Monday, June 29, 2009

Electric Wizard-Come my fanatics

All of Electric Wizard's covers are odd, creepy or both. This one definitely falls into all of the above. I don't know if it's the hazy sky, the angle that make it appear like you are lying down or the dude with the purple head, but all of these add up to form a strangely interesting cover.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Cramps - Bad Music For Bad People

The Cramps have always had some interesting-to-downright-gonzo album covers such as Stay Sick, Flamejob, How to Make a Monster, Smell of Female and A Date With Elvis, but I've always been drawn to this ghoul punk on the cover of Bad Music For Bad People. Since The Misfits stole The Crimson Ghost from an old movie serial, I'm going to give this snarling, Berni Wrightson-esque demon punk the edge for visceral presentation if presenting a less iconic facade.

You can see where psychobilly gets its roots, partially from The Misfits, partially from Reverend Horton Heat and partially from Southern Culture On the Skids, but naturally The Cramps deserve recognition as pioneers of psychobilly for their garage, surf, Texarkana, grease 'n grits twang. Too bad the album itself is only 31 minutes long, shockingly blase for a compilation album. Yes, you're buying this thing for the cover if not for "Goo Goo Muck," "Drug Train," "New Kind of Kick" and "Garbageman."


Monday, June 15, 2009

Crumbsuckers-Life of dreams and Beast on my back

Long Island's Crumbsuckers formed in 1982 and slowly rose through the club scene over the next few years. They released "Life of dreams" in 1986. This is highly regarded hardcore/crossover album as well it should be. The cover features the fine artwork of Sean Taggart who also did work for Agnostic Front. I love the different images and they all work well.

Fast forward over a year and their highly anticipated follow-up Beast on my back (often referred to as B.O.M.B) was originally slated for a Fall, 1987 release, but was pushed back until early 1988.
Oh,wait did I post the back cover or an inner sleeve perhaps? No, indeed this is the front cover. Good thing no one smiled or else I would have thought they looked like an AOR band. The guy on the right cocked his head to the side so we would know this was a hardcore act. What a brilliant idea on his part. It's difficult to pull of the group shot album cover. Even more difficult if the colors, lighting and band logo add nothing to the cover.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spiral Architect, A Sceptic’s Universe

Every time I think about Spiral Architect—the band, not the Black Sabbath song that inspired its name—I get angry.

When I first heard the technically impressive A Sceptic’s Universe CD (2000), I felt like a long-suffering prospector who had finally found a gleaming nugget. The Norwegian progressive metal group melded styles that appealed to me, sounding like the result of an Amulet Dream Band cocktail:

Three parts Sean Malone (Gordian Knot)
Two parts Fates Warning
One part Rush
One half-part Dream Theater
Two parts philosophical skepticism

Blend thoroughly. Serve cold.

The mix doesn’t come out quite as perfectly tasty as that recipe implies, but it’s still a damn good drink.

I’m pissed off because the group never followed up on this promising debut. What we’re left with is: (1) impressive, bass-centered technical prog metal that stands the test of time; and (2) a cover intriguing enough to have sucked me into buying this diamond in the rough.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vindicator-There will be blood


How much corn syrup and food coloring does it take to make a cheesy cover? Did this dude use the axe to shave his upper body? That would explain the blood and the lack of body hair. Even though you may think this was done in 1985, it was actually done last year as the cover for the album by retro-thrash act Vindicator.

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