The best part about having this humble blog celebrating the underexposed and underappreciated music that is out there waiting for us is that I get contacted by bands that I’ve missed along the way and wind up finding new jam to share with you all.
This happened this morning, as I received a link from a French band that has been labelled “Avante Garde Metal.” That pretty much sums up their sound as it’s not like anything you’ve likely heard before. Elements that shouldn’t be together are stirred into the pot to create an insane thrill-ride of sound that has me confoundedly shaking my head in a way that I haven’t since hearing Hot Head Show’s brilliant 2010 debut The Lemon EP.
The band here is called Akphaezya and is built around a theatrical concept that you can read about on their website. As for sound…imagine Gwen Stefani (note: Dr. Chadrock’s assessment, and he’s right on) convincing her buds in No Doubt to listen to nothing but Dillinger Escape Plan for 6 months and then go in and record an album and you’ll get the idea.
Seriously…you’ve never heard this before.
But the best thing to do is simply open your mind…and enjoy Abysmally…
My apologies for our British friends, who will no doubt be laughing a bit at this. While this band achieved cult status here in the United States, they were in a rather heated “BritPop War” with rivals Oasis over in England and were the first of the two bands to achieve a number one hit.
Meanwhile, while this battle was going on in Britain, here in the United States our pop radio was being inundated with the usual milquetoast drivel by Whitney Houston, Maria Carey, NSync, Backstreet Boys, Brittany Spears, and whatever bad pseudo-metal was left over from the 80’s bands who refused to put away the hairspray. (Incidentally, all of the bad leftover unused 80’s “power ballads” would later become country hits.)
But I digress. Most Americans know Blur from the quite wonderful “Song 2” off the self-titled Blur album, but this band was making incredible music for years before that. This week’s WAV is the song that achieved them that first number one hit in England back in 1995 and, considering the current state of our US economy and the real reason our economy is in this state, it’s perhaps even more relevant 16 years after the fact.
An excellent song and a pretty funny video to go with it. Enjoy Abysmally…
This week’s WAV is from arguably the most underrated rock band of all time, Thin Lizzy. Always proud of his Irish heritage, Phil Lynott (RIP) and crew were so mis-marketed in America it was ridiculous. Because of this, they could never really follow up the success of that song (you know the one I’m talking about). They were never a heavy metal band, yet their marketing was aimed at metalheads. They were ultimately too diverse and not really heavy enough to be metal. Just a great rock band.
Lynott always commanded the most attention, followed by the trend-setting guitar duo of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson…the guitar duo most responsible for bringing twin lead harmonies to the forefront and making them important to the hook of any given song.
And then there’s Brian Downey…a drummer who seems to have always been under the radar and completely escaped my attention. You rarely see his name mentioned with the great rock drummers, yet he absolutely deserves to be mentioned with them…a fact that is obvious on the Live and Dangerous video. Downey is a champion.
From that video is one of my favorite Thin Lizzy tracks. One that captures the diversity of their sound and Phil Lynott’s penchant for painting vivid pictures with his storytelling.
As a chaser, I found this cool version of the song as done acoustic by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins…
Oh, what the hell. It’s been a while, so here’s a second bonus WAV. Since the name of the album Echobelly‘s “Great Things” came from is called “On,” it reminded me of an obscure band from around the year 2000 called…
Lead guy Ken Andrews formed On after the demise of his previous band, the critically acclaimed Failure. They weren’t around for very long, which is a shame because they made some cool music. This is the song I remember hearing on college radio in Baton Rouge, LA (KLSU) back in the day that still gets me movin’ today.
Recently, while watching the English BBC version of the incredible 7-part series “7 Ages of Rock,” (you REALLY must see it) there was some video footage of a British 90’s band singing a quite catchy and breezy pop song. One of those that I can’t get out of my head.
And that’s ok, ‘cos I like it:)
I recognized them, particularly the lead singer’s voice, but couldn’t name the band. Turns out it was Echobelly doing a song called “Great Things“, a fine British alternative band that never made the inroads to American charts like Oasis (or, to a lesser extent, Blur) but made some cool music while charting comfortably in their homeland.
Here’s the song and the video for the first WAV (Weekly Abysmal Video) in a lonnnnnnnng time. Click on the album cover below to watch, as embedding was disabled on the video. Bummer. Enjoy Abysmally…
When my bro Zim told me about this, I absolutely had to check it out for myself. Now, I had heard about Austrian Death Machine before, but I never really paid attention.
Then Zim told me their songs were only about Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, including some hilarious Ah-nold impersonations. The band is the brainchild of As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis as a parody and tribute of Schwarzenegger’s movies.
Alrighty then…get to the choppa! And enjoy Abysmally…
This week’s WAV comes from north of the border. Crash Karma consists of members of influential Canadian bands The Tea Party, Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth…including one of my all-time favorite drummers Jeff Burrows.
This vid is for one of my two favorite tracks off their self-titled debut, a real gem and one of last years 10 Most Truly Abysmal CD’s. Check it out and, as always, enjoy Abysmally…
I posted this a few weeks back when it was brand spankin’ new, but it really needs official WAV status. This is the new song from Cage The Elephant’s forthcoming sophomore effort, “Thank You, Happy Birthday” which is set for release on January 11, 2011.
I liked it the first time I listened to it, and I like it even more now (50+ listens later). It’s so cool to see such a young band that’s not a rehash of the trends of the day, but a modernization and individualization of damn near everything that’s good about classic rock. I can’t rave enough about these guys, so I’ll let the music do the talking.
This week’s WAV comes from a classic British band from the 1960’s who made a comeback of sorts in the early 1980’s under a different moniker…including enlisting the talents of former members Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on their first and second releases. The only two albums Box of Frogs ever released.
Lots of press for Box of Frogs’ self titled debut back in the day, but it got lost in the shuffle and never quite took hold of the masses. Was it a great album? Some say yes, some say no, but there is an undeniable charm to their sound. The sound of wizened rock veterans trying to modernize their sound without losing touch with own roots.
Here is Box of Frogs’ first single…complete with a typical early 80’s video that goes nowhere. Gotta love it.
This week’s WAV comes from a short-lived Canadian band who’s co-founder, Arnold Lanni, was a former member of Sheriff (he wrote their 1989 #1 U.S. hit “When I’m With You”). Ironically, that song hit #1 in the U.S. some months after Lanni’s new band Frozen Ghost had released their second album, Nice Place To Visit.
They received moderate airplay on MTV, where I first saw this video which remains my favorite of theirs to this day. Lanni, incidentally, has gone on to produce albums by bands like King’s X, Our Lady Peace and Finger Eleven.