Archive for Rush

Deals & Steals: Something Old, Something Older, Something Jurassic

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by Lightning Slim

  Weird selection from Second Spin  (and my local places) this time around, but oh so fun. We’ve got games, remixes, compilations and collaborations. The S-S prices are in $US, and the Second Spin folks took another $10 off the top, which basically covered shipping. Onward!

Original Soundtrack: Mass Effect $8.99. The Mass Effect universe has been as much fun for me to hang around in as Hogwarts or even Middle Earth. I gave a damn about these games (we can talk about sticking the landing later) and it was due in no small part to the music. Very well executed stuff by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick, and a brilliant end credits song by Faunts that truly makes you believe you have saved the galaxy. In the eighties!

Fear Factory: Soul of a New Machine (Expanded Edition) $8.99. This fills a long-overlooked gap in my collection, and does it in style by including some great retrospective liner notes and the Fear is the Mindkiller EP as well.

Negativland: These Guys Are From England And Who Gives A Shit $5.77. This “Official Bootleg” brings a bit of closure to one of the world’s longest-beaten dead horses, acting as a final word on Negativland’s feud/collaboration/fascination/lawsuit with the world’s biggest band and America’s best known radio DJ.

Jello Biafra with Nomeansno: The Sky is Falling, and I Want My Mommy $7.99. Don’t know why I held out so long before getting this. It’s a bit like I knew I liked peanut butter and I knew I liked chocolate, but I didn’t trust this candy hybrid. Fixed now!

  Rush: Chronicles $21.99. Big deal, you say. Anyone with half a brain knows Chronicles is the non plus ultra of best-of compilations, representing perfect track choices and sequencing.  Ah, but what if you had to replace your worn-out copy? What if you had a chance to do it with a version containing an extra DVD full of the band’s videos? What then, smart guy?

Super big deal: Last weekend I was in Toronto and saw this, still wrapped,  in a used record shop:

 

Yup, that’s the full series of The Shield encased in a coffee-table picture book. I was going to pay the $99 sticker price when the clerk told me it was 20% off. Madness. I love you, place I don’t remember the name of. It’s across the side street from The Rex, if that helps.

It gets better; I found this at my local Value Village for twelve dollars:

 

It was a good week for scrounging!

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Album Review – Machine Head “Unto the Locust” 2011

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  It’s fitting that Unto the Locust contains a spot-on cover of Judas Priest’s “The Sentinel”, because this album serves as Machine Head’s version of Defenders of the Faith. Just as The Blackening emulated the trajectory of Screaming for Vengeance, this new album helps complete the duo. Both Priest and Machine Head had taken some knocks for a softer experimental period, and in response produced comeback records seething with primal fury. The follow-ups to those back-to-form records, while lacking the element of pouncing ambush, still fit into the same groove while exuding confidence, polish and a take-charge, stadium-sized attitude. Blackened Vengeance screams “Take that!”, while Defender of the Locust growls “Watch this.”   

I’ve always been leery of albums containing only long songs, as they can be demanding for the listener and provide no easily grasped Point of Entry*. Rob Flynn and company lay this concern to rest, just as they did on The Blackening. They are not only capable of putting together a 60-second hook that draws the listener into each track, they can chain together seven of those hooks per song and only afterward do you realize that you’ve been fed one epic track in delicious bite-sized pieces. 

Machine Head are in the songwriting sweet spot of their career; Unto the Locust is a reward for the faithful and a reason for the curious to take note. Be sure to grab the deluxe version containing the aforementioned “Sentinel” cover as well as a chilling version of “Witch Hunt” that traces a direct line from Rush to Killing Joke. Flynn is at last producing material commensurate with his standing as a leader in the American metal community. 8 out of 10

 

*See what I did there?

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