CD Scavenger Hunt – Ebay Edition – 11/28/07

There are so many 2007 releases that I haven’t picked up yet, a lot of them are out now around the world but will be released in the U.S. in early 2008. I decided to take a look at Ebay and some online shops last Wednesday, I found two auctions ending Thanksgiving so I watched, waited, and won! Considering the holiday weekend, both CDs were shipped Friday and arrived today.

Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild (2007) – $18.50 (includes shipping): This was a deal I couldn’t beat anywhere! The seller was from the U.S. and he had low shipping ($4). I’ve been waiting patiently on this CD to either show up at my local record store or find a deal at a couple of my favorite online shops. I haven’t found this for less than $20 plus shipping…..until now. I had a high bid of sixteen dollars and won with $14.50. So far, an excellent record.

Primal Fear – New Religion (2007) – $11.51 (includes shipping): Another album high on my want list for a few months but still commanding no less than $17 plus shipping at online stores. I got lucky as this seller had four separate auctions for this CD ending within an hour. I watched all four and got the best deal at $7.01. The shipping was about the same as Airbourne ($4.50) and it was another U.S. seller so that meant faster shipping. My only disappointment was that the auction listed the “limited edition digipak” and I thought I was getting the limited edition digipak with the two bonus videos. Unfortunately, no videos but the digipak is actually available in both versions, I just have the regular one. No worries, I’m still psyched at getting this for a bargain. So far, another solid album.

Totals – $30.01 for 2 CDs that are currently imports.

Neurosonic – Drama Queen (2007)

Neurosonic - Drama Queen (2006)

Neurosonic – Drama Queen (2007, Bodog Music)

  1. So Many People
  2. Are Solar
  3. I Will Always Be Your Fool
  4. Me Myself And I
  5. Crazy Sheila
  6. Until I Die
  7. Fearless
  8. Boneheads
  9. Frankenstein
  10. So Now You Know
  11. For The Boy

Jason Darr – Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Piano & Keyboards, and Programming
Jacen Ekstrohm – Bass, Backing Vocals
Troy Healy – Guitars
Shane Smith – Drums
Cassandra Ford – Backing Vocals

Producers: Jason Darr & Riley Karroll

Total Time – 41:04

Neurosonic MySpace page
Bodog Music

Neurosonic is a band that blends many different styles: Hard Rock, Alternative, Nu-Metal, Punk, Pop, and even a bit of Techno/Electronica. The band and the music is the product of mainman Jason Darr (vocals, guitars, et al) and it’s an eclectic mix. I kind of look at the project as similar to Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails added to a bit of Green Day…..the bands are different to each other but they maintain a common thread in being totally unique and a blend of different styles.

DRAMA QUEEN was released in Canada in September 2006 and in the U.S. in January 2007. The music on this album is not my usual style, I’m a metalhead by trade so the Alternative/Nu-Metal/Pop thing is not for me. What I found after giving this album many focused spins is that this music is tailor made for Rock radio and MTV. The music has enough to appeal to a mass audience, to the people that still get their cues from the radio dial.

‘So Many People’ have that Nu-Metal feel with the heavy down-tuned guitars but also the Pop/Rap appeal in the vocals and programming. The lyrics are catchy and have a hook. Same goes for ‘Are Solar’…..I can see this being played to a younger audience in a club. It’s got a blend of heavy guitar, a dance beat, and a slight rap. That’s a formula that works today.

‘I Will Always Be Your Fool’ starts slow, almost like a Red Hot Chili Peppers ballad, but it kicks in for the chorus with the downtuned guitars. ‘Me Myself and I’ has a nice acoustic base and harmonies while ‘Crazy Sheila’ kicks things back in line with a Green Day like influence (but better).

‘Until I Die’ has a nice Metal riff intro but it cuts out for part of the vocal. This song has a nice aggressive quality to it but it does slow down slightly before the chorus. So far I like this song the best. ‘Fearless’ starts out slow with an accompanying string arrangement but the song progresses into a mid-tempo groove with more of the modern guitar. Another song that I would call a heavier Green Day. There is a lot of programming and guitars on ‘Boneheads’ and this just screams “club” to me. It’s not a dance tune, it’s a Rock song, but you could hear the possibilities for a dance remix.

I like the quick drum intro to ‘Frankenstein’ and the chugging beat but I’m just not feeling it, it sounds like I’ve heard the same thing earlier on the album. ‘So Now You Know’ is basically mid-tempo and picks up a bit around the chorus. This song reminds me of something I would have heard on MTV back in the early ’80s from an British Pop band. It’s not dated, it’s a modern track, it’s the different styles all in one that gives me this vibe. I dig ‘For The Boy’. I’m a sucker for acoustic guitar, harmonies, and strings…..this would be a single on Pop radio today.

Bottom Line:
The music is not my usual thing but it’s not bad. If I look at it from a Heavy Metal standpoint, then this album is way too light and Pop oriented and there is barely any Metal. If I look at this album in the realm of the current trends in Rock & Pop music, then this album should definitely appeal to a wide range of the mainstream. Overall, I enjoyed it as something different and something I would have never discovered on my own. I think Jason Darr has a unique musical vision and is full of talent to create songs with a blend of diverse styles. If Neurosonic can get airplay on mainstream radio, they will have success. Check their MySpace page to listen to these songs.

KISS Loves You (A Film By Jim Heneghan) DVD (2007)

KISS Loves You DVD (2007)

KISS Loves You DVD (2007, MVD Visual/8th Grade Films)

A film by Jim Heneghan for 8th Grade Films

Main Feature: KISS Loves You documentary film

Bonus Features:

  • Super-8mm footage of KISS live in Stockholm, 1976 (no audio)
  • 90 minutes of Outtakes from the film
  • The Beyond Vaudeville KISS Spectacular program
  • Extended footage of the 1996 KISS Reunion press conference from the USS Intrepid

(Region 1, NTSC, Total Running Time = 2 hrs 48 mins)

MVD Visual
8th Grade Films

KISS Loves You is a film ten years in the making that began in 1994 when KISS was probably at their lowest point of their success and popularity. Despite the changes in the music industry, and in the musical tastes of the public, fans of KISS were congregating at unofficial KISS conventions, starting KISS tribute bands, and networking through various mailing lists and fanzines. Remember, this was years before the Internet took over the world, the ingenuity and dedication of fans t o put these things together are incredible.

The film follows a select few super fans (the “KISS family”, Bill Baker from Fractured Mirror, etc) and various tribute bands (Hotter Than Hell, Strutter, Dressed To Kill, Fractured Mirror) and sees their 10 year journey through the highs and lows of being a KISS diehard. You get to see personal collections, hear personal statements, and witness real emotion when it comes to the band. There is plenty of convention footage of fans dressed as KISS members, fans giving testimonials, merchandise, art…..put it this way: if it’s KISS-related, it’s here! Also, a few well-known Rock celebrities are interviewed briefly: Dee Snider, Sebastian Bach, Dick Manitoba (The Dictators).

A real treat is home video footage of Ace Frehley out with his good friend Bill Baker at a mall, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley raiding a KISS convention with police to recover stolen costumes from their warehouse, and also Peter Criss doing a Q&A at another unofficial KISS con. I also liked the various tribute bands performances and the dedication of the fans.

There is a huge bonus section that includes outtakes, a New York cable access show (The Beyond Vaudeville show) on KISS, and especially the never before circulated Super-8 silent film of KISS performing in Stockholm in ’76. For collector’s, the Super-8 footage is reason enough to buy this DVD.

Bottom Line:
What the film really shows is the dedication, rather the fanaticism, that some people have for the band KISS and all it’s universe. The fans are all characters, all unique and quirky. It takes a special breed to love something/someone that much that it borders on addiction. KISS fans are like Trekkies or Star Wars fans: they live for and through the band.

There are times when the stories are fun and pretty cool but then, as the years go by, the tales become a little pathetic. I can say “pathetic” because I am one of those people, I am a KISS diehard. I have been in the lines to buy KISS albums the day of release. I have attended many KISS conventions (what ever happened to New England KISS?). I have seen tribute bands in concert and I have seen the real band over 20 times since 1987. I could easily relate to the film because I should have been in it!

If you’re a fan of KISS, go out and get this!