Into The Fire’s Self-Titled EP Is About To Set The Mainstream Rock Realm Ablaze

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Hard rock act Into The Fire officially released its new self-titled EP to the masses today.  The record is a solid introduction for the super group of sorts.  That is because while the record boasts only three songs, all three songs are instant radio-ready compositions that will fit easily into any rock radio station’s daily rotation with their musical arrangements and lyrical content.  The disc’s opener ‘Spit You Out’ is evidence of that.  The brooding, hard rock sounds and lyrical theme of ‘From The Medicine’ proves this just as much as ‘Spit You Out.’  The alternate take of ‘Spit You Out’ varies very little from the original composition but still presents its own enjoyment.  All things considered this new offering from Into The Fire’s self-titled EP a record that is set to set this hard rock super group on fire.

Hard rock super group Into The Fire’s new self-titled EP boasts only three songs.  Even as few songs as it boasts it still proves in the end to be a record that is set to set Into The Fire on fire.  That is because the songs featured in this record are instant radio-ready compositions.  The record’s lead single ‘Spit You Out’ clearly exhibits this.  The song’s musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of both SOiL and The Union Underground.  While elements of SOiL are clearly present in the song’s musical arrangement, The Union Underground’s musical influence exhibits more prevalence here.  Considering the backgrounds of the band’s members, the presence of both bands’ work should come as no surprise, right down to the guitar solos.  Keeping this in mind, that catchy, driving arrangement makes the song an instant hit for the band.  It is just one part of what makes the song a hit.  The song’s lyrical content plays just as much of a part here as the song’s musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement at the base of ‘Spit You Out’ in itself makes this song an instant hit for Into The Fire.  It alone makes this song a composition that any mainstream rock radio programmer should add to his or her station’s daily rotation.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note in its presentation as its musical arrangement.  The message presented in the song’s lyrical content leaves very few questions.  Front man Bryan Scott clearly addresses a certain unnamed woman in this song as he sings to her in the song’s chorus, “You take, take/everything you want until I break, break break…you’re a cold-hearted b****/But I can’t spit you out.  In other words, this woman means no good at all, but the song’s subject (whether it’s Scott or not) cant’ bring himself to rid himself of her.  That becomes more evident in the song’s second verse in which Scott sings, “Hey girl, you’re a beautiful liar/Hey girl, you’re the devil’s child/Your affliction/My addiction…”  This man cannot get the woman out of his mind and can’t get himself away from her.  When one considers this, it plays perfectly into the driving energy of the song’s musical arrangement.  When both elements are put together, they make listeners think certain songs from the likes of Buckcherry, Cold, and certain other bands, proving again why this song is a perfect fit for any rock radio station.  It is just one of the songs that makes Into The Fire stand out.  The EP’s other song ‘From The Medicine’ is just as important to note in examining the record as ‘Spit You Out.’

‘Spit You Out’ is a clear example of why Into The Fire is ready to set the mainstream rock realm ablaze.  Its high energy musical arrangement and equally charging lyrical content work in tandem to make this song an instant hit for any rock radio station across America.  It is not the only key song to examine in the band’s new self-titled EP, though.  ‘From The Medicine’ is just as important to note here as ‘Spit You Out.’  That is because it is a distinct change of pace for the band.  Whereas ‘Spit You Out’ boasts a nonstop, hard rock musical arrangement, this song’s musical arrangement is more brooding, for lack of better wording.  It starts off slowly with Scott and fellow guitarist Adam Zadel’s almost Alice in Chains style dual guitar attack.  From those opening bars, the song then switches to a slightly slower, but no less powerful, melodic hard rock arrangement.  Even the vocal approach taken in the song boasts a style similar to that of Alice in Chains in its heyday.  Considering all of this , it is clear why this song’s musical arrangement is an important part of its whole.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.  That must be addressed here, too.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘From The Medicine’ is its own important piece of the song’s presentation.  That is because it stands out so clearly against that of ‘Spit You Out’ and in it similarity to that of Alice in Chains in its heyday.  As important as it is to note, it is only one part of the song’s presentation.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note in examining its presentation as its musical arrangement.  In regards to the song’s lyrical content Scott and company are less clear about the song’s subject.  Scott sings in the song’s chorus, “We’re suffocating from the medicine/All this consequence we’re buried in.”  When one takes into consideration the content of the song’s verses, one can’t help but wonder if Scott is not speaking about anything physical, but more in a metaphorical sense.  That can be assumed as he sings in the song’s second verse, “Hey let me pull you under (to the godless, take a little)/Hey let it go it’s over (so contagious, it’s over)/Blame it on the pills we’ve swallowed/Suck it down/Liars and their gods we follow/Wait it out, they’ll disappear.”  One could argue here that maybe the medicine in question is not physical, but the things that are supposed to make people better.  Considering that, one could argue that Scott is saying the things that are supposed to make us better are in fact doing us more harm than good.  The song’s lead verse would seem to hint at that, too as Scott sings, “Hey let me introduce you/Hey let me complicate you/Feeble from your own submission/Complacent till the end/Suffer from your good intention again and again and again.”  This is merely this critic’s own interpretation of the song’s lyrical content and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  It is just what makes sense to this critic.  Considering this interpretation, the emotion in the song’s musical arrangement has even more of an impact on the song’s overall presentation.  In the end, the combination of such introspective lyrical content works with the song’s equally well thought-out musical arrangement to make it another radio ready addition to Into The Fire’s new self-titled EP.  It is not the last example of what makes this EP stand out, either.  The EP also includes an “alternate version” of ‘Spit You out’ as a bonus of sorts.  It should be discussed just as much as the song’s original take and ‘From The Medicine.’

‘Spit You Out’ and ‘From The Medicine’ are both key additions to Into The Fire’s new self-titled EP.  That is due to the songs’ musical arrangements and the arrangements’ companion lyrical content.  The combination of those two elements within both songs makes each song an instantly radio-ready composition.  While each song is important to this record in its own right, they are not the only songs that are included in the record.  The band included a bonus “alternate take” of ‘Spit You Out’ with the original song and ‘From The Medicine’ to round out the record’s presentation.  There is, in reality, not a whole lot of difference between the original and alternate take of ‘Spit You Out’ to be noted when playing the two takes side by side.  The alternate take is about three seconds shorter than the original take. And, unless this critic is incorrect, the only discernable difference between the pair is a little guitar riff in the song’s final minute or so.  It would appear in a close listen that said riff is there near the song’s end in one take, but not in the other.  With or without that riff, it the song is still enjoyable regardless.  The very fact that the difference between the original and alternate take of the song is nearly indecipherable shows that with more clarity than the difference in the two takes.  Keeping this in mind, the “alternate take” of ‘Spit You Out’ is just as important to Into The Fire’s new self-titled EP as the song’s original take and as ‘From The Medicine.’  All things considered, Into The Fire proves in the end to be a record that is ready to set the mainstream rock realm ablaze.

Into The Fire’s new self-titled EP is a short record, boasting only three songs.  But even with its three songs, it shows it is ready to set the mainstream rock realm ablaze.  That is thanks in large part to the musical arrangements and lyrical content presented in the EP’s main songs, ‘Spit You Out’ and ‘From The Medicine.’  The pairing of those elements makes each song an instantly radio-ready composition.  The “bonus alternate take’ of ‘Spit You Out’ adds a little bit more interest to this record even though the difference between the “alternate take” and the original song is so minute that it is nearly indecipherable.  It still will leave listeners paying close attention to both takes, and in turn gaining even more of an appreciation for this new effort from the hard rock super group.  All things considered, the songs that are presented in this record prove it (and the band) ready to set the mainstream rock realm ablaze.  Into The Fire is available today in stores and online.  More information on Into The Fire is available online now along with all of Into The Fire’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://intothefire1.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/intothefire9

 

 

 

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Houston Open Air Festival Lineup Announced

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media/Danny Wimmer Presents

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media/Danny Wimmer Presents

The lineup for the 2016 Houston Open Air Festival has officially been announced.

Organizers with the Houston Open Air Festival have revealed the lineup for the 2016 Houston Open Air Festival.  The lineup will feature 35 bands over two days.  That list includes: Deftones, Slayer,Chevelle, The Cult, Ministry, Alter Bridge, Ghost, Anthrax, Pierce The Veil, Of Mice & Men, Sevendust, Baroness, Hellyeah, Chevy Metal, Buckcherry, Nothing More, The Amity Affliction, Max & Iggor Cavalera: Return To Roots, Avatar, letlive., Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, Texas Hippie Coalition, Young Guns, Starset, Sick Puppies, Skindred, Neck Deep, Sons Of Texas, KYNG, Twelve Foot Ninja, Gemini Syndrome, The Word Alive, Dinosaur Pile Up, September Mourning, and more.  Avenged Sevenfold and Alice in Chains have been named as the festival’s headliners.

A rolling discounted Early Bird pre-sale for Weekend General Admission tickets begins this Tuesday, May 17th at 12pm CDT/1pm EDT.  A very limited quantity of tickets will be available during this pre-sale.  They can be purchased online at http://www.HoustonOpenAir.com and will only be available while supplies last.  Their prices are noted below.

 

Early Bird #1: $89.50

Early Bird #2: $99.50

 

VIP weekend tickets will also be available at a cost of $234.50.

Public on-sale tickets will go on sale Friday, May 20th at 12pm CDT/1pm EDT.  They will also be available for purchase online at http://www.HoustonOpenAir.com.  Their prices are listed below.

 

 

Weekend GA: $109.50

Single-day GA: $69.50

Single-day VIP: $129.50

VIP Weekend: $234.50

 

 

VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes into venue, access to VIP-only area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food options (for additional purchase), VIP-only viewing area of Main Stage, dedicated restroom facilities, and a VIP-only commemorative laminate.

A portion of all proceeds from ticket sales for the festival will go toward aiding the Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund.  The Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund was established by Houston’s mayor Sylvester Turner in order to accept donations for flood relief in the Houston community.  This includes aiding victims of the flooding that stemmed from recent storms that hit the region.  More information on The Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund is available online at http://www.houstonrecovers.org.  Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents, spoke with the media recently.  He discussed the timing of the festival’s announcement in relation to the city’s recovery from said storms as well as the motivation for teaming with Mayor Turner in his recovery efforts.  “Houston Open Air has been in the works for almost a year now,” he said.  It’s awkward to announce a major music festival in a city that has experienced such recent hardship and, in fact, we delayed our announcements out of respect for what Houston has endured. But at the same time, our festivals are about highlighting the strengths (or sometimes the needs) of our host city. There’s no more important way to do that right now than to support Mayor Turner’s efforts to help Houston recover from this spring’s flooding and we will be incorporating this message throughout our launch campaign.”

Danny Wimmer is the founder of Danny Wimmer Presents.  He shared his thoughts on the logistics of the concert’s location, its lineup, and more in his discussion with the press.  “Houston is one of the country’s biggest rock markets and, when combined with the impressive food scene happening here, it’s a natural location for a DWP festival,” he said.  “We’re thrilled to have such a diverse first-year lineup that includes Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains and Chevelle. With the inclusion of an incredible food experience and the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Row, we are kicking off a powerhouse experience that will live in the market for many years to come!”

The Houston Open Air Festival’s band lineup is just part of what audiences have to look forward to this year.  There will also be a special food and drink experience for fans who attend.  This includes the Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Whiskey Row and a massive Gourmet Man Food Experience  The brands featured in the Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Whiskey Row include: Jack Daniel’s Black Label, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve.  The complete lineup and menus for the Gourmet Man Food experience will be announced soon.

Houston Open Air is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, producer of: Louder Than Life, Chicago Open Air, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy Fort Rock, Monster Energy Aftershock, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, Northern Invasion, Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, Rock on the Range, and more.  It is sponsored by: Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, El Jimador, Fxck Cancer’s Dyin2Live, NRG Park, and SoHo Concessions, and more to be announced soon.

NRG Park is the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans and the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  It is located at One NRG Park in Houston, TX.

More information on the Houston Open Air Festival is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.HoustonOpenAir.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HouOpenAir

 

 

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Another Lost Year Added To Shiprocked 2017 Lineup

Courtesy: O'Donnell Media Group

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Another Lost Year is getting Shiprocked!

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based band has been announced as the latest addition to the 2017 edition of the annual Shiprocked cruise.  The cruise will feature a number of today’s top rock acts including but not limited to: Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Alter Bridge, Sevendust, Pop Evil, and The Stowaways.  The floating music festival will be held aboard the Carnival Victory.  The liner will sail out of Miami Florida on January 16th, 2017, and make its way to Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos before returning to port on January 20th, 2017.  Also featured in the 2017 Shiprocked cruise will be: Avatar, Crobot, 12 Stones, and many others.  A very limited number of rooms is still available for the 2017 Shiprocked cruise.  VIP packages are sold out.  Pricing information for the available rooms is noted via the official Shiprocked website.

Before the band takes to the high seas it will also perform live at the 2016 Laconia Fest Motorcycle Music Festival.  The Laconia Fest is part of what is billed as the “oldest motorcycle rally on the planet.”  The nine-day festival takes place at Weirs Drive-In Theatre in Laconia, New Hampshire from Saturday, June 11th to Sunday, June 19th.  The debut installment of the Laconia Fest will feature performances from some of the top acts from rock’s past, present, and future.  They include but are not limited to: Steven Tyler, Lita Ford, Ted Nugent, Warrant, LA Guns, Dope, Everybody Panic!, Sevendust, Buckcherry, Fuel, Saving Abel, and many more.  General Admission tickets and VIP passes are available for a number of the festival’s performances.  General admission tickets include: Admission to the Festival village, the FMX Stunt Show, Main stage & EMP Group Label Group – Stage 2 Views, and more.  VIP Pit passes include: Exclusive, best-position access to stage-front from the Pit viewing area, 2 complimentary tokens, and access to cash bar and other amenities.  VIP Tower passes are also available.  They include: Exclusive access to an elevated 15-foot platform with premium stage view, private bar with beer and other drinks, prepared box meal, luxury accommodations, and other optional extras.  Those extras come at an added cost.  Wheel chair access will also be available for the festival.  Tickets and VIP passes allow for “all-day” access to the Laconia Fest and all related events and attractions.  Tickets are sold on a per-day basis and re-entry is allowed per day.  More information on ticketing, VIP passes, performance lineups, and more is available on the festival’s official website.

The band’s performance at the Laconia Fest is just one of a number of dates that is on ALY’s current live schedule.  The band will be live today in Chesterfield, Michigan before heading to Janesville, Wisconsin for a performance there this Sunday, May 15th.  Performances in Pinehurst, NC and Charlotte, NC on June 2nd and 4rth are also included in that schedule, which is noted below.

 

Another Lost Year Tour Dates:
5/12/2016 Chesterfield MI @ Diesel w/ P.O.D.
5/15/2016 Janesville WI @ Back Bar w/ DEVOUR THE DAY
5/18/2016 Belvidere IL @ Apollo Theatre w/ P.O.D.
5/20/2016 Janesville WI @ Back Bar w/ ROMANTIC REBEL – JJO Presents
5/29/2016 Algona IA @ Afterlife Lounge
6/2/2016 Pinehurst NC @ Private Acoustic
6/4/2016 Charlotte NC @ Rabbit Hole w/ SCOTT BARTLETT of SAVING ABEL
6/9/2016 Hagerstown MD @ Municipal Stadium – Hagerstown Suns Baseball Game After Party

6/10/2016 Battle Creek MI @ The Music Factory w/ SHAMANS HARVEST
6/11/2016 laCrosse WI @ Pearl Street Brewery w/ DRUGS DELANEY
6/12/2016 Ft Atkinson WI @ Hyjinx w/ DRUGS DELANEY
6/15/2016 Laconia NH @ Laconia Fest w/ STEVEN TYLER
6/16/2016 Laconia NH @ Laconia Fest w/ BRET MICHAELS
6/17/2016 Cranston RI @ 1150 Oak Bar w/ EVERYBODY PANIC
6/18/2016 Cranston RI @ 1150 Oak Bar
6/19/2016 Hampton Beach NH @ Wally’s
7/2/2016 Battle Creek MI @ Private Party
7/3/2016 Pekin IL @ Twisted Spoke w/ DRUGS DELANEY
7/15/2016 Kankakee IL @ Kankakee BBQ Fest w/ VINCE NEIL
7/16/2016 Clarksville TN @ z97.5 Festival
7/16/2016 Grayson KY @ HeadCase Festival
8/6/2016 Hagerstown MD @ Private Party
8/12/2016 Algona IA @ Algona Fairgrounds w/ SMILE EMPTY SOUL

 

Another Lost Year will release its new album Alien Architect Friday, Jun e10th via EMP Label Group and Mirage M’Hal Records.  The band recently premiered the video for the album’s lead single ‘Wolves’ online.  It can be viewed via YouTube and Vevo.  More information on Alien Architect is available online now along with more information on the band’s upcoming live dates at:

 

Website: http://www.whoisALY.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Official_ALY

 

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.

Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival Returning For Its Second Year

Courtesy:  Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

There’s big concert news coming out of Pennsylvania  today.

The Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival is returning to Pennsylvania this summer.  It will take place Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park), home of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, in Chester, PA, which is just outside of Philadelphia.  It will feature a lineup of more than 35 bands.  That lineup includes but is not limited to: Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains, Slayer, The Offspring, Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, Chevelle, The Cult, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce The Veil, Of Mice & Men, Ghost, Anthrax, Killswitch Engage, Chevy Metal, Baroness, Hellyeah, Sevendust, Motionless In White, Buckcherry, Trivium, Avatar, Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots, Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, Sick Puppies, The Amity Affliction, letlive., Neck Deep, Skindred, KYNG, Young Guns, Crobot, Devour The Day, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dinosaur Pile Up, Death Angel and Hundredth.

A rolling discounted Early Bird on-sale for weekend General Admission tickets and VIP passes starts this Tuesday, May 10th at 12pm EDT and runs through Friday, May 13th at 10am EDT.  Early Bird tickets and VIP passes will be available in a very limited quantity.  The prices for each is noted below.

 

Early Bird #1: $79 GA Weekend Stands, $99 GA Weekend Floor, $219 VIP Weekend

Early Bird #2: $89 GA Weekend Stands, $109 GA Weekend Floor, $239 VIP Weekend

Early Bird #3: $99 GA Weekend Stands, $129 GA Weekend Floor, $259 VIP Weekend

 

Zippo 2-packs will also be available at a price of $550.  They include 2-VIP weekend passes and 2 commemorative Zippos.  Single-day admission and general weekend packages will go on full sale along with VIP packages beginning May 13th at 10am EDT.  Prices will increase in the weeks leading up to the festival.  Current prices are listed below.

 

GA Weekend: $129 floor, $99 stands

GA 4-Packs: $308

VIP Weekend: $219

VIP 2-Packs: $550

Single Day GA (stands): $44.50

Single Day VIP: $119.50

 

VIP packages for the festival include: Stadium-level VIP main stage viewing, floor-level VIP viewing area for the west main stage, dedicated entrance lanes into the festival, VIP area with shade and picnic tables, VIP restrooms, special food and beverage offerings (for additional purchase), and a commemorative VIP laminate.

The music is just one part of the experience that audiences will be able to enjoy at this year’s festival.  Along with lots of great music there will also be loads of great food and drink, too.  There will loads of dishes offered by some of Philadelphia’s eateries in the Gourmet Man Food experience.  There will also be plenty of brews offered by breweries from across America.  The culinary lineup for the Gourmet Man Food Experience currently features: Braz-B-Q, Chickie & Pete’s, The Cow & The Curd, Dos Hermanos, Dump ’n’ Roll, M.A.T.T.’s Gourmet Sliders, Mama’s Meatballs, Seoulfull Philly, Sum Pig and The Tot Cart.  The breweries that will be at the festival include: Evolution Craft Brewing Co (Salisbury, MD), Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company (Dover, DE), New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA), Tröegs Independent Brewing (Hershey, PA) and Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA).

Danny Wimmer, head of Danny Wimmer Presents, recently discussed the festival’s return with the media.  He discussed not only the festival’s return but its expansion to two days this year and expectations in general for this year’s event.  “When we came to Philadelphia last year, we knew there was a demand for this kind of festival in the market, but the response exceeded our expectations,” he said.  Growing to two days in our second year was an obvious decision, and we’re looking forward to giving fans an even better experience in 2016.”

Geoff Gordon is President of Live Nation Philadelphia.  He echoed Wimmer’s sentiments in his thoughts on the festival’s return.  “Last year’s Monster Energy Rock Allegiance was a huge success on so many levels,” he said.  “We were proud to bring this venue their first ever concert; a record-setting, sold out smash hit. The audience had such a great time enjoying a unique experience of music and lifestyle — we knew in 2016 we could turn it up a notch!”

The Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival is presented by Danny Wimmer Presents, Live Nation, and Spectra at Talen Energy Stadium.  It is sponsored by: Jack Daniel’s, Zippo Encore, The Music Experience, Take Me Home, and Fxck Cancer/Dyin2Live, with more to be announced.  More information on the 2016 Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.RockAllegiance.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rockallegiance

 

More information on all of the latest events at Talen Energy Stadium is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/stadium

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/talenenergystdm

 

Audiences can also get advance notice about all of the latest events at Talen Energy Stadium by joining the free Talen Energy Stadium CyberClub here.

To keep up with all of 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.

The Treatment’s Debut LP Keeps Pace Solidly With Rock’s Big Dogs

Courtesy:  Spinefarm Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

The 1980s is one of the most important decades in the history of the music industry.  Disco evolved into New Wave during that decade.  Rap and Hip-Hop started burgeoning during those years, too.  And in the world of rock, audiences were presented with both the New Wave of Heavy Metal (NWOHM), and the rise and fall of the hair metal movement.  While the age of big hair and big rock came and went seemingly in the blink of an eye, it also produced some of the biggest names in the history of rock and metal.  Def Leppard, Poison, Motley Crue, Dokken and others of that ilk dominated radio stations and arenas across the country in that ten-year span.  Motley Crue is officially calling it a career.  The others called it a career years ago.  And while they may be gone, many bands since have shown that they are hardly forgotten, producing record after record that pays homage to said forebears.  Now another act has added its name to that long list of bands keeping the age of big guitar riffs and equally big hair alive in the form of The Treatment.  The five piece from Cambridge, England released its full length deut record Running With The Dogs on indie label Spinefarm Records back in February of this year.  It is a fittingly titled record, too.  That’s because the band, whose members are each in no more than their late teens, stays right with the rest of the pack on its debut.  The band keeps up with other bands of its genre (E.g. Buckcherry, Airbourne) in its debut.  That’s thanks both to its full-throttle, no nonsense rock and roll sound, and its equally old school lyrics.  The combination of the two makes this record a must hear for anyone that  wants a break from the seemingly constant barrage of cookie monster growls and poppy rock songs dominating so much of the rock world today.  Right off the top, front man Matt Jones and his band mates–Dee Dammers (guitar), Tagore Grey (Guitar), Dhani Mansworth (drums), and Rick “Swoggle” Newman (bass)–show that they mean business in the album’s opener ‘I Bleed Rock N’ Roll.’  This song is classic rock and roll all the way around and will have audiences instantly rocking and singing along.  By and large, the band keeps things moving throughout the record, slowing only once in the album’s penultimate acoustic opus ‘Unchain My World.’  Even being an acoustic piece, it harkens back to the acoustic ballads of Poison and other big hair bands from the 80s.  And what rock record is complete without an up-tempo piece about a female figure that all the guys want?  It’s there, too in the form of ‘She’s Too Much.’    These three songs are each enjoyable in their own right for anyone nostalgic for real  rock and roll.  Along with the other ten songs that make up this album, the whole thing proves to be a record that any old school rock and roll fan will enjoy.

The Treatment’s debut album Running With The Dogs is an aptly titled collection of songs.  The band’s members show exactly why right off the top in the album’s high-energy opener ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll.’  Musically speaking, this song instantly shows influences from veteran rock acts the likes of AC/DC and Motley Crue.  Drummer Dhani Mansworth’s solid 4/4 time set against the dual guitar attack of Dee Dammers and Tagore Grey instantly gets the body and the blood moving.  The duo’s old school shredding and harmonies will transport audiences back to rock’s era of big riffs and even bigger hair.  Front man Matt Jones’ vocal styling adds to that musical trip back in time even more.  It’s incredible how much Jones’ vocal style soudns so much like Motley Crue front man Vince Neil.  Lyrically, the song is just as much of an homage to rock’s “biggest” era with the band singing in the song’s chorus, “I live rock and roll/It’s my destiny/All I bleed is rock and roll.  the message is clear and simple not just here but in the song’s verses, too.  That simplicity and clarity of the song’s lyrics couple with its musical side to make this song the perfect opener for the band.  To another extent, that it finishes in such bombastic fashion makes it an equally fitting closer both on the album and in a live setting.  It’s just one of so many of the album’s opuses that shows what makes it a pure rock record well worth the listen.

It goes without saying that The Treatment chose the right song in ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ to open its debut full-length record.  Interestingly enough, that same song would work just as much as a closer for the band as the album’s closer and even as a show closer in a live setting.  The energy exuded by the band in this song is carried throughout every one of the songs that follow it right up to the album’s penultimate piece ‘Unchain My World.’  This acoustic ballad is just as much a throwback to the 80s as the album’s opener and any other song on this record.  Stylistically, listeners will instantly be able to make comparisons between this song and the ballads churned out by veteran rock bands such as Motley Crue, Poison, and even Mr. Big just to name a few.  This applies to the song both musically and lyrically.  The comparison to Mr. Big comes especially in the song’s chorus as the band sings “Unchain my world/Cause you’re all I’ve really got.”  Musically, one could even mistake the song for one of Mr. Big’s biggest hits of all time if one were listening to this song not knowing it was said band.  The song’s verses highlight that comparison, too with Jones singing how much a certain love interest has changed the subject’s life.  He sings of said subject’s view of the love interest, “I’m still fascinated/How deep inside I feel so incomplete/Indiscreet.”  Just as with the album’s opener, that mix of music and lyrics is just as certain to take audiences back to what is perhaps one of rock’s most underrated eras.

‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ and ‘Unchain My World’ are both prime examples of the old school 80s influence presented on The Treatment’s debut full-length album.  Any old school rock and roll aficionado will appreciate thanks to that direct influence.  They aren’t the only good examples of that influence and enjoyment on this record, either.  The blues-based rocker that is ‘She’s Too Much’ is another great example of that influence and enjoyment.  It’s not as up-tempo as some of the album’s other songs.  But it leaves no one guessing in regards to its lyrical content.  It is presented very much in the vein of AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’  Jones sings over the bluesy riffs of his band mates, “She’s too much/Everything is not enough/She’s too much/Better load your gun boys/Take aim/Now fire.”  The song is thankfully not a direct mirror image of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’  But the blues-based rock sound churned out by Dammers and Grey definitely makes the comparison easy and not in a bad way, either.  Again in a time when so much of the rock and even hard rock world is dominated by cookie monster growls and crunching, down-tuned guitars, such a comparison is especially welcome considering that The Treatment has taken an influence as respected as AC/DC and crafted its own equally fun rock song.  It’s just one more of the thirteen total songs on this record that classic rock buffs will enjoy.

The songs noted here are each good examples of just what makes The Treatment’s debut album Running WithThe Dogs one more album released this year proving that contrary to Gene Simmons’ own views, rock and roll is not dead.  Nor is it even in the hospital so to speak.  It proves that rock and roll is alive and well.  It takes audiences back to an era when rock and roll was indeed rock and roll; an era when rock and roll was truly fun.  European audiences will agree with that sentiment when they see the band live on its current European tour.  Audiences will get to hear the band live when it rolls into Rotterdam, Netherlands next Thursday, November 27th, Paris, France next Friday, and Brussels, Belgium next Saturday, November 29th.  Audiences can pick up the band’s CD at those shows and each show after.  Whether in Europe or in the United States, audiences can pick up Running With The Dogs in stores or online now.  Fans can keep up with the band’s current tour schedule and all of its latest updates online now at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheTreatmentUK

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

The Winery Dogs’ Debut A Super Record From A True Supergroup

Courtesy:  Loud & Proud Records

Courtesy: Loud & Proud Records

2013 has been quite a year for new rock records.  The list of new records vying to make critics’ lists of the year’s best is already cluttered.  And the year’s not even out yet.  That list already includes releases from the likes of:  Pop Evil, Queensryche, Buckcherry, Filter and Joe Satriani just to name a handful of releases.  Now with the release of its self-titled release, rock trio The Winery Dogs has added its name to that already massively cluttered landscape.  The band—Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison)—instantly draws comparisons to Chickenfoot from early on with its brand of rock.  If one were to listen to this and not know it was another band, one would instantly think one was listening to the latter of the two.  Even vocalist Richie Kotzen sounds at times like Chickenfoot front man Sammy Hagar.  At others, he sounds like Soundgarden/former Audioslave front man Chris Cornell.  The similarity in the singers’ voices is eerie.

The band’s new self-titled album is a solid mix of sounds, opening with a trio of heavier, energy-laden songs in: ‘Elevate’, ‘Desire’ and ‘We Are One.’  From there, things slow down a little bit in ‘I’m No Angel’ ‘The Other Side’ and ‘You Saved Me.’  What’s interesting here is that while this trio of songs is a little more subdued, there is still a certain controlled energy throughout all three.  The guitar solos in ‘We Are One’ along with Portnoy’s expert drumming in this song is just one of so many of the album’s highlights.  ‘You Saved Me’ is impressive not just because of its musical content, but also for its uplifting lyrical content.  Kotzen sings, “You saved me in my darkest hour/You stood by me and stayed/You gave me all my strength and power/And when sunshine turned to grey/In my darkest hour/You stood by me and stayed/You stood with me/My guiding angel.”  This could be interpreted in a religious sense.  It could just as easily be considered more in the sense of a relationship.  Regardless of which angle one takes here, the ballad with its moving music and equally uplifting lyrics is sure to impress any listener. 

‘You Saved Me’ is a fitting midpoint for The Winery Dogs’ debut record.  That is because it is after this point that things pick back up beginning with what is one of the best of the best from this record in ‘Not Hopeless.’  This song is a standout thanks to the contradiction of the heavier, slower sludge rock style verses to the more standard rock style choruses.  Kotzen shows throughout both sections (and his solos) that he can easily hold his own alongside fellow guitar great Zakk Wylde here.  And if this isn’t enough to get listeners excited, the album’s next track, ‘One More Time’ definitely will.  Bass virtuoso Billy Sheehan gets his chance to shine in this up-tempo prog rock piece alongside Portnoy.  Sheehan gets his own solo alongside Portnoy in the song’s bridge.  Kotzen eventually joins in to add in his own spice, too.  By the time the song ends, it will have left listeners in awe of the trio’s talent once more.  Forget the lyrics.  This song is entirely about the talent of these three musicians.  And it definitely doesn’t disappoint.

After the high energy of ‘One More Time’ and ‘Not Hopeless’, the band slows things down only momentarily in ‘Damaged’ and ‘Six Feet Deeper.’  This gives listeners just enough time to catch their collective breath before diving back in the deep end again on the album’s final trio of songs.  ‘Time Machine’, ‘The Dying’, and ‘Regret’ finish off the album.  And they do so in expert form.  The energy in these three songs is just enough to keep listeners engaged right to the final notes without skipping even one song.  Suffice it to say that listeners that are familiar with the musicianship of Sheehan, Portnoy and Kotzen will be just as impressed with this record as anything else that the trio has recorded throughout its career.  For those that are new to the trio’s talents, these final three songs are certain to seal the deal and make new fans of three of the most talented individuals in the music industry today. 

Winery Dogs’ debut record is slated to be released Tuesday, July 23rd via Loud & Proud Records.  Fans can pre-order it now via the Loud & Proud Records website at http://loudandproudrecords.com/releases/winery-dogs/.  In the meantime, fans can check out the band’s new album live on its tour.  It will be touring through Japan and South America during the month of July before coming back to the United States on August 3rd.  Fans can get a full list of the band’s tour dates online at http://www.facebook.com/TheWineryDogs.  Fans can also “Like” the Winery Dogs’ Facebook page for all of the latest news and updates from the band.

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

Performance Times Released For Annual Festival

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers of the annual “Welcome To Rockville” Festival presented by Monster Energy have released more information on this year’s festival.  2013 is the festival’s third year being held.  Performance times for bands on each stage have officially been released.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage East” opens with a performance by Pop Evil at 12:40pm.  Pop Evil will be followed by All That Remains, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Stone Sour, and headliners Alice in Chains.  Alice in Chains takes the “Monster Energy Main Stage East” at 9:45pm.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage West” is just one of the many stages from which audiences have to choose during the festival.  A full listing of bands and performance times is available below.

Saturday, April 27

Monster Energy Main Stage East

12:40 PM         Pop Evil

2:05 PM           All That Remains

3:35 PM           Halestorm

5:25 PM           Papa Roach

7:25 PM           Stone Sour

9:45 PM           Alice In Chains

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

12:05 PM         Young Guns

1:20 PM           In This Moment

2:50 PM           Asking Alexandria

4:30 PM           Bullet For My Valentine

6:20 PM           Three Days Grace

8:30 PM           Limp Bizkit

 

Emerging Artist Stage

Noon                Rockville Rumble Winner

1:00 PM           Hell Or Highwater

2:10 PM           Gemini Syndrome

3:20 PM           Whitechapel

4:45 PM           Otherwise

6:20 PM           Escape The Fate

 

Jax Live Stage

11:30 AM         Rockville Rumble Winner

12:30 PM         Edens Fill       

1:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

2:50 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:05 PM           Stars In Stereo

5:35 PM           MonstrO

7:25 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

Sunday, April 28

Monster Energy Main Stage East

11:45 AM         Red

12:55 PM         Saving Abel

2:30 PM           Filter

4:10 PM           Skillet

6:05 PM           3 Doors Down

8:35 PM           Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

11:15 AM         Farewell 2 Fear

12:20 PM         Nonpoint

1:40 PM           Steel Panther

3:20 PM           Hollywood Undead

5:05 PM           Buckcherry

7:15 PM           Shinedown

 

Emerging Artist Stage

11:20 AM         Nebraska Bricks

12:20 PM         Soulswitch

1:25 PM           Girl On Fire

2:35 PM           Saliva

3:45 PM           Motionless In White

5:10 PM           Device

6:50 PM           Nothing More

 

Jax Live Stage

11:50 AM         (N)ception

12:55 PM         The Apprehended

2:05 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

3:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

6:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

The whole party will be preceded by the “Rockville Downtown Experience presented by Corona Light” pre-party on Friday, April 26th.  Two post-show parties will be held Saturday, April 27th.  Admission to these parties is FREE.  Friday’s show will feature Saliva, Evergreen Terrace, and Victr as entertainment.  The bands will perform live at the Underbelly in Jacksonville, FL.  More information on this party is available online at http://www.jaxunderbelly.com.  Saturday’s after-parties will feature performances by DJ Monk and Robert Goodman at 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL (http://www.facebook.com/1904MusicHall, http://www.1904MusicHall.com) and Icey at the Underbelly.

Fans that attend the festival will have plenty of opportunities to get their CDs, shirts, and more signed by their favorite band(s) at the f.y.e. tent and other onsite locations.  There will also be interactive experiences such as a gaming area and Dave’s Crazy Music Experience.  This experience lets fans find out for themselves what it’s like to make music in a studio environment.  It includes actual guitars, drums, basses, and all the gear used by today’s top acts.

Tickets are still available for this year’s festival.  Prices are listed below.

Single Day General Admission – $59.50 plus fees

Single Day VIP – $134.50 plus fees
2-Day General Admission – $107 plus fees
2-Day VIP – $219 plus fees
2-Day Party Pack (4 weekend tickets) – $357 plus fees

Along with the listed ticket prices, “no service fee tickets” are available at specific Metro PCS locations.  More information on this is available online at http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com/tickets.html.  A limited number of VIP tickets and hotel packages are still available.  They can be purchased online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com.  VIP tickets include entrance to all concerts through a VIP entrance, access to VIP lounge featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service, viewing of the Monster Main Stage (both seated and standing areas), a seated area with shade for dining, private bathrooms and laminated VIP guest pass.    

More information on the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival is available online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com, http://www.facebook.com/welcometorockville, and on Twitter at @RockvilleFest.

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.