Icycore - Wetwired
I admire the bastardized hybrid cross-stitching this ludicrously named Italian band is getting at, but just because it's fanciful doesn't mean it can't be annoying. Icycore are like the Children Of Bodom of progressive metal, loading up each song with myriad clean keyboard sounds of all past-due-date stripes, over tough-riffed songs similar to heavy Threshold, Rage-era Queensryche or Train Of Thought-era Dream Theater. The songs are (too) long, the rhythm section very mechanistic to the point of industrial at times, and many passages verge on power metal. Still, the style merges nicely with the concept of the record, a guy who, shedding his mortal life, uploads his soul to the internet (hence the clever album title Wetwired).
Billy McCarthy - The Devil Of Shakespeare
I won't make a habit of doing this, but this is a book review of an actual fiction title, brought to your attention only because Billy is the ex-drummer of D'Molls, a shrill hair band ya probably forgot. But I'm impressed that the guy's gone and done this, The Devil Of Shakespeare (a frustrating, Scorpions-awkward, title I still don't quite get), holding my attention hard right until the somewhat hasty, unsatisfying ending. The book is all about hyper fame ten years from now, the cult of celebrity gone more intense than it is even now. McCarthy has some small problems with his writing, such as explaining too much and italics as a crutch, but for the most part, this is a sound, entertaining book that captures the ethos of Hollywood. It is also commendable that McCarthy stays away from the music world as subject matter. I salute the boy, as well as folks like Jizzy Pearl, who are stepping out and emphatically up. I hope we hear more from McCarthy, and at the same time less "dumb drummer" jokes. Note: comes with a bonus CD of the book's Beatle-esque "soundtrack" song, both with vocals and instrumental. www.billymccarthy.com.
Hard Reviews Page 6