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

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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Filmspeed debuts new single, ‘Brain Dead’

Courtesy: AGR Publicity

Independent rock band Filmspeed debuted its latest single this week.

The band debuted its single ‘Brain Dead’ Friday.  The upbeat tune presents a musical arrangement that mixes old school and modern guitar rock sounds whose whole makes it instantly infectious.  A close listen leads to comparisons in part to works from Black Crowes, Buckcherry and to a lesser extent Led Zeppelin.  The important thing to note here is that even with those noted influences in mind, the song’s arrangement still manages to maintain its own identity.

‘Brain Dead’ is available too stream and download here.

More information on Filmspeed’s new single is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at

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American Idol Star’s Latest LP Takes Top Honors In Phil’s Picks 2019 Top New Rock Albums List

Courtesy: Big Johnson Records

Rock fans had a lot of reason this year to raise their horns.  From January right up to this month, rock music fans received lots of strong new offerings this year.  That includes both mainstream and independent acts.  Buckcherry’s new album Warpaint, which came out early this year, proved to be everything that audiences have come to expect from the band.  DuG Pinnick’s King’s X side band KXM also released a new record this year — Circle of Dolls — that was a step up from its predecessor.  80s rockers L.A. Guns even produced its own strong new effort in The Devil You Know while prog rock star Neil Morse’s Jesus ChristThe Exorcist developed its own fans, too.  Between those albums and so many others, rock fans had a lot to be happy about.  It made creating the list of this year’s top new rock records quite difficult to arrange.

This year’s list, like others from Phil’s Picks, features the Top 10 picks as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  The list was compiled from consideration of the titles’ overall musical and lyrical content.  That content taken into consideration made this list anything but easy.  No offense was meant to any of the band featured on this list.  With that in mind, here is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Rock Albums.



  1. Caleb Johnson — Born From Southern Ground
  2. Set It Off — Midnight
  3. Neal Morse — Jesus ChristThe Exorcist
  4. KXM — Circle of Dolls
  5. Buckcherry — Warpaint
  6. Collective Soul — Blood
  7. Aree & The Pure Hearts — Never Gonna Die
  8. The Sh-Booms — The Blurred Odyssey
  9. Lullwater — Voodoo
  10. The Magpie Salute — Highwater II
  11. Queensryche — The Verdict
  12. L.A. Guns — The Devil You Know
  13. Them Guns — From The Shadows
  14. Myrath — Shehili
  15. Stone Leaders — Stone Leaders


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Buckcherry Announces “Warpaint Tour 2019” Leg 2 Dates

Courtesy: Century Media

Buckcherry announced a new slate of live dates this week.

The band announced it will launch the second leg of its Warpaint Tour 2019 on May 18 in Waco, TX.  The almost four-month run is scheduled to run through Aug. 31 and to feature performances in cities, such as Greensboro, NC; Spokane, WA and Ottawa, ONT.  The schedule is noted below.

May 18, 2019-Waco TX-The Backyard Bar
May 19, 2019-Amarillo,TX- Hoots Pub
May 21, 2019-Lubbock,TX-Jake’s Backroom
May 22, 2019- Odessa, TX- Dos Amigos
May 24, 2019- Pryor, OK- Rocklahoma *
May 25, 2019- Mobile,AL- Soul Kitchen
May 26, 2019- Blackshear, GA- Moccasin Creek Off Road Park *
May 27, 2019- Cape Coral, FL- Dixie Roadhouse
May 29, 2019- New Orleans,LA- House Of Blues
May 31, 2019- Columbia,MO- Rose Park
Jun 1, 2019- Peoria,IL- Peoria Riverfront *
Jun 2,2019- Lincoln, NE- Royal Grove
Jun 4, 2019- Billings,MT- Pub Station
Jun 5, 2019- Boise, ID- The Knitting Factory
Jun 7, 2019- Garberville,CA- Richardson Grove Compound *
Jun 8, 2019- Reno, NV- Virginia Street Brewhouse
Jun 9, 2019- San Francisco, CA- Slim’s
Jun 11, 2019- Portland, OR- Hawthorne Theatre
Jun 12, 2019- Seattle, WA- El Corazon
Jun 14, 2019- Spokane, WA- Knitting Factory Concert House
Jun 18, 2019- Des Moines, IA- Wooly’s
Jun 20, 2019- Eau Claire, WI- The Metro
Jun 21, 2019- Clear Lake, IA- The Surf Ballroom
Jun 22, 2019- Madison, WI- Majestic Theater
Jun 23, 2019-Battle Creek, MI-The Music Factory
Jun 25, 2019- Indianapolis, IN- Deluxe at Old National Centre
Jun 26, 2019- Flint, MI- The Machine Shop
Jun 28, 2019- Drakesboro, KY- Gregory Lake ATV Park *
Jun 29, 2019- Champaign, IL- The City Center
Jun 30, 2019-Lafayette, IN-Lafayette Theatre
Jul 2,2019- Rochester, NY-  Platform 21
Jul 3, 2019- Montreal, QC- Fairmont Theatre
Jul 5, 2019- Point Pleasant, WV- Peck Fest *
Jul 6, 2019- Barrie, ON- Mavrick’s Music Hall
Jul 7, 2019- Oshawa, ON- The Musical Hall Concert Theater
Jul 9, 2019- Kingston, ON- Ale House
Jul 10, 2019- Waterloo, ON- Maxwell’s Concerts and Events
Jul 12, 2019- Taylorville,IL- Black Swan Mud Park *
Jul 13, 2019- Mansfield, OH- Mansfield Reformatory – INKcarceration *
Jul 17, 2019- Baltimore, MD- Baltimore Sound Stage *
Jul 19, 2019- Shakopee, MN-    Canterbury Park^
Jul 20, 2019- Poland, NY- Maximum Power Park *
Jul 2, 2019- Lancaster, PA- The Chameleon
Jul 23,2019-Greensboro, NC-The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
Jul 24, 2019- Newport News, VA- Boathouse Live *
Jul 26, 2019- Salisbury, MD- Wicomico Youth and Civic Center *
Jul 27, 2019- Philadelphia, PA- Theatre of Living Arts *
Jul 28, 2019- Bangor, ME- Darling Waterfront Pavilion *
Jul 30, 2019- Binghamton, NY- Touch of Texas
July 31,2019- Ottawa, ONT- Barrymore’s Music Hall
Aug 2, 2019- Leamington, ONT- Seacliff Park
Aug 3, 2019- Sault Sainte Marie, MI- Kewadin Casino
Aug 4, 2019- TBA
Aug 6, 2019- Toronto, ONT- Phoenix Concert Theatre
Aug 7, 2019- Peterborough, ON- The Venue
Aug 9, 2019- Neptune, NJ – Headliners
Aug 10, 2019- Uncasville, CT- Wolf Den – Mohegan Sun Casino
Aug 11, 2019-Clifton Park, NY-Upstate Concert Hall
Aug 13, 2019- Highland Park, IL- Ravinia Festival #
Aug 14, 2019- Highland Park, IL- Ravinia Festival #
Aug 15, 2019- Kansas City, MO- The Truman
Aug 29, 2019- Birmingham, AL- Iron City *
Aug 30, 2019- Florence, SC- River Neck Acres*
Aug 31, 2019- Waynesboro, TN- American Rebel Mud Park *
*Joyous Wolf do not appear
     # Opening for Nickelback
     ^ Opening for Aerosmith

Joyous Wolf will serve as support on select dates along.  Other dates on Buckcherry’s upcoming tour schedule will be opening dates for Aerosmith and Nickelback.  VIP packages for Buckcherry’s tour are available here.

Warpaint Tour 2019 is in support of Buckcherry’s latest album Warpaint, which was released March 8 through Century Media Records.  The album has so far produced the single ‘Bent.’

More information on Buckcherry’s new tour dates, single, album and more is available online now at:






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Pre-orders Open For Buckcherry’s New LP

Courtesy: Century Media

Pre-orders for Buckcherry’s new album are officially open.

Pre-orders officially opened Friday for the band’s forthcoming 12-song album Warpaint, which will be available on a variety of platforms, including but not limited to CD and vinyl.

Anyone who pre-orders the album now will receive an instant-grat download of the album’s lead single, ‘Bent.’ It can also be purchased online via iTunes, Apple Music and Amazon Music.  It is streaming online now via Spotify.

Another song featured in Warpaint is the band’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ hit single ‘Head Like A Hole.’  The video is streaming online now here.

Warpaint was produced by Mike Plotnikoff (Aerosmith, Skillet, Creed), who has previously worked with Buckcherry, including the band’s platinum-certified album 15.  That album produced the hit singles ‘Crazy Bitch’ and ‘Sorry.’

Buckcherry will launch its new tour in support of Warpaint Jan. 16 in San Juan Capistrano, CA. The tour is currently scheduled to run through May 5 in Montclair, CA.

Joyous Wolf will serve as support on the tour starting March 6, The band will tour on the strength of its latest single, ‘Mississippi Queen,’ which is featured in the band’s as-yet untitled Roadrunner Records debut album

The tour’s schedule, which is listed below, includes dates in North America and Europe. Tickets can be purchased here.

Jan 16 – San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House Concert Hall
Jan 17 – Santa Clarita, CA @ The Canyon
Jan 18 – Agoura Hills, CA @ The Canyon
Jan 19 – Pasadena, CA @ The Rose
Feb 5 – Manchester, UK @ O2 The Ritz
Feb 6 – Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy
Feb 8 – Kingston Upton Hull, UK @ Asylum
Feb 10 – West Midlands, UK @ West Mid
Feb 12 – Tyne And Wear, UK @ O2 Academy Newcastle
Feb 13 – Glasgow, UK @ Galvanizers
Feb 15 – Nottinghamshire, UK @ Rock City
Feb 16 – Oxfordshire, UK @ O2 Academy Oxford
Feb 17 – Norwich, UK @ The LCR
Feb 19 – Bo, Germany @ Zeche Bochum
Feb 20 – Berlin, Germany @ Markthalle Berlin
Feb 22 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Dynamo
Feb 23 – Ceriva, Italy @ Rock Planet
Feb 24 – Saarbrucken, Germany @ Garage Saarbucken
Mar 6 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Mar 8 – Vancouver BC @ Hard Rock Casino
Mar 10 – Edmonton ALB @ Century Casino
Mar 11 – Calgary ALB @ Palace Theatre
Mar 13 – Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings Theater
Mar 15 – La Crosse, WI @ Brickhouse
Mar 16 – Effingham, IL @ Effingham Performance Center
Mar 17 – Chesterfield, MI @ Diesel
Mar 19 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
Mar 20 – Dayton, OH @ Oddbodies
Mar 22 – Palatine, IL @ Dirty Nellies
Mar 23 – Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall
Mar 24 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Jergel’s
Mar 26 – Foxboro, MA @ Toby Keith’s
Mar 28 – Jim Thorpe, PA @ Penns Peak
Mar 29 – New York, NY@ Irving Plaza
Mar 30 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Wally’s
Mar 31 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
April 2 – Newport News, VA @ Boathouse
April 4 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Arizona Bike Week – Westworld of Scottsdale
April 7 – Jacksonville, NC @ Tarheel
April 9 – Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
April 11 – Greenville, SC @ Firmament
April 12 – Knoxville, TN @ Cotton Eyed Joe
April 13 – Tampa, FL @ Fergs Live
April 14 – Jacksonville, FL @ Surfer Bar
April 16 – Pensacola. FL @ Vinyl
April 17 – Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room
April 19 – Memphis, TN @ Graceland Soundstage
April 20 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
April 22 – St. Louis, IL @ Pops
April 23 – Springfield, MO @ The Complex
April 24 – Angola, IN @ The Eclectic Room
April 28 – Colony, TX @ Lava Cantina
April 30 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Studio
May 1 – Denver, CO @ Harry’s Hideaway
May 3 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Royal Bar
May 4 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
May 5 – Montclair, CA @ Canyon Club

More information on Warpaint is available online now along with all of Buckcherry’s latest news and more at:






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The Amsterdam Red Light District’s Latest LP Proves Again This Band Belongs In The Mainstream

Courtesy: Red Light Records

The Amsterdam Red Light District has finally returned. Early this month, the band released its latest album Sapere Aude. The band’s third full-length studio recording, this 10-song record is another solid new effort from the French four-piece and another work that shows the independent music scene has just as much to offer audiences as the mainstream realm. This is made obvious right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Nobody Moves Like You.’ It will be discussed shortly. ‘Carry On,’ the album’s mid-point — and possibly the album’s best offering –also shows what makes this record so strong. It will be discussed later. ‘Evil Stakeholders,’ the album’s penultimate track, is yet another example of what makes this album so impressive. It will also be discussed later. Of course it is not the last of the songs included in this album that shows its strengths. The other seven songs included in the album’s body are strong points in their own right here. Those songs, together with the works directly noted here, the whole of the album makes this latest effort from TARLD an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new independent albums and hard rock/metal albums.

Sapere Aude, the latest full-length studio recording from France’s The Amsterdam Red Light District, is easily one of this year’s top new independent albums and one of its top new hard rock and metal albums. It is another of those albums that shows — over the course of its 35-minute run — that independent bands deserve just as much attention and credit as their more well-known counterparts. This is proven in this album right off the top in the album’s opener, ‘Nobody Moves Like You.’ In regards to its musical arrangement, it wastes no time at all grabbing listeners. Rather, the band launches almost immediately into the guitar-driven opus and keeps the energy full throttle right to the song’s end. That energy is a great compliment to the song’s lyrical content. That’s because,as it would seem, the song is one of those works that centers on a woman. That is inferred as front man Elio Sxone sings, “I see a smile growing up on your face/You can close your eyes, but your whole body shakes/Stop looking at me like this/And let your body feel the heat.” He also notes at one point in the song, “Nobody moves like you/You used to be so cool/What the f*** happened to you/You don’t feel different/But you don’t feel the same/I’ll give you something you don’t want to forget.” Considering all of this, the song seems to come across as the song’s subject singing to a woman to whom he perhaps had a connection but maybe no longer does. The Sxone’s energy in his vocal delivery, coupled with that of the song’s arrangement, hints at some pretty strong emotions of frustration and sarcasm; sort of as if this is someone saying, look at what you lost. It’s really an interesting work and certainly a strong first impression from the band this time out. It is only one of the album’s strong points, too. ‘Carry On’ is another of the album’s strongest offerings, if not its strongest.

‘Carry On’ is such an interesting work because as with the album’s opener, the pairing of its musical energy and lyrical content creates yet another powerful overall statement. As with ‘Nobody Moves Like You,’ this adrenaline-fueled rocker is very much a guitar-driven piece whose foundation is only strengthened even more by its rhythm section and Sxone’s powerhouse vocals. It is a song that will certainly appeal to fans of Stone Sour and Buckcherry. That sounds like an offbeat comparison, but those are the first bands to come to this critic’s mind. Interestingly enough, those influences work quite well here in keeping listeners engaged and entertained. This time out, the song seems centered on someone who has just been absolutely beaten down by the world and is struggling just to keep it together emotionally. This is inferred as Sxone sings, “I’m not the man I used to be/I am the one you never wanted to see/It’s not that I don’t like you, baby/It’s just that I hate everybody.” The seeming frustration doesn’t end here. He goes on to sing, “It comes alive when I lose control/My state of mind is so unstable/The only thing I know/You have to stop yelling at me when I try to talk/If you think I’m in trouble/Have you ever felt so paranoid?/The only thing I know/If something strange happens to me/You’ve got to keep control/This world makes me feel like I’m losing myself/If you’ve got a solution/I don’t need your help/Carry on.” Again, this seems to hint at someone who has just been torn down emotionally and psychologically. This is inferred even more in the song’s final verse in which Sxone sings, “I promise I’m not as bad as you think/If I don’t know myself, how can you know me anyway/My clear mind is doomed/F****** locked in a room.” This is a pretty strong statement, and one that is certain to reach plenty of listeners. What makes all of this so much more interesting here is that it’s not one of those brooding, goth songs that it could be, considering this wording. Instead, Sxone and his band mates have crafted a song that captures the frustration of someone angry over dealing with this seeming instability, someone who wants some form of stability. This makes the song all the more engaging for audiences, and in turn all the more clear an example of what makes the album in whole stand out. Even as strong as it is, it is not the last example of what makes Sapere Aude another enjoyable effort from TARLD. ‘Evil Stakeholders’ is one more example of what makes the album so impressive.

‘Evil Stakeholders’ speaks for itself just from its title alone. This is a sociopolitical commentary on the current state of the world. It expresses both musically and lyrically, anger and frustration at what the world’s political and other leaders have caused to happen to the planet’s people. Sxone sings here against a metalcore style arrangement, “I try to understand what they’re telling me on TV/Remote control in my hand/Are they watching me?/Spending our time like a flock of sheep/Mind your step/Keep your head up and follow me/Can’t you see that they try to split the world/Spreading their words/Tell us we can’t live together/How can’t you see/Look at me/I cannot breathe anymore/Who is right, who is wrong/How many tons of evil stakeholders/Now don’t you feel paranoid?” He goes on in similar fashion from here on out, even indicting those leaders for trying to bribe the masses to get the votes. Once more, Sxone and company have crafted another powerful statement here, a statement that is just as relevant today as it has ever been. A statement that likely will be relevant for decades to come, sadly. That statement, when coupled with its musical counterpart, goes a long way toward showing even more why the song stands out in this record, and why the record in whole stands out. It is a work that both musically and lyrically is certain to appeal to audiences around the world, yet still not the last of the album’s notable works. ‘Need,’ with its Prong-esque arrangement and commentary on capitalism and consumerism is another stand out effort, as is ‘Over The Fence’ with its defiant call to action against those who control the world and ‘Wild Life,’ which seems to encourage individuality versus being just another drone in the masses. Between those songs, the works more directly noted here and the remaining four songs not discussed here, it becomes clear what makes Sapere Aude a strong new offering from a great independent hard rock band.

Sapere Aude, the third full-length studio recording from The Amsterdam Red Light District, is a powerful new effort from the French hard rock outfit. It shows over the course of its 10-song, 35-minute run that independent acts deserve just as much credit and attention as any major name band. That is proven time and again here, as already noted, beginning with the album’s opener, which seems to center on a broken relationship that is anything but brooding. Rather it is empowering. ‘Carry On’ is another of those works that could have been brooding as it seems to center on personal emotional and psychological strife. Instead of being that brooding work that it could have been, is another impacting work that is certain to give listeners their own strength. That is because it lets them know they are not alone in their struggles. ‘Evil Stakeholders,’ with its blatant commentary on what’s happened to the world thanks to its political and business leaders and its equally stinging musical arrangement, helps the album stand out, too. There’s also the commentary on consumerism in ‘Need’ coupled with its Prong-esque musical arrangement, ‘Over The Fence’ with its defiant, fist-pumping call to action by the world’s people and ‘Wild Life,’ which seems to encourage people to stand up for themselves rather than just being another number, that stands out here. These songs, and the album’s other offerings taken into consideration, make Sapere Aude a great new effort from The Amsterdam Red Light District and — again — more proof of why independent acts deserve just as much attention and credit as their more well-known mainstream counterparts. It also collectively proves this record to be easily one of this year’s top new independent albums and hard rock/metal offerings. It is available now and can be ordered direct via the band’s website. more information on Sapere Aude is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:




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‘Give Up The Ghost’ Is A Solid Start For Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights


Courtesy: High Road Publicity

A little more than a month ago, a little band by the name of Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights released its debut EP Give Up The Ghost. The five track record is the type of presentation that shows how easily today’s unsigned band could be tomorrow’s next big mainstream hit.  It shows this through the diversity in its musical arrangements and the depth of its collective lyrical content.  From the infectious southern rock riffs and happy-go-lucky lyrics of ‘Hollywood’ to the Foo Fighters-esque arrangement and equally playful lyrics of ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ to the Jimmy Eat World style arrangement and thoughtful lyrics of ‘Burn It Down’ and beyond, this record is a solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It is a record that leaves listeners hoping this band won’t give up the ghost any time soon.

Paul Johnson & The About Last Night’s debut EP Give Up The Ghost is a strong start for the Mississippi-based unsigned rock outfit.  That is due to the solid mix of musical genres on which the band touches over the course of the record’s five-song, 18-minute run and its lyrical content.  The record’s penultimate song ‘Hollywood’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement is easily likened to arrangements composed by Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry, The Black Crowes and other similar acts.  Band namesake and vocalist Paul Johnson even conjures thoughts of Buckcherry front man Josh Todd (at least in this critic’s ears) through his vocal delivery here.  When that is set alongside the amalgam of musical influences evident in the song’s arrangement, it makes the arrangement instantly infectious and certain to be a fan favorite.

The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes it notable.  Its lyrical content, like its musical arrangement also conjures thoughts of the aforementioned acts and will put a smile on any listener’s face with its tribute to all of the things that make the south great.  That tribute is evident as Johnson sings, “You know I like to see my toes in the sand/You couldn’t drag me away from Dixieland/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood/Keep me in the south where the weather is good/Southern girls doin’ like they should/Don’t take me/Don’t take me to Hollywood.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I always see how they like to put us down/Don’t really care for the big town/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood.”  Plain and simple, this is a tribute to the band’s home state and region, being that the band is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  That upbeat, playful tribute, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement makes the song in whole one of the record’s best offerings if not its best.  Collectively, they make this song a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost such a standout offering and solid start from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It is only one of the songs that serves to support these statements.  ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another song that shows why this record stands out.

‘Hollywood’ with its simple title, lyrical content and musical approach is a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost a solid first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It musical arrangement and lyrical alike are both so infectious thanks to their simplicity.  As impressive as it is, it is only one of the songs included in this record that makes the EP stand out.  ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another example of what makes this record worth hearing.  As with ‘Hollywood,’ that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The alignment of the song’s guitar and keyboards couples with Johnson’s vocal delivery to instantly conjure thoughts of Foo Fighters.  Drummer Zach Lewis’ time keeping adds to that comparison even more.  From start to finish, the song’s arrangement easily keeps listeners engaged.  It is only one part of what makes the song so enjoyable.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

Unlike the lyrical theme presented in ‘Hollywood,’ this song’s lyrical theme clearly centers on a woman.  That is inferred easily in the song’s chorus in which Johnson and his band mates sing, “She’s in love/With a fast car/Burn out…./She’s a new American story…little worry.  Deciphering the full extent of the words is difficult without lyrics to which one can refer.  However, between this and other elements that can be deciphered, it becomes clear that Johnson and company are singing about a woman.  That is especially certified in the song’s final moments as the band sings in unison, “She keeps my fantasies alive”  All things considered it is clear that the band is paying tribute to a woman or a certain type of woman.  It stands completely apart from the theme of ‘Hollywood’ and the rest of the record’s songs, and is just as upbeat as those other themes.  Keeping that in mind, when this tribute is set alongside the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the pairing makes the song in whole stand solidly on its own merits; merits that make the song yet another example of what makes the EP such a surprise.  It is not the last of the songs that stands out on the record either.  ‘Burn It Down’ is notable, too.

‘Hollywood’ and ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ both show in their own way that Give Up The Ghost is one of this year’s top new EPs.  The songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes stand out from one another just as much as they do the record’s other featured songs.  As much as they stand out, they are not its only key compositions.  ‘Burn It Down’ is one more of the record’s key songs.  As with the previously discussed songs, that is due in part to the song’s arrangement.  This time around, listeners minds will go to Jimmy Eat World in listening to this arrangement right from the song’s outset.  This critic easily could be wrong, but the song’s lyrical content seems like a coming-of-age story of sorts.  That is inferred as Johnson sings in the song’s lead verse, “I dropped out of school to find my way/A dirty kid in football games/A loser on the street/Had a hunger for the underneath/A family divorced too much to bear/The misinformed will meet you there/Like the liars and the delphines/Is there nothing left for a kid to believe…the pain of knowing I may never feel better off than where I started.”  The story continues in the song’s second verse and ends with a mention of a “21-gun salute to disobey” in the finale.  The song’s chorus, in which the song’s subject seemingly looks back on the past in another way, adds even more depth to the song.  When this is all considered along with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song’s musical and lyrical content makes fully clear why this song stands out.  Collectively, the depth of that musical and lyrical content—and its distinct identity separate from ‘Hollywood,’ ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ and the record’s other two songs—shows even more why the EP in whole stands out, too.  When it is joined with all of the EP’s other offerings, the record in whole proves, once more, why it is one of this year’s top new EPs, an equally solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights, and a record that will leave listeners hoping the band won’t “give up the ghost” anytime soon.

Give Up The Ghost is a surprisingly impressive first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  The record only spans five songs and 18-minutes, but in that run, the record exhibits great musical and lyrical diversity.  From start to finish, each song presents its own identity, separate from its counterparts.  From fun-loving to truly in-depth, the songs present a wide range of emotions in both music and lyrics.  All things considered, the record proves to be one of the year’s best new EPs, and gives hope that the band won’t “give up the ghost” any time soon.  More information on Give Up The Ghost is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:










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