Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Masochist Music review Amen Death Before Musick

What can I say, I’m a masochist when it comes to music.  I like to have complete catalogues when it comes to my favorite musicians.  Sometimes this is a good thing (Alice Cooper, AC/DC) but oftentimes it’s not.  Not only that, but I used to fall into the trap of hearing one or two great songs and purchasing a whole album because of it, which sometimes produced a diamond, but usually only coal.  During this series, we will dwell on some of the albums I have in my collection that are downright terrible.  I will re-listen to them all and give you my impression of them.

Now this is only my opinion, so don’t take it as gospel.  If you like a particular album in this series, let me know, we’ll open up a discussion about it.  I’m always open to discussing the merits of any particular album, and if you have any suggestions (and especially if you have the album itself and are willing to share your views) then let me know and I’d be happy to add it to the list.

Album Name:  Death Before Musick

Artist:  Amen

Release Date:  2004

Why you bought it:  Amen opened for Brides of Destruction back in 2004.  I went for the headliner but enjoyed the energy that Amen brought to the performance so figured I would give their most recent (at that time) album a try. 

First impressions:  While the energy was there, the music was pretty damn unintelligible and, in my opinion, downright unlistenable.  Without the live act to back it up, the music didn’t really hold up.

Impressions upon listening to it recently:  It’s all way too similar in tempo and ferocity to really be good listening.  Maybe I’m just getting old, but I’d rather hear something, anything else interspersed within the album, a guitar solo, something to break up the unrelenting wall of noise.

Any saving grace?:  Sometimes the hooks in the songs are a little catchy, but between the screaming and the unrelenting wall of noise, nothing really stands out.


Was it worth the purchase?:  Nope.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not So New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #48

                First things first, let’s start with a one-page recap of the four storylines going on right now.  Now that that’s out of the way, Hollywood can get his ass kicked by Overkill, the Stark warrior that keeps losing to the Guardians but comes back for more time after time.  Will this finally be the last dance for Overkill or has he actually come up against someone that he can beat?  My money is on Overkill’s track-record of futility, but let’s find out together.

                The fight starts out as you would expect.  Two characters pummeling eachother through deep space.  It ends with Hollywood holding Overkill’s own gun to his head.  This just proves how terrible Overkill is, and yet he just won’t die.  Instead of killing himself and putting us all out of our misery, he surrenders and decides to tell his story to Hollywood.  Now, Hollywood has no idea who this asshole is, so the idea that Overkill is going to recount his origin story to the guy that just kicked his ass makes a smidgen of sense if you think about it in terms of the fact that Hollywood probably wants to know what the hell just happened, but we’ve been reading this since day one.  We know who Overkill is and what a terrible character he has turned out to be.  I don’t need to hear his origin again.  Of course that was all a ruse so that Overkill can fire upon Hollywood when his guard is down.  There is no honor in shitty characters. 

                While Hollywood and Overkill continue their fight we look in on Starhawk and Aleta who have decided the best course of action is remove themselves from reality and go talk to the Hawk God directly, in front of the rest of the Gods (his superiors) to be precise. 

                Back to the Guardians, who are still having a Hell of a time with Mephisto (get it? Get it?)  Out of nowhere, Talon decides to do a little magic and whisk everyone away.  Why he couldn’t do this earlier, I don’t know.  And don’t say it had something to do with his back because he doesn’t need to stand in order to cast a spell. 

                Back to Hollywood and Overkill, who is pouring on everything that he can in order to ensure victory…except it doesn’t matter because Hollywood is still Hollywood.  Instead of dying like a decent creature, Overkill activates his self destruct sequence on his suit.  Unfortunately the power generated by that blast will wipe out most life in the area, and not just silently smother Overkill with a pillow or something.  This is a double bummer because Superman is nowhere to be found to throw him into the sun either.  Hollywood just hugs Overkill instead, absorbing the blast that (hopefully) finally kills Overkill.  We don’t see him die but if you pray hard enough to the Hawk God he won’t come back.


                Next issue: after finally getting rid of Overkill I don’t care what they throw at us, but I bet it has to do with the Joffrey Protégé.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Go Home Feminists, You’re Drunk

                Last week there was a large outcry over a comic book cover by Milo Manara from the upcoming Spider Woman book from Marvel Comics.  It shows the titular hero in a pose that shows off a great deal of her ass as she is climbing over the roof of a building.  Is it cheesecake?  Absolutely.  Is it unnecessary?  Well I guess that depends on your definition of the word. 

For decades, comic books have sexualized, and often over-sexualized women, be they super-heroines or damsels in distress.  Muscle-bound men and large-breasted women in spandex is comics’ stock in trade.  That being said, there are many strong and strong-willed female characters in comics.  Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Chris Claremont created so many strong female characters for the X-Men franchise that not only have they mostly overshadowed their male counterparts (aside from Wolverine, that guy will always be more popular than Jesus) but have become popular enough where a group of only X-Women were given their own book (granted it was only a couple years ago, but still).  Even in the context of “team books” like Avengers, X-Men, Justice League, etc., many of the women characters are written as strong, necessary parts of the team.  Where would the Justice League be without Wonder Woman, or the X-Men without Storm, etc., etc.  Did it take superhero comics a long time to take women seriously?  Absolutely, and the 1990’s did not help that with the over-sexualization of the early Image comics, and comics in general does a downright shitty job appealing to women in general, always has, probably always will.  Mainstream comics also does a shitty job appealing to children, failing to realize that once all of their fanboys move out of their mother’s basements and have to start spending money on rent they won’t have the disposable income for comics that young kids might have (of course if they keep over-inflating the prices of these books they will price their way right out of that as well). 


It's not just the ladies that get posed with their asses in the air. Manara's cover on the left and a J. Scott Campbell cover from the mid 2000's (I believe) on the right.

What I’m trying to say, in my usual long-winded way, is that a picture of Spider Woman’s ass is not an overt attack on women, it’s cheesecake.  And it’s cheesecake from an artist that is known for his erotic comics.  Seriously.  Look him up, but take your safesearch off first or you won’t understand, nor will you find many images I’m assuming.  That’s like being pissed that you went to KFC and got a shitty hamburger.  They specialize in chicken, that’s why you go there.  You don’t commission art from Manara and expect anything but the female form in all its glory.  It’s cheesecake in an industry that was built on cheesecake.  If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.  Plus, it’s a comic cover, it will be on the shelf for three months, tops, then fade into obscurity.  Instead of celebrating the fact that a fan-favorite female character is getting her own series, feminists (many of whom probably do not read comics anyway) attack the fact that one picture, a variant cover no less, is not up to their lofty standards of what women superheroes should look like.  My answer to that is, draw your own superheroine.  Market her, sell her, and profit off of her, instead of inciting anger over something as silly as the fact that too much of a character’s ass is showing.

I will admit, I am not someone that keeps up with pop-culture that much, but why is there such a stink being raised about this while Nikki Minaj shakes anything and everything that she has, shows more skin than any superhero this side of Chaos Comics, and spits right in the face of good taste, without so much as a questioning glance?  Are feminists up in arms about this as well, or is it because she is a woman she gets a pass?  Would that mean that if that cover was drawn by a woman that it would be ok?  That there is a double standard, that a man drawing a woman in a scintillating pose is wrong but a woman doing it is empowering?   This is an honest question, please enlighten me.

There are so many things that we can be raging about as a society…is this really the mountain you want to plant your flag on?  I would much rather question Marvel’s choice of giving Greg Land another comic book to draw than the choice of who draws a variant cover.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tooth

Spud may have bit off more than he can chew in this match-up...especially if he is missing teeth