Archive for February, 2007

Steve Grimmett (from the disbanded Grim Reaper) has resurfaced with the Steve Grimmett Band…..easy to remember. What I find interesting is that Grimmett teamed with Garmin for a promotional campaign and a Superbowl commercial.

This is the full ad, unfortunately it was edited during the Superbowl so you didn’t see a close-up of the band. This was my favorite commercial, probably because I was looking for it and it had to do with Heavy Metal. Of course, I also dictated useless Metal trivia about Steve Grimmett and Grim Reaper to everyone at my Superbowl party but no one remembered them.

With the backlog of CDs and DVDs on my desk, and the fact that nothing really exciting has been released, the CD hunt really ground to a halt in January. New albums have been released, same with DVDs, but nothing really jumped out at me that I had to have.

I worked late Friday night into Saturday morning so I didn’t get to bed until 4am. When I woke up around Noon, the wife and kids were out. The perfect opportunity to head to the local shop to burn the gift cards I got for Xmas. I get a lot of gift cards to Newbury Comics because it is the only independent chain left in my area and the prices and selection are pretty good. I do a lot of business at the North Attleboro store (5 mins from home) and the Warwick branch (20 mins away).

There is an art to redeeming gift cards, it is one that only the most savvy CD scavenger can master. There are certain rules, certain criteria, to follow:

  1. The amount of money you spend is double the amount of the gift cards. This is the first rule. If you have a $50 gift card, then you are obligated to buy up to $100. The reason? Normally you would spend $50 anyway so spend $50 and the gift cards get you $50 in free music! Makes sense to me.
  2. Buy those higher priced items and/or regularly priced albums you keep passing up because they aren’t a priority. Box sets are always a good play here because the gift card takes part off at the register. You can easily justify buying the new Robert Plant box set because you’re getting a “discount”. Same goes for CDs like the Helloween and Motorhead expanded reissues that retail at $20 each or Japanese imports that you have a hard time shelling $25 for. It’s always easy to spend someone else’s cash with the gift cards.
  3. Raid the used bins and bargain bins for all the CDs you pass on because they are always there. How many times do you go through the used section and see that King Diamond CD, or that Yngwie Malmsteen album, that is always there in the same spot? You’ve hidden that particular CD because it’s a good price and you want it but you pass because something else catches your eye. Happens to me all the time. The gift cards always make it easier to fill up on used discs that you have passed on previously…..because they’re free.
  4. Try to redeem your gift cards when there is a discount, promotion, or coupon. Pretty self explanatory. Nothing is better than getting the coupon for “$3 off regular price for each CD (up to 3 discs)”, it just makes financial sense. I like the “buy three, get one free” on all used CDs. You’re getting maximum bang for someone else’s buck.

I have been holding on to my cards for weeks waiting for the weekly coupon that made the most financial sense. Since the holidays, the only coupons and/or promotions have been on holiday merchandise or Newbury Comics swag. I couldn’t wait any longer. Armed with my $60 in cards and $60 in cash, I stepped through the doors of the North Attleboro branch and began the quest…..

Iron Maiden – Death On The Road (DVD, 2007) – $16: Been waiting on this one for awhile to surface. I’ve had the CD version since the day of release but I was especially interested in the DVD because I saw the tour stop in 2003 at the Centrum in Worcestor, MA with Motorhead and Dio. Great show!

Motorhead – Ace Of Spades (Deluxe Expanded Edition)(2005) – $19: Rule #2 in effect. This filled the hole in that Motorhead collection of the expanded deluxe series. It also replaces one of my oldest cassettes.

Winger – IV (2006) – $15: Missed out on this one for $9.99 the day of release. I thought I’d get it for Xmas but the wife couldn’t find one.

Jeff Scott Soto – Essential Ballads (2006) – $15: JSS could sing the alphabet and I would pick it up on CD. One of the hardest working, and highly talented, singers in the business. Congrats to him for landing the Journey gig.

Vixen – Live & Learn (2007) – $10: Who knew Vixen was releasing a new album? I read the Metal news three times a day and I don’t recall seeing this on the schedule. I just watched the VH-1 Bands Reunited on Vixen a couple of weeks ago so the band is fresh in my mind. For $10…..how can you go wrong?

Black Stone Cherry – s/t (CD/DVD, 2006) – $8 used: I read some good things about BSC so I figured I’d take a chance. Came with the bonus DVD…..this set was selling for $16 regular price. Can’t beat half off.

Southern Gentlemen – Exotic Dancer Blues (2000) – $6 used: The debut of David T. Chastain’s southern rock/blues rock side project. I have the second offering, DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE (2003), it was good so I figured this one was worth a shot. The chick on the cover is hot, that guided part of the decision also.

Insane – Wait And Pray (2004) – $6 used: All I know about this band is that they are from Italy, they play Metal, and this was two dollars cheaper than ordering from Sentinel Steel.

Stillborn – State Of Disconnection (1992) – $4 used: They play Metal and are from Sweden, released on Century Media. The back cover had a pic of the band, knowing nothing about them I grabbed it based on the band’s pic. It was only four bucks.

Fozzy – All that Remains (2005) – $3 used: I have the other Fozzy CDs so this three dollar disc fills a hole in the collection.

Total (with tax) = $107   

So my part was only $47. Not bad for the first hunt in a month. I followed my rules except for #4, there were no promos or coupons but the bargains made up for it.

Superbowl XLI prediction

Posted: February 4, 2007 in Uncategorized

When I started this blog over a year ago, I decided to write about the two things I know well: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal and NFL Football. I started with a few football posts but I deleted them when I moved from Blogger to WordPress so I could stay focused on the Metal.

I am a New England Patriots diehard, have been since I was a young boy. I’m also a Patriots season ticket holder of 14 years. I got my tickets right after the team signed QB Drew Bledsoe in 1993. Section 143, Row 18, Seats 1 & 2 at Gillette Stadium.

I hate the Indianapolis Colts. I can’t stand QB Peyton Manning much like I couldn’t stand QB Dan Marino in Miami. The Colts used to be a division rival and Peyton has always come across as a stat hungry player. Whether it’s the whining on the field when he’s losing (like Marino) or throwing his teammates under the bus in post-game press conferences (like he did last year with his offensive line), the NFL’s poster boy has always bothered me. I’ve taken great pleasure at watching him lose in the playoffs, especially when we’re the team beating him. When the Pats were bounced by the Colts in the AFC Championship, all hope of revenge on the Chicago Bears were dashed. (Yes, I still feel the pain of Superbowl XX when the Patriots got crushed by the Bears 46-10.) That makes rooting for either team a problem.

It’s with a heavy heart that I have to go with the Chicago Bears. As much as I hate them for the past, I hate the Colts more for the present. Go Bears!

My prediction:
Chicago Bears            24
Indianapolis Colts      20

Quiet Riot – Rehab (2006)

Posted: February 3, 2007 in Album Reviews

Quiet Riot - Rehab

Quiet Riot – Rehab (2006, Chavis Records)

  1. Free
  2. Blind Faith
  3. South Of Heaven
  4. Black Reign
  5. Old Habits Die Hard
  6. Strange Daze
  7. In Harms Way
  8. Beggars And Thieves
  9. Don’t Think
  10. It Sucks To Be You
  11. Evil Woman

Band Lineup:
Kevin DuBrow – Vocals
Frankie Banali – Drums
Tony Franklin – Bass
Neil Citron – Guitars

Additional Musicians:
Glenn Hughes – Bass & Vocals on ‘Evil Woman’, Bass on ‘South Of Heaven’ and Background Vocals
Michael Fell – Harmonica
Bob Carpenter – Hammond Organ/Piano

Total Time – 57:48

Kevin DuBrow official website
Frankie Banali official website
Chavis Records

When I heard that Quiet Riot was putting out a new album, it immeadiately went on my CD radar. It took a direct order from Chavis Records to acquire REHAB because the local shops weren’t stocking it.

2006 brings another lineup change as Carlos Cavazo and Rudy Sarzo are let go and Tony Franklin and Neil Citron step in for the recording. Adding further to the lineup carousel, Franklin and Citron are replaced for touring by old friend Chuck Wright (bass) and Alex Grossi (guitars). A new year also brings a new sound, a ’60s/’70s Classic Rock vibe that replaces the party Rock stylings the band is known for. The two previous albums were  successful efforts in recalling the past, this album ditches the old Quiet Riot for a more mature sound. You can hear the Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Joe Cocker, and Deep Purple influences throughout. It’s heavy Blues Rock, DuBrow and Banali giving a nod to their old school roots.

The musicianship is top notch…..Citron, Franklin, and Banali are all well respected in their fields. I really enjoy Neil Citron’s work here. His guitar playing lending a more controlled performance rather than the frantic ’80s stylings of the past. Frankie is a great drummer. The man can pound the skins with major power but he plays within the pocket and doesn’t overbear the song. A little subdued but done well. Tony Franklin (ex-The Firm, Blue Murder) just turns in another solid performance as usual. DuBrow loses his trademark howl for actual singing as he did on TERRORIZOR and DOWN TO THE BONE. I’m not saying DuBrow is a bad singer. His style and delivery in Quiet Riot are so distinct that, when he does something different vocally, you take notice.

Some good songs here: ‘Free’, ‘Blind Faith’, ‘Old Habits Die Hard’, ‘Beggars And Thieves’, ‘Don’t Think’, and the Spooky Tooth cover ‘Evil Woman’ with Glenn Hughes.

Bottom Line:
Quiet Riot + Classic Rock – METAL HEALTH = Quiet Riot 2006.

Favorite songs: ‘Free’, Blind Faith’, ‘Don’t Think’, and ‘Evil Woman’. As always, it’s good to hear Glenn Hughes, the man has one of the best set of pipes in the business.

I’ve been living with this album for a few months and I’m still not sure what to think of it. On one hand, it’s a solid, bluesy, ’70s style Hard Rock album…..something I would expect to hear on classic rock radio stations. On the other hand, it’s a total departure from the trademark Quiet Riot sound and attitude. I prefer the ’80s style Quiet Riot and I was surprised at the sound after the success of ALIVE AND WELL and GUILTY PLEASURES recreating the past. All in all, a good album but not your usual Quiet Riot album.