HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

PRONG
Power Of The Damn MiXXXer (13th Planet/Megaforce)

OK, strange, but what you get here, Fear Factory-style, is a remix album... of Tommy Victor and Prong's last album, Power Of The Damager. The remixes are a bunch of guys I've never heard of, plus members of Anthrax and Dillinger and Revolting Cocks, but who cares? They all do sorta the same thing, turn the songs into brutal "dance" tracks like, yeah, Fear Factory, Manson, Pitchshifter etc. (oh yeah, they are here too). Silver lining? You quickly get reminded how good Power Of The Damager was, and then invariably, you run back to it and spin 'er, like I am now, having no stomach in this case, to actually listen to the album in the header while I write. Oddly, that album's most soaring and connective track, 'Worst Of It' begins the remix album, and additionally, it's the most thoughtful, dynamic remix. But yeah, not sure who would actually play MiXXXer (a toy for gearheads) when they can get caught in a mosh with Damager (caution: not a toy). I mean, wouldn't it be cool if, some day, remix stopped being synonymous with industrial dance mix?
Rating 5

FOGHAT
Live At The Blues Warehouse (Varese Sarabande)

So comfy playing Foghat albums, so it wasn't hard throwing this on repeatedly for pure enjoyment, despite its... towering pointlessness! Well, not towering, but on the heels of virtually the same set of songs ('Home In My Hand' is new) as the TWO issues of Live II, what we need is a new studio album, or at least, a new mumbo jumbo of song selections. What we get here is the hits re-recorded, live in a studio, plus interviews (by Mark Klein) with all of the band tacked on at the end. Great versions though, featuring very electric guitar, the vibrancy of this storied band live, sizzling drum sound, and atop it all, the bluesy twang of vocalist Charlie Huhn, who does more than his fair share with respect to turning a Foghat gig into a jubilant booze-fueled party any time they roll through a country fair near you. 'My Babe', 'Drivin' Wheel', and of course the monolithic 'Slow Ride'... some of the best boogie-bred hard rock you'll ever hear. Stupid to do this drug, but it's so damn addictive.
Rating 7

THE BULLET MONKS
Weapons Of Mass Destruction (Napalm)

OK, here's a blast furnace of a good time rock record for ya. But unlike your Jet or Airborne or Black Stone Cherry, this has a rocket up the rear in terms of speed and riff... it's like the spirit of Wolfsbane is rattling around in there somewhere, Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies also coming to mind. Note-dense, smart, but with a sense of fun, The Bullet Monks groove big, track to track bristling with grinding energy, offering that excitement you felt watching where a Soundgarden or Faith No More track was going to go next. Seriously, if you like the idea of the new drinking man's rock, but just didn't think it was metal enough or too retro or something, this band of whacked brothers is for you. Highlight: 'Canned Insanity' which rattles like a beard-pullin' redneck working his first meth lab.
Rating 8

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