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Monday
Jul092007

Water's Rising

lillianaxe.jpgIs it possible to produce a flawless album? Probably not, but Lillian Axe comes dangerously close with their latest effort Waters Rising. This disc represents years of work by the ever-diligent and only remaining original member guitarist Steve Blaze. The album is also the first with new vocalist Derrick LeFevre.


The album’s title track kicks off the musical journey. Immediately, the listener is treated to a mixture of musical influences including Glam, Grunge and Thrash. The chorus for “Waters Rising” is big and bold and the bridge includes a lengthy guitar solo that is a definite throw back to the band’s 80s efforts. Still, many elements of the song are exceptionally modern and even teeter on the edge of Progressive Metal.


“Antarctica” comes next and features a more traditional Lillian Axe sound, with strong vocals and great harmony. At times, LeFevre really pushes his voice to soar above the guitar mastery of Blaze. This is a challenge, but LeFevre answers the call. “Antarctica” also features a great bass line that really adds an extra layer of depth to the track’s overall sound.


One of Waters Rising heaviest tracks is “Become a Monster.” Here the guitars and bass form a nice hybrid of traditional melodic Metal, yet the vocals are definitely at another spectrum, creating a very dark sound. It’s clear that members of the new Lillian Axe are experimenting with their sound and looking for ways to give fans a broad spectrum of musical styles while staying true to their Metal roots.


There are slower songs on Waters Rising. One of these tracks is the beautifully produced “I Have to Die, Goodbye.” Featuring acoustic guitars, muted drums and a soft voice, the song tells the traditional story of love, loss and (not) moving on. The harmonies alone make this track radio-worthy.


“Fear of Time” picks up the pace immediately with driving guitars and syncopated lyrics. In some respects, the vocal arrangement sounds like early Alice in Chains but the canned sound elements at the beginning of the track seem more at home on a RATT record. Still, it all works together to create a fresh, inviting sound.


The crowning achievement of Waters Rising is “Fields of Yesterday.” The track clocks in at nearly nine minutes, and features a string ensemble. Steve Blaze plays both beautifully and effortlessly here, and the rest of the band falls right into place. LeFevre’s voice is crisp and clear, and remains strong through the entire song with features many complicated key changes. Consider these lyrics: “Looking back/It’s been so long/My burning passion/Keeps my hunger going strong.” LeFevre’s delivery sells this song and makes the lyrics believable. At about the five minute point, Lillian Axe introduces interesting sound elements such as door knocks under the lyrics. Often multi-layered production sounds contrived, but on “Fields of Yesterday” it sounds – and feels – completely natural. In some respects, the track is like a mini-opera, and employs many cornerstones of Progressive Metal.


After a handful more tracks, Waters Rising closes with “5,” a completely different sound for the band. The guitar work is so fast; it’s easy to get lost in the rhythm. The track also features programming, which is highly uncommon for a band rooted in the 1980s Metal scene. The instrumental work clocks in at just over four minutes, and features tempo shifts, key changes, and a variety of tones. “5” is 50 percent Empyrios and 50 percent early Metallica. In short, “5” is 100 percent unique, just like the rest of Waters Rising.


Waters Rising will hit stores on July 17.


Myspace.com/LillianAxe


Tomorrow on Bring Back Glam! an interview with Steve Blaze.

Sunday
Jul082007

Rapid Review: Drugstore Valentine Live

On Friday night, I traveled south to Cincinnati to see Drugstore Valentine.


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Friday's show was at TopCats bar on Vine Street, right near the University of Cincinnati. It's been about 40 hours since the show, and I still can't get the stamp off my hand -- it's possible the bouncer was using tattoo ink to brand all those who dare enter.


Drugstore Valentine played first, and there just were not that many people in the bar. In fact, it was a bit sad. I think the lack of audience put every member of DSV in a bad mood, and this affected their performance. As per the usual, DSV opened with "Welcome to the Show" and played "Lies" and "Backstage Bombshells." They also played the Rolling Stones song "Jumpin' Jack Flash," which surprised me. Toward the end of the set, Kenny jumped on the bar and kicked over beer bottles while guitarist Mike Murdoch and the band performed the uplifting "Life's a Bitch" for the dancing ladies in the front row.

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I think the band was dealing with some personal issues on Friday night, so major props for pushing through and delivering a high-energy show. By the end of the work week, I feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck so I'm amazed at anyone who can put in 50 hours for the man then jump around on stage until the wee hours of the morning.


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If you live around southern Ohio and would like to see Drugstore Valentine perform, they play again at TopCats on July 21.

 

Saturday
Jul072007

Heavy Metal Diet

Have you let yourself go recently?


Do you need to get in shape and drop a few pounds?


The Dworkingham comedy team might just have the answer for a Metal head looking to slim down for concert season. They call it "Heavy Metal Diet." Watch and learn.



www.dworkingham.com for more comedy.

Friday
Jul062007

Breaking Tigertailz News...

tigertailz.jpgNews bulletin from Tigertailz:

After weeks of speculation and much negotiation / deliberation, we regret to announce that Tigertailz will not be playing the Rocklahoma Festival on July 12 in Oklahoma USA.

Unfortunately, Pepsi has been readmitted to hospital and has undergone another operation in his fight against Pancreatic Cancer. Pepsi is still undergoing treatment and requires two more operations in the coming weeks, so travelling to the US now is out of the question.

However, Pepsi still wanted the band to travel without him and use a stand-in Bass player to fulfil the Rocklahoma commitment. Unfortunately, with the limited timescales and logistics involved, it just hasn’t been possible to get everything prepared in time.

So, it is with a heavy heart that we have to pull out of the Rocklahoma show.

We would like to thank Dave Tedder and the Rocklahoma organisers for all their help in trying to make it happen. And a special thanks and apologies go to all our US fans that were travelling to see Tigertailz at the festival. We will see you all soon!

No word who will fill the band's spot. Stand by for details.

Friday
Jul062007

Big Brother's Glam Connection

dick.jpgLast night was the season premiere of Big Brother 8 on CBS. I love this show so much it's not even healthy. The episodes are on three times a week, I have the live 24/7 feeds on the Internet, and in a few minutes I'm calling my cable company to order Showtime since that network will air a special show called Big Brother After Dark.


What does this have to do with glam? This season, a whole lot.


One of the cast members - Dick - is a former prolific poster on Metal Sludge.  If you've never watched Big Brother, you should know the seasons all contain special twists. This year, Dick is one of the twists: his estranged daughter is in the house with him. Apparently they hate each other. This makes for great television. Posters on Metal Sludge are talking about "Evil Dick" right now.


Check out the conversation here.


In addiction to Dick - who looks and acts like Tommy Lee - the theme is Malice in Wonderland. This is also the name of a Norway-based glam band.

Coincidence? I think not.
Watch this video: Malice in Wonderland "Lucifer's Town."


Thursday
Jul052007

Undercover Slut

undercoverphoto.jpgAcross the pond and add a few miles, and you’ll find Undercover Slut, a horror-glam-industrial outfit, lead by the witty vocalist “O” no last name necessary. The mighty “O” remains the constant force behind a band that’s had more member changes than Bang Tango. “O” might be too smart for his own good: he’s a strict vegetarian, avoids leathers and fur, and has opinions worthy of a political career. “O” opened up about Undercover Slut, his native France and George W. Bush. Transcription follows.

Bring Back Glam!: How did Undercover Slut form?

'O': I did form Undercover Slut over here in Gay Paris, France back in October 1995. My intention was and still is, to fuck things up, provoking extreme reactions with our image, vision, slogans, attitude. Making people think for themselves being a pleasant reward!

BBG: Describe your sound.

'O': The Undercover Slut sound is a lethal “Kulture shoK,” capital K's! Gibson guitars fornicating with ProTools attacked by scandalous lyrics coming from the voice of yours truly!

BBG: How are you influenced by 80s era glam bands?

'O' : To be honest with you, I am way more into what was going on in the 70's and in the 90's that in the 80's or nowadays. Those decades were way more subversive, that's what caught my short attention span! The Crüe/Kery Doll/Hanoï (Rocks) were badass as well as other 80's bands. Most 80's bands I fuckin' can't stand them. It's all about cycles, styles are coming and going and coming back and so on.

BBG: I'm a vegetarian. I notice you have a lot of animal rights messages on your MySpace page. What sparked your interest in animal rights?

'O': Mainly a very strong disgust in the way animals are treated by humans. That's where [it] all started from!

BBG: Does your passion for animal equality cross over into your songwriting?

'O': Remember those "Sixty Silent Seconds To Repent For Your Animal Genocide" on our Communism Is Fascism album? There is also "Meat Is Another Fucking Euphemism For Murder" on our White Whore Era E.P.

BBG: Is there a growing horror glam scene in your native France?

'O': No! The only thing that grows in France is hate between citizens and general stupidity here and there.

BBG: Do you have a new  label deal?

'O': Not yet! But we'll have one soon enough.

BBG: Are you looking for international distribution of your album?

'O': All serious offers and suggestions are actually more than welcome. Please e-mail Offensive Records: offensiverecords@aol.com.

BBG: How did you pick your interesting stage names?

'O': Mine is my own initial. I give a list of aliases to my band members and they pick up those they feel most comfortable with.

BBG: How do you define the "White Whore" era?

'O': Mainly a black and white imagery based on multicolored tensions. The White Whore era is symbolized by a white cross who won a war over a dying suffering upside down red star.

BBG: The band sells a shirt that says "Don't Fuck with Iran!" I assume this is more political than musical. How do you work politics into your songs, and what do you think of America?

'O': Our "Don't fuck with Iran!" T-shirt is somehow related to that famous "Don't mess with Texas!" shirt. It is somehow a “pisstake” on that slogan. Hope it won't be a prophecy shirt though. I know quite a lot of people in America, some are happy to have George W. as their president and some hate him. Everyone is entitled to its own viewpoint. George W. is not my president; I have nothing good or bad to say about him. Most French should do the same about him and shut the fuck up! What's going on between the U.S. and Iraq is none of France's business as far as I am concerned.
Regarding Amerikkka -- as I like to spell it -- I fuckin' love it! In general, you all have way more attitude than most people I have to deal with over here on a daily basis.

For more information, check out www.myspace.com/undercoverslut.

Wednesday
Jul042007

Don't Tread on Me

Happy Independence Day, glam fans. Hopefully, you are enjoying a day off and preparing to barbecue with your family and friends. Unfortunately, I'm stuck at work, writing two shows with a skeleton crew.


The Independence Day holiday always reminds me of crazy Uncle Ted Nugent. The man is about as conservative as I am liberal. He wears his political beliefs on his sleeve. Back in the day, Ted Nugent formed Damn Yankees with Tommy Shaw, Jack Blades, and Michael Cartellone. They created some of the best harmonies in all of melodic rock.


In 1992, the band released Don't Tread, and embarked on a massively successful-patriotic themed tour. Here's a video from that tour. Damn Yankees "Don't Tread."