Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Debuts Second Single From Forthcoming Album, ‘Living The Dream’

Courtesy: Snakepit/Roadrunner Records

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is giving audiences another preview of its upcoming album Living The Dream.

The band debuted the album’s second single ‘Mind Your Manners’ on Friday.  The song is streaming online at Spotify and Apple Music, and available as an instant grat track at other outlets.  Each outlet can be accessed here.

Slash discussed ‘Mind Your Manners’ in a recent interview, saying that the song’s genesis happened somewhat spontaneously.

“I wrote this song on the spot to help the band get up and running once we got back in the studio this past January,” Slash said.  “It’s just a go-for-it type of song.  Pretty straightforward rock and fun to play.”

Kennedy expanded on Slash’s thoughts, explaining the song’s lyrical content.

“‘Mind Your Manners’ was something I didn’t hear until the guys had started jamming together,” Kennedy said.  “It’s a cool up-tempo sort of thing and I knew immediately it would have its own place on this record.  Lyrically, it’s about how when things are going well, there always tends to be someone who tries to rain on your parade and knock you down.  You have to keep people like that in check and not let them get to you.”

The debut of ‘Mind Your Manners’ comes only weeks after the group debuted the forthcoming album’s lead single ‘Driving Rain‘ late last month.  Pre-orders for the album, which is due out October 21 via Snakepit/Roadrunner Records, are open now.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

Following is the tracklisting for LIVING THE DREAM:
1. The Call of the Wild
2. Serve You Right
3. My Antidote
4. Mind Your Manners
5. Lost Inside the Girl
6. Read Between the Lines
7. Slow Grind
8. The One You Loved Is Gone
9. Driving Rain
10. Sugar Cane
11. The Great Pretender
12. Boulevard of Broken Hearts

A tour in support of Living The Dream is scheduled to launch September 13  in Los Angeles, California. It is currently scheduled to run through October 18, bringing the band full circle back to Los Angeles with stops in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Louisville, KY; Silver Spring Maryland and other cities along the way.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Following are SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS tour dates:

More information on ‘Mind Your Manners,’ Living The Dream and all of the latest news and more from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.slashonline.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/slash

 

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Slash Offers Studio Update On New Album With Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators

Photo Credit: Scott Uchida

Fans of Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators will get new music from the group this fall.

The band announced Thursday that it is working on a new album.  The currently untitled third full-length studio recording is being produced by Michael Baskette (Alter Bridge, Iggy Pop, Incubus).  Brent Fitz, Todd Kerns and Frank Sidoris also returned on this record to handle drums, bass and guitar respectively.

Slash said in a recent interview that he had high expectations for the band’s next album.

“I’m excited about the new stuff we put together for this next record,” Slash said.  “It’s got some cool songs and it’s got a great live feel.  I’ve been working with Myles, Brent and Todd for about eight years now.  It’s been an amazing ride so far.  AS a band we continue to get better, which is great.  With the addition of Frank since the “World on Fire” tour, I feel we have hit a great, creative stride, which I think definitely shows on this next record.”

While fans wait for the new album from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, they will also get to see Slash on tour this summer with Guns N’ Roses at a handful of European festivals.  Slash discussed those scheduled performances, too, saying he was looking forward to them.

“Guns N’ Roses will be headlining European festivals this summer.  It’s going to be a 110 percent performance and a huge blast,” Slash said.  “I love doing European fests and this is the first time we’ve done any proper festivals over there on the “Not In This Lifetime” Tour.  It’s indescribable to explain these shows.  I’m looking over and seeing Axl, Duff and Dizzy, whom I’ve known forever, but it also feels like an entirely new experience with Richard, Frank and Melissa.  It’s like being in a new band, except there’s a chemistry that is established from days of old, so it’s a natural thing that’s always been there.”

More information on the new album from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators — as well as Slash’s upcoming tour with Guns N’ Roses — is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.slashonline.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/slash

 

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.

‘Earthquake’ Is A Good First Impression For Hyvmine

Courtesy: Seek and Strike Records

The first impression is the most important that ca be made in any situation. From getting that coveted job to winning over a love interest to winning over audiences, that first impression is the best chance that one has to success in so many avenues. Taking this into consideration, it can be said that up-and-coming hard rock outfit Hyvmine has made a good first impression with its debut album Earthquake. Released Jan. 19 via independent label Seek & Strike Records (also home to Between The Buried and Me, Body Count, Gus G. and others), this first effort from Hyvmine is certain to reach a wide array of audiences. That is proven in part through the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The album’s sequencing also helps to prove its ability to reach audiences, and will be discussed later. The record’s production is also important to its ability to reach listeners and will also be discussed later. Each element is important in its own way to the whole of Earthquake‘s overall presentation. All things considered, the noted elements make Earthquake a record that while not earth-shaking, is still a good first impression for Hyvmine.

Hard rock outfit Hyvmine’s debut album Earthquake is a work that, as noted is not necessarily an earth-shaking record. It is however, a good first impression for the up-and-coming hard rock outfit. That statement is supported in part through the musical arrangements that are exhibited throughout the course of the album’s nine-song, 42-minute body. right off the top, audiences are treated to an arrangement in ‘Shift’ that boasts elements of Alter Bridge and Dream Theater. Yes, that’s quite the duality, but somehow front man Al Joseph and his band mates make that pairing of influences work. The slow build from the song’s opening piano line into the more contemplative moments that make up the early portion of the song builds a strong foundation for the song. The eventual growth from that vibe to the more power packed portions of the song shows definite thought put into the arrangement, and in turn is sure to keep listeners engaged. the same can be said of the joining those Alter Bridge and Dream Theater influences within those harder-edged moments. Joseph’s own vocal delivery boasts an eerie similarity to that of Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy, too, adding even more interest to the arrangement. Add in the song’s lyrical content, which seems to present the message of living life to the fullest, and audiences get an interesting first effort here. It is of course only one song that shows the importance of the album’s arrangements to its whole. The post-grunge vibe of ‘Fire Escape’ conjures thoughts of Korn, Staind and so many aggro-rock bands that rose to fame in the late 90s and early 2000s while ‘Mirror Master’ brings about thoughts of Sevendust and The Veer Union. The arrangement at the center of the album’s title track, which also comes virtually dead center of the album, will reach fans of Creed and other similar acts. Considering the diversity displayed throughout these songs and that of the songs not noted here, it becomes fully clear why that diversity helps to make this record a good first impression for this record. It shows the band’s ability to cover any type of rock, giving in itself reason for audiences to give it at least one listen. It is just one of the album’s most important elements. Staying on the same note as the songs, their sequencing proves just as important to discuss as their arrangements.

Earthquake‘s sequencing is important to note because as much as the songs’ arrangements do for the record’s presentation, if they had been poorly placed, they would have been completely useless. Luckily though, that didn’t happen. Again, noting the gentle, contemplative piano run at the start of the album’s opener and the manner in which it builds into the bigger picture of the song, it is just the first strong salvo from the band. The transition from that song’s raucous finale to the more controlled yet heavy riffs of ‘Mirror Master’ was a smooth and smart move. It keeps the heavy without being too stark of a change. The heavy continues into the album’s third track with the more up-tempo ‘Shogun,’ which also boasts a solo that would make John Petrucci proud. The heavy still doesn’t end there. From there, the album transitions into a rather Creed-esque radio ready rocker in ‘All of Creation’ before the album finally pulls back in ‘Earthquake.’ What’s really interesting here is that while it does finally pull back, that pull back is only partial as it starts off soft before picking back up a little bit in what is overall yet another Creed style work. ‘Fire Escape,’ the start of the album’s final trio of songs, brings the heavy back in full force before moving in a slightly more mainstream direction again ‘ Elysium.’ ‘Great Divide,’ the album’s penultimate track, gives listeners one last dose of heavy before closing out the record in another Creed-esque rocker in ‘Cliffhanger.’ Considering the direction that the album takes from beginning to end with its energies, it can be said after going through the whole of the 43-minute run time that the album’s energy stays relatively stable. That applies from song to song and even within the songs themselves. The stability of the energies within the songs and between songs creates a listening experience that even more certifies listeners’ engagement. When that insurance is considered along with the insurance generated through the songs’ very arrangements, that whole shows even more why Earthquake, while again not earth-shaking, is still a good first impression from Hyvmine. It is still not the last of the elements that makes this record a respectable start for the band. Its overall production is also worth noting.

The album’s production is important to note in examining Earthquake because while it does largely impress, there are at least a couple of problem points. ‘Shogun’ is one of those problem points. There are moments throughout the song when front man Al Joseph’s vocals are slightly washed out by the song’s musical elements. This means that interpretation of what he is singing becomes difficult without a lyrics sheet. There also seems to be a bit of a balance issue between Joseph’s vocals and the song’s musical elements here, too. This is, of course, just this critic’s own take. Others might hear it differently. The problem that this critic has caught here is that again, the music seems to slightly overpower Joseph’s vocals. That takes away at least something from the enjoyment here. The vocals in ‘Elysium”s chorus seem to bleed together a little with its musical side, too. Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation. Other than those directly noted elements, the album’s production proves relatively positive throughout. Keeping this in mind, it proves — despite the few problematic balance issues — to be relatively stable from beginning to end. When that is considered alongside the stability in the album’s sequencing and the variety of the album’s musical arrangements, the whole of these elements shows in full why Earthquake is a good first impression for Hyvmine.

Hyvmine’s debut album Earthquake is a good first impression for the band. While it may not be an earth-shaking start for the band, it is still respectable. That is thanks in part to the variety exhibited in the album’s musical arrangements. From Dream Theater to Korn to Creed and points even in-between, the album’s arrangements are certain to reach a variety of audiences. The album’s sequencing keeps its energy relatively stable from beginning to end. This is proven through the song transitions and even within the songs themselves. The album’s overall production is relatively stable, too, strengthening its presentation even more. Each element is important in its own right to the album’s whole. All things considered, they make Earthquake a good first impression from Hyvmine that, while it might not have everyone thinking the same, will impress plenty of audiences. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Hyvmine is available online now at:

Website: http://seekandstrike.com/artists/hyvmine

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hyvmineband

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.

Rare Hendrix Archived Live Recording Takes Top Honors On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 Live CDs List

Courtesy: Dagger Records/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Experiencing live concert events is not an easy thing in this day and age.  Between the collective costs of attending (I.E. pricey tickets, gas, souvenirs, possible lodging, food & drink, etc.), perhaps the general lack of time to attend depending on circumstances, or maybe the very fact that audiences’ favorite acts didn’t include certain cities on their tours, there is a lot that plays into the inability to attend live events.  Keeping this in mind, not all hope is lost, thanks to all of the live recordings released each year by so many acts.  Some are released as full bundle packages while others are released just as DVDs or Blu-rays.  Some are even released solely on CD.  Regardless of the platforms, the availability of so many live recordings is unquestionably important for audiences.  Staying on that topic, the live CDs made available are worth noting in their own right.  That is the the case regardless of whether or not said CDs are bundled with DVD or Blu-ray counterparts.  That is because, again, even if the CDs come alongside a live audio visual component, that audio only component can and does oftentimes, translate differently than DVD and Blu-ray recordings.  Keeping this in mind, Phil’s Picks is offering a list of the year’s top new live CDs.

Included in this year’s list are standalone CD recordings and CDs included as part of bundles.  The titles featured in this year’s list include live recordings from Curtis Knight, Jon Cleary, Alter Bridge, The Dead Daisies and many others.  Simply put, they run the gamut from one genre to another across the musical universe.  Topping this year’s list is Dagger Records and Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix recording Curtis Knight featuring Jimi Hendrix Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966.  This live recording features performances by Hendrix well before he became an international superstar — performances that showed his talent even then.  Also included in this year’s list are recordings from Foghat, Alter Bridge, Armored Saint and others.  As is the case with every Phil’s Picks year-ender, this list features the top 10 best new titles plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Staying on that note, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Live CDs.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

  1. Curtis Knight feat. Jimi Hendrix — Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966
  2. Alter Bridge — Live at The 02 & Rarities
  3. Jon Cleary — Live at the Chickie Wah Wah
  4. Foghat — Live at The Belly Up
  5. Between The Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic Live
  6. Armored Saint — Carpe Noctum
  7. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  8. Black Sabbath — The End
  9. The Rolling Stones — Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015
  10. The Who — Live at the Isle of Wight 2014
  11. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  12. The Winery Dogs — Dog Years Live in Santiago & Beyond 2013 – 2016
  13. Def Leppard — …And There Will Be A Next Time
  14. Joe Bonamassa — Live at Carnegie Hall
  15. Fates Warning — Awaken The Guardian Live

That’s it for this list, but not for the live recordings lists.  Still on tap in this category is the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs as well as the year’s top new live recordings overall.  Before getting there though, there is at least one last list in the form of the year’s top new albums overall.  That one’s coming soon, so stay tuned.

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.

Alter Bridge Impresses Again On Its Latest Live Recording

Courtesy: Napalm Records

This Friday, Alter Bridge will release its latest live recording, Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities in stores and online.  The band’s third live recording, this three-disc collection is easily one of this year’s top new live CDs.  That is due in part to the concert’s extensive set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance thereof is just as important to note as the set list itself, obviously, so it will be discussed a little later.  The recording’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements, putting the final touch on the collection.  Each element is obviously important in its own right to the recording’s whole.  All things considered, the recording in whole shows easily why, again, it is one of this year’s best new live CD recordings.

Alter Bridge’s forthcoming live recording Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities is one of this year’s best new live CD recordings.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list.  The 19-song set list pulls from each of the band’s five current full-length studio recordings, and makes a valid attempt to represent each of those albums as fully as possible in the process.  The band’s latest album, 2016’s The Last Hero receives the most nods with six songs.  Its seminal 2007 album Blackbird gets the second most nods with five songs from that album being featured here.  Four songs are pulled from Fortress (2013) while III and the band’s 2004 debut One Day Remains each get two nods.  It would be interesting to know how the set list was chosen since each of the band’s albums presents plenty of enjoyable material.  That aside, the band is still to be commended for making the attempt to paint the fullest possible picture of its catalogue in this extensive 104-minute (1 hour, 44-minute) concert.

Looking even more deeply at the concert’s set list, audiences will be pleased to see that at no point does the set list ever stick to any of the band’s albums too long.  The set list starts at the band’s most recent album before quickly moving back to Blackbird and then on to Fortress and back to III in just its first four songs.  The change-ups remain just as constant from there on right to the end, with the band reaching into each album throughout.  In the same vein, that constant variety in the show’s set list also leads to a respectable variety in the songs’ energy, too.  The set’s first three offerings are heavy, driving compositions that eventually give way to something a little less heavy in ‘Ghosts of Days Gone By.’  The show’s energy picks right back up from there and stays high for a while before eventually pulling back again in the gentle, acoustic take of ‘Watch Over You.’  The songs’ energy rises and falls just as constantly from here, ensuring even more audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  Keeping in mind everything that has been noted so far, it becomes clear that the set list presented in Live at the O2 + Rarities is critical to the recording’s overall presentation.  It is only one of the recording’s critical elements, too.  The band’s performance of that extensive set list is just as important to the recording’s overall presentation as its set list.

The band’s performance of its nearly two-hour concert is important to note because as with any live show, a set list can only do so much for a concert.  If an act doesn’t put on a solid performance, then a show’s set list is worthless.  In the case of Alter Bridge’s performance here, the band clearly keeps its audience fully engaged and entertained throughout.  Those who didn’t get to experience the concert firsthand will find themselves just as engaged and entertained in experiencing the concert here.  From one song to the next front man Myles Kennedy, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips give their all in each song.  Kennedy’s vocals cut through like bolts of musical lightning in the concert’s most powerful moments while they move listeners just as deeply in the concert’s more reserved moments. Tremonti’s guitar work and that of his fellow musicians on their respective parts is just as impressive throughout.  The band wastes little time in-between songs with any banter, letting its collective performances do the talking for it as a whole.  The few times when it does spend some time on interludes, the most is made of those moments, too.  All things considered, the band’s performance shines here just as much as the set list that is performed.  Keeping that in mind, audiences will agree in hearing this concert that the band’s performance does just as much to entertain them as the set list itself.  Having discussed both of these key elements, the last important element to discuss here is the recording’s bonus studio recordings.

The recording’s bonus material includes two previously unreleased b-sides in ‘Cruel Sun’ and ‘Solace’ and a number of songs previously only available on exclusive editions of the band’s albums.  Those songs include ‘Breathe,’ which was also recorded during the Blackbird sessions, but was only included as an exclusive for Best Buy’s release last year of The Last Hero, ‘Never Born To Follow,’ which was released on exclusive U.S. and Japan editions of III, ‘Zero’ and ‘Home,’ both of which were also included in exclusive editions of III, along with others.  The songs themselves are impressive additions to the recording.  The fact that they are now all available in one setting makes them even more important to the recording’s whole.  It marks the first time that those exclusives have ever been available in one setting for audiences in a non-exclusive setting.  When this is considered along with the songs’ overall content (musical and lyrical), which impresses in its own right, the end result is a collection of songs that every Alter Bridge will appreciate.  When all of this is considered along with the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole of those elements makes Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities a live and studio offering that will impress any Alter Bridge fan, leaving them agreeing that it is indeed one of the year’s top new live CD recordings.

Alter Bridge’s new live recording Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities is one of this year’s top new live CDs.  That is due in part to the concert’s nearly two-hour set list that includes songs from each of the band’s five current full-length studio recordings.  The songs paint a clear picture of the band’s current catalogue while also balancing the concert’s energy from start to finish and those albums’ representation.  The band’s performance of that extensive set list is just as important to the recording’s whole as it is certain to keep fans who weren’t able to be at the concert just as entertained and engaged as those who were.  The bonus studio rarities and exclusives included in the set’s third disc round out its most important elements both because of the fact that it marks the first time they have been widely available for fans in one non-exclusive setting and because of their content.  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities proves in whole why it is one of the year’s top new live CD recordings.  One can only hope that a companion DVD and/or BD presentation of the concert will be released sooner rather than later to complete the recording.  More information on Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities is available online along with all of Alter Bridge’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.alterbridge.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alterbridge

 

 

 

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.

Blacktop Mojo’s New LP Is Set To “Burn” Up The Mainstream Rock Radio Realm

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

This time next week, Blacktop Mojo and its fans will be only a week away from the release of the band’s latest full-length studio recording Burn The Ships.  For those unfamiliar with the Palestine, TX-based band, it is a good fit for anyone that is a fan of Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and all of his various projects.  From start to finish, this record is set to *ahem* burn up the mainstream rock radio realm with its infectious, guitar-driven arrangements and equally interesting lyrical content.  The record’s hard rocking second song ‘End Of Days’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  The much more reserved, yet heavy in its own right ‘Prodigal’ supports that statement in its own right.  The band’s own take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream On’ even serves to support that statement, too.  Between these songs and the album’s other ten songs, the whole of this record shows Blacktop Mojo to have great potential.  They show in whole that given the right support from mainstream rock radio, Blacktop Mojo could be one of the realm’s next big names.  They also show this album to be one of the year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent albums.

Blacktop Mojo’s new album Burn The Ships, its sophomore release, is one of this critic’s choices for the year’s top new hard rock records and new independent albums.  That is thanks to its mainstream accessibility, even being an independent act. Independent here, should be clarified, to mean not signed to a major label.  It does not necessarily mean independent in the unsigned sense.  From start to finish, it proves to be an album that is primed to “burn” up the mainstream radio realm.  ‘End of Days,’ the record’s second song is a strong example of what makes this album such a “hot” (yes, that awful pun was intended, too) new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  That is due in part to the song’s arrangement.  The hard-hitting, guitar-driven composition instantly conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman’s heavier works.  That is only one part of what makes the song so interesting. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as the song’s musical arrangement. Front man Matt James sings in the song’s lead verse, “Has it all been an empty gesture/Has it all been a waste of time/World’s spinning into certain disaster/We never figured out the meaning of life/Don’t wait/To say/What’s on your mind/Don’t take/It with you/Leave it behind.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “There’s a fire in the sky/There’s chaos in the air tonight/Stay with me…sit back and watch the end of days.”  Taking this all into consideration, one can’t help but interpret the song, lyrically, as a statement of the world’s current state of affairs.  The song’s second verse proves that just as much as James clearly sings about the events of September 11, 2011.  It should be noted here, too, that his statements in the second verse are not meant to do anything but add to the statement of the direction this world—not just America—is taking.  When such content is set against the driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the pairing of the two elements makes this song stand out clearly among BTS’ other songs.  They join to prove the song to be a clear example of what makes this record such a worthwhile new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that exhibits what makes the record so impressive overall.  ‘Prodigal’ serves just as much to show what makes BTS stand out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.

‘End of Days’ is a clear example of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships an impressive new effort.  That is due to the combination of the song’s driving, guitar-centered musical arrangement and its thought-provoking lyrical theme.  The combination of the two elements makes it just one example of what makes the song (and album) stand out.  It is just one of the songs that so clearly shows where this record gets its *ahem* fire (yes, that awful pun was intended, too).  ‘Prodigal,’ with its far more reserved, yet still heavy arrangement and lyrical theme, stands on its own merits.  The song is a deeply contemplative work that harkens back to similar works from both Theory of a Deadman and Black Stone Cherry.  This is especially true in examining the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical theme seems, at least to this critic, as a coming-of-age story of sorts.  That interpretation was made through James singing in the song’s lead verse, “Don’t call me/The prodigal son/Cause I ain’t comin’ back/I’ll make it/On my own/Let me walk my own path/And don’t worry/About me/I’ve got everything I need/I’m gonna see the world/through my own eyes/Climb the mountain, see the sky/Across the stars on the other side.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “One of these days I won’t be around/I’ll rip my roots up from the ground/With wings of feathers…I’ll fly toward the sun/’Till they melt from my back.”  James continues on in similar fashion in the song’s second half, singing from the vantage point of a figure striking out on his or her own.  It is not one of those standard “oh woe is me” sort of songs, either.  But the mixed emotion of a person wanting and needing to grow and be one’s own person is there.  It is especially illustrated through the song’s musical arrangement.  When that emotionally powerful arrangement is coupled with the song’s deeply moving lyrical theme, the two elements together make this song heavy without being heavy.  That heavy without heavy presentation makes the song stand out from its counterparts just as much as ‘End of Days.’  It also serves to show even more why this record stands out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock entries.  It shows the band’s ability to entertain audiences while not just sticking to one style of song.  It is just one more song that shows the band’s breadth of talent and influences.  The band’s take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is one more of the album’s inclusions that shows what makes this record stand out.

‘End of Days’ and ‘Prodigal’ are both prime examples of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships stand out as one of this year’s top new hard rock records and one of its best new independent albums.  They show the band’s range in terms of its talent and influence—one song is heavy both musically and lyrically while the other is heavy musically without being heavy, and is also heavy lyrically.  While both songs show in their own ways what makes this album stand out, they are only two out of so many songs that show how much the band and album have to offer.  The band’s cover of Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is just one more of the songs included in this record that serves to show how much the band and album offer listeners.  The arrangement presented by the band here is one of the most powerful renditions that any band has presented to date.  It boasts the same moving vibe evident in the original rock ballad, but also infuses its own hard rock edge into the song here to add even more to the song’s impact.  That harder edge even gives the song’s lyrical theme its own new identity.  That in turn makes the song all the more powerful of a composition, showing once more just how much this new record from Blacktop Mojo has to offer audiences.  Between this cover of a true classic, the other songs noted here and the album’s other 10 tracks, this album in whole proves to be one that hard rock fans everywhere should hear at least once.  In doing do, those fans will agree that this record is indeed set to “burn” up the mainstream rock radio realm given the right support.  They will also agree that this record is an easy pick for one of this year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent recordings.

Blacktop Mojo’s latest full-length studio effort Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and one of the year’s top new independent albums.  That is exhibited both through the record’s musical arrangements—which conjure thoughts of Fuel, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and Black Stone Cherry just to name a handful of more well-known acts—and the record’s lyrical themes.  From start to finish, both elements will keep listeners engaged in every song.  That includes the band’s cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On.’  After taking in the 13 songs that make up the record’s body, listeners will agree, once more, that Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and the year’s top new independent albums.  They will also agree in taking in this album that given the right support, Blacktop Mojo is primed to be one of mainstream rock radio’s next big names.  Burn The Ships will be available March 10 in stores and online.  More information on Burn The Ships is available online now along with all of Blacktop Mojo’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.blacktopmojo.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blacktopmojo

 

 

 

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Veteran Rock Acts Tops Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Rock Albums List

Courtesy: Santana IV Records

Courtesy: Santana IV Records

The rock community, it seems, was bursting at the seams with new releases this year.  While some records were okay at best, there were just as many that proved to be truly outstanding efforts.  Needless to say there were so many of said albums that it was anything but easy to come up with a list of the year’s top new rock records.  But somehow, Phil’s Picks managed it.  That list includes new efforts from bands young and old alike.  The more experienced bands featured on this list include: Santana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Foghat just to name a few.  The younger bands represented here include the likes of Buffalo Summer, Love and a .38, and Zodiac.  Whether veteran or next generation, the rock community produced a slew of outstanding records this year.

Phil’s Picks presents 15 of those records with its Top 10 picks and five honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here is the Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

 

  1. SantanaIV

 

  1. FoghatUnder The Influence

 

  1. The Dead DaisiesMake Some Noise

 

  1. Love and a .38Nomad

 

  1. Buffalo SummerSecond Sun

 

  1. Alter BridgeThe Last Hero

 

  1. ZodiacGrain of Soul

 

  1. Red Hot Chili PeppersThe Getaway

 

  1. Blackberry SmokeLike An Arrow

 

  1. Resurrection KingsResurrection Kings

 

  1. SkilletUnleashed

 

  1. Apollo Under FireApollo Under Fire

 

  1. Fates WarningTheory of Flight

 

  1. Ray RocketDo You Wanna Go To Tijuana

 

  1. Candlebox Disappearing in Airports

 

 

 

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.