Heavy Metal

Music From the Motion Picture Wayne’s World

Release Year: 1992

Rating: 7/10

Wayne’s World is one of the best and most beloved comedies from the 90s. The characters are iconic, the catchphrases are memorable, and everything about the films are hilarious. Since Wayne and Garth are obsessed with music you can expect it to have a killer soundtrack, right? Sort of. Where the Wayne’s World OST shines in representing the movie and the era it comes from, it’s lackluster in other places.

The music for the soundtrack is a mix of classic rock tunes with what was current at the time. Opening the album is the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” What can you say about this song that hasn’t already been said? It’s amazing. It’s probably the best song in Queen’s catalog. Thanks to the movie, the track became more iconic with the scene of Wayne and Garth miming the entire thing in the car. It was this clip that pushed the song back into the charts 17 years after its initial release. Also included is the sensuous Jimi Hendrix track “Foxey Lady.” Just try not to think of Garth’s dance when you hear that roaring riff.

From there, most of the music falls into glam metal. “Hot and Bothered” by Cinderella is typical glam metal with sleazy guitars and screeching vocals. It can be fun if you’re in the mood to rock out to 80s cheese, but to really appreciate it you have to be a glam metal fan. “Rock Candy” by Bulletboys has the same vibe: sleaziness. Oddly enough, this a cover; the original is by Sammy Hagar’s band Montrose. And if glam metal isn’t your thing then Rhino Bucket’s “Ride With Yourself” isn’t going to be appealing. It’s more of the same typical glam metal sound. It makes sense why this music is all over the album; it perfectly represents Wayne and Garth. This is the type of music they like, so in those terms, the music does a great job. Also, glam metal was still around, but waning in popularity thanks to the grunge uprising.

Aside from a few classic tracks, there aren’t many notable songs on the soundtrack. There’s an extended “Wayne’s World Theme” that goes on too long. It’s the same jokes and random noises going on for five minutes. You get tired of it after two minutes. The Tia Carrere tracks are interesting. It makes sense why they’re included; she’s not only a musician but a star of the movie. Her cover of Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” isn’t terrible. It stays pretty close to the original making it kind of bland. Her closing track “Why You Wanna Break my Heart?” is a standard 90s ballad; sappy music, corny lyrics. It’s not horrible, just very vanilla.

Aside from Queen and Hendrix, the best track is the Red Hot Chili Peppers b-side “Sikamikanico.” It’s the Chili Peppers at their peak: hyper vocals, boundless energy, and a fast pace that makes you dizzy. You can barely make out what’s happening, but you’ll be moshing too much to care. Midway through the song shifts gears slowing things down as if giving listeners a break. It doesn’t last too long; they’re back to the chaotic and destructive vibe in no time. It’s a great reminder of how crazy, wild, and unpredictable the Chili Peppers were before they mellowed out and focused more on grooving.

The rest of the songs aren’t bad but are great at representing the movie. Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” is kind of weird with the spacey, creepy noises at the start and end. It makes it sound like a spooky song rather than a cheesy love song. “Loving Your Loving” is an underwhelming blues tune by Eric Clapton. Guess you have to be a fan of his to appreciate it. “Feed My Frankenstein” is cheesy, but fun. Lyrics like “I’m a hungry man/but I don’t want pizza” make you cringe, but it’s tolerable. It’s Alice Cooper, you expect some schlock from him. It’s not the best Cooper song, but it’s passable.

So is the soundtrack good? It depends on how you look at it. On its own, it hasn’t aged very well. But in the context of the movie, it’s stellar. It does a great job at representing what the movie is about and who Wayne and Garth are. It’s a mix of what these two guys listen to along with songs featured in the movie. It’s very much a product of its era with the glam metal and even with an extended Wayne’s World theme song, but it can be a lot of fun. If you’re in the mood for some cheesy rock or looking for a nostalgia trip, I recommend this soundtrack. Otherwise, it doesn’t make for many repeated listens.

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Facts and Pictures: Ladybaby

It’s been a while since I’ve dished out some facts on my favorite bands. This time, I’m looking at Japan’s Ladybaby. The video for their debut single, “Nippon Manju,” captivated and confused people around the world. While some wrote them off as Babymetal copy-cats, others saw the appeal and became loyal followers. The video now has over 16 million views on Youtube. Since then, they have released three more singles: “Renge Chance” (about ramen), “Age Age Money” (about money), and “C’est si bon Kibun” (about ???). Hopefully, the trio will release their full-length album soon. For now, let’s learn a little more about Ladybaby.

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Ladybaby’s mission is to “transcend nationality, age, and gender”

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Ladybaby was formed by the CEO of costume company Clearstone, who saw Ladybeard on the cover of Metropolis magazine to form a new band. He said “It’ll be like Babymetal except you’ll be in it. And it’ll be awesome!”

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Ladybeard describes his character as a five-year-old Japanese girl who looks like an Australian man

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Ladybeard began his career as a cross-dressing Australian wrestler

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He eventually teamed up with Naoko Tachibana, Japan’s foremost photographers of cross-dressing men

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Naoko Tachibana and Ladybeard worked together on Ladybeard’s pin-up book, which sold around 1,500 copies. 1,600 were printed.

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Rei Kuromiya is an aspiring model

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Rie Kaneko (left) is the vocalist in her rock band BRATS

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Both Rie and Rei were winners of the 2015 MissID contest

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Ladybeard first wore his sister’s school uniform at 14 and loved the attention he got

And here’s their debut video just in case you can’t remember how the song went

Everyday is Halloween Anthology – Ministry

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6/10

Every band has a slow period between recording albums and touring. This makes it prime time for random compilation records to keep sales up. Greatest hits, remix, and sometimes rarities albums are what artists turn to hoping fans will eat it up. That must have been the case with this Ministry release. The band wasn’t satisfied with a straightforward compilation with only their singles or only remixes. They decided to do a hybrid release mixing hits with remixes and covers. Now the question is was it worth it?

This album isn’t sure what it wants to be. Is it a retrospective? A cover album? A remix record? The first half is nothing but classic Ministry songs re-recorded and remastered. Why? I don’t know. The songs, “NWO,” “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” and “Stigmata” all sound similar to their original counterparts. Sure, that may be the point, but it makes them unnecessary. It’s not like the band change the tracks drastically. Usually, it’s more distorted vocals that are hard to make out and louder gritty guitars. The remix of “Everyday is Halloween” is pretty good, but since it has more of a heavy metal vibe, it sounds like a Rob Zombie song.

You would think the saving grace would be the covers. Well, they’re not horrible. The band plays it straight with most of the songs, like “Paint it Black” and “Sharp Dressed Man.” They keep the same format and vibe of the track and add in lots of guitars. The same goes for “Thunderstruck” and “Stranglehold.” Whereas the latter track has an industrial groove, the former is pretty true to the original. The only problem is Al Jourgensen’s vocals don’t exactly work with the song. While these covers aren’t terrible, they’re pretty bland and forgettable.

The “Iron Man” cover is actually the best cover on the album. They take the unmistakable riff from the classic Black Sabbath track and integrate it with their fast paced, synth electro madness. Instead of keeping the dark and gloomy mood, they turn it into something chaotic, wild, and destructive. They really make the song their own without shitting all over the original. It’s something both Sabbath and Ministry fans will appreciate.

One of the strangest, yet more entertaining covers is Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” As you would expect, it’s the complete opposite of the original. It’s insanity incarnate with Jourgensen screaming “They try to make go to rehab/and I said/No!/No!/No!” It’s kind of an ironic cover since he had his own drug problems over the years. With the hard driving music, brutal nature, and aggressive vocals, the cover is certainly unique. It’s not necessarily good, but it’s so ridiculous and intense it’s hard not to like it.

Even though it’s an interesting idea, the album is unsatisfying. The remastered songs are pointless and most of the covers are bland. It seems like they needed to release something, did some covers, but needed more material to pad out the LP. It would’ve been better off if it was released as a short covers EP. The album is one of those forgettable albums that gets old after the first few tracks. After listening to this, I’m convinced cover albums are never a good idea.

Musical Quickie: Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids Live

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 6/10

I don’t actively seek out bootlegs, but I’ve been lucky enough to pick up a few during my travels. This Marilyn Manson one caught my eye in a record store because it featured the first live recordings from the Spooky Kids era. Unfortunately, it’s not very good. This bootleg from Nightingale Records takes an early performance from the band when they were known as Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, along with some video from the same show. While it is cool to have live versions of these recordings since they haven’t been officially released, this album makes the show dull. The audio quality is decent at best making Manson’s banter sound muffled. The songs themselves are mainly early versions of tracks from the band’s first album Portrait of an American Family, like “Dope Hat,” “Cake and Sodomy,” and “Lunchbox.” It’s not made for listening to regularly, rather it shows how the songs are fleshed out with only slightly different lyrics. Otherwise, there’s nothing special about this bootleg. You can probably find better versions of these songs on another bootleg release. I can’t say much about the videos since they wouldn’t run on my computer. But they can be found on the unofficial DVD Birth of the Antichrist. You can even watch the show on Youtube. Unless you find this one cheap and want it for your collection, it’s best to avoid it.

Skeletons – Wednesday 13

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.5/10

Wednesday 13 has built his musical career on b-horror and things that go bump in the night. Though he started with b-horror roots, as he continued releasing albums he’s branched out into more traditional rock and even metal, which is the sound of 13’s third album Skeletons. Wednesday 13 turns to his usual themes of horror, the supernatural, and fiendish ghouls, but with less punk rock and more hard rock. But will the rocker’s reliance on the same ol’ same ol’ make for a tiring album?

Wednesday 13 is up to the same spooky tricks on this album. Plenty of the songs like “Gimme Gimme Bloodshed” and “All American Massacre” make the same references to horror movies and creatures that go bump in the night as his previous efforts. The latter track even seems to be inspired by Texas Chainsaw Massacre since the horror weapon pops up several times in the lyrics. The strong opening track “Scream Baby Scream” begins with weird spacey sound followed by heart pounding percussion as 13 sings about ghouls and creeps. After the first verse, the song gets more intense as the guitars amp up and 13 lets out a vicious howl. This track is definitely in line with his horrorpunk past and is something you would expect from the rocker.

Almost the entire album continues in this fashion though the music seems more rock and metal inspired than punk. “Not Another Teenage Anthem” finds 13 singing about teenage rebellion even though he pretends that’s not what it’s about, the gruesome “Put Your Deathmask On” steps inside the mind of a serial killer, and “With Friends like These” finds 13 at his snarkiest as he tears apart people he thought he could rely on, but turned out to be assholes. The music is pretty similar for all the songs: grinding guitars, heart racing pace, and aggressive delivery. Granted, these are all things that make a Wednesday 13 album, but everything about it is only okay here. Very few of the songs stand out. Most of them aren’t bad, just not very memorable. When the rocker does finally change pace the results aren’t so great.

Wednesday 13 slows things down with “Skeletons” and “My Demise.” Though he tries to open himself up with these personal tracks, they don’t sound very good. There’s nothing wrong with the somber, slow tone of the title track. He even shakes things up by adding a jangly piano before switching to gritty guitars. But it gets awkward when 13 starts actually singing. His voice was not made for sincere crooning. It sounds like he’s doing a bad impression of Peter Murphy. It all sounds like a half-hearted attempt at a ballad. It’s so cringe worthy. We run into the same problem on the latter track. This one seems more western inspired with the soft acoustic music and odd wailing sounds in the background. But again 13 tries singing and it doesn’t work. Plenty of artists get by without actually having a good voice, but singing in this style just doesn’t suit Wednesday 13. His regular vocal style is just fine; it’s unbearable to hear him try on these two songs.

There are a handful of pretty good songs on the album, but not enough to make it worth sitting through the whole thing. Aside from the opening track, “No Rabbit in the Hat” is a strong cut which kicks off with fast, hard hitting music that gets your blooding boiling. There are more references to supernatural creatures along with nods to a love of violence. Savvy listeners will pick up the “And I’ve got an addiction/To ammunition, yeah,yeah,” which sounds similar to another line from “Gimme Gimme Bloodshed: “Now I, have a confession/A love affair with smith and wesson.” Not only are the two lines identical, but the latter pops up again in the Murderdolls song “Bored ‘Til Death.” The recycled lyric doesn’t make the song any better or worse; he just likes to sing about guns.

Another memorable song is “From Here to the Hearse.” Just like his best stuff, this one is spooky, b-horror vibes all the way. The music even sounds like it comes from a cheesy horror movie. The tables are turned here as 13 is hunted down by a loved one who wants to murder him. It’s filled with plenty of violence, gruesome imagery, and corny lyrical wordplay we expect from the best Wednesday 13 songs. It may not stray far from his comfort zone, but at least he does it well here. Though the other songs are bearable, they don’t stay with you once the album is done like these tracks.

Skeletons isn’t terrible, but unlike his debut there’s nothing really memorable about it. There are a handful of tracks that really grab your attention; everything else is just okay. It could be because it’s similar to what he’s already done. Or that the more rock oriented music can be standard and generic at times. Usually his songs about the supernatural and all things creepy are really fun even when they’re cheesy. But here it gets tiring and dull by the fourth track. It’s the same thing we’ve heard before, which seems to be a bit of an issue with most of his albums. Maybe some people don’t mind that, but other listeners may want something fresh from the rocker. It’s not a bad record, just pretty damn forgettable.