12/24/2019

Powerman 5000 - Mega!! Kung Fu Radio


Powerman 5000
Mega!! Kung Fu Radio
(1997)

"If they ask ya' what, tell'em file under action"

Before Powerman 5000 went in an industrial metal direction, they crafted a unique sound like no other and defined the variety of nu metal at its core. They blended hip hop, their own stoner-sounding rapping, knockout metal grooves, funky bass, 70's metal style soloing, varied percussion, and more in a seamless mix. Incredibly fun too, perfectly both creative and entertaining. It's like Clutch making a nu metal album.

Mega!! Kung Fu Radio is booming with personality, infectious hooks, heavy grooves, high energy, and Spider One's deadpan delivery of abstract lyricism. What separates Powerman from other rap metal bands is how perfectly they play in both genres. They aren't just rapping over metal riffing, they're blending chunky metal grooves with funky hip hop rhythms seamlessly like they were meant for each other. It's a perfect way to get a metal fan into hip hop, or vice-versa.

I love this whole album, so it's hard to really highlight any particular song, describing the sound as a whole is a lot easier. However, Organizized, 20 Miles to Texas 25 to Hell, Standing 8, and hidden track File Under Action are some particular favorites if I had to choose. File Under Action is the purest hip hop track on the album, with a perfect use of a droning atmosphere and effective placement of guitar riffing and feedback that's made ultra-heavy whenever it appears. Spider One carries great flow throughout the album, but this is among his best performances.

The 90's were an incredibly creative time for music, and Powerman 5000 shows some of the best part of that for both the world of metal and hip hop.

https://rateyourmusic.com/review?id=109151039

12/13/2019

Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger


Soundgarden
Badmotorfinger
(1991)

"I'm gonna break my rusty cage and run."

People will often debate between Dirt and Nevermind as the definitive grunge album, but in my book it'll always be Badmotorfinger. Maybe part of that comes from that fact that I've practically been hearing this album my whole life, but it also defines grunge like no other album. Heavy, dirty, sludgy, it's a massive behemoth of an album, yet also off the cuff and frantic when it needs to be.

Song titles like Slaves & Bulldozers, Searching With My Good Eye Closed, and Room a Thousand Years Wide are not only great titles, but they just bring to mind images of some pummeling force before it's heard in the music. Drawing Flies is as grungy as you can get, bringing the definition of dirty and grimy to its literal form.

It's a perfect showcase of a pure band displaying their talents, no member really outshining (pun not intended) the other. Chris Cornell gives a fiery vocal performance, from the red-faced screaming of Slaves & Bulldozers to the venom spitting of Drawing Flies, he's the closest anyone's gotten to Rob Halford levels of intensity. Kim Thayil's signature guitar style permeates the album, with little being as iconic as Rusty Cage's opening riff (especially for anyone who's also played Road Rash). Ben Shepherd's bass licks can be deceivingly insane, particularly on the jagged and frantic Jesus Christ Pose, or helping a lumbering rhythm section (Slaves & Bulldozers again). Last but not least, Matt Cameron's drumming is simply a pounding force that cements each song into your head.

I could go on and on about how fantastic this album is, but I don't want to ramble. It's a genre-defining album, and one of the best metal albums of all time.