Get Stoked Proves It’s Just As Talented As Its Bigger Named Pop Punk Counterparts On Its New EP

 

Courtesy: Imminence Records/Persistent Heart Media

Courtesy: Imminence Records/Persistent Heart Media

Mount Pleasant, Michigan’s five-piece pop-punk band Get Stoked will release its new EP this month. Washington Street, the band’s new EP, will be released Tuesday, August 19th via indie label Imminence Records. This four-track disc is a good fit for anyone that is into bands such as A Day To Remember, All Time Low, and Yellowcard just to name a few. It’s interesting to note that among the EP’s five tracks, its opener is one of its best tracks. It’s interesting in that the song in question is an instrumental track that lasts not even two minutes. That song leads straight into what is another good example of audiences can expect from this EP in the form of ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words.’ This song’s title *ahem* speaks for itself. Audiences will understand in listening to the song’s lyrical content. And as a final example of what the band has to offer on its new EP, it also offers the song ‘Forward Progress,’ which is a welcome breath of fresh air after the more emotional songs that preceded it. Each one of the songs profiled here is by itself a solid pop-punk production. The songs in question combine with the other two songs not noted here to make for an EP that any pop-punk fan will find enjoyable.

Get Stoked opens its new EP with an instrumental that is simply considered the album’s ‘Intro.’ The song clocks in at not even two minutes long. To be more precise, it is only one minute and thirty-eight seconds long. Ironically enough, as short as the song is, it proves in the long run to be one of the best songs on the disc. It’s one of those songs that proves not every good song rock or otherwise needs lyrics to make it work. It would be just as easy to hear front man Cameron Wheeler singing alongside his band mates. But they—Jacob Cardona (drums), Ryan Turek (guitar/backing vocals), Ben Jensen (bass), and Zach Smith (guitar)—hold their own throughout this song’s ninety-second plus song. Cardona’s time keeping is spot on next to the work of Turek, Jensen, and Smith. For a band that is currently signed to an independent label, this introduction from the band shows that its sound is Just as solid as anything released by any of its bigger named counterparts. And that solid sound doesn’t stop here, either as audiences will note in Washington Street’s first full length song, ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words.’

‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’ is one more example of how easily Get Stoked stacks up against its bigger name pop punk counterparts. The song, which seems to center on personal relationships is the first chance for [Cameron] Wheeler to put his talents on display on this release. To be more exact, it comes across as being centered on a personal relationship with a former love interest. He goes so far as to make a commentary about all the men that the woman in question had slept with. This leads him to sing to her, asking, “What did you expect/We’ve all tried our best/And if you didn’t succeed/You blame it all on me/These cold winter nights/They leave me quiet and discreet/Who are you to tell me/Who I can and can’t be/When first we barely knew each other/But lately/I bet I’ve come to find out/What it is you’re looking for/And I can’t understand it/I won’t understand it/Until you explain it to me.” It is from here that Wheeler and company proceed to sing about the former love interest sleeping around with other men. And that leads everything full circle back to these opening verses, making them far clearer for listeners. Wheeler’s subject here is expressing the mix of emotions felt by someone who is dealing with an unfaithful partner. That lyrical theme alongside the song’s energy and sound makes the song whole and just one reason that pop punk fans will appreciate this record.

While Wheeler and his band mates delve into some emotional territory on Washington Street, there is also at least one song with a more positive outlook on things on the EP’s penultimate song. That song, ‘Forward Progress,’ exhibits a subject that has gone through the worst but still sees the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. That is something rare in today’s music industry. It seems like so many songs, regardless of genre, focus mainly on breakups and other negative topics. Wheeler sings in this song, “This is a thing called forward progress/I hope you know that I could care less/This is a thing called forward progress/I hope you know that I could care less/Face clenched/And arms bent/I’ll march through this/With only intent to make who/I wanna be/A realistic vision of myself/And everyone around me.” The defiant stance taken in these final verses gives a completely different view of life in comparison to the songs that come before ‘Forward Progress.’ And they make the song’s title far more fitting, too. It is Wheeler and company saying collectively, “I am going to be who I want to be no matter what others think of me.” This is an important message for the band’s audiences, especially in this age. Together with the previously noted songs and those not noted here, Get Stoked present to audiences an EP that is a work that is just as solid as anything released by its bigger named pop-punk counterparts.

Audiences can hear Get Stoked live now as the band is currently on tour with Backslashes and Bad Ideas. Audiences will also be able to pick up Washington Street at the band’s live shows after it is officially released. More information on Get Stoked, its tour schedule and more is available via the band’s official Facebook page. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog, too.

Atlanta Based Indie Hip-Hop Duo Ready To Break Out On Its Debut LP

Courtesy:  Autumn + Colour

Courtesy: Autumn + Colour

Atlanta, Georgia is home to some of the biggest names in the music industry.  It is home to Sevendust, Collective Soul, Stuck Mojo, and Stuck Mojo just to name a few.  It’s also home to hip-hop duo Outkast, whose members just recently announced that they are heading back on the road together after an extended hiatus to work on their own projects.  For all of the big name acts that call “Hotlanta” home, there are just as many lesser known acts that call that great city home, too.  One of those acts in question is another hip-hop duo that goes by the name of Ante Meridian.  The duo—Rozewood and Mr. Enok—re-issued its debut album this week.  At a time when mainstream hip-hop has become as tried and boring as mainstream rock, Ante Meridian’s debut proves to be a breath of fresh air for purist hip-hop and rap fans.

‘True Friend’ is the perfect kickoff to Sons of Heaven, the duo’s debut record.  Emcee Rozewood ruminates in this song about the loss of a friend to what would seem like gang violence.  He writes on the track, “Today I cried/Lookin’ at your photo/My n****s is gone/Thought about buying a gun and comin’ along/But it’s time for revenge/Return death to death givers/And dump they body in the soon to be red river/Sittin’ in my crib/On the stress mode/Loadin’ the clip…I can’t take it/The beauty of a childhood has been forsaken/Dear God please forgive me/For the acts I will do/The gats I will choose to spray s***…” There’s obviously some deep emotion expressed through this song.  What really makes the song interesting is the control that both Rozewood and Mr.Enok exhibit through the song.  The easy thing to do would have been to craft a battle rap style song.  Instead, the duo crafted a song that presents a figure with what would seem a much more collected thought process.  The song’s almost eerie, underlying piano lick set against Rozewood’s cool, collected rhymes creates a truly powerful first impression for the pair. It’s only the beginning of what fans will appreciate from this record, too.

Sons of Heaven’s second track, ‘N.Y. Thing’ is another impressive track.  The song is quite literally a lyrical love letter to the city that never sleeps.  Rozewood and Mr. Enok pay tribute to New York in this song.  It opens with a short sample with a man stating, “You’re a New Yorker/That will never change/You got New York in your bones/Spend the rest of your life out West/But you’re still a New Yorker.”  From here, the duo goes on to write of their favorite city, “If you’ve ever been to New York/You would understand what feel like to be caught in a wasteland/Trying to survive with a gun on your waistband/No matter where I’m at/I know where I am.”  The tribute goes on from here , bringing up memories of friends from the duo’s past that lived in New York’s five boroughs.  It might be pushing it, but it almost presents a song much in the same vein of Scarface’s ‘My Block’ just with a slightly different attitude.  It’s one more song that given the chance could be the duo’s next single.

The songs mentioned here are just small portions of what listeners have to look forward to from Ante Meridian’s new album.  Just as worth noting from Sons of Heaven are the likes of: ‘Remember My Eyes’, ‘Limitless’, ‘Red Lotus Blossom’ and ‘13th Floor’ with its gentle string backing. That backing set against Rozewood’s talents make this one of the highest of highs on this record.  These songs and all of the rest that make up the album’s seventeen total tracks are available now online on Ante Meridian’s Band Camp website, http://antemeridian.bandcamp.com and via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Sons-Heaven-Explicit-Ante-Meridian/dp/B00GYCIBRC/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1389905971&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=Ante+Meridian.  More information on Ante Meridian’s debut re-issue and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/antemeridianhiphop.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gypsyhawk’s Sophomore LP Another Hit For Metal Blade

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Guitars, bass, drums, and vocals.  That’s really all rock and roll needs.  And that’s what Pasadena, California’s own Gypsyhawk has brought to the game once again with its new album, “Revelry and Resilience.”  This album is a straight forward hard rocking work that will have every warm blooded rocker out there banging his or her heard, and putting his or her horns high with pride.  “Revelry and Resilience” is an example of everything that is and ever has been right with rock music.

The whole rock party kicks off with fittingly with the song, ‘Overdrive.’   To quote the line, this song is all killer, no filler.  From the killer guitar solos from Andrew Packer and Erik Kluiber, to front man Eric Harris’ Lemmy Kilmister-like vocals, to drummer Ian Brown’s driving beat, this song is a perfect start to the record in every way.  The band barely lets up from here, kicking right into ‘The Fields’ with equal adrenaline.  ‘Hedgeking’ follows in similar fashion, keeping the adrenaline and the blood flowing in its listeners’ veins from start to finish. 

There’s little letting up from there on throughout the remainder of this record.  Gypsyhawk’s sound has obviously evolved from its first album, “Patience and Perseverance.”  The band had a solid old school rock and roll sound on that record.  But the band’s sound seems even more honed this time out.  The band is right up there with the likes of Fireball Ministry, Airbourne, and others of that ilk on this album.  What makes Gypsyhawk better than those bands though, is its ability to cross the rock and roll spectrum, rather than stick to one style.  Airbourne is more closely linked to AC/DC and Fireball Ministry is compared more to classic Ozzy.  In the case of Gypsyhawk, this band has guitar work that pays homage to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Judas Priest, and even Iron Maiden just to name a few.  And as already noted front man Eric Harris’ vocals are weirdly similar to that of Lemmy Kilmister.  All of that being noted, Gypsyhawk’s new album, “Revelry and Resilience” will be a favorite among the fans of true old school guitar driven rock and roll, this reviewer included.  In fact, there is little doubt that by the end of the year, it will find itself on this reviewer’s list of the year’s best hard rock and metal albums.

“Revelry and Resilience” will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, August 28th.  It can be ordered direct through Metal Blade’s website at http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/band/gypsyhawk.  The band will be performing a handful of live dates this Fall and Winter to support the album.  Fans can check out those dates and all the latest from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/Gypsyhawkusa, http://gyspsyhawk.bandcamp.com, and http://gypsyhawkusa.blogspot.com.  

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.