Struggling with drug addiction, interpersonal problems, and a dwindling fan base, MC5 cut High Time in 1971. The band which had ignited punk rock and upped the ante on rock ‘n roll’s protest ethic with a single live recording released its third album to lukewarm reviews and apathy from the record-buying public. High Time went down as the unsatisfying finale in the story of MC5’s meteoric rise and fall. The times had changed. Or had they? This article considers High Time not as the last gasp of MC5 but rather as a vital exploration of the then-fledgling heavy metal genre and its relationship to rock ‘n roll.
Whether you’re a supporter or detractor, you have to feel for Dez Fafara and the big ol’ target on his back. No matter what he does, how long he grows his centre-parted hair out, how many bootleg Black Flag shirts he’s photographed wearing, how much ill-placed tattoo ink he coats his neck and face with or how often he spits out something approximating a death metal growl, he’ll forever been known as the guy who sang in Coal Chamber.
“Metal is hard,” says Freeman. “It’s difficult, rigorous music but it’s not treated as such. These are guys who are on the level as symphony players on their respective instruments. These are guys who went into their bedrooms at age 10 and didn’t come out until age 20, but because they have long hair and they sing about decapitating virgins or whatever, it’s not treated with the respect the effort put into it would seem to demand.”
Laina Dawes speaks to music writer and recent Metal Edge editor Phil Freeman about his newly released book.
Filmed live at the Palladium in Worchester MA in April of 2007, this historic DVD document is a great snapshot of stalwart US indie label Metal Blade’s then-current roster.
Interwoven through all of Minsk’s albums are underlying themes of survival, perseverance and a triumph over physical, societal and /or personal challenges, but instead of a Rollins-style “DIY or you’re a pussy” self-help ethos, Minsk provides an introspective narrative that investigates the feelings of frustration, loss, and perhaps finally, redemption.
No fanfare. Zero theatrics. A barren stage except for the musicians, their instruments, amplification and a simple backdrop sporting their logo is all that Sweden’s Opeth (pictured) needed to entertain the nearly 900-strong crowd.