Donnerstag, 27. November 2014

SLAPSHOT - "SLAPSHOT" (Still putting Boston back on the map, also in 2014. - CD-Release via "OLDE TYME RECORDS".)

(Running time: Sixteen songs in around 35:27 minutes of running time.)
Fuck it, this is incredible great, that SLAPSHOT are finally really back again for one more round. (And hopefully then also more.) How long is it now, that "DIGITAL WARFARE" and "TEAR IT DOWN" had been released?!? Oh man... "DIGITAL WARFARE" was released back then in in 2003, man, eleven years passed us by since then. And I think "TEAR IT DOWN" was released just one or two years after "DIGITAL WARFARE" some time around 2005 or so - but don't nail me on that - ... man, you see... a decade easily passed us by since SLAPSHOT were the last time around, many years and a lot of time. And now from out of nowhere they make their return with their (brand-) new self-titled "SLAPHSHOT" full length album. And when I say from out of nowhere then I mean "from out of nowhere", because at least I haven't got them on my radar anymore. (And that was a huge mistake.) Surely, they played a lot of great concerts and toured their ass' off over the last decade, sure, but I haven't expected them to release a proper new full length - that so really came like sort out of nowehere for me - and now here it is (okay, already since September... but okay, let us say since "now"...) and here's finally coming my review on it for you. Okay, now here we go, the topic is "SLAPSHOT" from SLAPSHOT. And if you like so then you can maybe easily speak of their second comeback or anyhow something like this, and you know what, as long as they keep on coming back that great like they did with "DIGITAL WARFARE" already back then and espceially with "SLAPSHOT" nowadays too they can surely come back as often as they want, because this is (again) just a perfect and an amazing album, point and fact. So, after I bought "SLAPSHOT" some day this passed September I figured out for how long "DIGITAL WARFARE" wasn't on heavy rotation since some years now (same counts for "TEAR IT DOWN", just btw), and so I decided to change this finally again, as well as I was listening heavily to the newest one here, and I came to two conclusions:
(1.) I still fucking love "DIGITAL WARFARE" and it's still amazing how ultra- or über-aggressive and no holds barred brutal it was and (still) is, so bitter, evil, grim, tough as nails, pissed off, nasty, and mean, hell man, it's still so fucking incredible all the energy and attitude, like a dominant storm of power, fury, and steel it conquered and still conquers everyything, damn it, and it's by any means still in my book one of the strongest and most true and real Hardcore albums ever. So, with this said and with this became clear to me, yes, I started to ask myself what now maybe you ask yourself: "When "DIGITAL WARFARE" was and still is such a masterpiece, how would "SLAPSHOT" stand its ground?!?" - And this leads us to the second conclusion that came to my mind...
(2.) Oh man, and how and in what a outstanding way it stands its ground, no matter if compared with "DIGITAL WARFARE" (and "TEAR IT DOWN", that was and still is also a just awesome- and in this case- little album) or with any other album (SLAPSHOT born or not), and it is definitely one of the by far very strongest albums of and for 2014 and pretty sure also for the next years to come, Hardcore in particular, and music in general, and you can be sure that you will find it very, very high in my top ten 2014 albums list, and it is also not only one of the strongest 2014 album and will surely remain one of the very strongest albums for years, but it is also one of the damn fucking very, very strongest albums in years. And even it's (maybe) not that ultra-aggressive, über-pissed off, and amazingly pissed off, bitter, mean, and nasty like "DIGITAL WARFARE" was it's still one hell of an eruptive and explosive outburst, and maybe due to the fact that "DIGITAL WARFARE" was in general faster paced than these days "SLAPSHOT" and it's pretty sure also due to this skullcracking fast pace that "DIGITAL WARFARE" was and is such an über-aggressive musical jackhammer it's straight to say that with its more grooving and a little bit more down paced and to shredding and heavy grooving mid pace tending songs "SLAPSHOT" is a by far more brutal and heavy bootstomp delivered right to your face and rampaging right through it cracking your skull in two, and to be more detailed and more precise it's even more brutal and heavy than its direct precusor release(s). And trust me when I say that you don't have to worry, because surely SLAPSHOT didn't start to play Doom these days, to say it this way, hehehehe;-)... and even more surely they never ever wimped out, hehehehe;-)...
So, okay, with all this and that said let me tell you that masses of shredding and smashing guitar riffs, thundering and demolishing drums, a rampage going raging wild-hog styled bass at work, and broad and loud crew shouts wait for you on such a fantastic high and also stand-alone level of quality that it will simply make you go totally nuts while listening to it over and over again, and above all that totally unique shining ultra-pissed off and still über-aggressive lead vocals, Choke simply is the man, and with saying that I mean he's THE MAN, point and fact. And also expect the guitars to have that special and unique SLAPSHOT tone and style. The songs are great done stuff, full of intensity, attitude, emotions, and attitude, honest and authentic Hardcore smashers for the real Hardcore Bouncers outta there, rough'n'tough as damn fucking nailes and all is completly no holds barred, and it's definitely nothing for the dumbass fancy trendy little wanna-be Tough Guys crowd, nope, let this scumbags just dance on and to their bad and horrible pseudo-Death Metal called Beatdown "Hardcore" or Death "Core" and all will (still) be fine. (but, don't get it wrong, not that all Beatdown Hardcore or Death Core would be terrible, I mean something different...) At least all will be (still) fine for me, hehehehe;-). Also the songs vary nicely and hold some nice little great surprises in store that're just waiting to be discovered by you and you and you, too. So, you see, also a very great and grapping and above all damn intense songwriting SLAPSHOT offer us (again), not to talk about that these roughnecks definitely know how to score which means how to deliver the goods in the right way- and oh man how they still deliver... oh HELL YEAH'!!! Also again we get a truckload full of great and very strong, very outspoken and expressive and nicely cliché-free lyrics, a pretty sinister and above all completly supreme and dominant ruling artwork, and all songs are wrapped in a fantastic heavy yet dirty loud production sound. And I swear you that the SLAPSHOT version of the fantastic DEPECHE MODE classic "PERSONAL JESUS" is one of the most unique, out-standing, and simply most exciting and best cover versions of this song that you will ever have heard or ever hear, trust me, period. If you ask for my personal favorites then this would be "I TOLD YOU SO", "GO HARD", "KILL IT WITH FIRE", "FUCK IT", "FREEZER BURN", "YOU'RE ON MY LIST", "NEVER TRUST A JUNKIE", and - of course - "PERSONAL JESUS", but be sure that also that the not mentioned songs will conquer you in a total dominant way right from the get-go. So, I think you know by now all that you have to know, this here is one unique Old School Hardcore statement, totally alive and lively, fresh and new, grapping and relevant like not much else outta there, and it's also and above all simply just one hell of an album, so I will now cut it and just leave you with the order to go out and buy this album (in case you may still don't call it your own) and celebrate it, go rampage on/to it. One of the highest recommendations I've ever made up here. Stand-out band and album, SLAPSHOT simply are the very, very best, period. So go out and get it. HARDCORE!!! FIST!!! /// Andy
(Rating: 10 of 10 points)
(Band contacts: & - And again Blogger ticks me off with simply refusing to post this as direct links to the pages... so you know the deal, copy the link-lines into the headlines of some new browser-tabs and then just go there... but Blogger sucks anyhow anyway... at leats currently - or better: in moments like this...!!!)

Samstag, 22. November 2014

RANCID - "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW" (American Streetpunk Icons make their return in 2014 via "HELLCAT RECORDS" and "EPITAPH RECORDS"; CD-Release)

(Note: Don't ask me if there will be a LP release - or if there's maybe already a LP release out - because that's something I simply don't know.)
(Running Time: 14 songs in pretty exactly 32:53 minutes.)
Really? Five years? Five years passed since RANCID released the so far last album in their discography, speaking of the last long player "LET THE DOMINOS FALL" from 2009. Oh man, I guess that's what everyone means, especially everyone growing slowly old(er), when he/she says that time always goes by too soon and too quick and this sooner and quicker year by year. Hm, but okay, I also guess that that's a different and another story, so enough of it here and now. Instead of this let us rather go to the topic, the brandnew RANCID album "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW", released recently this year 2014 via a collaboration work between "HELLCAT RECORDS" (anyone's wondering right now?) and "EPITAPH RECORDS", that features 14 songs in more or less exact 32:53 minutes of running time. Okay, now where to start... Ah, maybe here: To be honest then I have to admit, that I really had sort of a hard time with this album. The last two albums - already pretty old albums - failed to convince me, I mean, okay, not that "LET THE DOMINOS FALL" (2009) or especially "INDESTRUCTIBLE" (2003 - really, from 2003, damn it, this was eleven years ago... when it was released I was just twenty-two years old... man, damn it...) had been anyhow sort of really bad albums or so, I mean countless other Punkrock and Streetpunk bands no matter from where ever would sell their souls to do just one album like them in their whole existence as a band, but they anyhow also hadn't been anything like really strong albums, not to talk they would had been great albums, and especially set in relation to or with the great works of RANCID they were anyhow nothing else than pretty weak. (Their "B-SIDES & C-SIDES" collection album from 2007 doesn't matter here, just for the record.) So, now with living in 2014 which means damn long fourteen years after their so far last from start to finish just strong album, their simply "RANCID" titled album from 2000, I was really curious and asked myself if RANCID would still be able to deliver (and I mean deliver the goods) and if they are still relevant today or not. And so, what answers could us "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW" give and what do we or I know today, what answers to my questions... Like already said I had a hard time with this album, even I was heavily excited and enthusiastic to have and hear it. I can't really tell what it was (even I am pretty sure that it just had been my expectations that simply were set too high by me for this long awaited album), but after I thought about it as often as I was listening to it over and over again over the last past few weeks I decided that it doesn't really matter anyhow anyway to me - not to talk of you -, because, you know what, from my point of view two things can easily and clearly being said about "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW":
(1.) It's by any means a really strong album, and it's definitely an album that grows on you more and more with every listening session that you have with it and it's damn great to hear RANCID going back to their roots and their strongest days and albums, which are definitely "...AND OUT COME THE WOLVES" (1995) and "LIFE WON'T WAIT" (1998), and I mean this is in general great and in particular and in my personal case it's even greater because this had been the two albums that I started to knew them from and with and because of which I totally fell in love with them, and they are still two very, very important albums to and for me, I even would say two of my ever most important albums. So, yes, even RANCID can't really match up with their glory days around nearly twenty years ago - but I think this is something that was more or less sort of clear right from the start, because, hey, come on, you can't top what is already the very best, so forget about it - but at the end of the day I have to say that they come anyhow pretty close... and as close as they never had been since 1998 passed us all by. (Damn it... 1998... back then I was just seventeen years young, not to talk of 1995... oh man...)
(2.) RANCID are definitely still a very relevant band, and even more with being backed up by this one here their new album: not because of historical or nostalgic reasons and matters, I would even say they are still one of the most relevant bands outta there, for Punkrock and Streetpunk anyway, but also beside or "above" Punkrock/Streetpunk definitely as well.
So, okay, with all this now being said, let me have - before we reach the closing lines of this review article - a more detailed look for you on "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW", the newest RANCID offspring. Like already said the direction points or goes back to their glory days from the mid to late 1990's definitely represented by and with "...AND OUT COME THE WOLVES" (1995) and "LIFE WON'T WAIT" (1998) so expect hymnal and anthemic, heavy kicking and sharp cutting yet melodic and catchy singing and fingerpointing and fist raising sing-a-long fueled Streetpunk with big loads of SKA and Reggae influences in it and also clearly inspired by THE CLASH styled Punkrock, and added to this we find cool Oi! marks in it (anyone who's now wondering simply don't know RANCID and had slept under some damn lonely stones especially over the last couple of years), all delivered by strong and pretty if not very diverse guitars, a great walking and talking bass playing, tight and precise and to the point precise played very effective drumming, and crowned by great double lead vocals by two of the most charismatic voices in today's business, and that are also backed up by massive crew shouts and delivering really brilliant sing-a-longs of might and power again and again. The songwriting is just nothing else than strong, really strong, and I mean really and truly very strong, and even they definitely sort of go back in their history they aren't delivering a lame and stale boring ripp off of their own hey-days, no, instead of this they deliver a fresh and strong, a grapping and exciting high energy album full of cool ideas, grapping arrangements and compositions, forceful pace variations, and on and on, it's all there, and if it wouldn't be for some (thankfully only few) really weak songs like especially the pretty lame opener "BACK TO WHERE I BELONG" and especially the terrible crappy uninteresting final track "GRAVE DIGGER" they would have gotten an even better rating for "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW" up here as they so get now. Strong lyrics, a pretty "slim" but anyhow beautiful and also very cool artwork, and then also a first class production sound we get on top of it all as well. My personal favorites are "RAISE YOUR FIST", "COLLISION COURSE", "EVIL'S MY FRIEND", the almighty title track "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW", "A POWER INSIDE", "IN THE STREETS", "DIABOLICAL", and the great "NOW WE'RE THROUGH WITH YOU", so if you ask me then check this tunes out first. And do yourself the favor and give this album some time to grow on you, because maybe it's at first the same with you as it was with me and like in my case your expectations had been maybe just too high or too ambitious for an "innocent" kick off for and of and with "...HONOR IS ALL WE KNOW", so don't spoil the album by yourself for yourself, instead of this rather start to enjoy it, because it offers really a lot for you, especially if you are into Streetpunk, Punkrock, and cliché-free and non-ridiculous SKA-Punk music, hm, and RANCID fans and fanatics will surely love it sooner or later anyhow for sure. I will spare it me and you to compare RANCID here and now with other bands, because they are and sound simply just like themselves, definitely just like RANCID, point and fact. Even it's not the best RANCID album ever (but, again, who should have thought so) it's their best album at least since 2000 and maybe even since 1998 and it is anhyow a really strong album that I can calmly recommend here and now to you and you. Hm, okay, and now I think that's it for this one, just give this little shining silver disc a fair chance and see how you start to dance and sing a long with them in an enthusiastically thrilled way and mood - and trust me, exactly this will surely happen to you, sooner or later, period. Cheers & Oi! Oi! Oi! /// Andy
(Rating: 8,5 of 10 points)

Freitag, 21. November 2014

My choice.

True words. Wise words. Motivational words. Make your choice. I made mine.

Dienstag, 18. November 2014

CRUCIAL CHANGE - "SO IT BEGINS" (American Oi! on the Warpath, Legion 33 are back.) *** Album of the year!!! ***


Hey folks, finally something really valuable is coming up here again. This month was so far pretty silent, I know, but that's due to the fact that the real life crossed right through my plans again and again the last days and weeks... the old story of work and real life duties, again and again, you all know... so enough of the introducing small talking right here and now, instead of this back to the topic and this is nothing else than my review on the current, new, and this year's CRUCIAL CHANGE release that carries the title "SO IT BEGINS" and that was released a few months ago - and this after, if you ask me, far too many years of waiting for it... but anyhow, it's finally out and that's all what matters in the end. It is released on vinyl by "THIS MEANS WAR" records and on CD by "CROWD CONTROL MEDIA" records, and the LP version is also released as a special edition with a very different (but also very great) Pagan/Viking style artwork. I own the regular LP version (as you can see above) and also the CD version and I will review here and now both, one after the other. Before you now ask why just let me say that the CD version also contains their great "MOURNING IN AMERICA" EP that's also released on vinyl and that was released more or less shortly after their "SO IT BEGINS" album, so you see, it makes sense to review both releases instead of just mentioning the two different release formats. 
Ah, and now to something very important before we finally come to review the album: A big THANKS goes out to Tyler/CRUCIAL CHANGE for sending me the CD, fucking GREAT of YOU man, so THX VERY MUCH for it!!! 

Okay, and now with this said finally straight into the action, here we go!!!
"SO IT BEGINS - The fight for your nation, the fight to save your land.
 SO IT BEGINS - The battle lines are drawn, all factions make their stand.
 SO IT BEGINS - The lies and the violence have come home to roost.
 SO IT BEGINS - We're gonna make them pay for all the things they've done.
 SO IT BEGINS - Standing side by side, our hearts they beat as one.
 SO IT BEGINS - No longer do we sleep, the people have awoke.
 SO IT BEGINS - Destiny's the reason, the tyrants set the stage.
 SO IT BEGINS - Betrayed our people, feel our hearts of rage.
 SO IT BEGINS - The night begins to fade, Old Glory to the sky.


("THIS MEANS WAR" Records; LP - limited red vinyl edition):
Waited by far too long for it, I mean it has been five damn long years since their great last album "33" was released, back then still via the german label "DIM RECORDS", and even I know that life is life and also that all costs money, I know, but man, damn it, I mean five damn years... I even doubted for a while that CRUCIAL CHANGE would be still around, hahaha ;-) , so you now may have a pretty good impression of how curious I was to finally see this album being released and I bought it direct and promptly... and what shall I say... five years are a long time and people who live a real life can change drastically in five years... and when this guys play in bands it's only normal or natural when also this bands then change... and so when I first saw the artwork and the band pictures of the new album I was pretty surprised... The album cover is a sort of a tribute or homage to the iconic N.W.A., the founding fathers of what is known since then as Gangsta Rap, and bandpictures that show the sympathic and authentic guys of CRUCIAL CHANGE wearing Baseball caps, sunglasses, in parts ''full beard'', and casual streetwear as well as sitting on cool Hot Rod or maybe better Lowrider styled cars, and no Boots & Braces, no Skinhead Way of Life or Oi! Band shirts, no Harrington jackets of "our" beloved brands, no tattoos, no shaved heads crop no. # one, and also no waving flags or anything like this. My first impression or thought was like: "Man, what's going on?" But keep in mind that five years are a pretty long distance to walk, hm, and in my individual case keep in mind that I by myself went through sort of strong and certain changes over the last five or six years, and so it was no shock moment, but a moment that made me even more curious, curious for the songs, the music, as well as the lyrics and the message, curious about/for the complete album, and so heavily excited I used to put the needle down and the LP started to spin for the first time... and then it happened right from the first notes, the damn album conquered me all the way and this in a by far more than "only" dominant way. So, one step after the other and so now first to the most important part of it: The songs and the music.


(I.) The songs, the music: Keepin' the pretty massive changes in the artwork and bandpictures in mind I can calm every CRUCIAL CHANGE fan's mood down, because they definitely worked no Gangsta Rap influences into their music ;-) and also they did not moved into any sort of Hardcore styled direction, no, they sticked true to their approach - even they definitely improved and cultivated their style and music in a massive way, and they also enriched it with some nice little but strong fresh ideas like great new rhythm structures and nice varying surprises in the pace architecture of the songs, as well as a even more harder and heavier harsh punch right and straight into your face, even heavier and even harder that before. And also I truly love to hear CRUCIAL CHANGE playing a style of (American) Oi! music that's also on the musical level free of/from any well-known Oi! clichés. No ongoing Oi! Oi! Oi! chantings, no sweet Streetpunk flirtings, no copying of any old ones and what they've done thrity years ago, no annoying over-used sing-a-longs for the cheap entertainment of the listeners, no hand clapping, no on and on singing never ending crew back up chantings, no gruff and grim cookeymonster growling and shouting vocals as lead singing, no anyhow done musical flirtings with the "Spirit of 1969" or anything like this, no, expect nothing of this to happen here - and even also today I surely very often still do love this mentioned clichés when they are done good and fresh (and often they are done so, but even more often they are done in a terrible annoying way every little while because you can easily disguise a lack of talent and creativity with using them on and on again and the drunken crowd cheers up to it, so why change it... yes, exactly because of this...), I definitely love it even more when I hear and see a band with the guts, the class, the skills, the attitude, and the character to change and walk their won ways and not caring for such stereotypes and instead of this doing their very own thing, and CRUCIAL CHANGE have all what it takes to walk their own way, and they know it and even more they know how to do it - and so, yes, they definitely do it. So expect dustdry played facecracking and bonesmashing forceful heavy guitars that drive the songs in a mercyless and hard way forward and yet still working great anthemic and hymnal approaches and arrangements into the songs and that offer beside the really heavy and in a great organic and natural way damn hard riffs great catchy melody and lead lines as well as also some outstanding effective and powerful solo lines that enrich the songs heavily and make them all really round and complete - and really HUGE. Beside the guitars the bass playing is in a very strong shining way present and sort of dominant and making the songs really broad and even more heavier, and this also in a pretty earthy and natural and also nicely dirty way, and I love especially that the bass is played in such a forceful way and that you are easily aware of it over all the distance of the songs and the whole album. The drums then march and stomp massively forward, backing the music perfectly up and giving them the final punch to become real smashers that take any- and everything but hell no definitely no prisoners, and I truly like it very much that the drums are done very limber, I mean they are very powerful and totally tight and precise in time but all without being in an impelled or pressured way intrusive facile heavy, and that's just damn great, point and fact. And above all there are Tyler's vocals, one of the strongest, hardest and yet really sung and so also totally charismatic and also damn aggressive lead singing voices that you can only find and Tyler with his vocals is really giving it all the crown, ah, and of course some or better surely a lot of smart and clever placed and timed loud and proud crew back ups beefing it all up in a great and massive way. This is hard smashing, rough'n'tough, sharp aiming'n'shooting, heavy hitting, harsh stomping, and just sheer force- and powerful American made Brickwall Oi! of the highest class and without any clichés but instead of this with a own heart and soul, character and identity, and of an incredible high class of quality. And it is also especially the heart and the soul that gives this album, this songs and music the fresh and far out breath of life that streaks through the songs and finally really brings them to life. To compare CRUCIAL CHANGE with any other bands makes no real sense this day anymore to me but just let me say that if you are (also) into bands like for example the YOUTH DEFENSE LEAGUE, maybe some RED, WHITE & BLUE, and also BEST DEFENSE and can imagine a band doing some style more or less close to the mentioned great ones of old but this in a very self-contained stand alone way and also in a very fresh and in a all positive meant modern way than make sure to check CRUCIAL CHANGE and their new album out, just in case you maybe haven't done so already. This is just totally fantastic stuff, period. And now the next important things: The lyrics and the message.


(II.) The lyrics, the message: And here the drastic changes that the artwork already announces come through even clearer than in the music. But also here one step after the other. It's not like they changed their personality or character, no, they stayed true, and also sticked true to their lyrical approach. But their lyrics are done on an even higher level of quality than before, and are even more thoughtful than before, and also even more critical, gladiatorial and battle-scarred, and also more political than before, very outspoken and upright, Working Class, patriotic and at the same time also straight right up anti-racist and anti-fascist, and this even more outspoken direct than on earlier albums. Also critical on the religion of Islam and all the fucked up fascist excesses we all can see and experience of it, which means the Islam, worldwide, and this gives them even more points in my book, because not many bands would have the guts to do that, and even less bands would or anyhow could do this on such a skilled and thoughtful level like CRUCIAL CHANGE do it, without any use and abuse of bullshit right wing stereotypes or clichés of "critizing" Islam, and this is just perfect. Beside their political and critical lyrics we get also again a very strong Paganism/Odinism song, the phenomenal "THE WANDERER" (music-wise and lyric-wise one of my total favorites on "SO IT BEGINS"), but then... no, you will find no Skinhead anthems, Oi! Oi! Oi! hymns, no fuck politics, Crucified Skinhead, or what the hell else ever songs and lyrics... instead of this we "just" get "YOUTH": Sort of nostalgic review on the short cropped days of youth and at the same time also a big middle finger right and straight into the face of what has become out of Skinhead and Oi! in the largest parts of the scene over the years right up to the present day, it's sort of a desolate and frustrated swan song on the Skinhead'n'Oi! scenery of today and the state it's in, as well as a nostalgic view on the innocent naive days of youth, and a proud and self-contained outlook for the future and view on the own current person without carrying any banners and without wearing or needing any labels to define yourself anymore. And this makes "YOUTH" to just a phenomenal song (also music-wise), and the perfect proof of how far CRUCIAL CHANGE moved on over the distance of the last passed five years, because it's a song that would have been unthinkable of five years ago, and so it's a very fine and perfect example of CRUCIAL CHANGE in 2014 - and maybe also an important roadmark on the road into the future of the band, we will see. So, okay, and now finally to what came off too short so far: "All the rest".


(III.) "All the rest": The album "SO IT BEGINS" comes in a great organic, earthy, natural, dirty, and yet very heavy and powerful production sound that's a perfect match to/with the music/songs, and the artwork then not only sticks out for an Oi! album and Oi! band but it is also just a true beauty because it simple rocks and is also really fresh air. If you want to know what are my personal favorites, okay, then let me first say that... every damn single song is purest platinum, period... but if you want to know which songs personally for me shine even a little bit brighter and stronger than let me say that you from my point of view best start to discover "SO IT BEGINS" with the title track "SO IT BEGINS" itself as well as "LAND OF MY FATHERS", "AMERICAN HEART", "OUR STAKE", "THE WANDERER", "YOUTH", and "RIGHTEOUS HAND", and make sure to play it loud and to have enough room to start your one man pit in your living room.
All in all this is an album that demolishes my rating scala because I would have to give it sort of 12 out of 10 points if not 15 out of 10 points to be just to it. But after this is not how things with a rating scale work I will just add a * to the rating to demonstrate the phenomenal class of "SO IT BEGINS" and the stand-alone place and character that it holds for me, without a single doubt, point and fact. And that also on a personal level, because as far as I love their fantastic music also their lyrics speak from deep down out of my heart and soul with expressing many (political and critical) views that come as close to mine as it is only possible for a band outta there and also especially their song "YOUTH" describes in a sort of perfect way my own development and how I see "things" today and how I saw this "things" once... it's a surprisingly great matching lyrical expression of my own development as a person over the last five or six years or so, and this only makes me hail them even more. So, okay, I think for now I really said enough so and so right here and now and before I will do my review on the CD version of "SO IT BEGINS" as well I will now give you my rating on it and just let me point out one more thing straight and direct and outspoken again: 2014 saw really incredible many just amazing albums of so many different fantastic bands and of so many different kinds of music out there, but this little one here, this stand-alone awesome masterpiece titled "SO IT BEGINS" of the almighty CRUCIAL CHANGE really is, and so much I can tell already here and now also with still having some weeks to go before 2014 will be done, nothing else than my album of the year, and I will close this lines here and now with saying: THE LEGION STANDING PROUD. HAIL VICTORY! ALL HAIL CRUCIAL CHANGE! Cheers & Oi! Oi! Oi! /// Andy
(Rating: 10* of 10 points)
(Award: MANSLAUGHTER THUG LIFE album of the year 2014.)

Pagan shirt of "SO IT BEGINS".


And now here comes my review on the CD release of "SO IT BEGINS":

So here's now the CD version of "SO IT BEGINS", waiting to be finally reviewed as well, okay, and so here we go, reviewing it, too, especially because the CD version of the albums contains also the pretty much brand new three track EP "MOURNING IN AMERICA", and that's by far reason enough to do a proper review on it alone, no matter if the LP version was already reviewed or not, and so, again, here we go one more time. On this little silver shining disc we find the whole album that we find also on the vinyl plus the three mentioned single tracks. So what shall I say or write here and now more to or about the album that I haven't already said respectively written above. This is my personal album of or for 2014 due to the fact that it is packed up full completly with killer songs and killer music as well as it is enriched by really great lyrics and it is coming in one hell of an atrtwork'n'production sound package, all on a level simply not reached by others and it is also from my personal point of view their by far best material to date, and also (like above already said) also this albums means hell a lot to me on a, hm, okay, let us say on a personal level (simply because I can't describe it any better, but I think you get what I am saying), so expect to find all the ripping and ruling killer tunes from start to finish, the demolishing powerful guitars that also shine with great leads and melody lines, the overwhelming great lead vocals, the beefy and bulky crew back up chants, the forceful and very present bass playing, and the harsh stomping battle drums, and also expect all the hymns from start to finish, from "SO IT BEGINS" and "LAND OF MY FATHERS" over "AMERICAN HEART" and "THE WANDERER" to "YOUTH" and "RIGHTEOUS HAND", and also be sure to enjoy the great artwork, that even was slightly overworked so that it even looks a little bit more cool than the LP original, and be also sure to enjoy also the first class production sound, that's a hard and yet very earthy perfect match to/with the music. Yes, be sure to get all this. (And after I've wrote about it all already right above I won't go in it here and now anymore.) But be sure to also get even more, and here comes the "MOURNING IN AMERICA" three track vinyl single into play that is featured as a bonus here on this disc, so that you get the three brandnew tracks "MOURNING IN AMERICA", "THIS FORCE", and "WHO LAUGHS LAST?" on here added to the tracks of the "SO IT BEGINS" album. While the album was (at least over here in Germany) released some time around April or May the single was for all what I know (or think to know) released by the end of this summer respectively the beginning of autumn, so just some few short months ago from now, and so this three new songs are what you may can easily call brandnew tracks. And this brandnew tracks really know how to shine like the whole new album, maybe even a little bit more (even this seems to be not that possible after all, and this seperates the greatest from "just" great bands), and this due to the even more dominant and present really singing lead guitar lines that cultivate the songs even more and give them an even more hymnal or anthemic approach, and what I really like or better love is how great it's all arranged, because the leads really interact in a perfect match way with the great lead singing and the lead vocal lines, so that the new songs truly really, really shine even a bit brighter than their songs on their full length already did. I would love to see them go on in this direction (of the album as well as of the single and with that strong focus on the leads and the guitar work in general) in the future of their existence as the band CRUCIAL CHANGE (and hopefully it will be a ongoing long running future). Beside this they sticked with and stayed true to their style and approach of music like above described, and all hail them for doing so. Lyricwise the three new tracks are even more outspoken political on a very high level of class and quality, very reflected and thoughtful without any dumb and stupid brainwashed as well as brainwashing stereotypes and clichés and prejudices, instead of this really quality lyric(s), and that's something that I also really love, their lyrics simply give me so much, and that they somehow seem to see things in very similar lights than I do see many things make their lyrics to really speak-outs right from deep down out of my heart, and personally that's just even more great. But also if you not share their views, because I mean why should you (everyone has his/her own experiences and so on, and so views can and do differ a lot, and that's just totally right and fine with me, life would be boring if this would be different and we all would be "equal" in a totally assimilated, unwanted, and boring way and sense), I am very sure that you will appreciate a band delivering lyrics of that outspoken kind on such a first calss, thoughtful, reflected, and also authentic level. Perfect, period. After all I think finally I've said so far really every- and anything what I had to say about "SO IT BEGINS" and so with this words I will now come to the final lines of this (very, very long) review article and will be finally coming to the close of it. This here simply and definitely and without a doubt is my album of/for 2014, and even 2014 saw many great bands and artists coming up with their new albums and most of this new albums were damn great and amazing records this very one here shines clearly above them all, and the "MOURNING IN AMERICA" single added up to the "SO IT BEGINS" album takes away nothing from it, hell no, instead of this the total opposite is the case, if anything. So my rating definitely remains, and my final words: Don't miss out on it, you would regret it badly. CRUCIAL CHANGE are really one of the few very damn best bands around, and this not only of and in American Oi! in particular or Oi! in general, nah, they are one of the few very damn best and greatest bands around no matter out of what particular genre of music, and I can not highly recommend this fantastic new album full of timeless highest quality (American Oi!) music enough, so come on and go out and get it as soon as possible if you still shouldn't have it already. Definitely (very) soon to be classic album!!! ALL HAIL CRUCIAL CHANGE!!! Cheers & Oi! Oi! Oi! /// Andy
(Rating: 10* of 10 points)
(Award: MANSLAUGHTER THUG LIFE album of the year 2014.)



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Sonntag, 9. November 2014


Hey guys, tonight just a little video and in this case it's the swing of the axe:
THROWDOWN blasting out their "HOLY ROLLER", one Monster of a song.
Sort of a PANTERA ripp off... ah... sort of heavily influenced by PANTERA... definitely, period.
But after PANTERA sadly enough aren't anymore an won't be ever again I take a great copy all day,
especially when the copy does such a phenomenal work.
So, I hope you enjoy it.
Beside this: It's currently very busy but I am trying to post something new asap, trust me, so stay tuned for more to come.
More or less next up will be my review on my album of 2014, so be excited for it.
Then now that's all already again.
Have a good start into the next week and then I say good night and I am offline again. /// Andy

Mittwoch, 5. November 2014

Sonntag, 2. November 2014


Okay folks, after tonight only more or less some pictures were posted up here by me and nothing else will come up tonight anymore I felt that I could also give you to finish this very day a little video or song up here finally again, and after I am currently in an evergreen fever I will give you a through and through true and real German Oi! Rock & Roll classic, no one else than the almighty and iconic BOOTS & BRACES with their total anthem "GÖTTER DER GERECHTIGKEIT" from their epic classic "SCHÖN WAR DIE ZEIT". I love this stuff, pretty much grew up with it for good parts of my youth - which means for the best parts of my youth. THANKS to BOOTS & BRACES for the great music and all the great personal memories linked to/with it. So, enjoy it, this is a great lesson in german history that they won't teach you at school. Cheers & Oi! Oi! Oi! /// Andy

Stomp out the filth and dirt.
No mess, no fuss, just pure impact. Oi!

"VOICE OF NYC" 8th & 9th of May 2015 presented by the 211 BOOTBOYS.

I can't tell you great it would be if I could be there.
This promises already right now to be nothing else
than one of the best concerts in and for 2015.
If not even THE concert in and for 2015.
I mean, come on just look at the billing: OXBLOOD (!!!),
the SUN CITY SKINS, and even more bands will be announced.
Okay, so who buys me a flight ticket now?!? Come on, guys...

BORN FROM PAIN - "DANCE WITH THE DEVIL" (New BFP album, released via "BEATDOWN HARDWEAR" @ the 3rd of November 2014.)


Tonight just something to showcase and proof that I'm sort of a nerd...
Hahaha, that's great, I simply would love to see this in a comic and
also in a movie, too. And I love this picture.
That's it, nothing anyway big or valuable or so,
but something funny and pretty cool,
and that must be enough for today/tonight.
Cheers. /// Andy