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Sunday, October 7, 2012



John The Conqueror
John The Conqueror (Alive) :: Given how downright street smart funky the rest of the album is, I’m amused at how the first song incongruously sounds like some kinda wonky “I Love Rock And Roll” musical rewrite. But after seeing how downright surly these three tough guys look, I sure ain’t gonna tell ’em that—especially since they’ve got such a primitive scuzz-tone going for them.

Grand Funk
– “Mark Says Alright” (Capitol) :: Exactly!

Lorenzo Feliciati
Frequent Flyer: Diary Of A Travelling Musician (Rare Noise) :: Wherein the modern master of the bass elicits eleven excellent instrumentals, all of which evoke an unrelenting array of images which range from a portentous happening right around that rain-slicked corner to a jumpin’ jive rent party and all points in-between. Fact is, it’s the fusion-fuelled original soundtrack recording to a movie you’ll never get to see in the theatres but which, luckily enough, plays nightly in your nocturnal noggin.

Bill Nelson
– “Do You Dream In Color?” (Cocteau) :: Exactly!

Recipes And Remedies (Lazy Bones) :: “HARD ROCK from HAWAII” boasted the usual eye-snagging promo cover sticker—which immediately made my tired old orbs rotate into the back of my aching headache because, if there’s one thing I know for a fact, it’s that those lei-tossin’ Hawaiians wouldn’t know a HARD ROCK record from a HARD TIME rock pile.

That’s because everything I do know about Hawaii I learned from (1) a James Michener novel; (2) an Elvis satellite special; and (3) the forever banned—even on DVD because kids supposedly strung themselves up after seeing it—episode of Hawaii 5-0 titled “Bored She Hung Herself.” So can you blame me for expecting to hear some kinda misguided Lounge-O-Phonic Don Ho hoedown?

Then again, the vintage Victorian nekkid chicks meet Houdini front cover shoulda tipped me off that there might be a surfeit of smarts at play here—and it turns out that there sure as heck is ’cause, simply put, this really is HARD ROCK from HAWAII with all of the solid state volume and none of the soul shrinking vapidity.

It starts out sounding like one of those fake Nine Inch Manson albums that bandwagon jumpers like Vanilla Ice and Rob Halford and Gravity Kills were grinding out in the ’90s but as soon as it lulls you into thinking that you’re going on a one-way trip to Xeroxland, it abruptly changes course and delivers you straight into the heart of Originalville where powerful ballads and power pop puds pound it out for sonic supremacy with a HARD ROCK referee standing by to ensure that things don’t stray too far from bone-pulverizing crunge time during this fifteen round heavyweight throwdown.

Then again, the second song is called “Noose” so, who knows, mebbe I was right about that Hawaii 5-0 episode after all.

Van Halen
– “Hang ’Em High” (Warner Bros.) :: Exactly!

Be seeing you!

Sun, October 7, 2012 | link 

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