While watching the first installment of VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs, I was struck by how many bands lost members to Christian rock. For all I care, you can worship that pork chop shaped like Dio I got at Outback two summers ago but that doesn't mean anyone wants to hear an album's worth of songs about it. Elsewhere, I dig the humility of hunky Autograph frontman Steve Plunkett, who acknowledged his one-hit wonder status honestly and tacked on some gratitude to boot. That fucker and his unsigned band opened for Van Halen on their 1984 tour so yeah I'd be thankful for that instant pile of money too.

But while it's only giggle-worthy when guys from Grand Funk or Kansas go all god crazy, it hits a little closer to home when, say, members of the biggest, evilest, free-thinkingest Metal bands of our generation derail into bible rocking. Like, as Metal Inquisition points out, parking attendant assailant Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) and diminutive watchmaker Dan Spitz (Anthrax):
Spitz now owns his own repair shop in Boca Raton, FL, where he reconnected with Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden. Aside for their shared love of music, watches, and living in Florida (who knew Boca Raton was the preferred retirement spot for aging rockers?), they are both really into Jesus. Big time.

You see, Danny was born Jewish, but converted to Messianic Judaism, which really has nothing to do with Judaism. They believe in good ol' JC, and are similar to Jews For Jesus. As a matter of fact, once you convert to Messianic Judaism, Israel will refuse to give you citizenship. But enough about that. Turns out, Nicko is also way into the Lord. He converted upon setting foot inside Spanish River Church, a Boca Raton mega-church, after his wife begged him to go. Once inside the church, he began to cry uncontrollably, according to him.

Though there is no word from Anthrax about Danny's possible attempts to convert them, Nicko says the following about Iron Maiden:

"I can't say to you that I'm trying to convert all these guys in my band to be Christians. I'm leading them on my route, and if they choose to follow what God's plan is in the Bible, that's up to them. I say to them all, you know, look, in my belief, at the moment, if you turn to your saviour Jesus Christ, I'll have eternal life in Heaven with you!"
How original, Nickers. Your wife begged you to go, you had a spiritual epiphany, and now you're privy to ahem God's plan and eternal life in Heaven. Makes a lot of sense for the guy who played on "Moonchild" and "Only The Good Die Young." Dork.




(The End)

I remember standing around drinking with music biz publicists (and an agent) like 10 years ago, suffering through their wheezy litanies about the future of record sales. They took turns droning about internet-based promotion and a leveling of the playing field in which creativity and boldness would no longer be rewarded with obscurity. With the internet, good music would bubble to the top of the brew, chart presence or not. The megaphone now belonged to each record buyer. Ironically, their whole internet-as-noise-machine speech was a doomsday thing; to me, the industry guys always sounded unsubtly scared for their jobs. To a music journalist frustrated at the astounding dollars being thrown around to back the shittiest of shit bands (Crazytown leaps to mind sorry Sergeant D), any change sounded like good news. And this was before file sharing so yeah we had no fucking idea!

Now I'm no expert, but we all have Spidey senses and mine tell me that as 2008 draws to an overdue close (eat shit, George Bush Jr.), we, the Metal listeners, are starting to reap the fruits of the traditional music industry's collapse. To wit, Nachtmystium and their trance-metal masterpiece Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1. Judging from the riotous acclaim on tastemaking metal sites, I was unsurprised at the packed house for the Chicago quartet's opening slot on the Boris/Torche tour. My point is muddy here, but Assassins could never be viewed as a marketable album: too psych for kvltists, too many black metalisms for anyone else, as if either genre posts hearty sales numbers anyway. Assassins would've suffered -- possibly disappeared -- back in 1998 without the deserving patronage of MetalSucks et al. But the record is awesome, and mission accomplished: a shit ton of people at least got to the show on time to see its authors. Shit, the guy from my supermarket's customer service desk was there. (Torche ripped; Boris, well, bored us. WHOOO!)

Sorry for all the blathering but yeah it seems that it's no longer as dangerous to be quote unquote out there, to expand on established tropes and create a truly singular record: in this case, a droning, technicolor Pink Floyd tribute by misanthropic black metallists with no aversion to the odd piano tinkling or gulp saxophone.

Likewise, it's no longer a death sentence to be from a non-English speaking country, like Japan's Dir en grey. Japanese lyricists don't really pick up English smoothly (like, say, Europeans), so the choice is to either stick with their native language or sound like a retarded second-grader. Deg does the former, which pretty much dooms them to obscurity outside of Japan. Well, that and the fucking outfits. But as one after another J-Pop idols have flopped spectacularly in their half-hearted stateside campaigns (hey, there's no market demand for additional dickless pop singers -- we have plenty duhhh), Deg's juice with US listeners originates in their ability to provide a new and exotic product: post-Korn new wave death-rock wailcore. In Japanese.

Sure, singer Kyo needs to put on a goddamn shirt and stop writhing like a cracked-out Whitney Houston. And I for one am glad he almost always opts not to attempt English; he is on some ridiculous shit most of the time, like Simon Le Bon as a Hostel victim. But since Deg jettisoned their visual kei argle-bargle, they've cultivated a monster live show, and cranked out two killer records and two classics, like this year's sprawling, cacophonous Uroboros. Without the potential awareness-spreading tool that is the internet, it's unlikely that a major unit would manage Deg, landing them prime Family Values and Taste Of Chaos slots and direct support on a euphoric Deftones tour. And it's not just the language barrier; their shit is bananas.



There may be a giant stick up my ass 'cause I'm all offended by God Forbid's free download for "War of Attrition" from the forthcoming Earthsblood. First, you have to register on the band's new ahem website, annoying promotion sledgehammer that it is. But fair enough. Then, like those dicklesses in L****n P**k, guitarist Doc Coyle unconvincingly states that the mp3 is a ahem holiday gift, rather than a commercial for their product:
Happy holidays metalheads! We in God Forbid thought it would be a great idea to give a Christmas present to fans in the form a free MP3 download. It's one of the most intense songs from Earthsblood, and sure to be a staple in the live set for years! We will probably do a video for the track at some point as well. Enjoy and please send us messages and commentary on what you think. We are psyched for everyone to hear this one!
Christmas present? SHUT UP! Not bagging on you Doc cuz you totally rip and I always tell you as much despite the court order, but this is obviously just a promotion! In the same breath as "present," you pimp your live show and video and your new website! When I gave my parents that toaster on Thursday, I didn't explain that they should keep an eye out for other Black & Decker models and the big 2009 appliance trade show at the expo center this summer. Where are my fucking crabby pills?


Earlier this month, Scar Symmetry debuted with their two new singers in Spain. This week the Swedish sextet did the smart thing and posted a youtube (above) that makes them sound like two donkey dicks slapping together. Worse, there's a black tank top involved; worse still, there's some fan near the camera croaking all over the shit. Maybe SS could've found a better clip?

Annoying footage aside, I actually hear people complain about guys like Mr. Fabulous above singing along to the songs at concerts. Um isn't that the point? Let's focus on real issues here people, like dingleberries who actually breach the stage: arms-crossed sidestage lurkers (so you promoted the band's last show in town, wow you're a celebrity), macho stagedivers (pump your fist all you want I'm not fucking catching you), radio disc jockeys dragging out their stage intros all night (nobody's tuning in to your shitty broadcast, fatty), and sickly groupies (don't you get enough stage time at your stripping job?). Does the marquee read Scar Symmetry & Friends Smiletime Happy Hour? Do you freaks actually think the band wants you there, gumming up their work and getting in their shot? GET THE MOTHERFUCK OFF THE STAGE.




Newsflash! According to a University of New South Wales study, the act of headbanging causes brain damage. And to that, we all say: DUH. I swear, can we put a moratorium on further pointless studies on Metal, satanism, drugs, violence, suicide, subliminal messages, blag blag blurg? Please? Seems like such a waste of resources and thus we at HooM! will conduct an in-depth study on the effectiveness of retarded studies on Metal and Metal listeners. OK finished! Our conclusion: Zero. No effect on us.

Those nimrods at the School For Risk & Safety Sciences in Aww-stralia coulda saved their precious time and known about glorious Metal brain damage had they just given a close listen to the two dumbest, awesomest Metal records of 2008, both the obvious result of excessive noggin floggin'. First, Warbringer's raging debut, War Without End. It's easy to label Warbringer plagiaristic or even ahem trendy, which makes sense since you can't turn on MTV or commercial radio without first track "Total War" blaring in your face. But seriously, Warbringer walks the fine line between rip-off and tribute with extreme deftness. Here's how to tell the difference: Push play on War Without End. Wait four minutes. Do you find it
a) a shallow attempt at classic Thrash that makes you want to press stop and go listen to Reign In Blood and Fabulous Disaster?
b) a relic that seems to have slipped through time from 1985 Bay Area to your ears?
c) a good-hearted album-length riot that balances genre touchstones with post-Thrash elements to create not a wax dummy of Metal but the reopening of the era?
See, a) would imply Warbringer just dressed their empty, impactless album up in Thrashisms but only suceeded in reminding you of their forebears. Selection b) would be stale in content and suspicious in motive; grungeternative or not, Metal has come a long way since the old days. And hey tribute bands are like ugly outgoing chicks: a good time, sure, but only for one very drunken night. So we land on c), in which Warbringer doesn't shun rumbling double bass and the occasional growl for authenticity's sake. In which Warbringer axemen Adam Carroll and John Laux aren't satisfied to write by-the-numbers Thrash riffs but awesome riffs within the Thrash-ish idiom. In which Warbringer singer haha John Kevill goes all John Connelly/Tom Araya, which seems energy-consuming enough to be undertaken only by a true Thrasher. In which the Ventura quintet pick up what the '90s dropped. In which Warbringer rips.

And then there's One Man Army & The Undead Quartet, possibly the most unwieldy name this side of those emo dorks who use as their moniker an entire T.S. Eliot stanza. 1MA&U4's mastermind is Johan Lindstrom, former singer of The Crown, who is a little caught up in terror-stalker-murder imagery (see cover art, above) but can't help but retain his former band's unparalleled understanding of Death Metal: When vocals become a growly rhythm instrument instead of purveyors of melody, then guitars must pick up the hooky, catchy slack. Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Amott pays lip service to this ideal, but only as a slightly misguided antidote to good cop-bad cop vocals. Which suck-diddly-uck (unless you have an unbelievably awesome singer cough Soilwork cough cough). The Crown, however, shat out hummable riffs all over those last three records, while Lindstrom and drummer Janne Saarenpaa mastered brain-snaring counter-rhythms. Y'know, in the realm of that finale-starting riff of "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due": not melodic, but screamingly catchy. Grim Tales, 1MA&U4's third and best outing, is a straighter, poppier affair, with the aforementioned slash-your-throat lyrics taking center stage. But a Crown-trained musician like Lindstrom is like a five-star chef (hi Jenny) preparing you a burger. Yeah, it's just meat and bread, but what's this avocado-mango salsa and fancy chipotle mustard? Hey wow sesame seeds that don't cascade off the bun on contact! How'd you slice it that way so none of the onions go squirting out when I bite down? Mmmm. Metally.



Over the years, I'd developed a bit of a complex about missing the boat on Exodus. I mean it's tough to feel too bad about it after Gary Holt's Bonded By Blood/Let There Be Blood debacle. And shit even the frothiest mid-school Metal dude only has room for so many underappreciated Thrash bands and I'm a Testament man. And with Flotsam, Forbidden, Overkill ... I got a full slate. That said, my ears are glued to the new 'Exodus', AKA Warbringer, and their development from middling tribute act to full-fledged powerhouse. Not to mix metaphors. My boner is already experiencing some zipper burn in anticipation of early 2009's Soilwork tour on which Warbringer appears (Darkane this is your last chance). Call it convergence but it looks like I can massage my wounded Metal pride twofold. Blabbermouth reports:
Los Angeles thrashers Warbringer has spent the last two months at home working on new material that will comprise their second album. The five-piece is now prepared to enter the studio in January to record the follow-up to War Without End, voted by Revolver magazine one of the best albums of 2008. [Wow Revolver got something right.]

In mid-January Warbringer will enter Sharkbite Studios in Oakland on January 19 with Exodus guitarist Gary Holt producing. The album will be mixed by Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate.


It's the end of the year and as long as we're calling out dudes and airing dirty laundry, I'd like to point out that the biggest rip-off encountered this year (of many) was that weak-ass Cephalic Carnage ringtone I bought from Relapse.com. The shit is all of four seconds long and doesn't even contain any goddamn fucking vocals. That's ok, I don't mind exchanging $4 for what amounts to a glass of hot fat. I'll also name Blabbermouth and the Relapse customer service department as complicit in this fuckjob. As if it wasn't bad enough you guys signed the reactivated Don Cabellero with their unlistenable shit. Worst interview EVER.

So double-thanks to the guys in Enslaved and Myxer.com for the free




Most drug-gobbling jerks will tell you -- usually Monday morning on your voicemail -- that whatever happened, it was an accident. No hard feelings right. Well, sometimes we stumble into good deeds, like the accidental way in which I discovered the fantastically awesome Topeka death metal band Origin. Let us turn the page back to sigh the late 90s: It was a Vader (ugh) headlining show, but the main attraction for my crew (me and uh my shoes) was Cephalic Carnage in the direct support slot. I wanted to be high (not medium) for Cephalic, so I might've overdone it a bit in the alley prior to entry. At any rate, I was totally gershplunkered by the time this killer tech-grind band took the stage, lead by a shirtless, barefooted, slightly-too-intense-for-comfort frontman. When Cephalic's set came up, I had settled into a manageable buzz, but I hadn't exactly made heads or tails of that opening band's 30 minutes. Seemed cool, but it was anybody's guess. Aaand even though Cephalic Carnage then-bassist Jawsh Mullen stuck a lit joint in my mouth mid-set, I was cognizant enough to decide that if I could locate/identify my wallet, there would be a copy of CC's debut album Exploiting Disfunction with my name on it.

However. At some point, wires were crossed and I'll be goddamned if I didn't mistakenly collar that opening band's vocalist, slurring retardedly: "Fwey man. I jushwanna buy yer sheedee. You gees rehp." I looked down to see the word Origin printed across the CD and, puzzled, handed over my cash. The rest is history. After precisely nine seconds of Vader, I headed out to the street, where the Cephalic guys cut me a deal on their shit; thanks for understanding, dudes.

Which brings us to Origin's fourth album, Antithesis. Where there once was a talented but shred-obsessed band now stands a gang of genuinely progressive grinders, and thusly Antithesis is packed with actual y'know songs. Not to be all cliched, but everything ahem 'comes together' here: production, performance, songcraft, and shit-tons of sweeps. Man there is some guitar playing on this record. Sure, it's hectic from jump street (opening explosion "The Aftermath"), so don't blink, but hail satan Antithesis is not one of those what-just-happened albums. Most reviews I read lauded the vaguely Karl Sanders-inflected "Wrath of Vishnu" and spacious, fluttery finale "Antithesis" but there's nary a weak tune -- or even measure -- throughout the album's exquisite 43 minutes. Thank heavens for my drug problem.



I guess it's part of the game, but it's frustrating as hell to see awesome bands like God Forbid fuck up. Coming off a pair of triumphant outings in 2004 and 2005, the New Joisey quintet seems poised to take a step back (or down or over) with the forthcoming Earthsblood, featuring easily the least impressive song in the GF catalog ("Year Of The Gun"). That was strike one; let's call second previewed track "The Rain" a bloop double (la-ame chorus) and generously score that hideous title as a foul ball. (I guess Why So Serious? was taken.) Maybe I'm harsh but keep in mind that these flubs follow two albums predominantly composed of slam dunks and touchdowns. And short-handed goals, break points, a turkey, and fucking yahtzee for the love of shit.

And now the unveiling of Earthsblood's cover art (above). Myuu-YUCK. I think I saw the same image stretched skin-tight across some doucheberry's chest at Vanguard.


Look, Revolver is a wack 'lifestyle' non-magazine but I've always been loathe to gripe. After all, their launch party provided the backdrop -- and free booze -- for possibly the weirdest, drunkest night I've ever had. Had there been a camera trained on me that night, the resulting movie would've landed somewhere between Arthur 2: On The Rocks, that Seinfeld with Kramer traversing Manhattan in search of a bathroom, and the projectile vomit scene in Stand By Me. With more fire. Thank you Tom Beaujour and Revolver Magazine. And Maggie Wang and Maria Rodriguez (then of MSO and Roadrunner, respectively).

But now the truce is off. In the most crassly sycophantic move since Britney's multiple VMA win, Revolver has named ahem Metallica's Death Magnetic the album of the year. Um huh? Kinda insulting doncha think, seeing as 2008 was a monstrously exciting and promising year in Metal even without Devin Townsend, Mastodon, Lamb Of God, God Forbid, Darkest Hour so forth and so on. Beaujour, do you expect me to believe that Dearth Vagnetic is better than everything else when it doesn't even qualify as good, let alone great? It's not even relevant, let alone listenable. It's defective. Tuneless, forced, monochromatic, pointless, out-of-touch, and just stupid. It's not even top 20!

Just keep lining up behind these legacy acts, pussies. Keep backing generic suckbags like Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, and Trivium (sorry) AKA tomorrow's Coal Chamber, Dope, and Primer 55. Doing so ensures a healthy American record industry. Oh wait.




The bad news first: Arsis' We Are The Nightmare has a shamefully thin, undynamic, tweedly mix. I haven't heard such a squeaky, assless EQ since ... I'm gonna have to go back to "Shyboy" by David Lee Roth on my shower radio. Nightmare -- as recorded -- sounds like it was performed by a team of monkeys tapping toothbrushes on milk jugs. Or The Chipmunks doing an album of Carcass covers. The ahem bass drums seem to be in one room and the tangy, shallow snare in another; the bass guitar is in yet another room that has been thoroughly soundproofed. By the third song (the hyper-catchy "Sightless Wisdom"), I get the urge to stand on tiptoe as the helium-packed Nightmare threatens to pass over my head. Bring that shit down! I won't put a jihad on the producers, mixers, and engineers responsible -- nor the label people who allowed the final mix to stick -- they bear the shame of being the We in We Are The Nightmare. A brilliant record but a tragically uncomfortable listen. Damn.

Aaaaanyway, that Nightmare is still one of 2008's best records gives indication to Arsis mastermind James Malone's prowess. He's got a scalding Jeff Walkerian scrowl and busy, freakishly precise guitar hands. We can all agree that there is a definitive moment when we as listeners cross the trust barrier and decide that, yes, this record was created with us in mind and deserves our time and patience. That moment was nearly lost (again, the mix good god the mix) but Malone brought me back with words, not music. The lyrics on Nightmare are awesome (from the album's opening verse, it's apparent that Malone has an ear for the epic) but the words I'm uh talking about are his props to hair rockers Winger in a Decibel Magazine feature; their musicality, Malone stated, is on brilliant display in songs like "Madelaine" and "Headed For A Heartbreak." (Well, that's how I remember his statements; stupid Decibel won't let me read features online.) Elsewhere, Malone vouches for un-loved hair-farmers like Banshee, Vain, and the reviled Roxx Gang and his credibility sags there (really?? Roxx Gang??) but the point is a virtuosic player in the technical death metal realm who studies the hard rock hook and flow ... that's the recipe for brilliance. I'll have another serving, please, and this time can I have some pasta with my sauce?


It was confusing to me that tons of half-ass skater types from my sister's grade were excruciatingly nice to a Metalhead malcontent such as myself. Alas, it didn't take too long to figure out that the boner-blinded punks believed palling around with me was a sure route to my protective sister's hoodle.

What I got out of the deal was an advance peek into punk rock and hardcore via easy access to the pimply beggars' tape collections. For a minute I thought TSOL, Subhumans, and Circle Jerks were good (WRONG), but the real treasure among the dreck was Texas' magnificent D.R.I. Their tour de force was Dealing With It, an instant crossover classic and HooM! Hall Of Fame record. As thankful as I am for discovering Dealing, I really wish my sister had kept better company, like say with the cadre of cuddly heshers perenially at the fringe of my young life. Those guys rocked and it's certain that I would've weaseled a ride to that Megadeth show, instead of lousy Agnostic Front. Damn.

It may have been for the best since these days I'd give a nut to see D.R.I. play and two nuts to be spared Megadeth in concert. So ya never know. A few dozen lucky dudes kept both nuts and saw a teeny bit of D.R.I. on Saturday night, when bands led by vocalist Kurt Brecht (genius) and drummer Felix (awesome) shared a bill at Room 710 in Austin. The two D.R.I.ers must be pushing for a Nobel Peace Prize cuz they treated us all to classic "I Don't Need Society" (below).


A few years back, I was having one of those what-does-it-all-mean crises. It must have been obvious to everyone, and soon I found an equal on this low emotional plane, a nineteen-year old co-worker who had tired of the game called You Just Started College So Let's Fuck And Barf. I enjoyed female company (attire tips, lotsa Laguna Beach) with none of the ahem demands of female company; mostly we just got down to the business of barfing about town.

Where was I going with this. Oh yeah, at 5 a.m. one Sunday she and a friend had gotten thrown out of some party; the friend had essentially pissed all over this guy in her sleep. Blondie and I laughed about it back at my place (while the friend took a shower) but I was surprised to hear that she, too, had once snuck out of a dude's place after drunkenly tinkling in dude's bed. "Almost every girl I know has done it," she explained. "It just ... happens." I was happy to hear that -- she wasn't some busted-out hag, screeching at politely turned backs for someone to buy mama a shot of rail vodka. She was pretty normal. So what's wrong with normal, hard-drinking young people today?

I should've known all along that the answer lies with Robb Flynn of Machine Head. Our relationship has been ahem crappy since I blew a backstage interview in fucking St. Paul don't ask me why. That is, I blew the interview cuz I couldn't tear myself away from this new nine-piece freak-metal band from Iowa; just don't ask me why I had an interview scheduled with a very nu-metally Flynn at the lowest point of Machine Head suckdom. Anyway, Flynn knows a thing or two about soiling himself, both figuratively and literally.



Until this summer, I didn't even realize Misery Index and Misery Signals were two different bands. You scan screen after screen of Metal news and eventually bands run together, especially two phonetically similar and eminently confusable names like these. But rest assured, Misery Index is not lame machocore from the Midwest; MI's misery refers to socio-economic suffering, not an achy-breaky heart. OK, so they are a bit macho, but that's just American death metal -- especially American death metal from the same city as (and formed by ex-members of) Dying Fetus. Whatever. There's little to dislike about MI's masterful Traitors, including the Baltimore quartet's anarcho-punk politics that infuse the record with an anger that only threatens to descend into goofy chest-beating. If humanist outrage bothers you, go listen to Godsmack. Go on. You've been revoked.

I remember listening to Traitors one sunny morning, and, in a minor display of laziness, lowering the volume slightly to play the then-breaking video of Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard ahem refusing to participate in a recitation of the national anthem. Well, it was a bit of serendipity to match the two media -- shit with the aid of a time machine, I'd somehow add the clip to the title track. Maybe Howard and MIndex could get together for a track called "Obama '08 An' All That Shit" track for the forthcoming Judgement Night 2 soundtrack. Just kidding.

But seriously,
Traitors has its moments of unoriginality ("Ghosts of Catalonia" cribs briefly from Mastodon's "Crystal Skull"), and though catchy as fuck, riffage does careen into low-risk grindisms often enough to frustrate. Thusly, Misery Index's next project is dynamics; only "Thrown Into The Sun" downshifts into spacious and melodic mid-tempo groove -- to brilliant effect despite the laugher of a title -- which sets up the harrowing finale "Black Sites." 2008 was a very adventurous year for Metal, as prog-leaning bands suddenly seemed not all that dorky next to proliferate viking metal and D&Dcore. So the time is right for Misery Index to inject some color into the black-and-white world of Traitors.


OK well this officially means war, Sharon Osbourne. Here I am, suffering through all your hypocritical, pretentious bullshit on Rock of Love: Charm School (hey it's reality TV - bullshit is part of the deal). After a seeming eternity in the parallel dimension known as Heather, we finally get a brief but bonery trip to MegansVille last night thanks to the series' ratings-milking clip show. Even better, the peek at next week's finale of ROL:CS indicates that fan favorites Megan Hauserman (above, left) and um bosom buddy Brandi C. will appear alongside the remaining three arguebots who hope to win $100,000 and the title of most-deskanked rock tramp, as judged by Sharon Osbourne, the filthy-mouthed nobody whose father bequeathed her Ozzy. She mated with the oblivious rocker, then sold their troll-like spawn to MTV. I could go on but the point is that Shosbourne and I were only a hair's breadth away from open warfare before yesterday. And then yesterday came and with it the taping of ROL:CS's reunion show. TMZ reports:
Hauserman claims Osbourne went ballistic during a taping of the show's reunion special Saturday night and accuses Osbourne of running across the stage, grabbing her by the hair and refusing to let go. According to Hauserman, Osbourne continued to pull and scratch until security eventually separated the two. Megan went to the hospital Sunday afternoon and filed a report with the LAPD (video) on Sunday night. According to Megan, the whole thing started after Osbourne took a verbal shot at her, and the Charm School contestant responded by saying that Sharon is only famous for "managing a brain dead rock star." And then all hell broke loose. The LAPD says Sharon is a suspect in a minor battery. No charges have been filed.

Calls to VH1 and Sharon's management company were not returned.
How very ahem charming and ladylike of you, Sharon. Much like when Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden refused to deal with your powerdyke bullshit and in retaliation, your punk-ass egged his band. You raging cunt. This will not stand, man. This unchecked aggression will not stand, man. Your husband goes out and makes you money all over town and then you come and attack Megan? Eat a bag of dicks, you stupid slag.



I have absolutely no fucking idea why, but Brooklyn Vegan has mad pictures from Twisted Sister's retarded holiday show in New York the other night. BV is the nationwide source for hipster douche-twists who front like they're part of the lame-ass NYC scene, which apparently includes some flabby, old drag queens and their canon of awful, awful songs. And that's not even considering their hideous cash-grab of a holiday album. 

The upshot of all this is another step in the re-emergence of Lita Ford, aka blue-ribbon spank material for rockers 1983 - 1991. Despite shitting out some kids and getting drilled by Tony Iommi, W.A.S.P. guitarist/class act Chris Holmes, and finally Nitro singer Jim Gillette (don't karate chop me), Ford hasn't given up on her bod, staying hot enough to pull off a um Santa-themed red vinyl and straps ensemble (above). Which made Dee Snider and crew that much uglier by contrast. Shit Eddie Trunk looks like an adonis next to those ghouls. Stop confusing my wang, freaks!



It's hilarious that freaky religious types are so quick to publicly indict satanist Metal bands, calling them oh say criminals. This despite the fact that only in isolated instances has any satanist -- Metal or otherwise -- committed a crime, while it's well-documented that various Christian institutions have built their legacies on warfare, slaughter, and sexual abuse. And boring ass blathering about bliz-blaz and him-ham. Like total jerk-off Ryszard Nowak, head of the All-Polish Committee for Defence Against Sects, who has been slapped with a big fat libel suit by Adam "Nergal" Darski, head of the All-Polish Committee for Defence Against Hypocritical Fuckwits, aka Behemoth. From Metal Portal:
Nergal is demanding an apology from Nowak in [daily newspaper] Gazeta Wyborcza and three thousand zloty donated to an animal shelter in Gdynia. Nowak claims that his apologies would be a green light to all musicians worshiping Satan, that they can do everything on stage: burn crosses, destroy the bible or just offend Christians. "I'd rather go to prison," Nowak says.

Nowak registered an official complaint with the authorities in Poland regarding a Behemoth concert that took place in Gdynia last September during which Nergal reportedly called the Catholic Church "the most murderous cult on the planet" before tearing up the Bible, stating, "they call it the Holy Book, I call this the book of lies. Fuck the shit, fuck the hypocrisy." In February this year in Gdynia Public Prosecutor's Office initiated the investigation. After three months the investigation had been terminated.
I'm no expert on Poland (except for some lightbulb jokes) but one gets the sense that there are more important issues for public agencies to tackle there besides a guy saying words to people who pay money to see him. Pay to see him say words. Words set to music. And call me crazy, but with or without this clown's apology (and very conservative punitive damages award), Gorgoroth, Watain, Behemoth and untold others will continue to fuck shit up on stage in Poland and elsewhere. And maybe I'm on drugs, but if anything is illegal, it's publicly slandering a law-abiding citizen (and damaging his business interests) and filing nuisance claims based on your dickless, small-minded personal beliefs. Then again, I had chicken tacos for breakfast today. So.


It surprised the shit outta me that Tropic Thunder was so good despite dickbag Ben Stiller taking like seven credits as usual. As a spoof of both war movies and Hollywood bimbos, it's a screaming success, though Robert Downey Jr.'s role struck me as a bit rank. Sure, the film is lampooning over-serious moviemakers who go to great lengths for authenticity. And very few ack-tores can pull off a part like RDJ's Kirk Lazurus, a white Australian who undergoes surgical procedures to play an black American soldier in a display of unmatched racial insensitivity. And yes, I get it that only a hacky, Russell Crowe-esque freak would overplay the character so badly, spewing hoary Jive-isms even between takes. It makes sense; it's just really unpleasant -- and unfunny -- to watch for 120 minutes. The only way it could've been more grating is if they wrote a character for gibbering, stuttering ESPN fucknut Stuart Scott. But then they'd have to work around Scott's stringent schedule of tongue-bathing LeBron's wang.

The whole thing kinda reminds me of those goofy fuckers in (Hed) P.E., the only non-Japanese band with such levels of unnecessary punctuation in their band name. I respect dudes because they're so damn awful but seem to've been recording/touring uninterrupted for at least a decade. And they have a philosophy, as detailed by the hungover but steel-stomached awesomes at MetalSucks. Cold got to be.



I won't wear out your eyes with more flimsy insistence that R&B wailers like Monica, Brandy, and Mariah Carey are to non-Metal what Tommy Baron (Coroner), Dave Murray (Iron Maiden), and Steve Vai (Whitesnake) are to Metal: mind-blowing virtuosos who elevate even the most mundane material to soaring heights with their skills. But briefly: Monica is the most powerful and stirring singer, though as a second tier seller is privy only to tracks passed over by the diamond acts; so her uneven records waste jaw-dropping performances (Baron/Coroner). Brandy, meanwhile, has the best voice and packs her tight, virtually filler-free albums with mega-engrossing melodies and occasionally hideous lyrics (Murray/Maiden). Mariah is pure technique, possibly the most mechanically mind-blowing singer since what's-her-name who cameoed in The Blues Brothers. If you can stand all that goddamn squealing (Vai/Whitesnake).

If virtuosity is Metal, then Brandy is double-Metal because "I Tried" (above) from her 2004 outing Afrodisiac (ugh) is built on a killer sample taken from a legendary Metal band. Are you Metal enough to spot it? Answer next week in HooM! Google it if you're gay.


As a big-shot music journalist, I've conducted a few hundred interviews with national recording artists and attended a bajillion industry functions where they serve those awesome chicken skewers. Those shits are tasty, fuck the sauce. Yeah anyway, I'm in the system and everyday suckers foot the bill indirectly for all the free music lavished upon me. Being a journalist also means I'm unforgivably lazy; so on occasion I just DL stuff rather than gabbing with busy publicity flacks. As you can tell from the outpouring following the recent death of Adrian Bromley, writers get very close with good publicists; I think it's big of me to repay their friendship by saving their shipping and promo budgets. 

That's what I'll tell the judge and RIAA counsel, anyway. When he wields his gavel at me and inquires about non-current music I've filched from the interslice, I'll continue by explaining that most of that old shit isn't even available for purchase. Like that second Junkyard album. Or my big get for today, Aerosmith's MTV Unplugged sessions from 1990. Who knows why this has never seen commercial release, but I taped it off its premiere broadcast (does anyone remember cable radio?) and played the ballbag off of it. In the unplugged setting, most acts have to acousticize their hard rocking shit, which sounds way limp; Aerosmith, however, had some readymade acoustic-ish highlights (underappreciated classic "Hangman Jury") along with standards ("Big Ten Inch" "Walkin' The Dog") and a well-transformed original ("Toys In The Attic"). For some reason, it was a measily 30-minute broadcast, which robbed us all of the unaired shit, like Get Your Wings centerpiece "Seasons of Wither" (below). I'm out of order? You're out of order! The whole dick-eating system is out of order!



My Monday crawled by due to lotsa Dime-related pouting. After whaling on Jeopardy, I got the sense that the late, great axeman wouldn't want me to just throw the whole day away. But what could turn my frown upside down? It was then that I remembered Dime's last words on that awful night four years ago, and on every night before taking the stage: Van Halen! Honestly, can any human resist a smile when David Lee Roth does his thang (above, with a little Michael Anthony)? 

Which got me thinking about the trio of splendid summer evenings I've spent front and center at orgiastic DLR shows. At the most recent gig, Dave's mood turned foul and venomous in a hurry thanks to newly-enlisted drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Alice Cooper). DeGrasso rips but, oddly, is apparently the only fucking dude on earth not DNA familiar with classic Van Halen cuts; I'm no drummer yet could play those songs with my asscheeks, and my entire lower torso has been high since Reagan. 

DeGrasso wouldn't have been there if not for Ray Luzier, who left DLR's band to join the DeLeo brothers (STP) and Filter mainman Richard Patrick in Army Of Anyone (and now, Korn). But twice prior to his departure, Luzier thrilled me behind Dave with his hyper-energetic and singular playing; when AOA's record came out I felt a bit of weird pride at being a fan of each of the short-lived supergroup's members. But that's the power of Van Halen, and all those they've touched. Anyway, if that hi-larious "H4T" action doesn't do the trick, check out Luzier outplaying those other three guys (below). Van Halen!


Like most Metal people, I spent my late teens/early 20s at awful jobs and in shitty apartments. Though I kinda was in the shit, those times were still happy cuz i'll be goddamed some righteous people went out of their way to party with me. That was a surprise for someone usually regarded by even the warmest of people as slightly more appealing than a bag of hot barf. 

Yeah anyway, it's in this context that I smilingly remember my pal Ian. We were standing around at work, idly taking turns examining the most vulgar, cringe-inducing lyrics we'd ever heard. I offered "Don't Get Mad, Get Even" from Aerosmith's Pump. Puzzled, he asked what was so dirty. I pointed to the final verse, where Steven Tyler details some back alley backdoor action in the most infantile and crass of terms:
You've been shacking up with Lucy
And when the morning comes
You meet Sally in the alley
And the junk is in the buns
What started as a series of repressed guffaws ended with Ian collapsing to one knee in hysterics. No dude, he finally managed with a hand on one hip and the other massaging his brow. "It's 'You meet Sally in the alley/With the junkies and the bums.'" Huh. I'd always wondered why Tyler stretched so far for that rhyme. Well there's my answer, fishbulb. Thanks Ian.

Anyway of the many things Ian did for me, he touted the genius of his favorite band Monster Magnet, at the time hot shit with "Space Lord" from 1998's Powertrip. Though I liked the shit, Dave Wyndorf & Co.'s genius didn't reveal itself to me til last month after some computer rudely insisted that if I so liked Torche's Meanderthal and Enslaved's Vertebrae, then I might dig MM's Dopes To Infinity. Remembering Ian, I rocked Dopes at top volume, apologized to the computer, and distractedly picked up the shards of my blown mind all goddamn week. Like with the Aerosmith lyrics, I missed the point for a fucking decade but thanks to Ian, I'm on track now. Monster Magnet rules. Now, look to your orb for the warning.



It seems like ages ago, but too-young-to-party dorks once had to rely on video clips to get a good look at hunky Metal bands. It still seems a bit weird to so enjoy four minutes of dudes pretending to rock out -- let alone the more ambitious clips that featured actors and story lines (of sorts). Bands not averse to a measure of cheese mastered the "loser-loner rocker vs. society" genre of Metal video to which W.A.S.P.'s "The Real Me" and "Killed By Death" by Motorhead belong; similar but slightly more dignified is Testament's killer video for "The Ballad" (above) from Practice What You Preach, which cemented my then-nascent devotion to Metal back when Headbanger's Ball was awesome (fuck Riki Rachtman). Awesome shit. 

That was then, and sigh this is now, and now sucks but Testament still sets the bar for rad (if tardy) Metal clips for your face with this new effects-laden joint (below). Thanks Testament. To you five, there is truly "More Than Meets The Eye" what a segue!!



Ugh so DragonForce has quietly gone about their business of hyper-frenetic wankcore without offending me thus far. That all changed today when I spotted singer ZP Theart doing the "shhhhh I'm here baby" pose in a recent promo shot (above). Congratulations, homos -- you're officially about as cool as other finger-to-lips jerk-offs David Hasselhoff (drunken berater of children) and fucking Rod Stewart (cheap-ass Steve Marriott). Heavens to Murgatroid. 

Anyway, thanks to alphabetical arrangement, Fag'nDorks head up yesterday's announced Best Metal Performance Grammy nominees and holy shit that's the boringest sentence ever. As retarded as the actual awards are, it's still tempting to devote a few thousand words to the excruciating Grammys broadcast (teleprompters and hilarious announcer and formalwear stuck in the 50s), but let's get this over with: 
  • DragonForce "Heroes Of Our Time"
  • Judas Priest "Nostradamus"
  • Metallica  "My Apocalypse"
  • Ministry "Under My Thumb"
  • Slipknot "Psychosocial"
Shitting all over these nominations is like pilfering vicodins from my wacko pot guy: too easy. For some reason Slayer won the last two years, and that should indicate to what extent the NARAS gets Metal. If this shit meant anyfuckingthing, HooM! would endorse Slipknot, if for no other reason than that I'd rather endure a traumatic dwarfbang than hear that Metallica song again, the Priest album is a total miss, DragonForce has the appeal of a Looney Tunes marathon at 78 rpm, and the only prize deserved by Ministry's quarter-assed Stones cover (with horrific Burton C. Bell vocals) is a tumbler full of hot piss. Eat shit and die, Grammys.


So a lot of dudes are calling Lars Ulrich of suckass Patheticallica a major dumbshit for inadvertently outing himself to Blender this week. The Chicago Tribune reports:
Ulrich gave up cocaine awhile ago, but he does miss something about it: "The bonding. Two guys in a bathroom stall — it feels like the most important place in the whole world in that moment. I've actually gone into bathroom stalls with friends since I quit, just so I still have a little bit of that bonding."
Yeah ok I don't think Lars is stupid per se -- just annoying as fuck. Anyway, it's probably not that he misspoke or chose his words carelessly, causing a harmless statement to sound homoerotic. Nay, he's engaged in toe-in-the-water testing for an eventual full and complete outing. With Kirk to follow. That's the main thing. 

On a secondary note, only a retard runs his mouth to a national publication about how he misses doing drugs but tries to act like what he misses isn't the drug itself. Even I know that this kind of talk is code for "I'm not hopelessly craving cocaine, just the fun stuff that comes with it; I'm not addicted." Just say it dork! You hate every second of your miserable life not spent hoovering delicious, sadness-killing cocaine! We ALL do. 

And finally, does Ulretch actually accompany his cokehead friends into unsupervised public places to y'know just hang out? Dude, those cats don't want to hang out with Lars for his conversation or ahem bonding. The same rules apply in Lars' world as my aunts': Bring some drugs or get the motherfuck out.