The Guess Who Announces New LP Release, Tour Dates; Debut Lead Single’s Video

Courtesy: Cleopatra Records

Veteran rock band The Guess Who has a brand new album on the way.

The band announced this week that it will release its new album The Future IS What It Used To Be on September 14 via Cleopatra Records.  It will be made available on CD, digital and vinyl platforms, and in anticipation of its release, the band — currently made up of Garry Peterson (drums, vocals), D# (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Will E. (guitar, harp, vocals), Leonard Shaw (keyboards, flute, sax, vocals) and Rudy Sarzo (bass, vocals) — debuted the video on July 17 for the album’s lead single, ‘Playin’ on the Radio.’

The video places the band’s current lineup in what looks like a train yard of sorts as it performs the light, new single.  Directed by Nigel Dick, the video was shot in Las Vegas.  Dick explained in a recent interview that the video’s shoot in a train yard was from his own interests.

“I love what I do and I love trains and I love rock ‘n roll,” Dick said.  “So I was honored to be asked to shoot The Guess Who, and when they told me they were available for a day in Vegas and by chance I stumbled on this wonderful rail-yard full of old engines just up the road from the strip, I was in Heaven and up to my axles in dust!  It was a perfect day.”

Guitarist Will E. shared Dick’s enthusiasm for the video shoot.

“Having the privilege of working with the legendary Nigel Dick took me back to growing up in an era where music videos told a creative story that I always looked forward to seeing by my favorite artists,” Will E. said.  This track was no exception, adding a colorful, action packed sequence to a great story.”

Along with the debut of its new video, this lineup of The Guess Who launched a new tour in support of both its new single and album July 27 in Sarnia, ON.  The tour is currently scheduled to run through Dec. 11 in The Villages, Florida. After that, the band will take some time off to rest and recharge before performing another live date on March 9, 2019 in Waterbury, CT.

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Tour Dates:
Fri, Jul 27, 2018 Centennial Park Sarnia, ON
Sat, Jul 28, 2018 Medicine Hat Ex & Stampede   Medicine Hat, AB
Fri, Aug 24, 2018 Foellinger Theatre Ft. Wayne, IN
Sat, Aug 25, 2018 Lincoln Amphitheatre Lincoln City, IN
Fri, Aug 31, 2018 Oregon State Fair Salem, OR
Sat, Sep 1, 2018 Fort Randall Casino Lake Andes, SD
Sat, Sep 15, 2018 Twin River Casino Lincoln, RI
Sun, Sep 16, 2018 Music Hall of Williamsburg New York, NY
Sat, Sep 29, 2018 Helwig Winery Plymouth, CA
Sun, Sep 30, 2018 Yoshi’s Oakland, CA
Fri, Oct 5, 2018 The Golden Nugget  Las Vegas, NV
Sat, Oct 20, 2018 Robinson Grand Perf. Arts Center Clarksburg, WV
Sun, Nov 11, 2018 Magic City Casino Amphitheater Miami, FL
Fri Nov 23, 2018 Boomtown Casino Hotel Reno, NV
Fri, Nov 30, 2018 One World Theatre Austin, TX
Sat, Dec 1, 2018 Arlington Music Hall Arlington, TX
Tue, Dec 11, 2018 Savannah Center The Villages, FL
Sat, Mar 9, 2019 Palace Theatre Wataerbury, CT

The Future IS What It Used To Be can be pre-ordered now on CD, vinyl and iTunes.  ‘Playin’ on the Radio’ is streaming now via YouTube and Spotify.  More information on the band’s new single, album, tour and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.theguesswho.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theguesswho

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theguesswho

 

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Accept Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Veteran thrash metal outfit Accept has launched a new slate of live tour dates.

Dubbed the “Rise of Chaos Festivals 2018 Tour,” the tour launched July 26 and is scheduled to run through November 11.  The new series of “festival” shows are in support of the band’s most recent album, The Rise of Chaos (2017).  That record — which has spawned the singles ‘The Rise of Chaos,’ ‘Koolaid‘ and ‘Die By the Sword‘ — can be ordered both physically and digitally now.

While the current schedule only takes the band through November of this year, a number of European dates are currently being scheduled for Spring 2019.  That tour will include an orchestra to back up the band on the to be announced dates.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

ACCEPT live:

26.07.  H         Székesfehérvár – Fezen Festival
28.07.  A         Vienna – Stadthalle (w/ JUDAS PRIESTBATTLE BEAST)
 
28.09.  USA     Agoura Hills, CA – The Canyon
29.09.  USA     Pasadena, CA – The Rose
30.09.  USA     Santa Clarita, CA – The Canyon
 
06.10.  MEX    Monterrey – Tecate México Metal Fest
10.10.  BR       Belém – Botequim
12.10.  BR       Fortaleza – Complexo Armazém (w/ KORZUSMATANZA)
14.10.  BR       São Paulo – Carioca Club
16.10.  BR       Belo Horizonte – MG
01.11.  D         Köln – Live Music Hall
02.11.  D         Weissenhäuser Strand / Ostsee – Metal Hammer Paradise
03.11.  D         Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
04.11.  D         Obertraubling – Eventhall Airport

As an added bonus for fans, the band has also announced it is working on a new live recording, Symphonic Terror — Live at Wacken 2017.  That recording will be released this fall.  Its official release date will be announced soon.  More information on Symphonic Terror — Live at Wacken 2017 is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.acceptworldwide.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/accepttheband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/accepttheband

 

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Judas Priest Reminds Listeners To Have ‘No Surrender’ With New Video

Courtesy: Columbia Records

Judas Priest is giving audiences another taste of its new album with another brand new music video.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘No Surrender‘ on July 23.  The video sets the adrenaline-fueled single against footage of the band rehearsing in the studio and animated shots of the cover art from the band’s new album Firepower.  the band explained in a collective statement that the song’s lyrical theme is a call to action and unity of sorts.

“‘No Surrender’ captures the true metal fighting spirit, and metalheads around the world find a united voice within the message of this song,” the band said.  “When you honestly believe in yourself and live your life the way you have the right to, with no surrender, then nothing will ever stop you from living your dream.”

Along with the debut this week of its new video, Judas Priest also has announced an upcoming North American summer/fall tour with Deep Purple.  The tour is scheduled to launch Aug. 21 in Cincinnati, Ohio and to run through Sept. 30 in Wheatland, CA.  It includes stops in Charlotte, NC; Detroit, MI; San Diego, CA and many other cities nationwide.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

JUDAS PRIEST TOUR DATES:

8/21 — Cincinnati, OH — Riverbend Music Center
8/22 — Chicago, IL — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/24 — Detroit, MI — Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
8/25 — Mt. Pleasant, MI — Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort
8/27 — Hamilton, ON — FirstOntario Centre
8/29 — Montreal, QC — Bell Centre
8/30 — Quebec City, QC — Centre Videotron
9/1 — Wantagh, NY — Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
9/2 — Bethel Woods, NY — Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
9/5 — Darien Center, NY — Darien Lake Amphitheater
9/6 — Holmdel, NJ — PNC Bank Arts Center
9/8 — Virginia Beach, VA — Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
9/9 — Camden, NJ — BB&T Pavilion
9/11 — Charlotte, NC — PNC Music Pavilion
9/12 — Jacksonville, FL — Daily’s Place
9/14 — Atlanta, GA — Verizon Amphitheatre
9/16 — Biloxi, MS — Mississippi Coast Coliseum
9/18 — Kansas City, MO — Starlight Theatre
9/20 — Welch, MN — Treasure Island Casino
9/21 — Council Bluffs, IA — Harrah’s Council Bluffs
9/23 — Denver, CO — Pepsi Center
9/26 — San Diego, CA — Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
9/27 — Irvine, CA — FivePoint Amphitheatre
9/29 — Mountain View, CA — Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/30 — Wheatland, CA — Toyota Amphitheatre

More information on Judas Priest’s new video, tour schedule and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.JudasPriest.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

Twitter: http://twitter.com/judaspriest

 

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Ellefson Announces First BASSTORY Dates

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson has announced the first dates for his upcoming BASSTORY tour.

Ellefson’s tour is scheduled to launch September 20 in Portland, Oregon and to run through October 7 in Mankato, Minnesota.  the exclusive “storytellers” style presentations couples Ellefson’s own performances with stories of his life and career in the music industry.

Four of the dates on his new tour will feature additional performances from Combat Records bands Green Death and Wrath.  The tour’s dates are noted below.

BASSTORY DATES:

9/20 Portland, OR – Dante’s
9/21 Spokane Valley, WA – The Roadhouse
9/22 Fife, WA – Louie G’s
9/28 San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s
9/29 Houston, TX – BFE Rock Club
10/4 Lombard, IL – Brauer House
105 Sturtevant, WI – Route 20 Outhouse

10/6 Ringle, WI – Q and Z Expo Center
10/7 Mankato, MN – What’s Up Lounge

*With Green Death and WRATH

Tickets and limited VIP packages are available here.

Ellefson said of the upcoming tour that audiences will have plenty to anticipate in his appearances.

“I have always done clinics, and a couple of years ago, and did an amazing spoken word tour in Australia to support my book, My Life With Deth and have always welcomed the opportunity to be able to meet and connect with fans on a more intimate level,” Ellefson said.  “These important parts of my professional life convergedto create BASSTORY.  Not only will fans get to hear some of their favorite bass riffs, but the stories behind them.  It’s not often I get into small, intimate Rock clubs, the way this all started, and I’m excited for fans to to get to experience this show.”

Along with being a special presentation by Ellefson, his tour is also a launching pad for Ellefson Touring Agency (ETA) the new booking agency launched by Ellefson and his partner Thom Hazaert.

More information on BASSTORY is available online along with Ellefson’s latest news and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.davidellefson.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/davidellefson

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

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Nonpoint’s New Album “X” Is Among The Band’s Best Work To Date

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Veteran hard rock band Nonpoint is set to release its tenth full-length studio recording next month, and it goes without saying that considering the three singles that the band has already released, this album is one that audiences across the board will appreciate and enjoy. That should be no surprise either, considering all that the band has had to offer its audiences over the course of the past 20 years.  It certainly has proven to be no surprise to the band, as drummer Robb Rivera pointed out in a recent interview.  “As long as people want us to keep writing records, we’re going to keep writing records, Rivera said.  “We have a special understanding in the studio, and the chemistry has only gotten better.  We live for every moment on stage. We don’t ever want to stop.”  Front man Elias Soriano agreed, saying, “I don’t see why we shouldn’t be on our tenth record.”  He went on to explain that the band “really took our time” with this record because “we wanted to do something serious for number ten.”  The trio of singles already released from this record show without doubt that taking such time and creating a record for the fans has paid off.  Of course, they are just a small sampling of the direction that the band has taken this time out.  Right from its outset, this record shows Nonpoint as a band that is taking a decidedly new direction this time out.  That opener, ‘Empty Batteries’ is just one of the album’s high points and will be discussed shortly.  The far more contemplative ‘Feel The Way I Feel’ – the album’s penultimate entry – is another example of the band’s growth in this album.  It will be discussed a little bit later on.  ‘Wheel Against Will’ is yet another example of the band’s turn in this record.  Between these songs, the trio of singles already released and the remaining four songs not noted here, the end result is another solid offering from Nonpoint and a record that fans new and old alike will appreciate.

Nonpoint’s forthcoming full-length studio recording X has been a long time coming, but it is also a record that is certain to appeal just as much to the band’s most seasoned fans as those who might not be as familiar with the band’s catalog.  That is thanks, as Soriano noted, the band took so much time in composing the album’s songs, paying such close attention to each work.  That attention created 10 songs that reach back through the band’s catalog and that also offer audiences something new, such as the album’s opener ‘Empty Batteries.’  Considering the song’s title, it’s an ironically (likely intentionally placed, too) titled work.  That’s because it shows at least musically to be a work that exhibits Nonpoint as having anything but empty batteries.  Right from its outset, listeners get a musical arrangement whose thrash approach conjures thoughts of Killswitch Engage while also adding in the band’s own signature sound.  The end result is an arrangement that in itself is certain to keep listeners fully engaged while also entertaining said audiences.  Of course it is only one part of what makes the song such a strong start for this record.  Its lyrical content strengthens its presentation even more.

Front man Elias Soriano said in an interview of this song’s theme that it centers on that need to keep going in life, no matter what.  “For the most part, it’s really about looking inside,” Soriano said of the song’s lyrical theme.  “You’re reaching down, getting into a battle with yourself and realizing there’s more to be done.  A lot of people need coaching or permission to fill their batteries—but they can do it themselves.  They simply need to have a dream and a goal.  You’re getting the last little bit of gusto, refilling it and going again.”  That message comes through clearly as Soriano raps over the song’s heavy musical side, “I won’t let you die off/This isn’t that holiday feeling at all/Put away decorations/Relax on a meditation/Medication stacked in fact it’s black and white/Stacked and used against us all/It’s an abomination/Revelation, evolution revolution.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus alongside his band mates, “Transaction/Unsatisfactory/Compassion/An empty battery/They’ll make the time machines/Then they turn 18/Transaction/Unsatisfactory.”  The group adds to the chorus in its final refrain, “Turning the light into something I can bear/Into something/Just to find out that its worthless in the end.”  This serves even more to speak to the song’s message.  As Soriano noted, so many people think they need permission and coaching to fill their batteries.  That’s when that something created is something worthless in the end.  It’s when someone fills his or her batteries on his or her own that those batteries really get recharged and create something meaningful.  It’s a strong message, and one from which so many people will take some motivation and personal illumination.  When that message is considered along with the song’s hard-driving musical arrangement, that arrangement serves even more in hindsight to capture the emotion in said message.  The pairing does plenty to show what makes this song a strong entry in itself.  In a bigger sense, it serves well to show the positive growth from Nonpoint in this record.  It is only one of the album’s entries that serves to support that later statement.  The far more contemplative ‘Feel The Way I Feel,’ which comes much later in the album’s run, is another example of what makes X another positive effort from Nonpoint.

‘Feel The Way I Feel’ is one of those songs that proves a song can be heavy without actually being heavy in part through its musical arrangement.  It does have its heavy moments in its chorus sections.  The verses, though, are noticeably reserved and contemplative.  The gentle use of the chord progressions and the subtle bass line go a long way toward making those verses so impacting.  That is especially important to note since the song’s lyrical content seems to focus on the familiar topic of a broken relationship.  This theme is inferred as Soriano sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m not feeling any better/Doing this the right way/Try to stay classy/Didn’t make it any better/Just want to get nasty/Get my hands dirty/Leave very little question how I feel/No need to get wordy, no/You cat the way you do/So I feel the way I feel/The lie between the truth/You’re so close to reveal/So you do the things you do/So I feel the way I feel.”  It’s at this point that the song’s energy picks up and gets a little more aggressive.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “both of my hands are tied/And my brain is fried/I’m thinking of a way I could just get even with you/I know it’s not politically correct/For me to want to snap your neck/But there’s not other way to hide/When my hands are tied/You act the way you do/So I feel the way I feel/And do the things you do/So I feel the way I feel.”  The deep emotion continues through the rest of the song from here, driving home the subject’s feelings even more, both musically and lyrically.  It’s honestly an approach that the band has rarely if ever taken on any of its previous albums, and is done quite well in this case.  Keeping that in mind, it stands out that much more.  In turn, it makes X stand out in whole even more.  Even with this in mind, it still isn’t the last of the songs that stands out or that makes the album stand out.  ‘Wheel Against Will,’ another later entry in the album’s run, proves just as much to be a standout offering that also proves the album’s strength.

‘Wheel Against Will’ starts out with a steady driving beat from drummer Robb Rivera before it launches into a full on guitar assault while Soriano sings, “No uphill battles/Only wars/Come on the shore/Dropping literary soldiers/Old enough to hold the line/And we’re defining with the revolution on my shoulders…spokes on the wheel that’s turning/Girl against boy/Boy against girl/Will against man/Man against will…the wheel controlling this machine is about to be broken.”  He goes on to speak metaphorically of the ground being made of the “dreams of the weak, the poor, the feeble and the meek, powerless, helpless, the homeless on the street.”  There is also mention here of what would seem to be perhaps the powers that be, creating the streets from those noted individuals.  Keeping that in mind, one is led to assume that this song is perhaps a commentary on the powers that be and their impact on the people through the “machine” that they have created.  That could be entirely outside of the song’s message, but hopefully is somewhere in that range.  Regardless, it goes without saying that this song’s lyrical message is powerful.  When it is joined with its musical accompaniment, the whole proves to be a hard-hitting work that stands solid on its own merits.  What’s more, that also serves to help show even more the strength of X in whole.  When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here through their musical and lyrical content, all three songs go a long way toward exhibiting Nonpoint’s positive growth in this record.  When they are considered along with the three singles already released and the remaining four songs, the album in whole proves to be another strong effort from Nonpoint that is some of the band’s best work to date.

Nonpoint’s new, tenth full-length recording X is a strong new effort that any of the band’s fans will appreciate.  That has already been proven through the trio of singles that have already been released from the record.  The three songs discussed here do just as much to support that statement as those singles thanks to their powerful musical arrangements and their equally engaging lyrical themes. When they are all considered along with the remaining four tracks not directly noted here, the end result proves to be a record that every one of Nonpoint’s fans will appreciate and enjoy.  That is because they prove the record in whole to be among the band’s best albums to date.  Speaking of dates, the band has already announced a lengthy schedule of live dates in support of X that launches next month, too.  More information on that tour, the band’s new album and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.nonpoint.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nonpointworld

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonpoint

 

 

 

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Raffi’s New Record Will Be Every Family’s Best Musical Friend

Courtesy: Rounder Records/Shoreline Records

Veteran family entertainer Raffi is one of the hardest working (and most respected) figures in the realm of family music.  Having more than four decades of experience under his belt and a number of family friendly albums, awards related to said albums and so many other honors, one would think that somewhere along the way, he would take a break.  Apparently he doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase, as he will release his next full-length family music album Dog on The Floor this Friday.  It will come a little more than a year after he released his “hits” collection The Best of Raffi (February 10, 2017).  This 15-song, 33-minute record is everything that audiences and families have come to expect from him, as is evidenced in the variety of its musical arrangements.  The equally diverse nature of the lyrical themes is just as familiar and welcome here.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own part in making Dog on the Floor another fun family record from Raffi.  All things considered, they make the album another surefire addition to any critic’s list of the year’s top new family music albums.

Raffi officially returns this Friday with his latest full-length studio recording, Dog on the Floor.  His 30th full-length studio recording and at least his 21st family music release, this record is everything that audiences of all ages have come to love and expect from his works, beginning with the variety in its musical arrangements.  From start to end, the album never sticks to just one genre throughout the album.  From the folk styling of the album’s opener, ‘The Way it Goes’ to the light, bluesy vibe of ‘Walkin’ My Dog’ to the light, semi-jazzy vibe of ‘Rainbow’ to the surprising reggae vibe of the album’s finale, ‘It Takes A Village’ and beyond, listeners get more than enough variety in the album’s musical arrangements.  The genres covered in the noted songs are but a sampling of the musical reach of this record.  ‘Fiddle Dance,’ which comes roughly halfway through the album’s run, boasts a bluegrass feel that listeners of all ages will appreciate.  There’s even a gentle, flowing cover of The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ whose folk styling here is most certain to appeal to older audiences just as much – if not more than – their younger counterparts included in the album’s whole.  Americana fans even get a tribute of their own in the upbeat ‘Love Grows Love.’  When this and the other songs noted here are considered alongside all the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album’s musical presentation is such that it gives the whole family more than enough to appreciate.  It is just one part of what makes this latest offering from Raffi another solid work.  The variety in the album’s lyrical themes adds just as much interest to the record as the variety in its musical arrangements.

Just as the record’s musical arrangements vary from start to finish, and in turn offer plenty of interest, so do the record’s lyrical themes.  The album’s opener ‘The Way it Goes,’ for instance is just a straight forward, self-explanatory piece that explains that things are the way they are because that’s just the way they are (or rather they it goes).  ‘Luna’s Song,’ the album’s second track, is a song about Raffi’s dog.  Talk about a quick change of lyrical pace.  ‘Play Play Play,’ the record’s third song, is another straight forward, sung from the vantage point of a child show just wants “to play all day long.”  The variety doesn’t stop with this trio of songs.  Rather, it continues on throughout the record of the record’s nearly 34-minute run with the album’s fourth entry, an old-school Country Western style piece that goes by the name of ‘Listen To The Horses,’ continuing the variety.  Raffi’s own take on the traditional song ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ keeps that variety moving as the album makes its way closer to its midpoint.  It certainly doesn’t end there, either.  From a simple song about Raffi walking his dog — that also jokingly asks is he walking the dog or is the dog walking him? – in ‘Walkin’ My Dog’ to the tribute to America’s Farmers’ Markets in ‘Market Day’ to the upbeat, optimistic message of spreading love worldwide in ‘Love Grows Love’ to the reminder that one person alone can’t raise a child in the album’s closer, ‘It Takes A Village’ and more, the album’s lyrical variety gives listeners just as much to appreciate here as the variety in its musical arrangements.  When the variety of the two elements are considered jointly, they give even more reason for audiences to appreciate and enjoy Dog on the Floor.  Now, keeping this in mind, that collective variety is still not all that makes Dog on the Floor another standout effort from Raffi.  The record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

Whereas the musical and lyrical content varies randomly throughout the course of Dog on the Floor, the variety in its sequencing is far more planned out.  This is evidenced clearly throughout the record’s first half.  Tracks 1 – 3 vary stylistically as much as is possible, yet in regards to their energies and tempos, all three are very much the same.  ‘Listen to the Horses,’ the record’s fourth song is far more reserved in its energy and tempo thanks to its country western style arrangement.  As the record proceeds from that point, so does its energy, rebuilding again right up to the record’s midpoint.  The album’s second half sees its energy remain relatively stable right to the end with perhaps the album’s finale being the only exception to that rule.  It takes listeners out on a gentle, reggae ride out that is so laid back.  What’s interesting is that even with the song’s style presenting a laid back energy, its tempo is still on par with the rest of the songs that make up the remainder of the album’s second half.  Again, this shows so much thought and obvious direct planning.  That planning ensures from start to end, a record whose energies will certainly keep listeners engaged and by connection, whose arrangements will maintain listeners’ entertainment just as much as their engagement.  Keeping this in mind alongside the impact of the said arrangements and the lyrical themes, the whole of Dog on the Floor becomes more proof of why Raffi remains today among the elite in the family music realm.

Raffi’s soon to be released new family music album Dog on the Floor is a quick turnaround for the veteran family entertainer. Even despite it coming along only a little more than a year after the release of The Best of Raffi, this 33-minute, 15-song album doesn’t feel the least bit rushed.  Rather, it feels wholly focused, and in turn fully entertaining for the whole family.  This is evidenced through the variety in the record’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  That variety more than certainly keeps listeners of all ages entertained and engaged.  The direct thought and focus in the record’s sequencing does just as much to keep listeners engaged and entertained, the thought put into the album’s musical and lyrical variety.  That is especially the case considering the directed path that the sequencing takes in the record, unlike its musical and lyrical content.  That contrast actually makes the album that much more interesting.  In turn, it (again) does so much to keep listeners of all ages engaged and entertained throughout.  Keeping that in mind, the record in whole proves to be another solid offering from Raffi that also serves to show why he remains today one of the elite names in the world of family music.  It will be available this Friday in stores and online.  More information on Dog on the Floor is available online now along with all of his latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.raffinews.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Raffi.Cavoukian

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Raffi_RC

 

 

 

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COC’s New LP Proves It Was Worth The Wait Despite Its Production Problems

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Fans of the veteran hard rock band Corrosion of Conformity had plenty to smile about as this year opened.  That’s because the band released its latest full-length studio recording, No Cross No Crown.  The album, the band’s tenth full-length studio recording, has been received relatively well by fans, and justifiably so, as it takes listeners back to the days of Deliverance and Blind.  This is evidenced both in the album’s musical and lyrical content, which was crafted collectively by the band’s most beloved lineup of Woody Weatherman, Pepper Keenan, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin.  Keeping that in mind, the album in whole proves to be another welcome addition to the library of COC’s most devout fans.  ‘Cast The First Stone,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Little Man,’ with its 70s stoner throwback sound and equally intriguing lyrical theme also supports that statement.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Nothing Left To Say’ also supports the noted statement and will also be discussed a little later on.  Between these songs and the album’s other 11 songs, the album in whole proves to be a strong new offering from one of the greatest names in the southern/sludge rock community.  That is the case even with the production problems that plague the album at various points.  Yes, that will also be addressed.  To that end, No Cross No Crown is still a record that proves again COC’s maintained place in the sludge/stoner rock community.

Corrosion of Conformity’s latest full-length studio recording No Cross No Crown marks the first time in many years that the band’s most beloved lineup of Weatherman Woody, Pepper Keenan, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin recorded together under he COC moniker.  The group’s reunion has led, in this album, to be what is one of COC’s most notable albums to date, along the lines of its classic albums Deliverance and Blind.  ‘Cast The First Stone,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is just one of the songs included in the album that serves to support those statements.  This is proven in part through its musical arrangement, which is a full-on, adrenaline-fueled rocker much in the vein of Black Label Society, Clutch and other similar acts.  The song doesn’t let up even for a second from start to end of its nearly four-minute run time.  That musical arrangement is, in itself plenty of reason for listeners to appreciate this song.  Of course it is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content adds its own share of interest to its whole.

Keenan sings in this song’s lead verse, “Back in time before they crossed the line, and the truth was made of gold/Cross of paths that was based on the past, or so the story goes/Strike fear and the end draws near and the peasants wore a blindfold/Stack ‘em up, stack ‘em up, burn ‘em down and the peace remains unknown.”  He seems to be commenting on an age when people just gave in to the powers that be.  Interesting that the same sort of thing is happening even today.  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Burdened by a faith/Lost without a trace/Crippled by the tools/Made by the hands of fools/Start the fire and cast the first stone.”  This comes across almost as a call to action of sorts, as if Keenan is noting the power that religion has had on people and its impact, and that people need to stand up against those forces that be.  The rest of the song follows in similar fashion, again, insuring plenty of discussion through its metaphorical speak.  When this is coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements together make the song in whole a strong entry in the album’s body, and just one way in which the album proves itself another good effort from the band.  ‘Little Man’ is another was in which No Cross No Crown proves itself worth the listen among COC fans.

‘Little Man’ stands out in this album in part because of a musical arrangement that takes listeners back to the 1970s and the great stoner and southern rock music of the era.  Almost instantly, one’s thoughts move to Golden Earring, Lynyrd Skynyrd and so many other acts from that era in listening to the bombastic guitar riffs and booming rhythm section.  Of course that powerhouse musical arrangement is just one way in which the song stands out.  Its lyrical content serves to help it stand out, too.  Lyrically speaking, this song comes across as a piece about some people who have done someone wrong, and the struggle of trying to get through it all.  This is inferred as Keenan sings in the song’s lead verse, “Well I got me a distant story/So I wrote me a distant tune/Of how they used to bask in the glory/And how I wished that I could, too/Little man, be here tomorrow/They said they could change my ways, But instead they tried to stone me/And I been sleeping right here for a hundred days.”  He goes on in the song’s second verse to sing, “So I ran from here to El Paso/And arrived about half past June/Just in time for them to burn me/I think I woke up a little too soon/Little man, if you’re a preacher/Oh, then why you been looking so sad/He struck a match and then he burned me/Another honest man gone bad.”  Again, this all comes across as a story about someone who’s not exactly had the best of luck with people.  He even goes so far as to sing in the song’s chorus, “Now you know it’s hard to stop/Getting down from burning up/Now you know it’s hard to stop/Quit trying, baby/Just get somebody to save you.”  It’s as if the song’s subject is saying, “yeah, it’s easy to get down, and hard to get back up, but stop getting down and get back up.”  As always, that is just this critic’s own take on the lyrics and could be completely wrong.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Win or lose, the song’s lyrics here display their own depth that is certain to get listeners talking just as much as the lyrics of any of the album’s other entries.  That being the case, it’s yet another way in which this song serves to show again, why the album is a good return for COC’s classic lineup.  It is still not the last of the songs that serves this end, either.  ‘Nothing Left To Say’ is yet another way in which this album proves itself worth the listen.

‘Nothing Left To Say’ stands out among its counterparts in large part because of its musical arrangement.  The song’s verses start out with a slow, quiet, almost brooding vibe.  That vibe gradually gives way to a much heavier, crunching sound that conjures thoughts of Black Label Society.  The back and forth of that soft and heavy sound is a powerful musical statement that does more than its share to keep listeners engaged.  Much as with the previously discussed songs, it is only part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content deepens its impact even more as Keenan sings, “Life gave you everything/An you threw it all away/through the heart of darkness/Never feels the same/Huh, it never feels the same/Living like a fool/Nothing gets nothing/And I got nowhere to hide/Searching for the truth has to mean something/I’m just pushing against the tide/Nothing left to say.”  The contemplative nature of the song continues in the second verse as he sings, “memories/They seem like dreams/And time’s a gift of tears/Just a map to remember this/A future never planned/It’s what we cannot understand/Running like a fool/Distant existence/You’re living hand to hand/Isolated man/Hard to understand/Nowhere else to hide/Long for the feeling/Stand alone and pray/Nothing left to say.”  There’s a lot to be said here, right from the lead verse.  The first half of the lead verse seems to address someone who didn’t appreciate how good he or she has had it.  That seems to be compared to the song’s subject trying to make sense of his or her own life, saying, “Living life a fool/Nothing gets nothing/And I got nowhere to hide/Searching for the truth has to mean something/I’m pushing against the tide/Nothing left to say.”  It’s almost as if that subject is saying that he or she is trying to figure out life’s intricacies by comparison, trying to tell that other person to appreciate what he/she has.  Once more, that is just this critic’s own take on the song’s lyrical content.  It is not meant to be taken verbatim.  That seeming message continues in the song’s second verse as Keenan sings to that person, “You’re living hand to hand/Isolated man/Hard to understand/Nowhere else to hide.”  Once again, this seems like the song’s subject addressing that person, saying, “you just don’t appreciate what you have in life” and that “I’m just trying to make sense of it all, and you should, too.”  Keeping all of this in mind – again this is not the only interpretation — certainly other interpretations are there.  Considering the depth of the song’s lyrical content and its musical arrangement, one can understand now why the arrangement constantly goes back and forth in its heaviness and brooding.  It really illustrates the emotion in the song’s lyrical content.  To that end, the combination of the two elements here makes this song yet another clear example of what makes the album in whole stand out.  When it is considered along with the rest of the songs not directly discussed here, the whole of the album proves to be a good new effort from COC, even despite its production and mixing issues.

The production and mixing issues in question come into play, luckily not throughout the entire album, but are noticeable, including right from the album’s first full track, ‘The Luddite.’  Keenan’s vocals are nearly drowned out by his band mates here, sounding like he is way off in the distance the whole time.  ‘Wolf Named Crow’ suffers from the same problem, as does ‘Little Man’ (just not as badly as the previous songs).  Much the same can be said of the plodding ‘Old Disaster.’  There is even a slight issue with this imbalance in ‘A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void) in the song’s chorus sections.  While it is a noticeable issue, it isn’t so bad that it makes the record a failure.  It just is something that hopefully will be taken into account in the band’s next album. To that end, No Cross No Crown is still a good return overall for Corrosion of Conformity and a good return to form for the band and one that the band’s most devout fans will still welcome in their music libraries.

Corrosion of Conformity’s latest full-length studio recording No Cross No Crown is a good return and return to form for the veteran sludge/southern rock band from Raleigh, North Carolina.  Its production poses some problems, but those problems are not enough to make the album a failure.  They are just something, collectively speaking, that must be addressed for the band’s next album.  The album boasts its own share of positives in the form of the songs noted here.  Between those songs and the rest of the album’s entries, the album’s musical and lyrical content give listeners plenty to appreciate here even despite the occasional audio issues.  They give the album plenty of depth and, in turn are certain to generate plenty of discussion.  Keeping that in mind, the album proves to be one more that COC’s most devout fans will welcome in their music libraries.  No Cross No Crown is available now in stores and online.  More information on No Cross No Crown is available online now along with all of COC’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.coc.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity

Twitter: http://twitter.com/coccabal

 

 

 

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