Fozzy Reaches Its Peak With ‘Judas’

Courtesy: Century Media Century Media Records

Veteran hard rock band Fozzy launched the latest leg of its “Judas Rising” tour on Friday.  The tour, which currently runs through September 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, includes performances in Charlotte and Jacksonville, North Carolina on September 19 and 20 respectively.  The tour’s launch also follows the release of the band’s latest single, ‘Burn Me Out,’ which is taken from the band’s most recent album, Judas (2017).  Judas is an interesting change of pace for Fozzy at least stylistically speaking.  That is not a bad thing, either.  In fact, the change in the band’s sound exhibited in this record is a big part of what makes the record such an interesting new offering.  ‘Painless,’ which comes a little early in the record’s run, is just one example of that welcome change.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Elevator,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of the change exhibited in the record this time out, and another of the most notable of those examples, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The full-throttle ‘Wolves at Bay,’ which closes out the album is one more example of the change that is evident in this record that makes it another interesting new effort.  Of course it is not the last of the songs that shows the change from the band this time out.  Keeping that in mind, there are also some more familiar works early on in the record.  When those songs are considered along with the songs noted here and those not noted, the whole of Judas proves to be a record that presents Fozzy at the top of its game.

Veteran hard rock band Fozzy’s most recent full-length studio recording, 2017’s Judas is one of the best albums that this band has released to date.  Simply put, it presents Fozzy at the top of its game.  That is thanks to the growth and change exhibited by the band throughout the album.  The first real sign of that change comes early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Painless.’  Musically speaking, this song is one of the most radio friendly songs that the band has composed to date.  At the same time, it doesn’t sacrifice the hard rock edge for which the band has come to be known in its previous albums in order to achieve that accessibility.  It shows similarities to works from the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Five Finger Death Punch and other similar hard rock acts, showing again, that accessibility.

The song’s lyrical content shows a certain growth, too, as it presents a subject in a distinctly difficult place emotionally and psychologically.  What’s interesting here is that it doesn’t just come right out and give away the situation, perhaps intentionally leaving interpretation to apply to any difficult situation.  This is inferred as front man Chris Jericho sings in the song’s lead verse, “My life trapped in between/A whisper and a scream/A suicide machine of my own making/You medicate my brain/Like needles in my veins/Consumed in your embrace/There’s no escaping/My fix I the misery/Won’t stop till the end of me/I can’t feel anything.”  This alone comes across as perhaps someone dealing with the impacts of drug abuse.  That is just this critic’s own take on this verse, though.  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Killing me one breath at a time/Caught in your web/I’m paralyzed/So go on and lay me down to rest/You make it painless, painless.”  What’s even more interesting is that later in the song’s third verse, Jericho switches things up even more, singing, “Do you know what it’s like/To be hollow inside my life, my grave/Do you love me enough to finish me off/Don’t leave me here this way?” before reprising the song’s chorus.  At this point, it’s as if Jericho is hinting at a relationship issue making things even more difficult.  Simply put, this song is just as deep lyrically as it is musically.  Keeping that in mind along with the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole shows quite a bit of positive and welcome growth and change from the band.  That growth makes this song just one example of what makes Judas another strong effort from Fozzy.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show that welcome change.  ‘Elevator,’ which comes later in the record’s run, is another example of the change that makes Judas an interesting new offering from the band.

The growth exhibited in ‘Elevator’ comes instantly in its musical arrangement, as it opens with the driving guitar and keyboard lines that open the song.  That combination, which runs through the course of the song, gives the song a little bit of an industrial sound.  It’s a sound that Fozzy has used very rarely, if at all in its past records.  The expert balance of the elements along with the solid time keeping (and Jericho’s vocal delivery) makes for an overall musical arrangement that itself shows even more the change in the band’s musical direction this time out.  When that change is coupled with the song’s lyrical content, the two elements make the song in whole another notable addition to Judas.

Where ‘Painless’ presented someone in a very low place, ‘Elevator’ is the polar opposite so to speak.  Jericho sings here, “Step in/We’re gonna take a ride/To the promised land/Heaven is in our hands/We’ve all been down/There’s only one way out/’Cause when you’re feeling low/There’s only one way to go/I’m your elevator.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “We crawl through dirt/You know we’ve been hurt/Put your faith in me/’Cause I’ve got the golden key/So wave goodbye/I’m gonna get you high/High above the crowd/Nothing can stop us now/I’m your elevator.”  It goes without saying that unlike ‘Painless,’ this song is quite the uplifting piece.  Now whether the song was intentionally supposed to be religious in its wording or if that was purely metaphorical language is left for the band to explain.  That aside, the positive, uplifting message here, coupled with the song’s equally empowering musical arrangement shows even more the change in Fozzy in this record.  That exhibited change shows even more why the record in whole is some of the band’s best work to date.  It still is not the last of the songs to show that noted change and how that change is a positive for the album in whole.  ‘Wolves at Bay,’ the album’s closer, is one more strong example of that change and its positive impact on the album.

‘Wolves at Bay’ stands out – as with the previously discussed songs – in part because of its musical arrangement.  Its opening bars present a thrash metal style approach before switching over to the band’s more familiar melodic hard rock sound a la Sevendust, etc. in the verses.  That thrash metal approach, which again the band has rarely if ever, used returns in the chorus.  The driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement is echoed in its equally powerful and aggressive lyrics.  Jericho sings here, “You like to hunt/Your game is fear/I was the one, your souvenir/This is a fight/The one that you’ve been fighting for/You did incite the call for us to go to war.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Pushing and pushing/Giving me no choice/Humiliate/Intimidate/Until I hit the breaking point/Back to the wall/Keeping the wolves at bay/Fight my way out/’Cause it’s the only way.”  The song continues on lyrically in similar fashion from here.  Simply put, there’s a certain level of aggression and confidence here.  This is someone saying, “back off, you’ve caused me to be this way, and I won’t hesitate to attack if I have to,”  It’s a strong song and an interesting contrast to the album’s opener.  Those powerful lyrics and the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement shows again the change evident from the band in this album.  That welcome change also again shows what makes Judas such a strong new offering from Fozzy.  When it is considered along with the previously discussed songs and the rest of this record, the whole of the album proves to be not just a strong new album, but some of the band’s best work to date.

Fozzy’s new album Judas is some of the band’s best work to date.  That’s because while it does present some familiarity to listeners, it also exhibits continued positive growth and change from the band.  That is exhibited in the song’s discussed here clearly.  When they are considered along with the songs not discussed here, that change becomes even more evident and appreciated.  When it is considered in whole, the result is a record that every Fozzy fan will enjoy.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Judas, Fozzy’s new tour, its latest news and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.fozzyrock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fozzyrock

 

 

 

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Ellefson Coffee Company Announces Another Year-End Celebration

Courtesy: Ellefson Coffee Company/O’Donnell Media Group

Ellefson Coffee Company has announced a special new holiday event to celebrate its new retail outlets.

The company will hold a special event Dec. 16 at Maverick Coffee in Scottsdale, AZ to celebrate the company’s expansion into that and a number of other stores nationwide. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature a number of events including a meet and greet with Dave Ellefson, the company’s founder, and acoustic performances from EMP Label Group acts Doll Skin and Co-Op, featuring Dash Cooper and a holiday toy driveto benefit AZ Helping Hands.

Ellefson said in a recent interview about the event that he was looking forward to the celebration.

“Maverick is a terrific cafe that I frequent when I’m home in Scottsdale,” Ellefson said. “I’m thrilled to have Ellefson Coffee Company as part of their offerings. I look forward to seeing you all ther efor a final, year-end celebration with two of our hometown EMP Label group artists!”

Ellefson partnered with Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain early this year at the Rock N’ Roll Ribs in Coconut Creek, Fla — another ECC outlet — for another of ECC’s events. Along with that store, others that currently carry Ellefson Coffee Company’s various blends are: Rock N’ Roll Land in Green Bay, WI; Kat’s Hog Heaven in Jackson, MN and the What’s Up Lounge in Makato, MN.

More information on Ellefson Coffee Company’s latest events, news and more is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.Ellefsoncoffeeco.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ellefsoncoffeeco

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellefsoncoffee

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Ellefson Coffee Company To Mark Its Expansion Next Month With Hometown Party

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Ellefson Coffee Company is expanding its presence in its hometown, and its founder will be on hand to help mark the occasion.  .

Dave Ellefson, the company’s founder (and Megadeth bassist) will return to his hometown (and his company’s home town) Nov. 18 to celebrate the birthday of Kat’s Hog Heaven, the latest of the town’s local retailers to carry the company’s coffee.  The special birthday/end-of-year celebration will feature a display of various memorabilia from Ellefson’s Museum of Deth, which includes items from throughout Ellefson’s career.

The Ron Keel Band, who recently signed to EMP Label Group’s new Southern Rock/Outlaw Country imprint EMP Outlaw will provide musical entertainment for the event.  As an added touch, the celebration will also feature the debut of Ellefson Coffee Company’s new Jackson House Blend line.

Ellefson said in a recent interview that he was looking forward to the forthcoming event.

“I am so excited to return to Jackson and welcome our newest ECC retailer, Kat’s Hog Heaven, and unveil the Jackson House Blend!,” Ellefson said.  “Since we started ECC we have scoured the world to find a reasonably priced coffee that will adhere to the high quality standards we have set for ECC, and we are sure we have hit the jackpot with the Jackson House Blend.  I am also extremely excited to welcome my old friend Ron Keel to Jackson and showcase the latest addition to the EMP family!”

Ellefson Coffee Company Marketing/Operations Director Thom Hazaert agreed.

“The last time we went to Jackson, it was an absolute blast,” Hazert said.  “We’re so stoked to go back and introduce our new blend that pays homage to David’s hometown, and the great people of Minnesota!  And this time we’re dragging Ron Keel along for the ride!  We’ll also have tons of giveaways and surprises, so definitely get down and see us at Kat’s!!! (And try some of Donnie’s amazing BBQ).”

More information on Ellefson Coffee Company is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://Ellefsoncoffeecompany.com

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

 

 

 

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.

Jimi Hendrix Park To Officially Open Saturday In Seattle

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, LLC/Merlis For Hire

The city of Seattle, Washington will hold a very special event this weekend to pay tribute to a music legend.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park for the official opening of the Jimi Hendrix Park Saturday.  The event is free to the public and will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Construction of the 2.5-acre park, which sits just adjacent to the Northwest African-American Museum in Seattle’s central district, cost $2.2 million.

The park features a variety of items paying tribute to Hendrix and his legacy including a grand entrance and stairway highlighted by Hendrix’s signature at the corner of Massachusetts and 25th Avenue South as well as a walkway taking visitors toward the central plaza that presents a time line of Hendrix’s life and career.  Lyrics from Hendrix’s songs ‘Little Wing’ and ‘Angel’ are etched into a purple ribbon along the timeline.

This is just a glimpse of what the new park will offer.  Four rain gardens and a butterfly garden laden with flowering shrubs also fill the park along with numerous trees, an informational kiosk and bicycle racks.

Jimi’s sister Janie L. Hendrix will join city officials for a brief program and ribbon cutting Saturday at noon to officially open the park.  A number of performers will help celebrate the opening including School of Rock, Henry Cooper, Peace & Red Velvet and many others.  Food trucks, an instrument “petting zoo,” chalk art contest and various youth activities will give families plenty to eat, see and do throughout the afternoon.

Funding for the park’s construction was provided in part by the following donors:

  • Hard Rock International
  • KISW Radio
  • Janie L. Hendrix
  • King Conservation District
  • Northwest African American Museum
  • Seattle Parks Foundation
  • Fender Musical Instruments Company
  • Experience Hendrix L.L.C.
  • Authentic Hendrix LLC
  • Monterey International Pop Festival
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe Charitable Fund
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • Neighborhood Park & Street Fund

 

More information on the Jimi Hendrix Park is available online now along with all of the latest news from Experience Hendrix at http://www.jimihendrix.com/experience-hendrix-llc.

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.

TesseracT Reveals New Details For Its Third Album

Courtesy:  eOne/Kscope

Courtesy: eOne/Kscope

British prog-metal standout TesseracT recently announced that it had signed a new deal with independent record labels eOne and Kscope that would see its next label released via the two labels. It announced that eOne would handle its new release domestically and Kscope would carry it overseas. Now the band has announced even more details on its new record.

TesseracT announced this week the title, release date and even track listing for its album and as well as a teaser trailer to promote the record. The band announced that its new album will be titled Polaris and that it will be released worldwide on Friday, September 18th under the music industry’s new worldwide release date scheduling. The band’s third full-length studio effort, Polaris comes two years after the release of its most recent album 2013’s Altered State. It will also be the first full-length studio release for the band in its new relationship with eOne and Kscope. Audiences and fans can check out the trailer for Polaris online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pnWkaZK1hA.

Courtesy:  eOne/Kscope

Courtesy: eOne/Kscope

The album’s track listing is noted below.

Polaris Track Listing

1. Dystopia

2. Hexes

3. Survival

4. Tourniquet

5. Utopia

6. Phoenix

7. Messenger

8. Cages

9. Seven Names

More information on Polaris is available online along with all of the latest news from TesseracT at:

Website: http://www.tesseractband.co.uk

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

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.

2015 NBA Draft Pulls In Record Numbers

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm is officially in the books. And even with the draft being said and done, there are still lots of story lines for basketball fans to talk about in regards to who was and wasn’t taken. Now ESPN has added another item to discuss as it has announced the ratings numbers for this year’s draft.

ESPN has announced that this year’s NBA Draft presented by State Farm is the most-watched in the event’s history. This is according to Nielsen ratings. According to Nielsen’s numbers, the 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm averaged 3,738,000 (P2+). That is up eight percent from ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 NBA Draft. At its highest point, this year’s broadcast had 5,131,000 viewers. That was in the fifteen minute block from 8pm – 8:15pm ET. Not only were this year’s numbers the highest in the draft’s history but they were the highest ever on ESPN, averaging a 2.4 U.S. household rating. That is up four percent from the 2014 NBA Draft. It peaked in the 8pm – 8:15pm ET block with a 3.3 rating.

Even more impressive of ESPN’s broadcast of the 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm is that it pushed the worldwide leader in sports to win the night across both the broadcast and cable spectrum in a number of key demos. Those demos include: P 18 – 34, M 18 – 34, P 18 -49, M 18 – 49, and M 25 – 54.

ESPN has carried the NBA Draft ever since 2003 while the draft itself has TV records dating back to 1994. More information on the ESPN networks’ NBA coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NBA news at:

Website: http://www.espn.com.nba

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

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.

Full Band Lineup Announced For 2015 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival

Courtesy:  BSG PR

Courtesy: BSG PR

The organizers of the annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival have announced the complete lineup for the 2015 edition of the festival.

The festival’s organizers announced previously that Rancid, Refused, and Dropkick Murphys will share the bill as the headliners for this year festival.  It was also previously announced that The Muffs, Bad Manners, Swingin’ Utters, Discharge, and The Business had all been tapped to perform this year.  Now it has been announced that along with all of those bands, another group of bands has been added to this year’s festival.  Those bands are:  Sick Of It All, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream, Mahones, Sniper 66, PEARS, I.R.A., Success!, Get Dead, Avenue Rockers, Eliza Battle, Sounds of Threat, and Battle Born.  Festival founder Mark Stern was upbeat when discussing the official announcement.  He discussed not only his pleasure at having all of the bands for this year’s festival in place, but the importance of having them on board.  “We are very excited about the 2015 lineup” he said.  “We strive to keep things fresh and over 80% of these bands have never appeared at PRB. With bands from all over the States as well as Sweden, UK, Canada and even Columbia, it’s going to be another classic Punk Rock Bowing weekend!”

The 2015 edition of the three-day festival will take place over the course of May 23rd – 25thin Las Vegas, NV.  It will be held on 7th Street and Stewart Avenue near the city’s famed Fremont Street.  All of the latest updates on band lineup, ticket information, and more is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.punkrockbowling.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Punk-Rock-Bowling-and-Music-Festival/288077407910557

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PRBCommittee

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.