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Album Review: Flotsam and Jetsam – Ugly Noise

00242847_mediumIn case you have been living under a rock, Flotsam and Jetsam have been in the metal business for over 30 years (since formation under the name Paradox); slightly less if you start counting at their first release in the mid 80s.  They have perfected (mostly) a concoction of quality metal focused on stringing together catchy riffs and headbanging cadences.  Though they haven’t garnered the sweet royalties of today’s Big Four-type bands, Flotsam and Jetsam have created a niche of fans for all intents and purposes is quite fine with the band.  Ugly Noise is their 11th studio album and out of all the Flotsam and Jetsam albums I have heard over the years…even the stuff I missed and had to catch up on, Ugly Noise is a focused well-produced/fan-sponsored album.  But, does that make it good?

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Concert Review – Testament/Flotsam and Jetsam

083I find it interesting that the days before and immediately after this Testament show was/is snowy and miserable.  A cancellation would not have surprised me, but on Monday the 25th, the sun was shining and the Interstate highway nice and clean…as if a gift from the Metal Gods telling me I must attend the show.  So, after a full day of work and a 103 mile drive to Denver with my GPS voiced by America’s best Dad Homer Simpson, I made my way to the Summit Music Hall in downtown Denver, CO.  My goal was to get there before Flotsam and Jetsam, but as luck would have it I arrived in time to see all the bands…which was a super bonus.

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Monday Metal Madness – Unusual Covers

Last week, Einherjer took the votes for the Scandinavian black metal part II poll.  Good luck to them as this series narrows down to a black metal champion.

This week I am exploring some covers.  Not your outstanding tribute songs like Machine Head’s Hallowed be thy Name or Trivium’s Master of Puppets, but more the song that you might not expect a band to cover.  See the video clips below and see what these metal bands did to iconic pop songs.  Also, let us know what you think about cover tunes.   Furthermore, what you think about artists like Elton John being covered by a metal band?  Which one of the covers below do you think is best?

This first one is from Life of Agony.  They covered Simple Minds Don’t You (Forget About Me).  This song was featured in the 80’s teen classic The Breakfast Club.

This next song was probably one of the first covers I ever heard by a metal band covering something nonmetal.  Flotsam and Jetsam covered Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) originally recorded by (Sir) Elton John in 1973…so, it’s as old as me.  Nickelback also covered this song.  Not that it matters, we’ll stick with Arizona’s Flotsam and Jetsam for this poll.

You may not have heard of The Bronx Casket Co., but this is Overkill bassist D.D. Verni’s project.  They are pretty good and worth checking out.  Of course, they are on this poll because they covered perhaps the most nonmetal artist on this list…Frank Sinatra.  Check out their version of My Way.

The last song to round out this week’s poll is from Coal Chamber.  Not only did they manage to take a Peter Gabriel song, Shock The Monkey and cover it, they brought along Ozzy to help out.  This song was originally released in 1982.

I hopefully achieved my goal of bringing you some classic nonmetal songs that were covered by metal bands.  Personally, I think all these covers were done quite well and it will be hard to vote myself.  What are your feelings about metal bands taking the lighter side of pop and injecting metal into it?

Oh, and before you mention Faith No More’s version of Easy, I didn’t include it here because they did the cover almost too well.  They didn’t inject any metal into it.  Though, it is one of the best covers of a pop song…if you ask me.

Themed Thursday – The Ties That Bind

This week, I am going to explore relationships within heavy metal.  This is about how metal bands are basically tied together like a long list of cousins; some you know and some you don’t.  Each metal band, in its own right, is not very far removed the metal band down the street.  Starting with one of my Top-10 favorite bands, Machine Head, we’ll see how interconnected the metal world is.  Ever heard of 6-degrees to Kevin Bacon?  This is where this Themed Thursday is going.

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Song of the Week – Hypocrite

In between the Opeth, Katatonia, and Pain of Salvation I have been listening to, I managed to squeeze in some Flotsam and Jetsam.  This week’s song is brought to you by the Arizona thrashers and comes from their latest album, The Cold.

Hypocrite is the opening song off the 2010 release.  If you have lost touch with Flotsam and Jetsam, this song might spark renewed interest.  If you do not have The Cold, give it a spin, you might be pleasantly surprised.  And no, Jason Newsted is not back in the band.

What do you think?  Is/was Flotsam and Jetsam (second) Big Four potential?  Is this the band that coulda, woulda, shoulda?  Have a great week!

Song of the Day – Hypocrite – 11 Feb 11

I always thought Arizona’s Flotsam and Jetsam was cool rockin’ metal band.  That was more than 20 years ago and for some reason, as I mentioned in a previous blog, I lost touch with them.  When I saw The Cold was released I bought it without hesitation; the chance paid off.  The Cold is a solid album through and through.  The song of the day is in the lead-off position:

Hypocrite by Flotsam and Jetsam off the album The Cold.

If you are like me and lost touch with the band, this is a good way to reintroduce yourself and get acquainted.  The title track, The Cold, is a real good song clocking in at over 7 minutes.

Album Review – Flotsam and Jetsam – The Cold

I used to be an avid listener of Arizona’s Flotsam and Jetsam probably 18+ years ago.  I was a big fan of their earlier stuff, obviously, then for some unknown reason I just stopped listening to them.  I have no real explanation for that, but the last Flotsam album I bought was Unnatural Selection in 1999.  Then that was it.  Maybe I just didn’t like that particular album too much, I really can’t remember.  So when I saw “The Cold” was released on September 14, 2010, I thought why not?  The Cold is holding steady on iTunes with 17 reviews at 5 stars.  I think the album is quite good.  The Cold is my favorite song on the album.  Other notables are:

Hypocrite – A good thrash song and good opener

The Cold – Heavy, and the longest song on the album at 7:19

Better off Dead – A powerful song

This album has made me a fan again and I may find myself starting to back track a little bit to see what I have been missing out on.  If you are like me and kind of forgot about Flotsam and Jetsam, The Cold is an appropriate reintegration. 

I give Flotsam and Jetsam’s “The Cold” 4 of 5 Devil Horns.

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