January 30, 2018
"We live in urban hell, we destroy rock and roll." Those were the closing sentiments of the 1991 single Motown Junk by the Manic Street Preachers, a band of Welsh nihilist iconoclasts who declared greatness from the start, aligning themselves with The Clash, Public Enemy and Guns n' Roses. Four albums and the disappearance of one member later, the band was no longer a confrontational blitzkrieg. 1998's This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours is the sound of a band collectively exhaling and confronting both the past and their heartache, while building upon the success achieved on the previous album, Everything Must Go. On TIMTTMY, the band embraces a clean pop production that would propel the single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" to number one in the UK, trading in guitars for organs, electric pianos and sitars. We revisit the record recognizing now that the band would continue on the path of deconstruction with Know Your Enemy three years later and the synth heavy Lifeblood in 2004. In fact, it would take almost a decade to recapture the guitar driven bombast on 2007's Send Away The Tigers. It's a fascinating if uneven attempt to pair pathos and pop sensibility that works for some but not all.
Intro - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
13:38 - Ready for Drowning
17:43 - Black Dog on My Shoulder
26:45 - Tsunami
41:20 - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Outro - The Everlasting
January 23, 2018
There was a brief flicker of a moment at the end of the 90s, before the garage rock rival of The Strokes and White Stripes, before the post-post-punk of Interpol and Bloc Party, before Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional took emo to the mainstream, that the American underground punk of the New Bomb Turks and Rocket From The Crypt were going to have their moment. At the same time, across the pond in Scandinavia, it took the shape of The Hellacopters signing to Sub Pop and veterans Turbonegro refining their sound with the 1998 release Apocalypse Dudes. Maybe it was wishful thinking that those who previously embraced AC/DC, Motley Crue and Buckcherry would find common cause with the action rock crowd, one that favored Iggy and Stooges as much as Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd. While The Hellacopters and Gluecifer traffic'd in their own brand of riffage gymnastics, Turbonegro added an extra layer - social and political commentary via bombastic lyrics and outrageous stage presence. In retrospect, it may have all been too much, like the layer upon layer of guitar tracks that would make Billy Corgan crack a smile. It's confrontational, it's explicit (earmuffs for the kids!) and it's also a lot of fun.
Intro - Get It On
13:19 - Rock Against Ass
23:14 - Humiliation Street
27:15 - Don't Say Motherf*cker, Motherf*cker
32:42 - Zillion Dollar Sadist
Outro - Are You Ready (For Some Darkness)
January 16, 2018
It's time to travel back twenty years and revisit the albums of 1998. What albums were overlooked upon release that have gained critical acclaim and fans in the years since? Which albums were big releases that have stood the test of time, and which ones have failed that same test? Are there albums we bought back in 1998 and immediately regretted the purchase? And what are our favorite albums from this wildly divergent year that witnessed the rise of nü-metal bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit along with the pop of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, that also featured new albums from major artists like Madonna, the Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins. To help us dig into it all, we're joined by Andy Derer of The Andy Derer Show, Chip Midnight of Kids Interview Bands and Jim Hanke of Vinyl Emergency.
Intro - 1998 Medley (Marilyn Manson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Semisonic, Beastie Boys)
15:54 - Starfighter Pilot by Snow Patrol
23:18 - Poets by The Tragically Hip
36:29 - Something' Hot by The Afghan Whigs
51:02 - At My Most Beautiful by R.E.M.
1:08:25 - California Stars by Billy Bragg and Wilco
1:12:29 - Car Radio by Spoon
Outro - Ray of Light by Madonna
January 9, 2018
We haven't reviewed much (or any) European progressive gothic doom metal shoegaze trip-hop, so thanks to our latest Patreon pick, we're checking out the 1998 double-album How to Measure a Planet? by The Gathering. The question we ask is - how to measure a band that is equal parts Massive Attack, the Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Dream Theater and Slowdive? What we do know is that in the age of overlong compact discs, a double album had better be worth it, and like most 90s double albums, the indulgence doesn't quite live up to the output. However, there is definitely something unique and interesting happening, providing us with a true album that sounds best listened to as a whole rather than searching for singles. The ambitions are grand, but surprisingly it is the restraint in both the playing and production that make HTMAP? an album that both reinterprets the past and forges a path for bands of the 2000s.
Intro - My Electricity
15:31 - Liberty Bell
26:03 - Travel
29:44 - Great Ocean Road
Outro - The Big Sleep
January 2, 2018
On their third full-length album, Adelaide, Australia's The Mark Of Cain enlisted Henry Rollins to produce their rooArt debut, 1995's Ill At Ease. The band scored a number one on the independent album chart and managed two successful Triple J singles. Recalling Rollins work with his own Rollins Band, as well as post-hardcore bands such as Helmet and Quicksand, Ill At Ease succeeds and suffers thanks to lead singer and guitarist John Scott, whose guitar riffing alternates between inspired and generic, and whose voice maintains a consistent bark. But while there are all the hallmarks pinning this band to its 1990s influences, we also discovered sounds reminiscent of the alternative metal of 2000's band like Mastodon.. Give a listen and share your thoughts on Ill At Ease.
Intro - First Time
9:52 - LMA
13:43 - The Contender
21:14 - You Let Me Down
Outro - Point Man