The 90s were a weird time. For all intents and purposes, one of the biggest bands in the world was gone: Guns N’ Roses. We had to settle for solo albums from Duff, Slash, Gilby and Izzy.
Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan teamed up with Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols, and John Taylor from Duran Duran, to form the punky supergroup Neurotic Outsiders. They made one album. One and done! But what an album it was. We’ll be discussing all this and more tonight on Grant’s Rock Warehaus!
7:00 PM EST
I just want to send all my support and love to California Girl today as she completes her marathon that she has spent months preparing for! I know she was nervous and I’m hoping today goes as brilliant as possible for her. I got your back California Girl! (No, she’s not running in the silver boots, unfortunately!)
Picard season two is a time travel story with several beats lifted from The Voyage Home, First Contact, and the original series. As it turns out, the punk on the bus still rides the bus, still sporting the same hair, and still wielding an 80s ghetto blaster. This time though, things go a little different when Seven of Nine asks him to turn it down.
Yes, this sort of thing is the very definition of “fan service”. Does it matter? Let me put it to you this way. My 80+ year old dad laughed his ass off. That’s all that matters.
Thirty-five years later and nothing much has changed,
Those in charge are living large,
The rest are all deranged,
‘Cause I still hate you, Can’t wait to eviscerate you, ‘Cause I still hate, all of you.
The temperatures are rising, The sea level as well,…
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Harrison
Episode 87 – Max the Axe band interview
Hear ye, hear ye! One band has consistently rocked us all since before the start of the pandemic. That band is Max the Axe, and tonight we will have 3/4 of the group with us.
Mike Koutis/Max the Axe – lead guitar
Eric Litwiller/Uncle Meat – lead vocals
Dave Haslam/Dr. Dave – lead drums
This will be their first-ever interview together, and Harrison the Mad Metal Man will be with me to quiz the band on the new EP Oktoberfest Cheer. The current crisis had a huge impact on its making and eventual release, and Max is eager to tell the story. The EP certainly brought a lot of joy as we crawled through the second year of this pandemic.
On a serious note: Please give this a “share” on your social media and help the guys out. It’s no secret that views have been down, but every time we do an interview show, we sell a CD or two to a viewer. You can help by sharing this show and maybe some of your friends will watch too. I guarantee a great night and some great tunes!
Today is the last day for Oktoberfest…but “Oktoberfest Cheer” goes on and on!
From the new EP Oktoberbest Cheer, written by Mike Koutis, here is the video for “Oktoberfest Cheer”. Have a schnitzel on a bun and a frosty cold one, and get your copy at Encore Records in Kitchener, or by dropping us a line here.
Mike Koutis – guitar
Eric Litwiller – lead vocals
Mike Mitchell – bass
Dr. Dave Haslam – drums
Accordion by Catherine Thompson
Notes: Since Eric deleted the only rehearsal footage of “Oktoberfest Cheer”, I was forced to use the video for “Randy” live at the Boathouse somewhat ham-fistedly. However this works perfect with the punky off-the-rails nature of the song. Speeding things up and slowing things down hides a multitude of sins in the edit, and the Keystone Cops flavour of the high-speed footage lends a comedic profile to the video. Which is necessary for any song that contains lyrics like “don’t crush my smokes, don’t spill my beer.”
Now that the new Max the Axe EP, Oktoberfest Cheer, has been released, I am happy to present to you their new never-before-heard original “Pygmy Blowdart”. Lead singer Eric Litwiller stressed to me (more than once) “I did not write the lyrics”.
Video footage was taken the last weekend of August, but held on to until I could use some fresh new Max music. Check out “Pygmy Blowdart” and let Max and Meat know what you think of this new tune in the comments below!
Pandemics suck, but last year Max the Axe began working on a remedy. Three new songs — one cover, two originals — and a new EP called Oktoberfest Cheer! With this year’s Bavarian festival just around the corner, Max is ready to rock your beerhallen. It’s the second release with the same lineup: Mike Koutis (Max the Axe) – lead guitar, Eric Litwiller (Uncle Meat) – lead vocals, Mike Mitchell – lead bass and Dr. Dave Haslam — lead drums. It’s a much more punk rock affair than the last album Status Electric. Perhaps it’s even a concept record about intoxication!
Opening with the original “Pygmy Blow Dart”, Max sounds like Queens of the Stone Age jonesing for a smoke. Litwiller is in full Homme mode with the groove of the Axe behind him. “I think I’m going downtown, looking for some dope.” Ah, the quaint pre-legalization setting! By the end, the band is in a singalong, looking for some smoke. “Round and round, and round and round…” Hey guys…check the local dispensary! There’s one on every corner now. Great bass solo in the middle, right before Max rips on the six string. Fans of the last album will love it.
The Black Flag cover “Thirsty and Miserable” is outstanding, full-on punkfied Max. Definitely some influence from Lemmy’s version of “Thirsty and Miserable” too. This track kicks and Litwiller sounds legit. They could play it two or three times in a row and you wouldn’t get bored.
Finally the punk-inflected EP ends with the title track “Oktoberfest Cheer!”, a song destined to be a seasonal hit. Feather in cap, beer on tap…October is here so raise up that beer! You can picture the festhallen going mad for this October anthem. This is the clear hit, frantic and haggard as it may be. Adorned with festive accordion, it’s punk rock unlike any other. You can play it year after year…or in August. Don’t crush my smokes, don’t spill my beer!
The great thing about this EP is that it’s under 10 minutes in true punk fashion and perfect for repeat plays.
“And when the night comes to the city I say…I’m sleeping my day away.” – D.A.D.
D.A.D. – No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims (1989 Warner)
There we were sitting in Bob Schipper’s basement after school on some Thursday in late 1989. Suddenly Bob’s attention was caught by a music video. We always had our eyes open for unique guitars. Neither of us had ever seen a two string bass before. The neck was insanely thin. The song was called “Sleeping My Day Away”, and the band was D.A.D. — Disneyland After Dark. They already had two albums out in their native Denmark, but this was their first North American single.
It wasn’t just the bass. Even the song was unique. Anchored by a simple three-note lick played on a fat hollowbody guitar, the song had an edge we were unfamiliar with. The singer, Jesper Binzer, had a cool rasp. He wore a tie in the video and the bassist (Stig Pedersen) wore a medic’s helmet! Bob loved ’em. So did the music magazines. It’s a shame that didn’t translate into North American success.
When the bassist’s medic helmet erupted with fireworks during the guitar solo, I didn’t know what to think about D.A.D. Were they serious? Were they a joke? I should have just listened to the music, but it wasn’t easy to find their album.
D.A.D.’s No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims is made up of 12 sparky rock tunes. They range from 2:04 at the shortest to 4:36 at the longest. If guessed that punk rock must be an influence, you would be correct. No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims has that energy and sneer, crossed with the melodic sensibilities of classic hard rock. Also a knack for a memorable lyric; not the easiest task when English is your second language.
“Jihad! I’m gettin’ mad! And there’s no fuel left for the pilgrims,” sings Jesper, somehow stretching the word “mad” into two syllables. “Jihad” is an adrenaline-fueled blast, revealing the band’s punk rock roots. But they slow it down to a strong beat on “Point of View”, a melodic bright spot with more of that catchy hollowbody echoing hooks. “Rim of Hell” slows it down further, turning up the menace. “They throw the best damn parties at the rim of hell,” goes the hook, and you’ll be ready to jump in by the end.
“ZCMI” brings AC/DC to the table, adding to the stew of influences. Iggy is definitely in D.A.D.’s record collection too. “Girl Nation” is another catchy highlight, with Jesper imagining an interstellar “female civilization”. Elsewhere, the chorus “I win with a Siamese twin!” tells us where Jesper’s mind is. It’s certainly a unique lyrical theme in music. “Wild Talk” edges into Kiss territory; but it’s Kiss when Bob Kulick was secretly playing guitar! Closing on “Ill Will”, thrash metal is the final genre to be conquered!
No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims contains no duds, and has nothing to skip. Though “Sleeping My Day Away” is clearly the best song, it is among a very strong batch. D.A.D. have that punk rock sense of humour that runs through the album. A reckless, who-gives-a-shit attitude that hints this band will do anything so long as it’s fun to do. It’s a great little album that didn’t particularly fit in with any of their peers coming out of Hollywood.