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Young Bucks, And Old Rockers - More Blue Collar Reviews!
By Mick Polich - 05/03/2010 - 12:10 PM EDT

I guess I had a few more CD reviews to throw at you all before we moved on: young bucks and old rock codgers this install……

First, the young bucks……

Red Pyramid is a Dallas based industrial metal band that have just completed their full length CD, “The Air Between Us Turns To Ashes”. I reviewed their demo CD awhile back, and those songs turn up on the album as well, which is a sledgehammer mix of electronics and metal that touts the band’s influences, which include Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails. All personnel are back - Joseph Kosier on vocals and electronics, Matt Rendar on guitar, Josh Armstrong on bass, and Will Jaeger on drums, forming the powerful juggernaut that slashes thru all twelve tracks. Lyrically, the songs are a thematic vortex of relationships torn apart, and left asunder. It’s a collection of music that’s very dark and deep, and anyone who’s into industrial metal should pick up on this.

“In The Name” kicks things off quite nicely – a howling wind emerges, as a burning rhythm guitar cuts through. Armstrong and Jaeger are again in lockstep for bass and drums – their timing and playing have grown tighter, providing a solid foundation for all the cuts on this CD.

The next cut, “Paramour”, really recalls the Nine Inch Nails/Manson influence the band generates, while fully enveloped in their own style. In fact, I could hear this one as a standout single.

The recording was done at AMH Studios, which is run by Aaron Harvey down in San Antonio. The amazing thing is that the entire album was done in Aaron’s living room, which is the studio. Kudos to Harvey for an effective mix….

“Thick As Thieves” and “Echo In The Well” are favorites here – Kosier does masterful work here with his vocals and electronics. Matt Rendars’ guitar tones are outstanding, and his work has always spoken for itself. There isn’t a weak cut on here.

Check Red Pyramid on MySpace for info, tour dates, and the CD release date. Nice job, dudes!!!

Now, the ‘rock codgers’ (who aren’t really that at all, but hey, can’t pass up the semi-catchy article title!)…….

Iggy Pop and the Stooges’ “Raw Power” album has become a seminal and pivotal influence for many a latter – day rocker, punk and otherwise. I bought my first copy on cassette in the early 1990’s, although I remember seeing the album cover in record store bins while I was growing up: an androgynous – looking Iggy Pop staring out at a concert crowd, wearing the infamous pair of ‘silver trousers’ ($500 for those pants??). Iggy remixed the album in the late 1990’s, citing ‘lack of bass’( and favoring his lead vocals) from the original David Bowie mix. The results were mixed.

The Columbia reissue returns “Raw Power” to its former glory, in many fans ears, while utilizing new technology to clean up things properly. My favorite cut, “Gimme Danger”, was actually recorded as a bit of a joke – the Columbia ‘suits’ wanted a ballad from the band(which is like trying to take the jalapeno element out of hot sauce). “Gimme danger, little stranger/ And I’ll feel your disease” as a sample lyric – that’s MY idea of a ‘power ballad’!!! Whimp bands, take note, please…..

The reissue contains two discs, one being a live set called “Georgia Peaches”, which has been floating around as a bootleg for years. Recorded at Richards in Atlanta, Georgia in October,1973, this raw recording shows the Stooges in all their pre-punk glory. The scent of violence permeates the air, as a pissed-off Iggy berates a ‘little cracker boy’ in the audience( a few cuts before, a female voice says after one number, ”I don’t think he likes us”, giggling nervously) – it’s scary, and funny as hell, as was the Stooges music at that time. Well worth the money……..

Finally, as I spent the weekend recovering from the flu, I had a chance to wrap a few books that I’ve been reading, one of which is “Raisin’ Cain: The Wild And Raucous Story Of Johnny Winter” by Mary Lou Sullivan( Backbeat Books). Another unsung hero in rock and roll – this time for Texas blues/rock – Sullivan does a commendable job of getting into the details of Johnny’s history, from his start in Beaumont, Texas, to his rise as a stadium packing superstar back in the early to mid 1970’s. As Winter himself intones, this is a pure, raw honest story, warts and all – drug use, managerial backstabbing, people thrown under the bus, and all the trappings that superstardom brings. Johnny Winter was, and is a pure conduit for music – all those singing the praises of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Derek Trucks need to look to the source ( check out the YouTube video of Johnny and band ripping thru Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” for the 30th anniversary concert for Dylan in October,1992, or any cut on “Johnny Winter And Live”….). The stars seem in alignment better than ever these days for Johnny – hopefully this honest rock bio brings him to the forefront even more.

Well, there you have it - get your scheckles from the cookie jar, then go out and get these items. There’s proof positive here that young to old, metal to rock, the creative juices can flow forth abundantly, and that’s something to be thankful for!

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