Mutter – Rammstein

I was given this album as a gift during early February 2007, I’m pretty sure it was on my stag do. Anyway, as much as I love Rammstein I haven’t listened to this album as much as I should’ve. I’m not sure why but I seem to prefer the other albums.

Sometimes the older stuff works best for a band because you know the songs so well. I think that’s why I find it hard to get to know the newer albums or ones that are newer to me. I guess I also don’t like bands who keep the same music style? I’m not sure about that statement actually. Here’s my thinking:

I love the early Iron Maiden stuff but the albums after Seventh Son are a little boring. I think it’s because they didn’t really change their sound? Or maybe I just grew out of Iron Maiden, I’m not saying it’s wrong to keep liking them I’m just saying I changed.

I still love AC/DC even though [apart from Let There Be Rock] all their albums sound the same. This contradicts my experience to Iron Maiden so I don’t know what it is about AC/DC or Maiden that makes my response to their new music so different.

Metallica changed their sound over the years and I haven’t liked anything by them since Garage Days Re-Revisited. I mean there are two songs on the black album that are OK but everything since then I’ve not liked. Maybe it’s because they went “mainstream”?? I don’t know. Maiden are pretty mainstream, as are AC/DC, and I still kinda like them so who knows what’s going on. I guess you like what you like.

Since 2009 I’ve been into Aggrotech or Hellectro music and I really enjoy it. The canon isn’t as large as for metal and so I haven’t tired of the music yet. I don’t understand the causation route here. I can’t decide if Andy and I share the same interest in music genres because we have the same music tastes and are friends anyway or whether the fact that we are friends also influences our music tastes so they are the same. There are some small differences in what we like and obsess over but by and large our tastes have grown together. Odd and probably not that odd I guess.

So, Rammstein. I first heard them when a friend, Sara, gave me her CDs of the first two Rammstien albums and I loved them. I remember listening to these CDs in around 2003. It took a few year for me to get to the point of seeing Rammstein because I had a phase when I didn’t go to gigs and concerts, but I am definitely in a music phase at the moment and one that’s lasted about six years so far.

This album is a classic but it just happens to be one I’ve not listen to that much.

Music For A Jilted Generation – The Prodigy

This is an album which takes me back to the early 1990s almost straight away. I’m pretty sure I bought this in a record shop in Portsmouth. This means I bought it around 1995/6.

I remember spending time at a mate’s flat after being out on the beers in Bishop’s Stortford. He was working as a house master in a private school and we would often rock up to his accommodation and sometimes we’d have the Narcotics Suite on in the background and I remember being very impressed with the music.

I also remember being in a car with my parents and even though they were fine with all my heavy metal and thrash I asked them to put this CD in the player and listen and I don’t think they quite got it. The music has complex beats and I think it broke them slightly. I have loved this album for over twenty years. When I saw The Prodigy last summer at the M’era Luna festival it was one of the best gigs I had ever seen.

  • Break and Enter – a deep heavy intro to the blistering sounds of The Prodigy.
  • Their Law – Fuck ’em. Shout and scream this one at the establishment.
  • Full Throttle – a fast ride to hell I reckon.
  • Voodoo People – magic people. I think I remember this one from the live show. A guitar based sound to give you full on dance beats.
  • Speedway – It’s a race isn’t it? Sounds like the soundtrack to a Ridge Racer game, but better.
  • The Heat – Still great.
  • Poison – The intro to this, with the spoken word and then the wa-wa sounds makes me shiver. It needs to be loud and hit you in the chest.
  • No Good – ha ha, this one reminds me of a relationship I was in once. Every now and then this song went through my head before I’d had enough and left.
  • One Love – lovely.
  • Narcotic Suite x 3 – a beautifully written selection of songs which will make my spine shiver.

I liked this album before I was into my current electro-aggrotech-industrial phase. It was a forerunner that seemed “OK” for a metal fan to like. I think I used to be worried what people would think about me when I spoke about music and now I don’t care what you think. I like what I like and am what I am.

MTV Unplugged in NY – Nirvana

So, Nirvana were massive. They were huge and considered a great influence over the 90s. But then he died and I heard The Pixies and suddenly I wasn’t that bothered by them.

I really liked the Seattle sound of the early 90s and I saw Alice In Chains a few times. The soundtrack to the film Singles is a super album. Nevermind was amazing and had a raw power that was a complete turn around from the thrash and metal that had come before. But, I’m afraid that one good song on a pretty good album doesn’t heroes make [in my view].

I look back quite dispassionately from the lofty heights of 2019. I can see what they did but I can be almost unbothered by it all.

I bought this album, I played it but for me I think it lacked the power of Nevermind. The vocals have a haunting sound and this was the first of the Unplugged albums that made MTV a fortune. I can’t remember the last time I played this album. I can’t see a time when I will play this album.

Nirvana does make me remember my third year at university. You see you have to read this boring, lofty communication to get this far before you get a nugget of glory days waffle. Back in the day we held “welcome” dinners for each of the engineering departments and we asked freshers to come along. I attended all of these in my third year as I was in the “Departmental Societies Officer” role within City and Guilds College Union. I t was pretty much my duty to go along and drink and be merry.

The disco at the dinners was run by the people from Imperial College Radio, a group to which I also belonged having been part of the organisation since my own first year at university. There are stories about time at the radio station that I should record on this site. So, ICR ran the discos and kept pointing out that I knew all the words to the Wham! songs, which was slightly embarrassing but at least it meant I got the chance to influence the choice of songs.

When “Smells Like Teen Spirit” came on I would run to the dance floor and then begin to be a little aggressive with the metal style “dancing” I guess. There was one dinner where, at the end of the song, I was the last man standing on the dance floor. Everyone else had decided it was best to get away from me. I look back and think my behaviour could have been considered anti-social but I also recognise that times were different and people probably cared less then that I do now.

Being in the pit at a metal show is an act of consensual violence to a certain extent. Everyone there wants to have a good time and jump around and bounce into each other. However, at the same time everyone looks out for each other and if someone falls we all help them up. I’ve helped up people I’ve been running into and I’ve also been helped up when I’ve fallen. There are levels of behaviour that are considered OK and there are definitely upper limits. It’s all unspoken but works. If you don’t like the level of violence then you leave and no one cares. I’ve left pits in the past, where I’ve considered the violence beyond my limits and I’ve stood on the edge and watched.

Most concerts I’ve been to just involve the crowd jumping around and maybe creating a circle. I’ve been to gigs where we’ve run into each other in time to the music and in the right environment that’s pretty good fun. I’ve been to gigs where the pit seemed to consist of a few people rugby tackling each other and I thought that a stage too far and so I left that one. In that same pit I saw someone throw a punch, this was beyond the unwritten rules and that chap was dragged out and handed over to security. There are rules you see, you just have to know what’s going on.

When I think of the pits I’ve been in, there has been the following bands where I’ve been controlled by the music:

  • Iron Maiden
  • AC/DC
  • Combichrist
  • Newsted
  • Aesthetic Perfection
  • The Prodigy
  • Megadeth

Mr Big – Mr Big

I put this album on yesterday while I did some work and it was OK. It’s got a very 80s sound. My first encounter with this band was when I was in secondary school and someone pointed out the bass playing of Billy Sheehan. It is very fast. I can’t really imagine anyone playing guitar that fast.

This album is good but not memorable if that makes sense. It doesn’t really bother me. They had another album called Lean Into It I think, which I reviewed in January.

Monty Python Sings – Monty Python

You know we need humour in our lives. I know Monty Python more from the albums and audio than I do the TV shows. I have seen the vision versions but I haven’t watched as much as I should. I have listened to these albums over and over, especially Live At Drury Lane. This album contains all the studio versions of the greatest Python songs.

Buy it. Listen to it. Research the times and history to get an idea of what goes on in the world, the song “Henry Kissinger” testifies to this fact of satire and humour being used to “take it to the man”.

Metallica – Metallica

This is known as the black album by most fans I think and it is the first Metallica album I bought straight from release rather than playing catch up with their discography. There is one good song on here and one semi-good song. The rest I would not play.

Sad But True – this is a pretty heavy amazing song, although slow. It crunches through you, especially live.

Enter Sandman – this is designed to be a single and went massive. It’s an OK song.

The rest of the album I could not tell you about from memory. This is interesting as when I saw Metallica at Donington in 1991 these were the only two songs that they played from this album, even though it had just come out.

I bought this on tape and I’ve just checked the NAS drive and amusingly I haven’t even updated my collection of this album to a complete digital version. I only have three songs from this album in digital. I also have Wherever I May Roam, but let’s face it, that’s a shit song.

This album marked a major decline in my appreciation of Metallica. There was a slight decline after “Justice”, but this one hastened the break up. Metallica went massive after this album and became mainstream. That’s when I stopped liking them. I’m not sure which way around the causation goes, whether their music changed and I stopped liking them or whether they became mainstream and so I stopped liking the music.

I did go to see Metallica play in Earls Court in about 1995 [just checked and it was October 12, 1996] and it was quite good but the new songs are shit and I really struggle to get past that. The show was filmed as the DVD Cunning Stunts. In that DVD one of the stuntmen is described as the “burning man”, not by his name by the band. This guy set himself alight over the complete tour every night and yet the band didn’t know his name. I guess that’s how it goes being a rock star but I didn’t like that.

Mechanical Resonance – Tesla

I bloody love this album. It’s proper 80s cock rock and it’s amazing. I had this on tape for many years and oddly the music cassette is still in a cupboard in the kitchen ready to be played on a non-existent cassette player. Years ago I would have had a CD/Cassette/Radio in the kitchen. I mentioned Tesla in this communication years ago! Also, in March 2014 I noticed the tape in the cupboard and wrote about it within this communication. It is still there:

Tesla Tape
Tesla Tape – taken today

I still don’t have the heart to remove the tape and put it somewhere else. All my music cassettes are in the loft and this one is now a memorial to that portable format.

So, this album is playing while I type and it is brilliant. Lots of excellent choruses along with memorable hooks. It’s very much like a Bon Jovi album [one of the good ones] but slightly less commercial. I have enjoyed playing this album for over thirty years and I think it will continue. Well done Tesla.

Mechanical Animals – Marylin Manson

You know what? Marylin Manson makes some pretty good rock music and I’d be keen to see him play somewhere.

I’ve been aware of Manson for quite a while but he came to the forefront when his music was blamed for the massacre at Columbine High School. He wasn’t at all to blame but the people wanted an easy answer, they wanted a quick thing to blame. He copped the worst of it and struggled after that. His name is still associated with the massacre and I guess I am perpetuating the myth here just by mentioning it.

There are always going to be people who don’t fit into the societal norms. People who need help and protection for themselves and to protect others from them. It’s how society copes with that which is important. I remember two massacres when I was young, Hungerford and Dumblane. The governments of the time banned certain types of guns. This seemed to be a perfectly rational response because it’s easier to get rid of guns than it is to psychologically screen everyone who wants to buy guns.

Just because I’m fine today doesn’t mean I could be fucked in the nut tomorrow and become completely unhinged from what is considered normalcy. Remove the guns from society. This is why modern terrorism tends to be other methods of mass murder. Ramming crowds with trucks and using knives. These methods require very little training and you can pretty much get anyone motivated enough to use them. Bombs are hard work and guns hard to get. What’s important is how the government and therefore society reacts to these attacks and how we go about trying to stop them in the future.

I suspect there are always going to be people unhappy with the current format of society and so there will always be threats to the “state”. The vast majority of people will act on their displeasure when they come to vote next time or join a march for some reason. There will always be a few people who think they can force change, for what they think is the better, using violent means. I also suspect they are largely correct. Violence tends to work in the long run as it forces governments to listen and change, but shhhhh, don’t say that loudly.

This album is playing right now as I type and I’m reminded that I was going to write about how I first heard Manson stuff. It was the Resident Evil soundtrack that allowed me to hear this chap for the first time and it was good. This album is perfectly acceptable rock.

Master Of The Rings – Helloween

I don’t remember getting this but I did listen to it the other day and it’s pretty good German speedmetal. It’s not one that’s stuck in my head because I prefer Keeper Of The Seven Keys. I am an old man and new songs just don’t stick like they used to. Memory cares less about new things as you get older and I don’t have the time to invest in learning new words and songs.