Monday, March 28, 2016

Album Review: Apocalyptic Lovers- Redemption, Volume 1

 One day you will be
Wrapped inside me...
But for right now,
I just changed frequency!

 And, you will too, once you hear this band! They need to be on EVERY frequency!

I've been slacking again. For that, I apologize. Damn real life issues! But, I've been jamming this album good and loud ever since the band sent it to me. We had the band on the show a while back, and they were among the best guests we've ever had, and their music kicks ass. 

Originally from Youngstown, OH, Apocalyptic Lovers formed in 1991 and gained success playing regionally, but they also took a trip out to the City of Angels. That earned them a writeup in Entertainment Weekly, which led to overseas distribution of their music. Now, the band has reformed and plans on releasing a 10 volume collection of EPs featuring new material and updated classics. The first will be released on April 16, 2016. Its a bold move, but they have assembled a crew of heavy hitters in order to put this venture together and have it be as big and bold sounding as the move itself. The 8 tracks on Volume 1, Redemption was produced by legendary producer, Michael Wagener. You might remember him from his work with Ozzy, Megadeth, Metallica, Dokken, Extreme, Motley Crue and more. 

And, it shows. The album explodes to start, kicking you in the face with Better Days. A heavy technical onslaught that shows influence from classic Ozzy albums among others. You are greeted by brutal guitar and powerful backup vocals right off the bat. It takes you back to the days when the music was not only fun to listen to, but it was also made you feel good, and musical talent was respected and expected. Another song that puts things into perspective is the slow and heavy groove, Who The Hell Are You. Something I'd like to ask the record executives that didn't sign these guys in the 90's. They are so much better than the cookie cutter glam bands that were forced on us at the tail end of the glam metal era. We won't even talk about grunge. Unfortunately, the band and the fans who would have loved them were Left in the Cold, (Another badass song) by these idiot record companies.

The musical skill on display here is top notch. Each member is a master at their instruments. Singer, Robert Kane has a very powerful and broad vocal range. Guitarist, Sean Magee is an axe slinger who could duel with anyone. Drummer, Dave Hope has the strength of Thor in his arms and legs. But the most unique thing about Apocalyptic Lovers is that they have TWO bass players. Mike Nagy and George Allen both play bass, and rhythm guitar, and they alternate on stage. And, all 5 members of the band can sing. 5 part harmonies are constantly on display on the album.

Like I said, all of the talent is showcased on all the songs, but one is particularly showcased. A song with a brutal groove, called simply The Groove. The band has commercial appeal too, and even in today's dark ages of rock and metal. 

If you like good metal from an extremely talented band, you owe it to yourself to pick up this album when its released. This band would have dominated the arenas and stadiums in the 80's, and they can do it again. You'll want to pay attention to them. 

Buy the album!

Follow them here:

They even have a very good looking video for their song Change of Frequency. Click here for the YouTube page. 

I'm going back to listen to the album again. It ROCKS!

Mike Nagy, Bass/Guitar/Vocals- George Allen, Bass/Guitar, Vocals- Rob Kane, Lead Vocals- Dave Hope, Drums/Vocals- Sean Magee, Guitars/Vocals

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Song Lyric Dissection: Closing Time by Semisonic

Here we go with one of the LAMEST songs ever written. In the early 90's, rock musicians who didn't want to play grunge turned to annoying whiny pop songs. One of the worst pop songs that plagued so called "rock" radio stations was 'Closing Time' by Semisonic. Soon, bars all around the country had either a really lame bartender, patron, or karaoke host that would play this stupid song at the end of the night. 

One of the things I have with alot of issues on with country music is that alot of artists will take an old cliche and make a song out of it, such as "Oceanfront Property in Arizona" or "That's my Story and I'm Sticking To It" by Colin Raye. It just doesnt seem very original to me. (Just an opinion, Country fans! I happen to like some of the songs! Calm down! ;) )

But, this stupid song is FULL of cliches. 

Verse: Closing time, Open all the doors and let you out into the world
Closing time, Turn all the lights on over every boy and every girl
Closing Time, One last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer
Closing time, You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here

The singer's whiny voice and this song with music that is supposed to sound spiritual or inspirational make this an even more annoying song. How many times have you heard a bartender say 'Last call for alcohol!' Yes. We all know what time it is. We don't need an annoying pre emo wussy boy singing it to us.

Chorus: I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
Take me home

Uh oh. I know who you WANT to take YOU home. Its the hottie at the pool table with the tight pants and big boobs. But, the person who WILL take YOU home, she's all right. A 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, still kind of pretty. But of course, when you wake up in the morning, she will weigh about 300 pounds, with a wart on her nose, with yellow teeth. Why? Because this band just isn't cool enough to score with the hotties. 

Verse: Closing time, Time for you to go out to the places you will be from
Closing time, This room won't be open till your brothers or sisters come
So gather all your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Closing time, Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

MY jackets. I brought them ALL!!!

So, let me get this straight...After you leave the bar, you're now "From" wherever you go? So, if someone asks you where you're from, you'll have to say "From 300 pound Bertha's house???" That makes no sense. Ask me where I'm from, and I'll tell you I'm from Florida. And, what room are you talking about being open? You've been whining that its closing time through this whole song! And, I'm not sure what to make of the brother and sister line. Is it a weak filler line? Or does your bar not open until someone's brother or sister gets there? What if they go somewhere else? Is the bar not going to open? Or, is it some strange reference to incest? No idea on that one. Why would you care if I found a friend? I don't believe you. Oh, and doesn't everyone tell their single friends that a good relationship will NEVER start in a bar? 

Hi. I'm Bertha. Its Closing Time, and
I'm a Hooters girl!

Chorus: I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
Take me home

The guitar solo in this song could be really sweet. It starts off grand, but STOPS. Premature ejaculation on the guitar solo. It ends, leaving you wanting more...Kind of like how Big Bertha must have felt when you were finished with her.

Verse: Closing time, Time for you to go out to the places you will be from

I'll call Bertha and tell her you're on the way so she can clean up the trailer for you. She slipped me her phone number while I was hitting on the hottie at the pool table.

Chorus: I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
I know who I want to take me home
Take me home

Verse: Closing time, Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

You know, I bet you guys thought that line was soooo deep when you came up with it. The whole song is an attempt to sound deep. But, so what. Bars close. Its the law. Most people would like to stay longer, but the law says they have to close. No need to write a song about it, and try to make people feel good about it. This song is part of what was wrong with the music of the 90's. I'd bet there is NO ONE who has ever considered this song to be their favorite song. And, what ever happened to old Semisonic? Are they still around? I havent (thankfully) heard from them since.

How sweet. A lame filler line from a lame emo song turned into a DEEP meme.
Somewhere, there is a teenager who has never heard this song, seeing this meme online
and thinking that is the most profound thing he has ever read.
By the way, if I were a bar owner, every night at closing time, I would play THIS song