(Hed) p.e.’s Latest LP Is One Of 2014’s Top Indie Albums

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

(Hed) p.e. has spent the majority of its life flying just under the mainstream radar. From changes in the band’s lineup to changes in record labels and more, the band—Jahred Gomes (vocals), Mark Young (bass), Jackson Benge (guitar), and Jeremiah Stratton (drums)—has stuck to its guns so to speak and managed to remain a favorite among its fans while still pulling in new fans along the way. Now with its latest album, titled Evolution, due out later this month, it looks to gain even more fans. That is thanks to the album boasting a solid mix of infectious grooves and thought provoking lyrics from start to finish. One example of how that mix of music and lyrics will catch listeners’ ears is the album’s second track, ‘Lost in Babylon.’ This song comes across as a social statement of sorts about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. ‘No Tomorrow’ has its own interest, too. And for all of the high intensity that permeates most of this album, the members of (Hed) p.e. do show a softer side in the album’s closing numbers without losing any of their social consciousness. Case in point the album’s penultimate piece ‘Let It Burn.’ This one harkens back to reggae great Bob Marley. It is one more of so many pieces throughout Evolution that will have listeners agreeing that this album is some of the band’s best work to date.

The songs written for Evolution collectively make this album some of the band’s best work to date. That’s because of the mix of infectious grooves and thought provoking lyrics. The topics covered in this album vary in subject matter. One of the hardest hitting of those subjects comes in the album’s second track, ‘Lost in Babylon.’ This is just this critic’s own interpretation of the song. But it comes across lyrically as tackling the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Front man Jahred Gomes sings of a person whose life was rough to begin with but was only made worse with the introduction of drugs and alcohol. He notes in the song’s opening verse, “It’s just another day/Gotta wake up to the pain/Those demons inside/They wanna come outside and play/Those demons I hide inside/I gotta make ‘em go away/Tonight/We raise hell/We take everything in sight.” He goes on from here to sing about the consequences of covering those demons with various drugs and alcohol. Specifically, he says, “I can’t feel my face/I’m so wasted/I wanna die/I’m young/Just having fun/So why/Not/Drink and drive/You dead/From all that whiskey/And all the vodka/drinking cocaine/And sniffing marijuana.” Yes, that’s right. The whole intention of that line being written in such fashion is to illustrate just how powerful and dangerous abusing drugs and alcohol can be. It shows that it can screw up a person so badly that said person wouldn’t even know what he or she is doing. Something as minor as this, examined on a larger scale, makes for quite the powerful statement. And the manic energy exuded by the band illustrates that message even more. Gomes goes even deeper as the song progresses. And audiences in hearing the song’s depth will agree that such musical and lyrical depth makes this one of the album’s most important and best songs, too.

Another of the album’s standout moments comes only a few songs after ‘Lost in Babylon.’ The song in question is the radio ready ‘No Tomorrow.’ Right from the song’s start, audiences will note a stark difference in the overall style of the song in comparison to ‘Lost in Babylon.’ It’s more of a straight forward hard rock song. That difference in sound makes it far more apt to be one of the album’s singles than say ‘Lost in Babylon.’ The defiant lyrics and the heavy, thundering guitar line here will work just as well in a live setting as on the radio. The song’s chorus, in which is written, “When it all goes down/You know I wanna be right there/Yeah, when the walls come down/You know I wanna be right there/On the frontline/Fightin’ on the right side/Holdin’ up the frontline/Like there’s no tomorrow.” The band adds in the song’s second verse what comes across as an indictment of the powers that be. Gomes sings in that verse, “Renegade/Can’t be f&*^!^% around with my life/I’m gonna break you/Show you how real rebels we ride/Take a big hit/Open your eyes and realize/It’s not the destination/It’s about the journey we ride/Can’t stop you from turning water into wine/Like the system/Poisoning the masses from the inside out/But change is coming that you heard about/The revolution’s on the way/Go BOOM BOOM!” There is a certain social consciousness about this song, nothing the revolution coming. It would seem that the noted revolution would be in regards to those working inside the system that is poisoning the masses. If that is the intended reference, then it makes the song all the harder hitting and worth the listen. In the bigger picture, it is yet another piece of Evolution’s whole that makes this album worth the listen.

Evolution boasts more than its share of high intensity songs throughout the course of its twelve tracks. For all of the powerhouse riffs and equally deep lyrics, the members of (Hed) p.e. show that they can also craft songs that are just as powerful without the heavier riffs and pounding drums and bass line. A prime example of that ability lies in the album’s penultimate track ‘Let it Burn.’ This piece harkens back to reggae legend Bob Marley both stylistically and lyrically. Gomes sings in this song, “show me a miracle/Show me some love today/A little bit of love go a long way/Just a little bit of love go a long way.” It’s one of those pieces that exemplifies the themes of togetherness and joy in life common in works from Marley and even his song Ziggy. And after all of the fiery energy presented by the album’s previous songs, it shows that a song can still be heavy without being musically heavy. It’s one more example of what makes Evolution worth the listen and potentially one of the year’s best independent releases.

(Hed) p.e. is currently touring in support of its upcoming album. It will be in Houston, Texas today and Dallas, Texas on Sunday. The band’s tour schedule also includes a stop at the famed Hooligan’s night club in Jacksonville, NC on Wednesday, August 27th. Fans can get the band’s full tour listing online now as well as the latest news from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/hedpe, http://www.hedperocks.com, http://www.myspace.com/hedpe, and http://twitter.com/hedpe. 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.

Chevelle’s “Wonder What’s Next” To Be Re-Issued Next Month

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Officials with SRCVinyl have announced that the company will re-issue Chevelle’s 2002 sophomore album Wonder What’s Next this summer.

Wonder What’s Next will be re-issued on a double vinyl set on Tuesday, July 22nd. The album, which was originally released via Epic Records in 2002, gave way to the hit singles ‘The Red’ and ‘Send The Pain Below.’ Its release also led to the band being invited to tour with a number of bands and to perform on the main stage at the 2003 Ozzfest.

The upcoming vinyl will be presented on two 180-gram discs in a gatefold package complete with 11X22 insert. It will also be available in three colors: Red, Black, and Coke Bottle Clear. A deluxe version of the release will also be available with bonus tracks. The complete track listing for the album’s upcoming vinyl re-issue is noted below.

Track Listing

SIDE A

A1 Family System

A2 Comfortable Liar

A3 Send the Pain Below

A4 Closure

SIDE B

B1 The Red

B2 Wonder What’s Next

B3 Don’t Fake This

B4 Forfeit

SIDE C

C1 Grab Thy Hand

C2 An Evening with el Diablo

C3 One Lonely Visitor

SIDE D

D1 Until You’re Reformed

D2 (High) Visibility

D3 Black Boys on Mopeds

D5 It’s No Good

Chevelle most recently released its latest album La Gargola and is currently touring in support of that album. Fans can check out the band’s current tour schedule and get all of the latest news from the band online now at http://www.facebook.com/chevelle, http://getmorechevelle.com, http://www.chevelleinc.com, http://www.myspace.com/chevelle, and http://twitter.com/ChevelleInc. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Uh Huh Her’s New LP An Intriguing Record

Future Souls, the third full length record from electro-pop duo Uh Huh Her is one of the more interesting dance records put out so far in 2014.  Whereas so much music within the electronica and electro-pop genres relies on heavy, pounding bass and over the top keyboard parts, the sound on this record is more subdued for lack of better wording.  That could be from the fact that the music on this record is, as Camila Grey points out, a reflection of thoughts she had when contemplating mankind’s place in the universe.

Right off the top, the duo—Grey and fellow performer Leisha Hailey—offer a certain amount of introspection to audiences with ‘Innocence.’  The song’s spacey opening chord instantly conjures thoughts of all things astronomical.  At the same time, those first couple of bars also conjure thoughts of 1980s Euro-electro-pop.  Those first few bars sound like something that one would expect to hear on the soundtrack to the likes of The Never Ending Story.  But it doesn’t waste any time before it lifts off, moving into a more modern sound.  The constant refrain of “I look back” sends a clear message of introspection, which plays directly into the album’s title.  Grey and Hailey sing together of “looking back” on a variety of situations in life and how much things have changed.  It’s an interesting piece, especially as reserved as the song is next to the song’s lyrical side.

‘Innocence’ is just the start of what makes Uh Huh Her’s new record so intriguing.  A little more than halfway through Future Souls, Grey and Hailey exhibit their seeming 80s Euro-electro-pop influences again in ‘Strange Design.’ Grey and Hailey base this song around what sounds like a simple arpeggio on a keyboard. The effect used to enhance that seeming arpeggio set against the almost ethereal, Enya style vocals instantly take listeners back to the 1980s. This is especially noticeable in the song’s chorus when the women sing, “When the world gets cold/Tell us to begin again/With me/When time passes by/I say to begin again/Your strange design.” The harmony between the women set against that subdued musical backdrop creates so much imagery and emotion in one‘s own mind. Taking it all into account, it becomes one more of the more interesting moments of this record.

Both ‘Innocence’ and ‘Strange Designs’ make for some of the most interesting of this album’s songs. The most interesting and highest of moments from this record however comes late in the record in the form of the much heavier and more intense, ‘Nuthin Without Your Love.’ Musically speaking, this song brings listeners back to the 21st Century with its heavy keyboard line and solid, driving bass line. The song clocks in at nearly four and a half minutes. But the song possesses such energy that it won’t even feel as long as it is. The simple, redundant chorus line of “Nothing without your love” plays a role into that feeling, too. Grey and Hailey opted here for the simplest of choruses, which when set against that catchy musical backing, makes the song much more accessible to listeners. It is certain to be one of the favorites among Uh Huh Her’s fans.

‘Nuthin’ Without Your Love’ is the highest and most interesting of points on this album in the eyes of this critic. ‘Innocence’ and ‘Strange Design’ also are worth their own discussion and listen. As worth nothing as these songs are, there are seven other pieces from which audiences will find their own favorites. And audiences in North Carolina will get to hear the rest of those songs when Uh Huh Her performs in Chapel Hill tonight. Uh Huh Her is scheduled to perform at Local 506 tonight in Chapel Hill. A performance at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte is also scheduled for tomorrow night. Audiences can purchase tickets to both performances online through the official Uh Huh Her website at http://www.uhhuhher.com/tour. Audiences can get a complete listing of the duo’s tour schedule online through its tour page. All the latest information on Uh Huh Her is available online now at http://www.uhhuhher.com, http://www.facebook.com/uhhuhher, http://twitter.com/uhhuhhermusic, and http://www.myspace.com/uhhuhhermusic. 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.

Reel Big Fish Announce New Summer Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Rock Ridge Music

Courtesy: Rock Ridge Music

Veteran ska band Reel Big Fish has announced that it will hit the road this summer.

Reel Big Fish will tour this summer in support of its latest release Candy Coated Fury. The band—Aaron Barrett (vocals/guitar), Billy Kottage (trombone), John Christianson (trumpet), Ryland Steen (drums), Derek Gibbs (bass), Matt Appleton (saxophone/vocals)– will kick off its tour Thursday, June 5th in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. Also along for the ride on the band’s tour will be the New Jersey-based band Survay Says!

Along with its primary tour dates, Reel Big Fish has been announced as one of the bands to perform at this year’s Amnesia Rockfest in Quebec. Also on the bill for the festival are: Blink 182, Weezer, Alice in Chains and more. The band’s latest schedule of tour dates is listed below. More dates will be announced at later dates.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Summer Tour with Survay Says! More Dates WILL be added SOON!

6/5/14: Oklahoma City, OK – Bricktown Music Hall

6/9/14: Sioux Falls, SD – The District

6/10/14: Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights

6/11/14: Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose

6/12/14: Kalamazoo, MI – District Square

6/13/14: Lansing, MI – The Loft

6/14/14: Toronto, ON – Opera House

6/15/14: London, ON – London Music Hall

6/21/14: Montebello, QC – Montebello Marina: Amnesia Rockfest

http://www.amnesiarockfest.com/

6/22/14: Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall

6/23/14: Northampton, MA – Pearl Street

6/26/14: Little Rock, AR – Juanita’s

6/27/14; Dallas, TX – Trees

6/29/14: Houston, TX – House of Blues Houston

————————————————————–

July 6th – Sonisphere – Knebworth Park Stevenage, UK

July 9th – Wedgewood Rooms – Portsmouth, UK

July 10th – Guildhall – Gloucester, UK

July 11th – Boileroom – Guildford, UK

July 12th – Princess Pavilion – Falmouth, UK

July 13th – Nass Festival – Shepton Mallet – Somerset, UK

July 14th – Komedia – Bath, UK

July 19th – Overdrive Encore – Kapfenberg, Austria

July 26th – Greenville Festival – Berlin, Germany

July 31st – Brooklyn Bowl – London, UK

—————————————————————

August 1st – Y-Not Festival – Matlock, Derbyshire, UK

August 2nd – Academy – Liverpool, UK

August 3rd – Kendal Calling – Lowther Deer Park, Lake District, UK

August 7th – Punk Rock Holiday Festival – Tolmin Slovenia

August 8th – Open Flair Festival – Seebuhne, Germany

August 10th – Boardmasters Festival – Newquay, Cornwall, UK

August 13th – Nass Festival – Shepton Mallet – Somerset,UK

August 15th – Open Air Gampel – Gampel, Switzerland

August 16th – Hevy Fest – Port Lympne, Kent, UK

August 17th – Merthyr Rock 2014 – Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, UK

Audiences can keep up with the latest tour schedule updates, news and more from Reel Big Fish online at http://www.facebook.com/ReelBigFish, http://www.Reel-Big-Fish, http://twitter.com/reelbigfish and http://www.Myspace.com/reelbigfish. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Indie Pop/R&B Artist Chay Releases New Single

Courtesy:  Fresh Tracks Marketing

Courtesy: Fresh Tracks Marketing

Indie pop/R&B artist Chay recently released his new single, ‘Eternity’ to the masses.

‘Eternity’ comes from Chay’s upcoming sophomore album El Abrazo, which is due out this Fall. Audiences can check out the song online now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QeRp2Qf9Bo.  Chay wrote and co-wrote the lyrics for no fewer than twelve of the songs on his new album. He also sang both lead and background vocals and wrote the vocal arrangements for each of the album’s songs.

Audiences will be able to hear in Chay’s new album influences from major-name artists such as Patti LaBelle, Donnie Hathaway, Enrique Iglesias, Az, Tiwsta, Arcangel, and even Lil Kim. The album was produced by Rio Summers and others.

While audiences wait for the release of El Abrazo, they can download ‘Eternity’ now online via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/gw/album/eternity-single/id828061785. From there, audiences can get more information on Chay online at http://www.facebook.com/chay.is.life. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ruining Lives Is Prong’s Best Album Yet

Courtesy:  Steamhammer/SPV Records

Courtesy: Steamhammer/SPV Records

This is our best album yet. THIS is our best album yet. Who hasn’t heard these words uttered time and again by any number of artists, groups and bands? That phrase is tossed around far too much today. It seems like every artist, band and group feels their latest album is their best album yet. Yet it seems like so many albums from said artists, groups, and bands sound like their previous releases. However, in the case of Ruining Lives, the latest album from Prong, that line is more than proper. Prong founding member Tommy Victor has worked hard to get his band to where it is today, all the while staying just under the mainstream radar. Ruining Lives could potentially be the album that finally breaks Prong through that barrier. One of the reasons for this could be that Victor manned the boards himself on this album and invited Steve Evetts (Skinlab, Sepultura, The Dillinger Escape Plan) to lend his talents, too. The end result of their work is an album the more than deserves to be on any metal purist’s list of the year’s top ten best new hard rock and metal albums by year’s end.

Ruining Lives is an album that more than deserves to be called the best album by far from Prong. The main reason for that is that long-time fans will be able to pick out elements of so many of Prong’s previous records throughout the course of its eleven total tracks. Right from the album’s outset, long-time fans will be transported back to 1994 and Prong’s hit album Rude Awakening. The driving guitar line has obvious elements from that album. But there is also an obvious growth from that point, too. Victor’s vocals sound as strong as ever as he sings, “Great power/Great rage/So deafening/Turning it over/It’s oppressing/More power/More gain/There’s more for me.” The point of Victor’s guitar chops are just as strong. That’s especially evident as he breaks into the song’s old school style guitar solo. The speed and accuracy of Victor’s playing and his vocal power show that he is at the top of his game here. Alexei Rodriguez’s drumming and Tony Campos’ bass work are just as solid. They add their own touch to this song, making it all the more pummeling.

The energy exuded by ‘Turnover’ is just the beginning for Victor and his band mates on this album. That applies in every sense of the word. The trio barely gives listeners time to catch their breath before launching into the album’s second song ‘The Barriers.’ This speed/thrash metal style song is a full throttle song that is the purest of fodder for any mosh pit in a live setting. As with the album’s opener, Victor and company have never sounded better. This song makes Prong sound like a band reborn and Victor specifically a man reborn. Victor sings in this song, “This must be a dream/Can’t believe this is happening/This can’t be real/Now at their feet/Gonna have to kneel/Reach out for a remedy/Searching for transparency/Barriers of fear/All built up right through the years.” He sounds as strong as he did in his younger years. And this song is not the only one exhibiting this, either.

Fans of Prong’s older material will be just as impressed by the work of Victor and his current band mates on the likes of the album’s title track. Victor himself noted in an interview of this song that it has a feel and sound similar to that of Force Fed. The controlled chaos of Victor’s shredding combined with Campos’ full on low end and Rodriguez’s equally solid timekeeping will definitely make this song a favorite of both long-time fans and those that are less familiar with the band’s body of work. It serves as one more example of how much Victor has grown over the course of his career. Because of its link to Prong’s early days and its “cleaner” more focused sound, it shows just how much Prong has yet to offer. And with any luck, Tommy Victor and his current band mates will hear that too and release even more Prong albums in the years to come.

Ruining Lives will be available April 28th via Steamhammer/SPV Records. The band is currently in the midst of a European tour in support of the album. Its current schedule keeps it overseas through August. Audiences can find the band’s most current tour schedule online at http://www.facebook.com/prongmusic and http://prongmusic.com. Audiences can check out both website s to keep up with the latest updates from the band, too. And the album itself can be ordered via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Ruining-Lives-incl-bonus-poster/dp/B00INXSIG4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1397036396&sr=1-1&keywords=prong+ruining+lives. 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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Fozzy Announces New Tour, Single, Album, Book

Fozzy will return with a new album this Summer. In celebration, the band has announced that it will hit the road in support of its upcoming album this Spring and Summer beginning with a performance at the annual 98 Rockfest in Tampa, Florida. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

FOZZY – 2014 SPRING TOUR

98 ROCKFEST (with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, VOLBEAT, LACUNA COIL and more) 
APRIL
25: Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Times Forum

WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE (with AX7, THE CULT, VOLBEAT and more)
APRIL
26: Jacksonville, FL – Metropolitan Park

CAROLINA REBELLION (with A7X, ROB ZOMBIE, VOLBEAT, SEETHER and more)
MAY
03: Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Motor Speedway

MAY
05: Springfield, VA – Empire

06: Pittsburgh, PA – Altar *

07: Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club **

08: Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory *

09: Poughkeepsie, NY – The Loft at the Chance ***

10: Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino *

15: Arlington Heights, IL – Home Bar ****

16: Pontiac, IL – Freakster’s Roadhouse

* with BUCKCHERRY
** with REV THEORY, GEMINI SYNDROME & EYES SET TO KILL
*** with KYNG
**** with HEAVEN’S BASEMENT

ROCK ON THE RANGE (with A7X, SLAYER, CHEVELLE, FUEL and more) 
MAY
17: Columbus, OH – Columbus Crew Stadium

More dates to be announced soon…

 

Also in anticipation of the band’s new as-yet untitled album, Fozzy—Chris Jericho (vocals), Rich Ward (guitar), Billy Grey (guitar), Paul DiLeo (bass), and Frank Fontsere (drums)—will release ‘Lights Out’, the album’s lead single April 29th.

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Jericho discussed ‘Lights Out’ in a recent interview, noting that it “represents a brand new color in the FOZZY spectrum.” He went on to say of the song that it is “Dark, sexy, sleek, dirty, heavy and catchy as f*ck, this song turns a whole new page in hard rock history – it doesn’t matter if you dance to it in a club or mosh to it in a pit, ‘Lights Out’ will make you move!”

Along with the debut of the band’s new single and album, it has also been announced that Chris Jericho’s latest autobiography, The Best In The World: At What I Have No Idea will be released this fall. The sequel to his New York Times best sellers A Lion’s Tale and Undisputed, his latest book is scheduled to be released October 13th, 2014. It can be pre-ordered now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Best-World-What-Have-Idea/dp/1592407528/ref=la_B001JSHII4_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396335691&sr=1-1.

If all of this isn’t enough, fans also have Jericho’s podcast, “Talk is Jericho.” His podcast airs every Wednesday and Friday. Jericho interviews guests from across the entertainment world. Those that have already appeared on “Talk is Jericho” are: Howie Mondel (America’s Got Talent, Deal or No Deal, Bobby’s World), ghost hunter Jeff Belanger, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Ace Frehley (KISS), and M.Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold). “Talk is Jericho” has already reached the top spot in seven nations around the world and is one of PodcastOne Network’s leading programs. Audiences can listen to his show and download episodes at http://podcastone.com/Talk-Is-Jericho.

Fans can follow the latest developments on Fozzy’s upcoming record, its tour, and more online at http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock, http://www.fozzyrock.com, http://myspace.com/fozzytour, and https://twitter.com/FOZZYROCK. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Excision To Perform At Charlotte, NC’s Fillmore This Saturday

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

Canadian-based dubstep artist Excision is coming to North Carolina as part of his current tour.

Excision will perform this Saturday, March 8th at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He will be supported by French drum and bass duo Dirtyphonics and fellow Canadian Ill Gates.  Excision has released a series of singles in conjunction with his current tour, including the songs ‘Get Stupid’, ‘Rock You.’  ‘Get Stupid’ is a collaboration with Louisville, KY-based producer Space Lanes.  It is available now online at Destriod Music.  ‘Rock You’ is an update of Queen’s classic hit, ‘We Will Rock You.’

Excision’s current tour marks the return of his immense twenty-eight foot wide, fifteen-foot tall video and lighting wall called “The Executioner.”  The video wall was originally built for Excision’s 3D video mapped visual sequences.  This time out, “The Executioner” has brand new 3D visual animations that will run across its four hundred and twenty square feet of space.  Audiences can see just how massive “The Executioner” really is when they see Excision live this Saturday in Charlotte.  Tickets are available online now at http://www.flavorus.com/excision.  Audiences can check out a trailer for Excision’s tour is available online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_Y3UW4V0t4.

More information on Excision is available online at http://www.excision.ca, http://www.facebook.com/Excision, http://twitter.com/excision and http://www.myspace.com/excision.  Fans can hear more of Excision’s music online via Soundcloud and YouTube at http://www.soundcloud.com/excision and http://www.youtube.com/excisionofficial.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

You Me At Six Set To Make Its U.S. Debut

Courtesy:  Fresh Tracks Marketing

Courtesy: Fresh Tracks Marketing

You Me at Six is set to make its U.S. debut this year with the American release of its latest album, Cavalier Youth.  The UK based band released its latest album only a few weeks ago on January 26th.  And now it will be able to release the album domestically thanks to a new deal with U.S. label, Prospect Records.

Prospect Records head Jeremy Summers discussed the band’s signing in an interview.  He discussed his pleasure at getting the band signed and the outlook for the band’s future here in the United States.  “We’re pumped to have You Me At Six join our Prospect Park family,” he said.  “They’ve built an intense connection with their US fans by being on the ground here, recording the album here, and selling out just about every rock club in the country.  There are a lot of rock music fans in here that have never heard of You Me At Six, and together, we’ll change that this year.”

Along with the domestic release of its new album, the band has already released two singles from that album.  Those singles are the songs ‘Lived a Lie’ and ‘Fresh Start Fever.’  The videos for the songs are available to watch now on YouTube.  Audiences can check them out now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxldtR106Sg&feature=youtu.be and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tYucGxToC4&feature=youtu.be.  Audiences can also check out a special behind-the-scenes featurette outlining the creation of the video for ‘Fresh Start Fever’ online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CMVs3OuRAw&feature=youtu.be.

Audiences can order Cavalier Youth now online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Cavalier-Youth-You-Me-Six/dp/B00GVBNI1A/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1389380517&sr=1-1&keywords=you+me+at+six&tag=smarturl-20.  More information on You Me At Six is available online at http://www.facebook.com/youmeatsix, http://www.youmeatsix.co.uk, http://twitter.com/youmeatsix, and http://www.myspace.com/youmeatsix.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Power Of Three Has Potential Staying “Power”

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

2014 is only a week or so old.  Despite the infancy of the year, things are already picking up within the music industry.  If the many lists of the year’s most anticipated albums are any indication, there is a lot to look forward to this year.  That’s especially the case in the world of rock and metal.  Albums from Slipknot, Tool, Earth Crisis, Corrosion of Conformity, Foo Fighters, Mastadon, Black Label Society, and so many others are already making purist rockers and metal heads the world over excited about the months to come.  Now, yet another performer has added his name that already extensive list of bands and artists whose albums are highly anticipated this year.  The performer in question is Monte Pittman.  Pittman will release his new album The Power of Three.

The Power of Three is quite the interesting listen for those that might be unfamiliar with his body of work.  While Pittman has had the honor of recording and touring with veteran New York based metal band Prong, he is most well-known for his work with none other than Madonna and former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert.  He has also recorded with former Spice Girl Melanie C. on her 2003 album Reason.  Considering that he has spent more time recording and touring with pop artists, Pittman’s new record, which will be released via Metal Blade Records on January 21st, will shock audiences.  That’s because it is anything but a pop record.  Rather, he and his band mates—Kane Richotte (drums) and Max Whipple (bass)—have crafted a ten-track record that is an early contender for a slot on this critic’s list of the year’s best hard rock records.  The album’s second song, ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ is a pummeling song that hints at influences from the likes of thrash pioneers Pantera.  This is the case at least in terms of the song’s musical side.  Pittman’s guitar work, alongside Kane Richotte’s solid drumming, make this an excellent first impression from Pittman and company.  Pittman shreds with the best of them.  And his vocal style may even lead some to compare it to that of Fireball Ministry front man James A. Rota III.  Whipple adds just enough low-end to bring everything together in this song.

Just as interesting to take in on this record is the album’s opener and lead single, ‘A Dark Horse.’  What makes the song so interesting is that there almost seems to be an old school Black Sabbath influence mixed into the song’s more prominent modern metal sound throughout its bridge and verses.  One wouldn’t think the two sounds would gel.  Low and behold, they work quite well together.  As a matter of fact, there’s no doubt that Pittman and company will have listeners putting their horns high with pride.  Yet again, all three members of the band work together here to make a song that will leave listeners breathless by the end of its near five-and-a-half-minute run time. And as with the album’s other songs, the production is just as solid as the music itself.  Not one member of the three-man organization overpowers the other at any one point throughout the song.

For all of the heavier material that comprises this record’s body, Pittman also proves that he can hold back even if only a little bit.  That’s evident in the almost Alice in Chains style ‘Everything’s Undone.’  Even more intriguing about the song is that the setup in the song’s opening moments may even conjure thoughts of Aerosmith’s ‘Back in The Saddle Again.’  It’s only momentary.  But it’s there.  On its lyrical side, it comes across as being rooted in the standard relationship issues that make up so many songs.  He sings, “Driving faster/getting closer/But I feel farther from you/Here we go again/Who’s to blame/Am I gonna get closure from you/Now you’re gone/Is there something I’ve done wrong…Now everything’s undone.”  It’s pretty obvious that Pittman is delving into a personal realm here.  The catch is that unlike so many songs that are rooted in relationship issues, this one takes that lesser travelled road, opting for a less “oh, woe is me” vibe and more for something with energy about it.  This is the case even in the song’s chorus. The song as a whole is just one more that makes this upcoming album well worth the listen and a definite early contender for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock/metal albums.  Fans will get to hear even more music from Pittman and his band mates when they perform February 22nd at Los Angeles’ famed Whisky A Go Go.  Tickets for that show can be purchased via Pittman’s official website, http://montepittman.com. Fans can keep up with the latest addition to Pittman’s tour schedule and all of his latest news online at http://montepittman.com, http://www.facebook.com/MontePittman, http://www.myspace.com/montepittman, and http://twitter.com/montepittman.  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.