Sci-fi Synth Rock Mega-Review: Zombi, Majeure, and Maserati

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Three bands. Three new albums. All synth rock, all day.

I called it. I called it early and I called it well: 2015 has indeed been the Year of Sci-Fi Synth Rock. So far, we have seen releases from the legendary John Carpenter (his first solely musical venture), GosT, Dan Terminus, No Spill Blood, Disasterpiece (with the fantastic It Follows OST), several releases by synth-lord Steve Moore, and none other than the genre forefathers Goblin (under the guise of Goblin Rebirth). Needless to say, it has been a very exciting year for sci-fi synth rock, one that will most likely be looked upon as a defining moment for the genre since its reemergence from decades-long obscurity.

To mark the occasion, I have compiled a mega review of three releases by bands that are crucial to the genre — all three of which have released albums in the past month. Each of the albums presented here span the scope of the sci-fi synth rock genre: from sprawling retro-futuristic soundscapes to progressive-minded cyber jams to spacey post-human-rock.  If any of this intrigues/interests/arouses you, then read on.

First up is Zombi’s Shape Shift, which ends a four year absence of new material. Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra team up once again to co-produce a full length collection of dark grooves that are distinct from the artists’ varied solo projects. On the whole, Shape Shift is, as cliched as the concept tends to be, a “getting back to basics” record. The eleven tracks on display share far more with 2006’s Surface to Air than 2011’s Escape Velocity. For those unfamiliar with the band’s previous output, Shape Shift represents a return to a stripped down and bare bones approach, more representative of their two piece live-show and earlier sound than the denser meandering ambiences of more recent albums.  This approach foregoes expansive synth layers and cinematic scope in favor of indulging in simpler arpeggiated passages augmented by minimalist leads (“Diffraction Zones”).

zombi-600

Moore and Paterra

This clear stylistic shift will definitely bring back a number of fans who may have faded away with the more recent releases; however, I had a difficult time adjusting to this throwback sound, despite my love of their earlier material. The album-wide reliance on effected bass guitar (an element that had been absent from their core sound for quite a few years) can be, at times, too much.  It is as if the excitement at the rediscovery of the instrument overrides an effective integration into the songwriting. Listen to “Mission Creep” for the most egregious abuse of the bass line in the genre. In addition, Shape Shift’s production is outstanding: tight, punchy, and modern; but one tends to miss the huge, cinematic spaces that previous albums emphasized. It is not gone completely, but it is noticeably restrained, leaving one with the impression that they are in the live room with the duo rather than floating into a new dimension of time and space with the band.

But for all of my pains in readjusting to the throwback sound of what I consider one of my all-time favorite synth rock groups, there is still a lot of on Shape Shift. The final act of the album, comprising the last three tracks (“Shadow Hand,” “Metaverse,” “Siberia II”), is crucial listening. The sheer amount of prog swagger on display in those tracks is impressive: it would be hard — nigh impossible — not to nod along to some of these laid-back grooves as you cruise along a desert highway at night.

Despite my reservations, Zombi’s Shape Shift is a solid entry in the band’s already fantastic catalog. The minimalist throwback style may not necessarily increase replay value, for me at least, but it certainly bodes well for the future of the band as a two-piece live unit. As such, it just increases my seething jealousy of those of you who saw them perform at this year’s just-wrapped Housecore Horror fest (looking at you, San Antonio people).

3.5 / 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

NEW_TOILETSCALE_3-5_of_5

*****

Next up is Majeure’s Union of Worlds. Majeure is the side project of Zombi’s drum maestro, AE Paterra; it is distinct from Zombi in a number of ways, notably the lack of acoustic percussion, yet it is still rooted firmly in the synth rock tradition. The core sound tends to indulge less in the Zombi-esque prog rock and more so in the ambient or sound design aspects of the genre, bringing back that crucial element of big spaces and vastness. For this release, Paterra relinquishes the drum throne and sits instead in front of his collection of vintage analog synths, arps, drum machines, samplers, and other retro-futuristic classics that made their musical debut several decades ago. The result is a lengthy LP of oscillating sound and rhythmic repetition in the vein of John Carpenter’s early experiments with modular synthesis and programming, a now reemerging musical trend that seems to be the nostalgic crowd’s response to EDM. But what sets Majeure apart from the general spate of trendy ambient projects that seem to saturate the genre at large today is the commitment to era displacement: from the instrumentation to the artwork and format presentation, Paterra really drives home, in all aspects, the idea that Union of Worlds could in fact be a lost album from the 1980’s. In fact, I bought into the gimmick immediately by purchasing one of the limited edition cassettes that coincided with the digital release. Now, if only I can find my old-ass tape player.

0005898655_10

As to the quality of the sounds therein, Union of Worlds is not a very engaging listen. In fact, I suspect that the tune-in-and-drop-out philosophy of ambient sound design is a big part of Paterra’s MO here. “Appalachian Winter Blues” is symptomatic of this mindset, as it seems to meander along a singular, unsettling analog lead line throughout the song’s nine minute running time without resolution or perception of a pay-off, as listeners of more traditional music might term it. “Physis,” with its aggressive drum machine pounding and urgent arpeggios, is a unique standout from the rest of the laid-back material on the record, but it locks into familiar groove that, while seemingly adding dynamic layers of intensity, really does not go anywhere in the end.

While I like the album, it is certainly not something I will reach for often. This being said, it certainly has its place in the contemporary sci-fi synth rock pantheon. It is an entirely introspective affair that potentially shows signs of a man just noodling around with his beloved collection of analog gear from a bygone era of electronic music production. However, it is this genuine love for the craft and for the genre that is expressed therein that makes it a worthwhile venture. Ultimately, while not entirely impressed by the album on the whole, it is an adequate entry in the Majeure discography meant for those interested in long spacewalks on some cosmic beach.

3 / 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

NEW_TOILETSCALE_3_of_5

*****

Maserati are back with a new full length of their signature brand of post-human-rock. Rehumanizer is an excellent surprise amid a year of releases that all tend to emphasize their “dark” or “heavy” qualities above all else; the album’s throwback disco grooves certainly suggest a lighter, or perhaps more optimistic, worldview. Whatever the tonal intentions may be, Rehumanizer is a clear indicator of a band embracing their veteran status and having fun with their tunes.

msrt

Maserati

For the most part, Maserati’s formula of riding a riff or melodic theme throughout a song serves them very well on Rehumanizer.  Songs like “End of Man” and “Montes Jura” showcase the trance-inducing grooves that the band is renowned for with a confident swagger. I say “for the most part” only because the final two songs — the “Rehumanizer” suite — indulge in the motif a little too much (i.e. the reoccurring muted guitars above the backbeat in both songs). I can also sympathize with those who might get a bit tired of the heavily effected guitar lines in every track: the delayed guitars tie the tracks together thematically, but tend to be derivative to the point where listeners may find it difficult to distinguish one song’s guitar lead from another. One could also justifiably accuse the album of being a little too light in its content, constituting an EP instead of a full length, but the quality craftsmanship and production of the songs themselves really do make up for the lack of more diverse material like on previous records.

Despite the minor songwriting glitches, Maserati have crafted an album that I would consider to be an apex achievement in the seamless blending of synth elements into a post-rock sound that is neither forlorn nor tragic (as most post-rock is) and instead emphasizes the “rock”. Rehumanizer’s faux-retro and throwback sci-fi presentation triggers a crucial element of my consciousness upon listening — one that hearkens back to all of the science VHS’s I watched as a kid. You know, the ones with the very distinct synth logo-tones and soundtracks. Rehumanizer immediately recalls bad science fiction from the 80’s and front screen projection, walls of synthesizers and black light cosmos posters.  It’s not always great to dwell in nostalgia, but Maserati makes it all worthwhile.

It may be more of a “feel thing,” for me rather than a hard, objective look at the band’s newest effort, but I assure you, Rehumanizer is fun as hell and has some killer tracks that’ll send you into your own retro-futuristic utopia too.

4 / 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell 

NEW_TOILETSCALE_4_of_5

October was a defining month, but 2015 is not over yet. We shall see what else the Year of Sci-Fi Synth Rock has in store…

(Photo Via, Via, Via)

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  • Saw Zombi last week. They were really, really good.

    • Old Man Doom

      Fuckin’ jealous…

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Nice! I’ve got a kinda-similar post in the works.

    • Vote for Jeb

      Toilet ov Robits

    • Old Man Doom

      I eagerly await it, cyborg friendo.

      • CyberneticOrganism
        • Óðinn

          Creepy looking dude, but overrated film. It was okay, just not as great at the hype.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Disagree, I thought it was fucking fantastic.

          • Óðinn

            I respect your opinion.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            And I yours. *respectful high five*

          • Óðinn

            *respectful high five*

  • Also: “Falming Toilets ov Hell” sounds like something you’d get at Ikea.

  • ┼yree
  • Waynecro

    Not my kind of jams, but some of the songs were OK. Great article, though!

    • Old Man Doom

      Thanks. Understandably, these kinds of throwback tunes are not for everyone.

      • Waynecro

        My attention span is just too limited for some types of music.

      • you hit the nail on the head with ‘Physis’ on Union of Worlds. song had me pumped, and the rest was blech

        • Old Man Doom

          Honestly, Moore and Paterra do their best work together instead of separately.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Also released this year(one of my top albums of 2015), the soundtrack to Phase IV(1974) which has never been officially released until now.

    https://soundcloud.com/tags/phase%20iv

    • Old Man Doom

      I want to pick it up. My friendly local record store has a copy, but I find it difficult to spend $40 on one vinyl.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Yeah, I won’t be doing that. I’ll stick with Soundcloud on this one unless I hit Megabucks or somesuch.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    BREAKING GNUS: High On Fire just announced a 2016 tour and they’re playing Boston on my birthday!!!

    http://action-pr.com/featured/high-on-fire-to-join-2016-decibel-magazine-tour-lineup-dates-announced/

    • Maik Beninton™

      Fuck yeah dude!

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        On my birthday even! Not the day before or after, but on the actual day. How fucking cool is that?

  • Some of this reminds me of the music from the Drive soundtrack. Just need a badass scorpion jacket and you’re all set.

  • ┼yree
  • Guppusmaximus

    I dunno… To me, this stuff is still just gimmicky. It sounds either rushed or the ideas don’t have enough layers to compound upon. It’s like there’s no tension & release – no reward. Just my .02

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-1p6RhGTp8

    • it makes good working music for me. sometimes the merol has too many riffs and it distracts. (great song too, bby)

      • Guppusmaximus

        Agreed…I just whip out the New Wave from the 80s for that purpose. I mean, this stuff isn’t terrible. I’d rather listen to Zombi than any of the pop shit like Swift. It’s just easier for me to pop in a CD from from Rush’s 80s era…

        • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

          *listens to the rumble and growl of Joe’s jimmies as you insult Tay Tay*

      • It’s hard to keep your eyes on the computer monitor when you’re windmilling like a motherfucker, right?

    • ┼yree

      I got this album including a bunch of other really terrible 80’s pop records at a flee market for like 25 cents each. It’s super cheese ball. If I ever have an 80’s themed party this will certainly be resurrected for sure.

      • Guppusmaximus

        Yea, the Mr. Mister album was pretty awful except for the two hits. I also like Flock of Seagulls (cheese central). However, for me, it seemed like they were excited to try a bunch of different ideas which is lacking from this retro stuff.

        • ┼yree

          The 80’s were an interesting time for music.

          • i wonder if the internet is going to do away with things happening in waves, like massive trends in music/movies/whatever

          • ┼yree

            That’s a good point. No idea, but I see where you are coming from with that.

          • Guppusmaximus

            So far, it’s exploded a bunch of Nostalgia (lack of better words)

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Not as long as stupid dog/cat/baby tricks videos exist on Youtube. Those trends are eternal.

          • Max

            I certainly believe that the internet has prolonged the nostalgia cycles.

            As I understand it, there was a lot of ’50s nostalgia in the ’70s, with shows like Happy Days, and Grease for example. In the ’80s, I remember there was a lot of ’60s nostalgia (films set in ‘Nam, etc.). In the ’90s, there was a shit-ton of ’70s nostalgia in movies and music. And in the ’00s, the ’80s revivalism picked up. So in every case it seemed to be a reliable twenty-year time-lag.

            What’s different now is that we’re already in the 2010s and not only has the ’80s revivalism not gone away yet, but the ’70s revivalism hasn’t even really quite died out either. Plus, there are even still pockets of ’50s and ’60s nostaliga floating around too. With young people having more access to the past than just their dads’ record collections or their mother’s old clothes, it seems that ideas hang around for longer.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Cyclical garbage.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yea, I grew up listening to 80s New Wave & Pop, so, it’s just more enjoyable, to me, than Modern Pop or any rehashed stuff.

          • ┼yree

            Oh for sure! I’d rather listen to 80’s cheese pop than modern pop. Got to love that cheeze.

          • Guppusmaximus

            I like to think of it as a finely aged cheese *smirk*

          • ┼yree
          • ┼yree

            Christ, this song is so fucked. Haha!

          • Guppusmaximus

            Well, maybe just aged..
            {not this song though}
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZv7amQjB00

          • ┼yree

            This shit brings me back to when my parents would play Pop Up Video in the 90’s. All of these songs were featured. …And yes, Pop Up Video was once a thing.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Dude, I loved Pop Up Video on VH1!!

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Gah, now I feel old at 34, having remembered growing up with that show.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Their absolute worst song. Let me fix that for you!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0T3FFrHtLE

          • Óðinn

            I was hating this until the “cowgirl” appeared and then Lemmy appeared. Lemmy is in this, so by default, it’s good (even if a lot of it is not).

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Velveeta.

            Sorry.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Come on…This song was damn good
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXfc7VMyj94

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Good at making me want to pierce my eardrums with kebob skewers.

            Sorry, my friend, but 80s synth pop was the bane of my teenage years. One person’s Merlot is another person’s antifreeze.

          • Guppusmaximus

            I can appreciate that…some antifreeze looks like it might taste juicy 😛

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            It’s tastes great to cats and dogs before it kills them. ^_^

          • Guppusmaximus

            That’s depressing and a good reminder to keep it away from my animals. Funny how nature makes poisonous shit taste terrible but mankind makes it taste amazing…hmmm

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Ah, I’m glad I mentioned it then. It’s a good thing to know if you have pets and a car.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yea, I don’t let my pets near anything other than Frisky treats & Blue Buffalo food and the occasional catnip.

          • more beer

            They have been putting a bittering agent in for about the last 15 years. So that peoples pets won`t drink it.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Really? Good.

          • more beer

            Yea the manufacturers were getting a lot of complaints about dead pets.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Works great for population control at petting zoos.

          • ┼yree

            It’s so bad. The 80’s brought us some fucking terrible music. I just enjoy laughing at it is all. Sort of just fun.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Oh sure, the 80s aren’t exempt but nothing beats the majority of 80s Pop & New Wave imho. Personally, I think 2015 beats the entire decade in terms of fucking terrible…But, I’m old. NOW GET OFF MY FUCKING LAWN!! lol

          • ┼yree

            Haha! Nah, that’s not what I meant. I grew up listening to a lot of 80’s pop/rock becouse of my parents. I have a soft spot for some of it, but I do find it laughably terrible now too. It does have that charm though.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Do I want to know how old your parents are? Yea, it’s definitely a bias that brings it close to my heart but, again imho, there is just a lot of material from that time that can’t be beat. I don’t get offended if people make fun of it though. The stuff that seems to stick around isn’t necessarily the stuff I like either

          • ┼yree

            My parents are both 50 and 52.

            Oh, a lot of the 80’s music did NOT age very good. Some of it did though. No denying that.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Great Maker. Your parents are only 2-4 years older than me.

            http://image.toutlecine.com/photos/l/i/t/little-big-man-1970-08-g.jpg

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            No Toilet For Old Men

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Get off my lawn, friendo.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril
          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            You old son of a bitch!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I don’t have a primary care doctor, I have an archaeologist.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Zing…..

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Mom was/is big on Soul, R&B, Doo Wop, and 60s Rock. She’s where I got my first Zeppelin and T.Rex albums from.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I get it. It’s just that I actually had to live through the 80s and dealt with people who would say things like “Ugh, that music you like is horrible. Why can’t you listen to good stuff like Culture Club and The Thompson Twins? You know, normal music” and then I would be advised to get a haircut.

          • Guppusmaximus

            So true… Don’t get me wrong. By no means does Men at Work come close to DIO or Maiden.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Christopher Eccleston reminds me a lot of younger Colin Hay.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I have all the Men At Work albums.

          • Max

            That’s exactly why I can’t listen to Tool and the Smashing Pumpkins, now I think about it.

            Metal: Monopolizing Odd Man Out Status, one decade at a time.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I like a couple Pumpkins songs. I can take or leave SP, but we’ll have to agree to disagree bigtime on Tool. Looking forward to their tour in January.

          • Max

            Well, I really just picked those two names out of an “All the Rage During the ’90s” type hat to illustrate my parallel with your Culture Club/Thompson Twins. (They weren’t my favourites in the ’80s, either, I must say.)

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I was just happy that harder music got popular again.

          • Max

            And more organic-sounding, I’ll wager. THANK YOU ANDY WALLACE, even though RICK RUBIN TAKES ALL THE CREDIT.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I give Rubin credit for the late 80s Slayer sound and being one of the masterminds behind Def Jam, but that’s about it.

          • Max

            Well, those Slayer albums were engineered by Andy Wallace; so he’s the one that should really take credit for it in my book. On the strength of that he also went on to mix Nevermind and a bunch of notable ’90s alt rock; so he’s pretty much the “sound of the ’90s” in the same way that Bob Clearmountain was the sound of the ’80s, or Roger Nicholls (Steely Dan, etc.) was the sound of the ’70s.

            Rick Rubin just pokes his head around the control room door occasionally and intones “Yeah, groovy. I’m a Bhuddist vegetarian.”

          • he mixed Three Dollar Bill, Y’all, so to me he’s a goddamned american treasure

          • KJM, Shake Zula
          • Max

            That is actually quite a well-mixed record, whatever anyone may say about the music.

          • Óðinn

            It was right about that time when he lost all credibility.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            A lot of 70’s artists did copy Steely Dan but a lot of them did their own thing. There wasn’t really a specific sound of the 70’s in my opinion due to the existence of so many different kinds of sounds.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Agreed.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Heck , you could argue that Eddie Kramer was the sound of the 70s.

          • Max

            Yes there was! The dryness! The quintessential “cardboard box with tea-towel draped over it” snare drum sound! It was as essential to ’70s rock as the “piccolo biscuit tin” is to brutal slamz-death.

            The total DRY.

          • Óðinn

            You grew up in the 1990s. Did you ever listen to Tool? 😉

          • Max

            Nah, I couldn’t understand the hype. Before I got into metal, I did listen to plenty of what is now called “alternative rock” – Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Soundgarden, Mudhoney. By the time Nirvana made it big, I was already tiring of that and looking for something more cutting-edge (which I found in death metal); so I didn’t have any time for the second wave of alt. rock spearheaded by the likes of Pearl Jam. There’s a lot of bands from that era like Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, and Nine Inch Nails that everybody swears by, but which I just honestly never rated.

          • Óðinn

            I could never really get into Dinosaur Jr or Sonic Youth that much. Too boring. I was into Mudhoney, Green River, Nirvana, Mother Love Bone, Melvins, and Soundgarden though. Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction, and Ministry too. And of course, Death Metal too. Most real Metal fans were into Death Metal. Tool was/is good, but first got noticed around ’92 with the Opiate EP. The first Pearl Jam was okay, but I haven’t really followed their career. Stone Temple Pilots was part of that second wave of Grunge (fake grunge), along with Silverchair and Candlebox. They were always shit. And Hair Metal, of course, was always pure shit too.

          • Max

            Jane’s Addiction were okay. So was Ministry. To this day I maintain that Mudhoney is the best band I’ve ever seen live. Maybe I was just young and impressionable and plus they were my favourite band at one point; but I really got into it.

            But as soon as I got into death metal I rapidly left all that alternative stuff behind. Yes, it was obviously way better than hair metal (and it was also way better than left-field pop-rock like the Smiths, The Cure and REM, which is what non-metal people made do with before it came along).

            But if you’re into finding stuff that’s as fast, heavy and distorted as possible, and you suddenly stumble upon a style of music which is literally twice as much of all those things, why wouldn’t you swap over? I wasn’t able to understand why more people didn’t, actually – until I realized that what most people were really after was accessible songwriting with a relatively inaccessible sound (which is why Nirvana made it big) rather than an inaccessible sound with equally inaccessible songwriting.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I also love the Fixx! They performed my area in October but I missed it. They still have the classic lineup too.

          • ┼yree

            There is a local band in my town called Velveeta. And yes, they play 80’s cheese Rock/Pop.

          • Óðinn
          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Ugh, destroying perfect good broccoli with that crap. Use real cheese!

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Am I noticing the huge clump that just fell amongst all that cheese?!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Yes, you are.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            It’s like that Velveeta just squeezed out a hard stool sample in the middle of it’s diarrhea.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Pours oh so smooth, except for that huge ass clump that fell in there. It’s Velveeta’s version of gagging up a hairball.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I also love A Flock Of Seagulls! Did I ever tell you the time my dad saw them with the Go Gos? My dad got AFOS booed offstage!

          • we have to meet this Dad. plz tell him to make a Disqus account and join us

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            My dad would never join.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            But he could talk to me about Doctor Who! Heck, he’s probably the same age as me.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Hes 50.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I’m 48, turnin’ 49 in April.

          • more beer

            JJD`s old man is my age.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Is that you, Abe Vigoda?!?

          • more beer

            Being old and being an antique are two different things.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Haha I’m just messing with ya. I’m gonna be 35 in a few months (on St. Patrick’s Day), so I have no room to talk about being old. *gawks at the local college girls and drops my dentures*

          • more beer

            St Patrick’s day is a good day for a birthday. If the local college girl you are gawking at has daddy issues. Being old can work out in your favor.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Often times, though, daddy issues means a whole lotta other issues. Hence, why I’d play a friendly game of Find Em, Fuck Em and Flee.

          • more beer

            That`s how I do it with those kind of chicks.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril
          • Óðinn

            Doctor Who? Yes, make him join. Is his favorite Doctor Tom Baker (4th Doctor)?

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Capaldi’s giving him a serious run for his money imo.

          • Óðinn

            True. I’m enjoying Capaldi. Tough for anyone to follow Baker. He’s so iconic.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I agree. I’ve been watching since the late 70s. Pertwee was my first Doctor.

          • Óðinn

            Baker for me. I’ve been periodically watching all the (existing) old episodes from the beginning for the last several months when I have time. I’m on Pertwee’s second season right now. I’m enjoying it.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I still remember wondering if this “Tom Baker” guy was gonna be any good. Heh.

          • Óðinn

            Haha. Spoiler alert, he was.

          • Óðinn

            I believe the full 4-episode DVD for The Underwater Menace has finally been released.

            http://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Who-The-Underwater-Menace/dp/B00KB614HQ?tag=duckduckgo-osx-20

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Troughton has the most missing eps, such a shame.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Scary thing is, I remember that tour.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            My dad saw them at MSG. He was a giant fan of the Go Go’s but he hated AFOS. I love AFOS but am not a fan of the Go Gos.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I don’t mind “I Ran” so much, but that’s about it.

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            I loooooooooooove ‘Intergalactic Love Song’.

          • Óðinn

            They tried to run so far away, but they still got the beat from the Go-Go’s.

          • Óðinn

            ? And Iran, Iran’s so far away ? 😉

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Yep, that’s how we used to sing it!

          • Óðinn

            “Excuse me while I kiss this guy.” – Jimi Hendrix 😉

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            They paved paradise to poop on a fucking slut

            (what I thought Joni Mitchell was actually saying when I heard the song. PS, she sucks earthworm colons).

          • Óðinn

            Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche…

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            …the girl with colitis goes byyyy…

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            Another cornhole in the night……..

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    • KJM, Shake Zula
    • Old Man Doom

      It’s totally gimmicky and depends completely on whether you can appreciate it or not. I will admit that some of the stuff in the review is definitely not these guys’ best work by far.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I love these guys!

  • Vote for Jeb

    Maserati was pretty cool

  • Max

    Toilet ov Hell: Smiting Vince Neilstein’s Synth-Wave Sundays in one fell swoop!

    I get off on a lot of this stuff since I spent the ’80s being aged 6 to 14 and the movie soundtracks are all written into my DNA. But I do find that I tend to go for individual songs rather than whole albums of it. One day I’ll have to trawl through a massive pile of recommendations and make the ultimate 3-hour mixtape.

    Of course, some of this stuff is actually more ’80s than the ’80s was, sound-wise. The first drum machine I ever obtained was a BOSS Dr. Rhythm 220A – released in 1986 – and I gotta tell ya, it didn’t sound ANYTHING like typical ’80s percussion. It didn’t even have any reverb on it!

    I also find it interesting that on YouTube, there’s like, a dozen metal covers of “True Survivor.” In a way, the ultimate synthwave records are Judas Priest’s Turbo, ZZ Top’s Afterburner; and the ultimate synthwave song is Van Halen’s “I’ll Wait.” In a way.

    Somebody needs to start a synthwave band called Junk Bond.

    • BEARD-SPLITTER

      Id still love to have an 808

      • Max

        Most of the 808 sounds are freely available on every Roland and BOSS drum machine that was subsequently put to market – not to mention a hundred software versions, of course. I later obtained both a Dr Rhythm 550 and a 660, and they both had ’em – and most of the 909 sounds too. In fact, they’re such basic sounds, it’s not impossible to simply generate them yourself in the digital domain using any decent wave-shaping/noise-generating program.

        Sure, people are always gonna say “It’s not quite the same as the original, blah, blah” but could they honestly tell the difference in a blind test, let alone within the mix of an actual song?

        Now I think about it, while I owned both those drum machines I probably should have analysed, say, the 808 kick drum sound on each just to hear if there WAS any discrepancy. Fun exercise for a nerd like me.

        What I used to like to do on the 660 was program a whole kit of 808 kicks each pitched to a different semitone. Run that through a distorted guitar amp and you’d get a really cool bassline sound.

        • BEARD-SPLITTER

          Im not even close to a connoiseur on drum machines, so you just blew my mind.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Ever since Ash Vs Evil Dead premiered, I can’t stop listening to Deep Purple. I’ve always been a fan but this is another level.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNQKf-JIPVI

  • BEARD-SPLITTER

    About to start Robin Hobbs Soldier Son trilogy. Finishing the three of these should put me over the 20 novel mark for the year.

    • Vote for Jeb

      When I was single, I had a goal to finish 52 books one year. I think I read around 20. Kudos to you!

      • BEARD-SPLITTER

        52 seems almost unattainable. In the twenties is where i usually like to get.

        Kudos to you, pres!

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          Quitting tobacco has destroyed my attention span. I used to read 2 books at a time depending on my mood, now it’s all I can do to focus on one. : (

          • BEARD-SPLITTER

            Thats crazy, reading keeps me from smoking, if anything. Being able to delve into something like that (vidya, too)

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I’d go through pack after pack reading stuff like Robert Anton Wilson, Phillip K Dick, and Lovecraft to name but a few.

          • BEARD-SPLITTER

            Yeah. I tend to try and find a good writer and blast thru his/her bibliography

        • Vote for Jeb

          I haven’t read as much this year as I’d normally like. I work two jobs and do other social/volunteer stuff, so I typically only have enough time to focus on one or two leisurely pursuits. Lately it’s been watching Arrow with the wife.

          • BEARD-SPLITTER

            Alas, I am no humanitarian; the one job is enuff for me, too. McNulty told me he liked Arrow when i asked him ab it. Will it be enjoyable for someone who comic books not at all

          • Vote for Jeb

            I think so. I’m not big on DC comics, and I like it. My wife knows nothing about comics and really enjoys it.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Have you checked out Daredevil? The fight scenes alone are worth it.

          • BEARD-SPLITTER

            Im familiar with the . . . Lore . . . And then most of the characters from fighting games. Im just more of a high fantasy nerd.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I wasn’t even that big of a DD fan going in and I still loved it. Vincent D’onofrio kills it as Kingpin.

          • BEARD-SPLITTER

            I can believe dat. D’onofrio is the man. He was born and grew up down the road from here

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            He nails it. You go from feeling really sorry for him to wishing the most painful death possible on him within seconds.
            Also, Deborah Ann Woll. Hubba hubba.

          • Boss the “Philthy Animal” Ross

            Sounds about right. And thats what makes him an excellent character

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            So good. I’m also looking forward to binge watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones this weekend.

          • Boss the “Philthy Animal” Ross

            Ditto.

          • Óðinn

            Yeah, Daredevil has been quite good.

      • Vault Dweller

        My record: 76 books in a year. Most were novels. Don’t fret; I was in prison and had few other recreational-time choices!

  • Boss the “Philthy Animal” Ross

    That Maserati cover is pretty cool. Music is cool too.

    • Old Man Doom

      Apparently they reached out to a pretty famous sci-fi artist from the 60’s to use this print as the cover art. I don’t have the link to the story/interview, but it was pretty cool to hear.

      • Boss the “Philthy Animal” Ross

        I will look into this.

      • Boss the “Philthy Animal” Ross

        John Harris is his name, and his art is phenomenal. I love that Sci Fi landscape style

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    • BEARD-SPLITTER

      Bro, you might wanna calm down

      • Boss the “Philthy Animal” Ross

        He’s having fun. The Tool is throwing me off though. Everything else kinda made sense together

      • Óðinn

        Sorry, BEARD-SPLITTER. Just having fun listening to old music.

        • BEARD-SPLITTER

          You could reply to yourself so its collapsable, rather than new threads

          • Óðinn

            Okay. Well, I’ve had enough fun today.

  • Óðinn
  • KJM, Shake Zula

    For once a Blabbermouth commenter makes a very good point imo. To wit, FFDP: No one seems to visibly like them. Comments about them on every Metal site are almost universally negative. Hard Rock isn’t really big with “the kids” these days, the band members are almost my age, and they’re not really the kind of Rock that would attract a big female following. Yet, they sell a fuckton of albums(relatively) and do well on the arena circuit.
    The question being: Who the hell are their fans?

    • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

      Check the blacklists of any Hooter’s, BDubs, or Tilted Kilt, and you’ll find your answer. That and the pieces of paper next to the cash registers and host stands that says “do not let these men inside”.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Yeah, as best I can figure their fans are people who listen mostly to regular radio, don’t internet all that much cos they’re not smart enough to find the “on” button, and spend most of their time getting drunk and fighting.

        • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

          What your typical FFDP fan’s day looks like (Photo Chop time!):

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Neon flip-flops!

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            He’s probably just dropped off his neon orange Mario Batali crocs at the shoe repair shop.

    • Óðinn

      I just assumed their fans were in the South, in prisons, or in flyover states. But yeah, Blabbermouth is a website for FFDP fans, no doubt. They just don’t want to admit it.

      • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

        I’m amazed no one’s really mentioned them around here (Hampton Roads), considering it’s the South and even more so because it’s a huge military area, which FFDP panders to.

        • Óðinn

          Yeah, they do try to associate themselves with the military. Were the band members in the military or something? Or are they just doing to be assholes?

          • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

            I have no clue. I think that Zoltan guy was the genie from ‘Big’ that turned Tom Hanks into an adult.

    • more beer

      There are actually a lot of people who only get their music from crappy fm radio. Even in 2016. Plus rednecks and assorted trailer trash. The people of Walmart also probably snap this crap up. Most of these people probably don`t comment on music blogs.

  • A Chili Dog In Each Nostril

    This isn’t new, but some good old school synth-rock from back in the day:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R87Q5W2CzLM

    And for something a little new on that end:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKq53_imZzs