Gus G. Debuts EPK Ahead Of New Single, Album Release

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Firewind front man Gus G. will release his debut solo album this Spring.  I Am The Fire is scheduled to be released March 18th in the United States.  It will be released March 17th in Europe.  It will be released worldwide via Century Media Records.  Before he releases his debut, Gus G. has released a brand new EPK that offers audiences a look inside the making of the album.  Fans can check out the new EPK online now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJd38EoTLkA&feature=youtu.be.

The album’s title track is impacting radio now.  It is currently playing on Sirius RadioXM Octane.  It will be added to mainstream radio stations’ playlists beginning next Tuesday, February 18th.  It features the members of hard rock band Devour The Day as special guests.  It will go on sale digitally via iTunes February 25th.  The track listing for I Am The Fire is listed below.

        ‘I AM THE FIRE’ TRACK LISTING:

  1. My Will Be Done (feat. Mats Levén)
  2. Blame It On Me (feat. Mats Levén)
  3. I Am The Fire (feat. Devour The Day)
  4. Vengeance (feat. David Ellefson)
  5. Long Way Down (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)
  6. Just Can’t Let Go (feat. Jacob Bunton)
  7. Terrified (feat. Billy Sheehan)
  8. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Mats Levén)
  9. Redemption (feat. Michael Starr)
  10. Summer Days (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
  11. Dreamkeeper (feat. Tom S. Englund)
  12. End Of The Line (feat. Mats Levén)

Gus G. handled all guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on his solo debut.  Brought along for the record were drummers Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Devo) and, Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy) bassists David Ellefson (Megadeth), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), and Marty O’Brien (Tommy Lee, We Are The Fallen), and vocalists Mats Leven (Candlemass, ex-Yngwie Malmstein/Therion), Blake Allison (Devour The Day), Michael Starr (Steel Panther), Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill),Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Jacob Bunton (Adler) and Jeff Scott Soto (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ex-Journey).  The album was produced by Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Steel Panther).

More information on Gus G., his new album, tour news and more is available online at http://www.gusgofficial.com, http://www.facebook.com/officialgusg, and http://twitter.com/gusgofficial.  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.

Numan’s New Album Is A Musical Masterpiece

Courtesy:  Machine Music USA, Inc.

Courtesy: Machine Music USA, Inc.

Veteran musician Gary Numan has shaken up this critic’s list of the year’s best rock and hard rock albums with the release of his latest album, Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind).  Numan’s new record, his twentieth full length studio release, takes listeners once again into the ever darkening world that he has crafted throughout his more recent releases.  Numan grabs audiences right from the album’s emotionally desolate opener ‘I Am Dust’ straight through to ‘My Last Day’, which closes out the album’s dozen tracks and never lets go.  It may not be the most uplifting album out there.  But the sonic landscapes crafted throughout this near hour-long record make it worth more than just a couple listens.  As a matter of fact, that landscape makes this album a darkhorse candidate to be one of the year’s best new rock or even hard rock albums.

Numan made the completely right choice opening his new album with ‘I Am Dust.’  There is so much that can be said of this song.  The first thing that listeners will take away from this song is the different musical and vocal influences obvious throughout the song.  Numan’s own vocal style in the verses conjures thoughts of Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan.  However, when he reaches the choruses, there is almost a mix of Peter Steele (Type O Negative) and Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) in his voice as he sings, “We are yours/We’re waiting for you/We are yours/We’re waiting for you.”  The Fear Factory and Type O Negative influences can also be heard in the choruses in the song’s musical side.  Numan’s nihilistic lyrics in this song echo that of Trent Reznor circa The Downward Spiral.  He sings, “We all pray for the end/For the God to take us/We were falling down/One by one/We were weak/And the fear/Was all around us/The machines screamed from moon to sun.”  The musical and lyrical combination along with the obvious influences from across the rock world collectively make this song the perfect introduction to Numan for those that might be new to his music and an equally impressive re-introduction for those that are more familiar with his music.

For all of the dark, brooding songs that Gary Numan includes in his new album, he also tackles relationship issues in his own way.  He tackles the subject in the very Nine Inch Nails-esque ‘The Calling.’  Were a person to hear this song on the radio without knowing it was Gary Numan, one might actually think it was Nine Inch Nails because of how close it sounds to Trent Reznor’s work circa The Fragile.  The string arrangements and electronics set against Numan’s brooding lyrics make this song one of this album’s key moments.  Lyrically, there is little to this song.  But even in its few lyrics, Numan captures the emotion of someone that realizes that he or she has been nothing but a pawn in someone else’s game.  He writes in the song’s final verse, “You don’t love me/You don’t know me/Is this some kind of game for you/Is that why you’ve called me?” This is a situation to which plenty of audiences can relate.  Not everyone has gone through the situation presented in this song.

Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind) is front loaded with more than its share of impressive new material from Gary Numan.  There is not one bad moment throughout the record’s near hour-long run time.  One of the highest of the records high points has already been noted here.  It isn’t the only of the album’s high points, either.  ‘We’re The Unforgiven’ is another of this album’s highest of points.  This song has a very obvious Nine Inch Nails influence both musically speaking and lyrically.  What’s so interesting about that is the contrast of the song’s musical and lyrical sides.  The song’s musical side is powerful to say the least.  That is thanks in large part to the manner in which each verse crescendos before dropping back.  That dynamic contrast alone would make this song work even without lyrics.  But set next to the song’s lyrical side, both the music and lyrics come together to make the song this album’s best song.  He writes about figures that were once great but are now pale shades of themselves.  He writes, “Once there was life/And we were strong/Full of pride/Once we bread fear/And we would take the flesh denied/Once we were gods/And all things knelt before our word/or died.”  Obviously, he is writing metaphorically here.  But the message is still the same. He goes on, writing in the song’s chorus, “Now we’re just a ruin/We were our undoing/We’re the unforgiven.”  This is a powerful statement.  And again, set alongside the song’s musical side, it becomes even more powerful.  Together, they make this song just one more of so many standout moments shared by Gary Numan throughout his new record.  Fans overseas in the Middle East and Europe will get to experience these songs and many more live beginning February 10th in Tel Aviv, Israel.  From there, Numan will make his way into Belgium and across Europe for the next leg of his tour in support of his new album.  Fans can get Gary Numan’s latest tour dates, news, and more online at http://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial and http://www.garynuman.com.  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.

Pixies Announce New Tour Dates, Release New Video

Photo Credit:  Michael Halsband

Photo Credit: Michael Halsband

There’s big news for Pixies fans today.  The band—Black Francis (vocals/guitar), Joey Santiago (guitar/backing vocals), and David Lovering (drums/backing vocals)—has announced it has added new dates to its South American and European Spring/Summer 2014 tour.  The additional dates will see the band performing at some of the more well-known festivals across Europe and South America.  The South American leg of the band’s overseas tour kicks off March 29th with a two-day stint at Lollapalooza Chile in Santiago, Chile.  From there, the band will also perform at two more South American Lollapalooza dates along with two other festival dates in Uruguay and Colombia throughout April.  From there, the band will head overseas to Europe beginning with a two-day stay in Barcelona, Spain on May 29th and 30th.  The European leg of the band’s tour currently runs through July 6th.  The band’s current tour schedule is listed below, including its U.S. Winter dates.  Tickets for the band’s South American festival shows are available now, and can be ordered online at the band’s official website, http://pixiesmusic.com.

Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan, The Entrance Band) will join the band for all three legs of its upcoming tour.  She will handle bass duties throughout the tour. David Lovering discussed Lenchantin’s addition to the band’s lineup.  “We are really looking forward to playing with her on these dates,” he said.  “Working with different bass players is very new for the band, but we’re having a great time doing it.”

JANUARY

15 Massey Hall, Toronto, ON CANADA (Fidlar)

16 Metropolis, Montreal, QC CANADA (Fidlar)

18 Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA (Fidlar)

19 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY (Fidlar)

21 New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ (Fidlar)

22 Shubert Theatre, New Haven, CT (Fidlar)

24 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA (Fidlar)

25 Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, PA (Fidlar)

26 Strathmore, Washington, DC (Fidlar)

29 National Theatre, Richmond, VA (Fidlar)

31 Durham PAC, Durham, NC (Cults)

 

FEBRUARY

1 Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville, NC (Cults)

2 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN (Cults)

4 Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA (Cults)

6 Peabody Opera House, St. Louis, MO (Cults)

7 LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH (Cults)

8 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI (Cults)

9 Rivera Theatre, Chicago, IL (Cults)

11 Midland Theatre, Kansas City, MO (Cults)

13 Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO (Best Coast)

14 Belly Up, Aspen, CO (Best Coast)

15 The Great Salt Air, Salt Lake City, UT (Best Coast)

17 Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC CANADA (Best Coast)

18 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA (Best Coast)

19 Schnitzer Auditorium, Portland, OR (Best Coast)

21 Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA (Best Coast)

22 San Jose Civic, San Jose, CA (Best Coast)

23 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV (Best Coast)

24 Comerica Theatre, Phoenix, AZ (Best Coast)

25 Kiva Auditorium, Albuquerque, NM (Best Coast)

27 Bayou Music Center, Houston, TX (Best Coast)

28 South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX (Best Coast)

 

MARCH

1 Austin Music Hall, Austin, TX (Best Coast)

29/30 Lollapalooza Chile, Santiago, Chile

 

APRIL

1 Rock’n’Fall, Montevideo, Uruguay

1/3 Lollapalooza Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina

3/5 Festival Estereo Picnic, Bogota, Colombia

5/6 Lollapalooza Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

MAY

29/30 Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain

 

JUNE

6/7 Primavera Sound, Porto Portugal

8 Field Day, Victoria Park, London, UK

15 Northside, Arhus, Denmark

20 Best Kept Secret, Hilvarenbeek, Holland

20/22 Hurricane, Schessel, Germany

20/22 Southside, Neuhausen, Germany

25 Inmusic, Zagreb, Croatia

29 Marley Park, Dublin, Ireland (with Arcade Fire)

30 Live at the Marquee, Cork, Ireland

 

JULY

5 Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium

6 Beauregard, Herouville-St. Clair, France

Along with its new tour announcement, the band has also released a video for its new single, ‘Another Tow in the Ocean.’  The 2-D Animated video was written, directed, and animated by Liviu Boar of the Romanian-based ReeAnimation.  The video is available via YouTube now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH-vzQwcf4c.

More tour dates are expected to be announced.  Fans can keep up with the latest updates and more on the band’s official website, http://pixiesmusic.com and its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pixiesofficial.  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.

UMe To Release New APC Hits Compilation Next Week

Courtesy:  Universal Music Enterprise

Courtesy: Universal Music Enterprise

Officials with Universal Music Enterprise have announced that the company will release a new hits collection from A Perfect Circle this Fall.  The new album, titled, Three-Sixty will be released via Universal Music Enterprise (Ume) on Tuesday, November 19th.  The album will be released in both a standard edition and an expanded deluxe edition.  Band co-founder Maynard James Keenan (Tool, Puscifer) discussed the upcoming hits package, explaining the band’s formation and how his relationship with friend Billy Howerdel (Ashes Divide) impacted the group’s upcoming compilation.  “Billy and I created A Perfect Circle out of a now long-running friendship, and I think the music we have made reflects that personal connection and has given us the ability to further develop and trust our intuition,” explained Keenan. “I feel Three Sixty is an accurate representation of that friendship and those instincts.”

Kennan and Howerdel formed A Perfect Circle in the 1990s.  They enlisted the help of a handful of other well-known musicians to help record their albums and join them on tour.  That list included: James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure), Paz Lenchantin (Entrance Band, Zwan), Jeordie White (Marilyn Manson), Josh Freese (The Vandals, Devo) and Tim Alexander (Primus, Attention Deficit).  The band’s first album, Mer de Noms, was released in 2000.  It quickly went to Number Five on Billboard’s Top 200.  The band then topped itself in 2003 with the release of its sophomore record, Thirteenth Step.  That album would go on to debut at Number Two on Billboard’s Top 200.  The band’s third full length release, eMOTIVe, is the band’s most recent.  It was released on election day 2004.  It is a collection of cover songs that was completely re-worked by the band.  Since the release of that album, the band has been on hiatus, with its members working on their own primary projects.  In all, A Perfect Circle has sold over five million albums worldwide.

The standard edition of the band’s upcoming hits compilation will include thirteen tracks taken from its current catalogue.  The deluxe edition will include a bonus second disc that contains songs from eMOTIVe, as well as four live performances and songs from the band’s catalogue.  The track listing for both the standard and deluxe edition are listed below.

Three Sixty, both standard and deluxe editions, track listing:

Standard Edition

1. The Hollow

2. Judith

3. Orestes

4. 3 Libras

5. Weak And Powerless

6. The Noose

7. The Outsider

8. Blue

9. When The Levee Breaks

10. Imagine

11. Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums

12. Passive

13. By And Down

Deluxe Edition

Disc 1

1. The Hollow

2. Rose

3. Judith

4. Orestes

5. 3 Libras

6. The Package

7. Weak And Powerless

8. The Noose

9. The Outsider

10. Blue

Disc 2

1. Imagine

2. Passive

3. People Are People (live)

4. Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums

5. When The Levee Breaks

6. By And Down

7. 3 Libras (live)

8. Gravity (live)

9. Fiddle and The Drum (live)

 

The band’s upcoming hits compilation isn’t all that APC fans have to anticipate.  The band’s members have announced that also slated for release is a new limited edition box set titled A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo.  The collection of songs focuses on the band’s 2010 – 2011 tour.  It includes a full-length DVD recording of the band’s August 2011 Red Rocks concert and a three-CD collection of live recordings.  Each recording is directly connected to each of the band’s three studio recordings.  The complete box set will be released Tuesday, November 26th.  It will only be available via the APC Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/aperfectcircle.    Fans can also go to the band’s Facebook page and official website, http://www.aperfectcircle.com for more on these releases, tour dates, and all things APC.  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.

Draiman, Device Far From Being Disturbed

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

David Draiman is one of the most well known vocalists in the rock community today.  His animalistic sounding growls and seemingly Maynard James Keenan inspired vocal style make his a voice that is instantly noticeable when listeners hear it.  The problem is that just as Keenan’s side project, A Perfect Circle, was instantly compared to Tool because of Keenan’s iconic vocal style, so has Draiman’s new side project, Device, been compared to Disturbed.  While the first pair of tracks on Device’s self-titled debut do bear some semblance to material recorded by Disturbed, that similarity begins to fade early on.  The album’s third song, ‘Vilify’ has more of a pure rock sound.  Right from its opening verse, it impresses just as much lyrically as musically.  Draiman sings defiantly as the song opens, “As you vilify/Every single move that I make/And try to bind me/In your insanity/You’ll come to know/That you never had control/from the onset/Go find another lapdog, f***er.”  The defiance doesn’t stop here.  The verbal assault against those who would run their mouths seemingly just to run their mouths runs nonstop through the song with full on intensity that is sure to get the blood and body flowing.

If there was still any question of comparison to Disturbed even in ‘Vilify’, then those comparisons will be erased even more in the album’s very next song, ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’ Some might cringe at this, but it almost comes across as a ballad style piece, especially with the addition of vocalist Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) give it even more of that sense.  And if that’s not proof enough, one need only look at the song’s lyrical content as argument for that comparison.  Lyrically speaking, it comes across as a song of lost love.  Draiman and Hale sing here, “I know I’ve been so hard to you/I know I’ve told you lies/If I could have just one more wish/I’d wipe the cobwebs from my eyes.”  This one song isn’t reason for anyone to worry, as it’s the only time through the course of the album’s ten tracks that the album’s intensity drops off. 

The intensity built early on in Device’s self-titled debut picks back up not long after ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’  What’s more, as the intensity rebuilds through the album’s second half so does the separation of Device from Disturbed.  It all starts on ‘Out of Line.’  This socio-political piece offers a solid mix of electronics and heavy, foot-stomping, head banging guitar breaks that would make any metal purist proud.  And the inclusion of Serj Tankian’s (System of a Down) equally distinct vocal style adds even more musical flavor to this song.  One can’t ignore the addition of Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) on this track, either.  The mix of music, star power, and lyrical heaviness makes it just one more of so many tracks from which listeners will be able to choose as a favorite.  The intensity and separation from the band members’ primary bands builds even more in ‘Opinion.’  The guest guitar work of Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) is surprisingly unlike what Morello has recorded with his other side projects.  And it definitely helps to maintain this song’s identity from anything even remotely related to Disturbed.  It is one of those pieces that has to be heard to fully understand this.

If the guest appearances from Tom Morello, Geezer Butler, and Serj Tankian aren’t enough to convince listeners as to the identity of Device, then perhaps ‘War of Lies’ and the album’s closer, ‘Through It All’ will do the job.  The heavy bass and vocals from Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) mixed with Draiman’s vocals make this one of the album’s more surprisingly interesting songs.  That’s because of the fact that the song starts off very slow and deliberate.  But a little more than halfway through the song, it picks up, and carries the listener up to the song’s final fading moments.  Those moments are just subtle enough to allow listeners to catch their breath after the musical rollercoaster on which they have just taken a ride.  And having caught their breath, any listener that went into this album thinking it would be just another Disturbed record will have seen that that belief was in fact completely wrong.  While it might have started out with some similarity to Disturbed, that similarity is soon erased, and a new band with a sound that bears only the slightest closeness to the prior arises.  It definitely turns out to be a record that any fan of Disturbed and any hard rock fan in general will want to check out at least once.   

Device is currently touring in support of its self-titled debut.  Among some of its more notable scheduled concert dates are performances at the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival on April 28th in Jacksonville Florida, the Carolina Rebellion Festival in Rockingham, North Carolina on May 4th, and the famed Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, Ohio on May 19th.  The band has even more dates that audiences can find out about when they “Like” Device on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Devicetheband.  Audiences will also find a link to download the band’s album via iTunes on the Facebook page.  That link is http://smarturl.it/deviceitunes for those that may not be able to get to the band’s FB page.

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.