Friday, May 31, 2013

CD Review: The Flaming Lips Look To Control "The Terror"

American rock band The Flaming Lips are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band by releasing their 16th studio album entitled "The Terror." The album was released on April 1st and shows the band in full experimental mode. According to lead singer Wayne Conte the album is based on the fact that "even without love, life goes on."

The nine-song album starts off with repetitious keyboard sounds that get blasted by the bashing of drums on the opening song, "Look...The Sun Rising." The Lips calm down with the spacey "Be Free, a Way," before really expanding your mind on the 13-minute storied lyrics of "You Lust." The album's title song, "The Terror" sound like a jazz number from the future, while the deep bass and beat heavy "Butterfly, How Long Does It Take To Die" gives off a classic Pink Floyd vibe. The album closes with the dark tones of "Always There, In Our Hearts," as the vocals add an angelic quality to the song.

The Flaming Lips are playing a series of shows in the U.S. during the month of July before heading to Japan. For more information on the new album "The Terror" and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit flaminglips.com.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

CD Review: Cold Satellite Call On The "Cavalcade" For New Album


Out of Northampton, Mass comes the rock 'n' roll band Cold Satellite with their sophomore album, "Cavalcade." Led by Jeffrey Foucault, the band began three years ago when Foucault's writing partner Lisa Olstein handed him some poems to which he turned into raw, rock gems with the help of some friends.

Now Foucalt and Olstein team-up once again to create some truly special songs including the countrified ballad "Cavalcade" and the epic sounding "Pearlescent." The acoustic/electric blues of "Bomblet" and the mystical quietness of "Glass Hands" really allow Olstein's words to take off and live on their own as Cold Satellite place the perfect backdrop on them. Plus, this band can rock as shown on "Silver Whips" and on "Elsewhere" with guitars blazing and the volume turned up to eleven. The album closes with the feel good, comfortable acoustic, Neil Young sounding "Every Boy, Every Blood."

Jeffery Foucault and Cold Satellite will begin their tour in June and spend the summer on the road. For more information on Cold Satellite's new album "Cavalcade" and for a complete list of live dates, please visit coldsatellite.com.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

CD Review: A Couple Of Indie-Rock Groups On The Rise

From Pennslyvania, comes the debut album from the underground supergroup Stardog Champion which is made up of members of the ashes of the bands Breaking Benjamin, Lifer and The Drama Club. The members are responsible for selling a combined 4 millions albums and are looking to begin their climb again to the top.
 
The album, "Exhale" contains five-songs that can all be considered rock radio staples. Songs like "Nothing To Lose" and "When We Fall" have choruses that become memorable after only a few listens. Their music has that hard rock edge without taking away the mainstream pop element. The build-up of "House of Cards" has that kick during the chorus that rocks hard and ruff as the guitars blaze a path of destruction. The album closes with a more alternative rock sound as they smooth over their hard rock edges for a more radio-friendly sound.
 
Stardog Champion's new album "Exhale" was released on April 23rd. To find out more about rock's newest indie-rock band, please visit stardogchampion.com.
 
Los Angeles hard rock band Madlife have just released their latest EP entitled "21st Century Megalomaniac" through their own Madlife Music label. The 5 songs on this album show a band that have their finger on the pulse of popular metal music. The first single, "Live And Die In Hollywood" combine the dirty street rock made famous by the Sunset Strip and the electronics of Nu Metal to create a modern metal masterpiece that gets the adrenaline pumping. The follow-up single, "Just One Gun" is an aggressive, in-your-face rocker that is looking for an innocent soul to take a hold of and make sinful. Madlife fully encorporate the electronics into their music for the passionate "Pain of Pleasure" and in the dark tones of the album closer, "Still Alive."
 
Madlife have one show on the schedule at the moment on June 21st at The Troubadour in Hollywood, CA. For more information on the band's new album, "21st Century Megalomaniac," please visit madlifeofficial.com.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CD Review: Wings Take Off Again "Over America" With Remastered Release

Paul McCartney fans can finally rejoice now that the quintessential live Wings album, "Wings Over America" has finally be remastered and re-released. The new version of this 1976 live album was released on May 28 through the Concord Music Group as part of the "Paul McCartney Archive Colleciton." The collection has already revisited the first three solo McCartney albums and began the series with Paul McCartney & Wings seminal studio album "Band On The Run."
 
The new "Wings Over America" release comes in a load of different formats. The original 28-song album gets remastered and released on 2CDs and also on 3LPs. A deluxe edition includes the original album as well as a third CD including 8-songs from his live performance at the Cow Palace. It also includes a bonus DVD which contains the 1979 Wings' made of television documentary "Wings Over The World" as well as 112-page book, a 60-page photo book and an 80-page sketch book. The documentary covers the band on the road showing them live on stage, as well as their time off between shows. McCartney and the band are very accommodating to the camera crew, allowing them to film them as they try and relax in private. The documentary does not contain an entire show, but not to worry, there is a new blu-ray release of the live video "Rockshow" on the horizon, due to be released on June 10.
 
The remastered "Wings Over America" sounds great as the band are in top form with McCartney and Denny Laine trading lead-vocal duties. The first disc starts off with the big productions of "Venus And Mars/Rockshow/Jet" and "Live And Let Die." McCartney throws in some Beatles' tunes including the punk-like speed of "I've Just Seen A Face" and the quick waltz of "Lady Madonna." The disc closes with an acoustic set that has Laine performing a cover of Paul Simon's "Richard Cory" and McCartney pleasing the audience with "Yesterday."
 
The second disc has more of Wings' greatest hits like "My Love" and "Silly Love Songs." The highlights of the second disc is the spot on rendition of "Let 'Em In" and a great full-band version of "Band On The Run." The disc closes with Wings going back to their roots with the good old fashion rock 'n' roll of "Hi Hi Hi" and the arena guitar shaker "Soily."
 
As the Concord Music Group continues to roll out these great releases from the "Paul McCartney Collection," you can take comfort in knowing that you are getting the best they have to offer. To find out more on this release, please visit www.paulmccartney.com/news-blogs/news/27499-wings-over-america-to-be-reissued-in-may.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review: Voyageur Press Rush Into Summer With "The Illustrated History"

Voyageur Press, in association with Quayside Publishing, has done it again. With the release of their latest book, "Rush: The Illustrated History," Voyageur Press continue upon the success of their high-quality products ("The Ultimate Illustrated History of" Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, AC/DC) with some of the most insightful information and eye-catching photos. This latest masterpiece was published on May 15 and features almost 200 pages full of classic pictures and memorabilia from throughout the band's career.
 
"Rush: The Illustrated History" begins with the origin of the three original members bass/singer Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey. It briefly covers the early years as the band was looking to build upon their local success in Toranto and Ontario. Once the band replaced Rutsey with "The Professor" Neil Peart on drums, their popularity grew, but the band did not find the freedom they were looking for, until the release of their classic 1976 album "2112." Author Martin Popoff tells the history of the band through first-hand accounts from Lee, Lifeson and Peart along with manager Ray Danniels and others who were close to the band. The book does breeze through some moments in Rush's history, but still captures the iconic moments of the band's legacy. Rush's 19 studio albums get reviewed by biographer Jeffrey Morgan, Neil Daniels ("Iron Maiden: The Illustrated History of the Beast") and musicologist Jeff Wagner as they give their personal insight to the meanings and impact of the album's songs.
 
"Rush: The Illustrated History" hits the mark as the "go to" book for amazing live pictures and memorabilia from the past 40 years. The only things missing which would have only added to the greatness of this book is a list of live shows from each tour and a set list to go along with each iconic tour. The book ends as rush embark on their Clockworks Angels tour at the end of 2012.
 
As they continue to make history with their induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and as the band continues performing as one of the elite live shows around, Rush has conquered all odds to be ranked as one of the top rock bands of all time. For more information on this newly released book, that is a must have Rush fans, please visit voyageurpress.com.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

CD Review: Heavy Metal Music Finds A New Device

Heavy metal band Device recently released their self-titled debut album on Warner Brothers Records. Device is the brainchild of Disturbed frontman David Draiman and carries a heavy, industrial metal sound full of adrenaline pumping vocals along with crunching guitars and pulsating drum beats.

The 10-song album begins with the aggressive attack of "You Think You Know" as Draiman's voice brings a familiarity to the songs because of his success with Disturbed. The album's first single, "Vilify" is like Nine Inch Nails on steroids as the beats coming banging through the speakers. The electronics in the music add another dimension to the metal genre as heard in "Out of Line." The album also features a load of special guest including Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, System Of A Down's Serj Tankian, Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello and Halestorm's Lizzy Hale. Hale and Draiman attempt the classic metal duet "Close My Eyes Forever" giving the song a darker tone than the original. Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows lends his vocals on "Haze" as the song's tempo jumps all over the place in order to give the song a deeper sound. The album closes Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes on "Through It All" as his vocals give the song a classic metal appeal.

Device are touring this summer as part of Gigantour along with Megadeth, Black Label Society and Hellyeah. They are also performing at this year's Rocklahoma on May 24. For more information on Device's new album and tour, please visit deviceband.com.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

CD Review: Fueled By Ramen Releases Potential Summer Blockbusters By Paramore And A Rocket To The Moon

Fueled By Ramen is one of the top record labels for alternative music. As a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group, their roster includes a very young, modern line-up including hit makers fun. and modern rockers Gym Class Heroes. In April, the label released a new album by one of the more popular female-fronted alternative rock bands, Paramore and also released a new album by the alternative-country/pop sounds of A Rocket To The Moon.
 
The new self-titled Paramore album was released back in April and shows the band expanding their sound into new territory. Lead singer Hayley Williams is right out front with her strong vocals in "Fast In My Car" and even shows her softer side on "Daydreaming." The album's lead single, "Now" has an arena shaking chorus that gets supported by buzzing guitars and heavy metal drumming. The pop music of "Last Hope" and the punk-like aggression of "Anklebiters" shows the band's diversity, while the album's latest single, "Still Into You" combines the two styles while adding a new wave appeal to their music. The song "(One Of Those) Crazy Girls" starts off like a sixties nostalgia trip that turns into a plead for forgiveness. The album's alternative/pop/dance/rock songs gets interrupted by short ukulele song snippets like "Moving On" and "I'm Not Angry Anymore" that show another side to the band's songwriting. The highlight of the album is the 8-minute closer, "Future" which begins as a demo-sounding, campfire song that erupts with screeching guitars and pounding drums.
 
Paramore is spending the summer over in Europe. To find out more about the band's new album, please visit paramore.net.
 
After hitting it big in 2009 with their debut album "On Your Side," A Rocket To The Moon look to build on that success with their latest release, "Wild & Free." The album has a warm, southern sound with its acoustic rockers "Going Out" and "Nothing At All' along side the heartfelt ballads "First Kiss" and "Another Set of Wings." The album is full of potential hit singles, the Jason Mraz sounding "Whole Lotta You," the first dance potential of "I Do" and the country two-step of "Wherever You Go." The album closes with the band plugging in for the up-tempo rocker "You're My Song" and the piano ballad "Lost & Found."
 
A Rocket To The Moon will begin the month of June on the west coast before heading up to Canada, then hit the east coast at the end of the month. For more information on the band's new album, "Wild & Free" and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit arockettothemoon.net.

Friday, May 24, 2013

CD Review: Face To Face Want You To Know The "Half Truth"

California punk rockers Face To Face have felt the highs and lows of the music industry throughout their 20 year career. With a rotation of band members, the band found mainstream success in 1993 when they signed to Victory Records. Their 1994 album, "Big Choice" broke into the top 25 on the "Heatseekers" chart as the song's lead single, "Disconnected" hit #39 on the Billboard Rock Track chart.

Then, Face To Face called it quits in 2004 as the band members went their separate ways. In late 2008, the band reunited for a short U.S. tour. The vibe was so positive that they decided to continue, performing on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour and record a new album (2011's "Laugh Now, Laugh Later").

Now Face To Face return with their eighth studio album, "Three Chords and a Half Truth." It was released back on April 9 through Rise Records and the band is currently on tour promoting the hell out of it.

The twelve songs that make up the new album still have that classic Face To Face feel or maybe its just hearing Trever Keith's familiar voice, since he is the only original member of the band. The songs "Welcome Back To Nothing" and "Bright Lights Go Down" have that punk-rock aggression as the band plays with a new sense of purpose. They also make sure to have a couple mainstream rock songs "Right As Rain" and "Jinxproof" that alternative rock radio should take notice of. The album closes with the uplifting, party anthem "Three Chords and a Half Truth" and the pulsating, energetic classic punk-style of "Across State Lines."

Face To Face are on tour in the U.S. until the end of June. Then they will take a month off before heading over to Europe of a handful of dates. For more information on Face To Face, check out facetofacemusic.com.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

CD Review: Escape The Fate Are Becoming "Ungrateful" On Their Latest Album

Hardcore metal band Escape The Fate recently released their fourth studio album entitled "Ungrateful" on May 14. The new album was produced by John Feldman (Panic At The Disco, The Used, Papa Roach) and proves why Escape The Fate are the rulers of underground hardcore metal.
 
The eleven song album begins with the aggressive blast of the title-song, "Ungrateful," as the lyrics are shouted like a battlecry. The band stills holds on to that classic hardcore sound in "Until We Die," while also bringing a more mainstream appeal to their sound. The band give a shot of adrenaline with "Forget About Me" as the drums and guitar shake the speakers. Escape The Fate have a true break-through single with "You're Insane" as they bring some LA "sleeze" in their music. Escape The Fate tone the energy down for "Picture Perfect," before finishing the album with the buzzsaw guitars of "One For The Metal" and the adrenaline pumping, arena rocker, "Fire It Up."
 
Escape The Fate will be supporting The Hollywood Undead in July after spending the month of June performing live overseas in Europe. For more information on Escape The Fate's new album "Ungrateful" and for a complete list of live shows be sure to visit escapethefate.com.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CD Review: "Swamp People" Bring Out The Musical Charm Of Louisiana

The History Channel’s latest breakout television show is “Swamp People” and to celebrate, HISTORY and the Concord Music Group are releasing the first soundtrack to that hit show. Inspired by the deep southern roots of Louisiana, “Swamp People” showcases a rich tradition that dates back almost three centuries. As important as the rich history, is the great music that has come from this area of the country. This album features 13 songs by some of the biggest artists drawing inspiration from their southern roots including The Neville Brothers, Hank Williams and Buckwheat Zydeco.

The album begins with the show’s theme song, “Swamp People” by Steel Bill (aka Billy Joe Tharpe) a native of Louisiana. The song is a favorite of Troy Landry, who plays the lead in the show, as he lends his talents on the harmonica to the song. The classic country sounds of Jerry Reed and Hank Williams on the songs “Amos Moses” and “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” get a shot of Cajun to give their music a little spice. The real New Orleans flavor of Buckwheat Zydeco’s “Zydeco La Louisianne” and Beausoleil’s “Kolinda” adds some authenticity to the album.  Famous blues songs, “Polk Salad Annie” by Tony Joe White and “See You Later Alligator” performed by Bobby Charles, add some fun to the album’s southern charm.

The “Swamp People” album was released on May 21 through Rounder Records in association with the Concord Music Group. For more information, please visit www2.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/Swamp-People/.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

CD Review: Keith Moody Is "Dreaming Out Loud," While Keyless Becomes A "Hot Shot"

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Keith Moodyis looking to build upon the success of his latest release "Dreaming Out Loud." This album shows Keith in a different light as his music has a stripped-down, acoustic pop appeal. But no matter what type of music he plays, his wonderful songwriting is what makes his music so attractive.
 
The eleven-song release begins with the pop/rock of "Long Way Up," as his music and vocals draws some similarities to Matthew Sweet. Another great sounding, up-tempo acoustic rocker is "Lay It Down Easy" as Moody lifts your spirit with his words of encouragement. It's great to hear Moody add a dash of punk into his clean-sounding repetoire as in "Up," but his lyrics really fly during the blusey ballad "Red Line." The album closes with Moody showing us more of his guitar skills on the swaying blues of "Plastic Hearts."
 
Keith Moody has a load of live dates scattered throughout the U.S., beginning June 1st in Florida. For a complete list of tour dates and for more information on Moody's new album "Dreaming Out Loud," please visit keithmoody.com.
 
Memphis, TN pop artist Keyless is looking to breakthrough with his new album "Hot Shot." The self-released album comes out May 21 and features the song "Deep End" which has been featured on a number of television shows and appears in the full-length motion picture "The Devil Within: Rise Of Evil." The song combines a memorable chorus with a dancefloor beat that is very contagious to get wrapped up in. The album's lead single "Everything" is beginning to catch fire on the "top 40" charts with its pure pop lyrics and easy to follow beats that appeal to listeners of all ages. Some of the other songs on the album take on a more club beat like "Crazy" and "War On The Floor," before the album closes with another possible hit with Keyless taking on the DJ reigns in"Shatter."
 
To find out more on Keyless and his new album "Hot Shot." please visit keylessmusic.com.

Monday, May 20, 2013

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From Stone Sour, Killswitch Engage And Kvelertak

Roadrunner Records unleashed some amazing new albums last month from Stone Sour, Killswitch Engage and newcomers Kvelertak.The new Stone Sour album, "House of Gold & Bones, Part 2" is continuing the story of last year's "House of Gold & Bones, Part 1." Led by lead sing, Cory Taylor, this latest album has lyrics that dig deeper into his mind as a songwriter. The songs still rock hard with edginess like in "Black John" and "Peckinpah," while Stone Sour explore their softer side with the meaningful "Sadist" and "Blue Smoke." The get down and dirty with the heavy bass groove of "Gravesend" and head into a mainstream metal sound with "The Uncanny Valley." The album closes up with the punk-like fury of "Do Me A Favor," then they add strings to the power ballad "The Conflagration," before finishing up with the eruption of "House Of Gold & Bones."

The album was released on April 9 where is entered the Billboard Album charts at #9 and made four straight Stone Sour albums to crack the Top 10. Stone Sour will be touring Europe for the first month of summer, but be sure to visit stonesour.com for the latest information on the band.

One of Roadrunner Records' heaviest artists is Killswitch Engage as they continue to crank out albums of aggressive attacks that certainly keep the blood pumping. Their latest release, "Disarm The Discent" was released at the beginning of April and entered the Billboard Album chart at #7, their highest charting album to date.

The band come blasting out of the get with the high-octane of "The Hell In Me," before continuing with the machine gun drumming of "The New Awakening." The album's lead single, "In Due Time" has a mainstream metal chorus, without losing its aggressive edge with its screaming vocals. The guitars stampede through "A Tribute To The Fallen" with a reckless cause, while the deep howls of "The Turning Point" give the song a darker,more monstrous sound. The album closes with the only moment of breath with "Always" and the speed metal assault of "Time Will Not Remain."

Killswitch Engage are taking their new album on the road with a U.S. tour starting at the end of the month. Then they had overseas to Japan at the end of July before making their way over to Europe in August. For more information on the new album "Disarm The Discent" and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit killswitchengage.com.

Last, but on least, we get the latest release from Norway rockers Kvelertak entitled "Meir." The album carries a big guitar/drum sound with the lyrics in their native tongue, but with a great metal sound, you don't need to understand the words. The band motors through the song "Trepan," a classic hard rock sound with screaming vocals. They slow the tempo down for "Evig Vandrar" as the song is sure to become an arena rocker during their live shows. The band keeps the energy high and consistent on the almost seven-minute metal attack of "Nekrokosmos," before finishing the album with the nine-minute epic "Tordenbrak" and the classic guitar rock of the band's theme song, "Kvelertak."

Kvelertak will be wrapping up their North American tour this week with a couple of shows in Canada. For more information on this rising metal band, please visit kvelertak.com.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Concert Review: Motley Crue Blasts Through A Hits Packed Set At Mohegan Sun

Heavy metal music would have a totally different look today if not for Motley Crue. Their California looks and flashy concerts brought in a whole new audience (mostly female) to discover heavy metal music. After 32 years and nine studio albums (six platinum) Motley Crue are nearing the end of their career together, but after seeing their performance last Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun arena I still cannot understand why. The band (Vince Neil, Nikki Six, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars) still put on an adrenaline pumping, energetic show, as if they were out to prove why they are considered one of the premier bands of heavy metal.

With the lights out and the band's new, modern introduction music blarring through the speakers, a countdown appeared on two giants clocks at the back of the stage. Then, appearing from the back of the arena was a "march of evil" as two females on the shoulders of a couple roadies held flags while a hooded drummer banged away as if leading their victims to a hanging. Once on stage, the hooded drummer was revealed as Tommy Lee as he ran to his drum set to kick-off the night with "Saints of Los Angeles." Only distracted for a moment by the female acrobats going on above the stage, all eyes were on the band as lead singer Vince Neil worked the stage running from end to end. Signature fist pumps signaled the beginning of "Shout At The Devil" as the band mixed in songs from their first couple album with their most popular hits, "Wild Side," "Same Ol' Situation" and "Dr. Feelgood."

The only slow part of the evening came when a piano was lowered from the ceiling as Tommy Lee and the band gathered around it for the beginning of "Home Sweet Home." As the spotlight remained on Lee he proceeded with a drum solo that had to been seen to appreciate as he flipped upside-down along a track while continously banging away to a DJ-style club beat. Guitarist Mick Mars followed with his eye-starring, jaw-dropping solo which lead into the audiences participation of "Live Wire."

Motley Crue finished their set with two of the band's most popular hits, "Girls, Girls, Girls" which had a couple of stripper poles being occupied by dancers, and the high-energy "Kickstart My Heart." During the song's performance, bassist Nikki Sixx would proceed to spit, what looked like a blood-like substance, into the front row of the audience, but that was nothing compared to the finish. Sections of the front row became drenched as buckets of the red liquid were thrown at the audience by Sixx and Lee.
 
While this current tour may be wrapping up soon, Motley Crue are looking forward to making their final studio album and then say farewell with a final world tour. Many of today's bands have a debt to owe to Motley Crue and their live performance can attest to the fact that they are one of the premier heavy metal bands of all time.
 
Setlist: Saints Of Los Angeles, Wild Side, Shout At The Devil, Piece Of You Action, Same Ol' Situation, Louder Than Hell, Sex, Don't Go Away Mad, MF Of The Year, Home Sweet Home, Live Wire, Too Fast For Love, Primal Scream, Dr. Feelgood, Girls Girls Girls, Kickstart My Heart

Saturday, May 18, 2013

DVD Review: Iron Maiden Finally Get "Maiden England" Out On DVD

Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden pleased long-time fans with the release of their new DVD "Maiden England '88." It is a re-release of their long, out-of-print concert video "Maiden England" with three bonus songs not on the original release. Plus, it also includes a second disc full of goodies, including of two documentaries and five promo videos.
 
The concert video was recorded live at Birminham NEC on November 27th and 28th, 1988 in support of the band's highly successful album "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son." The footage was directed and edited by Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris. The video was originally released in 1989 on VHS, then re-released in 1994 on VHS with a bonus CD. Harris stated that this concert was filmed from the fan's perspective with most of the shots coming from the angle of the crowd and not really on stage with the band.
 
In 2007, it was mentioned that the film was being cleaned up for a DVD release in 2008 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the shows. It was later delayed until 2013, being released by Universal Music on March 26 as a 2 DVD set, which hit #1 on the Billboard video chart. While the first disc covers the entire concert, the second disc has the goods that fans have been waiting for. Included on the second disc is part 3 of "The History of Iron Maiden" which features new interviews with the band as they discuss the making of the albums "Somewhere In Time" and "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son." Also included is another out-of-print video entitled "12 Wasted Years" which documents the beginning of the band with tons of live footage and archival interviews with members of the band. To round out the disc are the 5 promotional music videos for the songs "Wasted Years," "Stranger In A Strange Land," "Can I Play With Madness," "The Evil That Men Do" and "The Clairvoyant."
 
Even though the concert was not filmed in high-definition (hence no Blu-ray release) the footage still looks and sounds amazing, especially for being 25 years old. The other great thing is how the film was cut together. Too many concert videos today have camera shots that jump all over the place, while this one has camera shots that stick to one angle for more that a few seconds. Also released was a 2 CD set of the show which also includes the songs, "Can I Play With Madness," "Hallowed Be Thy Name," "Run To The Hills," "Running Free" and "Sanctuary" which were left off the original CD release back in 1994.
 
To find out more about this great new release, please visit www.ironmaiden.com/maiden-england-88-concert-to-be-released-on-dvd.html

Friday, May 17, 2013

CD Review: Ape Machine Gets "Mangled" While Trucker Diablo Hits The "Iron"

Brand new music is being released from hard rock groups, Ape Machine and Trucker Diablo. Ape Machine’s newest release is a concept album entitled “Mangled By The Machine.” The ten-song album has a great classic hard rock sound that exploded in the mid-seventies.

The album begins with the build-up of “Gun You Down” as the drumbeats build up the adrenaline until the chorus kicks in. Heavy guitar riffs blaze the way in “Tyrant’s Arm,” while a deep metal groove powers “Angry Man.” Ape Machine just jams on "Mangled By Machine" as their music carries the song to it's rising climax. The album closes with a string of songs that give the band a heavy, progressive rock sound, similar to Wolfmother and Mastadon.

Ape Machine are beginning a tour of Europe at the end of the month. For more information, please visit apemachine.com.

For Trucker Diablo, 2012 was a break-out year. They had a hit single with "Drink Beer, Destroy," they performed live along side Anthrax, Foo Fighters and Thin Lizzy and are now preparing to release their brand new album entitled "Songs of Iron."

The album starts off strong with the heavy southern rockers, "Red Light On" and "Year Of The Truck" as the band's aggressiveness is what motors the song high energy. Trucker Diablo's music is very dynamic as they display that classic late-eighties metal sound as heard in "The Rebel," then switch gears for the southern rock of "Drive." The great guitar riffs of "Lie To Me" and "Rock Hallelujah" are just a memorable as the chorus. The album finishes up with the chugging of "Shame On You" and the guitar-blazing "I Wanna Party With You."

Trucker Diablo has a load of live dates on their schedule. Make to to visit truckerdiablo.com for more information.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

CD Review: European Indie-Artists, Slim Loris And My Woshin Mashin, Import New Music

From Sweden comes the Americana/pop duo Slim Loris with their sophomore album “Future Echoes and Past Replays.” The album begins with a sixties pop vibe in “Fear of Flying” as they draw you in with their light, up-tempo appeal. Slim Loris showcase their wonderful songwriting on “Head On The Floor” and the beauty in their harmonizing on “While I Breathe.” The band fully encaptures the feel of the Americana genre in “Visions of Tomorrow” and “Clean As A Whistle” as the storied lyrics get carried along with a simple, but very effective melody. The album finishes up with the gentle, acoustic stroll of “October In White.”

Slim Loris’ new album “Future Echoes and Past Replays” will be released on May 19. They have one shows scheduled at the moment in their home country of Sweden, but look for more dates to be announced soon. For more information, please visit slimloris.com.

Also out is the new album “Evil Must Die” from the German electronic/dance/pop group My Woshin Mashin. The twelve tracks that make up the new release show a maturity in the band’s presentation of their music. Beginning with “Riders On The Storm,” you hit the dance-floor with this catchy pop/techo beat. My Woshin Mashin get a little more experimental with their sound on “Hobo Rap,” while “They Live” fits perfectly in a horror movie with its dark tone. They hit the mainstream pop bullseye with “Hero” as the music and lyrics have that perfect combination. The duo slow down the tempo for “Babylon 4,” before pumping the beats back up with “Vodka.” The album closes with another mainstream pop song, “Bradbury” as the duo may have found their break-out hits.

To find out more about My Woshin Mashin, please visit mywoshinmashin.com.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CD Review: Blue Cheer Ends Career With Live Album

Known as one of the founding bands of Heavy Metal music, Blue Cheer hit it big in 1968 with their guitar drenched cover of “Summertime Blues.” After a career that lasted over 40 years, Blue Cheer is releasing their final chapter, “Rocks Europe” on May 28 through Rainman Records. The two-disc set features the entire live show from April 11, 2008 which was performed for Germany’s Rockpalast television show. It would be the band’s final tour as founding member Dickie Peterson would pass-away in 2009.

You would never guess from hearing this concert that this was a band that was closing out a 42-year career in music. Right from the opening riffs of “Babylon” this is a band that is still enjoying the music they make together. Peterson’s voice still has that “metal” scream in “I’m Gonna Get To You” and drummer Paul Whaley can still hit the skins with a “take no prisoner” approach as heard in his solo during “Doctor Please.”

The band’s final studio album was released in 2007 and even still they carry that full-deep sound powered by Peterson’s bass as in “Maladjusted Child.” The first disc closes with a seven-minute jam on their biggest hit “Summertime Blues.” On the second disc, they pay respects to the bluesmen of the past with a raunchy version of Albert King’s “The Hunter,” before closing with two recently discovered studio outtakes, “Alligator Boots” and “She’s Something Else."

Fellow hard rock trio, Rush consider Blue Cheer one of the first heavy metal bands and stated that their music “left deafening echoes in a thousand other bands in the following decades.” For more information, please check out rainmanrecords.com/c-62487-artists-blue-cheer.html.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

CD Review: Pop Evil Goes Dark With "Onyx"

Hard rockers Pop Evil return with their fourth studio album entitled "Onyx." The album will be released on May 14 through eOne Music and follows up the band's break-through album, 2011's "War of Angels." The album's first single, "Trenches" has recently cracked the Top Ten Active Rock chart and the band will be hitting the main stage at this year's "Rock On The Range" festival next weekend.

The new album starts off with the aggressive, hard rock attack of "Goodbye My Friend" as the band is firing on all cylinders. The crunch of guitars and the scream out loud lyrics of "Deal With The Devil" shows a sense of renewal as the band look to conquer the rock charts. The album's lead single, "Trenches" has a great up-tempo, arena shaking sound with a stomping beat and "Nu-Metal" vocals. They pull back the reigns for "Torn to Pieces," before pushing the petal to the metal on "Sick Sense" and "Behind Closed Doors." They have another mainstream hard rock hit with "Fly Away" before closing the album with the dark, heavy attack of "Flawed."
 
Pop Evil have a busy summer with shows lasting until August, including a stop in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den on June 1. For a complete list of tour dates and for more information on the new album, "Onyx," please visit popevil.com.

Monday, May 13, 2013

CD Review: Rockabilly Star Bill Kirchen Is Sewing New "Seeds And Stems"

Rockabilly singer/songwriter/guitarist Bill Kirchen is preparing to release his brand-new studio album, "Seeds And Stems," on June 18. Bill Kirchen is one of the founding members of the late-sixties/early-seventies band Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen who had a top ten hit in 1972 with "Hot Rod Lincoln." The new album mixes a couple classic Commander Cody songs along with a bunch of new original songs. Kirchen even tries his hand at the Bob Dylan classic, "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry" with much success.

Bill Kirchen was nicknamed "The Titan of the Telecaster" for his ability to control the instrument unlike anyone else at the time and the songs "Too Much Fun" and "Semi-Truck" can attest to that statement. Kirchen took the fast-paced rockabilly original "Womb To The Tomb" and reinvented it into a county-blues number, while "Swing Fever" sounds like something Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats would have recorded back in their heyday. Bill Kirchen revisits his past once again for the Commander Cody hit "Hot Rod Lincoln" as his band puts the tempo into overdrive and just jams to classic licks by Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and others to extend the song to almost eight-minutes. The album closes with the guitar plucking story of "Talkin' About Chicken."
 
Bill Kirchen and his band are currently on tour which stops at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville, CT on May 16 before continuing on until July 4th. For a complete list of live dates and for more information on the new album, please visit billkirchen.com.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

CD Review: "In The Wake" Of Tragedy, Tea Leaf Green Release A New Album

San Francisco jam band Tea Leaf Green is releasing their eighth studio album on May 14. The new release entitled "In The Wake" features some of the band's most personal songs with a classic rock 'n' roll touch. As the title suggests, the band are using this album to overcome some tragedies that they have experienced since their last album, "Radio Tragedy."
 
The band gets their funk groove going on "Space Hero Pt. 2" as a repetitive guitar riff carries through the song's up-beat tempo. Tea Leaf Green brings up some strong similarities to fellow jam band Widespread Panic on "Penny Saved," while the experimental "In The Wake" draws mixed results with the band harmonizing along a spaced-out drum track. The additional vocals of Lesley Grant on "Give Me One More Chance" has the band hitting the mainstream pop/rock market as the song has an island vibe to it. Another Leslie, Leslie Helpert lends a hand on vocals on "Don't Go" as the band plays with the song's tempo while the vocals keep the song on track. The band treads into space-rock with "Mr. E And The Cosmic Recepticle," before finishing with the up-tempo, psychedelic rock of "We're Not Done."
 
Tea Leaf Green will be heading to the east coast for a 10-date tour before hitting a couple festivals in July. They have a CD release show scheduled for May 18 at The Independent in San Fransisco, CA before performing at Toad's Tavern in New Haven, CT on May 30. For a complete list of live dates and for more information on their new album, "In The Wake," please visit tealeafgreen.com.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

CD Review: Randall Bramblett Finds "Bright Spots" On His Latest Album

Singer/songwriter Randall Bramblett returns with his ninth brand-new solo studio album entitled "The Bright Spots." The album will be released on May 14 through New West Records and features a dozen of Bramblett's most honest sounding songs. After contributing to Bonnie Raitt's Grammy-winning album "Slipstream," Bramblett decided it was time to re-enter the studio and record, adding his own special touch to these new songs.
 
His southern, soulful sound is heard all over this release, like jn the bluesy "Every Saint" and swamp-boogie of "Whatever That Is" as Bramblett's aged voice adds an authentic element to the music. He lightens up the mood with "'Til The Party's All Gone" as the up-lifting tempo gives off a fun atmosphere to the song's meaning. Bramblett and his band get funky on "John The Baptist," adding elements of gospel and R&B music to "Shine" to show diversity in his music. He slows down for the meaningful ballad "Detox Bracelet" and for the extraordinary songwriting of "All Is Well," before returning to a more seventies, pop/rock sound in the closer "Rumbling Bridge."
 
Randall Bramblett has a load of dates scattered throughout the summer. Check out randallbramblett.com for a complete list of tour dates and for more information on his new album, "The Bright Spots."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Concert Review: Rush Brings "Clockwork Angels" Tour To Mohegan Sun

Progressive hard rock band Rush took over the Mohegan Sun arena last Thursday night (May 9th) as part of the second leg of their "Clockwork Angels" tour. The band was recently inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame last month, but made no mention of it during the show, but that's the type of band they are. They've built their legion of followers through their mystical albums and outstanding live shows without the need of flash and fame. 

The three-hour performance was broken up into two sets, with the first set lasting just over an hour. It began with bassist/keyboardist/singer Geddy Lee playing the first notes, on the keyboard, of one of their concert staples "Subdivisions." Rush snuck in some rare gems like the rarely performed "Grand Designs" and "Territories" from their 1985 album, "Power Windows." Sandwiched between these two songs was the crowd pleaser "Limelight" as guitarist Alex Lifeson was just warming up for his blazing solo later on during "The Analog Kid." Drummer Neil Peart performed the first of his three drum solos at the conclusion of the funky instrumental "Where's My Thing?" The first set closed with a hard-driving version of "Far Cry" from their 2007 album, "Snakes & Arrows," complete with pyrotechnics. 

After a ten-minute break, Rush returned to the stage, along with a seven-piece string section to perform their brand-new album, "Clockwork Angels" almost in its entirety. Some of the highlights was the heavy, thick sounding "Carnies," the new fan favorite "Headlong Flight" (which included the second of Peart's amazing drum solos) and "The Garden." The audience just watched in awe, as if they were each searching for a deeper meaning with these new songs. The set continue with Rush diving back into their extensive catalog, performing "Dreamline" and the classic instrumental "YYZ." Neil Peart's third drum solo, "The Percusser" had him incorporating different sounds to his outlandish drum kit to create a truly unique experience. The second set closed with the entire audience clapping in unison during the chorus of "The Spirit Of Radio." 

Rush returned to the stage for the encore, beginning with the tradition of tossing out a couple dozen t-shirts into the crowd. They they picked up their instruments to perform the band's biggest selling single and most well-known song, "Tom Sawyer." The night concluded with the trio performing parts I, II and VII of their 20-minute concept song, "2112." Now having seen Rush four times over the last decade, I can honestly say that they only get better with age.

Setlist: Subdivisions, The Big Money, Force Ten, Grand Designs, Limelight, Territories, The Analog Kid, The Pass, Where's My Thing?, Far Cry, Caravan, Clockwork Angels, The Anarchist, Carnies, The Wreckers, Headlong Flight, Halo Effect, Wish Them Well, The Garden, Dreamline, The Percusser (drum solo), Red Sector A, YYZ, The Spirit Of Radio
Encore: Tom Sawyer, 2112 Part I: Overture, 2112 Part II: The Temples Of Syrinx, 2112 Part VII: Grand Finale

Thursday, May 9, 2013

CD Review: Former Dixie Chick, Natalie Maines, Calls For "Mother" On Her Solo Debut Album

Former Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines recently released her debut solo album, “Mother” through Columbia Records. The album is a bit of a departure from her multi-platinum country trio. Maines herself  stated that she is not a country artist at heart but loves rock ‘n’ roll as she mixes some of her favorite covers songs with originals.

Maines plays it safe on the album opener “Without You” which doesn’t stray too much from her old job, but performs a haunting version of Pink Floyd’s “Mother” as she stick close to the original. Maines finally plugs in her guitar and rocks on Patti Griffin’s “Silver Bells” as she sounds so natural leading a hard rocking band instead of twangy country. One of the highlights of this album is the seven-minute version of Jeff Buckley’s “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over.” Maines pulls off the song’s meaning with complete passion and soul. Ben Harper lends a hand on the guitar-shuffle of “Trained,” before closing the album with the newly written “Take It On Faith” specifically written for this album. Her performances throughout this album are strong and deeply meaningful to any listener.

To find out more about Natalie Maines new album, "Mother," please visit nataliemainesmusic.com.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CD Review: Indie-Artists Mahoney & The Moment, Astronauts Anonymous and Dallad David Release New Music

From New York returns the duo of Mahoney & The Moment with their sophomore album, "Don't Say No." The new release continues with their signature folk/Americana sound that has been on the rise on modern rock radio. The addition of their wonderful harmonizing vocals only adds to music's simple appeal.

The new album starts off with a story of revenge in "Who Is Archie Lane?," as they add a more rock element to their sound. After the guitar-shuffle of "Waiting For Your Love," Mahoney & The Moment fall back into their signature sound with "Astoria" and "Emma Simpson." The gentle acoustics of "Changes Around Here" shows-off their heartfelt vocals, while the up-tempo "Mystie (Don't Say No)" shows the band have fun with their music. The album closes with the acoustic, folk storytelling of "Where Losers Meet" as they grow with each new release.

The new album "Don't Say No" was released in April and has the band heading over to Europe for a load of spring concert dates. To find out more about Mahoney & The Moment, please visit mahoneyandthemoment.com.

From Wilmington, NC comes the indie-rock band Astronauts Anonymous with their new release, "Still Sleeping." The album was released at the end of April and the band's sound is described as "experimental alternative rock."

The 11-song album begins with the keyboard instrumental "Dropping In," which leads into the "space-rock" of "Louder, As We Speak." The band comes together for the up-tempo rocker, "Body Language," which would fit in perfectly with today's mainstream rock radio-play. The band's sound captures a youthful, up-beat feeling with "7th & Grace" as their music hits the rock chords as well as the dance floor. The album finishes up with the six-minute "Animal Etiquette" as the band expands and experiments on their alternative rock sound.

To find out more about Astronauts Anonymous, please visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/AstronautsAnonymousMusic.

Also new from singer/songwriter Dallas David is his new full-length album entitled "Benson." Dallas performs all the instruments himself as the album carries that indie-pop/folk sound.

The 13-song album starts off with "The Biscuit Works" as Dallas mixes in different vocals in order to give the song some depth. He gets a little bluesy with his guitar on "Circles" as he receives some vocal help from Valori Grace. He hits the right cord with "Cancun" as Dallas adds a little island flair to his acoustic folk to enhance his storytelling. Dallas displays his guitar playing more than his singing on "Baby Teeth, " while "Heneree"  and "The Church Bells" show a more completed song. Dallas David's music just needs to be fuller with a live band performing on some of these songs in order for them to make a bigger impact.

To find out more about Dallas David please visit dallasdavid.bandcamp.com.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CD Review: Great New Music From Rising Indie-Artists

Connecticut band Waking Elliot is releasing their new EP, “Weak Minded Like Me” on May 7. The six-song album has a great alternative, hard rock sound fronted by not one, but two powerful female vocalists. The album begins with the big, grand rock of “Lost Me At Hello,” but the band’s edginess and aggressiveness comes through on the title-song as they plead their case to the listener. They head to a more mainstream rock sound on “Breakdown,” before finishing the album with “Heavy Hearts Don’t Float” as they show a frailty to their voice on this ballad.

To find out more about Waking Elliot, please visit wakingelliot.com.

From Chicago comes Jackpot Donnie with a five-song EP entitled “Mayday!” The album was released back in March and has a great modern rock sound as displayed on the opening song “Juju.” They get a little aggressive with their delivery on the hard rocking “Hindsight,” before closing the album with the acoustic ballad “The Art of Mixing Colors.”

To find out more about Jackpot Donnie, please visit jackpotdonnie.com.



Singer/songwriter Bell Stray recently released her new “digital only” single “Roses Shade.” The piano driven ballad allows Bell’s voice to become the main focus of the song. Her voice has a very different quality that is not heard on mainstream radio. The dark, repetitive lyrics make their point amongst a piano/chorus backdrop.

To find out more about Bell Stray, please visit bellstray.com.




New Zealand alternative rock band Tablefox recently released their debut EP “Passenger.” The band’s sound draws strong similarities to Coldplay, band of Horses and The Cure. The new 5-song album begins with “Friendly Fire” as the song walks the fine line between grunge and U2-style pop/rock. The album’s current single, “Passenger” is built for mainstream radio with its mellow, humming keyboard backdrop highlighted by strikes of the guitar to give the song enough of a pulse. The band gets the blood flowing with the album closer “Call To Arms” as they bring their guitars to life. 

 To find out more about Tablefox, please visit the band’s facebook page at facebook.com/Tablefox.

From San Antonio, TX comes The Krayolas with their brand new album “Canicas-Marbles.” The new 8-song album mixes a classic 60’s jukebox sound (“Canicas”) with Mariachi rock band (“La Inundacion De Piedras Negras”) to create a truly unique, but very appealing sound. They also cover the Ramones’ classic “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and pump a little Spanish flair into it. The album closes with the mellow folk sounding “Epitaph Street.”

The Krayolas have a couple live dates in their hometown of San Antonio, but will be heading north for a mini-tour in August. For more information on The Krayolas, please visit thekrayolas.com.

Monday, May 6, 2013

CD Review: Six-Pack Of New Metal Blade Records Releases

Metal Blade Records is once again ready to unleash a barrage of music over the course of the next month. The end of April saw the releases of new albums from Cathedral, Purson and The Ocean, while the month of May gives us new releases from Entrails, Blood Ceremony and Eldkraft. Right now is a very busy time for “metal heads” to enjoy some new music.
 
The new album by doom metal band Cathedral is entitled “The Last Spire” and according to lead singer Lee Dorrian, it will be the band’s last. Dorrian said in an interview that “deciding to end the band wasn’t an easy decision to make but we knew deep down in our hearts that is was the right thing to do.” Also, according to the band, this album brings Cathedral full-circle as it reflects the sound of the band’s debut. Songs like “Pallbearer” and “Tower of Silence” still has that grinding guitar, but Cathedral adds some tempo changes to keep the music interesting. While most of the songs push well past the 8-minute mark, the band continues to add the song’s slow-moving metal sound in order to show why they are considered one of the premier doom metal bands around.
 
To find out more about Cathedral’s final album, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/news/cathedral-stream-new-single-unveil-cover-for-the-last-spire/.
 
Also coming out on April 30th is the debut album from Purson entitled “The Circle and the Blue Door.” They combine the mysticism of the dark forces with the inspiration of David Bowie and classic ‘70s rock. Their sound has a very retro sound, pulling in the psychedelic feel of The Beatles with the early hard rock of the female-fronted band, Heart. Purson play around with their sound on the flute-rock, carousel sounding “Sailor’s Wife’s Lament,” before returning to rock on the Deep Purple sounding “Leaning On A Bear.” While their music may seem a little out of place in this era of overblown electronically made music, it is refreshing to hear such a classic rock sound that keeps you coming back for more.
 
To find out more about Purson and their debut album “The Circle And The Blue Door,” please visit www.metalblade.com/us/news/pursons-well-spoiled-machine-available-via-pitchfork/.
 
One other album that was released at the close of the month of April is from the band, The Ocean. Their latest release, “Pelagial” is a concept album about ocean life. The album was released in 5.1 Dolby surround as an instrumental album, as well as the regular edition with vocals. The album is to be played through in its entirety as the album performs like one long, 53-minute piece of music. Ocean sounds bridge the gaps between the three parts of this album. The band still blast you eardrums on the aggressive “Bathypelagic II: The Wish In Dreams,” but counters that with the mainstream rock of “Abyssopelagic II: Signals of Anxiety.” The Ocean continues to push the boundaries of metal music without losing their edge.
 
To find out more about The Ocean and their new album, “Pelagial,” please visit theoceancollective.com/pelagial/.
 
May 14th brings us the Metal Blade Records debut album from Swedish death metal band Entrails. The new album entitled “Raging Death” is a full-on assault to your eardrums. They attack with the aggressive vocals of “In Pieces,” before moving on to Adde Mitroulis’ machine-gun drumming in “Carved To The Bone.” The duel guitars of James Lundqvist and Mathias Nilsson blaze a trail in “Headless Dawn” as vocalist/bassist Joakim Svensson rips your head off with the vocals of “Cadaverous Stench.”
 
To find out more from this rising death metal band, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/artists/entrails/.
 
Coming at the end of the month is the third release from the “black magic” metal band Blood Ceremony. The new album, “The Eldritch Dark” visits the darker myths of folklore, beginning with the seven-minute “Witchwood.” The band has made a name for themselves touring and performing at some of the biggest heavy metal festivals in Europe. Now they look to conquer America with lead singer Alia O’Brien’s Geddy Lee-type vocals and the band’s classic Sabbath sound. The band heads into progressive rock territory with the six-minute “Ballad of the Weird Sisters,” before warming up the organ for “The Eldritch Dark.” Their sound is easy to get drawn into as you listen intently to the storied lyrics.
 
To find out more about Blood Ceremony’s new album, “The Eldritch Dark,” please visit www.metalblade.com/us/news/blood-ceremony-announce-the-eldritch-dark/.
 
Last up is the debut album from Swedish, “epic” heavy metal newcomers Eldkraft. The trio will be releasing their album, “Shaman” on May 28 as the ten songs carry you on a journey of knowledge, growth and ecstasy of the soul. While the lyrics may be hard to understand (because of a language barrier) the music has a dark, heavy bass sound as in the opening song “Gammal Krigare.” The song “Undrets Tid” sounds like a Vikings march, while the band picks up the tempo for the energetic “Granslos Grans.” The album closes with the moans and deep voices of “Rimthurs” as your journey comes to an end.
 
To find out more on Eldkraft and their new album “Shaman,” please visit www.metalblade.com/eldkraft/.