Mason Hill Is Off To A Strong Start With Its Debut LP

Courtesy:7Hz Productions

Independent rock band Mason Hill is keeping itself quite busy this year.  The band recently announced that it is scheduled to launch a new series of live dates this fall.  The band is also scheduled to release its cover of Foo Fighters’ ‘The Best of You’ Friday.  This is all following the release of the band’s debut album Against the Wall just last month.  Released March 5 through 7Hz Productions, the 12-song record could be a breakout for the band, given the right support.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements build on the foundation formed by that content.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Against the Wall unquestionably among the best of 2021’s new rock and independent albums.

Mason Hill’s debut album Against the Wall is a very strong start for the up-and-coming UK-based outfit.  That is due in part to the record’s featured musical arrangements.  From start to end, the 46-minute record’s musical arrangements hold their own against anything that America’s mainstream/active rock radio stations are playing.  The driving guitar lines and their melodies, the solid time keeping, and rich bass and drums create sounds and stylistic approaches from one song to the next that immediately lend themselves to comparisons to works from bands, such as Alter Bridge, Shinedown, and Theory of a Deadman.  Every arrangement here holds its own against any of those bands’ songs.  Whether it be the album’s powerful yet contemplative title track, the more fiery single, ‘D.N.A.,’ or even the brooding, contemplative ‘Where I Belong,’ the range of styles and sounds lines up easily with those of the works from the noted more well-known bands.  To that end, the arrangements featured throughout this record form a solid foundation for its presentation.  Building on that foundation is the lyrical content that accompanies the musical content.

The lyrical content that is featured throughout Against the Wall is just as accessible as the record’s musical arrangements.  Case in point for instance is the lyrical theme featured in ‘Find My Way.’  The song’s title makes the theme clear, while the lyrics just as easily explain the song’s message.  In this case, the message is that of breaking out on one’s own and making one’s life for one’s self.  The subject sings about being done with another person and his/her negative influence, and…well…finding his own way.  This is made clear as front man Scott Taylor sings in the song’s chorus, “I wait for you/To  let me go/So I can find my way/This time I’m sure/You’ve  got nowhere else to go/I wait for..”  He gets even firmer in the refrain, singing, “You always criticized me/You never see what I see/I won’t always wait for you/Your  life’s so hypnotizing/My mind’s so indecisive/I won’t always wait for you.”  This brief amount of content speaks volumes here.  It is, again, a statement of someone taking control of his/her life, and no longer letting someone else impact what happens.  This is a statement that will resonate with any listener, especially when it is considered along with the infectious energy and sound of the song’s musical arrangement.

‘Broken Son’ is another example of what makes the album’s lyrical content stand out just as much as its musical accompaniment.  This clearly contemplative rumination seems to deliver its own unique message of empowerment.  In this case, the message in question seems to center on someone who is refusing to let the impact of his familial past ruin the rest of his life.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “There’s nothing wrong with me/I just cannot see the way you used to be/And now this scene in my head/Is better off dead/With all my memories/So I say/This time I’m fixing what I’ve   done/They say it’s always my own fault/That’s all I hear/When you say my mind’s been drifting all the time/I think that you’re telling me another lie/That’s all I hear/I’m chasing all the things I’ve done/I’m learning how to be the one/This time I know/I’m letting go/I’m not your broken son.”  As noted, this lead statement comes across as being spoken from someone who is looking back at his life but empowering himself through personal realizations in his retrospection.  The seeming message continues in the song’s second verse, stating, “So worry me this way/Don’t make me be  the man  who lost it  all  today/And no w I’m  broken and scared/Now watch me pretend/I got it figured out/Well  here I am/This time I’m fixing  what I’ve done/they always  say it’s always my own fault/That’s all I hear/When you say/My mind’s  been  drifting all  the time/I think you’re telling me another lie.”  Again, here is that self re-assurance from the song’s subject.  Regardless of the commonality of a situation, such as that presented here, there are those audiences to whom this song will resonate.  When the song’s infectious musical arrangement pairs with that accessible in its own right lyrical theme, the whole shows even more why the record’s musical and lyrical content together is so powerful for   the album’s presentation.  It is just one more case in which this is proven.  ‘Where I Belong’ is yet another way in which the record’s lyrical content proves to be just as important as its featured musical arrangements.

‘Where I Belong’ is another key example of the importance of Against the Wall’s lyrical content because of the vulnerability that it exhibits in comparison to the confidence exhibited in the other examined songs.  It shows the band’s ability to reach listeners’ in a variety of emotional levels.  While the song’s title comes across as being somewhat existential, the reality here is anything but.  Rather this song is a familiar rock ballad style work that is (and many audiences might not like this) very much in the overly saccharine sweet vein of certain songs from Nickelback and Creed.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse   and chorus, which states, “I sail through life/My eyes are closed/The memories are forgotten/The past has gone/The wind cries out your name/It’s calling me home/Yet I follow/Which has no name/Carry me home/Through fire and rain/Lay before your feet/My struggle/Is in vain/Yet I know/There is somewhere I belong/And it’s where I’m meant to be/Carry me home/To somewhere I belong.”  The super sweet ballad continues in its second verse, “The smile on your face/The stars in the sky/Let me know I’m closer/Can you see/The hope in my eyes?/Carry my home/Through fire and rain/Laid before your feet/My struggle is in vain/’Cause I know/There is somewhere I belong/And it’s where I’m meant to be/Carry me home/To somewhere I belong.”  Yes, this is one of those over-the-top arena rock style ballads in regards to its musical and lyrical content.  That aside, the fact that it is such a departure for the band in comparison to the rest of the album’s content, it is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content just as much as its musical content.  It is another accessible lyrical theme and it is different from the other themes featured throughout the album.  To that end, it is just one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important.  When this song’s   lyrical content and that featured in the other songs examined here is considered along with that of the rest of the album’s entries, the whole leaves no doubt as to the role of the album’s lyrical themes in its overall presentation.  Even with all of this in mind, the lyrical content is just one more part of what makes Against the Wall work.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into Against the Wall is important to examine because of its role in the album’s general effect.  Whether in the album’s high-energy moments or its more contemplative moments, the production plays a key part in making sure each song has the fullest effect.  That work succeeds, too.  The instruments are balanced expertly with one another.  At the same time, the vocals are just as well-balanced with the instrumentation, making sure that no one part overpowers another at any point in the record’s presentation.  The dynamics in each song do well to help evoke the intended thoughts and emotions from listeners, which is itself a tribute to the impact of the production.  All things considered, the production puts the finishing touch to the album’s overall presentation.  When it is considered along with the impact of the album’s musical and lyrical content, that whole makes the album overall a work that holds its own well against any work from Mason Hill’s more well-known mainstream rock counterparts.

Mason Hill’s debut album Against the Wall is a strong start for the up-and-coming rock/hard rock band.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content, which separately and collectively prove quite accessible.  The infectious musical arrangements appeal to fans of works from the likes of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, and even Theory of a Deadman while the record’s lyrical themes are even more widely appealing.  The album’s production brings everything together, putting the final touch to the album’s presentation.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Against the Wall a surprise hit that is among the best of this year’s new rock and independent albums.  Against the Wall is available now.

European audiences will get to hear lots of music from the band’s new album this fall when the band hits the road. The band’s tentative tour schedule is noted below. Ticket information is available here.

Tour Dates:
09/02 @ Tunnels – Aberdeen, Scotland
09/03 @ Garage – Glasgow, Scotland
09/04 @ Macarts – Galashiels, Scotland
09/09 @ Grand Social – Dublin, Ireland
09/10 @ Voodoo – Belfast, Ireland
09/14 @ Junction 2 – Cambridge, England
09/15 @ Corporation – Sheffield, England
09/16 @ Fleece – Bristol, England
09/17 @ Patterns – Brighton, England
09/18 @ Leos – Gravesend, England (Sold Out)
09/20 @ Globe – Cardiff, Wales
09/21 @ Joiners – Southampton, England
09/22 @ Nightrain – Bradford, England
09/23 @ Waterloo Music Bar – Blackpool
09/24 @ Underworld – London, England
09/25 @ Rebellion – Manchester, England
09/26 @ KK’s Steel Mill – Wolverhampton, England

More information on Mason Hill’s new album, tour, and single is available along with all of the band’s latest news is available online at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/masonhillofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/masonhillband

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

Myles Kennedy Announces New LP Release Date, Specs; Debuts Album’s Lead Single, Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy will tentatively release his new solo record this spring.

Kennedy is scheduled to release his sophomore solo album, The Ides of March on May 14 through Napalm Records. Pre-orders are open. The 11-song record will be released on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below along with the album’s track listing.

The Ides Of March will be available in the following formats:
– Digital Album
– 1 CD Jewel Case
– 1 CD Digipack (Napalm mailorder, limited to 500 worldwide)
– 2 LP Gatefold Black Vinyl
– 2 LP Gatefold Gray Vinyl 
– 2 LP Gatefold Bottle Green Transparent Vinyl (Napalm mailorder, limited to 400 worldwide)
– Die Hard Limited Edition: 2 LP Gatefold Clear Splatter Mint/Violet/White Vinyl + Aluminum Print (Napalm mailorder, limited to 300 worldwide)
– Limited Deluxe Box: Glow In The Dark Vinyl + Cover Artprint + 7” Glow In The Dark “A Thousand Words” Vinyl Demo Single + Pendant + Slipmat (Napalm mailorder, limited to 700 worldwide)

The Ides Of March tracklisting:

1) Get Along                           
2) A Thousand Words
3) In Stride
4) The Ides of March
5) Wake Me When It’s Over
6) Love Rain Down
7) Tell It Like It Is
8) Moonshot
9) Wanderlust Begins
10) Sifting Through The Fire
11) Worried Mind

In anticipation of the album’s release, Kennedy debuted the album’s lead single, ‘In Stride’ Tuesday, along with the song’s companion video. The video is presented stylistically in the same fashion as Alter Bridge’s video for its single ‘Native Son,’ with origami style visuals used to address everything going on in the world as Kennedy sings over the whole, reminding audiences they need to just calm down.

Those words of wisdom sit at the heart of the song’s lyrical theme, according to Kennedy himself.

“Chill out. That pretty much sums it up,” he said.  “The lyric paints a picture of a survivalist preparing for an impending zombie apocalypse. It was inspired by the first wave of lockdowns as everyone was buying vast amounts of toilet paper and supplies. I started to ask myself if it might be wise to try and gain some perspective and not overreact… keep calm and carry on.”

More information on Myles Kennedy’s new album, single, and video is available along with all of his latest news at:

Website: https://myleskennedy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMylesKennedy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MylesKennedy

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

Small Town Titans Debuts ‘Let Me Breathe’ Video

Courtesy: AntiFragile Music

Small Town Titans debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted the video for its new single, ‘Let Me Breathe‘ Friday. The song and its video are the seventh from the band’s new album The Ride. The single’s premiere follows the debut of the album’s other singles: ‘Rufflin’ Feathers,’ ‘Junkie For You,’ ‘Universal Limits,’ ‘The Man,’ ‘9 to 5‘ and a cover of Marcy Playground’s ‘Sex and Candy.’

The Ride is available to stream and download here.

‘Let Me Breathe’ is the most Alter Bridge-esque song featured in The Ride in terms of its musical arrangement.  That is made clear through the combination of the song’s instrumentation and Freeman’s vocal delivery style.  Even the choruses play out like a mirror image to Alter Bridge’s work.  That is not necessarily a bad thing because the work still maintains its own identity despite the clear comparison.  It is just one part of what makes the song worth examining.  The song’s lyrical theme adds its own touvh to the work.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Let Me Breathe’ comes across as a familiar story of one’s battle with one’s inner self. The band confirmed that to a point in a prepared statement, which notes, “Let Me Breathe is about facing the music, and acknowledging, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so beautifully puts “…the line that separates good and evil right through every human heart.”

This is a familiar lyrical theme for so much music, not just rock.  It is inferred right from the song’s lead verse and chorus, in which Freeman sings, “There’s a game of hide and seek tonight/Between my shadow and I/And it starves for something greater now/As I sit here satisfied/It whispers in my ear and tries/To sell my soul for things that I don’t need/It seems it won’t stop until I break/Especially when I start to speak/Let me breathe as I try to clear the weight inside/As I find my saving grace this time/Cause the hunger never fades /No the hunger never fades/Let me be as I try to steal away this night/As I try to clear the weight inside/Cause the hunger never fades/No the hunger never fades/Let me breathe as I try to clear a space inside.”  That inner battle theme is made just as clear in the song’s second verse, in which Freeman sings, “This game we play is zero sum/There’s no winner and no higher ground/But at least these words they save my pain/From this battle to which I’m bound/I say/Trust me you don’t want any of this/Trust me you don’t want any of this/Trust me you don’t want any of these empty lies/So get behind me and follow the leader/Get behind me and follow the leader/Don’t forget your place and remember why.”  The existential message is confirmed without doubt in the song’s third and final verse, which states, “And I hope to God that this saves you too/Cause we all have shadows in our minds/And all they want is everything and all we have is time/And all that we can try to do is lead them to the light.”  Overall, the song’s message is one of hope for listeners, reminding audiences that those shadows can be eliminated and that we can breathe again.  This is a positive message that will resonate with listeners every day.  When it is couple with the song’s radio ready musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes a work that every listener will appreciate.  When the song is considered with the others examined here, the album’s current singles, and its one remaining song, the whole of this record proves to be a “rock solid” (yes, that awful pun was intended, too) album.

More information on Small Town Titans’ new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://smalltowntitans.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/smalltowntitans

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/smalltowntitans

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

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‘The Ride’ Has Small Town Titans Poised To Be One Of Rock’s Next Big Names

Courtesy: AntiFragile Music

Small Town Titans has, over the course of the past two years, become quite a big deal in the rock community.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  From its surprise hit cover of the holiday song ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ to original songs, such as ‘Dragonfly,’ ‘Devil’s Choir,’ and ‘War Cry’ to other equally popular covers and originals, this band has made quite a name for itself, and it has done so with the least amount of label help.  Now on Friday, the band will take its next step forward on its journey with the release of its new album The Ride.  The album has already spawned six singles ahead of its release – more than half of its album.  As much as they do to show what makes this album so appealing, they are only a portion of what makes the album stand out. ‘Behind The Moon’ is another notable addition to the album.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘When It All Comes Down’ does its own share, too, to show the album’s strength.  It will be discussed a little later.  Much the same can be said of ‘Let Me Breath,’ which comes just ahead of the album’s midpoint.  It will also be discussed later.  When all three of these noted songs are considered along with the noted singles and the one remaining unmentioned song from this record, the whole proves to be a presentation that, given the right support, could finally be that record that breaks this band into the mainstream.

Small Town Titans has, ever since its inception, been one of the rock and hard rock communities’ best kept secrets.  Its star has quickly risen since 2018 though, and now with the pending release of its new album The Ride, the secret could finally be out about this outstanding band.  The six singles that the album has already produced have more than proven that true.  They are only some of its notable works, though.  ‘Behind The Moon,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is notable in its own right.  That is due in no small part its musical arrangement.  The arrangement in question forms the song’s foundation.  What makes it so interesting is that between the harmonies and guitar lines, audiences get a song that crosses elements of modern/active rock and a clear classic rock influence for its whole.  One could argue that there are touches of Queen and The Allman Brothers Band mixed along with something more modern along the lines of Alter Bridge, for the same of comparison.  When that musical presentation is coupled with the song’s clearly uplifting lyrical content, the song in whole gains even more traction.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Behind The Moon’ is that of being willing to take risks and make the most of life.  That is evidenced clearly in the song’s chorus, in which front man Phil Freeman sings, “The sun don’t shine/When you stand behind the moon.” The message is made even clearer as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “I was walking on the other side of the moon/Looking for another sign of life/I was trying/To buy another man’s dreams/In exchange for something nice/Then I saw it /I saw it coming from miles away/Then I saw it/I saw it coming from miles away/The break of day.”  What audiences get here is that message, with Phil stating metaphorically, the song’s subject was trying to be someone and something that he wasn’t.  That is made clear in the statement about trying “To buy another man’s dreams/In exchange for something nice.”  As he continues, the song’s subject notes he saw reality in what he was doing.  The optimistic, uplifting message continues as he sings in the song’s second verse, “There was a fork in the road and no time left/But I finally had a place to go and a reason to live/And from that moment on I flew into space/Towards all those burning stars with a reason to give/And you’ll see me/You’ll see me coming from miles away/Yeah you’ll see me/You’ll see me coming from miles away/To find my place.”  When all of this positive mindset is considered along with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the whole leaves zero doubt as to what makes it such an appealing addition to The Ride.  It is just one of the additional entries that makes the album so strong.  ‘When It All Comes Down’ is yet another powerful addition to The Ride.

‘When It All Comes Down’ wastes no time catching listeners’ attention once it gets started.  The song’s musical arrangement lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Hellyeah and Dope in its verses.  On the other hand, the choruses once again conjure thoughts of Alter Bridge.  That sounds on paper, like quite the musical contrast, and it is.  At the same time though, Freeman (who plays bass along with handling vocals), drummer Johnny Ross, and guitarist Ben Guiles make the balance work.  The end result is a fiery composition that stands completely on its own musical merits separate from the rest of the album’s works.  That high-energy composition partners well with the song’s lyrical content, which delivers a message of making sure we realize where we set our priorities in life.

The noted message is familiar to rock fans, but interestingly not overly used, which keeps it fresh in this case.  That is even more so in the fashion in which it is delivered.  Freeman sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “You put stock in temporary things/Yet you cry, cry, cry when they fail to make you sing/You miss the forest for the trees/As if you’ll live forever and never bleed/Forever and never bleed/Ring around the dollar/Pocket full of power/Ashes to ashes/It all falls down/Ring around the dollar/Pocket full of greed /Ashes to ashes /As we all bleed/Tell me what it’s worth/When it all comes down/When it all comes down/Tell me what it’s worth/When it all comes down/When it all comes tumbling down.”  The message is just as stark and powerful in the song’s second verse, which finds Freeman singing, “No one’s gonna save you better than yourself/No one’s gonna steal your soul better than/your wealth/Put two and two together/And measure out the way they make you feel/Feel, feel, feel.”  This message is a statement of which listeners need to be reminded daily.  We put our focus on all the wrong things so often, and we need to step back and make sure we know what is really important in life.  When this loudly echoing statement is coupled with the power in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song leaves no doubt why it is yet another notable addition to The Ride.  It certainly is not the last of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Let Me Breathe’ is one more song worth examining here.

‘Let Me Breathe’ is the most Alter Bridge-esque song featured in The Ride in terms of its musical arrangement.  That is made clear through the combination of the song’s instrumentation and Freeman’s vocal delivery style.  Even the choruses play out like a mirror image to Alter Bridge’s work.  That is not necessarily a bad thing because the work still maintains its own identity despite the clear comparison.  It is just one part of what makes the song worth examining.  The song’s lyrical theme adds its own touvh to the work.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Let Me Breathe’ comes across as a familiar story of one’s battle with one’s inner self.  This is a familiar lyrical theme for so much music, not just rock.  It is inferred right from the song’s lead verse and chorus, in which Freeman sings, “There’s a game of hide and seek tonight/Between my shadow and I/And it starves for something greater now/As I sit here satisfied/It whispers in my ear and tries/To sell my soul for things that I don’t need/It seems it won’t stop until I break/Especially when I start to speak/Let me breathe as I try to clear the weight inside/As I find my saving grace this time/Cause the hunger never fades /No the hunger never fades/Let me be as I try to steal away this night/As I try to clear the weight inside/Cause the hunger never fades/No the hunger never fades/Let me breathe as I try to clear a space inside.”  That inner battle theme is made just as clear in the song’s second verse, in which Freeman sings, “This game we play is zero sum/There’s no winner and no higher ground/But at least these words they save my pain/From this battle to which I’m bound/I say/Trust me you don’t want any of this/Trust me you don’t want any of this/Trust me you don’t want any of these empty lies/So get behind me and follow the leader/Get behind me and follow the leader/Don’t forget your place and remember why.”  The existential message is confirmed without doubt in the song’s third and final verse, which states, “And I hope to God that this saves you too/Cause we all have shadows in our minds/And all they want is everything and all we have is time/And all that we can try to do is lead them to the light.”  Overall, the song’s message is one of hope for listeners, reminding audiences that those shadows can be eliminated and that we can breathe again.  This is a positive message that will resonate with listeners every day.  When it is couple with the song’s radio ready musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes a work that every listener will appreciate.  When the song is considered with the others examined here, the album’s current singles, and its one remaining song, the whole of this record proves to be a “rock solid” (yes, that awful pun was intended, too) album.

Small Town Titans is on the verge of becoming a big name in the rock community.  The band’s forthcoming album The Ride leaves zero doubt as to that statement’s truth.  Its musical arrangements and its lyrical themes collectively fully support the noted statements.  That is proven clearly in all three of the songs examined here as well as through the album’s existing singles.  When that collective is considered with the album’s one remaining work, the whole of the album proves itself a memorable musical “ride.”  The Ride is scheduled for release Friday through AntiFragile Music.

More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://smalltowntitans.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/smalltowntitans

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/smalltowntitans

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

Alter Bridge Debuts ‘Last Rites’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Alter Bridge debuted the video lyric video for its new single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Last Rites,’ which is featured in the band’s new live recording Walk The Sky 2.0. The recording is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.

The record will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

Walk The Sky 2.0 will be available in the following formats:
-Jewelcase CD
-Jewelcase CD + Shirt (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ex-North America)
-Cream Vinyl LP Gatefold
-Inkspot Yellow/Black Marbled Vinyl LP Gatefold (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 150 copies in North America)
-2-CD Earbook [+Walk The Sky(Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 300 copies)
-Digital Album [+Walk The Sky]

‘Last Rites’ is the recording’s sole studio recording, while its other recordings all live material.

‘Last Rites’ was written, recorded and produced this year during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.  The song captures a lot of the energy and mindset of everything happening today as a result of the pandemic.  That is presented in part through the song’s heavy, guitar-driven arrangement.  While the musical arrangement featured in this composition is mostly what audiences have come to expect from Alter Bridge, the song will also appeal to fans of Alice in Chains.  That is because there are moments throughout the arrangement echo the dual vocal approach for which Alice in Chains came to be known over the years.  The pairing of these two elements make for quite the engaging and entertaining work in its own right.  When the musical arrangement is paired with the song’s equally hard hitting lyrical theme, the song gains even more impact.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Last Rites’ comes across as a social statement of sorts.  That is especially in the song’s chorus, in which front man Myles Kennedy sings, “The future’s all but written” before telling listeners to prepare for the death of their way of life.  Going backward, he sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve seen the future/Yeah/The writing’s on the wall/And it don’t’ look that good to me/Tear out the sutures put in place to save us all/Well that’s your right/But wait and see/You don’t know where this goes/Wait until tomorrow/You don’t know/Where this goes/One day you will see.”  This points at a statement that perhaps people need to be sure of what they are doing before they go and do it.  This is inferred just as much in the song’s second verse, which finds Kennedy singing, “Protest the boundaries/Put in place that hold you down/Scream in defiance/Storm the gates…In the end you’ll seal our fate.”  From here Kennedy and company return to the song’s chorus, which reminds listeners that “the future’s all but set in stone…there’s no time to wallow in the undertow.”  Again, this hints at a message of being sure we know what we are doing and why, whether it be in reaction to everything going on in the world’s current age or any other time.  This is purely this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Regardless, what can be inferred from this is that the song is clearly a commentary, and a hard hitting one at that.

Alter Bridge’s lyric video for ‘Last Rites’ is just its latest video. The band debuted the video for its song ‘Native Son‘ last month. That song is featured in the band’s album Walk The Sky, which was released last year.

The stop motion style video was created by Stefano Bertelli.  It uses origami along with stop motion to tell the song’s story and opens in the old west town of Deadwood.  The town eventually crumbles away and is replaced by a futuristic city, and at the center of it all is an unidentified figure who is struggling to survive through all of the changes. The visualization is meant to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical content, whose chorus finds front man Myles Kennedy singing, “I’m a native son in a foreign land/I’m just living in a world I can’t understand.”

More information on Walk The Sky 2.0 and Alter Bridge’s new single and video is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.alterbridge.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Twitterhttp://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.

Alter Bridge’s New Live Recording Leaves Listeners Wanting More In The Best Way Possible

Courtesy: Napalm Records

With live, in-person concerts all but extinct thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, lots of acts are doing their part this year to help audiences get their live music fix.  Between drive-in concerts and live recordings, audiences are getting their fix thanks to the noted efforts.  Veteran hard rock band Alter Bridge is just the latest in the mass of musical acts to help keep live music alive.  The band is scheduled to release its new live recording Walk The Sky 2.0 Nov. 6 through Napalm Records.  The 31-minute recording is brief, offering up only six live tracks, but it also offers a new studio track.  Each noted element will receive its own attention here.  They are just part of what makes the recording so appealing.  The sequencing of the live content is also worth noting here.  When all three elements are considered together, they make the recording a presentation that while maybe not a full-length live recording, still a success in its own right.

Alter Bridge’s forthcoming live recording Walk The Sky 2.0 is a welcome new presentation from the veteran hard rock band.  It might not be a full-length live recording, but it still does its own share to entertain and engage audiences.  That is proven in part through the six live performances that are featured in the recording.  The live recordings in question are of songs featured in the band’s latest album Walk The Sky.  While the track listing may not be Walk The Sky in its entirety, but it is almost half of the album.  What’s more, audiences get in these live recordings a selection of songs that pulls from the beginning, middle, and end of the album in question.  In other words, the band pulled from as much of the album as possible, rather than focusing on just one portion of the record.  Simply put, the live material featured here overall gives audiences a rich, vivid picture of Walk The Sky.  The only down side to the whole is that Napalm Records’ officials and the band only made this recording, whose songs were captured back in January and February during the band’s live run in support of Walk The Sky, available on CD and digital platforms.  It is unavailable on DVD and Blu-ray.  Maybe in due time.  Getting back on topic, the live songs alone are just a portion of what makes Walk The Sky 2.0 such a successful new live recording from Alter Bridge.  The sequencing of the featured songs plays into the recording’s presentation, too.

Audiences will note in listening to Walk The Sky 2.0 that the sequencing of the performances was very deliberate.  The songs are mostly heavy, save for ‘Godspeed’ and the slightly more amped up ‘In The Deep.’  The first of the pair serves as a good way to break up the recording’s energy while the latter presents itself as a good, gradual crescendo of sorts back to the recording’s initial energy.  The overall effect of the sequencing is that audiences’ engagement and entertainment is that much more ensured throughout.  This element and the recording’s songs themselves join to more than make Walk The Sky 2.0 worth hearing.  They are but a portion of what makes the recording successful, too.  The recording’s featured new studio recording ‘Last Rites’ puts the final touch to its presentation.

‘Last Rites’ was written, recorded and produced this year during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.  The song captures a lot of the energy and mindset of everything happening today as a result of the pandemic.  That is presented in part through the song’s heavy, guitar-driven arrangement.  While the musical arrangement featured in this composition is mostly what audiences have come to expect from Alter Bridge, the song will also appeal to fans of Alice in Chains.  That is because there are moments throughout the arrangement echo the dual vocal approach for which Alice in Chains came to be known over the years.  The pairing of these two elements make for quite the engaging and entertaining work in its own right.  When the musical arrangement is paired with the song’s equally hard hitting lyrical theme, the song gains even more impact.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Last Rites’ comes across as a social statement of sorts.  That is especially in the song’s chorus, in which front man Myles Kennedy sings, “The future’s all but written” before telling listeners to prepare for the death of their way of life.  Going backward, he sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve seen the future/Yeah/The writing’s on the wall/And it don’t’ look that good to me/Tear out the sutures put in place to save us all/Well that’s your right/But wait and see/You don’t know where this goes/Wait until tomorrow/You don’t know/Where this goes/One day you will see.”  This points at a statement that perhaps people need to be sure of what they are doing before they go and do it.  This is inferred just as much in the song’s second verse, which finds Kennedy singing, “Protest the boundaries/Put in place that hold you down/Scream in defiance/Storm the gates…In the end you’ll seal our fate.”  From here Kennedy and company return to the song’s chorus, which reminds listeners that “the future’s all but set in stone…there’s no time to wallow in the undertow.”  Again, this hints at a message of being sure we know what we are doing and why, whether it be in reaction to everything going on in the world’s current age or any other time.  This is purely this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Regardless, what can be inferred from this is that the song is clearly a commentary, and a hard hitting one at that.  When it is coupled with the song’s equally heavy musical arrangement, the whole of the song impresses as much as the rest of the band’s catalog.  Additionally, the song shows that the band still has plenty of heaviness and fire under its collective backsides, meaning it gives audiences plenty to expect in the near future from the band, in terms of new studio material, too.  When this is taken into consideration alongside the success of Walk The Sky 2.0’s live material and its sequencing, the whole of the recording becomes a welcome new way for audiences to get their live Alter Bridge fix while also tiding audiences over until the band releases its next studio album or DVD/BD release of Walk The Sky 2.0.

Alter Bridge’s new forthcoming live recording Walk The Sky 2.0 is a successful new offering from the veteran hard rock band.  That is proven in part through the recording’s live material, which all comes from the band’s latest album and performances captured early this year in support of said record.  The sequencing of said songs adds its own special touch to the recording overall.  The sequencing ensures the recording’s energy rises and falls in all of the right moments.  The new studio recording Last Rites puts the finishing touch to the recording, as it is just as powerful musically and lyrically as any of the band’s existing compositions.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make the recording in whole a presentation that any Alter Bridge fan will appreciate, even being available only on digital, vinyl, and CD platforms.

The record will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

Walk The Sky 2.0 will be available in the following formats:
-Jewelcase CD
-Jewelcase CD + Shirt (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ex-North America)
-Cream Vinyl LP Gatefold
-Inkspot Yellow/Black Marbled Vinyl LP Gatefold (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 150 copies in North America)
-2-CD Earbook [+Walk The Sky(Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 300 copies)
-Digital Album [+Walk The Sky]

More information on Walk The Sky 2.0 and Alter Bridge’s new single and video is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.alterbridge.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Twitterhttp://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.

Abandoned Souls’ New Single Encourages Listeners To Face Their Own “Darkness”

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations/Fiend Records

Independent hard rock band Abandoned Souls debuted its new single this week.

The band debuted the single ‘Blinding Darkness’ Thursday through v13.net, one day before making the song available worldwide. The song is the band’s first new single since 2017. Its musical arrangement is a heavy, melodic hard rock composition that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Godmsack, Three Days Grace, and Alter Bridge.

The lyrical content featured in the band’s brand new single was written following the death of front man James Todd’s mother. He explained the connection in a recent interview.

“The song is about facing the reality of death or dark times and dealing with it,” he said. “It’s also learning to maneuver through the darkness and finding a way to be more comfortable within that space. To realize that you need to face it head-on sometimes and learn how to live and prosper from the experience of getting through these times.”

Abandoned Souls has released four albums and one EP since its formation in 2006. more information on those records is available along with more information on the band’s new single and all of its latest news at:

Website: http://abandonedsouls.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abandonedsouls

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

Alter Bridge Announces Release Date, Specs For New EP; Debuts ‘Native Son’ Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Alter Bridge is doing its part to help audiences get their live music fix.

The band is scheduled to release a new live EP titled Walk The Sky 2.0 Nov. 6 through Napalm Records.  The seven song recording features six live renditions of songs originally featured on the band’s 2019 album Walk The Sky and one new song, ‘Last Rites.’

‘Last Rites’ was written, recorded and produced this year during the COVID-19 lockdown.  The live recordings were captured during the band’s January/February 2020 tour in support of Walk The Sky.

The track listing for Walk The Sky 2.0 is noted below.

The tracklisting for Walk The Sky 2.0 is:
1. Last Rites
2. Wouldn’t You Rather (Live)
3. Pay No Mind (Live)
4. Native Son (Live)
5. Godspeed (Live)
6. In The Deep (Live)
7. Dying Light (Live)

The record will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

Walk The Sky 2.0 will be available in the following formats:
-Jewelcase CD
-Jewelcase CD + Shirt (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ex-North America)
-Cream Vinyl LP Gatefold
-Inkspot Yellow/Black Marbled Vinyl LP Gatefold (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 150 copies in North America)
-2-CD Earbook [+Walk The Sky(Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 300 copies)
-Digital Album [+Walk The Sky]

While audiences await the release of Walk The Sky 2.0, Alter Bridge, they have a new music video from the band to watch.  The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Native Son‘ Tuesday.

The stop motion style video was created by Stefano Bertelli.  It uses origami along with stop motion to tell the song’s story and opens in the old west town of Deadwood.  The town eventually crumbles away and is replaced by a futuristic city, and at the center of it all is an unidentified figure who is struggling to survive through all of the changes. The visualization is meant to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical content, whose chorus finds front man Myles Kennedy singing, “I’m a native son in a foreign land/I’m just living in a world I can’t understand.”

More information on Walk The Sky 2.0 and Alter Bridge’s new single and video is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.alterbridge.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Twitterhttp://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.

South Of Eden’s Second Studio Recording Could Be The Band’s Breakout Record

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records

Neo-classic rock band South of Eden  (formerly Black Coffee) will release its first major label studio recording Friday.  The band is scheduled to release its new four-song EP The Talk through Lava/Republic Records.  The 16-minute record is the band’s first new music since it released its 2018 album Take One under its former moniker.  That nine-song album was the band’s debut (and only) album under the name, but was an impressive offering from the group.  Now two years later the band has found success yet again with its debut EP.  That success is thanks to the record’s musical and lyrical content together, as is evidenced right from the EP’s outset in its title track.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Morning Brew’ is another way in which the EP shows its strength.  It will be addressed a little later.  The EP’s closer, which is also its lead singles, is one more example of how this record’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it such an impressive new effort from the band.  When it is considered with the other two songs noted here and the EP’s one other song, ‘Solo,’ the whole of the EP becomes a work that will definitely leave listeners talking about South of Eden.

South of Eden’s sophomore studio recording and debut EP The Talk is a successful new offering from the up-and-coming neo-classic rock band.  It is a work that will appeal to rock and roll purists and rock fans in general.  That is thanks to the record’s combined musical and lyrical content.  The EP’s opener/title track is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  The song’s musical arrangement wastes no time grabbing listeners in its opening bars with its up-tempo riff.  That riff gives way to a more reserved nature in the song’s lead verse.  That reserved approach gives way to the noted high energy chorus.  The back and forth of that reserved and more up-tempo sounds ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment from beginning to end of the nearly four-minute song.  What is really interesting to note here is that the classic rock influences of AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, it also lends itself to comparisons to works from Buckcherry and Alter Bridge.  In other words, the classic rock influences are infused alongside the modern guitar rock influences.  The end result is an arrangement that is a strong start for the album and just one example of why the EP’s musical content is so strong.  The lyrical accompaniment to that musical content adds to the song’s appeal.

Not having a lyrics sheet to reference, the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher.  However, from what can be deciphered sans said sheet, it can be inferred (hopefully correctly) that this song is a commentary of sorts about how people say one thing but do something opposite; those people who feed lies to themselves and others.  This is supposed as front man Ehab Omran sings in the song’s chorus about someone who is seemingly rejecting the help that others offer.  He goes so far as to sing in the chorus, “You say you’re trying/But who can tell/When you talk, talk, talk?”  There is even mention in the song’s second verse of “helpful hands/reaching in/everyone tries/But you don’t give in” before he asks again, “What do you want?”  The song’s lead verse adds to the discussion as it addresses someone who in a different situation who doesn’t seem to know what he or she wants.  Again, this interpretation is made wholly sans lyrics to reference.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Right or wrong, it can at least be agreed that there is a certain commentary going on here.  That in itself is sure to engage listeners while the song’s musical arrangement will entertain them.  To that end, it makes for a strong start for the EP.  It is just one of the songs that shows the EP’s strength.  ‘Morning Brew,’ the EP’s third song is one more example of why audiences will enjoy the record.

‘Morning Brew’ is much more reserved in comparison to ‘The Talk’ and to the EP’s other two songs in terms of its musical arrangement.  This arrangement is a bluesy, subdued composition that lends itself to comparisons works from the likes of maybe Johnny Lang with its slick guitar riffs.  That reserved nature in this almost blues ballad type composition serves to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme.

The lyrical content at the center of ‘Morning Brew’ comes across as an introspective statement.  It seems to come from the mind of someone who is going through a difficult time, emotionally speaking.  This is inferred as Omran sings in the song’s lead verse, “Where do you go/When your days are numbered/You’re feeling lonely/Down by the seashore/When your days are bright/Lights are heavy/Where would you go/If I can’t see straight/And my feet stay steady/Walk out the door/All we do/Our world is not ready/Ain’t that the way it goes/When you’re all alone.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “What would they say/If they tell you no/But you do it anyway/Life’s all a big game/Where the people lose/When the evil stands to gain/Looking down the aisle of a train/People’s eyes/All I see is pain/newspapers and crosswords say we’re all lookin’ down the barrel of a gun.” Again, there is a lot of contemplation here about one’s own situation and the world.   When this deep thought is coupled with the song’s so subtle that it’s heavy arrangement, the result is a deeply moving work that stands strong on its own merits.  It is just one more example of what makes the EP stand out.  The EPs closer and lead single ‘Dancing With Fire’ is yet another key addition to the record.

The musical arrangement at the heart of ‘Dancing With Fire’ is as fiery as the title implies.  Drummer Tommy McCullough and guitarist Justin Young lead the way this time out.  Omran and bassist Nick Frantianne add their own touch to the arrangement, fleshing it out even more and making it just as strong a finale for the EP as its opener was a start.  Fans of bands, such as Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, and Poison will appreciate this arrangement.  It’s just one part of what makes this song shine.  The song’s lyrical content adds to its impact.

This is probably the easiest song to understand of the EP’s four tracks in terms of its lyrical content.  It clearly focuses on a person who is head over heels in love with another person.  This is made relatively clear early on as Omran sings in the song’s lead verse, “Well you’re pushin’ left/Pullin’ right/I can’t feel my hands tonight/Now, baby/yeah, you tell me when/tell me who/Stuck between a hard place and you/Sweet lady/You’ve been talking for so long/Putting up so strong/Forget about it/Got me feeling so wrong/Trapped in wire/’Cause I’ve been dancing with fire/Those flames keep burning up brighter/You’re walking past desire/But I can’t keep from loving you.”  This is pretty clear in its message.  This is someone who is crazy for that other person.  Any doubt is eliminated in the song’s second verse, which finds Omran singing, “Here we go/Go again/Ultimatums that never end/I’m hazy/With your smiling lips and your whispering tongue/Getting by/Saying you’re so young and lazy.”  Again, here audiences get someone whose mind is obsessed with that other person.  This readily accessible lyrical theme couples with the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement to make the song in whole the EP’s best song.  When it is considered with the other two songs noted here and the EP’s one remaining song, ‘Solo,’ the whole of the EP becomes a work that rock and roll purists everywhere will appreciate and a record that deserves its own consideration for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new EPs.

South of Eden’s second studio recording and debut EP The Talk is a positive new offering from the neo-classic rock band that purists of the genre will certainly appreciate.  That is due to its musical arrangements and lyrical content alike.  All three of the songs discussed here support that statement.  The EP’s one remaining song not addressed here supports that statement, too.  All things considered, the EP’s content overall makes it a record that will leave audiences talking.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  It is scheduled for release Friday through Lava/Republic Records.

More information on South of Eden’s new EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://southofedenband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/southofedenmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/southofedenband

 

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

Psycle’s Debut Album Could Be Its Breakout Record

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent hard rock band Psycle is scheduled to release its new album Kill The Machine Friday.  The band’s third studio recording — and debut album — the eight-song record is the band’s best work to date.  It is a presentation that shows the band’s members – Seth Salois (vocals, guitar), Jay Spyne (drums, vocals), Mike Kaz (bass, vocals), and Joe Nicolazzo (guitar) – at the top of their game.  Between the talent exhibited by each musician and the depth in the songs’ lyrical themes, the record is a strong debut for the band.  Given the right support, it actually could be the band’s breakout record.  That is proven in part through the album’s latest single ‘Last Chance for the Saints.’  It will be discussed shortly.  The album’s second single, ‘Changing Tide’ is another way in which the album proves its strength.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Dying To Live’ does just as much as ‘Changing Tide’ and ‘Last Chance For The Saints’ to show this record’s strength.  It is definitely not the last of the album’s most notable songs, either.  ‘Vultures at Play,’ ‘White Flag’ and ‘The Outsider’ are all just as notable as the songs addressed here.  When all of these songs are considered alongside the album’s other two songs not noted here, the album in whole proves itself to be one of this year’s top new independent albums and one of the year’s top new rock records.

Psycle’s debut album Killing The Machine is a positive “first impression” from the band.  The term “first impression” is used because the band has already released two EPs – its self-titled record and the EP Surfaces – ahead of this album.  Spanning a total of eight songs, the album proves itself so positive because of its musical and lyrical content.  That is evidenced in part through the album’s latest single ‘Last Chance for the Saints.’  The album’s penultimate song, it presents a blues-based, straight-forward rock arrangement, complete with chant of ‘Hey, Hey’ in its opening bars.  Throughout the course of the nearly four-minute rocker, the composition in whole lends itself to comparisons to works from Theory of a Deadman, Charm City Devils, and Daughtry to a lesser degree.  Front man Seth Salois’ vocal delivery couples with his work on guitar and that of fellow guitarist Joe Nicolazzo to add a certain depth to the song.  Drummer Jay Spyne’s solid time keeping, fills and cymbal crashes add even more impact to the song while bassist Mike Kaz’s low-end puts the finishing touch to the whole.  What is interesting to note here is that the song’s fiery energy actually plays well into translating the emotion in the song’s extremely serious lyrical theme, that of the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The fact that the band took on the topic of the nation’s opioid epidemic is a statement in itself.  Few, if any music acts in any genre can say they have taken on or are taking on the controversial topic.  The way in which the matter is addressed here makes the song stand out even more.  This isn’t just some sad, emotional piece lamenting those who have died as a result of the epidemic.  Rather, it is a striking indictment of the epidemic that forcefully goes after those who have allowed it to continue.  Salois confirmed this in a recent interview, stating of the song’s theme, “This song deals with the damage that has been caused by the opioid epidemic in our country and how others continue to make money off of this damage.  Addiction is something that has touched so many of us in so many ways.  This song hopefully takes a stance against the destruction of so many of those we love.”  That statement is confirmed as Salois sings in the song’s lead verse, “This is the last chance for the saints/Keep making the pills and we’ll medicate/I’ll never refuse while I lie here/The beautiful taste your supply cheers.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, adding to that statement, “Never forget your consumer’s name/It’s written in guilt under stone they lay/It spreads like fire with our hands cold/’Cause killing us young meets the same goal.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Now it’s fading faster/Leaving you to shake/A beautiful disaster /Chase it down the drain/And we run, down the line but were still here alive/And we run, down the line but we’re still here alive.”  Again, this is a pretty damning indictment of the nation’s drug industry.  This isn’t going necessarily after drug dealers, but rather legal drug dealers; the companies that make these medications to which people are becoming addicted.  Together with the song’s fiery, powerful musical arrangement, the two elements together make the song in whole one of this album’s strongest entries if not its strongest entry overall.  Again, it is at least one of the album’s most notable songs.  The album’s second single, ‘Changing Tide’ is another of the record’s most notable works.

Right from its outset, the arrangement at the center of ‘Changing Tide’ lends itself to comparisons to works from Alter Bridge and its predecessor, Creed.  That is meant in the most complimentary way.  Even Salois’ vocal delivery stands out here along with the work of his band mates, lending itself to comparisons to that of Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy.  All of this is important to note because it’s another way in which the record proves musically to be Psycle’s best work to date.  It is another clean, polished work from the band.  In comparison to the work featured on the band’s two previously released EPs, it shows how much the band has grown and evolved personally and collectively throughout the band’s life.  Interestingly, that plays right into the song’s lyrical theme, too.

The song’s lyrical theme is meant to inspire listeners, according to a recently released collective statement from the band.  The statement says of the song’s lyrical theme, “‘Changing Tide’ is about believing in your individuality, accepting the hand that you are dealt and persevering through whatever stands in your way,”  This message is driven home in the song’s lead verse, in which Salois sings, “Hold The Line, and believe in your creation/Make the climb/Never needing their ovation/Face down the storm/That will eat you alive.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Kill the lies/As it fuels the same frustration/Live your life/As we breathe the elevation/Break down those walls that you keep to survive.”  This is straight forward to say, meaning that it is just as accessible to audiences as the lyrical content featured in ‘Last Chance for the Saints.’  It means audiences will be able to easily relate to this matter.  The song’s chorus drives home the noted theme as Saolis sings, “I’ll never give in/I’ll never give up this fight/If you do, it never changes/We can face the winding road/And the changing tide.”  Once more, audiences can relate easily to this accessible content.  This line in the song’s chorus is what the band wants its listeners to sing, that they, too, will never give in or up.  In times, such as these, such a positive message overall is something that is wholly welcome and needed.  To that end, this song is another notable addition to Kill The Machine.  It is hardly the last of the album’s most notable songs.  ‘Dying to Live’ is one more way in which Kill The Machine shows why it is such a positive debut from Psycle.

Much as is the case with ‘Last Chance for Saints,’ Kill The Machine’s title track and much of the other material, the musical arrangement at the heart of ‘Dying to Live’ is a southern rock-tinged composition with a touch of a blues influence at its base.  Of course while the stylistic approach is similar to that of the album’s other works, the actual sound stands on its own merits.  In other words, doesn’t just rehash the sound of its counterparts in this record.  Keeping that in mind, the song is its own notable work just for its musical arrangement.  The sound and energy in the song’s arrangement couples well with the song’s lyrical energy, which according to Salois, is its own social commentary.

Salois said of the song’s lyrical content, “’Dying to Live’ is really about how we try so hard to fit into certain societal groups or ideas and how we are manipulated into thinking we need to be a certain way or have certain things by others.”  Once again, here audiences get a lyrical theme to which they can relate with ease.  Whether through the media, through our peers or other sources, we as a species feel that pressure every day from so many sources.  As a result of that pressure, many of us end up putting that pressure – unnecessarily so – onto ourselves.  It is yet another topic that will connect with listeners especially through its accessible lyrics.  Salois sings in the song’s lead verse, “When it’s over, can you please let it go/It’s a feeling, like the calm before the storm/Thrown the stone, feel the waves catching up/They will sell you the same old shelter/They will sell you your soul.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Can you feel it/When you finally take control/And the demons show their face the more you know/Thrown the stone/Feel the waves catching up/They will sell you the same old shelter/They will sell you your soul.”  While there is plenty of metaphorical language used here, the message is made clear, considering Salois’ statement.  That mention of the felling of the “calm before the storm” is something of a statement of that pressure that we feel; that uncertainty that goes through our minds.  The mention of the “same old shelter” being sold over and over again, is like saying those extraneous forces (the media, peers, etc.) will push the same belief set time and again, which leads to the feelings being noted here.  It’s a warning that we need to heed.  We need to take pride in ourselves and who we are – which is the message of ‘Changing Tide’ – and not give in to that pressure to be something that we are not.  Considering the energy in the song’s musical arrangement, that message gains even more traction and impact.  Keeping that in mind, the song in whole becomes, again, just one more example of what makes Kill The Machine such a strong offering from Psycle.  When the song is considered along with the other songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s works, the result is a debut that deserves its own share of attention and a work that is a positive debut from this independent rock band.

Psycle’s debut album Kill The Machine is a positive first impression from the independent hard rock band.  That is proven through accessible musical arrangements that are themselves radio ready and through lyrical themes that are just as accessible as the albums’ musical content.  All three of the songs examined here serve to support the noted statements.  The same can be said of any of the album’s other songs, too.  All things considered, the album in whole could be the work that, with the right support, could be a breakout for Psycle.  Regardless of whether the band gets that support,  it can be said of Killing The Machine that all things considered, this record is one of this year’s top new independent album and new rock albums.  Killing The Machine is scheduled for release Friday.

More information on Psycle’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.psyclemusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/psyclemusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/psycle22

 

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