The mid 90’s ~ The Jerky Boys soundtrack (1995)

Back in 1995 we didn’t have a global pandemic. Or if there was one I was fifteen and wasn’t paying close enough attention to notice. Pretty sure there wasn’t one though. But since all of us are stuck at home we might as well reminisce about 1995. So gather round and listen to a tale about what the world was like way back when.

Back in the 90’s there were beepers and CDs, not smart phones. The star quarterback at my high school had two beepers actually. One was for ganja sales and the other for powder. Dude was the best high school QB in Florida but he couldn’t stay out of jail long enough to play in very many games.

Cassette tapes and boom boxes were the thing back then too. They worked better actually because they didn’t skip like a scratched CD or a bumped CD player. A few people had these ridiculous looking car phones too. They were the size of the center consul and looked like a rejected prop from Back to the Future.

‘Zines where the main source of information about any sort of “underground” music that wasn’t played on the radio. That along with rooting through the used section of record stores and going to shows.

Shows back then were something. They were mostly DIY events at random venues advertised via photocopied paper fliers posted literally everywhere. The “real” punk rockers would print a bunch of fliers at the local corporate office supply store and then run out the back door without paying.

Cover was a dollar or two and there would be plenty of cheap warm beer. And then there were the touring bands. Van loads of sweaty kids who hadn’t showered in weeks whose presence could be smelled before seen. All were looking for a place to crash for the night before leaving in the morning for the next random stop. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, loved trash talking and rumors were the norm. The venues were cramped but the bands were loud and but people knew their equipment so the sound was phenomenal.

When this movie soundtrack came out it blew me away, or more accurately, L7 blew me away. That song was the first time I dipped my toes in the pool of underground music that wasn’t sponsored by corporate America.

The Jerky Boys soundtrack is the quintessential collection of mid-90’s mainstream/radio music overall. January of 1995 saw the it hit the record stores, just before the dumpster fire of the movie hit the box office. The soundtrack is a gem, with L7’s cover of Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone being the crown jewel of the album. It was with that song that I realized there was a whole world full of music besides for what was on the radio.

The first track can be skipped, it’s just some BS narrative. The music begins with Collective Soul, then onward to Green Day, Coolio, Superchunk and the Beastie Boys, a perfect snapshot of 90’s era radio music. Not to be rude though, all these songs are all stellar and very listenable.

After that comes L7, and yes, they are punk rock. This song proves it without a doubt. This way it is performed puts it is in the same league as GG Allen. That song struck me like a great white shark hitting a seal. The world changed, exposing a vast universe of music and scenes to explore.

After L7 is a track by House of Pain and then Helmet covering Black Sabbath. After that is the Wu Tang Clan, and this is still pretty early on before they became HUGE. They gave “hard core” rap traction, before them it was fringe genre.

The album ends with another BS track, but overall this is a classic example of the mid 1990’s. Listening to it brings back crisp, vivid memories from my freshman year of high school. The angst, the excitement about armpit hair, everything, all comes roaring back. This is one of those forgotten albums that everyone listened to a bunch and then it never got played much after that year. Twenty five years later it is still quite good and highly recommended, 94%.

Wiki

Buy/download

Streaming Sunday- Saint Vitus (1984)

Saint Vitus is the only old doom band I really dig. Oddly enough, it was another band doing a Saint Vitus cover that got me interested in them enough to give them a second listen, but they are great. The guitar riffs are epic and the vocals catchy and fun. These are the type of songs that get stuck in your head easily and bring a smile to the face when they come on.
Originally I was turned off by what seemed like Sabbath worship, but this is also a landmark album for the genre of Doom, so I reserve judgment. Either way, this is an excellent album and highly listenable, 95%.


Besides for their self titled album there are many more available streaming and for download, so here’s one from Bandcamp also, making this a double Streaming Sunday.

dl S/T 1984

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Dead Meadow- Warble Womb (2013)

Ok, I’ve been slacking on the posts lately, the speed of life has slowed the pursuit of good new music. However, I’ve been listening to the the latest Dead Meadow almost nonstop since I downloaded it last week. Easily one of my favorite bands I was shocked to realize that they had released a new album in September and I hadn’t noticed until a few days ago.
The Three Kings and Old Growth are both excellent albums, likely Dead Meadow’s strongest albums, making the anticipation difficult to live up to for the following album. Warble Womb has a more mature and refined sound and explores new psychedelic/ stoner territory.
“Is it as good as the last two albums?”
Yes. Bands should evolve, progress. A new album should be new. This is new, possibly the album of the year. Highly recommended, we will still be listening to this twenty years from now, 96%.


iTunes
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Obtained Enslavement- Witchcraft (1997)

Today we have Obtained Enslavement’s 1997 release Witchcraft, which has long been one of my favorite black metal albums and one of a handful burned CDs that got me into the genre years ago. Symphonic Black Metal at it greatest, this is the classic example with a subtle greatness to it, as if it caught the energy of the scene at that moment.
The use of synthesizers in black metal was once a hotly debated point, the argument being made that they’re not really instruments, etc. The weight of the argument was against the cheesy use of synthesizers, however, this album is the antithesis of that angle. Screached vocals, blast beats, tremolo guitars, and yes, synthesizers. Everything about this album screams classic with exceptional production and musicianship, 98%.

Metallum

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Review of the Reviews; Drudkh- Autumn Aurora (2004)

Originally this album was slated for a recent Random Downloads, however, the volume and polarity of the reviews prompted a closer look and a new category of posts; Review of the Reviews.
Drudkh, Autumn Aurora, 2004.
Got to love them, a quality album from 2004. Classic Black Metal, a perfect introduction to the genre, from the Ukraine playing a unique, epic style of black/ pagan metal that most metal heads love with a small minority vehemently hating them.

One review starts out, “It’s my job to clue you all in: Drudkh sucks. More to the point, Drudkh has ALWAYS sucked, and even their oldest material is no exception…. play generic Slavic folk melodies, and repeat themselves over and over again and you people will buy it because you have no standards. (Noktorn). Ok, I wasn’t aware that you are the Black Metal King, passing judgement on metal albums, telling us uninformed peasants what is good metal and what sucks. Homeboy needs to go back to watching Monday Night Football and listening to Kid Rock because his attitude is more in line with mass-marketed bullshit. After that tirade who cares what he thinks about the album?

Another review is bubbly and giddy over the album, “If you are looking for a black metal album packed to the brim with relentless blast beats, evil sounding guitars with unrelenting distortion that refuse to touch a major scale and over the top wails, this isn’t your album. If you are looking for the perfect atmosphere and originality, you won’t be disappointed. This is an absolute classic of the black metal genre, and certainly deserves all the attention it gets.” (Dystopia4) Too warm, too glowing, he gave the album a 99%, which is too high. That’s basically saying that there aren’t better black metal albums than this.

I argue that this is a Classic black metal album exploring new territory and sounds. It is mellower and more atmospheric than most in the genre, which makes it more listenable with a relaxing undercurrent to the entire work, 90%.

Metallum Reviews

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Bolt Thrower- The IV Crusade (1992/rereleased 2013)

Good, mid-tempo death metal from Coventry, England. First formed in 1986 and still active, Bolt Thrower encompasses the most listenable aspects of death metal into one appealing package. A classic with epic, catchy riffs, growled vocals along with extraordinary drumming, this is one of my all time favorite albums. Bolt Thrower has never failed to impress me, and it is impressive for an album to still be relevant enough to reissue more than twenty years later, highly recommended, 90%.

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Bongzilla- Methods for Attaining Extreme Altitudes (1998)

Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin and formed in 1995, this is terrific stoner metal and must have for any Metalhead. Methods for Attaining Extreme Altitudes was released back in 1998, this stoner metal classic contains three of Bongzilla’s lesser known songs, Melovespot, High Like a Dog and Smoke/ I love Maryjane.
Highly recommended and defiantly worth a listen, Bongzilla is mood music, be warned, it’s not fitting for work. Low and slow with screeched vocals, down-tuned and distorted guitars this EP is perfect for the relaxed afternoon session, 90%.

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Odd Squad- Fadanuf fa Erybody!! (1994)

The Odd Squad consists of Devin the Dude, Jugg Mugg and Rob Quest (Wiki) a Southern rap group from Huston, Texas. I’ve long been a fan of Devin the Dude and last week I was looking for his earlier albums and came across Fadanuf fa Erybody which is also Rap-A-Lot Records first release and it was remixed by DJ Screw, in other words a classic.
Overall, I consider Southern rap to be the most listenable and lasting with many albums released in the 90’s are still just as appealing as the day they dropped, which is more than I can say for the east and west coast scenes of the same era. While I wouldn’t call this album “great” it is classic, listenable and defiantly for the collection. Original album; 85% Remix; 89%.

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iTunes Chopped and Screwed version

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Down South Hustlers: Bouncin’ and Swingin’ (1995)

Today’s selection is Down South Hustlers, a compilation from No Limit records from 1995 featuring a who’s who of the southern rap scene at the time; UGK, Dayton Family, Silk the Shocker, C-Murder, DJ Screw, Eightball & MJG, Master P, Mr. Serv-On, King George and more. Obscure, underground and virtually unheard of outside of the Deep South, it still isn’t even on iTunes.
Some of the best rap of the mid-90’s, this compilation is from a time when these artists were unknown, people would ask, “Who’s Master P?”, a funny question now, but these collaborations laid the ground work that propelled southern gangsta rap to a global audience. This is from a time when Master P was actually good.
Defiantly a classic and a must have for the digital library, 90%.

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