Faith & Scars’ Debut LP Presents Plenty Of Firepower

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent rock band Faith & Scars’ debut album Revolver officially drops today.  The eight-song record runs only 26-minutes, but in that time, it proves itself a strong debut from the band.  That is proven in part through the record’s collective musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  For all that the arrangements do for the album’s presentation, it does bring about at least one concern – its sequencing.  The sequencing does not make the album a failure, but is something that cannot be ignored.  It will be addressed a little later.  The concern raised by Revolver’s sequencing is its only real notable negative.  Its impact is lessened through an examination of the record’s lyrical content, which when coupled with the musical arrangements, makes for even more appeal.  Considering the noted appeal and the one minor concern, Revolver still proves itself a work that has plenty of its own firepower.

Faith & Scars’ debut album (and second studio recording – the band’s first studio recording was its 2016 EP Highway Ride) is a positive start for the up-and-coming independent rock band.  That is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are largely southern and pure, guitar rock-tinged compositions.  They are easily comparable to works from the likes of Sons of Texas, Charm City Devils, and Black Heart Saints.  That is clear in listening to the twang in the guitar line and the heaviness in the drums.  Front man Roger Glenn’s vocal delivery even has that certain southern rock twang in his delivery style, adding to that noted comparison.  The more modern guitar rock sound makes itself known early on slightly in ‘Rain.’  Right from the song’s opening bars and its heavy intro, listeners get thoughts of Motley Crue.  That influence gives way as the song proceeds, to more of the noted southern rock sound before returning to a more modern rock sound in the choruses.  What’s interesting to note here is that the more modern rock sound in those choruses is comparable to works from Saliva.  Audiences get even more of that Saliva-type sound in ‘Breathe,’ the album’s midpoint.  The Charm City Devils comparison is just as evident in the song’s arrangement as the Saliva influence, adding to its appeal.  ‘Never The Same’ also boasts the noted Saliva influence.  As the album reaches its end, audiences get more of the Motley Crue influence, except in this case, it is in the more subdued fashion akin to that band’s more reserved works.  There is also a slight hint of a Zac Brown Band influence here thanks to the subtlety in the guitar, bass and drums.  Looking back through all of this, what audiences get in Revolver’s musical arrangements is a collection of compositions that gives them a solid range of influences and styles.  That in itself makes for plenty of reason in itself for audiences to hear this record.  For all that the record’s musical content does to help its presentation, the record does raise one concern.  That concern is its sequencing.

Revolver’s sequencing poses a problem that one cannot ignore, yet in the album’s defense, it is not such that it makes the album a failure.  The sequencing proves a problem primarily because of the placement of just one song – ‘Lightning.’  ‘Lightning’ closes out the album and is the record’s sole reserved moment.  Even ‘Never The Same,’ which does have its own slightly reserved points, is not as pulled back as this song’s arrangement.  Every other moment in this eight-song record is so adrenaline-fueled.  So to go from having so much energy throughout to the stark, sudden change in the record’s finale is just uncomfortable.  Listeners will find themselves wanting to accept the song’s placement, but it is just so difficult.  Looking at the album from a purely observational standpoint, it would have made so much more sense to made the song the record’s midpoint.  Had the band (and whomever made the final decision on the sequencing) gone that route, the album would have been a perfect start for the band.  That is especially the case in considering the overall structure of ‘Never The Same.’  The way in which that song balances its more fiery and more reserved moments and the way in which it closes would have made for a much smoother finale.  Of course hindsight is 20/20.  Again, this is a concern that listeners cannot ignore, but even considering that, is not enough to ruin the album’s presentation.  The record’s lyrical content couples with its musical arrangement to make for even more appeal.

The lyrical content featured in Revolver is important to note in examining the album because of its accessibility.  Case in point is the lyrical content featured in the album’s lead single, ‘Breathe.’  The band talked about that content in a prepared statement back in March when the band premiered the song and its video. 

“In a time where the world seems so divided, ‘Breathe’ is a song meant to crate hope for anyone who is struggling,” the statement reads.  “We want to let everyone know that they are not alone in the trials they face.  We hope that we can lead by example and show that even when life brings you to your lowest point, you can still rise up and live a life worth leading.”

On another note, audiences get a southern pride anthem of sorts in ‘Nothin’ Wrong.’  Glenn sings in the song, that “there ain’t nothin’ wrong wit ha rebel yell/Take a shot of whiskey/And raise some hell.”  There are also mentions of enjoying trips to Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, etc.  Again, this is a full-on tribute to all things southern.  It will definitely get its share of audiences putting their horns in the air.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important.  ‘Long Way Home’ presents yet another way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important.

‘Long Way Home’ is a song that centers on one’s self-care, according to a statement that the band released upon the debut of the single’s video.

“We wrote ‘Long Way Home’ as a reminder to remain grounded, in tune with yourself, and focused in the midst of the storm that is life,” the statement reads in part. “Oftentimes life will strike us like a tidal wave. Saying it can be hard to endure is an understatement. The lyrics promote positive state of mind, & self caring. We believe that, especially in the unknown, taking that extra moment to breathe, relax, and re-align with oneself is crucial to maintaining a positive mindset.”

The noted statement is illustrated as Glenn sings about being wary “of the whiskey sunrise,” “the blind man,” and encouraging people to heed the man’s words.  The added note of taking “the long way home/Back to the place where I’m from” is, in its own way, a reminder that people need to keep their priorities in order.  It echoes the comments in the statement.  Keeping that in mind along with the equally accessible themes in the other noted songs’ lyrical content (and that of the rest of the album’s songs) the album’s lyrical content in whole leaves zero doubt about its importance to the record’s whole.  When the record’s lyrical content is considered along with its companion musical content, that collective content in whole counters the record’s one concern to make the presentation in whole a still positive work from Faith & Scars.

Faith & Scars’ debut album Revolver is a record whose presentation hits the mark in nearly every way.  That is due in part to its accessible musical arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal widely to southern rock fans, those of classic and even more modern rock sounds.  It couples with the record’s equally accessible lyrical content to make this record quite a positive presentation even despite the concern raised in the album’s sequencing.  Keeping all of this in mind, Revolver is a work that is a near perfect first full-length recording from Faith & Scars.  The record is available now.

More information on Faith & Scars is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.faithandscars.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FaithandScarsOfficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/faithandscars

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Astros, Dodgers To Close Out Two-Game Series On Sept. 13 Edition Of ESPN’s ‘SNB’

Courtesy: ESPN

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros will face off live next week live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.

The cross-conference matchup, scheduled to take place Sept. 13, is the second in a scheduled two-game series between the teams that will take place in Los Angeles.  The first of the games is scheduled to take place Sept. 12.

Coverage of the Sept. 13 game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET.  Matt Vasgersian will anchor the broadcast.  World Series Champion and ESPN analyst Mark Teixeira, along with fellow analyst Tim Kurkjian, will provide additional commentary.

Roxy Bernstein will have the call for the game on ESPN Radio.  Analyst Chris Singleton will provide additional commentary.

ESPN’s Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet will precede the broadcast, starting at 7 p.m.

As with every other game, ESPN’s Sept. 13 broadcast will also simulcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and online through the ESPN App.

More information on ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

 

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.

 

Devilskin To Stream 2018 Homegrown Festival Performance Tonight

Devilskin is doing its part to help Americans get through the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

The band will air its 2018 performance at the Live at Homegrown Festival at 8 p.m. ET tonight.  The performance will stream on the band’s official YouTube channel.  It was captured for VR by New Zealand-based company Orbe.

The special recording style means audiences can take in the concert in 4K 60fps using the YouTube App on a VR headset, tablet, smartphone, smart TV or on your computer’s browser.  For those audiences who do not own a VR headset, the ability to pan and tilt the view 360-degrees is still there, for a fully immersive experience.

 

 

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

After taking in the concert, audiences can also enjoy three songs from Devilskin’s forthcoming album Red, which is scheduled for independent release April 3.  The album has spawned the singles ‘All Fall Down,’ ‘Corrode,’ and ‘Endo.’  The album’s full track listing is noted below.

 

Track List:
1. Do You See Birds
2. All Fall Down
3. Corrode
4. Eyes Red Heavy
5. Same Life
6. The Victor
7. Bllod & Bone
8. Endo
9. Bright Eyes
10. Sweet Release
11. Be Like the River
12. Everybody’s High But Me

 

 

Pre-orders and Pre-saves are open now for Red here.

More information on Red is available along with all of Devilskin’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://devilskin.co.nz

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/devilskinNZ

 

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

Willie Nelson’s New LP “Rides” Its Way To The Top Of 2019’s Top New Country/Bluegrass/Americana Albums

Courtesy: SMG

This has been a productive year for the realms of country, bluegrass and Americana.  The genres are their own, but are so closely akin to one another that they are really one in the same.  To that end, the three genres deserve to be combined into one on any critic’s year-end list.  That is what this critic has done and is doing again this year.

This year’s list of the top new Country/Bluegrass/Americana records features a number of familiar names and some who might be slightly less familiar, but are still names worth getting to know.  There are also some compilations featured on this critic’s list this year.  From The Magpie Salute to Son Volt to Willie Nelson and the Carter family and more, this year’s list is full of music that fans of all three genres will enjoy.  As with every previous list, this collection features this critic’s Top 10 titles and five additional honorable mention title for a total of 15 titles.Each title is deserving of its own accolades as there is no negative title.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 Country/Bluegrass/Americana albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS/AMERICANA ALBUMS

  1. Willie Nelson — Ride Me Back Home
  2. George Strait — Honky Tonk Time Machine
  3. The Magpie Salute — High Water II
  4. The Shootouts — Quick Draw
  5. The Vegabonds — V
  6. Old Salt Union — Where The Dogs Don’t Bite
  7. Country Music: A Film By Ken Burns
  8. The Carter Family — Across Generations
  9. Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues — Roots & BranchesThe Songs of Little Walter
  10. Steve Earl & The Dukes — Guy
  11. World Music Network — The Rough Guide To The Roots of Country Music
  12. Zac Brown Band — Owl
  13. Mandolin Orange — Tides of a Teardrop
  14. Michael Cleveland — Tail Fiddler
  15. Hootie & The Blowfish — Imperfect Circle

 

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