Monday, December 30, 2013

CD Review: Los Lonely Boys Have A "Revelation" With New Music

From San Antonio, TX comes the latest album from "tex-mex" rockers Los Lonely Boys entitled "Revelation." It is the band's seventh studio album and will be released on January 21st through Playing In Traffic Records. Since their breakthrough hit "Heaven" in 2004, the Boys have been trying to capture that pop appeal, without losing their brand of rock music in the process.

The new album begins with the fun, south of the border, storied lyrics of "Blame It On Love." A great way to start things off with this up-tempo dance rocker. They incorporated a reggae groove into "Give A Little More," but have more appeal with the layered acoustic harmonizing of "It's Just My Heart Talkin'." They find the perfect blend of classic R&B with a little guitar shuffle on "So Sensual," before rocking out on the "in your face" feel of "Can't Slow Down." Their voices mesh perfectly on the ballad "The Greatest Ever," then close with the heartfelt lyrics of "Everything About You."

Los Lonely Boys have a U.S. tour beginning at the end of January that runs through to April. For a complete list of tour dates and for more information on the new album " Revelation," please visit loslonelyboys.com.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Concert Review: Prince Gives The Mohegan Sun Audience A Non-Stop Show For The Ages

One of the most iconic musicians in music history has to be Prince. He has always been on the cutting edge of music and fashion dating back to his debut album "For You" in 1978. With no new album to promote, Prince decided to take up a weekend residency at the Mohegan Sun Casino with three shows that began Friday, December 27th. Sandwiched between the opening and closing dates was one of the most mind-blowing performances by an artist that continues to amaze.

As fans eagerly awaited the arrival of Prince, the lights would finally go black just after 10pm. The bombastic sound of thunder rang through the speakers as Prince's backing bands 3rdeyegirl and NPG took the stage, followed by the man himself. The night kicked off strong with a twenty minute medley of songs including covers of Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done For Me Lately" and Graham Central Station's "It's Alright." The party really picked up with Prince digging back into his catalogue for the 1984 single "Take Me With U" and 1985's "Raspberry Beret." Prince decided that instead of fighting the audience with their cell phones, he invited everyone to take out their phones and turn the stage lights off for a performance of Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." The first half of the show was a big club party as Prince displayed his James Brown dance moves. It wasn't until he strapped on his guitar during a burning solo in "Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)" that things began to heat up. The audience came alive during a slowed-down funky version of "Let's Go Crazy" as Prince's all-female backing band 3rdeyegirl became the ultimate support for his rock antics. The main set closed with a bluesy version of "Never Take The Place Of Your Man," before blowing the minds of the audience with "Guitar" and the soon-to-be-released instrumental, "Plectrum Electrum."

The encore began with Prince taking a seat at the piano/keyboard, performing a solo medley of songs including "Diamonds And Pearls," "The Beautiful Ones" and "Forever In My Life." Then the stage turned into "Club Prince" and he became the DJ, mixing beats and classic songs like "Sign 'O' The Times" and "Pop Life" with covers by Sheila E. and Vanity 6. As a dozen or more audience members were invited onstage to dance, the arena turned into one big club with Prince and the band closing with "Housequake."

With the audience demanding more, Prince and 3rdeyegirl returned to the stage for a memorable performance of his most well-known hit "Purple Rain." As two hours passed in a blur, the stroke of midnight found the house lights on as all in attendance was hoping the night would never end.  There wish would be granted with a third encore that included a cover of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody" and finally finishing the night with the 2011 single "Dance 4 Me." With another night of Prince still to come, no one who witnessed this musical genius will ever forget this magical night.
Setlist: Act Of God, What Have You Done For Me Lately, Northside, Which Way Is Up, Dancing Machine, Partyman, It's Alright, Take Me With U, Raspberry Beret, Cool, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, As, The Sweeter She Is, Something In The Water (Does Not Compute), Let's Go Crazy, 1999, Mutiny, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man, Guitar, Plectrum Electrum
Encore 1: How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore, Diamonds And Pearls, The Beautiful Ones, Strange Relationship, Forever In My Life, Sign O The Times, A Love Bizarre, Pop Life, Nasty Girl, Hot Thing, 17 Days, I Would Die For U, Housequake
Encore 2: Purple Rain
Encore 3: Days Of Wild, Ain't Nobody, Don't You Stop The Music, Dance 4 Me

Saturday, December 28, 2013

CD Review: 81-Year Old Leo Welch Summons The "Sabougla Voices" On His Debut Album

It's never too late to do what you love, just ask 81-year old Leo Welch who will be releasing his debut album "Sabougla Voices" on January 7th. The blues man from Bruce, MS missed his opportunity to make it as a musician earlier on in his life, but has saved all his life experiences to create a truly original and real gospel/blues album.

The ten song release has the Lord as Leo's main subject matter as in guitar-boogie shuffle of the opener "Praise His Name" and the back porch folk/blues of "Me And My Lord." Leo's voice sounds fresh and experienced at the same time as displayed in the southern acoustic blues of "Mother Loves Her Children." He'll get your foot stomping for "Praying Time" and "His Holy Name," before closing with the short acoustic reminder that "The Lord Will Make A Way."

Leo Welch has over a dozen dates lined up for the new year, beginning with his album's release party on January 3rd. To find out more about Welch's new album "Sabougla Voices," please visit biglegalmessrecords.com/leo-welch-sabougla-voices-out-january-7th/.

Friday, December 27, 2013

CD Review: New Extended Plays From Newcomers Babylon Saints And Also Ferris & The Wheels

Reggae rockers Babylon Saints return with their latest 5-song EP entitled "Chameleon". Their music is always laid back as they get their summer groove going with "Babylon." The Babylon Saints run along the same musical vein as Sublime and The Dirty Heads with the island flavor of "Standing By." The beat of "The Upsetter" is very light and uptempo, before closing the album with the seven-minute guitar-filled rock/reggae of "We Fit Together."

The Babylon Saints have a few shows scheduled for the new year out in California. To find out more about this great underground rock band, please visit babylonsaints.com.

From Nashville, TN comes the debut EP from Ferris & The Wheels entitled "Hollow." This five-song release is highly anticipated due to its successful anti-bullying video for the song "Can't By Yourself." The song's upbeat tempo and positive message is the perfect recipe for success. They move into a more grunge rock direction with "Hollow" as they pull off a Weezer sound-alike, but its the straight-up rock of "Let's Get Into Something" that make them truly original.

The new album "Hollow" was released on December 17 and is available at cdbaby.com. To find out more, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ferrisandthewheels.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

CD Review: Parralox Recovers From The Eighties With A New Album

From Melbourne, Australia comes the latest album from the synthesizer fueled pop/dance band Parralox. Leader John von Ahlen brings the best songs of the 80's and modernize them with a little extra touch that only Parralox can provide.

The fourteen songs that make up the album contain songs that were big this when they were originally released in the eighties. Parralox begins with the Pet Shop Boys' "In The Night," which fits perfectly with what they are trying to accomplish giving the song another life. One of the more well-known songs to appear on the album is "Eye In The Sky" by the Alan Parsons Project. One of the best renditions is Parralox's take of The Cure's "A Forest," only to be outdone by their version of Depeche Mode's "Somebody" sung by Amii Jackson. The album's lead single "Silent Morning" is currently a hit in dance clubs around the U.S. Parralox finishes up with the synthesizer specialized cover of Kraftwerk's "The Model" and the dark, dated sound of The Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

To find out more about Parralox's latest album "Recovery," please visit parralox.com.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CD Review: Find A "Collage" Of Sounds With The New Album From Michel Heroux

From north of the border comes the latest album from Canadian guitarist Michel Heroux entitled "Collage." This is his first album of new material in four years as Michel polished his skills on the guitar.

The twelve song release starts out strong with ten minutes of wonderful, relaxing acoustic guitar instrumentals ("Namaste" and "Tango"). He gets a great groove going with "October Blues," before slowing down for the fragile delivery of "Lawns." Michel explores his sound with the European feel of "Der Carre" and finds a little pop in his acoustic sound with "Oups!"

To find out more about Michel Heroux and his latest release "Collage," please visit michelheroux.net.

Monday, December 23, 2013

CD Review: New Hard Rock Music From Trash The Brand Has A Classic Touch

What started out as an acoustic duo performing cover songs has grown into one of the hottest underground trios from Tennessee, Trash The Brand. They released their debut album back in June through 3Suns Entertainment and it is beginning to capture the ears of rock radio everywhere.

The eleven songs that make up the album have that Los Angeles "Sunset Strip" swagger with the hard rock edge of the late-eighties. The opening song "Souls On My Shoes" contains an infectious guitar groove with a chorus that is just great to sing along to. The album's single, "Larry and the Blue Dog (Devil's Ride)," builds up the band's sound with this arena-type rocker, while "Weak Like Me" showcases the band's more mainstream sound. Trash The Brand bring out their brand of "swamp rock" on "Bad Bad Boy" with this edgy southern rocker with attitude. If you crossed the raw, straight-up hard rock of Guns 'N Roses with the southern feel of Jackyl, you get songs like "Low Down" and "Damn Sho Talk About You."

Trash The Brand have a few upcoming shows in January. To find out more about this exciting new band, please visit trashthebrand.com.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Review: "Behind The Wall" Relives The History Of Pink Floyd Through Pictures And Words

If you are looking for a last minute gift to get your classic rock fan, then I have perfect answer for you, "Pink Floyd Behind The Wall: The Complete Psychedelic History From 1965 To Today." This book is the ultimate illustrated history of the band, complete with 240 pages of pictures and words that tell the complete story of this iconic band.

The book starts out with Pink Floyd coming together in Cambridge as Syd Barrett became the clear leader of the band early on. The book is littered with a number of promotional pictures, concert posters and album covers to help with the timeline of the story. The first three chapters deal with the psychedelic  beginnings of the band, before Barrett was replaced by singer/guitarist David Gilmour. The book digs deep into the band's studio wizardry with their classic 70's output and also follows the band's concert history with tons of never-before seen pictures of the band performing live. Solo work by Gilmour, Roger Waters, Rick Wright and Nick Mason are also touched upon as well as the ugly departure of Waters from the band. The Pink Floyd story makes a complete circle with the complete band reuniting for Live 8 in 2005. The book goes right up to the highly successful Waters tour of "The Wall" in 2012.

Author Hugh Fielder puts you in the middle of the history of this iconic band with his words without missing a beat and keeping the excitement with what was happening within the band. Also included is the complete discography of Pink Floyd along with singles, live and solo albums. Another must have for the classic rock fan on your Christmas list or just something for yourself that you will need to have on your self.

The book was published in October through Race Point Publishing. For more information on this great, complete piece of literature, please visit http://www.qbookshop.com/products/212375/9781937994259/Pink-Floyd.html?related=true.

CD Review: Barbra Streisand Returns To Brooklyn With A Career Spanning Set

One of the most iconic, award-winning voices of the last fifty years recently released her eighth live album, "Back To Brooklyn." Barbra Streisand knows how to strike up an audience as she makes herself at home with her return to her hometown for this two-night stand in October 2012. The live album was released on November 25 through Columbia Records on CD and DVD and captures an artist that is a timeless as some of the all-time vocal greats.

As fans give their input on Streisand's career, the concert begins with the audience hanging on her every word during "As If We Never Said Goodbye." The two dozen tracks that make up the album are full of classics like "Didn't We" and "The Way We Were." Trumpeter Chris Botti joins her for truly exceptional versions of the songs "What'll I Do/My Funny Valentine" and "Evergreen." Streisand has no problem winning the crowd over with her introduction of songs as her son joins her for a duet of "How Deep Is The Ocean." She closes the show with the very heartfelt  ballad "Some Other Time."

For more information on Barbra Streisand's latest top-selling DVD and CD, please visit her website at www.barbrastreisand.com/us/home.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

CD Review: New Symphonic Rock From Guitarist Adrian Galysh And U.K. Rockers Eleanore & The Lost

Born from the solos of guitar rock gods like Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhodes, Los Angeles instrumental guitarist Adrian Galysh recently released his third solo album entitled "Tone Poet." The album features contributions from Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen) on vocals, Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai) on bass and Todd Sucherman (STYX) on drums. Galysh has worked alongside some of the biggest names in rock music like Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions) and George Lynch (Dokken), which has allowed him to hone his skills for this release.

The album begins with a church-like choir, bringing Galysh's two-minute solo on to a higher purpose in "Resurrectis." The band moves like a tight unit through "Brick By Brick" as Galysh combines orchestration with his hard rocking solo. The tempo slows down quickly for the power ballad "When You Fall," which showcases Boals' vocals perfectly. Galysh's love for classical guitar shines on the operatic "Luminae" and in the grand, epic sweeping sound of "La Dolce Vita." He returns to rock on the metal groove of "Epoch" as his fingers blaze through the guitar chords. The album closes with Galysh having the last word on the masterfully done "Spring (The Return)."

Adrian Galysh has only one live show scheduled at the moment. His new album "Tone Poet" is available now. For more information, please visit adriangalysh.com.
 
 
From the U.K. comes the symphonic rock band Eleanore & The Lost with their debut album "Parlour Game." Lead singer Eleanore was recently commissioned to compose the theme song for the 50th Anniversary for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which was also used for charities nationwide.

The album begins with the title-song "Parlour Game" as Eleanore's voice is so attractive with its soft tones and four octave range. The fragileness of her voice at the beginning of "Everything" and the pop/rock sense of "Hidden Wings" shows how diverse the The Lost is behind Eleanore's elaborate vocals. They have perfect blend for pop success with "Synthesized," before closing with electronic symphony of "Strange."

To find out more about this latest underground sensation of the U.K., please visit www.facebook.com/eleanoreandthelost.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

CD Review: Singer/Songwriters Shantell Ogden And Micah Olsen Dream Big With New Music

From Nashville, TN comes singer/songwriter Shantell Ogden with her latest album "Better at Goodbye." It was released on December 17th through Hip Farm Chic Records and follows her debut album "Stories Behind Songs" and EP "Water Through Stone." Her songs have been featured in the hit television show, CW's "Heart of Dixie" and in the feature file "Storm Rider."

The new eight-song release begins with "The Lie I Tell Myself," which was co-written by Jan Buckingham (Tim McGraw) and Wood Newton (Kenny Rodgers). Shantell shows a maturity to her sound on this album opener as her voice fits the mold for country music success. Her love for performing shines through on the mellow country gallop of "Looking For My Last," then she picks up the tempo for the country-rocker "Where You're Not" that allows Shantell to use those wonderful vocal abilities. The album closes with the title song as Shantell's voice leads you through her trials and tribulations with past relationships.

To find out more about Shantell Ogden and her new album "Better at Goodbyes," please visit shantellogden.com.

From Milwaukee comes the singer/songwriter/musician Micah Olsan with his full band debut album "Highs, Lows, Peaks, Rivers, Valleys." The album was released back in November and he was featured as one of the best local guitarist in 2010 by "Shepard Express."

The album begins with "Walk Away," which comes off like a bluesier version of Maroon 5, while he adds his style of performing on the follow-up song "Till Spring." Micah expands his sound on the "jammy" feel of "No Worries" and gets funky with "Days Not Gone." The band adds a little jazz-fusion with "Coffee," then softens their sound on "Holly Roller" and "Us," before closing with the two-minute guitar instrumental "Highs, Lows, Peaks, Rivers, Valleys."

Micah has a couple of shows lined-up in Wisconsin and his new album is available now. For more information, please visit micaholsan.com.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CD Review: Black Checker, Harper And Telenovelas Release New Music That Needs To Be Heard

From Washington D.C. comes Black Checker with their latest release "Fast." The band blasts through six songs in 19 minutes as they keep the pace with their punk-like sound. Beginning with "Bagel Girl" they try to mix in a loungy feel to their lyrics with a great ska/punk tempo. They pick up the pace with the guitar-driven "Can't Let Go" and the drum bashing "Never Doesn't Mean Someday." Black Checker show their aggression on the hard-hitting "Man Enough," before return to the ska/punk of "A New Way" to close the album.

To find out more about the latest release from Black Checker, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blackcheckerband.
 
From the U.K. comes one of their newest imports, the independent band Harper with their latest EP and single. The three-song EP "Drawing Blood Blues" was released this past summer. They open the album with the alternative metal of "The Cut," then get caught in the groove on the classic metal sound of "Death Valley Days." They finish up with the bluesier, slightly more hectic "Heavy Like Thunder." Their most recent single "Feel So Hollow" is a slow jaunt with a more powerful appeal as they keep that hard working edge with a great, Jack White-type guitar riff.

To find our more about Harper, please visit the band's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HarperBandUK.

Finnish rockers Telenovelas return with their latest release "I Am The Destroyer." After releasing their debut only two years ago with the single "Moon Rising," the band  have polished their sci-fi, progressive rock sound as in the opening song "Existence On/Off." Telenovelas give off a young, energetic feel to their music in "Queen of the Moths," but also show a maturity in their songwriting in "Black Curtains." They look to expand their sound, and your mind, on "Traveler Has Arrived," before closing with the seven-minute slow build up of "Dreaming In The Great Blizzard."

To find out more about Telenovelas and the new album "I Am The Destroyer," please visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/telenovelastheband.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CD Review: New Exciting Debut Albums From Erez And Labor Of Giants

After the release of his debut EP last year, Erez returns with the release of his first full-length self-titled album. He left his southern, laid-back state of Texas to record this album in the hussle-and-bussle of New York, but instead of adapting to his surroundings, he brought the feel of the south up north. The new album is available now on iTunes and a physical copy will be available on January 6th.

Erez's weathered voice and Americana rock sound are the perfect match on the opening song, "Let Me In." His vocals easily draws strong similarities to Jakob Dylan, but his delivery show glimpses of Leonard Cohen as on "Wondering." The album's latest single "Days Of Song And Laughter," is a slow gallop with powerful lyrics that get enhanced by Erez's matured voice. The highlight of the album has to be the six-minute guitar shuffle, revengeful story of "Near The River." The album closes with the classic rock sound of "Better Days," which sounds like Erez is back by Tom Petty's Heartbreakers.

Erez has a few shows lined up in Austin, TX after the release of the album. To find out more about this exciting new artist, please visit erez-music.com.

Also recently released is the debut album from Labor of Giants entitled "Jelly." The Connecticut-based "jam band" bring together many of their influences on this uniquely appealing new album.

The eleven-song album begins with a quick instrumental piece "Jelly," before the band move on to the jazzy sounds of "Time," featuring the wonderful vocals of Nancy Michaud. The band lock into a groove on "Satisfy" that you'd wish would just go one for hours. They stretch out on the upbeat sounds of "The Achoo Haiku," before moving on to the Phish-like "Tones Of The Setting Sky." Michaud's vocals become the main focus on "Requiem," befor the band showcases their musical talents on the ten-minute "OF..." The album closes with smooth jazz of "You're The One."

To find out more from this new rising band from Connecticut, please visit https://www.facebook.com/LaborOfGiants.

Monday, December 16, 2013

CD Review: New Metal Music From Underground Acts Starsoup, 7 Year Sin And Ragestorm

From Moscow comes the latest album from Starsoup entitled "Bazaar Of Wonders." The album was released on November 29th through Sublimity Records and continues the band's progressive metal appeal. They are considered one of premier independent bands in the world.

Their sound on the opening track "Angels," combines the progressive mastery of Dream Theater with the hard rock, thrash attack of Metallica. They take their sound to a heavier level on "Ain't No Superman," before showing their diversity on the slow build-up of the more theatrical "Cradle Of War." The song "Rumors Of Better Life" show similarities to The Scorpions, while "Past Bites" is just a blast of metal energy. The band showcases their talents for songwriting on the epic sounding "Bazaar," before slowing down for the meaningful "Voices In The Wind." The album closes with the big, symphonic metal of "Perfect Loser" and the piano instrumental "Rain In The Desert."

To find out more about Starsoup and their new album "Bazaar of Wonders," please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Starsoup.

Next, from California we get the debut album from 7 Year Sin entitled "Bleed." The band came together last year over their love for the metal grunge of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. The album was released just last month and is available on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bleed/id752850347).

The eight song release begins with "Sorrow," which sounds like the second coming of Layne Stanley as lead singer Laurence Fortin hits the notes perfectly and still keeps that grunginess. Their sound on "These Old Grounds" bring up the past with their nineties hard rock feel. They have a surprising attractive appeal to their music that is sure to find its way to hard rock radio with songs like "Don't Bother Me" and "Indecision." The album closes with the acoustic rock of "Wasting Time," which shows another element to their songwriting.

To find out more about 7 Year Sin, please visit www.reverbnation.com/7yearsin.

Lastly, from Italy comes the debut full-length album from Ragestorm entitled "The Thin Line Between Hope And Ruin." The band has honed their skills, releasing a few demos and EPs, but have finally found their way with their latest hard-hitting metal album.

The thirteen-song release begins with the heavy attack of "The Meatgrinder Theory," which grabs your attention with its growling vocals and keen musicianship. Ragestorm keep the adrenaline flowing with "Debt Ritual" and "Idiocracy," before changing things up slightly with the talking of "Hari Seldon's Speech," amongst a backdrop of electronic instrumentation. The highlight of the album is the seven-and-a-half minute title song that showcases the true talents of the band. The album closes with the machine-gun drumming of "Reaching The Impossible" as the band give their all to this performance.

To find out more about Ragestorm and their debut album "The Thin Line Between Hope And Ruin," please visit www.ragestorm.it/.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

CD Review: Hard Rockers Emphatic Ask For Another Chance With "Another Life"

From the Midwest comes the return of Emphatic with their sophomore album "Another Life" on Epochal/Capitol Records. This follows their 2011 debut album "Damage" which was a top ten hit on Billboard's Heatseekers Album chart. After the tour in support for the debut album had ended, the members went their separate ways. The only original member, guitarist Justin McCain, was left with the task of rebuilding the band, beginning with former Fuel vocalist Toryn Green. His vocals are perfectly made for this hard rock adventure.

The album starts off with the edginess of "Life After Anger" as the band's sound is captured perfectly with new, fresh hard rock energy. The assault keeps coming with "Time Is Running Out," until they pull back the reigns for the power rock ballad "Some Things Never Die." They continue with another powerful rock anthem in "The Choice" and keep the adrenaline pumping on the dark lyrics and musical heaviness of "I Don't Need You." Emphatic slowly build-up the chorus on the sure-fire hit rock single "Louder Than Love," before closing with the powerful blast of "Remember Me."

Emphatic took most of this year off, so look for them to hit the road in 2014. For more information on the new album "Another Life," please visit emphaticrock.com.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Album Review: The Itch Finds "Tales Of Hard Luck" As We Receive "Greetings" From Molotov Latte

From Springfield, MO comes one of the last true independent music labels still pressing vinyl as their primary release method for new albums. Wee Rock Records recently released their 88th album, the new album from punk-like, garage rockers The Itch. The album was released back in September and features artwork from famed comic book artist Jeremy Haun.

The fifteen song release is split between Hard Luck (side 1) and Woe (side 2). The album begins with the speedy punk attack of "Picher," then showcases a little California surf guitar on the 96-second instrumental "Compendium Of Failed Cult Leaders." They quickly make their way through the raw garage rock feel of "A Letter To Trudi" and "Linda's Dance," before finishing side one with the punk fury of "Roses." Side two starts off with the grungy, quick pace of "Sweet River" before moving on into the chaotic "Tell Me Lies." Their music sounds the most polished on "Manifesto" as The Itch bring together all the right ingredients. The album closes with the raw "Pursuit Of Power" and the fast-pace of "Victims Anonymous."

To find out more about The Itch and their latest album "Tales Of Hard Luck And Woe," please visit theitch.weerockrecords.com.

Also from Springfield, MO comes the latest album from Molotov Latte. They have been making music since 2001 and continue to keep that punk like energy going on their latest release "Greetings." The album was released back in November through Zero Youth Records.

The 17-song release starts off with the two-minute attack of "No More." They have fun with their sound as they play around with lyrics on "One By One," but their music continues to have that energetic punk feel as in "Build For Speed." They try adding a little ska into their sound on "Drowntown," before blasting you away with the politically inspired "Hey Johnny." The album is filled with these two-minute blasts of raw punk energy that showcases the love this band has for performing. The band has a video for one of the highlights of the album, "Just Looking" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCm9lqKIzCg). The album closes with the deep bass, drum groove of "One Step" as they have perfectly captured the raw independent feel of punk music.

To find out more about Molotov Latte, please visit www.molotovlatte.org/.

CD Review: "Sons Of Anarchy" Roll Out Another Volume Of Music

One of the highest rated shows on television is FX's "Sons Of Anarchy." The show's dark, true to life storylines and musical soundtrack continues to entice viewers. Now in its sixth season, "Sons Of Anarchy" have produced three soundtracks, including the recently released "Songs Of Anarchy, Volume 3." Some of the former soundtracks feature songs by Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones and The Who sung by the shows' cast. Volume 3 continues that trend, but also includes the Leonard Cohen song "Come Healing" sung by the original artist.

The soundtrack kicks off with a hard rocking version of the blues classic, "Sitting On Top Of The World" sung by Chris Goss and continues with the dark chant of "Running Blues" by Jennifer O'Conner. The highlight of the album has to be Leonard Cohen's "Come Healing" which lead-off the latest season of the show. The Forest Rangers (Sons Of Anarchy House Band) take on "Everyday People," turning it into a slow waltz, while The Who's "Slip Kid" rocks as hard as the original. Sandwiched in-between those two songs is Katey Sagal's gentle, heartfelt song "For A Dancer." The soundtrack closes with the smoky voice of Joshua James on the politically charged, acoustic folk sound of "Crash The Train."

To find out more about this latest release in the "Songs Of Anarchy" series, please visit www.sons-of-anarchy.net/songs-of-anarchy-vol-3/4401.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

CD Review: A Couple Of Debut Albums With Ties To The Progressive Rock Band Yes

British musician Geoff Downes has been involved in the creation of New Wave music and has also been a member of one of the biggest progressive rock bands of all time. Now he is joining forces with British singer/songwriter Anne-Marie Helder on their latest project, New Dance Orchestra. This is the duo's debut album together and has only been available as a direct to consumer basis, until now.

The twelve song release entitled "Electronica" is a great way to describe the sound of this release. Club beats and keyboards take lift-off on the opening song "Shine On" as Downes' fans are introduced to the beautiful voice of Helder. All of the instruments and programming is performed by Downes as he is a long way from his days with Yes and Asia. The pace quickens for the techno-fueled beats of "Movin' On" and the experimentation of "Breaking The Spell." New Dance Orchestra find the balance of pop and dance on "Love Is Not Enough" and "Jinx," before returning to the club with the eighties keyboard sound of "Remember The Day." The album closes with the airiness of "Golden Days" as Helder's voice is allowed to soar.

To find out more about New Dance Orchestra and their new album "Electronica," please visit newdanceorchestra.com.

From Los Angeles, CA we get the debut album from XNA entitled "When We Changed You." The band consists of Genesis tribute band vocalist David Hussey and keyboardist/Star Trek Convention founder Adam Malin. The album was released back in October and was produced by Billy Sherwood (Yes).

The quick two-minute instrumental "At Childhood's Beginning" leads the listener on an adventure that continues with the classic progressive rock of "When We Changed You." XNA experiment a little more on the fifteen-minute epic of "Banner Of The Whyte Boar" as they are allow to stretch the musical boundaries of rock. They put on a mini-rock opera within "The Flying Dutchman," before closing the album with the sixteen-minute closer "At Childhood's End," which showcases the full talent of the band.

To find out more about this exciting new band, please visit xnaband.com.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CD Review: After "A Billion Years" Prog-Rockers Sky Architect Still Reign Supreme

From the Netherlands comes the Dutch progressive rock band Sky Architect with their highly anticipated third album "A Billion Years Of Solitude." The new album was released on November 4th on Galileo Records and carries a classic prog-rock sound, but with a heavy metal edge.

The eighteen-minute opener "The Curious One" starts out sounding like the perfect follow-up to King Crimson's "In The Court Of The Crimson King." They add elements of metal with Pink Floydian, space-like soundscapes in order to bring their influences into today's modern music world. Sky Architect sound more like Tool with the harder dark sounds of "Tides, before stretching out their talents on the ten-minute "Elegy Of A Solitary Giant." The shortest song on the album, "Jim's Ride To Hell" is pure progressive metal, while the twelve-minute album closer "Traveller's Last Candle" brings you on a journey with some flashes of grunge alongside, jamband experimentation to create some uniquely appealing music.

To find out more about Sky Architect and their amazingly innovative new album "A Billion Years of Solitude," please visit skyarchitect.com.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CD Review: Panic! at the Disco Find Out How To Be "Weird" And "Rare" On New Album

American rockers Panic! at the Disco have become one of the most consistently solid bands of the last ten years. Since their debut album "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" went platinum and each album that followed cracked the top 10 on the Billboard Album chart. Every new release from Panic! at the Disco is a sure-fire hit. Their latest album "Too Weird To Live! Too Rare To Die!" was released back in October where it debuted at #2 on the Billboard Album chart.

Panic! at the Disco gives you a fun, upbeat album beginning with the singles "This Is Gospel" and "Miss Jackson." They dig deep into the electronics on "Girl That You Love," then get their club vibe going with "Nicotine." They really strike a chord with today's younger audience with their latest single "Girls/Girls/Boys" with its racy subject matter and contagious chorus. The album closes with the pop-punk feel of "Collar Full" and then Panic! at the Disco do a complete 180 with the gentle piano sound of "The End Of All Things."

They have one show left this year on December 12 in Detroit, MI before taking a month off. Panic! at the Disco will be hitting the road again in mid-January, headlining a U.S. tour that runs through to March. To find out more about their new album " Too Weird To Live! To Rare To Die!," please visit panicatthedisco.com.

Monday, December 9, 2013

CD Review: "12 Years A Slave" Movie Inspires New Music From John Legend, Gary Clark Jr, Alicia Keys And More

One of the front runners for the Oscar award for the movie of the year is eye-opening "12 Years A Slave" starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. The movie is based on the amazing true story of one man's fight for freedom from slavery. The accompanying soundtrack is also a great feat within its self. The sixteen-song album brings together some of the greatest names in music today including John Legend, Alicia Keys, Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes and others.

The music has a very stripped down, authentic feel as portrayed in the opening songs "Roll Jordan Roll," which finds Legend out of his R&B comfort zone and the acoustic "Freight Train" from Gary Clark Jr. Newcomers Alabama Shakes fit in perfectly with their chant of "Driva Man," before Alicia Keys steals the show with her smooth vocals and heartfelt rendition of "Queen Of The Field (Patsey's Song)." Soundgarden's Chris Cornell is joined by the Civil War's Joy Williams for some wonderful harmonizing on the bluesy feel of "Misery Chain." The album closes with the up-tempo, gospel choir  of "What Does Freedom Mean (To A Free Man)" by Cody Chesnutt.

The "12 Years A Slave" soundtrack was released on November 19th through Columbia Records. To find out more about the movie and the music inspired by the movie, please visit www.12yearsaslave.com.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

CD Review: New Music From Indie Music Stars Vaudeville, Ryan Cassata And Taylor Alexander

From Minneapolis, MN comes the fresh alternative hard rock of Vaudeville with their latest album titled "Vendetta." They just wrapped up a massive tour in support of the album and are currently on a break in order to work on their follow-up album.

The eleven-song release begins with the guitar driven introduction of "Tainted Passerby." Their music has a polished hard rock sound with a bit of a sharp edge to it as shown in the title song "Vendetta." They add some electronics to their sound in "Treason" and pull back the reigns on "The Messenger" in order to give them a more mainstream appeal, but when they rock as in "Bitter Prophecy" is where the band's strength lies. With the way their music is growing in terms of sound and songwriting, the band will be quickly moving on from opening band to headliner in no time.

Look for a new album by Vaudeville possibly as early as next year. To find out more, please visit vaudevillemusic.com.

Also, is some new exciting music from singer/songwriters Ryan Cassata and Taylor Alexander. Both lay their souls out their as they perform acoustically (with little instrumentation for Alexander), using the raw emotions of their voices to portray their feelings.

Ryan Cassata's latest EP entitled "Jupiter, It Won't Be Long" is an eight song adventure of teenage emotion. His lyrics in the opener "I Don't Really Wanna Go To College," is sure make a connection with others trying to find their way, while "Liberation" sounds very mature for his age. Songs like "Dear Lucas" and "Sobering Up" are great starts and would benefit from input from a band, but the strong base is in place on these songs.

Ryan performed a show at this year's Vans' Warped Tour in June and is a motivational speaker for civil rights. To find out more about this amazing young person, please visit www.ryancassata.com.

We also have the new three song EP from Taylor Alexander entitled "Art." His smooth vocals reflects that of Dave Matthews while his sound on the opening song "Deadly" has little jazz flair in it. The harmonizing on "Dream Boy (& Song Girl)" is just amazing, while the lyrics are just exciting to follow the story. The album closes with the gentle, emotionally filled "Emiline."

To find out more about Taylor Alexander, please visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TaylorAlexanderSound.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Album Review: "Penny Park" Makes An Impact On Matt Whipkey

From Omaha, NE comes singer/songwriter Matt Whipkey with his latest release "Penny Park: Omaha, NE: Summer 1989." The album follows the story of being a teenager, spending the summer at Peony Park and how it influenced Whipkey's songwriting.

The sounds of summer are perfectly executed with "Waterslide" as surf guitar riffs and fun rock lyrics just melt your troubles away. How could a song called "Cliff Burton" not be good? The gentle sway of "Been Waiting" plays out like a laid back summer night, while "Tornado Watch" has a darker folk story to tell. Singer Tara Vaughn lends her voice for the too short "Long Distance Dedication," before Whipkey moves on to the raging guitars of "83rd and Center St." His sound returns to the pop/rock of "Sunburnt Lips" and gives off his best attempt at a classic country song with "Given To The Night," which features Rebecca Lowry on vocals. The double-album finished up with the guitar instrumental "High Heel And The Sneekers" and the full-circle closure of "Sunshine."

Matt Whipkey's new album "Penny Park: Omaha, NE: Summer 1989" is available now on iTunes and in pink, double-vinyl. For more information, please visit mattwhipkey.com.

Friday, December 6, 2013

CD Review: The Young Presidents Lead A "Coalition" And Karrin Allyson Finds A "Yuletide Hideaway"

The successful writing duo of Mitch Kaneff and Jake Hertzog recently released their new digital album "Coalition" as The Young Presidents. The new release features a load of special guest voices including Living Colour's Corey Glover, The Neville Brothers' Ivan Neville, Blondie Chaplin and Adam Ezra. Also helping out are Anton Fig and Rich Crowley on the drums. The new album was also produced by Grammy award winner Rob Fraboni (Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton).

The album begins with the R&B groove of "Time" with Ivan Neville lending his timeless voice to song's uplifting sound. Corey Glover is sprinkled all over this album with the hard rock of "Stand Up For Love" and the funky "Universal Pain." The highlight of the album is the complete collaboration of all these iconic voices on a cover of Edwin Starr's "War." Blondie Chaplin's weathered voice lends to the authenticity of "Love You Forever," while Adam Ezra's vocals gives "Grey Space" that nineties alternative rock feel. The album closes with the gentle sway of "You Will Be On Your Way" as Blondie Chaplin brings it all back home with his passion for singing.

The physical copy of the album will be available in February. To find out more about "Coalition," please visit theyoungpresidents.com.

Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson just released her new holiday album entitled "Yuletide Hideaway." It's filled with new Christmas originals as well as some holiday classics.

We begin with the jazzy sounds of the title-song "Yuletide Hideaway," as Allyson's vocals just warms your heart on these cold winter nights. It's easy to get into the holiday spirit with another original "Christmas Bells Are Ringing," before Karrin Allyson heads to the classics like "Winter Wonderland" and "Let It Snow." Her vocals on "Christmas Time Is Here" is silky smooth with her gentle delivery, while she peps up the tempo a bit on the Bill Evans' unknown jazz holiday classic "It's Love, It's Christmas." The album closes with Karrin showing off her vocals talents on the timeless tale of "The Christmas Song."

Karrin Alliyson is bringing her holiday cheer to the road with a number of dates, including Northampton, MA on December 14. Her tour will last all the way into the new year, be sure to visit karrin.com for more information.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

CD Review: Grouplove Is "Spreading" The Word About Their New Album

From New York comes the latest album from the underground electronic rock/pop of Grouplove. Their new album "Spreading Rumours" debuted at #21 on the Billboard Album chart when it was released back in September. Their sound is very new and fresh with hints of eighties modern rock and bits of garage rock grunge to give their music an edge.
 
The album begins with the up and down tempo of "I'm With You" lead by a rapid, almost electronic drumbeat and keyboard overtones. The grungy guitars come out blazing on the alternative pop of "Borderlines And Aliens" as their music keeps the tempo going on "Schoolboy." The album's lead single "Ways To Go" draws upon the past as it carries very retro electronic eighties sound. The band also shows off their modern side on the folk-rock of "Sit Still" and the Weezer clone "What I Know." The album closes with the Violent Femmes' sounding rocker "Raspberry" and the feel-good relaxation of "Save The Party."
 
Grouplove will be finishing the year on tour in the U.S. before heading over to Australia at the beginning of 2014. To find out more about Grouplove and their latest album, "Spreading Rumours," please visit grouplovemusic.com.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CD Review: It's Been A "Long Way" For Glass House's New Album

California music duo Glass House recently released their long-awaited third album entitled "Long Way Down." After spending the last twenty years together as writing partners, Glass House has taken their favorite elements from all their influences and combined them on this latest release.

Beginning with the mostly acoustic "Build A Bridge," we are slowly brought into their musical world one instrument at a time. They hit a more mainstream note with the acoustic rock song of "Waiting For You" as you wish the stories and music would just keep going. They take on Robbie Robertson's "Broken Arrow" with a passion and respect for the songwriter, making each lyric so meaningful. The gentle acoustics of "Thank You" and "For Now" is where you fully appreciate their talents for putting your mind at ease.

To find our more about Glass House and their latest album "Long Way Down," please visit glasshousemusic.org.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CD Review: British Rocker Michael Des Barres Gets "Hot N Sticky" On New Live Album

British singer/actor Michael Des Barres is riding high on a musical comeback due to his latest studio album "Carnaby Street." The album was released last year and topped a number to critics' favorite album lists and also caught the ear of Bruce Springsteen's guitarist Stevie Van Zandt. While on tour, he decided to record some of the shows to see how he sounded live and just have a keepsake from this tour. Instead, he decided that the shows were so good that he needed to release a live album. The new album entitled "Hot 'n' Sticky Live" was recorded at the Viper Room in Hollywood, CA earlier this year.

The eight-song release finds Michael Des Barres in excellent form, performing songs from his latest studio album, as well as a few covers. He comes right out of the gate with guitars blazing for "Carnaby Street," then gets his rocks on for "Hot 'n' Sticky." He tries turning "Stop In The Name Of Love" into a rock anthem with mixed results, by it seems Des Barres is having fun again performing in a live setting. The album closes with the ten-minute medley beginning with the original "My Baby Saved My Ass," before moving on to the Humble Pie hit "I Don't Need No Doctor" and then T. Rex's "Get It On."

To find out more about Michael Des Barres new live album "Hot 'n' Sticky Live," please visit www.desbarres.com.

Monday, December 2, 2013

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Closes The Year With Some New Hard Hitting Tunes

Metal Blade Records will be closing out the year with some new releases to forfill your dark side. Released back in mid-November was the latest album from Satan's Wrath entitled "Aeons of Satan's Reign." This devil worshiping metal band are the real deal as their words pay homage to the underlord, while their sound is a full adreneline rush of classic British metal.

Leading off with "Only Satan Is Lord" is just a blood pumping race to the finish as lead singer Tas Danazoglou preaches his beliefs. The band locks into a blazing metal groove on "Die White Witch Die," while growls of the chorus ring through your ears. They continue their assault with the speed march of "All Of Us Witches," before closing with the nine-minute build-up of the titled song, "Aeons Of Satan's Reign."

To find out more about Satan's Wrath, please visit www.metalblade.com/satanswrath/.

From Sweden comes the latest album from death metal giants Demonical. Following a number of member changes within the band, they entered the studio earlier this year to create their fourth full-length studio album, "Darkness Unbound."

The ten-song release is just full of brute force that jumps out and attacks your senses with "The Order" and "King Of All." They blaze a trail of destruction with the neck-breaking speed of "The Healing Control" and "Hellfire Empire." The album finishes up with the chaotic "Deathcrown" and more accessible metal stomp of "The Great Praise."

To find out more about Demonical, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/artists/demonical/.

With roots dating back to the mid-80's, death metal band Pentagram Chile are finally releasing their long awaited new album, "The Malefice." The album took two years to make, following a list of setbacks within the band including changing their name from Pentagram to Pentagram Chile in order to avoid confusion with another doom metal band.

The new album finds a new sense of purpose within the band's sound as with aggressive "La Fiura" and the classic thrash metal sound of "The Apparition." They come out with guitars blazing on "Horror Vacui" and "Sacrophobia," before closing the album with the aggressive attack of "Prophetic Tremors."

To find our more about Pentagram Chile, please visit www.metalblade.com/us/news/pentagram-chile-debut-new-track/.

Last, but not least, we have the latest album, "Legions" from heavy metal band Artillery. After celebrating twenty years together, and changes in their line-up, this summer found the band in the studio recording their seventh studio album.The album leads off with guns (and guitars) ablazing during the opening track, "Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh)." Lead singer Michael Bastholm Dhal howls like a young Dave Mustaine, while the rest of the band are at the top of their game on "God Feather." Their sound get a little heavier on "Legions," before showing their classic metal side with "Wardrum Heartbeat." Artillery pulls back the reigns for the slow grind of "Global Flatline," that closes with a burst of energy. The ammunition continues to fire on "Anno Requiem," before slowing down for a moment for "Enslaved To The Nether." The album finishes up with the last blast of power for the thrash metal fueled "Ethos Of Wrath."

To find out more about Artillery, please visit www.metalblade.com/europe/artists/artillery/

Sunday, December 1, 2013

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From Gemini Syndrome And The Devil Wears Prada

From Los Angles, CA comes the hard rock band Gemini Syndrome with their full-length debut album, "Lux" on Warner Brothers Records. The album was released back in August and has been building in popularity since its release. The band just kicked off their winter tour, which finds them making their way east during the first two weeks of December.

The album kicks off hard and heavy with thunderous drumming, crushing guitar riffs and screaming vocals, and that's all in the first song "Pleasure And Pain." The tempo picks up with the adrenaline pumping "Falling Apart," and the heavy metal destruction of "Resurrection," before heading into the neck-snapping power of the album's first single "Stardust." The song features a strong chorus with some strong harmonizing to give the song that extra rush. The album continues with the steady flow of energy with "Pay For This," before slowing the tempo down for a moment on "Take This." Gemini Syndrome close with the screams of "Syndrome" and the two-minute, nu-metal experiment of "Lux."

The tour kicked off last night in Illinois as the band will be performing twelve shows in 14 days. To find out more about the tour and about the new album, please visit geminisyndrome.com.
 
 
American Christian hardcore metal band The Devil Wears Prada have found greater success with each new album they release. Their latest album "8:18" was released back in September and topped the Christian music chart while also debuting at #20 on the Billboard album chart.

The thirteen song release begins with the hard-hitting growl of "Gloom," before providing a more mainstream metal sound with "Rumors." They keep the adrenaline pumping with the raging vocals of "First Sight" and buzzing guitars of "Sailor's Prayers." The album's first single "Martyrs" showcases the heavier side of the band's sound with growling vocals and machine gun-like drumming that lead to a screaming chorus of "Martyrs, hear me out!" "Transgress" becomes one of the more accessible songs of the album as you feel the passion in the vocals amongst a starker background of music. The album closes with the blast of "Home For Grave" and the tempo mix of "In Heart."

The Devil Wears Prada are currently on a tour that will be wrapping up in the U.S. on December 18. Then the band is making a stop in Canada before heading over to Japan in February. To find out more about the band's new album 8:18, please visit tdwpband.com.