Posts Tagged ‘metallica

06
May
11

TreeFiddy Review: Stone Collar – Trial By Fire

It’s been awhile, but I think it’s high time I launched into another TreeFiddy review where I sum up new albums in 350 words or less for easy consumption, digestion and err, let’s just leave it at that…

The Down Lizzo:

Stone Collar is a South African band that’s been kicking around Cape Town for the last four years, melting faces with their brand of metal / hard rock in the tradition of legends such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Creed.

 

 

Their debut album Trial By Fire is rife with the kind of epic guitar riffs and solos that would have Guitar Hero enthusiasts bashing their little dorky plastic guitars to bits in frustration as they failed time and time again to keep up with lead guitarist Sean Tait and rhythm guitarist Clinton Jurgen’s masterful shredding.

Sick Tracks

The tracks on this album are all pretty much on a par. If you like one, you’ll love them all and you’ll probably know within two minutes of hitting play.

 

 

“Not For Good” is a sprawling, high-energy metal ballad that perfectly showcases Tait and Jurgens’ ability to match one another riff for riff as they tear through time honoured metal chord progressions.

In their single “SQT”, singer Leshem Peterson’s vocals soar triumphantly above the Tait / Jurgens metal maelstrom while drummer Bryan Nicol punches out some of the album’s tightest fills, lending his otherwise meat and potatoes drumming style some impressive flair.

“Poison The Well” is another standout track that builds nicely to a badass, chunky verse riff and a surprisingly catchy chorous and “…As The Crow Flies” is nice change of pace from the tight, lightning fast, palm-muted strumming that defines much of the album.

 

Should You Give A Shit?

First off, let it be known that the band recorded, produced, mixed, mastered, marketed, designed and are distributing the album all themselves so hats off to them for a killer effort.

However, I feel that the 80s and early 90s flogged the metal / hard rock / alternative genre to death and though they are incredibly tight musicians, Stone Collar’s debut feels like it landed 20 years too late.

“I’m born of a dying breed,” Petersen sings in the final track on Trial By Fire and I tend to agree. Still though, if you dig old school metal / hard rock you’ll love Stone Collar and I would highly recommend buying Trial By Fire.

In the meantime, hit play below to hear “SQT” and if you dig that crazy shit, be sure to head through to Mercury on Tuesday 17th May for their official album launch.

 

 

Final Verdict: 7/10

10
Mar
10

SlickTiger Interviews The Minister Of Arts And Culture… Or Does He?

Last week’s post about the time I interviewed Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig got a whole bunch of old cogs turning in my head and memories I’d long since forgotten have been playing all jerky and in sepia tones at the weirdest times.

 

 

The one where I ‘interviewed’ the then minister of arts and culture, Dr. Zwelidingo Pallo Jordan, jumped randomly into my head outta nowhere and I burst out laughing in the middle of a teleconference call with Ireland.

I was 22 years old at the time and facing the biggest hair crisis of my young life. During varsity I cut my hair about four times in as many years. I looked like a roadie for Metallica,  which was great, at varsity.

Back in the real world (ie Joburg) people looked at me like I was something that had dribbled out of a garbage bag they had just lifted from the bin.

So I reluctantly agreed, in the interest of securing gainful employment, to get a haircut. But the next question I faced was what kind of haircut? At that stage in my life I’d only had 3 – a ‘pot cut’ from when I was born up until I was about 13, then a middle parting throughout highschool and then shoulder-length, greasy, grunge-rock hair from when I arrived at varsity till when I left.

Stupidly, I told the hairdresser to keep it pretty long and defaulted to the middle parting I’d worn back in highschool.

It was fucking cringe-worthy. Remember Will Ferrell in ‘One Night At The Roxbury’? No? Let me jog your memory.

 

 

Yeah, it was that bad.

So anyway, the group of journalists I was working with at the time managed to set up an interview with the Minister himself, ol’ Zwelidingo, at the ministry in Pretoria and so we set out early one morning to get there by 9 and conduct an ‘interview’ with him (ie. try to sell him advertising in the bullshit report we were compiling).

In order to make what we were doing look legit, there were a number of essential tools we used, such as:

  • Expensive-looking suits (ties and all)
  • Briefcases
  • A thoroughly researched list of interview questions (no shit, if we didn’t at least get this part right, no one would take us seriously enough to buy advertising)
  • A ridiculously overpriced ratecard and legal documents that were anything but
  • A dictaphone that used tiny old-school tapes, and
  • A digital camera that took fucking crap pictures

About halfway to Pretoria, my colleague, a Hawaiian guy in his thirties called Steve asked me if I’d brought spare batteries for the camera at which point I froze rigid.

‘What?’ he said, ‘Don’t tell me you forgot spare batteries.’

‘I didn’t forget spare batteries,’ I said, still rigid.

‘Then what?’

‘I forgot the camera.’

‘Oh, what the fuck dude?! What the fuck are we supposed to do? We can’t go back now, we’re nearly there, the interview’s in 20 minutes!’

‘Fuck, just relax, that thing takes fucking useless pictures anyway, we’re not going to use one fucking picture we’ve taken so far, they’re all shit.’

‘Yeah, but that’s not the fucking point! The fucking point is to look like we’re journalists and journalists take fucking pictures! God! How could you forget the fucking camera!’

‘Stop being such a prick about it I’m sorry! What else do you want me to say! I’m sorry! Fuck! At least I remembered…’

‘What? What is it?’

‘Oh fuck.’

‘Don’t say that. Don’t say ‘oh fuck’ like that.’

‘Dude. I forgot the dictaphone.’

‘Oh fuck.’

 

 

We were royally screwed. We had no choice but to keep our eyes peeled for an electronics store on the way to the interview and though we found two, neither of them had dictaphones.

This left us with only one option, call the Minister’s PA, explain that our dictaphone was broken and find out of the ministry didn’t have one we could borrow.

She said she’d see what she could do. I still remember sitting in the ministry foyer, nervous as hell, jiggling my leg, drumming my fingers, praying for a miracle.

While we were sitting there waiting a man with a giant ghetto blaster walked past us and into the PA’s office.

I looked at Steve. Steve looked at me. His leg started jiggling.

‘Are you sure this will work?’ we asked the PA moments later.

‘It should – it has a record button and we found a clean tape you can record on, just make sure you sit close to it.’

And that’s how, on a random Tuesday morning, I ended up walking into the Minister of Arts and Culture’s office dressed in a 3-piece with a fucking terrible haircut and a ghetto blaster.

‘Ehhhh,’ the Minister said, frowning, not entirely sure what the fuck was going on, ‘are you going to play me a song?’

Believe it or not, it gets worse.

The ghetto blaster had the shortest cable known to man and no batteries, so in order for us to all be close enough to it so that we could actually record what was being said, we had to rearrange the fucking furniture in the minister’s office so that we could all sit at the boardroom table, around the gheto blaster.

Thank fuck Steve was with me, he kept the Minister occupied with polite banter while I made sure the tape was rewound, hit record/play and started saying ‘testing, testing’ in a voice loaded with the kind of quiet desperation people usually reserve for prayer.

 

 

I hit stop. The loud sound of the spring-loaded buttons snapping up made the room so silent. I hit rewind. Everyone’s attention was riveted on the gheto blaster. It got to the end of the tape and I hit stop again.

I shut my eyes. With a trembling finger I pressed play. The tape spools started turning and the next thing I new, clear as day we all heard…

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

The record/play buttons on the blaster were for recording CDs, or maybe even, if you were feeling daring, the radio, but that was it.

‘Um,’ Steve said as he realised how fucked we were, ‘Minister. I’m so sorry about this, but I think we’re going to have to reschedule…’

‘What magazine did you say you were from again?’ The Minister asked, too baffled at this point to be angry.

‘British Airways. HighLife Magazine,’ I replied, blushing blood-red.

‘Well that settles it then.’

‘Settles what?’ Steve asked nervously.

‘I want free flights. British Airways.’

I looked at Steve. Steve looked at me. I gave up. So did Steve.

‘Free flights,’ I said, ‘you got it.’

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how NOT to interview the minister of arts and culture, and yes, there will be a quiz later 😉

Have a killer day.

-ST

26
Dec
09

White Christmas

I thought about painting yesterday red, but decided not to, even though that’s the goal I set myself for the month of December.

Red December I called it. Red because I was going to post everyday so that by the time we get to the end of December, every day on my blog calendar would be red with an entry.

 

 

Well, every day except Christmas cause c’mon! I’m only human, and besides no one uses the interwebs on Christmas to read someone’s crazy-ass blog right?

‘Zackly!

But yeah, I have no idea where the hell to start writing about the last two days. The Christmas Eve party was quaint, but sadly there weren’t anywhere near as many young people there as I’d hoped, but the food was excellent and the wine was delicious.

J-Rab had to work for an hour yesterday, on Christmas morning which wasn’t ideal, but gave me just enough time to straighten the flat out, get some food and fry up a really killer Christmas breakfast of bacon, toast, fried eggs, fried tomatoes and basil and champagne and orange juice. J-Rab was suitably impressed but more than anything just wanted to open presents.

 

 

She spoilt the hell out of me, three new T-shirts, an electric toothbrush (my last one was possessed by a demonic spirit and would just switch itself on at 3 in the morning and not go off until the battery was completely flat, no shit) and most importantly, the 2GB iPod shuffle so I don’t have to listen to the techno remixes of ‘Castles in the sky’, ‘Like the Deserts Miss The Rain’ and ‘What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me)’ the next time I’m at gym.

I got her a garnet necklace and earrings that go well with her fiery auburn hair and I chose all my mom’s presents for J-Rab, so two new tops and the sexiest bikini you ever did see, hoo-wee!

After opening all our presents we headed to my dad’s house, opened more presents, swam and stuffed our faces with more delicious ham, potato bake, salad and Christmas pudding. And then! We napped, and it was good.

After we woke up, we headed over to War’s apartment in the early evening where his brothers Peggles, Wopna and Skatter and their significant others were rocking out with a cooler-box full of drinks and Guitar Hero Metallica.

 

 

It was an evening of much revelry. There were shots of Jagermeister, there were conversations had and clean forgotten and the opposite, a few conversations we wish we could forget. A tiny toy pom involved and stepped on once, and all the time, Metallica melted our faces off from a TV that was emitting enough heat to fry an egg on.

Also, you’ll be happy to know that I destroyed EVERYONE at Guitar Hero.

‘Fuck you!’ people said, ‘it’s only cause you play guitar in real life.’

‘Well, there’s the secret to it right there then, isn’t it?’ Haha, dumbasses.

What a fucking amazing game. I think I dreamed in Guitar Hero fret boards with coloured circles floating down them and me nailing them! Every one of them!

And it all started when the Japs (I think it was?) invented this massively overhyped coin-op game they called Dance Dance Revolution, who would have thunk it? All these years down the line it’s spawned Guitar Hero, possibly the most badass game ever created.

My crowning achievement was nailing the Metallica classic ‘One’ on medium with a tidy 71%. Sure, there are thousands of people out there who could kill a score like that without even breaking a sweat, but they’d need at least 4 or 5 practice runs – I did that by literally just picking up the guitar and playing the song.

All I can say is that when the solo for ‘One’ breaks, it really does feel like you’re at war. My nerves were shot to shit when I put the guitar down, it was the best gaming experience I’ve had in years, fuck yeah!

 

 

Today has been really chilled so far, poor J-Rab is back at work for an hour (for the emergency animals that need to be admitted), but before that we had lunch in Greenside at Mama Themba’s with the unwashed masses and as usual we weren’t blown away by the food, but hey, it was edible at least.

All I know for sure is that I’ve got a craving for sushi that is driving me nuts and I really wouldn’t mind curling up with a few DVDs tonight.

BUT… a man makes his way here as I write this. He’s crossed many miles of ocean to reach us and return a hero. Today he was supposed to make contact…

Excitin’ times 😉

-ST




A Word From The Kind Folks At Nokia

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