Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/2/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
GUNS N’ ROSES – “November Rain” (1991)
Guns N’ Roses already felt like they were going to be the biggest band in the world by the time that they released their epic double album – Use Your Illusion (I & II) in 1991. Anyone who had any doubts was most surely convinced upon the release of these albums, which featured around 2.5 hours of music in total. Not only did the albums both have a ton of tracks on each, but they also featured epic songs that could not possibly have been considered singles for almost any other band. Certainly not any of the bands that came onto the scene at the same time as them. But GNR was different…
In 1991, MTV was still playing music videos. And though there were a number of memorable ones, it’s hard to think of another that compared to “November Rain.” It was a piece of cinema that brought the story to life in a way that other videos didn’t, showcasing the brilliant creativity that defined the band.
The song has all of the elements of a power ballad, but it is so much more than that. There is nothing about listening to it today that makes you think of a specific era of hard rock. When you think of all-time, larger-than-life, classic rock songs, “November Rain” is right up there with the best of them from legends like Led Zeppelin, Queen and others.
Being born in November, I feel a connection to the song that may run a bit deeper, but the fact remains that this song is a classic in every sense of the word. From Axl Rose’s poetic lyrics to Slash’s guitar, which seems to cry out in pain (in a human way), there is an undeniable beauty to “November Rain” that sets it apart from most other songs.
WARRANT – “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1990)
Most ‘80s metal fans were also fans of Warrant, but for some reason, it took me a long time to fully appreciate their music. I’m not exactly sure why I was late to the party, but I eventually got there. The song that pushed me over the edge was “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” To this day, it remains my favorite Warrant song.
Maybe it’s the storytelling that showed another of layer of depth to the band that sucked me in. Because of the lyrics, the song is naturally a bit more edgy than some of the band’s other hits, which focused on girls, relationships and sex.
The heavy riffs and driving rhythm feel even more exaggerated coming off of the swampy, banjo intro. Vocal harmonies are a staple of the band, but there’s a different kind of energy on “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that takes it up a notch. The shredding guitar solos are accentuated by the recurring banjo playing. And, while the band could have ended the song in typical bombastic fashion, they instead chose to fade out with the nuance of a haunting harmonica part. To me, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is Warrant at their best.
KEVIN GRAYSON – HRD Music Scout
FARMIKOS – “Scapegoat” (2014)
Farmikos is the incarnation of ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Joe Holmes. He did an excellent job in putting this band together, which has only released a self-titled album to date. Holmes recrutied Robbie Locke for vocal duties. You might just find something very familiar sounding when you hear his voice, which sounds a lot like Chris Cornell. “Scapegoat” features some other big name players as well…Robert Trujillo from Metallica on bass, and Brooks Wackerman from Avenged Sevenfold on drums.
Farmikos is hard rock its finest. This is a band that I listen to all the time without tiring of their sound. I can’t believe that they didn’t just blow up big time. I love this band, and hope that they still have the drive to put out a follow-up album.
MONSTER TRUCK – “Sweet Mountain River” (2013)
I discovered Monster Truck when they opened for Alter Bridge. After seeing them play, I thought to myself that Monster Truck is the perfect name for the band. They are just like an actual monster truck…loud, exciting to see, and awesome to hear. I was so excited by their set that I almost forgot why I came to the show in the first place.
Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Monster Truck has an old-school rock sound with a twist of modern hard rock that blends together perfectly.
“Sweet Mountain River” is from the band’s first full length album, Furiosity. In addition to this album, they have also released another full-length album (Sittin’ Heavy), and two EPs (prior to Furiosity). You cannot go wrong buying any of their releases!