Niji Entertainment’s Latest ‘Magica’ Re-Issue Will Appeal To RJD’s Most Devoted Audiences

Courtesy: Niji Entertainment

Ronnie James Dio’s classic concept album Magica has gotten the re-issue treatment again.  Originally released in 2000 through Spitfire Records, the 13-song concept album was re-issued again Feb. 21 through Niji Entertainment, as with its 2013 and 2018 re-issues.  Yes, the album has now been re-issued no less than four times since its original release, and each re-issue has presented something different for audiences.  That extra content on the album’s latest re-issue is one of its most important elements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The concept at the core of the original album is something well worth noting, too, and will be addressed a little later.  The sequencing of each portion of the re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this recording.  All things considered, they make Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Magica another intriguing tribute to a true rock legend.

Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Ronnie James Dio’s 2000 album Magica is an intriguing presentation.  That is due in part to the bonus material that is featured with this latest re-issue of the album.  The bonus content featured with the album this time is the most important of the presentation’s elements.  In comparison to the album’s 2018 re-issue, that presentation was extremely limited on any bonus content.  It featured only live takes of the songs ‘Fever Dream’ and ‘Magica Theme.’ The 2007 re-issue included Dio’s 2002 album Killing The Dragon.  That album is also among Niji Entertainment’s latest round of Dio re-issues, and will be discussed another day.  Getting back to the latest re-issue of Magica, its 2013 re-issue was a bit heavier in the way of bonus content, featuring eight official bootlegs that were recorded during Dio’s 2000-2002 Magica World Tour.  This latest re-issue pulls from that tour again.  What is important to note though, is that the live material featured this time is not just a re-hashing of the live material featured in the album’s 2013 re-issue.  Rather, audiences get not eight, but 10 (yes, 10) of the 13 songs featured in the original recording.  The only difference here from the actual album is the omission of the songs ‘Turn To Stone,’ ‘As Long As It’s Not About Love’ and the album’s closer, the reprise of ‘Lord of the Last Day.’  Other than those omissions, what audiences get in this live recording is almost the entirety of Magica live in its original sequence.  This is crucial because of the general effect that it has for listeners.  This was an artist performing an album virtually in its entirety before it became the cool thing for acts to do.  What’s more getting to take in the album nearly in whole in a live setting makes the experience that much more special.  As any one can tell a person, live shows are special experiences for audiences.  So getting to experience the album in two different settings in nearly the same order makes for quite the extraordinary experience for audiences.

Now, keeping this in mind, the automatic rebuttal to this statement becomes why should one own the same album twice over just because the bonus content is different (I.E. the 2013 and 2020 re-issues).  The answer there is that while this latest re-issue may feature Magica almost in its entirety in its near exact sequencing both times, the album’s 2013 re-issue does feature the live take of ‘As Long As It’s Not About Love.’  Given, ‘Turn To Stone’ and the reprise of ‘Lord of the Last Day,’ it does feature a live version of the primary take of that song.  The 2013 re-issue also features a hint at what would have been Magica 2 & 3 in the form of the song ‘Electra.’  To that end, that content, along with a telling of the Magica story by RJD himself adds even more interest to that presentation.  So, keeping all of this in mind, the album’s 2013 and 2020 takes feature varying bonus content, the 2020 re-issue proves enjoyable in its own right for the most devoted RJD fans just as much as the album’s 2013 re-issue.  The 2007 and 2018 re-issues meanwhile prove less valuable and worth replacing among those listeners who may have one or both of those re-issues.

The bonus content featured in the new 2020 re-issue of Magica is clearly important in its own way to the re-issue’s overall presentation.  It is just one of the re-issue’s key elements.  Looking at the concept behind the album itself, that item is well worth discussing.  Dio actually discussed the album’s concept prior to his death.  He pointed  out in an interview that the album focused on a standard battle between good and evil.  The twist is that while so many stories of good and evil are told from the vantage point of the heroes, this story was told from the vantage point of the villain; something which is rarely if ever past and present.  He pointed out during the noted interview that he left the album ending how he did because “evil always exists, good doesn’t always triumph, and that’s the universal balance.”  Given, LucasFilm’s Star Wars franchise did have some chapters in which the bad guys won.  That was a movie, though.  In the real world, we are seeing daily that evil does win considering who is running America today in the form of a crooked businessman who is also a xenophobe, homophobe, misogynist and racist.  So while the concept at the center of Magica might still be very rare to this day in the world of music and entertainment in general, it is something that is very much real in the real world.  Now, Dio was not advocating for the bad guys to win in making the noted statement.  That needs to be clarified here.  Rather, he was pointing out that the concept that the good guys always win is not a reality.  For that reason, RJD is to be commended highly for taking what was then and is still today, the road less traveled.  Keeping this in mind with the bonus content featured with the album’s re-issue, the two elements go a long way toward making this latest re-issue of Magica a welcome addition to the libraries of the most devoted RJD fans.  They are not the album’s only notable entries.  The production and mixing of the bonus live content is worth its own mention.

The production is important to note because of the resultant sound quality of the live material.  The term bootleg is used for these recordings, but the production and mixing used in these official live bootlegs has left the sound just as clear, engaging and entertaining as any other act’s live recording past or present.  The guitars, the symphonic elements, the drums, everything is balanced so well throughout each performance.  RJD’s vocals are perfectly clear, too.  In other words, while the recordings may be marketed as “official bootlegs,” they are anything but bootleg.  If any one thing can be said of the bonus content, it would be that to this day, RJD’s 2000-2002 “Magica World Tour” has  seemingly never has received one full live recording either on CD or on DVD or even Blu-ray.  If Niji Entertainment wants to truly impress RJD’s fans, that would be a wise choice.  Again, going back to the previous discussion on bonus content, Magica’s 2013 and new 2020 re-issues each features content from that tour, but it is all spread against two different recordings.  Why has no single recording been released featuring nothing but that performance content?  Officials at Niji Entertainment and other companies need to keep that in mind.  That aside, the production and mixing that went into the official live bootlegs featured in this recording – as with the album’s 2013 re-issue – resulted in a wonderful experience that will appease any rock fan pining for a live experience in this age of bacterial spread.  To that end, it proves its own importance to the recording’s latest presentation.  When it is considered along with the re-issue’s other elements, the whole of the re-issue proves to be its own positive presentation for the most devoted fans of Ronnie James Dio.

Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Ronnie James Dio’s 2000 album Magica is a presentation that is certain to appeal to the legendary performer’s most devoted fans.  That is proven in part through the re-issue’s bonus content, which is distinct from that of the album’s previous re-issues, as is noted here.  The very concept at the heart of the album is important in its own right to the presentation.  The production and mixing that went into the presentation of the re-issue’s bonus content is important in its own way to the whole of this re-issue, too.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Magica a work that the most devoted Dio fans will appreciated.  The record is available now.  More information on the album is available online along with all of the latest RJD-related news at:

 

Website: http://ronniejamesdio.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialRJDio

 

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Chatham County Line Debuts ‘Strange Fascination’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: YepRoc Records

Chatham County line debuted the lyric video for its latest single this month.

The band debuted the lyric video for the title track from its forthcoming new album Strange Fascination March 18.  The song’s musical arrangement lends itself to comparisons to works from similar acts, such as Nickel Creek and Reckless Kelly.  Its lyrical content meanwhile accompanies that simple, soft arrangement, seemingly presenting a message about wanting love and the simple things in life. The song features guest vocals from Sharon Van Etten.

‘Strange Fascination’ is the second single from its eponymous album.  The band debuted the album’s lead single ‘Station to Station‘ last month.

The band’s ninth full-length studio recording, Strange Fascination is the final record featuring Chatham County Lines’ founding member and banjo player Chandler Holt.  It marks the band’s first lineup change since 2001 and the first time that any of the band’s albums has ever featured drums on every track, provided by longtime CCL friend Dan Hall.

Band member Dave Wilson (guitar/vocals/songwriter) talked about that stylistic change in a recent interview.

“We’ve had drums on several albums, most notably 2010’s Wildwood, and our audiences always responded well to those tunes,” he said..

Wilson and his band mates — John Teer (mandolin/fiddle/vocals) and Greg Readling (bass/pedal steel/piano) — self-produced Strange Fascination at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville, NC.  Yan Westerlund (Mipso, Phil Cook” assisted with drum recordings for the album in-studio.Chris Boerner (Hiss Golden Messenger, The Foreign Exchange) mixed the album.

Strange Fascination was originally scheduled for release May 15 through YepRoc Records. Events happening around the world have led the band to push up that date to April 24. A record release show is scheduled to take place June 6 at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Pre-orders are open now for Strange Fascination.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

 

Strange Fascination Tracklisting:
1. Oh Me Oh My
2. Station to Station
3. Strange Fascination
4. Free Again
5. The Eagle and The Boy
6. Leave This World
7. Guitar (for Guy Clark)
8. Queen Anne’s Gold
9. Nothing

More information on Chatham County Line’s new album, tour and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.chathamcountyline.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/chathamcoline

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/chathamcoline

 

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Ratchet Dolls Debuts ‘Parasite!’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent rock band Ratchet Dolls debuted the video for its latest single last week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Parasite!‘ Thursday. The song presents an upbeat musical arrangement whose heart is in its guitar work.  That work will appeal to fans of 80s hair metal from the likes of Poison and Motley Crue.

While the song’s driving musical arrangement will appeal to a very targeted audience base, its all-too-familiar lyrical content will connect with an even broader range of listeners.

Front man Kevin Sauceda explained the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“Although the song has a very uplifting feel, the lyrics themselves are rather dark,” he said.  “Parasite!’ speaks to us from the perspective of a person whose mental  health has deteriorated from trying to meet the standards of a non-committed partner.  One-sided relationships can lead to vulnerability…my goal is to try to help prevent others from having to walk that road; even if its just one person.”

‘Parasite!’ is available to stream and download through Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play.

‘Parasite!’ is the second single from Ratchet Dolls’ upcoming as-yet untitled sophomore album.  The video for the album’s lead single ‘Out Of Control‘ was unveiled in September 2019.  Upon its release, ‘Out Of Control’ gained traction through major outlets, such as Loudwire’s “Weekly Wire Playlist” and KNAC Pure Rock.

More information on Ratchet Dolls’ new single, video, album and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.ratchetdolls.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ratchetdolls

 

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Another Day Dawns Debuts ‘Beautiful Suicide’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Another Day Dawns is giving audiences another taste of its new album.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Beautiful Suicide‘ March 25. The video features footage of the band performing its new single in a forest setting crossed with footage addressing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The song’s musical arrangement is a fiery, upbeat composition that is driven largely through its edgy guitar work.

The energy in the song’s musical arrangement is accompanied by a biting sociopolitical commentary in the song’s lyrical content, as explained in a recent interview by front man Dakota Sean.

“When we wrote the song, it had to do with a political climate o fear and control,” he said.  “The song indirectly was essentially how fragile everything is and when it falls apart, it leaves anarchy.  This day and age with the current situations we have at hand, we thought it was best to have a video about what happens when fear and greed have taken control and how they prey on us.”

‘Beautiful Suicide’ is the second single from Another Day Dawns’ EP Stranger, which the band released independently Jan. 31.  The album has also spawned the single ‘Taste of Heaven.’

Stranger is available to download and stream here.  The EP’s track listing is noted below.

 

Track List:
1. Stranger
2. Beautiful Suicide
3. Am I
4. Taste of Heaven
Never Okay
6. Forget Me Not

 

More information on Stranger is available online along with all of ADD’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://anotherdaydawns.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AnotherDayDawns

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/an0therdaydawns

 

 

 

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Slave Revolt Debuts ‘Devil In Jeans’ Lyric video

Independent hard rock band Slave Revolt debuted the video for its latest single this month.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new song ‘Devil In Jeans‘ March 8.  The song, which boasts a melodic hard rock style musical arrangement, is featured in the band’s forthcoming debut album Journey to the Other Side.  The album is scheduled for releae April 24 through The Label Group/INgrooves.

The song’s melodic hard rock arrangement is accompanied by a lyrical theme that centers on those people who do little to make this world better, according to a brief, collective statement from the band about the work.

“‘Devil in Jeans’ is a song about the monsters who walk among us and the trail of pain they leave behind,” the statement reads.

‘Devil In Jeans’ is available to stream and download here. The song is the latest single to come from Slave Revolt’s forthcoming album.  The band debuted another of the album’s singles, ‘Organic Robot‘ Feb. 21.

The video, which crosses footage of the band performing its new single in what looks like a run down, graffiti-laden building with footage of mechanical parts running.  The musical arrangement echoes influences from Fear Factory, but the lyrical content is not explained in the press release distributed about the video’s debut.

‘Organic Robot’ is available to stream and download here.

The debuted of the ‘Organic Robot’ video comes two months after the band debuted the lyric video for its then latest single, ‘Open The Heavens.’

The full track listing for Journey to the Other Side is noted below.

Track List:
1.Spartacus
2.Open the Heavens
3.Happy
4.Devil in Jeans
5.Journey to the Other Side
6.Facing the waters
7.Ready To Go
8.Light in the Dark
9. Organic Robot feat. Jim Acevedo
10.Embers

More information on both singles is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.slaverevoltrock.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/slaverevolt

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SlaveRevoltRock

 

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The Story Changes Debuts ‘Golden Age’ Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media/Magnaphone Records

Emo-punk outfit The Story Changes debuted the video for its latest single last week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Golden Age‘ March 25. The video pays tribute to George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy while also presenting the song, which is featured on the band’s 2019 album To Hell With This Delicate Equation.

Front man Marc McMillon talked about the video in a recent interview.

“We grew up enamored with a galaxy far, far away, and had a great time working with our friend Chris from Punchline to put together this animated parody video,” he said.  “Hopefully this can provide some laughs right now when I’m sure everyone could use a little distraction while staying at home.”

The Story Changes features members of Hawthorne Heights and The stereo in its lineup.

More information on The Story Changes’ new video, its latest album and more is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.theStoryChanges.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/thestorychanges

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thestorychanges

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Wyldlife Debuts New LP’s Third Single

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records/The Orchard

Indie punk rock band Wyldlife recently unveiled the third single from its new forthcoming album Year of the Snake over the weekend.

The band debuted its new single ‘Automatic’ Friday. The catchy, upbeat composition is available to stream and download here.  It was influenced by famed indie rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain, according to front man Dave Feldman.

“This song is for my friend Therese, who works for a florist and who also shares a huge love for The Jesus and Mary Chain,” he said.  “I also happened to work there every Valentine’s Day for five years or so, delivering flowers. But this one is about her love life’s trials and tribulations.My close friend Sasha Cibic lent her voice on the chorus.  I love them both so much.”

The debut of Wyldlife’s new single comes less than a month after the band debuted the second single from YOTS, ‘Kiss and Tell.’

Feldman talked about the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview.

“After listening to ‘Definitely Maybe’ more times than we can count, [guitarist] Sam [Allen] an I wanted to make a song that was tough and angry, but still confident and cool,” he said.  “The lyric, ‘I’d rather be ignored than adored’ was another riff on another favorite Macnhester band, The Stone Roses.  Obviously, we as a band want to be celebrated and have an impact on people’s lives, but most times, I just want to be left the f*** alone.  Wyldlife tends to have a larger than life personality, but most people don’t actually know anything about us.  I’ve said “Good to see you” to more people I don’t know than I’m comfortable with.”

Wyldlife debuted the lead single from Year of the Snake, ‘Neon Nightmare’ late last year.  The full track listing for Year of the Snake is noted below. Pre-orders for the LP are open now.

 

 

Year Of The Snake Track Listing:

1 Deathbed

2 Neon Nightmare

3 Get Well

4 Kiss and Tell

5 Automatic

6 Crime of the Scene

7 Sacré Bleu

8 Year of the Snake

9 Tulsa Superstar

10 Keeping up with C.T.

11 The Falcon

 

The band has two concerts scheduled to take place this summer.  Both shows — July 4 and 5 — are scheduled to take place at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, CO.

More information on Wyldlife’s upcoming concerts, its album and singles is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.wyldlife.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/wyldlifeband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/wyldlifeband

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bloodywood Debuts ‘Yaad’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Bloodywood debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Yaad‘ Friday.  The video features a man watching video footage of himself and his dearly departed dog, remembering the good times he had with his best friend. While the video centers on a man’s memories of his four-legged friend, lyrically, it is actually a much broader song about coping with loss.

Bloodywood founder/guitarist Karan Katiyar discussed that topic in a recent interview.

“‘Yaad’ (Hindi for ‘remember’ on ‘in memory’) is about the power of accepting the loss of a loved one and moving on,” he said.  “The lyrics celebrate the permanent impact they have on us, reiterating the belief that we carry them in our best memories, no matter how far apart we may be.  I lost my dog 10 years ago and I still feel the loss to this day.  I wanted the video to show the bond between and his dog to highlight its (the song’s) message.”

The song’s musical arrangement is a powerful presentation that is a stark contrast to much of Bloodywood’s current music, boasting a distinct melodic hard rock sensibility instead of the heavier rap-rock for which it has come to be known.

Portions of the video for ‘Yaad’ were shot in the Himalayan mountains. Other portions of the video were shot in urban areas of India.

‘Yaad’ is available to stream and download at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play.

In an added effort that ties in with the song’s message and the video’s treatment, the members of Bloodywood recently funded the purchase of a new animal ambulance for a nonprofit animal shelter known as The Posh Foundation in their home town of New Dehli.  The shelter’s other ambulance recently broke down, leading to the need for the new vehicle.

Pending the developments in the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Bloodywood is scheduled to perform live this summer at a series of European festival shows. The virus caused the cancellation of the Sonic temple Festival, at which the band was scheduled to perform. The band’s upcoming pending live schedule is noted below.

 

The European Festival Dates:
07/08 @ Bloodstock Festival – Derby, UK
08/09 @ Alcatraz Festival (Swamp Stage) – Kortrijk, BE
08/14 @ Reload Festival – Sulingen, DE
08/15 @ Summer Breeze Open Air – Dinkelsbühl, DE

 

More information on Bloodywood’s new single and video is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bloodywood.dehli

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Bloodywood2

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “”Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

The Dodies’ Latest LP Will Appeal To Emo, Garage, Punk Fans

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent rock band The Dodies will release its forthcoming album It’s One Hell of a Ride next month.

The duo — Yoni Avittan and Ran Aronson – is scheduled to release its new 13-song record April 24.  The record’s musical arrangements will appeal to fans of the punk, garage and stoner rock genres.  Its often bleak lyrical themes are certain to appeal to fans of the emo genre, many of whom are also part of the punk and garage rock fan base.  Of course not all of this 42-minute record falls into that mold.  The record’s opener and lead single ‘Boiling Point’ supports that statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  The brooding ‘Suleyman,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another standout addition to the record.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Goodbyes,’ the record’s closer, is one of the most notable of the record’s songs.  It will also be discussed later.  Keeping that song in mind along with the other two noted here, this record proves to be a presentation that is worth at least one listen.

The Dodies’ new album It’s One Hell of a Ride is an interesting offering from the Israeli duo.  It is a work that will appeal to a very targeted audience base, as is evidenced through its musical and lyrical content.  The album’s opener and lead single ‘Boiling Point’ is just one of the songs that serves t support the noted statements.  The song’s musical arrangement instantly lends itself to a comparison to music from The Darkness and Royal Blood.  That is especially the case in the song’s chorus as Avittan hits his high notes.  He sounds just like The Darkness’ front man in those moments.  The song’s manic energy serves well to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical content, which Avittan recently discussed in an interview about the song.

“I wrote the song when I was really depressed and felt nervous about having no sexual interaction with any woman in my early twenties,” he said.  “I felt like I was in some sort of crossroads, like something drastic had to change in my life because I’m about to reach my boiling point.”

Avittan writes in the song’s lead verse, “I’m surprised that I’m so surprised/I love my TV/But it’s filled with lies/I don’t know where to go from here/If I don’t get lucky/Then it’s off the pier/Nothing wrong with being a bum/I’m not condescending/You’re just dumb/I forgot what my grandpa said/But I know I puked in my empty bed.”  He adds in the song’s second verse, “I don’t want to smile again/’Cause I know I’ll blink and it’ll suddenly end/I must say that it’s quite bizarre/That I get no p**** and I play guitar/See fumes of loneliness gushing out of me/Never do my best to try and fix it up/’Cause I think I drove too far to stop.”  He concludes in the song’s third verse, “Sorry if I disappoint/I’m about to reach my boiling point/Phony smile and a wave goodbye/I don’t’ wanna live/I don’t wanna die/That’s one fine comfort zone/Would you like to trade?/I can’t stand my one/Don’t ask me/I don’t know/But we might as well/Just give ‘em a show.”  Avvitan’s frustrations are such that especially plenty of young male listeners will connect with his words and with the energy in the song’s musical arrangement.  That ability to connect with listeners (albeit targeted listeners) with the song’s infectious arrangement and relatable lyrical content is just one example of what makes this LP worth at least one listen.  It is just one of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Sulyeman’ is another intriguing addition to the album.

‘Suleyman’ is a stark contrast to ‘Boiling Point’ in its musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  The song’s musical arrangement starts out in very brooding fashion before building into a distinct stoner rock approach with its fuzzed guitar sound and heavy drums set against the duo’s vocal delivery.  It definitely stands out to this end, against the rest of the album’s entries.  It’s just one part of what makes the song so intriguing.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest to its presentation.

Considering that the members of The Dodies are from Israel (The Middle East), the first thing that comes to mind here is that perhaps the song centers on the infamous Islamic leader Suleyman.  For those who might not know the history, Suleyman was an Ottoman Sultan.  During the course of his life, Suleyman waged war against Christians in Europe and the Mediterranean.  He also led the way in making reforms in law, education and taxation.  Not only that, but Suleyman was also renowned for protecting Jewish residents who lived within the Ottoman Empire.  Considering that much of Israel is populated by Jews, it would make sense that The Dodies’ work here would, in turn, be focused on him and his rule.  Of course, that is all this critic’s interpretation, and could be wholly incorrect.  Hopefully it is somewhere near being correct.  There is no direct mention made of the legendary ruler at any point in the song, again leading one to wonder.  Regardless of right or wrong, the very possibility and the discussion that is certain to ensue from that possibility is in itself reason for audiences to take in this song.  Keeping this in mind, it’s one more way in which It’s One Hell of a Ride proves an interesting offering from The Dodies.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  The record’s closer, ‘Goodbyes’ is another important addition to the album.

‘Goodbyes’ stands out because it is musically another piece that is unlike all of the emo-style works that make up so much of the record’s body.  Yes, it is an emotional work in its simplicity, but at the same time, it is not one of those downer, oh-woe-is-me type works.  It is just one guitar and one person singing.  And when joined with the song’s lyrical content, which focuses on the difficulty of saying goodbye, it becomes all the more powerful and moving.

Avittan points out in the song’s final line that the song is about saying goodbye not in relation to death or a broken relationship, but about going out into the world, saying goodbye to everything and everyone that one has known and heading out into the unknown.  He sings in the lead verse, “Auf widersehen/You were a great friend/You now as well that I can’t pretend/Gotta head out and see the big world/So many people from so many homes/I’m not that good at saying goodbyes/Maybe it’s ‘cause you can see through my lies/not gonna cry/It’s the sun in my eyes/I’m not that good at saying goodbye.”  He adds in the song’s second verse, “Maybe I’ll slip and slowly decay/Maybe you’ll see me on TV someday/Those are big words/But I’ve got to say/Anything’s better than having to stay.  I’m not that good at saying goodbyes/Picking a fight, so you won’t see me cry/I already said it’s the sun in my eyes/I’m not that good at saying goodbyes.”  He goes so far as to add in the song’s final lines, “Send my goodbyes to mom and dad/Yeah/I know they’ve never been that proud/But I’ve got to go and find my way.”  Some might say addressing the matter of coming of age and learning about becoming one’s own person is cliché.  Maybe it is.  But the way in which the matter is addressed here is anything but cliché.  It is in fact, very positive and is certain to connect with plenty of listeners.  When the whole of this work is considered along with the impact of the other two noted songs and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album becomes a presentation that audiences will find worth at least one listen.

The Dodies’ new forthcoming LP It’s One Hell of a Ride is an intriguing offering for audiences who are perhaps not overly familiar with the duo’s work.  Composed largely of musical and lyrical content that will appeal to fans of the emo, garage and punk realms, the album also presents some more personal content, as noted throughout this review.  Between the songs noted here and those not addressed, the album in whole proves to be worth at least one chance.  It’s One Hell of a Ride will be available independently from The Dodies April 24.  More information on the album is available online along with the duo’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://thedodiesband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thedodiesband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Run Around’s New EP ‘Bombs Away’ Anything But Bombs

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Up-and-coming punk rock outfit The Run Around released its first new studio recording in 11 years this month.  The Chicago, IL-based quintet released its EP Bombs Away March 14 independently.  The five-song record is the band’s first studio recording since the release of its 2009 LP Fight The Day. Its musical and lyrical content will appeal to fans of bands, such as Dropkick Murphys, Sum 41 and Bowling for Soup, the latter of which is scheduled to perform live alongside The Run Around Aug. 27 at Bottom Lounge in The Run Around’s hometown.  Tickets for that concert are available here.  The EP’s lead single and opener, which is also the record’s title track, is just one example of how that content makes this record so appealing.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘White Coats,’ the EP’s mid-point is another example of what makes the record stand out in this year’s field of new punk rock records.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Go Under,’ the EP’s closer is one more example of what makes the disc stand out.  It will also be discussed later.  Between this composition, the other noted songs, and the record’s other two offerings, the EP in whole proves itself to be a strong return for The Run Around, and hopefully not the band’s last release.  That is because it is one of this year’s top new EPs.

The Run Around’s first new studio recording in 11 years is a strong return for the up-and-coming punk rock band whose appeal is far-reaching, thanks to its collective musical and lyrical content.  The record’s opener/title track, which is also its lead single is just one example of what makes this record such an impressive return for The Run Around.  The song’s up-tempo musical arrangement lends itself to comparisons to the likes of Dropkick Murphys and Rancid.  One could even argue that a comparison to works from Sum 41 could be made, at least  in the way of that arrangement.  The infectious groove established in this song couples with the straight forward, no-nonsense sociopolitical commentary in its lyrical content to add to its impact.

Front man Jason Fein sings against the work of his band mates – Jason Enders (bass, vocals), Fabian Falcon (guitar, vocals), Mario Sanchez (guitar) and Mike Curran (drums) – “Little Tommy’s gun a gun/He’s not gonna shoot anyone/Sick of this carousel/There’s only one way out when it goes to hell/And when it comes, too/All that we’ll go through/Does not mean a thing/When war mongers control our brains/No future/No desire/We are drowning/But we’re too close to the fire/Bombs away/It’s just an ordinary day/In the U.S. of A./Say/No way/We contradict your politics/And the grand old GOP.”  The song’s second verse is difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference. However, in the refrain of the song’s chorus, Fein and his band mates change things up slightly, stating, “We contradict your politics and the redneck NRA.”  Considering this and everything in the song’s lead verse, the message in this song comes across as being pretty clear.  Fein adds in the song’s third verse that, “we must ride this wave or go down in punk rock glory” before returning to the chorus once more, adding, “Where the hell’s our liberty?…We say no way.”  Again, the lyrical content leaves little doubt as to its statement.  This is a commentary about the state of the nation.  Given, it will appeal mainly to those who are anything but Republicans, but to those audiences in question, it will certainly find its ears.  The urgency in the song’s musical arrangement adds to the fire in the song’s lyrical content to make the song in whole, a work that is a strong start for Bombs Away and an equally strong first impression for the band in its return.  The song is just one of the EP’s most notable works.  ‘White Coats’ does its own share to show the EP’s strength.

‘White Coats’ presents a musical arrangement that once again, is pure punk rock.  As with the EP’s opener, this up-tempo, guitar-driven work, with its solid time keeping is another work that lends itself to comparisons to works from Dropkick Murphys.  That is especially the case through Fein’s vocal delivery.  It instantly lends itself to the vocal delivery style of DKM vocalist Al Barr.  The simple, yet infectious hooks, which feature band simply singing “whoah” even are instantly comparable to DKM’s work.  The same can be said of the guitar solo in the song’s bridge.  That driving arrangement joins with the song’s straight-forward commentary in its lyrical content to make the song all the more powerful.

Fein sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wake up, baby/It’s the weekend/And we’re never gonna be … again/So let go/Of control/It’s too much stress for one to handle/You know it/We know it/Let the past be the past/You can’t wait for it/Tonight our enemy will be the sunrise/Haters gonna hate on what they don’t know.”  He and his band mates continue in the song’s second verse, “Mr. policeman/Put down the weapon/Please don’t shoot/We’re only drinking/Let go/Of control…we promise we won’t tell/One night/So live life/You know it/We know it/The past is the past/You can’t wait for it.” Of course Fein and company are not saying that drinking and driving is okay here.  The choice of words might have been better.  However, the bigger picture here is that the song’s message comes across relatively clearly.  The message inferred is that we should make the most of our lives.  This argument is strengthened even more as Fein sings in the song’s chorus, “Forget the bastards/And those who bring us down/Tonight, we’ll live life…when the white coats come/To take us all away/Sanity is just your favorite blue pill away.”  That line about sanity being our favorite blue pill away and the men in white coats coming to take us away enhances the song’s overall message about making the most of life.  It is as if Fein is saying that we are going crazy as a nation, and we need to just live our lives, making the best of every day.  That might account for the note of the blue pills and the men in white coats.  Keeping that in mind along with the playful, lighthearted vibe in the song’s arrangement, the song does an admirable job of translating that seeming message.  Looking at the seeming message and music, and that of the EP’s opener, it is clear that this record certainly has substance both musically and lyrically.  That substance does not end with these two songs.  Rather it continues in the EP’s closing number, ‘Go Under.’

‘Go Under’ is, musically, a very accessible song for audiences with its radio ready musical arrangement.  The harmonies established through the guitars, bass and vocals couple with the solid time keeping to make this song at least musically, this EP’s most radio ready work.  It’s just one part of what makes the song so accessible.  The song’s lyrical content, which centers on the all-too-familiar topic of a broken relationship.

Fein sings in the song’s lead verse, “Let’s start at the part/I broke your heart/You told me that you loved me/Right before I fell apart/Never meant for this/Bliss and happiness/Came with the yard and the white picket fence/I bit off my tongue/So you’d never drink alone/Blew off my friends/Pretend that we weren’t home/Now I’m the one/You scream when I call/All is far is love and war/Always my fault.”  He makes mention in the song’s chorus of things going to hell, which signals yet again, that matter of the relationship going south relatively fast.  He adds during the chorus, “I was your lightning/You were my thunder/Never really looked at another//When the lightning crashed/There was no more thunder/Life goes on/Then we go under.”  The song’s second verse is very similar in its approach, continuing that story of the broken relationship.  Between that clear presentation made in the verse and chorus, the song’s lyrical content translates quite well.  Coupled with the infectious musical content, the song in whole is a wise choice for a single, and could be that work that breaks the band into the mainstream, what with that accessibility.  Considering the strength of this song, the others discussed here and the rest of the EP’s entries, the whole of the 16-minute record proves to be a positive return for The Run Around and that is easily one of this year’s top new EPs.

The Run Around’s newly released EP Bombs Away is a record that explodes with so much substance, both in terms of its musical and lyrical content.  It is a work that will appeal to purist punk rock fans as well as those of the more mainstream stuff.  That is evident from the record’s opening to its end.  Keeping that in mind, this EP is a solid return for The Run Around and hopefully just the new beginning for this punk rock outfit.  The EP is available now.  More information on Bombs Away is available now along with all of The Run Around’s latest news at:

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/The_Run_Around

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.