Friday, July 31, 2015

Unholy War: The Gathering Storm...The Playlist

Readers of Unholy War: The Gathering Storm will notice that there's a playlist included at the very beginning of the book, and might be interested to know the selection of songs on it is not only no accident, but the songs are sequenced to sync up with the scenes of the book. For reference, here's our official Gathering Storm playlist...
“Hollywood Forever” – LA Guns
“Scratch My Back” – Roxx Gang
“California” – Beasto Blanco
“Face Down” – LA Guns
“Not That Much” – Mojo Gurus
“Crazy Nights” – Therion
“Tempo Of The Damned” – Exodus
“Can’t Catch Me” – Roxx Gang
“Subhuman Race” – Skid Row
“Moonchild” – Gypsy Pistoleros
“Over The Edge” – LA Guns
“Pleasure Of The Pain” – Nasty Idols
“Lord Of The Jungle” – Roxx Gang
“Jihad” – Shotgun Messiah
“One Man Army” – Dregen
“Shoot For Thrills” – LA Guns
“The Mob Rules” – Black Sabbath
“Wish You Were Alive” – Nasty Idols
“Endless Vacation” – The Ramones
“Live Fast, Die Loud” – Beasto Blanco

Granted, it's gonna take a lot longer to read the book than listen to the playlist, but if you imagine the book in terms of a movie, certain songs match up quite nicely with certain scenes.

Since the book just got released on Monday, I'm not going into any great detail here today, to avoid major spoilers and such, but here are a few highlights, with minimal spoilers ahead...

"Hollywood Forever" and "Live Fast, Die Loud" are the beginning and ending credits, respectively. "Hollywood Forever" provides a driving intro to the world of the (R)Evolution, while "Live Fast, Die Loud" is meant to serve as a thunderous closing note for readers. Beasto Blanco is a good way to send people out into the street feeling hyped...

"California" is the moment early in the novel when Steele and friends are heading into Los Angeles for an evening hunt. This song has a big, expansive, irresistible sound, and if The Gathering Storm were a movie, you'd see lots of pretty shots of Steele's Chevelle tearing down the highway and entertaining the grimy neon wonderland of the bad side of L.A.

"Tempo Of The Damned" is a bit heavier than the rest of the selections, but for years now I've felt the Steve Souza-fronted version of Exodus largely captures what Rapture would sound like. Donita's got more than a little punk mentality, and Souza's demon-possessed Mickey Mouse vocals are perfect for our gypsy half-blood.

"Subhuman Race?" Steele vs. the revenant. Most of the attention always seems to go to Skid Row's ballads, and a lot of people forget just how HEAVY they could get...songs from Slave To The Grind and Subhuman Race were at times on par with what thrash bands were cranking out during the same era. "Subhuman Race" is Skid Row at their dirty, blistering best...the perfect song for getting into a life-or-death struggle with a subhuman monster on the wrong side of town.

"Scratch My Back" and "Pleasure Of The Pain" are a lean in the direction of what the (R)Evolution Eternal sounds like. Florida's Roxx Gang crossed with Sweden's Nasty Idols? Totally. The (R)Evolution Eternal should not only be able to purr and sneer, but scream and scorch, as well. Here's Nasty Idols demonstrating that...

"Endless Vacation" is my favorite Ramones song, period. I always loved it when Dee Dee got to sing, because he was so completely and unapologetically obnoxious. If Popeye were a punk, he would've sang just like Dee Dee Ramone, and Dee Dee's vocals always make me grin. So obviously, something funny's happening towards the end of the tale if this little chestnut's playing. When you read the book, I'm sure you can figure it out.

Some of the bands on the playlist are obviously going to be a lot easier to find than can find Roxx Gang's Things You've Never Done Before and L.A. Guns' Hollywood Vampires a bit more easily than you can track down Nasty Idols' Kalifornia or Dregen's self-titled solo album. But if you're into hard rock or 80's metal at all, do yourself a favor and find these bands and their albums...there's some truly fantastic music here put out by some of the most talented, dedicated rockers to walk the Earth. Support these guys so they'll keep making music!

Besides, for maximum enjoyment of The Gathering Storm, you should have this playlist pounding in your ears as you read...gotta create the proper atmosphere, yes?

And to close it out, here's the song and video that started it all when I decided to write a vampire tale way back at the end of the 90's...Roxx Gang's "Scratch My Back." Rock on, kids.

If you haven't already picked up Unholy War: The Gathering Storm, snag it at Amazon for a mere $'ll last ya a lot longer than a cup of coffee.

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