Sevendust Announces Details For New Album, Tour

Courtesy:  ABC Promotions

Courtesy: ABC Promotions

The long wait for Sevendust’s new album is almost over.  The band—Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Vince Hornsby (bass), Clint Lowery (guitar/vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), and John Connolly (guitar/vocals)—has announced that it will release its fan-funded acoustic album Time Travelers & Bonfires will be released nationwide in April.  The upcoming all-acoustic compilation will feature a collection of new songs mixed in with re-worked versions of songs such as: ‘Black’, ‘Gone’, ‘Denial’, ‘Karma’, ‘Trust’ and ‘Crucified’ just to name a handful of songs.  Time Travelers& Bonfires isn’t the first time that Sevendust’s members have delved into the acoustic side of their songs.  The band released the highly acclaimed live acoustic recording Southside Double-wide in 2004.  One writer with All Music Guide wrote of that recording, “Fans should invest readily in Southside Double-Wide…Sevendust’s famously confrontational sound smolders, and damn it if their sensitive side isn’t just as fiery.” The complete listing for Time Travelers & Bonfires is available below.

Time Travelers & Bonfires Track Listing

1. Come Down

2. Under It All

3. The Wait

4. Upbeat Sugar

5. One Life

6. Bonfire

7. Gone

8. Denial

9. Trust

10. Crucified

11. Karma

12. Black

In conjunction with the album’s release, the band has also announced a supporting tour beginning April 1st in its hometown of Atlanta, GA.  The band’s “An Acoustic Evening with Sevendust” tour spans twenty-eight dates.  The current tour schedule sees the band making its way from the south to the West Coast (including the Pacific Northwest) before swinging back through the nation’s heartland and back around to the Northeast.  The most current tour schedule is listed below.

AN ACOUSTIC EVENING WITH SEVENDUST TOUR

DATE               CITY                             VENUE

Tue 4/1             Athens, GA                   Georgia Theatre

Wed 4/2            Destin, FL                     Club LA

Fri 4/4               Houston, TX                   Scout Bar

Sat 4/5              Dallas, TX                      Trees

Sun 4/6             Austin, TX                     Emo’s

Tue 4/8             Tempe, AZ                    Marquee

Thu 4/10            El Cajon, CA                 Sycuan Casino

Fri 4/11             Los Angeles, CA            House Of Blues

Sat 4/12            Las Vegas, NV              Vinyl at Hard Rock

Sun 4/13           Reno, NV                      Knitting Factory

Wed 4/16          Sacramento, CA            Ace Of Spades

Fri 4/18             Seattle, WA                  El Corazon

Sat 4/19            Portland, OR                 Hawthorne Theatre

Sun 4/20           Boise, ID                       Knitting Factory

Mon 4/21           Salt Lake City, UT          The Complex

Tue 4/22            Denver, CO                    Gothic Theatre

Fri 4/25             Joliet, IL                        Mojoes

Sat 4/26            Madison, WI                  Orpheum

Mon 4/28           Detroit, MI                     Royal Oak Music Theatre

Tue 4/29            Cincinnati, OH               Bogart’s

Wed 4/30          Louisville, KY                 Mercury Ballroom

Fri 5/2               Baltimore, MD               Sound Stage

Sat 5/3              Washington, DC            The Howard Theatre

Sun 5/4             New York, NY                Highline Ballroom

Tue 5/6             Hartford, CT                   Webster Theatre

Thu 5/8             Patchogue, NY              Emporium

Fri 5/9               Portland, ME                 Asylum

Sat 5/10            Philadelphia, PA            Electric Factory

Before the band hits the road this Spring, it will be part of the annual ShipRocked cruise.  It will be in good company when the cruise leaves port.  Also scheduled to perform on the cruise are: Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace, In This Moment, Tremonti, Black Stone Cherry, and a slew of others.  The cruise will depart from the Port of Miami this Sunday, January 26th and will return next Thursday, January 30th.  While at sea, the cruise will take audiences to Great Stirrup Cay, a private island in the Bahamas. A small number of staterooms for this year’s cruise is still available.  Vacationers and audiences get info on that limited space online at the official ShipRocked website, http://www.ShipRocked.com.

More information on Sevendust’s upcoming tour, new album, and more is available online at http://www.sevendust.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevendust/25493613958, and http://twitter.com/sevendust.  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.

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.

Pop Evil Releases New Single, Video

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

The men of Pop Evil have released a new single from the band’s new album, Onyx.  And along with the new song, a video for the song has made its debut, too.  ‘Deal with the Devil’ is the band’s sing single.  This high energy song tackles the subject of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.  And the video pulls no punches in taking on the issue, either.  Keeping this in mind, viewer discretion is advised at least in the opening moments of video that accompanies the song.  That is because it shows a young woman cooking heroin and what is meant to look like shooting up.

The new video can be viewed via Clear Channel’s iHeart Radio platform at http://news.iheart.com/player/?mid=23600651.  ‘Deal with the Devil’ is the second in a trilogy of works from the band’s new album.  It was directed by Johan Carlen.  The videos in question work in reverse of a standard trilogy, with the first of the videos marking the end of the sequence.  This new video is the middle of the trilogy, while the next video—while the last of the trilogy—would show the story’s beginning.

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Onyx is the third full length studio release from Pop Evil.  The album was released earlier this year, and is the highest selling record that the band has released in its first week of release to date.  The album’s first single, ‘Trenches’ went straight to #1 on the Active Rock and Mainstream Rock Charts and stayed in that position for three weeks straight.  The band is currently touring in support of its new album.  It will be at the Rock Jam on Friday, August 23rd in Grand Junction, Colorado alongside the likes of Sevendust, Fuel, and Three Days Grace.  Next up for the band is a stop in Farmington, New Mexico this Sunday.  The latest schedule of Pop Evil’s tour dates is available online at http://www.facebook.com/popevil and http://popevil.com/home.  Fans can also keep up with the band via Twitter at http://twitter.com/popevil, and on Instagram at http://instagram.com/popevilmusic.

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.

KingShifter’s Debut LP Takes The Top Spot As 2013′s Top New Hard Rock Record

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment/Pavement Music

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment/Pavement Music

2013 has been a good year for hard rock and metal.  New releases from the likes of Holy Grail, Black Sabbath, and Sevendust have made this a great year for the metal masses the world over.  Now with the release of its debut full length LP via Pavement Entertainment, Wichita, Kansas based KingShifter has just made the hard rock landscape that much more interesting.

KingShifter’s debut full length release, 26 Tons is an aptly titled record.  This eleven-track record is a heavy-hitting wrecking ball of hard rock.  From start to finish the album’s energy lets up only once.  That one time is in the near minute and a half acoustic piece, ‘.00125 lbs. (The Year of the Rat).  Other than that single moment, every other song on this record makes it one of the best debut records from a rock band (either mainstream or indie) in a very long time.  Its combination of hard hitting guitar licks, drums, and equally scathing lyrics make it a record that any purist metal head will appreciate.  And it all starts early on in the form of, ‘Revolution Generation.’  Front man Sprout sings about what’s happening to the country today.  From the epidemic of companies and doctors working together to sell their drugs, to the issue of school violence, Sprout runs the gamut.  Along the way he and his band mates wave a defiant musical flag declaring, “If we don’t do anything now/We’re soon to be doomed/We’ve got to stand strong/We shall not be moved/We are Americans/And we have proof/That we survived/The taxes, fiscal cliffs, and all of the wars/We’re here to tell you now/We won’t take it anymore!”  The song’s declaration of pride and self-empowerment is a call to arms and an anthem for a whole new generation.  And given the right support, could very well be the opening salvo in what breaks this band into the mainstream.

If ‘Revolution Generation’ isn’t enough example of what makes this a solid debut from KingShifter, then perhaps the equally hard rocking and defiant (yet far shorter) ‘STFU (& Die Already)’ will.  This punk styled piece comes in at just under two minutes long.  In that short time, this song hits just as hard as ‘Revolution Generation’ and any of the album’s other songs.  It is an intense song that goes after the news media—Sprout sings, “Television/I wanna burn it down”—and all of the negativity that clots television today.  In connection, he notes in no uncertain terms the effect that television has on people and his displeasure on the matter.

KingShifter’s debut record has plenty of social commentary and hard rock.  For all the commentary that it offers, there is some lighter material on this record, too.  Case in point, ‘Downin’ Booze – Raisin’ Hell.’  This song is a party song.  It’s an anthem for the blue collar workers across the country.  The influence from hard rock supergroup HellYeah is quite obvious both lyrically and musically in this song.  This is clear in the song’s second verse as Sprout sings, “I’ve been inside/Of this dirty cage/Locked inside for five whole days/I’ve gotta ease my mind/And leave that bulls*** behind/This ******’s gonna go on a rage!”  With such high energy lyrics and equally high energy music, this song is more than certain to become just one of so many fan favorites and fan anthems both on KingShifter’s record and at its live shows. 

The songs noted here are just a few examples of what listeners can expect from Kingshifter’s upcoming debut record.  There is much more that audiences will appreciate throughout the album.  So much more could be written of 26 Tons.  But to do so would require more time and space than is available.  Simply put, given the chance by radio programmers and by Pavement Entertainment, 26 Tons could make Kingshifter one of the next big names in hard rock.  The album will be available in stores and online Tuesday, September 3rd.  Fans can hear just some of the band’s music now online at the band’s official Reverb Nation page, http://www.reverbnation.com/kingshifter.  There’s even a music video from the band on its page, too.  Audiences can also check out the band’s music on its official MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/kingshifter.  And to keep up with all of the latest news from the band, fans can follow the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KingShifterRock and on its official website, http://www.kingshifter.com

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.

Sevendust’s New LP One Of 2013′s Best Hard Rock Records

Courtesy:  asylum/7bros/ada

Courtesy: asylum/7bros/ada

Sevendust is one of the most respected and beloved bands in the world of both mainstream and hard rock.  That’s because this fan favorite band has proven itself time and again over the course of eight albums and nearly twenty years.  Now with its ninth full length record, the members of this Atlanta, GA based band have proven yet again why Sevendust has stood tall while so many other bands have fallen by the wayside.

Black Out The Sun is everything that a Sevendust fan could hope for.  It opens deceivingly with a short near ninety-second instrumental that harkens back to its previous album, Cold Day Memory before launching into a sound that echoes across the band’s catalogue of albums in ‘Faithless.’  It is a solid, hard rocking opus that as loud and heavy as it is, is actually quite the positive and uplifting piece.  Front man Lajon Witherspoon sings in this first full opening number, “The burning ends/You come around/So step back for the answer/Lift yourself up slowly/It’s taken everything/Don’t you throw it away/The burning ends at least for now/So I resist/You go on/Days are lost/Can’t change a thing/Life hangs on for all days/But no real place to go/But I forgive/Life hangs on.”  This is a song of personal perseverance through all of life’s most difficult situations.  The lyrics are anything but cryptic here.  They are saying, “Don’t throw away life.  Don’t give up.  Things get tough, but don’t give up.”  The song’s musical side is a fitting “companion” of sorts as it helps serve as a motivator of sorts.  The aggression of the music helps to illustrate the feelings of perseverance being expressed lyrically.  Together, they make for a fitting opener to this album, and equally fitting transition from the band’s most recent album.

‘Mountain’ offers a similar vibe.  It is another of this album’s high points.  It has that same high energy music.  When set next to the song’s equally defiant lyrics, it becomes a song that one could easily see becoming a fan favorite both on the album and in a live setting.  It would be easy to envision a thousand fists and more pumping in the air while the audience sings along to this song.  Lyrically, it’s even more defiant than ‘Faithless.’  Witherspoon sings in this song, “First on top of the mountain/Push back/Drop down/Broke you to pieces/I’m on top of the mountain/Save name/Save face/Keeps all of me away from you.”  While it comes across as being a more personal piece, this chorus alone makes no bones about it.  It is aimed at someone in particular.  And really, who out there hasn’t felt like that at one point or another.  Even this critic has felt something similar to this more than once.  That ability of listeners to so easily relate to the song’s lyrical side and enjoy its musical side is sure to make this song another favorite.

For all the high energy and aggression exuded through Black Out The Sun, the band actually does pull back some in the form of the song, ‘Got A Feeling.’  It comes across as a very introspective piece, lyrically speaking.  Witherspoon‘s gentility as he sings, “I gave a poor man a dime or two/He saved my soul with gratitude/And gave his life/Yes he did” is moving to say the least.  The semi-country/western vibe of the guitars and the piano’s dark tones really serve to add a whole extra depth to the song.  It’s one that is certain to grow on listeners more with each listen.  Of course it’s just one of many other pieces that Sevendust’s legions around the world will enjoy on what is some of the band’s best work to date.  As a matter of fact, the band’s members have collectively crafted in Black Out The Sun a record that has found a place on this critic’s list of the year’s Best New Hard Rock albums.  And now, three other lucky Sevendust fans can own this hard rocking record for free next week just by “Liking” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  Three lucky fans will win copies of Black Out The Sun when they finish lyrics from the band’s previous records.  One song lyric will be posted there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.  The first person to correctly finish the song lyric each day will pick up a copy of the album.  All three copies are signed by the entire band.

Those who don’t manage to pick up the band’s new album can still catch Sevendust live on the road as it tours in support of Black Out The Sun.  The band will be in Auget, IL tonight and then in Milwaukee, WI and Minneapolis, MN over the weekend.  Fans in North Carolina will also get to see the band when it makes a stop at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Fillmore Charlotte on April 23rd.  Even more tour dates are listed online on the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevendust/25493613958 and the band’s official website, http://www.sevendust.com.  Fans can order the new album online at http://bit.ly/BlackOutTheSun.

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.

Sevendust Announces Album Release, Tour Dates

Veteran hard rock band Sevendust is set to release its ninth full length studio album titled, Black Out The Sun.  The Atlanta, GA based band has already released the album’s lead single, ‘Decay’ online at billboard.com.  The full album is currently scheduled to be released in stores and online Tuesday March 26th.  The single will start airing on radio stations across the country very soon.  The band has also allowed fans the chance to pre-order the new album and tickets to shows online.  Fans just have to go online to http://tixx1.artistarena.com/sevendust

 Ahead of the album’s release, the band—Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), Clint Lowery (guitars/vocals), Vince Hornsby (bass/vocals), and John Connolly (guitar/vocals)—will hit the road in support of the new LP.  The band will be joined by Lacuna Coil, the reformed Coal Chamber, and Candlelight Red (which is touring in support of its recently released Morgan Rose produced EP, Demons)  at various stops throughout its tour.  The tour kicks off Saturday, February 2nd at Ziggy’s in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  The band will be performing alongside Lacuna Coil at this show, and those following through February 23rd.  Sevendust’s Eastern Carolina fan base will also get to see the band live as it will make a stop at Hooligan’s in Jacksonville, North Carolina Sunday, February 3rd.  Fans who don’t get to see the band in its first run through North Carolina will get on more chance later in April as the band is set to perform at the Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, April 23rd. As an added bonus, not only will fans in Charlotte get to see the band perform alongside Lacuna Coil, but they’ll also get to see both Coal Chamber and Candlelight Red at this show.

To get all the latest news from Sevendust on its new album and its tour and to check out the band’s music, fans can go online to http://www.sevendust.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevendust/25493613958, http://twitter.com/Sevendust, and http://www.youtube.com/user/officialsevendust.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, 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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ShipRocked Cruise’s Fourth Year Its Biggest Yet

The annual ShipRocked cruise has officially wrapped.  This year’s cruise was the biggest yet for the annual event.  It saw a total of nearly 2,500 people on board the MSC Poesia.  The cruise featured the likes of:  Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Korn, P.O.D., Sevendust, Geoff Tate, and a slew of other acts.  It was sponsored by General Suns, and was fueled by Monster Energy. 

The cruise’s record breaking attendance was just one high point for this year’s event.  Along with the band lineup and record breaking attendance, the cruise’s annual Cancer Sucks charity auction raised some $70,000 for cancer research.  The auction featured one-of-a-kind memorabilia from bands on both this year’s cruise and those bands who took part in past cruises. 

Plans are already in the works for next year’s ShipRocked cruise.  A pre-sale for returning guests will begin soon.  For all the latest on next year’s ShipRocked cruise and to sign up for the ShipRocked newsletter, audiences can go online to http://www.getshiprocked.com, http://www.facebook.com/GetShipRocked, or http://twitter.com/ShipRocked

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, 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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Pop Evil Release Video For New Single

Courtesy: EOne Music

The men of Pop Evil have officially released the video for the new single, ‘Purple.’  The single comes from the band’s sophomore full length effort, War of Angels.  The video culls footage of the band on tour against the song.  the combination really brings home the lyrical content, with front man Leigh Kakaty singing, “I’ve never been down this road before/As the days go by/I only miss you more/I thought one day/We would touch the sky/Never grow old/Never gonna die/I never realized/What you meant to me/Till I tried drowning out your memory/Like it’s not over/It only hurts when I’m sober.”  It’s a standard song of a lost love.  But the way that Kakaty sings these bittersweet lyrics set to the song’s video makes the song that much harder hitting.  Fans can check out the video now online at http://www.vevo.com/watch/pop-evil/purple/USKO11090220#/watch/pop-evil/purple/USKO11090220.  

The band recently finished up a successful stint on the Trespass America tour alongside Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage.  It is currently touring across Canada in support of label mate and legendary metallers in Black Label Society.  Pop Evil’s next tour of duty will be aboard the annual Shiprocked tour.  Five Finger Death Punch will be joining Pop evil again, as will P.O.D., Sevendust, and In This Moment.  The shiprocked tour runs from Tuesday, November 27th to Saturday, December 1st.  Full details on the Shiprocked tour are available online at http://www.getshiprocked.com/2012/

Pop Evil’s North Carolina fans will get their chance to see Pop Evil live as the band will be performing at Camp Lejeune—Onslow Beach on Wednesday, December 19th and at Ziggy’s in Winston Salem, North Carolina the following day.

Until the Shiprocked tour, fans can get all the latest news and more from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/popevil, http://twitter.com/popevilmusic, http://www.myspace.com/PopEvil, and http://www.youtube.com/popevilmusic

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, 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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rock Supergroup’s Debut LP Great For Fans Of Sevendust, Alter Bridge

Courtesy: ABC-PR

Sevendust guitarist John Connolly stumbled onto something quite interesting when he decided to join forces with fellow Sevendust member Vince Hornsby and Alter Bridge/Creed members Scott Phillips and Erock Friedman.  The hard rock supergroup’s debut album is a familiar mixture of sounds brought collectively from their own primary projects.  The pinpoint precise guitar work that Connolly honed throughout the years with Sevendust is evident throughout the course of this record.  And drummer Scott Phillip’s chops are just as sharp here as if he was playing with Creed or Alter Bridge. 

What is perhaps most intriguing about this record is not so much the fact that the album boasts quite the similarity to material from Sevendust, but that Connolly himself has proven to be quite the vocalist.  He actually has some very strong pipes throughout the entire work.  And the addition of Sevendust’s Lajon Witherspoon on ‘Bring You Back’ adds that much more flare to the song.  Connolly especially shows his vocal abilities on ‘12804.’  Whereas he showed his pipes could withstand the fiercest growls on other harder rocking songs, this ballad-esque tribute to legendary guitarist Dimebag Darrell shows that he really is the real deal in terms of vocal proficiency.  This slowdown is only momentary, of course, as the band instantly launches back into the more adrenaline laced sound in ‘The Crown.’  He shows that he’s just as talented as Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy both with his guitar work and his vocals on this song.  It’s just one more of the album’s many highlights. 

Another of the album’s real high points comes on its closer, ‘Breaking Me.’  After the musical onslaught of the album, this final piece will leave audiences breathless, but at the same time, feeling like they’ve experienced more than just an album.  Phillips’ pounding drums and the absolutely demolishing guitar work from Connolly is like something from Sevendust’s 2007 Album, ‘Alpha.’  On the other end, the album’s opener, ‘Hello’ sounds like it could have easily fit into Sevendust’s early albums.  The same applies to ‘Watch it Burn’ and the majority of this record.  Anyone that’s a fan of Sevendust, Creed and/or Alter Bridge will easily find something enjoyable of their own regardless of which track they try from this disc.  ‘Human’ is available in stores and online now.  Fans who want to check out the band’s music and all the latest from Projected can go online now to http://www.projectedband.com, http://www.facebook.com/ProjectedBand, http://twitter.com/projected1119, and http://www.youtube.com/projected1119.

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.

HEARTCAKEPARTY Releases Hard Hitting New LP in “Mock Heroic”

Courtesy: Indianola Records/Persistent Heart Media

Georgia is one of the biggest hotbeds of music in the country.  For years, some of the biggest names in the business have come from Georgia.  Among some of the biggest bands to come from Georgia are:  Collective Soul, R.E.M. The B-52’s, and Sevendust, just to name a handful.  Now, another Georgia based band is looking to add its name to the ranks of some of the state’s biggest bands.  That band is Summerville, Georgia’s HEARTCAKEPARTY.  This post-hardcore band recently released new album, “Mock Heroic” via Indianola Records.  This is a record for all the fans of bands the likes of All That Remains, Dillinger Escape Plan, Killswitch Engage, and As I Lay Dying.

The album opens with pummeling, “K.O.T.W.O.F.F.L.”  Front man Casey Smith unleashes his vocal fury with precision while his band mates—Shelby Short (bass), Blake Sprayberry (guitar), Jeremy Muse (guitar), and Chris Blankenship (drums)—provide the equally pounding backing that will have any listener moving.  ‘Fun is just F’n Without You’ sees the band lighten up somewhat, offering a more melodic sound with Smith opting to sing instead of his guttural screams.  The band wastes no time after this getting back to its musical brutality when it launches into ‘The Opposition.’ 

“Mock Heroic” continues in much the same fashion through the remainder of the album, with tracks such as ‘Sings of a Sinking Ship’ and ‘Your Friend’s a Killer’ serving as standout tracks.  Perhaps the most standout track on the entire album is the band’s cover of Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’ (to clean it up).  Whoever would have thought a hard rock/metal cover of a hip-hop /R&B song would work.  But somehow it does work.  And it makes for one more of the album’s high marks.

HEARTCAKEPARTY will be performing live tomorrow at The Seven Venue with Scream Out Loud in Douglasville, Georgia.  To get any more tour dates and news from HEARTCAKEPARTY, fans can go online to http://www.facebook.com/HEARTCAKEPARTY, http://www.myspace.com/HEARTCAKEPARTY, and http://twitter.com/TheRealHCP.

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