Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lebowski Fest

To an outsider, cult film screenings must be a strange sight to behold. It takes a special kind of weirdo to dress up like his or her favorite character and go to a theater to see a movie that came out years ago, and yell out lines at the screen in unison with the crowd.

This author is one such weirdo.

Lebowski Fest, the annual festival celebrating Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 masterpiece The Big Lebowski, hit New York at Terminal 5 last Tuesday. Achievers (the name for die-hard Lebowski fanatics) turned out in droves to bowl, drink White Russians (the cocktail of choice for The Dude, the movie’s lead character played by Jeff Bridges), wave their pieces around, and watch The Big Lebowski alongside fellow Achievers.

The party featured music by the band Black Diamond, who performed a set covering songs from the film’s soundtrack in addition to a few of their own originals. Also in attendance were the Pin Heads, a troupe of Achievers dressed as bowling pins, as well as Jeff Bridges himself (via satellite).

But the night’s big event was, of course, the film screening. It’s hard to describe the atmosphere of watching a movie like The Big Lebowski on a big screen in a room full of strangers who also know every line of the film. Think of the greatest thing on Earth, and you have at least a remote idea.

Suffice it to say, good times were had by all. And if nothing else, there is a certain bizarre pleasure to be had at the sight of a full bar lined with pitchers full of ready-made White Russians to be poured for thirsty Achievers. This author had no choice but to abide.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Setting The Record Straight

Hey folks. Time to set the record straight:

The previous post about the Dethklok special edition albums was intended as humor and does not reflect any promotion on the part of Williams Street, Adult Swim or any other company.

We apologize for any confusion it may have caused, and we wish Dethklok a happy release day tomorrow!

Plenty more coming your way here on WSOURock in the coming days!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Album Review: Five Finger Death Punch’s "War is the Answer"

When Five Finger Death Punch came out with their debut album The Way of the Fist in 2007, it sent them straight to the top of the rock charts at an unprecedented pace. All three singles off of that album were massive hits, all landing in the top 20 of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. In 2009, the band is back at it again, with their latest release War is the Answer. From beginning to end, this is definitely one of the best albums of the year. Right from the beginning of the first track, “Dying Breed”, you are hit with pounding drum beats and thrashing guitar riffs. The entire album is definitely strong, and showcases the band’s ability to create songs that are heavy and fast-paced, and displays a softer, more melodic side as well (Notably on the track “Far From Home”). In each song, it is easy to see the passion that the band puts into their songs, especially vocalist Ivan Moody. Whether it’s the anger and hatred that he puts into “Burn It Down” and “No One Gets Left Behind”, or the tortured, sobering singing on “Far From Home” or the cover of “Bad Company” by the band of the same name, Moody definitely brings a fire that is always welcomed, and embraced. The guitar solos on each track are technically crisp, and fit very well with the sound, and the beat that consistently is violent, and does not let up. Five Finger Death Punch have definitely built upon the success of Way of the Fist with this album. Overall, it I a strong release and I recommend getting it as soon as possible, in addition to seeing them on tour with Shadows Fall, Otep, and 2 Cents.

Overall score: 9.5

Key Tracks: “Dying Breed”, “Hard to See”, “Burn It Down”, “No One Gets Left Behind”, “Bulletproof”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lamb of God and Gwar @ The Wellmont Theater 9/22/09

Tuesday night, September 22, at the Wellmont Theatre I had the pleasure of going to see Lamb of God and Gwar with WSOU’s finest: That Guy, Sheigh Hey Hey, Jen, Danielle, Steve, Melldawg, and Maria. The night included a list of many firsts. At this show was the first time I’ve ever had popcorn, as opposed to beer, spilt on me (popcorn at a metal show? Yum). It was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone wear a prom dress to a metal show or even a white tuxedo with a red bow tie. This was also the first time I’ve ever seen Lamb of God headline a show (the other two times I’ve seen them were when they opened up for Slipknot at the Continental Airlines Arena in 2005 and when they opened up for Killswitch Engage at the Hammerstein Ballroom in 2007). Additionally this was the first time I’ve ever seen Gwar live. Wow, what an experience.
Up until the concert I had heard many things about Gwar, ranging from their appearance to their stage antics. If you’ve never seen Gwar, GO. I think they’re on the list of bands that you have to see at least once in your lifetime just for the concert experience. Their set was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It seemed they put on their own mini show in the overall concert. Before they took the stage, the audience was entertained by a short film clip that explained just exactly who Gwar is and what they are all about: namely monsters that were discovered in a tome somewhere in Antarctica that only stick around on earth for crack. From this clip alone, I was already amused and intrigued. Once they took the stage, the first words out of my mouth were “Oh my God”. Seeing them in person dressed up in these ridiculous space monster outfits was both hysterical and shocking. Who actually sat down and came up with this idea? Throughout their performance, different things were going on to entertain the crowd, including the band fighting evil guys and even later confronting an evil robot. The highlight of the band’s performance was getting sprayed with fake red and green blood, which explains why so many people anticipated this by proudly wearing white t-shirts. By the time their set was finished, Jen and Maria were both completely covered in the fake blood, true Gwar troopers, and it probably still hasn’t washed off. The last point I want to make about Gwar is that just from their performance, they completely disproved any negative stereotypes attached to their band name. People may say they’re evil or only insane people listen to them; those are lies. After watching them perform, Gwar is really just about having a good time. They are not seriously into themselves and their whole set is humorous (their name, after all, is an acryonym for God What an Awful Racket). Not to mention their music is actually pretty good if you give it a chance and get over their whole getup.

Lamb of God did not disappoint, as I figured. Since this was the first time I’ve seen them headline, as I previously mentioned, they were absolutely phenomenal. They had such good energy and numerously thanked New Jersey for all the love and support they’ve always been show from here. One thing I did find ironic: Randy mentioned that when they first started touring as a new band, they opened up for Gwar. Tuesday night the band order was the reverse. Another interesting thing: Lamb’s guitarist was absent because of family issues; in his place was God Forbid’s Doc Coyle. Even with Doc filling in on guitar, the band sounded great and if Randy hadn’t made the announcement, I probably would not have even noticed much of a difference. Every riff, breakdown, solo, and melody was spot on. These guys definitely know how to party. Here is their set list, not necessarily in this order:
Walked on stage to: The Passing
Opened with: In Your Words
Set to Fail
Broken Hands
Dead Seeds
Walk With Me in Hell
Laid to Rest
Now you’ve Got Something to Die For
Ashes of the Wake
Ended with: Black Label

As you can see, Lamb played a good mix of new and old stuff, with at least one song from every album. They had a great list of crowd pleasers and I walked away hearing every song I like by these guys.

One last comment I’d like to make about the show: Job for a Cowboy opened up the night and their performance was full of brutal, metal goodness. Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t seem all that into them. I would have expected a bigger pit to go along with all their fast-paced, intense songs. Towards the middle of their set, somewhat of a pit opened, but it was nowhere near what occurred for Lamb. Anyway, kudos to JFAC for playing and giving a great performance. They were just as good this time around as they were when I saw them open up for Killswitch Engage back in the summer.

Overall a fantastic show and a great lead in to Lamb’s future performance with Metallica in November.

By: Gabby Canella

Pirated Advance/Giveaway/Gwar & Job For A Cowboy Interview!

We've got 3 things for you today!

1) Alice in Chains is this week's Pirated Advance! Sheigh's Top 10 is at 8 pm this Friday, and the Pirated Advance starts at 9. Hear the album in its entirety (Scarecrow says it's good!), and over the course of the show you'll have several chances to win the album as well.

2) This afternoon over on our Twitter feed WSOU will be giving away tickets to the Five Finger Death Punc/Shadows Fall/Otep/2 Cents show at the Starland Ballroom. It's a trivia giveaway, and the topic is 5FDP. Be fast -- the first to @ reply with the response wins the pair of tickets!

3) Yesterday's interview with Gwar and Job For A Cowboy was a great time, said That Guy. Did any of you go to the LOG/Gwar/J4AC show? Let us know what you thought! (For those who missed it, we'll probably have a review up here soon)

In the meantime, here's a picture from yesterday's interview. You'll see Dave (Oderus Urungus) from Gwar and Bobby from Job for a Cowboy (Plus Scarecrow, the Jackhammer, Diesel Dani, Sheigh & Steve!)

Friday, September 18, 2009


New Jersey has always been known for its amazing music and scene. It starts with the venues, both past and present: the Bloodbath known as Birch Hill, Starland, Chrome, The Stone Pony and bars like Dingbatz or The Loop Lounge. The music that filled these venues over the years brought the state together -- from Skid Row, Trixter and Whiplash to My Chemical Romance and Thursday. Zombie punk was born in the basements of New Jersey. New Jersey punk shows still blare out of the basements of New Brunswick, even though there have been issues lately. Ahh… the memories.

So... What happened?

Where did the scene go? How can we get it back? What will the next evolution of music sound like?

More questions then answers of course, what follows is mere speculation. Even so, in this multi-part entry I (That Guy) will try not to make an ass out of myself and try to find some answers.


Where do I begin? Here's the short list:

1) Economy: BOOOO! Cop out answer. However, kids do not have money to go to shows. Bands have to sell 100 tickets to open at a venue to play 4 or 5 songs before 75% of the audience shows up. People are not buying as much merch, tickets or CDs. Labels also can’t afford to send a band across the country. A terriblly evil cycle of losing money.

2) Lack of creativity: Chug chug chug. Scream. Chorus! Sing.

Have you heard that one before?

How about this one: PIG SQUEALLLLLLLLLLLL! Pinch Harmonic (Zack Wylde anyone?) "Oooh lets do the Killswitch guitar thing 800 times!" (pinch with tremolo) YAAAA! Hammer on with squeal, GO!

The only problem is when someone does do something unique, they are generally looked down upon. A good friend of mine, Mike Gitter formerly of RoadRunner Records, told me that Killswitch Engage started as a unique band everyone hated. Way back when less people hated them. Then they blew up, and the few haters either joined the bandwagon or maintained the hate. So a unique band sells hundreds of thousands of records, so you can't like them anymore, and you actually want to make other people not like them?

Many other unique bands dissipated that no one has ever heard of, that never sold a hundred records? More than any of us will ever know.

3) Any other problems? Maybe YOU! If you say any of this stuff, you’re the problem with the scene:

"I can only see these five bands."
"I only dig vegan hardcore."
"I can’t stand token bands."
"I need basement shows."

Shut the F*$K UP. Go to every show. See every band. Buy from the bands you like OR who have cheap stuff. Listen to radio, find something new. Go to a record store and rediscover an old favorite. Don't be complacent with your music.

Now of course there are more problems to discuss. These are just 3 reasons… there are absolutely more. Next time I will try to discuss how to get the family back.

We know there is a problem… so how do we fix it? More to come…

Friday, September 4, 2009

Suicide City @ WSOU

Drummer Danny Lamagna and bassist JennCity of Brooklyn's punk outfit Suicide City visited the WSOU studios on Tuesday for an interview. The band discussed their new album, FRENZY, touring, and going from unsigned to The End Records. Suicide City features singer Karl Bernholtz and guitarist AJ Marchetta formerly of Groovenics, guitarist Billy Graziadei from Biohazard, bassist and vocalist JennCity formerly of Kittie, and drummer Danny Lamagna. They also have a DVD out called, Live at CBGB. The band recently had to cancel their previously announced September tour, but they are in the process of re-booking it and plan to hit the road in October and November. In the meanwhile, they have two local dates coming up. Check them out for an energetic, fun, and rowdy live show.

9/11 @ DJ Riders, Oceanside, NY w/ Hexerei, Soul Made Visible, and Useless to Me
9/25 @ The Cherrywood, Clementon, NJ

WSOU is spinning "Cutter" and "Undone." You can listen to the band's music at