Saturday, August 29, 2015

Against The Grain - “Road Warriors” CD

Revved-up Motor City rawk!

The fourth album from this veteran Detroit rock band pulses with energy and attitude, equal parts punk rock, sludge metal, and Kiss. Frontman Chris Nowak’s melodic but sometimes gruff vocals do echo prime Gene Simmons in spots, thus that comparison. I get a genuine sense of classic rock here, with a blend of sludgy heaviness, breakneck speed metal, and a “party-on” sense of fun.

“Sirens” is a well-executed slab of boggy boogie/doom metal that just sounds dirty (and that’s a good thing here). “Eyes” even recalls some Black Sabbath, so you know where these guys are coming from. My favorite track is “Run For Your Life”, a furiously fast speed-punk-metal assault that just slays. 

Overall, a solid, unpretentious case of serious rock and roll, raw and gritty and worthy of their heritage as Detroit rock city denizens. Killer, dudes!

“Soaked In Bleach” DVD (director: Benjamin Statler)

Cobain conspiracy?

It’s safe to say that there’s a glut of Kurt Cobain conspiracy theories around, despite the case of his suicide being closed and documented already via other media. Personally, I’m content to accept that Kurt couldn’t handle the fame and pressure of being a role model to thousands of troubled teens. Nonetheless, this film does present compelling evidence for the reopening of Cobain’s 1994 “suicide” case. Certainly, this film treads dangerously close to tabloid journalism with dramatized sequences, but the release of recorded phone interviews courtesy of investigator Tom Grant are examined and presented here, and definitely cast a shadow over Courtney Love’s alleged motives and involvement in the arranging of her husband’s death.

Grant, who it seems has made a business of exposing Cobain’s death “hoax”, is the central focus here, and he does present a wide-ranging and convincing argument to those who would listen. “Soaked In Bleach” does manage to illustrate the missteps taken by the Seattle Police Department, as well as seemingly capturing the obviously drug-addled Love in some bold-faced lies regarding Kurt’s overdose and intentions (she was facing an ugly divorce when Kurt was found dead). So was Kurt Cobain murdered? There’s no definitive answer, despite this film.

Overall, this film is a serious look at the “myth” of Cobain’s suicide. Taken with a grain of salt, it’s still an engrossing and curious document of a hidden side of America’s musical history. You may not be convinced of the worthiness of this, but it’s still an interesting watch.

“Kung-Fu & Titties” DVD (director: Joseph McConnell)

Leave all semblance of manners behind in this celebration of tits!

If the title doesn’t adequately give it away, this is truly a trash film far from the boundaries of “good taste”. As far as the synopsis goes, I’ll give it a word or three regardless, as “good taste” shouldn’t be a factor in this kind of cinema anyways. Sean Molnar plays the disgraceful kung-fu fighter Richard Titties, who sees his luscious girlfriend (played by the tantalizing Seregon O’Dassey) abducted into a netherworld of absurd, almost surreal nonsense centered around an “evil dictator” called Zeefros who really just wants to see everyone’s titties. Hmm. So he must save her from his clutches, and finds a companion in a weird trash-talking Brooklyn comic (Mike Marino) in a bad gorilla costume.

Former TV star Bronson Pinchot appears here as a side note, as does B-movie scream queen Raine Brown, but they certainly can’t save this sub-Troma comedic farce that isn't funny or worthy in any way unless you crave cheap thrills and tons of titties. Yes, there are plenty of breasts here, which I suppose is the film’s sole saving grace. That’s enough said already. You know if you want to see this one or not.