Tag Archives: Rock

9 Songs (2004 dir. Michael Winterbottom)

2 Oct

Young couple disperse unsimulated fuck sessions with several concerts of mediocre retro rockers in dangerous south London area.

2/5

Nickelback are the greatest band of all time

26 Mar

By Slick Nick

It really bothers me when so many crap bands get all the attention, acclaim and interest from the general public whilst the most important visionaries often get overlooked. Nickelback, a band I rarely go a day without listening to at least once, sadly fall into the latter category. I want to change this and open minds (and ears!) to the glorious majesty of Nickelback’s recorded output and highlight some of their more significant career moments.

Debut album ‘Curb’ starts rock ‘n’ roll

Many bands had attempted to play in a musical style that we now know as rock ‘n’ roll, but Nickelback were the first group to put electric guitars, bass guitars and drums together all at the same time in a recording studio. This revelation in 1996 left the world with the album ‘Curb’, a record years ahead of its time, almost too far ahead of its time. Though largley dismissed as ‘crap’ upon release, the album quickly developed a cult following and would go on to influence the likes of Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Slayer, Black Flag and Enya. Led Zeppelin in particular would highlight the album’s heavy blues-based riffing as a major inspiration.

Frontman Chad Kroeger turns out to be Jesus Christ

Whilst crafting the follow-up album to ‘Curb’, Mr Kroeger went on record in a number of magazine and television interviews to confirm that he was in fact the reincarnation of popular Christian figurehead Jesus of Nazareth. Though these claims were unsubstantiated at the time, eventually someone came forward with an artist’s impression of the original Christ in a children’s Sunday School pamphlet. Upon comparing this document with an image of Kroger in Metal Hammer magazine, the likenesses were deemed too similar for the story to not be 100% true. With such a significant figure in western civilisation at the helm, there was now no stopping Nickelback from achieving their first hit single.

‘Leader Of Men’ tops charts in all Christian nations for 2 years

With the power of a Demigod coarsing through his veins, Kroeger was able to craft the group’s first of many super smash hit singles. ‘Leader Of Men’ from legendary album ‘The State’ topped the charts in every western country for two years straight, a record that remains unbroken to this day. Manufacturers could barely keep up with the demand, forcing label Roadrunner Records to move production to a gigantic Chinese labour camp. At least seven deaths are known to have occurred there amongst staff quite literally worked until their last breath to cope with the ever increasing record sales.

Pictured below is a queue  of Nickelback fanatics outside Oxford Street’s HMV store, 68 weeks after the single’s initial release. Scientists even made the discovery of a copy of ‘Leader Of Men’ (albeit in an unlistenable condition) amongst the property of an Amazonian tribe thought to be completely untouched by civilization.

The song ‘Never Again’ ends all domestic abuse and wins Nobel Peace Prize

The classic album ‘Silver Side Up’ was notable for being a music scholar’s dream, effectively a rich tapestry of musical ingenuity, creativity, originality and feeling. Opening single ‘Never Again’, though lyrically drenched in metaphor, still delivered the message that the world (apart from Scotland) could relate to; that hitting women square in the face is a pretty bad thing to do.

The song tells the story of an abused wife from her son’s point of view. Kroeger compares the living room to a ‘boxing ring’, poignantly reminding the listener that punches also get thrown in said ring. The antagonist is then berrated by the singer, underpinning a stunning middle eight. From that point onwards, no women were ever beaten to a pulp by their male fuck partners ever again.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the band in a two-hour ceremony three minutes after the single’s release, culminating in the trophy itself being passed to the eager hands of Kroeger by Frank Bruno.

Dark Horse album recorded in a single take

Finally, the most recent page of musical history written by Nickelback came with the ironically-titled 2008 album ‘Dark Horse’, a record notable not only for its stellar song-writing, but also the manner in which it was made. Broadcast on the internet for the world to see, Nickelback laid every track down in order in a single take, making no mistakes whatsoever. Absolutely no over-dubbing or other studio trickery was used. The songs went into the pressing plant the very next day. Fans were left with what was essentially a live album that sounded just as over-produced and watered down for the radio as anything else in the charts with a guitar.

So what next for the band that has apparently done it all? The plethora of unauthorized Kroeger biographies are keen to speculate, however I am content to remain patient with the music I have of theirs knowing that whatever comes next will undoubtedly be life-affirming and massively superior to anything else around.

How could it not be, considering Nickelback are without a doubt the greatest band to ever set foot in a recording studio?

The Worst Albums Ever Made – ‘The Black Parade’ (2006) by My Chemical Romance

19 Mar

By Slick Nick

If I want to listen to retro rock, I may delve into my immense iTunes library and put on a bit of Journey or Cheap Trick. If I want to hear a bit of generic pop-punk then Blink182, Midtown or Lit usually does the job. If I want to listen to some piano-driven pop that uses minor sevenths, some Paul McCartney hits the spot. Then, if I fancy hearing some terrible singing, I’ve been known to enter ‘X Factor shit auditions’ into YouTube’s search bar. Luckily, if I ever want to hear all that at once, I can turn to this 2006 release by My Chemical Romance, one of the worst ‘alternative’ bands to make it big in the noughties.

After starting their career as a pretty bog-standard pop-punk group with a slightly different sound to all the billions of Greenday/NFG clones, something triggered MCR to become ‘artists’ rather than ‘dudes prolonging the inevitable despair-ridden office-driven existence by being in a band’. They started pulling in a plethora of musical influences largely favoured amongst the Dad community, whilst still underpinning their music with the generic, twenty year old riffs that all their peers had been using all along.

The Black Parade‘ is supposedly a concept album about someone passing away due to cancer, which is enough to put me off even playing it in the first place to be honest. I’m pretty sure in modern times, naming something as a ‘concept album’ is simply a way to protect bad music from harsh critics, who wouldn’t understand what these artists set out to achieve.

Musically, it’s not too far off from the likes of Cheap Trick and Kiss, if the former forgot how to write good songs and the latter wrote even worse songs. There’s also some masturbation over the likes of Lennon and Bowie, which is to be expected, and at least the songs do have one consistent quality running through them in that they are all for the most part total dogshit, particularly the lead singles.

The music is generally staggeringly mediocre at best. It’s not that catchy, it’s not that heavy, it’s not that fast. It’s just there to bolster camp, shrieking monstrosity Gerard Way’s irritating-as-fuck vocals, whilst ripping off Queen‘s harmonic guitar sound. Chord changes can be predicted a mile away, which leaves the album as tedious as wading through a thread about Blade Runner on an internet forum, which is in itself only slightly more tedious than watching the actual film I might add.

Hit single ‘Welcome To The Black Parade‘ was notable only for the music video, which looked to have cost the GDP of Paraguay to make and saw the group dress up as the evil sports jocks from the first Karate Kid movie, an idea that will surely be regretted by everyone involved for the rest of their lives. It’s an interesting song which opens with a minute or so of this album’s few bars of tolerable music, before delving into the group’s roots with an interlude of shitty pop punk before building to an irritatingly over the top chorus seemingly hellbent on ripping off their own breakthrough hit ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’.

MCR rough up a fan for not paying for autograph backstage at the London Astoria in 2006

Other single ‘Teenagers’ is far worse; the kind of garbage you’d expect to be playing at the end of an Adam Sandler movie.

Aside from the music, one of the worst things about MCR is watching their press interviews. The band take themselves very seriously considering their childish, stage-school schtick, and hearing them dissect their own body of work and influences you’d think they’d just released the next fucking Sgt. Pepper or Nevermind. This behaviour, from a group that featured Lisa Minnelli on one of their songs, is fucking laughable.

 

We’ll caaaaaaarrrryyyyyy oooonnnn, we’ll wriiiiiiiiiiiiite shit sooooo-oooooongssssss.

 

The Worst Albums Ever Made – ‘Mechanical Animals’ (1998) by Marilyn Manson

12 Feb

By Slick Nick

During the 90s, if you bought even one copy of Kerrang! magazine, you couldn’t help but be exposed to the monstrosity that was Marilyn Manson, who came to represent everything that could possibly go wrong when a bunch of lads entered a recording studio. They were everywhere, and the release of each new album was treated, ironically given their Satanist leanings, like the second coming of Christ himself by the press.

Manson, real name Brian Warner, was the very definition of style-over-substance, where looking like a dick and saying silly things in interviews could generate a shit ton of record sales even if the music on those records was as bad as that of ‘Mechanical Animals’, his third album.

With a lead singer that relied almost solely on image, and a group of cohorts all named after serial killers, it just screamed of childish attention seeking from the get-go, as if they knew they were never going to write any music that was worth listening to but couldn’t bare the thought of making the coffee in an office for the rest of their lives.

Growing up, a few things puzzled me about this band. Obviously the music had zero merit; it wasn’t particularly heavy, and there certainly wasn’t any melodies to remember . There was no sex appeal unless you happened to have a fetish for very ugly, under fed men. The instrumentation was basic and would never be admired by proggy muso types in the same way that something like Tool would have been. Yet the group’s army of misguided fans kept growing. Despite all their controversy, musically they had more in common with T Rex than Slayer, and the only shocking effect they had on the impressionable youth of the day was postponing their discovery of decent music for a few years. For myself, that band/act was Rod Stewart, but I digress slightly.

‘Mechanical Animals’ is an hour of inconsistent, incoherent balls. Every song starts and ends with noise, and inbetween fails to satisfy in every way. The vocals are the same monotonous, crap-sounding dirge, underpinned by sometimes glam/sometimes industrial but always dull nothingness. It’s so fucking slow and drawn-out as well, with each song about two minutes longer than necessary. Lead single ‘Dope Show’ is a particularly big offender; less music, more torture.

There are fleeting moments of listenable guitar work but these are over quickly to make way for more rubbish. It must have been frustrating having to make this album as a guitarist with someone as up themselves as Manson at the helm of the operation. I’m sure they consoled themselves with the buckets of money they made though.

Finally, the genre-skipping really winds me up. This can’t make up its mind as to whether it wants to wank over David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust material or be featured in a straight to DVD film in a scene where a load of douchebag characters enter an ‘alternative’ nightclub for the first time in their lives. If you’re going to dip into every genre found on allmusic.com then before you do so, you’d better make sure you’re some kind of fucking musical prodigy like Brian Wilson or Will.I.Am first, lest you end up with a piece of shit like ‘Mechanical Animals’ on your CV.

 

We’re all slaves in the… crap music show.

The Worst Albums Ever Made – ‘Adema’ (2001) by Adema

5 Feb

By Slick Nick

Adema – a word I never thought I’d see again. Still, that’s what this feature is about in a way – digging up long-forgotten shit from the past. And believe me, this is shit.

I suppose in hindsight, Adema serve a small purpose in 2011. People often disagree with me when I suggest that the noughties were generally the worst decade for music since the 1940s. They will claim metal in general, bands like Against Me! and Gaslight Anthem breaking big and the charts never looking better as reasons to cherish the past decade’s recorded output. Next time that happens, I can calmly sit down, load up Spotify and type ‘Adema’ in the search bar. “Come, my friend. Have a seat,” I’ll tell them. “I don’t feel the need to offer this debate anything more than for twelve tracks.”

It would be a feat of inhuman ability for Adema to have been even worse than they were on this self-titled debut, probably only released given the singer was the half brother of Jonathan Davies, vocalist of fellow Californian highschool bully victims Korn. Whilst that latter band had some nice ideas, occasionally effective riffing and rare hooks, Adema had precisely nothing to offer rock music in the slightest, save for a cute frontman. It’s worth noting that the brothers were as equally annoying to listen to on record though.

The Adema song-writing process was a straight forward one – you lay down some terrible guitar parts, execute a couple of forgettable verses and choruses and then go into a middle eight perpetuated by an array of silly effects pedals. The lyrics in particular, after some brief analysis, are dreadful to the point of being a near parody of shitty radio rock. This nugget of poetry from the song ‘Close Friend’ illustrates my point: ‘And now I know because you’ve done everything possible to me / Made me so upset.’ Upset? On a so-called alternative rock album? Even a monumental pussy like Bruno Mars would never write anything so pathetic.

The singing from Mark Chavez is appalling. Frankie Valli he ain’t. If your band can’t nail any semblance of a passable guitar riff, you’d better be sure as fuck that you have an arsenal of immaculately-executed hook-ridden melodies to bestow upon the record-buying public to compensate. Instead, almost every song uses the same tuneless melody, whined by a singer doing a mediocre Korn impression. Combining these factors with the clumsy lyrics and ‘Adema’ makes for one hell of a punishing listening experience.

There are clips on YouTube of the band performing these crap songs live and unplugged. This was an interesting idea – if the songs and singing are awful on record, even with all the modern studio effects and trickery, what on earth was there to gain in filming even more poorly executed versions of these godforsaken tracks? It was just one in a catalogue of poor decisions made in Adema’s career, a catalogue that began with the decision to give them a fucking record deal in the first place.

There were two singles from this piece of dog shit – ‘Giving In’ and ‘The Way You Like It’. In closing, the video for the latter made the least sense. This album is full to bursting point with lunk-headed self pity and despair. Then along comes a video showing the lead singer dancing with a decent bit of skirt at one of Adema’s very own shows. Apart from the obvious self-indulgence, two very different demographics of American teenagers appear to be targetted in the band’s marketing strategy. On the one hand, the clean-cut douchebag, and on the other, unpopular grunge rocker types. This just doesn’t work. Until kids ‘find’ themselves, there are firm boundaries in a social sense that teens stick to, and that music marketing should adhere to. You’re either a confident sportsman that gets to fuck cheerleaders at keg parties, or you listen to Marilyn Manson and cut yourself. The two should not be blurred or combined within music. Ever.

 

Nowadays no one remembers when they were young and made shit music

 

Airheads (1994 dir. Michael Lehmann)

27 Dec

Idiot heavy metal types re-enact Die Hard with shit music instead of detonators.

2/5

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