Psychostick – Sandwich (2009)

psychostick-sandwich-2009

Psychostick – Sandwich (2009, Rock Ridge Music)

  1. Metal?
  2. Caffeine
  3. Shower
  4. A Lesson In Modesty
  5. P Is The Best Letter
  6. Minimum Rage
  7. Don’t Eat My Food
  8. The Hunger Within
  9. Grocery Escape Plan
  10. Too Many Food
  11. This Is Not A Song, It’s A Sandwich!
  12. Girl Directions
  13. Orange
  14. Beer (Pt.2)
  15. Do You Want A Taco?
  16. Attempt At Something Serious
  17. #1 Radio Single
  18. Vah-jay-jay
  19. Die…A Lot!
  20. You’ve Got Mail Enhancement
  21. Passive Vengeance
  22. 373 Thank Yous
  23. OUTTAKES!!!1
  24. We Ran Out Of CD Space

psychostick

Band Lineup:
Rob “Rawrb” Kersey – Lead Vocals
Joshua “The J” Key – Guitars & Vocals
Jake “Jakermeister” McReynolds – Guitars & Vocals
Jimmy “Jimmychanga” Grant – Bass & Vocals
Alex “Shmalex” Preiss – Drums

Produced by: Psychostick

Total Time = 75:55

Psychostick
Psychostick MySpace page
Rock Ridge Music

Spinal Tap, Tenacious D, Bloodhound Gang, and Weird Al Yankovic…..all these bands play a comedic Rock style. Add some M.O.D. and you get Psychostick. The Phoenix, Arizona band has returned from a two and a half year stretch of touring the U.S. to release their third album titled SANDWICH. Psychostick blends Metal, Hardcore, Punk and Alternative together with a comedic lyrics to create their own unique sound called “Humorcore”. When I took my first look at the CD I knew this wasn’t my usual type of Heavy Metal, anything remotely resembling Punk or Alternative usually finds it’s way to the trash pile, but their was something interesting in the song titles that reminded me of Billy Milano’s M.O.D.

SANDWICH is 24 songs clocking in at over an hour and fifteen minutes long: some songs like ‘Metal?’ and ‘Vah-jay-jay’ come in at a few seconds while the fan tribute ’373 Thank Yous’ tops out at over fourteen minutes. The band spoof a wide range of normal topics from an ode to coffee (‘Caffeine’), to good hygiene (‘Shower’), the grocery store (‘Grocery Escape Plan’) and the Internet (‘You’ve Got Mail Enhancement’). First thing you notice is that the band can play: Psychostick can lay down some serious music and the vocals have a ton of attitude, sarcasm and irony. There are some songs that you could easily put some serious lyrics too and get a regular Rock song…..but Psychostick obviously aren’t a regular band!

There are a lot of entertaining songs on SANDWICH and most of them have to do with food! I’m not sure if the band has had some hard times and missed a few essential meals or they hit every buffet in town, they seem to like anything to do with food. I counted 9 songs that had to do with some sort of food either by consumption or purchase but the song that I liked the best of the “food tunes” was ‘Minimum Rage’. If you’ve ever worked in retail (I do) and you’ve dealt with idiot customers then this is the song for you! Outside of food, I liked the rage filled take on getting directions from a woman in ‘Girl Directions’, the washing instructions in ‘Shower’ and the pride in lovving the female anatomy in ‘Vah-jay-jay’…..these songs had me laughing out loud. The problem I had with the album was that it was too long and a lot of the songs sounded like the previous ones. I hate to use the word “filler” but I found the last few songs a bit boring. ’373 Thank Yous’ is 14+ minutes of the band singing the names of fans who donated money for the band’s studio time. Using an epic length tune to thank the fans instead of the liner notes is a unique idea but after hearing it once you don’t really need to again. Same thing with ‘OUTTAKES!!!1′, a song which is basically a musical blooper reel for the album, and ‘We Ran Out Of CD Space’ that really runs out of space. These songs are funny ideas but by the time you get through 21 songs it ends up being too much.

Bottom Line:
Psychostick is not my usual style of Metal band but they are entertaining. I had no idea what to expect when I read the band’s bio and first put the album on but I was pleasantly surprised. SANDWICH kind of reminds me of M.O.D’s 1987 debut album USA FOR M.O.D. because of the number of songs, the length of some are just a few seconds and both records are hilarious. The difference is that M.O.D. are very controversial and politically incorrect while Psychostick compose humor from normal things in everyday life…..like food! Overall I liked a lot of the songs but I used the <SKIP> button a few times. Metal fans are a serious breed and I’m not sure how SANDWICH will resonate in the Metal community but it’s a change of pace that is good from time to time. I heard enough interesting tunes to go back and check out Psychostick’s 2nd album, the 2007 Xmas record, THE FLESH EATING ROLLER SKATE HOLIDAY JOYRIDE but I’m still not sure what to expect.

Favorite Songs:
‘Shower’, ‘Minimun Rage’, ‘Grocery Escape Plan’, ‘Girl Directions’, ‘Vah-jay-jay’

KISS Mixtape

I love KISS but I have a hard time listening to their studio albums properly because I know them all by heart. Don’t get me wrong, I still love albums like HOTTER THAN HELL, DESTROYER and CREATURES OF THE NIGHT, I just need to mix it up a little bit. Usually I put the headphones on and press <Shuffle> on the MP3 player but I decided on a new playlist: pick my favorite song off each album! I left off live albums and greatest hits records except for Side 4 of ALIVE II, KILLERS and the 2 new tunes on SMASHES THRASHES & HITS. So here’s my KISS favorites playlist (song-album-year), you’re going to see some obvious classics but there should be a few deep tracks in there:

  1. ‘Black Diamond’ – KISS (1974)
  2. ‘Parasite’ - Hotter Than Hell (1974)
  3. ‘She’ – Dressed To Kill (1975)
  4. ‘Shout It Out Loud’ – Destroyer (1976)
  5. ‘Mr. Speed’ – Rock And Roll Over (1976)
  6. ‘I Stole Your Love’ – Love Gun (1977)
  7. ‘All American Man’ – Alive II (1977)
  8. ‘Goodbye’ – Paul Stanley (1978)
  9. ‘You Matter To Me’ – Peter Criss (1978)
  10. ‘I’m In Need Of Love’ – Ace Frehley (1978)
  11. ‘See You Tonite’ – Gene Simmons (1978)
  12. ‘Sure Know Something’ – Dynasty (1979)
  13. ‘Torpedo Girl’ – Unmasked (1980)
  14. ‘The Oath’ – Music from The Elder (1981)
  15. ‘Down On Your Knees’ – Killers (1982)
  16. ‘Keep Me Comin’ – Creatures Of The Night (1982)
  17. ‘Lick It Up’ – Lick It Up (1983)
  18. ‘Get All You Can Take’ – Animalize (1984)
  19. ‘Tears Are Falling’ – Asylum (1985)
  20. ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’ – Crazy Nights (1987)
  21. ‘Let’s Put The X In Sex’ – Smashes Thrashes & Hits (1988)
  22. ‘Rise To It’ – Hot In The Shade (1989)
  23. ‘Unholy’ – Revenge (1992)
  24. ‘Childhood’s End’ – Carnival Of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997)
  25. ‘Raise Your Glasses’ – Psycho Circus (1998)
  26. ‘It’s My Life’ – The KISS Box Set (2001)

Honorable Mention: ‘See You In Your Dreams’ – Rock And Roll Over (1976)

WANTED: Parlor Trixx – Step Into My Parlor (2002)

WANTED

parlor trixx step into my parlor

Parlor Trixx – Step Into My Parlor (2002)

I stumbled upon Parlor Trixx sometime in 2003 through a message board I used to frequent that was geared toward CD collectors. Most of the users were hardcore Hard Rock/Metal collectors and they always gave tips on new bands and new releases. I remember reading about Parlor Trixx and checking out the band’s website but never ordering the CD. I should have ordered the CD because the band broke up in early 2006 and the CD sold out! As with many independent releases sold through band websites, the pressings are limited runs and sell out quick. From what I’ve read, Parlor Trixx gets compared to Def Leppard and many others from the ’80s Glam/Hard Rock past so I know that this album is one I would enjoy. I could always go and download it for free because the band has made it available at their website but I want the physical product for my collection! I’ve seen this CD sell on Ebay at a wide range of prices…..sometimes it sells for around $100 and sometimes around $30, it’s hard to predict the market because Parlor Trixx really wasn’t a big name even in the independent scene.

My Top 5 Concerts

I’m starting to gear up for the Summer 2009 concert season, I already have my Def Leppard/Poison and Judas Priest/Whitesnake tix. I went online today to see who else is coming to the New England area and it got me thinking about all the concerts I’ve been to and which ones were my favorites. So I pulled out all of my ticket stubs and I realized I’m missing a few of the early tours I saw when I was a kid but I remember the shows like it was yesterday! So here we go, my Top 5 Concerts…..make sure you check out some of the ticket prices!

1. KISS – Reunion Tour (Boston, MA) – 7/30/1996 – $50: Wouldn’t it figure that a diehard KISS fan would put KISS at the top of the list?! But it’s true, the Reunion show in Boston is the best concert I’ve ever seen. I never got the chance to see the band in makeup but I had seen them several times without it…..but it was the reunion with Ace & Peter and it was the “holy grail” for KISS fans. Two nights went on sale for the show at the Fleet Center but we got shut out…..this was back in the days of actually CALLING Ticketmaster! So we got shut out. The good news was that my best friend’s father had the right connections at the Fleet Center and we were able to get reserved seats on the Ace side of the stage, one section from the exact side, in the lower arena. We were so close that you could see the facial expressions! The section in front of us was the V.I.P. section and members of Boston, Aerosmith, and Extreme were in attendance. I forget who opened (didn’t matter), and the actual show is still a blur, but I screamed so loud and sang every word at the top of my lungs that I ended up damaging my vocal chords and I lost my voice for a month! All in the name of Rock ‘N’ Roll! This was the first of four shows I would catch on this tour.

2. Saxon & U.D.O. – Metalhead & Holy Tour (Warwick, RI) – 10/31/2000 – $40: This show was at The Station Nightclub…..yes the same Station that had the tragic fire during the Great White concert. The Station was a nice small bar that got all the Metal bands for our area. What a great place to watch a show! Anyway, I was online now so I knew the show was coming and I bought my ticket at the local Strawberries Records. Getting U.D.O. in as an opener was a huge bonus. It was Halloween night so I headed over to the venue around 6pm and had a beer, at the bar was Biff Byford and Doug Scarratt from Saxon and Fitty Weinhold from U.D.O., so I was able to meet the guys and get autographs. No cameras were allowed in and I couldn’t get the guys to leave the bar and come outside while I got the camera from the car. All nice guys, a pleasure to talk to, they all autographed my show flyer. The show was awesome, I was right at the front in front of Biff’s mic stand and Saxon played two solid hours! Unfortunately U.D.O.’s set was cut short (7 songs) because the local band they had open ran late taking down their gear. I ended up with a Metalhead Tour shirt, a Holy Tour shirt, and a Wheels Of Steel long sleeve shirt…..the guy running the merch booth was Udo’s brother, Peter Dirkschneider, who was in Vanize. I ended up hanging around after the show and got a guitar pick from Nibbs Carter from Saxon and another flyer.

3. KISS w/Ted Nugent – Crazy Nights Tour (Providence, RI) – 12/12/1987 – $16.50: This was the first time I saw KISS live, I was 15 years old, and it was at my home arena the Providence Civic Center. I missed the Lick It Up, Animalize & Asylum tours when they came through because my parents thought I was too young but I started going to concerts shortly after I missed the Asylum tour. By December ’87 I was a concert veteran! I remember my friend smuggled in a tape recorder to bootleg the show and I still have that old cassette somewhere. I lived and died KISS so when the band took the stage after their intro, I was in hysterics! Great show, they played a lot of older tunes and six off CRAZY NIGHTS. As for Terrible Ted…..he was solid but I had already seen him open for Aerosmith in ’86 so I was glad to hear him play but just wanted KISS…..nothing beats the first time I heard the KISS intro with my own ears.

4. UFO & Blue Oyster Cult – You Are Here Tour (Hampton Beach, NH) – 9/25/2004 – $26: I’m a big UFO fan and when this stop on the tour was announced I grabbed a ticket and took a vacation day at work! The problem was that the tour got delayed, it was orginally supposed to be on 5/1 but there was a problem with Pete Way’s visa, etc. The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom is about a two hour drive from my home in Pawtucket, RI so I packed a lunch and hooked up the CD player and jammed all the way there! There was an opening act but I forget who they were (Healing Sixes maybe?). UFO and BOC were trading headline positions that tour so UFO came on first and played all the classics and a bunch off YOU ARE HERE in around two hours. I was camped in my usual spot in front of the stage but near Vinnie Moore’s side. Towards the end of the encore, I made my way more towards the side of the stage where the band entered and exited from. When the show was done, the band came off stage and by the barrier I was near and I was able to high five Vinnie Moore, Paul Raymond, and Barry Sparks. I ended up buying a shirt and hat, I where the hat all the time (I need a replacement, come back again guys!). As for BOC…..I ended up watching most of their show from the bar and I cut out early before the encore so I could get a move on home.

5. Aerosmith – Nine Lives Tour (Boston, MA) – 12/31/1997 – $39.25: Aerosmith & New Year’s Eve = a huge party! This show was at the Fleet Center in Boston and, if you live in New England, you know not to drive into downtown Boston on New Year’s Eve! This was the 2nd show of a two night stand at the Fleet Center and it was a 21 song party complete with a countdown to 1998 in the middle of the show with balloons, confetti, etc. By ’97, I’d seen Aerosmith on every tour since the Done With Mirrors tour in early ’86 so I knew it would be a good show. It turned out to be a great show because the band went over the top to give their hometown fans a New Year’s Eve to remember. The opening acts were The Upper Crust (a local Boston Hard Rock band that dressed in French renaissance gear with powdered wigs) and Days Of The New (who sucked). The original opening band was supposed to be Talk Show (Stone Temple Pilots without Scott Weiland) and I remember my best friend getting all upset when Talk Show pulled out but he loved Days Of The New too. I watched The Upper Crust, took a nap during Days Of the New (we had been doing some drinking during the day in some Irish pubs) and was refreshed for a 2 hour Aerosmith show. My 1o yr old daughter wears my Nine Lives tour shirt now!