Music: Five Finger Death Offspring…

Yesterday, during one of my many YouTube music-video binges, I stumbled across the new video for Five Finger Death Punch’s “Gone Away” (above). I had missed its release entirely (despite 5FDP being one of my favourite bands), and quickly realized it was a (very faithful) cover of The Offspring’s song of the same name. It’s been a long time since I last listened to anything by Offspring (which is strange, because I love their earlier albums), but it was amazing how quickly the lyrics came flooding back. So, naturally, I sang along. It was a welcome trip down memory lane.

5FDP’s cover appears on their greatest hits (so far) collection, A Decade of Destruction. The original song (video below) appeared on Offspring’s Ixnay on the Hombre album (1996) — the follow up to the appropriately-named Smash (1994).



BarnsCourtney-DullDrumsI only just discovered Barns Courtney‘s music. Thanks to the eclectic radio station they usually have on, my favourite coffeeshop in Toronto has been a pretty great place to discover new music (or, new to me in some cases). Earlier this week, Courtney’s “Fire” came on and it grabbed my attention. I’ve been listening to his EP, The Dull Drums pretty much constantly ever since. Released by Virgin EMI, here is the short tracklist:

  1. “Fire”
  2. “Glitter & Gold”
  3. “Little Boy”
  4. “Hellfire”
  5. “Hands”

Continue reading


WallM-FooFightersA quick biography of Nirvana Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters…

The definitive, no-holds-barred biography of one of the biggest-selling rock bands in the world, the Foo Fighters.

Everyone from Sir Paul McCartney and Jimmy Page to Queens of the Stone Age now relishes the chance to share a stage with Dave Grohl and his legendary Foo Fighters. The question is: why? Musical depth? Not really. Major success? Well, yes. Despite no longer shifting albums in the same quantity as they did twenty years ago, this band can still fill stadiums the world over (when Dave’s not breaking his leg, of course).

Long before Kurt Cobain blew his brains out in 1994, Dave Grohl was planning for a life after Nirvana. The unflinching bright sunlight to Cobain’s permanent midnight darkness, Grohl had come from a similar broken home to his erstwhile band leader, but came out of the experience differently – brimming with positivity and a shrewd grasp of opportunities in the music industry.

Did Grohl merely take the sonic blueprint of Nirvana and embellish it with a more life-affirming pop sheen? Of course he did. Every band in America that sold over a million records in the post-grunge 90s did the same. The difference was that Grohl had real credibility. And he knew it.

With exclusive testimony from true insiders (including Krist Novoselic, Grohl’s bass-playing partner in Nirvana, ex-girlfirends, record company executives, tour photographers and confidantes), this book is an exploration of the real story behind Grohl and the Foo Fighters — the only serious literary biography of the group and its leader, one of the most famous and critically bulletproof rock figures of the 21st century.

I waited a long time to pick up this book. I sadly cannot say that it was worth the wait. This is, at best, a mediocre re-hash of information you’ll find elsewhere from more-informed and better writers. Yes, it covers everything important in Dave Grohl’s musical career. But it’s not particularly enlightening, nor is it gripping. It is not definitive. It is by no means “literary”, either — the interpretation and analysis is simplistic and not particularly deep. At least, not that provided by Wall. He does interview some people who know what they’re talking about. Continue reading


Music Recommendation: HANDS LIKE HOUSES


Another band I discovered through Outburn (same issue, in fact, as the one that led me to Polyphia), Hands Like Houses‘s new album — Dissonants — has also become a new, heavy-rotation favourite. The Australians’ third album has already spawned a handful of singles, with accompanying videos. Here are the best three:

“I Am” — this is also the first song on the album, and a good, strong intro to the band, with a hook/chorus that has embedded itself in my memory…




Music Recommendation: POLYPHIA


I stumbled across a review of Polyphia‘s latest album, Renaissance (Equal Vision Records), in a recent issue of Outburn (they have a huge review section, including reviews of a broad range of albums). The reviewer wrote very highly of the group’s music, so off I went to YouTube to find a music video. The top search result was “Euphoria”, and I fell in love with it pretty much immediately:

Here, also from Renaissance, is the music video for “Nightmare”:

The band members are incredibly gifted. I highly recommend Renaissance to all fans of instrumental, rock and guitar-led music. Superb, and easily one of my favourites from the past 12 months.


Music Recommendation: A Couple of Recent BREAKING BENJAMIN Singles

I’ve been a fan of Breaking Benjamin ever since I found their debut album (Saturate, 2002) in Tower Records in Kumamoto, Japan. I think it came out on the same day as Seether’s Disclaimer, which I also picked up (as a result, I’ve always connected the two bands). Anyway, after a long hiatus due to illness, the band returned last year with Dark Before Dawn, an incredibly strong album. They’ve released two singles to day: “Failure” and “Angels Fall”. Here are the music videos…


“Angels Fall”




Black Stone Cherry have unveiled their latest music video! “In Our Dreams” is the lead single from their highly-anticipated new album, Kentucky. It’s pretty elaborate, for a BSC video:

Kentucky is due out on April 1st, via the Mascot Label Group.