Prong’s First-Ever Covers Record Is A Must For Long-Time Fans And The Metal Masses Alike

Courtesy:  Steamhammer Records/SPV

Courtesy: Steamhammer Records/SPV

Tommy Victor has spent the better part of his adult life in the music industry. For nearly thirty years, Victor has been releasing music under the moniker of hard rock/metal band Prong. Through all of the band’s ups and downs, Victor has pushed on releasing new material from Prong. He has released, over the course of that time nine full length studio albums, two live albums, one remix album, four EPs, and a number of singles and music videos. For all of those releases, there is still one item that until now Victor hasn’t handled under the Prong moniker. That item is the obligatory covers album. Next week, Victor will release Prong’s first ever covers album in the form of Songs From The Black Hole. The ten track album will be released via Steamhammer/SPV. This collection of covers is a great addition to any long-time Prong fan’s music collection. That is obvious right off the top with the band’s cover of Discharge’s ‘Doomsday. The high adrenaline song grabs listeners instantly and refuses to let go. Sisters of Mercy’s ‘Vision Thing’ follows ‘Doomsday’ and is one more example of what makes this album a must have for any long-time Prong fan. Those fans that are familiar with Prong’s body of work will hear the influence of SOM on Tommy Victor when listening to this song. And much the same can be said of Prong’s cover of Black Flag’s ‘The Bars.’ Stylistically speaking, it’s easy to hear Black Flag’s influence on Victor throughout Prong’s albums. It’s not the only obvious influence either. The inclusion of songs from the likes of Killing Joke, Bad Brains, ad Butthole Surfers shows Prong’s roots just as clearly. And much the same can be said of the compilation’s remaining four tracks. The entire record taken into consideration, it proves to be more than just another obligatory collection of songs flung together to fulfill a contractual obligation. Rather it is a record that celebrates some of rock’s greatest bands and at the same time one of the industry’s most important and influential yet least known bands. If not for the fact that it is indeed a covers album, it would have otherwise been justifiably named by this critic as one of the best new hard rock and metal albums of the year.

It’s incredible to think that roughly twenty-seven years after the release of its debut album Force Fed, Prong has not released even one covers album. In comparison to the countless covers albums released by Prong’s counterparts in both the mainstream and underground, it becomes even more incredible. For that reason alone, founder and sole original member Tommy Victor is to be commended for holding his ground. Audiences that pick up this record will agree in listening to Songs From The Black Hole that Victor is just as worthy of applause for the covers chosen for this record. Right off the top, the album grabs listeners and refuses to let go with its cover of Discharge’s ‘Doomsday.’ The song title sounds ominous, like a Soundgarden song or a piece from some black metal band. But the reality of the song is that it is actually a high-energy war protest piece that will have any metal purist wanting to get a circle pit started in their own home all while making audiences really think. Tommy [Victor] sings, “And now the end is near/The end is near/It’s time to say our last goodbyes…Is it a reality or just a nightmare…/Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide/No escape, no escape/Is it reality or just a nightmare?” The song’s seemingly politically charged lyrics coupled with the talents of Victor’s band mates–bassist Jason Christopher and drummer Art Cruz–make ‘Doomsday’ a great addition to this record regardless of regardless of its placement in the album’s sequencing. It isn’t the only song worth noting that makes this record so enjoyable for Prong’s fans and the metal masses, either. The album’s second song, Sisters of Mercy’s ‘Vision Thing’ is another solid addition to the record.

Prong’s cover of ‘Vision Thing’ is just as solid an addition to SFTBH as the record’s opener, Discharge’s ‘Doomsday.’ Sisters of Mercy’s original take on ‘Vision Thing’ has a decidedly 80s rock sound. Yet despite this, it still manages to stand out from all of the songs churned out by the hair metal bands of its age. Its sound is more similar to that of Billy Idol than say Poison stylistically speaking. Victor and compay somehow managed to keep the song’s original style all while mixing it with the band’s own updated sound to make for yet another solid addition to this surprisingly enjoyable collection of covers. As with SFTBH’s opener, this song is just as apt to leave audiences thinking as deeply as rocking out. Victor sings about what sounds like a drug addict in a hotel room getting high in the song’s first verse, singing, “Two thousand hamburg four/And colours I ain’t seen before/It’s a small world and it smells funny/I’d buy another if it wasn’t for the money.” This definitely comes across as a commentary of sorts about someone getting high on something. The seeming reference to JFK’s assassination that follows will generate just as much discussion as the verse’s opening lines if not more. The song’s closing lines say plenty, though seeming to clear up any questions that might have been left. Victor sings in the song’s closing lines, “What do we need to make our world come alive/What does it take to make us sing/While we’re waiting for the next one to arrive/One million points of light/One billion dollar vision thing.” These lines come across as a statement concerning the need for things to change considering the state of the world (I.E. drug users everywhere, murderers, etc.). Again, this song’s mix of musical and lyrical substance makes this piece another solid addition to a record that is surprisingly enjoyable for Prong’s first-ever covers LP.

Both Prong’s cover of ‘Doomsday’ and of ‘Vision Thing’ are solid additions to SFTBH. By themselves, both songs present their own element of enjoyment. When taken into consideration with the record’s other covers, both songs combine with those covers to show why for a first-time effort, Prong’s new covers record is a must have for any of its long-time fans. ‘Doomsday’ and ‘Vision Thing’ aren’t proof enough of this argument, then the band’s cover of Black Flag’s ‘The Bars’ is sure to convince audiences. PRong’s cover of this hardcore classic is a near spot on re-working. What’s more, there’s a certain element to it that harkens back to the days of Prong’s 1994 album Cleansing. Lyrically speaking, ‘The Bars’ is a rather dark song. It seems to focus on a figure with some rather troubling inner turmoil. As Victor sings, “Everytime I see I got my hands wrapped around the bars/I can’t shut off my mind/And now I’ve waited/My hands are wrapped around the bars/The bars, the lies, the lies, lies, lies/Are trapped behind the bars/My mind hates my body/My body hates my soul/I close my eyes and fight/Inside my own black hole.” The figure’s own torn feelings apparently seem to center around a young woman that took her own life by jumping out of a window. It is hardly the most positive lyrical content. But it is deep and deeply moving. Prong’s take on the song, musically speaking is a perfect match for those lyrics. The combination of both elements exhibit exactly why ‘The Bars’ is one more great addition to SFTBH.

‘The Bars,’ ‘Doomsday,’ and ‘Vision Thing’ are all positive additions to SFTBH. They are just a small glimpse into what makes this first-ever covers collection from Prong a must have for the band’s long-time fans. The record’s other seven covers each offer their own enjoyment for fans, too. All ten of the compilation’s songs taken into consideration, SFTBH proves in the end to be a record that was well worth the wait whether listeners are fans of Prong or the band’s covered by Prong here. SFTBH will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, March 31st. Beginning April 17th, Prong will hit the road in support of SFTBH with a sixteen-date European tour that runs through May 3rd. After wrapping the European leg of its tour Prong will take off the rest of the summer to charge up for a U.S. tour that kicks off October 23rd in Ramona, California. The 41-date North American tour will take the band across America and Canada throughout the summer and into the winter, wrapping up December 7th at the famed Whiskey a Go Go in West Hollywood, California. The band’s full tour schedule is available online along with all of the latest updates from the band at:

Website: http://prongmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prongmusic

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Priest’s DOTF 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Is A Must Have For Every Metal Purist And Judas Priest Fan

Courtesy:  Columbia Legacy

Courtesy: Columbia Legacy

Judas Priest. The very name is synonymous with metal. Regardless of whether or not audiences are familiar with the work of Judas Priest, they know the band’s name and its reputation among rock’s elite acts. The band has been making music together for almost half a century as of this year. To be more specific, the band has been making music for roughly forty-six years. Though its first full length album wasn’t actually released until 1974. Since that time, Judas Priest has churned out a surprising seventeen full-length studio albums. Those albums have sold millions of copies the world over including its most recent release Redeemer of Souls (2014). Considering that, it speaks volumes of the band’s longevity and its popularity. Now as the band comes another year closer to its fiftieth anniversary–this year marks the band’s forty-sixth year–it celebrates yet another important anniversary that just recently passed with the 30th Anniversary Edition of its 1984 album Defenders of the Faith. 2015 actually marks thirty-one years since Judas Priest originally released Defenders of the Faith. So why Columbia and Legacy would wait until this year to release the album’s 30th Anniversary Edition is anyone’s guess. It would have made more sense to have released it last year. That aside, Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is still a must have for metal purists and Priest fans alike. The central reason that it is a must have for audiences is the very fact that it presents Defenders of the Faith in its entirety exactly as it was presented way back in 1984. All ten tracks are here and they sound just as they did in the album’s original release. The addition of a two-disc, twenty-one song performance from the band’s 1984 tour in support of DOTF makes this re-issue all the more valuable for metal purists and Priest fans alike. And while it may seem like a minimal element to some, the album’s packaging is just as important to the presentation as the original album and its newly included concert. By itself, the re-issue’s packaging plays its own important part in the album’s enjoyment and success. Together with the album’s extensive bonus live recording and its full presentation of the original album, all three elements together prove why every metal purist and Priest fan should have Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.

Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Edition is, as already noted, a must have for any metal purist and Judas Priest fan out there that does not already own his or her own copy of the album whether on CD or vinyl. The presentation of the original album in its entirety is just one reason for this. Thirty-one years have now passed since DOTF was first released to the metal masses around the world. Since that time, it has gone on to earn platinum status, selling over a million copies worldwide. Even selling so many copies, there are still those that do not own the album whether on vinyl or on CD. Now those same audiences and a whole new generation can finally enjoy this album including its hugely controversial track ‘Eat Me Alive.’ For those that don’t know, ‘Eat Me Alive’ became a point of contention for Tipper Gore and the then PMRC because of Mrs. Gore’s interpretation of said song. The band’s musical response to that song was pretty interesting in its own right. That’s a story for another time. But the fact that that song is present along with each of the album’s others, and that they still sound so clear to this day makes for plenty of reason for audiences to add this album to their music libraries.

The presentation of DOTF as it was originally presented thirty-one years ago in its new re-issue is within itself plenty of reason for metal purists and Judas Priest fans alike to add this re-issue to their music libraries. This applies to both the generation that might already own the album whether it be on vinyl or CD and to the current generation of metal legions around the world. The addition of the bonus concert recording to the package makes even more reason for metal legions and Priest fans alike to pick up this re-issue. The concert’s set list totals twenty-one tracks and comes in at just under two hours. More specifically, it clocks in at an hour and forty-three minutes. Thanks to the concert’s set list and the band’s stage presence, that near two-hour run time feels to be far longer. And that is meant in the best possible way. Simply put, the concert’s set list and the band’s stage persona leaves audiences not even realizing that so much time has passed. At the same time, it doesn’t leave audiences feeling short-changed in the end, either. Full discretion, there are some points throughout the concert in which the audio mix is a bit dicey. Simply put, at some points, it seems as if the dual attack of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing overpowers front man Rob Halford’s vocals. It’s not terrible. But it is noticeable. And luckily this doesn’t happen throughout the performance. It only happens at points. So considering this, one can forgive whomever was originally at the audio boards. Even more Richard Kayvan and Tom Allom are to be commended for their efforts in remastering both the concert’s audio and the audio from the original album’s songs. The total of that work on both sides still makes Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition well worth adding to every metal purist and Judas Priest fan’s music collection.

The presentation of DOTF in its full, original entirety in its new 30th Anniversary Edition makes for reason within itself for metal purists and Judas Priest fans alike to add this re-issue to their music libraries. The addition of a never-before-released two-hour concert to the package makes for even more reason for those same audiences to add this re-issue to their music libraries. While both elements together do plenty to make this re-issue enjoyable, they still are not all worth noting that makes it a success. Believe it or not the re-issue’s packaging actually plays a part. So may record labels, when handling multi-disc sets, tend to use the case for a single album and add a plastic insert on which one or even two discs are placed, depending on the number of discs. This does help save space on CD racks. but it is also very problematic. The problem with this form of packaging is that the plastic insert in question can very easily be broken either at the hinge or on the insert itself when it is flipped out and pressure is placed on the insert to either remove or replace the CD(s). Columbia Legacy didn’t take that path with Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. Instead they presented the album’s re-issue in a gatefold package. This places each of the re-issue’s three discs into their own trays. This practice protects not only the discs but the trays, too. This actually preserves the album and its companion concert discs for far longer than the standard plastic insert formula. While it may be slightly more bulky, it is also much smarter. Not only that but it also creates a certain sense of nostalgia especially among those that might have owned the original album on vinyl thirty-one years ago before the advent of CDs. People generally take for granted the packaging of CDs. But hopefully in reading this, audiences will see that packaging sometimes can indeed help make or break an album. And this is an instance in which the packaging has greatly helped the album in its re-issue. It is one more way that Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition proves itself a must have for any metal purist and Judas Priest fan around the world. Together with the bonus full-length concert and the re-mastered original album, all three elements are more than enough reason for every member of the Metal Nation worldwide to add this re-issue to their music libraries regardless of whether or not they already own the original album.

Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition boasts plenty of reasons for audiences to add this re-issue to their libraries. The original album is presented in its entirety. And thanks to the work of those charged with re-mastering it, it sounds as good as ever if not better. The addition of a full-length concert that comes in at nearly two hours makes this re-issue eve better even with the occasional audio imbalances between Rob Halford’s vocals and the guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. The packaging is just as important to the whole of the re-issue. Despite being slightly bulky, the packaging protects the discs and their trays and even creates a sense of nostalgia among some audiences. The combination of all three elements together makes clear why every metal purist and Judas Priest fan should add this re-issue to their music libraries. It is available now in stores and online. More information on DOTF: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available online along with all of the latest news from Judas Priest at:

Website: http://www.JudasPriest.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/judaspriest

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Lynyrd Skynyrd To Release Classic Concert Recording This Summer

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

This summer, veteran southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd will release a new archived live recording to its fans via the leader in live recordings, Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Lynyrd Skynyrd will release Sweet Home Alabama on Tuesday, June 2nd.  The double-disc CD set features the band’s classic Rockpalast concert from 1996.  It marks the first time that the recording has ever been released for purchase.  The show’s set list includes some of the band’s biggest hits including: ‘Freebird,’ ‘Working For MCA,’ ‘Saturday Night Special, ‘Gimme Three Steps,’ ‘I Ain’t The One,’ and of course the recording’s title track and fan favorite ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ among many other songs.

The show’s set list is a big part of this recording’s success.  But it isn’t all that make the recording great.  As a bonus for true fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment has included a handful of rare performances featuring the original Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup of Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Ed King, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson, Owen Hale, and Bob Burns.  The lineup for the 1996 show features Ronnie’s brother Johnny on vocals.  He is joined by many of Ronnie’s old band mates and some new members including: Rickey Medlocke, Hughie Thomasson, Dale Krantz-Rossington, and Carol Chase.  The complete track listing for Sweet Home Alabama is listed below.

TRACK LISTING:
Disc 1: 
  1.  Workin’ For MCA
  2.  I Ain’t The One
  3.  Down South Junkin’
  4.  Double Trouble
  5.  I Know A Little   
  6.  Saturday Night Special**   
  7.  Swamp Music   
  8.  What’s Your Name   
  9. That Smell   
  10. Simple Man***   
  11. Gimme Three Steps   
  12. Call Me The Breeze
Disc 2:
  1. Sweet Home Alabama****   
  2. Free Bird
CD Bonus Tracks From Hamburg 1974: 
3) Workin’ For MCA
4) Free Bird
5) Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama will be available Tuesday, June 2nd in a double-disc presentation and will retail for MSRP of $17.98. A 2-LP is also scheduled for release later this year. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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

Muse Debuts Drones’ First Official Single

Photo Credit:  Danny Clinch

Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

Muse will release the first official single from its upcoming album Drones today. The single, ‘Dead Inside’ premieres on radio stations around the world today.

Front man Matt Bellamy says of the single that is the real starting point of Drones’ concept. He said of the song that “This is where the story of the album begins, where the protagonist loses hope and becomes ‘Dead Inside’, therefore vulnerable to the dark forces introduced in ‘Psycho’ and which ensue over the next few songs on the album, before eventually defecting, revolting and overcoming these dark forces later in the story.”

Speaking of ‘Psycho,’ the band just recently debuted the lyric video for that song via the band’s YouTube channel. To date, the video has garnered 6.7 million views. Drones was co-produced by the band and legendary producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange. It will be available in stores June 9th via Warner Brothers Records and can be pre-ordered online now via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/drones/id973555620. The full track listing for Drones is noted below:

Drones Tracklisting:

  1. Dead Inside
  2. [Drill Sergeant]
  3. Psycho
  4. Mercy
  5. Reapers
  6. The Handler
  7. [JFK]
  8. Defector
  9. Revolt
  10. Aftermath
  11. The Globalist
  12. Drones

 

All of the latest updates on Drones, the band’s current tour schedule, and all of the latest updates from the band are available online at:

 

Website: http://www.muse.mu

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/muse

 

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

Teenage Bottlerocket Premieres New Video, Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Rise Records

Courtesy: Rise Records

Punk rock band Teenage Bottlerocket premiered the video for its latest single ‘They Call Me Steve’ this week. The video can be viewed online right now via the band’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqLAkjRyiJU. It boasts an old school computer generated look that will have audiences laughing just as hard as its nonsensical lyrics. The song is taken from TBR’s latest upcoming album–its eighth full length studio effort–Tales From Wyoming.

Courtesy:  Rise Records

Courtesy: Rise Records

Along with the debut of its new video, Teenage Bottlerocket also announced this week a new slate of headlining tour dates that kicks off May 29th and runs through June 24th. The Copyrights will open for TBR on a handful of dates with Pears coming on board as a supporting act from March 31st to April 10th. Currently, Teenage Bottlerocket is on tour alongside fellow punk rock bands Pennywise and A Wilhelm Scream. That tour includes a performance at the Drunk Horse Pub in Asheville, NC on March 31st. The band’s current tour schedule is listed in full below:

Tour Dates:

(Through March 30 w/ Pennywise and A Wilhelm Scream)

Mar 19 Metro Chicago, IL

Mar 20 St Andrews Hall Detroit, MI

Mar 21 Danforth Music Hall Toronto, Canada

Mar 22 Now That’s Class Cleveland, OH

Mar 24 Middle East Downstairs Cambridge, MA

Mar 25 Bogie’s Albany, NY

Mar 26 Starland Ballroom Sayreville, NJ

Mar 27 Irving Plaza New York, NY

Mar 28 Trocadero Philadelphia, PA

Mar 29 The Filmore Silver Spring, MD

Mar 30 PEABODYS Virginia Beach, VA

(Headline Dates w/ Pears)

Mar 31 Drunk Horse Pub @Mickey’s Fayetteville, NC

Apr 01 Loosey’s Gainesville, FL

Apr 02 Local 662 St Petersburg, FL

Apr 03 Respectable Street West Palm Beach, FL

Apr 04 Will’s Pub Orlando, FL

Apr 05 Syndicate Lounge Birmingham, AL

Apr 06 Exit/In Nashville, TN

Apr 07 The Demo St Louis, MO

Apr 08 RECORD BAR Kansas City, MO

Apr 09 Triple Nickle Colorado Springs, CO

Apr 10 Aggie Theater Fort Collins, CO

European Dates

Apr 24 Club Vaudeville Lindau, Germany

Apr 25 Loudfest at Komplex Zurich, Switzerland

Apr 26 Honky Tonky Milan, Italy

Apr 27 Warmaudio Lyon, France

Apr 28 Batofar Paris, France

Apr 29 Ekko Wieldrecht, Netherlands

Apr 30 Uncle M Festival 2015 Munster, Germany

May 01 Tube Düsseldorf, Germany

May 02 Groezrock Meerhout, Belgium

May 03 Iduna Drachten, Netherlands

May 04 Lux Hannover, Germany

May 05 Beta Copenhagen, Denmark

May 06 Pirate Satellite Festival Hamburg, Germany

May 07 Pirate Satellite Festival Berlin, Germany

May 08 Pirate Satellite Festival Wiesbaden, Germany

May 09 Pirate Satellite Festival Stuttgart, Germany

May 10 Pirate Satellite Festival Munich, Germany

May 15 Pouzza Fest 2015 Montreal, Canada

(New Headline Dates w/ The Copyrights)

May 29 Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock

May 30 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory

May 31 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar

Jun 2 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill

Jun 3 Los Angeles, CA – Los Globas

Jun 4 Orangevale, CA – Ace of Spades

Jun 5 Portland, OR – Analog Cafe

Jun 6 Seattle, WA – El Corazon

Jun 7 Vancouver, WA – Venue

Jun 9. Edmonton, AB – The Pawn Shop

Jun 10 Calgary, AN – Ship and Anchor

Jun 11 Regina, SK – McNallys Tavern

Jun 12 Saskatoon, SK – Amigo’s Cantina

Jun 13 Winnipeg, MB – The WIndsor Hotel

Jun 15 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club

Jun 16 Milwaukee, WI

Jun 17 Oklahoma, OK – The Conservatory

Jun 19 Dallas, TX – Three Links

Jun 20 Austin, TX – Red Seven (Inside)

Jun 21 Corpus Christi, TX – House Of Rock

Tales From Wyoming will be available Tuesday, March 31st via Rise Records. It was recorded by Bill Stevenson (Rise Against, Descendants, Alkaline Trio, Hot Water Music) and can be pre-ordered online now via MerchNow and iTunes. More information on Tales From Wyoming is available online along with all of the latest news and tour updates from the band at:

Website: http://www.teenagebottlerocket.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/teenbottlerock

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

A.D.D. Rocks As Hard As Any Of Its More Well-Known Counterparts On Its Sophomore LP

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Chicago-based hard rock band A.D.D. (Analog Digital Disorder) recently signed a new deal with independent record label Pavement Entertainment that will see the band release its second full-length record through the label. Core will be released next Tuesday, March 24th. And for anyone that is a fan of Godsmack, Sevendust, and others of that ilk, this twelve-track album is right up said listeners’ alley. Speaking of Sevendust, the band’s cover of Sevendust’s ‘Black’ anchors this latest release. It is a near spot on take on what remains today one of the favorites of Sevendust’s fans. The album’s seemingly semi-80s influenced ‘Was My Life’ is another of the album’s high points. Stylistically speaking, it’s a classic big hair ballad type of song. Lyrically though, it doesn’t exhibit any of the trademarks of those overblown songs. Rather it is presents a relatively positive message. The album’s opener ‘I Regret’ offers its own thought-provoking lyrics and hard-hitting aggro-rock sound. It is just one more song out of the album’s twelve total that makes this record worth at least one listen by hard rock aficionados.

A.D.D. may not be one of the most well-known hard rock bands out there today. But the band’s credits speak for themselves. Having toured with hard rock heavyweights such as Korn, Halestorm, Alterbridge, and Sevendust among others has helped the band build an ever-growing fan base across the country. Considering that A.D.D. has performed alongside the likes of Sevendust, it comes as no surprise that the band included what is one of Sevendust’s most beloved songs in the form of ‘Black’ on its latest release. That song, which is also one of Sevendust’s earliest singles, is the anchor to Core. The band’s take on the song is a near spot-on cover with vocalist Margaret Young even sounding almost like Lajon Witherspoon as she sings, “Voices call/They call out my name, name/Well they say I’m different/Well I’m not the same, same/You say you want to, ah, be like me/Well, boy let me tell ya/You don’t know what I’ve seen/They say a devil lives in my soul/I promise not to let him take control/I’m mindin’ my own business/I ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong.” The production work involved in the song makes it all the more interesting an addition to the album. That is because at points it actually sounds like Young is actually singing right alongside Witherspoon. And if she in fact isn’t, then it just goes to show her vocal prowess. And the dual guitar attack of Jeremy Sparta and Dave Adams makes the song even harder-hitting. Much the same can be said of the talents of drummer Jason Delismon. The end result is a song that despite being a cover is an impressive addition to A.D.D.’s new album. It proves to be one of a handful of songs on this record that shows why Core is an album worth at least one listen by any hard rock fan.

A.D.D.’s cover of Sevendust’s ‘Black’ is a solid work and an equally solid part of the whole that is Core. It is just one part of the record that makes it worth the listen. Just as interesting an addition to Core is the band’s own original song ‘Was My Life.’ Stylistically speaking, the song boasts a sound that is quite similar to that of the major ballads from the era of big hair and big riffs. Lyrically though, it is anything but another one of those songs. Rather it boasts quite the positive message. As the lyrics state, “I see you all/Wish I could reach out and touch you/Never known when this could all just end/I didn’t get your name but your face I will remember/So until we meet again/We’ll keep chasing these dreams/Even in the darkest times it’s not as bad as it seems/Through all the ups and downs/You still hung around…” And that’s just the first verse. The song takes a similar lyrical stance throughout the remainder of its near three-and-a-half minute run time. The overall message of the song is one of not giving up on one’s relationship no matter how difficult things get. Whether the relationship in question is a romantic relationship or one of friendship is a moot point. That is because this song could really apply in either situation. That being the case, it makes ‘Was My Life’ all the more impressive an addition to Core and one more song that makes Core worth at least one listen.

Both the band’s cover of ‘Black’ and its original, seemingly 80s-influenced ‘Was My Way’ are in their own right positive additions to the whole of Core. They are only part of the reason that any hard rock fan should hear this record at least once. The album’s opener ‘I Regret’ is yet another reason for listeners to hear this album even if just once. Musically speaking, ‘I Regret’ is a solid modern rock song that boasts an obvious Godsmack influence. Even Young’s vocal style here is closely similar to that of Godsmack front man Sully Erna. Lyrically speaking, ‘I Regret’ comes across in a somewhat introspective manner with Young singing in the song’s chorus, “So far/I’ve been hanging by a self-made rope of hate/Climbing out of a hole…..I regret I am me.” That is at least the interpretation on the part of this critic. Hopefully these lyrics prove right. If they do indeed prove right, then they paint a powerful picture. They seem to paint a picture of someone caught in the depths of depression, feeling those pained feelings mixed with a certain amount of anger. It’s an emotional situation that so many have and still do feel to this day. Those that have been there and who are today will find the strength to persevere having the ability to relate to such lyrics. Such power in the mix of musical and lyrical content contained here shows why ‘I Regret’ is itself one more positive addition to Core. And together with the likes of ‘Was My Way’ and the cover of Sevendust’s ‘Black’, all three songs make a strong argument in favor of listening to Core at least once. The album’s other nine tracks not noted here each offer their own value to the whole of Core. Listeners will agree with that when they hear the album for themselves. In turn, said listeners will also agree that hearing all twelve tracks on this album, it is indeed a work worth at least one listen and that holds its own easily against its more well-known counterparts in the hard rock realm.

Core will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, March 24th. It will also be available at the band’s next live show at the Rock Fest on July 17th. All of the latest updates on the upcoming release of Core and all of the latest updates to the band’s live schedule is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pavementmusic.com/artistspartnerships/a-d-d/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Analog.Digital.Disorder

Twitter: http://twitter.com/addloud

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

BTBAM Announces New Album Release, Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

There’s big news from prog-metal band Between The Buried and Me this week.

Metal Blade Records and the members of Between The Buried and Me announced this week the release date for the band’s upcoming album and its supporting tour. The band–Dan Briggs (bass), Blake Richardson (drums), Tommy Rogers (vocals, keyboards), Paul Waggoner (guitar), and Dustie Waring (guitar)–announced this week that it will release its next full length studio effort Coma Ecliptic this summer. The album, the band’s seventh, is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, July 7th via Metal Blade Records. The album’s lead single has not yet been announced. However, it has been announced that it will be released Tuesday, April 3rd. Pre-orders for Coma Ecliptic open the same day.

Along with the announcement of the information for the album and its lead single, it was also announced that the band will launch a tour in support of Coma Ecliptic on the same day of the record’s release. The Contortionist will join Animals as Leaders as support acts for BTBAM’s upcoming tour. The thirty-plus date tour runs through August 15th and includes two dates in its home state of North Carolina. The first of those dates will see the band performing live at Ziggy’s By The Sea in Wilmington, NC on August 9th. The second brings the band to Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem on August 14th.  Before that tour kicks off, BTBAM will hit the road alongside The Atlas Moth beginning April 5th for a twelve-date tour to build excitement around Coma Ecliptic.  The tour’s opening date is at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina.  BTBAM’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of the latest updates on Coma Ecliptic at:

Website: http://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

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

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