Music Reviews, and what I've been listening to lately

I've decided to make the music reviews on this site part of the front page. I used to have a section on this site where my music reviews would show up under the music section of the site (Last 10 CDs purchased) but since nobody goes there, and since I'm not terribly happy with the software I wrote to maintain it, I've decided to move that to the front page. Call it simplification, laziness, or outright click-whoring if you will, but it's my site, so strap in and enjoy the ride.

Chimaira: Resurrection - I first learned about Chimaira from "The Metal Show" in Cleveland (they were one of the first metal podcasts I've ever listened to, and I miss The Warlock and Chris Aiken and their weekly show). Since Chimaira is from Ohio, they were featured regularly on the show, and I grew to appreciate their music. Let me just say, these guys kick some serious ass. Screw the labeling of whether or not these guys are metal, nu-metal, or whatever the heck you may think, because you'll miss out on some great music if you pass up this album. After their Roadrunner release, the band was in some serious turmoil. They stepped back, managed to patch things up, and released a great album. What's great about it is the band wrote great songs together, and didn't give a crap about what "Chimaira" should release; they just wrote great music. Six is a nine-minute song that doesn't feel like a nine minute song. The album is as true to their earlier work as anything, while not feeling like a stale rehash. Excellent stuff, and highly recommended.

Drop Trio: Cezanne - I was looking for a track for my "Busy Busy Bugs" game for PyWeek. Had I gotten the ogg file to work, "WallaWalla" would have been playing instead of "Flight of the BumbleBee". As it stands, this album became my cadence for the game, and I listened to it relentlessly while pushing myself to finish the game. I love the way this trio just smokes with awesome melodies, and a palatable groove. Some of the tracks didn't catch me the same as others, but after listening to them several times, I began to appreciate what was happening. Check this album out, especially "WallaWalla", and if your toes aren't tapping by the end of the track, you might want to check yourself for a pulse.

Rush: Snakes and Arrows - Talk about a new direction for Rush - just be Rush. What an amazing album! It seems that the producer, Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver) is a Rush fan himself, and decided to just let the boys play. Funny concept for Rush: just be Rush. And when Rush is being themselves, one heck of an album emerges, grounded with excellent lyrics, awesome playing, and instrumentals! Lots of instrumentals on this disc. While Vapor Trails was a great album, this album just feels like they could be themselves. Some people may not like it, but quite frankly I think its some of their best work in years. Maybe not a good place to start for a first Rush album purchase, but definitely a great place to come to once you've listened to everything else they've produced. Well done, gentlemen, well done.