I was barely aware). Morissette has to be commended for having the balls (sorry) at such a young age to take such a drastic Read More

The Alchemy Index: Volume III and Volume IV – Air and Earth (2007) by Thrice

Categories: 2007 and Music.

Unfortunately Volume III takes the brief moments of Volume II that alluded to a sort of Post Grunge / “Modern” rock style and takes them to the logical conclusion. I guess some people would consider these songs “stronger” – they’re certainly catchier – by why neuter what your band does well? At least the rhythm section is way better than your standard everyday rock band. It’s certainly a bit of a departure from what I thought this band sounded like, and I guess that’s fine if you like ballads and stuff. I feel like I’m being too hard on it. Read More

Contraband by Velvet Revolver (2004 RCA)

Categories: 2004 and Music.

I remember the instant hipster derision when this came out. Specifically, I remember watching the lead single’s video, and a friend of mine – a hipster if memory serves – was nearly apoplectic when Slash stepped forward to play the solo. Apparently such a longstanding expression of “rock” authenticity was just totally uncool, at least at that moment in time. But hipster derision doesn’t really tell us anything at all about the music on Contraband. Hipster derision usually – but not always – involves not listening to something but judging it anyway. I think this derision is – in this case – Read More

Seven Circles by the Tea Party (2004 EMI)

Categories: 2004 and Music.

Though hardly the most original band ever, the Tea Party are clearly extraordinarily talented musicians (if not much else). Their second album, The Edges of Twilight, boasts as many instruments as you can possibly imagine on a mid-’90s rock album. And though they were never original (and they stole a little too much) they were at least remotely interesting in their desire to be so out of touch with the rest of the musical world of the early ’90s. So its sad to see what has happened. Yes, there were hints of their descent on their last album, but there Read More

The Interzone Mantras by the Tea Party (2001 EMI)

Categories: 2001 and Music.

The Interzone Mantras by the Tea Party gets off to a decent start with “Interzone”, a track which suggests they are about to go to a place they have never gone (of course, not quite, because the angularity of the track is heavily flattened out to make it more accessible, and the lyrics are the usual crap). But the rest of the album, though it is relatively stylistically diverse in terms of influences, is very much watered down, radio friendly “modern rock“, which lacks much of the energy that drew people to this band in the first place. It is Read More

Transmission by the Tea Party (1997 EMI)

Categories: 1997 and Music.

It’s easy to rip on bands who rip off others. But when they rip off stuff you like, it’s significantly harder. I guess this sort of explains how the blogosphere etc can over-hype revivalist bands all the time when it might make no sense to the rest of us. If you like a genre enough, you often don’t care for originality. So I used to be a huge Tea Party fan when I was younger, and I still like their first two albums and EP enough (though I should really adjust my ratings) because I like the bands they rip Read More

Rotten Apples [Deluxe Edition(2001, Virgin) by the Smashing Pumpkins

Categories: 2001 and Music.

Note: this is a review of both discs and the rating reflects that. The first disc is a good compilation. It showcases most of the band’s best known songs, and a cover that has become fairly famous (though it is pretty straightforward). The only problem with it (aside from it being a “greatest hits” album) is that there are two songs on it that clearly don’t belong. As with so many of these things, someone has stuck on some “new” material in the hope that this too becomes successful. Oops. The second disc is less consistent, but that is obviously Read More

Neon Ballroom (1999, Epic) by Silverchair

Categories: 1999 and Music.

A number of years ago, the most talented musician I have ever had a conversation with (as opposed to met) told me this was perhaps the best “modern rock” album of the late ’90s. I was shocked. I didn’t know they still existed at the time. Over five years later, I have finally heard it.The problem with expectations is that they can never be met. Maybe if I hadn’t been told something so silly about this album, I might be a little more open-minded.But what I hear is…well, certainly not the best “modern rock” album of the late ’90s. There Read More

Freak Show by Sliverchair (1997, Epic)

Categories: 1997 and Music.

In 1995 Silverchair released an album that sounded like it belonged to 1991 (or maybe 1993 at the very latest). In 1997 they released an album that sounded like it belonged to the first wave of post-grunge bands of 1994-5. The album starts off seemingly as an attempt to redo the band’s debut. “Slave” is a not so compelling attempt at redoing “Israel’s Son” for example. But as the album progresses, it becomes more and more clear that the band have wholly embraced post-grunge and it is only their occasional lapses back into traditional grunge that keep this from going Read More

Frogstomp by Silverchair (1995, Epic)

Categories: 1995 and Music.

Yes, this is second rate grunge and a little late. But…“Israel’s Son” is just dynamite. Most bands would kill for this kind of urgency. I can forgive the generally terrible lyrics because, well, weren’t they 15 or something? I still can’t believe a bunch of Australians not associated with AC/DC did this. Fuck AC/DC because I don’t think they could pull off something this loud.The problems generally lie with the rest of the album: I hear Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, STP, Alice in Chains, Greenday, and a few other bands (so they basically ripped off every grunge band ever). But Read More

The Golden Age of the Grotesque (Nothing 2003)

Categories: 2003 and Music.

When an artist resorts to cheerleaders its hard to know what to think. Occasionally it can work and be funny. Most of the time it is ridiculous. The same might be said for nonsense lyrics. If you are going to scat, you should be able to sing. Singing was never Manson’s strength but he used to be able to overcome that with a least somewhat interesting music. I have seen “Freaks” too, but I don’t feel the need to sing about it. 5/10 Read More

Eat Me, Drink Me by Marilyn Manson (2007 Interscope)

Categories: 2007 and Music.

So I guess this is sort of a solo album since apparently there is no band any more. The guitarist is actually pretty good. It’s too bad he writes music that sounds like HIM gone new new wave. This is one of the more crass attempts I have seen to change up a sound to stay commercially relevant. It is pretty terrible except for that guitarist. He fucking sings about vampires. Jesus. 3/10 Read More

Holy Wood by Marilyn Manson (2000 Nothing)

Categories: 2000 and Music.

This is definitely rawer than Mechanical Animals and so it’s easier to take. But there are more ballads, a disturbing trend. And his lyrics are getting worse and worse (or maybe the music is becoming less interesting and I am paying too much attention to the lyrics). But I still prefer it to Mechanical Animals and everything else post-Antichrist Superstar. 6/10 Read More

Throwing Copper by Live (Radioactive 1994)

Categories: 1994 and Music.

As Creed are the post-grunge band that will berate you with Christianity, Live is the post-grunge band that will berate you with Buddhism (or a early-20s white male concept thereof). Live are also one of the earliest post-grunge bands, along with Collective Soul. They started this whole thing. That’s two strikes. I find that I am pleasantly surprised into not hating this. I vaguely remember the singles (I do not listen to the radio really, and so I haven’t been flogged to death by “Lightning Crashes”) and I vaguely remember the time when this band was it. It was a Read More