Friday, July 31, 2015

CD Review: Great New Heavy Metal Music Arriving In August From Metal Blade Records

Arriving in August from Metal Blade Records is the seventh album from grindcore metal giant Cattle Decapitation entitled "The Anthropocene Extinction." The theme of the new album revolves around the Anthropocene Era, which is a "time period where humankind has had the most profound negative effect on the Earth." The band's sound seems to be growing with each release as the songs on "The Anthropocene Extinction" have a more detailed structure to them. The new twelve-song album begins with the chugging rhythm of "Manufactured Extinct" as the familiar howling vocals of Travis Ryan come bleeding through your speakers. They speed things up to hyperdrive with the machine gun drumming of "The Prophet Of Loss," before mixing tempos on the exciting new "Plagueborne" featuring Tristan Shone (Author & Punisher). They continue their onslaught with the hard hitting "Circo Inhumanitas" and vocal screams of "Mammals In Babylon." The album finishes with the energetic attack of "Pacific Grim" as Cattle Decapitation put everything in their delivery of their music. As the band gets ready to celebrate their 20th anniversary next year, look for Cattle Decapitation to hit the road this summer for a U.S. tour. To find out more about their latest release "The Anthropocene Extinction," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cattledecapitation.
 
Returning after a two year absence is the new album from hardcore metal band Battlecross entitled "Rise To Power." This is the band's fourth album and looks to continue the success of their 2013 breakthrough album "War Or Will." Following the August 21st release date, Battlecross will be hitting the road for a month-long tour with GWAR and the Butcher Babies. The new ten song album begins with the high-energy attack of "Scars" as their metal sound is maturing with each new release. The howls and screams of "Not Your Slave" and blazing guitar solos in "Absence" are masterful pieces of powerful heavy metal as the band continues to uncover their potential. The power blast of "The Climb" and the amazing closers "Shackles" and "The Path" has Battlecross firing on all cylinders making this new album their best by far. To find out more about Battlecross and their new album "Rise To Power," please visit their website at battlecrossmetal.com.
 
Two years ago, American death metal band Rivers Of Nihil released their debut album "The Conscience Seed Of Light" (review: jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com). Since then, they have become a rising global metal act that shows no signs of slowing down. On August 21st, Rivers Of Nihil will be releasing their sophomore follow-up "Monarchy." The album continues the story that began with their debut album, but takes place thousands of years after the events discussed in the previous album about the destruction of Earth. The new ten song release start out with the rise of "Heirless" as the instruments slowly lead you into the chaotic attack of "Perpetual Growth Machine." The band expands upon their hardcore/death metal sound with a more progressive metal approach to "Sand Baptism" and then showcase their musicianship in "Ancestral, I." They lift their foot up slightly on the accelerator for the more mainstream metal appeal of "Monarchy," before closing with the six-minute, prog-metal of "Circles In The Sky" and the intense delivery of "Suntold." To find out more about Rivers Of Nihil and their latest release "Monarchy," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/riversofnihil.
 
Also arriving in August is the new 7" single from Swedish rock band Noctum with "Until Then...Until The End" on side A and "In Precious Time" on side B. This release sets the stage for a short fifteen-date European tour that begins at the end of August. The new release also feature the debut of new guitarist Christoffer Lofgren. The new singles showcase the band's use of the studio to create a great piece of attractive heavy metal music. Noctum does a masterful job capturing that classic heavy metal sound with these two new songs. To find out more about Noctum, please visit noctumofficial.com.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

CD Review: New Jazz Music To Expand Your Pallette From Jason Kearse And From Squadra Omega

From Maryland comes the solo debut release from up-n-coming jazz pianist Jason Kearse entitled "Humility." His three piece band is a small step away from his work with the Kearse Brothers, but allows Jason to experiment more on his own. The new eight song release begins with the slow, rhythmic introduction of "Canvas," as he begins to fill in the blanks with his piano skills. Jason feels his way around the piano keys in "Locks" as the drums keeps the momentum going. The great sounds of jazz all come together perfectly in exciting seven-minute song, "Grass" as the music keeps things interesting and on point with the album's overall sound. The album finishes up with the quick pace of "Trains," before closing with the lighter, aerier feel of "Waterfall" as the musicians search for a common ground within the music. To find out more about Jason Kearse and the Kearse Brothers, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/kearsebrothers.
 
Also recently released is latest album from the Italian Avant-garde jazz/rock band Squadra Omega entitled "Altri Occhi ci Guardano," which means "Other Eyes Look At Us." This trio lets their experimental side fly as the songs carry a very freeform dynamic, beginning with the tune-up sounds of "Il Buio Dentro." They continue with the psychedelic rock of the eight-minute "Sospesi nell'Oblio" and jam during the jazz fusion of "Il Labirinto." The new nine-song release closes with the twelve-minute jazz/funk fueled "Altri Occhi ci Guardano" and the gentler acoustics of "Le Rovine Circolari." To find out more about Squadra Omega, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/squadraomegaband.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

CD Review: The Return Of The White Buffalo Brings "Damnation"

Singer/songwriter The White Buffalo (aka Jake Smith) will be releasing his fifth full-length album in August entitled "Love And The Death Of Damnation." His music has grown in popularity due to it being featured in the hit FX show "Sons Of Anarchy" and Showtime's "Californication." To co-inside with the release of his new album, White Buffalo was followed by a camera crew, documenting the recording of this album. The new docuseries called "Ernie Ball Presents Capturing The White Buffalo: The Recording Of An American Songwriter" premiered on June 19th at ernieball.com/whitebuffalo.
 
The new eleven song release begins with the quick-paced southern acoustic rocker "Dark Days" as Smith gets things moving swiftly right from the start. The sweet sounds of horns, highlights the country swing of "Chico" and his amazing songwriting focuses on the smooth roots rock of "Go The Distance." He slows the pace down for the gruff, truthful acoustic delivery of "Radio With Now Sound" and duets with Audra Mae" on the heartfelt "I Got You." The tempo picks back up with the quick acoustic swing of "Modern Times," before laying his feelings on the line for "Last Call To Heaven," which has White Buffalo sounding like a seasoned veteran.
 
The White Buffalo will be wrapping up his headlining U.S. tour in September before heading up to Canada for seven dates in November. To find out more about his new album " Love And The Death Of Damnation," please visit his website at thewhitebuffalo.com.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CD Review: Heavy Metal Band Tonic Breed Look To Conquer The U.S. With "Outsold"

Norwegian heavy metal band Tonic Breed are celebrating the one year anniversary of the release of their sophomore breakthrough album "Outsold." It has been receiving rave reviews around Europe and the video for their single "Strife" is beginning to gain recognition on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9vTk86-q98).

The eight-song album begins with the full-six-minute version of the single as a mystical keyboard introduction leads into the fast paced metal of "Strife." The thrash attack of the drums and blazing guitars remind us of the early days of thrash metal bands Anthrax, Metallica and Testament. The band's high adrenaline sound is perfectly executed in the songs "Fifth Estate" and "Outsold," while they incorporate some of the classic Black Sabbath doom sound in the songs "Blackened Minds" and "Borregaard." To find out the latest news from Tonic Breed, please visit their Facebook page at
facebook.com/TonicBreed.

Monday, July 27, 2015

CD Review: Legendary Musicians Follow The "MAP" To The New Moraz Alban Project Album

Legendary keyboardist Patrick Moraz (Yes, Moody Blues) has teamed up with drummer Greg Alban to release "MAP," the first album from the Moraz Alban Project. The two became friends after Moraz invited Alban to perform on his solo 1984 album "Timecode." As Moraz was looking to expand his sound and talents, he assembled the perfect band to help him, including John Avila (Oingo Bongo), Lenny Castro (Rolling Stones, Eric Claton), Matt Malley (Counting Crows), Patrick Perrier and Dave VanSuch.
 
The new nine song release takes you on an amazing instrumental journey that keeps you discovering more within the music. Beginning with the progressive rock rhythm of "Jungle Aliens," the band seems to be settling into their roles. The jazzy feel of "Canyon Afternoon" leads into the smooth "Jazz In The Night." Greg Alban takes the spotlight in "The Drums Also Solo," before the band takes off with the spacey sounds of "Alien Intelligence," led by Moraz' keyboards. The album closes with the slow moving experimentation of "Alien Species." To find out more about the Moraz Alban Project's new album "MAP," please be sure to visit themap.website.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

CD Review: The Concord Music Group Pays Tribute To The Vince Guaraldi Trio With The Best "Peanuts"

One of the most beloved comics of all-time is the "Peanuts." Following the adventures of Charlie Brown and gang is almost a rite of passage when growing up in America. Their "made for TV" Christmas movie is timeless and this November, the "Peanuts" will be featured in their first computer animated feature-length film. But, not only was it the simplistic animation that captured our attention, but it was also the jazzy music associated with it. For many of us, the "Peanuts'" shorts were our introduction to jazz music as their soundtracks made the musical genre fun and attractive for all ages. Providing these wonderful melodies was pianist Vince Guaraldi and his trio. Now, over fifty years since that first "Peanuts" cartoon, the Concord Music Group has compiled some of the best songs from the history of the "Peanuts" for a "Greatest Hits" compilation.

The new twelve song release begins with one of the most well-known jazz songs of all-time, "Linus And Lucy." The rhythmic piano progression is just so fun and energetic that it instantly lifts your spirits. The "Baseball Theme" has that underlining melody of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game," which easily puts you in the mood to play ball, while "Little Birdie" showcases the rare vocals of Vince Guaraldi as he sings his song for Snoopy's sidekick Woodstock. The second half of this album covers the holidays with the "Great Pumpkin Waltz" for Halloween and the "Thanksgiving Theme," which lead us into four songs from one of the best selling Christmas albums of all time, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." This release closes with Charlie Brown and the gang singing the timeless "Christmas Time Is Here."

Also included is a new write-up by famed jazz writer Derrick Bang about the impact of the Vince Guaraldi Trio's music to the "Peanuts" cartoons. To find out more about this new greatest hits set, please visit facebook.com/VinceGuaraldiMusic.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

CD Review: Styx Capture Their Fire With The New "Live At The Orleans Arena" Release

First off, let me start by saying that the classic rock band Styx is an amazing live band. They are currently touring the U.S. with Def Leppard and Tesla and have definitely made their set one of the evening's highlights. Last year, Styx also toured the U.S. as part of the "Soundtrack Of Summer" concert package consisting of Styx/Foreigner/Don Felder (The Eagles). The band recorded one of their live shows of last year's tour and just released their latest album entitled "Live At The Orleans Arena, Las Vegas."

The hour plus long set was captured in outstanding quality and gives fans a great glimpse into how well Styx are playing live these last couple of years. The set list consisted mainly of their seventies radio hit singles, with a touch into the eighties with "Too Much Tim On My Hands" and "Rockin' In Paradise," both released in 1981. The album begins with a welcome to "The Grand Illusion," before boosting up the energy with "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)." Guitarists Tommy Shaw and James "JY" Young  trade vocals and display their guitar skills in "Light Up" and "Crystal Ball." Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder joins the band onstage for a roaring version of "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)," before keyboardist/singer takes the lead on the fan favorite "Come Sail Away." The album (and show) closes with a blistering delivery of their 1979 hit "Renegade." This new live album is a great reminder of how good Styx are live and how well their songs have stood the test of time and are important pieces of rock history.

Styx' current 2015 U.S. tour runs until the beginning of October. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about their new live album "Live At The Orleans Arena, Las Vegas," please visit their website at styxworld.com.

Friday, July 24, 2015

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From Independent Bands Magister Templi And Behold! The Monolith

Norwegian heavy metal band Magister Templi return with their second release on Cruz Del Sur Music entitled "Into Duat." The album centers around the myths of the gods of Egyptian Mythology as the music pounds away with the marching drums of the opener "Creation." The music picks up with intensity in "Lord Of The Morning" as they mix tempos, which shows a progressive metal side to their sound as also displayed in "Anubis." Their sound carries a thrash metal undertone as in "Horus The Avenger" and "Slaying Apophis," while the album closer "Destruction" has a more mystical feel then the rest of the album. To find out more about Magister Templi and their latest release "Into Duat," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com.
 
Next, From Los Angles, CA comes the latest release from the doom metal band Behold! The Monolith. The new album "Architects Of The Void" with be independently self-released in September and produced by the legendary Billy Anderson (Melvins, Leviathan). The new seven-song release begins with the slow, heavy drugging guitars of "Umbral Vale." New vocalist Jordan Nally gets his due attention with the screaming vocals of "Philosopher's Blade," while the band's progressive metal sound get highlighted by the eight-minute adventure of "The Mithriditist." The album finishes with the quick, heavy metal pounding rhythm of "Between Oder And The Vistula" along with the fourteen-minute epic juggernaut "Architects Of The Void," which fully encompasses the band doom metal sound. To find out more about Behold! The Monolith, please visit their website at beholdthemonolith.com.
 
Finally, we get the new arrival of the latest single from one of New York City's newest independent metal men, Kore Rozzik. The new song entitled "Rock Star" has a great, gritty hard rock groove and a shout along chorus. One of this summer's greatest arena rockers will hopefully lead the way for a new album. To find out more about Kore Rozzik, please visit korerozzik.com.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

CD Review: The Revivalists Are Simply Placing "Men Against Mountains" With Debut Release

From New Orleans comes the debut album from the seven-piece roots rock band The Revivalists entitled "Men Amongst Mountains." Their album was released on July 17th through Wind-Up Records and they are currently out on a U.S. tour, which runs to the end of September.
 
The new fourteen-song release is packed with great songs that have a true, complete band sound. They led off with the up-tempo pop/rock feel of "Keep Going" as they are easily one of the best new artists to watch in 2015. They incorporate some of that southern New Orleans soul into "Wish I Knew You," then pour all their heart and energy in the passionate delivery of "It Was A Sin." The Revivalists have the perfect sound for a hit record, led by the rocking single "Monster" and the gentle touch of "King Of What." They also get funky with the rhythm of "Stand Up" and the hard rock of "All In The Family" before giving in to the blues of "Fade Away." The album closes with the title song, "Men Amongst Mountains," which showcases the band's roots-rock sound that has become the foundation for their music. To find out more about The Revivalists and their debut album, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/therevivalists.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

CD Review: Pop Duo MS MR Want To Know "How Does It Feel"

The musical duo of Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow have recently released their highly anticipated second album "How Does It Feel" under the name MS MR. Their debut album cracked the Billboard Album Chart and their single "Hurricane" was a hit on Alternative radio. Now they return with their lead single "Painted," which showcases Max's production skills as Lizzy's vocals continue soar on this amazing track.
 
The new twelve song release begins with the dance-floor feel of "Painted," before hitting pop gold with the very contagious rhythm of "Criminals." The smooth flow of "Wrong Victory" and the rock/pop mix of "How Does It Feel," shows the growth in the band performance since their last release, while still sticking close to their roots. MS MR have fun with the lighter pop feel of "Tunnels," before also showing their slower side with the R&B beats of "Leave Me Alone."
 
MS MR are performing at Lollapalooza in Chicago and Lollapalooza Berlin in Berlin Germany, before returning to the states for a month-long headlining U.S. tour. To find out more about MS MR, please visit their website at msmrsounds.com.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CD Review: Independent Artists Twin Within, Only On Tuesdays, Milo McMahon And The Foreign Films Release New Music

The Canadian vocal duo of Steve McKay and Alex Samaras recently released their debut album as Twin Within. The new release "Horizontal Lines," is based on the subject of adult life as the wonderful harmonizing between the two can just melt your troubles away, as in "Faraway Car Ride." They also bring to light a Simon & Garfunkel-like sound to their pop songs, "Bernie" and "We Talk." The short eight-song release closes with acoustic folk/pop of "Two Within" and the soul-infused ballad "As Always." To find out more about Twin Within and their latest release "Horizontal Lines," please visit their website at twinwithin.ca.

California pop/folk group Only On Tuesdays recently released their debut EP entitled "Break Free." The five song release touches upon all of the band's talents, including great songwriting, exceptional vocals and a modern flair for acoustic pop music. The new album begins with the gentle touch of "Break Free" as you instantly get caught up in singer Autumn Skibinski's vocals. Her voice takes on a Jewel-like quality with the fragile delivery of "Fall," before plugging in to release their energy in the southern rock groove of "Rendezvous." The album finishes up with the fun, up-tempo, light-hearted "Darling Dearest." To find out more about Only On Tuesdays, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/onlyontuesdaysmusic.

Canadian singer/songwriter Milo McMahon recently released his latest album "Who I Knew." This four song EP follows his two earlier albums and showcases his growth and maturity as a songwriter. Beginning with the rock shuffle of "All Or Nothing," McMahon gets the album to a strong start with this two-and-a-half minute burst of energy. He experiments with his sound on the mellow feel of "Caveman," before returning to the acoustic pop/rock of "Breeze." He closes with the musical build-up of "Who I Knew" as Milo incorporates many different musical ideas into this six-minute highlight. To find out more about Milo McMahon and his latest album "Who I Knew," please visit milomcmahon.com.

Independent musician Bill Majoros returns with the latest release from The Foreign Films entitled "The Record Collector: Side 3." It is a continuation of his double-album which is to be released in four parts. Last September, we saw the release of "Side 2" (review: jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com) and this new six-song release reflects the influences of early 60's British pop/rock and 70's singer/songwriter folk rock. Beginning with "Northern Love Song," you can definitely find the influences seeping into his writing as this song sounds like a long lost pop gem from the British invasion. He adds a touch of sixties psychedelica to "Empire In The Night," while the gentle acoustics of "Girl By The River" is a great piece of songwriting that stripes everything away and shows Bill's true talents. The album closes with female singer Kori Pop taking the lead vocals on the softer, smooth rock sway of "A Foolish Symphony (Sway)." To find out more about The Foreign Films, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/theforeignfilms.

Monday, July 20, 2015

CD Review: New Music Debuts From Heavy Metal Band Black Fast And Hard Rock Supergroup Team Sleep

From St. Louis comes the eOne Music debut album from the new hardcore, death metal band Black Fast. The new release entitled "Terms Of Surrender" takes the early days of thrash metal and pumps it up with steroids to create a hard-hitting, non-stop powerful sound. Their new nine-song release begins with "The Keep," which is a blast of energy that gets the blood pumping early. They come out with guitars a-blazing in "To Propagate The Void" and with screaming vocals in "The Coming Swarm." The only time they let up for a moment is on the dark, eerie beginning of "The Fall," which picks things back up quickly. The album closes with the final thrush of power with the heavy bashing of "Until Dust." Black Fast will be hitting the road in September for a month-long U.S. tour. To find out more about their new release "Terms Of Surrender," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/BlackFast.

Hard rock super group Team Sleep return after a ten year absence to release their follow-up album entitled "Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4." The band consists of friends belonging to The Deftones, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Marilyn Manson and Crosses. They originally got together in 2005 to record an experimental album that was unlike any of their "day jobs." The six-piece band found time to get together at Applehead Recording studio in Woodstock, NY to re-work some of their classic material and put together their best nine songs. Beginning with the slow-paced, hard rock grunge of "Your Skull Is Red," it sounds as if they are still feeling their way around each other as this may have developed from a jam session. Their music floats along with a lighter alternative sound as displayed in the mainstream appeal of "(Ever) Foreign Flag" and "Princeton Review." The short album closes with the eight-minute ambient feel of "Live From The Stage," which builds to a classic dark heavy metal close. To find out more about Team Sleep and their latest release "Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/teamsleepband.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

CD Review: Progressive Rock Band Kinetic Element Lay Out Their Plans With "Travelog"

American progressive rock band Kinetic Element return with their sophomore album "Travelog." It's a masterful piece of progressive rock that will have you comparing them with the early days of Yes, Genesis and Styx. The new five song album begins with the grand twenty-minute epic "War Song." The song builds with intensity as the keyboards and guitar battle for dominance, while the drums and bass keep the rhythm steady. Singer Demitrius LaFavors of fellow prog-rock band Odin's Court, gives a stellar vocal performance in the song. They follow this up with the more melodic flow of "Travelog," before heading into the Yes-like feel of "In The Lair," as Kinetic Element switch tempos on a whim to keep things interesting. The album closes with the strong, steady musicianship of "Visions Of A New Dawn" as Kinetic Element find the perfect balance of grace and power. To find out more about Kinetic Element and their latest album "Travelog," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/kineticelementband.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

CD Review: Guitarist Tom Caufield And Stephen Duros Release New Epic Pieces Of Music

Contemporary guitarist Tom Caufield recently released his sixth studio album entitled "Things I Heard While In The Womb." He brings together all of his early rock, pop and folk influences along with his passion of 70's prog-rock songs to create three tracks that tell his story through his acoustic guitar. Beginning with the 24-minute epic, sonic adventure of "Waif Among The Reeds," you can hear Tom incorporate some of the softer aspects of Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton as he keeps the music interesting, without the need for repeating. The quick four-minute "Rubies On Fallen Leaves" is a beautiful piece of music that radiates the feeling of love and warmth. This short set closes with the eleven-minute "Palace Of Broken Mirrors" as Tom tells a story through is guitar, performing both acoustically and electrically to give more depth to his music. To find out more about Tom Caufield and his latest album "Things I Heard While In The Womb," please visit his website at caufieldmusic.com.

Guitar virtuoso Stephen Duros will be releasing his latest concept album "AEAEA" on July 31st through Luminescent Records. It features twelve chapters (songs) as Duros looks to take you on a musical journey to the mystical island told in the Greek poem "The Odyssey." This album has been four years in the making as he performs everything from flamenco to electric guitar along with keyboards and percussion. The story begins with grand orchestration that leads into the light, mystical feel of the first two chapters. The music begins to take on a more exotic tone in chapters three and five as the music gets more intense. The adventure reaches its heights in chapters seven and eight, before special guest guitarist Ottmar Liebert performs a Floydian-like solo in chapter ten. The story closes with the seven-minute flamenco highlights of chapter twelve along with the return of the grand orchestration. To find out more about Stephen Duros and his latest release "AEAEA," please visit his website at stephenduros.com.

Friday, July 17, 2015

CD Review: Victory Records Unleashes New Heavy Metal Music From Kissing Candice, Jungle Rot And The Bunny The Bear

Victory Records is making this one of the hottest summers on record, first with their own stage of artists on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and secondly with a trio of amazing new heavy metal releases. Beginning with the debut release from the Long Island, NY metal band Kissing Candice entitled "Blind Until We Burn." What started as a small idea by ex-Dr. Acula keyboardist Joey Simpson has grown into this hard hitting juggernaut and they show no signs of slowing down. They are featured on the Victory Records stage at this summer's Mayhem Festival and their new album has been receiving rave reviews from the metal community. The new thirteen-song release begins with the quick, one-minute introduction of "Unloaded," before the machine-gun drumming and growling vocals of "My Perfect Hell" make you stand up and take notice. They showcase a harder edged version of Linkin Park's sound in the songs "Chart Topper" and "Misdirection," then continue with the buzzsaw guitars of "Put Em Up." The album finishes up strong with the aggressive, quick-hitting attack of "Roach Motel" and the mainstream metal appeal of "Slugworth." To find out more about Kissing Candice, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Kissingcandice.
 
Also, recently released is the latest album from the Wisconsin heavy metal band Jungle Rot. Their new album "Order Shall Prevail" is the band's eighth album and their third on Victory Records. They are also touring this summer as part of the Mayhem Festival and their new ten-song release is sure to gather more headbanging maniacs to the stage. Beginning with the quick drumming of "Doomsday," Jungle Rot gets things going with growling vocals and electrifying guitar solos. The pounding rhythm of "Blood Revenge" and intense, adrenaline-fueled "Order Shall Prevail" show us that even after twenty years, Jungle Rot can still blow you away. They finish up the album with steady attack of "Trench Tactics" and the explosive "Nuclear Superiority." To find out more about Jungle Rot and their latest release "Order Shall Prevail," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/igotjunglerot.
 
Finally we get to the latest release from the Buffalo, NY hardcore metal duo of The Bunny The Bear. With a release date of July 28th, their new album "A Liar Wrote This" features female vocalist Haley Roback as "the bear" while Matthew Tybor continues his roll at "the bunny."  Their new thirteen-song release begins with the quick screams of "Vows," before heading into the modern hardcore feel of "Love Trust And Compromise" as Haley's vocals are instantly noticed and very welcomed against Tybor's screaming vocals. Haley's vocals in "Sick Sad Eyes," turns it into mainstream metal magic, while the pop-like feel of "Empty Hands" shows a softer side to their sound which continues with "Lover's Touch." The songs on this latest album are deeper and more technical as in "Sleep Sequence" and mainstream alternative rock of "Dead Leaves." The Bunny The Bear are currently touring the U.S. this summer as part of the Vans Warped Tour. To find out more about the latest release from The Bunny The Bear, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thebunnythebear.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

CD Review: Check Out The Best Of Afternoons In Stereo And The Latest From Electric Litany

Ten years after the release of their debut album, Afternoons In Stereo are compiling their funkiest, club/dance driven tracks for a new release entitled "Retrospective." It features twelve songs from throughout the band's career along with two brand new recordings. The album begins with the new single "Galaxina," which is a trip back in time with its seventies disco vibe and club beats. Last year, Afternoons In Stereo explored their jazzier side with the album "A Jazz Odyssey," while this new collection is great for parties as well as lounging around your favorite summer escape. The smooth feel of "Dawn In Mahihi" does not take away from the album's chilled-vibe, while "Shadows" looks to incorporate some of that jazz-flair back into their sound. The rhythm fueled "Kalakuta Republik" and classy feel of "Soul Sugar" are guaranteed to get your body moving as Afternoons In Stereo bring in the funk of "Return Of The Puma." The 78-minute packed album closes with the slow, R&B beats of "The Art Of Dolby." To find out more about Afternoons In Stereo and their latest release "Retrospective," please visit afternoonsinstereo.com.

They have been heralded as the "next Radiohead" and have toured with the likes of Alan Parsons, Interpol and the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but Electric Litany are ready to bring their music to the masses with their latest release "Enduring Days You Will Overcome." Their modern, synth-fueled sound has a very appealing quality as their songs are moody masterpieces. Beginning with the mellow build-up of "Silence," your emotions are keep in check, while "Hold Fast To Your Dreams" has a more pop quality to it. They lighten up their touch on the fragile delivery of "Vanish," then bring together their grand instrumentation and floating vocals for the seven-minute epic sounding "Enduring Days You Will Overcome." They add a bit more pop back into their sound with the electronic beats of "In The Morning," while "Feather Of Ecstasy" is a hit single waiting in the wings. Electric Litany close out their album with the piano ballad "Farewell (To Setting Flowers)." To find out more about Electric Litany, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ElectricLitany.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

CD Review: New Music Arriving From Indie-Artists The Bellfuries And Natalie Myre

First from Austin, TX comes the Hi-Style Records debut release from The Bellfuries entitled "Workingman's Bellfuries." They bring out the truth in rock n' roll as they strip away all the unnecessary garbage and deliver a classic early rock sound that becomes very contagious to the soul. They bring together all the elements of R&B, soul, and country music to bring us back to the early days of rock. There new eleven song release, begins with the fifties swing of "Loving Arms," with a bit of modern vocal flair to energize the music. You can't help but think of the days of the jukebox with tunes like "Bad Seed" and "Letter To My Maybe Baby." They incorporate the early days of rock n' roll perfectly into the Buddy Holly-feel of "Beaumont Blues," while their cover of The Beatles' "She's A Woman" has touch of modern spunk. The only time they slow down is for the wonderful harmonizing of the gentle swing of "An Illusion Believed." To find out more about The Bellfuries and their new release "Workingman's Bellfuries," please visit thebellfuries.com
 
Also recently released is the debut album from Chicago singer/songwriter Natalie Myre. It is titled "Breaking Forward" and deals with love and loss with a mixture of pop, folk, country and jazz. It begins with the uplifting pop/rock pace of "Urge," before slowing things down for the piano-led country-feel of "Stay In Your Line." Her voice and lyrics come together perfectly for the gentle ballad "In The Meantime," but she also knows how to have fun with the uptempo kicks of ""I'm Sorry." The album closes with the title-song "Breaking Forward" as she wears her heart on her sleeve with these powerful lyrics. To find out more about Natalie Myre, please visit her website at nataliemyremusic.com.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

CD Review: Check Out New Music From Independent Rockers Owl, Estrella And Fierce Justice

Arriving at the end of July is the third release from the rock band Owl entitled "Things You Can't See." Led by Chris Wyse (The Cult/Ace Frehley Band) on bass and vocals, this trio has a great hard rock sound that finds its way into your mind as each song grows in shear force and intensity. The short, six-song EP begins with the title song "Things You Can't See" as the song's chorus explodes with power that will have you headbanging along in no time. The album's lead single "Who's Gonna Save You Now" carries a deep bass groove that opens up into the stomping rhythm of "Star Up." The album closes with the heavy metal guitar screams of "Witch's Familiar" and the quieter acoustic delivery of "Alive." Owl will be performing a few shows in New England before heading to California for a couple more. To find out more about the band Owl and their new album "Things You Can't See," please visit owltheband.net. 

Scottish rock band Estrella recently released their latest album "We Will Go On," following this year's appearance at Download Festival, which was headlined by Kiss, Muse and Slipknot. Their new eleven-song release has a lot of mainstream hard rock appeal, beginning with the uptempo, sing-along chorus of "Here I Am," co-written by Uriah Heap's John T. Sinclair. Their sound pulls in all the right elements for rock radio success with a nod to the days of late-eighties metal with "Wheels Keep Turning" and "Hold On," while showing they can rock as hard as anyone with the attractive, pounding drums of "We Will Go On." Estrella venture to far into the pop/rock territory with "Be There," but then coming roaring back to close the album on high note with "Undercover Lover" and the gentle ballad "My Own Way." To find out more about Estrella and their latest release "We Will Go On," please visit estrellarocks.com.
 
Norwegian metal band Fierce Justice recently released their self-titled EP back in May. The new five song release has a retro feel as the band pulls together all their early heavy metal influences to create truly great music. Beginning with the intense "Behind The Thoughts," they get your adrenaline pumping, before heading into the mystical Dio-like feel of "Leap Of Faith." They push the rhythm into overdrive on "Spineless," before finishing the album with two versions of the addictive hard rock of "Bad Lucy," which really showcases the band's metal talents. To find out more about Fierce Justice, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/FierceJusticeBand.

Monday, July 13, 2015

CD Review: The Dead Daisies Return With New Members To Start A "Revolucion"

The hard rock supergroup The Dead Daisies are returning with their follow-up album "Revolucion." They have been going non-stop since getting together in 2012. They released their self-titled debut album in 2013 (reviewed: jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com), toured the past two years with the likes of  Kiss, Def Leppard, ZZ Top Aerosmith, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd and still have found time to record a new studio album and an EP. Following the release of this new album, The Dead Daisies are joining Whitesnake on their current "Purple Tour." The new album also includes the newest members, singer John Corabi (Motley Crue, Ratt) and drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne).
 
The new thirteen song release starts off strong with "Mexico," which hits like a mash-up of guitar riffs from AC/DC and the classic rock power of The Who. They follow that with the thunderous drumming of "Evil" and the blazing guitar attack of "Make The Best Of It." They slow the tempo down, only for a moment, on "Something I Said," before returning with the arena rocker "Get Up, Get Ready." The slow ballad "Sleep" seems a little out of place amongst these other hard rockers like "My Time" and "Devil Out Of Time." The U.S. digital version of the album will include two bonus tracks, the blazing "Leave The Truth Behind" and southern rocker "Last Night." To find out more about The Dead Daisies and their latest release "Revolucion," please visit their website at thedeaddaisies.com.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blu-ray/DVD Review: Andy Summers Tells Us About "Surviving The Police" In His New Documentary

Arriving soon on Blu-ray and DVD from Cinema Libre Studio is the documentary "Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police." It is based on the acclaimed memoir from The Police guitarist Andy Summers entitled "One Train Later." The documentary is told in the words of Andy Summers, reading from his memoir as his professional history is displayed on the screen. Beginning with the early days of his sixties groups Zoot Money's Big Roll Band and Dantalian's Chariot, Summers tells the tales of career turmoil and rejection, before his introduction to Sting and Stewart Copeland in the mid-seventies.

The mood of the movie changes between the exciting discovery and early success of The Police to his depression, being separated from his wife and child from being away on tour. Interwoven between classic video clips of The Police in the seventies and eighties is rehearsal and backstage footage of their reunion tour in 2007. Summers tells the history of the band from a very personal level, living the life first hand and also laying out the truth behind the scenes of the implosion of The Police in 1984. Summers touches upon his hobby of photography, as he would capture many of the different locations that The Police have explored through the years on their various tours.

One of the highlights of the documentary is when Andy Summers is roaming around Japan, taking artistic photographs, and wanders by a karaoke bar where "Every Breath You Take" is being performed. He walks into the bar and starts singing along without anyone recognizing him until he removes his winter hat. He just lifts the spirits of the patrons of the bar with his presence.

Summers puts an emotional spin into the history of the band, which gives you a better feel for the truth, than just watching a regular documentary of the band. It was wonderful how the history of the band comes full circle with their reunion tour that broke records around the world. This wonderful new Blu-ray also features an audio commentary with Andy Summers and director Norman Golightly, a feature of Andy Summers In His Own Words, a Q&A with Andy Summers, an amazing look at Summers' photos from throughout his career and trailers for the documentary. It will be available on July 14th on Blu-ray and DVD. To find out more, please visit facebook.com/cantstandlosingyou.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Gathers Together Rare Recordings From Continenal Drifters

American rock band the Continental Drifters started out in the early nineties as the house band of the Los Angeles club Raji's. This led to the band's first album released in 1994 and then their relocation to New Orleans. The band would release four studio albums and took in a local following around the area, until Hurricane Katrina hit the area and destroyed many of the band's homes. They have since gone their separate ways, reuniting only once in 2009 for the New Orleans Jazz festival.

Members of the Continental Drifters included Peter Holsapple (The dB's), Mark Walton (The Dream Syndicate), Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) and Susan Cowsill (The Cowsills). On July 17th, Omnivore Recordings is gathering many of the band's unreleased recordings from the early days, including a demo version of the rock/folk ballad "Karen A" and early take of the country twang of "The Rain Song." Fans of the Continental Drifters will enjoy the alternative mixes of the southern rocker "Dallas" and the light-hearted feel of "Mr. Everything."

This two-disc set also includes a second disc of the band's live songs, as well as tribute album tracks and other gems, including "A Song For You" from the Gram Parsons tribute album. The live songs on this disc are scattered from throughout the band's career, beginning with a live version of "You Don't Miss Your Water" from 1992 to "Farmer's Daughter" recorded at the band's reunion show in 2009. Also included is an amazing version of Neil Young's "When You Dance I Can Really Love" and The 5 Royals' "Dedicated To The One I Love."  To find out more about this new compilation from the Continental Drifters entitled "Drifted : In The Beginning & Beyond," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, July 10, 2015

CD Review: New Independent Releases From Eric & Aaron, Magnificent Brids Of Prey, The Chewers And Spells Of Vertigo

From New York City comes the pop/rock duo of Eric Larson and Aaron Berk with their debut album "To Keep From Losing Our Minds." The two have the perfect pop chemistry as their voices come together and portray a powerfully energetic feel. The new six song release begins with the chorus of "On The Roads" bringing everyone out onto the dancefloor, while "Woods" is perfect blend of rock and pop to make this a hit radio single that crosses many different genres. The grunge-like guitars of "Long Time" gives the song a darker tone, before returning to the light, up-beat pop sounds of "Lola." To find out more about Eric And Aaron and their latest release "To Keep From Losing Our Minds," please visit their website at ericandaaron.com.

Members of the Magnificent Birds of Prey have gathered from all over the Northeast to create a raw, alternative rock sound that is lost in today's polished rock world. They will be releasing their latest full-length studio album "Kaleidoscope" in August and are following that with a regional tour of the Northeast. The new twelve-song release begins with the slow-grunge of "Sticks And Stones," then take on a more modern rock appeal with "Icon." The sway of "Stormtrooper" shows the band's softer side with their "tongue-in-cheek" humor, while "Seven" is a nice blast of punk-like energy. The album closes with the ballad "Lullaby" and the uptempo, pop/rock touch of "Sharpie." To find out more about the Magnificent Birds of Prey and their latest release "Kaleidoscope," please visit workingbrilliantly.com.

From Nashville, TN comes the latest from the underground, avant-garde rock band The Chewers entitled "Dead Dads." The duo of Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler had a tough time with this album as both of their dads passed away during the two years it took to record this latest album. The new twenty song release draws up some similarities to early Ween or Beck as they experiment with their sound on "Dig The Pit" and "Jimmy Does The Shimmy." While their music may never catch the attention of pop radio, that is not their purpose as their sound descends from the early experimental days of Frank Zappa as "The Reduction" and "The Lurk" have so much going on, that more than one listen is necessary. The Chewers take on the blues with "Rot Gut" and try to assemble an up-tempo romp with "Swelling Spasm Frustration," that your not sure what is going on within the song. The storied, talk-through lyrics of "The Chase" makes The Chewers the perfect candidates for a dark movie soundtrack. To find out more about The Chewers, please visit their website at thechewers.com.

Canadian rock band Spells Of Vertigo return with their latest EP entitled "Soaked." It features three songs dripping with grunge guitars, steady rock rhythms and addictive rock vocals. The short two minute opener "Telegentic" sounds like the second coming of Mudhoney, while "Baby Born (With No Brain)" is all about the guitars buzzing from the speakers. The album closes with the six-minute "Clover" as the the guitars crash the party of the song's mellow vocals and drumming. To find out more about Spells Of Vertigo and their latest release "Soaked," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/spellsofvertigo.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

CD Review: The Return Of New Rock Music From Hatebeak, Le Cerca And The Left Outsides

The return of Hatebeak began on June 26th with the release of their latest album "Number Of The Beak." This somewhat new death metal/grindcore band is fronted by none-other than a 21 year old Congo African Grey Parrot who goes by the name Waldo. Along with Blake Harrison and Mark Sloan, Hatebeak have created some of the most intensely, insane heavy metal music ever recorded. The pure speed of "Seven Perches" and explosive power of "Pecking Crew" are two of the album's six newer songs. Also added are eight songs from the band's out of print EPs recorded between 2004-2007. Highlights include the dark, death metal grind of "Beak Of Putrefaction" and the trash metal attack of "The Thing That Should Not Beak." The new album was released through Reptilian Records on CD and vinyl along with the perfect cover rip-off of the famous artwork of Iron Maiden's "Number Of The Beast." To find out more about Hatebeak, please visit reptilianrecords.com.
 
Arriving on July 10th is the latest release from the Tucson, AZ band La Cerca entitled "Sunrise For Everyone." Their new nine-song release has mellow rock vibe, beginning with a tribute to their home state "Arizona." The new album is a "love letter" to their state with appropriately named songs like "Climate Control" and "Sunrise For Everyone" as they instill some psychedelic aspects into their music. The pop swing of "Sorry XO" and acoustic rock of "The First One" are perfect gems to gather new fans, as "Dream Continues" has a simplicity that is missing from a lot of today's modern pop/rock music. To find out more about Le Cerca, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/la.cerca.
 
Also arriving the same day is the latest from the husband and wife duo of Mark Nicholas and Alison Cotton, better known as The Left Outsides. Their new album entitled "The Shape Of Things To Come" will be released through Xemu Records. It features thirteen gentle folk/rock tales as both Mark and Alison take turns with lead vocals. The album begins with the Latin swing of "The Third Light," before Alison's vocals on "To Where Your Footsteps Led" has an innocent quality to it that gives the song a lullaby feel. The Left Outsides do plug in to rock on "Unopened Letters and Unanswered Calls," then journey to the psychedelic side of rock with the mind-expanding sound of "Always The Last Two Know." They also place a sixties vibe on "Out Of Time, Out Of Place," before closing with with the folk/rock sway of "The Shape Of Things To Come." To find out more about The Left Outsides, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/theleftoutsides.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CD Review: Hot New Heavy Metal Music From Undergang, Majestic Downfall And King Heavy

Grindcore, death-metal band Undergang are releasing their third full-length album entitled "Doden Laeger Alle Sar." The new album was recorded at Earhammer Studio and California about a year ago, following the band's three month tour of the U.S. The band's down-tuned, old style of death metal is heard in the near seven-minute juggernaut "Jomfrublodbad." The growling vocals of "Radbraekket" and doom/grindcore metal appeal of "Lemlaestelsens Kunst" showcases the attraction of Undergang's music, while the band sticks close to their roots. To find out more about Undergang and their new album "Doden Laeger Alle Sar," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/undergangktdm.
 
Also arriving soon is the latest album from Mexican death-metal band Majestic Downfall entitled "...When Dead." It will be released on August 7th through Pulverised Records and features five songs that look to push the boundaries of progressive death/thrash metal. The sixteen-minute "Escape My Thought" mixes tempos and takes the listener on a roller coaster ride of speed and power. They attack your senses with "Doors," before closing with the more melodic build up of "The Rain Of The Dead." To find out more about Majestic Downfall and their latest release "...When Dead," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/majestic.downfall.
 
Finally from South America comes the self-titled debut album from King Heavy on the Cruz Del Sur Music label. The new seven-song release begins with the grand march of "La Gragola" as blazing guitars and intense drumming look to quicken your pulse. The grand design of "As Dawn Broke On The Day," showcase a maturity to their songwriting and they incorporate tempo changes, drawing similarities to later-day Black Sabbath. The metal attack of "Wounds" and the eleven-minute closer "He Who Spoke In Tongues," save the band's best work for the end as they are sure to make an impact on the metal music scene. To find out more about King Heavy and their debut release, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/kingheavydoom.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Delivers New Between The Buried And Me Album And Debuts New Music From Cut Up

Progressive metal band Between The Buried And Me will be releasing their seventh studio album "Coma Ecliptic" on July 10th through Metal Blade Records. They are then following that release with a 31-date U.S. tour. The band has also mentioned that the theme of this album is about a man in a coma, revisiting his past lives and then given the choice to stay or move on to something better.
 
The packed, eleven-song release begins with the gentle beginnings of "Node," as Between The Buried And Me have shown a maturity in their songwriting and in their album structure. Instead of just diving into the heavy riffs and pulsating rhythms, they set the stage for the stories that are to come from each song. The adrenaline builds during "The Coma Machine," as the nearly eight-minute epic ushers in the band's heavy metal sound. The song structure has also gotten more intricate as in "Famine Wolf," bringing together the howling metal vocals with a melodic guitar riff that look to overpower your senses as they do with "King Redeem-Queen Serene." The album finishes up with the mainstream hard rock appeal of "Option Oblivion" and the slow build-up of "Life In Velvet." To find out more about Between The Buried And Me, please visit their website at betweentheburiedandme.com.
 
Also new from Metal Blade Records is the debut album from Cut Up entitled "Forensic Nightmare."  This Swedish death metal band has a combined 50 years of death metal experience as they join forces on this new eleven-track release. Beginning with "Enter Hell," you feel the intensity in their delivery. They keep the speed going right through "Burial Time" as the howling vocals of "Remember The Flesh" gives the music more space to roam. The band sounds in top form on "Brain Cell Holocaust" and "Order Of The Chainsaw" as their experience makes this one of the top death metal albums of the year. To find out more about Cut Up and their latest release "Forensic Nightmare," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cutupofficial.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Concert Review: Def Leppard Brings Along Styx And Tesla To Rock The Mohegan Sun Arena

As the July 4th weekend drew to close, there was one last blast of fireworks to be set off at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday night. That blast came in the form of classic rock giants Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla, who rocked the arena to its core for four straight hours. The show was also a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those in attendance as not one song that was performed that evening was less than fifteen years old. The newest song in any of the three band's set lists was Def Leppard's "Paper Sun" and "Promises," both from the band's 1999 album "Euphoria." Many fans were there, reliving their youth, when these songs ruled the radio airwaves.
 
The trip began promptly with a forty-five minute opening set from California rock band Tesla. Their short hits packed show began with the thunderously loud, electrifying opener "Edison's Medicine (Man Out Of Time)" followed by "Song & Emotion," (Tesla's tribute to the late Def Leppard guitarist, Steve Clark). As people were continuing to file into the arena, each song brought a bigger response from the crowd, as fans sang along to Tesla's famous cover of "Signs" and also their huge "top 10" single "Love Song." Singer Jeff Keith made a note to the audience that Tesla also opened for Def Leppard on their "Hysteria" tour 28 years ago.
 
Sticking to the tight schedule, Styx took the stage with a grand pre-recorded entrance before welcoming everyone to "The Grand Illusion." Their sixty minute set covered many of their iconic seventies hits, including "Lady," "Fooling Yourself" and "Blue Collar Man." Original member James "J.Y." Young took the lead vocals on a roughed up version of "Miss America," while guitarist/singer Tommy Shaw lead the audience through the clap-along chorus of "Too Much Time On My Hands." An amazing version of Styx's hit single "Come Sail Away" closed things out, before the band returned for the two song encore of "Rockin' In Paradise" and "Renegade."
 
As the Def Leppard curtain was lowered from the ceiling, fans were scrambling to their seats just before the lights went out amongst a pre-recorded instrumental that jolted the speakers. Fans instantly attached themselves to the band's performance of older songs "Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)," "Animal" and "Foolin'." Guitarist Phil Collen finished off "Paper Sun" with a blistering solo, before guitarist Vivian Campbell took over on the arena rocker, "Armageddon It."
 
Lead singer Joe Elliott stood at the end of the catwalk with an acoustic guitar in his hand to led the audience in a sing-along of their 1993 hit "Two Steps Behind." He then called out for "guitars!" and "drums!", signaling the beginning of the rhythm heavy delivery of "Rocket." Drummer Rick Allen and bassist Rick Savage teamed up with the duel guitars of Collen and Campbell for the adrenaline fueled instrumental "Switch 625." The set closers "Hysteria," "Let's Get Rocked" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" left the energy level in the arena on maximum.
 
Every fan was on their feet, stomping the floor and banging the seats for the band's encore, which began with the gibberish "Gunter glieben glauten globen." As the two song encore of "Rock Of Ages" and "Photograph" left a lasting impression on fans, both new and old, Def Leppard finished the jam-packed night of classic rock with the idea that nostalgia is a great thing that continues to keep us all young at heart.
 
Tesla Setlist: Edison's Medicine (Man Out Of Time). Song & Emotion, Hang Tough, Heaven's Trail (No Way Out), Signs, Love Song, Little Suzi, Modern Day Cowboy
 
Styx Setlist: The Grand Illusion, Too Much Time On My Hands, Fooling Yourself, Miss America, Lady, Blue Collar Man, Whiter Shade Of Pale/Bohemian Rhapsody/(Sittin' On) Dock Of The Bay, Sail Away
Encore: Rockin' In Paradise, Renegade
 
Def Leppard Setlist: Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop), Animal, Foolin', Promises, Paper Sun, Love Bites, Armageddon It, Rock On, Two Steps Behind, Rocket, Bringin' On The Heartbreak, Switch 625, Hysteria, Let's Get Rocked, Pour Some Sugar On Me
Encore: Rock Of Ages, Photograph