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Profile for Mike G Girardin > Reviews

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Content by Mike G Girardin
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Reviews Written by
Mike G Girardin (Kanata, Ontario Canada)

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Born a Lion
Born a Lion
Price: CDN$ 13.37
18 used & new from CDN$ 5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Born a Lion is rock music at it's finest, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Born a Lion (Audio CD)
Danko Jones is exactly what is missing from the rock genre today. This is straight-up, high-octane, rock and roll, and a little bit of blues for the 21st century.
From the opening track Play the Blues to the last Love Is Unkind, there's plenty there to make a rock lover smile. I do have to admit that my favourite tune in this collection was Lovercall, but aside from that soaring exception, every other track on the album was as awesome and kick-ass as the last.
Although I am not happy about the short running time of the CD (just under 40 minutes) there was nothing else remotely disappointing about it, especially the lack of anger and pessimism that's all too prominent in music today. The raw energy and semi-satirical lyrics were a refreshing change from the self-pity and whining that typically flood the radio waves.
Danko is also one of the best rock shows out there today, and this album comes very close to capturing the intensity of those performances. It's fun to listen to, and leaves you with a good feeling. Anyone out there who misses listening to some good hard rock music, without the blind wrath of rage-rock bands, or the corniness of bands like AC/DC, this is definitely one CD you should pick up. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Monsters in the Closet
Monsters in the Closet
Price: CDN$ 13.80
20 used & new from CDN$ 4.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Album by Vancouver's Own, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Monsters in the Closet (Audio CD)
Mad Child and Prevail deliver a solid performance on the Swollen Members latest release from Battle Axe Records, Monsters in the Closet.
As far as remix albums are concerned, this one is pretty damn tight. There's some really cool new takes on some of the tunes from Bad Dreams which make for a great listen, and should probably hold me over until their next LP.
Appearances by Moka Only and fellow Vancouverite Nelly Furtado also add to the mix which makes for a pretty tasty musical gumbo.
Overall, it's another solid outing from the Swollen Members.

Bad Dreams
Bad Dreams
Price: CDN$ 13.80
21 used & new from CDN$ 1.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Canada's Premiere Rap Group, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Bad Dreams (Audio CD)
I have to say it took me a while to discover them, but the Swollen Members are awesome.
I was a huge fan of rap music back in the early nineties, Digital Underground, NWA, Public Enemy, and most other old school. By the mid-90's rap had basically become garbage. The real talent was lost as it became more big business than anything else. So what I really dig about this awesome group from Van-city is that they take me back to my roots.
Being Canadian, maybe I just feel a certain kinship with these guys, but I really think that they are one of the best rap groups out there today, right up there with Del, and well, nobody else that I can think of off the top of my head.
Bad Dreams, the second full-length album from the Swollen Members, really has an old school feel to it. With musical excellent stylings like unsaturated beats and synchronized rapping, this album could really take a person back, but at the same time, it still feels fresh.
The rhymes are also intelligent, which is something generally lacking from hip-hop today. The spectrum of lyrical diversity is evident as these guys bust about anything from a being a cannibal on an island to my personal favourite tune on the album, Deep End, which is about late-night recording sessions.
Another strong point to this album is the performances delivered by its guests. Notably, DJ Revolution, DJ Babu, and Moka Only contribute to the depth and fineness of this outing.
Overall, it is a strong album, and a real success on the part of the Swollen Members. I applaud their effort and hope to see this album pick up a couple of Junos this year.

Price: CDN$ 5.00
64 used & new from CDN$ 1.41

5.0 out of 5 stars One for the Ages, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Audioslave (Audio CD)
April 9, 1997 was a dark day for the music world. That was the day that one of the greatest rock bands of all time broke up. Soundgarden was no more. Then after two and a half years, Chris Cornell resurfaced with his solo release Euphoria Morning. An awesome album, to be sure, but quite different from Soundgarden, which unfortunately led to poor album sales, and a lot of people missed out on one of the best albums of 1999.
Then, on the 20th of May, 2001, news came that two of the most influencial rock groups of the 90's were teaming up to bring us brand new music. Chris Cornell was to join up with former members of Rage Against the Machine to create a whole new supergroup with a whole new sound.
Although I was a big fan of Rage, I sometimes became somewhat annoyed with Zach de la Rocha, who I often thought was just screaming about nothing. Chris Cornell, whose extremely dynamic voice and array of melodies has got to be some of the finest of this generation, was a perfect choice to join up with these guys who were lacking in just that department.
Guitarist Tom Morello is very noteworthy as well. Throughout his career he has pioneered a new sound in guitar, and is one of the most original guitarists of his time. This is a musician that is right up there with Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, and Vernon Reid in paving new roads in rock music and taking the lead rather than following. Very few artist can fill these shoes.
Along with what is quite possibly the most solid rhythm section in rock today, with the bass grooves of Tim C. and the straight forward tight drumming of Brad Wilk, this was a highly anticipated album by many.
Now, with the realease of Audioslave, I have have to say that I love it! The former members of Rage lend a really groovy feel which mixes excellently with Cornell's melodic vocals. There's a real retro feel on several of the tunes, and former members of Rage deliver on the awesome grooves for which they became famous, which work as well as I though they would on songs like Cochise and Set it Off. But they also get to explore new ground which they never could with their former group, coming up strong with some great mellow tracks like Like a Stone and The Last remaining Light.
At times the music can feel a little awkward because these guys still have some growing to do together, but it's still a solid effort. There's no doubt in my mind that if this group sticks with it, and they gel a little more, learning each others styles and capitalizing on their strengths, that they can and will become one of the greatest groups in the history of rock.

Riot Act
Riot Act
Price: CDN$ 15.00
21 used & new from CDN$ 6.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Best Album from PJ in Years, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Riot Act (Audio CD)
For more than a decade now Pearl Jam have been producing albums. This band seemed to have come out of nowhere to spawn a whole new generation of rock, produce some mighty horrible knock-off bands like Creed, and revive some of the political activism that was seen in the bands of the sixties.
Their high point came with their first album, Ten, and then hit a low with their third release Vitalogy. Since then, they have been slowly scraping their way back up, and witthe firing of the nauseatingly lame Jack Irons, and the addition of the greatly talented Matt Cameron (of Soundgarden fame), they are able to more easily make their way back up the rock ladder.
Granted, they have been doing their own thing, and that is very respectable, but sometimes it just seemed as though they weren't even making an effort. Unlike bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, however, PJ is at least making an effort to consistantly pave new roads, even though they don't always work, instead of putting out the same crap over and over.
On this release Riot Act the high points come with the songs written by Matt Cameron (proving the invaluable worth he brings to the band) such as You Are and Cropduster, and the some of the more boring and redundant moments come in the same old Eddie Vedder-written shlock like the album's first single I Am Mine.
Overall, the strengths of this CD far outway it's weaknesses, and make it a worthwhile addition to a music collection. I would recommend it.

Oracle of Hi-Fi
Oracle of Hi-Fi
Price: CDN$ 6.97
12 used & new from CDN$ 6.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giving the middle finger to convention, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Oracle of Hi-Fi (Audio CD)
The first time I ever seen the Headstones was back in 1993 at a big outdoor music festival, and I loved the show. For over 10 years now, this band has been delivering their own brand of rock and literally giving the middle finger to convention.
At the head of the group is Hugh Dillon, a trash-mouthed, chain-smoking, former heroin addict that may be one of the most individual and recognizable icons in the Canadian Music scene. He was the star of the indie classic film Hard Core Logo and was also excellent in the movie Dance Me Outside.
Now on this album, The Oracle of Hi-Fi, the Headstones once again deliver a solid performance, perhaps the best yet. The guitars a harder than the last couple albums and the tunes are more raw. It just feels as though they have realized that they don't need to be friendly to the radio, but to their fan, the people that have stuck with them since the beginning.
This is a definite must-have for any hard rock collection, and in the spirit of the Headstones: I f*cking love these guys, and to hell with anyone who doesn't.

Wraith: Shangri-La: Sixth Joke
Wraith: Shangri-La: Sixth Joke
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 32.89
11 used & new from CDN$ 10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but they really need Mike Clarke back, Nov. 5 2003
It's been ten long years and five previous "Joker's Cards" but the sixth, entitled The Wraith: Shangri-La, has finally dropped. The sky's may not have fallen, and time itself may not have crumbled as the Insane Clown Posse has claimed in the past, but nonetheless, this is a great album.
The juggalos (ICP Fans) should be pleased and surprised by this latest outing from the Psychopathic Clowns. It's typical ICP fare with plenty of tunes about murder and whatnot, which when not taken literally, can be quite amusing. In comparing it to previous albums by the group, their evolution as musicians, rappers, and entertainers is obvious, to the point where they have really mastered their craft.
One thing that is obviously lacking, however, is the genius of Mike Clarke. I'm not up-to-date on what happened here, but there seems to be a bit of magic missing on the lacking because of it. In my opinion, Mike Clarke was the real man behing the clowns, and had a lot to do with where they are today.
The real twist comes at the end in a song called Thy Unveiling. Here is revealed many enigmas that have been laid out for ICP fans since the release of Carnival of Carnage.
Overall, it's a good album, and darkly humourous. It's not for everyone, the graphic descriptions of murders and mutilations might offend many, but this stuff can't be taken at face value. It's entertainment, and that's what it should be viewed as, because it IS very entertaining.

Welcome to Discovery Park
Welcome to Discovery Park
Offered by MusicShoppingParty
Price: CDN$ 4.39
26 used & new from CDN$ 1.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Takes more than one listen, Nov. 5 2003
When Pearl Jam's TEN came out, I thought it was the best album of all time. As a matter of fact, even today, I still believe that it is one of the top albums ever. Anyhow, I followed the whole Seattle scene at that time, and was very interested in 1993 to hear Stone Gossard's side project "Brad".
I remember thinking it was crap the first time I heard the album "Shame", but the more I listened to it, the more I liked it, until it actually became another of my favorite albums. It's hard to say exactly what it was that made me like it so much, but I'm going to guess that it was the pure originality of the whole thing. They weren't like anything else I'd heard before.
That originality is very much still alive and well on their latest release "Welcome to Discovery Park". And although right now, I don't like it as much as Shame, I think I probably haven't listened to it enough yet. I'm sure that once I've given a goo 4 or 5 listenings, that I'll love it just as much, because this music is like a fine wine, it's a refined and aquired taste.

Theory of a Deadman
Theory of a Deadman
Price: CDN$ 8.00
17 used & new from CDN$ 1.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly Great, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Theory of a Deadman (Audio CD)
As probably everybody has heard by now, this is the newest band on Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger's new label. Don't let that mislead you though, these guys are not just another Nickelback. Unlike Fred Durst, who signed the grunge-era rip-off band Puddle of Mudd, Mr. Kroeger actually did a decent job here of picking these guys.
This Vancouver-based group have really got something good here. In short, the album kicks-ass.
Although this CD is shorter than I typically would like to see (running only 37 minutes) it is packed with great riffs, catchy tunes, and unique talented vocals.
And as with any band that I really enjoy, there's a solid performance from the rhythm section. Hell, without a good rhythm section, even the most melodic guitaris is doomed, but not to worry, this band has both.
From strong catchy tunes like "Nothing Can Come Between Us" to the hilarious rants of "Confession", this is one of the best albums I've heard in a while, and well worth it's purchase price.

Price: CDN$ 8.05
52 used & new from CDN$ 1.28

2.0 out of 5 stars Really Monotonous, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: Curb (Audio CD)
Ok, I like Nickelback, but after hearing this album, I understand why it wasn't until their second album that they got famous. I literally got a headache from how repetitive and monotonous Chad Kroeger's singing was.
The album really wasn't that expensive, which was good, but I still don't think that spending money on it is a wise decision. It's probably a better idea to go out and buy Theory of a Deadman instead.

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