The Midnight Ghost Train “Cypress Ave.” Album Review + Tracks Stream + Video…

THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN 

Cypress Ave. – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Napalm Records – released July 28, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

FormedAugust 1, 2007

LocationTopeka, KS USA

Band Members
Steve Moss – Guitar / Vocals
Brandon Burghart – Drums
Mike Boyne – Bass

Previous Releases
“The Johnny Boy” EP (2008)

“TMGT-S/T” (2009)

“Buffalo” (2012)

“Live At Roadburn” (2013)

“Cold Was The Ground” (2015)

 

Review:

Almost ten years in the making. Steve enters the arena with long-time friend and drummer (and one time bass player of TMGT) Brandon alongside and featuring a solidified line-up, now anchored by Mike who now shows a tenure of over 4 years on bass (not an easy feat for this band). Some of the BEST yet from this powerhouse three piece is what this record, the fourth full-length release from The Midnight Ghost Train, represents. 10 songs that clock in at just under 45 mins and this time out, The Midnight Ghost Train has decided to run the complete gamut of musical styles, not limiting themselves to anything in particular. Usually thought of for their blues-heavy/stoner/doom groove they established more and more with each previous release, with this album we have it all and then some as you may not have expected.

Opener and lead-off single ‘Tonight’ is a great example of the focus being used with it’s soft guitar opening before the power chords hit you right at 30 seconds and we hear Steve’s voice with “I got some time to kill, and you’ve got someone to bring my head down, ’cause I’ve been spinnin’ round'” and we’re off on what could very well be the most cohesive and coherent offering to come from this unit. The frenetic bass line that starts off “Red-Eyed Junkie Queen” belies the pace that this tale sets off on and the staccato bends are the perfect backdrop for this romp-fest of hammering drums, pummeling bass and enough distortion to scrap your knuckle son as this tale of rolls on, where ‘Glenn’s Promise’ hits with a muted tempo that lures you in with equally muted chords until at 26 seconds in, the fullness returns, thick enough to knock you down as Steve’s gruff vocals tell of ‘Promises, promises, you’re taking….” and the galloping drumline grabs you by the arm and guides you along the way and the fury keeps building with the pace and by the time the solo section hits, you are already in full-force headbanging mode and there is no escape wanted. The sheer structure of on the foundation TMGT has built with their previous outings is solidified and as each brick is placed with each note, the resulting structure is stronger than before.

‘Bury Me Deep’, opening with a lone guitar progression, further exemplifies that these songs seem more rooted in a depth that while not missing before, has now been brought to the forefront to let us see that these three are beyond ready to take their place in the lexicon of pure ROCK-N-ROLL bands that refuse to be pigeon-holed into any one genre, preferring to show their muscle tackling many song-styles with the strongest songwriting to come from this camp yet.  ‘The Watcher’s Nest’ has one of the softest, almost soothing intro’s and the tempo is awash with ride cymbals before we get told that ‘We’re going down, down into the light’ and you are moving again and then another quick pause… and back to the slow even shuffle before another blast of the chorus that lead to an astral wah’d solo burst that adds even more to what is already so manner layers of flavors that each permeate through yet meld together in the most cohesive amalgam possible.

The next thing you know, it is a complete 180 to what is almost a LEON REDBONE meets TOM WAITS salute with a love song that is pure TMGT is essence and delivery and you can’t help but smile as this tale of passion unfolds. ‘Lemon Trees’ is a more familiar flow with a seemingly softer jangly approach that is equal parts hart and soul that moves you through, following this tale of pressure that holds attention tight, following each word to get the whole picture.

Pro Band Pic

The final four tracks each lend themselves to show even more virtuosity and flexibility in flavors they can pull off seamlessly at whim. ‘The Boogie Down (featuring Sonny)’ is almost CAKE meets The BOSSTONES and the result is upbeat, where ‘Black Wave’ opens in pure spaced-out stoner bliss complete with a bass line that is soft as a feather pillow and massive in presence at the same time with this introspective analysis that is as enveloping as any other track on here. ‘The Echo’ is almost a cowboy-western song with the galloping pace of the drumline, the perfect progression that make up the body in a KARMA TO BURN structure that punches hard to the chest before the pace shifts back in a hypnotic use of sustain and lingering chords that wrap all the way around your brain stem and no restraint given.

As the fuzzed out bass fades, it is perfection indeed before we hear what can only be an almost ED GEIN voicing in this dark closer that stands out for ME as pure brilliance.  It showcases just how maniacal in tone and darkness of delivery as you can almost see his smile asking these sardonic questions pushing you to the edge of your seat, waiting for the next as this collection of three spirits shows that they have reached a new depth in composition and arrangement. They are tighter than ever before and with the newest production values that have been used in abundance, it is clear that the rest of the world needs to catch up and jump onboard with the pinnacle to this point that these guys show they are at.

Buy it YESTERDAY, play it for every pair of ears you encounter, support them LIVE if they come anywhere close and keep it LOUD!!


Monster Magnet Monday “Mastermind” Limited Edition + Videos + Review…

Monster Magnet

Mastermind Limited Edition + 2 Bonus Tracks – Released October 25th, 2010

Napalm Records – Vinyl // CD // DD

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Space Rock Voodoo

In the years leading up to “Mastermind” “Monster Magnet” had transformed into a 5 member outfit with the addition of Phil Caivano on guitar to give the band a more dynamic range in sound. They also went from  Atpeek Music to A&M Records where they went Gold in the US with their 1998 album “Powertrip”,  moved to “SPV” then in 2009 signed with “Napalm Records” then released “Mastermind”  in 2010.  Lead guitarist Ed Mundell parted ways after 18 years with the band “to collaborate with other musicians and Producers”, forming The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic. Following their European tour replacing him was Garrett Sweeny.

monstermagnet band pic_Mastermind

For some a review of  Monster Magnets 8th album “Mastermind” might be kinda old hat. But for me and anyone else who has never listened to it, “Mastermind” is brand new. Having never heard it I chose to do this review just so I could have an excuse to listen to it when we came up with our nifty Monster Magnetic Monday Idea.

What came to my mind when I first listened to this is when it had been made Monster Magnet had been together for 20 years when most bands are lucky if they manage two albums. Like many bands that last that long they have managed to keep their core sound that makes them the band they are but change with the times. Unlike Superjudge and earlier albums “Mastermind” has a bluesy feel to it musically and lyrically with more mature subject matter. All in all a solid album. Some the songs I like most are ‘Bored with Sorcery’, ‘Gods and Punks,’ ‘Mastermind,’ ‘100 Million Miles,’ ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Ghost Story.’

Limited Edition Track Listing:

  1. “Hallucination Bomb” – 5:27
  2. “Bored with Sorcery” – 4:02
  3. “Dig That Hole” (Wyndorf, Phil Caivano) – 5:34
  4. “Gods and Punks” – 5:32
  5. “The Titan Who Cried Like a Baby” – 3:36
  6. “Mastermind” – 5:08
  7. “100 Million Miles” – 5:01
  8. “Perish in Fire” – 4:42
  9. “Time Machine” – 5:30
  10. “When the Planes Fall from the Sky” – 5:46
  11. “Ghost Story” – 5:20
  12. “All Outta Nothin'” – 4:29
  13. “Watch Me Fade” (Bonus Track) – 3:05
  14. “Fuzz Pig” (Bonus Track) – 3:13

Line Up for Mastermind:
Dave Wyndorf- Guitar, Vocals
Philip Caivano – Guitar
Ed Mundell-Guitar
Bob Pantella – Drums
Jim Baglino – Bass

For Fans of:  Fu Manchu, White Zombie, Masters of Reality, VAST, Queens of the Stone Age, Rob Zombie, Biohazard, Trouble, Danzig, Burning Brides


Monster Magnet – Superjudge Review + Videos + More…

Monster Magnet Monday – Part 2

Superjudge – Vinyl // CD // DD

Originally Released on A&M Records – April 6th, 1993

Re-Released (Import Deluxe Edition) – February 19, 2016

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Superjudge Line Up:
Dave Wyndorf – vocals, rhythm guitar (1989–present)
Ed Mundell – lead guitar (1992–2010)
Jon Kleiman – drums (1991–2001)
Joe Calandra – bass guitar (1991–2001)

Deluxe Edition – Import

Disc: 1

  1. Cyclops Revolution
  2. Twin Earth
  3. Superjudge
  4. Cage Around the Sun
  5. Elephant Bell
  6. Dinosaur Vacume
  7. Evil (Is Going on)
  8. Stadium
  9. Face Down
  10. Brainstorm
  11. Black Balloon

Disc: 2

  1. Unsolid
  2. Medicine
  3. Nod Scene
  4. Superjudge
  5. Dinosaur
  6. Superjudge
  7. Freak Shop
  8. Murder
  9. Intro
  10. Snake Dance
  11. Twin Earth
  12. Nod Scene
  13. Evil

 

“Back from Venus For The Cyclops Revolution”

 

Formed in Red Bank New Jersey Monster Magnet has gone through several line up changes since it was founded by Dave Wyndorf Vox//guitar, John McBain guitar and Tim Cronin Vox // drums. Rather than write several pages about the bands history I am going leave learning the bands full history up to you, the fan.  It is out there and not hard to find. In 1992 when the band Monster Magnet (named after a Wham-O toy Dave Wyndorf loved playing with as a child) released its second album Superjudge, Monster Magnet was:  Dave Wyndorf -Vox//rhythm guitar,  Ed Mundell- lead guitar, Jon Kleiman – drums, and Joe Calandra – bass guitar.

Band Pic_1992_SuperjudgeCirca 1992 from  left to right Jon Kleiman, Dave Wyndorf, Ed Mundell, Joe Calandra

 

Eons ago or that’s how it feels sometime when I was a soldier and, though the Army had shaved my head and put me in a uniform, they didn’t really change me. I just let them think they did. I was still me and still a metal-head. Joining the military and being stationed in Germany put some cash in my pocket and got me exposed to stuff I had never heard before.
At the time metal seemed to be on the down turn as MTV claimed Generation X was going bat shit crazy for grunge. Thankfully Germany had a roaring metal scene and the metal fans that packed the clubs to hear their favorite underground bands and didn’t care what MTV had to say. Which is why Monster Magnet blew up in Germany more they did in the United States.  It also helped their the band’s first full length, cult classic, “Spine of God” on longstanding German label Glitterhouse Records.

 

 

Unfamiliar with Monster Magnet at the time I recall finding their album Superjudge in my local PX (Post Exchange) and thinking with a cover and name like that this has potential to rock and it did just that. When I returned to my Barracks and put the CD into my stereo I was blown away by something that sounded like 60’s Psychedelic rock gone metal. While I’d heard some far out stuff, Monster Magnet was unlike any metal band I had heard before. Listening was like swimming in a sonic ocean as the band fearlessly used sound rather than stick to the tried trued and tested metal riffs. Among the songs that most impressed me were ‘Cyclops Revolution,’  ‘Superjudge,’ ‘Cage Around The Sun,’ ‘Dinosaur Vacume’ and the band’s covers of Hawkwind’s ‘Brainstorm.’

 

 

Current Line Up:
Dave Wyndorf – vocals, rhythm guitar (1989–present)
Phil Caivano – rhythm guitar, lead guitar (1998–present)
Bob Pantella – drums (2004–present)
Garrett Sweeny – lead guitar (2010–present)
Chris Kosnik – bass guitar (2013-present)


Monster Magnet – Powertrip Album Review + Videos…

Monster Magnet Monday – Part 1

Powertrip – Vinyl // CD // DD

A&M Records – Released June 16th, 1998

**Currently Available on Napalm Records**

Reviewed by Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez

 

Line Up for Powertrip:
Dave Wyndorf – vocals, guitar
Ed Mundell – guitar
Philip Caivano – guitar
Joe Calandra – bass
Jon Kleiman – drums

 

Tracklist:
“Crop Circle” – 5:32
“Powertrip” – 3:31
“Space Lord” – 5:55
“Temple of Your Dreams” – 4:35
“Bummer” – 7:35
“Baby Götterdämmerung” – 3:09
“19 Witches” – 4:02
“3rd Eye Landslide” – 5:10
“See You in Hell” – 4:05
“Tractor” – 3:26
“Atomic Clock” – 5:06
“Goliath and the Vampires” – 4:13
“Your Lies Become You” – 4:18

 

By the time 1998 came along, Monster Magnet had steadily been producing and improving upon their brand of stoner/space/psych/hard rock for eight years. After two EP’s and three full length releases, Monster Magnet had solidified themselves as a top act in the hard rock scene. Following the momentum gathered from their amazing Dopes to Infinity album, Powertrip, their fourth full length, saw Monster Magnet firing on all cylinders and at the top of their game. Songs suddenly started appearing throughout pop culture. Talladega Nights using “Spacelord” on their soundtrack, for example.

Written mostly in Las Vegas, in a relatively short amount of time, Powertrip benefited with a more consistent feel despite bridging the diversity of the stoner heaviness found on Spine of God, the psychedelic flow of Superjudge, and the more metal sounding Dopes to Infinity. The track list flows smoothly from one style to another. The first four tracks: ‘Crop Circles,’ ‘Powertrip,’ ‘Spacelord’ and ‘Temple of Your Dreams’ blast out of the gate with their trademark heavy riffs. Dave Wyndorf’s rhythms fitting in perfectly with Ed Mundell’s leads, which here, solidified his role as a premier guitarist in the genre. ‘Bummer’ transitions the album into the more hypnotic, psychedelic tunes of ‘Baby Gotterdammerung,’ ’19 Witches’ and ‘3rd Eye Landslide.’ The importance of Joe Calandra (bass) and Jon Kleiman (drums) cannot be understated, as they provide a solid rhythmic backbone throughout the whole ride.

 

‘See You in Hell’ was inspired by a bus ride Wyndorf took from New York City to New Jersey when some fellow passengers told him that they killed their baby and buried it somewhere in the New Jersey Meadowlands.  Shocked, Wyndorf got out of the bus. One can’t help but wonder what kind of other horror stories are out there among us.  ‘Tractor’ and ‘Atomic Clock’ continue the return of the heavier tunes before the album closes out with the subdued tones of ‘Goliath and the Vampires’ and ‘Your Lies Become You.’  All throughout, Wyndorf’s quirky lyrics are open to interpretation. His writing style being a staple throughout their entire lyrical output. On the surface seemingly having no cohesion or focus, but once you delve deeper into his prose, you start to realize that some grey matter is required to take in the full effect of what he is attempting to convey. Powertrip mostly deals with what Wyndorf observed while in Las Vegas, yet it is written in ways that could apply to everyday life in general.

 


At the time Powertrip was released in 1998, most bands were producing albums that had more than 12 tracks on them. Quantity seemed to rule over quality. Monster Magnet was no exception to the quantity, yet their quality here never suffered. They managed to incorporate the many facets explored on previous albums to produce a truly engaging listening experience, a particularly unique journey that is curious, raving, yet most of all amusing to listen to. As mentioned on the opening track, “I got an itch in my cosmic pocket and it won’t go away.” And personally, I’m not sure I would ever want it to.

Links:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/monstermagnet
Napalm Records – https://shop.napalmrecords.com/monster-magnet-powertrip-cd.html (Album Available here and other outlets)


THE NEW ROSES To Release ‘One More For The Road’ In August; Video Premiere

Wiesbaden, Germany-based 4-piece, The New Roses, are about to return with their brand new album, One More For The Road, set to be released on August 25th via Napalm Records. The 11 song (14 with the special edition with bonus tracks) album is a bluesy ode to melodic rock, one rife with Eighties overtones and southern rock styling. You can check out that style and sound via the band’s brand new Official Video for the song “Every Wild Heart” below.

The band comments: “One More For The Road is 100% New Roses, straight in your face rock’n’roll, no compromises, based on the experiences of the countless shows we played over the last year, dedicated to our great live audience. We can’t wait to play it live on our upcoming tour, because these songs were written for a hot stage, a loud crowd and a kick ass rock’n’roll band!

Available on CD, LP Gatefold or as Digital Download, you can pre-order ‘One More For The Road‘ right HERE!

In support of their new album, The New Roses will be of course heavily touring this year again! The “One More For The Road” tour, presented by Rock Hard, Rocks, EMP, Metal.de, Tätowier Magazine and Stormbringer, as well as Radio B.O.B. and Star FM, will kick off on September 29th in Aschaffenburg, Germany. You can find all of the band’s upcoming tour dates at this location.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

TNR LP
One More For The Road tracklist:

1. Quarter To Twelve
2. My Own Worst Enemy
3. Forever Never Comes
4. Dancing On A Razor Blade
5. Consider Me Gone
6. Life Ain’t Easy (For A Boy With Long Hair)
7. Every Wild Heart
8. Fight You Leaving Me
9. The Same Moon
10. Piece By Peace Of Mind
11. One More For The Road
12. Do I Look Scared To You [Bonus Track]
13. The Storm [Bonus Track]
14. Nitro Nights [Bonus Track]


W.A.S.P. To Celebrate 25th Anniversary Of ‘The Crimson Idol’ With Re-Issue To Include Original, Unreleased Film; Video Teaser + World Tour

W.A.S.P...one of the biggest, most iconic acts in the history of heavy metal and hard rock. In 1992, the band released their hugely ambitious conceptual album ‘The Crimson Idol‘, an acclaimed release revered to this day in fact. The story behind the album’s theme was the tale of the neglected, abused child Aaron Steele whose hunger for love and acceptance leads him to music eventually. In a tale that all too many musicians know as their own realities, Aaron gains international fame and stardom. That superficial love is accompanied by all the excesses of the rock and roll life i.e. abundant sex, drugs and so much more and of course, Aaron is destined for a catastrophic fall.

2017 is the 25th anniversary of The Crimson Idol and something that many fans either don’t know or may have forgotten is that there’s much more to the story. The Crimson Idol was also intended to be developed into a cinematic feature, a movie to accompany the album’s release. There was actually several hundred hours of film that was shot to create approximately 50 minutes of movie footage…and this film has never been released – Until now!

Napalm Records proudly announces “Re-Idolized, the 25th anniversary of the iconic hit album plus the original “The Crimson Idol” movie on DVD and Blu-ray! For the first time EVER as originally intended – film and soundtrack united – released as one product! While the actual release date has yet to be finalized, “Re-Idolized” will be available on Blu-ray, DVD, CD, and vinyl later this year!

Check out the video teaser for the upcoming Napalm Records release below along with the itinerary of W.A.S.P.‘s upcoming World Tour to accompany this historic series of events.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

W.A.S.P. live:
“Re-Idolized: The 25th Anniversary of
The Crimson Idol” World Tour:

08.11.2017 IT – Bologna, Estragon
09.11.2017 IT – Milan, Live Club
10.11.2017 CH – Lausanne, Docks
11.11.2017 CH – Pratteln, Z7
14.11.2017 DE – Hamburg, Markthalle
15.11.2017 DE – Hannover, Capitol
16.11.2017 DE – Saarbrücken, Garage
17.11.2017 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
18.11.2017 DE – Geiselwind, Music Hall
20.11.2017 DE – Frankfurt, Batschkapp
21.11.2017 DE – Stuttgart, LKA Longhorn
22.11.2017 DE – Munich, Backstage
24.11.2017 CZ – Hluk, Sportshall
25.11.2017 PL – Warsaw, Progresja
26.11.2017 AT – Vienna, Arena

WASP Promo

LIFE OF AGONY Premieres ‘World Gone Mad’ Official Video; Tour Dates

One of 2017’s most anticipated album releases is the long awaited return of NYC’s Life Of Agony who will drop ‘A Place Where There’s No More Pain‘ via Napalm Records on April 28. Their first new studio offering in twelve years sees the iconic hardcore/alt. rock band returning with the next step in their musical evolution. Early release material, such as this new Official Video from the band for the song ‘World Gone Mad‘, sees them continuing the same melodic-tinged hard rock of earlier releases like Ugly (1995) and Soul Searching Sun (1997).

Returning on the new record are longtime members Alan Robert (bass), Joey Z (guitar), and Sal Abruscato (drums). One of the perhaps more obvious differences in Life Of Agony is vocalist Mina Caputo, the name taken by vocalist Keith Caputo who announced being Transgender in 2011. Mina’s vocals are as spot on as they have ever been and with the new era of L.O.A. burgeoning now in 2017, will definitely appeal to longtime fans of the bands’ as well as new ones.

Life Of Agony will embark an a round of tour dates beginning near the end of this month. Upcoming dates and locations are listed below along with the band’s earlier video for the title track of the new album, ‘A Place Where There’s No More Pain‘.

4/27: Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
4/28: New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
4/29: Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
5/12: Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theatre
5/13: Wantagh, NY  @ Mulcahy’s
5/19: Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon
5/20: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom

– Pat ‘Riot Whitaker


New Album Review – My Sleeping Karma “Mela Ananda – Live”

MY SLEEPING KARMA 

Mela Ananda – Live – Vinyl / DVD / CD / DD

Napalm Records – Release Date: 2/24/2017 

 

Aschaffenburg, Germany is home to the four men that make up MY SLEEPING KARMA. The town is located in the southwest part of Germany, 41 kilometers (25 mi) southeast of Frankfurt, Aschaffenburg lies in the far northwest of the state of Bavaria. This is referenced only to give you an idea of where they hail from and give some perspective into these master musicians that proclaim they are “Not beginners or amateurs and when they take the stage, you will forget everything around you as they take you by the hand into the deepest, hidden corners of your soul” enquote. Tough to imagine from a band that has potato chips showing as the band interest and list SLAYER as another band they love…

 

Band Live Pic

 

Five studio albums later, beginning in 2006, sporting two singles and an appearance on Napalm Record’s Christmas compilation, MY SLEEPING KARMA has put together a ‘Greatest Hits’ of sorts ranging from the first self-titled 6-track record all the way through to 2015’s release “Moksha” and the result – “Mela Ananda Live,” is simply stellar!!  Classifying their musical style as a conglomeration of Psychedelic / Stoner / Instrumental / Space / Progressive Rock, it is awe-inspiring how they move between lush almost-jazz tempered cool into near metal-thundering riffs ripping through you, never dropping a beat throughout this 68-minute beast, traversing of what can best be described as inner catacombs.  Each track exposing its own light across the shifting shadows of drums / bass / keyboards and guitar, keeping your attention as you hear every word that is never spoken by the voices of this quartet, each voice offering its own color.  I barely noticed the audience between songs with the flow of the performance being as smooth as tempered glass.

 

Touring Schedule with Images

 

Each of the ten tracks included would have been the ones I would have selected from their extensive library if I had been asked to design the set-list, personal favorite ‘Psilocybe’ especially and the running order lends to that smooth-as-glass tempering making this offering almost as good as being there yourself!!  Great introduction to a veteran band that seems to tour nonstop as their schedule for March 2017 they have posted shows; every day booked from 3-16 to 4-1-17. If you get the chance, go and reward yourself to this near-transcendental experience offered to you. If you cannot, immediately add this album to your library and enjoy the inner-ride. As they further state, “My Sleeping Karma offers the perfect movie soundtrack to everybody’s own inner journey. Just be warned, you may never want to leave again!!” enquote. Nothing better than ‘truth in advertising’ and this record is exactly that. OUTSTANDING accomplishment!!

Words by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr