(The World Music Center, Chicago)
This year's "festival" can best be described by four words, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. Other than that it was "corporations cashing in on revolution." (Five words). If you call this year's "event" "revolutionary" (hopefully this is the last one) compared to the first one and to a lesser extent the second. It came across like a picnic where yuppies were magically transformed into "Alternasquids" and pay $25-$40, not including all the trimmings (shirts, food & drinks) for a ticket to be treated like shit by Security Goons.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE stole the show. Performing most of the songs off their debut album. A huge mosh broke out on the hill. It rained the night before the first show and mud was flying. It was worth seeing Security thrashed around in the shit. I kinda thought the "Talk Tent" was maybe a waste of time with jock-like Lollapaloozers referring to women, who had a lot of true things to say as "uptight bitches," and "hey, we're just here to party." It made me think, man we sure have a long way to go yet. If you have that kind of mentality, go to a Motley Crue gig or something. FREE YOUR MIND!! TAKE THE POWER BACK!!
"IN THE SHADOWS"
A reunion of the highest sort, no excess baggage that usually accompanies a reunion. M.F. takes up where they left off on "Don't Break The Oath," only updating their sound for the '90's leading off with "EGYPT." "Crankin" Hank Sherman and Michael Denner supply the riffage for "His Regalness" King Diamond to power his way through. Make no mistake about it, this is the Fate, and they are back! The centerpiece of this album is the magnificent "THE OLD OAK," an H.P. Lovecraft inspired number that clocks in at around 8 minutes, simply a classic. There is a sequel of sorts on this album, "MELISSA...IS THAT YOU?" oddly enough the first part was the title track of Fate's first LP "MELISSA." It finishes the tragic tale in inimitable King Diamond fashion. This is a MUST for all Mercyful Fate fans.
Viva Brujeria! I was going to do this review in Spanish (only fitting) but my amigo Luis was outta town, so he couldn't help me translate. This is as brutal as it gets!! Musically, lyrically and album art (Sheesh!!) If Body Count, Slayer and GWAR shocks and offends you, you'll love this. So rush right out and get 'em while they last you fuckin' culeros!!
THE JERKY BOYS
How the hell do ya review something like this, fuck face?!! Easy, it's just the most hilarious thing I've heard in years. Whether it's "UNCLE FREDDIE," "AUTO MECHANIC," or the "HOME WRECKER" among others. The JERKY BOYS, a.k.a. Johnny B. and Kamal will bust your gut and have you wondering the next time the phone rings.
ALICE DONUT/D.O.P.E./HOT GLUE GUN
Cabaret Metro, Chicago, July 16
ALICE DONUT brought their show of excellence to a S.R.O. Chicago crowd. The band was on fire from the get-go and so were their fans. Chicks instigated the mosh, which is no easy task considering all the beer bottles on the floor (glass surfing?). Tom, (Donut vocalist) gazed upon this and smiled. Highlights of their set are too numerable to mention, ya gotta see and hear 'em to believe 'em. D.O.P.E. is a great band hailing from the Wicker Park (Chicago) area. D.O.P.E. was dope with a set influenced by Bad Brains and Living Colour. The vocalist and bassist have great stage presence. A band with a future. HOT GLUE GUN was alright, I guess, but they just wasn't my cup 'o tea.
BUTTHOLE SURFERS/STONE TEMPLE PILOTS/FLAMING LIPS
Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, July 17.
Those Austin Texas crazies came to play, and that they did. Gibby was his usual manic self on vocals, occasional guitar and flaming cymbal. Paul Leary had the pit worked up with some serious acid induced riffage. The BHS's rhythm section consisted of King Coffey and Jeff Pinkus and they were tighter than y'all know what. The set was comprised mostly of tracks from their brilliant "Independent Worm Saloon." "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE F.B.I." Goddamn right! STONE TEMPLE PILOTS (Pearl Jam sound-a-likes) Yawn! FLAMING LIPS, a cool band, let's hope we hear more from 'em.
DICK DALE/SPYZ WHO SURF
The Cubby Bear, Chicago, August 1.
I have seen god, and his name is Dick Dale! I have to say that I've seen a lot of great guitarists but this guy chews 'em up and spits 'em out! Never heard of him? Go out and discover for yourself, liver lips. Anyone into surf/punk/metal/blues/jazz will be left with their mouth's hanging open. To give you an example, most guitarists use 6 or 7 gauge strings, this dude uses 48's! And he was still snapping 'em! So go get his new album and find out and become a DICK-head! Spys Who Surf were strangely entertaining with of course, dresses in spy guise. Their surf version of LED ZEP's "IMMIGRANT SONG" had to be seen and heard to be believed.
TYPE O NEGATIVE
Pete's back, and he's just as bummed and pissed off as ever. It starts off with "Christian Woman" making the observation that no he doesn't look like Jesus, Jesus looks like Pete. On to track #2 which is "Black #1," about an egotistical Gothchick Pete used to bang. Check out the cool Munsters riff supplied by keyboardist Josh Silver. "Kill All The White People" is a good one with Fudge Tunnel like vocal effects. Then you have one of the greatest covers of all time, if not the greatest, Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze." Pete does his best Lurch-croon to date on this one. Fucking beautiful! Side two starts off with "Dark Side of the Womb"/"We Hate Everyone." Type O Negative spells it all out on this one. "Shit Comes In All Hues," "3.O.I.F." do not, and I repeat, do not listen to on acid. "Too Late: Frozen," the "Too Late" part is something most people can relate to, being fucked over then apologized to. The "Frozen" part is probably my favorite of this opus in its haunting Sabbath/Beatlesque style. You do feel frozen when you hear it. Pete, Josh, Kenny and Sal play their collective asses off on the whole album. Type O Negative changes musical gears on a dime. This shit is dear to my fuckin' heart.
MORBID ANGEL/KREATOR/PARADISE LOST
Oak Theatre, Chicago, August 20
Morbid (Heh Heh) Angel's set just wasn't happenin' due to "technical difficulties" but the mosh pit didn't seem to notice (huh-huh-huh). I guess the overpowering stench of ego (not death) churned the stomach. The master therion would be disappointed, Dave. Kreator and Paradise Lost on the other hand performed up to par, and stole the show. Mille Petrozza, Frank Blackfire & the guys ripped through a powerful set featuring "People of the Lie," and other stand-out tracks. Das Good! Paradise Lost's debut was fantastic considering they had no soundcheck (Hmm, wonder why?) Starting off with "Pity the Sadness" from their powerful Metal Blade release "Shades of God" to earlier works like "Gothic," to tracks from their upcoming album "Icon." If you like no bullshit metal, this is a band for you. Although their first Chicago gig was way too short, talking to guitarists Gregor (a lefty, fuckin-A man!) and Aaron backstage they are very aware of the current stifling of artistic expression by religious zealots and politicians. They strongly urged ROC readers and anyone who "has a mind" to do their part "to end this bullshit." Because it could be you!
"EXCESS AND OVERDRIVE"
This work should definitely establish T.P. as a major force in the rock world. From the lead off track "Out Of Reach" to the extremely danceable "Pushing You Too Far" the title track and my favorite, "For Progress." With this one I can imagine Judas Priest being forced at gunpoint to get on their hogs and massive amounts of L.S.D. (dose 'em!) shoved down their throats tripping through cyberspace. Woo-Wee! Stop the world I wanna get off! A real smoker of an album and that's just part of the first side. Get the picture? Rave on Cyberpunks!