Saliva’s New LP Is One Of 2014’s Top Ten Best New Rock Records

Courtesy: Rum Bum Records

Courtesy: Rum Bum Records

Tennessee based hard rock band has been through a lot in recent years. The band parted ways with now former front man Josey Scott in 2011 after the release of what would become its last album on Island Records, Under Your Skin. Scott allegedly left the band in order to follow a career as a Christian musician. He was subsequently replaced by new front man Bobby Amaru in 2012. The band’s first new album with Amaru at the helm, In It To Win It (Rum Bum Records) stayed in print for only a short time. In its place, Saliva will release its ninth full length album—Rise Up–later this month, which boasts many of the songs from In It To Win It. Considering this and everything that Saliva has been through since 2011, the album’s title and songs are quite fitting. Together, they make what is one of the best new rock albums of 2014.

Saliva opens its new album in proper fashion with the album’s title track. The anthemic song presents a carpe diem message of sorts through its lyrical side. This is evident as Amaru sings in the song’s chorus, “Rise up/Come face to face/Rise Up/Let’s make a change/Tomorrow could be the end/Rise up/You’d better take a shot/Rise up/When it’s all you got/Tomorrow could be the end/Rise up!” The song’s second verse is just as convincing in presenting the song’s message as Amaru sings, Now when I go back to yesterday/So close/But still/I’m so far away/You know/We all gotta learn from our mistakes/I can’t die young/I won’t fade away/It’s time we choose a side/Some things are worth the fight/It’s time to set it off.” The message here is clear. Amaru and company seem to be responding to the adversity that the band had faced up to the time that Amaru joined its ranks. The irony is that if this is indeed the case, this song could still so easily apply to so many situations for any listener. That being the case, its lyrics, and the fire in its musical accompaniment makes this song the perfect opener and re-introduction for the band on this record.

‘Rise Up’ is the perfect opener for Saliva’s return. It’s not the only positive addition to the band’s album, either. Just as powerful, is the band’s defiant and equally anthemic song ‘Army.’ It’s songs such as this that have helped so many people get through some tough times. Amaru sings in this song, “Runnin’ your lip/Got a grin on your face/Boy, you better quit/’Fore I give you a taste/Come on/Come on/Say I’m going down/With my crown in the mud/But you’re just another boy/And you can’t back it up/Come on!” Everybody has dealt with someone such as the subject presented in this song in their life. Anyone that hasn’t is very lucky. It’s thanks to songs such as this one that a person is able to deal with said individuals without either getting expelled, fired, or sent to jail. The collective chants behind Amaru as he sings later in the song, “You and what army’s gonna take my throne/Break my bones/steal my soul/Ain’t no army gonna climb these walls/Ten feet tall/I won’t fall” followed by the song’s wailing guitar are certain to get any listener’s adrenaline flowing. All assembled, this song proves once more just how serious Saliva’s members are about what they do. It’s one more example proving that Saliva is still alive and kicking.

Rise Up boasts more than its share of heavy, fist-pumping pieces that are certain to be fan favorites even if they aren’t used as radio singles. There are also some more reserved songs throughout the course of this album’s twelve total tracks. Simply put, this album’s songs boast quite the musical and lyrical range. In between the extreme energy and the more subdued songs that fill out this album, there is one that stands out more than any other. It stands out because while it is a high energy piece, its proud defiance is different from anything else on this record. The song in question is ‘Redneck Freakshow.’ It’s another proverbial musical middle finger in which Amaru and company present a Southern Pride of sorts. As a matter of fact, Amaru and company even make mention of the middle finger in the song’s chorus. Amaru sings in the song’s chorus, “It’s the live wild lifestyle/In our face/It might be crazy/But it keeps us sane/White trash/Cold beer/The party never stops here/That’s how we roll in the redneck freakshow/Throw down/get high/middle finger to the sky/That’s how it goes in the redneck freakshow!” Every one of Saliva’s fans are certain to sing along to this chorus and the rest of the song whether they be in their car, apartment, home or even at a live Saliva show. If this song doesn’t become a radio single for Saliva, it would be quite the surprise. For that matter, if any of the songs on Rise Up don’t become radio singles, it would be a surprise. There is something positive to say about every track on this record. And fans will find that out for themselves when the album hits store shelves Tuesday, April 26th.

Saliva is currently touring in support of Rise Up. The band is in Iowa this weekend. It will hit the stage at L.A.’s famed Whiskey A Go Go Wednesday, April 16th. Fans can get the band’s most up-to-date tour schedule and keep up with all the latest news from the band now online at http://www.facebook.com/Saliva and http://www.saliva.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.

Ford Is As Ferocious As Ever On Her New Live Recording

Courtesy:  SPV/Steamhammer Records

Courtesy: SPV/Steamhammer Records

Lita Ford’s new live recording, The Bitch Is Back, is a good introduction to the veteran rocker’s music.  Ford, who started her career decades ago as a member of the famed Runaways, proves with this latest live release that she still has plenty left to offer her audiences.  From the show’s set list to the audio mix to her general presence, there is much to like about this new live recording.  All things considered, Ford should have titled this recording, The Bitch Is Here instead of its given title.  Regardless, it proves in the end to be one of the year’s top live CDs.

The set list chosen for Ford’s 2013 show at California’s famed Canyon Club is the first part of what makes The Bitch Is Back so enjoyable for audiences.  Most of the songs chosen for this show come from her 2012 album, Livin’ Like a Runaway.  However, there are some older tracks included in the set list presented on this recording.  One of the best of the songs included in this recording is ‘Can’t Catch Me.’ She explains to the audience in attendance that the song was spawned after a chance meeting at the Rainbow Room.  Who would have ever thought that Lita Ford and Lemmy Kilmister would collaborate?  Regardless, the result is a fun, high octane piece that bears all the trademarks of classic Motorhead.  It’s little tidbits such as this that Ford shares through her set that makes this recording even more fun.  But that will be discussed later.  Ford’s collaboration with Lemmy Kilmister is just one of the high points that fans will take away from The Bitch is Back.  She also includes ‘Hate’, which is just one of the songs that she pulled from Livin’ Like a Runaway.  The song’s lyrical side is a powerful social commentary about society’s seemingly growing obsession with violence and hate.  It’s not such a stretch.  One need just look at the content of today’s TV shows and movies and one will agree that Ford is right on the mark here.  Her driving guitar riffs expertly compliment the song’s lyrics, making it one more high point of the show.  There is so much more that could be discussed concerning the show’s set list.  Allegedly, there were even a number of songs from the show not included in this recording.  If that is indeed the case, then maybe fans will get the remainder of those songs in a future live release.  To that extent, one could argue that by not including all of the songs from her show, Ford has left fans wanting more in the best possible way.  Again, that just makes this recording all the more worth hearing.

The set list included in this recording is the center of what makes it so enjoyable.  However, it isn’t the only part of what makes it so enjoyable.  The recording and mastering work done by Bill Gall and Fernando Cavasos respectively makes the record all the more worth the listen.  Indoor venues always present their own set of challenges when recording live performances.  This is the case regardless of whether one is recording a pop star, rock band, rapper, or some other act.  So it goes without saying that Gall and Cavasos did an impressive job in making sure that Ford’s fans were presented with the best product possible.

The final audio mix presented in The Bitch is Back works in tandem with the recording’s set list to make it a record that is a good introduction to first time fans.  The final product is just as good for those fans that are more knowledgeable of Ford’s body of work.   For everything already noted, there is still one more piece to this recording that can’t be ignored.  That piece is Ford’s own performance.  As with the set list, so much could be noted.  There just isn’t enough space or time for it all.  While this recording is only the concert’s audio portion, one can tell simply by listening, that even after so many decades, Ford has not lost a single bit of steam.  As a matter of fact, the level of energy that she exhibits throughout the performance echoes the energy and stage presence of her fellow veteran rockers in their heyday.  That stage presence is the final proverbial nail for this recording.  Alongside the expert audio mix and equally impressive set list, it makes this record that much more of a must hear for any Lita Ford fan old and new alike.  It is available now in stores and online.  After fans pick up her new live release, they can also make plans to see her live once she hits the road again in the new year.  She is currently taking some much needed rest and relaxation in order to get recharged before hitting the road again.  She is currently slated to kick off 2014 with a live performance on January 9th at the world famous Whiskey A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.  That show will be followed by performances in Nevada and more dates in California.  Fans can get the latest tour updates, news and more from Lita Ford online at http://www.facebook.com/litaofficial and http://www.LitaFordOnline.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.

Music Festival to celebrate The Doors

The annual Sunset Strip Music Festival will celebrate the music of The Doors at this year’s festival.  The weekend long festival will run from Thursday, August 16th to Sunday, August 18th.  It will be held at the world famous Sunset Strip. 

The whole thing will kick off with a performance by an all-star band that will honor the Doors August 16th.  The festival will close on Sunday, August 18th with an all day Street Fest, headlined by none other than Marilyn Manson.  Also on hand to peform will be Steve Aoki, Bad Religion, The Offspring, Black Label Society, De La Soul, and lots more.

The Whisky A Go-Go will join fellow legendary music clubs, The Roxy Theatre and Key Club in hosting full ineups of performances from over fifty bands during the day.  Tickets for the event are available now.  They can be purchased online at http://Ticketweb.com/SSMF.  Anyone looking to travel to the festival by air can also get a discount on plane tickets to Los Angeles on Virgin America by going to http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/booking/ssmf.html?cid=PRO_338.  The flights must be booked for days between August 13th and 21st to obtain the discount.

A portion of ticket sales for this year’s festival will go to benefit the Impact Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in pasdena, California.  The center has been in operation since 1969.  For more information on the Impact Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, go online to http://www.impacthouse.com.  More information on the Sunset Strip Music Festival is available online at http://www.sunsetstripmusicfestival.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sunsetstripmusicfestival and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/SSMF.  

To keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest entertainment news at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.