First of all apologies to all I have not commented back.
Unfortunately, now that I only have dial-up to go by some of your pages either don't load at all or don't load at anywhere near a resonable rate. I've seen "Sir Auron's 1up page" in my toolbar plenty this week but it never showed me TNT's page. (This may not apply to rmsk8r08, I'll see) I think it may have something to do with there being a bit too much on some of your pages but I'm not sure. Just wanted to let you know it's not cause I don't care: it's cause dial-up (or is it just IE?) doesn't care.
And I'd like to ask if Nike's gotten any better about sweatshop usage. Usually I don't even bother looking at the shoes as I have wide feet and Nikes tend to be very thin but for once the Nikes were the best fit out of all shoes I tried. I get to the counter and my dad's checking out and I hear the price $49.99 (he also bought some sort of shoe glue) and thought "God that sounds like pure profi.... wait it probablty IS pure profit cause of Nike's cheapo sweatshops!" But I didn't want to say anything as the deed had been done and it felt rude to say something when he already payed for them. Back home, the receipt says "30 Day warranty w/valid I.D." so I figure I'll go back with him later, but
1) Have they gotten better about their treatment/use of sweatshop workers?
2) is Avia (my other shoes w/hole in them) innocent of this to begin with?
I may not need to take them back, but I'd rather not wear them and think about the kids that made it all day; then again knowing American companies I may be wearing nothing but sweatshop-produced crap. Hmm... having a conscience sucks.
It's kind of fitting that the new Megadeth album has somewhat game relevant song "Gears of War" on it (it was written before the game if I'm remembering correctly, but a tour with Megadeth mixed with letting people get their hands on said game prior to release was just too good of a PR oppurtunity to pass up) because my feelings on this CD are a lot like Shoe's feelings about Gears of War in that despite being flawed it never ceases to amaze me and that's what makes it the first perfect score I'll give anything in my blog (gasp!).
That being said it doesn't exactly start off with a huge bang. The opening track "Sleepwalker"'s not bad, but it's not great either. The riff can be catchy but the chorus repeating "sleepwalker- did I give you concrete shoes, sleepwalker- and throw you off a bridge" in its description of a twisted criminal sounds almost like the theme song for some really weird, immoral Saturday morning toon and it's not always the most intriguing thing in the world if you're not into that "skullfuck imagery for the skullfuck of it" thing.
But the CD skyrockets by the time track 2 rolls around. "Washington is Next" immediately gets your attention with its melodic and speedy riff and provocative lyrics like "the eighth world power of modern Rome; Washington is Next!" complete with high-flying solos and wraps up most of what the CD does right into one nice little package, while the following track "Never Walk Alone... A Call To Arms" is a perfect example of the CD's other huge strongpoint: catchy and damn near danceable chorus riffs (note: the verse riff sounds suspiciously similar to the song "Vortex").
Then the title track "United Abominations" starts off with spoken-word... well, words with lead singer/songwriter Dave Mustaine's voice getting increasingly angry at the UN's failures including but not limited to stabbing their friends in the back after having 22% of their tab payed for and getting away with it cause of diplomatic immunity. Yeah, he's pissed and he's at his best. Don't worry though, that spoken word changes into a melodic hook soon enough with more intriguingly vitriol-filled lyrics set to a melodic hook.
And then it's time for that vaguely game-related track "Gears of War" to come in with its catchy riffs and the chorus lyrics "smart bombs precision guided armament, a more sophisticated way to end up dead". While I have issues with Dave's whiny voice in the verses its melodic ending and solos are some of the best on the CD.
"Blessed are the Dead" makes sure that being this is a metal band that's been alive and well since the 80s, this CD has at least one ridiculous track about mythical creatures such as multicolored horsemen of death. I don't mind the cheesiness of the lyrics at all when the chorus is this catchy. Matter of fact, I love that after all the antigovernment-spewing lyrics of previous tracks we can all just sit back and sing along to some meaningless crap about death involving fiery swords. Blessed are the bands that are catchy enough not to have to make sense.
Sadly, the CD takes a bit of a downturn round about the time the mixed bag "Play for Blood" comes in. It's got some nice verese riffs but the Chris Poland-esque solos (I don't tend to like his brand of broken sounding complex guitar work that current guitarist Drover imitates a lot on this CD; think Smashing Pumpkins' "Zero" solo with more notes/technique) seem unneccessary and it doesn't really have a continuing hook. The remix of "A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)" isn't better or worse than the original, but more parallel in quality. The original sits in its own world with its more downbeat classical sound, while the newer version is just a touch faster and the duet vocals of female metal singer Christina Scabbia add to the more up tempo ambiance of the remake. Also noticeable are the changes in guitar work, which once again guitarist Marty Friedman's original track conveys a more downbeat sense with its clarity while Drover's use of a different distortion and a slightly faster tempo are the exact same notes with somewhat higher prdouction values. Speaking of production values the remake can sound a bit poppy which might make fans of the original scoff, but if you can just accept that both have their own distinct merits they're both classics.
"Amerikhastan" has plenty of moments and it's a good song, but entire verses are only spoken rather than sung by Mustaine. He's not exactly known for his great voice, but at least when he sings it adds melody and texture to songs. Of course maybe he wants to make sure the listener hears every word clearly on the most lyrically intuitive track on the CD. Lines like "Lady Liberty pull up your dress today and tatooed are the words property of the USA, a subsidiary of Haliburton" aren't pulling any punches and despite that I'd still rather hear singing than talking no matter what kind of music, the chorus and solos have a tendency to make up for here.
The less said about "You're Dead" the better, but final track "Burnt Ice" is a fittingly speedy end to such a passionate album. Countless fast solos and God only knows how long Drover could have kept playing those final notes at the same tempo.
Summary: Despite flaws such as tracks with a bit too much spoken-word in their verses, and some unneccesary and sometimes broken-sounding solos, the catchy riffs, thought-provoking lyrics and the solos that DO work are more than enough to prove that after more than 20 years Dave Mustaine still knows not only how to make some of the finest music but also how to keep a band that began in the late 1980s relevant (as proven by the album?????s #8 US chart position; #2 in Japan).
Hell for me just the abundant amount of nicely rendered artwork and that paragrah taken from an episode of 24 that states "you'll have to work hard... like Megadeth" printed on the liner notes is enough to justify a purchase.
The lengthiness of this blog brack to you by a lack of desire to write any other blogs for at least a week.