Crunch - February 8, 2012
It’s been a crazy week for metal and hard rock – particularly the more weathered of our metal brethren. Bill Ward cracks it with the Black Sabbath reunion and the band decides to record without him; Van Halen releases the comeback album to destroy all other comeback albums; Slash's rhythm guitarist Bobby Schneck bails, and Motley Crue kicks off their Vegas residency and – gasp – Vince appears to have lost weight. Whoda thunkit? But there's plenty going on in Melbourne metal too. Releases, gigs, tours… so let's get into it! And if you've got news for Crunch, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ned Kelly: Badass, Bandit, Rock Muse
Perth-hailing but now Melbourne-based Gasoline just released their new EP, The Wanted One. The title track is about one Mr. Ned Kelly and his struggle to outrun the authorities and it's a worthy slab of hard-rockin' hard rock if ever there was one, while the rest of the EP explores alternatingly ethereal and anthemic territory. You can pick it up via iTunes, from their web store at gasolineinc.bigcartel.com/ or at gigs.
MMF Metal Forum
I’ll be one of the panelists at the MMF Metal Forum on Wednesday February 8 at the Alliance Francaise De Melbourne in St Kilda. This event, by Music Managers Forum Australia, is part of the St Kilda Festival and it’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in metal, but especially those who play it, to pick the brains of some very knowledgable experts. And me [boomTISH]. The other participants are Ben Ralph (General Manager of Roadrunner Records Australia), Chris Jervis from Destroy All Lines and Gary Carson from PBS/FM's "Screaming Symphony" metal radio show. It’s free but you need to book. Tickets are available from trybooking.com/ZYS. Come along, participate, and let’s have a beer afterwards. There are plenty of other forums and masterclasses run by MMF up until Saturday February 11 as part of the Festival. Check out the schedule at mmfaustralia.com.au for info about the other forums.
Oh Feck Yeah
The Feckers have just released their debut single, Just, which will be the first in a handful of singles coming out in the lead up to the It'd Be Rude Not Toalbum later in the year. It's available on CD Baby, iTunes etc with more to come, was written by heck-of-a-guitarist Chris Szkup and Richard Anderson, and features Roy Bratbakken on vocals, Dennis Leeflang on drums, and Chris on guitar and bass. Mixed by Dennis Leeflang, mastered by Maor Appelbaum.
So How About That Van Halen, Huh?
By now I'm sure everyone who cares has checked out the new Van Halen album, A Different Kind Of Truth. And they all know that the album's amazing. VH haven't rocked this hard since – well, since forever really: the new album is probably the hardest hard rock they've ever recorded. And although I miss Michael Anthony's backing vocals and tight bass work, Wolfgang Van Halen has proven himself an incredibly capable low-end overlord in Mikey's absence. Now, Melbourne's pretty skint on Van Halen history since the band has only ever toured here once, with Gary Cherone of Extreme on vocals in 1998, but if you go to Fiesta Mexican on Toorak Road in South Yarra you'll find a photo on the wall of Eddie Van Halen and Gary Cherone enjoying that fine establishment's authentic Mexican cuisine during the Van Halen IIItour. Have your own little Van Halen pilgrimage right here in town without having to negotiate the sticky sidewalks of LA's Sunset Strip.
Gig Alert: British Steel
After Judas Priest stiffed Australia on their "British Steel" 30th Anniversary tour in 2010, a bunch of loyal Melbourne metalheads banded together to rectify the problem. British Steel – Joe Stanley, Bo Remy, Bob Miller, Damion Harrison and Jim Sinclair – will pay tribute to the metal gods by grinding through a set of rapid fire rage at the Hi-Fi Bar on Saturday February 18. Also featuring Kill Em All and Overdrive, along with special guest DJ Sinister cranking up the metal. Doors at 8, entry is $20, over 18s only. Presale tickets from Moshtix. Bonus fun fact: I briefly played in a Judas Priest cover band called Rapid Fire with Matt "Skitz" Sanders from Damagedon vocals. Recordings exist. Be afraid.
Gig Alert: Circles
Melbourne's Circles are bringing their crunchy modern metal to the masses via the Swarm Tour with Twelve Foot Ninja and Jericco, kicking off on March 1 in Canberra and taking in four shows in the Melbourne area. Meanwhile the band has posted an exclusive 8 minute video diary from the current Eye Embedded tour exclusively on Terrorizer TV. Circles are kicking arse in the UK, where their technical, emotionally charged and progressive-edged metal has found them winning favour with Radio 1 DJs Fearne Cotton from the Daytime Show and Daniel P Carter from the evening Rock Show.
Swarm Tour dates are:
Mar 24 - Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne
Mar 29 - Mac's Hotel, Melton
Mar 30 - Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully
Mar 31 - Pelly Bar, Frankston
Gig Alert: Homage To Darkness
Check out the debut EP by Melbourne melodic death metal band Catacombs. Killer death vocals, shredding guitar work, epic songwriting, elements of classic thrash – you can pick it up at http://catacombsaus.bandcamp.com/album/ep-2 now, or grab the physical CD around March. They're opening up Homage to Darkness at The Prague in Thornbury on February 11 with Inverloch (the latest incarnation of Funeral Doom pioneers Disembowlment), Altars of Sin and Internal Harvest. Catacombs are on at 8:30pm so get there early.
Gig Alert: Dead Star Renegade
Metal Madhouse presents Dead Star Renegade at the Central Club in Richmond on February 11, promoting their debut album Blackwing. Supports are Mary Washington, grunge revivalists Scot Bell & The Reasons Why, two-piece Dirty Elvis and Severed Oath (promoting their debut EP A Dark Place Of Mind.Tickets are $10, the gig is 18+ and doors open at 7pm.
Gig Alert: G3 - Joe Satriani, Steve Vai & Steve Lukather
A second Melbourne date has been added for the G3 tour featuring Joe Satriani, Steve Vai & Steve Lukather. The new show is on April 1 (seriously). Doors at 7, show kicks off at 7:30. Tickets from Ticketmaster from Friday February 10, but the internet presale kicks off at midday on Wednesday February 8. Go to http://www.palaistheatre.net.au for the presale password. I can't wait to see what Lukather cooks up on this tour. We know Vai and Satch are masters of instrumental rock excess, but Lukather is better known for his session work and his oeuvre with Toto, so it's anybody's guess what he might pull out at a G3 gig.