defrog: (45 frog)
It’s fair to say the majority of my 45 collection is fairly mainstream – which is to say, the artists and songs are mostly ones yr likely to have heard of, and still hear on oldies stations from time to time.

A few are pretty obscure, and I’ve posted some of them already. I’m not really sure which qualifies as the most obscure 45 in the collection. But surely this 80s metal song about samurais is a top contender.



Grand Prix were a British metal band from 1978 to 1984, and this was the title track to their third and final album. Two of them went on to join Uriah Heep while vocalist Robin McAuley later teamed up with Michael Schenker.

I’m not even 100% sure why I even had this. I think I inherited it from a friend who was enamored with the whole samurai mythos. And listening to it now, I’m not entirely sure why I thought it was worth inheriting. I guess it does have that kind of earnest epicness that a lot of UK/European 80s hair-metal bands displayed – proggy arrangements, fist-raising anthemic choruses in four-part harmony, cheesy synths, serious riffage, and pretentious lyrics about Honor and Glory and Warriors and Kings and etc. It’s kind of like a Manowar-Europe non-aggression pact for Japanese culture buffs and Styx fans. Or people who love their metal kitschy.

Anyway, there it is.

PRODUCTION NOTE: It took me forever to find this one on YouTube, because (1) I couldn’t remember the name of the band, and (2) without that information, when you Google “samurai” and “song” you inevitably get that Michael Cretu song, which is even more “80s” than the Grand Prix song.

The sword is yr soul,

This is dF 
 
defrog: (onoes)


[Via Kids Don’t Care]

PRODUCTION NOTE: For maximum enjoyment, you may watch the above GIF whilst playing this song:



No fucks given,

This is dF 
 
defrog: (Default)
It’s Wheelz Of Steel!



[Click through to the YouTube page for info about the “band”]

Okay, that’s pretty awful. To be fair though, it sounds more like two kids fooling around with a drum machine and a tape recorder who probably had a friend who knew a guy who worked at a vinyl pressing plant who said he could stamp it into a record, and wouldn’t that be cool to hear yrself on a record, etc.

Or it could be a Ween skit.

Anyway, I don’t think they put this out with any real intention of passing themselves off as a rock band. It sounds like the kind of stuff some friends and I used to do with tape recorders back in the 80s. We did them for fun, not as demos for A&R guys.

Anyway, I’m only posting this because I could swear I own that drum machine.

It’s probably not exactly the same, of course. But the one I have has the exact same sound. It looks like this.



Isn’t that interesting?

For those about to rock,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Of course it’s from Japan.



Is it not wonderful?

That there is Babymetal – essentially a J-pop girl group who sing and dance to death-metal instead of technopop. It’s a great idea that had to happen eventually.

Novelty? Sure. But why not?

“Proper” metal fans may hate them. That just makes me like them even more. If yr pissing off the purists, yr doing something right. 

More info here

Bang yr head,

This is dF
defrog: (Default)
Yr argument is invalid.

carellaross: Shout At The Devil 8-track cassette (this is some RARE shit)

[Via The Cult Of Ray]

Ten seconds to ka-CHUNK,

This is dF


defrog: (Mocata)
Odds are you know Black Sabbath have a new album out.

This is one of those studio reunions that people have been talking about for over a decade: the original Black Sabbath line-up of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. And it took Rick Rubin – who else? – to finally make it happen.

Well, mostly. You know by now that Bill Ward couldn’t participate due to a combination of legal issues and Tony Iommi’s sense of urgency spurred on by his lymphoma diagnosis. There’s also been talk from Ozzy on Ward’s ability (or otherwise) to play on the subsequent tour to support the album.

So the new album, 13, is three for four on Original Line-Up, with Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk subbing on the drum kit. And in some ways, it shows. Wilk is a good drummer and can do Heavy, but Ward’s jazz influence was as integral to the band’s original sound as Iommi’s diabolus chords. So the result is not exactly the “just pretend yr following up yr debut album” return to basics that Rubin had in mind.

But it’s pretty close. The absence of Ward is noticeable, but only if yr intimately familiar with their old stuff besides Paranoid, and not to the point of derailing the whole project. Iommi’s riffage is as heavy as you like, Butler holds up the bottom end admirably, and Ozzy still sounds like Ozzy, although – due to an inability to reverse time – I do find myself thinking I’m listening to the new Ozzy solo album at times.

That can’t be helped. Neither can the fact that most of the songs will always be compared to their classic work and inevitably fall short. Indeed, given Ward’s absence, all the online worrying from fans that Rubin would ruin Sabbath forever, as well as the fact that reunion albums in general have a patchy track record, any praise the album garnered was almost always going to include the qualifier “under the circumstances”.

Which is a shame because this is actually a pretty good Sabbath album on its own merits. Sometimes they do kind of follow the template a little too closely and too often (slow heavy part/faster swinging heavy part/solo solo solo/slow heavy part again) to the point of having a “Planet Caravan” breather.

Still, when it works, it works wonders.

Listen.



The end of the beginning,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
1. Van Halen karaoke night

I am attending a music festival of some kind featuring lots of classic bands from the 80s. It’s being held in a huge gymnasium. The stage announcer introduces Van Halen. The auditorium goes dark and Eddie Van Halen starts playing “Eruption”. The band launches into “You Really Got Me” and the spotlight hits David Lee Roth as he runs out onstage. But the rest of the band is invisible – there’s nothing behind Roth but a wall of Marshall stacks, leading me to believe the show is actually supposed to be David Lee Roth doing Van Halen karaoke.

[personal profile] bedsitter23  is there, and he and I start jumping around, “rocking out”, by the stage in a show of support for Diamond Dave. We are aided by the fact that the floor is covered in some springy rubber material that gives the audience more bounce. [personal profile] bedsitter23  uses this to do backflips. There aren’t that many people in the audience, so he has plenty of room. But I soon regret the jumping, because I’m out of breath halfway through the first song, and I kinda feel committed now that Diamond Dave has seen me dancing about.

2. Movie theatre biker orgy

I am going to see a movie with KT. Outside the theatre are two loud obnoxious biker stereotypes. KT and I take our seats and sure enough the bikers end up sitting right in front of us, arms hanging over the seatbacks to annoy us. We get up to change our seats and they pretend to take offense and cause a scene, but the usher is already by our aisle and asking them to leave. They leave, but we are worried they will wait outside for us when the movie ends.

There is an exit by the front of the theatre. I go to check it, and when I come back the movie has started. It turns out to be strikingly pornographic – the scene onscreen is of a movie audience engaged in an explicit orgy. We all look at each other as though we’re expected to participate.

3. Heavy metal parking lot

I am sitting in an SUV with Geezer Butler. We are parked outside a convenience store waiting for Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi, who have gone in to get some drinks. Geezer is telling me stories about the old days with Black Sabbath, and doing hilarious spot-on imitations of Ozzy. Ozzy and Tony come back and get in the SUV, and we hit the road. As for why I’m there, I don’t remember, but I think I was supposed to be interviewing them about the new album.

Together again,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
ITEM: Stern Pinball has revealed a new line of Metallica pinball machines.

1. The Master Of Puppets version.





2. The Pro version.



3. The Premium version.



The obvious jokes are circulating on Facebook.

“You have to pay for extra balls because Lars Ulrich refuses to give them away for free.”

“To get the Jackpot, you have to repeatedly hit the spinning Napster wheel until it shuts down.”

“Comes with special ‘Haze Jason Newstead’ feature.”

“If you get four people to play, it unlocks a special Group Therapy mode.”

And so on.

But I would totally play this. As [personal profile] bedsitter23  and garbagecanmusic know oh so well.

More info on the Stern Facebook page, if yr interested.

Pinball up yr ass,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)


[Via Marshmallows And Bubbles]

PRODUCTION NOTE: For maximum entertainment value, Team Def recommends watching the above GIF whilst listening to this.



Or, if you prefer, this.



Bear necessities,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
And Banäna Deäthmüffins are in the studio.



[Via Radioactive Lingerie]

FAN ALERT: We’re also on Facebook now, if you’d like to “like” us.

Don’t feed the animals,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
The race for Best Song Of 2013 begins here. 

Pancakes are so METAL.

In which Adam “Blackula” Young records a grindcore song with his six-year-old daughter, Joanie “Bologna” Young, who wrote the lyrics. It’s a duet.

And it’s brilliant.

Listen.



Yr grounded,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Not a lot of people know that Fred Astaire invented black metal.



[Via Mudwerks]

We got the beat,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
There was such a thing, you know.



[Via Radioactive Lingerie]

DISCLAIMER: For educational purposes only. I was never big on Faster Pussycat.

Wake me when it’s over,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Speaking of Halloween costume ideas

The key is to think outside the box. I’m not saying to avoid the classics: witch, vampire, zombie, etc. But it pays to put a creative twist on a familiar theme.

For example: why go as a zombie when you can go as a bondage goat zombie?

Which is a great choice because it comes with its own theme song.



Getting yr goat,

This is dF



defrog: (Default)
Break out the heavy metal records!

my kinda bitches

[Via Scrotum Coat]

Whip it good,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Speaking of Jon Mikl Thor …

You haven't lived until you've seen Epic Metal on a DIY budget.

To say nothing of Jon Mikl Thor's spandex package.  



Seriously. You won’t be able to stop staring at it.

A sack full of hammers,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
I hinted at this in this post, but when it comes to rockinrolls horror films, one of the classics that sticks in my mind is Shock Em Dead



Which has Traci Lords in it. As you can see.

The premise is as basic as it gets: loser-guy sells his soul for rock’n’roll and becomes the best heavy-metal guitar player in the world, but has to kill people to maintain his talent.

It’s godawaful low-budget fun, but in some ways it also embodies the absolute worst tropes of heavy metal – namely, the notion that it's not metal unless yr playing solos at ludicrous speeds.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big metal fan, and I appreciate the talent it takes to play well, let alone fast. But I’ve never equated speed and virtuosity with musical quality. To me it’s more about showing off for the sake of it.

Like say, playing two solos AT THE SAME GODDAMN TIME.

Like so.



That’s not a fake scene. Michael Angelo Batio – who served as the guitar stunt double for all the guitar-solo scenes – actually does this in concert all the time.

Like so.

I’m not saying showmanship has no place on a rock-concert stage. I’m just not a big fan of musicians who mistake stage flash for substance. When it becomes less about the music and more about showing people how good you are at playing it, I am not impressed.

Look: Frank Zappa can play every bit as fast, but he doesn’t distract you from the actual music he’s playing. Conversely, Dave Gilmour takes his sweet time with a guitar solo, gives it space to breathe, and the results are brilliant. He’s living proof you don’t need to go all squiddly dabbly doo / widdly widdly wee all over a song to blow people away.

It’s all a matter of taste, obviously. And I’m probably biased because I used to get earfuls of pompous lectures from metalhead roommates about how metal is like classical baroque music only, you know, kick-ass. (My response would usually be to play my Black Flag records at full blast at 2am – “Now THAT is kick-ass, you poodle-haired fuckers!”)

And, as I say, I actually liked metal as a music genre. But I hated the pomposity of virtuosity that came with the package sometimes.

Anyway.

Shock Em Dead – I’m sure it’s available on Netflix or something. If not, that’s a damn shame, Jim.

EXTRA CREDIT: For more low-budget heavy-metal horror B-movies (and there are a surprising number of them), Horror News has a nice list.

And yes, Jon Mikl Thor is on it.

If it ain’t baroque don’t fix it,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Continuing our music countdown to Halloween, here’s a quick public service announcement from Venom:

Please do not burn the witches. Let them get on with their cooking.



Recipe thoughtfully included.

Let ‘em brew,

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Since we kicked off this series with a witch’s spell, we will follow up with witch dancing. 

Choreography by Mercyful Fate.



Before the goat of Mendes, 

This is dF


defrog: (Default)
Metal Woman is METAL.



Her spikes will slash yr skin, you know. 

DISCLAIMER: I’m not necessarily a fan of 3 Inches Of Blood. I just find the idea that a metal band would take the time to write a song about a “Metal Woman” amusing.

Demon in the sack,

This is dF


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defrog: (Default)
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