Scarlet Grey – Fancy Blood

© 2010

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Fancy Blood is the new EP by Los Angeles band Scarlet Grey. I find the disc to be an overly produced, consumer driven, radio oriented product designed for heavily marketed to, radio baited consumer rats.

So you’re like, “ok then, what’s in it for me, the guy (or gal) you, in so many words, called a total knob douche?” To that I say, “It ain’t a total wash there buddy. I mean you can still buy some cool shit at Hot Topic, right? You just don’t tell anyone. It’ll ruin your street cred.”

Ok, but really aside from my preferential jackassery, the songs are a bit on the catchy side and they’re well played and recorded if a bit over produced. I can see how people that like emo-esque non-threatening alterna-punk could very well like this sort of thing. The question is though, do you trade eternal fame for being tomorrow’s Alphaville?

Ok, enough of my bashing. Track five, Naomi is easily the winner on the EP. It has a rather retro 60’s synthpop sound and I actually kind of like it in spite of myself.

I’ll also waste precious little time telling you about the guest vox from none other than Davey Havoc. Yes, little baby Danzig lends a hand (or throat) to the fellas of Scarlet Grey. … Remember when AFI was punk?

The bottom line is this: If you are a radio friendly rocker, don’t listen to me. Go ahead and rock this for yourself, just don’t come crying to me when your mom won’t buy you tickets to the show.

-Jerry

The Rudy Schwartz Project – Bowling for Appliances

(c)2008 DC Jam Records
Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

rudyschwartz This is the kind of music that makes people want to punch babies.  I’ve never been a huge fan of babies (except for yours, of course), so it’s more telling to say that this cd made me want to kick puppies.  18 tracks of useless, casio-keyboard-fueled, Ernest Borgnine referencing lyrics — I was sobbing with relief when the cd was over.

Thinking it might be my bias against creepy esoteric jazz, I checked with my Mister (a Zappa and Mike Patton fan) — maybe I was missing something?  No, he assured me, this cd is not Zappa-esque, it’s not layered with subtle genius nor painstakingly composed. This is the sort of crap that Mr. Bungle’s under-the-stairs dwelling troglodyte brother would bang out if he got loose.  Sorry, but I found little redeeming social value in this. Skip this if you don’t want to stab your eyeballs out with dull forks, and please don’t give this to impressionable children.

-HK-47

All Bets On Death – Home Away From Hell

(c) 2008 Horns Up Records
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Here’s a pretty pedestrian and sophomoric effort from a band that could have potential if they would evolve past their neanderthal nihilism and misogyny. 12 tracks plus a “mystery” cut at the end, all of which are filled with recess level anger and an obvious sense of inadequacy. I thought that by the time that 2009 rolled around we could all grow a bit. Apparently I was mistaken. I guess that if you like your days filled with hate and strippers then maybe you’ll enjoy, but frankly I’ve got better ways to spend my time.

–Jerry Actually

Drowning Pool [Full Circle]

Drowning Pool – Full Circle (c) 2007 Eleven Seven Music Drowning Pool’s new release Full Circle is an amazing celebratory release for the legions of rock festival attendees and mullet-sportin’ heshians around the globe. I have to imagine that an insane amount of meth deals have gone down while Drowning Pool served as a backdrop. Despite the pinnings of being a Hard Rock band from the American South nowadays, these boys have their hearts in the right place. After suffering the tragic loss of their lead singer, the band persevered. After parting ways with their next vocalist, again they kept it on track. Now with a new release and back on top of their game, they are lobbying congress for better treatment of injured US soldiers. I don’t care what your standpoint is on war, the people that have been wounded, both physically and mentally, ought to be given proper medical treatment. So hooray for Drowning Pool to have the wherewithal to stick up for people that legitimately need help. As for the CD, well it ain’t my cup o’ tea. I kinda grew out of my metal phase years ago. Let me put it this way, if you totally can’t wait to go to Ozzfest, then you should totally check out Full Circle by Drowning Pool–Jerry Actually

The Higher [On Fire]

The Higher – On Fire (c) 2007 EpitaphWell on its way to being the crappiest act I’ve heard this year, I submit to you The Higher. I saw my way through about five tracks of this mind dissolving drivel before I had to pull the plug. On Fire is as lame as it is pretentious. Epitaph declares them to be “Frontrunners of a new subgenre” Maybe this is true if they in the “Lame” sub-genre of the “Crap” genre. They are just another pansy dance-rock Hot Topic hair band. I think The Higher might be what you’d get if Silverchair screwed ABBA. The Higher is lame. On Fire is lame. If you like it, then you too, are lame.–Jerry Actually

1997 [A Better View of the Rising Moon]

1997 – A Better View of the Rising Moon (c) 2007 Victory Records1997, Victory’s new Chicago based emo five-piece, seem bound and determined to be part of tomorrow’s easy listening classics. Maybe you’ll see a couple of their songs roll by on a Time Life retrospective of the future. “A Better View of the Rising Moon” offers 13 tracks of what may as well be adult contemporary. Sadly it reminds me a lot of what happened to Smashing Pumpkins when they lost their initial edge. It is completely radio friendly and accessible to the teaming masses. In fact I bet your mom would love this CD … Hey, Mother’s Day is coming up. I have an idea.–Jerry Actually

Comeback Kid [Broadcasting]

Comeback Kid – Broadcasting… (c) 2007 Victory Records Much like the cover of Comeback Kid's new Victory release, the world is being buried.  It is being buried under a heaping pile of banality.  I largely suspect the people at Billboard were high when they said this was "hardcore" and Kerrang is off of their collective rocker if they think this is "ABSOLUTELY F***ing AWESOME".  This CD couldn't hold my interest if it was the flipping World Bank.  Honestly, it isn't that the CD is especially bad.  It is that it is specifically not especially good.  It is that everything is becoming homogenized and sterilized and horror inspiringly insipid.  Remember when rock was a threat and a rebellious show of force and not a packaged commodity?  Yeah, me neither 'cause this has been going on way to damn long.–Jerry Actually

A Day To Remember

A Day To Remember – For Those Who Have Heart (c) 2007 Victory RecordsDamn, I had hope. The cover looked intriguing. The band is costumed in a menacing prep school nature. I thought maybe, just maybe, that A Day To Remember might be hardcore. Turns out, yet again, that I was wrong. “For Those Who Have Heart” offers up the same screamo sound as the majority of their label mates. Droning melodic vocals over metal riffs that break into uninspired growling vocals on, as far as I can tell, each and every song. Where is the originality? Doesn’t anyone know how to rock anymore? But hey, kudos, you have an album out. Isn’t it great what you can do with a formula! Yep formulas sure are cool, but how about an equation for you: A Day To Remember = A Band To Forget.–Jerry Actually

Blinded Black [Under the Sunrise]

Blinded Black – Under the Sunrise (c) 2007 SideCho Records”Sir?”, “Yes minion. What is it this time?”, “Sir, there seems to be a problem with the Bandtronic.”, “The Band what?”, “The Bandtronic, Sir.”, “The Band Tronic? Didn’t I fire them in the 80’s?”, “No Sir, the Bandtronic 7431XR Talent Emulation Variable Audio Copier.”, “You know, that very expensive piece of equipment that we have that takes ideas from a bunch of current bands and then makes any band in the world seem palatable and sincere to the 14 – 25 year old New Rock demographic.”, “Well then, out with it boy. What is the problem?”, “Well Sir, it … it seems to be making every band sound exactly the same.” Welcome to “Under the Sunrise by Blinded Black. Out now on SideCho Records. It’s sudo aggressive. It’s melodic sometimes. It’s totally emotional. It makes me sick. I guess people tend to emulate what they like. It is too bad that Blinded Black seem to emulate so many of the sounds I hate. If you like to listen to New Rock Radio, then, by all mean, go get yourself a copy of Under the Sunrise and listen to it six times and pretend that it is your six bestest favoritist new bands.–Jerry Actually