Monday July 21, 2014
The Paradigm Shift
Talk about a momentous album. "The Paradigm Shift" is Korn's eleventh studio release....wait a minute, Korn now has eleven studio albums of all new material? Holy Crap. We must have been having fun because time has flown. That's not even the headline though. That reads, "Brian "Head" Welch returns to Korn for the first album since, "Take A Look In The Mirror" a decade ago". Again, time marches on. So what's up with this album? Well, for one there's no more dub step influence whatsoever, Korn is leaving recent chapters behind and moving back to heaviness and prominent vocals and somehow for this new one some hauntingly beautiful melodies and introspective, dare we say mature, lyrics? Sure it has the de rigueur creepiness we expect and want from Korn, but something's different this time. It's brilliantly beautiful, an ethereal treat to listen to. At times it's actually pretty and ornate and other times its aggressive and edgy . Musically it's seamless, a well oiled machine that got bumped from a six cylinder engine to a turbocharged eight with Brian's return. Lyrically, when's the last time you listened to an apologetic Korn song, especially the first song on the album? "Prey For Me, I think I owe you an apology" Jonathan Davis pleads in the opener, "Somehow you bring out the violence in me", immediately adding another dark layer to a situation you know isn't going to end well. "Passion is sometimes a fucked up thing for me", all the while the music belying the emotionally charged, edge of violence lyrics. Korn.com is their website.
We've known this band and the men in it for many years now and have watched them morph from five wide eyed young guys with an idea and a commitment into four of the same five guys with the same commitment. Still. To good, original music and psychologically probing and sometimes disturbing lyrics set against a background of often menacing sounds. Most artists stay away from the darkest place on the planet, the far, inner recesses of the human mind where the monster under the bed resides. Davis jumps right in, he's familiar with the terrain. That's who will join us on this show. We're not certain where his inspiration comes from, but "The Paradigm Shift" finds him at the top of his game staking a claim as quite possibly the best album the Bakersfield bred band has created.
Check in with Jonathan Davis of Korn on the next ROCKLINE!
Wednesday July 23, 2014
Above the Ground
What a voice! It takes a special type of singer to cut through the wail of high powered guitars, thumping bass, fully mic-ed drums and the thousands of watts of electricity generated by a full blown rock band. More so, it takes real talent to impart subtlety and meaning to the songs on the softer side when the amps are crackling in the background and the crowd is in full throat. Burton Cummings is that rare talent who can blast a footstomping vocal for a sonically dense rocker like “No Time” by his former band, Canadian wunderkinds The Guess Who, and then moments later find the tenderness and emotion in his voice to convey the passion of a song like “These Eyes”. The men from north of the border absolutely ruled the airwaves “down south” from 1969 into the mid-70’s. Randy Bachman’s departure was part of what led to the band’s tempered success when he formed the Bachman Turner Overdrive in 1973. For awhile it was quite the blessing as we were treated to many radio friendly, successful, memorable songs from both the Guess Who and BTO.
Last we heard things were fine between the former band mates and in fact in 2001 it was ROCKLINE’S pleasure to present the Guess Who reunion show complete with a full band electric performance that was beyond memorable. We’ll grab a track or two from that show for nostalgia’s sake. But the focus of our next program will be placed squarely on Burton’s shoulders. Join him at BurtonCummings.net to learn his latest goings-on. Foremost, the man’s still got the music in him and it’s got to come out. It has in a very impressive new release featuring a staggering twenty songs, ten on CD and ten more on DVD. With the playful title, “Above the Ground” (you know what they say, any day above the ground is a good day), Cummings proves not only is the music still there, but its damn good music too. Led by his trademark piano sound, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native has requested that we have his favorite model available and ready to go. We’re not quite sure what he has in mind, we’re hoping it’s a blend of full songs and some noodling around to help explain some of the songs that remain in our hearts and minds to this day like “American Woman”, “Share the Land” and “No Sugar Tonight”. Our time addled memories of that reunion concert nine years ago tell us that “American Woman” was the result of the band jamming on stage before concerts when they were able to manage decent soundchecks and evolved into an anthem still heard today, covered by many and deserving of its number one single status in 1970 from the album which bears it’s name. A positive aspect of growing up in a cold climate location such as Winnipeg is that one needs to learn a way to entertain oneself to ward off those chilly nights when the temperature drops into the minus teens….on a good day. Burton learned his lessons well.
Join us for the indefatigable Burton Cummings, with piano, exclusively on the next ROCKLINE!