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Hot Hot Heat, Rock Star Supernova, Punker AC/DC, U2 and more U2

Hot Hot Heat – Scenes One Through Thirteen

I’m a fan of this band, and having never heard this record (I know!), I was totally pleased with what I heard. It’s equal parts garage rock and punk, like the Pixies met Big Black and they went all out on the shaky limb of an experimental art-noise freak out. Holy shit, every song here rocks completely. I absolutely loved this!

Rock Star Supernova

This is apparently the result of some TV show of the same name wherein Jason Newsted, Tommy Lee and Gilby Clarke were trying out new singers and choosing one like some messed up American Idol competition. However it came about, I say the same about this record as I did about Newsted’s other solo effort, Echobrain. It would have been an absolutely huge record… had it been released a full decade earlier. Largely derivative of that mid-90’s sound, it seems really, really dated for a 2006 release. Whatever, I enjoyed the opportunity to hear this.

A Punk Rock Tribute To AC/DC

It’s an interesting time for this record to wash up on my shores, given how I’ve been hearing a lot of AC/DC through the next batch in the Favourites project (coming soon!), so to hear other people attempt the tracks is fun, indeed. At least some of the bands here are new to me, and they didn’t always pick the usual tracks, which makes a nice mix. Interesting that there’s no Thunderstruck… Then again, the Dwarves chose Big Balls. Haha. Of course they did.

A lot of the tracks here, of course, fall well short of the originals. That said, the Angry Samoans turn in a credible Highway To Hell, and Dayglo Abortions speed up The Jack in a satisfying way. Flipper nailed it on the head when the guy says “This song goes on far too long,” and maybe the most punk of them all was Dr. Know’s Rock ‘N Roll Damnation. But a lot of these tracks are really incredibly bad, by bands you’ll likely never hear of again… which makes this record a total gem! Stepping back and trying to describe what’s here, it sounds like covers night at some open mic bar on the wrong side of the tracks got crashed by a bunch of drunk punkers. Nice one.

U2 – Go Home – Live At Slane Castle

We all know by now that U2 has me torn. There’s a warm place in my musical nostalgia for the more raw, youthfully creative U2. The past twenty years, though, have largely been repetitive and boring. This live video is fun enough to watch, since these guys have been doing the same thing for so long that at least they’ve got the Please The Crowd schtick fully ingrained. The show takes place on their home turf and in front of the most forgiving audience any band could ever hope for in their wettest dreams. Bono could have walked around that little runway farting for an hour and people would have called it innovative. I just wish the new songs weren’t such poor imitations of the power that came before. Sigh.

U2 – Rattle And Hum

Now this is what I’m talking about. This video companion to the record of the same name has personality, verve, and energy. It’s well-filmed, fast-moving and interesting. It’s the one I’d recommend to you if you wanted to see U2 in its prime. Just bear in mind, it’s a postcard from the precipice (from the Edge, if you will). It was all downhill from here.

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