High Voltage - reviews by Joey Eyebank Ramone

High Voltage - Kerrang! Magazine 25th birthday special free CD

It's Kerrang! Magazines 25th birthday, and as a special treat to all the spotty heavy metal heads, nu-metal inadequates and anyone else in the past quarter century who's been bored by the short sightedness of the NME, they gave away a copy of this CD featuring covers of some of their favourite songs.

Things don't get off to a great start as Gorilla Biscuit's classic "Start Today" is mauled by -egh!- Fallout Boy, totally ruining the song and making a strong case for the Fallouts to be the most unpopular band of 2006. Perfect for K! readers then?

Track 2 is Aiden doing a surprisingly good version of The Misfit's "Die, Die My Darling" which has to be one of the highlights of the album. The other three killer tracks for me are Bullet For My Valentine's improvement of Ozzy Ozbourne's "Crazy Train", Deftones homage (!) to Lynrd Skynrd's "Simple Man" and NOFX's more straightforward cover of Minor Threat's "Straight Edge".

Overall, despite a few exceptions, this is a great way to celebrate Kerrang!'s 25th birthday. However it's not quite as good as R*E*P*E*A*T's 10 birthday CD… [OK, OK Joey, the cheque's in the post - Ed]

9 / 10

Jaed : Dirty Days (www.jaedmusic.com)

An honest punk band release this explosive album with infectious melodies and powerful lyrics that pull no punches. However some of the songs do sound a bit the same, and a bit too close to some of the more manufactured girl 'rock' bands hovering around the charts.

7 / 10

Tens and Units (www.myspace.com/tensandunits)

A boringly plain, bland band who could only be described as 'tens and units' as the phrase 'mathematical equations' is the most descriptive way of explaining them. There's no imagination in these songs, just formulaic indie. Think Radiohead, Interpol and Pavement and you're half way there. And half way asleep. Yawn! Soporific in the extreme. The most exciting thing about this CD is the promotional sleeve with instructions on it telling you how to build a paper plane.

0 / 10

Litterbug - Speaking Through the Gaps (JSNTGM Records - www.jsntgm.com)

The first song opens the VD with some yodelling, sounding like a high pitched Armenian folk singer backed by a shouty male vocal recalling bands such as Sham 69 or even Blur giving you the ultimate Litterbug experience.

The ep's tile explains the band's aims pretty well, as they speak through gaps, finding new ways of writing music rather than relying on clichéd, common methods of composition. This makes Litterbug's "sonic grunge" pretty interesting.

So, here I will give you the recipe for the Litterbug sound:

One female folksy voice
A sprinkling of Jimmy Pursey's backing vocals
50g of the Pixies, grated finely
Kurt Cobain's guitar parts garnished on top
Cooked by in Dee Dee Ramone's bass guitar oven before being left to cool and served with 15g of Be Your Own Pet and one teaspoon full of intelligent if repetitive lyrics.

Serve hot.


9 / 10

<Opus> Sample Aura (www.opusband.com)

Opus are an instrumental 3 piece who have toured with bands including The Datsuns and Blueprint. The lack of vocals does not mean that they lack melody and this is cleverly woven to some heavy rocking parts. However the absence of words can cause the interest of the listener to wander and I found my attention flagging after a bit.

6 / 10

>Resonate< Sonic Collision (www.resonateonline.co.uk)

This band are indeed witness to a sonic collision as indie and Brit pop and grunge all collide in their songs. The meaning of Resonate is a deep echoing sound, or a sound produced in one object by sound waves coming from another object. Which is exactly what this band sound like. So now you know.

8 / 10

Mark Morrison - Innocent man

Sounding like a failed soul singer [what do you mean 'sounding like' - Ed] trying desperately to keep in time both with his drum beat and also with the modern world. He wails on about how he got in trouble cos he couldn't pay his tax bill due to drug addiction, and don't our heartstrings just weep for him? Especially when his stupid gangsta rapper accent means that the words fail to rhyme or even fit in properly.

The man who kept Design for Life off number one - we are Manics fans and we NEVER forget!

An innocent man? I don't think so!

-5 / 10

China Grove - Charlotte Street part 2 (www.chinagroveonline.com)

Just when you thought it was safe to put your big toe back in the murky waters of post grunge, here comes China Grove, who seem to be the ghosts of Nickelback; in fact the song would have been better titled "Nickelback part 2" and leave Charlotte Street alone. Yep, 3 guys from Leeds try to resurrect a musical form that was far better off dead. And why they feel they have to ditch their Yorkshire accents for Texan ones, God only knows. Maybe they're hoping to move over there. I'll throw in a few pence for a one way ticket.

0 / 10

Chapter XIII : Drean Salvation (www.levelsound.com)

Trance and metal meet in an interesting fusion of poppy melodies to make the Chapter XIII experience. Sounding Korn like in some parts and Verve like in others, they even have a hint of the Eurovision sound (but not like Lordi!). A refreshingly original mix of everything.

8 / 10

Joey Eyebank Ramone

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