Review of 4 old albums.
by travis catsull
There are three things Austin cab drivers have taught me:
1. If they say they’ll be there in 15 minutes, they really mean 30-45 minutes.
2.If you throw up in their cab they’re going to kick you out. Regardless of where you are.
3. Yellowman is one of the best (and scariest looking) reggae musicians of all time.
90% of Austin cabbies are from Nigeria and they all love Yellowman. Next to Augustus Pablo, Yellowman may be my favorite reggae musician. As a young albino orphan, Yellowman, (born Winston Foster) had a tough childhood until he won a talent contest and the rest is history. I only listen to his first two albums from the early 80’s. Like most musicians Yellowman’s early stuff was his best. From his first album Mister Yellowman the tracks “Morning Ride” and “Jamaica a Little Miami” are my favorites. In “Jamaica a Little Miami” Yellowman sings a bunch of facts about Jamaica. Did you know that when tourists come to Jamaica no one shoots them down? That they make white rum, grow sugar cane and the women are very beautiful? Sounds like Miami doesn’t it? “Don’t worry man, come out to Miami. No one’s going to shoot you. Promise.”
Yellowman’s second album, Zungguzungguguzungguzeng provided the breakthrough he needed to become an international sensation. This album also began a long series of declarations of Yellowman’s sexual prowess. You may think you’ve never heard Yellowman, but you have. The beat from the song Zungguzungguguzungguzeng has been copied by everyone from Tupac to Mos Def. Also, if you’ve ever heard the song by N.W.A Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt then you’ve heard Yellowman. That’s him singing the chorus.
I can only recommend these two albums. The rest are less inspired and a regurgitation of these first two, amazing albums.
Meanwhile, a few years later Slayer released their 3rd album titled, Reign In Blood. This album was produced by the infamous Rick Rubin who is probably most famous for his American Recordings work with the late Johnny Cash. Anyhow, many people claim this is one of the greatest metal / thrash albums of all time so I had to take a look. Back then it was somewhat controversial due to the graphic nature of the lyrics wherein they discuss human experimentation, the holocaust, etc. and I think this helped it land in the Billboard top 100 at one point. Really, this album is just fucking hardcore, fast slashing, shit on your dad and sacrifice a retarded puppy in the name of Satan type of music. In the song “Altar of Sacrifice” they actually say, “Hail Satan” a few times. Now you know where you got that from. The guitar riffs by Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman are brutal and bad ass. There’s no doubting that. The entire album is roughly 30 minutes, but if you sit there and listen to the whole thing you may end up sweating from pure adrenaline or the insane double drum fills that clobber your ears with tiny fists. My favorite song is “Criminally Insane (Remix)” as the drums come in perfectly before a classic (metal) guitar riff picks it up and keeps you off kilter for the remainder of the song. This is good stuff, but I still enjoy the Melvins work more.
And then there’s Roger Daltrey. Oh Roger, you just couldn’t just be happy jamming with The Who could you? I guess after watching Pete write just about every song (including the hit “Squeeze Box”) on The Who By Numbers album in ’75 Roger needed to find his voice and experiment with every popular genre of the era. Not excluding a country twang that comes out oddly close to an Allman Bros. track on the song “Single Man’s Delimma”. I’ve listened to this album quite a few times over the last few months after finding it tucked in the shadow of a public library and I still haven’t been able to get a grip on it. There are just some really bad songs including “Avenging Annie” which sounds like a song off Tommy, just not as good. The title track “One of the Boys” sounds like a southern rock guitar riff mixed with an AC/DC singing style. It’s not that good really. I enjoyed the album cover until I found out it was modeled after Magritte’s famous painting Reproduction Interdite. And truly, that really sums up the entire album. A bunch of copies of something that leaves you wanting to find the original because you can just tell the original is much better.
10 years ago Jack White was working as an upholsterer with his friend Brian Muldoon and they decided to start a rock group. Though some called them a punk group, I just don’t see how. They named their band appropriately, after their profession and released a single called “Makers of High Grade Suites” on a 7″ record released w/ Sympathy for the Record Industry under the band name The Upholsterers. Of course these 7 inch records are out of print now and can be found on ebay for $500 – 1000 dollars, but it’s easy to find digital recordings of it online. The three tracks on this release sound like lo-fi recordings of The White Stripes and it seems like the only original song is “Apple of My Eye” as the other tracks are credited to Willie Dixon and Jack Starr, two musicians of varying eras and genres. Another cool fact about the original 7 inch release is that it came with a variety of inserts, such as a sticker for White’s business ‘Third Man Upholstery’, a “fabric” sample of sandpaper, a Muldoon Studio business card and a reproduction of an WE Klomp upholstery tag. Sounds like something my friends and I would do.
Review of 4 old albums.