Friday, March 13, 2009

10 Albums that Influenced My Life

After some encouragement from my lady, here is the list that begged to be written...

In no particular order...

1. J. Geils Band - Freeze Frame (1981)
I was but a youngster of 8 years old when I got this on LP (That's right vinyl!) and was hooked from the first camera flash. I listened to this album so much my parents wanted to kill me. Especially since we had only one record player in the house (in the dining room). This album started my love for music and made me want to become a musician someday. It also made me want to learn to write, and I did - my 1st short story titled, you guessed it, "Freeze Frame". I was also young and a song about pissing on a wall was just too damn cool for words.

2. Skid Row - Skid Row (1990)
Family trip to Florida in my dad's old station wagon. Driving the entire way fighting with my younger brother and sister in the back seat. What better way to tune them out? I had my walkman and wore out this tape along with Warrant's "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinkin Rich". To this day the only one I can still listen to and enjoy is Skid Row. I was just finding my identity with music and had thrown out my Debbie Gibson tapes - sorry Dave. Hair metal!! I think my mom and dad knew this album as well as I did. My dad threatened legal action if I didn't turn it down. But alas I couldn't hear him...

3. Tesla - The Great Radio Controversy (1990)
High School, what can be said except if I knew then what I know now. Trying to find my way in a sea of uncertainty was tougher than I would have liked. Perhaps being a late bloomer worked out in my favor. If it wasn't for Tesla and my Toyota Tercell (thank you Aunt Ei) I don't think my maturation process would have started like it did. I can still remember sitting outside the HS working on my "system" just so that I could listen to this cassette and Tesla's other great tape "Mechanical Resonance" at top volume.

4. Sublime - 40oz to Freedom (1992)
This album helped me become a bit more grounded and helped to open my ears to different musical styles. I was so into heavy heavy shit that when I 1st heard songs like "Don't Push" and "Doin' Time" they blew my mind. Be it this CD or "Sublime" my summers have never been the same. This band took different styles and threw them in a blender = Pure magic.

5. Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986)
Working at Ground Round around 1994 and listening to hair metal like it was my job. I had just started playing the drums in a band that practiced in GR's basement with my friend Russ and Dave Lease. One of the people who came to watch us "jam" weekly told me about Dave Lombardo and his amazing double bass skills. Who knew that by him lending me this tape he would forever change my musical taste. It was with this tape that the maniac drumming style I adopted came to be. To this day the first few seconds of "Raining Blood" and the thunderous 'dom dom dom' of the toms send shivers up my spine. Also this song vexes me in Guitar hero! Damn you advanced!!! Although any Slayer from South of Heaven to Undisputed Attitude could also be here.

6. Dog Fashion Disco - Adultery (2006)
Favorite band of all time. Could have picked anything from their catalog but this is the best album they put out. Weird, heavy, trippy, lounge, etc etc. What else can be said? If you haven't heard Pogo the Clown you haven't lived. Every band that they became after DFD broke up is equally as amazing. I can listen to every CD from start to finish and then do it again and again. I hear new things all the time. And shit, the one and only mosh pit Casey was ever in was in Baltimore when we went to go see their reunion show! ROCK ON!

7. Chaos Theory - Scarred for Life (1995)
Ok so it might be passé' to put your own CD on your top 10 list, but Dan did it with CT3 and this CD changed my life. Up until this point I was still struggling to find myself as a man. This CD was released and a monster was born. From mild mannered line cook to high performance rock star (or something like that) all the while making life long friends and experiencing things not many people ever get to experience. The CD might not be the best we ever did but it was the beginning of 2nd part of my life. The term party like a rock star never seemed so right. Multiple CDs, tours, bands, and lineup changes later this lineup is still the quintessential Chaos Theory. It also spawned our biggest hit, Karate Chop. Oh and did I mention all of our music is available on i-tunes? haha sorry self plug.

8. Metallica - ...And Justice for All (1990)
Steve Brown my good friend from HS used to play the shit out of this in his parents Lincoln when we would go out. I wasn't that into it when I first heard it but it grew on me fast. Still between Debbie Gibson and Hair Metal this CD along with "The Garage EP" helped me get into heavier music and out of the pop fold. It was this album and Gun's N Rose's "Appetite for Destruction" (thanks to Dave for pushing me to listen to them) that made my junior and senior year of HS shine. I can still remember Steve referring to GnR as 'Pop Metal' and me being like no way man it's heavy as hell!!

9. In Flames - Reroute to Remain (2002)
When this album came out Ernie and I needed something to revitalize our love for music. That summer we couldn't stop listening to it. I can still see Ernie sitting at my dining room table playing "System" on his air guitar. It’s trashy and heavy with melody? WTF was going on! This album helped us get into new genres of metal and helped us to remember why we wanted to write music in the 1st place.

10. Glassjaw - Worship and Tribute (2002)
Having decided I was sick of everything sounding exactly the same I started expanding my horizons into other heavy yet different genres. Although you could call this hardcore I never really felt it fit into any specific category. I had quite a few interesting experiences listening to this CD and we will leave it at that. This is the CD that started my love for quirky metal. Although that's the worst possible term I could come up with, it sums it up. I hate whats on the radio, I hate all the bands that sound the same. Go between genres people do something new and exciting. That's what I love about Glassjaw.

Honorable mention: Ill Nino - Revolution Revolution, Dope - Life, Savatage - Edge of Thorns, Skindred - Babylon, Machine Head - Burn My Eyes, Mindless Self Indulgence - Frankenstein Girls will Seem Strangely Sexy, 40 Below Summer - Invitation to the Dance, (Hed) pe - any, Engine - Engine, Snot - Get Some, Cinderella - Night Songs, Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood, Pendulum - In Silico, and too many more to name.

Anyone remember any that I missed? Anyone have any albums that they associate me to?

Currently listening:
Wrath (Deluxe)
By Lamb of God
Release date: 2009-02-24

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