The Reed Effect Premieres New Single, ‘Mad Dog,’ Video

Courtesy: Cowgirlzen Entertainment

Rock band The Reed Effect recently debuted the video for the final single from its album, 1973.

The band premiered the video for its new single, ‘Mad Dog‘ last week. The album’s fifth single, it follows the album’s other trio of singles, ‘Megalomania,’ ‘Rise Up‘ ‘Trampled Under,’ and ‘Fine Here.‘

The musical arrangement featured in the band’s new single is a catchy, blues-rock composition. To a point, the overall presentation is actually comparable to certain works from the likes of Audioslave and South of Eden among others

Front man Kirk Reed talked about the song’s musical arrangement and lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

‘”Mad Dog” was based on a riff I originally had from the previous lineup of this band, but laid dormant for a time and eventually came back to life with Chris [Reed] and [drummer] Bryan [Fontez],” Reed said. “We reshaped it of course and created a new vocal melody with lyrics inspired by a story about a friend’s situation. 

Reed continued, “I can’t even remember the details, however, it was basically about a ‘Holier than Thou’ group of people with whom my friend had a debate with one of its members which got out of hand. Subsequently, she got the rest of her crew to gang up on my friend on social media. Whatever cause she was behind got lost in the chaos of her and her friends bullying my friend. The whole thing got misconstrued and damaged my friend’s reputation for no good reason. It was So unfair and is an example of how mindless mob mentality can wreak havoc. So, my heart went out to him, and I wrote a song about it.”‘

The video for the band’s new single features The Reed Effect, including Reed’s late brother Chris, performing live as the song plays over the visualization.

More information on The Reed Effect’s new video, single, and album is available along with all of The Reed Effect’s latest news at:




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South Of Eden Front Man Ehab Omran Talks Touring, COVID Concerns, The New Wave Of Classic Rock, More In NEw Phil’s Picks Interview

Courtesy: South of Eden

Neo-classic rock band South of Eden is gearing up for a short series of live dates next month. The band’s brief tour features performances at a trio of big festivals. Front man Ehab Omran recently talked with Phil’s Picks about the band’s inclusion in those festivals as well as concerns about COVID-19’s role in live music, the band’s next record and more as the group prepares for everything on the band’s calendar. Omran’s discussion with Phil’s Picks is featured below.

PP: South of Eden has some positive news on the live front.  The band is scheduled to head back out on the road next month.  The schedule is pretty interesting in that it’s very short, at only four dates.  However, those four dates include performances at three very well-known festivals – Riff Fest, Louder Than Life, and the Aftershock Festival.  What does it mean to you all as a band to be tapped to play such big festivals and have them be your main live dates right now, especially considering the list of major name acts that you will be joining at each festival?

EO: Thank you for having me on Phil! It means the world to us to be able to say that we are a part of the biggest rock festivals in America, and to be able to share stages with a lot of our heroes is a dream come true. We have to thank Danny Wimmer and DWP for that!  Our decision to keep the shows next month to a minimum is due to the uncertainty of what could happen in these next coming months with the pandemic. We are always optimistic things will get better, but for the sake of not canceling shows and letting fans down, we decided a short run until things are certain is the wiser decision.

PP: Staying on that matter, are more dates in the works?

EO: There are actually a lot of pending dates that we are tentatively holding off on until we can maybe get more assurances! So who knows look out for pop up shows near you!

PP: Getting back to the festivals, when did you first find out that you had been tapped to the play the noted festivals and what was the first thing that went through your minds when you got the news?

EO: We found out around Nov. of 2020. It was definitely great news to end the crappy year! It made us hopeful and determined to put on an infertile show.

PP: What do you think the band’s appointments say to the group’s popularity?

EO: I think a lot of people have been craving a different kind of rock n roll. The kind that has real teeth and unpolished audacity, with a hook that makes you dance. That’s what we like to do. Break your neck head banging and then dance when the groove hits haha. It is very fulfilling to have incredible names in the industry recognize us and give us opportunities to prove that we pack a different kind of punch.,

PP: Speaking of popularity, the classic rock movement seems to be getting renewed popularity and attention both among audiences and those within the music industry.  Bands, such as yourselves, Horisont, The Hawkins, Greta Van Fleet, Heavy Feather, Dirty Honey, Night, and others, have risen to fame in the past year or so thanks to the renewed focus on the genre.  What does it mean to you all to be part of that renaissance of sorts within the classic rock realm?  What’s more, to what do you all think the genre’s renewed growth can be attributed?

EO: It’s awesome to be able contribute to the new wave of rock! I think everyone is being drawn to it because they are tired of polished, contrived music. Mix that in with the state of the world and I think it’s easy to remember where the attitude and love for rock comes from.

PP: Changing gears a bit, the last time audiences heard anything new from South of Eden was last year in your then new EP, The Talk.  Of course, there was also that cover that you did of Audioslave’s hit single, ‘Show Me How To Live’ not long after the EP’s release.  It would suffice to say that audiences will hear plenty from that EP and the band’s 2018 album, Take One on your upcoming dates.  Are audiences going to hear anything that maybe the band has worked on during its downtime in 2020 and this year?

EO: The Talk EP was always meant to be a full album because we went and recorded 12 songs of which we only released 4. The ones we thought would be a good stepping stone into some bigger songs we were excited to release. We knew however, with the pandemic going on, it would have been a major disservice to the music to release it without being able to tour properly. All of these songs will be played on these runs we do this year! Now here we are a year later recording a while other album to add to our arsenal! It’s a good feeling to know that when the time is right we are going to have a plethora of music! Who knows maybe we just release a double album haha!

PP: So can audiences expect to hear anything new from the band in studio before this year is out?

EO: The short answer is YES! And the long answer is……………..YES!

PP: Backing up a little bit, I want to touch on the band’s cover of Audioslave’s ‘Show Me How To Live.’  I went back through my notes on that one.  According to the information that was sent out at the time, you guys had plenty of praise for Tom Morello and Chris Cornell, but there was no mention as to what influenced that band to take on the song.  Talk to me about that item if you will.

EO: The answer to this one is a bit underwhelming. So I had only heard of maybe 3 Soundgarden songs before 2019. (I got into rock very late so it took me a while to get to Cornell RIP). As soon as I got in though, I couldn’t get out. I loved his voice and eventually found Audioslave and wanted to cover every song! I particularly loved ‘Show Me How to Live’ because of its message and amazing grunge feel, a sound we hadn’t tried before.

PP: On a related note, Audioslave was not exactly a neo-classic rock band during its life.  Though, its third album did show some classic rock influence.  Keeping that in mind, was that cover a hint at the band’s direction in its next studio recording?

EO: I think that when our music is released as a whole it will be more evident that many of our songs have extremely different feels and rhythm. A more classic sounding song like ‘Dancing With Fire’ is very different from the more pop sounding ‘Solo” which is different from the jazz feel of ‘Morning Brew’. This will continue to happen as we release more and more of our music!

PP: One last question for you to get back to the festivals and touring and bring things full circle, which band(s) are you hoping to get to see, even as busy as your schedule is going to be?  Are there any bands on the bills that you all have toured with or would like to tour with and why?

EO: We along with everyone are pumped to see MAMMOTH WVH! He’s incredible both in his music writing and his production. It would be dope to be able to tour with a band like that!

Thanks again so much for the time, and I wish you guys the best of luck in your upcoming live dates.

Thank you for having us! Let us know if a show pops up near you we’d love to see ya!

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




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Crashing Wayward Takes On The Political, Economic Establishment In New Single, Video

Courtesy: Crashing Wayward

Independent rock band Crashing Wayward premiered its latest single and video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Disco Kills‘ and its video Tuesday through The song features a musical arrangement that will appeal to any guitar rock purist.

The composition presents a sound and stylistic approach that shows influences from the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Audioslave, and even Filter. Yes, that is a disparate mix of influences, but a close listen reveals the influence of all three bands, along with many others. The song was produced by MIke Gillies (Motley Crue, Metallica, The Cult).

The lyrical content featured in the song is meant as a sociopolitical commentary, according to front man Peter Summit.

“’Disco Kills’ was lyrically written as a metaphor about the politicians/big businesses who abuse their platform, disco being the metaphor,” he said. “It speaks in sequence to the effect that Disco music had on Rock in the late 70s, but its subject is a politician/big business who is enjoying the party. How about: It’s really a modern-day Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake” story that takes on a duel meaning open for interpretation.”

The video for ‘Disco Kills’ puts the band — Summit, David Harris (guitar), Stacey Blades (guitar), Shon McKee (drums), and Carl Raether (bass) — into an empty building that perhaps was once either a warehouse or apartment building as it performs its new single. The video was directed by Vincent Cordero for Industrialism Films.

More information on Crashing Wayward’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Dirty Honey’s Self-Titled Debut LP Succeeds Because Of Its Fully Accessible Musical, Lyrical Content

Courtesy: Dirt Records

Independent rock and roll act Dirty Honey will release Friday, what is one of 2021’s most  welcome and best new pure guitar rock albums in its self-titled album.  The eight-song record has been the subject of a lot of hype since 2019, and it can be said that the album lives up to that hype and then some.  That is evidenced clearly through the 28-minute album’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes, all of which are fully accessible.  One of the songs featured in the album that serves to support the noted statements comes halfway through its nearly half-hour run time in the form of ‘Hold My Hand.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Another Last Time,’ which closes out the album, is another example of how its musical and lyrical content comes together to make the album so engaging and entertaining.  It will be discussed a little later.   ‘The Wire,’ one of the album’s early entries, is yet another example of the importance of the album’s collective content.  It will also be discussed later.  All three songs examined here are important in their own way to the success of Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Dirty Honey a work that every guitar rock purist will enjoy.

Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album is a strong start for the up-and-coming neo-classic rock quartet.  The album’s success comes collectively through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  One of the songs that most notably exemplifies the noted statements comes halfway through the album in the form of ‘Take My Hand.’  The musical arrangement in this song is the polar opposite of that in the album’s lead single, ‘California Dreamin’’.  Not to get too far off topic, but ‘California Dreamin’ is not to be confused with the song made popular by The Mamas and the Papas way back in 1965.  rather, this song is its own, original composition.  Getting back on the matter at hand, the musical arrangement featured in ‘Take My Hand’ immediately lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Small Town Titans and Audioslave.  The Audioslave comparison should come as no surprise considering that Dirty Honey worked with producer Nick DiDia on this album.  DiDia worked with Tom Morello and his band mates in Rage Against the Machine (whose members eventually formed Audioslave after a split with front man Zach De La Rocha in 2000).  Clearly DiDia’s own creative influence came into play here, considering that history.  The guitar arrangement, the drums and bass all immediately mirror works from Audioslave.  Front man Marc LaBelle’s vocal fiery vocal delivery style and sound is itself even comparable to that of the late, great Chris Cornell here, making the Audioslave comparison even clearer.  For all that the song’s musical arrangement does to make it stand out, it is just a portion of what makes the song (and album) work.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content also plays into that success.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Take My Hand’ stands out because of the discussion that it will generate.  It would seem that, in listening closely, the song’s lyrical content presents a message about letting go of the past and just moving forward in life.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse, in which Labelle sings, “No time to change/The mistakes you made/And if I carry the weight/It’s the price I have to pay/But I wanted all your love/And I needed all your love…take my hand/You’ll understand/I’m just a sinner, too/There’s no way out/We’re headed south/I’m lonely just like you.”  This alone would seem to hint at someone telling another person that he/she knows about the other person’s past but that said person needs to just leave the past in the past because things in the present are what they are and that other person is not alone in his/her situation.  The seeming message continues in the song’s second verse, with LaBelle singing, “Hide in the light/Stories that you told/Paying no mind/To your wicked ways of old/When I wanted all your love/And I needed all your love/It drove me out of my mind/Take my hand/You might understand/I’m just a sinner, too/There’s no way out/We’re headed south/Don’t play me for a fool.”  Again, here is that seeming message of just letting go of the past, not letting it weigh one down mentally and emotionally.  LaBelle does not just come out and make clear if the overall lyrical theme has anything to do with perhaps a couple in a relationship or if this is just a general statement made from one person to another.  Regardless, the seeming message is relatively clear.  When it is paired with the song’s infectious musical arrangement, the whole makes the song a clear example of what makes the album’s musical and lyrical content so important to the album’s overall presentation.  ‘Another Last Time,’ which closes out the album, is another example of what makes Dirty Honey a successful presentation.

‘Another Last Time’ presents a musical arrangement that will itself find quite the interesting comparison.  The song’s opening bars lend themselves to comparison to Pearl Jam’s hit 1992 b-side, ‘Yellow Ledbetter.’  That comparison is brief, but is there.  From there, listeners will notice a sound and stylistic approach that is more akin to works from the Black Crowes, what with the combined use of the keyboard, choral type backing vocals, guitar, and drums.  It is a work that will appeal to any southern rock fan.  The tone in the song’s arrangement, that sense of melancholy, does well to help illustrate the familiar story featured in the song’s lyrical content.  The story in question comes across as being that familiar tale of the breakup of a romantic relationship, with the “last time” being metaphorical language for the one last go-round.

The breakup story is made even more as LaBelle’s subject adds in the song’s chorus, “Tell me what it takes/’Til you find your way back to me/And we’ll say/One last time/Another last time/Another go round and we say goodbye.”  That the song’s subject compares the woman in question to whiskey and rain, stating, “Lord knows when I’ll see her face again” in the song’s lead verse adds even more to the clear story.  He even notes that the woman has “Got me wondering/Why I’m holding on to this,” making even clearer, the noted statement.  This is a mournful, melancholy song about a relationship’s end, thus the lyrical and musical content.  The thing is that it is more of an introspective and retrospective look at that relationship.  This is something to which many listeners will relate, proving its accessibility.  When it is paired with the song’s equally accessible southern rock stylistic approach and sound, the whole continues to prove the role of the musical and lyrical content featured in Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album.  It is just one more example of that importance, too.  ‘The Wire,’ which comes early in the album’s body, is one more example of what makes the album’s collective content so important to its success.

‘The Wire’ presents a musical arrangement that is one of the most unique of the album’s compositions.  The song’s arrangement immediately exhibits influences from the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and even the aforementioned Black Crowes.  Even with so many distinctly different influences presented here, the band still manages to craft a song that is unique and that boasts its own identity.  The energy exuded by the song’s musical arrangement is important to examine because it helps to translate the message presented through the song’s lyrical content.

The message presented in ‘The Wire’ is that of a man who knows he needs to get away from a woman who is not good for him, but he can’t help but keep going back to her.  That is evidenced as LaBelle sings, “This wasn’t part of the plan/I  never wanted to see you again/I’m a fool for you/And those things that you do/Can’t get this picture of you out of my head…I’ve been walking the wire/And I’ve been walking your wire for too long…turn and walk away.”  This is just the song’s lead verse, but it makes relatively clear the noted inference.  The song’s second verse continues the statement as LaBelle sings, “Thought it would get better with time/But your kisses, baby/They still blow my mind/I’m a fool for you/And those things that you do/The way that you love me is such a crime.”  That last statement about the mistreatment in the relationship is the most telling.  Again, this is someone who knows he is in a bad situation, but can’t bring himself to just walk away.  He keeps getting drawn back into the toxic situation because “your kisses, baby/They still blow my mind.”  While the song is sung from the vantage point of a man, women could relate just as much.  That is because they get into the same situations.  To that end, the song’s lyrical theme proves its accessibility even more.  The energy exhibited through the song’s musical arrangement does well to help illustrate the subject’s mixed mindset.  Together, the two elements join to make this song another standout addition to Dirty Honey, showing once more why the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively makes it such a successful offering.  When this song and the other examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole leaves no question about the engagement and entertainment that the record offers.  All things considered, it leaves no doubt that the album is one of this year’s top new independent and rock albums.

Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album is a strong first offering from the up-and-coming rock band.  It succeeds as much as it does because of its combined musical and lyrical content.  The record’s musical arrangements exhibit influences of some of the most talented and respected bands past and present throughout.  Even with those influences noted, the arrangements still boast their own unique, engaging, and enjoyable identities.  They are fully accessible and enjoyable compositions from one to the next.  The lyrical themes featured in the album’s featured songs are just as engaging and accessible as their musical counterparts.  All three of the songs examined here more than support the noted statements.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the songs featured in this record, the whole makes Dirty Honey a standout addition to this year’s field of new rock and independent albums.  Dirty Honey is scheduled for release Friday through Dirt Records.

More information on Dirty Honey’s new record is available along with the group’s latest news at:




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Serj Tankian, Tom Morello Team Up For Gang Of Four Cover

Credit: Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Tom Morello has partnered with System of a Down front man Serj Tankien for a classic rock cover.

The guitarist, known for his work with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage, teamed with Tankian to debut a cover of Gang of Four’s ‘Natural’s Not In It.’ The single, available here, is featured in the forthcoming compilation record The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, which is scheduled for release in May. Pre-orders for the compilation are open.

Tankian and Morello stay true to the source material with their rendition of the classic tune. The duo just built on the original and gave it more of a punch without letting their own styles and influences overtake the work.

Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer gave her approval to the work in a prepared statement, noting that Gill himself approved of the work prior to his passing last year from complications that stemmed from COVID-19.

“Andy loved what Tom and Serj did with this song, the fierceness of their attack and the jet-engine scream of feedback” said Mayer. “This was a track Andy always enjoyed performing. He said their version brilliantly captured all the explosive, danceable energy ‘Natural’s Not In It’ can create in live performance.”

Morello spoke warmly of Gill and Gang of Four in his own remarks.

“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played,” said Morello. “His band Gang of Four were just incendiary and completely groundbreaking with Andy’s confrontational, unnerving and sublime playing at the forefront. His jagged plague-disco raptor-attack industrial-funk deconstructed guitar anti-hero sonics and fierce poetic radical intellect were hugely influential to me.”

Tankian added his own statement, speaking just as highly of Gill and of Morello.

“It was a real pleasure to work on this track with Tom and honor the legacy of Andy and Gang of Four at the same time,” said Tankian.

‘Natural’s Not In It’ is featured in Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album Entertainment! Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the album “the fifth best punk album of all time.” It is also featured in the soundtrack to the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette.

Prior to his passing last year, Gill had envisioned the new compilation record as a celebration marking 40 years since the release of Entertainment! Following his death, that changed, and artists instead opted to lay out the compilation’s body with works that represented much more of Gang of Four’s catalog, according to Mayer.

Mayer said in her comments, that Gill approved of the changes.

“Andy was massively excited about this project,” said Mayer. “It wasn’t of course conceived as a tribute album, but it’s comforting to me that he lived to see artists he hugely admired enthusiastically agreeing to participate, signaling that the admiration was mutual.”

The full track listing for The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four is expected for reveal on Jan. 14.

More information on the compilation is available along with all of Gang of Four’s latest news at:



More information on Tom Morello is available along with all of his latest news at:




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The Pretty Reckless Partners With Tom Morello For New Single

Courtesy: Fearless Records

The Pretty Reckless has enlisted the aid of Tom Morello for its latest single.

The band partnered with the guitarist, who is known for his work with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage, for its new single ‘And So It Went.’ The song is the fourth single from the band’s forthcoming album Death by Rock and Roll, which is scheduled for release Feb. 12 through Fearless Records.

The band debuted the album’s third single ‘25‘ and its video Dec. 18. It debuted the video for the album’s second single ‘Broomsticks‘ Oct. 22. The lead single/title track saw its premiere last June.

Album pre-orders are open. The album’s track listing is noted below.

“Death By Rock And Roll”
“Only Love Can Save Me Now”
“And So It Went”
“My Bones”
“Got So High”
“Witches Burn”
“Standing At The Wall”
“Turning Gold”
“Rock And Roll Heaven”
“Harley Darling”

The musical arrangement featured in The Pretty Reckless’ new single is a driving, up-tempo composition. Morello’s work on the song gives it an infectious blues-rock influence while also incorporating his trademark effects for even more impact. The use of the children’s chorus as the song progresses conjures thoughts of Pink Floyd’s timeless, socially conscious song ‘Another Brick in the Wall.’

Speaking of social consciousness, front woman Taylor Momsen noted in a recent interview, the song’s lyrical content is its own social commentary.

“The world has been in such a state of civil unrest,” said Momsen. “‘And So It Went’ basically comes from that vision. As a songwriter, I feel like I’m not here to preach. I use music to observe and communicate what I see around me. This song felt like the perfect storm for Tom Morello to join in and rip the sound waves apart with his guitar. It was more than a pleasure having him add his unique and defining sound to the song.”

More information on The Pretty Reckless’ new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Small Town Titans Debuts ‘Rufflin’ Feathers’ Video

Courtesy: AntiFragile Music

Small Town Titans is giving audiences a new preview of its forthcoming album The Ride.

The band debuted the video for the album’s sixth single, ‘Rufflin’ Feathers‘ last month. The single’s premiere follows the debut of the album’s other singles, ‘Junkie For You,’ ‘Universal Limits,’ ‘The Man,’ ‘9 to 5‘ and a cover of Marcy Playground’s ‘Sex and Candy.’

The video for ‘Rufflin’ Feathers’ was co-directed by Guiles and Josh Nesmith. It places the band — Phil Freeman (bass, vocals), Ben Guiles (guitar), and Johnny Ross (drums, vocals) — in a studio setting as it performs its new single.

The musical arrangement featured in the video lends itself to a comparison to works from Audioslave. That is evidenced through the Guiles’ guitar work and Freeman’s vocals. Guiles’ guitar work here is very closely similar in terms of sound and style to that of Tom Morello during his Audioslave days. In the same vein, Freeman’s vocal delivery sound and style is eerily reminiscent of of the late, great Chris Cornell. Ross’ time keeping is solid and rich, too.

The lyrical theme featured in the band’s latest single is a social commentary about the negative influence of social media, according to Ross.

“‘Rufflin’ Feathers’ is a tongue-in-cheek song about the circus that is social media this year. It’s become a constant negative assault on the senses. We wrote it for those who want to drown out all of the social noise by turning their speakers up right now.”

The Ride is scheduled for release Nov. 13 through AntiFragile Music. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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South of Eden Debuts Video For ‘Show Me How To Live’ Video

South of Eden is paying tribute to Audioslave and its late front man Chris Cornell.

The band debuted the video for its cover of Audioslave’s song ‘Show Me How To Live’ Monday through Spin magazine.  Recorded at Sonic Lounge Studios in Grove City, Ohio, the performance was filmed, directed, and edited by John Payne for Payne Productions.

South of Eden stayed largely true to Audioslave’s original song in its take on ‘How To Live.’  The most noticeable change in SOE’s take is the solo, which takes Tom Morello’s work and steps it up even more.  Front man Ehab Omran’s vocal delivery is such that even Cornell’s fans will find themselves praising his take on the song.  Meanwhile, Tom McCullough (drums) and Nick Frantianne (bass) are just as worthy of their own praise as they take on the work of Brad Wilk and Tim Cummerford in their respective parts.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity/Spin Magazine

The band released a prepared statement explaining its reasoning for covering ‘Show Me How To Live.’

‘I fell in love with ‘Show Me How To Live’ instantly,” the statement reads.  “It’s a very heavy riff, but it grooves at the same time, and that’s why I think Tom Morello is a god for doing all the things he does on the electric guitar.  And obviously Chris Cornell is nothing to pass over at all, may he rest in peace.”

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






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‘Prophets Of Rage’ Is A Solid Effort For RATM 2.0

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Rage Against The Machine is back again…sort of.  Tom Morello, Tim Cummerford and Brad Wilk joined forces with longtime friends B-Real (Cypress Hill) and Chuck D (Public Enemy) some time ago following the dissolution of Audioslave to form the super group Prophets of Rage, which is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0.  The only real difference between this “new” group and RATM—as is clear in listening to the group’s brand new self-titled debut album, is the fact that Morello, Wilk and Cummerford are joined this time out by the aforementioned superstar hip-hop front men.  Musically and lyrically speaking, the fruits of the group’s efforts make this 12-song album everything that Rage Against The Machine fans have come to expect from that band.  Even with that in mind, that return to musical and lyrical form makes this record a welcome effort from the second coming of Rage Against The Machine.

Prophets of Rage’s brand new self-titled debut album is a welcome effort from what is for all intents and purposes the second coming of Rage Against The Machine.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the album’s 12-song, 39-minute run time.  From start to finish, listeners get here 12 arrangements that are a full return to form for Morello and his RATM band mates—Brad Wilk (drums) and Brad Cummerford (bass).  Morello’s heavy riffs and guitar-based special sound effects lift from all three of RATM’s full-length studio efforts and even from the trio’s work under the Audioslave moniker.  That balance of sounds throughout this record makes it enjoyable enough even despite the arrangements not exactly being anything groundbreaking.  Keeping this in mind, the album’s collective arrangements are collectively just one of the album’s elements to examine.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note here as those arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout Prophets of Rage is important to note here because it is just as familiar to RATM fans as the album’s musical arrangements.  What is important to note here is that while being as socially conscious as the lyrics in RATM’s previous albums, the topics tackled here are timely.  They do not just rehash the topics taken on in those records.  Case in point is the album’s opener ‘Radical Eyes.’  This song clearly takes on the misconception that just because someone might read one religious book or another that said person has become radicalized.  It is a response, basically, to the close mindedness that so many people have primarily against the Muslim community in this nation.  Its follow-up, ‘Unf*** the World’ stays on a similar mindset as it takes on the issue of racism that is still so alive in America.  The group also takes on the issue of poverty in America and the struggle to fight the issue due to politicians who seemingly don’t care to fight that battle in ‘Living on the 110.’  The group even takes on the issue of personal privacy invasion of sorts in ‘Take Me Higher,’ which addresses law enforcement’s use (and possible misuse) of drones in their daily duties.  The group even goes so far as to address the tensions between police and the people that have risen in recent years over allegations of police brutality in ‘Hands Up.’  This is all just a glance at the way in which Prophets of Rage manages lyrically to impress listeners with its timely lyrical content.  The other songs not noted here all present lyrical content that is just as timely as the material noted here.  Keeping all of this in mind, the lyrical content presented throughout this record proves to be POR’s cornerstone.  It is just one more of the album’s most important elements, too.  The album’s sequencing puts the final touch to its overall presentation.

Plenty of time and thought was obviously put into Prophets of Rage’s sequencing.  From start to finish, the album never lets its fire burn out.  Even as the group gets a bit funky in ‘Take Me Higher,’ it still doesn’t let up in its energy.  The up-tempo arrangement is instantly infectious thanks to all involved, ensuring listeners’ engagement just as much as the album’s much heavier arrangements.  Much the same can be said of ‘Counteroffensive,’ the 38-second interlude which lifts more from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill than RATM.  Even as short as it is and stylistically separate from its counterparts, its arrangement still is entertaining.  Its placement almost halfway through the record is just as smart, as it gives listeners a short break and some variance to the record in whole.  Considering this, the energies exhibited in each song and the fact that no one song directly repeats the other (in regards to their arrangements), it becomes even clearer why the album’s sequencing is so important to the album’s whole.  The energies never vary even as the familiar arrangements do vary.  When this is considered along with the arrangements themselves and the album’s timely lyrical content, the end result is an album that proves to be a solid first effort from Prophets of Rage and an equally solid new effort from what is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0.  More information on Prophets of Rage is available now along with Prophets of Rage’s latest news and more at:










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Fogerty’s New LP Is An Album For Everyone

Courtesy:  Vanguard Records

Courtesy: Vanguard Records

John Fogerty’s first full length studio release in over six years isn’t exactly a new album.  But it is still a fun collection of songs, nonetheless.  Wrote a Song For Everyone takes fourteen of Fogerty’s most famous and beloved songs and updates them for a new generation.  It goes without saying that the classics collected for this compilation didn’t necessarily need an update.  But the updates do admittedly give listeners a new take on the classics.  It’s actually a good thing.  And that will be discussed later.  The song selection itself is just part of what makes this collection of classics a hit in and of itself.  Fogerty was joined by some of the biggest names in the music industry in re-recording the songs for this work.  And some of the names included on the “guest list” might surprise some listeners.  That’s one more reason for fans to pick up this record.  The compilation’s bonus booklet is the extra spice that makes Wrote a Song For Everyone quite the musical dish.  The bonus booklet includes a back story on each of the songs included on the record.  Together with the guest appearances and the song choices themselves, it all combines to make this compilation one that music lovers of ages will love no less with each listen.

The songs collected for Wrote a Song For Everyone are some of John Fogerty’s best known and beloved songs.  The natural reaction to these songs by those more familiar with them is to question if they really needed an update.  The end result after having listened through the compilation is one of pleasant surprise.  Listeners that are more familiar with the original songs will agree that needed or not, these updates are fun new takes on Fogerty’s classics.  It all starts with an update of what is perhaps his most beloved songs, ‘Fortunate Son.’  Fogerty is joined by Dave Grohl and his band mates in Foo Fighters on this update, with Fogerty and Grohl sharing vocal duties on the song.  It’s a great way to open the compilation because it largely sticks to Fogerty’s original song.  At the same time, it gives the song new life because it amps up the song and keeps it fresh for a whole new generation that can relate to it just as easily as that generation that originally related to it.  Fogerty is joined later by Zac Brown Band on the update of another of his hits in ‘Bad Moon Rising.’  The band’s update on this song is just as fun as Fogerty’s original take on the song.  Unlike the update of ‘Fortunate Son’, the update of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ doesn’t stick strictly to the original song.  That aside, it’s still a pretty interesting take on the song.  Brown and his band mates put their own signature semi-tropical spin on the song.  There’s even a little guitar solo added to the song on this take.  It’s another of the compilation’s pieces that fans of the original song will enjoy just as much as younger listeners.  Fogerty’s new take on ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ is one of the most interesting on this new release.  He is joined by fellow veteran rocker Bob Seeger on the song.  The pair took the original mid-tempo country-rock piece and gave it more of a pure country vibe.  It comes across as being more reserved on this take than on the original.  That’s not a bad thing, either.  It is just a new and equally enjoyable take on the song.  It’s just one of many more songs from this compilation from which listeners have to choose as their favorite.  Also included on this record are updates of ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’, ‘Born on the Bayou’, and ‘Hot Rod Heat’ just to name a few.  Again whether one is familiar with these songs or not, they all comprise a record that Fogerty fans of all ages will enjoy.

Fogerty fans of all ages will enjoy this compilation primarily because of the songs that comprise the record.  The songs themselves aren’t all that listeners will appreciate.  The record’s “guest list” is another of its selling points.  As already noted, Fogerty is joined by the likes of Zac Brown Band, Bob Seeger, and Foo Fighters on some of the record’s updates.  Also along for the ride are: Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), and Kid Rock.  Even former American Idol contestant and award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson makes an appearance among many others.  On the surface, one might look at the record’s “guest list” and shrug, asking why any of this is significant.  It’s significant in that it shows the influence that John Fogerty has had on both his fellow veteran musicians and even younger musicians.  It’s an example of actions speaking louder than words.  And it’s a statement that speaks very loudly with this release.

The sequencing and “guest list” chosen for Wrote a Song For Everyone both are critical factors in the album’s success.  They both play important roles in the album’s overall presentation.  Just as important is the album’s bonus booklet.  The booklet included with the album is such an important addition to the overall presentation because it offers a back story to each song.  Those stories come from Fogerty’s own words, too.  Many audiences will be amazed to learn that ‘Fortunate Son’ was written as a result of his own time serving in the Army Reserve during Vietnam.  He writes in the song’s liner notes, that ‘Fortunate Son’ was the result of his person feelings about states using the term ‘Favorite Son’ for their politicians.  He explains in the liner notes that he took that term and changed it to “Fortunate Son” to reflect his negative thoughts on the original term.  Just as interesting to learn is that he felt so strongly about what was going on at the time and ended up writing the song in just twenty minutes.  This after he and the band had originally rehearsed the song without any lyrics at all.  His story behind ‘Bad Moon Rising’ is just as eye and ear opening as it is being read.  He explains how the song originally was the result of a famous movie titled The Devil and Daniel Webster.  He expands on this, explaining how the movie got him to thinking about the impact that music can have on people, and how that links back to the song.  His anecdote is one that will move any fan.  His somewhat cryptic explanation of ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ is sure to get fans discussing, too.  He closes his explanation stating that the song is about “seeking the truth.”  He links this to his experience at the very first Woodstock festival.  Those that know the history of the original Woodstock will perhaps understand this better than anyone, especially if said individuals were actually there in person.  It’s just one more story that makes the album’s booklet more a bonus for fans than just a bunch of liner notes.  And together with everything already mentioned, it makes this record even more worth picking up whether for one’s own self or as a gift this holiday season.  It is available now in stores and online.

John Fogerty recently wrapped up a massive tour in support of his new album.  Fans can check in for more tour dates and news from John Fogerty online at and  Fans can also get his album online via either site.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at