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Frequency Unknown
Frequency Unknown
Price: CDN$ 14.97
32 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Tate solo album, June 11 2014
This review is from: Frequency Unknown (Audio CD)
Now that the court case is done, this album can be put to bed. Now that buying it won't count as a vote to Tateryche, I feel I can add it to my collection.

Yes Freq. Unknown is a bad album...but not that bad. Weight of the World is a good song. Cold is a good song.

What I really want to know before buying this CD are two things:
1. Which mix is this?
2. Can you still mail away for the remix, if you buy the original mix on CD?

Once I find out the answers to those two questions I will spend my money accordingly.

2 stars.

Beyond Magnetic (EP)
Beyond Magnetic (EP)
Price: CDN$ 11.37
9 used & new from CDN$ 1.77

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Metallica, Feb. 22 2012
This review is from: Beyond Magnetic (EP) (Audio CD)
Forget the fact that I bought this twice. (Shame on you Metallica for releasing this digitally without even announcing that there would be a forthcoming physical release.) This EP, Metallica's umpteenth (and fourth in a row last I checked) is totally worth whatever your local shop is asking you to plunk down for it. There's nothing in the way of special packaging so if you already own a digital copy, you'll probably be fine with just that. For sheer riffage per minute, this is Metallica the way I remember it.

The production or lack thereof is rougher than Death Magnetic, which is fine by me. The songs themselves all could have been on Death Magnetic, there's really nothing weak here. "Hate Train" is among the better Metallica songs from the last 20 years. It careens from fast and heavy to melodic and back again. And that's just the first track. If you liked Death Magnetic, then buying this is a real no-brainer. If you didn't, and still can't get over the fact that Metallica don't sound the same as when you were in highschool, then avoid, because I'll tell you right now this won't change your jaded mind.

4 stars.

A Different Kind Of Truth (Deluxe CD/DVD)
A Different Kind Of Truth (Deluxe CD/DVD)
Price: CDN$ 23.22
33 used & new from CDN$ 10.15

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I hoped for, Feb. 7 2012
I've read every word printed between the year 2000 and now that was available about the new Van Halen album with DLR. I've been waiting patiently. The band tried once a decade ago and never got off the launch pad. Then Sammy came back. Then Sammy left. Then Mike was fired, and Wolfie was in.

And lemme tell you folks, Wolfie can PLAY. No offense to Mikey, the original, but Wolfie plays circles around him. And not only that, his chemistry with his dad (and uncle too) is infectious. Never before have you heard syncopated unison bass and guitar runs on a Van Halen album, not like this.

The star of the show is Edward Van Halen. I wanted to hear an album that made me say "Holy ****, how the hell did he do that?" And that's what I said when I first heard "China Town" a couple weeks ago.

The whole album is like that. Eddie is riffing, flying into a quick lick that sounds impossible, then back to the riff. Just like the old days. The album is largely based on unused Van Halen songs from the early 70's such as "Down In Flames" and "Ripley". Now dubbed with new lyrics and titles (all but the smokin' "She's The Woman"), the band has sewn new life into these amazing tracks. With Wolfie's pulsing bass, Ed's impossible guitar, and Alex driving the whole thing, this who record smokes. Not one weak track.

Well, I know a lot of people didn't like "Tattoo". But fear not. New single it may be, but it's far from the best track on this album. My faves include: "She's The Woman", "China Town", "As Is", and "Big River". Still there are no songs that I would skip.

And Dave's lyrics? Just as clever and cheaky as ever. While Dave waxes poetic on many songs, don't expect him to suddenly want to deliver a message. Any messages about the state of the union (politic or VH) have no place on A Different Kind Of Truth.

The acoustic DVD sucks, but Dave's handwitten lyrics and drawings are awesome.

5 stars, ain't talkin' bout anything less

Five Easy Pieces Ep
Five Easy Pieces Ep
Price: CDN$ 7.29
18 used & new from CDN$ 3.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harder than Learn & Burn, Nov. 26 2011
This review is from: Five Easy Pieces Ep (Audio CD)
This, the 'Dogs major label debut, is just as good as their last album Learn & Burn, if not better. Every tune smokes, the electric guitars being turned up a little bit for this 5-song EP. Their vocal harmonies remain as rich as ever, and their guitar doodlings stronger. For the those who don't have Learn & Burn, you get "I Don't Know" re-released on this EP. A perfect taster.

5 stars.

The Captains [Import]
The Captains [Import]
DVD ~ William Shatner
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 20.38
20 used & new from CDN$ 13.85

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sparse on special features, but rich and heartfelt documentary, Nov. 16 2011
This review is from: The Captains [Import] (DVD)
Who else but William Shatner should do a documentary on the major Star Trek captains and the people who played them? Shatner obviously knows the rigors of a weekly TV series, and the impact that Star Trek has on a career. With that in mind, Shatner boards a Bombardier jet to speak with Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine.

William Shatner is in incredible interviewer. Just watch him with Patrick Stewart. Listen to his questions, as he probes. These are some of the best, deepest Star Trek interviews you will ever see. Shatner should be doing this for a living as he clearly as a talent for conversation. The only place he akwardly stumbles is with Avery Brooks, who chooses to answer many of his questions by tinkling away at a piano. That must have been strange....

If you are a fan of Star Trek, old generation, next generation, any generation, then this movie is for you. It will certainly help you get to know and appreciate these great actors who played the captains. Shatner accomplishes this with an appropriate mix of humour (watch how he meets Kate Mulgrew) and emotion. Mix into that some footage of him clowning around at conventions, too.

Great film. Shatner's best directorial offering.

4 stars.

Chickenfoot III
Chickenfoot III
Price: CDN$ 20.36
33 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Foot take a giant leap forwards..., Oct. 30 2011
This review is from: Chickenfoot III (Audio CD)
When you have talents like these four guys (Sammy and Mike - ex VH, The Satchman, and Chad from the Chilis) then you better hope for a giant leap forwards on the crucial second album. Chickenfoot deliver, with their trademark sense of humour intact but tempered with a new seriousness.

Satriani fans will be in nirvana, as he really strecthes out a lot more than album #1. Some of his tones and fills here are more akin to things we hear on his solo albums. Imagine that with a kickass band behind it.

Sammy and Mike's vocals blend beautifully once again, the last surviving remnant of the glorious VH harmonies of old. VH are using Michael Anthony's backing tapes while touring. It is incredible to me that Sammy Hagar as a singer has remained this powerful after so many years. Has any lead vocalist ever ages as well as Sammy Hagar? A lot of people forget he is older than DLR but looks and sounds decades younger!

Lastly Chad Smith -- I know that Kenny Aranoff will be incredible on tour, there is no doubt of Kenny's skill. But Chad Smith really kicks some serious butt on this album. Just listening to the snare hits, I ask myself how many broken sticks and drum heads were tallied up in the studio.

Highlights are every single song, but one I keep coming back to is "Different Devil", a joyful romp through the countryside with the top down. There are no bad songs on this album. The closest we get is "Three And A Half Letters" which is mostly delivered in a tiring spoken-word vocal. The lyrics are poignant enough, letters from people seriously down on their luck, with Sammy screaming "I need a job!" during the choruses. Indeed, Sammy is rarely this polical, but his simple message is one we can all agree with.

"Big Foot", the first single, stomps through the forest relentlessly but is actually seems to be about a car. "Got 'Houses Of The Holy' on the box, got it all cranked up cause, yeah! that s*** rocks!" sings Sammy back in celebratory mode.

Fans of album #1 will remember that album's cool gimmick, the heat-sensitive packaging. This time Chickenfoot go 3D. I have the classic rock Fan Pack edition which came with 3D glasses among other goodies.

Bonus tracks: Be aware of the following bonus tracks out there!

Live versions of "Down The Drain" and "Oh Yeah" are included from my Fan Pack. These tracks are taken from the live Chickenfoot DVD (Get Your Buzz On), but this is their first release in audio format.

I don't know where to get it yet, but some versions of the album come with a "hidden" song called "No Change". I have heard it, and "No Change" is an angry political rocker with a simply storming riff. The buzz on fan boards has it listed as the best track on the album! You decide.

5 stars. Hoping there is more to come.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy]
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Bilingual) [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy]
DVD ~ Shia LaBeouf
Price: CDN$ 13.98
26 used & new from CDN$ 6.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Michael Bay hacks it again, Oct. 23 2011
As I sat there finishing the third Transformers movie, I thought to myself, "How can Michael Bay take himself seriously?" I mean, the dialogue here is still juvenile and stupid, the characters are still one-dimensional, and every inch of film is overblown and beyond ridiculous. Welcome to the Bay-verse, where one can walk away from a flaming car wreck with no broken bones, and no idea what the hell the story is.

The story revolves around the crash of Sentinal Prime (Autobot mentor to Optimus) on our moon some time in the 60's. He has something (yet another McGuffin in this series) that can save Cybertron (yet again). But there's more than meets the eye and things are not always what they seem. Funny though how Earth always seems to be the epicenter of all Transformers plots and schemes, even though the planet was unknown to them prior to movie one!

Dark of the Moon is a marginal improvement in the Transformers series. A lot of the major issues (Sam's annoying parents, the hip-hop-bots) have been reduced in movie 3. However the plot is still a confounding mess that makes no sense, all there to support a massive end battle that takes up almost half of the movie. Is that battle spectacular to watch? Yes. Can it hold your attention? No. After about half of the end battle had transpired, I was begging for this movie to be over.

I have to say though, Rosie Huntington-Whitely is an improvement over Megan Fox. Something about British accents. Bad British acting always seems superior to bad American acting.

The cast is rounding out by Frances McDormand (wasted here), John Malkovich (also wasted), Patrick Dempsey (meh) and of course John Turturro who should have had more screen time.

2 stars. A thudding end to a disappointing trilogy.

Live at the Marquee Club
Live at the Marquee Club
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 29.86
9 used & new from CDN$ 29.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies and Gentlemen, Twisted ****** ******* Sister!, Oct. 18 2011
You already know some of these recordings from the Big Hits and Nasty Cuts CD. Now, finally, after numerous B-sides and compilations, the entire legendary Marquee club show is available on CD from the fine folks at Rhino Handmade. Coming in a beautiful (but fragile) and huge cardboard die-cut cover, this is so long overdue! For a long long time now I've sunk many dollars into collecting as many of these songs as possible. Yet many of these songs are previously unreleased.

From Lemmy's now legendary introduction to the final notes of "Feel So Fine", this is Twisted Sister at their absolute heaviest. When I first heard these recordings as the "Nasty Cuts" on TS's first greatest hits CD, I didn't like them. They were too heavy. Too fast. Too ragged. Too punk rock. Not what I was expecting from what I considered to be a pop band. However Dee's rants make this so difficult to turn off! You never know what was going to come out of Dee's mouth next. Eventually I realized, this stuff is actually Twisted Sister at their absolute best! They are in their element and in their glory, playing these songs for the fans and also the haters in the crowd that night, whom Dee addresses frequently. Even JJ French gets an extended rap.

I'm sure they won them over.

The recording is crisp, clear, and powerful. Personal fave: "You Can't Stop Rock And Roll". The crowd had never heard this one before, being brand new and unreleased. And finally folks, I am hearing a version of "You Can't Stop Rock And Roll" that lives up to the song's potential. The album version, as great as it is, isn't as heavy as this live version. This, my friends, is Sister at their absolute best. I'm saying that without a trace of hyperbole. For me, this is it. This is Twisted Sister at their tightest, fastest, heaviest and inspired. The crowd eats it up.

Honorable Mention: "I Am (I'm Me)", which comes close to theend of the set. Dee's voice is off on a few notes, but this is rock and roll baby! I'd pay my life savings to be able to sing as well as Dee did that night!

Dud: "Leader Of The Pack". It's just weird to hear it at a show this nuts. It kinda slows things down a bit much (even though it's so much heavier than the Ruff Cuts version).

5 ******* stars!

Hobo With a Shotgun / Hobo with a Shotgun - Sans abri, sans merci (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
Hobo With a Shotgun / Hobo with a Shotgun - Sans abri, sans merci (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Rutger Hauer
Price: CDN$ 16.99
19 used & new from CDN$ 4.73

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rutger Hauer Rocks, Oct. 17 2011
If you liked Grindhouse (Planet Terror + Death Proof and assorted trailers) and Machete, you will love Canadian-born Hobo With A Shotgun. And if you happen to notice a few of your friends from Trailer Park Boys (Ricky aka Robb Wells as well as Sam Losco and the courtroom judge) that's because it was filmed in Nova Scotia. And if you're wondering why co-star Molly Dunsworth looks so familiar, there's a good reason. She is the daughter of John Dunsworth (Jim Lahey) and sister of Sarah E. Dunsworth (Sarah). There's lots of Trailer Park lineage in this movie.

However, that is where the comparisons end. When the Hobo (no name!) shows up in Hope Town (renamed Scum Town) he immediately notices something amiss: Gangs and prostitutes running wild. Then he bears witness to Logan's (Robb Wells) brutal death by the hands of his own brother and nephews (by decapitation no less) and realizes that this town truly is scum town.

What follows is a bloody cartoon-violent spectacle that really has no socially redeeming value, other than evil is evil and must be punished. The town is run by The Drake and his two nephews, Slick and Ivan, who make rape and murder a part of daily life. Torching a school bus full of kids just to keep the town in line is nothing to these guys. Although a certain hobo might have something to say about it....

This hobo doesn't want to be a part of the violence. All he wants is $50 to buy a lawnmower and start his own business. After earning the $50 (in a Bum Fights style video) he has a change of heart, thanks to prostitute Abby (Dunsworth). The shotgun is also $50 and he's just the right man to clean up this town.

You will see intestines, blood, gore, and plenty of sharp objects. This hobo takes no prisoners -- but neither do his foes! Can the hobo clean up this town? He will be up against he match when The Plague (a mysterious supernatural armored duo) show up to do him in....

Hobo With A Shotgun is loaded (pun intended) with extras including two audio commentaries and an alternate ending that I prefer to the real one. You also get the original trailer (with Mike Jackson also of Trailer Park Boys) that started it all. You can't go wrong with this purchase.

While the acting in Hobo With A Shotgun is amature and over the top, Rutger Hauer keeps it grizzled and serious, turning in ironically one of the best performances of his career! If there ever was a grizzled action star ready to fill the retired shoes of Clint Eastwood, it's Rutger Hauer. He is deserving of a major, major comeback and this performance proves it.

4 stars. Not for the weak of heart.

Welcome 2 My Nightmare: Fan Pack
Welcome 2 My Nightmare: Fan Pack

5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome 2 a worthy sequel!, Oct. 14 2011
This fan pack by Classic Rock Magazine is beautiful. It is stuffed with photos and other content including interviews with Alice, Rob Zombie, Ezrin, band members and even Ke$ha. It also contains two posters, a pin, and the album Welcome 2 My Nightmare in an extra large digipack.

The magazine is gorgeous, full colour, and covers the entire career of Alice. Every album is reviewed (in a very biased fashion though) and there are pictures from every era. Kip Winger? Check. Kane Roberts? Check. Steve Hunter? Check.

There'a a cardboard Alice mask (just in time for Halloween), the very nice School's Out pin, and an Alice Cooper makeup kit. This set is great value for the money.

What it lacks are bonus tracks. It is disappointing, since the two bonus tracks here ("Poison" live and "Under the Bed") are billed as exclusives, but are available on almost every version of the album!

But, at long last, we have Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Yes, it really does harken back to the Alice Cooper sound of old. Yes, you can definitely tell when members of the original band are playing. Yes, these songs are very diverse. In fact Alice's sounds from many eras are revisited: disco Alice, rocker Alice, campy showtunes Alice, a slight nod and a wink to the stone ages and some Zappa-like inspiration. There's even surf-rock in "Ghouls Gone Wild", and elsewhere, a Kip Winger cameo. Unfortunately there also a bit of a modern touch: an unfortunate cameo by talentless musical saboteur, Kesha, and some electronic effects that I wasn't too into.

Regardless, Alice and Ezrin (let's give credit where credit is due, Ezrin is the George Martin of this album) have created here a modern masterpiece, a great record to cap Alice's modern career with one more undenialble winner. Welcome 2 My Nightmare contains a few musical interludes and clues from the first Nightmare, particurly "Steven", but it's mostly it's own beast. It is surprisingly listener-friendly, very melodic and 70's sounding with plenty of instrumentation and production value.

The prime influence here seems to be musicals and showtunes. And that's fine with me. Alice knows he's doing and sneers his way through these snappy numbers. Everything builds and changes and builds again, each song is constructed masterfully. Alice and Ezrin know what they're doing. Don't forget these are the guys who did "Gutter Cat Vs. The Jets" back in 1972.

My favourite tune: The Tom Waits-ish "The Last Man on Earth", a 1930's sounding showtune-esque classic, along the lines of Alice's previous song "Crazy Little Child" from Muscle of Love.

Second favourite: "The Underture", which reprises the greatest musical themes from both Nightmare albums in one grandios outro.

One really important thing I want to mention: This is the most fun Alice Cooper has been in while. Welcome 2 has humour and the musical chops to make the album a fun listen from start to back. Whether you like albums such as Brutal Planet or Along Came A Spider, they're not albums to make you chuckle along while you snap your fingers. Welcome 2 My Nightmare, like the original Nightmare from 1975, is a lot more fun.

And now, for the collectors, a word about the bonus tracks on this version.

"Poison" is a recent live track from the Download Festival. "Under The Bed", an excellent song that fits right in near the beginning of the story, is also a bonus track on the this edition. Great song. Don't know why it's not in the main body of the album, since it has recurring musical themes in it and fits with the story!

5 stars!

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