Another Bright New Day Coming For Dark New Day

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment, Inc.

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment, Inc.

Tuesday, February 19th will be a bright new day for fans of Dark New Day.  That’s because on that day, the band’s long in limbo sophomore album will finally see the “light of day” (ba-dump-bump-bump).  Get it?  Yeah, bad joke.  But in all seriousness, the long wait for this album will have been well worth it.  In comparison to the music on the band’s other pair of releases, this album definitely has its own sound.  Nearly every one of the songs on Hail Mary could be used as a radio single.  Though, it seems most well anchored by at least three songs in particular.  Those songs are: ‘Anywhere’, ‘Saddest Song’, and ‘Fiend.’  Though there are other powerhouse pieces in the likes of the album’s opener and closer, ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Give Me the World.’

Musically, the album opens in powerhouse fashion with ‘Goodbye.’  It’s rather fitting that the band opens the album with a song titled, ‘Goodbye.’  Sure, the song is centered on the standard relationship topic—front man Brett Hestla sings, “It feels so good when I say it/Goodbye to you”—but the musicality of the song makes it a great way for the band to say “hello” to its fans and the whole rock community once again.  There’s a definite influence from the band’s counterparts in Sevendust here.  Hestla’s screams will immediately conjure thoughts of the combination of Morgan Rose and Lajon Witherspoon when he really lets loose.  It has that same sort of vibe.  And obviously being that one of the members of Sevendust and his equally famous brother are also in DND, it’s no wonder that the guitar parts are so similar to that of Sevendust, too.  Drummer Will Hunt holds his own on the drums, too adding in the extra flairs and fills wherever and whenever needed.

Dark New Day couldn’t have picked a better way to say hello to listeners than with ‘Goodbye.’  Even as one song ends, the band keeps its audiences’ ears as it launches into another of the album’s hits in ‘Anywhere.’  The energy exploding from the band expertly helps to illustrate the song’s lyrical side.  Hestla sings of what seems to be the hope for love here as he sings, “If your mind is open/There’s so much we can do/I can almost see the stars aligning/Just say yeah/I’m gonna take you anywhere/I want to go/I’m gonna make you want me/So keep on going.”  This is obviously someone who knows what he wants, and he won’t stop until he gets it.  It comes across as someone who is determined to win over a certain someone.  That is of course just one person’s thoughts on this song.  It could easily be something totally opposite of that.  But that combination of optimistic lyrics and equally moving musical backing make this just one more of so many hits off of this long-awaited LP.

Dark New Day’s “new” LP offers plenty of material that its fan base will enjoy throughout the course of its eleven tracks.  As noted already there are at least two specifically early on in the record that will have no problem becoming fan favorites.  There is at least one more that fans will appreciate just as much for both its lyrical and musical sides.  That song is ‘Fiend.’  The album’s penultimate piece, it offers what would seem quite the positive, uplifting message of perseverance, lyrically.  Hestla wastes no time sending his message to listeners.  The pounding intro combination of drummer Will Hunt and the guitars set the tone for the song.  Hestla then comes in singing, “I’m taking/taking my chances/To get myself over/I can’t let/Constant disaster/Pull me under/I’ve waited for so long/How can I go wrong.” There’s no doubt left as the band launches into the second verse, with Hestla sings, “My will/And my resolution/Are not to be broken/I’m moving/Myself to a new place/Where truth can be spoken.”  The uplifting, positive lyrical and musical vibe of this song shows outright why it not only is a great song, but it is also one of the album’s best songs if not the best.  And regardless of the listener, odds are it will also become just one of many fan favorites both on the record and in a live setting.  Fans will get to hear this song and the album’s other instant hit tracks when the album is released to stores and online outlets Tuesday, February 19th.  While the band doesn’t have any shows lined up just yet, fans can get all the latest tour dates and more in the mean time when they’re announced on the band’s official Facebook and MySpace pages, http://www.facebook.com/theDakNewDay and http://www.myspace.com/darknewday

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online 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.

Hell or Highwater An Early Contender For 2013’s Best Rock Record List

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment, Inc.

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment, Inc.

The debut album from Orange County, California’s own Hell or Highwater is a solid slab of All-American made rock and roll.  The new project from Atreyu front man Brandon Saller boasts a sound that is obviously different from what Atreyu put out.  But it is still a good solid record that true hardcore fans will enjoy and appreciate.  It will be just as appreciated and enjoyed by fans of the likes of Black Stone Cherry and others of that ilk.  Saller and his band mates make quite the first impression with this debut in the album’s opener, ‘Gimme Love.’  The way this song is written, it comes across as a musical love letter to a woman.  Rather than being another one of those songs that goes on about the difficulties of life on the road, Saller sings that he knows it’s tough loving a musician.  But at the same time, the figure in the song has every intention of being with said love interest.  He makes this clear in the song’s opening verse singing, “It’s hard/Living loving a music man/I’m not a saint/And I make mistakes/But I’m just doing the best I can/These lonely days/Are coming to an end my dear/Future’s on fire/It’s burning brighter than ever before.  He goes on to sing his declaration of love for his woman even though he knows he’s not perfect, “Baby I swear this love is true/Darling I do this all for you.”  The poppy-up tempo music backing these heartfelt yet not too sappy lyrics make for a solid opening for the band’s first full length effort.  The enjoyment doesn’t end here.  From here, audiences are offered a whole baker’s dozen count of songs from which to choose their favorites.  Just one other example of what audiences have to look forward to in that mass of songs is ‘When The Morning Comes.’

‘When The Morning Comes’ succeeds for the same reason as the album’s opener.  Both musically and lyrically, it’s one of those uplifting songs that will leave any listener feeling good.  Saller sings of feeling emotions and thinking thoughts that we’ve all thought before, but despite all of it, having the strength to push on.  He sings that he’ll be better “when the morning comes” and to “forget yesterday/Today’s mine!”  It’s a not so metaphorical way of saying, “I’ll make it through the night.  No matter how bad things get, I’ve got my family and my friends and they give me strength.”  The song’s music helps to illustrate that positive vibe, too.  Its up-tempo guitar riffs and major chords combine with the optimistic lyrical side to make for a song that will easily become a fan favorite both on the album and on the road if it isn’t already a live favorite.  The band keeps that same positive vibe from here as it transitions into ‘Crash & Burn.’

‘Crash & Burn’ is just as impressive as ‘When The Morning Comes’ as it carries that same sense of knowing how tough life is but it’s not too tough to handle.  Saller makes that clear as he sings, “Live for the chase/Survive by the thrill/If you want me to take this step/I will/No longer afraid/No longer at bay/Longing to face my fears but still/A promise is made/To change who I am/No looking back/We’ll fight to the end/A promise in vain/Is a promise to break/Your life is only yours to make.  Again, there is that openly positive vibe that so much of today’s rock music needs, in place of the constant shoe-gazer, “oh poor me” mentality that is thrown out by so many bands.  Add in equally uplifting musical backing by the band and this song becomes just one more of so many highlights from this album.  It clocks in at just over three minutes long.  In that three minutes plus, it shows that it’s possible to be positive and still rock out.  And combined with the album’s other material it helps to make this album an early contender to be one of the year’s best general rock records.

Begin Again will be available in stores and online beginning February 5th.  As everybody counts down the days to the release of the band’s debut, the band is touring in support of it.  The band will be performing tonight, January 8th, in Mobile, Alabama.  It follows up tonight’s show with a pair of performance in Florida Thursday and Friday respectively.  There are even more dates planned after these shows.  To get a full listing of tour dates, fans can go online to the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/HellorHighwaterofficial .  Fans can also get the band’s tour dates, full album lyrics and even more on the band’s official website, http://www.HellorHighwaterofficial.com.  And for all the latest news from the band, fans can follow its members on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HellOrHighwater.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online 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.