All posts by Todd Totale

Iron Maiden – A Matter Of Life And Death

iron-maiden-life-and-death.jpgIron MaidenA Matter Of Life And Death (Sanctuary)

True story: I was driving around with the little dude in the car seat, listening to Iron Maiden’s Killers. The song that grabbed his attention was “Wrathchild,” which he thought was pronounced “rockchild” because he understood the track is pretty rockin’. So he’s doing the obligatory head-nodding, throwing up the horns like I taught him, and trying to get my attention in the rear view mirror buy saying “Look at me! I’m a wrathchild!” It was one of those bonding moments that make you think the kid will turn out all right.

Later on, we were watching “Full House” together (his choice—he has a thing for toddler-era Olsen twins) when John Stamos appeared in a scene. Stamos was dressed in black, had an electric guitar and that silly looking mane on his head, which prompted the little one to declare “He’s a rockchild too, Daddy.” I had to correct him, of course, because there’s a huge difference between Iron Maiden and John Stamos.

There’s also a huge difference in my musical tastes now than when I first purchased an Iron Maiden album. I’ll admit to not following them too closely for quite some time; I lost track of them during my obligatory “purge everything metal” phase, which I’ve realized was completely stupid as I’ve come to terms with my metal influences. Maiden was one of them, of course, but by the time I reconciled with the genre, Maiden had replaced vocalist Bruce Dickinson and who wants that?

Continue reading Iron Maiden – A Matter Of Life And Death

Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites

Mew - And the Glass Handed KitesMewAnd the Glass Handed Kites (Sony)

I really want this album to be stronger than it actually is: a forgettable throwback to those halcyon days when the term “shoegazer” was somewhat novel and when bands effectively created epic swells with nothing more than feedback, guitar pedals, and a dash of studio trickery.

It’s not that I’m against “epic swells,” and Lord knows that I’ve listened to enough Spiritualized and Pink Floyd to appreciate symphonic arrangements. What I do have a problem with is a band that teases me with lush atmospheres, hinting at My Bloody Valentine the entire time, and with barely a hint of the guitar leaving Cape Canaveral’s launch pad. If you’re going to come off as a “space rock” band, then for God’s sake, leave the atmosphere and don’t forget to actually rock when you’re weightless. Mew takes their influences and somehow manages to completely devoid them of any bite. What’s left is the equivalent of leaving an opened two-liter bottle of Coke in the fridge for a week: cold, flat and with plenty of sugar.

Continue reading Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites