‘Hypoxia’ Is An Imperfect But Enjoyable New Offering From Projected

Courtesy: Rat Pak Records

More than four years after the release of its sophomore album, Ignite My Insanity, hard rock super group Projected returned last month with that record’s follow-up, Hypoxia.  Released June 24 through Rat Pak Records (which released the band’s first two albums, too), the 13-song (14 in the expanded edition) is an intriguing new offering from the group, which is composed of Sevendust members John Connolly and Vince Hornsby, Alter Bridge drummer Scott Phillips, and Tremonti guitarist Eric Friedman.  That is due in large part to its featured lyrical content, which will be discussed shortly.  While the record’s lyrical content ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment, its musical content is sadly imperfect.  This will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production works with the lyrical content and musical content together to make the record a presentation that while imperfect, is still worth hearing at least once.

Hypoxia, the third studio recording from hard rock super group Projected, is an interesting new offering from the quintet.  Its interest comes in large part through its lyrical content.  The album’s title track, which comes almost halfway through the record, does well to support that statement.  The song is a social commentary about people’s divisive interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Connolly talked about the theme and how it related not only to the song but the album in whole, saying, “When the pandemic happened, everybody was on social media all of the time. People were going off on each other and the whole world got crazy. It was 100% hypoxia.  Everyone was talking and nobody was listening.  I had to get off socials awhile because it messes your mood up.” 

This discussion is addressed directly in the album’s title track as Connolly sings, “Why is it every time that I hear you lie/You’ve got nothing to say to make your case/Why is it all the time that I hear you whine/You’ve got no one to blame/You’re sucking out the oxygen/You’re wasting all my oxygen/You’re sucking out the oxygen/You’re wasting all my oxygen/Talking to you makes my head go numb/Bring on your halfwit/Come on, come on with it/Hypoxia/Trying to deal with you makes me come undone/Here comes some bulls***/Come on, come on with it.”  This is that back and forth that Connolly was addressing.  The commentary continues in the song’s second verse as Connolly continues, “How do you find a way to spew meaningless hate/Youv’e got something to say every day/How can you live this way?”  Again, this is that commentary.  Just as Connolly said, this type of behavior really has happened ever since the pandemic happened and sadly is still happening to this day.  To that end, this is a theme and commentary that is certain to resonate with plenty of audiences.

On another note, ‘Stain,’ which is another of the album’s singles, presents its own engaging lyrical content.  In the case of this song, it comes across as being less about social media and more of a familiar commentary about someone who is in a rough place in life. A crossroads so to speak.  This is inferred as Connolly sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Love stains an everlasting hope/Hate burns a never-ending hole/Preacher man told me I should pray to God/But heaven seems such a long way to go/So I pray/If I had one last chance to change it/I’d give the world my best to save it/If I had no regrets to stain it/I’d give my everything to love again.”  This simple verse pretty much comes right out and makes the inferred theme clear.  This is someone who wants to believe people and be happy but finds it difficult to do so because those hopes and dreams have been damaged so much, clearly.  The inferred theme is continued in the song’s second verse as Connolly sings, “Spit out just exactly what you want me to be/The road I travel’s getting darker day by day/I don’t want to hear your lies/Take everything I have to give/So I pray.”  Yet again this is someone being at the pivotal moment, just wanting to know want someone(s) want him/her to be.  This is a situation in which so many audiences have found and find themselves daily.  To that point, it is a theme that will resonate just as much with so many listeners, further showing the importance of the record’s lyrical content.

‘My Addiction’ is yet another example of that importance.  As the song’s title indicates, it is a song about dealing with addiction.  This is yet another familiar theme in so much rock and hard rock that encourages listeners to conquer their addictions.  Connolly sings in the song’s lead verse, “Somehow I found what’s mine/I’m not a victim of it/I’m gonna rise above it/Some moments lost in time/I try to push on through it/And now I never lose it/Now I never lose it/I push through the end/Till I cross that line/Because when they bury me/Won’t lose this time…”  The last two lines of the chorus are difficult to decipher sans lyrics, but more than enough of the verse and chorus is understandable that audiences can easily note that the song clearly is in fact that of conquering whatever addiction one has.  The song’s brief second verse follows in similar fashion adding its own touch to the whole.  In the end, Connolly sings, “I won’t let go” before singing again about pushing on through it all.  The whole here is a powerful statement about determination to get through “this endless race.”  It all collectively is just as certain to resonate with listeners.  When it and the other themes examined here are considered along with the rest of the record’s lyrical content, the whole makes even clearer why the lyrical content featured in the album is so important to its presentation.  It more than makes up for the slight shortcoming of the album’s musical content.

The arrangements that make up the record’s body are infectious.  There is no denying that aspect.  At the same time though, so much of what audiences get in this record is what listeners have gotten from Sevendust for so many years.  There is even a clear Alter Bridge influence late in the record in the form of ‘My Addiction.’  From the heaviness and harmonies in the guitar and bass lines to the very specific vocal styling in each song, the whole of so much of this record really is nearly identical, again, to so much of what Sevendust has crafted in each of its albums.  If any of the arrangements featured here were to be played on the radio without announcement from the on-air talent, audiences would very likely think this was content from Sevendust. Add in that this is hardly the first time that the band has taken this creative avenue just as in its existing catalog, and it hurts the record to a certain point that much more. That is not to say that the record’s musical content dooms it by any means but taking that safe route certainly did not do much to help the band grow in its latest outing.

While the album’s musical arrangements seem to counter a statement made by Connolly made during a recent interview that he felt the record showed evolution and growth from the band, the production of those arrangements helps to keep listeners engaged, even despite the overt familiarity.  The production that went into the record ensured that as heavy as so much of the record is throughout, each musician’s performance is expertly balanced by that of his band mates.  The richness of each performance comes together from one song to the next to make each composition so hard hitting and in turn enjoyable even despite being so overly familiar.  To that end, it still manages to make the album mostly successful when considered with everything else.  To that end, the album proves itself worth hearing at least once.

Hypoxia, the latest album from hard rock super group Projected, is an intriguing new offering from the group.  The album’s interest comes in large part through its featured lyrical content, which is certain to resonate with audiences from one song to the next.  From social commentaries to more personal stories and more, the themes here are content that is completely relatable.  As much as the record’s lyrical content does to make it engaging and entertaining, the record’s musical content is a little more questionable.  Once again audiences get musical arrangements throughout that really are overly familiar.  For the most part what audiences get here are compositions that are more along the lines of content from Connolly and Hornsby’s main band, Sevendust, than anything that really takes any chances.  In other words, it once again finds the group largely playing it safe.  Yes, the arrangements are infectious and engaging, but it would have been nice to have heard something less familiar.  The record’s production works with the arrangements to ensure each arrangement, even being so overly familiar, is still fully immersive.  It does this by making sure the instrumentation is properly balanced in each work and that the vocals are just as clear as the instruments.  It puts the finishing touch to the whole.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered they make Hypoxia maybe not perfect but still worth hearing at least once.

Hypoxia is available now through Rat Pak Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/ProjectedBand.

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

Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Deliver Another Enjoyable Successful Album In ‘4’

Courtesy: Gibson Records

More than three years after the release of its then latest album, Living the Dream, the collective of Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators will release its new album next week.  More specifically, it is scheduled for release Feb. 11 through Gibson Records.  The aptly-titled album, 4, is the group’s fourth studio recording and has already produced three singles.  It has also been promoted through plenty of recent TV appearances.  Those performances and singles have helped audiences get a good idea of the 42-minute record’s overall picture, but they are just a glimpse of how much this record has to offer.  Listening through the remainder of the album, audiences will find that its overall musical presentation has much to appreciate.  It will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements are of their own interest and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of 4.  All things considered, 4 proves itself to be among the best of the year’s new rock records so far.

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators’ forthcoming album 4 is a strong new offering from the super group of sorts.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  The three singles that the album has produced have already done well to make that clear.  ‘Call Off The Dogs,’ the group’s latest single for instance, clearly brings in Kennedy’s Alter Bridge influence with its rich, melodic guitar line alongside Kennedy’s own powerful vocals.  At the same time, Slash’s performance incorporates his own rock leanings to make for an interesting combination of influences.  The interest generated through that combination of sounds and stylistic approaches makes the song so rich and unique in the bigger picture of the album and in comparison to other rock compositions released so far this year. 

The group offers more variance in the record’s musical side through its performance of ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words.’  The song’s arrangement is a clear neo-classic rock style composition that also brings in the most subtle hint of stoner rock.  The production that went into the song brought those influences out clearly, too.  The result is a work that is fully immersive and that stands out so well from its counterparts in this record (and even in the band’s existing catalog). 

Much earlier in the album (the record’s second song to be precise), audiences get a touch of stoner/hard rock leanings in ‘Whatever Gets You By.’  The rich, plodding guitar line and overall instrumentation used in the song’s verses conjures thoughts of The Toadies’ hit song ‘Possum Kingdom.’  That is not to say the two songs are identical by any means.  It is just to say that stylistically speaking, the similarity is there.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion considering how enjoyable ‘Possum Kingdom’ is to this day.  The contrast of the more melodic choruses is even similar between the songs.  Again, ‘Whatever Gets You By’ is still its own work separate of ‘Possum Kingdom,’ so it is still so enjoyable in its own right even with the similarities in sound and style.  It is just one more example of how much this record’s musical content does to make the album in whole successful.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s songs, the role that the album’s musical arrangements play becomes that much clearer and in turn more important. 

While the musical arrangements featured in this album are unquestionably important to its overall presentation, they are just part of what makes the record engaging and entertaining.  The record’s lyrical themes also play into its success.  The lyrical themes featured throughout the album are largely accessible, though at some points, open for interpretation.  Right from the album’s outset, audiences get a sociopolitical commentary in the lyrical content of ‘The River is Rising.’  Kennedy explained the song’s lyrical theme during a recent interview, explaining that it addresses how easily humans are brainwashed.  That message is delivered in unique fashion as Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Another fool for rage/Another truth betrayed/Another lackey out of line/Torture and rip-apart/What was the pure of heart/Poison the well/And push the lie/All in the name of nothing/Have we been hypnotized/No doubt the end is coming/We’re out of time/Hang on/The river is rising/Hold strong/The tide is high/Will we drown in paradise?”  That last line, asking, “Will we drown in paradise?” is telling.  It is a cynical question that highlights the reality that we are in a bad state.  It asks what is going to happen to society in what is supposed to be a wonderful situation, but is in reality anything but a utopia.  Again, this is a great, unique way to deliver a familiar message.  The second verse continues the noted message as Kennedy sings, “Another wicked scheme/Another static dream/Indoctrination for the blind.”  This line plays with into the deliver of the song’s lead verse, furthering the message even more.  The sense of frustration with everything going on that is established through these verses couples with the energy to really help make the song’s lyrical content that much more hard hitting.  It is just one example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important.  ‘Fill My World’ is another example of that importance.

While lyrics were not available for this critic’s review of 4, enough of the content can be deciphered to infer that this song is another familiar work that centers on a broken relationship.  This is made obvious early on as the subject sings about ‘Holding on that you’ll return to me”; this after already singing about wondering “if you really cared at all.”  If this is not a direct reference to a breakup, then one can only guess at what is said reference.  When this fully relatable theme pairs with the emotion in the song’s musical content, it makes that theme hit home even harder for audiences.

‘April Fool’ is yet another song whose lyrical theme proves relatively relatable from what can be deciphered sans lyrics.  In the case of this song, it comes across as being sung from the standpoint of someone who has been wronged by another for too long and is fed up with the mistreatment.  It does not have to necessarily, either.  The subject comes right out in the song’s chorus and goes so far as to tell that other person, “The joke’s on you” because the subject won’t be that person’s fool anymore.  The verses have mentions of being fed up with the inferred mistreatment, too.  All things considered here, the whole again comes across as a fully relatable theme for any listener.  When the high energy in the song’s musical arrangement pairs with the sense of frustration in the song’s seeming message, that lyrical theme gains even more power.  When this theme is considered along with the others examined here and with the rest of the album’s lyrical content, that whole makes for even more engagement and entertainment.  When it is considered along with the record’s overall musical content, the whole makes the album’s overall content reason enough for audiences to give this album a chance and then some.  Keeping that in mind, there is still one more item to examine here.  That item is the sequencing of that content.

The sequencing used in 4 is important because it takes into account, the diversity in the record’s overall content.  At the same time, the energy in the songs’ arrangements remains relatively stable from beginning to end.  From the neo-classic rock sounds and styles to the more borderline hard rock and stoner rock sounds and styles, each song is different from the last in its arrangement.  That duality is enough to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  Add in that the songs’ lyrical themes change just enough throughout, too, and the album gains even more appeal.  The end result of the well thought out sequencing of all of this content is that it completes the picture painted here.  When its positive impact is considered along with the record’s overall content, the whole makes 4 easily one of the best new rock records of the year so far.

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators’ forthcoming album, 4, is another impressive new offering from the rock super group.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The arrangements offer audiences a variety of rock styles and sounds from one to the next.  Along the way, each arrangement is fully accessible.  The songs’ lyrical themes are just as accessible, offering audiences topics to which they will relate.  The sequencing of that content puts the final touch to the record.  It ensures that as the songs progress from start to end, the record’s energy remains stable even as the songs change.  Each item examined plays its own important part to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make 4 an impressive new addition to this year’s field of rock records.

4 is scheduled for release Feb.11 through Gibson Records.  More information on Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators’ new album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Website:  https://www.slashonline.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Slash

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Slash

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Premieres New Album’s Second Single

Courtesy: GIbson Records

Audiences are getting another preview of 4, the next album from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

The group debuted the record’s second single, ‘Fill My World‘ Friday. The song is the album’s second single behind ‘The River is Rising.’ The band premiered the song’s video Oct. 22.

The track listing for 4 is noted below.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Fill My World’ is a neo-classic rock type composition. The steady time keeping and the vocals pair well with the bass line to make for even more enjoyment.

Slash talked about the song’s musical and lyrical content in a prepared statement.

“Musically, I came up with it at my studio,” he said. “It was just the opening riff, and then the underlying chord changes started to come out in my mind. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pursue it or not, but I had to record it and make a demo. I thought, I don’t know what the guys are going to think… Because it has a certain sentimental kind of feel to it. But I sent it to Myles, and he came back with these heartfelt lyrics. I thought it was about the loss we’ve all been suffering during this dark period, and then he told me it was about his dog. [laughs] I said, ‘Well, you know, everybody has had somebody that they love affected by this, so…”

Kennedy expanded on Slash’s comments.

So, I have this little Shih Tzu named Mozart – he tries to act all tough, but he’s really not,” said Kennedy.” “And on one occasion we couldn’t get home, our flight was delayed and there was a really intense storm over our house. We have one of those little camera systems to keep an eye on the dog when we can’t be there, and we saw him just freaking out. It was heartbreaking to watch. It terrified the little guy. So, the narrative of the song is inspired by what I imagined he might have been thinking as it all went down. And his plea to us to come home.”

Added Kennedy, “When you listen to it, it could apply to a relationship between humans. But I thought it was interesting, at least for me, to sing it from Mozart’s perspective. And to be really honest, as I was singing the song in the studio, at one point you can hear my voice crack a little bit. It was getting to me. So, it’s definitely sung from the heart. And I’m man enough to admit it!”

The track listing for 4 is noted below.

1.   “The River is Rising”

2.   “Whatever Gets You By”

3.   “C’est La Vie”

4.   “The Path Less Followed”

5.   “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”

6.   “Spirit Love”

7.   “Fill My World”

8.   “April Fool”

9.   “Call Off the Dogs”

10. “Fall Back to Earth”

In related news, Gibson will commemorate the release of 4, the band’s first record with Gibson Records, with the release of a first-ever, limited edition Slash Les Paul album 4 package on Feb. 11. Only 250 of these packages, which include a Slash Les Paul guitars will be available. They will be available here and through select Gibson dealers. Along with the guitar, the package also features a vinyl copy of the album, guitar pick, signed band picture, and album decal sticker.

In other news, the band is scheduled to launch a tour in support of its new album Feb. 8 in Portland, OR. The tour is scheduled to run through March 26 in Orlando, FL and features planned performances in cities nationwide, such as Milwaukee, WI; Seattle, WA and Waterloo, NY. Tickets and the tour’s schedule are available here.

More information on Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators’ new tour, single, video, and album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Website:  https://www.slashonline.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Slash

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Slash

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Tremonti Debuts ‘Now And Forever’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Tremonti is giving audiences one more preview of its new album only days ahead of the record’s release.

The band premiered the lyric video for its new single, ‘Now and Forever’ Tuesday. The song is the fourth single from the band’s forthcoming album, Marching in Time, which is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records. It has also produced the singles, ‘A World Away,’ ‘Marching in Time,’ and ‘If Not For You.’

The musical arrangement featured in the new single is another heavy composition. That is a trend that runs through the majority of the band’s new album. It takes the influences of the work that the band’s namesake and band leader Mark Tremonti has crafted with Alter Bridge and steps up that work even more in this case along with his band mates.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the video’s premiere. However in watching the video, it would seem that the song’s theme focuses on getting past the events of the past and moving forward. That seems to be a central theme of the album, especially considering the album’s title.

The song’s video is its own interesting presentation. It finds the song’s lyrics placed over a very cinematic type backdrop of various graphics and lighting tones as the song plays over the presentation.

In other news, Tremonti will celebrate the release of its new album (its fifth so far) by hosting its first-ever livestream at 10 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT Friday. Tickets are available here.

Marching in Time is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Tremonti’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://marktremonti.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MarkTremonti

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/marktremonti

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.

Tremonti Premieres ‘Marching In Time’ Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Tremonti premiered the video for the lead single from its forthcoming album this week.

The band debuted the video for the title track to its new album, Marching in Time Tuesday. The song and its video are the album’s second and come barely more than a week after the band premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘If Not For You.’

Marching in Time is scheduled for release Sept. 24 through Napalm Records. Album pre-orders are open, and audiences who pre-order the album now will get ‘If Not For You’ as an instant grat download.

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

Marching In Time will be available in the following formats:
-CD Digipak      
-Digital Album  
-2LP Gatefold Black      
-2LP Gatefold Pink Transparent (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)
-Die-Hard Edition: 2LP Marble Transparent Black + Guitar Pick + Print (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)  
-Deluxe Box: Flag, Wristband & More! (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)

The video for ‘Marching in Time’ is a black and white presentation. It features footage of band front man and namesake Mark Tremonti and his band mates performing, and pairs that with a variety of artistic imagery, such as a rose and random video effects.

The musical arrangement featured in the nearly eight minute opus is a melodic hard rock style composition. Its balance of heaviness, vocal harmonies and rich drums and bass easily lend it to comparison to works from Tremonti’s main band, Alter Bridge and to those from Sevendust.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical content in the press release announcing the video’s premiere. However, a close listen leads to the inference that the song’s lyrical theme delivers a message of someone trying to convince perhaps a friend to not give up on his/her life, despite so much turmoil. This is, as always, just this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.

Courtesy: Napalm Records
Courtesy: Napalm Records

In other news, Tremonti has an extensive live schedule planned for the remainder of the year. The band is scheduled to tour with Sevendust and Lydia Can’t Breathe from September 3-26. Following that run, the band will take some time off to rest and recharge Daughtry, Sevendust, and Travis Bracht from Nov. 3 – Dec. 17.

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

Websitehttps://marktremonti.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MarkTremonti

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/marktremonti

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.

Tremonti Premiere’s Video For New LP’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Tremonti premiered the video for the lead single from its forthcoming album this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single, ‘If Not For You’ Thursday. The single is featured in the band’s forthcoming album, Marching in Time, which is scheduled for release Sept. 24 through Napalm Records. Album pre-orders are open, and audiences who pre-order the album now will get the track as an instant grat download.

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

Marching In Time will be available in the following formats:
-CD Digipak      
-Digital Album  
-2LP Gatefold Black      
-2LP Gatefold Pink Transparent (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)
-Die-Hard Edition: 2LP Marble Transparent Black + Guitar Pick + Print (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)  
-Deluxe Box: Flag, Wristband & More! (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)

‘If Not For You’ is one of the heaviest songs that Tremonti — the brainchild of Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti — has released to date. It is a heavy, melodic hard rock opus that builds on everything that Tremonti himself has composed over the years as a member of Alter Bridge. This is especially evidenced in the song’s bridge, which finds Tremonti offering up a riff that can be argued to present some thrash influence. The contrast of that against the melodic hard rock approach of the rest of the song makes for an interesting overall presentation.

No information was provided as to the song’s lyrical theme in the press release distributed about the video’s premiere. A close listen is certain to generate its own share of discussion and interest. That is especially the case considering the chorus, in which Tremonti sings, “If not for you/Then I might be dead/So run while you can/I will follow from now/Until the end.” Additionally, the mention of leaving “here without a trace” and to “take me far from this place” pairs with the earlier note of someone else trying to “erase me once more” adds to some interest here. It is almost as if the song’s subject is one of those figures that is just completely reliant on someone other, almost to the point of desperation. This is all just the interpretation of this critic and should not be taken as the only interpretation.

The video for ‘If Not For You’ is more simple than the song’s lyrical theme. It features Tremonti and his band mates in a studio setting composed of video walls that play various, random images as the group performs its new single.

Courtesy: Napalm Records
Courtesy: Napalm Records

In other news, Tremonti has an extensive live schedule planned for the remainder of the year. The band is scheduled to tour with Sevendust and Lydia Can’t Breathe from September 3-26. Following that run, the band will take some time off to rest and recharge Daughtry, Sevendust, and Travis Bracht from Nov. 3 – Dec. 17.

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

Website: https://marktremonti.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marktremonti

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 Live Dates

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Myles Kennedy will head out on the road next month.

The Alter Bridge front man is scheduled to launch “The Ides of March Tour” Sept. 9 in St. Petersburg, FL. The almost month-long tour is in support of Kennedy’s sophomore solo album, The Ides of March, which was released in May through Napalm Records.

The tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 2 in Baltimore, MD and features scheduled performances in cities, such as Flint, MI; Atlanta, GA and St. Louis, MO. The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

MYLES KENNEDY – The Ides Of March Tour
7-Sep – St. Petersburg, FL @ Floridian Social Club
8-Sep – Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live
10-Sep – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
13-Sep – St. Louis, MO @ Red Flag
14-Sep – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
17-Sep – Racine, WI @ Route 20
20-Sep – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
22-Sep – Chattanooga, TN @ The Signal
23-Sep – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
25-Sep – Pittsburgh, PA @ Enclave
26-Sep – Red Bank, NJ @ The Vogel
28-Sep – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
29-Sep – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
1-Oct – Marietta, OH @ “The Adelphia Music Hall (Summer Concert Series)”
2-Oct – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage

More information on Myles Kenndy’s upcoming tour is available along with all of Kennedy’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://myleskennedy.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialMylesKennedy

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MylesKennedy

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

‘Redemption’ Is A Strong First Outing For ‘The CEO’

Courtesy: Rat Pack Records

Hard rock band The CEO is scheduled to release its debut album this week.  The band, which features Sevendust bassist Vince Hornsby as one of its members – is scheduled to release its new album, Redemption Friday through Rat Pack Records.  The label is also home to King’s X member DuG Pinnick’s side project KXM.  The 12-song record is a positive first impression from the band.  Its success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements adds its own appeal to the album and will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of that collective content brings that content together and completes the album’s presentation.  It will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Redemption a promising start for The CEO.

The CEO’s debut album, Redemption, is a positive first outing for the up-and-coming hard rock band.  That is proven in part through the musical arrangements that make up the album’s 45-minute body.  The arrangements boast an overall sound and stylistic approach that easily lend themselves to comparison to works from Sevendust, as well as The Veer Union and Alter Bridge.  That applies even in the album’s one softer moment, ‘Black Hearts.’  It should be noted that while the album’s arrangements bear the noted similarity to works from the aforementioned bands, the works here still boast their own unique identity.  That is due not only to the work of Hornsby, but also that of his band mates – Chase Brown and Beau Anderson (guitars), Mack Mullins (vocals), and Joseph Herman (drums). Case in point is the album’s closer, ‘Alone and Dead.’  The heaviness of the noted bands is on full display throughout this song thanks to the band’s work and that of those behind the boards.  At the same time, there is also a certain late 80s/early 90s hair metal sound infused into the arrangement in the verses.  The subtlety of that element alongside the heavier, modern hard rock sound here makes the song its own strong presentation.

‘Dirty Tragic,’ which comes just before the album’s midpoint, is another example of the importance of the album’s musical arrangements.  As with ‘Alone and Dead,’ the noted hard rock influences are on full display here.  At the same time though, the band also presents an evident blues-rock type sound and stylistic approach to pair with that hard rock influence.  It is comparable to works from the likes of Shinedown and Three Days Grace.  The whole of the arrangement is a rich, engaging and enjoyable work that does its own part to show the ability of the band to make its own unique songs, even with the evident influence of other more well-known bands.

‘Alive’ is yet another example of the expert fashion in which the members of The CEO balanced its heavier influences with its own approach.  The depth of the bass, guitars, and drums is on full display once more here.  At the same time, there is something in the staccato nature in which the group plays and the melodic choruses that give the arrangement even more of its own identity.  It is an interesting dichotomy of sound and style that because of its subtlety, makes the song just as notable as the others examined here.  When these songs and the others featured throughout the album are considered together, they make the album’s overall musical content reason enough for audiences to hear the album.  Of course the album’s musical content is only part of the reason that audiences will enjoy the album.  Its lyrical content is familiar and accessible, making for even more reason to hear the record.

The familiarity and accessibility in the album’s lyrical content is made clear in the album’s lead single/title track.  The song features what comes across as a discussion about the importance of taking accountability for the choices we make in life.  This is inferred right from the song’s outset as Mullins sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Divide and conquer us in two/Feed the hate to the starved that you rule/Thy will be done/And now we’re done/Rise of the dead/The love, the hate, the sex, the truth/The jealousies that make us fools Redemption/Redemption.”  Here Mullins comes across as addressing how we separate ourselves and allow ourselves to be controlled by extraneous forces, which in itself plays into the choices we make.  The statement grows and evolves in the second verse, which finds Mullins singing, “Blind faith judgement is for fools (fools)/Control and trust are the enemies’ tools (fools)/Fake is the trend/This time it ends/Rise of the dead/The love, the hate, the sex, the truth/The jealousies that make us fools/Wake up this time/The choice, the chance, the last to lose Our legacy is our choice.”  That final statement, telling audiences to “wake up this time/The choice, the chance, the last to lose/Our legacy is our choice” is a strong reminder that we make our own decisions in what we do, and we need to hold ourselves accountable for those choices.  This is of course just this critic’s interpretation.  If in fact it is somewhere in the proverbial ball park, then that familiar theme will certainly resonate with audiences, in a unique fashion at that.  It is just one example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. 

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Black Hearts’ is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  In the case of this song, it takes on the all-too-familiar topic of a broken relationship.  This is made clear right from the song’s outset as Mullins sings, “This was never good/And we knew/But I wasn’t built for goodbyes/I turn and walk away/Just for you/’Cause I know we won’t change our minds/We have to hold on/It’s time to go/Love doesn’t stay/Where it don’t belong/Meeting you was my first mistake.”  What is interesting here is the mournful manner in which these lyrics are delivered.  Normally, such content conjures thoughts of frustration, but instead, Mullins and company opted to present this in such more emotional fashion.  It presents the song’s subject as placing the blame for the relationship’s end on his own shoulders. The song’s subject even keeps the blame on himself here.  It really makes for an interesting approach to an all-too-familiar lyrical theme.  That it is presented more in a rueful fashion than the more fiery delivery that audiences might expect makes it that much more interesting.  It makes the theme just one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content. 

Along with ‘Black Hearts’ and ‘Redemption,’ ‘Alive’ is yet another strong example of the importance of this album’s lyrical content.  Not having a lyrics sheet to reference makes deciphering the song’s lyrics somewhat difficult.  However, just enough can be understood that it can be inferred that this song is meant to deliver an uplifting message of confidence and hope.  This is inferred as Mullins sings in the song’s chorus, “It don’t/Matter who you are/Believe and you’ll go far/When fear/You decide to face….”  Again much of the song’s lyrics are tough to understand without a lyrics sheet to reference, but this brief statement in itself to know this song is meant to be something positive.  The mention of dying with “memories/Not just hopes and dreams/You were born with all you need” adds even more to that interpretation.  Considering all of this, the more than likely uplifting nature of this song’s lyrical content serves even more to show the importance of the record’s lyrical themes.  When it is considered along with the other noted lyrical themes and those not directly examined here, the whole leaves no doubt as to the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  When the record’s lyrical and musical content are combined, they make for even more reason for audiences to hear this record.  The sequencing of that content brings everything together here and completes the record’s presentation.

Redemption’s sequencing is important to note because of its role in keeping the record’s content varied.  From beginning to end, the sequencing ensures the record’s lyrical themes change just as much as the stylistic changes in the album’s musical arrangements.  That in itself ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  At the same time, the sequencing also keeps the album’s overall energy stable from beginning to end.  There are brief moments within certain songs in which the album pulls back, but those moments are very brief at the most.  Even in the album’s most reserved moment in ‘Black Hearts,’ the energy doesn’t pull back but so much.  Overall, what audiences get thanks to the sequencing is a record whose energy remains high and stable.  Keeping that in mind along with the album’s overall content, the album in whole proves itself to be an impressive addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums that deserves to be heard.

The CEO’s debut album Redemption is a positive start for the band.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question bear noticeable influence from some more well-known hard rock counterparts of the band.  The thing is that the band does not just rip off those bands’ sounds.  Rather it successfully blends those influences with its own sounds and approaches to make the record’s musical content in whole reason enough to take in the album.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements are diverse in their own right, and are also accessible.  That makes for even more engagement and entertainment.  The sequencing of that overall content brings everything together and completes the album’s presentation.  It ensures that the album’s content changes from one song to the next while also keeping the album’s energy stable from beginning to end, putting the final touch to the album’s presentation.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Redemption a strong addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.  The album is scheduled for release Friday through Rat Pack Records.  More information on Redemption is available along with all of The CEO’s latest news and more at:

Website: https://theceoband.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theceoband

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

Forget Fear, Audiences Will Welcome Myles Kennedy’s Latest Solo LP

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Myles Kennedy either is the type who refuses to rest easy on his laurels or just cannot stand to be idle.  Between his work with Alter Bridge, his recordings with Slash, and his own solo work, Kennedy has released no less than 10 albums.  Alter Bridge’s latest album Walk The Sky was his latest record with that act, in 2019.  He released two records in 2018, one with Slash (Living the Dream), and the other being his then latest solo record, Year of the Tiger.  Alter Bridge followed up Walk the Sky with the live EP, Walk The Sky 2.0 in 2019.  Now Friday, Kennedy will follow up all of that content with the release of another record, his latest solo record, Ides of March.  The 11-song record is a presentation that shows despite Kennedy being so busy, he has not lost his step.  The record has already produced a handful of singles, each of which are impressive in their own right.  They are just a portion of what makes Kennedy’s new album so strong.  The album’s closer, ‘Worried Mind,’ is another example of what makes Ides of March succeed.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Moonshot,’ a late entry to the record, is also a prime example of what makes Kennedy’s new album work so well.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘In Stride,’ which comes early in the album’s 53-minute run, is one more example of what audiences have to expect from Ides of March.  When these songs are considered along with the album’s already released singles and the rest of the record’s songs, the whole makes Ides of March well-deserving of its own spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums.

Myles Kennedy’s latest solo record (only his second solo record), is a sign that the Alter Bridge front man has not lost a single step.  That is despite keeping himself so busy over the years.  This record’s musical and lyrical content is just as strong as anything that he has crafted as a member of Alter Bridge and alongside Slash.  As a matter of fact, the singles that the album has already released show this record to be quite the departure for Kennedy in comparison to those works.  They are just some of the songs that show the album’s strength.  ‘Worried Mind,’ which closes out the album, is another way in which the album shows the album’s strength.  The song’s arrangement – like those in the rest of the album – is unlike anything that Alter Bridge has crafted.  Not to be confused with the version made so popular by George Jones and Ray Charles, it is a bluesy ballad that starts off gently before moving in more of a Mississippi Delta Blues style composition tinged with some rock influence added for good measure.  The whole sounds like it would be an odd combination, but is in fact quite the interesting, subtle composition that is sure to engage and entertain listeners in its own right.  It is just part of what makes the song stand out.  The message of reassurance that the song’s lyrical content delivers is pure blues and rock, and will move listeners in its own right.

The positive message in the song’s lyrical content is delivered right from the song’s outset as Kennedy sings, “Don’t be scared/Do not cry/Things will get better/Just give it time/Let me hold you/Let me ease your worried mind/Let your fears/Drift and die/If for a moment/If for the night/Let me show you/Let me ease your worried mind.”  Increasingly, this sounds more like a love song, which would make sense considering the ballad-esque approach to the song’s arrangement.  Kennedy continues in the song’s second verse, “You can run/You can hide/But please remember/If you give it time…Let it ease your worried mind.”  There is one line in that verse that is difficult to decipher sans lyrics.  That aside, the central message is still clear.  This is a man who wants to be there for his woman and help her.  It is a love song and a blues song in one that assures listeners’ engagement and entertainment in its own powerful way.  Together with the song’s infectious blues-rock hybrid arrangement, the song in whole proves in its own way why Ides of March is a strong new offering from Myles Kennedy.  It is just one of the songs not yet used as a single that accomplishes that goal, either.  ‘Moonshot’ is another example of how much audiences have to anticipate from Kennedy’s new album.

‘Moonshot’ takes Kennedy in a direction completely opposite of ‘Worried Mind’ in its musical arrangement.  Right from the opening bars of the song, which barely tops the five-minute mark, audiences get a clear country-western vibe.  That country western sound remains throughout the song, making itself mostly known in the song’s choruses.  That sound and stylistic approach, against Kennedy’s more rock style sound here, makes for another standout musical work.  That is especially the case as Kennedy’s vocal delivery is added to the mix.  When the song’s fully immersive musical arrangement pairs with the composition’s equally powerful lyrical content, the whole becomes even more memorable.

Kennedy opens the song, singing, “I remember when/We were suiting up again/Before the end of time/We were/Living in a dream/That never seemed to cease/Never asking why/Over and over again/We took so much for granted/Still we refused to give in to the fate we’d been handed/And now it’s a moonshot/We can’t stop/Until we get back to the stars/If it’s the last chance/Then take my hand/If there’s a miracle left in your heart/It can’t be that far.”  This comes across as a sort of introspective statement that finds the song’s subject looking warmly on the past and just as optimistically to the future in terms of life in general.  The seeming statement continues in the song’s second verse as Kennedy sings, “There is joy beyond your tears/Take comfort/I am here/Let me show the way/There’s no purpose/There’s no plane/But I don’t give a damn/As long as you’re okay/Over and over again/WE took so much for granted/But still I refuse to give in/To the fate that we’ve been handed/Yes, it’s a moonshot/WE can’t stop/Until we get back to the stars/If it’s the last chance/Then take my hand/If there’s a miracle left to be found/It’s a matter of time.”  Overall, this song seems to be one of those songs that reminisces about the past and friendships more than any romantic story line.  This is even though it could be construed to be just another love song.  This story and its unique delivery works with the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement to make the song in whole yet another example of what makes Ides of March such an enjoyable work in whole.  It is just one more example of what audiences have to anticipate from the album. 

‘In Stride’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangements.  As with the other songs examined here, this song’s musical arrangement stands out separate from those works and from the rest of the album’s arrangements.  In the case of ‘In Stride,’ the arrangement is a distinct southern rock presentation that will appeal just as much to fans of that genre as to Alter Bridge fans.  It is a catchy, mid-tempo composition.  The catchy nature of the song’s musical arrangement works with its lyrical content to make it even more appealing.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘In Stride’ needs little explanation because it is such a straight forward statement.  It is a statement that, as the title infers, encourages people to just take life as it comes and not stress the little things.  This is pointed out right in the song’s chorus, in which Kennedy sings, “Cool down, baby…Sometimes you’ve gotta just let go and open your mind/Just take it all in stride.”  That is the heart of the song’s message and makes that message clear, again.  For those who might disagree, Kennedy adds to the statement in the song’s lead verse as he sings, “You can panic…impending doom is always all it takes/One day you wake up/It’ll be too late/You didn’t take it all in stride/You can tremble as you fear for your life/You can bitch about the sign of the times/But the truth is that you gotta decide/If you’re only wasting your life.”  This makes fully clear, the message here.  It continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse, too, so there is no need to proceed there.  This is a song that tells all those worrywarts and panic freaks out there to just calm down and take life as it comes.  The events that have happened this week are proof that there are a lot of people who need to learn to take life in stride, too.  One can only hope that those nutjobs will take this overall statement to heart.  When this accessible message pairs with the song’s equally infectious musical arrangement, the song in whole proves even more why it stands out.  When the song works with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s songs (including its existing singles), the whole makes Ides of March a presentation that audiences will have no reason to fear.

Myles Kennedy’s sophomore solo album, Ides of March is a strong new offering from the Alter Bridge front man.  It is a work that is certain to expand Kennedy’s audience base.  That is proven through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  Each song’s arrangement shows a different side of Kennedy and collectively shows the reach of his influences and abilities.  The songs’ lyrical themes are just as accessible because they touch on topics to which any listener will relate.  All three of the songs examined here do plenty to support the noted statements just as much as the album’s singles and the rest of the album’s works.  All things considered, they make the album one of this year’s best new rock albums.  Ides of March is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Kennedy’s 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 reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

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.