All posts by Ken Pierce

Ken Pierce is an NYC based Music Journalist and the Editor In Chief of PiercingMetal.com; He's been documenting the live Metal and Rock scene of the Big Apple since 2003 and believes that there is always something exciting happening in this Metropolis.

Wednesday 13 @ Club Europa (10/11/2007)

I’ve enjoyed Wednesday 13’s music since I first heard the album “Fang Bang” and after catching him as an opener for Alice Cooper I was excited to find him doing a gig in Brooklyn. That night I took a trek down to the old neighborhood of Greenpoint to see what was brewing at Europa and would find W13 and his crew performing with Anti-Product as openers. To read and see more just scroll past the logo below.

Artist: Wednesday 13
Venue: Club Europa (Brooklyn, NY)
Opener: Anti-Product, Creature Feature
Date: 10/11/2007
Label: Ryko Records

It was a dark and stormy night when Wednesday 13 brought his “Ghouls On Parade” tour into New York City for a visit, and if you knew what was bad for you there would be no avoiding this devilishly good time. The scene of the crime would be Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Club Europa which as I approached I had realized was formerly the location of a Chinese restaurant that I used to go to with family in my younger years. As a club I admit that it is quite cool looking on the inside and has a decent bar downstairs to hang out in before you hit the venue itself which is on the second floor. The upstairs area offers a small but comfortable stage, several lounge areas and a decent dance floor where the crowd can convene to enjoy the bands. There is also a larger bar off to one side and there’s plenty of room to move around over there as well should you decide on that part of the club. It certainly had a Gothic Shock Rock feel tonight and this made it all the better based on the participants in the evenings festivities. “Ghouls On Parade” would be a tour that featured not only Wednesday 13 and his fellow zombie rockers but also finds them supported by the bands Anti-Product and Creature Feature. Trashlight Vision was supposed to be on this as well but sadly would disband just before the tour was to set to begin. I made sure to get there early enough tonight since I had heard so much about the openers as well that I knew I needed to determine what was up for myself. Here is what the story is.
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“All We Are: The Fight” by Doro

Artist: Doro
Title: “All We Are: The Fight”
Label: Locomotive Records
Release Date: 11/20/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Doro Pesch, our Queen Of Metal jumped into the ring for the glory of the music and her fans but it wasn’t to lay the punches down on anyone, it was instead to rock the house like never before. As a tribute to her best friend, boxer Regina Halmich, the singer would actually perform her one of her biggest hits “All We Are” in the middle of a boxing ring in front of 19,000 screaming fans. The song was used as the intro music for the fighter who would go on to win a six round decision against a top German comedian in an exhibition match that the pair were participating in. Doro’s band for this historic performance would be Ban Maas (After Forever’s guitarist), Schmier (Destruction bassist) and drummer Tim Husung. After the live appearance the group would head to the studio to record their version for inclusion on this very special CD. The special aspect of it is that it is half audio CD and half video CD so after the listener has finished blasting the tunes out of their stereo they can then watch the videos on their PC.
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“KISS Loves You” by Jim Heneghan

Director: Jim Heneghan
Title: “KISS Loves You”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 11/20/2007
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 3.5/5

“KISS Loves You” is a film by Jim Heneghan that began back in 1994 when the mighty KISS was no longer considered at the top of their game and the bands popularity in the mainstream was at its lowest. No longer was a mass frenzy surrounding their activities but instead it was left to the hearts and minds of their most ardent fans as some sort of underground legion when it came down to it. By 1994 KISS had long taken off their signature greasepaint and was very well established as a killer Hard Rock band without it to help them along but of course the tide of music changes like the weather and by this time in this decade the Grunge Movement was in full sway. It seemed as without those remaining loyalists and remnants of the once proud KISS Army that no one really seemed to care about KISS anymore. As a lifetime fan I found this film interesting because like many of these loyalists KISS had never really lost much of their appeal to me, and just because something is not shoved down your throat every minute doesn’t mean it has died a quiet death. The film takes you back to these years before the bombastic reunion of the original four members of KISS and follows the lives of those people who loved them very much. It takes you inside the rehearsal rooms and on the stages of some of the bands who believed in KISS so much that they formed tributes to them and as result became rock stars in their own towns and brought the KISS show that was no longer done by legends right to them. We follow the bands Dressed To Kill and Strutter who were actually two groups that seemed to consist of interchanging members at one point in their lives. Given this was 1994, a KISS tribute band was not as commonplace as it is today and while there might be hundreds to choose from now there are only a select few who do it properly. The bands presented during the movie did a great job both visually and musically and were to be commended for some of this early initiative.
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“Famous” by Puddle Of Mudd

Artist: Puddle Of Mudd
Title: “Famous”
Label: Flawless/Geffen Records
Release Date: 10/9/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

When Puddle Of Mudd released their major label debut of “Come Clean” it was hard to ignore this Kansas City band because the level of radio airtime they received was a constant thing. Fortunately for the music buying public of the time a lot of this attention was based on the quality of their material and while the band was considered a “Post-Grunge” outfit they managed to win over Rock fans of many different genre associations. It was interesting to find a band with this vibe going over so well based on the genre itself moving away from the dominant side but it was good to see that they served as a reminder as to what made some of those bands special in the first place. You couldn’t turn on a Rock radio station and miss at least one of their singles on any given day at any given hour of airtime and then there was the fact that MTV and their programming still had large focus on bands as opposed to their now reality program driven angle. Songs like ‘Control”, “Blurry”, and “She Hates Me” were not only standards for their rotation but also songs that ended up being mimicked by local area bands ad-nauseum. They would follow this with “Life On Display”, and album that while generating two hit singles was something that I would bypass entirely based on the over saturation I felt from the bands debut. The sophomore release also found them losing two members to other bands and the inevitable creative differences.
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“Living Loud” by Living Loud

Artist: Living Loud
Title: “Living Loud”
Label: EMI/Capitol Records
Release Date: 1/6/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3/5

So it seems as though the idea for this little endeavor was based on the fact that Ozzy Osbourne had never sufficiently paid out drummer Lee Kerslake and bassist Bob Daisley for their co-writing contributions on some of his earliest blockbuster tunes when they were all working together. I won’t review all of the legal entanglements that ensued as enough about this has been debated already. From this both Daisley and Kerslake would form a project group of their own and bring in legendary guitarist Steve Morse, keyboard luminary Don Airey and Australia’s number one singer Jimmy Barnes and call the project “Living Loud”. Together the unit would not only compose music of their own but also rework in some respects several of their co-created Ozzy Osbourne contributions – something that the duo had apparently wanted to do for a long time before the troubles even began . These rearrangements would remain very close to that of the originals so listeners would not have any trouble recalling what the actual tune was. Let’s talk about these covers because for lack of a better term that is essentially what the end up as in this point of history. While Barnes might be the number one vocalist in Australia I cannot say enough at how weird it sounds hearing him do these legendary Osbourne tracks. The songs are so ingrained into the Metal fans heads that hearing them with different drumming, additional or less guitar and a different vocal phrasing just comes off as if we are watching some cover band in a bar somewhere. “Crazy Train” lacks the vocal power and loses something under Barnes bluesy rasp while Kerslake doesn’t do any of the drumming patterns he once did and instead keeps it very straightforward. They start “Flying High Again” as a quasi Blues Rock tune and there is too much in the way of added vocal parts that didn’t work for me. Yes the guitar work and overall playing from the members is tight but in the end it all seems over simplified and that was unnecessary. Steve Morse’s solos are probably the best part of the whole album when it comes down to it. My least favorite out of the covers would be “Mr. Crowley” as this rendition is just deplorable but the best would fall to “Over The Mountain” as this came off as the strongest one of the lot.
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