June 06, 2020

Buccaneer: The future of Mediasurf

As the captain of this website, I have now decided to make my final decision in regards to the future of this website and the fate of the Hip-Section. I have received 1 vote from Sentinel in favor of removing it due to the amount of resources that are currently being wasted which in turn, affects the rest of the website. Sentinel has stated that as it is now, the problem will not go away unless the entire section is removed and everyday he is proven correct.. I have received 1 vote to stay out of any decision making from Lass. My final decision is that the entire website must change... and that means we will move away from free downloads and into "Premium downloads" 

That's right. Hip-Hop will stay but there will be no more Adfly and all visitors will have to pay to download from this website. Why? There are many reasons and the Hip-Hop section is the main culprit. This change will not happen right away, it will take time. The world itself is still in a pandemic. We are still directly affected as is most of visitors. We're still going through this. Once we, as people, as in society, stabilize, then we will make the transition. But as of right now, we will continue as we are, with free downloads via Mega.nz and Adfly. When things begin to return to normal, I will announce the change. I am currently looking at Florenfile as a possible host. Not everyone will like this change. It pains me to know that after 6 years of being the free alternative, it must come to an end and the most absurd way as well. The community we've built, the visitors who have always followed our guidelines, the one's who were there from the beginning, those are the one's that I am the most sad for because I know that this will be the end for them. I know that we have lost them for good.  We never wanted to go premium. We've been serving our audience for 6 strong years as a free alternative and were damn proud of it, relying on the generosity of of our users and their donations via bitcoin which still occurs today!. That can no longer be a reality.

We've done all we can in regards to trying to get the Hip-Hop audience to cooperate. Nothing has worked and nothing will work. We simply cannot continue as we are with the amount of resources that are being used up. I'm sure some have read this before but now it's time everyone knew what is actually happening behind the scenes.

(1.) The bot and its resources.


Screenshots from the bot's archives detailing the many failures of the Hip-Hop section.

65% of all errors, mistakes, not following guidelines etc... are from the Hip-Hop section alone. once more, that's 65%

The bot works like this. When a user reports a dead link, the bot will read the comment and then check the link in question. The bot does this a total of 10 times to ensure the claim is both true and to eliminate the possibility of an error by the bot's own accord. If the claim is true, the bot will publish the comment and proceed to move on the the next comment. Thee problems begin like this. An example is when a user reports a link that is not offline. When this happens, the bot checks the claim, same as before, 10 times, records a screen capture demonstrating that the links are still online, submits it to imgur.com, gathers additional information for the user because they've made an error, , deletes the original comment and then publishes the report. After all of this, the bot finally moves on to the next comment. Now, multiply that same error by 20.

Now that's just one type of error.  More problems occur when the users who report dead links don't specify which of the 2 links are dead. As in, the publication contains a FLAC link and an AAC link.
all of these examples are actual comments left by users of the Hip-Hop section and they almost always occur in publications that contain 2 different links. Same as before, the bot will verify if the claims are true by checking the comment a total of 10 times with each passing time, checking to make sure the post has either 1 link or 2 different links. Now multiply this problem by 20 times. Now we have a serious problem because the staff for every 1 comment that a user leaves that properly specifies to the bot which link is down, there's 20 more that don't and there's another 20 that claim that links are offline when they are not. This in turn slows down the amount of content the staff can submit because the bot spends more time and resources with these comments than submitting the genuine comments that properly request updates.

This never stops and all of this, the majority of it comes from the hip-Hop section. The remaining 35% of all errors come from the rest website. That means that the rest of the genres combined, only make up 35% of these errors. For those that use the Dolphin browser and were reviving errors, this matter was kindly brought to us by a user and a screenshot was submitted to the FAQ's section. The information is there and has always been there. The majority of that audience simply doesn't care.

(2.) I've grown tired of Adfly and it's practices.

Up until recently, we've had severe problems with Adfly in regards to their inability to remove many Microsoft Technical Support scams on their service. We took it upon ourselves to report these to Adfly which in turn, have been removed (for the most part) However at this time, these adverts are no longer the problem. Now it the increase in pornographic content which Adfly claims is in direct violation of their terms of service.

No matter how many times we report these to Adfly, the same pornographic adverts still continue to appear on their adverts. It has gotten to the point that we've reported so many within the last year and the beginning of this year that all of our emails are now blocked from Adfly's report abuse email address. Every time we try to submit a report, complete with Screenshots! which is what they ask for! the message is blocked by them meaning that they are well aware of this problem and no matter how many times they claim to not allow these types of adverts, they would rather keep them than to do their job and remove them. This is beyond unacceptable and more time is being spent tracking and reporting these adverts than the actual practice of publishing content which is already hindered due to repeated disregard for our guidelines by the Hip-Hop section. I can no longer continue to have this website or my associates operate under these conditions.

(3.) The introduction of Vinyl rips.

Myself & Sentinel have many releases that were only ever released on Vinyl records and moving them into the Premium territory is the only way we can have those on Mediasurf since Adfly is now plagued with pornographic content. The introduction of our Vinyl rips was actually supposed to be the big surprise for 2020 but due to the conditions laid out above - that didn't happen. Once more, we are not talking about the Vinyl pressings of the albums that are already available on Mediasurf, we're talking about albums, E.Ps, singles etc.. that are only available on Vinyl from various generes, Hip-Hop included. Myself & Sentinel were able to buy turntables that can digitally rip the records into FLAC. These rips, just like many of our rips here on Mediasurf, will contain photographs of the records as well as AAC versions for those that want them. Once the change to premium occurs, we will begin publishing those rips.

. All of this will take time and it will not happen overnight. As things are now, this will definitely happen and I do not fault anyone who wishes to leave and never return but based on what I have laid out, it must happen.

- Buccaneer for Mediasurfer.ch

May 27, 2020

The Big F - The Big F (1989) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hard Rock
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1989 Elektra
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: the big f, the big f album, 1989, flac,

Running Wild - The Brotherhood (Limited Edition) (2002)

*Contains 2 bonus tracks. 
12 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2002 GUN/BMG
Review by Mike for Metal Reviews.com
The pirates of metal have returned with their latest opus, The Brotherhood. Like its predecessor Victory, this album is not a “pedal to the metal” speedy effort, but instead features mostly mid paced songs full of catchy hooks and wonderful guitar work. The album does have its speedy moments, but don’t expect heart pounding double bass drums from beginning to end. Basically, if you are a fan like me that appreciates the earlier work of the band as well as the more recent “quieter” work, there is absolutely no reason at all not to get this CD!

As always, the rhythm section is tight and steady, providing a strong backbone for the overall sound. In the spots where the tempo is turned down, the thoughtful and more intricate song structure fills in the gap. The production is top notch as the guitars, vocals, and percussion are clear and one component of the sound is never overpowered by another. In particular, the percussion is very clear and crisp which can really be appreciated after listening to an album with “muddy” percussion. For me, “muddy” percussion can ruin an album, but that is far from the case here. Every drum hit and crash of the cymbal is crystal clear, even during the three most powerful tracks of the album, Pirate Song, Welcome To Hell, and Siberian Winter. The instrumental, Siberian Winter is very much a power packed cut, complete with time changes, furious riffs and guitar solos, as well as pounding drums clocking in at over six minutes. Unlike the instrumental track Highland Glory from the Death or Glory album which could only have been an instrumental, I really believe this track should have lyrics. Given the long length of the track, and there being only two other speedy cuts on the album, I think the album could have been enhanced by adding vocals to this track. This is a small complaint since this track is still a damn good, well executed instrumental. Throughout the album, I hear more shred work in the background in comparison to previous albums which makes things a bit more interesting. Such is the case for instance on the leadoff track Welcome to Hell and the more melodic cut Crossfire. Crossfire also has one of the most memorable hooks I’ve heard from the band in recent years. Almost worth the purchase of this CD on its own is the ten minute long epic, The Ghosts. Complete with intricate guitar work, time and key changes, and the unique “piracy” atmosphere the band has delivered time and time again, The Ghosts is a standout track that doesn’t become boring or repetitive in the least despite its length. This track is a model for the more complex songwriting Rolf has developed in recent years as well as the talented musicians Rolf has surrounded himself with. After hearing this track (last of the album), I am craving more. I eagerly await to hear the standard release of this album which contains an additional two tracks!

What we have here is yet another classic to add to the Running Wild discography. This album took me an extra listen or two to fully appreciate compared to Victory. But, once you give this album a few spins, it will forever imprint itself within you as do most other Running Wild albums. Not a weak song on the entire disc, and in this case I believe the band truly did “save the best for last” with The Ghosts, which is simply brilliant. Excellent job guys, hopefully many albums more to come in the future!

tags: running wild, the brotherhood, limited edition, 2002, flac,

Running Wild - Rogues En Vogue (2005)

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2005 GUN/BMG
Review by Mike for Metal Reviews.com
I have sat on this review for some time. Running Wild is a long time favorite band of mine, so I did not want to rush to judgment, writing a review without giving the album enough time. Well, I've had enough time, and I have determined that the best days of Running Wild are clearly over. While I first praised The Brotherhood, I would now quote that album some 20-30 points below my original score. I learned from my mistake on that review (one of the first that I did for this site). That is why I have given this album time to resonate in my mind, allowing time to form a firm opinion in my mind. Some would argue that Running Wild started to slip off the cliff after Black Hand Inn. While I would agree that Running Wild haven't released anything better than BHI as they progressed through the 90's and into the new millennium, The Rivalry is a kickass album, with Masquerade holding up quite well for me also. Like I said, I have realized that The Brotherhood has a handful of cool tracks, but its programmed drums and excess of mid tempo filler material represents a serious slip in quality. Although Rock 'n' Rolf credits tour drummer Matthias Liebetruth for the drums on this album, the drums are again programmed…Ughhh!
I have to start this off by mentioning a couple aspects of this album that I really like. The production and mixing is at its best on this album. I like the fact that each element of the sound is well balanced and crystal clear in terms of sound quality. The guitars simply sound outstanding, with the soloing and background shreds really coming to the forefront of the sound. It's too bad that there aren't that many galloping riffs to take advantage of the excellent sound quality found on this album.
I knew things weren't looking good when I gave the album it first spin, and heard a filler track in the leadoff spot. Draw The Line is fairly representative of a good portion of the album. It is a mid tempo cut, completely devoid of energy and emotion. The programmed drumming drains any life out of this song that may have otherwise existed. I have no idea why Rolf decided to go with programmed drums instead of a real, live drummer 100% of the time. If he thinks this option is better than having the likes of Jörg Michael pounding the skins, he is sorely mistaken. Like I said, the programmed drum sound manages only to strip the music of personality, excitement, and becomes extremely repetitive by the fourth or fifth track. Even the good songs on this album have a stale, lifeless tone in some form because of the programmed drums. I don't think it's an overstatement to say that Rolf is digging his band's grave with this choice. Compared to the material that the band has written in the past, this material just isn't in the same ballpark in terms of quality. Gone for the most part is the speedy tempo. Gone are the catchy riffs. Gone are the addictive hooks that had me sold on the band's shift towards mid tempo songs over recent years; these mid tempo songs are just sterile and lifeless.
As the album progresses, I struggle to differentiate from song to song. Aside from hearing nearly the same damn drumbeat the whole album, the songs for the most part lack creativity to keep me coming back. There are some exceptions, however. Angel of Mercy, however, is a speedy and catchy cut that does justice to the best of the band's many pirate hymns we've heard over the years. Skull and Bones isn't necessarily a speedy cut, but it certainly contains infectious guitar work and chorus lines that stay in my mind long after the album has finished playing. Although the band took some heat for shifting more toward a mid tempo style in recent years, I never objected to songs like this. Unfortunately, most of the other mid tempo songs on this album don't share the quality of Skull and Bones.
As I said earlier, the guitar work throughout the album is excellent. I can't say enough about the general guitar tone of this album. Additionally, I have no complaints regarding the solos and shredding; they are in fine form. As I said earlier, I do miss the catchy, driving riffs of the past. They are all but gone completely. Aside from the two aforementioned tracks, none of the remaining songs stand out to me at all. Instead, the band flounders in mid tempo mediocrity the rest of the album. There aren't any mistakes, and the guitar work is great, but this alone doesn't make a great song. I know that I've pounded on this subject, but the programmed drums further enhance this mundane, repetitive, and boring feeling. Compared to many bands putting out music these days, you can't really say that any of these songs are bad. However, it is pretty easy to conclude that they are average at best, especially when you listen to the material this band has produced over the last 20 years. The final track, The War, is a ten minute track that seemingly tries to duplicate the ten minute + epic (which was actually pretty good) from The Brotherhood. Unfortunately, The War ends up a 10 minute borefest, unlike it's predecessor, The Ghost.
The hardest part of being a reviewer is writing a negative review of one of your favorite bands. However, as a reviewer, I have to try my best to avoid any "fanboy" spin or overquoting, and be as objective as possible. Having been a fan of this band for years, and having stuck with them through recent years when their fan base has largely vanished, take the following for what it's worth: I've listened to this album over 20 times now. I find it very, very difficult not to stop listening after about the sixth track. That has never happened to me with a Running Wild album before. I sincerely hope that the band can right its course with their next album and produce at least a good album. I know the masterpiece days of the band are long gone, but how about giving us at least a good album? In all seriousness, the programmed drums have got to go. This facet of the sound could very well be the nail in the coffin for this band. The sterile, lifeless drums really flat lined any impact any of these songs could have had. And with that, Rogues En Vogue will sail back into my CD cabinet, likely to collect dust while albums such as Death or Glory, Blazon Stone, Black Hand Inn, The Rivalry, and other greats from the band catalogue get regular play in my stereo. I expected more from a band that has released these great albums.

tags: running wild, rogues en vogue, 2005, flac,

May 26, 2020

Rein Sanction - Broc's Cabin (1991) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Grunge
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1991 Sub Pop
Review by Mark Woodlief for Trouser Press.com
Broc's Cabin, produced by Shimmy-Disc honcho Kramer, revels in dense psychedelia, abundantly frenzied guitar and at least one song title — "Sasquatch" — that aptly describes the band's style. Mark Gentry's liberal use of wah-wah, distortion and envelope filter could also draw some comparisons to early Meat Puppets, but the blueprint here seems effectively Dinosaur-esque-pretty, sludgy and pretty sludgy.

. Special note from Lass: This is the band's debut album. Although I've stated that the band's second release is my favorite Grunge album (and it is) their debut album is my second favorite Grunge album. As with their second album, I highly recommend this one as well especially for those that are interested in Grunge music other than Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden Stone Temple Pilots etc.. Happy listening.

tags: rein sanction, broc's cabin, brocs, 1991, flac,

The Big F - Is (1993) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Grunge
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1993 Chrysalis
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: the big f, is, is album, 1993, flac,

Various Artists - The Grunge Years (1994) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Grunge
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1994 Sub Pop
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
This 13-track, sardonically packaged (complete with suited, briefcase-toting executive types on the front cover) set compiles material from Sub Pop's late-'80s/early-'90s period, when the company had just been tagged (and saddled) with the grunge label. Much of it was originally released on vinyl 45s, and some has subsequently resurfaced on CD; indeed, only dedicated collectors could probably tell you which of these tracks are truly rare by now. In any case, it's a decent sampler, with cuts by Nirvana, Tad, L7, Mark Lanegan, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Afghan Whigs, Babes in Toyland, and less expected entries like Beat Happening and the decidedly un-grunge Walkabouts. The Hype! soundtrack -- which includes material by several of these acts and adds songs by many Seattle-area bands not represented here -- is actually a better genre overview, at least until the inevitable day when the grunge box sets start appearing.

tags: various artists, the grunge years, a sub pop compilation, 1994, flac,

May 25, 2020

Running Wild - The Rivalry (1998) ☠

*German first pressing. 
Contains 13 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Speed Metal, Heavy Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1998 GUN
AllMusic Review by Antti J. Ravelin
Even before Running Wild was dropped from the roster of Noise, it was obvious that their time was up. Black Hand Inn and Masquerade were both big failures and being faithful to their genre didn't really help the fact that Running Wild repeated themselves for ten years. It seems that Running Wild still haven't learned their lesson; however, The Rivalry is surely a treat to their fans. As a whole it isn't much, but, as usual with Running Wild, The Rivalry has a few standout tracks. The title track, "Kiss of Death," and a few others make sure that an old fan of Running Wild will wait for more.

tags: running wild, the rivalry, 1998, flac,

Running Wild - Victory (1999)

*European first pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 1999 GUN
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: running wild, victory, 1999, flac,

Running Wild - Shadowmaker (2012)

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2012 Steamhammer
AllMusic Review by Christian Genzel
Shadowmaker is the 14th record by German heavy metal band Running Wild, a comeback album released seven years after their previous effort, Rogues en Vogue (2005), and three years after the band called it quits in July 2009. While working on four new tracks for a compilation album, bandleader Rolf Kasparek felt he enjoyed writing songs again, which led to the band's reunion in October 2011. Only two of the ten new songs revel in the band's trademark pirate imagery ("Riding on the Tide," "Sailing Fire"), while other tracks revolve around topics such as the Apocalypse ("Into the Black," "Black Shadow") and Dracula, as portrayed in Bram Stoker's novel and the Christopher Lee movies (the eight-minute "Dracula"). The album entered the German charts at number 12 and is available as a limited edition with a bonus DVD (which features a making-of clip and "track by track commentary" by Kasparek) and in a box set edition featuring the DVD, the album on both CD and vinyl, and a 30-page book on the history of the band.

tags: running wild, shadowmaker, shadow maker, 2012, flac,

Babes In Toyland - Fontanelle (1992)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Grunge, Punk Rock
Style: Riot grrrl
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© 1992 Reprise Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
Babes in Toyland's most focused and powerful statement, Fontanelle was vaguely associated with grunge upon its release, and tossed in with the Pacific Northwest-centered riot grrrl movement after the fact. In truth, it lies somewhere in between, its raw punkish fury and metallic grind making it the spiritual kin of L7. Fontanelle isn't necessarily explicitly feminist, since the glorious noise of rock & roll is viewed as the ultimate empowerment. And that noise is all over Fontanelle -- it's arguably the harshest, most abrasive recording to come out of any part of the riot grrrl camp. Like L7, Babes in Toyland are more about pure sound than songs, but the similarities end there. Instead of just grinding away on simple power chords, Kat Bjelland's distinctive guitar work is full of intentionally grating dissonance, which is complemented by the jittery rhythm section. Vocally, Bjelland can move from a faux little-girl coo to a bellowing snarl in the space of one line; put together, all of this imbues Fontanelle with a terrifically explosive tension. Fittingly, the closing track features nothing but Bjelland, her guitar, and the sound of breaking glass bottles. Measured by any standard, Fontanelle is a frighteningly primal record, one whose sheer ferocity Babes in Toyland never quite captured this convincingly anywhere else

tags: babes in toyland, fontanelle, 1992, flac,

Rein Sanction - Mariposa (1992) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Grunge
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1992 Sub Pop
Review by Mark Woodlief for Trouser Press.com
Years after Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis introduced his pedal-driven, melancholic noise-guitar histrionics to indie rock, Rein Sanction's Mark Gentry emerged from his Jacksonville, Florida basement with drummer/brother Brannon and bassist Ian Chase. Although hamstrung by the Dinosaur Jr comparisons, the trio nonetheless created two powerful albums before folding up in 1993.
Broc's Cabin, produced by Shimmy-Disc honcho Kramer, revels in dense psychedelia, abundantly frenzied guitar and at least one song title — "Sasquatch" — that aptly describes the band's style. Mark Gentry's liberal use of wah-wah, distortion and envelope filter could also draw some comparisons to early Meat Puppets, but the blueprint here seems effectively Dinosaur-esque-pretty, sludgy and pretty sludgy.
Jack Endino twisted the knobs and slid the faders for Mariposa, but the band's initial sound is roughly duplicated all the same. Mark's voice is more plaintive here, even as the caterwauling trio drowns what few vocals exist. (Rein Sanction's strength lies in its sprawling jams and expansive instrumental energy.) He's not much of a vocalist and doesn't have to be-his languid, overpowering guitar really sings, as the throwaway title "B-F#" might suggest. (The song itself, an acoustic-based jam with fluttering backward guitar riffs, is simple and a strong diversion from the group's usual overdrive.) Despite such efforts at diversification and strong tracks like "Loaded Decision," "Blow" and "Railway," the inclusion of a live cover — Hendrix's "Ain't No Tellin" — possibly indicates Rein Sanction's shortage of its own ideas.

*Special note from Lass: "Of all the Grunge albums I own and when talking specifically about the genre itself, this is by far my absolute favorite. For those seeking Grunge albums/bands other than Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden or Stone Temple Pilots, I highly recommend this band. This is a quality album from a quality band and is one of Sub Pop Records' best releases to date..  Happy listening"

tags: rein sanction, mariposa, 1992, flac,

Michelle Gayle - Michelle Gayle (1994) ⚓

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: R&B
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© 1994 1st Avenue/RCA
Reviewed by Pop Rescue.com
Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate uncertain is the debut 1994 eponymous album from former actress, Michelle Gayle. Is this album filled with Sweetness, or would you be Happy Just To Be Without? Read on… Michelle Gayle’s 1994 eponymous debut album. Having left BBC EastEnders‘ London for Norwich (happens to the best of them), Michelle Gayle began a career in music, with this, her 15 track debut.
The album opens with Get Off My Back – a defiant set of lyrics, and not entirely dissimilar to something you’d find on Eternal‘s debut album from the previous year, aside from Michelle’s rap to her ‘homies’.
Track two is Happy Just To Be With You, complete with it’s Chic sample, but this is very different from the version that you might remember in the charts. It’s much less funk/disco, and much mellow instead. I preferred the single version – which was her fifth and final single from this album.
Walk With Pride is next, and again we’re treading all over Eternal territory again, but it also vocally echoes Lisa Stansfield and early M People.
Next up is her first single – the fantastic Looking Up, which took her to #11 in the UK charts. This track is pretty flawless in my opinion, and the great way to debut a career. I’m surprised that it didn’t chart higher.
Following this is Girlfriend, which is pretty unmemorable, and then Freedom (the fourth single), which is quite a weak track. It got to #16 in the UK.
Personality is the 7th track, and is another mellow track. Again, this feels like something Eternal might have passed over.
I’ll Find You, the third single (and her worst performing single until 2008’s Woo (U Make Me)), is a pretty mellow track. Michelle is more than capable of singing these schmaltzy ballads, but they should never have put it here on this album. It’s followed by Your Love, which at best – is dull.
Thankfully her second single, the excellent Sweetness, is next. It reached #4 in the UK, and became what continues to be her highest charting song. It’s a great little pop jaunt, complete with ‘shoo-be-doos‘.
One Day is a refreshing change – it’s up-tempo pop, and although again, unashamedly Eternal in style, this really should have been a single. It’s catchy. Similarly Say What’s On Your Mind is another track that should have been a single, for all the same reasons.
One of Whitney Houston‘s songwriters, Narada Michael Walden, has multiple credits on this album, but neither One Day or Say What’s On Your Mind are amongst them. Whether this influenced why they never became singles, remains only speculation.
The penultimate two songs on the album, Rise Up and Baby Don’t Go should join Freedom, Girlfriend and Your Love in my recommendation of a cull.
All Night Long does at least give the album an up-tempo closing track. Once again, a lot like Eternal’s Stay and also reminiscent of her own debut Looking Up.

Michelle Gayle’s lead single ‘Looking Up’

Where is Michelle Gayle now?

After her second album, she headed to TV presenting, and starring in reality game shows like Reborn In The USA, and Dancing On Wheels. She also attempted to represent the UK at Eurovision in 2008, but lost out in the public vote to X-Factor loser, Andy Abraham, who successfully went on to lose Eurovision – coming last. I’d like to think that Michelle would have fared much better.
She gave birth to her second child in 2011.

Verdict

There are some brilliant tracks here, but those were the singles Sweentess, Happy Just To Be With You, and Looking Up.
Up against Eternal though, I think this debut album struggled to deliver something fresh. Eternal fans may have been torn between the two acts, or avoided Michelle completely.
I think that bringing it down to a 10 track album would have vastly improved it. Her next album Sensational was to fare better.

tags: michelle gayle, michelle gayle album, 1994, flac,

May 24, 2020

Running Wild - Pile of Skulls (1992) ☠

*German first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Speed Metal, Heavy Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1992 Electrola
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
One of Running Wild's strongest efforts, Pile of Skulls combines the group's trademark pirate subject matter with a unifying concept about corruption and abuse of power through history. It's perhaps a bit too ambitious, but there are enough strong songs here to justify the approach.

tags: running wild, pile of skulls, 1992, flac,

Running Wild - Black Hand Inn (1994) ⚓

*European first pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 1994 Electrola
AllMusic Review by Antti J. Ravelin
It's no surprise that Running Wild hasn't bothered to update their sound, but Black Hand Inn is a new low. Black Hand Inn doesn't contain any catchy riffs at all, and the songs are just replicas of each other. Usually Running Wild has compensated for this by including one or two stand-out tracks (usually one of them is the title track itself), but, unfortunately, Black Hand Inn is a complete failure. Fans of Running Wild might find it amusing, but it seems that Running Wild doesn't have anything to offer to the heavy metal audience anymore.

tags: running wild, black hand inn, in, 1994, flac,

Worl-A-Girl - Worl-A-Girl (1994)

Country: U.S.A.
Language: Jamaican Patois, English
Genre: Reggae, Dancehall, R&B
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© 1994 Columbia
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: worl a girl, worl a girl album, worl-a-girl, wirl a girl, 1994, flac,

The Color Red - Below The Under (2000)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Post Grunge
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© 2000 Spin Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: the color red, below the under, 2000, flac,

Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer (2004) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Grindcore
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2004 Relapse Records
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett
Pig Destroyer aren't out for the middle of the road presentation with this album given the Ralph Steadman/Gerald Scarfe-styled cover art, then again it's hard to see how they would be interested in that approach in the first place. Perhaps thankfully, the cover's nowhere near as grotesque to look at as the cover of Prowler in the Yard. That said, the music? Now that high-speed grindcore of any variety is about to move into its third decade of existence, it'll take accomplished performers to step up to the plate, and this trio does have the goods -- the main album itself is over 20 tracks in 32 minutes and completely nails it in terms of strong, honestly memorable performances. Where so many groups rely on undifferentiated blur, guitarist Scott Hull and drummer Brian Harvey are masters of brief, brilliant riffs and drum blasts that are memorable hooks as much as sheer rampage. The stop-start on-a-dime switches between the songs make the entire album one long but constantly changing listen. Songs like "Gravedancer" and "Carrion Fairy" are practically classic rock in ways and all the better for it, welding together a slew of familiar styles into something memorable in its own right. Even the sudden dropout on "Lost Cause" to a dramatic, hard to fully understand conversation/shouting match between two people acts as a needed deep breath before returning to the pit. What fans may be even more intrigued by is the bonus second disc, an audio DVD presentation called "Natasha" even longer than Terrifyer by five minutes. Pitched somewhere between a very long song and a movie without visuals (the presentation was mixed in 5.1 sound for those with such a setup), with both lyrics and a related short story reprinted in the booklet, it's the complete opposite of Terrifyer's sound -- slow, considered, many pauses, even intelligible lyrics -- but is equally powerful in its own right.

tags: pig destroyer, terrifyer,  2004, flac,

May 23, 2020

Running Wild - Branded & Exiled (1985) ☠

*German first pressing. 
Contains 8 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1985-1988 Noise International
Review by Thomas Meyer for Voices From The Darkside.de
In 1984, RUNNING WILD had released “Gates To Purgatory”, an enormously important album, not only for me personally, but also for German Heavy Metal in general. Not even one year later, the band announced a second album. Still impressed by the debut album, my expectations were very high. Thus “Branded And Exiled” became the most expected album of 1985, despite the fact that original guitar player Preacher (in civil life Gerald Warnecke) left the band at the beginning of the year to really become a preacher. In retrospect, this loss was very important for RUNNING WILD, but that wasn’t forseeable back then. When I got my copy of “Branded And Exiled” a few days after it was released, I started to listen to the album over and over again. The eight new songs exactly hit my nerve back then. The musical direction of RUNNING WILD hasn’t really changed, it was only that the songwriting was a little more elaborate. So, in 1985 “Branded And Exiled” was one of my personal favourites of the year. But time can sometimes be cruel. Listening to “Branded And Exiled” 32 years later and for the first time in ten years, the album didn’t completely pass the test of time. Some songs like the stomping and marching title track or the melodic ‘Gods Of Iron’ still sound fine, but the other two songs of the first side of the album haven’t been treated well by time. Both ‘Realm Of Shades’ and ‘Mordor’ have lost a bit of their magic and became a little mundane stuff to my ears. For the b-side, it’s pretty much the same. ‘Evil Spirit’ and ‘Marching To Die’ are not really something to write home about any more, even the twin guitars of the latter won’t help here. But ‘Fight The Oppression’ still is a fine classic Metal tune with a catchy refrain, and the old band anthem ‘Chains And Leather’ hasn’t lost its naïve charm and its sing-along qualities. As I said, time can be a little cruel sometimes. And to be honest, without the songs of Preacher, who composed half the songs of the first album, Rock’n’Rolf lost his counter part. Thus it is no wonder that RUNNING WILD became more and more the band to back up Rock’n’Rolf. With the next album “Under Jolly Roger”, the band literally tossed their occult image of “Gates To Purgatory” over board and started to sing about and dress up like pirates. And the pirates turned to fools for me, the too polished cliché music did the one last thing. It took me years to find a kind of peace with the stuff RUNNING WILD recorded after “Branded And Exiled”. But that last good album, like all other albums they did for Noise Records, got re-released now. As it became usual for Noise Records 2.0, this one also got some extra tracks. In this case, they are pretty annoying ones, since we only find re-recorded versions of songs from the album. First we have three songs that were recorded for the album "The First Years of Piracy" in 1991. Those newer versions of ‘Branded And Exiled’, ‘Fight The Oppression’ haven’t been necessary, since they lack the original spirit. And the re-recorded version of ‘Marching To Die’ sucks, for now this song really is as exchangeable as most RUNNING WILD songs. And in 2003, the band put out a compilation called “20 Years In History” for which they recorded new versions of ‘Branded And Exiled’ (again!) and ‘Mordor’. With these versions, the songs met their Waterloo. Since these five re-recordings are the only bonus material, the album would be better off without any extra tracks. In case you need more info: www.running-wild.net, www.facebook.com/runningwildmusic or www.noiserecords.net 

tags: running wild, branded and exiled, 1985, flac,

Running Wild - Under Jolly Roger (1987) ☠

*German first pressing. 
Contains 8 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1987 Noise International
Review by Adam McCann for MHF-Mag.com
1987 proved to be quite a significant turning point for Running Wild. The band made the conscious decision to move away from the relatively en vogue Satanic themes of mid 80’s heavy metal and shocked the community by releasing the pirate themed ‘Under Jolly Roger’.

In this rather interesting move, Running Wild inadvertently created what would become pirate metal, although it would take the best part of 25 years for Running Wild to be credited as the influences that they would become and in particular, Captain Rolf Kasparek as the visionary and genius that he is.

Unlike many of the bands that they would influence with ‘Under Jolly Roger’, Running Wild’s pirate themes are less subtle than their overt offspring singing about: “yo ho ho’s” and “a bottle of rum” after watching ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ once. ‘Under Jolly Roger’ adds the heavy metal influences of Accept and Judas Priest, those leaden chugging riffs interspersed with some excellent guitar work and raw vocals from the Captain himself which are showcased perfectly during ‘Raw Ride’, ‘War in the Gutter’, ‘Diamonds of the Black Chest’ and the fist rousing title track, which makes you want to punch the air like a pissed-up sports fan.

As influential as ‘Under Jolly Roger’ is, rather than suffering from bad song writing or poor musicianship, the album is stricken with a relatively dodgy mid-to-late 80’s production. There are times where the guitars of Running Wild become indistinguishable from the likes of Accept, Twisted Sister or W.A.S.P. especially when coupled with that crisp sampled 80’s drum sound which haunts the era like the ghost of Christmas Past 1987.

Looking back, no one would have thought that ‘Under Jolly Roger’ would become as influential as ‘Reign in Blood’, ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’, but ‘Under Jolly Roger’, although more niche, would become just as coveted and rightly so.

tags: running wild, under jolly roger, 1987, flac,