Billy Talent

I am just going to cover all of their music as I don’t find one of their albums to stand out above the rest. In Fact I don’t really think they have what I’d consider a great album, but they have a lot of great songs.

Billy Talent is a punk band from Ontario, Canada, formed in 1993 under the name Pezz changing to Billy Talent in ’99 they have released four albums under the latter name. Those four are what I will go over.

I’m not trying to sound clever but Billy Talent is a band with a lot of talent. Like most punk bands their music is often anti-establishment in spirit, informing the listener they are just a cog in the machine and they should rebel instead of conform etc… Unlike most punk bands these guys sound fluid, well produced and powerful, the first two things are ultra rare in punk. I don’t know how I would describe their sound except that I haven’t really enjoyed a punk band this much since I first listened to Bad Religion.

Throughout all four albums you do hear a slight evolution in their sound and after listening to it a few times, I feel as if they actually got better. Many bands suffer after a good freshman release but not these guys. I do maintain that none of their releases are great and that is due to songs I feel are kind of ballady and I hate ballads.

If I had to make a list of the songs I like most from each album it will go like this.

Off the Billy Talent album
“Nothing to Lose” This song is not typical of their music but I really like the lyrics. About a depressed teenager who seems to get picked on and is having trouble figuring out how to deal with it. I don’t think he figured it out.

Billy Talent II
“Worker Bees” Holy shit I love this song. Not much else to say about it other than listen to it and thank me later. “PROTECT THE HIVE FROM ENEMIES!”

Billy Talent III
“The Dead Can’t Testify” Do I hear a harpsichord? That’s all I need.

Dead Silence
“Viking Death March” This is just a fantastic song. What I look for in punk music.

I wanted to be more descriptive about these songs but there aren’t any nuances I can pick out and want to show you it is just a case of you should hear them for yourself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Colin

Overkill – Horrorscope

Being my first album review ever, I wanted to start off with something that wouldn’t be a typical review in 2013.
(Which I doubt you’re going to find from the other authors on this particular page anyhow.)
The odds are I’ll be sticking to mostly metal albums, but who knows I might throw in a few curve balls along the way.

I took a little while going over albums on my iPod, and half way through one particular work day I slap on some Overkill and one of my favorite thrash albums ever, and decided this was it.

New Jersey Thrash Metal Legends Overkill’s 1991 faceraper ‘Horrorscope’ is arguably the darkest, and at the very least one of the heaviest albums in Overkill’s extensive sixteen album catalog and that really is saying something. The album also came at a very critical time for both the band and metal in general.

Coming off of the significant success of their previous album ‘The Years of Decay’ which is considered by many their very best in terms of both songwriting and production having worked with the iconic Terry Date. The album featured fan favorites E.vil N.ever D.ies (Overkill IV), Elimination, and my personal favorite, I Hate.

The band however was not content with following the same formula, as ‘The Years of Decay’ had offered several significant experimentations in of itself.
Firstly Bobby Gustafson, long time guitarist, and primary songwriter was asked to leave by founders and band leaders D.D. Verni, and Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth prior to and was quickly replaced by Faith or Fear guitarist Merritt Gant, and Gustafson’s own guitar tech Rob Cannavino.

Though the songwriting itself remains familiar largely due to the album being credited entirely to the writing team of Blitz and Verni, the new guitar duo swap solos that work well with the famed ever present attitude and aggression Overkill is known for, and Sid Falck offers his best drum work during his tenure with the band (though he would leave shortly thereafter), easily solidifying ‘Horrorscope’ as one of Overkill’s absolute best efforts.

Unlike ‘The Years of Decay’ there were no songs in particular that came anywhere near to flirting with ten minutes. What it does offer is a more refined, and heavier evolution of the Overkill style of the late 80’s, early 90’s, often replacing break neck speeds for crushing riffs that the band would continue to experiment with throughout the rest of the decade though maintaining a respectable thrash standard pace through much of the album.

The singles Coma, and Infectious, and the delightfully crushing title track along with the bands cover of Edgar Winter’s classic ‘Frankenstein’ have made ‘Horrorscope’ the bands most popular and bestselling album to date.

Bottom line, pick this shit up.

Phill