That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - May
  • Shadows Inside
    Shadows Inside
    by Miss May I
Video of the Month - May
  • The Seraphic Live Works
    The Seraphic Live Works
    Frontiers Music s.r.l
  • Metal Cats
    Metal Cats
    by Alexandra Crockett

CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
  • Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    by Michael Moynihan, Didrik Soderlind
  • Retribution
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts

All Things Must Pass

You all know that I'm a sucker for a good documentary.  The latest one to slide across my desk was All Things Must Pass - The Rise and Fall of Tower Records.  If you were into music from the 60' through the 2000's, then you had to have frequented a record store.  The record store is a sacred place for music lovers.  There is nothing like getting lost in a record store for hours upon hours.  Unfortunately, over the last several years there seems to be fewer and fewer stores to grab the latest disc or LP, from your favorite band.  It is truly unfortunate, because it was such a fun ritual, for me, when I was growing up.  In most major cities, there is probably no big chains like Tower, Sound Warehouse, or even Hastings anymore.  Hastings being the last one to bite the dust.  It is truly ashame.

All Things Must Pass chronicles the rise and fall of Tower Records.  It is the true story of how the mega chain was started, and chonicles all the way to their demise in 2006.  The Tower name lives on, online and overseas.  This documentary features insightful interviews with founder Russ Solomon as well as some of his key employees.  Also, as a bonus, there are some interviews with some of the artists that used to frequent this legendary establishment.  It's the story about how Russ tried to grow his company too rapidly, and then fell prey to the internet and file sharing.  It is ashame, because when I go overseas I can still visit a Tower in Tokyo or Paris, but not one in the USA.  At least there is still some countries that get it.  This is a must see for any music fan. 

Bottom Line: Entertaining, fun, informative and sad all at the same time.  To be able to go to Tower, on Sunset in Hollywood, again; Oh how I wish.  A great doc. that will keep you glued to your seat from start to finish.

-Ragman misses record stores.


Watchtower - Concepts of Math: Book One

They say that if you look in Ron Jarzombek's eye, his iris looks like this. True story.Goodness me, is that a new Watchtower album I see? I remember first listening to the legendary wizards of metal back in college in the late 80s and thinking "this is what it sounds like when insects debate" or some shit like that; the technical prowess was undeniable, but it was more dissonant than I wanted to hear. Which is a common problem I have with technical metal, but I really wanted Watchtower to be the band that would break the mould - if only because they were a local Texas band and I got my Texas pride to keep.

Some 27 years after their last studio album (Control & Resistance, 1989), a new EP has emerged. The 5 song compilation includes previously released digital singles that have been around since 2010 along with one new 10 minute track, Mathematica Calculis. There is a great amount of growth and songwriting maturity on display here, finally catching up to their formidible skills and I couldn't be happier. Bringing back Alan Tecchio after having replaced original frontman Jason MacMaster (Dangerous Toys) was an excellent choice as his voice pairs nicely with the well-orchestrated chaos this album brings.

What I like is that over the years you can see that their tendency to crank the technical aspect to 11 has mellowed, and along with that the music has become more listenable while stille being insanely aspirational to us instrument playing fans.

The Bottom Line: While the majority of this album has been available in some form before, the new closer makes it worth it as a nice capper to this taste of things to come. We hope.

- Genghis will NEVER play this well *sigh*...



Corduroy - Honky

Women always tell me wearing corduroy just isn't attractive. Uhhh...The retro thing still lingers in hard rock and heavy metal music, but that's not necessarily a bad thing any more than hearing a neo-classical band. As long as the band has the goods and isn't cashing in, it's a genuine pleasure to listen to that kind of groove when the mood strikes. And so it is with Corduroy, which features JD Pinkus, Bobby Ed Landgraf and drummer Trinidad Leal, and it's album Honky.

This is some serious Southern groove metal replete with tasty riffs, cotton candy fuzz, and boogie-woogie beats galore - I mean the third song on the album has a fucking horn section! And this shit works, man. Pull this album out at a your next party, get your mind right, and fucking jam, baby. There's a sweet ZZ Top vibe beneath the layers of meaty distortion that keeps things light and loose from a rhythym angle, and while this album ain't breaking any rule books (though there's some tasty shreddage lurking amongst the double-stops), it's some damn fine groovin' hard rock, ya savvy?

The Bottom Line: Remember the roots of modern metal and hard rock are found in the kind of music Corduroy's putting out, with a healthy dose of shuffling and grooving, with tongue in cheek, that owes much to the blues. Check these boys out if you're looking for a good Southern-style party album.

- Genghis is in the mood for some barbecue and beer...


Podcast #209: Razors

Mr. Vapor does a little one on one with Ragman, and gets his mind right,Before our annual Halloween show, we thought we'd sit down for a chat with Mikey Vapor of Chains Over Razors, the hard rock band that's sweepin' the land (hey, I'm a poet!) to discuss what's new with them (i.e. their new album, Crown The Villain) and what sort of touring plans are in the works as the fall finally starts to kick in. so, pour yourself a tall cold one and sit deep in your comfy chair by the fireplace for An Evening With...!

Featured Tracks: Damnation, Promises of War, Monster, Subtle Words, and Devil's Eyes

- Ragman is hoping a new Halloween show will get us back on track...

Podcast #209: Razors


Journey - Live in Manila

I have to admit, that since Jeff Scott Soto was asked to leave Journey, I have not followed the band as closely as I had.  I felt betrayed, by the band, because of the way that Soto was dismissed.  The only thing that would have kept me cheering, would have been the return of long time front man Steve Perry.  I dug the Steve Augerie (ex-Tall Stories) era, and was pumped when they announced that Soto would be fronting the band.  Being an established fan of both of these vocalists, it was a no brainer, that I would stay on board, but when they replaced Jeff with a guy on Youtube, I was pissed and checked out.  Well it wasn't a total check out, I still bought what they put out, but it still bugged me that they basically had a Steve Perry, sound alike, fronting the band.

My opinion of the band has not really changed over the past 9 years, since Arnel Pineda joined the band, until their latest live release Live in Manila.  This concert was filmed in 4K resolution and looks amazing.  Not only does it look amazing, but the band is firing on all cylinders.  Schon and company rip through their greatest hits, as well as a few new tunes.  The band look like their having fun and have a nice dynamic with now ex-drummer Deen Castronovo handling some of the vocals.  I have to admit, that I enjoyed Pineda's performance, even though he seemed little too giddy to be a rock star.  He comes off a little goofy, but who wouldn't if you were fronting one of the greatest rock bands of all time.  This one was thoroughly entertaining and is a must for Journey fans.  If you are skeptical like I was, then give this one a shot, and I would bet your opinion would change.

Bottom LineA well shot DVD that gives you a great live experience, from your couch.  The band shows that they can still rock hard after 40+ years.

-Ragman is ready for the reunion with Steve Perry, that will probably never happen.