I hereby declare Dave Grohl the coolest multibijillionaire pop star in the world. He not only made it to the top with tuneful, compromising music, but decided to celebrate his success by introducing the Foo Fighter fan base to HIS favorite artists. Bush, you wonder? Everclear? The Smashing Pumpkins? No, no and no again! He's somehow managed to finagle/wrangle up the singers of eleven timeless thrash bands to create a monsterwork of METAL!!!! And I'm not talking about mainstream Metal Gods like James Hetfield or Ozzy Osbourne -- multitrillionaire rock drummer Dave Grohl has turned over his instrumental creations to the vocal and songwriting talents of Cronos, Max Cavalera, Lemmy, Mike Dean, Kurt Brecht, Lee Dorrian, Wino, Tom G. Warrior, Snake, Eric Wagner and King Diamond! That's right -- all your favorites!
I said that facetiously, but actually they might very well BE your favorites, being as they are members of some really REALLY great metal bands of yesteryear and todear, including Celtic Frost, Napalm Death, D.R.I., C.O.C., Motorhead, Sepultura, Voivod, Trouble, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Hellhammer, Soulfly, Cathedral and The Obsessed. I'm proud as a pie to say that I own music by every single one of these bands (thank you). In fact, to prove that I'm DOUBLY hip, the only reason I own any Trouble is because Kurt Brecht of DRI sent me a mix tape of their stuff! Doesn't that prove I'm triply hip??!?! That's it though. I have no other connection of any sort to anybody who played on this CD. Although a friend of mine is supposedly interviewing Lemmy for Maxim UK this weekend. So there's kind of a 3 Degrees of Separation thing going on there. Also, I used to be the lead singer of Nirvana, so I'm sorta connected to Dave Grohl in that way. But otherwise, this CD might as well be by Bach And The Beethovens for all I've hung out with them!
Let something be understood -- it's not necessarily *SIMPLE* to write an entire album of great heavy metal songs. Even if you're experimenting with several different subgenres as Dave does here, you have to stick to a certain type of angry riffage for it to be suitably "metallic." Having done that, you also have to somehow come up with an ass-kicking chord or note sequence that hasn't already been worn into the ground by the five gazillion metal bands that have come before you -- everybody from Black Sabbath and Slayer to Anvil, Morbid Angel, Autopsy, and heck, people you've never even DREAMT of! Then you have to succeed at both of these goals ten or twelve times in a row so that your album is a nonstop consistent winner of brutal proportions. Does Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters pop grunge fame pull it off? Well, no. He relies on cliched riffs and empty, simplistic grooves a bit too often for his metallic foray to be considered a classic of the genre. But I'd say he DOES succeed in coming up with terrific bludgeoning hooks at least half of the time, and even his less interesting compositions are saved by the unceasingly great vocals of these eleven godlike singer kings.
Err... except one. Lord knows I love Voivod -- I really do. I own all their albums and everything. But boy does "Snake" sound like his nose is stuck in the refrigerator door on "Dictatosaurus." Come on, "Snake"! You're not an actual snake! Stop wiggling around on the floor when you sing! Everybody else, on the other ten hands, RULES VOICE ASS!!!!
The other superneat thing that Grohl does here is actually try to sort of somewhat imitate the styles of his singers' original bands. Not ALWAYS (for example, Kurt Brecht's "Silent Spring" is sort of a Sabbathy metallic groove instead of the high-speed crossover attack that it should be), but like "Red War" was clearly written for Max Cavalera with Soulfly's rigid industrial metal in mind, Lemmy's "Shake Your Blood" is a bigger Motorhead ripoff/homage than Ween's "Gonna Be A Long Night," Mike Dean's "Access Babylon" is high-speed hardcore ala Six Songs With Mike Singing and Wino's "The Emerald Law" is straight-up Obsessed-style stoner psych doom fuzz rock. I call superneat and I say, "Charge it!"
Although Tom G. Warrior's "Big Sky" is a gigantic midtempo instant rock riff classic, the most memorable track on here is probably "Ice Cold Man" with Lee Dorrian on vocals. It's got this dark, sad dual-harmony guitar hook that should have made us all huge hits. Lee Dorrian is the Ice Cold Man, stop him when he's passing by. Lee's the Ice Cold Man, stop him when he's passing by. All his flavors are guaranteed to satisfy. Gotta poomboppadiddy, Dixie Cups. All flavors and push-ups too. Lee's your Ice Cold Man, stop him when he's passing by. Lee's the Ice Cold Man, stop him when he's passing by. All his flavors are......
That kicked ass. Let me see if I can do it with any other songs on here. Ooo! Here's a good one. King Diamond's "Sweet Dreams" are made of this. Who has a mind to disagree? Travel the world and the seven seas. Everybody's looking for something. OOOOOooooooooooooo!
Hot damn, I'm unstoppable now! Eric Wagner - takin' a shit! Eric Wagner - suckin' a tit! Eric Wagner - singin "My Tortured So-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-
So yeah, it's good. There are no finer vocalists in the world, and who doesn't love Dave Grohl? Take that guy and SUCK it!