If it’s too loud, you’re too old
By Rob Kern
If It’s Too Loud, You’re Too Old Dept.: Motorhead have been enjoying a bit of a purple patch for the past seven years. Closing in on the 40-year mark, the band has always remained an underground favorite. Front man Lemmy Kilmister has often joked that if everyone who owned a Motorhead shirt bought their records, he’d have a bigger house and some money in the bank. The bands fortunes began to gain momentum with 2004’s blazing return to form Inferno, and their profile has continued to rise with the help of a 2010 documentary Lemmy: 49 percent M&**&*, 51 percent Son of A B$&*#. The seemingly indestructible band still crosses the globe, refusing to turn it down and bludgeoning crowds with their gritty brand of Rock and Roll. The World Is Ours – Vol. I – Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else is a new DVD/CD package that captures Motorhead touring in support of their 2010 release The World Is Yours. The stark black and white footage captures Motorhead at tour stops in Chile, New York and Manchester, playing past hits “Iron Fist” and “Killed By Death” alongside newer material such as “Rock Out”. Some may complain about the black and white footage but it does a fine job of capturing the band’s no-frills, in your face attitude.
The Manchester footage lags a bit with the band seeming almost groggy but the full show in Chile and the bonus New York footage finds them in fineform. Motorhead has not aged like fine wine, they are still loud, bitter and nasty as ever and odds are your lawn would still die if they moved next door.
A 3-disc set for around 17 bucks? This one is a no brainer for the metalhead in your family.
The “M” Word: Buckeye fans, I’m going to need to you pack away your Michigan hatred for a few minutes, it will be well worth your time. In the 60’s and 70’s Detroit was the breeding ground for numerous rock bands (not to mention Motown but that’s another article for another time). The Stooges, MC5, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper and Bob Seger all made the Motor City their home base. Recent notable names include The White Stripes and Kid Rock, do yourself a favor and add Dirty Americans to thatlist. Dirty Americans have been around for a few years, going the major label route with 2005’s Strange Generation, a 70’s throwback foot stomper that would have sounded right at home in an 8-track tape deck.
Six years later, they finally returned with the 2011 full-length follow up Black Feather. Going the independent route this time around, the band was able to flesh out their sound a bit more adding an almost psychedelic vibe to the mix of grooving riffs and Detroit swagger. Equal parts Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz and garage rock, tracks like “Sunday In Hell” and “Feelin’ Tuesday” will stick in your ears, even if you are an Ohio State alum. Head over to dirtyamericans.net and give it a listen.
Slipped Through The Cracks Dept.: Every now and again, an artist’s release might slip through the cracks, going almost unnoticed due to poor distribution, lack of marketing or even being out of the spotlight for too long.
Arc Angels (or Arcangels, for their latest release), a blues rock “supergroup” featuring Doyle Bramhall II, Charlie Sexton and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s rhythm section Double Trouble (bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton) released one critically praised album, 1992’s Arc Angels, then vanished. Drugs and egos were the culprit, splitting the band in the midst of radio airplay, a successful tour and growing admiration from the blues-rockcommunity.
Chock full of tunes such as “Sent by Angels” and “Sweet Nadine” featuring the dueling vocals and guitars of Sexton and Bramhall have aged well with time, yet the band has become a forgotten footnote to many. Bramhall eventually kicked the drugs and was able to patch up his relationship with Sexton but busy schedules kept the band limited to occasional one-off shows in their hometown of Austin, Texas. In 2009, the band announced a run of shows in support of a new live DVD, titled Living In A Dream. This 3-discset features a live show from 2005, plus a few newly recorded songs.
After the tour, things went quiet on the Arc Angels front and the self-released disc quickly came and went. It’s a shame as this is the closest we will probably ever get to an Arc Angels reunion. Sexton is Bob Dylan’s touring guitarist and Bramhall juggles producing and touring guitarist duties for Eric Clapton, while bassist Tommy Shannon has retired due to health issues. Living In A Dream features a surprisingly fresh performance from a band that rarely plays together since disbandingnearly 15 years earlier. Fans of Stevie Ray Vaughn would be well served to track down this overlooked release.
Rob Kern is a contributing writer for Classic Rock Magazine, video director and co-host of the From Out Of Nowhere Podcast at www.fromoutofnowhere.com