May 052014

I needed to get out to see this show bad. I was craving some new music to review/look into/discover and this was just what the doctor ordered, literally. I almost did not go because I wasn’t feeling so great, but I toughed it out for the sake of you readers and a press request that I had made months earlier. I got the approval to review Volbeat/Trivium at the last minute, so I had to hurry up and get my stuff together fast. I love the Palace, and I love getting to see tons of friends every time I go there. And The Palace has always treated us here at LMN very well. So thanks to those guys! It’s my favorite Louisville venue to see a show at, by far.

First up was Trivium, a young melodic metalcore band from Orlando, Florida that I first saw many many years ago at the old Jillian’s. I met them and they were one of the coolest bands I’ve met. Real nice young guys. Well, those younguns have come a long way since then. Now they are crushing and shredding beyond belief. I have one of their newer albums and it slams! Their talents have really matured and the guitar playing and songwriting have come a long way. The music is more complex and layered. Their sound was tight, heavy and sounded really good through the house PA. Vocalist Matt Heafy sounded a bit dry, considering the music he was playing. Some deeper vocal effect would have gone well with that style of music, but he didn’t use much effects on his voice. The guy sings and shreds (on lead too) on guitar at the same time, so I’m still impressed. But I think he should get another guitarist so he can focus more on vocals. I wasn’t very impressed with the singing aspect of their show. The music, however, was pummeling, but still melodic and catchy. Lead guitarist Corey Boulieu is a beast on guitar. I love his creative lead solos (during the vocals) that accompany the rhythm guitar. Very melodic and heavy all at once. Never let it said that music has to be non melodic to be considered heavy. His solo is “In Waves” is sick. I really like his Middle Eastern/trippy feeling riffage that he does some of the time in his soloing. The guy has some serious chops, mucho feeling in his playing, and his amp tone was nice and chunky with the perfect amount of effect. No complaints on the drumming or bass playing. Bassist Paolo Gregoletto’s bass tone was crushing. Meaty and punchy. All were right on the money. I heard no meaningful mistakes. I don’t know their song titles or music, so I’m not able to tell you which songs they played. Luckily Mark Doss, my friend and a fan of Trivium, was there to help me out by telling me what songs they played! Thanks Mark. According to Mark, the band played their popular tunes: “Brave The Storm,” “Strife,” “Through Blood And Dirt And Bone,” “And Like Light To The Fires,” “Dying In Your Arms,” “Down From The Sky,” and “In Waves. “

The intricate and super-fast, muted picking that Trivium does is impressive. It’s crisp and tight as phuck.

Modern sounding and yet still very much metal. Nu metal? I dunno about that. As a guitarist myself, I heard some old-school influences here and there quite frequently in this music. Some serious Iron Maiden influences too, especially in “Dying In Your Arms. ” Almost like a young American version of Maiden without Dickinson. And I love Iron Maiden, so I enjoyed watching these guys kick some butt. But there seemed something missing in the overall performance. It was definitely in the vocals. Maybe not enough actual singing? Maybe the vocals were too dry? Maybe it was dude’s voice in general. With music that good and melodic, I was maybe expecting more old-school type vocals? I think that is what it was. Their music almost demands more of an old-school vocal sound. Regardless of the slightly subpar vocals, Trivium’s sound was awesome, and I enjoyed hearing this young band once again! Hail, Trivium!

Volbeat was up next. What can you say about a band from Denmark who came outta nowhere and has kicked some serious butt in so short a time? Not to mention the guy who discovered them, Scott Frasier, is a Louisville native. Well, it makes for an interesting story of success. Vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulson is a genius and quite a performer as he rips it up on his Custom Gibson SGs. The man has created something different and profited hugely off of it. The style of music he has come up with is rock, thrash, punk, metal, rockabilly, alternative, all thrown in with a healthy dash or two of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, all mixed into one big-ass crockpot of musical jams. It’s Metallica meets Elvis, meets Johnny Cash, meets Brooklyn hardcore band Life Of Agony, meets the Swedish Chef. I have noticed that Michael Poulson’s vocal style closely resembles that of Nineties hardcore band Life Of Agony’s singer Keth Caputo, now known as Miss Mina Caputo. I don’t know if dude was snipped or what, but he is now a she. Poulson really sounds like Caputo! Especially on the LOA song “Through And Through. ” Is this the vocal influence Poulson adapted his style from? Damn I’m good!

Guitarist Rob Caggiano, freshly recruited from metal legends Anthrax, seems to fit the bill perfectly. Dude is a wicked guitarist, but it was kind of weird seeing him play much easier riffs with Volbeat than what he was used to in Anthrax. Some of the Volbeat guitar rhythms were very easy to play, I thought. but Rob’s leadwork wasn’t so easy at all. It is the one instrument that really soars in this band, other than Poulson’s powerful vocals. I have to admit, Michael Poulson’s vocals were awesome. The guy sounded better live than on his recordings, and as a music critic, one does not find that very often. He projects his voice in a way that is majestic and uplifting. And he does all of this while playing guitar at the same time. And strangely, he doesn’t lose power in his vocals by concentrating on guitar riffs. He balances concentration between both chores very well in my opinion. As good as Chris Cornell does!

While I’m not a big Volbeat fan, I do admire what they have accomplished, and I like a few of their songs. Bassist Anders Kjolholm was all over the place and I couldn’t even get a picture out of the guy because he was non-stop. He had killer bass tone, too. I liked the way the guitarist/bassist did the backup vocals as well. Sounded great! Drummer Jon Larsen was quite good, as you would expect him to be.

The stage show was pretty basic, nothing fancy, just good music and some decent lighting. No gimmicks or monsters running around on stage. The band sounded great. Very tight as a unit. And the vocals soared this night for Volbeat. The crowd seemed to eat it up, every song! The band kicked offf with “Doc Holliday,” “Radio Girl,” “Lola Montez,” “Heaven Nor Hell,” “Fallen,” “Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood,” “Maybellene/hofteholder” (complete with acoustic guitar intro), “Still Counting. “

The last few songs were “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza,” “The Hangmans Body Count” (probably my favorite. I hummed that riff half the night after we left!) and “The Human Instrument/Warriors Call”. The crowd went nuts over every song. Volbeat could have pooted on the mic and the crowd would have yelled “Yeeeeaaaahhhh!” Ha! Speaking of pooting.

The night was marred by some person in front of me and my date who was crop dusting the most horrendous farts known to mankind. Worse than Egg McMuffin farts. And no, the smeller was not the feller! Ha. My nosehairs shriveled, and I almost melted as if Pepe LePew walked by! Unfortunately we never indentified the anonymous farter (lucky for them). I think this was Karma for what happened at Flaw (Read Flaw Review Below) a few nights earlier. Ha.

Earlier in the night I saw Volbeat manager and longtime friend Scott Frazier in the crowd with his children. He came up to me and we chatted for a few, and I congratulated him on his success these last 5 years or so. It was so cool seeing Scott up there with his very excited kids, who later on, got to go onstage with Volbeat for a song or two. Scott looked real happy to be there at Louisville Palace with his band headlining. He was smiling from ear to ear and was very friendly. Some people talk shit about Scott (fargin bitch ass haters), but he’s always been cool to me. He was very down to earth and humble despite the success he’s had recently. It’s awesome that a fellow Louisvillian has done so good on the world stage. Congrats bro!

Anyways, it was a great show of new music! The band played a good long set to an enthused crowd of rockers that had the Louisville Palace filled to about 90% capacity., I’m thinking. Some douche recently said I don’t cover enough new music, so this one is for you a-hole!

May 042014

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Excessive Hater 101 – where you too can learn the valuable Anti-Eddy art of: harassing and threatening people online from the safety of your home, maliciously giving people false information to get them to hate someone that you hate and reacting like a “mental” jackass about something someone wrote when your name/band name was never even mentioned (not even once) in the article. It’s okay, though. I’ve had haters before, and I’ll probably have a lot more before it’s over. Just be sure to check out my “Truth Proposal” at the end of my rant below.

Drama, drama, drama. I love our music scene, and put forth much effort and time into making it grow back to what it once was. But lately it seems like this scene has gotten ridiculous as hell, with haters and mindless quasi-sheep/human hybrid followers of haters. Social media wars. Grudges. Internet battles! Strategic and brutal Facebook posting! Let’s get ready to rumbbbbbbllllllllleee!

Why do people hate so much now? How did our scene come to this? I’m not talking about one individual either; lately I’ve seen much hate on Facebook with nothing to do with me. Longtime friends (in cover bands) publicly destroying each other. It saddens me that there is so much negativity, non unity, and petty quarrels in our once great music scene.

There is one incident that I do want to address.

I just endured a whole day of watching mindless sheep-people follow and listen and react to some guy who “assumes” I was writing about him in my column. This schizo got all bent out of shape because he thinks I was talking about him and his bad vocals, so he proceeded to go on a tirade against me on Facebook. Insults, threats, false accusations. Some really rude comments. For all my friends and family to see. It’s true that I don’t care for his vocals and have said so several years back. But, who gives a shit what I like? Everyone has their own tastes. I’m a frikkin’ critic! Get over it.

Seriously, there are many Louisville vocalists who sing in an non-melodic, growly fashion who fit that description, so for dawg to assume he is the top topic and special, is a bit, um, nutty and arrogant. The funniest part of this whole ridiculous argument is that “never once” was anyone’s band name or even an individual’s name mentioned, nor have I talked to even one person about who it is. Isn’t that a bit crazy to publicly lash out at someone in this fashion, because you simply “assume” it is you they are talking about?

So, yeah, I deal with this hater nonsense about once or twice a year at least. When your name is out there like mine is, haters are gonna hate no matter what you do. I do find it terribly amusing that these incredibly brave souls who don’t even really know me, only seem to have Internet courage.

I will now tell you, my loyal readers, why I maybe have gotten a little carried away with my comments about some of Louisville’s bands in the past and then maybe you will see why I write some of this stuff. This has been bubbling up for years. People who truly know me know that when I write something like that, you can bet your ass there is a very valid reason, and I will share it with you. And no, I am not apologizing! I stand by my words 100%.

Imagine if, as a music writer/promoter, you extended a hand of friendship to someone or a group for years and years, went out of your way to list their bands shows, reviewed their music with mostly positive remarks, featured many of them in LMN, and – last but not least – respected the level of musicianship in their bands and really looked forward to booking/playing shows with such rockin’ bands … only to be dissed completely in every way, for absolutely no reason at all.

Had I done something to incur this treatment I would understand, but I haven’t done a thing to deserve this from these holier-than-thou people, besides try to help as much as I can.

I can see where this would anger some bands.

It’s true that I do not hide it if I don’t like certain aspects of a band’s music or a band’s attitudes. The guitar tones, bad vocals, a shitty sounding bass rig, doody drums, horrible attitudes, greed, arrogance. All they do is take. They tend to always forget the people who helped them get to where they are. So I tell the truth. Such is the job of a critic. You will always manage to piss someone off, regardless.

Let’s get something straight. I’m not here to sugar-coat a goddamn thing. I’ve been a Louisville music newspaper critic since 2001 or longer and I’ve been actively playing music in this scene since 1994 or 1995. Countless shows. I have been proven right every time I’ve gotten into it with situations like this. I have morals and pride in being honest. I have earned the right to voice my opinion and I will continue to do so, despite how butt-hurt you might get if you don’t like what you read. I usually do so in a respectful way though. As respectful as can be when you are saying something isn’t so good.

But- I can only be pushed so far before I push back.

I’m not the instigator here, I am the kid who fights back after being disrespected one too many times. The kid who knocks the bully on his ass.

Some of these bands have been extremely petty, purposely avoiding all of my events/shows/show offers like I was a leper, even after I had helped them many times in the past. Pretty much blackballing anything to do with me or my bands. It’s some petty ass douchy BS. My band members are damn good guys/musicians and don’t deserve to be blackballed just because a few people personally don’t like me. It’s not fair to them.

Heck, I couldn’t even get some of these bands to put aside their petty hatreds for 45 minutes to play a benefit for poor kids for the Kosair kids for Christmas. No bullshit.

For the record, I tried to work things out/make peace by inviting said bands, but to no avail. . .

So I ask you, good people. How would you react to being purposely dissed and maliciously blackballed for years by those you have gone out of your way to help/work with and tried to be friends with over and over?? Would you keep taking the bullshit treatment, or would you let them have it?

Well, I’ve reached my boiling point on many of these bands/people/attitudes. I’m done trying. Some people you just can’t reach.

SO TO YOU, the guy who assumes: I have nothing against you. In fact I think you are a frikkin’ great guitarist and highly respect your playing ability and achievements. I have always said your playing is badass. And your band’s musicians are awesome as well. No complaints there at all.

But mister, your unwarranted accusations/public comments are despicable. To lash out that way over “assumptions,” on a public forum where my friends and family can see is pretty low/shitty. You have accused me falsely of ripping off bands and keeping all/living off the money the bands make at my showcases, when everybody and their mother hears the vast amount of radio spots we buy for the shows each month. You have insulted me, saying my ‘fro is fake. You have molested my dog whilst I was out running errands. Just kidding on that last one!

Well, I’m fully prepared to expose your tirade of accusations as lies, so I propose we make a little wager to see who is truthful and who is the dishonest one here.

I hereby bet my $6000 handmade Bernie Rico USA flying V against your vehicle’s pink slip – against your accusations.

I say let the people know the truth. Trust me dude, I don’t want any more drama, nor did I even want to post this, but I cannot let someone maliciously slander my fourteen-year showcase that has given hundreds of bands the opportunity to share their music. I want everyone to know the truth.

We can get a neutral team to visit Clear Channel Radio’s accounting department, and Phoenix Hill Tavern’s manager/owner to see if I keep all the money from my showcases. The PHT checks, and checks from the show sponsors are made out to Clear Channel Radio. It’s an easy and somewhat fast way to verify everything. If it’s proved I keep all the money, and live off of the band’s earnings, as you have accused me, then you have a new $6000 guitar! If you are proved a spiteful liar, then I get your car and you are branded “A Liar. ” Deal? It seems to me that someone who is willing to go ten miles out of his way to convince anyone who will listen, that I’m a ripoff/con man, would be more than willing to prove it.

Here is your golden opportunity to show the whole city how much of a rip-off I really am, if you can.

Hell, I’ll even subject myself to a visit to a hair salon to validate the existence of my rightful heir, er … hair.

So either “put your money where your mouth is” or shut that lying hole under your nose. “

Those who want to check for themselves to be sure, can contact Dwight Witten, Kathy Persinger, or Charlie Steel at Clear Channel Radio. Ask them how much Eddy Metal spends a month on advertising the bands. Hell, feel free to ask them any questions regarding my ongoing PHT account. I’ve nothing to hide. Call 479-2222.

I shall be vindicated when even your most loyal nut-huggers will have to admit they follow a liar.

Chances are, they won’t care if you’re proven a liar. But that’s okay by me. For I have no use for dumbasses who follow liars like mindless sheep without first finding out the facts. I’ve got bigger fish to fry, my own shows to play, and a whole slew of down-to-earth, humble and good people who know that a man who donates so much of his time/effort (without financial compensation!) into the original music scene, getting bands exposure, booking bands, helping benefits, featuring bands in LMN, being a board member of MERF (a foundation to help musicians in need when bad things happen), and for also raising over $50,000 in toys (with the help of Louisville’s unselfish rock bands! Thanks, guys! Rock For Kosair baby!!) to poor children at Kosair Charities for Christmas every year – can’t be too bad.

So the next time you go off slandering someone, you might want to look at the facts before exploding. Just sayin.


P. S, thanks for the extra website hits!!