I’m going back to a straight forward music post this time. I considered writing about the bands Rancid or the Ramones but thought that’d be too obvious. I considered discussing ‘rock’ as a genre and all its many and varied sub-genres but decided that could end up taking months. I considered writing about the NOFX album ‘Ribbed’ but remembered it’s one of my least favourite of theirs. I considered creating a rhapsody (“An instrumental composition of irregular form often incorporating improvisation”) but decided I’m not talented enough for something like that and, anyway, that would have been a bit too random…
Random! That’s it! I then decided I would pick 5 random albums from my collection and write a short bit about them. Because ‘random’ begins with an ‘R’ (in case you hadn’t spotted that…).
So I fired up my Music Collector software and hit CTRL+R 5 times to pick 5 random albums to write about. I have no idea how this is going to turn out…
I’m quite glad this was the first random album that was given! Back in ‘B is for… Basket‘ I admitted to having once loved dance music and, oh, how things have changed! ‘Everything Is Wrong’ is a bit of a mixture of genres with a few rock tracks, a few instrumentals and a few dance songs. Considering the title, it’s actually quite a joyful album too and it’s one of the few ‘dance’-style albums I can still listen to without having to turn it off after a few seconds… I think my affinity to this album is a mixture of the music itself and the fact that 1995 was when my musical tastes were being honed and it just brings back some interesting memories.
The O.C. Supertones are a Christian ska-punk band from Orange County, California. They disbanded at the end of 2005 after 15 years of service. In 2012 they announced they were getting back together to record a new album which would be funded via Kickstarter. As one of my favourite bands I was quite excited about this and promptly backed their campaign. It reached the target and got recorded so I was a little bit excited to say the least! I got a digital download a few weeks before release while I waited for the physical CD to arrive. It’s a great album – towards the end of their career they had more of a rock sound with less ska but ‘For The Glory’ was very ska-based. I have to say, though, that when the CD arrived I was a little bit annoyed. It was actually released through BEC Recordings (their old record label) – so people like me funded it all but then the record label made the money from it… It sort of went against the whole point of crowd-funding in my opinion… Still, it’s a good album!
Rancid have been a big part of my musical history although it has to be said that this isn’t one of their best albums. It’s a far more poppier sound than their previous albums but still has a definite punk-rock feel to it. Before it’s release I watched a lot of ‘making of’ webisodes about it and I think that explains the sound. All the songs were written and rehearsed on acoustic guitars before being finalised and recorded with the usual distortion and effects. This makes quite a big difference to the sound of the songs, they just don’t sound as aggressive… I did like how they included a CD with acoustic versions of most of the songs. These sound really good though, probably because they were written like that initially. It’s a decent album, but if you like your punk to be more aggressive then go back a few albums and maybe give this one a miss.
This album is a live recording of their 2,263rd concert – it was also their last. It’s a great set with all the songs you’d expect but with the added bonus of some great special guests. Former bassist Dee Dee Ramone joins them on one song and Tim Armstrong & Lars Frederiksen (from Rancid) sing and play on 3 songs. Other special guests include Lemmy (Motorhead), Chris Cornell & Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden) and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam). It also features Mini-MaFt’s favourite: ‘Spider-Man’ :D. After three: 1, 2, 3 – Hey Ho, Let’s Go!
It was Jim (bassist for SM3) who first got me listening to the band A. He played me a selection of their songs, which I really quite liked. However, like the Foo Fighters, they have some great songs but no great albums… ‘A Vs. Monkey Kong’ is no different – there are some great songs on here such as ‘Monkey Kong’, ‘Old Folks’ and ‘I Love Lake Tahoe’ – but other than those, it’s all a bit meh. Having said that, I’ve seen them live a few times (supporting The Offspring (2001), Distortion Festival (2002), supporting Bowling For Soup (2011)) and they’ve been great – mainly because they play a ‘best of’ set. So the few good songs from each album does make a great gig. So, good songs but poor album. Having said that, ‘I Love Lake Tahoe’ will always remind me of the laugh me, Scru’ and Jim would have every Thursday night at The Sugarhouse in Lancaster 😀