Friday night shuffle I

Wherein I put the ol’ iRiver on shuffle and post the first five songs that come up.

The Rasmus – In the Shadows: The Rasmus are a sort of pop rock band that range from light hearted, peppy tunes to darker, more guitar driven songs that center on stuff like misery, death, dead things, dying things, and hiding from the sun. Though it is their darker music that I really enjoy, this poppier tune from their fifth album was the first song I heard by them a year or so ago and upon hearing it, I proceeded to play it five hundred times in a row. After that, I was pretty much all “In-the-Shadows”ed out. Still a great song, though.

Violet UK – Blind Dance: Violet UK was supposed to be the brainchild of former X Japan drummer Yoshiki. Recorded in his Los Angeles based branch of Extasy Records, the music was supposed to be more classical and use English vocalists, rather than Japanese ones. However, besides a few orchestral medleys performed live for foreign diplomats, Yoshiki has yet to release a full Violet UK album, though he has been promising an official release for about seven years now (Chinese Democracy anyone?). This particular song was featured in a commercial he did for 7-Eleven in Japan many moons ago (four or five years ago, I believe). It’s obviously only a demo, but it gives you a good idea what the newfound master of classical music is capable of (as if we don’t know already). The song is pretty slow, kind of ballad-y with some pop and the vocalist kind of sucks. I don’t think I’ve listened to this song before today in about two years, not since I pretty much grew out of Yoshiki and got bored with his post-X Japan “I will never play drums again, woe is me!” symphonic creations tinged with nothing but dead promises.

3 Inches Of Blood – Premonition Of Pain: I came across 3 Inches Of Blood back in December. I downloaded about four of their songs to see if the album would be worth buying. Two minutes into the third song, I decided to just skip the album all together and just enjoy the four songs that sounded like one looong song, because I figured if I bought the album it would just be one really looong song. 3 Inches Of Blood is a Canadian metal band, and they do metal really well, but it’s kind of all very staple based, as in, straight metal with no innovation. In fact, the only difference I can see that might make them stand out is the vocalist, Cam Pipes’, contribution to the music; his voice is sort of falsetto meets screamo. It’s also sort of odd and distracting.

Yoko Shimomura – Sora: This is an orchestral piece from the newly released Kingdom Hearts II original soundtrack. It’s OK, but I’m sorry, as far as video game music goes, my heart belongs to Nobuo Uematsu. I believe Sora is the main character’s name so I’m guessing it’s his theme song…? I don’t know. I stopped playing new video games approximately thirty years ago when they ceased manufacturing Playstation I games. I’m old school like that.

Zilch – Swampsnake: Zilch is the Los Angeles based band of former X Japan turned numerous solo projects guitarist/singer, hide. Zilch was supposed to be the band that would make hide famous in the United States, except that a little thing called grunge got in the way of their musical debut. Knowing the public wouldn’t receive the kind of metal they put together, they planned to wait before releasing the album except then hide committed suicide. The band went ahead and released the album in his native Japan anyway. Of course, nobody except hide fans really bought the album and the CD didn’t do so well. Since then, they’ve replaced the singer, put out a respectable remix album featuring artists from pretty famous American bands (long shot here, but ever hear of Nine Inch Nails?) and tried to continue putting together music, though they remain quite unpopular without their original creator. “Swampsnake” is an OK song, but there are far better songs on their one and only albumfeaturing hide, even those crazy English remakes of X Japan/hide with spread beaver songs.