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Thread: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

  1. #26
    Anti-Anti-Smark Djm's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Hey, thanks for listening. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    James LaBrie is prog metal's most talked about vocalist---mostly because he's the singer of the genre's flagship band, but also because he's definitely one who divides opinions. Personally, I love him and can't imagine Dream Theater without him.

    Glad you enjoyed Systematic Chaos. Some very clever DT fan out there made a Dream Theater flow chart, which I've linked. As this chart says, after Systematic Chaos, I think Train of Thought is more to your liking, Shinobi. I started you off with something that I felt is more to your tastes, as opposed to just starting with Images and Words, SC is one of their heavier albums, while not being Train of Thought, which is jokingly called "Metallica's best album in 20 years" by some, in terms of metal.

    You can pretty much follow what it says from there.

  2. #27
    Senior Member The Icon's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    LaBrie is an acquired taste and it took me awhile when first getting into the band to appreciate what he brings to the table. His stuff pre-food poisoning is especially strong.

    Admittedly Systematic Chaos hasn't aged well for me but In The Presence Of Enemies and the Dark Eternal Night still standout. Repentance is part of a suite that spanned several albums dealing with Mike Portnoy's alcohol addiction and going through the Twelve Steps which is how the different parts are broken up. Put together the one "song" is nearly an hour long. In fact Mike posted on his forum that he will be playing it in it's entirety for the first time on his 50th birthday cruise next year.
    Last edited by The Icon; 11-03-2016 at 10:24 AM.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Dream Theater are a hit and miss band for me, but Systematic Chaos is definitely a hit. Constant Motion is also my favorite song from that album. I'm not sure I have a favourite album because there isn't one Dream Theather album which is full of great songs and no filler. Every Dream Theater album has a couple of songs I don't like so much. But if I had to pick, it'd probably be Metropolis Part 2.

    That flowchart is really cool, and it seems to make sense because most of the albums I dislike are on the right/bottom, while my favourites are generally in the top/left.

  4. #29
    They still play defense? The Real LT's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    I loved the Heavy Metal soundtrack from start to finish. Especially while taking bong hits or smoking a bowl. Probably my favorite album to smoke up to.

    The Melvins were an acquired taste for me. I like MUCH more now than when I first heard them.

    Dream Theater is hit and miss for me as well. Their good stuff is REALLY good, but they also can bore me to tears.

  5. #30
    Senior Member CK's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    I don't mind Dream Theater...they're all supremely talented and they had to get homeboy, Mike "freakin" Mangini to replace Portnoy, but if I want to listen to super technical music...I listen to RUSH or ELP or King Crimson.

    Spoiler

  6. #31
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Just watched a great show called "Evolution of Metal", it's an episodic series that is on Heavy Metal.FM app on Roku. There is an entire episode about Progressive Metal that is pretty good. They trace a lineage going back to Yes, King Crimson, Genesis and Rush and follow it to Queensryche, Fates Warning, all the way to Tool and Dream Theater to Meshuggah and Mastadon. Really kind of puts this style of metal into a good perspective, bands that pushed the envelope and challenged the typical structures and time signatures of songwriting. Interesting little piece in the doc where they highlight Dream Theater saying that they were one of the first to take the elements of the progressive rock sound into such heavy thrashy territory, they were described as a hybrid of Metallica and Yes.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-03-2016 at 10:49 PM.

  7. #32
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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    +++Day IV+++

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-05-2016 at 09:31 AM.

  8. #33
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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Brilliant review, Shin. I agree that Alice In Hell has one of the best bass of any thrash album, and that the album is right up there with the best of the Big Four. I don't think that it sounds much like Metallica, Slayer etc. I think they have a very unique sound. If I were to list my favourite albums, it'd make the top three. My favourite song from the album and my favourite Annihilator song in genreal is Alison Hell. Killer intro, great riffs, haunting lyrics, cool growly vocals, a groovy solo and one of my favourite outros ever. That said, every song on this album is ***** except for maybe Burns Like a Buzzsaw Blade.

    You're right that Randy Rampage did the vocals on the first album. Unfortunately Annihilator went through a lot of vocalists over their career. Founder/guitarist/song writer Jeff Waters sang on a few albums, his first was 1994's King of the Kill. My favourite singer is Randy Ramapage, followed closely by Dave Padden who was in the band for over a decade from 2002-2015 or something like that. He's also a really good rhythm guitarist. He left a year or two ago so Waters is back on full-time vocal duty. Not a fan of his vocals though. Because of all their lineup issues, they struggled to consistently produce high quality music for most of their career. Their second album, Never, Neverland, is their last great album, as in consistently great from start to finish. Almost as good as their debut. From there on they went through the dreaded 90s, where their sound became more groovy/industrialized/whatever, before returning to a pure thrash sound in the 2000s. Every album since their second has two or three great songs with the rest being filler. A compilation of those great songs would be right up there with their first two studio albums, unfortunately you have to wade through the muck to find them. Or ask me

    Jeff Waters is one of my favourite guitarists ever. Michael Romeo from Symphony X is the only guy I would rank above him. Maybe Dave Mustaine too.

  9. #34
    Senior Member CK's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    I know very little about Annihilator, other than Jeff Waters, because he's always been there and is a very underrated guitarist. That being said, I could not do this album justice with a review or the band anymore comments than I have...just haven't heard enough. I think I had this one on cassette back in the day, but I don't remember listening to it much. I'm sure I traded it for some other crappy album from that time, like Guy Mann-Dude or some other horseshit.

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    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    +++Day V+++

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-07-2016 at 08:38 AM.

  11. #36
    Senior Member CK's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Anytime we'd play NYC, Tommy Victor was there for some reason. Watching the show, in town stopping by, who knows...just a super nice guy. This was the only time they got remotely close to success nationally...opening for Pantera...having the then young band, Clutch open for them. Quality, doesn't really matter...right place, right time...a gimmick, who the fuck really knows why some bands get huge and others don't???

  12. #37
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Pantera, Prong, and Clutch. Sometimes I wish I was a little older in the 90's so I could have seen shows like that, the Pantera/White Zombie/Deftones tour in 96 is another one that sounds like a hell of a time. I still can't get over Priest/Pantera/Annihilator in Europe in 1990, some lucky bastards going to that show back then, from the video footage I've seen(mostly from the first Pantera home video) it was all smaller venues too. I couldn't imagine how awesome that must have been.

    Going back to the Melvins, I watched another excellent episode of "Heavy Metal Evolution", this one was one of the best episodes covering grunge. The Melvins are prominently featured on this one. The moral of the episode was similar to what Kilgore and Razor Blade mentioned in their posts, the influence of Heavy Metal on grunge is there, while a lot of it was punk rock, some of those grunge bands like The Melvins kind of picked up where Heavy Metal left off in the mid-70's, at which point all of those heavier bands from the late 60's kind of started to go for the big time arena rock sound, they compared the Melvins to Blue Cheer, a proto-metal band from the 60's that I just recently discovered, I thought that was a pretty brilliant comparison. Heavy metal just got fluffier and gayer(or faster and more extreme) through the late 70's and into the 80's and a lot of those grunge bands kind of took it back to it's late 1960's/early 70's heavy deep loud roots a little bit.

    The best part of this episode though was them documenting the way grunge culture came about organically and was bottled and commercialized and sold on Wal Mart shelves by a certain point. Seattle went from this hotbed of wildly original and charismatic bands that came about to a point where it was a place that people were going to try to become famous, the whole scene changed. Then they ripped on the post grunge-lite movement that came out of the aftermath and how they found a formula to manufacture and market it to the masses, and all of those shitty bands that came about in the mid to late 90's out of that, Nickelback, Creed, Seven Mary Three, Bush, Days of the New, etc. Really great episode. Really I can't recommend this whole series enough, it's great. It's free if you have a Roku, get the HeavyMetal.FM channel and it's on there.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-05-2016 at 05:15 PM.

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Kim Thayil the guitarist from Soundgarden is one of the main talking heads on that episode. I swear he is like one of the coolest dudes of all time. I remember I had a buddy that had like every issues of Guitar World from the late 80's through the 90's, one of my favorites was the "Young Guns" issues with Kim, Jerry Cantrell, Dimebag, and the dude from Skid Row in a roundtable interview from like 1992:



    I remember that article was pretty dope, some great pictures and interviews of them together just shooting the shit, talking about where they were and where they were going(They were still calling Dimebag "Diamond" Darrel if I remember correctly). I so wish I could find that article.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-05-2016 at 05:12 PM.

  14. #39
    Is just 2 sweet Razor_Blade's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Sadly I didn't really enjoy Prong like I could/should have had back in the 90's, I had a friend who was a huge Prong fan, while I myself was totally into Pantera (I guess I'm the mainstream one). This kind of turned into a rivalry about what band was the baddest and more heavy sounding (I still think it's Pantera by a good margin). Later as the rivalry died out I got to listen to the band as a music fan instead of hearing it as a nemesis.. I discovered a band that made great metal music that I really enjoy. If I where to choose a favourite song it would be "for dear life" from the "beg to differ" album.

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    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    +++Day VI+++


    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-07-2016 at 09:41 PM.

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    I agree with your conclusion that Exhorder had very little to do with Pantera's music or sound. In my opinion it's the guy/girls that doesn't like Pantera very much that tries to frame them as copycats. This is something you see many bands get blamed for, Nirvana was blamed for copying the Pixies, Megadeth was "copying" Mercyful Fate etc. Etc. There is a big difference with copying and being inspired, and I would argue against the point that Exhorder inspired Pantera. Phil and Kyle Thomas use some of the same vocal techniques, but that's it.

    I really like much of Exhorders material, both "slaughter in the Vatican" and "the law" are albums I often go back to... But I do find it hard to listen through a full album in one sitting, I find the constant "all-out-attack" mode on the drums exhausting. With this album (the law) the one thing I find unusual is the bass lines,on most of the album it's really heavy but often goes more funk and jazzy sounding on other parts. It's also in my opinion the more brutal and perhaps the more groovy (For lack of better terms) Exhorder album. My favourtie track on the album is "Unborn again" and "I am the cross".

    I think they could have gone places had the band members managed to coesxist, but there was too much quarrel and drama. Even after they reunited they managed to get at each others throat again.. But this is not something exclusive with Exhorder. Big egos seems to flourish in the rock scene.

  17. #42
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    +++Day VII+++

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-29-2016 at 12:17 PM.

  18. #43
    Senior Member CK's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor_Blade View Post
    I agree with your conclusion that Exhorder had very little to do with Pantera's music or sound. In my opinion it's the guy/girls that doesn't like Pantera very much that tries to frame them as copycats. This is something you see many bands get blamed for, Nirvana was blamed for copying the Pixies, Megadeth was "copying" Mercyful Fate etc. Etc. There is a big difference with copying and being inspired, and I would argue against the point that Exhorder inspired Pantera. Phil and Kyle Thomas use some of the same vocal techniques, but that's it.

    I really like much of Exhorders material, both "slaughter in the Vatican" and "the law" are albums I often go back to... But I do find it hard to listen through a full album in one sitting, I find the constant "all-out-attack" mode on the drums exhausting. With this album (the law) the one thing I find unusual is the bass lines,on most of the album it's really heavy but often goes more funk and jazzy sounding on other parts. It's also in my opinion the more brutal and perhaps the more groovy (For lack of better terms) Exhorder album. My favourtie track on the album is "Unborn again" and "I am the cross".

    I think they could have gone places had the band members managed to coesxist, but there was too much quarrel and drama. Even after they reunited they managed to get at each others throat again.. But this is not something exclusive with Exhorder. Big egos seems to flourish in the rock scene.
    I'd never say Nirvana or Megadeth copied anyone. The "uninformed" blame such bands, not that some don't downright copy styles and/or songs, but still. Nirvana took the Pixies loud QUIET loud dynamics, to a new height. Charles will freely admit this himself, because Nirvana's popularity gave the Pixies a second life. They've had longevity (as far as being influential and popular) after being done as a band almost 25 years ago. I don't get the Megadeth/Mercyful Fate thing personally, never heard of it. I'd get it if you said Ghost were influenced by Mercyful Fate...etc.

  19. #44
    It's only '17. Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    According to Rex's book they felt like he used or saved most of his best lyrics and vocal ideas for Down. The Down album from 1995 is pretty damn spectacular. I'd actually even go as far as saying that I probably like that album a little more than Great Southern Trendkill.
    I think Stone the Crow from that first Down album is better than any song Pantera recorded after at least Far Beyond Driven, and quite possibly as far back as Vulgar. Just a spectacular song, and one of Phil's best vocal performances.

    I don't like The Great Southern Trendkill as much as you (I agree with a lot of your criticisms, so the 4 & 3/4 Stars rating caught me off guard). It always sounded unfocused, and a typical (in a bad way) "excessive album after they made it." It's a less offensive Oasis Be Here Now, where you can just feel the cocaine and "Who gives a fuck we're [insert Band Name whose members all have new houses]!" Texas is in your blood, so I get the love, though.

    I am really glad you mentioned the Telecommunications Act. I had forgotten about it until a few months ago when The AV Club wrote something about it. I didn't get what a big deal it was at the time, but so much of the timeline of my childhood consumption makes sense in a pre and post 1996 line in the sand.

    Spoiler


    Quote Originally Posted by CK View Post
    I'd never say Nirvana or Megadeth copied anyone. The "uninformed" blame such bands, not that some don't downright copy styles and/or songs, but still. Nirvana took the Pixies loud QUIET loud dynamics, to a new height. Charles will freely admit this himself, because Nirvana's popularity gave the Pixies a second life. They've had longevity (as far as being influential and popular) after being done as a band almost 25 years ago.
    The Nirvana/Pixies comparison is one of the lazier ones. If Kurt didn't proclaim his love for The Pixies in every single interview, I'm not sure people would have even made the connection on their own. Nirvana probably "ripped off" The Wipers more, and even that is a stretch.

    Also, Cobain's openness about his influences ended up being really generous, because all of those bands immediately sold better, and are still remembered today, in large part because of Cobain name checking them as often as possible. Would anybody know The Vaselines?


  20. #45
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    We had a rock station in New York (Pure Rock Q104.3) that was one of, if not the last independent stations in the city. Every other station (that wasn't left on the dial or college radio) was owned by Clear Channel, Infinity/CBS, and Ennis Broadcasting, but Q104.3 was privately owned and had a playlist that I didn't realize was so superior, until I was on a couple family road trips, and I sampled the same 15 songs on every other city's rock stations. Q104.3 was young Kilgore, listening to his clock radio, falling in love with rock music. They sold the station in 1996 (to Clear Channel), and they immediately flipped to Classic Rock (still is to this day), and I used to overdramatically claim, "This was the worst day of my childhood." Another Rock Station emerged (New York's KRock, not to be confused with California's, which was legendary), and it was instantly clear this was one of those "other" rock stations. Narrow playlists, and the perfect representation of a rock station post-Telecommunications Act. I know I'm not just nostalgic about Q104.3, because these were my opinions at the time. 1996 me recognized the difference between the real deal, and corporate rock, even though I wouldn't have been able to tell you why. Fuck the Telecommunications Act.
    Same shit down here. We had a pretty amazing rock station called the Rebel Rocker 98.9, Clear Channel bought them out in 1998 and it was such a big sad deal. They went from playing White Zombie and Metallica all the time to Lenny Kravitz and Buck Cherry top 40, literally overnight. They still suck balls hardcore, I can't even listen to the radio anymore honestly. I think country music was hit the hardest and the fastest by telecomunications act, country record labels all made a conscious effort to produce music to a certain demographic(18-35 year old women), pretty much like an overnight deal as soon as the act passed. Older acts like George and Allan were given the ultimatem to change their sound to fit what they were looking for, acts like Johnny Cash got dropped altogether. Country music radio is the absolute fucking worst today, it's so bad it's hilarious and sad all at the same time, these hillbilly marks still eat it up though.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-08-2016 at 01:48 AM.

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    One of the things about it all that I always found interesting was that Clear Channel put together a huge list of songs that were banned from their stations in the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001. I can't remember where I seen that at, the only thing that I can remember was that Rage Against the Machine's entire catalog was banned from being played. Some serious X-Files shit going on where one radio conglomerate kind of controls what the people hear, what they don't hear. Music goes a long way in pushing people to feel a certain way, then you factor in all of the talk shows they play and what type of ideas and shit they are pushing. Some weird weird shit. The truth is out there.

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    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    found this awesome video this morning:


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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    I for one really like Great Southern Trendkill, while i'll agree that it's not on the same level as the three predecessor, I'll still take it over reinventing the steel and the "glam" metal albums.

    While Phil was in many ways disconnected with his bandmembers during this period, I think he delivered some of his most personal work here. While Pantera is known for some dark writing on the previous albums (“This love”,”Im broken” etc.) none comes close to the brooding feel of this album.

    The thing that intrigues me most with Trendkill is the contrasts in the material, making it a unqiue listening experience (Pantera managed to do this with all their 90s albums). It varies between tracks like the the melodic beautiful Floods to paralyzing violent growl infested suicide note pt2. The message of the album is wrapped into super heavy and uncompromising rhythms, seasoned with angry, emotional "face crushing" lyricism. All this takes place in perfect harmony with legendary guitar riffs that are presented by Dimebag Darrel himself.
    I must add that Floods is easily in my top 3 Pantera tracks, but I love the title track, “drag the waters” and “live trough me”, I can't fathom why you guys don't like them. Maby not the greatest Pantera tracks but still awesome songs in my opinion. All I can say is that after Trendkills 53 minutes of aggressive southern metal, my neck is in whiplash mode, and my right foot is 200+ pounds heavier after stomping along with the rhythm... Damn, I miss this band.

    Quote Originally Posted by CK View Post
    I don't get the Megadeth/Mercyful Fate thing personally, never heard of it. I'd get it if you said Ghost were influenced by Mercyful Fate...etc.
    Maby not the best example, but i've heard the claim tossed out there.

  24. #49
    Senior Member CK's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
    I think Stone the Crow from that first Down album is better than any song Pantera recorded after at least Far Beyond Driven, and quite possibly as far back as Vulgar. Just a spectacular song, and one of Phil's best vocal performances.

    I don't like The Great Southern Trendkill as much as you (I agree with a lot of your criticisms, so the 4 & 3/4 Stars rating caught me off guard). It always sounded unfocused, and a typical (in a bad way) "excessive album after they made it." It's a less offensive Oasis Be Here Now, where you can just feel the cocaine and "Who gives a fuck we're [insert Band Name whose members all have new houses]!" Texas is in your blood, so I get the love, though.

    I am really glad you mentioned the Telecommunications Act. I had forgotten about it until a few months ago when The AV Club wrote something about it. I didn't get what a big deal it was at the time, but so much of the timeline of my childhood consumption makes sense in a pre and post 1996 line in the sand.

    Spoiler



    The Nirvana/Pixies comparison is one of the lazier ones. If Kurt didn't proclaim his love for The Pixies in every single interview, I'm not sure people would have even made the connection on their own. Nirvana probably "ripped off" The Wipers more, and even that is a stretch.

    Also, Cobain's openness about his influences ended up being really generous, because all of those bands immediately sold better, and are still remembered today, in large part because of Cobain name checking them as often as possible. Would anybody know The Vaselines?
    I haven't heard the Wipers in years. Greg Sage is an interesting dude. I heard the Vaselines before I knew Cobain was into them...I just don't remember why. I think they were part of a compilation tape a friend had made for me. We were going through his EPs/7 inch singles and I was just putting a bunch of stuff onto tape. Beat Happening was on that tape, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr...this was 1989ish. I wish I still had that tape...damn.

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    It's only '17. Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: PW Headbangers Ball 1: Flight of the Taarakian

    Quote Originally Posted by CK View Post
    I haven't heard the Wipers in years. Greg Sage is an interesting dude.
    Wipers hold up really well. Sage is super underrated as a songwriter.


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