Tag Archive | Megadeth

Unsolicited Whammy Barrin’ On The Decline Of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years

– yes, this celebrated 1988 rock-umentary boasts several manufactured scenarios, but so does the first (and ostensibly more authentic) Decline of Western Civilization from 1981; in fact, the breakfast Ozzy “cooks” in this chapter is a callback to the breakfast Darby Crash “cooks” in part one

– no, Guns N’ Roses do not appear in Decline II, and while I’m sure they’d like us to believe they were just trying to set themselves apart and/or avoid chagrin let’s not forget this same year they decided to portray Jim Carrey’s backup band in The Dead Pool; I’d call that a draw

– hard rock figureheads like Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Bret Michaels, and Dave Mustaine have become so calcified in their personas (human zebra, sexy Easter Island statue, sexy Botox disaster, and self-defeating chemtrail truther, respectively) that it is easy to forget they were once real people; how endearing to watch Tyler and Perry, a year or so after Aerosmith’s comeback, aware and appreciative of this second act, expressing genuine humility (Tyler mostly targets himself when cracking corny jokes, all of which are followed by an embarrassed chuckle; when asked if Aerosmith reunited for money, Perry can’t say yes quickly enough); same for Bret Michaels, here oozing the kind of jittery enthusiasm you’d expect from a rookie Scientologist

– on the other side of this grime-laden coin are Alice Cooper and Lemmy from Motörhead, evergreen / even-keeled icons who never underwent any bizarre metamorphoses; this is because, one would assume, their art is so impenetrable and they know it (you’d be confident too if you authored all six thousand of those Motörhead albums); what’s the most embarrassing thing Alice Cooper’s ever done, praise Green Day? Meanwhile, you could fill two museums with every dubious move Dave Mustaine’s made over the years

– Chris Hemsworth could play Chris Holmes in a W.A.S.P. biopic

– Margot Kidder could play the one guitarist in a Faster Pussycat biopic

– the Chris Holmes bits in Decline II aren’t as worrysome as they used to be because Holmes has yet to allow alcoholism or anything else defeat him (at least in terms of being above ground); far more depressing are the endless anonymous interviewees barely in their twenties who are convinced they’re gonna make it as heavy metal stars—where these kids are today, no one knows, but I don’t recognize a single one from even the more obscure articles what’s-his-face tacked up on Metal Sludge

– the scene where Odin singer Randy O. Roberg admits he’ll kill himself if his band isn’t successful is the hardest to watch, mostly because this declaration is made as Roberg luxuriates in a hot tub surrounded by adoring women; the girls’ expressions go sour while the singer remains ardent; I hate to suggest an amateur rocker may have been talkin’ dog shit while several beers deep in a hot tub, but (spoiler alert) Randy O. Roberg is still alive

– speaking of using women as props, Kiss clown Paul Stanley looks like he’s trying extremely hard not to laugh every time they cut to him in bed caught in a triangle of gaga-eyed blondes; at another point, Ozzy refers to Kiss as the ultimate in theater, and though he was talking about their stage show by now we all know Kiss is never really offstage

– the je nois se quoi of punk rock outlined in Decline I is only present here during the Megadeth concert footage where carefree stage divers routinely take flight and bassist David Ellefson uses an instrument decorated with a Dead Kennedys sticker; of course, Megadeth incinerated their punk cred around this time by recording that awful epileptic take on “Anarchy in The U.K.”; thank god Rust in Peace was just around the corner

– Riki Rachtman is in this thing and he is deliciously obnoxious

Well Of Course He Is

Personally I think he should study a hair dryer because his mop always looks wet these days, but hey, it’s not like I ever wrote anything as cool as “Holy Wars” or “The Conjuring.”

Untitled Remembrance Of A 1995 Megadeth Concert

All the hoo-ha surrounding Dave Mustaine last week (p.s. – you really surprised a Santorum-boosting birther thinks Obama staged Aurora?) reminded me the first legit live music experience I ever had was Megadeth in 1995. My first non-legit experience, or concert absolute zero, happened two years earlier when three upperclassmen at my high school convinced the administration to let their band play a set of Stone Temple Pilots covers onstage in the empty auditorium during a lunch period. I heckled those bozos pretty hard, mostly because I was jealous it wasn’t me up there in pleated khakis and Raybans tearing out “Plush” on some dime store Fender.

But I digress. I don’t recall Dave Mustaine saying anything particularly offensive when I saw Megadeth at the UCF Arena on August 25, 1995, but I do remember clear as the Liberty Bell how goddamn heart-stopping it was to be ten feet away (give or take) from these speed metal legends as they recreated selections from Peace Sells, Rust in Peace, and Youthanasia at deafening volumes. Just having the opportunity to watch Marty Friedman…the guy’s technique is flawless. Or at least it was that night. The whole concert was pretty amazing, except for the opening set by Korn. In Korn’s defense, they were having severe equipment problems. In the crowd’s defense, I don’t think any of us really wanted to hear Brian “Head” Welch play the “Beavis & Butt-head” theme for twelve minutes while Fieldy searched fruitlessly for a working bass guitar.

Fear Factory was also on the bill, and during their set I remember thinking, “This is band is pretty friggin’ cool, I bet they’ll never cover that dippy Gary Numan song ‘Cars.'”

I curdled on Megadeth in the years following this concert for a variety of reasons; they tried to push their luck writing pop songs, Friedman left the band, I discovered the more immediate thrill of punk, I grew tired of kids asking me if I was into other “cheese metal” like Iron Maiden and Poison as well, etc. I’ve come back around now, though, and I listen to a smattering of ‘Deth classics with major regularity. They all hold up, even So Far, So Good…So What? (save that brutally bad “Anarchy in the U.K.” cover). I’m very glad I got to see Megadeth when the joy was still pure, back when they had their most ballyhooed line-up, back when Dave Mustaine was more concerned with alien abduction and black magic than gun rights and birth certificates.

And yes, I will finally admit that I briefly fell asleep on the drive home from this concert, which resulted in the accidental veering of my mother’s 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis into the borders of a construction site. One of those harmless-looking road blocks with the blinking orange lights winged Mom’s passenger side mirror right off its base with a loud whomp. This instantly woke me up and paralyzed me with fear. Luckily, I regained control of the car and there was no further damage (unless you count my friend David, who was in the passenger seat at the time, and who never agreed to get into a car with me again).

I’m sorry, Mom, but I’ve been lying to all these years. I did not meet Dave Mustaine in the parking lot of the UCF Arena, and he did not tear off your passenger side mirror to prove how “metal” he was. I am a bad son.

Ten Songs The Roots Could Have Played For Michele Bachmann Instead Of “Lyin’ Ass Bitch”

Maura Johnston at the Village Voice wrote a piece about the Roots/Michele Bachmann controversy today, the gist of which was basically, “Hey, why didn’t they play that Megadeth song ‘Liar’ instead of Fishbone’s tune what unnecessarily insults gender?” Maura has a point, and it’s great to see such a super hip music journalist pay service to one of Megadeth’s more obscure numbers. Yet I can’t entirely sanction “Liar” because it’s a smear against founding Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland that goes off the deep end by attacking every member of Poland’s immediate family. And I quote: “Your sister is a junkie, gets it anyway she can / your brother’s a gay singer in a stud leather band.”

Hey, we understand you were totally cheesed off, Dave Mustaine, but who cares if Chris Poland’s brother fronts/fronted a Village People revival act? What does that have to do with Chris hawking your equipment for drugs? Besides, didn’t you blow Megadeth’s advance for Killing Is My Business on crack cocaine? Let he who be without judgment cast the first stone, you son of a carpenter.

But I digress. There are scores of less sexist/gender offensive songs about liars the Roots could have played as Michele Bachmann trotted out to make nice with Jimmy Fallon. Here are ten of those songs.

1. Rollins Band – “Liar”

There’s no arguing Hank’s untruther classic would have been vastly more recognizable to the viewing audience than Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” Also, who wouldn’t want to hear ?uestlove’s Henry Rollins impression? Who wouldn’t want to see that normally rather subdued cat rip his shirt off and writhe around on the polished floors of Studio 6B, unleashing all the torment of his inner coffee house poet?

2. Sex Pistols – “Liar”

I don’t think we’ve ever learned who Johnny Rotten is railing against in this one. Couldn’t have been Thatcher—she didn’t take office until over a year after the Sex Pistols broke up. Since I’m a hot dog-eatin’, baseball-lovin’ American, I’ll jump to my most logical conclusion of Richard Nixon.

3. Yngwie Malmsteen – “Liar”

I was just as surprised as you to learn any Yngwie Malmsteen song had lyrics or singing. I thought his career was just one continuous thirty year guitar solo. Turns out no, Yngwie actively employs someone to yelp between his hot licks. Middle-aged Sam Ashe employees would have known this one.

4. Bikini Kill – “Liar”

“You profit from the lie, you profit from the lie” seems like an apropos refrain for any politician.

5. Queen – “Liar”

I think Freddie Mercury was contractually obligated to say “Mama” in every song he ever sung. This one’s a little different from the rest as it’s coming from the perspective of the liar. That Queen, always so introspective despite their flamboyant fashions.

6. The Replacements – “Shut Up”

The ‘Mats could have proven a dicey selection, for Bachmann hails from the same general area as Paul Westerberg’s legendary outfit (Minnesota). Do you think she’s heard enough of their material to recognize it? Ah, if she has, I bet she’s more on the Don’t Tell A Soul tip than anything pre-Slim Dunlap. It’s hard to suggestively eat a corn dog to anything off Sorry, Ma.

7. Three Dog Night – “Liar”

Granted, it’s not much of a jazzy TV show entrance theme, but that chorus really gets the point across, doesn’t it?

8. Rocket From The Crypt – “Return Of The Liar”

Actually, this should be what NBC plays every time Leno makes his “Tonight Show” entrance. OOOHH, DISS.

9. The Queers – “You’re Tripping”

People don’t use “tripping” enough in this particular context. Seems like it kinda burned out after 1991. Everyone said it back then. Yo, White House Chief of Staff John Sununu be trippin’! At any rate, the Queers seem to nail Bachmann and her line of thought rather bluntly here (“Can’t you see? / This ain’t 1943!”). Plus, Joe King would have earned like a twelve cent royalty check he could have used as a down payment on some heroin. Now that’s what I call supporting the arts!

10. The Crucifucks – “You Give Me The Creeps”

And the final word goes to Doc “23” Dart: “If you’re so fucking clever, why is everyone laughing at you?” “You Give Me The Creeps” would have been totes worth it just to see how many publications would censor the name “Crucifucks” the next day. I can almost taste FOXNEWS’s stiff discomfort (it tastes like jerky). Gutter punks would have hailed the Roots as the new Crass and Jimmy Fallon as punk rock television Jesus. Can you imagine a world where Jimmy Fallon is even cooler than he is now? It’s a world where Jon Stewart never even existed (UPDATE: Jimmy Fallon has apologized to Michele Bachmann for his band’s little indiscretion; guess he’s not as revolutionary as we thought).

Unsolicited (& Rather Brief) Megadeth Thirteen Review

Megadeth
Thirteen
Roadrunner
2011

Hot shot producer Johnny K (previous clients: Machine Head, Mushroomhead, Disturbed) is all up in Megadeth’s Kool-Aid on Thirteen, going so far as to co-write roughly fifty percent of the album. The results are a surprising improvement over the last Megadeth effort, 2009’s perfectly enjoyable Endgame; tighter mixing plays to the veteran thrash band’s strengths while head ‘Dether Dave Mustaine thankfully avoids overextending himself on the vocals. Some credit should also be doled out to founding bassist Dave Ellefson—his return after a decade(ish) of exile probably provided some much-needed comfort for King of Pain Mustaine. Thirteen doesn’t boast any riffing as jaw-dropping as what the world heard on Rust in Peace or Peace Sells, but is that really a surprise? Most bands don’t even have half of a “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” in them (plus, Megadeth’s currently pushing into the AARP zone). There’s no excuse for giving us another song about driving too fast, though. We get it, Dave. You got goddamn speeding tickets.

FINAL SCORE: Three Backwards Vic Rattleheads (out of four).

New Megadeth Single Rocks…But Where Is The Ellipsis?

Megadeth’s getting senile in their old age. They’ve completely forgotten they’re the band that abuses the ellipsis, not parentheses. So here’s their new song, which they’re insisting should be punctuated “Whose Life (Is It Anyway?)” True fans, of course, will no doubt take to writing it “Whose Life…Is It Anyway?” when drunkenly scribbling out top ten lists of the best post-Marty Friedman Megadeth songs.

Thirteen, Megadeth’s thirteenth(!) studio album, drops November 1…just in time for World Vegan Day! Hallelujah!

Things That Did Not Occur At Last Night’s Big 4 Concert At Yankee Stadium

– John Bush did not magically appear onstage during the Anthrax set to perform a deep cut from Stomp 442

– Dave Mustaine did not make any politically misguided statements about Ireland

– Megadeth did not pull out a nine minute cover of R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People”

– Kerry King (pictured) did not wear assless chaps

– Metallica did not invite Dave Mustaine onstage during their set to publicly apologize for stealing all those songs from him back in the day

– Slayer did not use black magic to summon the ghost of Mickey Mantle for an unexpected encore of “Haunting the Chapel”

So, in short, the bands all played it maddeningly safe, even though the vast majority will probably never play a venue as esteemed as Yankee Stadium again. C’mon, Anthrax, you could have at least brought Darryl Strawberry onstage for the angriest version of “Bring the Noise” ever performed by a World Series champ.

Glad I didn’t drop any clams to see this.

Don’t You Just Hate It When Your Heavy Metal Mascot Loses His Sense Of Direction?

Vic Rattlehead: You’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to be facing the other way, so people can see how scary you are. Hopefully you can figure that out before Thirteen is released in November.

Two Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

1. I enjoy pissing off fans of Paul Revere & the Raiders.

2. My dad loaned original Megadeth drummer Gar Samuelson some money once.