November Noise: Too Mean To Die, Accept (2021)

“The undertaker is a busy man…..”

They’ve been around since 1976 but their latest album, 2021’s Too Mean To Die, shows no signs of Accept becoming a middle-aged metal act about to call it a day. Outside of a few YouTube videos, this album is my introduction to the group and I’ve been listening to them with regularity ever since I purchased the album on a whim.

The band has had multiple lineup changes over the years with only Wolf Hoffmann, the band’s lead guitarist, as the only constant member. The players on Too Mean To Die include Hoffmann, lead vocalist Mark Tornillo, rhythm guitarist Uwe Lulis, bassist Martin Motnik, guitarist Philip Shouse, and Christopher Williams on drums. They sound amazing together. The band has often been referred to as a German AC/DC and this album definitely fits that description. Although I will say that Too Mean To Die sounds a lot more polished and slickly produced than anything AC/DC has ever put out. That’s not a knock on either band, though, as I enjoy listening to both of them.

The album is a straight-ahead rocker for the most part. The title track is a sinister beat down on your ears. The Undertaker opens up quietly and then turns into a slow churning metal burner. Then there are tracks like Overnight Sensation and Sucks To Be You that showcase pounding drums, amazing guitar work, and crunchy vocals. Things slow down a bit with The Best Is Yet To Come, but just a little. Top it all off with the amazing instrumental, Samson And Delilah, and you have an album that doesn’t sound like the sixteenth release of a band that’s north of forty years old and is left with only one original member standing. This album is awesome and I highly recommend it.

Consider this your invitation to check out Accept if you haven’t yet. This band is great. This is also my final entry in the November Noise category for this year. The response has been pretty good so I might bring this category back next year. Let me know what you think about this album and November Noise in general in the comments section. If there’s anything that you’d like to see me cover in December, let me know that in the comments as well.

As always, thanks for checking out my posts. See you again soon.

Throwback Thursday: Wayne’s World (1992)

“Shuh?!?!? And monkeys might fly out of my butt!”

In my teen years, few things made me laugh as hard as watching Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar on their iconic Saturday Night Live sketch, Wayne’s World. The sketch combined two of my favorite things, comedy and metal music. It spawned catch phrases such as “Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!” “Schwing!,” and the header for this post about monkeys flying out of butts. The duo were a massive success and it was only a matter of time for SNL to cash in on them on the big screen.

The film version of Wayne’s World was released in 1992. It was the second film to be released based upon an SNL sketch. It became and remains the highest grossing SNL film. It starred Myers and Carvey in their respective roles and added a ton of stellar actors in supporting roles. Rob Lowe co-starred as Benjamin Kane, a crooked TV producer that manipulates and exploits shows similar to Wayne’s public access show in order to make as much money as possible no matter what happens to the actual program. Tia Carrere co-stars as Cassandra Wong, lead vocalist and bass player for Crucial Taunt, and Wayne’s eventual love interest. The rest of the cast includes Brian Doyle-Murray as Noah Vanderhoff, the sponsor of Benjamin’s version of Wayne’s World, Colleen Camp as Vanderhoff’s wife, Lara Flynn Boyle as Stacy, Wayne’s slightly insane ex, and a ton of other actors including Ed O’Neill, Michael DeLuise, Kurt Fuller, Donna Dixon, Dan Bell, and Lee Tergesen. There were also a number of cameos including Chris Farley, Meat Loaf, Ione Skye, and Frank DiLeo. Alice Cooper and his then current band appear in one sequence as well. That sequence spawned the catchphrase, “We’re not worthy!”

In the movie, Wayne and Garth are taken advantage of by Benjamin, who takes full control of their show in order to make money off of it. Benjamin also tries to steal the love of Cassandra by helping her make a music video. He succeeds in breaking up Wayne and Cassandra but Wayne teams up with his friends to win her back by staging a concert for record producer Frankie Sharp and exposing Benjamin for who he really is. All of these events are laced together with hilarious moments throughout the film including the now iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody” ride through Aurora, Illinois, an homage to Lavergne & Shirley, a run-in with the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) from Terminator 2, and the memorable film “endings” sequence that includes a Scooby-Doo ending.

The film was a major hit and so was its soundtrack. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. It featured classic songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen, Foxy Lady by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Dream Weaver (new recording) by Gary Wright. It featured contemporary tracks from bands like BulletBoys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Alice Cooper. Tia Carrere is also featured on tracks that she performed in the film. Other artists included Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Cinderella, and Eric Clapton, among others.

The film, directed by Penelope Spheeris, best known for her trilogy of music films, The Decline of Western Civilazation, catapulted Myers into a successful film career. It pulled Rob Lowe back into the spotlight after having almost killing his career in the late 1980’s with a scandalous sex tape. It also brought significant attention to the careers of Tia Carrere and Dana Carvey as well as re-sparked interest in classic rock bands, most notably Queen.

You can’t deny the many things that Wayne’s World did for its stars, its featured musical artists, and pop culture in general. The film’s influence is still felt to this day. A sequel was released the following year but SNL couldn’t catch lightning in a bottle twice, as that movie proved to be a failure. Thankfully, the original film lives on and can be watched on numerous streaming platforms and good ol’ fashioned VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray.

Thanks for checking out my post. I recently shared this film with my son and he loved it. It’s one of my favorite films of all time and I’d love to know what you think about it in the comments section. See you again, soon!

November Noise: Hysteria, Def Leppard, 1987

“If you’re alone tonight…..”

It might sound crazy but whenever I’m having a fit of rage or something has me extremely angry, I put on Def Leppard’s Hysteria album and I calm down. Specifically, the title track for this album puts me in a very calm mood. I don’t know why and I probably never will, but the song just relaxes me. It apparently had some sort of effect on other people as well. Hysteria is Def Leppard’s best selling album and the band released a whopping seven singles from it.

All seven of the singles reached the Billboard Top 100 with Women peaking at #80 and Love Bites hitting #1. Pour Some Sugar On Me topped out at #2 while Hysteria reached #10. Animal reached #19. Rocket made it to #12 and Armageddon It peaked at #3. For those keeping count, that’s three top ten tracks, and six top twenty tracks. Singles were released from the album in three different years.

Fans of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal either loved or hated the album. Some embraced it for bringing metal into the mainstream and others hated that it sounded too much like pop music. For me, Hysteria was an amazing blend of slick production, radio friendly tracks, and just enough rockers to keep me completely enthralled with the band and their music.

Joe Elliott’s voice sounded amazing while being backed up by the guitar one-two combo of Steve Clark and Phil Collen. Rick Savage’s bass kept everything in time along with Rick Allen’s drums which were specially created for him due to the fact that he lost an arm in an accident in 1984. Allen’s accident was the reason that there were four years between Hysteria and the band’s prior album, Pyromania. Sadly, tragedy would strike the band again in 1991 when Steve Clark would succumb to alcohol poisoning. He would be replaced by Vivian Campbell. The rest of the group would remain the same with no member changes since the loss of Clark.

The band’s current lineup from L to R: Collen, Allen, Elliott, Savage, and Campbell.

Hysteria is one of the few albums that I have that I can listen to in its entirety every time. The albums five other tracks (twelve in total) are just as awesome as the singles. My favorite songs on the album include all of the singles and Gods of War and Don’t Shoot Shotgun. There really isn’t a bad track on the album. It’s as close to hard rock and pop metal perfection as you’re ever going to get.

If you haven’t listened to this album yet, purchase it. I have it on cassette, CD, and a digital download. There have been a few different releases of the album over the years including a 30th Anniversary deluxe version. This album is amazing and you won’t regret buying it.

Thanks for checking out my post. I’ll see you all again real soon.

November Noise

Who wants to rock?

With Thirty-One Days O’Horror officially done for 2021, I’ve decided to dial things back a bit for the month of November. I’m going to have a few action figure reviews, film reviews, and other general genre related posts, but each Friday during November I’ll be highlighting one album from some of the bands that I listened to as a kid with my Tunes feature. This Friday I’ll be taking a look at one of Mötley Crüe’s classic albums, Too Fast For Love. I haven’t decided which other bands that I’ll be reviewing for the rest of the month, but rest assured that I’ll be looking at some of the newer releases from bands as well.

My Throwback Thursday posts for November are going to be music related as well, focusing on everything from films centered around music and/or bands to classic album art and all sorts of other things. I hope that November Noise proves to be just as popular as Thirty-One Days O’Horror. If it is, I’ll do it again next year.

Oh, and speaking of next year, one of the things that I’m finally committing to post about is all of KISS’ studio albums. I haven’t decided when I’ll post them, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do. I’ll probably review two of them each month since they released twenty studio albums and the four solo studio albums. This is going to be a massive undertaking for me as I haven’t sat down and listened to all of the studio albums track for track in a long time.

Thank you for supporting my blog over the years. In late December I’ll be doing my normal yearly roundup. I don’t have anything specific lined up for December just yet, but I might highlight a few Christmas movies like I’ve done in the past. I have really big plans for my blog next year…….if a few things fall in the right order. Until then, thanks for your continued support.