Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Been There, Heard That and Batting .500

Seems like a long time since last Monday. I ordered a load of new music by four artists I'd never heard and, now that everything's come in and been spun a few times, experienced some mixed results. Here's a quick rundown of where I landed with Miss May I, Volbeat, Skindred and Havok.

Just yesterday, I wrote up my opinion of what I now know is metalcore and, simultaneously, Miss May I. My caution erased by allegiance to those just a stone's throw from the front door, I blindly ordered both of the band's releases unheard and ended up with, basically, two copies of the same album, differentiated only by a slipcover and a shitty ballad. You can click back to yesterday's post to catch that synopsis but I've grown more bitter as twenty-four hours have passed. I realize Miss May I are off somewhere rocking much harder than I ever will and, from what I read, pleasing fans of their style a great deal but I cannot help but feel frustrated in the way a parent does at a child that isn't living up to its full potential. But, really, they are kids. They've got time.

BurnHavok was a winner. Time is Up is a stone-cold champion. Best CD I have bought blind in years. I wrote this one up on Sunday and you can check out my drooling praises here. I immediately ordered their Burn CD from 2009. It arrived today and I am happy to report that Havok has kicked my ass two out of two times. In fact, I plan to spend the rest of this evening stenciling their band logo onto a denim jacket with a Sharpie.

Skindred?  I ordered Union Black from overseas because it seemed to be coming at me from every direction as a must-hear and, now that I've heard, I have to admit: I don't get it. And I sure as hell don't like it. Like Miss May I, it's not like I didn't know what I was getting into but, upon listening, I could not stop thinking of 311, a band I've been hating since 1994. In fact, I can't tell what's so different about Skindred compared to the mess that is 311 that has folks so excited. Like French politicians and chambermaids,  Arnold Schwarzenegger and fidelity, Osama Bin Laden's skull and hot lead, there are just some things that don't mix well together and it appears that reggae and metal should be added to that list. Unfortunately, I simultaneously ordered Babylon and now know why it was listed at a measley $2.08. I overpaid.

The Strength/The Sound/The SongsThe big payoff was, of course, Volbeat. had a "Buy 3, Get 1 Free" promo last week and just happened to have all four Volbeat albums available. Based on what I now consider to be the definitive summation of the band on, I felt safe ordering them all blindly and threw three others in the cart alongside Beyond Hell/Above Heaven. I'll be damned if they weren't right.  Four albums absolutely brimming with soaring grooves, massive guitars and the best vocals this side of Glenn Danzig, there's not a weak one in the bunch. I almost feel sick knowing I was moving through the world listening to music up until this week unaware that they were out there. The Mackinator says it best and I won't try to repeat him. I urge you to check out his 2010 Band of the Year article and then get the entire catalogue into your hands as quickly as possible. Next step: I have to catch these guys live. 

Even with half the bands I checked out failing to live up to my hopes, I feel I came out a winner. Volebeat and Havok have added six incredible albums to my collection and, even with the duds, I helped to support the recording industry (and I repeat my claim that I will still give Miss May I another chance). And the cart's already been filled again. Get eXposed! Music led me to check out some Jungle Rot. One has already arrived and many more need to be on my shelf. Anyone want to buy some gently used Skindred?

1 comment:

  1. I have no idea what the hell you are talking about.........but what ever ya smoking I'll take some......hang on......I don't smoke....... pass me the moonshine.......