Tag Archives: 2016

Album of Week 13: HIDDEN CITY

Hello friends! Time runs really too fast. I almost forgot I got a blog. It was on January the last time I posted something here. Everything’s ok so far. Every starting of the year is becoming significantly harder. I don’t know if it’s because of the weather, I’m moodier than usual, perhaps it’s the lack of sun, but I’ve been too slow these past three months.

But, hey!  I bring you good news, I’m writing on one of the most likely best albums of the year already, and I’m totally hooked up on it.

hidden city

The fact that The Cult releases an album in 2016 it’s exciting. After rediscovering its entire discography in the past months, because I was basically familiarized with 2-3 records, I’ve realized that this band’s never followed a standard pattern of in terms of evolution. In fact, seems that they’ve been experimenting and developing what Ian Astbury or Billy Duffy were in the mood at that specific moment. Truth is that this choice is nothing but too risky, and probably this has been the main reason for preventing them from stardom, and commercial success.

One thing is for sure. They’ve always delivered outstanding albums without any major disaster. Something not everybody with more than 30 years of career on their backs can say. So when a new album was announced, you had the guarantee of a good work, but not even the fans could conceive how the album was going to sound like, because The Cult is simply unpredictable.

When the first singles came out, my expectations definitely grew fast. The trotting rhythm of ‘Dark Energy’ didn’t catch my vibe in the beginning, but with ‘Hinterland’ you could already guess Duffy’s work on guitars is killer. And the third single, this ‘Deeply Ordered Chaos’ with the verse ‘I’m a European’ repeated by Astbury and rising up to one of the most intense moments of the album.

the cult

There was another positive point to have in mind and it’s the collaboration of Bob Rock producing Hidden City. Joey Tempesta’s drums and Duffy’s  guitars  sound very powerful, and the arrangements, are treated elegantly, without being excessive, creating very special atmospheres. Astbury is almost 54, and even though nowadays he’s in perfect shape, it’s obvious his voice has lost some register, but still, it keeps on being super evoking, able to transmit  decadent sensuality in ‘In Blood’, my personal favorite, but also heartbreaking harshness in ‘Birds of Paradise’.

It’s a pity many fans remain stuck in the past and only relate The Cult to the albums they recorded almost 30 years ago. if you are livid as a musician and live for writing, you need to evolve from Love, Electric or Sonic Temple. And as a fan, you’d enjoy more if you were moving forward. If you read this, and consider listening to Hidden City, but are one of these people, don’t waste your time, but be aware you’ll miss a great album.

Wake up! It’s time to play!

I guess you already know one of my favorite topics of discussion has to do with the Guns N’ Roses universe. It’s been long time since I don’t write about this band, but events and confirmations need to be commented. At least I need to talk about them.

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Three years ago GN’R were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Many fans thought this would be the right opportunity for the band to leave all the arguments and bad blood behind, and perhaps, to have a fresh start and start considering a reunion. However Mighty Axl, Mr One in a million, decided not to get involved in that circus, thus he didn’t attend the celebration, and rejected it, becoming a weird event with former members of a band they weren’t part of anymore, while the singer and his new line up continued performing as Guns N’ Roses supporting Chinese Democracy. Personally speaking, my feelings were very contradictory, as on one hand I stood by Axl’s decision, cheering up the fact that he was stubborn yet honest to his beliefs, and not yielding to the pressure of this title, but on the other hand assuming that after his rejection, a reunion would never take place. And to be honest, I didn’t feel the need to encourage such reunion anymore, as it would be just a matter of money, a business, but not a true one. You can call me romantic, ‘cause I am.

In 2015 rumors started to spread on social networks, and the gossip was alive again. A reunion seemed to become a reality, with Slash and Duff willing to go ahead, but as usual, you couldn’t take anything for granted until Axl would open his mouth.

What’s been fascinating during these months it’s the fact that established music magazines were taking these rumors as actual news, and lots of information was decontextualized and twisted as to sell this comeback. For instance, some musicians just expressed their excitement on the possibility of this reunion, but their statements were manipulated as to confirm it was going real.

2016 arrived with the scheduled interview to Axl Rose by Jimmy Kimmel on TV. Expectations had risen to the moon, and everybody was super enthusiastic about him confirming this reunion through a camera. But again, 24h before the show, Axl Rose name was removed from the site, getting thousands of fans disappointed.

All of a sudden, Coachella festival confirmed Guns N’ Roses headlining the festival to take place in April, Slash and Duff were posting a terrible Photoshop poster with the band classic logo with the festival background, and eventually, after making jokes confirming his love for Taco Bell, Axl spoke through this tweet.

gnr coachella

Holy shit! It’s showtime!

Being aware of Axl’s tricked mind, how much time did it take him to post that tweet? What can be inferred from it? Tell me it’s not wonderful, like a modern cypher. Any single emoticon can have different readings, and his patronizing tone is absolutely nasty, as if he was doing us all a favor joining the reunion. Wonderful!

Axl tweet

At this point many of you might think I’m as nuts as Axl is, the truth is that I’m still skeptical. Too much time till Coachella becomes a reality, too much tension in the air, I reckon this reunion is on the verge, and it can explode at any time, no matter the strict and multimillionaire contracts signed up. Axl is unpredictable, still keeps part of his current band colleagues on the payroll, Adler, Sorum and Stradlin are not officially part of the team, and Slash’s IG posts are simply brilliant, as if trying to break Axl’s balls a bit in a subtle manner.

Like I said, I don’t need this reunion, and I’m not the only one on this. When I raised the subject on an interview to Michael Monroe, he was clear: “that’s not a real reunion, it’s not honest, the band members are incapable of putting all the shit behind, and most likely it would not have a happy ending”.

Truth is that if there was a chance, I’d move mountains to attend a show. Too attractive to be missed.

Rumors are spread on a daily basis, the craziest fans, me included, are looking for plots and new theories, with every picture, every tweet, every statement pronounced by someone close, or close enough to be a reliable source, is analyzed and commented.

Which band can create this halo of excitement? Who can turn the world upside down and get all the attention from fans and media just clapping their hands? Guns N’ Fuckin’ Roses, the ultimate rock band.

Whatever happens in the next months is worth following. So friends, get the popcorn into the microwave, because the show has just started. Have fun!

Farewell, duke

Hi there! To be hones I’d have preferred to write my first post of the year sending a positive message, or talking about good things or great shows experienced last year, but you know how this goes. Xmas is always the worst timing for writing, habits and routines are interrupted for a while and I’m lazy as fuck lately, I cannot lie. I hate finishing 2015 and starting 201 saying farewell to deceased personalities, but in both cases I think my words might work as a humble tribute to them.

bowie

I woke up this morning and visited Twitter to check on the Golden Globe awards. Not that I’m a huge fan of them, but it’s always interesting to have references to go to the cinema from time to time. Instead, I found a disturbing post from David Bowie’s official account confirming he had passed away after 18 months struggling against cancer. I didn’t have the slightest idea, being aware of his weak physical condition though. Fuck! Last Friday it was his 69 anniversary, and he had released his last studio album that same day. The news was so shocking, and so sudden, people didn’t want to believe, thus the 20 minutes after the statement have been too confusing, with people warning his social networks accounts had been hacked, and this was a hoax. Unfortunately his son, Duncan Jones, wrote a tweet confirming the sad news, together with a beautiful picture of his dad with him when he was a kid.

Bowie was an icon, and he’ll be, no doubt about it. An icon who’s been around all my life. I cannot say I’m a super huge fan, because I didn’t get the chance to dig into his discography, except for 2-3 albums I really like, but always felt fascinated by his personality, style, and of course, his attitude and way of life. I got the chance to attend a couple of his shows in 1996 and 1997, and really, he was magnificent. I was still hoping to see him again on stage, and it’s sad to know that won’t gonna happen.

What comes next? The terrible thought of many heroes on the verge because the passing of time is inevitable. And it’s frightening, for it also means I’m growing old, and eventually I’ll have to pay my ticket as well. Life, friends. When we were kids nobody warned us it was going to be a day a day struggle, as it actually is, thus enjoy as much as possible, because, as Bill Hicks said once, this is just a ride.