Metallica has jumped the shark (in my opinion)


Many years ago some pissed off disaffected young men decided to tell the world how they were feeling. Their medium: loud, fast, and aggressive music, their name? METALLICA!!!!

When James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich got their shit together and put Dave Mustaine and Cliff Burton in the lineup they were ready to shake up the Rock N’ Roll world. They were loud, obnoxious, and very much what we needed in music at that time.

They then went to New York to record their debut record with which they planned sonic assault on the eardrums of the world, which is when they began their race to “jump the shark” so to say.

Nobody was madder and more disaffected than Dave Mustaine (if you doubt me listen to his music even to this day). When they kicked him out and replaced him with Kirk Hammett from Exodus they started down that road to the shark.

While we got some really good music from Metallica in the early days the clock was ticking for our young anarchists.

Keep in mind these are just my thoughts on Metallica and how I feel they have jumped the shark. Like I stated earlier I believe their path to jumping said shark was with the dismissal of Dave Mustaine. I do indeed own every release by Metallica and I have passed my judgment as this: the so-called Black album was the demise of Metallica in that I feel the loss  of any fire and passion in their music. Yes, there were some great tracks here and there in the subsequent records but none that were solid from open to close.  Now am I saying Metallica sucks? Not a chance, they just aren’t making the music that I fell in love with anymore. I will continue to purchase their future releases and give them a fair listen and hope for that spark to reappear, but I am not holding my breath. I will thank them for the back catalog of music that still put my fist in the air but inside I weep when I listen to St. Anger….

Rest In Peace Cliff Burton, I have always admired and respected you and your style of playing.


It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!

-the Hellion


a band I still listen to: Woods Of Ypres

"Woods of Ypres 2009" by Mark Coatsworth

                                               “Woods of Ypres 2009” by Mark Coatsworth

Woods of Ypres is a band that I still miss today. About ten years ago their CD: Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth ended up in my hands. I did a little digging and found that they were out of Canada. While I generally hesitate to label bands, this one was doom laden and fantastic. I kept up with Woods of Ypres through their subsequent releases, Woods III: The Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues, Woods IV: The Green Album. And then David Gold, the front man and only constant member, was gone, killed in a car crash in 2011. Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light, my favorite of their body of work, was released posthumously in 2012.

Woods of Ypres is another one of those bands that have been done a disservice by the music industry, they were ignored. Like far too many other other great young bands out there they lack the support from radio these days.

Woods of Ypres takes me on a journey to the dark places of my mind and yet lets me see them in a different light. I always come away cleansed and refreshed after listening to some Woods of Ypres.

While they are gone, they are not forgotten by any means. If you are looking for something different to listen to, check out Woods of Ypres. In fact, I’m gonna provide you with the link to “Lightning & Snow” my favorite track off of their last and final album, enjoy:

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s WOODS OF YPRES

     -the Hellion

Was Jimi Hendrix that great?


Hendrix performing on the Dutch television show Hoepla in 1967

     I have had many conversations about Jimi throughout the years. There are those who laud his playing, and those who deeply criticize him. Myself, however, have a different opinion on Mr. Hendrix.

     I believe that Jimi played the heart and soul. He felt the music coursing throughout his every fiber and was able to bring that out through his writing and playing, and that was good enough.

     I don’t feel he was the greatest or most technical player. I feel that he felt the guitar talking to him and he listened to it and not the limitations the musical world had imposed, and that was good enough.

     I have said before and I stand by it, music lives within all of us, some of us listen, and some hit the mute button. Jimi turned it up to 15 and beyond. You can see the magic in his live performances. When Jimi, Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding took the stage it was a spectacle to behold.

     In conclusion, Jimi was not the greatest guitarist ever (I don’t think that title can ever be granted to one guitarist) but he did pave the way for others to realize it was ok to experiment and take their music to new levels. He influenced so many guitarists that I to think he is a legendary guitarist but not the best ever.

     If you want to see musicians truly lost in their craft check out this video for “Purple Haze”. Put it on the big screen, turn it up as loud as you can, and stare into their faces, you’ll see what I mean:

     Be true to the music within, it your friend that will be with you no matter what.

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

   -the Hellion

Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet on the Hellion Rocks



When you get a chance to talk with someone you been listening to for a long time you jump on it. I have been fortunate to have seen and met the guys in Monster Magnet which was a cool experience. Now I have had the opportunity to listen to the new Monster Magnet record AND talk to Dave about it. The new record is called Cobras and Fire (The Mastermind Redux) and it drops on October 9th on Napalm Records.

Here’s the conversation:

     Be sure and check out Monster Magnet online:

     Be sure and pick up Cobras and Fire (The Mastermind Redux) out on Napalm Records October 9th!

     Take the road less traveled and into another world with Monster Magnet!

     -the Hellion

Ok, ok, I get it!!!


So, people are calling me out on my Facebook statement from earlier today. After hearing about the Metallica/Budweiser beer thing. I posted: “Drink some beer with our name on it so you don’t care if our next record is terrible…” I then commented on my own post: “What’s next Megabeer, Five Finger Hard Punch?”

It was all in fun people, but I get it. I’m close enough to people in the industry to understand the struggle. Being a musician in today’s world is harder than ever. That is why many of them have chosen to diversify their interests. That is why we have seen so many hot sauces, coffees, restaurants, clothing lines, guitars and gear, etc., etc. from artists these days. The problem that can arise from this, in my opinion, is that I feel the music gets lost in all of the hustle and bustle.

So, in conclusion, pay more attention to the music instead of the “stuff”! Now go buy some music and band merch, and hit up a show or two!!!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

Devil City Angels releases a really fun debut record

ALBUMARTDevil City Angels - Devil City Angels

You ever listen to a record and “feel” the fun that was had in making it? I heard rumors of this band and have been patiently awaiting their debut release.  I am fortunate and have the opportunities to have spoken with Rikki Rockett, Tracii Guns, and Rudy Sarzo (Rudy replaced previous bassist Eric Brittingham) during the past several years so I know of their enthusiasm and passion for music.

I have been listening to this record for a while now and find myself returning to it again and again. Let’s get one thing straight right out of the gates: there is no trace of L.A. Guns, Poison,  Cinderella, or Quiet Riot on this record. It’s just good old fun Rock n’ Roll!

I received this record at work and was a captive audience for it on my 90 minute drive home. From the opening notes of “Numb” to the closing of “Bad Decisions” it grabs you and makes you feel like you were actually sitting in the studio having a good time while they were recording.

It seems to me that more and more “seasoned ” artists are getting back to their roots and getting involved with these kind of projects. Rikki Rockett’s drumming shines throughout this project. Many people seem to have written Rikki off because of his work in Poison. He is really a heavy hitter and very talented. I have been a Tracii Guns fan since forever and he steps outside of his normal playing and brings us some solid feel good riffs here. While Rudy Sarzo has taken over bass duties Eric Brittingham was the one who laid down the heavy groove this record brings. Brandon Gibbs is unknown to many but brings a style that fits the vibe of Devil City Angels to a T.

The track listing is as follows and I can’s recommend any one track above any other because this is a whole package that should be enjoyed in its totality. So grab this record, your best girl/guy, your friends, the car keys, and just drive around and listen.

 1. Numb

2. All My People

3. Boneyard

4. I’m Living

5. No Angels

6. Goodbye Forever

7. Ride With Me

8. All I Need

9, Back To The Drive

10. Bad Decisions

06-08-15 - DCA Promo Rev3 at 300 dpi for CMR

Rudy Sarzo, Brandon Gibbs, Tracii Guns, Rikki Rockett

     This is one record that gets a 15 out of 10 stars folks, seriously. Check out Devil City Angels online at:

      Check out the track “All My People” right here:

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s DEVIL CITY ANGELS!!!

     -the Hellion



As I sit here and see/hear/read all of the news about racial tensions, the assassination of police officers, and other horrors going on I thought I would talk a little about my feelings to you my loyal readers.

I am going to share some things with you about my life and thoughts. First off, my mother’s father was a Cherokee and a tribal leader, I knew nothing of this life as he passed long before my birth and I only had word of mouth to go by.  I spent the first 9 years of my life with a man whom I thought was my father. This man was abusive as all get out to me and my mom. He was severely racist as well. We lived in neighborhood that was all white and to everyone’s horror a black family moved in. I made quick friends with their son and I was well treated by their family, not so by my stepfather. I could have given a shit about his color. My mom divorced him shortly before I turned 10.

My mom’s next husband came from a family of Mexican descent and I was suddenly thrust into that culture. I embraced it and was accepted into their family with open arms.  I often heard the terms “Spic”, “Beaner”, and other derogatory terms and they hurt me deeply.

As an adult I found out about my birth father and his heritage. They come from Nordic roots and settled in Normandy and then Canada and later America. When I found his family I learned that I had cousins that were a mixture  black and white. This phased me not one bit.

Growing up around racial and cultural diversity taught me tolerance instead of bias. I am of the firm belief that one owns one own actions, period. I could have very easily taken the PTSD crutch and been an abuser myself, or a racist, or a myriad of other horrible things I’ve been exposed to in my life. I, however, chose to do what I felt was right in my heart. I love my wife, children, grandchild, friends,  and family and would do anything for them.

There is stupidity in every race and THAT stupidity belongs to each individual who makes bad decisions.

I thought we were done with racial inequality and it was put to bed. How can we have a black lives matter without a white/yellow/red/brown lives matter? How come there is a NAACP and not a NAACP (insert Caucasian in the place of the C)? Why don’t we just have a NAAP? To quote Depeche Mode, “People are people, so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully?”

As for the police, like in every job in the world there is corruption and people there for the wrong reasons. For the most part however, the police are there to protect and serve. Police Service is a thankless job for most of the officers, and now we have people assassinating them willy nilly.


I am heavily tattooed and have that “Biker” look and have NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE POLICE!!! BECAUSE WHENEVER I HAVE AN INTERACTION WITH THE POLICE I TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT AND COMPLIANCE! An altercation in the field with police can cause nothing but trouble and heartache. Burning, looting, and destruction are not the answer people. Mature conversation and communications can accomplish far more.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest men to advance racial equality and I have always admired him for it. But I feel his work is being unraveled by the actions of people today.

I don’t know about any of you but I bleed red and my outside is just a fancy wrapper. We are all just people and as such we should be caring for each other and brothers and sisters of the HUMAN RACE.


People are people…

-the Hellion