TOP FIVE DESERT ISLAND ALBUMS

I am sure we have all played this game. Stranded on a desert island, or anywhere remote without anyone to save you. The five albums that you would take with you. It is not a very realistic game; what would you play the albums on? Where would you get the power to run the device? Rules are kind of stupid, so let’s ignore them and play anyways. These albums mean different things to me, fond memories, times in my life. So here in no particular order here are the five albums I would pack if I was ever to become a castaway.

Appetite

GUNS ‘N ROSES – APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION (Geffen 1987) You would hard pressed to find a better hard record than this beauty. No other album brings back as many fond memories of growing up than Appetite. The attitude and bite of this debut is unrivaled. If you are between the ages of 35-45, you probably know the words to every song on the album. Also, this is the first time I remember hearing the word ‘fuck’ on a rock song. I have probably owned this album ten times over.

Lullabies

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – LULLABIES TO PARALYZE (Interscope 2005)  It was hard to choose the QOTSA album that I would have on a desert island. I love them all, but a decision had to made. I chose Lullabies because it was the record that blends the bands raw desert rock background with the new wave type sound they have adopted for their last two albums. This is also the last album that Mark Lanegan has a large contribution on, as well as the debut of drummer Joey Castillo and multi-instrumentalist Troy Van Leeuwen.

Angel Dust

FAITH NO MORE – ANGEL DUST (Slash 1992)  Faith No More pretty much do what they want when it comes to recording albums, and it works so well on this one. Angel Dust is beautiful and ugly, complex and simple, accessible and confounding all at the same time. This was Mike Patton’s first real contribution to writing songs with the band, and it shows brilliantly. If you took almost every style of music you could think of, put it in a blender and mixed it up, you would end up with Angel Dust. RV is one of my favorite songs ever. Also, the album artwork, inside and out, is amazing and disturbing.

Dopesmoker

SLEEP – DOPESMOKER (Tee Pee 2003)  Not be confused with the album Jerusalem, which was released in 1999, chopped into multiple tracks and released without the bands input or permission. Dopesmoker is a titan, with the title track timing in at 63:31. This is Sleeps final album as a band, even though they released a single last year. This is a powerful, slow, heavy prophecy of doom, delivered by the high council of “stoner metal”. The only thing that would top listening to this on a lonely island would be to have Sleep perform. I also have a soft spot for this album because guitarist Matt Pike a guitar giant, and one of my favorites.

Bubblegum

Mark Lanegan – Bubblegum (Beggars Banquet 2004)  I’m not sure what about this album that draws me in. It could be because Bubblegum is perfectly flawed, and from the heart. Lanegan’s gruff, soulful voice seems to make the songs have more meaning (see Tom Waits). The album features a long list of guest contributors featuring the talents of P.J. Harvey, Joshua Homme, Nick Oliveri, and Alan Johannes. A very dark, intimate record, but beautifully crafted. It is also one of the CDs I go to when driving on the highway.

T.

TOP FIVE DEATH SCENES – FRIDAY THE 13TH EDITION

JasonWho doesn’t love a violent death on the big screen? Jason Voorhees sure does. The goalie masked maniac has been carving up campers for more than 3 decades. Jason has hacked, slashed, choked, impaled, disemboweled, bludgeoned, and crushed his way through 120 plus victims. He averages over 10 kills per film. He’s a machine. Here are my five favorite Friday the 13th kills.

5. Knock Out Punch (Friday The 13th Part IIIV) – Brave Julius decides to stand up to Jason on a Manhattan rooftop. Jason let’s him get in a few good licks before scoring a first round TKO.

4. The Great Divide (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday) – Deborah decides the best way to spend an evening in the woods is some good old fashion tent sex with Luke. If Jason shows up, she may have to split.

3. Frosted Face Smash (Jason X) – Even in space, Jason is pissed off. Especially after he’s just woken up from a hundred year nap. Poor Adrienne finds out that Jason is not a morning person. Why there is a sink full of liquid nitrogen, not sure. But it is a good death regardless of details.

2. Sleeping Bag Lumberjack (Jason X) – There are three things you need to know about Jason Voorhees; he does not care for camp counselors , he does not endorse the use of drugs, and he sure has hell has a problem with premarital sex. He lets two attractive female campers know just how he feels.

1. “This Shit Box is Gross!” (Friday the 13th V: A New Beginning) – Demon had too many enchiladas, so he has to use the restroom. After a little crooning with his soon to be deceased girlfriend, Anita, Demon finds out just how Elvis Presley felt, dying on the toilet. This is my favorite, not because it’s the most violent or inventive, but because the whole scene is hilarious. “Now you’re gonna get it, bitch!”

T.

TOP FIVE FAVORITE HORROR/COMEDY FILMS

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I watched Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell the other night. In the tradition of Raimi horror films, this one is pretty campy, like Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. So I thought I would come up with my top five films of this co-genre. Keep in mind, these are not judged on the film making merits or acting performances, they are simply my favorites for various reasons. Feel free to comment with your own list.

5.  What We Do in the Shadows ( Dir. Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi – 2014) Pretty fresh, but highly entertaining and clever. I had not laughed at the cinema like I did while watching this film earlier this year. Mockumentary about four vampires renting a flat together in New Zealand. The scene where the Vamps run into a pack of werewolves in the park is very funny stuff!

4.   Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Dir. Tobe Hooper – 1986)   The very campy sequel to the classic 1974 horror Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Dennis Hopper (yes, thee Dennis Hopper) is tracking the infamous Sawyer family. Bill Mosley (Devil’s Rejects) provides plenty of creepy comic relief as Leatherface’s chrome-domed brother, Chop Top. Not a huge body count, but violent and funny.

3.  The Cabin in the Woods  (Dir. Drew Goddard – 2012)   A very original and very pleasing film.A group of young adults head out to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun. They discover a book in the cellar, and things go wrong. Sounds familiar (Evil Dead)? Rest assured that it is what you’d expect.  Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers) is a tremendous comedic actor, and delivers in The Cabin in the Woods. Plus Joss Whedon co-wrote.

2.   Gremlins   ( Dir. Joe Dante – 1984)   I shouldn’t assume that anyone reading this list has seen Gremlins, but I’m sure you are all aware of what a Gremlin is, and who Gizmo is. Billy gets a gift from his dad, and is given 3 simple rules. Never get it wet, never expose it direct sunlight, and for god sakes, do not feed him after midnight.  Well, Billy screws up, gets Gizmo wet, and then feeds his brothers after midnight. Terror and comedy ensues. A very charming Christmas film, complete with green little ghouls getting piss drunk in the town pub. The Gremlins themselves offer up most of the laughs, but the film also features a young Corey Feldman. A nice trip back into the ’80’s.

1.   Evil Dead II   (Dir. Sam Raimi – 1987)  This movie has everything. “Dead by Dawn” features blood, guts, books bound in human flesh, Bruce Campbell battling his severed hand, and mounted deer head cackling like a psychopath. Ash (Campbell) battles demons in a secluded cabin, and loses a few body parts along the way. This is a chaotic, nerve-biting, bloodbath that you will thoroughly enjoy if you have a soul. Bruce Campbell is absolutely amazing, as he takes Ash from a shivering coward to a certified Deadite ass-kicker. Groovy!

SOL INVICTUS…I Have not lost my FAITH (No More)

fnmsolinvictushero-830x350When I heard there would be a new Faith No More album in 2015, I got pretty excited. New music from one of my favorites for the first time in 18 years? Sign me up. I was 21 when Album Of The Year was released. I am now 39, and music has changed dramatically. These days, you would be hard pressed to find a band that can throw five or six genres into a pot, stir it up, reduce it down, and feed you a delicious musical entrée. Faith No More were gold seal chefs back in the day. Angel Dust is one of my top ten albums of all time, and never gets cycled from my iPod playlist. These were the reasons that I was afraid a new FNM album would feel out-of-place in today’s auditory landscape. Could they be the funk/metal/alternative/experimental kings they were 2 decades ago? Edgy, creative, but still accessible? I really hoped so. They deserve to be heralded and discovered by a new generation of listeners. So the year went by. Two singles were released; Motherfucker and Superhero, two tasty appetizers to hold us over until the main course was served up on the 19th of May. I bought the album, listened to it 3 or 4 times ( a really short run time of just under 40 min), took a breath and smiled. Faith No More has returned, and they are still amazing all these years later. Here are my thoughts on each track…

Sol Invictus (2:37) – This song is perfect to kick off the album. Almost has the feel of a war cry. Each instrument fits, creating almost dream like imagery.

Superhero (5:15) – This song is an example of why I love this band. Aggressive, but beautifully arranged, and Mike Patton really shows off his incredible range. “Leader of men – get back in your cage”. Indeed!

Sunny Side Up (2:59) – This one harkens back to “RV”, the track from Angel Dust. Greasy, yet there is something uplifting here. The chorus hooked me right away. Maybe my favorite off the album.

Separation Anxiety (3:44) – A chugging, eerie track that bursts into a huge chorus. Mike Patton’s frantic lyrics and vocals are perfect.

Cone of Shame (4:40) – Plays of like an inner dialogue from an old Spaghetti western. Probably the most “rock” song on the album.

Rise of the Fall (4:09) – This is where keyboard player Roddy Bottum shines. Only this band could pull off a synth hook that sounds like your be in a French bistro, and not only have it fit, but make the song sound like it would not be complete without it. Great track.

Black Friday (3:19) –  A little folk dance number done FNM style. Seems like it could be an ode to the American tradition of mall riots and over spending that takes place on the day after U.S. Thanksgiving.

Motherfucker (3:33) – This was sort of released as the first single for Sol Invictus. Starts out very minimalist, then swirls into a beautiful shit storm, then back down to a dull roar.

Matador (6:09) – This one reminds me a lot of an early song by Alice Cooper called Steven. A lush and haunting song, perfectly placed near the end of album. The longest song on the record and easily the most epic.

From The Dead (3:06) – Mike Patton’s lyrics make this one sound like an ode to Faith No More’s resurgence and return “From The Dead”. A beautiful song to end Sol Invictus, complete with nice harmonizing and some slide guitar.

To be honest, anyone of these songs would have fit in perfectly with anyone of FNM’s albums. The band sounds great, but Patton is the star of the show. His voice is an instrument all unto its own. His voice is still incredible, this band is still incredible, and they have not changed at all.  And that my friends, is a good thing.

Sol Invictus * Reclamation Records / Ipecac * Vulcan Studios Oakland, CA * Produced by Billy Gould

VISIT FAITH NO MORE HERE!

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“It’s alive…It’s ALIVE!”

Hello, and welcome to How Heavy This Axe. Thank you for stopping by. Before we begin, allow me to tell you a little about myself, and what I hope to accomplish.

From a young age, I have always had an interest in audio and visual arts…film, television, music. Over the years, I have developed a taste for horror and psychological thriller films. From the time I met my best friend and creative partner Blaise at the age of eight, the darker side of cinema is where my interest has drifted. The 70’s area classics (The Exorcist, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Shining) opened the doors, and today I still find myself using those films as the benchmark.

As much as I love film, my true love is music. Many genres and artists are amazing, and I will give anything a listen, heavy music is the one thing I have always enjoyed. As an early teen, I discovered heavy metal. I was hooked. Megadeth, Kiss, Motorhead and Faith No More were some of my favorites. I started going to concerts at 14 (Aerosmith/Skid Row my first), and continue to see as many as I can. Then the internet was born. That was the ticket to a whole new world of music. This is how I discovered “Stoner Rock”. You can call it “desert rock”, “robot rock”, “doom”, “sludge”, or whatever, but this form of music has captivated my soul since day one.  I heard Queens of the Stone Age debut album in 1999, and that was it. I was sucked in to the vortex. I still call Queens of the Stone Age my favorite band to this day.

What I hope to accomplish with this “blog” is not to critique or review films and music, but to rather give my opinions. I find it crass to give a rating to someones life work, whether it is good or bad. I am simply going to write my thoughts. I welcome your opinions, and look forward to feed back. Eventually, I would love to have guest writers and contributors. I know there are a million other websites like this, but hopefully I can be entertaining enough to catch some interest. And of course I am going to use this little piece of the web to selflessly self promote various music and film projects that my friends and I work on.

You can also visit these places if you like to click…

scentertainment.blogspot.ca –  The artist collective I call home.  My pal Blaise runs the show. The most dedicated dude I know.

moviedrivel.com – My pal Worky’s blog. He uses his brain to store movie information. He possesses impressive film knowledge.

My twitter handle is @thisaxeisheavy   –   My email is thisaxeisheavy@gmail.com

T.