‘Kids Against The Monsters’ Proves It Was Mostly Worth The Wait

Courtesy: Better Noise Music

A little more than a year ago, Hyro The Hero announced to the world that he was working on a new project dubbed Kids Against The Monsters. The record was originally scheduled for release last year, but that obviously did not happen. Why that is the case is anyone’s guess. That is beside the point. The announcement came as part of a bigger announcement that he had released a new single titled ‘Legendary.’ Fast forward to this weekend. The long-awaited project (originally called a “mixtape,” now being marketed as an EP) was finally released Friday. The four-song record is an enjoyable albeit imperfect presentation from the up-and-coming rap-rock star. To its positive, it features three songs that the rap-rock star (a.k.a. Hyron Louis Fenton, Jr.) crafted in 2021. On the opposite side, it is lacking other songs that he crafted last year. This will be examined a little later. One last item to note is the record’s sequencing, which will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Kids Against The Monsters. All things considered, they make a record that although imperfect, gives hope for Hyro The Hero’s next record.

Kids Against The Monsters, the long-awaited “mixtape” project from Hyro The Hero, is a mostly welcome filler between his then latest album, 2019’s Flagged Channel, and his next studio recording. Hopefully that new record will come sooner rather than later, but that is entirely up to him. The record works in part because of the songs that it features. Four songs make up the EP’s body. They include the EP’s title song, which features a guest appearance by Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor, and three singles that he released last year, ‘FU2 (ft. AJ Channer),’ ‘We Believe (ft. David Draiman)’ and ‘Fight (ft. Chad Grey).’ All four songs are impressive in their own right, because each offers audiences something different from its counterparts. The EP’s opener, for example, is a heavily blues-tinged rocker that conjures thoughts of songs from Imagine Dragons and others of that ilk. Taylor’s vocals are almost indiscernible to be honest. The subtle use of the turntables and the beats makes for such a great hip-hop vibe. The whole here makes the song so enjoyable in its own right.

‘FU2 (ft. AJ Channer)’ takes audiences in a completely different direction with its high energy approach and its socially conscious lyrical theme. Fenton points the finger at what the world has become in the song’s lyrical theme. That and the energy in the intense nu-metal approach is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained. Again, it is the polar opposite of the EP’s opener, and that is a very good thing.

‘We Believe (ft. David Draiman)’ takes Fenton’s modern rap leanings and pairs it with a melodic hard rock approach to make the song enjoyable right from the get go. The heavy bass used in the verses clearly exhibit those hip-hop leanings. Draiman’s vocals make for a positive counterpoint to those of Fenton here, making for even more engagement and entertainment. The whole becomes a song that holds its own identity separate from the record’s first two songs, again showing the importance of the record’s featured songs.

‘Fight (ft. Chad Gray)’ is yet another change of pace sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained. That is because it takes audiences back to the sounds and stylistic approaches that made Flagged Channel so enjoyable. The addition of Gray’s vocals to the song makes for another welcome contrast to those of Fenton, in turn adding even more to the song’s appeal. The song’s lyrical theme, which is yet another socially conscious message, adds even more to the song’s appeal.

For all of the enjoyment that the songs featured in this record guarantees, there could have been more music included in the EP. That is because it does not feature all of the songs that Fenton crafted last year. He also released another single, titled ‘Retaliation Generation’ alongside Ice Nine Kills front man Spencer Charnas. That song and ‘Legendary’ are each enjoyable in their own right because of their own musical and lyrical content. Why Fenton decided not to included the songs in this record is also anyone’s guess. It would have brought the record’s total song count to six, and in turn made the record even more enjoyable. That is because they are just as unlike one another as they are from the songs featured in the EP and as they are from one another. So to that end, not including these two songs in the EP is obviously not enough to make the EP a failure, but it certainly would have made the EP’s presentation so much more positive.

Keeping this in mind, there is still one more item to examine. That item is the record’s sequencing. There are, again, only four songs featured in the EP, but their sequencing ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the songs themselves. That is because from beginning to end, it ensures the record’s energy remains stable even as the song styles and sounds change. The whole thing opens with the noted bluesy hip-hop opus before really picking things up in ‘FU2’. The energy keeps flowing in ‘We Believe’ and continues in ‘Fight’. In other words, from start to end, the EP’s sequencing sees the record interesting because of its role in the general effect, doing even more to keep things interesting for listeners. When this is considered along with the songs themselves, the record proves even more worth hearing.

Kids Against The Monsters, the newly released EP from Hyro The Hero, is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new EPs. That is due in part to its featured songs. The songs featured in the record are singles that he released last year. Each is different from one another in its sound and style while their lyrical themes will resonate easily with any listener in their own way. From the socially conscious to the more personal, each theme has something worthwhile to offer. While the songs featured in the record do plenty to make the EP appealing, the lack of two other songs that he released last year detracts from the record’s presentation. It is not enough to make the EP a failure, but the record would certainly have benefited from their inclusion. That aside, the EP is still mostly successful. Its sequencing ensures that in its own right. That is because it makes sure the record’s energy stays stable even as the sounds, styles and themes change from one song to the next. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the EP one more of the best of its field so far this year.

Kids Against The Monsters is available now. More information on Hyro The Hero’s new EP is available online now along with all of Hyro The Hero’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.hyrothehero.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/HyroTheHero

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/hyrothehero

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.

Audiences Are Sure To ‘Remember’ A Killer’s Confession’s New Album

Courtesy: Wake Up! Music Rocks/Wake Up! Music

A wait of more than two years for A Killer’s Confession’s new album finally ended Friday when the band released its new record, Remember.  The record’s release came after almost a year of buildup that started in January with the release of the album’s title track/opener.  It is one of a number of singles that the record produced, too.  In all, the record produced no fewer than six singles, which is more than half the record’s 11 total songs.  It is just one of the most notable of the record’s songs, too.  The band’s latest song, ‘Tell Your Soul,’ which features a guest appearance from Chad Gray (Hellyeah/Mudvayne), is another example of how much the band’s new album has to offer audiences.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Trapped Inside,’ which comes early in the record’s run, is yet another example of the record’s strength.  It will also be discussed later.  When all three of these songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s singles and the rest of the record’s songs, the whole makes Remember a presentation that AKC’s fans and that hard rock/metal fans alike are sure to remember.

A Killer’s Confession’s latest album, Remember, is a strong new offering from the band.  The band’s third album, it has proven so positive over the course of this year through all six singles that it has produced, not the least of which is its title track/opener.  The band debuted the single and its companion video in January.  The song stands out in part through its musical arrangement, which boasts a sort of blues based hard rock sound and stylistic approach.  That sound and approach pairs with what also sounds like a bit of an aggro-rock syle approach and sound for a whole that is immediately infectious.  The appeal ensures from the song’s musical arrangement is just part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical counterpart makes for its own appeal.

According to statements made by front man Waylon Reavis at the time of the song’s premiere, its lyrical theme delivers a message of taking life into full account.  He said of the theme, “Sometimes in life, people are quick to forget the good and the bad.  We all need to be reminded from time to time where the line in the sand is truly drawn.”  It comes across as a sort of statement about deciding where we stand in life by seeing both sides of things.  This is inferred right from the song’s outset as Reavis sings, “They say that blood is thicker than water/Seems yours is running a little thin/Or did you forget/I’m calling out from my soul/Waiting for a sign to show me/That you’re now alone/Do you feel nothing is owed/Now that you have played me/Empty/Draning me low/Won’t turn my blind side to your knife any longer/But every scar carved on my back/makes me stronger/’Cause I will bow to you for never/And you know my name/I hope that you remember/I’ll bow to you for never/I hope that you remember.”  The message continues in the song’s second verse as Reavis sings, “Brace for the truth to be told/Trapped in your own web/That you have spun/I watch the venom take hold/And once the poison spreads/The damage can’t be undone.” This statement of confidence and defiance translates well, Reavis’ statement about the song’s lyrical message.  This is someone who has seen his/her own good while seeing the bad in another instead of just being blind.  Once we see the good and bad in life, we can differentiate and see that proverbial line in the sand and know where we stand.  That fully accessible statement, together with the energy in the song’s infectious musical arrangement, makes the song in whole that much more powerful in its presentation.  It leaves no doubt as to the importance of the song to the record’s overall body, and is just one of the most notable of the record’s songs.  ‘Tell Your Soul,’ the album’s latest single, is another way in which the album exhibits its strength.

‘Tell Your Soul’ features a guest vocal appearance by Chad Gray (Hellyeah/Mudvayne) and is arguably the strongest of the album’s entries both musically and lyrically.  The contemplative, melodic hard rock sound and approach taken to this song’s arrangement is so rich and so deep.  Any active/modern rock station that is not currently running this song is missing and out and doing a disservice to its audiences.  It is a perfect fit to those stations’ play lists.  That is especially evidenced through the contrast of the song’s deeply contemplative mood in its verses and more fiery approach in its choruses.  That contrast becomes even more impacting when it is considered along with the song’s lyrical theme.

According to comments made by Reavis, the song’s lyrical theme centers on “forgiveness and acceptance of one’s own shortcomings.”  That in itself is so powerful.  We all need to remember that no one is perfect, even as much as some would try to have others believe.  We need to accept our imperfections and live with them, and become better through them.  The way in which Reavis delivers that message in the song’s lyrics is unique in itself.  If not for that explanation, one would have thought the theme would have been more about a relationship or simply about finding confidence in one’s own self following a bad relationship.  This as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I feel like we really don’t know/Wasting away till it’s gone/The moments in time always fuel the fire/Watching the embers alone/And I won’t belong to you now/I feel like it’s over/So take this down/Why am I afraid when I’m gone/I don’t know/I won’t relive our mistakes/I will be what you’ve needed/To face the day/Now I understand/It’s not your pain/Don’t you think/I’m far from wherever you are/You can’t be what you wanted without the scars/It’s not your fault/Don’t you know/Tell your soul.”  That questioning of “Why am I afraid when I’m wrong” plays into Reavis’ statement.  This is someone asking himself/herself whey he/she feels so bad about getting things wrong.  This, before he/she goes on to admit to himself/herself, “I won’t relive our mistakes.”  This is that moment of realization that being wrong and making mistakes is normal and part of being human.  It is that acceptance of this realization.  Once people realize that mistakes happen and that no one is perfect, as this person did, they will hopefully accept it and simply live life.  When this is considered along with the mood that the song’s arrangement sets, the whole makes the song overall that much more accessible and appealing.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Trapped Inside’ is just as much of note as ‘Tell Your Soul’ and ‘Remember.’

‘Trapped Inside’ stands out among Remember’s songs in part through its musical arrangement.  The arrangement is unique from its counterparts in this record what with its melodic hard rock approach.  Yes, ‘Tell Yourself’ is a melodic hard rock style composition, but it is quite unlike this song.  In this case, the song maintains its heaviness and sets a completely different mood.  The mood in question is brooding for the most part, until the song reaches its powerful bridge, which features such a heavy breakdown.  The use of the keyboards in the introduction to the verses helps set the mood as the song’s subject contemplates his/her inner demons in the song’s lyrical content.  The heavy guitars that are used throughout do just as much to help illustrate the battles that the song’s subject faces with those demons.  Looking at all of this, the contemplative, brooding mood established in this song matches well with the song’s lyrical theme.

That lyrical theme is made clear as Reavis sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I don’t want anyone to know this/But I don’t think anyone will notice/Even in a room full of people/Somewhere in the hay/I’m the needle/Feeling so small and helpless/Running down halls that are endless/Listen for a voice in the echo/Trying to find a sound that I might know/I know there’s no way out/I’m tapped inside/Time is f****** with my mind/Truth hides within the lies/And it will decide when its over/Fate tears down what I create/While laughing in my face/And it will decide when it’s over/I’m trapped inside.”  The brooding continues in the song’s second verse as Reavis sings, “I used to be alive and connected/Now I’m just a pit of rejection/Always had a rhyme or a reason/Now I’m just cold/Yeah, I’m freezing/It’s hard to keep warm when you’re empty/I’m waiting for the world to forget me/Tired of the self-isolation/Trying but there’s no motivation/I know there’s no way out/I’m trapped inside.”  This is some heavy content, but the thing is that being so heavy and clear in that heaviness, it will connect to plenty of audiences.  It will help others who are fighting those personal emotional battles have a connection and in turn, the strength to push on and persevere, knowing they are not alone in those battles.  That, together with the emotional heaviness in the song’s arrangement, makes clearer why this song is so important to the album’s presentation.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of that content makes Remember another strong new offering from A Killer’s Confession.

A Killer’s Confession’s brand new album, Remember, is a positive new offering from the band.  The band’s third album, it is a mostly impressive follow-up to the band’s sophomore record, The Indifference of Good Men (2019).  The record’s strength comes through its musical and lyrical content alike.  That is evidenced through all of the songs examined here, as well as the rest of the album’s songs.  When all of that content is considered together, the whole makes the album overall a record that audiences are certain to remember.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

Remember is available now through Wake Up! Music Rocks/Wake Up! Music.  More information on the album is available along with all of A Killer’s Confession’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.akillersconfession.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/akillersconfession

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WaylonAKC

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

A Killer’s Confession Front Man Waylon Discusses His Band’s Tour, New Album In New Interview With Phil’s Picks

A Killer’s Confession released its latest single, ‘Tell Your Soul’ recently. The single features the band working with Chad Gray (Hellyeah, Mudvayne) and Sahaj Ticotin (RA). Its release came amid AKC’s tour with Gemini Syndrome. Front man Waylon Reavis took some time out of his busy schedule recently to talk with Phil’s Picks about the band’s forthcoming album, life on the road in more. The whole interview is available to read below.

PP: The past year or so has been really eventful for you and your band.  Between all of the new singles that you all have released – the latest scheduled for release this week – a new album on the way, and all of the touring, you’ve clearly had plenty on your plate so to speak.  So how have you balanced it all?  On the surface, it sure seems like so much to handle.  So talk to me about how you’ve handled it all.

WR: Honestly my wife Julie runs everything and my manager Jerome. Julie and I plan everything out for tours and we balance each other. With my team around me from FMM, OneRPM and Wake up! music Rocks record label I am blessed.

PP: Speaking of your latest single, I got the press release for your next single, ‘Tell Your Soul,’ along with plenty of other writers.  I’m sure you’ve answered this question plenty of times and then some, but for my readers, talk to me if you will about how the partnership with Chad Gray and Sahaj Ticotin about.  I know Sahaj’s band, Ra, is label mate to A Killer’s Confession, so I’d assume that that played into bringing him on board.  So, what about Chad’s inclusion in the song?

WR: I have been working with Sahaj for five years now. He has become a brother to me. He has wrote with me over 9 songs now. He truly has been a blessing in my life and career. I actually am the Head A&R along side my wife Julie and CEO Pepper Gomez of Wake Up! music Rocks. I brought RA to the table over a year and a half ago knowing I wanted to sign his amazing new album Intercorrupted. My best friend Aimee is very close to Chad. That is how we started talking about creating ‘Tell Your Soul.’ We actually wrote a heavier song at first but it just didn’t make the cut. I called Sahaj and asked if he could help us on this one. Man did he write and produce an amazing song. I remember when I first heard it it made my hair stand up. My lyrics just flowed so fast I wrote them in 15 minutes. Sahaj flew out to Vegas to record Chad and it all fell into place. Chad and I flew to Texas to record the video with the very talented Wombat Fire. We had a great time putting all this together.

PP: I’m going to digress a little here, but knowing Chad and Sahaj are probably good friends of yours, the announcement of Mudvayne reuniting this year was a big deal.  What are your favorite songs/albums from Mudvayne and Ra?  What about Hellyeah?  Do you have any favorites there?  From your time working with Chad on your new single, was there any discussion on whether Hellyeah will make another album?

WR: I would like to pass..

PP: Changing gears and moving to the topic of all of your live shows, you guys are busy on the road with Gemini Syndrome. How has it been for you and your band mates being back on the road after live music was shut down for such a long time last year?  Was it second nature for you all or did you feel more like you had to readjust to it?

WR: It just comes natural. We love being on the road playing shows every night. The crowds and fans have been amazing. it’s like riding a bicycle you just have to get back on

PP: On a related topic, a lot of acts ended up resorting to using livestream shows behind pay walls during the live music shutdown.  Is that something that A Killer’s Confession ever considered?  What is your thought on livestreaming versus actually being on stage?  It seems like it would be a completely different world.  So talk to me about that.

WR: I refused to do it. It’s just not the same in anyway. I waited out the storm….

PP: Staying on the band’s live schedule, A Killer’s Confession is also scheduled to perform at Metal in the Mountains this year.  It was canceled last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact.  There is a wide array of bands on this year’s bill.  They range from the up-and-coming to more well-known acts, such as yourselves.  Which band(s) are you looking forward to seeing at the festival while you’re not performing?

WR: We are headlining Central Florida Metal Fest, playing Metal in the Mountains and Inkcarceration this year. I’m stoked to see Mudvayne of course! Slipknot. RA, Rob Zombie. Motionless in white. Butcher babies. Attila. Man I’m just excited to see them ALL! Live music hits the soul

PP: Getting back on a lighter note and bringing things full circle here, I’ve got one last question for you.  Thank you, by the way, for taking the time to respond to my questions.  It really is appreciated.  With all of the new music that A Killer’s Confession has released since January of this year, what is the status of the band’s new album?  Word is that the singles that you’ve released are expected for inclusion in the band’s latest album.  So what is the status on the album’s progress?  When can fans expect its release?

WR: Thank you for having me! I will be dropping another single at the end of October and then the full album will release with 13 songs. I will then print limited CD and Vinyl to sell at my shows and start releasing my fourth album!

Thank you again so much for your time, Waylon.  Good luck with all of the upcoming live dates, and I like the rest of your fans, am anxiously awaiting the release of that new album.

More information on A Killer’s Confession’s new tour dates, single, and video is available along with all of the band ‘s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.akillersconfession.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/akillersconfession

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WaylonAKC

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

CO-OP Talks Touring, Music, Future Plans In New Interview With Phil’s Picks

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group
CO-OP band members Dash Cooper and Jeremy Tabor took some time recently to talk with Phil’s Picks about its current tour and singles, as well as its musical future.

Independent hard rock band CO-OP is out on the road in the middle of a very busy tour schedule. That schedule includes joining Sunflower Dead, The Lonely Ones, and others on their tours. It also includes a performance, coming up at this year’s Metal in the Mountains festival. Amid everything that the band is doing, guitarist Jeremy Tabor and front man Dash Cooper (yes, the son of the legendary front man Alice Cooper) took some time to talk with Phil’s Picks about its tour. The guys also took on topics, such as the band’s new music and its coming material, as well as balancing everything that it has going on right now. The guys’ talk with Phil’s Picks is featured here.

PP: CO-OP has been really busy this year.  Between new singles and new tour dates, you all are keeping active to say the least.  Between live dates with Smile Empty Soul, Sunflower Dead and The Lonely Ones, and a number of festival shows, including the hugely anticipated Metal in the Mountains, you guys really have and have had a lot on your plates this year.  You’ve even released two new singles and videos.  So how have you managed to balance everything?  It can’t begin to be easy, especially on the live side of things.

 CO: It’s all about the balancing act isn’t it? We’ve all learned that staying flexible is so important, things can (and usually do) change in an instant and how you react to that change has such an impact on your success. Like everyone else, we had a bunch of shows cancel over the past 18 months, so we utilized that time to write and record some new material and tinker with the live show. We’re just trying to roll with the punches and keep busy! 

PP: Speaking of the tour with The Lonely Ones and Sunflower Dead, I recently had the honor to interview The Lonely Ones front man Marty McCoy, and he spoke highly of CO-OP (and Sunflower Dead), noting that between word of mouth and research by the band, he felt you all (both bands) are “the type of bands we want to tour with.”  Receiving such praise, what goes through your mind?

CO: Oh wow, that’s so kind of him! Those guys are so awesome, and we’re so grateful to get a chance to do some shows together. Playing with bands like Sunflower Dead and The Lonely Ones and other bands of that high caliber, we just do our best to step it up and give everyone a great show. 

PP: Staying on that topic, when did you first learn that you had been tapped to join The Lonely Ones for its upcoming tour?  What was the first thing that went through your head when you were notified that you had been tapped to join the tour?

CO: We’re legitimate fans of those guys so we’ve been hounding our booking agent for months to get us together with them for some shows, and then when we were putting together this tour run the stars finally aligned and we were able to make it work.

PP: One of the stops on The Lonely Ones’ tour is close to me at Hooligans in Jacksonville, NC.  Have you all ever performed at Hooligans or other venues in North Carolina?  Which venue(s) are you really looking forward to playing on the tour with The Lonely Ones and Sunflower Dead?

CO: We played in North Carolina a couple of years ago, on a tour with our good friends Smile Empty Soul, I can’t remember for the life of me what the name of the venue was but I do remember the incredible BBQ we had! Hooligans is well known among touring musicians as an awesome venue so we’re excited to check it out! There are so many good shows on that tour it’s hard to pick one! I know the Newport in Columbus will be a packed show. 

PP: There have been lots of reports in recent weeks about the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.  What with COVID shutting down live music for such a long time through most of last year and even part of this year (and even forcing many shows to push back to 2022), are there any concerns among you all about the potential of your tours getting delayed or even worse?

CO: It’s such an unprecedented and unpredictable time we’re in, we’ve been trying to just focus on the immediate and tackle everything else as it comes. We’re excited to be back out here now playing shows again, but if that changes for some reason in the future we know we can adapt in whatever way we need to. 

PP: Switching gears for a moment, as already noted, CO-OP has released two new singles this year.  Each song is really enjoyable.  Lets start with your cover of Buffalo Springfield’s timeless song, ‘For What It’s Worth.’  The band’s take on the song is unique to say the least.  I like the contrast in energy in the verses and choruses.  I think it does well to help translate the song’s emotion.  How did you come to the decision on that arrangement and how long did it take to settle on that arrangement?

CO: We thought that it seemed like a very relevant song to try and bring into a modern context. It seemed like the anxiety and uncertainty that was expressed in the original was still as powerful today. Building from that, we thought that intensifying the tension between the verses and choruses would highlight those feelings. When we went into the studio we had a general roadmap of what we wanted, but it was definitely a process that went through a lot of revision before we found what we were looking for. 

PP: Staying on that cover, what was the inspiration to take on that song?  It’s one that has been covered so many times by other acts.

CO: I think it was Cory’s (our drummer) idea actually to try it. He did some investigating and realized even though so many people had covered it they always stayed pretty true to the original. He always comes to us with these crazy cool cover ideas, but with a twist, so this one just felt like it was something we could run with and make a lot of fun.

PP: Moving on to your other recent song, ‘Lie To Me,’ it really is a good modern rock type work.  Talk to me if you will about that song.  What is the inspiration behind that one?  The guitars, drums, and bass are so heavy and rich in this song.  I’m going to sound dumb here, I know, but I’ll say it.  The choruses….those gritty vocals, I can’t help but think of Chad Gray (Hellyeah, Mudvayne).  Was that an intentional approach?  Just talk to me about the song in general.

CO: ‘Lie to Me’ was the first song we started working on after the last album release, and we really wanted to build off that energy. We had been talking about early 2000s rock bands, and the awesome grooves those songs had and wanted something that was a little but of a callback to that. Dash gets a lot of comparisons to Chad actually, he takes it as a huge compliment! They have a really similar range and Dash’s voice naturally just has that rasp and grit to it. 

PP:  Getting back on the matter of CO-OP playing live, you all are scheduled to perform at Metal in the Mountains this year.  Now we all know it was cancelled last year due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  So when did you find out that you had been tapped to play the festival and what went through your mind when you found out, because you’re going to be in some pretty well-known company at the festival (E.g. Soulfly, A Killer’s Confession, Butcher Babies, and The Lonely Ones just to name a handful).  What does it mean to you all to be among so many established and up-and-coming acts at such a respected festival?

CO: I think we booked Metal in the Mountains pretty early on actually, we wanted to hit as many festivals as we could this summer after all the cancellations last year. We’re always honored anytime we get to play with such incredible bands, and especially so many bands we’re huge fans of! We work really hard to get our music out to people so it means everything to us to have opportunities like this to do just that.

PP: Now you all are scheduled to perform on the last day of Metal in the Mountains.  That means that you’ll have time to check out other bands in the meantime.  That time provided, what bands are you looking forward to seeing perform?

CO: Unfortunately Metal in the Mountains falls right in the middle of a back to back schedule for us, so we won’t be able to check out the other days, but I know we’re getting there early on the day we play and plan on watching all the bands! We’ll be at the merch table all day hanging out and enjoying some awesome music! 

PP:  Just one more question for you guys.  Unless I’m missing anything, the last album that CO-OP released was its self-titled album in 2018.  So can you offer my readers and your fans any update on a new album?  As noted, you guys have two singles out already.  I imagine you’ve had time between all your live shows to write even more.  So what can audiences expect from you all in that avenue? 

CO: We have a 5 song EP coming in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for that, and we have about 25 more songs to put the final touches on. But we’re always writing more. The idea is to release a new batch of 5 songs every 3 or 4 months and then maybe a full length. So expect lots and lots of new music coming! 

More information on CO-OP’s tour and music is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://co-op.band

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/co-opband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Ra Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Wake Up! Music

Ra has extended its “Intercorrupted Tour.”

The band made the announcement through a press release distributed Monday. The document states the new dates are scheduled to run from Nov. 4 in Akron, OH to Nov. 18 in Iowa City, IA. The new schedule also features performances in cities, such as Clifton, NJ; Hampton Beach, NH and Flint, MI.

Along with the new dates, the band also has a series of dates to finish this month between Aug. 20 and 29. That run includes a performance at this year’s Metal in the Mountains festival on Aug. 28.

Front man Sahaj Ticotin said in a prepared statement, he and his band mates are looking forward to the band’s new and current dates.

“We are super excited to have all these dates lined up!,” said Ticotin.  “It’s been 7 years and we have 5 records to pick songs from. Gonna be a great time with great bands and we can’t wait to see all the beautiful faces both past and new! Lets’ Goooo!!”

Ra’s latest tour dates are in support of its latest album, Intercorrupted, which was released March 19 through Wake Up! Music. The album features guest appearances from Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon, and Starset’s Dustin Bates. It produced the single,  ‘Armageddon‘ and its lyric video.

The band’s current live schedule is noted below. Any Given Sin and Killakoi will serve as support for Ra’s upcoming November shows.

Leg I:

Fri, Aug 20 – Madison, WI – The Annex 

Sat, Aug 21 – Fort Wayne, IN – Piere’s 

Sun, Aug 22 – Joliet, IL – The Forge 

Tue, Aug 24 – Des Moines, IA – Lefty’s 

Wed, Aug 25 – Racine, WI – Rt 20 

Thu, Aug 26 – Columbus, OH – King Of Clubs 

Fri, Aug 27 – Marietta, OH – The Adelphia 

Sat, Aug 28 – Pipestem, WV – Metal In The Mountains  

Sun, Aug 29 – Louisville, KY – Diamond Pub 

Leg 2:

Thu, Nov 4 – Akron Ohio – Empire Concert Club

Fri, Nov 5 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall

Sat, Nov 6 – Hampton Beach, NH – Wally’s

Sun, Nov 7 – Providence, RI – Fete Music Hall

Mon, Nov 8 – Albany, NY – Empire Underground

Tue, Nov 9 – Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz

Wed, Nov 10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Crafthouse

Fri, Nov 12 – Battle Creek, MI – The Music Factory

Sat, Nov 13 – Flint, MI – The Machine Shop

Tue, Nov 16 – Sioux City, IA – The Marquee

Wed, Nov 17 – Lincoln, NE – The Royal Grove

Thu, Nov 18 – Iowa City, IA – Wildwood

In other news, Ticotin recently worked with A Killer’s Confession and Mudvayne/Hellyeah front man Chad Gray on A Killer’s Confession’s new single, ‘Tell Your Soul,’ producing the single. The single was accompanied by a companion video, which debuted Thursday alongside the single.

More information on Ra’s new tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://raband.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialRA

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/RATHEBAND

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

A Killer’s Confession Premieres New Single, ‘Tell Your Soul,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Wake Up! Music Rocks

The wait for the new single and video from A Killer’s Confession is over.

The band premiered its new song, ‘Tell Your Soul‘ and its video late Thursday night, more than a week after the announcement was made that the two were coming. The single features guest vocals from Chad Gray (Hellyeah, Mudvayne) alongside front man Waylon Reavis.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Tell Your Soul’ is a melodic hard rock composition. The juxtaposition of the deeply contemplative mood in the song’s verses and more fiery approach to its chorus creates plenty of appeal.

Reavis spoke positively of the new single and collaboration during a recent interview.

“This song was an amazing collaboration between Sahaj Ticotin (Ra), Chad Gray, and myself,” said Reavis. “It was an honor to work with such true professional artists on such a powerful song. I hope everyone can feel the raw emotion and are moved just like I am when they listen.”

Gray shared Reavis’ appreciation for the song and its video.

“Waylon has wanted to do a song with me for a very long time, and earlier this year, we tried, but the song just didn’t fit either one of us,” he said. “So we went back to the drawing board with Sahaj Ticotin. The song really spoke to me, so we went for it. Everything just seems to fall into place. I’m really excited about this release.”

Added Gray, “My boy Wombat absolutely killed the video. I’m stoked for this song to drop. It’s a nice prelude to some more solo stuff I have on the way. I can’t wait for you all to hear this. Enjoy.”

Gray’s collaboration with AKC is just his latest. He worked with fellow rocker Hyro The Hero last year on his song, ‘Fight.’

The lyrical theme featured in the song matches that contemplative nature. Reavis talked about the song’s lyrical theme during the noted interview.

“This song is about forgiveness and acceptance of one’s own shortcomings,” he said. “I want to thank Chad and Sahaj for being such great friends and recording this song with me. Wombat absolutely crushed this video. Amazing talent all the way around!”  

The video for ‘Tell Your Soul’ presents Reavis and Gray in dimly lit home settings as they perform their respective parts to the song. Meanwhile, the song plays over while footage of an unidentified figure in a sheet is occasionally shown dancing as if it was a spirit.

‘Tell Your Soul’ and its video, are just the latest from the band’s forthcoming album, Remember. The album’s release date is under consideration. The album produced the single, ‘Trapped Inside‘ and its companion video April 29. The premiere of the song and its video came less than a month after the premiere of AKC’s then latest single, ‘Light to Darkness‘ and its video.

Additionally, the album has produced the singles, ‘Knife From Behind’ and its video, and Between Your Eyes’ and its video.

In other news, A Killer’s Confession is on tour with Gemini Syndrome for that band’s headlining tour. AKC’s run with Gemini Syndrome is scheduled to run through Aug. 15 in Albuquerque, NM. Following that run, AKC will head out on its own headlining tour, which is scheduled to launch Aug. 18 in Houston, TX and to run through Sept. 10 in Mansfield, OH.

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

AKC Tour Dates:

With Gemini Syndrome

Aug. 6 – Akron, OH – Empire Concert Club SOLD OUT

Aug. 7 – Louisville, KY – Diamond Ballroom

Aug. 8 – Nashville, TN – Basement East

Aug. 10 – Tulsa, OK – The Shrine

Aug. 11 – OKC, OK – 89th St Collective

Aug. 12 – Lawrence, KS – Bottleneck

Aug. 14 – Denver, CO – Oriental Theater

Aug. 15 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

Headline shows / Festivals:

Aug. 18 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar

Aug. 20 – Jacksonville, FL – Acchetype

Aug. 21 – Orlando, FL – Central Florida Metal Fest V

Aug. 24 – Memphis, TN – Growlers

Aug. 25 – Huntsville, AL – Sidetracks

Aug. 26 – Pipestem, WV – Metal In The Mountains

Sep. 10 – Mansfield, OH – Inkcarceration

A Killer’s Confession with Gemini Syndrome and its upcoming headlining shows are just its latest. The band most recently ran a headline tour from May 7-24 with support from Heartsick and The Failsafe.

More information on A Killer’s Confession’s new tour dates, single, and video is available along with all of the band ‘s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.akillersconfession.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/akillersconfession

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WaylonAKC

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Chad Gray Joining A Killer’s Confession For New Single

Chad Gray (l) and Waylon Reavis (r) have partnered for A Killer’s Confession’s new single.
Photo credit: Wake Up! Music Rocks

Chad Gray is lending his talents to a new single from A Killer’s Confession.

Gray (Mudvayne, Hellyeah) has partnered with the band for its new single, ‘Tell Your Soul.’ The single is scheduled for release Aug. 6 through Wake Up! Music Rocks. It will feature in the band’s as yet untitled forthcoming third album, which is scheduled for release later this year.

Front man Waylon Reavis (ex-Mushroomhead) spoke positively of the new single and collaboration during a recent interview.

“This song was an amazing collaboration between Sahaj Ticotin (Ra), Chad Gray, and myself,” said Reavis. “It was an honor to work with such true professional artists on such a powerful song. I hope everyone can feel the raw emotion and are moved just like I am when they listen.”

Added Reavis, “This song is about forgiveness and acceptance of one’s own shortcomings. I want to thank Chad and Sahaj for being such great friends and recording this song with me. Wombat absolutely crushed this video. Amazing talent all the way around!”

Gray shared Reavis’ anticipation for the song and its video.

“Waylon has wanted to do a song with me for a very long time, and earlier this year, we tried, but the song just didn’t fit either one of us,” he said. “So we went back to the drawing board with Sahaj Ticotin. The song really spoke to me, so we went for it. Everything just seems to fall into place. I’m really excited about this release.”

Added Gray, “My boy Wombat absolutely killed the video. I’m stoked for this song to drop. It’s a nice prelude to some more solo stuff I have on the way. I can’t wait for you all to hear this. Enjoy.” 

Gray’s collaboration with AKC is just his latest. He worked with fellow rocker Hyro The Hero last year on his song, ‘Fight.’

In other news, A Killer’s Confession is on tour with Gemini Syndrome for that band’s headlining tour. AKC’s run with Gemini Syndrome is scheduled to run through Aug. 15 in Albuquerque, NM. Following that run, AKC will head out on its own headlining tour, which is scheduled to launch Aug. 18 in Houston, TX and to run through Sept. 10 in Mansfield, OH.

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

AKC Tour Dates:

With Gemini Syndrome

Jul. 27 – Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz

Jul. 28 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Crafthouse Stage & Grill

Jul. 30 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater

Jul. 31 – Harrisburg, PA – HMAC

Aug. 1 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage

Aug. 3 – Fort Wayne, IN – Ft. Wayne Entertainment Center

Aug. 5 – Columbus, OH – The King Of Clubs

Aug. 6 – Akron, OH – Empire Concert Club SOLD OUT

Aug. 7 – Louisville, KY – Diamond Ballroom

Aug. 8 – Nashville, TN – Basement East

Aug. 10 – Tulsa, OK – The Shrine

Aug. 11 – OKC, OK – 89th St Collective

Aug. 12 – Lawrence, KS – Bottleneck

Aug. 14 – Denver, CO – Oriental Theater

Aug. 15 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

Headline shows / Festivals:

Aug. 18 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar

Aug. 20 – Jacksonville, FL – Acchetype

Aug. 21 – Orlando, FL – Central Florida Metal Fest V

Aug. 24 – Memphis, TN – Growlers

Aug. 25 – Huntsville, AL – Sidetracks

Aug. 26 – Pipestem, WV – Metal In The Mountains

Sep. 10 – Mansfield, OH – Inkcarceration

A Killer’s Confession with Gemini Syndrome and its upcoming headlining shows are just its latest. The band most recently ran a headline tour from May 7-24 with support from Heartsick and The Failsafe.

A Killer’s Confession premiered its latest single, ‘Trapped Inside‘ and its companion video April 29. The premiere of the song and its video came less than a month after the premiere of AKC’s then latest single, ‘Light to Darkness‘ and its video.

A Killer’s Confession debuted another single, ‘Remember‘ and its video in January.

More information on A Killer’s Confession’s new tour dates, single, and video is available along with all of the band ‘s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.akillersconfession.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/akillersconfession

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WaylonAKC

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Hyro The Hero Debuts New Single, ‘Legendary’; Plans New “Mixtape” Project

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

Independent rapper Hyro The Hero debuted his latest single this week.

The rapper (a.k.a. Hyron Louis Fenton, Jr.) debuted his new single, ‘Legendary‘ Friday. The song features a guest appearance by Atreyu co-front man Brandon Saller. The composition comes more than two months after Fenton premiered his then latest single, ‘Retaliation Generation,’ which itself featured a guest appearance by Ice Nine Kills front man Spencer Charnas.

‘Legend’ is a departure of sorts, stylistically, for Fenton, even in comparison to ‘Retaliation Generation’ and his other recent singles, ‘Fight‘ (which featured Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray on guest vocals) and ‘We Believe‘ (which features Disturbed front man David Draiman on guest vocals). The song is heavy and Fenton’s flow is as solid as ever here. Though the addition of the more subdued momentary vocals provided by Saller in the choruses makes for a softer, more melodic approach. It gives this song its own unique identity separate from that presented in ‘Fight’ and ‘We Believe.’

‘Legendary’ was co-written by Fenton, Saller, Matt Good, Dan Jacobs, and Travis Miguel. Good additionally produced the song.

According to Fenton, the song’s lyrical theme is a contemplative presentation.

“‘Legendary’ is a look into the life and feeling of a champion,” he said. “I wanted to express how it would feel in my mind to make such an impact on the world that you are considered a legend.”

Additionally, Fenton spoke warmly of Saller and his band mates’ participation in the new song.

“I’m so happy that Atreyu was able to be a part of this song and that Brandon Saller lent his amazing vocals,” added Fenton. “They have been in the game for years and bring an actual legendary power and life to it. This is such an epic track and my goal is that it will inspire others to lean into their greatness.”

Saller returned Fenton’s sentiments about collaborating.

“Hyro first got put on my radar maybe seven years ago by a good friend, Fred Archambault,” said Saller. “Since then I’ve had my eye on what he was doing. Last summer, we did the Disrupt Festival with him, and he blew me away at every show. His energy was amazing and we immediately hit it off. When the opportunity came to be on a track with him, I had no hesitations. This song has such a vibe to it and has so much power. I’m stoked to be a part of it.”

‘Legendary’ is the first song from a new “mixtape” presentation that Fenton announced. The project is dubbed Kids Against The Monsters. Fenton presented a statement about the project early this week through Knotfest. Knotfest will feature a series of interviews with Fenton in the coming weeks to look deeper into his new project. Charnas and Gray are among the guests scheduled to appear in the noted interviews, hinting that ‘Fight,’ ‘Retaliation Generation,’ and ‘We Believe’ might end up inthe mixtape project, too.

Kids Against Monsters is scheduled for release later this year. Its exact release date is under consideration.

More information on Hyro The Hero’s new single, video, and livestreatm is available online now along with all of Hyro The Hero’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.hyrothehero.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/HyroTheHero

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/hyrothehero

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

Websitehttps://www.atreyofficial.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/atreyu

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/atreyuofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

“Band of Brothers” officially takes the top in 2012’s best metal list

Courtesy: Eleven Seven Music

Hellyeah has officially returned.  And the fire hasn’t burned out even in the slightest for this hard rock supergroup.  The band–Vinnie Paul, Chad Gray, Greg Tribbett, Tom Maxwell, and Bob Zilla–picks up with the same intensity shown on its 2010 sophomore release, “Stampede.”  

“Band of Brothers”, whcih hits stores July 17th, opens with ‘War in Me.’  ‘War in Me’ is an automatic headbanger that has enough energy to leave listeners breathless after that one track alone.  From there, the band kicks into something of a Pantera-esque tribute in the album’s title track.  It doesn’t let up in the least from ‘War in Me.’  Frontman Chad Gray even seems to channel Phil Anselmo in some of his delivery all while maintaining the sound that he has honed with his other band, Mudvayne.  Listeners are given just enough time to catch their breaths at the end of ‘Band of Brothers’ so as to get ready to take in the next piece of sharp as a knife metal in ‘Rage_Burn.’

“Band of Brothers” barely lets off after its first trio of tracks.  The softest that the album gets is on the contemplative ballad, ‘Between You and Now.’  After that, the band kicks the adrenaline right back into high gear with ‘Call It.’  The band barely lets off from here on out to the end of what can only be described as a full on musical metal assault.  When it’s all said and done, “Band of Brothers” will leave its fans satisfied, yet hoping for even more reason to be yelling, “HellYeah” many more times in the future.

Hellyeah is currently touring in support of its upcoming album.  The band will be in Spokane, WA this Thursday.  And it will follow that show with performances in Boise, Idaho, Reno, Nevada and San Francisco to close out the week.  Fans can get all the latest tour dates and news from HellYeah online at http://hellyeahband.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hellyeahband, on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/hellyeah, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hellyeahband.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.