Independent hard rock band Oceanhoarse debuted its latest single this week, along with its companion video.
The band debuted the its new single ‘One With the Gun‘ Friday, along with the song’s video. The song is featured in the band’s as-yet-untitled debut album, which is scheduled for release in August through Noble Demon.
The single features a musical arrangement that will appeal to metalcore fans. Its lyrical content takes on the familiar, hot button issue of gun violence.
Bassist Jyri Helko addressed the song’s lyrical theme during a recent interview.
“‘One with the Gun’ is about the twisted power trip some people seem to be on once they get a piece,” he said. “There are constantly horrific news about the consequences of that ”I am the law” attitude happening all over the world way too often. So the statement the song makes is clearly really anti-violent even though the title sounds pretty menacing when you first look at it”
In other news, Oceanhoarse has announced a brief live tour run in support of its album. The live dates are noted below.
May 14th Telakka, Helsinki FIN Aug 13th-14th North of Hell Festival, Oulu FIN Dec 26th Hoarsefest, On the Rocks Helsinki FIN
More information on Oceanhoarse’s new single, album, and live dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Family entertainment group The Story Pirates will release its new album this spring.
The group is scheduled to release its next album The Strawberry Band April 2. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted the video for the album’s lead single this week. The band debuted the video for the song ‘Fun Crazy Weird Hair Store‘ Friday through Geekdad and the “Absolutely Mindy” show on Sirius XM Kids Place Live.
The song is a light, kindie-pop style composition. Its easygoing guitar, piano, vocals, and simple time keeping makes it an infectious work. The song’s lyrical content is based on a short story crafted by a 9 year-old Story Pirates fan. It is one of a handful of stories crafted by children that make up the album, which itself is a tribute to concept albums.
The story behind is considered a “Beatles-esque” story that itself was crafted by a 5 year-old fan of The Story Pirates. According to information about the album, the band has dreams of stardom, but turns into strawberries every time it hits the stage. Throughout the album, the band, which created its own concept album, shows up as it tries to evade a strawberry-eating shark. The other stories that appear in this concept album about The Strawberry Band feature items, such as cinnamon buns, a wingless fairy, and a hedgehog.
The Strawberry Band is The Story Pirates’ fourth album.
In other news, The Story Pirates is scheduled to resume the fourth season of its podcast the same day as the release of its new album. It will feature 20 more episodes that will run through July,
Season Four opens with a Johnny Cash-style song that is based on a story titled ‘I’m Toast, Man!’ The song is based on a story written by a 6 year-old fan of The Story Pirates.
Season Four also features a new story, “The Adventures of Harold Jordan.” The story was adapted from a story crafted by one of The Story Pirates’ 9 year-old fans.
New music and stories are just a portion of what audiences have to look forward to from The Story Pirates when its fourth season resumes. Actor Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock, Phineas & Ferb) will join The Story Pirates for its mid-season premiere.
In even more news, The Story Pirates’ Los Angeles-based audiences can look forward to new episodes of its SPTV soon. The series runs on the region’s PBS affiliate, KLCS. The series encourages young viewers to use their imaginations to write original stories. It does this by taking viewers into stories written by other young viewers.
Story Pirates Creator Club members have full access to the show. Sample episodes of SPTV are streaming through YouTube.
More information on The Story Pirates’ new album, podcasts and SPTV episodes is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Independent singer-songwriter Mick Blankenship debuted his cover of a rock classic this week.
Blankenship premiered his take on Living Colour’s hit song ‘Cult of Personality‘ Friday along with a companion lyric video. The premiere comes more than five months after he premiered the video for his song ‘Rule The World.’
Blankenship talked about taking on the song in a prepared statement.
“Cult of personality was not only a legendary Rock song but a staple in my live set list, as well as, my playlist,” he said. “The band Living Colour made a massive statement in the 90s with their message and the world heard it! They captured a unique sound that remains in my musical soul. The song is part of who I am as a musician. I have the utmost respect for Living Colour. The reason I chose this song to cover was because history seems to repeat itself and the message within “Cult of personality” may be even more relevant today than ever! Music unites everyone and we need unity. Some people just “understand” through music as opposed to the mass misinformation of the media that keeps us divided. We need to turn off the news and turn up the radio!”
Blankenship’s take on the song stays largely true to its source material, even down to his vocal delivery style. Even the guitar solo is largely the same as that in the band’s original take.
More information on Mick Blankenship’s new single and video is available along with all of his latest news at:
Sabaton debuted its latest single this week, along with the song’s companion video.
The band debuted its new single, ‘Livgardet‘ Friday, along with the song’s companion video. The song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming, as-yet untitled album. The video’s debut less than a month after the band announced it has renewed its contract with Nuclear Blast Records.
Bassist Par Sundstrom, who also serves as the band’s manager, talked about the song in a prepared statement at the time.
Since 2012 and Carolus Rex, we have been looking forward to writing more songs in Swedish, and we felt that we were not done with the history of our fatherland,” he said. Over the past years we have been discussing around topics until something obvious came up, One of the oldest military regiments in the world, the Swiss Royal Guard (Livgardet),was formed in the Sabaton home region in Sweden, Dalecarlia, in 1521 by the legendary Swedish king Gustav Vasa. For the past 500 years, they have evolved with the times and served under various kings and queens around the world and are still active today. We felt that such an anniversary would be worth a song, and we aimed at writing a respectful tribute, an anthem for this Swedish regiment and its legacy. The rich 500 years of history is, needless to say, extremely hard to fit into one song, and that is why we mainly focused on the parts and battles that happened during the age of the Swedish Empire. We aimed to write a respectful tribute, a powerful anthem, for this Swedish regiment and its remarkable legacy.”
Sabaton’s new single is sung in its native Swedish tongue. Lyrics are posted with the video for translation into English. Translated, the lyrics tell the story of the Swiss Royal Guard.
The musical arrangement featured in Sabaton’s new single is everything that audiences have come to expect from Sabaton. The power metal approach is there once again but the overall arrangement is its own unique presentation.
The song’s video features Sabaton’s band members dressed as members of the Swiss Royal Guard, enjoying quite the fine feast as they plan a military campaign. The band’s established audience base will enjoy this, considering that the band has made a career of crafting songs and albums about various military conflicts throughout the world’s history.
In related news, Sabaton has launched pre-orders and pre-saves for its next single, ‘The Royal Guard.’
More information on Sabaton’s contract renewal, its new single, and its forthcoming single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Liquid Tension Experiment debuted the latest single from its new album this week.
The band –Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, and Tony Levin — premiered its new single ‘Beating The Odds’ Friday, along with the single’s video. The song is the second single from the band’s forthcoming album LTE 3, which is scheduled for release March 26 through Inside Out Records. Its premiere follows that of the album’s lead single, ‘The Passage of Time.’
The band’s new six-minute-plus song is grounded in Petrucci’s performance on guitar. Portnoy’s time keeping and Rudess’ performance on bass deepens the song’s presentation even more. The video features the band members performing their respective parts to the song on a series of poker cards and chips.
Petrucci discussed the song’s construction during a recent interview with the band.
“This was a riff that I brought into the sessions that I thought was interesting because it’s in an odd time and phrased in a way that is hard to wrap your head around at first until you understand where the groove is,” he said. “When I first presented it to the guys, their initial reaction was “how are you feeling that?” When the band enters after the opening riff it probably sounds a little “odd” because the time signature is a bit unclear until the song gets going. If LTE ever had a ‘prog pop hit’ this would be it!”
Rudess respoded to Petrucci’s comments, noting the band members’ reaction to the arrangement.
“I remember the look of confusion on ALL our faces when JP started playing that opening riff!,” said Rudess. “It’s was seemingly so straight ahead but with a bizarre rhythmic twist! Took a while to internalize that but then we all loved it! One of the great things about LTE is the fact that we just let ourselves loose and have FUN!”
More than two decades have passed since the quartet released its then most recent record Liquid Tension Experiment 2. That record, released in 1999, was followed up by the release of the album Spontaneous Combustion in October 2007 by three quarters of the group, which opted to call itself Liquid Tension Trio. Portnoy, Levin, and Rudess recorded the album while Petrucci and his wife welcomed their then baby.
The new album’s track listing is noted below.
1. Hypersonic (8:22) 2. Beating The Odds (6:09) 3. Liquid Evolution (3:23) 4. The Passage Of Time (7:32) 5. Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey (5:04) 6. Rhapsody In Blue (13:16) 7. Shades Of Hope (4:42) 8. Key To The Imagination (13:14)
Bonus Disc: Includes almost an hour of improvised jams.
The album will release on the platforms noted below. Pre-orders open now.
•Limited deluxe hot pink 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Box Set (incl. a poster and 4 artcards, Blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround mix with visuals, and full band interview from the studio) •Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook •Limited 2CD Digipak •Gatefold black 2LP+CD • Digital album (2CD)
More information on this and other titles from InsideOut Music is available along with the label’s latest news at:
Independent punk rock band Harker debuted the video for its latest single this week.
The band debuted the video for its single ‘The Beast Must Die’ Friday. The song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album Axiom, which is scheduled for release April 23 through Wiretap Records. It will release through Disconnect Disconnect Records, Shield Recordings, and Fixing a Whole Records overseas.
The video for ‘The Beast Must Die’ is a simple presentation. It features two people demolishing a boom box through the use of a sledgehammer and baseball bat as the song plays over the simple visuals. The visuals are perhaps an artistic way to translate the theme behind the song’s lyrical content.
Front man Mark Boniface addressed the song’s lyrical theme during a recent interview.
“The Beast Must Die’ is based on the idea of ‘Mono-consciousness’ by English writer Colin Wilson – as a philosopher, Wilsons writing was heavily focused on striving to live with a heightened sense of meaning and avoiding a closed mindset,” said Boniface. “This track is a study of characters with a lack of empathy and spirituality, in the end leading to apathy for existence. ‘Mono-consciousness’ is a beast that lurks inside, and needs to be hunted before it takes control of us.”
The musical arrangement that accompanies the song’s lyrical content is just as simple in its approach as that taken to the song’s video. It is a garage-punk style work whose fuzzed guitars form its foundation.
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Marc Ribler unveiled his debut album this week.
Ribler, who is the musical director of Little Steven and the Disciples, premiered his debut single, ‘Shattered‘ Friday. The song is the lead single from Ribler’s latest album The Whole World Awaits You, which is expected for release in June through Steven Van Zant’s Wicked Cool Records.
The Whole World Awaits You is Ribler’s third album. It is preceded by his first two albums, This Life and Life Is But A Dream. Both albums are available to order here along with ‘Shattered.’
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Shattered’ generates its own engagement and entertainment. Ribler’s vocal delivery style leads to comparison to Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl as does the sound generated through the song’s instrumentation. At the same time, the arrangement also features a light, Tom Petty style approach and sound.
The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical content touches on the all too familiar topic of a broken relationship.
Ribler co-produced his new single along with Van Zant. Ribler mixed the song.
More information on Marc Ribler’s new single and album is available along with all of his latest news at:
Independent indie/college rock band Space Cadet debuted its latest single this week along with its companion video.
The band debuted its new single ‘Start Running Away‘ and its video Friday. The song is the third single from the band’s forthcoming album Lion on a Leash, which is scheduled for release March 26 through Wiretap Records. The pair’s debut follows that of the album’s second single, ‘Bad Luck‘ and its companion video, and that of the album’s lead single ‘Forever For a While‘ and its companion video.
The musical arrangement featured in Space Cadet’s new single is a unique post-punk style composition. The light guitar approach, airy vocals, and steady time keeping, it actually lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Foo Fighters. Bad Religion guitarist Brian Baker makes a guest appearance on the song.
Baker is just one of the guests who appear in Lion on a Leash. The album also features guest appearances by Mike Sneeringer (The Loved Ones), Matt Olsson (Dave Hause, Frank Iero, Brian Fallon), and Chris Gonzalez (The Explosion/The Loved Ones).
No information was provided in the press release announcing the debut of the new single and its video. However, from what can be interpreted, it would seem that the song’s lyrical content hints at a message of making the most of life possible.
The video that accompanies the song is its own unique presentation. It features various images, such as ballet dancers rehearsing a routine, flowers blooming, and ice crystals forming as the song plays over the noted imagery.
Veteran prog-metal band Evergrey returned Friday with its latest album, Escape of the Phoenix. Originally scheduled for release this past December, the band’s 12th album is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band. That is evidenced through the record’s musical and lyrical content alike, each of which will be discussed here. The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation. Each item noted here plays its own crucial part to the whole of this record. All things considered, they make Escape of the Phoenix a powerful new offering from Evergrey that further cements the band’s place in the echelon of progressive metal.
Evergrey’s latest album Escape of the Phoenix is a powerful new offering from the veteran prog-metal outfit. It is a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s established audience base as to prog-metal and metal fans alike. That is due in part to the musical arrangements that are featured throughout the record’s 11 total songs. The arrangements in question are at times just as heavy as anything the band has ever crafted. At other times, the arrangement turn deeply contemplative and soft, yet so heavy in that controlled approach. One of the most notable of the album’s heavier tracks is the record’s title track. Coming late in the record’s 58-minute run, the heavy, aggro approach to the guitars and the stop-on-a-dime precision of the time keeping pairs with the vocals and the heaviness of the bass to fully stand out. The fullness of the arrangement will completely envelope listeners, ensuring their engagement and entertainment. On the exact opposite end of the spectrum is ‘In Absence of Sun. The sense of melancholy established through the song’s gently flowing piano line will tug at any listener’s heart strings. Front man Tom Englund’s mournful, semi-operatic vocal delivery style here adds even more depth to the arrangement. As the song progresses, it builds, adding in some real heaviness in the guitars and drums. The whole lends itself to comparison to works from Dream Theater. Speaking of Dream Theater, James LaBrie, the band’s front man joins Evergrey in another of the album’s heavier moments, ‘The Beholder.’ There are some hints of Dream Theater’s influence here, but for the most part, this is more of an orchestral/metal hybrid whose heaviness and darkness gives the album even more depth. The synthesized strings and choral element join with the rest of the arrangement to make the song another unique composition that still bears a stylistic similarity for longtime listeners. Between this presentation, the others noted here and the rest of the album’s arrangements, what audiences get overall, is an overall musical presentation that is stylistically familiar for longtime listeners, but still exhibits unique new arrangements from one to the next. The foundation that this mix of the new and the familiar is rock solid and just one example of what makes the album stand out. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements makes for its own share of engagement and entertainment.
The lyrical content that is featured in Evergrey’s new record is heavy in its own right. Englund noted during an interview promoting the album, that the lyrical content featured in the record comes from a personal place.
“I write lyrics for myself, to get things out of my system,” he said. “This has been my therapy, really, for the last 25 years. I’m very certain that if we didn’t do this, I would be a much more miserable person. I’ve got to thank music for everything, especially having the outlet to write lyrics.”
“There’s a theory that writing things to yourself is therapeutic, and I think that’s very true,” added Englund. “The composing of the lyrics is extremely important to me; just as important as writing the music. Even more, sometimes. For me it’s like painting a picture with words. I see really clearly what it’s about; it’s a world for me.”
‘Forever Outsider’ is among the most notable of the album’s works, in considering its lyrical side. Englund leaves no doubt here, the song touches on the familiar topic of trying to find one’s place in the world. That is made clear in the song’s chorus, which finds Englund singing, “What it all comes down to/Was that I never felt like one of you/Light changed and so did my soul/I went from broken to whole/Still knowing that I’d always be/Forever outsider.” The song’s second verse adds to the noted argument, as Englund sings, “Always felt like an orphan of shadows/Baptized at night/Always felt like a stranger to mankind/I lied across all borders to justify life/A born denier because life is a lie.” These are statements that will resonate with a wide range of listeners, not just angsty teens. On the exact opposite emotional end of things here is ‘Eternal Nocturnal.’ This full-on prog-metal opus actually presents some sense of hope in its lyrical content.
The noted sense of hope does not come right away. Rather, Englund sets the stage for the message in the song’s lead verse as he sings, “Hand in hand with the hopeless/I see you drowning in the harbor of the soulless/Your mind is like wild horses/Stampede/It rages/You’re distorted/And we were watching from afar/And we were hiding in our own dark/Hoping we would be brave enough for you.” From here, the noted message of hope is delivered in the song’s chorus, which states, “I’ll be your winds when you need a storm/Your sense of hope when you fall/I’ll be your shelter when you need a home/I’ll be your reasons to all/And when you’re feeling down and low/I’ll be your eyes in the dark/And I’ll be there when your time will come.” The translation is relatively simple. This is someone offering help to someone else who is going through some very difficult emotional times. The chorus’ refrain builds that message even more as Englund adds in the second time around, “And if you find yourself on the outside/You never need to feel that you’re all alone/Because I’ll be there in your times of twilight/Forever nocturnal/I’ll be your eyes in the dark.” This is collectively a strong statement that many listeners will find helpful when they have to navigate those emotional waters. It is just one more of the ways in which the album’s lyrical content proves integral to its overall presentation. ‘You From You,’ which comes even later in the album (and opens with a distinct 80s power ballad type approach) is another example of the importance of the record’s lyrical content.
‘You From You’ comes across as being a statement from someone who is fed up with being caught up in someone else’s misery; someone who it would seem does not want things to get better. This is inferred right from the song’s outset in which the main subject is making a comparison, pointing the finger at that other person. The subject sings here, “I fought since my youth/I scraped the pain away/I’ve come to a conclusion/That there are no words to say/Even though I’ve done all I could/There are so many things I can’t do/One is to save you from you.” He continues from there, “I offer me and all that’s true/My peace within might guide you through/Your darkest times and your loneliest days/But I can’t save you I can’t save you from you/Because you didn’t climb at all/And I didn’t want to fall/But I never needed more than your heart/That was all/You never gave it up and I didn’t want to fight/In a war on the inside.” The subject concludes his statement, singing, “I’m leaving you/I’m leaving you/From the dead lights/Through the dark nights and the insights/I cannot save you from you.” This is another overall statement that will resonate with listeners. Lots of people, if not everyone, has been in such a situation at one point or another in their lives, dealing with such a type of person. To that end, the song will help those listeners in those situation deal with those situations, too. When this is considered along with the other lyrical themes noted here and the album’s remaining lyrical content, that whole proves just as important as the album’s musical arrangements. The two elements together give listeners more than enough to appreciate. They are collectively still just a portion of what makes the record stand out. Its production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into the creation of Escape of the Phoenix is important to address because that work was responsible for balancing everything that happened in each arrangement. From the wall of sound that the guitars create in so many of the album’s arrangements to the emotional impact of the Englund’s vocals, to the subtleties of the keyboards, and other items, the fullest attention was paid to the record’s production. No one item overpowered another at any given point in the album. The result of the painstaking efforts to balance each element in each song is a record that will engage and entertain listeners just as much for its sound as for its content. Keeping this in mind, the whole of the production and overall content here makes Escape of the Phoenix a viable candidate for a spot among this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.
Evergrey’s latest album Escape of the Phoenix presents its own escape that the band’s established audience base will find appealing and engaging just as much as metal and prog-metal fans. That is proven in part through its musical arrangements. The arrangements in question are their own unique works from one to the next. At the same time, each work still takes a stylistic approach that the noted established fan base will appreciate. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical content is also important to the album’s presentation. That is due to their clear accessibility. Much of the lyrical content featured in the album will resonate with audiences, as the songs examined here show. The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, bringing everything full circle. It makes the record appealing just as much for its overall sound as for its content. Each item noted here is clearly important in its own way to the whole of this album. All things considered, they make the album a viable option for any critic’s list of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. Escape of the Phoenix is available now through AFM Records.
More information on Escape of the Phoenix is available along with all of Evergrey’s latest news and more at:
Independent movie studio Blue Underground will re-issue United Artists’ 1980 action/drama flick The Final Countdown this spring.
The company is scheduled to release the lesser-known science fiction flick April 27 on 4K Ultra HD/BD combo pack. Starring Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, TheDeparted, The West Wing), and Kirk Douglas (Spartacus, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Ace in the Hole), the movie’s story finds the crew of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz transported back in time to Dec. 6, 1941, the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor during an electrical storm.
As a result of the unexpected trip back in time, a difficult decision must be made by the carrier’s officers and political officers in Washington, D.C. at the time. A trailer for the movie is streaming here.
Blue Underground’s forthcoming re-issue comes with a variety, such as a feature-length audio commentary, interview with the F-14 crew that starred in the movie, and soundtrack to the movie. Additionally, the first printing will feature as a bonus, a 3D lenticular slipcover. The full listing of bonus content is noted below.
Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper
Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood – Interview with Associate Producer Lloyd Kaufman
Starring The Jolly Rogers – Interviews with The Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron
Poster & Still Galleries
BONUS! THE FINAL COUNTDOWN Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by John Scott
BONUS! Collectible Booklet featuring The Zero Pilot Journal
BONUS! 3D Lenticular Slipcover (First Pressing Only)