September 18, 2021

Voïvod - War & Pain (1984)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: 71104-2 

© 1984-1987 Restless/Metal Blade Records
Attention Metallica fans who still wish that Hetfield and company stuck to the no-frills metal sound laid down on their debut (1983's Kill 'Em All): you're sure to love Voivod's War and Pain as well. Some of the reasons why 1984's War and Pain sounds strikingly similar to Metallica's Kill 'Em All is because of both albums' dry production, straight-ahead metal guitar riffs and almost identical guitar sounds, and sometimes sophomoric lyrical content. Voivod latecomers should know that the group wasn't always an experimental/progressive metal band as evidenced on the later albums Nothingface and Angel Rat. The group's first classic, the song "Voivod," and is featured here and is still played by the group in concert to this day (one of the few songs that contains some contrasting textures, even if it's just for about five seconds at the beginning). Other metal delights include "Warriors of Ice," "Iron Gang," and the title track, which are all about as subtle as being hit by a sledgehammer. By listening to their debut, you can easy to see that the group built their later, highly original sound on the foundations of heavy metal. War and Pain is by no means an embarrassing debut; it's just that when compared to other albums by the group, it's apparent that the band was still trying to find their own metal approach.

tags: voivod, war and pain, 1984, flac,

Voïvod - Rrröööaaarrr (1986)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: 88561-8103-2

© 1986-1987 Combat
Voivod's second release, Rrröööaaarrr, is a step backward for the band when compared to its predecessor, War and Pain. Whereas their debut was similar to early Metallica, their follow-up sounds like the band was under the influence of early Slayer, with faster tempos and vocal growls. Lyrically, the band goes into dangerously silly and embarrassing territory (a sample lyric from "Fuck Off & Die": "And if you're a f*cker, and don't believe it, f*ck off and die!"). Other flaky song titles are "Slaughter in a Grave," "Ripping Headaches," and "Thrashing Rage." Guitarist Denis d'Amour (aka "Piggy") would one day become one of the most criminally overlooked metal guitarists (combining jazz chords in a progressive metal context), but on this album he plays it very conservatively, which is unfortunate. After listening to Rrröööaaarrr, it's pretty mind-blowing that Voivod would one day be one of the most original metal bands around, since there's very little originality or imagination on this one. If you're a newcomer to the band, check out their albums from 1988 onward. This is certainly not one of their better albums, and not a good place to start.

tags: voivod, 1986, flac,

Voïvod - Killing Technology (1987)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: N 0058-3

© 1987-1988 Noise International
Voivod's third release, Killing Technology, still has elements of the band's early extreme metal sound, but they show hints of things to come -- namely, more mature and interesting songwriting. All you have to do is listen to the beginning of the appropriately titled "Tornado" to hear the young metal band grind and thrash with the best the '80s had to offer. There are several tracks that stretch past the six-minute mark (the opening title track, "Forgotten in Space," and "This Is Not an Exercise"), but Voivod knows how to hold interest during these extended pieces. The group is comprised of excellent musicians who have no problem whatsoever with the challenging song structures and odd time signatures that arise on Killing Technology. One of the band's all-time classics, "Ravenous Medicine," resides on this album, which makes it an essential purchase for Voivod fans. The group was still developing on Killing Technology, though -- vocalist Denis Belanger relies a bit too often on screaming rather than singing, something that he would work out on future releases. An interesting metal album nonetheless, one that doesn't sound too shabby years after its original release, something that's all too uncommon for the majority of metal acts from the '80s.

tags: voivod, killing technology, 1987, flac,

Voïvod - Dimension Hatröss (1988)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label Number: WK 44262

© 1988 Noise
Released nearly two years after the transitional Killing Technology, Dimension Hatröss is the first album where Voivod's experimental metal is explored from beginning to end. Shedding the clichéd lyrics that the band relied on for their first two releases, they're thankfully replaced by much more thought-provoking lyrics. The group has also grown as musicians -- guitarist Denis d'Amour is one of metal's finest, the rhythm section of Michel Langevin on drums and Jean-Yves Theriault on bass is tighter than ever, and vocalist Denis Belanger sings more conventionally (no more shrieking). The band's sudden songwriting maturity becomes evident from the opening track, "Experiment," when futuristic imagery collides head on with heavy sounds. "Macrosolutions to Megaproblems" contains impressive, busy interplay between the bandmembers, while "Tribal Convictions" is a simpler, Sabbath-like number that opens with some primitive drumming courtesy of Langevin (who also designed the album's cover). Dimension Hatröss is Voivod's first fully realized album and sets the stage for their best ever, 1989's major-label debut, Nothingface.

tags: voivod, dimension hatross, 1988, flac,

Voïvod - Nothingface (1989)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label Number: MCAD-6326

© 1989 MCA/Mechanic Records
Arguably the best of the Denis Belanger-era Voivod albums, Nothingface is highly recommended to just about any aficionado of twisted, original heavy metal or prog rock. Although the album's roots are in progressive rock, the group knows when to lay off the virtuosic overkill and play it straight. A superb, tripped-out cover of Pink Floyd's early psychedelic masterpiece "Astronomy Domine" is the album's highlight, and its video aired numerous times on the early-'90s MTV show Headbanger's Ball, introducing many to the band for the first time. Vocal melodicism is stressed heavily on Nothingface, with Belanger's vocals pushing such tracks as "Missing Sequences" and the title track, as do guitarist Denis d'Amour's jazzoid-metal guitar riffs. The group's lyrics may be hard to decipher for some (relying heavily on themes of science fiction that often paint unsettling pictures), but ultimately help complement what the group is doing musically. Nothingface also turned out to be their most commercially successful album, making an appearance on the Billboard charts. Jason Newsted of Metallica has praised Voivod as one of his favorite metal bands on numerous occasions, and after hearing Nothingface, it's easy to understand why.

tags: voivod, nothingface, nothing face, 1989, flac,

Voïvod - Angel Rat (1991)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label Number: MRSD-10293

© 1991 Mechanic Records
After the success of 1989's excellent Nothingface, progressive metal experimentalists Voivod were poised for their big breakthrough with their follow-up, Angel Rat. It didn't happen. For reasons unknown, the album quickly sank from sight upon its release in the fall of 1991, which is surprising, since it's nearly as good as its predecessor. Founding member and bassist Jean-Yves Theriault left the group after Angel Rat's recording was completed and was not officially replaced until bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest would take over for both Theriault and singer Denis Belanger in time for 1995's Negatron. The band's ongoing science fiction imagery is still conveyed in both the music and lyrics, which sound like a cross between early Pink Floyd (circa Meddle) and Rush (circa Caress of Steel) with an added heavy metal edge. Angel Rat also proves to be one of Voivod's most consistent releases, without a weak track in sight. Included are such spacy highlights as "Panorama," "Clouds in My House," "Golem," and the moody psychedelia of the title track. Produced by former Rush knob-twiddler Terry Brown, Angel Rat definitely deserved more attention and commercial success.

tags: voivod, angel rat, 1991, flac,

Voïvod - The Outer Limits (1993)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label Number: MCAD-10701

© 1993 MCA/Mechanic Records
After the disappointing showing of their 1991 album Angel Rat, Voivod took two years to produce a follow-up, 1993's The Outer Limits. And although the band offers several strong compositions, it soon becomes apparent that Voivod had already peaked artistically on their three preceding albums. Perhaps the band's chemistry was knocked off balance by the defection of original bassist Jean-Yves Theriault after Angel Rat's completion. Present is the group's second Pink Floyd cover, the Roger Waters composition "The Nile Song" (they had covered "Astronomy Domine" earlier). The opening track, "Fix My Heart," is one of the album's best, since the band sounds inspired and focused, which isn't the case on some of the album's other material. You'll also find the ambitious track "Jack Luminous" here, which twists and turns for nearly 18 minutes, recalling the days long gone when prog rock ruled the earth (especially Yes, Jethro Tull, etc.). The Outer Limits would also prove to be original vocalist Denis Belanger's last album with the group; he left after the following tour's completion.

tags: voivod, the outer limits, 1993, flac,

Voïvod - Negatron (1995)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label Number: 71278-60019-2

© 1995 Mausoleum
It's hard to believe that the same band capable of composing such superb (and criminally overlooked) progressive-metal masterpieces as Nothingface and Angel Rat would resort to the more conventional heavy metal sounds of their inconsistent earlier albums. With the addition of new bassist/lead singer Eric Forrest, Voivod promptly rejected the unconventionality that set them apart from the rest of the metal pack, since Forrest's vocal style is more similar to the growls heard so commonly in death metal. Maybe being dropped by the major label Mechanic/MCA after record sales began to sag brought on the change in direction. The obvious difference between Negatron and past triumphs is that the majority of the album blends together, with very little variation. Which is very surprising, since variation and texture were major ingredients in Voivod's original sound. After hearing such cuts as the title track, "Insect," and "Nanoman" (the later contains a guitar riff popularized in the Metallica song "One," then copied by a million other metal bands), the decline is obvious. Too bad Voivod decided to reinvent themselves as a straight-ahead metal band and shun their progressive side.

tags: voivod, negatron, 1995, flac,

Voïvod - Phobos (1997)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label Number: HYPSD 1057

© 1997 Hypnotic Records
Voivod's second release for the Hypnotic label (their ninth studio album overall), Phobos, follows the same path the band laid down on 1995's Negatron. Fans of extreme metal sounds will obviously enjoy it, but will be a bit too much to handle for the crossover audience that the band aimed for on earlier releases. The band (still the trio lineup of Negatron) projects a dense and closed-in sound, a far cry from the three-dimensional music on Nothingface. Although the beginning of the title track may remind longtime fans of earlier material, the dream is crushed as soon as Eric Forrest starts in with his death metal vocal roar. Interestingly, the U.K. import version of Phobos contains two bonus tracks, which prove to be better than the majority of the songs penned by the band. The first song, "M-Body," is a Jason Newsted (Metallica bassist and friend of the band) original, which contains eerily effective lyrics. The other is a spirited cover of the King Crimson song "21st Century Schizoid Man," which is tailor-made for a metal band like Voivod, especially since subsequent bootleg tapes of Crimson performing the song live show them taking a heavier approach at times. Still, just two worthwhile songs doesn't warrant purchase, especially since they can only be found on the more expensive U.K. import edition.

tags: voivod, phobos, 1997, flac,

Voïvod - Voïvod (2003)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: 44015-2

© 2003 Chophouse/Surfdog Records
On its 13th album, Canada's groundbreaking metal veterans Voivod have undergone a renaissance of sorts. With vocalist Denis "Snake" Belanger returning to the fold, three quarters of the original band is reunited with a unified purpose. Adding former Metallica bassist -- and longtime friend -- Jason Newsted to the fold adds new energy and vision. No longer a thrash metal act, Voivod has simply become one of the best hard rock bands on the planet. They write songs with complex melodies and bone-splintering riffs, yet they stick to the roots of their trademark sound. In many ways they feel more like some crazy combination of the 1977-era Saints and Queens of the Stone Age with better lyrics and no stoner quotient. Newsted is nothing less than phenomenal in this new context; check out "Rebel Robot," with its four-to-the-floor running riff, propelling the drums and pushing guitarist Piggy into overdrive. Stripping the songs to the essentials of shattering guitars, pumped-up muddy bass throb, and heavy-bottom drumming was a plus in the production department. On the opener "Gasmask Revival," a rebel call to open protest in the streets and the refusal to be "good citizens," four chords and three riffs crank themselves into a frenzy of jarring, cacophonous, metal garage rock. Things slow down on "Facing Up," but become heavier in the process with Michel Langevin's double-bass drumming, triple-timing the super-slow 4/4 grid of the tune led by Piggy's blues-out crunchy and Newsted plowing through the middle. The centerpiece of the album is "The Multiverse," a complex, multi-faceted opus with its lyrics inspired by writer Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series of novels. Time signatures shift, blur, change, reverse, and reinvent themselves. Newsted's bass work here becomes a wall of pure propulsive, sludgy writhe and Piggy's guitar is knife-edge yet weighs a ton. Langevin's lightning double-kick drums provide a flawless directional force as Snake soars above the mix telling dark truth after dark truth with intelligence, sensitivity, and a willingness to let the words hold him accountable.

Voivod has always been among the most intelligent bands in any genre of music; they have evolved into an entity that gives up nothing when it comes to pure rock mania, yet offer something more as well: thoughtful songs that provocatively and critically examine the world we live in. "I Don't Wanna Wake Up," a mid-tempo cruncher, sums up the state of the masses without condescending to or about them. "Divine Sun," with its off-kilter bass and guitar lines -- they are played in opposition to one another -- leaves a huge hole for Snake to deliver his lyrics surrounded by a restrained sonic intensity that busts loose on the refrain courtesy of Langevin's thunderous propelling tom-tom work. "Reactor" features some of the old Voivod thrash and burn, but with drums that fall just behind the beat, everything is de-centered and tumbling, almost chaotic. The album's closer, "We Carry On," like the opening track throws out its garage rock leanings more than it does metal riffing. It's an anthem for cultural warfare that Belanger snarls his way through, asking hard questions and pointing out the irony in seemingly insignificant contradictions. Piggy's guitars are buzz saw, cutting through the entire lyrics and into a fractured sonic void. In sum, Voivod is back with a vengeance. This is among the finest records of their storied career, and will be one of the hard rock and metal records (or any sub-genre thereof) to beat in 2003.

tags: voivod, voivod album, 2003, flac,

Voïvod - Katorz (2006)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: TE074

© 2006 The End Records
2005 was a rough year for one of metal's most respected bands, Voivod, as their co-founding member, Piggy, passed away at the age of 45. But before his death, the guitarist laid down a multitude of completed parts for songs the group was in the midst of working on. So as a tribute of sorts to their friend, Voivod finished off a handful of these tracks, and issued them as 2006's Katorz (a title that the late guitarist had scrawled on a CD demo). Interestingly, although they're known primarily for prog-metal explorations (remember the near 20-minute "Jack Luminous?"), Voivod are at their most straightforward and economical on Katorz, especially such tracks as "Dognation" and the album opening "The Getaway." And even though they started off of as an extreme thrash metal band (originally influenced more by Venom than Pink Floyd), Voivod is not afraid to inject some melody into the proceedings, as evidenced by "Odds and Frauds." Arguably their most consistent album from front to back since 1989's metal classic Nothingface, Katorz serves as a fitting send-off to one of metal's most underrated guitarists. With the tracks on Katorz this strong, it bodes well for the additional unfinished material the group plans to complete and release at some point in the future.

tags: voivod, katorz, 2006, flac,

Voïvod - Infini (2009)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: RR 7058

© 2009 Relapse Records
Possibly more so than any other prior Voivod release, 2009's Infini is all about their late guitarist (and co-founding member), Piggy. Armed with guitar parts he recorded prior to his 2005 passing, the surviving Voivod members subsequently set out to finish off these final tracks. And musically, Infini really is a tribute of sorts to Voivod's fallen guitarist, as his playing propels many of the songs throughout the album. Back in the '80s when most metal guitarists were busy shredding away and/or trying to "out thrash" the next guy, Piggy's jazz-oid guitar playing was a breath of fresh air amongst all the standard shredding/noodling going on at the time. And it was an instantly recognizable, signature style he pursued until the very end, as evidenced by such tracks as "Earthache" and "Global Warming." And on the album opening "God Phones," Infini sees Voivod focus more on "the metal" rather than "the prog" (another style the group has been known to detour into). If Infini turns out to be the final Voivod album, then the group has gone out on a high note -- with help from one of metal's most underrated guitarists of all-time.

tags: voivod, infini, 2009, flac,

Voïvod - Target Earth (2013)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label Number: 8961-2

© 2013 Century Media
Truth be told, Target Earth was a make or break studio album for prog metal veterans Voivod. The band's last studio offering, 2009's INFINI, was assembled from the hard drive guitar parts of deceased guitarist (and chief songwriter) Denis "Piggy" D'Amour's. The live Warriors of Ice was the first to showcase new guitarist Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain; he did a fantastic job learning and playing Piggy's very difficult, angular parts. Writing and recording a new album that would live up to Voivod's reputation for innovation would seem to be a daunting task; but if it was, you'd never know it from hearing Target Earth. This is extreme, gnarly, experimental Voivod at their level best; the music is difficult, dramatic, and intense. The "blower bass" of Jean-Yves "Blacky" Theriault introduces the title track that opens the set. His trademark, the top distortion, is answered by Mongrain's chugging guitar riffs, Michel "Away" Langevin's double-kickdrum attack, and Denis "Snake" Belanger's snarling yet sung vocal. This track affirms from the gate that the band's progressive strangeness displayed in the classic Dimension Hatröss/Nothingface era remains an intrinsic element in their band chemistry and musical strategy. (There are even some razor-wire jazz chords tossed in the bridge.) But Voivod haven't given up thrash in their arsenal. "Kluscap Okom" gives listeners that in spades; it's all assault. "Mechanical Mind" is the set's complete mindblower. Packed into seven-and-a-half minutes are so many riffs, time changes, harmonic inversions, and sheer dynamic weirdness, it's a mind melt to realize that there's a furious thrash attack to match the knotty prog. "Keidos," with its punk rock intro, is a showcase for Belanger's mid-range growl and vamps from Mongrain. When Voivod slows things down as they do on "Empathy for the Enemy," the result is still completely engaging due to its odd tonalities and harmonics. The "Artefact" opens atmospherically before Langevin starts first double-timing, then triple-timing the band. The track shifts mode, time signature, key, and cadence no less than four times. Older fans can breathe a sigh of relief: Target Earth is not only better than we had any right to expect, it's relentlessly creative, inspired, and manic.

tags: voivod, target earth, 2013, flac,

September 17, 2021

Bob Mould - Body of Song (2005)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: YEP 2091
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 2005 Yep Roc Records
Body of Song Review by Mark Deming
In 1998, after the release of his album The Last Dog and Pony Show, Bob Mould announced he was hanging up his electric guitar and exploring other musical avenues outside of rock & roll. More than a few fans expressed some trepidation about Mould's career choice, and that buzz became a roar after Mould released Modulate in 2002, which found him diving head first into electronic music. At least in America, the vast majority of rock fans have not been able to come to terms with the rise of electronica, and regardless of the album's virtues or flaws, few listeners were willing to look past the hard, kinetic surfaces of the music and give the songs a fair hearing. It would appear this prejudice did not escape Mould's notice, as 2005's Body of Song was widely hyped as Mould's return to rock, complete with electric guitars and a live rhythm section. But a spin of the album suggests the album isn't so much a step back to the sound he pioneered in Hüsker Dü and Sugar as an attempt to have things both ways. (The fact that Mould spins regularly at a dance club in Washington, D.C., suggests he hasn't lost interest in electronic music as a creative form.) Many of the cuts on Body of Song sound as if Mould is still thinking club music, but is filtering it through the framework of a three-piece rock band; "(Shine Your) Light Love Hope," "Always Tomorrow," and "I Am Vision, I Am Sound" are dominated by echoed textures, lockstep rhythms, and vocoder-processed vocals that wouldn't be out of place on a house track, but with a live drummer (Brendan Canty from Fugazi on most tracks, who is predictably excellent) and Mould adding a layer of guitar over the top. And while Mould frequently bellows his lyrics with an approximation of the fury of his best-known work, most of the songs on Body of Song deal with deeply problematic relationships and on paper speak more of sorrow, confusion, and misplaced hope than the rage suggested by the bitter wailing he uses to bring them across. Body of Song ultimately feels more like an attempt by Mould to please both his audience and himself than a coherent and confident effort; while it's hardly a failure, it lacks the courage of the admittedly flawed Modulate while falling short of the power of his masterpieces with Sugar and Hüsker Dü, existing in a strange middle ground that doesn't do this talented artist many favors, though there's enough emotional resonance in quieter tunes such as "High Fidelity" and "Gauze of Friendship" to remind you he still has plenty to offer when he knows where he's going.

tags: bob mould, body of song, 2005, flac,

Burn Season - Burn Season (2005)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Post Grunge
Label Number: 874007000628
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 2005 Bieler Bros. Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: burn season, burn season album, 2005, flac,

Diana King - Think Like a Girl (1997)

*Canadian pressing. 
Contains 13 tracks total. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: Jamaica
Language: English, Jamaican Patois
Genre: R&B
Label Number: OK 67959
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 1997 Work
Think Like a Girl Review by Jose F. Promis
Diana King's sophomore outing Think Like a Girl is a well-crafted, diverse set of soul/pop/reggae that merited much more attention it received. The album contains several ultra catchy songs that have hit written all over them, namely the infectious title track and "Wicked." King is also an extremely earnest and sincere singer, and nowhere is that more evident than on the album's 30-second a cappella interlude "Mi Coffee." On some tunes, such as "Love Yourself" and the single "L-L-Lies," King sings in her trademark, powerful reggae style. On others, such as her sexy and breathy remake of Culture Club's classic "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Find My Way Back," King's performance is more traditional and subdued, yet just as effective. The album did spawn one Top 40 hit with her excellent, driving remake of "I Say a Little Prayer," which also became one of the year's biggest dance hits. Think Like a Girl does tend to wane towards the end, but, overall, this is a surprisingly well-crafted and engaging set, and only hints at what is to come for the talented and extremely photogenic Diana King.

tags: diana king, think like a girl, 1997, flac,

Ultramagnetic MC's - The Four Horsemen (1994)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: CDP-589917 (Club Edition)
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 1993 Wild Pitch Records
The Four Horsemen Review by John Bush
Ultramagnetic's final album featured the foursome trying to balance Kool Keith's bizarro battle raps with the kinds of beats and rhymes that would put them in company with other East Coast groups like Gang Starr or EPMD. Surprisingly, The Four Horsemen was largely a live album, with a studio band attempting to reconstruct the classic hip-hop structure. Unfortunately, most of the results were muddy productions with little more than a stray brass line or two over the drummer's pedestrian East Coast beats. Only the opener, an instant classic named "We Are the Horsemen," approached the eccentric but head-nodding genius of their early material, though a few other tracks did feature interesting ideas: "Saga of Dandy, the Devil & Day" took a look at black baseball. Most of the other tracks should've been delegated to demo territory, with Kool Keith often reduced to endless repetitions of banal, baffling lines like this gem: "See that man on the street?/Who's at the corner, yeah!"

* Due to past abuse, comments for the Hip-Hop section have been disabled.

- Use this page to report a broken link in this post -


tags: ultramagnetic mcs, the four horsemen, 1994, flac

Ultramagnetic MC's - The Best Kept Secret (2007)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: DMT88014-2
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 2007 DMAFT Records
The Best Kept Secret Review by David Jeffries
The revived 2007 edition of the Ultramagnetic MC's finds Tim Dog gone, Ced-Gee woefully out of practice, and TR Love on the cover but barely on the album. There are some new members you need not worry about, and as far as Kool Keith, he's excited and inspired for the most part, which is strange because his surroundings give him no reason to be. Minus Moe Luv's eerie work on "Mechanism Nice (Born Twice)" Best Kept Secret's production sounds cheap in a way that's neither purposeful nor charming. Even worse are Ced-Gee's rhymes, which are either standard bragging or extra sleazy (his work on "Ain't It Good to You" amounts to nothing but a series of R. Kelly clichés strung together). Problem is, there are some grand Kool Keith moments scattered among all this mediocrity, and when he rhymes about Keyshia Cole in the bathroom or drops his great new alias "Underwear Pissy," it's easy to remember why his complete disregard for quality control is forgiven so often. Still, this secret should have remained so -- especially when the legendary Ultramagnetic name is at stake -- and there's no reason anyone but the completist should care about such an underwhelming effort.

* Due to past abuse, comments for the Hip-Hop section have been disabled.

- Use this page to report a broken link in this post -


tags: ultramagnetic mcs, the best kept secret, 2007, flac,

Grand Agent - By Design (2001)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: GAP072CD
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 2001 Groove Attack Productions/Superrappin'
By Design Review by Brad Mills
The first few years of the new millennium saw underground rap artists popping up all over the place, with many standing out with real lyrical gifts and strong followings. Grand Agent wisely used his first album to make a serious impression on the hip-hop community, bringing forth a mainly solo album with some powerful guest performances by AG of DITC and Planet Asia from the Cali Agents. Through 13 tracks and two intros, it's difficult to pick out a weak song, although the female choir hook on "King Me" is quite annoying. As a side note, he's also featured on DJ M-Boogie's Laid in Full Chapter 2, also released in 2001 with his "Patience" collaboration with DJ Revolution.

* Due to past abuse, comments for the Hip-Hop section have been disabled.

- Use this page to report a broken link in this post -


tags: grand agent, by design, 2001, flac,

Ednaswap - Ednaswap (1995)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Post Grunge
Label Number: 61750-2
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 1995 EastWest Records America
Ednaswap Review by Tom Demalon
This self-titled debut by the Los Angeles band Ednaswap was the result of their apparently unpleasant time signed to East/West Records. Fortunately, they managed to turn out a relatively strong record, which hints at the band's potential, if not often fulfilling it. Ednaswap was produced by the band's guitarist Scott Cutler and Matt Hyde with lead singer Anne Preven handling the writing chores. Preven has a powerful, raspy voice that is akin to Melissa Etheridge but manages to keep the histrionics at a minimum. Guitarists Cutler and Rusty Anderson are talented assets, with their playing ranging from melodic and fluid to jagged and snarling, sometimes within the same song. Their sound is firmly alternative rock that is best exemplified by "Ted and Joe," a tale of AIDS with simmering vocals by Preven, and "Therapy," which is a wry take on the process delivered in an enraged rant. "Torn," later a massive, world-wide smash for Natalie Imbruglia, is raw and riveting and reveals its potential, and "The Goodnight Moon" is a lovely, wistful return to a childhood bedroom. The major downfall of the record is not intent, energy, or delivery. Rather, it is a lack of memorable hooks.

tags: ednaswap, ednaswap album, 1995, flac,

Ednaswap - Wacko Magneto (1997)


Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Post Grunge
Label Number: 314-524 328-2
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile


© 1997 Island Records
Wacko Magneto Review by Jason Ankeny
Had things worked out differently, Wacko Magneto might have been Ednaswap's commercial breakthrough; hard-edged and tough-minded, its smart combination of metal textures, punk intensity, and alt-rock melodicism seemed an ideal fit for modern rock radio circa 1997. Instead, the record went nowhere, becoming something of a curiosity only when singer Natalie Imbruglia scored a smash hit with a feather-light pop rendition of the album's primal-scream centerpiece "Torn." Listeners expecting Wacko Magneto to offer anything even remotely close to Imbruglia's smooth dance-pop approach are in for a rude awakening, however; vocalist Anne Previn owes much more to the gritty swagger of Chrissie Hynde, while tracks like "Clown Show" and "Chordomatic" seethe with anger and energy.

tags: ednaswap, wacko magento, 1997, flac,