Hard Reviews 2
by Martin Popoff

The Mushroom River Band - Music For The World Beyond
(MeteorCity)

Quite a bit better than The Little River Band, in fact quite a bit better than almost every other stoner rock band out there, The Mushroom River Band are essentially a Swedish outfit with one of those painfully fey stoner names that could either spell disaster or bong magic. Fortunately, it's the latter, much credit going to lead vocalist Spice, who is also singer for what is perhaps this band's only competition up there at the apex, Spiritual Beggars. Fact is, this rules, because he sounds like John Garcia, and more pertinently, because most of the album is fast and rockin', sort of like a cross between Kyuss and Hellacopters. Plus the tones, man, the tones! Many old trippy sounds, but also a fair bit of scratchy brightness in the mix, so it's not all bass wallow. Plus there's lots of to-the-quick songwriting going on here with real riffs. Pure head metal entertainment, tons of variety, tons of beer.
Rating 9

S.O.D. - Kill Yourself: The Movie
(Nuclear Blast)

What better way to keep the legend alive than to capture the Stormtroopers Of Death and their antics on film, especially given that no one's talking about a third album any time soon. Enjoyment is diminished somewhat due to Billy Milano's recent sucker-punching of Warrel Dane and other insider talk about Milano and his ways. But hey, I guess he's found a new blunt way of keeping the band in the news. Kill Yourself is pretty much what you'd want from one of these things. Thankfully, there's only a measured amount of live footage, given that it's quite cheaply captured, and even still, I found myself more drawn to what Milano says on stage, just for the human element, ‘cos listening to badly recorded old school thrash is such a chore. And as an extension of that, the best part really is the backstage chatter, cussing, abusing, smoking and toking, visits from Metal VIPs like Twiggy, Dimebag, Baz, Kerry King, bus stuff, karaoke King Diamond, Billy firing people, just the stupid things folks on the lower rung of civility do, all the grim Gummo hilarity that if instigated out front of a 7-11, turns into wrestling arrest footage on COPS.
Rating 6.5

Hard Reviews Page 3