As many people probably know by now…Nine Inch Nails has self-released, (via the internet) a new 36 track instrumental album. In a fashion similar to Radiohead’s pioneering approach, whereby the band’s website offered users a choice of paying any amount they want for the album, or nothing at all. Nine Inch Nails however, offered the entire album as a $5 download through file-sharing program bit torrent, a $10 2 CD set, 9 free songs from the album or various special edition packages ranging from $75 to $300 for an ultra-deluxe limited edition package.
According to Nine Inch Nails official website, the idea for the album was to just go about an organic writing process. The process was to sort of improvise with a variety of musical instruments, including guitar effects, bass synths, etc…The result isn’t one you’d usually expect from Nine Inch Nails. I’d say it runs the gamut of really cool textures and sounds to something you’d never really want to listen to on a regular basis. Although it should be noted that this sort of thing would’ve never been possible under a major label. So it’s cool to see Trent Reznor branching out and really doing some more weird and unique things musically.
The album also reportedly went on to pull in $1.6 million in the first week alone, as the sales go to direct to the band/Trent Reznor.
March 21, 2008 No Comments
I’m debating spending money on one of two things right now, Boss pedals for guitar or a double bass pedal for my drum kit. I am mainly a guitarist/songwriter and the GNX3 multi-effects unit I had been using is sort of broken. So I’d need a delay, tremolo, chorus and distortion pedal, which could cost me around $400. I am also playing drums right now with a band and I kind of want to get better with double bass, and my drumming in general. Stay tuned to find out which one I get….exciting right?
March 14, 2008 No Comments
So I had a chance to listen to Monotonix’ Body Language EP all the way through. The first song “Summers & Autumns” is the best on the record. It starts with a kind of Black Sabbath-esque 70’s style riff and and then continues on to a stop/start chorus and just grooves. The absence of a bass guitar makes the fact that the songs groove solidly impressive, also showcasing how tight the drummer is.
The EP holds true to the rock sound of the band all the way through. There aren’t any ballads or weird electronic tracks or anything like that. The title track, “Body Language” which is also the final song starts with seemingly random piano playing before descending into a kind of dance-y led zeppelin riff, this is a good thing. It also has a catchy chorus, and a guitar part near the end of the song that for some reason reminds me of the music in the Mega Man games you played as a kid on Nintendo.
After seeing them live I kind of figured their EP would be weak, just because their live show is so intense. In a way the EP is weak, but not in a bad way. It doesn’t capture the insanity and ridiculousness of their live shows, but its pleasing to listen to and that is usually the mark of any decent record.
March 13, 2008 No Comments
Been busy lately. The Monotonix - “Body Language” EP review will be up tomorrow as promised.
March 12, 2008 No Comments
I promised some drum coverage, and the first thing I’d like to cover is the first drum kit I ever played, this being a 1960’s Ludwig Blue Sparkle kit. Me and my friend Bill found this kit in a box in the basement of my mother’s house. We had no idea what Ludwig drums even were at the time, or how cool this kit was. The kit belonged to my step-dad, as did the 2 1960’s Zildjian Crash cymbals, and 1 ride cymbal we found.
This kit sounded amazing…incredibly punchy, yet defined, it was a small kit though, better suited to an accomplished jazz player, rather than 2 dudes who were just learning how to “play” (bash) drums. Unknowingly, we set it up completely wrong. Upon seeing it, my step-dad said “nice try” and then proceeded to show us how to set it up correctly.
We took turns for years after high school playing the kit, pretty much beating it into submission. We replaced the drum heads, I don’t even know how many times…The last time we used the kit came after my friend Bill, (being a big 6 ft 4 guy) completely broke all the cymbals after one intense jam session. My step-dad made him buy all new ones and we were banished from the Blue Sparkle kit.
I have seen it and played it more recently, and it still does sound amazing. I’ve also looked up similar kits and found that they’ve been going for quite a bit on eBay. I’m currently playing an old huge Tama kit that my friend Bill lent me. It has a 24 inch bass drum, 18 inch floor tom and a 16 inch rack tom. To put it bluntly, I look pretty small behind it, as I’m only 5 ft 10…but it sounds pretty good. I’ll try to get some pics of that up here soon along with the Fender Mustang.
March 5, 2008 No Comments
OM is a band I’ve been listening to for a while who is really amazing and yet may or may not be together at the moment and is also pretty much unheard of outside of certain circles. OM, (pronounced like the chant), is a 2 member band founded from the remnants of San Francisco stoner rock band Sleep. More specifically OM was Sleep’s rhythm section, the band is comprised of only a singer/bassist and drummer, there are no guitars.
The band’s sound could also be described as stoner rock, (slow, heavy songs in 4/4 time that make you nod your head and pay homage to black sabbath), but by listening closely to them a lot more is revealed. Their songs feature not only heavy abrasive moments, but quiet meditative passages that give-way to chant like vocal melodies. OM songs usually feature only a few riffs per song, yet most of their songs clock in over the 10 minute mark. On the surface this seems repetitive, but these few riffs evolve within the song, changing and mutating as the song progresses.
I saw them at the Echoplex here in LA about 2 months ago and they were great, ridiculously loud and hypnotic. Recently though, it has been reported that after 3 albums, the drummer Chris Haikus is leaving the band. Supposedly the bassist/singer Al Cisneros will continue on. Definitely a band worth checking out if you’ve never heard of them before. Below are the titles to their albums and links to their website and myspace page, where you can hear a few tracks.
- (2005) Variations on a Theme
- (2006) Conference of the Birds
- (2007) Pilgrimage
February 26, 2008 No Comments