Static-X to play run of live dates in July

Industrial/alternative metal band Static-X are to play a few live dates in the US next month.

The band went on hiatus in 2009, allowing frontman Wayne Static to focus on his Pighammer project.  Although bandname was recently revived by Static, none of the other classic band members will be joining him on this first live trek of 2012.  Original bassist Tony Campos has commitments with Ministry and Soulfly, while Koichi Fukuda is remaining with Drugstore Fanatics.

US fans can catch Wayne Static and his new bandmates at the following venues:

July 15 – El Paso, TX @ El Paso County Coliseum
July 16 – Odessa, TX @ Dos Amigos
July 17 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s
July 18 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
July 19 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
July 21 – San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
July 23 – Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
July 24 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
July 25 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater
July 26 – Knoxville, TN @ The Valarium
July 27 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
July 30 – Norfolk, VA @ Norva


The Mothership is a four-piece alternative rock/grunge band from Seattle.  In March 2011, they released a debut three song EP.  That gave a reasonable taster of The Mothership’s sound, but this full length  released just six months later,  allows the band a longer – if not always broader – canvas on which to show off their talents.

The general mood of the record is quickly apparent once ‘Songbird’ kicks in.  After a slow intro peppered by trumpet, the band launches into a piece of chunky alternative rock, which could best be described as something from ‘Superunknown’-era Soundgarden if it were reworked by Joshua Homme.  The ominous pace captures the spirit of all that was great about Seattle in the 90s, but while it comes with an undeniably plodding approach, it never actually feels leaden at all. While the band sounds relatively weighty in their delivery, the DIY production is good enough to make ‘Ten Miles Wide’ sound finished, but not too shiny – which obviously, is just right for The Mothership’s chosen subgenre.  The “heavy but never leaden” feel applies to most of The Mothership’s best work; their arrangements often appear to move along rather briskly despite often being hugely riff heavy.  [As proved by Soundgarden’s second album ‘Louder Than Love’, it is easy enough to make a heavy record, but much harder to make such heaviness remain buoyant.  For the most part, that album sounded like a dragging dirge in the early 90s, and time has not improved things.  For a band whom would later prove themselves masters of their art, it has to be wondered how that 1989 outing went so horribly wrong. The Mothership’s work has no such problems here.]

‘The Plank’ comes in with another meaty riff, mixing typical Seattle-isms with a more groove-laden approach.  The twin guitars of John Beckman and Paul Fraser aren’t always subtle, but an occasional melody played in a higher key provides a great musical touch.  ‘No Minor’ allows drummer Will Andrews to lay down a slightly more complex rhythm, while a dual vocal is delivered with a 90s sneer.  Despite the lack of instant hook, there’s enough attitude here to grab the listener, recalling early Soundgarden and a few of their peers.  Those influences pulled from classic grunge should provide enough plaid-shirted thrills to those who still love early 90s (then) alternative music.

The more typical alt-rock styles take a rest during ‘Knifey Spooney’, as the band trade in their preferred approach for something much funkier.  A choppy guitar riff melds with a fluid bassline as the band tinker with something bordering on jam-band territory.  While there’s a dose of funk here that’s occasionally peppered with a slight Latin-eque mood, it’s not as if the band has suddenly started to channel Dave Matthews or Stephen Stills’ Manassas… There remains a strong alt-rock edge to the rhythm guitar and basslines, while Beckman’s vocal still retains enough ragged qualities to remind the listener of the truest roots of The Mothership’s music.

The acoustic blues-rock which begins ‘Ugly Love’ owes a huge debt to The Screaming Trees – perhaps more specifically Mark Lanegan’s solo debut ‘The Winding Sheet’ – with more obviously laid back qualities.  Echoing electric guitar parts cutting between the woozy vocals are a great flourish and in turn have an equally fantastic sound.  Things turn full electric for the choruses, when The Mothership sounds as if they’re embarking on their own Desert Session.  In all, this track is superb – without doubt, ‘Ten Miles Wide’s finest moment.  Similarly, the acoustic based ‘Burn Pile’ aims for atmospheres over bombast, allowing the vocal to carry most of the tune.  Extra atmosphere comes via a few swirly reverb sounds, making this downbeat number the ideal way to wind things down after the maximum rock posturing elsewhere.

There are three or four genuinely excellent songs found within ‘Ten Miles Wide’s twelve cuts, and a few more really solid offerings (with no outright duds).   Joining a whole barrage of bands keen to revisit alternative music of the early 90s, The Mothership’s first full length may often sound a tad predictable, but for those willing to spare the time, it should be a mostly enjoyable ride.

June 2012

Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe arrested for manslaughter

It has been reported that Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe has been arrested by authorities in the Czech Republic on a charge of manslaughter.

Two years ago at a show in Prague, a fan is said to have jumped on stage and subsequently been involved in an altercation with Blythe. The fan later died from injuries he supposedly sustained. Although there are various fam filmed clips of the show online, none actually show the incident which is said to have occurred.

In a statement from Lamb of God, the band’s lawyers are dealing with the situation and they “expect [Blythe] to be fully exonorated“.

Slash announces a long run of US headline dates

Following the release of ‘Apocalyptic Love’, Slash has announced a full headlining tour of the US with his band Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators.

The dates begin in September and run through the whole of the Autumn, as follows:

Jul. 12 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Jul. 13 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
Jul. 14 – Vancouver, BC – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Jul. 16 – Edmonton, AB – Northern Alberta Jubilee
Jul. 17 – Calgary, AB – Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Jul. 19 – Medicine Hat, AB – Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre
Jul. 20 – Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place
Jul. 21 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre
Jul. 23 – Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
Jul. 25 – Belleville, ON – Empire Square Live
Jul. 26 – London, ON – Harris Park
Jul. 27 – Montreal, QC – Olympia Theater
Jul. 29 – Quebec City, QC – Agora de Quebec
Jul. 30 – Moncton, New Brunswick – Centre-Casino Moncton
Jul. 31 – Halifax, NS – Cunard Events Centre
Aug. 02 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Aug. 03 – Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theatre
Aug. 04 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
Aug. 07 – Dubuque, IA – Diamond Jo Casino-Mississippi Moon Bar
Aug. 08 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
Aug. 10 – Sturgis, SD – Buffalo Chip Campground
Sep. 04 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Sep. 05 – Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theatre
Sep. 07 – Austin, TX – Stubbs
Sep. 08 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Sep. 09 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Sep. 11 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Sep. 12 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Sep. 16 – Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Sep. 18 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
Sep. 19 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
Sep. 21 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Sep. 22 – Detroit, MI – Fillmore
Sep. 23 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Sep. 25 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
Sep. 28 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
Sep. 29 – Springfield, MO – O’Reilly Family Events Center
Oct. 02 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
Oct. 03 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

All July/August dates feature support from Monster Truck.
All September/October dates (except Sept 16th & 23rd) feature support from Foxy Shazam.

METALLICA: Pro-shot footage of complete Orion Festival ‘Ride The Lightning’ show, Atlantic City, NJ

During the weekend of June 23rd/24th 2012, Metallica headlined their own festival,  ‘Orion: Music + More’.  In keeping with all of their other festival appearances throughout the year, the second night of the festival featured the metal titans performing the whole of their 1991 self-titled release.

The first night, however, featured something rather more special.  On June 23rd 2012, Metallica performed the whole of their 1984 release ‘Ride The Lightning’ as the centrepiece for their two hour set.  Some of the ‘Ride’ songs had not had a regular slot in the band’s set list for some time, while ‘Escape’ had never been performed live previous to this occasion.

The rest of the set appeared as strong, and equally steeped in nostalgia. Being almost entirely constructed of tunes from between 1983-1991, it was left to ‘Hell and Back’ (from 2012’s ‘Beyond Magnetic’ EP) to solely fly the flag for Metallica’s more recent output.

[You can also watch another complete Metallica show from 2012 by clicking here]