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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Album Review: Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power (1992)

Following on the heels of the excellent groove metal "debut" of 1990's Pantera, Cowboys From Hell, the band would soon find themselves cranking up the heavy notch by a few with the release of Vulgar Display of Power in 1992.  And the "new level" of power manifested in the album does not disappoint one bit.  Even more aggro, angry, and raw than its predecessor, and a continuing reminder of the late Dimebag's proficiency with an axe, the fist on the front of the record tells everything about what the album is and what makes it so great - both authoritarian and anti-authoritarian at the same time, this is the raw essence of the movie Fight Club in the form of a heavy metal record, only the ending is much better.  Top picks are, "A New Level", "Walk", "Mouth for War", "F***ing Hostile."  This is Pantera in their prime.  A brilliant album.  A 

Album Review: AC/DC - Back in Black (1980)

In 1980, the lead singer for the Australian/British hard rock band AC/DC was found dead from alcohol poisoning, bringing to a close one era for the band.  Unlike some other bands however, the group decided to push on, rather than disband.  Within a short period of time Acca Dacca soon found themselves with a new lead singer, Brian Johnson, formerly of the band Geordie.  And with the closing of the former Bon Scott period a new one with Johnson at the helm would quickly open, one that quickly proved itself to be a much more successful one commercially.  Back in Black is easily one of the band's best selling albums and transformed the rockers into hard rock titans.  And whilst many would no doubt have disowned the new line-up, others would welcome it, with Johnson's ever distinct vocals bringing a fresh new sound to the band.  And sounded good it most certainly did.  Look at the hits on this album - "Hells Bells", "Shoot to Thrill", "Back in Black", "You Shook me All Night Long", "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" - if you don't know any of those songs, and you like your rock to be hard, you've certainly been living under one.  "Given the Dog a Bone", "Have a Drink on Me", "What Do You Do for Money, Honey" are all worth giving a spin or twenty on the turntable, in the CD player, in the tape deck, or whatever your medium of choice is.  One of the essential classic rock albums that any self-respecting bogan should own.  Love it.  A

Album Review: The Eagles - Hotel California (1976)

The Eagles' greatest hits were just that - greatest hits.  I've lost count of just how many different "best of" or "greatest hits" compilations I've seen from the band - for the most part, bar one or two songs, all the songs were the same, from "Hotel California", "Take It Easy", "Lyin' Eyes", and so on.  Even the track listings were nearly identical, but that of course could be explained by the chronological ordering of them.  Listening to 1976's acclaimed "Hotel California", frankly I would be much better off myself sticking to the compilations.  It's not a terrible album as such - you've got the staple hits, "Hotel California", "New Kid in Town" and "Life in the Fast Lane" to back it up, but the rest of the album is replete with slow, mellowed out ditties that motivate nothing and otherwise live out their lives as better-built fillers, not quite outright boring but then again, unlikely to pick you up and invigorate you when the Sandman starts pulling violently at your eyelids.  Apart from the staples I would probably recommend listening to "Victim of Love", and that's about it.  Otherwise, you're not really missing out on much.  Worth listening to now and again, but it won't compel you to get up and start running in any direction, be it for the best or the worst reasons.  Meh.  B