Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Concert Review: Hank3 at the Marquee Theatre, 9/19/2011

Hank3 performs live at Marquee Theatre on 9/19/2011
Seeing Hank3 live these days is like a test of endurance. At his show last night at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Hank3 took the stage at 8:30 p.m. to a near-capacity crowd and didn't finish up until nearly three and a half hours later, after roughly two-thirds of the audience had called it a night.

It's hard to fault anyone for leaving. It was a Monday night after all, with another long work week barely underway. But those who stuck around were treated to the full spectrum of what Hank3 has to offer -- from classic country to auctioneer-laced speed metal and everything in between.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver: Part 3 in a 10-part series looking back at the best thrash metal albums of 1986

My original plan for this series was to chronicle the 10 best thrash metal albums of 1986. Each post was going to coincide with the 25th anniversary of each album's original release date and feature interviews with band members or people involved with the making of the album. Well, as the old saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

As it turns out, finding accurate release dates for 25-year-old albums is a little trickier than it sounds, even in this age of information overload. For example, depending on the source, Megadeth's Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? came out in either July, October or November of 1986. Then there's the difficulty of actually tracking down interviews. Some of the bands featured in this series don't have readily available contact information on their websites, aren't currently on a label and/or don't even exist anymore. But hey, I promised you guys a 10-part series, and I plan on following through with that, even if a few of the posts don't have interviews or accurate release dates.

That said, for Part 3, I'll take a look back at Flotsam and Jetsam's landmark debut album, Doomsday for the Deceiver, which was allegedly released sometime in July of 1986. I actually managed to hunt down F&J vocalist Eric A.K. on Facebook and he agreed to an e-mail interview. I e-mailed him some questions, but he never wrote back or responded to follow-up e-mails or Facebook messages. I also thought it would've been cool to interview original bassist Jason Newsted, but I was unable to find contact info for him. So in lieu of interviews, this post will simply feature me waxing poetic about the album.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anthrax - Worship Music (Album Review)

Anthrax - Worship Music
Release date: September 13, 2011 (Megaforce Records)

If anyone had any questions about the pecking order among the Big Four thrash metal bands, the lineup at the Big 4 Festival this past April in Indio, Calif. should've cleared up any doubts. Anthrax was relegated to a 4 p.m. time slot, hitting the stage in the late afternoon sun as fans were still filing into the massive Empire Polo Grounds for the historic festival. They also played the shortest set of the day.

Not that there's anything wrong with being the fourth most popular band in the greatest genre of music ever created. I'm sure Testament, Overkill, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam or Nuclear Assault would've killed for that gig. Anthrax have certainly earned their spot in the Big Four, but they've always played the role of comedic foil to their much more serious brethren in Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. While the latter bands wore denim and spiked leather and wrote songs about war, plagues, death and the occult, Anthrax sported board shorts and Adidas and took their lyrical inspiration from comic books and Stephen King novels. Let's face it, the Not Man wasn't exactly Vic Rattlehead, and you'd never catch Slayer rapping about Pop-Tarts® and stickball.