Wednesday, November 20, 2019

New Drive-By Truckers Song - Full Album, The Unraveling, Out January 31, 2020

In exciting news the Drive-By Truckers have a new album coming out early next year. The Unraveling arrives on January 31st 2020. Let's let them tell you via

Pumped for this one to get here, the first single "Armageddon's Back in Town" was released as well check it out:

Until they release more, here are a few old ones to get you excited for this release:

The Masters: 50's & 60's Early Rock & Roll - Best Live Albums

RtBE loves listening to new music and prides itself on keeping tabs on up and coming artists but in 2019 we are also going to have a monthly spotlight on legendary artists who we really love. We are calling this series The Masters. It will focus on the best albums, live records, transcendent shows and other odd ways we appreciate the artists and their contribution to music, culture and our formation.

For October The Masters focuses on Early Rock & Roll

Unlike our previous list this month which was more of a chance to just discuss the legends and their greatest hits, since they never focused on albums during their heydays and were only out for the hits, this list will be official live shows/releases from those artists and others. 

Then again, this list is kind of pointless as EVERYTHING was live back then, so the ripping King Curtis saxophone blare, or Lloyd Price bellow or DJ Fontana snare slap was captured as is. Even though almost all of their studio records were recorded live in the studio, some of the classic concerts from that era are worth revisiting.

We cover a few we left off our list of top studio work, but some of them also pop up. Remember these lists are made to start conversations, so without further ado let's go up, down, down up, any way you wanna let it roll, yeah, yeah, yeah...

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Album Review: Brittany Howard - Jaime

Brittany Howard
**** out of *****

On the Alabama Shakes second album Sound & Color things got out there in experimental fashion and it is now clear who the instigator of that shift was as Brittany Howard's first solo record is a genre defying coming out party.  Jaime has the feeling of an artist searching for her own voice and sound in exciting fashion. Not a perfect statement, more like a work in progress, but for a first solo album there are flashes of brilliance from Howard.

The first single might just be the best of the bunch as "History Repeats" is delightful with its syrupy funk sound and killer percussion as an ode to Prince (whose influence is all over the record) via Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell P-funk. The song, like many here, is quick, ending before truly taking off. There is something exciting about truncating the jam, but hopefully some future numbers will extend as this vamp is intoxicating.

Howard's voice is just as bad ass, shifting from crooning to meaty, falsetto to spoken word from song to song each variation a direct hit. She pleads to an unrequited lover in "Georgia" (another track that soars to close) and delivers a modern torch song around strings, fuzzed guitars and a great groove during "Presence". The soulfulness and R&B vibe are alive for the bumping retro charm of "Stay High" (the closest to an Alabama Shakes tune on the record), the grooving "Tomorrow" and the luscious "Baby" as Howard moves towards more modern dance ready beats around her powerful singing.

Her more plain spoken approach relationship with God song "He Loves Me" adds a realness while "13 Century Metal" uses a digital dance beat supporting self proclamations and spoken word testaments about positivity while striving to do right. The track "Goat Head" is a personal stunner as Howard deals with racial animosity that she has dealt with from birth including the disturbing imagery of the title object.

The acoustic based blues number "Short and Sweet" is far from straight ahead twelve bars but it proves Howard can take the past and meld it with present and future while the huge synth ballad "Run To Me" ends the album with a weepy showcase of her powerful artistic presence. There are experiments, stops and starts but overall Jaime is success as Howard continues to prove she is a follow talent.

Support the artist, buy the record and peep some video below:

Monday, November 18, 2019

Dylan Cover #402 Solomon Burke - What Good Am I?

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Solomon Burke and is a cover of "What Good Am I?"

Thought's on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Coming on the heels of Dylan's most powerful song in decades "What Good Am I?" can get lost on Oh Mercy, but the track is a sorrowful sweet plea. Slow and deliberate, questioning like the Louisiana night that may have inspired it. Dylan's vocal performance may not be his best but at the heart of it this is a really powerful song. Not one of his better known tracks, but a goodie all the same. Simple and slow, direct without hidden agenda's (I think...) all of which is a bit unique for Bob.


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Solomon Burke is a mega star from the early days of rock and roll, "Cry To Me" alone should make him a legend,  Rock n' Soul is an all-time classic. Jerry Wexler called him one of the greatest soul singers of all time and who are RtBE to argue with that?

Thoughts on Cover:
A flat out awesome cover that we probably should have gotten to earlier in this series as it is a stunner. Funky music, big vocals and passionate delivery, this one has it all.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Full Show Friday: Bill Haley & The Comets Live at the Royal Flemish Theatre - Brussels, Belgium (1958)

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Bill Haley & The Comets!

For November The Masters showcases the greats of early rock and roll

A great capturing of Bill Haley & The Comets from 1958 with Bill introducing each track. The video and the sound is immaculate and while it is a brief set, the songs are done with power and precision. Haley is considered by some as the father of rock and roll and we wanted to give him some love during our spotlight on the masters of the early rock and roll era. 

This show is great and the Comets cook, just listen to "Rudy's Rock" as they get loose. Pro Shot, Pro Sound, full set list and info below. Enjoy:

Bill Haley and The Comets - Complete Concert Live in Brussels, Belgium - European Tour - October 20, 1958 at the Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS) (Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg) (Full Concert T.V Vidéo)
01 - Intro by François Cassiers 
02 - The Saint Rock'N'Roll 0:35 
03 - Shake Rattle And Roll 03:37 
04 - Rudy's Rock 06:00 
05 - Giddy Up A Ding Dong (Al Pompilli, vocal & Bill Haley, Bass) 10:42 
06 - Tequila 13:20 
07 - Rock This Joint (Joe Olivier aka Cappy Bianco, vocal) 17:30 
08 - See You Later Alligator 19:58 
09 - Rock Around The Clock 22:00 
10 - Mambo Rock 24:55

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Album Review: Metz - Automat

***and1/2 out of *****

The newest release from the noise rock band Metz is a collection of B-sides, demos, non-album singles and rarities which date back to 2009. The group has released some excellent clanging albums including Strange Peace, i and ii, now Automat admirably fills in the gaps with some lesser known tracks. It is a statement to their style and sound that this thrown together collection holds up with their more conventional releases; the buzzing rock which the band has always displayed continues even during their more tossed off moments.

"Soft Whiteout" does what this band does best, droning, buzzing grinding guitar work with distortion electric screeches, distant drums and angry vocals. At times you it can sound as if you are sitting in Alex Edkins amp with the twitches glitches and distorted freak-outs. The buzzing distortion and feedback rattling sound continue in banger's and migraine inducers like the warbling "Lump Sums", the driving "Ripped On the Fence", the stop/start power of "Pure Auto" and "Dirty Shirt" which is propelled by the slamming drums of Hayden Menzies.

"Dry Up" stands out with it's crisp guitars to start and loose bass notes as the band slams ahead and lets the echoing sound ring out while the demo version of "Wet Blanket" is a cool throwback for fans of the bands first full length. The most pop friendly tune on this release finds the loose groove laid down by bassist Chris Slorach during "Leave Me Out" which isn't pretty but the most palpable for non noise rock fans.

The title track for this collection is more experimental with electronic sound effects and beats mixing in the overall sound while the punk slamming of "Can't Understand" was originally released back in 2013 by Adult Swim.

If you are new to Metz, starting with any of their previous records is probably a wise move, however Automat is a solid approximation of the band and not the oddball offering some b-side releases tend to be.
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

Album Review: The Berries - Berryland

The Berries 
***and1/2 out of *****

The Berries are the brainchild of Matt Berry who does it all on his sophomore release with various friends helping out to craft a guitar based pop rock record titled Berryland.

Multi instrumentalist Berry has played in more noisy outfits (Big Bite, Happy Diving) but here his love for hooky '70's inspired radio sounds take the lead. All though the record starts off on it's darkest note as the opener "Makes Me Sick" forecasts doom and hopelessness with added flute work by Veronica Dye, but thing quickly perk up on the incredibly pretty (despite it's title) "The Lowest Form of Life" as Nicholas Merz pedal steel work combines with Berry's upbeat singing and guitar lines.

Berry recorded all of the other instruments himself and the layers of guitars he places on tracks add up, "Passing Scene" in particular has excellent acoustic work, rhythm guitar lines, a fluid bass line, smooth slide and a great jangling solo with psychedelic flourishes. It is a killer album highlight which could go on and on as the guitar lines rise and fall all over each other.

"Feral Eyes" is also a winner bringing back Merz pedal steel to add some upbeat country boogie to the album in hip shaking fashion around Berry's piumping bass and fuzzed up rocking guitar solo. On the flipside of things "Along The Water" drags with a washed out sound while a track like "D.Y.W.I.B" combines digital beats with Berry's pedal laden psychedelic 60's inspired guitar effects and while interesting the combo feels oddly paired.

Better complete efforts are the classic rock sounding "Pedestal" which finds Berry singing with menace and the self harmonizing "Fruit" which showcases what Berry does best, take mainstream influences and put his own unique stamp on them. Berryland is a confident work of art as Matt Berry melds 90's Seattle and 70's California in his unique way. 
A great random bandcamp find, support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Live Review: Slayer, Primus, Ministry, Phil Anselmo @ MSG 11/9/19

Slayer, Primus, Ministry, Phil Anselmo 
@ MSG, NYC 11/9/19

A huge goodbye party was thrown in NYC for the metal gods Slayer as they played the New York leg of their retirement tour with some amazing bands helping to send them off proper.

The show started early with Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals as the doors to the worlds most famous arena opened at 5 pm and Phil and crew were rocking out at 6 to a mostly full house. The band played all Pantera songs and surprisingly got the largest consistent pit of the night from any of the four bands. The crowd went ape shit during "Strength Beyond Strength"as Anselmo growled before the slower "This Love". The thundering drums for "Fucking Hostile" echoed around the huge arena before the screaming guitar of "Walk" ended the the set, but not before the band snuck in a bit of "Stairway to Heaven" and a group selfie. 

While the next two bands received more mixed reactions from the crowd their style shows the range of metal and it's off shoot genres. Ministry stole the show with their industrial whirring and slamming as Al Jourgensen and crew came out to a parody of "New York, NY" insulting Donald Trump. Ministry always works best under Republican presidents (Rio Grande Blood, Psalm 69)and Jourgenson seems fired up once again under Trump. The band relied on mostly older tunes, but things were brutal from the dentist drill guitars of "Stigmata" and the Thieves/Liars chants from "Thieves". The surprise of the night was the bands exploratory cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" which jammed out and soared. The bands killer tunes from Psalm 69 also worked as "Just One Fix", "N.W.O" and set closing "Jesus Built MY Hotrod" cooked with high intensity.     

Primus seemed to go in the other direction, over the last fifteen years they have been exploring their more jamband leanings and tonight was no different.  There were some sound issues early with Larry Lelonde's guitar too low in the mix, but the band Segued in and out of "Sgt Baker" during "Too Many Puppies" before the loud bass of Les Claypool took over during "Frizzle Fry". There were a few down moments in their set which drained it of energy, like "The Seven" and "Mr. Krinkle" but things ended strong with a powerful combo of "My Name is Mud" and "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver".

The thrash legends took the stage to much bigger fan fare as fire shot from their backdrop and Slayer dove deep into their metal catalog. Opening with "Repentless" the band played songs from all over their career even going all the way back to the title track of their first album Show No Mercy.  "World Painted Blood"was an early highlight as the the band never took their foot off the pedal, while the fans were more in watch mode then tear down the house mode with much smaller and less frequent pits/slam dancing. While the bands before them showed more range, Slayer were content to stay one note, thundering from the beginning which wore thin at times, but you don't see Slayer for variety.

Guitarist Kerry King had some issues with "War Ensemble" and "When The Stillness Comes" causing the band to abandon it, but old warhorses like "Seasons In the Abyss", "Chemical Warfare" and "Hell Awaits" were greeted with cheers. The bands biggest songs "Raining Blood" "Dead Skin Mask" and "Angel of Death" back ended the set to happy fans who got to witness the power and pumping of the band one last time on one of the biggest stages there is. 
Catch the tour, and peep some video below:

Album Review: Samantha Fish - Kill Or Be Kind

Samantha Fish
Kill Or Be Kind
*** out of *****

In 2017 Samantha Fish explored two different avenues of her influences as Belle Of The West played with mostly acoustic country/roots/blues and Chills & Fever dove into rocking soul sound. Now her newest release Kill Or Be Kind, moves close to combining all of her varied influences into a thematic sound of her own that pushes into pop territory. 

The trials and tribulations of love are all over Kill Or Be Kind, as Fish worked with a variety of songwriters to move further away from the blues, but her strong playing and singing are still her rock solid foundation.

Tracks like "Try" and the title song prove her electric blues style is still in tact but it is newer sounds like The Beatles pop inspired ballads like "Fair-Weather" and "Dream Girl" which push Fish into a more mainstream sound. "She Don't Live Around Here" and the sultry "Dirty" both keep the electric organs and guitar solos but also successfully tests these same waters. 

A modern groove filters through the opening "Bulletproof" but the track seems to be yearning to be more dangerous. Along with "Watch It Die, both tracks while well written and performed, are understated and constrained by Scott Billington's production. A better pairing is the revved up soul horns and ripping solo on "Love Your Lies". Fish seems to be putting her lyrical stamp on tracks and the sexy "Love Letter" grooves and builds successfully to a rousing climax.

Closer "You Got It Bad" is a good example of Fish mindset on this record. On past albums a burner like this would have been blown out and extended with raging solos but every time it seems ready to explode through her powerful singing or playing it drops back down; the rawness of Fish's style has been tempered for more of a pop polished push on Kill Or Be Kind.

Fish is a blazing live performer who pours everything out onto the stage, her studio work is evolving and while not up to her live playing yet, there are lots of positive takeaways as Kill Or Be Kind is a successful step in her broadening career.
Support the artist, buy the record and peep some video:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Album Review: Various Artists - Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’

Various Artists
Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ 
** out of *****

Looking back at Glide's Top 50 Albums of the 2000's I am pretty impressed how well it holds up. Working with Shane from the site, we compiled the list and while both of our tastes focus more on the guitar/rock side of things, the list is pretty solid. Are there few albums we missed and would have liked to have swapped out looking back ten years removed? Of course. For cultural importance, Eminem's Marshall Mathers record should have been there (that's on me, I forgot it was recorded in 2000) and Kanye West's Late Registration or Graduation (or both) probably deserved more love. However, the one record that definitely should be on there is Frightened Rabbits The Midnight Organ Fight. It is one of the best albums of the decade and both of us just blanked on it. I think you can slip out Ween's White Pepper and put this directly in the 12th spot for a better list. 

Scott Hutchinson delivered such an intimate portrait of a relationship crumbling with this record it is amazing. He speaks to failing love in a thick Scottish accent but anyone around the world can relate. The music is odd, with instrumentation ranging all over the map and Hutchinson (who at this point was the main creative force in the band) poured his broken soul onto the album.

In general tribute albums tend to underwhelm. While they can make great concerts, and celebrations of the original material, the recordings rarely age well or make any legitimate enhancements on the originals. Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’  has all of those same issues, but it has an extra weight as it was recorded before Scott Hutchinson took his life and while the album was just meant as a ten year celebration among friends, it has taken on added weight with his unexpected death.

That is unfair to the artists here as the record has some moments, but after a few songs you will just want to reach for the original, and on the off chance you haven't heard the original, stop reading and go do that.The original album is a masterclass in confessional songwriting about a relationship gone wrong. The song collected on this tribute record still sound great, but some are too much like the originals and some are experiments that just don't work overall.

The tunes worth hunting out are Wintersleeps "The Twist" with its tense guitars/beat,  Right On Dynamite's clanging/pounding "Fast Blood", Josh Ritter's bluegrass influenced "Old Old Fashioned" and Daughters haunting "Poke" is a powerful rendition of the fantastic tune. RtBE Favorite Craig Finn mixes upbeat folk rock with downer pianos doing his rendition of "Heads Roll Off" resulting in an interesting concoction. 

Julien Baker's dynamic take on "The Modern Leper" soars with her ethereal vocals, buzzing production with piano flourishes and swelling drums/vocals is the best of the bunch. While Hutchinson is no longer with us in person, his songs will live on forever, and The Midnight Organ Fight is his crowning achievement. 
Buy the record, support the charity Tiny Changes, peep some video below:

Album Review: Dr. John - Big Band Voodoo

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of Dr. John's newest release Big Band Voodoo.

This album was recorded in 1995 but shelved until now.  Not vital by any stretch but cool unique versions of staples like "Indian Red" and "Going Back To New Orleans" with a big band getting after behind Dr. John.

Support the artist, buy the album, read the review and peep some video:

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dylan Cover #401 Odetta "With God On Our Side"

n this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Odetta playing "With God On Our Side"
Thoughts on Original
From the first time we talked about around Veterans Day as well:
Perhaps the most poignant and lasting song Dylan has written and that speaks volumes. Lyrically it is perfect; using history, the warping of religion and politics to get across the point that man will rationalize anything, even war. Only played live 30 times since it's debut at Dylan's historic Town Hall show the song has added weight and meaning when it is played.

Morality and War, Religion and Righteousness, all just words when it comes down to it, hold life inside those letters. Musically stark Dylan uses his impressive lyrics to express the confusion perfectly. Should be mandatory listing in every history classroom.

Thoughts on Cover Artist
Odetta is a pure legend, a voice that will transcend time. To learn about her history check out this.
Thoughts on Cover
We have talked about this song on Veterans Day (or the week of) every year since we started doing this series and we will continue to, Odetta takes center stage with a version this year. the acoustic instrumentation seems to be banging into each other in intoxicating fashion. In fact we like the intricate playing much more then Odetta's dramatic vocals. A cool version, Thanks Ceez.

Veterans Day 2019

Veterans Day is an important one in our history, read more about it here.

Since this is a music site we will pay homage in our way and especially since our friend Glen has recorded a song with his great NYHC band Billyclub Sandwich titled "Veteran's Day". You can listen to bad ass tune below following the perfect Patton quote that the group used to intro it:
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

"I choose to fight for what I live for" Well said fellows. Well said.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Full Show Friday: Fats Domino 1986 Austin City Limits Full Show

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Fats Domino!
For November The Masters showcases the greats of early rock and roll

This is the full show that was edited to create the Austin City Limits show from 1986 for the Fat Man. As we mentioned in our top studio albums rankings, Fats Domino is the most underrated of the original set of rock and rollers. He had more hits out of anyone except Elvis out of the class of original rockers, yet he is mostly forgotten when the greats are discussed.

So here he is today, complete with a killer band and Dave Bartholomew who co-wrote many of Fats songs. A dynamite performance from all involved as Domino constantly brings smiles to faces of those listening to him.  For those who want the main course and not the into blues playing, Fats comes out at 19 minutes in.

Pro shot, pro sound, Enjoy:

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Album Review: The Soul Rebels - Poetry in Motion

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of the new Soul Rebels release Poetry in Motion

This is a damn good studio release from the band who make their money on the live stage. The group has been big into hip hop as RtBE has seen live multiple times, and this album is a great synthesis of their sound and that style.  

Support the band, buy the album, read the review, see them live and peep some video below:

Album Review: Calexico And Iron & Wine - Years To Burn

Calexico and Iron & Wine
Years To Burn
***and 1/2 out of *****

Back in 2005 Calexico and Iron & Wine teamed up for In The Reins, an EP which combined Sam Beam's delicate songs with the atmospheric Southwestern textures of Calexico and still ranks as a fantastic combo of all the artists involved skills.

Now, fourteen years later the players team up again for another batch of songs written by Beam and supported by Calexico (Joey Burns, John Convertino, Scott Colberg, Jacob Valenzuela, Martin Wenk, Sergio Mendoza, Jairo Zavala).

The album is proof that their mix of styles works, and while both on their own can drift into background music, the strongest parts of their collaborations really take flight. Years To Burn starts off with one as "What Heaven's Left" which starts as a showcase for Beams lead and the bands smooth supporting vocals as the love song drips out in soothing fashion, but the group really begin to get loose with some excellent horn work as the bass and drums push things to a climax; an excellent start. The closer also is a strong effort with easy rolling Americana which sounds like Simon and Garfunkel radio ready track. 

The piano ballad gorgeous title track and "Father Mountain" which is a quick slice of folk are both excellent but it is the album centerpiece which is the true standout as the over eight minute combo of "Bitter Suite (PĂĄjaro/Evil Eye/Tennessee Train) anchor the album and this partnership in someways. Beginning with the soulful Spanish sung "Pajaro" the group begins the journey before the middle section "Evil Eye" blazes with a funky organic bass line as the groove intensifies while layers of sounds vocals and horns are layered throughout. The effort then rolls away with "Tennessee Train" Beam's soft sad journey proving life is bittersweet. 

The album can feel light outside of this middle passage and sometimes the sleepy softness such as on "Midnight Sun" or "Follow The Water" don't strongly connect as some other offerings, but as a whole and a partnership Calexico and Iron and Wine are just fine together and hopefully have many more Years To Burn.
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Masters: 50's & 60's Early Rock & Roll - Best Studio Albums

RtBE loves listening to new music and prides itself on keeping tabs on up and coming artists but in 2019 we are also going to have a monthly spotlight on legendary artists who we really love. We are calling this series The Masters. It will focus on the best albums, live records, transcendent shows and other odd ways we appreciate the artists and their contribution to music, culture and our formation.
For November The Masters Series focuses on Early Rock and Roll

Like we did back in March with The Blues, when RtBE dives into the foundations of rock and roll it is impossible to pick just one legend to focus on, so we are going to try to give thoughts on the whole era this month.

The truth is more than any other era of music, RtBE has been recently digging this time period over recent years and continue to be amazed at the sheer number of artists who crafted cool tunes which we never heard of. Artists like Hank Ballard and The Midnighters, The Flamingos and H-Bomb Ferguson were unknown to RtBE until 2019 and we are sure to find many more artists in the upcoming years from this golden era of sound.

That fine line between rhythm and blues songs and rock and roll numbers has never truly been defined. "Rocket 88" is a good starting point, and while a lot of these songs stuck to a formula that was selling, it is amazing how small nuances create great listening. The intersection of commercialism and art was at the beginning as artists would try to recreate hits with basically the same song, but then once in a while magic broke out. Sure The Beatles and Stones, took these artists influences and formed something new through their British ears...but it is time to pay respect to the forefathers of the genre. 

Unlike other top studio albums lists in this series, all of these will be greatest hits or some sort of deviation of, as these artists did not make full length albums at one sitting when they were at their peak. Instead they shot off 45's to appease the fan base, cranking them out to make as much money as their shitty contracts allowed.There are so many racial, financial, exploitative dynamics at play with these artists, but we will try to keep those at bay as much as possible when just trying to discuss their output.

If we limited to just individual albums, a few like Wanda Jackson's Rockin' With Wanda and Solomon Burke's Rock 'n Soul might have come close...but even those were compilations (although it took looking them up to know that). I may be wrong, but I feel like full albums really came into vogue with or February Masters focus The Beatles, but maybe someone else knows better. Feel free to comment below...

This list is not definitive, but it is just what we think are the best of an that somehow doesn't get the love it truly deserves for inspiring a British invasion and a generation of change in popular music. Also we kept country and soul artists mostly out of here even though all of these artists were clearly influenced by both...So in the spirit of starting discussions as opposed to ending them, here are the top five studio collections from early rock and roll...

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Album Review: The Growlers - Natural Affair

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of The Growlers newest release Natural Affair.

While not usually our cup of tea, this dance laden pop rock is pretty solid from the outfit.

Support the band, buy the album, read the review and peep some video below:

Album Review: Cemican - In Ohtli Teoyohtica In Miquiztli

In Ohtli Teoyohtica In Miquiztli
**** out of *****

The band name Cemican means the name means “the duality of life and death” in the indigenous Nahuatl language of Mexico. This group digs deep into their Aztecan roots resulting in a fresh mix of what they are calling folk/metal; combining pounding modern metal sounds with tribal instrumentation resulting in the engaging In Ohtli Teoyohtica In Miquiztli

The players (Tlipoca- Drums, Percussion, Wind instruments, Vocals, Tecuhtli-Vocals, Guitars, Wind instruments, Mazatecpatl- Wind instruments, Xaman-ek- Wind instruments, Vocals, Yei Tochtli- Wind instruments, Vocals, Ocelotl- Bass) export their culture by fusing it with the heavy sounds in exciting ways, wind instruments sit right next to sludge bass and screaming six strings. On opener "Guerreros de Cemican" what would normally be high pitched guitar turns out to be flute like wind instrumenting hovering above the fury.

The band loves fusing these influences as the pounding metal and guttural vocals of "La Que Baja De Las Estrellas" with the light and airy wind instruments that survive harrowing breakdowns. "Itlach In Mictlantecuhtli" uses chunky headbanging riffs before transforming into a melodic/symphonic second half with excellent results. That theatrical, more melodic tone also arrives during "Cuando Los Muertos Suspiran (Mihcailhuitl)" which starts totally tribal/acoustic before s slamming finale.

All tracks are so layered with sounds there are hidden gems unveiled with multiple spins of the record, but "Ritual" instantly jumps out as a highlight. Hardcore ferocity and ominous harbinger sounds open the tune before things quickly spiral out of control. The fury has broken loose as one can easily see the bedlam become the perfect soundtrack to a human sacrifice as drums pound, chants reign down and chaos fills the air; exhilarating.

The band incorporates female vocals into the maelstrom for "Luna Desmembrada" while didgeridoo like sounds kick off the groove heavy pounding on the infectious "Aztec Soy" with blazing success as the thrash metal amps up to a climax. Like a lot of metal songs can run long, but tracks like the closing "Donde Nace El Viento (Ehecatl)" incorporate so many metal sub-genre's as well as their tribal heritage that things never become dull.

This is a unique outfit worth the time of any metal fan, and well beyond as aligning ripping riffs, thunder filled percussion and tribal wind instruments works incredibly well on Cemican's In Ohtli Teoyohtica In Miquiztli, a successfully unique metal offering .
Another amazing bandcamp find. Support the artists, buy the album, stream it, peep some video:

Monday, November 4, 2019

Dylan Cover #400 Elvis Presley "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Elvis Presley covering "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

Thought's on Original:
From the first time we reviewed a cover of this tune:
This song is so iconic and flat out awesome, even people who dislike Dylan have to enjoy this tune right? Biting and yet not bitter, a toss off of the grandest proportions, "Don' Think Twice, It's All Right" is epic and yet so straight forwardly simple. It easily ranks as one of the bard's best works, truly a classic and has been covered by so many people in so many ways.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE will get to Elvis later this week, but what did Bob Dylan think of him? "The highlight of my career? That's easy, Elvis recording one of my songs."
Thoughts on Cover:
This is a fun studio jam as the band feels out the track and gets loose.  Elvis voice gets loose as well especially in the beginning as he rumbles gets low and sings with gusto. A very cool take, which wasn't meant for critical ears, just fun run through.

With 100 in this series RtBE focused on an all time legend, same for 200, 300 was Emmylou Harris and now back to Elvis for 400. Just wanted to take a minute here to send out a hearty thanks for reading this Monday series and the site in general. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Happy 25th Anniversary Tom Petty's Wildflowers

One of our personal favorites, Tom Petty's Wildflowers album turns 25 today.

Back in 2014 when it turned 20 we gave our thoughts on the record, so we won't rehash those, instead let's just enjoy some really cool songs from what we feel was the high point of Petty's career. 

He is missed but will always live on with amazing tunes like these:


Full Show Friday: Carl Perkins 9/9/85 Capital Theater Passaic, NJ

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Carl Perkins!
For November The Masters showcases the greats of early Rock and Roll

The King of Rockabilly Carl Perkins is the focus of this weeks Full Show Friday. Perkins was part of the million dollar quartet and a force at the birth of rock and roll. He deserves to kick off our spotlight on the masters of that era.

This show comes from a little later in his life, 1985 to be exact, and features a host of guest stars including two Beatles and Slowhand. The English guys loved Perkins with Paul McCartney famously saying, "if there was no Carl Perkins there would be no Beatles".  They pay back their idol here and Perkins himself proves that he was still going strong in 1985. Also of particular note is a young Rosanne Cash killing it mid set, a hell of lineup.

Pro Shot, Pro Sound, Set list and info below. Enjoy:

Carl Perkins - Full Concert Recorded Live: 9/9/1985 - Capitol Theatre (Passaic, NJ) More Carl Perkins at Music Vault: Subscribe to Music Vault:

Setlist: 0:00:00 - Boppin' The Blues w/ Dave Edmunds & Lee Rocker 0:03:06 - Put Your Cat Clothes On w/ Dave Edmunds & Lee Rocker 0:05:18 - Honey Don't w/ Ringo Starr 0:08:30 - Matchbox w/ Eric Clapton & Ringo Starr 0:11:44 - Mean Woman Blues w/ Eric Clapton 0:15:00 - Turn Around 0:18:02 - Jackson w/ Rosanne Cash 0:21:19 - What Kind Of Girl w/ Rosanne Cash 0:23:31 - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby w/ George Harrison 0:26:04 - Your True Love w/ George Harrison 0:29:10 - The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise w/ George Harrison 0:30:49 - Medley w/ Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Rosanne Cash, Dave Edmunds, Lee Rocker 0:38:17 - Gone, Gone, Gone w/ Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Rosanne Cash, Dave Edmunds, Lee Rocker
0:40:57 - Blue Suede Shoes w/ Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Rosanne Cash, Dave Edmunds, Lee Rocker

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Album Review: High On Fire - Bat Salad

High on Fire
Bat Salad
**and1/2 out of *****

This past Record Store Day the Grammy award winning metal band High on Fire released this brief EP, titled Bat Salad. The groups recent efforts have been the strongest in their career with their previous release, the powerful full length Electric Messiah appearing on a few year end lists (including RtBE's).

This three song quickie is a cool stop gap from the band as they begin the EP with the original title track instrumental. The band grooves and slams around with distortion but it is drummer Des Kensel who leads the way, even getting a funky outro which is fitting as he recently announced his departure from the band.

With their future a bit up in the air the band dives into a two covers to wrap up the EP. First comes their take on Celtic Frost's "Into The Crypts of Rays" it is a fairly straight ahead pounding take on the metal track as the band propels forward with fury and thundering low end bass from Jeff Matz around Mike Pike's guttural vocals and riffs.

The trio close with their spin on the Bad Brains hardcore banger"Don't Bother Me". While the originals rawness and H.R.'s unique lyrics are their own breed, High on Fire do a much more metal-fied, double kick drum fueled version as Pike adjusts his vocals to get a bit clearer in delivery.

A fun, brief release from one of the best metal bands out there who will have to regroup with Kensel's departure. Here's hoping they come back stronger than ever and Bat Salad just sounds like something which should be served up on Halloween....
Support the band, buy the album, stream it below or on bandcamp and peep some video:

Celebrating the Halloween Spirit Through Songs

A few years ago, one of the best blogs out there, WFMU's Rock and Soul Ichiban put together a great collection of Halloween inspired tunes and playlists.
They have crafted one dealing with ghosts which you can directly download. Another that tackles vampires and you can grab that one directly as well. Now there is also Weird-O-Matic streaming and a you can also drink a spooky cup o' Alligator Wine!

All of these are fantastic and as always Ichiban gives us old songs that are brand new to RtBE and all are also flat out awesome!

I mean how could we have missed The Bar-Kay's "Holy Ghost" for all of these years?

Damn that is some funky stuff. WFMU Rock and Soul Ichiban always delivers the goods, but in 2014 they got some help from their friends over at Fringe Factory who offered up a Halloween themed show themselves right here.

Here are a few songs that jumped out to us from these shows/free downloads and of course it wouldn't be Halloween without Elvira. She closes out our Halloween focus with her Third Man Records release "2 Big Pumpkins" written by the B-52's Fred Schneider:
The Pastel Six: "The Strange Ghost"

The Primates "The Creep"

The Upsetters "The Vampire"

Virgil Holmes "Ghost Train"

Elvira "2 Big Pumpkins":

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Album Review: Hyemen & Metalfunkel - Coasters

Hyemen & Metalfunkel 
***and1/2 out of *****

Have you ever asked yourself the following: What if Simon and Garfunkel reunited and decided to only do covers of 70's and 80's metal tunes? If you have, then do I have an album for you! Coasters by Hyemen & Metalfunkel puts that premise to the test and surprisingly the end result passes with flying colors; who knew Ronnie James Dio would hold up under soft textured examination?

Apparently Sean Ferguson and Andy Wagstaff knew, as the duo behind the project they tackle some of the better known metal efforts from the era with nuanced acoustic playing and gorgeous harmonies. Dio's best known track "Holy Diver" twinkles along before light drums enter as Wagstaff and Ferguson support each other vocally, jumping on the tiger before a flamenco inspired solo. All of the tracks are expertly textured, and lovingly played.

"Th Trooper" by Iron Maiden is a studious display, lending itself amazingly well to this folk-metal interpretation (with added cello Isabel Castellvi) while the dour take on Motley Crue's "Looks That Kill" it is nowhere near as fun as  Ozzy Osborne's  "Crazy Train" or the country shuffling of Motorheads "Ace of Spades" in this rollicking format.

Even better efforts are White Snake's "Here I Go Again" whose upbeat drums from Paul Greenhaw add a spritely sense of adventure while Judas Priests "Breaking The Law" in this arrangement could be mistaken for a 100 year old folk song written for serfs rebelling against vassals. All are solid but the track that stood out most to these ears is the dynamic record closing "Peace Sells". The technical playing, lyrics and extra backing harmonies added by Abigael Upton Brown really feel as if this is a perfectly crafted folk protest song rather than a chugging metal anthem from Megadeth.     

The production from Ferguson and rich vinyl sound add to the overall feeling of retro success as if this was a relic of a different era, and in some cases it is. Folk fans, metal heads, all are welcome to put on a black turtleneck and snap your fingers and bang your beret to these heavy metal yet coffee house friendly classics. Coasters is worth a listen because beyond the laugh appeal, the playing, singing and production all add new dimensions to old warhorses.
Support the band, buy the album on bandcamp and peep some streaming songs below:

Live Review - Misfits, Rancid, The Damned @ MSG, NY, NY

Misfits, Rancid, The Damned 
Live 10/19/19 
Madison Square Garden, NY, NY

All reviews here are taken seriously, this show was just a pure blast of fun drunken energy that RtBE literally took zero notes.  If you are looking for a good review check out some other places

Last year The Original Misfits surprising return to their home state of New Jersey was RtBEs pick for Best Show of the Year and they may just win that title back to back as Saturday Night at MSG on October 19th was one for the ages. It was also a sloppy mess on our end as we caught the last song of The Damned, all of Rancid's great set and the cyclone of singalongs which were the Misfits

They are amazing...go see them...blah blah blah. But since we were in party mode, how about some booze puns on Misfits song titles for a review instead of a rehash? Get a beer, put on Among the Living and most importantly feel free to add your own in the comments....

Drunk Came Rippin'
Where Eagles Drink
I Turned Into a Martini
We Are 138 (Beers Deep)
20 IPA's
Some Kinda Hefeweizen ... or
Southern Comfort Kinda Hate
Return of the Rye
High-Life Moments
Highball Hotel
London Drygin
Teenagers in Bars
Die, Die My Yuengling
Theme for a Jager
All Hell Grey Goose
Vodka World
Lager Caress

Thanks to my show and bad booze pun partner Billy for joining on this raucous night of mayhem. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Album Review: Exhorder - Mourn the Southern Skies

Mourn the Southern Skies
*** out of *****

One of the originators of  groove metal Exhorder have returned with their first studio album in over twenty seven years.  While it has been an obscenely long absence the band still plays with burning aggression and bone slamming power.

Only two original members remain in the current lineup as lead singer Kyle Thomas and lead Guitarist (and album producer) Vinny LaBella anchor things as guitarist Marzi Montazeri (Superjoint Ritual and Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals), bassist Jason Viebrooks (Heathen, Grip Inc.), and drummer Sasha Horn (Forbidden) join up for this go around.

Staring with the perhaps the hardest quit your job song ever recorded "My Time" ups the thrash metal ante and lets every listener know that Exhorder has still got it. "Asunder" deals with family love/hate while the most main stream metal "Hallowed Sound" speaks to Southern reliance. Thomas' vocal style is clean and direct, unlike others in this field and his lyrics play with poetic images and interesting phrasing (how many metal lyricists incorporate Laissez-faire and vestiges in back to back lines?) while keeping the fuck you's and screams of aggression.

"Rumination" reminds of what the band does best while "The Arms of Man" stirs the sludge as the hyperactive "Ripping Flesh" and "Beware of the Wolf" kick up the dust and din with galloping drums and thrash metal goodness.

"Yesterday's Bones" mixes things up by stretching out, starting with chugging groove metal guitars before melodic solos and a full on theatrical ending complete with swelling organs and acoustic strings. Along with the extended closing title track which toys with mixing up levels of power and aggression, the group is expanding its sound while remaining true to their roots.

While no song jumps out as must hear, Mourn The Southern Skies is a unexpected comeback but a damn good one as the band who helped start a genre and never really found success now seems poised to the reap some late career benefits.
Support the band, buy the record and peep some video below: