Strange Karma’s New LP Will Appeal to Any Classic Rock Fan

Strange Karma - Cold Blooded Cover Art

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Early this year, Strange Karma released its latest album Cold Blooded to the masses.  The 10-song, 41-minute record, is a work that will appeal easily to fans of Savatage, Queensryche, Poison and other similar acts.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the record.  They will be discussed shortly.  The songs’ lyrical content also adds to that appeal.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important to the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make Cold Blooded a record that 80s and 90s rock fans will find hot.

Strange Karma’s new full-length studio recording Cold Blooded is a work that any 80s and 90s rock fan will find enjoyable.  That is due in part to the record’s collective musical arrangements.  Some of the arrangements are clearly guitar-driven while others are driven more through their piano arrangements.  Just as important to note here is the fact that the arrangements vary between ballads and more operatic style songs that.  That combination, again, lends itself easily to comparisons to works crafted by Savatage, Queensryche, Poison and other similar acts.  At the same time, the comparisons are not just musical mirror images of the noted compositions.  Rather, they only display the influences of those noted bands.  Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why the musical arrangements presented in this record are so important to its overall presentation.  They are, collectively, not the record’s only key element to examine.  The record’s lyrical content is just as important to examine as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout Cold Blooded is critical to discuss because, as is the case with the record’s musical arrangements, its lyrical content throws back to themes used widely in similar compositions from the late 80s and early 90s, too.  Case in point is the album’s lead single ‘Devil From The Moon.’  The very title seems somewhat eerie yet somewhat campy.  The lyrics build on that foundation as front man Martin Strange sings, “It’s 12 o’clock, it’s midnight/The moon shines/Night is day/All to you/Everything’s gonna be alright/Wolves are howling/The wind is blwoing/You’re running and running/running to nowhere/The shadow is right behind you/I’m the devil/I’ll find you/You belong to me/Bow your heads/I’ll set you free.”  On the surface, this sounds more like something that one might expect from a black metal band.  But the reality is that it is nothing bad at all.  That is illustrated even more through the song’s video.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show how this record transports listeners back to the previously noted musical era.  ‘I Believe (London Town)’ is yet another example of how the record lyrically reaches back in time.

‘I Believe (London Town),’ with its gentle, flowing piano and bass-driven arrangement sees Strange singing, “You want to go/And you never ever get there/You run and you swim but you’re standing still/The thought in your mind/You believe in something new…”  He adds later in the song, “I believe I’m gonna make it some day/I believe I’ll make it may way.”  Such lyrical content coupled with the song’s musical arrangement harkens directly back to the days of big riffs and even bigger hair, once more why it will appeal to the noted audiences.  It is just one of those lyrically positive yet somewhat cheesy wordings that one can’t help but enjoy even as a guilty pleasure.

On another note, ‘Crying For Your Love,’ with its brooding lyrical content is yet another example of how this record lyrically reaches back to days gone by.  Strange’s subject sings here about love lost in an over the top manner, “In night and day/I think of you/Tears running down my face/Lying here/Staring in empty space…thinking of better days/Thinking of you/Thinking of our love.”  The song’s musical arrangement couples with this over-the-top lyrical content (and Strange’s delivery therein) to make this a piece that would have fit in quite easily with the songs that it strives to emulate.  Considering this, the song proves why it is another work that will appeal to fans of Strange Karma’s key audience lyrically just as much as musically.  When joined with the record’s other songs, their lyrical content proves much the same, proving why the record in whole will appeal to those listeners.  Keeping all of this in mind, the lyrical content presented in these songs is only one more part of what makes the album appealing to fans of late 80s and early 90s rock.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to note as its musical arrangements and lyrical content.

The musical arrangements and lyrical content presented throughout Cold Blooded show from one song to the next prove to be critical to the album’s overall presentation.  They are not its only key elements to examine, though.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to examine here as those elements.  The record’s sequencing is important to note because it exhibits a well thought out balance of energy from beginning to end.  The album’s first two offerings are high-energy pieces that eventually make way to a much more reserved energy in ‘Crying For Your Love,’ the record’s third offering.  As the record nears its midway point, the band mixes things up even more with the coupling of ‘Realize’ and ‘I Believe.’  ‘Realize’ is a high-energy piece from start to finish while ‘I Believe’ boasts its own energy.  The catch with this song is that it is not as heavy as ‘Realize.’  That combination of energies within ‘I Believe’ and in the contrast of ‘I Believe’ to ‘Realize’ things get even more interesting as the album progresses back into a heavier vibe in its next trio of songs.  Those songs eventually give way to an arrangement that is best described as something akin to a southern rock arrangement in ‘Hey Man.’  The album’s closer, ‘Dreams’ can easily be compared to compositions from Savatage and Trans Siberian Orchestra with its driving guitar-centered arrangement.  It is yet another change from the songs that came before; a change that once again, audiences will appreciate.  When it is considered along with the other energy variations exhibited throughout the record, the whole of those constant changes is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as the songs’ musical arrangements and their lyrical content.  When all of this is taken into account together, it becomes clear why Cold Blooded is a record that any hot blooded 80s and 90s rock fan will enjoy.

Strange Karma’s latest full-length studio recording Cold Blooded is a work that any hot blooded 80s and 90s rock fan will appreciate.  As has been noted, that is due to musical arrangements that reach liberally back to the big guitar riffs and flowing piano lines that made music from that age so popular.  It is also due to lyrical content that reaches just as blatantly back to that era as the songs’ musical arrangements.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  The energy variations exhibited in the songs’ arrangements are constant from the record’s beginning to its end.  Each element is important in its own way to this record’s appeal as has been noted already.  All things considered, the noted elements together make Cold Blooded a classic rock throwback that classic rock fans will appreciate.  It is available now.  More information on Cold Blooded is available now along with all of Strange Karma’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://strangekarma.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Strange-Karma/157783670932214

Twitter: http://twitter.com/strange_karma_

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Red Reign’s New EP Will Appeal To Classic Rock Fans Of All Ages

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Early last December, Red Reign released its latest studio recording, a five-song self-titled EP.  The self-released record is a work that will appeal to any fan of the songs that made up rock’s mainstream during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  This applies both in regards to the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  The record’s opener ‘Not That Way’ solidly serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains,’ the record’s third entry, is another of its songs which supports that statement.  It will be discussed later.  The same can be said of the record’s title track.  Each song is important in its own right in showing why fans of rock from that bridge between the 1980s and 90s will enjoy this record.  The other two songs not noted here are just as important in their own right, too.  All things considered, Red Reign proves to be a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate. That is the case even with Red Reign being a more modern act.

Red Reign’s new self-titled, five-song EP is a work that any “classic rock” fan will appreciate.  That is exhibited in no small part through the record’s opener ‘Not That Way.’  The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement takes listeners back to rock’s early 90s era, conjuring thoughts of Queensryche, Joe Satriani, Van Halen and other similar acts.  Drummer Sam Bendheim’s time keeping on the song provides the song even more depth as he keeps the song moving solidly forward.  Front man and guitarist Carlton McMichael even conjures thoughts of former Queensryche front man Geoff Tate through his vocal delivery.  The song’s musical arrangement is clearly an important part of its whole, but is just one key part of that presentation.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content comes across as an anti-break-up song of sorts.  That is especially inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s chorus, “How things have changed/But it’s not the same/No it’s not that way/You had your chance/And you let it slip away.”  If there was any doubt left about the song’s upbeat message, the song’s second verse alleviates that doubt almost instantly as McMichael sings, “All these years have passed/And I’ve found somebody new/I never ever, ever think of you/Then you come around/Cause you thought you could/But I broke those chains so long ago/And it feels so good.”  The song’s subject goes on to sing in the verse’s back end about being heartbroken long ago and having moved on.  It is a rare message sent in songs centered on relationship break-ups.  Keeping that in mind, that positive, upbeat message does plenty to make ‘Not That Way’ stand out.  When it is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the two elements show clearly in themselves why Red Reign will appeal to “classic rock” fans.  It is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains’ serves as just as much of an example of why classic rock fans will appreciate the record.

‘Not That Way’ is a clear example of what makes Red Reign’s new self-titled EP a work that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the song’s upbeat and uplifting lyrics and its equally positive musical arrangement.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show why this record will appeal to the already noted audience.  ‘Chains’ is another example of why that audience will enjoy this new offering from the Richmond, Virginia-based rock act.  Its musical arrangement sits at the base of its notoriety.  As with the record’s opener, there is an obvious influence from Queensryche in this song’s arrangement.  That is obvious right from the song’s outset through Larry Moore’s bass line and McMichael’s bombastic guitar line.  The combination of those elements and Bendheim’s work behind the drum kit conjures thoughts of something from Queensryche circa 1986 (Rage For Order’s release year).  While the song’s musical arrangement shows a direct influence from Queensryche, its lyrical content is different yet still just as thought-provoking as the lyrical themes presented in RFO.

Whereas Red Reign’s opener was an upbeat anti-breakup song, this piece is much deeper with what seems like introspective commentary centered on someone’s efforts to move forward in life and forget the past.  That is inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s lead verse, “Black and pouring rain/I’m running through these streets where no one knows my name/Free/I won’t look back/On all these things that kept me fear/For all these years/I’m gonna break these chains/I’ll break these chains/I’ll breathe again/I’ll breathe again.”  The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion as the song’s subject sings about overcoming certain difficult situations.  Considering this and the power in the song’s musical arrangement, one can’t help but imagine the song is meant to convey a message of overcoming and moving on in life.  That is of course only this critic’s own interpretation of the song and should not necessarily be taken as gospel.  It would be interesting to learn the exact message delivered in the song.  One can only hope the message interpreted here is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Regardless, the power in the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content combines to show in whole why it, too plays such an important part in Red Reign’s enjoyment by its target audiences.  It still is not the last song that serves to show why classic rock fans will appreciate this modern rock act’s new EP.  The record’s title track is one more example of what makes this record an effort that will appeal to fans of rock’s biggest age.

‘Not That Way’ and ‘Chains’ are both key compositions showing what makes Red Reign a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due to musical arrangements that harken back to the late 1980s and early 90s and lyrical themes that will both uplift and leave listeners thinking.  They are not its only key compositions.  The record’s title track proves to be just as important to its presentation as the previously discussed songs.  As with those songs, the discussion here begins with the song’s musical arrangement.  This time out, the song’s musical arrangement is more directly related to music from the early 90s. It hints at influences from Stone Temple Pilots, Brother Cane, and other slightly harder-edged bands from that era.  One could even argue that there is a hint of Van Halen circa 1994 (Balance) in this song’s arrangement thanks to its heavy guitar riffs, bass line and equally heavy vocal delivery from McMichael.  That overall arrangement is just one part of what makes this song stand out.  Its lyrical content will leave listeners thinking just as much as that presented in ‘Chains.’

The lyrical content presented in ‘Red Reign’ will leave listeners thinking (and talking) because of McMichael’s metaphorical language used throughout the song. He sings in the song’s lead verse, “Like a flash of lightning/I burn throughout the sky/Out of the way, I’m running high/I feel the evil coursing through my body and veins/Are you ready to rock this place/Lower the bridge I’m coming through/Red reign down on you.”  One can’t help but wonder what exactly McMichael is saying here.  The song’s second verse is just as intriguing as McMichael sings, “In this house of pain the storm looms large and black/My sanity is off the tracks/You know I’ve got no more home…I’ve come from grace and I can’t go back/Lower the bridge I’m coming through.”  McMichael definitely leaves listeners guessing at his message here.  It would definitely be interesting to learn that message and the story behind the song considering that uncertainty.  The very fact that the song’s lyrical content can generate just as much discussion as its musical content shows why this song is so important to Red Reign’s overall presentation.  When this is all set alongside the musical and lyrical content presented in the previously noted songs the picture painted through the songs is one of a record that, again, any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is even though the band is a more modern rock act.

Red Reign’s recently released self-titled EP is a work that classic rock fans of any age will appreciate.  It shows with its arrangements–which bridge the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s—and its thoughtful lyrical themes that a lot of time and effort was put into its creation.  That time and effort, audiences will agree, paid off.  It resulted in a record that takes audiences back to a specific era without simply being a carbon copy of songs from that era.  The end result is a record that modern record that classic rock fans will appreciate as much as any original classic rock record.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Red Reign is available online now along with all of Red Reign’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.redreignband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/redreignband

 

 

 

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Tempt’s Debut EP Is A Guilty Pleasure For Any Fan Of Big Hair And Even Bigger Rock

Courtesy:  Chipster PR

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Indie rock band Tempt recently released its debut EP Under My Skin.  The New York based band’s debut record is something special, especially for fans of bands such as Def Leppard, Journey, Poison and others of that ilk.  The band’s members—Zach Allen (vocals), Harrison Marcello (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Jimmi Kane (drums), and Zak Gross (bass, vocals)—are way too young to have grown up in the 80s.  But the sound that the band’s members collectively craft is one that displays such respect for the music of the era.  It truly makes Tempt quite the rarity in the current era of rock music.  The band transports audiences back to that era of big hair and equally big rock songs right off the top in the EP’s title track.  That pomp and bombast doesn’t let up even in the slightest as the band moves into the EP’s second song.  The song exhibits something of a Queensryche influence circa Rage for Order.  And on the EP’s penultimate track, the 8-s big hair influence keeps rolling before the band closes things with a standard 80s ballad-style song.  All things considered, anyone that is a fan of big rock and big hair will agree after hearing this EP that Under My Skin is one of the best of the year’s new EPs.

The members of Tempt look to be far too young to have grown up in the 80s.  That hasn’t stopped the band from crafting an EP loaded with music that sounds like it has been kept in a time capsule for ages and pulled right from that era of big rock and big hair.  This is obvious right off the top in the EP’s opener and title track.  If one didn’t know any better, one would think this was Def Leppard, Journey, Poison, or another major name act that had its heyday in that era.  Lyrically speaking, the song centers on the standard subject of a broken relationship.  What’s most interesting about it here is not just the standard over-the-top nature of the song, but [Zach] Allen’s vocals on the song.  He sings much in the same style as other big name vocalists from the day as he sings, “Stop and start many years ago/You was a looker that I/Got to know/Now I’m sitting here/The pain won’t die/With the letter saying you’ve left my side.”  There is just a certain quality to his vocal style.  And the song’s chorus brings about even more of that classic song style with the rest of the band joining in almost the same style as the aforementioned bands.  It is pure retro rock joy for fans of that sound.

The first impression that the band makes on its brand new EP is just the beginning of the retro rock joy for fans of hair metal.  ‘Use It Or Lose It’ comes second on the disc.  Those that are more familiar with bands from the era of hair metal will hear influences from the likes of Queensryche right from the song’s opening riff and the chorus style vocals.  The song is just as good a follow-up to ‘Under My Skin’ lyrically as it is musically.  That’s because it follows a similar lyrical theme.  Allen sings here about a woman that is bad news for all intents and purposes.  He sings in the song’s opening verse, “She’ll steal your soul/Drag your mind through pouring rain/Take you down into the dark/She don’t feel no pain/But if I turn my back/Would you turn your eyes on them/Are you ready/Let the games begin.”  He goes on to sing of the woman in question in the song’s second verse, “She’s a one-of-a-kind/A storm within a name/A natural disaster/But I want her just the same.”  As with the EP’s opener, the style of Allen’s vocals and the song’s musical side together make this song sound like something right out of the 80s.  And again, that taken into consideration fans of that sound will welcome this song in with arms and ears wide open.

Both ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘Use It Or Lose It’ are impressive additions to the debut EP from Tempt. The third of the EP’s tracks, ‘The Fight’ instantly conjures thoughts of Journey and other more melodic rock bands of their time. Its forward-driving sound and infectious chorus of “It’s the fight that makes us stronger, baby/We both know you can see” will have audiences singing along in no time whether it be in their vehicle on the road or in their own living room/bedroom. Along with the previously noted songs, this song is just as much an arena anthem as them and the EP’s closing number. Allen and his band mates are seemingly singing about the fight that we have within ourselves to not give up. In this case, it seems to be the fight to not give up on a relationship. If that be the case, then the song takes quite the upbeat turn from so many songs rooted in relationship issues. It actually argues that there is hope for a relationship that would otherwise be broken. That and the song’s musical side together make this one of the EP’s best numbers. And together with the EP’s previously noted tracks, it makes the EP even more worth the listen especially by anyone that grew up a fan of the era of big hair and big rock. Audiences can listen to the title track from Under My Skin now via Tempt’s official website at http://www.temptband.com/#!listen/c1x9v.

Under My Skin can be purchased online via iTunes and Amazon.com or at the band’s next live performance. The band is next scheduled to perform live Friday, July 18th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York. Audiences can keep up with the band’s tour schedule and all of the band’s latest news online both through its official website, http://www.temptband.com and its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TemptBand. Audiences can also keep up with the latest from the band through its Twitter page, http://twitter.com/temptband and its Reverb Nation website, http://www.reverbnation.com/temptband. 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.