‘inFinite’ Will Live Infinitely As One Of Deep Purple’s Best Works

Courtesy: earMusic

Christmas has officially come and gone.  So has Hanukkah.  The presents have been opened and decorations likely have started being put away.  Even despite that, Phil’s Picks still has some gifts of sorts for everyone out there in the form of some more year-ender lists.  Considering that time is so tight, some of the lists, it turns out, might have to be ignored in favor of some others.  One of the lists that definitely will not be ignored before the year lets out is that of the year’s top new rock records.

The titles included in this list are separate from the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  Phil’s Picks has a list of those albums on the way. Before getting to that list though, the focus here will be on the year’s top new rock records.  Topping the list of this year’s best new rock records from this critic is Deep Purple’s latest (and likely last) full-length studio recording InFinite.  The album was just recently re-issued with the band’s latest live recording The inFinite Live Recordings Vol. 1 only months after the album’s original release.  The record’s oftentimes blues-based rock arrangements show this band is at the top of its game, even as it seemingly winds down its life.  The lyrical themes exhibited throughout the album are just as interesting as its musical arrangements.  It is definitely a memorable recording that deserves every accolade.

Also on this critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums is Foo Fighters’ latest effort Concrete and Gold.  This record is more proof of the band’s willingness to try new things and grow on each album and the success that can and does come with that willingness to branch out, rather than churn out the same thing time and again.  It’s just one more of the albums on the list this year.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from Scale The Summit, Prophets of Rage, John 5 & The Creatures and a number of others.  As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 best new albums in its category plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Now with all of that having been said, presented here is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Deep Purple — inFinite
  2. Foo Fighters — Concrete & Gold
  3. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  4. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  5. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  8. Fozzy — Judas
  9. Hell or Highwater — Vista
  10. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  11. At The Wayside — The Breakdown and The Fall
  12. Leprous — Malina
  13. Royal Blood — How Did We Get So Dark?
  14. Warrant — Louder, Faster, Harder
  15. Horisont — About Time

That’s all for this list.  It is not the last list, though.  There are still lists for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums, the year’s top new albums and select DVD/BD lists.  As many lists as possible will be posted up from here on out, so stay tuned for all that and more.

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Young Fox Takes The “Gold” On Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums List

Courtesy: Spartan Records

Independent recordings are the backbone of the music industry.  Regardless of whether the band is a major name releasing an album on its own, through an independent record label or a lesser-known band doing one or the other, those albums tend to have just as much substance as their more well-known counterparts, if not more.  Keeping that in mind, independent albums (whether released independently or through indie labels) are just as important to the industry as major releases.  That being the case, they deserve their own year-ender list annually just as much as their more commercially-known releases, so Phil’s Picks is giving those recordings their due credit and coverage.  Presented here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums.  The list features the year’s 10 best new independent recordings plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles, as in years past.

Topping this year’s list of best new independent albums is the new release from underground rock band Young Fox.  The band’s new album Sky Beats Gold proved this year to stand out brightly with its equally deep lyrical content and musical arrangements.  The pairing of those two elements made this album from start to finish a surprisingly powerful effort from the Pittsburgh, PA-based band.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from the likes of Blacktop Mojo, Hell or Highwater, KXM and others.  Again, many of these bands and albums are such that they are not as well-known as perhaps other bands.  But their albums prove to be just as worthwhile as anything released by their more well-known counterparts.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

  1. Young Fox — Sky Beats Gold
  2. Mike Mangioni & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  3. Blacktop Mojo — Burn The Ships
  4. Pimps of Joytime — Third Wall Chronicles
  5. Corroded — Defcon Zero
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. At The Wayside — The Breakdown & The Fall
  8. Hank, Pattie & the Current — Hold Your Head Up High
  9. Mipso — Coming Down The Mountain
  10. All out Street Jam — Living Free
  11. Hell or Highwater — Vistas
  12. Spiral Crush — Electric Life
  13. Eve To Adam — Odyssey
  14. Galactic Empire — Galactic Empire
  15. Satan Takes A Holiday — Aliens

That’s it for this year’s list of top new independent albums.  It should be re-iterated that this was not an easy list to establish as there were so many quality independent albums this year.  Lyrical content and musical arrangements alike had to be considered.  There was no bad lyrical or musical content from any noted album.  Every act on this list should be proud of its album as there is so much to appreciate in each.  Next up from Phil’s Picks as the days tick to the year’s end is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana albums.  Since each genre shares so much similarity with the others, it is easiest to combine them into one category rather than try to spread them out.  Stay tuned, and congratulations again to this year’s Top New Independent Albums winners.

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At The Wayside’s Sophomore LP Proves To Have Been Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy: Indie Vision Music

Five years is a long time for a musical act of any genre to go without releasing new music.  Going silent for such a long time can easily lead one to wonder if an act is even still active.  So it goes without saying that when At The Wayside recently announced it would release its first album in five years it was a surprise for lots of people.  Luckily though, the album, The Breakdown and the Fall—released May 26 via Indie Vision Music—proves to be a pleasant surprise.  That is proven throughout the course of the 12-song record beginning with its catchy, upbeat opener ‘How We Live.’  It will be discussed shortly.  The record’s closer, the band’s cover of the classic gospel tune ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ supports that statement just as much as does the moving acoustic composition ‘Lines From A Song.’  All three songs prove to be critical additions to the record’s overall presentation.  They are only a small portion of what makes the record work.  The other nine songs that form the rest of the record’s body are just as important to the record’s whole as the trio noted here.  All things considered, they make The Breakdown and the Fall one of this year’s top new rock records and one of the year’s top new independent albums.

At The Wayside’s new album The Breakdown and the Fall is one of this year’s biggest surprises.  That is especially considering that it is the band’s first new music in five years.  Considering how long the band spent between albums, the surprise proved to be quite pleasant.  That is because this record still has all of the musical and lyrical charm exhibited in the band’s 2012 self-titled debut throughout.  The album’s opener, ‘How We Live’ clearly supports that statement. The song’s musical arrangement forms a solid foundation with its mix of pop punk and near djent riffs.  Such a combination sounds like it wouldn’t work.  But somehow, that combination of styles works in this setting.  The result of that mix is an infectious arrangement that makes the song a solid starter for the record and an instant fan favorite in its own right.  Of course the song’s musical arrangement is only part of what makes it work.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The song’s lyrical content is so interesting in that it comes across (at least to this critic) as a statement about the band’s seeming inactivity over the past number of years.  That is inferred as Guitarist/vocalist Phil Carper sings, “Some call it faith/Some call it blind luck/Some call it what we’ve always had inside/We’re here tonight/We fought to find a way to face the pain and bring a smile/And it won’t feel like forever for too long/But we can’t just hold our breath until things go.”  The rest of the band joins in from there to sing in the song’s chorus, “This is how we live/This is everything we get/Sing these words and melody/Play our hearts until our fingers bleed/This is why we breathe/This is what will set us free/We stayed up to face the night/And we watched the sky ignite together.”  The song continues on presenting a message that is just as positive; one that talks about facing adversity in so many ways (metaphorically of course) with the result being the overcoming of that adversity.  Such positive language is a great way for the band to return and is a positive message in general.  When that message is joined with the song’s upbeat musical arrangement, the end result is a song that will stick in listeners’ heads long after it’s over, ensuring its popularity and showing again why it is such an important part of the record’s whole.  It is just one of the songs that makes this record stand out.  The album’s closer, which is the band’s cover of the old-time gospel tune ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ helps make the record stand out even more.

‘The Breakdown’ is a great starting point for At The Wayside’s new album The Breakdown and the Fall.  That is due both to its upbeat musical arrangement and its equally uplifting lyrical theme.  The two elements together make the song a clear example of what makes this record stand out in this year’s field of new rock records and independent records.  It is not the only song that serves to show why this album stands out.  The band’s cover of the classic gospel tune ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ also shows what makes the record stand out.  This tune has been covered more times by more artists and acts than can possibly be counted in a single setting.  Even with that in mind, this take on the tune is still entertaining in its own right.  It starts off softly, leading listeners to think it will just be some gentle, rolling arrangement.  But shortly after, it lifts off, launching into a catchy mainstream accessible arrangement that shows in itself the band’s reach, proving the band can easily do more than just pop punk.  It’s really the type of arrangement that would might expect to hear at one of the nation’s many religious festivals held by today’s “modern” churches. Keeping that in mind and the familiarity with the song’s lyrical content, there is no reason to discuss the song’s lyrical content.  It is a classic church tune.  Yet again, the way the band handled the song is original and catchy.  With that in mind, even as an old church tune, that mainstream accessible arrangement makes it another one of the album’s hits and one more example of what makes this record stand out.  A little more than halfway through the record, another song unlike the pair already discussed serves to show even more why this record stands out.  It comes in the form of ‘Lines From A Song.’

‘Lines From A Song’ stands out from the other songs discussed here both musically and lyrically.  The song’s musical arrangement starts out softly, eventually evolving into a full, powerful work complete with drums, bells, strings and chorus.  The gradual growth presented in the arrangement couples with its instrumentation to generate a work that ultimately generates quite the powerful emotional impact.  That emotional impact is strengthened even more as the song’s lyrical content is placed alongside that musical arrangement.  Lyrically speaking, the song comes across as being a love song.  That can be inferred as Carper sings in the song’s chorus, “Tracing every mark/On your beautiful skin/Fingertips apart/So the mind can slip in/And they fed like lines from a song/For this moment tonight/What makes you think you could ever be less/What does the world have to do with us/All that I need is the touch of your hand/Your ocean eyes staring back into mine/My heart is believing/My mind without a doubt/And maybe this feeling/Is so much more than the music and movies make it out.”  Carper and company continue to repeat these lines throughout the second half of the song over that already noted growing musical arrangement.  The pairing of that growing musical impact coupled with the constant lyrical refrain drives home the song’s message and its emotional impact, making it quite the powerful love song, needless to say.  Keeping all of that in mind, the pairing of this song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content expertly serves to tug at listeners’ heartstrings, again, showing how it stands out from its counterparts.  When it is set against its counterparts, that juxtaposition shows even more why the record in whole stands out, too.  It shows again the musical and lyrical diversity presented throughout the record, and is hardly the last song that serves to exhibit that diversity.  The album’s second song, ‘Inside Of My Mind’ is a classic post-break-up piece that features its subject telling that lost love “I wish you could see inside my mind.”  ‘I Won’t Go Down Like This,’ is the antithesis of ‘Inside My Mind.’  It is an empowering yet fun piece with its own musical fire.  ‘Lose One Friend, Lose All Friends, Lose Yourself’ stands out, too.  All things considered, these songs, the songs discussed here, and those not noted combine to make The Breakdown and The Fall a solid return for At The Wayside; a record that is one of this year’s top new rock and independent records.

At The Wayside’s new full-length album The Breakdown and The Fall is one of this year’s top new rock and independent releases.  That is proven from start to finish with a certain diversity in the record’s arrangements and its lyrical content.  Yes, it is filled out largely by familiar pop punk arrangements.  But the arrangements themselves are never twice the same.  They change in their approach and sound each time out as has already been discussed.  The records’ lyrical content ranges from the standard break-up and love songs to more thoughtful pieces, too.  There’s even a cover of a classic southern gospel piece here.  When those elements are joined together, they paint a picture of an album that is a welcome return for At The Wayside, and one that is, once more, one of this year’s top new rock and independent albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on The Breakdown and The Fall is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.atthewayside.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/atthewayside

 

 

 

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At The Wayside Signs New Deal; Announces New Album Release Date

Courtesy: Indie Vision Music

At The Wayside will release its next album next month.

The band recently signed with indie label Indie Vision Music, and will release its next album The Breakdown and the Fall through the label on Friday, May 26.  In anticipation of the album’s release next month, the Wisconsin-based pop punk outfit is currently streaming the album’s lead single ‘Lose One Friend, Lose All Your Friends, Lose Yourself’ via Soundcloud.  It is also streaming online via Indie Vision Music’s official YouTube Channel.

Pre-orders for the album will be available soon in a handful of bundle packages via the band’s StoreFrontier page.  The bundles will also be available via iTunes and Google Play.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

Track List:

1. The Breakdown

2. How We Live

3. Inside Of My Mind

4. I Won’t Go Down Like This

5. My Way To You

6. Counting Seconds

7. Lines From A Song

8. Lose One Friend, Lose All Friends, Lose Yourself

9. I Can’t Stay

10. Closer Than Close

11. The Fall

12. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

More information on At The Wayside’s new album and single is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.atthewayside.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/atthewayside

 

 

 

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

Pop Punk Music, Positive Lyrics Makes ATW’s Debut LP A Hit

Courtesy: Red Cord Records

The self-titled debut record from At The Wayside is a solid pop punk record for fans of New Found Glory, Simple Plan, and others of that ilk.  It carries all the requisite hooks, riffs, and choruses to make it an instant hit among fans of the pop punk genre.  Add in some very positive lyrics, and audiences get an album that’s that much better of a debut.  It grabs audiences from the very first moments of the album’s opener, ‘Drown Us Out.’  Front man Phil sings in ‘Drown Us Out’, “Each time we try and we get let down/Each loss we’re counting/As a victory/You can’t stop us now.”  It almost comes across as a more optimistic look at life.  Instead of letting losses beat oneself, one should take those looses and find the good in them to make them victories in the long term.  That’s a positive message to audiences and a good way to kick off the album.

‘What They Said’ is another high point to this record.  The band’s front man sings an apologetic statement here.  He sings, “I shouldn’t have had to explain myself/I shouldn’t have to tell you now/I’d never have asked for forgiveness/If I’d just never let you down.”  He is admitting that he isn’t perfect and that he knows it.  So he is sending out an apology for how he has been.

As poppy as the record is, there is one moment on the album in which the band slows things down in a big way.  ‘7.4.08’ is a ballad that’s gentle both in its music and its lyrics.  It notes here, “It’s not right to be afraid/Or even think to be ashamed/There’s no one left/ To take the blame/So let it go/Let it go.”  It comes across as a song about a woman who has been abused.  What kind of abuse is beside the point.  This is a song that’s sure to empower its female audiences.  So many women blame themselves for being abused.  This is evident as the song notes, “I know you’ll try/To Justify this/As if you could possible deserve this/But you don’t/And I hope/That you know that/Princess.”  It’s saying that no woman should ever blame herself for the abuse suffered at the hands of another.  The fault lies not in the victim, but in the on abusing the victim.  This is undoubtedly the album’s biggest high point.  The gentility in the vocals and the music make for such a comforting moment for the band’s female audience as there are so many women who could likely relate to this piece.

‘7.4.08’ is without a doubt, the album’s highest of highs.  It’s just one of many throughout the album’s ten songs.  Every listener will take something different away from this album.  And that’s the sign of a good release.  Anyone who is a pop punk fan and anyone who wants music with real lyrical substance will appreciate this debut from At The Wayside.  Fans in Iowa will get to hear the band’s music live today, as the band will be performing at the 208 Ministry Center in Osceola, Iowa.  For a full list of the band’s tour dates and all the latest news from the band, fans can “Like” the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/atthewayside or follow the band on Twitter at http://twitter.com/atthewayside.

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