Body Count – Bloodlust (2017)

Body CountBloodlust (Century Media Records, 31 March 2017)

 

Some of our younger readers may recognize Ice-T as the curmudgeonly old guy in the “It’s Lemonade” commercials, or maybe they’ll recall his stints as a reality tv star (here and here). Perhaps he’ll even seem familiar from his portrayal of a police officer on Law & Order: SVU. But before he was gracing screens small and big (and by the way, his acting career has included roles as cops dating back more than a quarter-century), the man born as Tracy Marrow in New Jersey (and then raised in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles) made quite a name for himself as a hugely influential part of the music industry.

Known primarily as one of the innovators who helped to shape the gangster rap genre, with songs like “6 ‘N the Morning,” he later formed the group Body Count with some high school friends who shared an affinity for hard rock music — introducing the band on a self-titled track on his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster before they came out with a full-length self-titled album the following year.

They have been heavily influenced by fellow Californian contemporaries in the worlds of thrash (like Slayer) and especially crossover (like Suicidal Tendencies) — but for years I’ve seen a lot of negativity expressed towards these guys within the so-called “metal community,” from some of its more closed-minded individuals. Whether that’s a refusal to acknowledge rap or hip hop artists as genuine musicians, or a xenophobic reaction to a perceived “outsider” tresspassing into the “scene” — well, Ice-T‘s spoken-word intro to the original “Body Count” song can be applicable in both directions: “You know, as far as I’m concerned, music is music. I don’t look at it as rock or R&B, all that kind of stuff, I just look at it as music. […] But I do what I like, I happen to like rock ‘n roll. And I feel sorry for anybody who only listens to one form of music.”

 
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VOS Interview: Travesty Reunion Edition

travesty-cover

 
The past year or so has been quite an exciting time for classic Pittsburgh bands… for example, Derkéta finally got around to releasing their debut album; Dream Death had such a big response to their reunion show that they decided to do it a few more times; and hardcore/thrash legends Castle Blood followed suit last fall with a couple reunion shows of their own.

Well, here’s another one to add to the pile: after 25 years of broken-uppedness, Travesty — the hardcore/thrash band which included some of the members of Castle Blood during a couple years in which that band had gone dormant — is reassembling all of its original members for some local gigs, in addition to finally putting some of their classic material on tape!

Their first show together since 1988 is happening this Saturday — tomorrow night!! — so I had a little chat with a few of the band’s members this week, to find out more about Travesty, what they’re doing now, and what the future might bring…

 
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Contest Alert: Fatality Seeking the Silliest Silly Walk!

 
Happy Friday, readers! Just a few more hours left ’til quitting time, which means no more work until next week… You have no idea how nice it feels to say that. I think I’ll say it again: HAPPY FRIDAY!!

 
It has turned out to be kind of a dreary day, and of course it’s made all the more dreary simply from being at work. Feels like it’s about time for something to lighten the mood a bit, and I’ve found something perfect for that! If you’re as big of a Monty Python fan as I am, or if you’re as big of a thrash metal fan, or especially, if you’re heavily into both, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to this…

 
One of the most famous Monty Python’s Flying Circus segments of all time was the wildly popular “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch. It seems this is exactly what came to mind when guitarists Spencer Le Von and Eytan Gordon of Canadian thrash quartet Fatality were really bored one night and tried to think of a way to amuse themselves. As Spencer (who is also the band’s vocalist, and writer of the band’s official blog) wrote in a blog post earlier this month:

 

…It took a while for me to realize how astonishingly important killing time is as a musician. It is a vital component of what we do. Whether it is mind bending travel time to a gig or waiting to perform, metal musicians have killing time down to a delicate science, and a band that laughs together stays together.
 
To better illustrate this point we have devised a CONTEST based on our latest “weekly challenge” video. The video involves Eytan and I acting like complete assholes in public, because that is what makes us laugh and that’s what we find funny.
 
For this video we decided to pay tribute to Monty Python and the Ministry of Silly Walks. In this clip you can see me and Eytan going for a swift jaunt in our local Metro to purchase some late night munchies.

 

 
For their contest, the band want you to take a video of the silliest walk you can come up with, and then submit the video to their Facebook page.

The person who submits the silliest video (as judged by the band themselves) will win a cool prize pack including the following:

  • Free Fatality T-Shirt
  • Free CD
  • Free patch, beer cozie or 3 pins
  • 2 free tickets to our next local show (if applicable)

 
This contest was first announced about two weeks ago — there was an update on the band’s Facebook page earlier this week stating that they’re still looking for submissions, but I haven’t heard any official word about a deadline. It seems like the contest is pretty informal, but you won’t want to miss out on these great prizes so you’d better get stepping… as silly as you can!

 
Oh, and just in case you aren’t already familiar with Fatality’s material, and you want to get a better idea of what you’d be winning, I’ve got some stuff here for you to hear — including several tracks you can download for FREE…

 
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