Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 10/20/16
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, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
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)
MOTLEY CRUE – “Mutherfucker Of The Year” (2008)
Although Motley Crue only finished touring recently, their last studio album was actually released in 2008. Saints Of Los Angeles is not only the most underrated Crue album ever, it is also one of the more underrated hard rock albums in recent memory. This was the first album that featured the entire original lineup in over a decade. This 2008 release is loosely based on The Dirt (which was the original title of the album). What’s interesting about the album is that it was predominantly written by the members of Sixx: A.M. (although Mick Mars also contributed on this song).
“Mutherfucker Of The Year” is an edgy, bombastic, in-your-face anthem that is sonically huge, and seems to be lyrically self-deprecating. I can’t say for sure what inspired the song, but as is the case with most songs, interpretation is often times left to the eye (or ears) of the beholder. Even though it is far less known than the band’s biggest hits, it is one of my favorite Crue songs of all-time.
As the year draws to a close, there will be numerous lists commemorating the “best of” the year, but what about acknowledging the “Mutherfucker Of The Year?” Even though I won’t be releasing such a list, there are a number of names that I could easily nominate (with one standing above all others). Check out the lyrics to the song as you listen to it, and think about who you might nominate as your personal “Mutherfucker Of The Year.”
TWISTED SISTER – “Burn In Hell” (1984)
It’s hard to say that anything off of Stay Hungry is as underrated as Motley Crue’s Saints Of Los Angeles, but a number of tracks from the album exist in the larger-than-life shadow cast by two of the greatest hard rock anthems of all-time – “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.” Like those classics, Twisted Sister created a music video that feels like a short movie. The video features Pee Wee Herman and a creepy clown (which seems particularly apropos given recent current events).
“Burn In Hell” showcases the darker side of Twisted Sister, which is no surprise given Dee Snider’s love of horror films. More than any other album, 1984’s Stay Hungry features the music that takes me back in time to one of the best summers of my life. I love the whole album, but back then, I definitely favored the two anthems and “The Price” more than the other tracks. Today, “Burn In Hell” hits a more personal, deep-meaning chord, especially the lyrics…
“Take a good look in your heart, tell me what do you see? It’s black and it’s dark, now is that how you want it to be? It’s up to you, what you do will decide your own fate. Make your choice now, for tomorrow may be far too late.”
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
WOODS OF YPRES – “I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery” (2011)
“I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery” is a haunting tune from Woods Of Ypres’ Woods IV: The Green Album. This Canadian doom metal band is different from the typical bands in this genre, and simply too good to ignore. Their lyrics are almost poetic and full of emotion. David Gold’s singing is mesmerizing. Even the heavy parts of the song cut through the silence that precedes it. If you’ve never heard this band, I suggest you give them a try. The only thing sadder than this song is the death of the Gold (who passed away at the age of 31).
TYPE-O NEGATIVE – “Cinnamon Girl” (1996)
The fall weather brings back memories of one of the best Type-O Negative albums ever recorded. October Rust was the band’s fourth studio album. Even though it was not as popular as their previous album (Bloody Kisses), it was a great album chock-full of memorable songs. While Bloody Kisses focused on the darker imagery of vampires and loneliness, October Rust dabbled with Wiccan theories and sensuality. Their cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” has the perfect Type-O Negative feel: dark and dreary with a tinge of romanticism. The band ceased to exist after the death of frontman Peter Steele, but their legacy lives on as one of the most important goth/doom metal bands ever.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
WIG WAM – “Hard To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roller” (2004)
Wig Wam took the glam metal world by storm in 2004 with 667 .. The Neighbour Of The Beast. The album was re-released the following year as Hard To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roller, with bonus tracks that included radio edits of their two biggest hits. They went on, later that year, to represented Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest with one of those hits, “In My Dreams.” This sleazy, but hilarious and melodic title track, was the other.
ROYAL HUNT – “Hard Rain’s Coming” (2011)
Denmark’s Royal Hunt delivers progressive metal with symphonic touches. They’ve had several lead singers, but 2011 saw them reunite with their original front man, D.C. Cooper. The first new album from that reunion, Show Me How To Live, included this melodic triumph with a karmic promise.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
TRIUMPH – “All The Way” (1982)
Triumph followed up one of my “desert island” albums, Allied Forces, with 1982’s Never Surrender. While glam bands started to take off, Rik Emmett, Gil Moore and Mike Levine stuck to grassroots hard rock with signature positive themes and social statements. “All The Way” is an upbeat, inspirational song that features encouraging cliches woven together in the lyrics, highlighted by Emmett’s vocal and lead guitar mastery. Moore’s heavy hitting on the skins and Levine’s powerful bass help pound the message home.
ANTHRIEL – “The Devil’s Lullaby” (2010)
The discography of Finland’s prog metal band Anthriel is brief – only 1 demo and a single full-length album – Pathways – from 2010. “The Devil’s Lullaby” demonstrates their well-orchestrated, power-based brand of prog metal. The song’s neo-classical flair can be heard in the various movements. Simo Silvan’s vocals are strong and passionate, a perfect complement to the skilled musicians taking you through a tale of a twisted mind.