Friday, May 17, 2013

The Heavy Metal Came Down From the Mississippi Delta (An Occasional Series)

Attentive readers with long memories may recall my paean to local rap-metal guys King Hell, who I first encountered and wrote about in these precincts back in September of 2010. A sort of unholy schtup between Judas Priest and Parliament/Funkadelic, they were so theatrical, funny and musical when I chanced upon them at a Battle of the Bands back then that I became an instant fan, despite the fact that the genre they were mining was not by and large my cuppa tea.

Anyway, to my chagrin they broke up soon after, but in the interim since I have become chums with their charming co-lead singer Sam Walters, who is now fronting a slightly more straight ahead outfit called Driven Mad, and it gives me great pleasure to post some new music by them.

So -- please enjoy the aforementioned Driven Mad and the appropriately monikered salute to their raison d'etre that is "Mania."

A song, I would venture to say, that makes the most effective use of the word "motherfucker" I've heard in a long long time.

An amusing postscript: Sam is, as you can hear, pretty much of a 100 percent metalhead, but we were discussing music a few weeks ago (I took him to see John Cale doing Paris 1919 live at BAM, which was great fun, and only partly because I'm old enough to be his granddad, which I find hilarious) and he let it drop that he was hugely a fan of -- and hoped someday to be able to perform the music of -- this guy.

You could have knocked me over with a feather frankly, but I have no doubt he could do Mr. Brown justice. And one of these days I hope to hear him do that very thing.

In the meantime, you can still get King Hell's Rhythm and Bruise album over here at Amazon, and definitely should, if only to hear them doing to Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" what should always have been done to it.


Samael said...

Thank you kindly Mister Simels! We are always honored (seriously) to be featured on your blog. And, yes, Roy Brown, big influence on me--and "Mania" is actually a great example. Check out "Hard Luck Blues": ...hear all those top notes he scoops up to, that sit in his mouth so comfortably thanks to a sly "uh" vowel sound (myyyy mUHTHUrs dead and gone)? That keeps the note resonating in your face/nose, hovering comfortably above the larynx (where you don't want anything to sit). Now listen to the note I also slide into (gee, what a coincidence) in our pre-chorus at the 45 second mark: "of"--or rather, "UHHHHHve"... in other words, Roy Brown is pretty fuckin' metal, and I am pretty Roy Brown :-) And that is your singing nerdiness lesson for the day.

Samael said...

And a moment of shameless whoring, if I may. If you enjoy songs like this, which are a perfect way to quit your job, do visit Driven Mad at and on iTunes at

steve simels said...

And may I also say -- and for the record -- that those little guitar squeaks at the end of "Mania" just crack me up.

Samael said...

I think it's safe we haven't lost our sense of humor. It's just a bit more sly. For instance, instead of titling songs "Assmaster", we run with "Punch Your Face"--which if you consider the context that we're from Cambridge MA--that rough city that's home to the world's largest storehouses of tofu and couscous--is absolutely hysterical. Also, if you play "Mania" at half-time, the guitar is a banjo line. (When we play it to slow in rehearsal, our refrain to the drummer is, "Dude, no banjo metal."

Brooklyn Girl said...

I still have the devil horns ... :-)

And my super-special, not-robot words are:

Musical kiiume