Monday, October 5, 2015

CD/DVD Review: Slayer Comes Roaring Back With The Unforgiving "Repentless"

As one of the "Big 4" of thrash metal music, Slayer has never really broken through to the mainstream, but that's exactly how they and their fans like it. Their sound has stayed, pretty much the same throughout their 35 year career. Hard hitting drums, screaming vocals and shredding guitar solos that you wish would never end. On September 11th, the band released their 12th studio album, "Repentless." It debuted at #4 on the Billboard Album chart (their highest ever chart position), which displayed the loyalty their fans have to their music. It is also the first Slayer album not to feature the band's original guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died of liver failure in 2013. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt stepped in to the guitar duties on this album alongside the everlasting Kerry King.
The new album features 12 pulse-pounding, head-banging, thrash-loving songs that are hard to believe come from a thrash metal band that has been around since the early eighties. Beginning with "Delusions Of Saviour," the band prepares you with what's to come with this two-minute instrumental. Then, the familiar screams of Tom Araya in "Repentless" make you know that Slayer is back and ready to take over. The deep, dark metal groove of "Vices" is led by the thunderous rhythm of Paul Bostaph, who makes his first appearance on a Slayer album. They bring out the evilness of "Cast The First Stone" with the crunching guitar duo of King and Holt, before descending further into hell with the dark lyrics of "When The Stillness Comes." The album does contain one of last songs written by guitarist Jeff Henneman, "Piano Wire," which perfectly supplies the band's battle cry, "never surrender." The album finishes with the fist pounding "Pride In Prejudice" as they mix tempos to keep the energy going full blast.
The new album was released on vinyl, as a standard CD and in a deluxe format that includes a DVD. The the DVD, features Slayer's appearance at the 2014 Waken Festival in Germany. The band was one of the headliners of the festival and the crowd is ready for them. Their 50-minute set features many of their classics, "Seasons In The Abyss," "Raining Blood" and "Angel Of Death," which they dedicate to their late-guitarist. Also in included on the DVD is a 45-minute documentary on the making of the album which gives fans a little glimpse into the creative process behind the music. Slayer are heading to Japan at the beginning of October, before closing out the year with a bunch a tour dates all over Europe. To find out more about their new album "Repentless," please visit

Sunday, October 4, 2015

CD Review: The Supersuckers Are Left "Holdin' The Bag" With New Album

Country/rock/punk band The Supersuckers are releasing their second album through Acetate Records on October 16th, titled "Holdin' The Bag." The band's history dates back over 25 years, to which they became the self-proclaimed "greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world." This album has a special quality to it as it was recorded prior to the discovery of lead singer Eddie Spaghetti's stage 3 throat cancer. While plans for surgery, radiation and rehab have put the band's tour on hold, fans have rallied to show their support for Spaghetti with the Eddie Spaghetti Cancer Fight Fund.

The new twelve song release starts out with the slow-moving country swing of the title-song, "Holdin' The Bag." The tempo picks up with the fun, two-step, sing-along chorus of "This Life...With You," which features help from Hayes Carll on vocals. They sound like outlaws on the rockabilly style of "Man On A Mission," then songstress Lydia Loveless duets with Spaghetti on the ballad " I Can't Cry." The energy picks back up with the quick pace of "Jibber Jabber" as The Supersuckers draw you in with their fun lyrics and classic rock 'n' roll style. More of their punk-like past comes shinning through on "Shimmy & Shake," before closing with the Hank Williams Jr. standard "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)" with updated, Supersuckers' lyrics. The album also features a bonus track, the fast-paced delivery of Billy Joe Shaver's "Georgia On A Fast Train."

To find out more about The Supersuckers latest album "Holdin' The Bag" and about the Eddie Spaghetti Cancer Fund, please visit their Facebook page at

Saturday, October 3, 2015

CD/DVD Review: Jon Anderson And Jean Luc Ponty Join Forces For Live Shows

It took over 30 years for this collaboration of music legends Jon Anderson (Yes) and Jean Luc Ponty to come together and perform as the AndersonPonty Band. They recorded their live performances on their 2014 tour with the intention of a live album and on September 25 they released "Better Late Than Never." It is a CD/DVD set of their show from the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, CO.

Watching the DVD, if feels as if these two amazing artists belong together on the same stage, performing each others well-known songs. The CD contains three extra songs ("And You And I," "I See You Messenger" and "New New World"), but the DVD features short introductions by the band and some rehearsal footage. During the show, they also cut away from concert to interview Jean Luc Ponty and John Anderson, showing the history of each musician. Anderson's voice sounds timeless on the gentle delivery of "A For Aria," but when they get into the Yes material, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" and "Roundabout" the music gets taken on a whole other level that is given new life by Ponty's violin. The DVD keeps the visuals interesting with playing around with different filters, instead of your typical concert film. The CD benefits from one continuous show as the gentle delivery of "Wonderous Stories" and the closing masterpieces "I See You Messenger" and "New New World" place you in the audience during this wonderful live performance.

To find out more about the Anderson Ponty Band and their latest live release "Better Late Than Never," please visit their Facebook page at

Friday, October 2, 2015

CD Review: Purple Pyramid Digs Up Live Show From Guitarist Steve Hillage

English guitarist Steve Hillage has had a successful career as a member of the bands Gong, Khan and his latest System 7, but his solo career is when his talent for playing guitar excelled. Since 1975, Hillage has released fifteen solo albums (three of them were live albums) as he continues to create and explore new territories in rock music. His latest release is a live album that dips back to his popularity in the seventies as it captures his performance at Madison Square Garden in 1977.
The new eight-song release features six songs from that show and two bonus tracks. Beginning with "The Salmon Song," Hillage's guitar playing and band are on point in this up-tempo rocker. What follows is a twelve-minute space exploration piece entitled "Hurdy Gurdy Glissando" as the band flies through Hillage's amazing guitar solos. The fan favorite "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "It's All Too Much" display the pure energy that was felt in the Garden that evening. The two bonus tracks that are added to this release features the legendary Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman on the recent collaboration, "Are We To Believe?" and actor/singer William Shatner on a cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man." To find out more about the latest release from Steve Hillage, "Madison Square Garden 1977," please visit his Facebook page at

Thursday, October 1, 2015

CD Review: Concord Music Group Rolls Out Deluxe Editions Of Paul McCartney Albums

On October 2nd, MPL in association with the Concord Music Group will release the latest in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, "Tug Of War" and "Pipes Of Peace." Both album have received platinum status in album sales, with "Tug Of War" topping the album charts in the U.S. and the U.K. As the dawn of music videos becoming another outlet to release music, not only did the songs have to be catchy, but if you created a memorable video then you were guaranteed to have a hit single. Paul McCartney was not new to music videos as he created them with The Beatles, but now they were going to be shown on music video network that ran 24-hours a day. So, each single, from the "Tug Of War" and Pipes Of Peace" albums were accompanied with a music video. These latest new releases gathers those videos as a bonus DVD with the deluxe editions, which also contains 3CDs for "Tug Of War" (the original album remastered, a newly remixed version of album and bonus disc of demos and outtakes) and 2CDs for "Pipes Of Peace."(the original album remastered and a disc of demos and outtakes).
The new remix of "Tug Of War" has a very refreshing feel to the music, which sounds so clear and spacious. Originally produced by George Martin, the new remix of the album was done by McCartney with Steve Orchard. While some of the songs still carry a dated, eighties feel ("What's That You're Doing?" and "Dress Me Up As A Robber") many of the tracks have that timeless "Beatles" feel, as with "Here Today," his dedication to John Lennon and "Ebony And Ivory," his duet with Stevie Wonder. Fans will definitely want to get their hands on the bonus disc which has the stripped down demos of six songs featured on the album, including "Wanderlust" and "Take It Away." Also on the bonus disc are the outtake songs "Rainclouds" and "I'll Give You A Ring" that were not included on the final album, but great songs and deserve to be heard. The DVD included with "Tug Of War" features the music videos for "Tug Of War," "Take It Away" and "Ebony And Ivory," along with a an 18-minute documentary on the "making of" the "Take It Away" music video.
George Martin would return to produce McCartney's follow-up album "Pipes Of Peace," which did not quite match the sales of "Tug Of War," but did produce the #1 single "Say, Say Say," a duet with Michael Jackson. The album showed McCartney's talent for writing pop gems, while experimenting less with his sound on this album and just using his strengths in songwriting. It's also nice to hear the sweet harmonizing of "The Man," co-written with Michael Jackson. The bonus disc brings in five demos for songs from the album as you get a glimpse into the song's stripped-down structure. The disc also features three outtakes from the album, "Ode To A Koala Bear" (B-side to "Say, Say, Say"), "Twice In A Lifetime" (title song from 1985 film) and the previously unreleased "Christian Bop." The DVD that accompanies the deluxe edition features the music videos for "Pipes Of Peace," "So Bad" and "Say, Say, Say," along with home video footage during the recording of the album. Both of these albums are a welcome upgrade to the Paul McCartney catalog and continues to prove that the "Paul McCartney Archive Collection" is still striving and creating great new, "must have" releases. To find out more about "Tug Of War" and "Pipes Of Peace," please visit and