Today in Music History:
In 1979 The Allan Arkush-directed 'Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,' featuring the Ramones on the soundtrack and in the movie, premieres in Los Angeles.
Some of you may remember that homercat attended a Nazareth concert last summer. Before I talk about The Newz , let's refresh our memories about that show as it will tie in nicely with what I have to say about The Newz. The show begin with the strains of a bagpipe solo played by vocalist Dan McCafferty, the rest of the band then took the stage and proceeded to rock harder than any group I have ever seen. You would think that with the way Dan McCafferty sings, his voice would be nearly wrecked after 40 plus years. Not the case, in fact it was more powerful and better sounding than ever. I saw these guys 25 years ago in their heyday with all the original members and that show paled in comparison to what I witnessed last summer. The hits were there of course but so too were a host of lesser known material from their first four albums, which was an absolute treat to hear. They weren't afraid to show their age, and the original members, Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew, were either content to hold their ground on stage or stroll around like they were playing in their living rooms. Such is the confidence of rock elder statesmen. "This one's about 100 years old," joked Dan McCafferty, before screeching through Razamanaz. Having attended a score of rock concerts in Victoria, this was the most animated I have seen the crowd get.
So after 40 years of rocking, Nazareth isn't content to sit back on their laurels and keep reissuing greatest hits packages like some bands do. They have just released a new album titled The Newz and the newz is that this could possibly be the best Nazareth album ever released. I know what you're thinking, how could it possibly surpass the holy trinity of Razamanaz, Loud n' Proud and Hair of the Dog that are considered Nazareth's best albums. Well one would have to judge for oneself, but if it isn't better then it's the best album since Hair of the Dog. From the opening track of Goin' Loco and through the course of the album's 13 tracks this is one album that rocks and rocks fucking hard. In typical Nazareth fashion there are a couple ballads sandwiched in there for good measure. Nazareth have managed to create a masterpiece of an album for the year 2008. Every song is absolutely brilliantly crafted and the music is as good as the glory days. With an album full of top notch material it's hard to talk about particular tracks over others, so I'll give some brief highlights. `Day At The Beach' is an anthemic summer classic with a killer chorus, `Liar' is a heavy growling metal moster(about a certain president), `Mean Streets' and `Goin' Loco' have funky thrash metal undertones, `Road Trip' is a blistering rocker which makes one think of AC/DC. The album covers many subjects, such as how our society has gone to the dogs, people who need to get a life instead of being hooked on the internet, relationships, tragedies of war and a certain lying american president. To put it simply buy this album if you're not even a Nazareth fan and this band will become your favourite. This music should be played to the major label record companies and young bands, so that they can actually listen to great 'new' music and hear what rock n roll is supposed to sound like. I shit you not, the album is amazing and will most probably end up in the #1 position in my year end top ten albums of 2008. I for one give a hearty Thank You to these Scottish elder statesmen for such a magnificent new album. Unfortunately it's only available as an import at a higher price but well worth it. Let's hope we don't have to wait another 10 years for the next one. Don't take my word for it, have a gander at these excellent tracks.