Music Monday: Blessed by a Broken Heart, Feel the Power

Feel the Power, Blessed by a Broken Heart
Feel the Power, Blessed by a Broken Heart

When I saw the video for Blessed by a Broken Heart’s (hereafter BBABH) first single off of their latest album Feel the Power I was actually a little disappointed.  The band’s previous album, Pedal to the Metal, as a guilty pleasure of pop-metalcore with copious layers of 80s influenced glam metal keys; that album’s “Move Your Body” has been a mainstay on my workout playlist for years now.  That new single, “Forever” was enough a departure from that sound to leave me a little disappointed with that I heard.  I don’t know what changed between that first listen and now, but damn do I absolutely dig the hell out of Feel the Power.

Yes, Feel the Power is slight departure from Pedal to the Metal but that same level of smooth pop-influenced slickness has been polished to a near mirror sheen and the incongruity of the Pedal to the Metal’s metalcore growls toned down to an absolute minimum.  The result is an album full of slick riffs, big choruses, and copious amounts of high energy rock and roll.  While the harsh bark of metalcore’s bark-like vocals still pops up on several songs it fits slightly better absent of synth heavy tracks.  The faster tempo employed across the album and the crunchier riffs the speed each track along lend to a curious blend of a thrash and hair, with a slight lean towards hair, and I for one love it.  While Feel the Power plays up the hair metal vibe by including one ballad (“I’ve Got You”) it never veers into the self-indulgent seriousness that marks the worst hair metal of yesteryear.

Indeed if one word can define Feel the Power that word is fun.  This is an album that you toss of the car stereo and crank to 11 while cruising down the road with the windows down.  This isn’t the kind of music that will change lives but it is the kind of music that well definitely make your day more tolerable.  Every track is killer though several standout: “Deathwish,” “Shut Up and Rock,” “Love Nightmare,” the chorus-heavy “Forever,” the easy-to-sing with “Rockin’ All Night,” and “Skate or Die” stand out (if only slightly) from the rest of the pack.  Bottom line if you are into fun pop-influenced metal then Blessed by a Broken Heart’s Feel the Power is well worth your time.

Music Monday: Volbeat

I thought for sure I’d posted here about Volbeat before.  But it looks like I was wrong.  Volbeat are a Danish hard rock/metal band that are like some bizarre cross between Elvis, Metallica, and Social Distortion.  I know that combination doesn’t sound possible, but seriously these guys pull it off and then some.  Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil, in addition to having a baddass title, has absolutely no bad songs on it…seriously not a one.  I’ve got three videos for you here, laboriously culled from youtube, of my three favorite songs off Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil.   If you like what you hear hit up your retailer of choice for the whole album; you won’t regret it!  (I don’t own it yet but Guitar Gangster and Cadillac Blood sounds pretty awesome as well.)

1.) The Human Instrument.

2.) Sad Man’s Tongue (this is probably the most Elvis sounding song on album, great stuff)

3.) Radio Girl (this one reminds me a bit of Social Distortion)

Tuesday Music Post: Notes on a Show

I deferred yesterday’s Music Monday post so I could write something about the concert I went to last night.  Seeing as how I’ve managed to attend at lest 1 concert every month since January I have wondered, frequently, if it is something I should write about.  Since the nominal goal is to hit at least 1 concert a month for the year (yay, New Years Resolutions!) there will be more concerts to come and I suppose something ought to be said.  Yesterday, on a Monday of all days, me and my good friend Val trekked out the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ (one of the oddest locations for a moderately sized music venue) to catch Flogging Molly.

Continue reading “Tuesday Music Post: Notes on a Show”

Music Monday: Mega Man Rocks

The Megas, Get Acoustic
The Megas, Get Acoustic

I’ll be honest I’ve never beat any Mega Man game. In fact I can probably count the number of hours I’ve spent playing Mega Man games and still have a couple of fingers left. Both facts which my love for music from Mega Man all the stranger. Or maybe it isn’t that strange given the Japanese title for the series: Rockman. I would go ahead an argue that Mega Man has some of the best video game music in any series today as catchy and head bob inducing in its 8-bit glory as any modern rock song is today.

All of this is to highlight my musical selection this pollen infested miserable (re: beautiful spring) day: Get Acoustic by The Megas. The Megas are, surprise surprise, a Los Angeles based rock band who sing songs inspired by, and structured, around the songs from Mega Man 2. Their first album Get Equiped, released in 2008, is a grand tour through Mega Man 2 in epic hard rockin’ fashion, but I think pales in comparison to their acoustic version Get Acoustic, that released back in March.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Mega Man Rocks”

Nerdcore Twofer

Unless I’m mistaken I have found no traces that anyone at all has reviewed or spoken about Schaffer the Darklord’s

Manslaughterer
Manslaughterer

2009 release Manslaughterer.  Schaffer, or STD, is one of the best rapper….excuse me rappists operating in the nerdcore scene and has put out another fine entry with Manslaughterer.  Schaffer is at his best when he is both irreverent and over-the-top (Night of the Living Christ, F*ck this song, Revenge of the Attack of the Clone Fuckers, being some of the best things I’ve heard in recent years) and that is a trend that continues in Manslaughterer. Standout tracks like Godammit, a tongue-in-cheek exploration of an oft-used expletive, and Very Bad Man evidence Schaffer’s penchant for ignoring boundaries and tackling topics head on and knuckles first.  Indeed Schaffer’s penchant for foul language and occasionally disturbing though oft-hilarious lyrical imagery is even mentioned in a short skit with MC Frontalot.  Schaffer even pokes fun at internet hate mail with H-Mail, in many ways a tongue-in-cheek rendition of Eminem’s Stan, compiles a rock-and-roll super creature with MC Lars in Monster of Rock and narrates the epic battle royale to determine who is the top font in Battlefont.  So, if you’re looking for quality, diverse nerdcore rap that embodies the elements that make it such a fun genre then look no further then Manslaughterer by Schaffer the Darklord available via your download service of choice and the ever awesome CD Baby.

Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more free perhaps you might consider checking out Kabuto the Python’s free EP Shed Skins for a sampling of this distinct rapper’s work.  He has a unique voice, laid back style, and undeniable talent.  God of War, Mad Rappers, and Star Wars LOL are some pretty sweet tracks worth listening to; especially at the grand total of 100% free. 

Shed Skin
Shed Skin

Shed Skin even includes acapella versions of its contents which are fascinating to listen to.  Of course, Kabuto also put out a free full-length back in December that I’ve yet to have a chance to listen to so if you like what you hear on Shed Skins you might want to give the Parseltongue Mixtape (also free!) a try.  Kabuto is one talented dude and well worth your time; trust me!   You can, of course, sample the enigmatic Kabuto the Python at his myspace page.