Wednesday, January 8, 2003 @ 1:04 PM
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If there is a rock-n-roll equivalent to the Energizer Bunny, then the band Every Mother’s Nightmare, or EMN, gets my vote. After following the band now for the past 2 years, it is my strong belief that they have to be one of the hardest working groups around, releasing 4 CDs in that time frame, 2 full length studio CDs, one CD of older unreleased material, and the newest, their first ever live CD called Live Songs From Somewhere.
During the first years of the band’s existence they, like so many other bands of the time, were unfairly lumped into the all-catching category of ‘Hair,’ ‘Glam’ or ‘Sleaze’ bands. Now, while I have found that the band has a certain element of sleaze about them they certainly do not fit into those categories at all. Actually, whilst trying to come up with a suitable description of the band’s genre I came upon this conclusion: EMN is a blue collar rock band. They are all substance and no fluff. It’s meat and potatoes for these guys. They work hard and they play hard.
Live Songs From Somewhere is the band’s 4th release through Perris Records and I know right now that there is no shortage of people lined up to trash Perris by saying that they are not really a record company. I ask, exactly why aren’t they? They produce a band’s material, record it and distribute it for the masses. Hmmm, sure sounds like a REAL record company to me. So what if Perris isn’t the biggest or best company out there. I believe that this particular situation is better for a lot of bands these days. Tom Mathers doesn’t have these bands record what he wants to hear, or what he believes the masses want to hear, he lets the bands record what THEY want to hear. It is this freedom that allows bands like EMN to flourish and release material quicker than most. There certainly is no shortage of material floating around inside lead vocalist Rick Ruhl’s noggin, as he will openly admit that his life is ‘fucked up.’ And nearly every time the band has made it’s way to Houston to play, they have some new songs to display for us.
This CD is well mixed and produced. The sound seems to just expand from my speakers when played and the mix of bass and treble is right on the money, making for a very pleasurable listening experience. The in between songs banter is kept to the bare minimum, mainly for 2 reasons. The first being that this CD was not recorded all in one place, and second, to allow for and extra song or two to be included. The track list for this CD relies heavily on the bands’ past 2 studio releases, Smokin’ Delta Voodoo and Deeper Shade of Gray while appeasing older fans with a couple of tunes from the band’s debut CD such as “Walls Come Down,” “Love Can Make You Blind,” and the Tennessee-styled remake of the Charlie Daniel’s hit “Long Haired Country Boy.” Also included on this CD to my surprise and excitement are two brand new songs the band showcased in Houston the last time they were here, “Bring Me Down” and “Hole Inside.” Both of these tunes rock and show the harder direction that the band seems to be taking, with ‘Hole Inside’ being the jab at the proliferance of boy bands that have come and gone as Rick introduces the song, “This song goes out to every cheese-dick motherfucker who ever took 5 guys, wrote all their songs, gave ‘em a million dollars, put ‘em on the TV and spoon fed ‘em to us every fucking day.”
The CD booklet is nice, but simple. Again, these guys are about the substance and not the filler. Granted, they probably had a smaller budget than most bands, but what you need in the booklet is there and nothing you don’t. If I had to come with any kind of criticism of this CD, it would be that maybe there were a few songs that could have been added, including maybe a cut or two from the band’s second CD, Wake Up Screaming, of which there are none on this CD, and maybe a couple more from their past 2 releases, but hey, I do not believe that the band set out to create a ‘Greatest Hits Live’ CD, they merely wanted to give their fans a taste of what the band is about live, and most recently only a handful of states can boast that EMN has played there. And for those of us fortunate enough to have seen the band live in the past year or so, this CD is exactly what you would expect from attending one of their shows. Hard rock, in your face. Everyone seems to be a little more patriotic these days since 9/11, and I say let’s be more patriotic to the American bands that are still out there kickin’ it and having a good time. EMN is just that, American bred rock with a southern flair and this band is just one package tour away from being a household name again, so lock up your daughters, Every Mother’s Nightmare is back!
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