GOODBYE TO ROMANCE; GOODBYE TO PHYSICAL MEDIA: Q-S

AAAAAA

* - Asterisk means I already had a good mp3 copy of this album, but threw up a few words anyway in the name of having an internet-based chronicle of all my legally-purchased, store-bought music

times - Beavis Having Rad Times means that this CD's purchase was directly or indirectly influenced by the Beavis & Butthead television show

Q

shrug

R

Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine (1992, Epic) - Man, it's messed up to look back and remember that the combination of rap and hard rock/metal was once the future of music. I mean, I guess it makes sense, and we had stuff like this and 24/7 Spyz and "Bring the Noise" to trick us into thinking it would all turn out okay, but then Limp Bizkit and Stuck Mojo and fuckin-ass Kid Rock showed up. I guess the theme of the 1990s in general was "oh man, everything's going to be great," and the 2000s were the decade of "ha ha, fooled you, everything will be bad forever and you will suffer and die a meaningless death, and by 2017, there will be literally no difference between reality and a heavily-exaggerated Onion article, which you don't know about yet, because it's 1992." Anyway, this rules, and it's a shame that they were never really able to put together a follow-up that was more than a couple good songs, rendered un-good by being repeated five times each on the CD. Also, they failed to defeat capitalism. That might've been nice, I dunno.

Rammstein - Liebe ist Fur Alle Da (2009, Universal - 2CD special edition) - I never really got into Rammstein, and I never figured out why. There's really nothing at all that's bad about them; I just never put forth the effort of bothering to listen to them. I'm weird, I dunno man. I think I was the same way about Testament for like 20 years or so, and remain in such a place with Nuclear Assault. Anyway, I know nothing of the German language, but but there's a song called "Wiener Blut" on here, which elicits something between a cringe and a Beavis laugh from me, and knowing what I know of Rammstein, I'm probably not far off on my translation. Ha ha ha, wieners. Maybe someday, I'll listen to this. My wife remains more metal than me.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - What Hits!? (1992, EMI) -Look, I get it, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are the lamest crap ever now, like pleasant rock for Christian Dads when they're in a mood to "really cut loose" or whatever. But I come from a different time, and up until they hired the Jane's Addiction dude (and then fired him and then  just kinda stopped trying), these dudes were the coolest band in the land, and the t-shirts with that asterisk-looking logo were the true signal of a Party Animal. And still, most of this kinda sucks, but it's cheaper and easier than buying multiple CDs to hear "Higher Ground," and... well.... shit, that's it. How the Christ do you make an 18-track RHCP greatest hits Cd in 1992 and not put "Give it Away" on there? I know it was big; it's got a damn Weird Al version. What in God's name was I thinking when I bought this? Dumb.

Rhythm Collision - Collision Course (1997, Dr. Strange) - I know this whole thing has turned into an exercise of "look, it was the 90s, okay?" but I'm gonna do that again. Rhythm Collision were a better-than-usual generic 90s pop punk band, complete with a singer who had his vocal cords removed and had to find a way to make sounds using his nasal cavity and nothing more, and I heard the songs "Subway Blues" and "Jack" on some compilation CDs, and I liked them, so I got this. Look, it was the 90s, okay? Turns out, it's a compilation of all their stuff from other compilations, (which were the Thing to Do at the time - this has 19 tracks) and not only were those two songs on here, but they ended up being the only two songs I bothered with usually. There is a fun version of the Cheers theme though.

Rigor Mortis - Rigor Mortis vs. the Earth (1991, Triple X) - I always thought of this band in terms of "ohhhh, they have the second Beefcake the Mighty from GWAR," whereas normal-ish people were thinking "ohhhh, they've got the dude from Ministry!" Overall, this is good, but it fully resides in that gray area of lower-tier thrash metal that's good but not great, cool while you listen to it but ultimately forgettable, and probably several other sentences I've had to repeat ten times since the letter A beginnings of this. Anyway, heavy metal albums covers from a pre-computerized age by bands who couldn't afford Michael Whelan or Ed Repka or anyone like that are some of the best album covers.

Rodney Dangerfield - What's in a Name (1990, MCA - originally released as The Loser in 1966) - Rodney Dangerfield was awesome. I mean, "Rappin' Rodney" was an abomination that should have all its copies incinerated and all the ashes somehow super-incinerated, but he was amazing in Natural Born Killers, so it evens out. But this is weird to go back and listen to, because I grew up with the 80s version of Rodney, where getting no respect was just a joke and he was the big fat party animal in Caddyshack and Back to School, but 60s Rodney is mostly just sad and depressed. I mean, it's still funny, but it's a reminder that comedians being deeply screwed-up people started way before the involvement of cocaine and whatever brain worms Louis CK has that make him want to aggressively jack off in front of a literal captive audience. (Y'all knew about that, right?)

S


= SACRED REICH GAUNTLET UNDER CONSTRUCTION =

Sam Spence & John Facenda - The Power and the Glory: The Original Music and Voices of NFL Films (1998, Tommy Boy) - Look, I know, the NFL is terrible. It's a heartless, soulless, corporate beast that kills its employees all in the name of glorifying American imperialism and selling us pickup trucks. But we didn't always know that, and NFL Films, with Ed Sabol as the Leni Riefenstahl of the evil empire, was goddamn amazing back in the day. And the music was awesome, and the voice over guy sounded like some sort of living god, and it's here, goddammit, it's all here. All that crazy shit that sounds like Herb Alpert trying to play power metal through a trumpet while Earl Campbell shortens a dude's life, John Facenda as the griot of American football, hell, it's even got that clip of Mike Singletary asserting that he is going to be here all day and that he indeed enjoys a party of this variety. (Sadly, I don't think Lawrence Taylor likens the Giants defense to a bunch of crazed dogs on here, nor does Lou Saban assert that they are indeed killing him, Whitey) The NFL is evil, but this rules completely.

Savage - Loose 'N Lethal (1983, Ebony - mine is the 1997 Neat/Metal Blade version) - Man, these guys are one of the saddest stories of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. They were destined for at least minor stardom, but their management sucked, major label deals were turned down for no apparent reason, and now Savage is mostly known for being a band that had a song of theirs covered by Metallica in a garage with no witnesses or decent recording equipment. But this is great, the guitar sound is nasty as hell, "Let it Loose," should've been a platinum-selling mega-hit, "Cry Wolf" has one of the gnarliest riffs of all time, and these dudes deserved better than what happened to them.

Scatterbrain - Here Comes Trouble (1990, In-Effect) - These dudes were one of the more popular bands of the inexplicably big comedy/novelty metal boom of the early 90s, and while most of that sort of thing didn't go over as well as record executives had hoped, Scatterbrain did manage to get a few videos and fond memories out of stuff like "I'm With Stupid" and "Don't Call Me Dude." But much like the Mucky Pups and Post Mortems of the world, they sorta faded into the mists of time after that. I should probably try listening to this again someday, because it's one of those things that sounds on paper like Completely My Jam, but I just never got into it. This is a recurring theme.

= SEPULTURA GAUNTLET UNDER CONSTRUCTION =

Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols (1977, Warner Bros.) - Hey, it's another one of those big, iconic releases that stretches its influence beyond the punks and freaks and into the collective consciousness of Cool Dads or whatever. And yeah, I know they were pretty much a manufactured boy band and not "real" punks, and that Johnny Rotten does butter commercials now, and that Steve Jones had to pull double-duty on this album, because Sid Vicious literally knew absolutely nothing about the basic functions of a bass guitar. But all fakery and falseness aside, this is still as good as advertised, and I can see the appeal that made this and Black Sabbath the basic building blocks of everything I've ever enjoyed. Also, one of my favorite things is when they put the SiriusXM 70s on 7 station on at work, and "Anarchy in the U.K." will come on, and I guess there's just no radio edit of that track, because sometimes when the refrigeration units are quieter than normal, the "....and other cunt-like tendencies" part can be heard loud and clear. Also, the "FUCK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME" part of that one Rage Against the Machine song comes on about once a day now, and I should've mentioned that a minute ago.

timesSick of it All - Scratch the Surface (1994, Eastwest) - Aaaaah, this and everything about it is so good. Sick of it All has always had this weird sort of status as Motörhead Junior, like they're the band that's been around forever, and all their stuff sounds mostly kind of the same, but you don't mind, because it's all super good. But this seems slightly better to me for some reason, possibly because it was during a way more metal-ish phase of their lives, when they were on tour with Sepultura and Napalm Death and the like. I dunno. It's funny, now I remember seeing an interview with SOIA on MTV around the time Built to Last came out (somehow, I don't have that one), and most of it dealt with how they were these grizzled old road-weary hardcore veterans, and ha ha ha oh god, that was literally twenty years ago, and we'll all be dead someday, but Sick of it All will still be releasing albums.

Sick of it All - Call to Arms (1999, Fat Wreck Chords) -I think I already mentioned back in the Hs that I got this and Scratch the Surface in an uneven trade for my legit copy of Fuel for the Hate Game by Hot Water Music, and that while I'm happy about that trade, I still wanna find that dude and beat him up for how he treated his internet girlfriend. IRC drama folks; the precursor to Facebook drama, probably. Anyway, I often worry that I never gave this album a fair shake, because I'd mostly just get to "Potential for a Fall" and listen to that song over and over and over, because it is masterful.

Sick of it All - Yours Truly (2000, Fat Wreck Chords) - This one's weird, because it's got a decidedly un-"hardcore," kinda artsy-looking cover, and I'm pretty sure that alone is why people didn't like this when it came out. I think people looked at it and just assumed it was some sort of artful prog rock sellout kinda thing instead of seeing it as what it was, which was a pretty standard Sick of it All record. Been a while since I listened to this, but I seem to remember "Hello Pricks" being my favorite off of this.

Sick of it All - Outtakes for the Outcast (2004, Fat Wreck Chords) - This is one of those b-side/soundtracks/compilation songs/studio outtakes collections, a relic of a bygone age before everyone who still paid for music just dropped the 99 cents on iTunes or whatever. A lot of this stuff feels like it was left off of proper releases for a reason, though, so I never got into this very much past the Misfits and Sham 69 covers. IT WAS AN IMPULSE BUY.

Sick of it All - Death to Tyrants (2006, Abacus) - Since the world is stupid as shit, the post-911 world gave us stupid Greenday as the VOICES OF THE #RESISTANCE, mostly through them putting out same kinda shit they always did, misinterpreted by people didn't who actually read or understand the lyrics. But this hit right as I was kinda slowly crawling out of my pre-woke period, and between "Uprising Nation" and "Machete," this CD more than any others was the one that made me go "FUUUCKK YOOOOOUU DICK CHENEY, I'MMA SHIT IN YOUR MOUTH." On the latter of those two songs though, I wish they had stretched it out beyond a two-minute runtime, to get that "I'LL RETURN EVERY HUNDRED YEARS" part in the song more than once, because it was the best. Man, I need more Sick of it All CDs, you guys.

*Sir Lord Baltimore - Kingdom Come (1970, Mercury) - Around the time that Map of Metal thing entered my sphere of influence, I started getting into all those old seventies "proto-metal" bands, mostly on a casual Spotify/YouTube/Amazon Prime music kind of way, but I actually bought stuff by these dudes and Pentagram. (would've bought that first Lucifer's Friend album, because "Ride the Sky" is the best song ever, but they want $35 for that, nooooope) And this is kind of crazy psychedelic stuff more often than not, and while it could stand next to bands like Sabbath and Pentagram, it's not that doom metal-ish usually faster-paced, as if the dudes in this band might have used the word "boogie" on a regular basis. This sounds like the sort of stuff your parents would be into, if your parents were either more into drugs, were bigger nerds, or possibly both. I could see some of this used as bumper music on Coast to Coast AM, maybe. Anyway, while it could stand to be a minute or two shorter, the title track on here rules, and for you wrestling nerds, it might be where Keiji Mutoh first heard the phrase "Shining Wizard," before he turned it into a signifier for kneeing dudes in the face.

The Sissies - Geography (1999, Plan-It-X) - Yeah, we've been through this before. Another band who played the local shows way back when, and I didn't really like them, but they were nice folks who needed the five bucks for gas and/or Funyuns to be purchased alongside said gas. There's this one Kids in the Hall sketch with a talk show with this really dopey sounding theme song that's all "Darcy, Darcy, Darcy Panell, she makes her guests feel real swell," or something along those lines, and this sounds like someone tried to stretch that concept into a punk CD. I don't think I've listened to this twice in my entire life, BUT THEY WERE REALLY NICE.

Skid Row - Skid Row (1989, Atlantic) - Yeah, I know, Skid Row was pretty much glam rock or hair metal or whatever, but RICKY WAS A YOUNG BOY WITH A HEART OF STONE, AND SOMETIMES, I WISH TO HEAR HIS CAUTIONARY TALE. Also, I almost just typed "Skid Rock" a second ago, meaning that Kid Rock has infiltrated otherwise innocent parts of my brain, and I remember that there's a near-certainty that he'll be a US Senator soon, and maybe a 50/50 chance of him being President at some point, and I'm gonna say it right now: I probably don't have enough violence in my soul to assassinate a president, but I'd definitely hurl a bottle or a big dog turd or something at President Rock's head. IT HAS TO END SOMEWHERE, DAMMIT. Anyway, I don't know why I don't own a copy of Slave to the Grind, because that was the one where Skid Row got all metal on us.

Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986, American - mine is the version with two bonus tracks) - Hey, look, it's time for intimate confessions and HOT TAKES. First, I'd like to confess that I've never been the biggest Slayer fan. Not saying I've never liked them or anything, I'm just saying that in the prime 80s/early 90s period before they all devolved into sad messes in the late 90s, they were always #4 of the Big Four to me by a wide margin. All their best shit kinda sounds the same after a while, and they've ranged from boring to embarrassing ever since the 90s decline. (If you're curious, my current Big Four Power Rankings would be Anthrax at #1, Slayer at a distant #2, and Metallica and Megadeth tied for #5 somehow) Like I would gladly accept a Slayer t-shirt if one were offered to me, but I wouldn't buy one. So that's where you're starting with, re: any OPIONIONZ 4 U I might have about a Slayer record. Now in the spicy takes department, this doesn't deserve nearly as much hype as it gets, as far as being the OMG GREATEST METAL ALBUM EVAR. It's two great songs, sandwiched around some others that are just generic Slayer. It's only 28 minutes long, (sans bonus tracks) and 19 of that is pretty much filler. (and speaking of bonus tracks, the remix of "Criminally Insane" that's on my CD is virtually identical to the original, but with part of "Raining Blood" spliced in at the beginning, what the hell, American Recordings) I mean, if you are only going to have two songs worth coming back to, "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood" are about as good as you're ever possibly going to do, but don't tell me that it's the greatest album of all time when the great parts could fit on a 7". This is a good EP, not the greatest album, fukk u if u disagree. (Also, avoid  the old 10 track CD like it's got boogers on it or something, because some dummy split the tracks in the wrong places. What the hell, American Recordings.)

Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss (1990, American) - Now, THIS. This god dang thing right here. If you were going to tell me that Slayer had produced one of the finest records ever, and that it was this one, I'd be all like "yes, of course." This one is so good that it's almost as good as people tell me Reign in Blood is. I don't know what they did different, like maybe it's the parts where they slowed down and actually let a song form here and there, but this is fucking amazing. It is the best Slayer album to me, just start-to-finish greatness, every song seems like it's there for a reason, there are maybe only two out of ten that approach being mere filler, and you're not just skipping to the Big Hits. Hot damn, it is so crazy that this, Rust in Peace, and Persistence of Time all came out in the same year. I wish I had been a cool 10 year old, so I could've cared.

Slayer - Undisputed Attitude (1996, American) -Hoo boy. Then, there's this thing. I know I've dispensed with a piping hot Slayer take or two just now, but I think even a lot of dudes with the band logo carved into their arm would agree with me that this just sucks so bad. An album (EDITOR'S NOTE: i just typoed this as "Analbum" somehow, which I should've left in to see if anyone reacted) of Slayer covering the greatest hits of hardcore punk sounds like something that could only possibly succeed, but late 90s Slayer could fuck up a wet dream, and here we are. Something just sounds wrong with Tom Araya here, like he's all high-pitched and weird, like they got the dude who voiced Brak on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast to do the singing. I guess slayer was taking too long to record their equivalent of Load, so they had to drop this somewhere in between Divine Intervention and Diabolus In Musica to let everyone know that the good times were over. God, this thing sucks.

Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D.) - Speak English or Die (1985, Megaforce) - OOOOHHHH SHIT, SON. Back in the M.O.D. reviews, many moons ago, I was at least somewhat clear that I share in the widely-held opinion that Billy Milano is a big ol' sack of shit in many ways. So why do people keep giving him a pass and letting him record more terrible M.O.D. records? This. This is why. Because he was at least 25% responsible for this album, and as long as he walks the earth, there's a possibility that it could happen again. I mean, it won't, but there was a dude that got struck by lightning like eight times, you know? This is it, this is the absolute almighty god-king of crazy thrash records, and wearing my S.O.D. shirt around the stuffy-ass Ole Miss campus in 1998/99 was probably the only time in my life when I've ever felt like the coolest person within a ten-foot radius of anyone else at all. I mean, I wasn't; hell, I wasn't cool at all. I locked myself in my dorm room all day, playing Tecmo Super Bowl III and watching Spider Man cartoons and generally avoiding humanity. But I felt cool, and the feelings are what matters.

Stormtroopers of Death - Bigger Than the Devil (1999, Nuclear Blast) - Man, 1999 was one of the worst and most miserable times of my life, and the idea that S.O.D. had actually gotten back together and were releasing a new album for the first time in 14 years was like a damn ray of sunshine. The problem was that I was broooooke. I mean, broker than shit. I had the first of many soul-crushing jobs that paid just enough (I think minimum wage was either $5.20 or $5.25 back then) to make loan payments for my failed college career, and there was just absolutely no hope of finding an extra $15ish anywhere for a new CD. So the release came and went, and weeks and months passed, and I still didn't have this, and it was just one more log onto the big shit-fire that my life had become. But man, one of the old metal chatroom people, this dude named Jeff, came the through for me in insanely huge ways. One day, he pops up in the private chat window and asks for my address, presumably to send a copy of a metal 'zine (Promethian Crusade) that he had done some stuff for. But the thing was, he was an industry insider of some sort that I wouldn't begin to understand, and the important thing here is that he had access to shit. So one day, the mail comes, and in addition to a grip of zines, there was this tape. It was a goddamn promo cassette single with the title track and "Kill the Assholes" off of this, and it was glorious, and it saved my life. I still have that tape out in the garage, even though I may have literally worn it out. Anyway, I eventually got this a few months later, and I don't think history remembers it fondly, because it really didn't sound anything like Speak English or Die. Scott Ian was in his Pantera worship/groove metal mode, and Billy Milano had changed his singing style from an Intimidating Shout to something more Sepultura-like. But I dunno man, I love this CD, and it's still one of my all-time favorites, even if it is technically the worst S.O.D. album. (they only had two, duh)

Stormtroopers of Death - Pussywhipped (2005, Megaforce - legal release of 1987 bootleg) - This is the super double secret extra bonus disk that came with the 20 Years of Dysfunction DVD, and it's funny, because it had been out for years as a presumably rare bootleg, but Milano was like "fuck it, they had no legal rights to it, let's just put it out." So here you go. This is a live bootleg from around the time the first album came out, which is crazy, because I'm pretty sure they only played the merest amount of shows, and even crazier in that it actually doesn't sound too bad. I mean, it's definitely a damn bootleg recording, but it sounds like a soundboard recording and not a useless camcorder audio rip or anything like that. So that's cool. The DVD kinda sucked, though. The band had completely imploded by that point, and I'm pretty sure neither Milano nor Dan Lilker were on speaking terms with the Anthrax guys anymore, and the whole thing is just Billy putting forth a valiant effort to control himself, straining through gritted teeth to say nice things about Scott Ian and Charlie Benante, instead of calling them a covetous Jew and a giant pussy or whatever he was thinking. Then, there's a big ~TRIBUTE TO THE VICTIMS OF 9/11~ thing set to the tune of "Fuck the Middle East," because of course there fucking is.

Soulstorm - Darkness Visible (1992, Metal Blade) - This combines two recurring themes of yesteryear that keep popping up: The heavy metal chatrooms of yore and buying people's CDs, sound unheard, because of them being nice. Anyway, this dude Nick, who's the bass player/singer/apparently the drum machine programmer for this was always around, even though I never really talked to him much, but I always remembered him being super-polite and barely ever mentioning that he had a band. And that was crazy as hell, because every shitheel with a working guitar would go on IRC brag endlessly about their band, no matter how insignificant. (Fun fact: Kiljoy from Necrophagia used to go in there and try and trade copies of his Black Blood Vomitorium EP for naked pictures of female chatters all the time. Don't know if he ever succeeded, but he eventually quit showing up after this one guy who was a legit pedophile kept making fun of his weight. They were both on WebTV. It was a terrible place.) Meanwhile, here was this dude who had a for-real band on a label that you could find in regular-ass stores, (upon further inspection it was actually on Epidemic Records, but distributed through Metal Blade Records, which still counts) and he never said shit unless someone asked first. Canadian politeness, probably. Anyway, years later, I found this on Metal Blade's site, and it was cheap, so I got it, and I didn't like it. 10+ years later though, I'm kinda skimming it, and it's actually way better than I remembered. Kind of a death-metal-but-also-industrial-by-way-of-drum-machine thing going on here, and I think I just tolerate death style vocals (which are determined by life style vocals) better than I used to. Holy crap, I should fully listen to this again soon, because it might actually rule. I hope so, because seriously, that dude was hella nice.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: judging by a few of these last entries, I think I've strayed quite a bit from the "type while the Cd is ripping" rule. Oh well, FUKKK YOUR RULES, MAAAAAAAAAN)

Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger (1991, A&M) - AAAAAAAHHHH EVERYONE FROM THE EARLY 90S IS DEEEEAD AAAAAAAAH. Okay, got that out of the way. This was pretty much the summer jam of the universe in 1991, (Especially "Rusty Cage," but ESPECIALLY "Outshined.") when the Bush recession was getting us all down in the dumps just enough to listen to metal-adjacent grunge, but not down enough to keep us from getting excited about the horny dude from Arkansas with the saxophone that was probably going to replace him. Also, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, man, they were insanely huge. Like I had the movie poster and the Turtle Blimp, and being able to draw the Turtles perfectly probably signified the high water mark of my scholastic social standing. Now, the Turtles are stupid Michael Bay Movies, Bill Clinton is the guy who was perpetually *this close* to throwing n-bomb's during his wife's 2008 campaign, and I'm a dork with a computer. Shit.

Soundgarden - Superunknown (1994, A&M) -It's weird, because my heart tells me that Badmotorfinger is the better of the two Soundgarden Albums for those of us not cool enough to have Ultramega OK or Louder Than Love, but possibly too cool for Down on the Upside. But now, looking down the tracklist, this has way more mixed tape worthy, gonna-rewind-the-tape-to-hear-that-again type songs. Maybe it's because of "Outshined" and "Rusty Cage" both being two monsters that nothing else could top, while this deals more in volume of Greatest Hits, I dunno. Anyway, neither of these were in the Original Eleven CDs my cousin sold me when he found Jesus, but they were the Seconday Two CDs that another non-relative gave me when he found Jesus harder than He was previously found. Of course, he realized this was dumb a little while later, but I didn't give them back, because I'm a legit horrible person sometimes, or at least I was in 1998.

Stabbing Westward - Wither Blister Burn & Peel (1996, Columbia) - Yeah, this, man, I dunno. It had that one song that I think I tricked myself into the thinking was awesome because it really did have a truly awesome video, but there's pretty much nothing else good about this. It's just kinda mediocre industrial rock, and the singer sounds wimpy in ways I can't effectively put into words. But fuck it, it was at Goodwill for like a buck-fitty. I bought lots of weird things that day, like a Johnny Paycheck album with no sleeve that's about 9,000% too scratched to ever matter. Goodwill is a place of insanity.

Steve Martin - A Wild and Crazy Guy (1978, Warner Bros.) - For some reason, I can't recall much about the actual content of this album beyond "King Tut," because all that keeps popping into my head is stuff from Let's Get Small, the Steve Martin album of my youth. The part where he freaks out on the lighting guy, culminating in the world's largest "EXCUUUUUUUSE MEEEEEEEEE" is comedy gold, but I can't remember much about this one. It's got "King Tut," though. It's weird that Steve Martin is like 2% actor/comedian and 98% Banjo God now. Possibly a preview of where Kevin Nealon will be in a decade or so.

Stone Temple Pilots - Core (1992, Atlantic) - Scott Weiland didn't sound like Eddie Vedder, and Stone Temple Pilots didn't sound a damn thing like Pearl Jam. Fuck you, David Spade. You know what, fuck all y'all. This is legit one of my favorite CDs of all time, just start to finish to unskippable tracks of pure god damn gold. IT'S GOLD, JERRY. This was back before the Creed guy soured us all on yarling R-controlled vowel grunge singers, and considering that it was radio friendly rock for the kids, it's actually heavy as fuck for what it is. Also, for some reason, this album triggers very specific memories of this dude my brother knew in 1992 who managed the Eckerd drug store in town and ran some sort of illicit trading card racket on the side. Like 1992 Fleer Football had these "Team Leader" insert cards that were insanely valuable by '92 standards, despite coming one per rack pack. Thing was, those packs had three separate little sections, and the Team Leader was always in the bottom, so he'd just snip off a third of the pack and sell them that way, and make a tidy profit. I think I still have the Neal Anderson and Emmitt Smith, (the best one, which hit an imaginary book value of I think $75-100 at one point, meaning you can probably get it on Ebay for like five dollars now) and I traded a wallet someone gave me (which was nice, aside from being one of those extra-tall Pickpocket's Delight ones) for the Warren Moon and John Elway. They're somewhere in a storage locker in Mississippi, meaning they probably no longer exist now. Just like Scott Weiland.

Stone Temple Pilots - Purple (1994, Atlantic) - STP's change from awesome Motley Crue-Adjacent Grunge Metal of False Accusation to being a shitty, jingly-jangly power pop group wasn't an overnight thing, so much as a gradual process over the course of a couple albums. The process had begun here, and this is insanely less-good than Core was, but that one was so crazy good that this probably isn't an all-time favorite of mine, but it's still probably Up There Somewhere. After this though, came Tiny Music: Something Something Convoluted Title, which was one of the most horrible disappointments I had ever faced to that point. My god, it sucked so bad. I don't think I ever even gave them a chance after that one. Also, my brother stole so many football and basketball cards from the drug store guy that it is insane to think about now. Like the Fleer Ultra basketball packs in my town were somehow blessed by the gods to always have either a Shaquille O'Neal or Alonzo Mourning RC in every pack, and I think we ended up with like ten Shaq rookies, with probably four being ones my brother was supposed to sell for that dude. Oh well, that's the streets, I guess.

= SUICIDAL TENDENCIES GAUNTLET (which is only like 9 CDs and doesn't really warrant its own page, but S is out of control and I need to break things up somehow) UNDER CONSTRUCTION =

Suicide Machines - Destruction by Definition (1996, Hollywood) - I know, ska-punk is the lamest shit now, but the love of this CD was a shared bonding experience for every 11th grade white kid in my high school, both punk rocker and normal varieties. This will always have a special place in my heart as the #1 album of 1997, and it always made me wish I had a pair of Vans, because of that one song. But I almost got some once, and to hell with Vans, honestly. Those things feel like they weigh twelve pounds each. I guess the reason I could never be a skateboarder is because I can't abide feeling like I've got bowling balls taped to my feet. That and my utter lack of balance and coordination. Anyway, the ska cover of Minor Threat's  "I Don't Wanna Hear It" is nice, and I wish it wasn't relegated to a hidden song at the end of the last track. I wonder if I still have the little skankin' Jack Kevorkian sticker that came with this.

Suicide Machines - Batle Hymns (1998, Hollywood) - I remember being super excited when this was listed in the "New Releases" montage on an episode of MTV News, (lol Jesus) but I never actually got it until I found a used copy for a couple bucks about ten years later. And man, whatever ska-punk enthusiasm I must have had in 97/98 must have left my body, because I literally don't think I've ever listened to this. If nothing else, I am the only honest music reviewer online. So fuck you, Pitchfork Media, eat some shit with your "angular guitars" gibberish, you lizard-people. I am the king now, do you hear me? You must give your crown and enchanted pitchfork to me. Anyway, years later, these dudes put out a CD called something like "War Profiteering Is Killing Us All" or something along those lines, and god damn, guys, you gotta punch it up a little. If I remembered the title correctly, that's ten stupid syllables.

Sweet Savage - Killing Time (1998, Metal Blade) - This is one of those kinda cool, but also kinda sad things that would happen when Metallica would cover an old NWOBHM band's song. Suddenly, people hear the Metallica version and get interested, and it's like "shit, get the band back together NOW, we're cuttin' an album!" and it gets the Metallica cover's title slapped on it. I know Diamond Head did it, these guys did it, and I'm pretty sure Savage and Blitzkrieg were similar cases. And on one hand, yeah, it's kind of a bummer to have to do such blatant coattail riding, but on the other hand, fuck it, the kids rocking "Sad But True" probably weren't shopping in import record bins in 1979; get in where you fit in. Anyway, these are mostly old songs with little in the way of modernization attempts, so it's all good. For some reason, the comparison that comes to mind is Mercyful Fate with Paul Dianno singing, but that's probably a stupid and terrible way to describe this. Again, I'm the only honest music reviewer.

System of a Down - System of a Down (1998, American - mine is the '99 version with a bonus CD) - Look, I agree, death to false metal and all, and I know these guys rode the wave of nu-metal bullshit to conquer the world of dudes with little bits of bleached hair flipped over the edge of their Tennis Grandma visors. But for some reason, this found a place in my blackened Grinch heart, and has always been one of my all-time favorites.I dunno, it hit just the perfect balance of heaviness and weirdness, and it's one of those rare CDs where there's pretty much nothing you ever feel like skipping. The No-Skip Cd is a very important thing to me, and it's still crazy that Metallica had like four in a row. There's also a bonus disk with four live songs on it, and it's not anything super special, because it's only four songs, but it does have "War?" on it, which is good.

System of a Down - Post-Hypnotic Suggestions (2000?, bootleg CDR) - Yeah look, I dunno. A bootleg CD of rare/demo/live tracks from a band I was currently freaking out over popped up on Ebay at a low price, so I got it. Turns out, the live tracks are some weak camcorder audio shit, and the rare b-side/compilation/etc. stuff sounds like it was downloaded at relatively low quality from Kazaa Lite or whatever, because that's probably exactly what happened. This is a CDR with an inkjet-printed cover, and I am a fool.

System of a Down - Toxicity (2001, American) - I don't actually own a legal copy of this, but my CDR is directly copied from a real CD, without any MP3 transition, so I'm counting it. Anyway, there's nothing wrong with this at all, like it's the same kind of stuff played the same kind of fashion as the self-titled CD, but I've never liked it. At all. I have no idea why this is the case, but I burned out on SOAD really fast. The heart wants what it wants, and oftentimes, that's not System of a Down, what can I say? Also, death to all false posers who ever referred to System of a Down as "S.O.D." There was already an S.O.D., and they were way better, shut up, kid. Add the A and go kill yourself. That was probably harsh.


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