Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hiatus

I'm going on hiatus to focus on other endeavors. It's not the end, i'll be back!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Vacation

Decided to take the week off. Nothing good came out. Plus Prince died. WTF? Next week in his honor, I will finally sit down and listen to 1999 all the way through and review that. Peace out, go CAVS!

Friday, April 15, 2016

(2016) John Carpenter - Lost Themes II



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Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a HUGE love for classical, avant garde, movie scores & instrumental music. So when I see my main man John Carpenter is releasing another album of lost themes, i'm all over it. He's definitely one of my favorite modern composers and directors and I absolutely LOVE just about anything he's involved in. This is the guy that brought us, HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM LA, THE THING, THEY LIVE & BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, amongst many others! So yeah, I get a little TREMENDOUSLY, excited. So without further ado... let's break it down.
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Track 1 - Distant Dream

This song starts off rather violently. There's no building it up at all. It's right into it. IMMEDIATELY it begins to sound like something from one of his movies. Awesome way to start this album. I have always wondered if he plays all of the instruments he composes and records. If so, that's freaking awesome. I would LOVE to own a keyboard as awesome as this one. Very cool stuff right here.

5/5

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Track 2 - White Pulse

Definitely very Poltergeist meets Halloween right from the rip. I hate that movie scorers don't get the credit they deserve. Most of us get so focused watching the movie that we never pay attention to the subtle music that lingers in the background. That's why Mr. Carpenter is different. He creates an inescapable mood, that is ALWAYS memorable. Think about it, EVERYBODY knows the Halloween theme song.

5/5

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Track 3 - Persia Rising

I'll tell you what. John Carpenter could release a 1,000 albums of his music and each one would be just as good, if not better than the last. This song once again is nothing short of amazing. The etheralness to his music always creates a landscape that can take you into his universe every time. That is both scary and thrilling at the same time.

4/5

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Track 4 - Angel's Asylum

I love how spaced out all of these pieces have sounded so far. They definitely have that "memorable" quality to them. It's a shame he didn't use any of these in any of his movies. All of these pieces would have translated to film very well. The ending of this song is AWESOME by the way. Trust me.

5/5

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Track 5 - Hofner Dawn

Ok, we finally come to a piece I don't dig a lot. I guess i'm more of a fan for his darker stuff. This is too 16 candles for me. Haha. It's not bad, just not one of the better tracks.

2.5/5

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Track 6 - Windy Death

This one started out a little "meh" but slowly builds into something quite a bit cooler. Definitely has a ending credits kinda feel to it. This piece would work great in a lifetime movie.

3/5

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Track 7 - Dark Blues "Kurt Russell"

DEFINITELY would have been perfect in one of the "Escape" movies. This is pretty much how I tell a good Kurt Russell movie from a bad one... (Excluding Overboard, cause that shit was AWESOME). All you have to do is match this kind of music to him and you know the movie will be great. Period. This song has Kurt Russell written all over it, so I am therefore changing the name of this piece to "Kurt Russell". You're welcome John Carpenter.

5/5

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Track 8 - Virtual Survivor

So far, this has been wayyyyyy better than his last "Lost Themes" album. Much, much more of the "memorable" factor. I saw he is going to do a tour this year. A MOTHER #$%&@! TOUR!!! I can't go, but GD I wish I could. I wish I could...

3/5 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Track 9 - Bela Lugosi

This track most definitely has a Dracula kind of feel to it. I think by naming it, "Bela Lugosi" he hit it on the nail perfectly. Those strings are freaking nasty as fuck! This piece is one of the better tracks fo sho!

4/5

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Track 10 - Last Sunrise

This is the kind of music you would hear in a paranormal movie while someone is investigating something. AS a matter of fact, try that to see if i'm right. Find this song and play it over someone investigating. I bet it works everytime. =0)

3.5/5

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Track 11 - Utopian Facade

I would like to see someone re-score the original "Neverending Story" movie with John Carpenter music. I wonder how hard that would be to get the music out of movies and then re-score them. I could definitely see this being the music being played on the way to the Ivory Tower.

4/5

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Track 12 - Real Xeno

Not quite the ending I was looking for, but nevertheless, awesome indeed. John Carpenter is THE MAN!

3/5

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Overall - 47/60

Overall, this was a AWESOME album put out by an ALL-TIME legend. Easily one of the greatest composers of our time, this album was AWESOME. Willowbee, out.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

(2016) Deftones - Gore



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It's always interesting to catch up with bands from your past and see what they're doing nowadays. I'll be honest, I wasn't exposed much to the Deftones until around the "White Pony" era. That's the album I compare them too. "Around The Fur and Adrenaline" were great albums as well, but there was just something great about "White Pony". So here we are, 15 years and a couple of shitty albums later. Can they get it back? Let's find out!
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Track 1 - Prayers / Triangles

My first impression of this song was, "meh". As I am listening to it now for a 5th time, it really, really grows on you. So far, so good. I really like the guitar work and it's good to hear Chino still growing away. This song starts out a little trippy, kind of "Team Sleep"ish, but quickly sounds like a Deftones song. Very cool. I am impressed.

4/5

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Track 2 - Acid Hologram

Once again, after the 5th listen, this song is quickly growing on me as well. It's got the Deftones signature sound and the trippyness of a Tool song. It's very cool to hear them getting back to their "White Pony" sound. So far this album definitely sounds like it's going to get even better. I have missed the Deftones!

4/5

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Track 3 - Doomed User

This is definitely the heaviest song so far. Chino screams most of the verses leading into the choruses which are very cool. This is one of those songs that will get stuck in your head after a couple of listens. The breakdown in this song is absolutely beautiful. If your a selective song kinda listener, start here.

4/5

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Track 4 - Geometric Headdress

The one thing I will say about these songs so far is their memorability. It is AMAZING to hear the Deftones bring their all and create something this AWESOME, this late in their career. Only time will tell if they will make it as long as the Rolling Stones & The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but this kind of an album is a good indicator that we'll be enjoying these guys for many years to come! Best song so far!

5/5

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Track 5 - Hearts / Wires

Ok so FINALLY we have a contender for album of the year! All of these songs have been EXTREMELY memorable and after 5 listens, it quickly becomes evident that this may indeed be just as good, if not better than "White Pony". This song is no exception. Chino's voice is ON POINT. The creativity on this album is off the charts! So far this album has been "White Pony", meets "De-Loused In The Comatorium" meets "Mer De Noms".

5/5

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Track 6 - Pittura Infamante

There was a lot of new music that came out this week. WAYYYY more so than usual. Smile Empty Soul released an EP which was excellent. It only had 6 songs though or that would have been my choice. IT IS AMAZING BY THE WAY!!! However, this album was completely unexpected and has completely blown me away. I have been pleasantly shocked listening to this album so much, that i'm now on my 5th listen through!

4/5

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Track 7 - Xenon

It is now safe to say this album is JUST AS GOOD AS "WHITE PONY"! Yeah, I said it. This is ESSENTIAL Deftones. These songs are nothing but 4's and 5's. From this point on this album will be my second favorite album of theirs with constant possibility of becoming number 1. This album is THAT good. I only can dream that Incubus' outing later this year will be just as good. I did see they played "Calgone" with Ben Kenney in Mexico. THAT was breathtaking as well.

4/5

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Track 8 - (L)mirl

This album has not disappointed once. That's highly unusual for me with a Deftones album. Even "White Pony" had a couple of "mehs". So far, this album has been damn well near perfect. The guitar work and drumming on this album have been awesome and when Chino screams in this song, it takes me back.

4/5 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Track 9 - Gore

As we near the end of this album and reach the title track, "Gore", I would already give this album a 4/5 no matter what happens from here on out. They could cover "MmmBop" and i'd be cool with it. Actually... that would probably be pretty good! This song is another one of those that showcase the creativity put into this album. I am blown away! Sorry Rocket Summer... there might be a new number one for 2016 in town! The screams on the end of this song are ridiculously awesome. BEST TRACK.

5/5

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Track 10 - Phantom Bride

I am floored... This album has been nothing short of a masterpiece. I will be listening to this album for many years to come. This is a defining decade kinda album. One of those ones that will never, ever get the kind of credit it deserves. This is easily one of the best 2010's albums. This is one of the better songs and when the ending comes in it just get's that much better. =0O

5/5

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Track 11 - Rubicon

So now at the last track it has become evident that The Deftones have created their most impressive work to date. This is the kind of album that will inspire thousands of kids to go out and start a band. I've never been a HUGE Deftones fan, but they have completely won me over with this album. WOW.

4/5

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Overall - 48/55

Overall, we finally have a contender for album of the year. This one has my bet so far. This is the kind of album that should win TONS of awards, but never will. Fuck Taylor Swift and her illuminati contemporaries. This album is the real deal. A new one to place in my top 100. It's THAT good. Willowbee, out.

Friday, April 1, 2016

(2016) Weezer - The White Album



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Alright! Finally an album by a band we all know and love, WEEZER!!! Weezer is one of those bands that are going to be around for a long time. Beginning in the 90's, it is definitely nice to see them still around. So without further ado... The White Album.
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Track 1 - California Kids

From the first notes it becomes evident that Weezer has fallen back into place continuing the greatness that followed them in the 90's. It definitely has a Blue Album feel to it that somewhat lingers with a Pinkerton vibe. I have always loved Weezer's guitar solo's and this one is no different. Another good song from a great band.

3.5/5

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Track 2 - Wind In Our Sail

Track 2 is very piano driven. Almost sounds like a Twenty One Pilots song with Rivers Cuomo singing. Not as strong as the first track, this track is still good. So far this is not the album i've been expecting from them.

2.5/5

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Track 3 - Thank God For Girls

This song doesn't really fit the whole "Weezer" mold. This track kinda stands alone in their huge catalog of hits. It's nice to hear after all of these years, they still have surprises left up their sleeves. You can always tell a good band from a bad one by the way they move around different genres and styles.

3/5

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Track 4 - (Girl We Got A) Good Thing

You can definitely hear Rivers flexing his Beach Boys style on this beginning of this track. This one sounds albums like a Green Album b-side. This is probably my favorite track so far on this album.

4/5

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Track 5 - Do You Wanna Get High?

Well, I LOVE THE TITLE. That aside, this is definitely my favorite song. This song has the power to become one of your favorite Weezer songs. It has the classic vibe that Weezer has crafted so well. This song is top notch Weezer.

5/5

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Track 6 - King Of The World

This album has definitely been Weezer so far. It is safe to say that this is not the album I have been expecting from them. Their last release, "Everything Will Be Alright In The End" was very good. But this is definitely better overall. It's nice to hear them getting back to their roots. Perhaps the next album, will be the one.

3/5

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Track 7 - Summer Elaine And Drunk Dori

The beauty of Weezer has always lied in their simplicity. This song is a perfect example of how they are still holding onto that fact and taking full advantage of it. Weezer has been one of my favorite bands for a long time, so it's nice to hear them getting back to this.

3/5

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Track 8 - L.A. Girlz

So far, i'm not completely, overly impressed. It's been typical Weezer and I guess that I was hoping for another Blue album. It becomes incredibly hard for a band to equal the success they had with their best album. Bands like Incubus, Hoobastank & Metallica amongst others have fallen into this rut as well.

3/5 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Track 9 - Jacked Up

One cool thing I will say about Rivers. After all these years, his voice has not changed a bit. It is still the exact same signature Rivers voice that we fell in love with on the Blue Album. Weezer has come a long way since those days.

3/5

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Track 10 - Endless Bummer

This song kind of disappoints me. I can remember a time when Weezer would go out with a bang on their albums. This is just not the ending I hoped for. I'm sure i'm not the only one who remembers the 8 minute track, "Only In Dreams". Oh well, another decent offering from a play it safe band.

3/5

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Overall - 33/50

Overall, this album lies somewhere between the Blue Album and the Green Album. It's not going to win any awards, but there's definitely a few tracks worth adding to your favorite Weezer playlist. Willowbee, out.

Friday, March 25, 2016

(2016) Kung Fu - Joyride



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So this week i'm in the mood for something different. There hasn't been too much I would consider "great" yet this year so far. There has only been 1 truly GREAT album and maybe 2 other albums out of the others and a handful of songs from the rest. I will tell you one thing. I am really, really happy I took the time to get to know The Rocket Summers new album. That shit is dope as fuck. This week, there was a lot to choose from, but ultimately I heard all of them out for a track or two and finally decided on this band... KUNG-FU. The name was cool and after watching a video or two on youtube, I decided to that THIS was the album for this week.
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Track 1 - Daddy O

The first track brings the funk! It reminds me of old 70's funk bands like Parliment. This song is really good and it definitely has a feel good 70's vibe to it. It's hard to believe that this is a new song. These guys definitely know the genre and deliver perfectly on their opening track.

3.5/5

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Track 2 - Chin Music

Track 2 is mostly instrumental. It has a 70's cop show kinda, pumping vibe to it. I could definitely see mustashed cops chasing down bad guys while this song plays in the background. The sax player is AMAZING. It's official. This band is awesome.

3.5/5

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Track 3 - Vroom

This track has a very cool vibe to it. It is a lot like the last track and has an old school Incubus playing as the Tonight Show band kind of vibe to it. One thing I like about this band already is how long these tracks are. This one is 8:01 long!!! Get your attention span ready! It will be well worth it.

3.5/5

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Track 4 - Joyride

This song is AWESOME! It has a 70's vibe to it and sounds like it could have been on a movie soundtrack in the 80's like Ghostbusters. This song just makes you want to get the fuck down and boogie all night long. This is definitely a great starting point!

4/5

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Track 5 - Speed Bump Of Your Love

This might be the best song overall of 2016! This song is funky in all the right ways and really delivers. This is the stand out track on here and sounds like something you'd see the Harlem Globetrotters dunking to. If you like funk, it doesn't get much better than this.

5/5

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Track 6 - Prime Time Rib

So far I haven't heard a bad track on this album. This is easily the best funk album i've heard in a long time. Any song that's about ribs is ok with me. Not too much lyrically here, but with this band, that's just fine.

3.5/5

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Track 7 - The Getdown

This is the kind of music that puts you in a good mood. Another mostly instrumental track, I will say one thing... if funky, instrumental, 6 minute plus songs are not your thing, this band is not for you. However, if it is... you are in for a treat!

3.5/5

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Track 8 - Gold Coast

Musically, this is one of the best bands i've heard in awhile. It's rare for me to find a band I like without any vocals for the most part. But this band not only impressed me, they made me a fan for life.

3.5/5

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Track 9 - Samurai

This last track has a very cool feel to it. It is also the longest track on this album at 8:53! This band has been phenomenal and it makes me sad that it's over. That;s my only beef, 9 tracks was not near enough.

4/5

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Overall - 34/45

Overall, this album was GREAT! I really enjoyed listening to something different for a change. Willowbee, out.

Friday, March 18, 2016

(2016) The Word Alive - Dark Matter



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Wow, almost 3 months into 2016 already. Time really flies too fast, doesn't it? Well, with that time flying by, it leads us to my next review! This week I will be checking out, The Word Alive's new album, "Dark Matter". Let's go!
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Track 1 - Dreamer

The first track is a tad slow and emo, but towards the end their are some subtle screams that suggest they're about to get a lot heavier. I like this one even though it's slow and emo. You can definitely hear this band clicking on all cylinders. If this is any indication to how the rest of this album will play out, I think I will be pretty happy.

2.5/5

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Track 2 - Trapped

Track 2 reminds me of the music I loved in the late 90's. The screamer is spot on. The emo guy actually sounds a little better on this track as well. I really like this one. Very heavy and the music behind the screams is perfect. This band is actually really good! The breakdown in this song is ridiculously cool and for that, this song gets a 4/5.

4/5

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Track 3 - Face To Face

Ok, so maybe the emo guy isn't all too emo afterall. He actually has a pretty good voice and the he definitely compliments the singer. This song is a little slower, but thank god they don't shy away from the screamer. My wife heard a couple of these songs and immediately compared them to Linkin Park. I can hear that a little. Overall, they are impressive! With so many groups out there claiming to be post-hardcore or post-punk, these guys are actually worthy of that title.

3.5/5

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Track 4 - Sellout

This screamer is... simply put, AWESOME. He definitely shows off his abilities in this song. This is definitely one of my new favorite heavier bands. These are the kinds of songs that would be cool to listen to driving nowhere with the music blaring in the middle of the night. A good starry night kinda band. I wish more bands came out like this.

4/5

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Track 5 - Insane

This I believe is the song my wife heard and compared them to Linkin Park. I most DEFINITELY agree. You can really hear a "Numb" inspiration on this track. That is not always a bad thing though, I hate when people compare bands and then say they stole the others song. Not the case, they simply were inspired by it enough to create their own.

3.5/5

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Track 6 - Made This Way

This song kinda reminds of Linkin Park as well. I definitely like this band. They're kind of a heavier version of them without all of the dj, rapping crap. I will say the guitar breakdown in this song is ridiculously awesome! Very cool, very cool indeed.

4/5

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Track 7 - Suffocating

I do not like the vocal effect at the beginning of this song. It quickly bounces out of that though and actually becomes pretty enjoyable. Not as good as most of the other tracks, this one still definitely holds its own! Pretty good! I really have liked this album so far.

3.5/5

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Track 8 - Piece Of Me

This song is weird. It has too much space. I think they went a little overboard with the reverb on this one. It's not bad, but not one of the better tracks on this album. Go figure... no screaming. Funny I used to pretty much hate music that screamed, but as I have gotten older I have grown this strange affinity towards it.

3.5/5

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Track 9 - Branded

I really like the tempo this song starts with. I am now realizing that the singer may actually be the screamer as well. Which is pretty cool. Definitely sounds pretty versatile. His scream really is pretty awesome. It's like a mix of Cisco Miranda and Daryl Palumbo. Different, yet still somehow familiar.

3.5/5

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Track 10 - Grunge

This song may be the best track on this album and the breakdown is PERFECT!!! If you listen to any songs on this album, make it this one. This one should be the leading single, but it probably won't be.

4/5

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Track 11 - Dark Matter

This song isn't too bad. It's not the shining moment on this album, but nevertheless it is a nice filler track. The screams towards the end are definitely interesting. As Peyton Manning would say, "I like it".

3/5

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Track 12 - Oxy

I was hoping for something a little heavier closing out this album, but it hasn't been bad, so i'm not going to complain. It has been pretty enjoyable actually.

3/5

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Overall - 42/60

Overall, this album was pretty good. If you decide to buy it, it will be money well spent. Willowbee, out.