Sunday, November 25, 2012

Metal Break: Girl's Day Release New Music Video

It's probably a good thing I can't understand the lyrics of the latest Girl's Day song because, judging by the music video's content, I'd hate the sappy puppy love with a fiery passion. As it stands, however, "Don't Forget Me" is normal catchy fare for the girls and they appear more mature to boot. Previous clips have been kind of, well, lacking in the maturity department and instead focused on cuteness rather than something that would stand a chance of breaking into an audience past the younger generation.

It's also probably wishful thinking that Girl's Day could even crack the older generation, considering dance pop and electronica is only huge with the tech savvy young'uns. I can't say the video lends itself hand either because it flat out sucks past the girls looking good--the actual content is terribly played out and fit for some love sick high school girl that messed up with her boyfriend. Seriously, I know pop is supposed to be fun, easy to listen to, and relevant for people aged up to their late twenties, but can't the lyrics be about something else? Whatever. I'll continue to be blissfully unaware of the woefully silly poetics. One slice electronica and another catchy, please. Forget the rest.


Maiden Madness: 2005's Vinyl Reissues of The Trooper

Reissued in two vinyl formats all the way back in 2005, The Trooper found its way into my record collection, not only by 7", but by picture disc as well and added another chapter to my growing Iron Maiden stockpile. I've had both for the better part of seven years and never bothered to throw them on the turntable for fear of distorted and scratchy sound that usually puts me off to these mediums--each record is spotless and mint as can be. Nevertheless, I enjoy looking at the dazzling blue color of the 7" and the classic artwork immortalized on the 12" as a reminder of Maiden's longevity and influence as a metal band.

Intended to promote the Death on the Road album, both records feature the same artwork, yet hold a different track listing. Flipping the azure 7" over yields two songs--one on each side--a concert-captured version of "The Trooper" from 2003 and a live variant of "Another Life" from 2005. Likewise, the picture disc does very much the same thing, featuring the same "Trooper" cut, but tacks on the studio take and a live version of the ever classic "Murders in the Rue Morgue." To be honest, both records are not different enough to justify double-dipping into the Iron Maiden merch kingdom unless you are a mega fan like myself.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vinyl Feature: Fister's The Infernal Paramount and Motörhead's Another Perfect Day

Because I haven't been very good at updating the blog as regularly as I would like, Vinyl Viernes is serving up a double dose of wax this week. Two records have more or less fallen into my hands; the first months ago by way of everyone's favorite record-head, gogmagogical (who was generous enough to gift it to me), and the second a few days ago courtesy of Encore Records in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I like to think of both as a heavy contrast to one another, not just musically, but because one is modern and the other vintage. In other words, The Infernal Paramount is delightfully shimmering and clean sounding, while Motörhead's forgotten attic find is time weathered and reeks of dust.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Seven Kingdoms - The Fire is Mine (2012)

Commonly known for the bludgeoning death metal movement of the nineties, Florida and its power metal newcomers are not exactly synonymous with one another. Seven Kingdoms, a band established late last decade, defy the Floridian stereotype and instead focus on lush, memorable melodies and explosive choruses not too far removed from generic mainstream pop. Ruthless guitar work reminiscent of Iced Earth lies in wait under layer-upon-layer of harmonic ecstasy--making the band somewhat unique--but, by nature, metal and pop are polar opposites. And when a fusion is executed poorly, the final product is nothing more than a stain on that particular band's name. While Seven Kingdoms retain many of those formulaic elements, the end result is an absolutely phenomenal series of addictive choruses and celestial mid-range vocals that by far surpass the majority of the act's existing catalog.

Despite all the good talk, complications tend to set in for female-fronted bands. Similar acts have been accused of being a gimmick--many of them rightly so--but in the case of Seven Kingdoms, the label is undeserved considering the line-up changes the members have endured. Generally, these kinds of groups use their female members only for their sex appeal, drawing in a "listening" crowd but at the cost of future development. Because of the ploy, most fans don't stay interested long enough to see these artists outgrow their infancy stage and loses the drive to complete another album. In other words, the project dissolves.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vinyl Feature: Lady Gaga's The Fame

As much as I hate to say it, I enjoy a handful of Lady Gaga songs. My senior year in college has been an eye-opening experience when I think about how much pop music I've been exposed to, with my friends constantly swooning over cookie-cutter song structures and stomach-churning lyrics. Fraternity life yields very few ways around the sugary, memorable, and often sexually-charged mainstream world, and Lady Gaga's music is no exception, especially if parties are a regular occurrence.

Of course, if you're like me and struggle to admit that you enjoy pop, you might consider buying one of the most popular releases of last decade on vinyl to make yourself feel better. There's really no reason to purchase this type of music on wax otherwise, because similar records are, more often than not, quickly and sloppily thrown together for the growing vinyl resurgence. Truth be told, the price isn't all that bad: just under $16 for two records--perhaps a bargain when compared with metal releases that will remain nameless--but nothing to jump up and down about when half or more of the album is shit.