Much like Samson, James‘ power resides in his hair.
Much like Samson, James‘ power resides in his hair.
Let’s keep this one short and let the music speak for itself…
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”
– H.P. Lovecraft
I can’t deny it…I’m stoked for this one kids. Sure, the title’s kind of corny (but it’s growing on me)…and after the dream shattering/groan inducing Some Kind Of Monster/St. Anger craptacular, you’d think I’d have totally given up on my musical heroes from the 80s.
Not quite. I wrote them off for the first time around 1994, but every time they release a new record I get a little twinge of excitement. Sure, it’s usually followed by an amazing let down of epic proportions…but the 14 year old headbanger inside of me refuses to give up the ghost.
When it was announced that Rick Rubin was going to produce the new Metallica record, I finally had a legitimate reason to have high hopes in the return of my favorite band. Well, they weren’t that high…I’ve been spanked more than once…but Rick was the man behind this:
Granted, not everything Rick has had his hands on have been favorites of mine…but when he works with artists I like, let’s just say, I get all nerdy and excited about music again.
I’ve heard most of the record already and I have to say, I think it’s great. It’s not perfect, but it has enough of the old (guitar solos are back!) mixed with some decent new ideas…I even got chills at a couple of points. This old head banger is happy.
Here’s a taste…
Today’s the official release date for DEATH MAGNETIC and I will be coming home from work with a new Metallica LP to add to my collection…the first one in seven years…what took you guys so long?
Hoo-boy, how could I pass these LPs up? The sixteen year old inside me was ready to do extra chores all week to be able to buy these records!
Metallica bootlegs! The one on the left (featuring Senor Reagan) is Live from San Francisco – Oct. 82 with Dave Mustaine on guitar and (most) vocals and Ron (anyone remember me?) McGovney on bass. It’s a “mixing / soundboard recording” and the vocals are right in your face. Imagine the nasally whine Dave had at the tender age of 21…yeesh, it kinda’ freaks out my cat, Dr. Bologna…and me too. The stage banter is priceless and hearing the crowd of, oh, I don’t know, 15 or 20 “fucking Headbangers” scream for “Seek And Destroy” is making me pine for the sweaty nights at Club Oasis in San Antonio.
The LP on the right has one of the worst titles ever: “DEMOLLICA Best Of Demo’s.” Sigh, it’s the best record Metallica hasn’t put out since 1986.
Which brings me to The 3 Record Rule. You see, The Wife has a theory that all rock bands should only get to release 3 records. 3. That’s it. I know, I know, what about The Beatles? Or The Stones? Right , right, I get it…but seriously, think of your favorite bands…aren’t their first 3 usually the best? It’s certainly true for Metallica. Shit, after Master they were never going to put out anything half as good. I mean, And Justice and The Black Album are decent records, but who knows what could have come out of James, Kirk, or even Lars if they formed new bands? Anyway, sometimes I have to agree with The Wife…actually, I always agree with The Wife (except for Miami Blues…and we just agree to never talk about it…ever…because she’s wrong and it’s one of the best movies ever).
Anyway, looking at the pimply faced heshers that were Metallica reminds me of some of the kids I went to High School with. In Middle School I was in the Gifted and Talented Program. You know where they take all the smart kids out of class to do brain teasers and go to UIL competitions where you build toothpick bridges and make contraptions to drop eggs from really high places? Well, I was a bright kid, but I wasn’t nearly as smart as the kid who built a fucking robotic arm or the kid who did experiments on planaria…oh,and I was way into metal. By the time we got to High School they separated us smart kids out of regular classes and made us all go to the same accelerated classes…no dummies allowed. Dear Christ, I was getting sick of hanging out with these same geeks all day…except for gym…and gym was where the metalheads and jocks loved to pick on us.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have some close buddies in those classes…and we stayed buddies even when I got out of the smarty pants classes and joined the rest of the mental midgets in regular classes. Which was kind of weird, since I wanted to be seen as cool by the metal dudes who smoked out by the shop classes and hung around with those “big faced girls” (see: Kim Kelly) I was always too scared to talk to. I finally got my chance after Cliff Burton died. One day in gym class the coach made us get in teams of 3 to toss around a football and I got paired up with two cool metal dudes. Luckily we had a lot to talk about…namely, the untimely death of Cliff. Once I proved my worth with some Metallica knowledge, they stopped picking on me and I started to get the cool head nod hello.
Which was really cool until that one morning…I was hanging with one of my geek buddies talking comics when the two metal heads from gym came walking up. I got the nod and my buddy…well, he got picked up, carried to a dumpster, and tossed in. I just stood there. Once the metal dudes walked away, I walked over to the dumpster and helped my friend out. I don’t remember if we even talked about what happened. Boy, I feel kind of bad about it. I guess I’ll throw out an “I’m sorry” to the Universe and hope he feels it.
I guess, it’s time to flip the “Demo’s” record…..