Music Review: Bigelf – Cheating the Gallows [Custard]

bigelf-groupA while back I reviewed the Bigelf show here in Columbus, and as you may recall I really got into these guys.  Well I have in my hot little hands their latest disc entitled ‘Cheating the Gallows’ & I really recommend it.

Bigelf is a difficult band to describe.  Their sound varies from song to song, consistently evoking images of classic 70’s era rock n’ roll like that of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, The Beatles and many others.  In fact, the astute listener can easily discern borrowed expressions in almost every song, not as any act of unimaginative plagerism but instead as carefully crafted homages to the influencing work.  For example, there is a fairly recognizable  guitar riff from Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” in the song “Money, It’s Pure Evil”.  The subject matter alone is straightup Floyd, so the band knows you will see this for the tribute it is intended.  “Race With Time” likewise sounds like a lost track from ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, mini-opus ‘Counting Sheep’ could be a reincarnated Yes song.

Where Bigelf really excels is utilizing multiple influences in a single work, melding them together with their own brand of tube amp distortion and Damon Fox’s versatile vocal stylings.  Not content to merely tap into musical phrases from those who came before, Bigelf employs these vintage rhythms like a chromatic palette from which they brush stroke their own unique aural visions with a deftness & understanding that transcends the individual musicians’ ages and era.  It is as if Roger Waters, John Lennon and Tony Iommi collaborated on a project and then passed it on for a younger generation to interpret.  An uncanny extension of a movement they are clearly too young to have witnessed more than peripherally, Bigelf embodies ideals that might have been considered forgotten, progressing a form of music that has too long remained stagnant & resting on it’s own laurels.

Classic rock lives and breathes in Bigelf, in a careful orchestration of older style & atmosphere overlayed with modern perspective.  Can something new be instantly nostalgic as well?  You tell me.  But give this band a listen & see if you’re not amazed that time travelers have brought us fresh offerings from the Age of Aquarius, conjured through the sonic rites of Millennial wizards.

Game With Fame: Disciple!

This week’s Game With Fame is near & dear to my heart.  Noneother than Christian/Southern metal gods Disciple – whom I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in concert twice & even met in person.  GREAT band, not gonna lie.  Hard rocking, nice as . . .uhm, heck, and a powerful concert experience that I recommend to anyone.  Don’t be a pussy – these Christians rock!  So lighten up, put the attitude aside and give them a chance to prove their artistry on it’s own merits (If you’ve never heard ‘God of Elijah’, ‘Not Rock Stars’  or ‘You are Here’  you’re totally missing out,  mmk?).

Ponder that while you read this press release;

Play Halo 3 with the Band Disciple

Hard rocking Southern and Christian band Disciple will play Halo® 3 with Xbox LIVE® Gold members March 1.

If you’re an Xbox LIVE Gold member (if not, upgrade now!), and you want a chance to play with Disciple, send a friend request to the following Gamertags and be online half an hour before (3:30 p.m. EST) the Game with Fame session starts on Sunday, March 1, 4:00 p.m. EST.

* Disciple 1 GWF
* Disciple 2 GWF

Disciple is one of the hardest rocking bands around, and they bring their unique sound to a crescendo in Southern Hospitality, their third full-length released on INO Records. Their hit single “After The World” topped Christian rock charts for a number of weeks and their 2006 album, Scars Remain, won the GMA Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year.

Now, with Southern Hospitality, they come into our living rooms, on our car stereos, and on stages around the world blasting out pure rock and roll. The band consists of Kevin Young (vocals), Tim Barrett (drums), Andrew Welch (guitar), Micah Sannan (guitar), Israel Beachy (bass), and Brad Noah (studio guitar). Noah was one of the band’s founding members, but has eschewed the touring routine, and focuses solely on his guitar work and recording. Young notes of Noah’s guitar virtuosity, “Games like Guitar Hero have made it cool to play guitar again. Brad is playing solos in nearly every song. I don’t mean mamby-pamby little things. I mean he’s wearin’ it out. If you’re a guitar player, this will definitely be your favorite Disciple record.”

If you get a chance to play with Disciple, Xbox wants to hear about it! Send an e-mail to xlmail@microsoft.com with the subject: “GWF – Disciple.” Be sure to include your Gamertag and hometown.

Who: Disciple
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2009
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST)
Game: Halo 3
Gamertags: Disciple 1 GWF & Disciple 2 GWF
Link: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/calendar/gamewithfame/2009/0301-disciple.htm

Salmonella Outbreak Count Reaches 666

Reuters.com – The U.S. tally of salmonella victims has hit 666. Should we have a deadpool on how long before some religious wackjob takes this as a sign of an upcoming apocalypse? Other than Fark.com that is, who already made the connection (as well as introduced me to the Reuter’s article in the first place).

To think it all started with a brand of peanut butter called King Nut.  Which of course is a cleverly disguised anagram for Gnu Knit. . . and we all know what that means don’t we?  Ok, it doesn’t mean anything but I was trying to cast a disparaging image on gnu’s.  Who knit.  Damn, knitter gnus.

No, I haven’t been drinking.  Perhaps that’s the problem here really.

Anyways, just watch.  SOMEBODY will take it as a sign.  But little do they know that the sign says “kick me”.

Cooking With Dimmu Borgir

Shockhound.com – Today class, we have an amazing little Black Metal curiosity.    Yes indeedy, a big steaming helping of WTF;  a cooking show with SILENOZ of Dimmu Borgir.  And yeah, it’s the second post in a row featuring material found on the Shockhound.com site – so bite me!  (no, they ain’t payin’ me either, shut yer git).

Anyhow, check out the link below to watch Erkekjetter (as his homies call him) dishin’ up some dawgs with shrimp salad & tortillas alongside hotness herself, Stella.  Who can’t cook, apparently.

Oh, and there’s footage from Dimmu Borgir’s live DVD spliced in to keep ya’ interested.  NOW ya’ want the link?  Here it is;

http://www.shockhound.com/videos/435-stella-can-t-cook–dimmu-borgir

11 Free MP3’s From Epitaph – Taste of Chaos

Want some new mp3’s – LEGAL ones? Well, Shockhound.com is giving away 11 high quality mp3’s (256kb/full stereo) from Epitaph records to help promote the Taste of Chaos artists. Hey, free is ALWAYS in my price range – probably yours too!

Now you do have to sign up for an account on Shockhound (also free) to take advantage of this offer but that’s the only catch. I got all 11 songs with decently fast download speed & have been cranking out some Bring Me the Horizon & Escape the Fate ever since.

Here’s the link – http://www.shockhound.com/free_music. In case you’re curious the tracks are;

“Rock Music” – The Color of Violence
“The Black Swan” – Story of the Year
“Horizons” – Parkway Drive
“The Ghosts Among Us” – Our Last Night
“You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter” – I Set My Friends on Fire
“Those We Leave Behind” – I Am Ghost
“XO” – Leathermouth
“Safe to Say” – Vanna
“This War Is Ours” – Escape the Fate
“Suicide Season” – Bring Me the Horizon
“Resuscitation Of A Dead Man” – Thursday

Go forth and pillage, my minions!

What Just Happened?

I did another site upgrade. Those of you who’ve been around here a few times might have caught me experimenting with different themes etc. as my old theme more or less combusts at smaller screen resolutions.

Today I upgraded to ‘Fractal’ by Milo317. You may recall I used her theme ‘Hal’ before but since she’s updated most of her themes, I don’t really like the new ‘Hal’ anymore. ‘Fractal’ looks the most like the old layout which, as much web 1.0 as it is, I liked.

So here we are. Not everything from the old site has been added back into the new theme. Some stuff might not make the cut. I just have to play around with it and see what I like/don’t like.

Let me know if anything’s broken.

RIP Bud TV

Adage.com – Sadly, Bud TV is now offline. For the uninitiated, it was an online TV-type initiative created by Anheuser-Busch that featured original web programming, short videos etc.

Never been there? Me neither. . . guess that’s why it got pulled. Still, the potential they had with that idea. Shame it wasn’t more successful.

Skeletonwitch to Debut New Video This Friday

Blabbermouth.net – Southern Ohio’s lost boys Skeletonwitch will be debuting their new video to the song ‘Sacrifice for the Slaughtergod’ this Friday on Myspace Metal.  I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing ‘the witch’ once & it made quite an impression.    Very talented  outfit that plays a tight mixture of Thrash, Death and Black metal.  They may be from Athens, Ohio but they look every bit like viking warriors about to rampage a village somewhere.  Makes sense that they’re opening for my boys Amon Amarth here shortly.  Check out their low budget video below for “Within My Blood”;

Bigelf – The Ravari Room, Columbus Ohio 2/13/09

bigelfI have a new band to obsess on now and it’s name is Bigelf.  A strange name, ’tis true but a worthy group of four out of L.A. who can belt out some phenomenal classic rock a la early Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, a dash of Golden Earring, King Crimson, Queen and even a smattering of Beatles.

Lead singer/keyboardist Damon Fox (pictured) stands center stage, flanked by vintage keyboards (including a Mellotron) on either side which he plays effortlessly while maintaining a carnival barker-like presence & nailing every note.  Guitarist Ace Mark accompanies on guitar with a dream setup of a 1961 Les Paul SG (yes a Les Paul – pre-Gibson) & a couple of classic Orange cabinets.  Rounding out the lineup is Duffy Snowhill on bass (who reminds me of the early days of White Zombie what with his lengthy dreds) and Froth slapping the skins.  All very cool gentlemen who patiently met every fan and signed autographs after the show.

Definitely a live act, their studio material just doesn’t capture how riveting they are on stage.  I recommend catching ‘Pain Killers’ off of Youtube (or their Myspace page HERE) for a taste of what they are capable of doing. Also really liked ‘Gravest Show on Earth’, ‘Hex’ and ‘Money, it’s Pure Evil’ but really, it’s all very, very good stuff.

I would bet a solid million dollars that Bigelf will be huge within a year – even told them as much. Believe the hype,  which they have no shortage of on the web either. Bigelf is the real deal and proof that truly classic rock bands can still be found.

Oh, and I have to give a shoutout here to my wife Lora who dragged me to the show. I would’ve totally missed it, writing them off as Psychedelic wannabees or some other such crap. Don’t you make the same mistake I almost did – catch them on tour if they come to your area. Or demand them if they aren’t currently scheduled.

You’ll thank me later.