Saturday, June 27, 2009

MOTD - Britney Spears: And now for something completely different... (metal remix)

Mp3 Of The Day

(tried to find a pic of her in corpse paint, but no luck)

Band/Artist: Britney Spears (don't know who did the remix)
Song: Toxic (metal/rock remix)
Album: In The Zone (remix not on album I think)
Style: Pop, dance-pop, electronica (with a touch of metal)
country/location: United States
release: 2002

And now for something completely different... Yep, I'm interrupting the old school metal series to post Britney Spears! And yes, many of you are going to facepalm over this, but there's reason to my madness (well, not really haha). So about a week or two ago, a video/mp3 of a version of Katy Perry's song "I Kissed A Girl" appeared on the internets. This version took Ms. Perry's vocals off this pop tune and put them over an originally written/record power metal backing track. It was really well done and worked beautiful. This little mashup reminded me of another silly but kick ass metalized pop song (though admittedly the Katy Perry one is a little bit more well constructed).

When I first heard this metalized version of the uber catchy Britney Spears song, Toxic, I was flabbergasted (great word). I'll admit that I enjoy the song without the alterations (it's a really catchy song! sosumi!), however it got ten times more awesome with the extra metal muscle. Unlike the Katy Perry mashup, this version of Toxic isn't a perfect backing track nor is the instrumental sections particularly original. There's one backing track that provides the chugging rhythm section, with another soloing guitar that follows Britney's vocals, which sounds awesome (I think). Unfortunately, you can still hear a good chunk of the un-doctored song, but the added metal power works really well in parts, especially in the instrumental breaks. My one complain is the pop beats are a bit too predominant and the song should have all metal drums, but eh, I still find the whole experience a lot of fun. Many of you seasoned metalheads will go "ARG WREN!" and yes it's a commercialized radio friendly danceable pop song with a metal background, but gosh darn I think it's awesome and fun!

(don't worry, the old school metal series will return for the next MOTD! A band that shares the same name as a popular alternative rock band, but imo better!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

MOTD - Chinawite: A Dark and Heavy NWOBHM Cheap Trick-esc Anthem

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Chinawite
Song: Blood On The Streets
Album: Blood On The Streets (single)
Style: NWOBHM/Heavy Metal
country/location: Sheffield, UK
release: 1983

Ok one more China named band! But don't worry this band kicks ass. I wasn't originally going to include it in this old school series, but then I decided it'd be a shame to not include it. Chinawite came along later in the NWOBHM era, but compared to the other China bands were slightly more successful album wise and label wise. Unlike the other two bands, they were signed to Mausoleum Records, a pretty decent NWOBHM label, and release a full length studio album. This track comes from a single released in 1983 (though none of these songs).

Anyways, this track is a dark but hugely catchy anthem. I'd describe it as a heavier and darker Cheap Trick. The vocalist has that clean but still rockin, high-registered though not high-pitched, almost pretty boy sounding style that almost contradicts the dark tough boy lyrics about a fight on the streets (at least that's what I gather). This is on top of gloomy power chords and an anthemic rhythm section with lots of reverb to the drums. The song is a well constructed song with the verses, chorus and instrumental sections flowing into each other. There's a groovy funk-like guitar line that appears a couple times, as well as the requisite dark solo (which is really simple though awesome). It's a greatly underappeciated gem, and one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MOTD - Chinatown: Old School Anthemic Metal Recorded Live!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Chinatown
Song: No Time To Kill
Album: Play It To Death
Style: NWOBHM/Heavy Metal
country/location: Fareham, UK
release: 1981

Yes, it's another band that begins with China, deal with it! Not my fault that there are a few good NWOBHM bands with China in their name! (at least three that I'm going to share with you!)

Whenever I saw lists of bands who made up the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) movement, Chinatown always seemed to be on those lists along with Iron Maiden, Saxon and others. Like the previous bands in this series, they didn't release much, only a demo and a live album. However they made some pretty fantastic heavy music. They started off as a glam-inspired band before moving into heavy metal territory, though that influence is still somewhat there in the anthemic riffs and the high pitched vocals. This song's riffs are simple and catchy, while still being hard edged. The rhythm section isn't particularly extravagant, but they pound away hard rocking rhythms and keep the pace strong. This track was recorded live at a show sometime in 1981 and wow does it sound good for an early 80s live recording. Every instrument sounds clear and the reverb on the lead singer is pristine. It's a great gem of a heavy metal song!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

MOTD - China Doll: Oysters and Wine are Heavy Metal Delicious

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: China Doll
Song: Oysters And Wine
Album: Oysters And Wine (single)
Style: NWOBHM/Heavy Metal
country/location: Poole, Dorset, UK
release: 1980

Well throw me a grenade I've been really really bad at this posting regularly thing! Sure I've been busy with work, shows, and travels, but seriously no excuse!

So the old school series continues with this un-metally named band, China Doll. This UK based band only released a 2 song single/demo back in 1980, but for only two songs they said a lot. This song in particular is a nice slab of old school metal. China Doll by today's standards wouldn't be considered all that heavy, and honestly even in their day, they weren't the heaviest band. However, the early metal elements are all there, powerful and driving riffs played by razor sharp guitars, a hard rockin' rhythm section, melodic but forceful vocals and a lot of soulful but shredding solos and licks. This song has a little bit of Beatles influence as evident by the very playful and creative lyrics; some of the guitar lines have an almost old rock and roll quality to them, while others seem to be plucked rather than strummed. Despite it being an old recorded single, the production is pretty damn clear. You can hear every instrument and every line sung by the singer, and yet it has a raw and almost punk atmosphere to it (plus you can barely hear the cracks and pops of the record). This song is a true old school gem and deserves to be enjoyed more! I'd be interested to know what happened to them as well.

Friday, June 5, 2009

MOTD - Behemoth: Old school Swedish Heavy Metal that sounds like old school British Heavy Metal

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Behemoth
Song: Death Wings
Album: Death Wings (single)
Style: Heavy Metal
country/location: Sundsvall, Sweden
release: 1982

Around the early 1980s, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was in full force, churning out hundreds of bands. Some that made it, and some that never released more than a demo. Meanwhile, other parts of the world were starting to follow suit. Sweden by this time had a number of bands releasing demos and albums. This band, Behemoth, is one of those bands. (much to the surprise of everyone, I initially got this band because of the fact they share the same name as a more well known Polish black/death metal band hehe)

Behemoth shares a lot of similarities to the NWOBHM sound, the gritty guitars, being highly melodic but still rough, the slight punk atmosphere and speed. So much are the similarities that they often get mistaken for a British band (even I made this mistake not too long ago). The song starts off with a melodic/shimmery guitar before blasting into blistering almost thrashy riffs that permeate the entire song. The song speeds along while the singer shows off his chops. His voice is a mid to high range, it's clean but still enough power and rock to follow the music. The guitarist is no solo slouch. The solos are melodic but incredibly fast and skillful. The production certainly adds to the gritty nature of the music, and wonderfully so. It's a delicious old school gem!

Monday, June 1, 2009

MOTD - Sweet Savage: Ol' Sweet Ass Metal

Mp3 Of The Day

: Sweet Savage
Song: Take No Prisoners
: Take No Prisoners (single)
: Heavy Metal/NWOBHM
: Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
: 1981

Ok the wait is over! Time for me to bring back the METAL!!! Jeez, it's been way too long since the last time I've posted one of these. Granted I've been busy with work, shows, Maryland Death Fest, the aftermath of the fest, general laziness and my usual writer's block/anxiety (I want my writeups to be the best they can be!), and sickness. Well, I'm writing this as I recover from the swine flu (ok, maybe or maybe not!).

Anyway, last time, we had started a series of obscure/semi-obscure metal bands from the late 70s and early 80s. Continuing with this theme, the next band is a slightly more well known band, Sweet Savage. This band, hailing from Northern Ireland, was one of the more major bands of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Obviously not as big as Iron Maiden or Saxon, but still influential enough for Metallica to cover one of their songs (not this one however). This rockin track comes off of one of their first (if not first) demo/singles released in 1981. You can hear a lot of the major elements of the NWOBHM sound, gritty hard rockin guitars, a bouncing almost galloping rock rhythm, a punk-like atmosphere and speed, melodic but gruff vocals. Like the Horsepower song, it has a catchy-ish chorus, but it's different in the sense that it's more rough and dirty. And what great metal song doesn't have a ripping shredding solo? Certainly not this one! This track is a great heavy metal gem, a song worthy of it's history (yeah not sure what that means, but I like that! haha).