Stoner Rock

REVIEW: Ché – Sounds of Liberation (2000)

CHÉ – Sounds of Liberation (2000 Man’s Ruin)

Almost immediately after his debut solo album Jalamanta, Brant Bjork was back with another new project and album.  Ché, featuring former Queens of the Stone Age drummer Alfredo Hernández, and Unida bassist Dave Dinsmore, only made one album.  But it is indeed the Sound of Liberation.

“It’s the Ayatollah of Rocka Rolla baby!”  Seven songs, 35 minutes.  Brant Bjork on guitar leads off “Hydraulicks” with a sharp, stabbing riff.  The laid back vibe of Jalamanta is gone, though its emphasis on repeating simple riffs is put to good use here.  A few vocal and guitar overdubs add some brilliant depth to a pretty raw, live-sounding recording.

“Stabbing” is another good adjective to describe the second track, “The Knife”.  Or perhaps hammering, as this song doesn’t let up.  The chorus is but a brief reprieve from the relentless rhythm.  “We can break the knife, so it won’t cut you, never cut you…”  But the instrumental “Pray For Rock” has a completely different vibe, a slow Sabbathy one with a Ward-like drum patter.  Then it suddenly goes full U2, if U2 were a stoner rock band from the desert.

The title track “Sounds of Liberation” enters.  The main three-note riff has some heft!  Solid track followed by another solid track, “Adelante”.  Hard hitting, choppy, aggressive.  Gets the point across.  Awesome drums by Alfredo Hernández.  But it’s the second-last track “Blue Demon” that really impresses, as a late-album highlight.  “Pick a room, man, ’cause they’re all the same,” sings Brant.  The riff has a certain electric aura, and the song just grooves.  It’s an ode to living free.

The final track is another instrumental, “The Day the Pirate Retired”.  The focus is on the riff, bristling with electric energy.  The band really jams here, with the fluid bass providing unexpected smoothness.

The CD packaging is interesting, with the front cover artwork on the back tray, and the back covert artwork on the front.  Kind of confusing when you see one on the CD shelves for the first time.

4/5 stars

 

 

REVIEW: Brant Bjork – Jalamanta (Remixed and Remastered 2019)

BRANT BJORK – Jalamanta (Originally 1999, Remixed and Remastered 2019 Heavy Psych Sounds)

When the needle hits wax it won’t be long,
You got your radio tuned but it won’t play this song.

20 years ago, Jalamanta was one of my favourite albums in the world.  This is my third copy.  Partly instrumental, partly vocal, but 100% Brant Bjork.  It was his first solo album, and he played virtually everything himself.  The laid-back desert vibes are perfect for a summer evening chill-out.  Humid, sparse, exotic, varied compositions take you across a hazy landscape.

In 2019, Brant and engineer Tony Mason remixed Jalamanta, to take it the place they “always wanted it to go”.  The remixes are largely subtle, just making the album sound bigger in your ears.  The vocals might be a little less buried.  It’s still raw, and sparse, and all the things you always liked about Jalamanta.  Some songs have more noticeable differences.  More guitar on “Toot”.  Tracks tend to run longer than their previous fade-outs.  But there are things I enjoyed about the original that aren’t here.  The echoey lead vocal on “Toot” — “Cat scan, cat scan…”  That echo is gone, maybe so the sonic field wouldn’t be too crowded with that louder backing guitar?

This remix will never replace an original, especially when it was one of my favourites 20 years ago.  What is “Jalamanta” made of that makes it so tasty?  Only the most basic of ingredients.  Rolling bass and drums, simple unaffected guitar parts, and Brant’s laid back singing style.

Yeah, the man shakes me down and that’s why I’m broke.
The rich man’s got all the green but it ain’t the kind you smoke.
So we turn up the rock, and we roll it slow.
We’re always flying high, and the ride is always low.

Snakey guitars jab in and out of the speakers — one song is even called “Cobra Jab”.   Other tunes are more aggressive.  “Too Many Chiefs… Not Enough Indians” has a relentless and simple riff, with the snakey guitars carrying the melody over it like a wave.  Brant’s quiet vocal is hypnotic.  By contrast, “Defender of the Oleander” has a barely-there main riff while the snakey licks do all the brilliant melodic work.  Brant goes for hypnotic again on “Her Brown Blood”, a speedy run through the desert, with a cool monotone vocal right in the middle of your head.

Whichever version of Jalamanta you happen upon, you are guaranteed an incredible listening experience.  The new remix is certainly more three-dimensional, and will sound better on your big system.  But you will lose some of the charm of the original.  The 2009 vinyl used to be the way to go, with a beautiful full-colour booklet and Blue Oyster Cult cover “Take Me Away”.  But now you can get “Take Me Away” here on CD, albeit remixed.  Another bonus is exclusive to this CD — “Bones Lazy”, which segues out of “Defender of the Oleander” into the brilliant rocker “Low Desert Punk”.  And with the title “Bones Lazy”, you won’t be surprised that it is “Lazy Bones” backwards!  Like you’re watching Tenet.  Cool though.  Even though I knew what was likely coming, I felt like it fit right in.

Get a load of this, man.

Well I’m gettin’ up when the sun goes down,
And I shine ’em up and I hit the town.
Well I trim it clean and I roll it up,
And then I take it nice and slow…so what the fuck, man.

Jalamanta makes me feel that California sun way more than any Desert Sessions CD ever has.  You can taste it.  Let it sink into your lazy bones.   And as great as this new CD is sonically, it also makes me want to hear the original.  Nothing can truly upgrade a 20 years love affair with Jalamanta.  As a complimentary piece, I don’t regret owning or listening to it at all.  Hearing guitar parts that used to be beyond the fade is the kind of bait that we nerds line up for.  The 2009 vinyl, with the gorgeous embossed cover and all that delicious photography inside, will remain my preferred way to experience Jalamanta.  The 2019 remix will be the one to play when you want to examine it in more thorough detail.

(still) 5/5 stars

 

Original CD and vinyl releases seen below.

REVIEW: Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe (2018)

FU MANCHU – Clone of the Universe (2018 New Damage)

First the first time in a long time, “I’ve Been Hexed” by the brand new Fu Manchu album.

Clone of the Universe sounds cut from the same cloth as classic albums such as King of the Road and The Action is Go.  Aside from the mind-bomb that is the 18 minute track “Il Mostro Atomico”, each song is short, riffy and to the point.  “(I’ve Been) Hexed” is an immediate thumbs-up, a reminder of what we liked about Fu Manchu when we first heard them.

You can’t tell if “Don’t Panic” has anything to do with Douglas Adams, but it’s as fast and relentless as the UFO-themed “King of the Road”.  Maybe the Sabbath-crawl of “Slower Than Light” is also about space travel; maybe it’s not.  The fun is in the guessing, but by the end the song is at moving at warp.  Both “Nowhere Left to Hide” and “Intelligent Worship” boast riffs carved from the stones of Mt. Iommi, contained with in the Fu Manchu groove.  The title track “Clone of the Universe” is like a heavy metal hammer, or a stoner rock Mjölnir.

Despite the strong Fu Manchu grooves throughout, it is undoubtedly the side-long “Il Mostro Atomico” that is the centerpiece.  Suddenly from somewhere left of center comes the “Snow Dog”; Alex Lifeson of Rush with his own style of lead guitar.  Lifeson always had a knack for finding cool artists to work with outside his normal sphere.  Hearing him rip and make noise with Fu Manchu is so right.  Not to mention, this jam which keeps going on and on has plenty to offer when you listen all the way through.

Clear winners:  “(I’ve Been) Hexed”, “Il Mostro Atomico”.

4.5/5 stars

REVIEW: Brant Bjork – Keep Your Cool (2003)

Scan_20151226BRANT BJORK – Keep Your Cool (2003 Duna)

Been a while, cats, since I chilled to Keep Your Cool.  That’s what you do to this record.  Loaded with laid-back latino-influenced stoner rock jams, Keep Your Cool is designed with purpose.  In fact it’s all right there in the opening jam, “Hey, Monkey Boy”, loaded down with congas and one steamy groove.

“Hey, Monkey Boy!  Why you unemployed?” asks one character in the song, voiced by Bjork.

“‘Cause I’m jammin’!” answers Bjork, utilizing a different voice.

Mood now set, “Johnny Called” comes right from the garage: simple, laid back, but infectious.  Back in the Record Store, one of our store managers Joe “Big Nose” used to phone me up and sing it to me:  “Johnny called me up on the telephone, just to tell me I’m not alone!” he melodized.  “Huh?” I asked confused.  So “Big Nose” gave me the record — on LP.  Now we’re grooving.  The amusingly-titled “Rock-N-Rol’e” keeps it coming.  These are basic, sparsely adorned grooves with a nostalgic bent.  “Hey there Mr. DJ, won’t you play, some Rock-N-Rol’e!” sings Brant, in an ode to being a kid with a radio and some cheap wine.  In the blazing outro, you can hear Bjork begging for some ZZ Top or some AC/DC, because he wants his “chick” to hear some rock and roll!  The groove then changes to a stomp on “I Miss My Chick”, closing LP side one.  Brant explains what he misses about his “chick”, but this being a family site I won’t list them here!  This is a smoking jam.

Commencing with the instrumental title track “Keep Your Cool”, the second side begins with a laid-back Jalamanta vibe.  Then Brant’s “Gonna Make the Scene”, and he does this with another snakey, sparse but funky groove.  He takes a rare falsetto vocal on the chorus, recalling early Disco.  Dusky, quiet rolling bass dominates “Searchin'”, very different from prior Bjork songs.  This makes it a highlight of the album and perhaps even the Brant Bjork canon.  The relaxed mood maintains on the final song, “My Soul”, which is also the only long bomber on the record.  It descends into another quiet jam, concluding the record on a serene but appropriate note.

Great album — short, and to the point like a punk record.  Ultimately, not particular a standout given Bjork’s incredible solo discography.  Keep Your Cool is still not a purchase to regret.

4/5 stars

REVIEW: Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band – Black Flower Power (2014)

 

Bought at Sonic Boom during Mike and Aaron Go to Toronto Again…Again! for $14.99 brand new.

Scan_20151203BRANT BJORK and the LOW DESERT PUNK BAND – Black Flower Power (2014 Napalm)

I’m a little pissed off that I didn’t get this album last year.  If I had, it might have dramatically changed my Top 5 of 2014 list.  Ever since I first grew to love Black Sabbath, I mourned that nobody (including Sabbath) were able to really capture the ingredients that made the early band special.  Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band have grabbed onto some of that magic.  Their bassist, Dave Dinsmore, is the most Geezer-ish bassist I have heard outside out Geezer Butler himself.  The songwriting gravitates to those chunky kinds of riffs that Black Sabbath made their home.  That’s not to say that Black Flower Power is a Sabbath clone — not at all — but it does have those elements, among many.  You’ll hear me reference the Sabs more than once in this review.

‘Twas the good sir knight More Wood that introduced me to Brant Bjork, via Fu Manchu and Kyuss.  Yet his solo work has reached and sometimes surpassed the heights of his former bands.  I’ve never been disappointed with any of his projects, although Jalamanta was and remains a favourite.  Black Flower Power has the potential to be that, too.

Over the course of eight tracks plus two bonus, the Low Desert Punk Band law down a variety of grooving rock.  Bjork brings his diverse influences to the table, so you’ll hear latin influences sitting comfortably next to punk rock.  Mostly, you will hear pure 1970’s rockin’ groovalicious smoke, and judging by the artwork, it’s the funky green smoke.  “Feelin’ so high, so alive” sings Brant on “Boogie Woogie on Your Brain”, so we know where his head is at.

Bonus tracks are always interesting, because I say, hey!  Why not just put more songs on the album if they’re good?  “Hustler’s Blues” makes sense as a bonus track because it’s kind of outside the general direction of the album.  It has laid-back aspects that are more Black Flower Power meets Jalamanta.  Brilliant jam, though, especially as it accelerates towards the end.  The second bonus track is “Where You From, Man?”, a title taken from the lyrics to “We Don’t Serve Their Kind”.  The songs are unrelated, though.  “We Don’t Serve Their Kind” is a driving metallic sludge with a chorus that will assassinate your brain;  “Where You From, Man?” is a jammy instrumental that meanders around with, what sounds like, samples quotes from James T. Kirk?!  (Wonder where he got that idea?)  It’s also one of the most Sabbathy, in terms of the early jazzy jamming Sabbath.

No matter your musical persuasion, it’s hard to deny the genius contained herein.  If you’re attracted to playing, there’s that.  Experimentation, yup, just listen to the guitar noise manipulation that passes for a solo in “Where You From, Man?”  Melody is here, in aggressive rock form.  Folks, this is quality shit.

Highly recommended, especially to fans of Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, and the mighty Sabbath.

5/5 stars

REVIEW: Fu Manchu – King of the Road (1999)

DOUBLE DOSE OF FU MANCHU
Check out Mr. 1537‘s review of this same album (except on vinyl)! Right HERE!

KING OF THE ROAD_0001FU MANCHU – King of the Road (1999 Mammoth)

Of course it had to be Iron Tom Sharpe, Meaford’s Greatest Athlete, that introduced me to Fu Manchu.  It was at a Record Store staff party, and the song he was obsessed with was “Saturn III” from The Action is Go (as recounted in Tyler and LeBrain episode two).  Since collecting most of the Fu Manchu albums, I’ve managed to boil it down to three favourites.  Of these favourites, King of the Road from ’99 may be their best album.

If you don’t know Fu Manchu, they are certainly not for everybody.  Lumped into the stoner rock scene, their repetitive drone-y songs are not commercial enough for many rock fans.  Lyrics are about cars, skateboards and UFOs are not typical rock fare.  The half-spoken half-sung vocals of Scott Hill are very different.  Yet these are some of the factors that make them Fu Manchu.  On top of the cake, the incredible drummer Brant Bjork played on some of the albums, including King of the Road.  Ready for the ride?

The appropriately titled “Hell on Wheels”  opens the proceedings on a decidely adrenalized note.  That repetitive detuned riff enables the band, powered by the inimitable Bjork, to groove their way through your skull.  “So put the keys in my hand! In my hand!” sings Scott Hill, over and over again.  The lyrics are straight and to the point: “El Camaro never dies, look closely and you’ll know why.”  So it’s one of the car songs, then!  I strongly advise you to exercise caution if choosing to play King of the Road in the car.  Traffic tickets are your responsibility, not mine.

“Hell on Wheels” fades into “Over the Edge”, pure groove at a mid-tempo pace.  One doesn’t necessarily have to differentiate between Fu Manchu songs in a review.  They all feature heavy-as-fuck repetitive riffs, Hill’s unmistakable flat vocal stylings, and an unstoppable groove.  It’s just a matter of fast, slow or in-between.  “Over the Edge” is absolutely an album highlight on a CD containing little else.  “Boogie Van” is less a highlight but boasts a vintage-Sabbath style riff and some cool slide courtesy of Bob Balch.  Then the doors are blown off the place on the title track, similar to “Hell on Wheels” in speed but even more intense. It’s one of the UFO songs, but the lyrics are as muddy as the music:

Under forty over is UFO,
Hell bent, stacked in rows,
The galaxy is lined with hundreds more,
Small town, you bet we’re sure,
All through my head,
It’s happenin’ over again,
As the day is long, they keep movin’ on.

As this sucker builds towards its end, I dare you to try and not bang your head.  It’s my favourite song on the album.

King of the Road says you move too slow

After a ride like that, you need to come down, and “No Dice” does the trick with a groove right in the pocket.  “No shoes, no shirt, no dice!” sings Scott, and for a while I really wanted to post a sign that said that on the door of the Record Store.  (They never let me have any fun!)

Kicking back now, “Blue Tile Fever” keeps the grooving movin’.  “It’s all brand new, just like I told you,” is the repetitive vocal hook, and Bjork gives you some tasty cowbell to gnaw on.  Bob Balch’s squirrely lead guitar stylings keeps things interesting.  “Grasschopper” is cool but not as hooky as the previous songs.  That’s alright, because “Weird Beard” (the theme song of Iron Tom Sharpe himself) is hilariously catchy.  My sister started calling Tom “weird beard” a few years earlier because of his sometimes unique facial hair stylings.  When Fu Manchu came out with a song called “Weird Beard”, I couldn’t stop chuckling.  No idea what this one’s about at all, but dig that groove!

Wikipedia tells us that the next song “Drive” was only on the North American version of King of the Road. Other territories got a song called “Breathing Fire” (wishlisted!).  “Drive” kicks ass at maximum rpm.  Brant Bjork and Bob Balch keep it interesting, while bassist Brad Davis keeps the groove going with pedal to the metal.  (Do not play while driving!)   Once again a comedown is necessary and “Hotdoggin'” does the trick as a slow cruiser.  The surprise is the closer, “Freedom of Choice”, a Devo cover.  It’s surprising because of how heavy they make it.

The CD is “enhanced” and contains the music video for “King of the Road”, as well as the single “Evil Eye” from The Action is Go.  (So you can consider “Evil Eye”, an awesome tune with a cool video, as a bonus track.) This outdated technology never really worked well in the first place and now with YouTube, nobody cares anymore.  It’s there if you want to check it out.

There are a few Fu Manchu albums that I would bestow the coveted 5/5 upon.  King of the Road is one.

5/5 stars

REVIEW: Leadfoot – Bring It On (1997)

LEADFOOT – Bring It On (1997 TMC)

This band was first brought to my attention courtesy of Tom Morwood.  Leadfoot might be considered a spinoff band from Corrosion of Confirmity.  Bassist Phil Swisher and vocalist Karl Agell were members on the critically acclaimed Blind album by that band.  Leadfoot has a similar kind of appeal.  It has groove, balls, guitars and no bullshit.  Bring It On is their debut.

One major issue with Bring It On is one common to so many records.  It features a strong, memorable and overall top drawer first side, leading into a dull and monotonous second side.  Too bad, because side one is really, really good.  The title track for example has all the qualities I like in stoner rock:  groove, howlin’ vocals, enough melody to get me by, and gutsy memorable guitars.  The drums have some swing to them, the guitars have a southern flavour, and the lyrics are cool and defiant.  “Bring It On” indeed.

Other standouts:

  • “Soul Full of Lies”, throwing some snaky guitars down.
  • “High Time”, my favourite.  It starts with a “Radar Love” vibe, but then goes sludgy awesome.
  • “Roll All Over You”, an AC/DC-meets-Danzig prowler.
  • “Right Between the Eyes”, just an assault of bass and groove.  Aptly named.
  • “Ripe”, my other favourite.  This is just melodic singalong rock, though I have no idea what the lyrics are about.
  • “Sooner”, a relentless battering of drums and chords.
  • “Under the Sun”, which has a superficial resemblence to “Supernaut” by Black Sabbath.

And it’s pretty much downhill from there.  There’s nothing overtly wrong with the rest, just nothing overly special or memorable either.  At least in comparison to the far superior first half of the album.

3/5 stars

LEADFOOT_0003

REVIEW: Brant Bjork – Jalamanta (1999/2009 vinyl)

 

BRANT BJORK – Jalamanta (1999 / 180 gram vinyl 2009 reissue)

I still remember the circumstances surrounding me originally getting this on CD.  As recounted in an earlier Record Store Tale, Tom and I were at a party.  We were listening to some sHeavy, and Tom mentioned the Brant Bjork solo album as another must-have.  Being a fan of Brant Bjork’s drumming from Fu Manchu, I ordered it without hearing a single track.  Tom attempted to describe it by calling it “a cross between Fu Manchu and surf rock.”  Interesting.

10 years later, when Bjork reissued it on vinyl, he added the UFO-centric Blue Oyster Cult cover bonus track, “Take Me Away”.  Automatic re-buy.  It doesn’t really sound like the rest of the album, but who cares?  It’s Brant Bjork covering Blue Oyster Cult.  But that’s not the only reason to re-buy Jalamanta.

What a beautiful record! The first thing you’ll notice is the new cover.  All black with the Brant Bjork skull embossed.  Beautiful.  Open it up to get at the booklet with all new photos. The booklet truly is a work of art. Remember when you used to buy an LP, and you’d sit down in front of your stereo staring at the pictures, trying to make out every little detail until the record was done? Brant Bjork takes us back to that time.

The cover page is what appears to be an awesomely greasy Mexican meal, and then the final page is the empty plate — a satisfied customer. Just like with this LP.  You can really get stuffed on the grooves and tones contained herein.  There are plenty of low-key, incessantly grooving instruments.  The music is simple, repetitive, but effective.  It’s not heavy, but it feels weighty nonetheless.

The lyrics are included.  Here’s an example, from “Automatic Fantastic”:

The man shakes me down, that’s why I’m broke. Rich man’s got all the green but it ain’t the kind you smoke. So we turn up the rock, and we roll it slow. We’re always flying high, and the ride is always low.

Musically, if you haven’t heard this album before, I don’t really know how to describe the songs.  Bjork plays almost everything himself, and the vibe is laid back.  He sings on every song but “Toot” which is handled by Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson). He’s chosen to mix his vocals way back and emphasize the unadorned guitars and drums.  The mix is spare, quiet at times, loud at others, but always trippy. Imagine driving down a deserted highway on a hot summer night with the windows down. This is the soundtrack to that ride.

This is one of those album that sounds like it was just meant to be heard on 180 gram vinyl. There’s no sound like it in the world. I noticed a heck of a lot more bass, the bassline on “Lets Get Chinese Eyes” being particularly sublime. This album just sounds stunning now.

5/5 stars

  1. “Lazy Bones” – 1:29
  2. “Automatic Fantastic” – 6:59
  3. “Cobra Jab” – 3:18
  4. “Too Many Chiefs…Not Enough Indians” – 3:44
  5. “Sun Brother” – 4:45
  6. “Lets Get Chinese Eyes” – 4:45
  1. “Toot” – 5:58
  2. “Defender of the Oleander” – 7:53
  3. “The Low Desert Punk” – 5:20
  4. “Waiting for a Coconut to Drop” – 4:17
  5. “Her Brown Blood” – 4:16
  6. “Indio” – 4:15
  7. “Take Me Away” – 5:35 (Blue Öyster Cult cover) vinyl only bonus track

Part 244: Diary of a Mad Record Store Man

JAMIE MIKE

Friend with LeBrain, Phil’s, Waterloo

RECORD STORE TALES Part 244:  Diary of a Mad Record Store Man

I’d like to share with you a selection of entries, verbatim from my journal in 2005.  Here’s a snapshot of Record Store Life, November 2005, one month before quitting the store.

Date: 2005/11/04 10:35

PLAYING IN CAR:
Fu Manchu – King Of The Road

I was just thinking today how much I hate bars. I haven’t been to a bar in a year. Last time I went, a bunch of jocks wanted to kick my ass because they thought I looked “gay”. (With my Motörhead shirt on?)

Also thinking about how rude some customers can be. Like it is MY fault that they have to pawn their shit to buy crack.

Date: 2005/11/04 11:59

Today has been very annoying thus far.

People are idiots sometimes, and people rarely seem to listen. And while I’m working away here among the idiots, the Hives are singing, “Walk Idiot Walk”. Very nice.

Oakville tomorrow…yeah…not hyped for that, either.

Date: 2005/11/15 07:29

I have 3 hours to clean my apartment before my parents arrive.

Date: 2005/11/22 19:51

What goes up must come down.

– I spilled candle wax all over my brand new rug (only 6 days old).
– The trunk of my car has a leak, water has ruined a few items inside.
– I have no money.
– I have a total of three days off in the entire month of December

 Date: 2005/11/24 19:39

With this new beard, people have taken to calling me either “Ewen” or “Señor Speilbergo”. I’m fine with either name.

Date: 2005/11/25 11:05

Just because you are spending hundreds of dollars in my store does NOT make me your bitch.

Date: 2005/11/26 17:56

There’s this dude in my store that looks exactly like a short Sean Astin.

Except I’m not really sure, maybe Sean Astin is short anyways? I mean, he’s a hobbit, right?

REVIEW: Queens of the Stone Age – “First It Giveth” (single)

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – “First It Giveth” (2002 single)

I’m on record for being a huge fan of Songs For the Deaf.  Uncle Meat and I disagree on this issue, as he considers Songs For the Deaf as being the beginning of a downturn.  I see it as some kind of peak, on an equal plane with Rated R.  “First It Giveth” is undoubtedly one of the highlights from Songs.  It has a brutally heavy groove on the choruses, coupled with haunted, frantic verses.  Dave Grohl’s best work is to be found on Songs For the Deaf.  That is my belief.   I consider “First It Giveth” to be among the evidence to this.

Track 2 is the groovy spy drama rock of “The Most Exalted Potentate of Love”.  This is apparently a Cramps cover.  Wikipedia says The Cramps are “psychobilly”.  Having heard this song, sure, I’ll go with that.  It’s pretty cool, that’s for sure.

I’ve never hidden my dislike for remixes.  9 times out of 10, the album versions are superior.  I do think a remix has some merit when it completely transforms a song into something new.  This remix of “Song For the Deaf” does that.  Unfortunately I don’t think it’s an improvement in any way.  The original song is a relentless beast.  Waves of guitar wash over Grohl’s stumbling drum rolls, while Josh Homme sings hypnotically.  This remix strips away most (if not all?) of the original instrumentation, isolating Homme’s vocal tracks.  Then it adds electronic beats, piano, guitar squeals and effects.  It’s…interesting?  I’m at a loss for words.  I don’t like remixes OK?

I have said in the past that I think remixers should come up with better, more original titles for their remixes.  At least whoever mixed this (the credits don’t say) came up with an original title:  “The Blind Can Goes Get Fucked Remix” [sic].

Although the technology is kinda dated, there’s also a music video for your computer.  This is for the main track, “First It Giveth”.  This is a cool performance video made up of tour and backstage footage.

Two out of three good tracks?  Pretty easy to rate this one.

3.333~/5 stars