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 Post subject: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:55 pm 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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Band Name: Dead Flowers
Album Name: We Apologize
Release Date:

Band on Record:
Russ Marshall: Vocals, Guitar.
Jeff Gunsolus: Drums, Backing Vocals.
Jay Nelsen: Bass.
Ross Enge: Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals.


Track 1: "Spittin' Image"
I like the 90's rock feel this song exudes, particularly in Russ' vocals. The guitars and drums really drive the pace of the song along and lay the backdrop for the vocals to lie over top. Russ' attempts to get higher in his register, in contrast to the lower key music, just does not sound good both in his voice as well as meshing with the music. Those certain places where he does go high are few, thankfully, and do little damage to the overall delivery of the vocals.
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10


Track 2: "Room of Fear"
The music is slightly more uplifting on this tune for a short duration before reverting back to the de-tuned goodness of 90's rock music. The solo is short and sweet, but delivers what it wants too before the abrupt cut-off. Vocally, the music is again the background as they are the mood giver for what is being sung. This time, Russ is perfect in keeping his vocals in the correct range for the song and himself.
Song Rating: 8.5 out of 10


Track 3: "Cowboy Song"
There is more diversity in the guitar work here with some cool mixing of single note plucks and crunchy chords into a rugged, yet smooth, solo that really speaks of the song's subject matter (and do I detect a little Thin Lizzy reference in there?) "Cowboy Song" possibly showcases the best vocal performance of these three opening tracks.
Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Track 4: "Comin' Through"
As the record progresses, the songs only seem to get stronger and stronger. This is another one of those cases with a strong guitar riff that distances itself from the more plodding tone found on the other tracks. The vocals have also gotten better with a wider effect on the total feeling on the song in addition to what may be my favorite solo on this disc.
Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Track 5: "Blind Faith"
And now for something completely different! Following the path of the previous song in getting away from the traditional 90's (boring, frankly) doom/plod guitar riffs by adding an acoustic type beginning riff that weaves in and out during the song. Flamenco guitar is something I always dabbled with listening too, and the solo shows a clear influence from that type of guitar playing. Only thing is Russ should learn to stay out of that high range, though it does sound better than the first tune.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10


Track 6: "Mask"
This song was never one of my favorites, and the only part that truly grabs my attention every listen is the guitar breakaway. It sounds completely different than the rather slow and down verses and chorus, which is follows.
Song Rating: 7 out of 10


Track 7: "Alex Chilton"
Although this song has a low-production sound to it, the vocals are still able to shine through as well as being decently balanced with the music. This probably has one of the better guitar sequences, along with "Mask", that is not part of a solo and Russ nails the singing.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10


Track 8: "Hey Jealousy"
This is a cover of the Gin Blossoms song (which, I do not believe I have ever heard) that sounds rather good. Occasionally, the guitars come up and overwhelm the vocals. However, the vocals have a good sound and feel to them that compliment the guitars so the production issues don't hurt the song too badly.
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10


Track 9: "Behind the Wall of Sleep"
Every time I know this song is coming on, I expect the Black Sabbath song. Not so much. This is a completely different tune that has a great set of lyrics (too bad you can't find lyrics for these songs online, so listen hard!), but sadly suffers from just noise in the instrumental tracks with the guitar solo being able to push through. The vocals are decent, to good at best.
Song Rating: 7 out of 10


Track 10: "Broken Hearted Savior"
This sounds like a rough demo of the song with distant instrumental work while the vocals are pretty close up in the mix. That being the case, the vocals catch your attention and do so in a real positive way at points while failing to do so at other parts. The guitar solo remains the only standout instrumental part, and has a distinct sound like something else
Song Rating: 6.5 out of 10


Track 11: "Broken Hearted Savior V2"
There are pros and cons to this second version of the previous song. Much better vocals and clearer music, however some of the musical aspects are cacophonous. Speaking mainly of the drums and the hi-hat parts that are way too forward and loud.
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10


Track 12: "Room of Fear (Live)"
A very, very, very, very raw live track. The only thing that you can really hear is the guitars, while the vocals can be understood, 33% of the time? Something around that, but showcases a bit of the band's energy live.
Song Rating: 6 out of 10


Track 13: "Cowboy Song (Live)"
A more understood live cut from the band. Cleaner vocals and guitars make this more listenable, but when compared to the album versions there is something left to be desired.
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Track 14: "Comin' Through (Live)"
A good sounding solo is the redeeming quality of this live version to what is one of the better tunes from the band. More muddled sound from the music and vocals makes it almost unlistenable, however.
Song Rating: 3 out of 10


Track 15: "Squeeze Box (Live)"
A cover of The Who song? I believe it is. Pretty decent rendition from what I can understand from this live version, but the guitar definitely has things down pat all the way through the solo.
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10


Track 16: "Surrender (Live)"
Cheap Trick covers sound odd for this band. The vocals probably are the oddest things about this rendition, completely different than what Cheap Trick's version sounds like. Thankfully the live sound doesn't squash the vocals and some of the music so you can tell what song it is, and enjoy this little bar cover version of the hit.
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10


Track 17: "Love Will Keep up Together (Live)"
A cover of the Carpenter's tune, if I'm not mistaken. The guitars come through good, and some vocals but overall this is another noised out live track. Oh, playing in small clubs and recording off the soundboard (if I'm not mistaken).
Song Rating: 6 out of 10


Overall Review:
We all know Ross here on the forum, and recently I purchased a bunch of his 90's band material. The Dead Flower's disc was one of the purchases and I had heard some of the work on mp3, but never on disc. I was pleasantly surprised at how different it sounded when on my stereo that this review was then written. The record definitely sounds better than I remember, and the addition of the 11 bonus tracks is a nice finish. However, those bonus tracks are far from the best workings on here, which are the original 6 songs. They all have that 90's angst feel both in the music as well as the vocals with a kind of Alice in Chains meets Stone Temple Pilots with a little bit of Soundgarden mixed in there somewhere. A little bit of issue within the mixing process on a few tunes, but as a first and rather small release this record comes off sounding professional and the band should have gone somewhere in the 90's music market. That being said, just listening to the first six songs I would highly recommend this album to any grunge or rock fanatic, and will thus rate the disc with the bonus track and without to give you a fair look at what it is really worth.
Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Overall Rating With Bonus Features: 7 out of 10

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:59 pm 
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Ass-kisser. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:09 pm 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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Yeah right. I was hoping this stuff was gonna be as unliked as when I first heard it 2 years ago. Sadly, the stereo makes things sound better :lol: I'll just have to trash the Thermal Rain disc ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:08 pm 
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Who are these fucking guys??? :x


Kidding. I'll have to give 'er a listen. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:57 am 
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Nice review, Benster... 8)

Side-notes:

Alex Chilton is a cover of a tune by The Replacements. Ross did a good job on Paul Westerberg's guitar parts. :tup

Behind The Wall Of Sleep is a cover of a song by The Smithereens. I must confess... this version didn't really grab me, although I realize it's just a demo. The original is much more atmospheric. The guitars are way too far out front on this take. A better mix would probably be just what the doctor ordered here. Ross did a nice job on the solo, BTW.

Love Will Keep Us Together was actually done by The Captain & Tennille... but no worries there: Both groups blow. :lol:


:BB Steve

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"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
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How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

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Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
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~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:42 am 
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RockHard wrote:
Love Will Keep Us Together was actually done by The Captain & Tennille... but no worries there: Both groups blow. :lol:


:BB Steve


No more muskrat love for you! :bat:

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:22 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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bildo wrote:
RockHard wrote:
Love Will Keep Us Together was actually done by The Captain & Tennille... but no worries there: Both groups blow. :lol:


:BB Steve


No more muskrat love for you! :bat:


Guess we found a closet fan :lmao:

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:56 am 
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Dragon235 wrote:
bildo wrote:
RockHard wrote:
Love Will Keep Us Together was actually done by The Captain & Tennille... but no worries there: Both groups blow. :lol:


:BB Steve


No more muskrat love for you! :bat:


Guess we found a closet fan :lmao:


Not really. I just like using the bat emoticon. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:10 am 
The Lord of Destruction
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bildo wrote:
Dragon235 wrote:
bildo wrote:
RockHard wrote:
Love Will Keep Us Together was actually done by The Captain & Tennille... but no worries there: Both groups blow. :lol:


:BB Steve


No more muskrat love for you! :bat:


Guess we found a closet fan :lmao:


Not really. I just like using the bat emoticon. :mrgreen:


See... If Bill was as big a music junkie as me, he'd know that America's version of Muskrat Love kicks the Captain and Tennille's asses anyway... :ataunt:

I love America's version of that song. :oops:


Almost forgot one more bit o' trivia on the bonus tracks for this disc: Broken-Hearted Savior is a Big Head Todd & The Monsters tune. :B


:BB Ventura Highway

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"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:13 am 
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You are a savant.

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:55 pm 
The Lord of Destruction
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bildo wrote:
You are a savant.


Actually, I'm the annoying guy who always wins at Trivial Pursuit and drinks all the beer.

I never get invited back to game night. :(


:BB Lonesome Loser

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"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:49 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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:lol:

Ross, mind chiming in on this review of your work :P

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:10 am 
The Lord of all that matters
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HOLY SHIT! Has he seen this or know you were going to do a review? :shock:

From what I know of the recordings I can give you somewhat of a heads up.

The first 6 tracks or the original tracks to the release were recorded by Ross in their studio. The next series of tracks that comprised of cover tunes without being live tracks were recorded 6 months earlier to send to clubs for live jobs. And all of the live tracks with the exception of the Captain and Tennile song were recorded at a club by someone with a camcorder. Which explains the quality. But it's the only live recording ever recorded of the band to anyone's knowledge. At this performance Ross had his left hand wrapped in heavy gause from some sort of accident. He played the entire show using his index finger and thumb on the fretting hand.

The Captain and Tennile song was a bootleg also. It wasn't a little club as Ben says. But the source of the recording was never revealed. The band bought a cassette of this bootleg the next day at a record store somewhere. And that is what you hear.

I was dragged to a lot of the shows. The one thing I will say is this band you would never get sick of seeing play. They never played the same set twice. And if you missed band practice. Some poor soul had to endure a scarce track from some b side of a 60's band no one ever heard of.

And for what it's worth. This band got as close to making it as a band can get. All they had to do was play a formality show at Minneapolis' First Ave for Capitol Records and they would have had contracts waiting for them when they got off stage. I don't know what happened. But the band broke up while packing for that show. I've heard all four versions of this. And to be honest it wouldn't be my place to state. But that has to bug the shit out of all of them being so close.

I miss this band. I know Ross' ex-wife misses them and a lot of our friends. There were very cool. Something you had to experience to appreciate.

I know a lot of the guys in the band don't talk about the band. But if they got back together there would be a lot of people waiting for them to finish what they started!

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:48 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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I told him I wrote this up, but the fucker hasn't even bothered to drop his 2 cents in :lol:

On another note, cool info dude :tup: and, have you put any of the new reviews (this one, DT, Chickenfoot, etc) on the main page yet?

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 Post subject: Re: Dead Flowers: We Apologize
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:04 pm 
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Well... This was a surprise. Great review Ben.

The thing about Russ is he's a rock singer. He has his own style. Doesn't try to copy anything to closely in the cover tunes.

The high hat got smoked in the demos. I forgot I was experimenting with a Drawmer compressor and had mistakenly placed it on the hats. Oops.

We recorded the studio tracks and demo tracks on a Tascam TSR-8. We only had 8 tracks to work with. But considering the lack of extremely pro gear, I think it went well.

The acoustic part Ben is referring to is actually a Yamaha classical guitar that had the shit beat out of it. It had a big old hole in the front from someone beating on it. I picked it up for 50 bucks at a pawn shop. The damn thing sounds excellent through an AKG 414 mic. The classical piece was actually a surprise to Jay and Russ who had left for the night. And Jeff and I recorded it to fuck around more or less. Jeff pushing the buttons and me the strings.

I never liked Mask either.

The Cowboy Song was written at our first band practice we had with me in the band. No TL referrence intended. It was coined The Cowboy Song by Jay as he and I could never remember what the song was actually named. Even to this day.

The live cover tracks were an example of some of the songs we pulled out of our asses on the fly. We never had a set list and a good chunk of the stuff we played live, most of us never played before. Which shows the talent and musicianship we had.

I used two Fender strats recording this. I used a white strat on the demos. And a Fender Yngwie Malmsteen strat on everything else. Not sure about the live tracks. Could be either strat or various Jacksons or Charvels.

I have pics somewhere of our studio. I'll have to post em sometime.

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