Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/1/16
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)
GREEN DAY – “American Idiot” (2004)
Green Day has never shied away from sharing their political views, so it comes as no surprise that they chose to use their performance at the American Music Awards to deliver a message to the masses. In this punk anthem, the band prophetically addresses the state of America today, and the media’s place in adding to the tension that is the worst in recent memory.
One of my bigger regrets is not going to see the Broadway production of American Idiot before it closed in 2011. It wasn’t until I saw a documentary about the stage adaption of the band’s rock opera that I became interested in seeing it. Fortunately, HBO has just given the green light to adapt American Idiot in film. The timing couldn’t be better for this news.
Regardless of the political messaging, the fact remains that “American Idiot” is a Green Day classic because of the music.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – “Killing In The Name” (1991)
In 1991, Rage Against The Machine made an immediate impact on the rock world with their self-titled debut album. To this day, their lead single from the album – “Killing In The Name” – remains the embodiment of the band’s signature sound.
It’s not just the unbridled energy and angst of the song that made it so powerful. The lyrics (while minimal) deliver a controversial message about some members of U.S. police forces also being members of the KKK.
“Killing In The Name” was released six months after the Los Angeles riots, which came on the heels of four white police officers being acquitted in the beating of Rodney King.
Racial tension has never really gone away in America. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem as overt. Sadly, we are currently in a cycle where the KKK feels emboldened due to recent events. A quarter century after its release, “Killing In The Name” is much more relevant than most would have probably imagined.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
DEMOLITION HAMMER – “Infectious Hospital Waste” (1990)
One cannot discuss ‘90s thrash metal without including Bronx, New York’s Demolition Hammer. Growing up in New York, I’ve always thought these guys were one of the most underrated thrash metal bands (during a time when some of the other thrash bands became a little more mainstream). “Infectious Hospital Waste,” from the band’s first full-length album, Tortured Existence, is brutal, fast, heavy and dark (all the qualities you look for in a good thrash metal song). Only having released three albums, Demolition Hammer disbanded in 1994, but have recently reformed and are currently touring. Needless to say, I will be there when they come to town.
GOTHIC SLAM – “Who Died and Made You God” (1989)
Another classic thrash metal band from the late ‘80s is New Jersey’s Gothic Slam. I remember going to see these guys when I was in high school just for the mosh pits. Their brand of thrash metal was oftentimes humorous and political (with an obvious influence of punk and hardcore). Their album, Just a Face in the Crowd, was full of memorable heavy and fast thrash metal greats, including a Thin Lizzy cover of “Thunder & Lightning.” Here’s to hoping that Gothic Slam gets back together again.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
QUEENSRYCHE – “The Killing Words” (1986)
I’m very excited to be catching Queensryche next week in New York City. Some fans were deeply disappointed in 2012 by the departure of long-time frontman Geoff Tate, but Todd La Torre has proven to be a worthy successor. La Torre and company continue to perform this breathtaking classic from the band’s 1986 sophomore album, Rage For Order.
ARMORED SAINT – “After Me, The Flood” (2000)
Sharing the bill with Queensryche next week will be Armored Saint. They’ve disappeared and reappeared more than once over the years, but continue to put out powerful music and thrill live audiences. They’d been gone from the scene for a few years before releasing 2000’s Revelation, and from it, this hard rocker. Fortunately, vocalist Jon Bush managed to steal away from Anthrax, and bassist/producer Joey Vera from Fates Warning, to put together another killer album, complete with gravelly vocals and gritty guitar riffs.