Dark Station Debuts ‘Ryse’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Dark Station debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Ryse‘ Friday.  The song is the fifth single from the band’s debut album Down in the Dark.  The single and video were preceded by the debut of four of the album’s other singles, ‘Heroes,’ ‘Obvious,’, ‘No Life,’ and ‘Villain.’

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Ryse’ leans to an industrial metal style breakdown in its opening bars, that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Fear Factory, Crossbreed and Static-X.  That same sound is used in the song’s chorus sections and rounds out the song in its finale while the rest of the song boasts more of a pure melodic hard rock sound.  The balance of those two distinctly different styles works well here, with the end result being just one of many high points of Down in the Dark‘s musical side.

The song’s lyrical theme is meant to deliver a statement about unity in difficult times, according to a statement from front man Nathan Spades.

“Ryse is about coming together as a group and standing up for what’s right,” he said. “It’s about the power of the unified voice of the people”

Guitarist Kyle Ort expanded on Spades’ comments with his own statement.

“We wrote this song over a year ago, but we decided to create a video for it because we feel like it fits perfectly with all of the turmoil of 2020,” said Ort.

‘Ryse’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on the album is available along with the band’s upcoming tour at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.darkstationband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/wearedarkstation

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/darkstationband

 

 

 

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.

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations Stand Tall Among 2019’s New Independent Albums

Courtesy: Record Kicks

The old year is almost gone and the new year is on the way.  With the countdown to the calendar change nearing its annual end, critics are preparing their annual year-ender lists or have already posted said “Best Of” lists.  This critic has waited a while to make sure as many albums and EPs have been considered, and now with less than two weeks left in the year, the time is right to offer the first of many “Best Of” lists.

Opening this year’s multitude of year end “Best Of” lists from Phil’s Picks is the year’s top new independent albums.  Independent can mean acts signed to independent labels — of which there are many — and those who are straight up unsigned.  This year’s list presents a variety of acts and sounds, not the least of which is Hannah Williams & The Affirmations’ new album 50 Foot Woman.  Also featured in this year’s list is the surprisingly enjoyable self-titled album from Am I Dead Yet.  Its mix of David Bowie, Pink Floyd and other similar acts makes its musical content strong in its own right.  The addition of its lyrical content adds even more interest to its whole.  Hard rock band Bad Blood is also featured in this year’s list with its self-titled debut.  These are just some of the acts featured in Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Independent Albums.  It should be noted that while the list is the “Top 10,” it features five additional honorable mention titles for a grand total of 15 albums, as in every past year.

It should be noted that the choices featured on this list were not easy.  The honorable mention titles are not bad albums.  They are all good in their own way.  It was just that difficult to choose, as every listed album had its own positives. Some had more positives than others. Now with all that said here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Independent Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

1.Hannah Williams & The Affirmations — 50 Foot Woman

2. Am I Dead Yet? — Am I Dead Yet?

3. Bad Blood — Bad Blood

4. The Sh-Booms — The Blurred Odyssey

5. Aree And The Pure Hearts — Never Gonna Die

6. Wargirl — Wargirl

7. Lullwater — Voodoo

8. Sara Potenza — Road To Rome

9. Corroded — Bitter

10. Awake At Last — The Change

11. Blacktop Mojo — Under The Sun

12. Stone Leaders — Stone Leaders

13. Dark Station — Down in The Dark

14. Them Guns — From The Shadows

15. Damn Your Eyes — Kill The Outside

 

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‘Down In The Dark’ Is A Bright Start For Dark Station

Courtesy: FM Music Management

Independent hard rock band Dark Station is gearing up to hit the road in support of its debut album Down in the Dark.  It was recently announced that the band’s new album is scheduled for release Oct. 25.  The 11-song, 40 minute record’s very dark lyrical themes and its heavy arrangements make it an effort that will help to make it shine in what is already a very crowded field of new hard rock records this year. Each item will be discussed here.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Down in the Dark a record that, given the proper support, could easily bring Dark Station and its debut album into the spotlight.

Dark Station’s debut album Down in the Dark is a positive offering from the Orange County, CA-based hard rock band.  That is due in part to the record’s collective musical arrangements.  One listen to the record reveals that the band’s members are not satisfied sticking to just one style of hard rock in this album.  There are industrial elements set alongside electronic elements, which themselves are set against a more metalcore sound.  All of that joins with a hard rock element that shows up at times, too.  The end result of all of those sounds is a record that is certain to appeal to a wide range of hard rock fans if only for its musical side.  The industrial elements show up right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘Ryse.’  The opening countdown leans to an industrial metal style breakdown that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Fear Factory, Crossbreed and Static-X.  That same sound is used in the song’s chorus sections and rounds out the song in its finale while the rest of the song boasts more of a pure melodic hard rock sound.  The balance of those two distinctly different styles works well here, with the end result being just one of many high points presented in this album.

‘Villain,’ which is easily another of the album’s high points (if not its highest point) is an example of the album’s more electronic style sound.  It takes little time comparing this song’s arrangement to works from the likes of Orgy and even Korn.  As a matter of fact, the coupling of front man Nathan Spades’ vocals with the song’s instrumental elements especially adds to that comparison.  Even more interesting is that once again, the band incorporates a certain industrial metal element through its guitars at certain points in the song.  Once again, each element is balanced well against the others, with the end result being another key addition to the album in regards to the album’s musical content.

‘No Life’ presents the album’s more radio-ready mainstream sound from start to finish.  The combination of Spades’ vocals, the drums, bass and guitars create here, a sound that is easily likened to music from the likes of Three Days Grace.  Considering that mainstream rock radio programmers are more friendly to songs of this nature, it perhaps has the best chance of any of the album’s songs to receive attention from said individuals.  That is because it is not the hard-driving work that so many of the album’s other songs are.  Keeping it in consideration along with the album’s other heavier works, it is just one more way in which the record’s arrangements prove to be a strong point for the album.  All things considered on the album’s musical side, the whole of the record is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That musical content is just one way in which Down in The Dark proves to be such an appealing record.  Its lyrical content proves just as important to its whole as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout the course of Down in The Dark is in itself dark, which may in fact explain the album’s title.  From matters, such as dealing with that part of ourselves that is the worst of each of us, to taking on our own negative emotional thoughts of our lives to handling toxic relationships and more, the album’s lyrical content is such that it will certainly appeal to many listeners.  The matter of dealing with that unwanted, darker part of ourselves rises in the album’s latest single ‘Villains.’  Spades noted in a recent interview about the song, that it was inspired by Marvel Studios’ recent cinematic adaptation of the Marvel comic book “Venom.”  Spades noted in that interview, the song focuses on how the movie’s lead character Eddie Brock had to come to terms with the symbiote Venom.  He added in the interview, the song focused on how the pair had to compromise and come to an agreement on a new kind of life.  That is something to which we all have had to do at one point or another.  He sings, in the song’s lead verse,” Kept down dark/Where I can be bold…We hide from the world/What we really are/Inside, where we’re born/Like the monsters now/I know/There’s only one way out/I know/You won’t stop me now/I know/To break the rules…It’s all become so clear/You never wanted to take the blame/You always love to play the game/You’ll never die in the glorious flame/You’ll always be the villain in me.”  He adds in the song’s second verse, “With the fire and fear/Burning blood on the sheets/The truth eats us alive/Proving grounds in the streets/Starve the agents of death…I like the misery/I hate the company it brings/I like the fear on your face/It’s all become so clear.”  Those who know about Venom know that at one point, he did play the part of an anti-hero of sorts, but by and large, he/it has always been more villain than anti-hero.  To that point, the thought of having to come to terms with that lesser part of one’s self and dealing with that part of one’s personality is something to which plenty of listeners can relate.  To that end, this song’s lyrical content proves in its own way, the importance of the album’s lyrical content to its whole.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show that importance.  ‘No Life,’ with its focus on overcoming our own feelings of depression, is another key example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

Spades sings in the song’s lead verse, “Been in my head so long/That I can’t seem to find the end/Another day I won’t see the light/Something else I couldn’t get/Anything to live/Now I’m finding out this time…something else was inside me/You’ve got to fly it alone now/It’s out of control/I know, I know/That you’re in a place/Can’t lose hope.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Hey, hi/Yeah it’s me/A little note from your history/Stop acting like you could see/When you felt out of place/Replaying things you can’t erase/Shaping up way too late/Roll the dice…chasing things you can’t replace.”  As Spades noted in an interview about the song, it focuses on seeing past our own views of ourselves and realizing the importance of the bigger picture.

“Sometimes when we’re so caught up with everything we have going on, we forget about the people around us that might need us as much as we need them,” he said of the song’s lyrical theme.  “The amount of suicides and overdoses that happen annually is a frighteningly high number.  Sometimes, when you’re really caught in your own head, you need to hear sad things to help you overcome it.  ‘No Life’ represents two sides of the same coin; what people go through as addicts and people that have to struggle and abuse themselves in ways other than drugs, trying to numb reality in any way we can.”  Again, this is something to which so many people can relate.  With drug addiction, depression and general mental health concerns being so commonplace today, it makes this lyrical content easy to relate to for listeners, and in turn hopefully inspiring, as Spades noted.  Again, here is an example of why this record’s lyrical content is so important to its whole.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important.  The focus on toxic relationships in ‘Obvious’ is another song that can be referenced in explaining the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

As Spades noted in an interview about that song, “It’s me having to force myself to admit something I had known all along.  As if it was inevitable, that something as pure and as beautiful as a relationship could be extremely toxic when blinded by love.  When it becomes clear though, no matter how strong that feeling is, it hits hard and you can finally start to see it all for what it really is.”  The matter of dealing with a bad, broken relationship is another matter that is anything but new to the music industry.  This is just another way in which it is tackled.  He sings in the song’s chorus, “I wanna tell you/Something that I’ve been holding back/You are the worst..It’s so obvious.”  Everyone has been at this point in a relationship at one point or another.  Again, this makes such statements as noted here that much more relatable to listeners and in turn proves once more, the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When such an example is considered along with the other content noted here (and the rest of the album’s content) the whole of said content makes undeniable, the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  When it is coupled with the album’s musical content, the two elements join to make the album in whole a presentation that will widely appeal to listeners.  They are not the album’s only key elements.  Its sequencing puts the final touch to its whole.

The sequencing of Down in the Dark is important to note because it ensures the noted collective content will keep listeners engaged and entertained.  The record starts off heavily with the driving, proudly defiant ‘Ryse’ before moving into the more thought provoking commentary and sound of ‘Heroes’ and into the equally driving yet contemplative ‘New Age’ as the album progresses.  The record’s musical and lyrical energies remain constant as it makes its way into the deeply contemplative ‘Villain’ and the more reserved ‘No Life.’  Things pick right back up after ‘No Life’ (again both musically and lyrically) as listeners take in ‘Obvious.’  The energy remains just as constant as the album makes its way through ‘Hollow,’ ‘Misery,’ ‘Ghost,’ ‘Locked On’ and ‘Visions.’  The subtle changes in the album’s musical arrangements from metalcore to semi-emo to more aggro rock from one song to the next ensures listeners will not get the same thing from one track to the next.  The change-up in the songs’ lyrical themes keep things just as interesting for the album as that of its arrangements.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear that much thought and time was put into making sure listeners are fully engaged and entertained by this record, not just in terms of its content, but in the balance of said content.  Keeping all of this in mind, the whole of Down in the Dark proves itself a record that could help bring this independent band into its own spotlight.

Dark Station’s forthcoming debut album Down in the Dark is a good start for the independent hard rock band.  That is due in part to a variety of musical styles that in themselves offer appeal to a wide range of listeners.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible to listeners as its musical arrangements, giving listeners topics to which lots of listeners can relate.  Those arrangements and lyrical themes together through a sequence that will ensure even more, listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  Each item is key in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Down in the Dark a bright start for this band; a record that can bring the band its own spotlight, given the right attention.  Down in the Dark is scheduled for release Oct. 25.  More information on the album is available along with the band’s upcoming tour at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.darkstationband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkstationband

 

 

 

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.

Another Lost Year Debuts ‘H.O.M.E.’ Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Another Lost Year debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its song ‘H.O.M.E.‘ The video crosses footage of the band performing its song against an evening backdrop with footage of the band members enjoying time with family and friends.

The song’s musical arrangement is a melodic hard composition that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  The band’s front man Clinton Cunanan talked about the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview, noting it is a love letter to the band’s home state.

“I feel where I came from is the reason I work nonstop,” he said.  “I wanted to write a song to pay tribute to that, a Friday night anthem for anyone, anywhere.  North Carolina has had some amazing talent come out of it.  I hope to have one day left my mark for where I call HOME.”

‘H.O.M.E.’ is available now through Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music.  The band is scheduled to join Dark Station in November.  Dates for that tour will be announced soon.

More information on the upcoming tour is available online along with all of the band’s news at:

 

Website: http://www.whoisALY.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Official_ALY

 

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

Dark Station Debuts Forthcoming Album’s Fourth Single

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group/FM Music Management

Dark Station debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘Villain‘ Friday. The song, the fourth to come from the band’s forthcoming album Down in the Dark, was inspired by the movie Venom according to band member Kyle Ort.

Ort talked about that inspiration in a recent interview.

‘Since the lyrics were inspired by the movie Venom, we wanted to keep the same feel for the video,” he said.  “The video starts with this darkness taking over [front man] Nathan [Spades], eventually leading him to rob a gas station.  The band catches up to him at the end, where Nathan shoots himself in the shoulder, releasing the darkness.  This is definitely one of the most visually impressive videos we have made.  We think this song belongs in the next super hero movie.  Maybe Venom 2?”

Spades expanded on Ort’s comments with his own statement.

“‘Villain‘ is 100 percent about the character Eddie Brock and his relationship with Venom,” Spades said.  “It’s about how they had to accept and compromise on this new way of living, but I think people will relate it to things that are important to them.  This song means the most to me, because while we were writing the song, I really started to believe in myself again as well as Dark Station.”

Villain‘ is just the latest song to be released from Dark Station’s upcoming album Down in the Dark.  The band most recently debuted the video for the album’s third single, ‘No Life.’  Its debut was preceded by the debut of the songs ‘Obvious‘ and ‘Heroes.’

More information about Dark Station’s new single is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.darkstationband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkstationband

 

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.

 

Dark Station Debuted ‘No Life’ Video

Courtesy: FM Music Management/O’Donnell Media Group

Dark Station debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its third single, ‘No Life’ Friday.  The video is streaming now at the band’s official website and YouTube Channel.  The video crosses footage of the band performing its new song with two separate situations — one featuring front man Nathan Spades lying in bed with a bottle of pills, and the other a woman who seemingly is a prostitute realizing the error of her ways.

Spades talked about the video’s concept in a recent interview.

“The goal for the video was to give the viewer a clear vision of how real and raw life can be,” Spades said.  “Sometimes when we’re so caught up with everything we have going on, we forget about the people around us that might need us as much as we need them.  The amount of suicides and overdoses that happen annually is a frighteningly high number.  I think the combination of the visuals in the video along with the music and lyrics makes for a powerful message.”

He added about the song’s lyrical theme, “Sometimes, when you’re really caught in your own head, you need to hear sad things to help you overcome it.  ‘No Life’ represents two sides of the same coin; what people go through as addicts and people that have to struggle and abuse themselves in ways other than drugs, trying to numb reality in any way we can.”

The video for ‘No Life‘ comes almost a month after Dark Station debuted the video for its second single, ‘Obvious‘ and more than two months after the band debuted the video for its lead single, ‘Heroes.’  All three songs are taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album Down in the Dark, which is due out later this year.

More information on Down in the Dark is available online now along with all of Dark Station’s news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.darkstationband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkstationband

 

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 sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dark Station Debuts ‘Obvious’ Video

Dark Station debuted the video  for its latest single Friday.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Obvious‘ at its official YouTube channel.  The hard rock band’s new video features its members performing the group’s new single in a dimly let basement-type setting.  The song’s aggro rock style arrangement will appeal widely to fans of said genre, which was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Dark Station guitarist Kyle Ort discussed the video’s concept in a recent interview.

“I sent a few emails back and forth with our director, Robyn August once we got the song finished,” Ort said.  “He heard the song and we were on the same page immediately as far as what the vibe should be.  We wanted to make a combination of A Perfect Circle’s ‘Judith’ and Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ with lighting like the movie Mandy (2018).  I think we nailed it.”

Courtesy: FM Music Management

Front man Nathan Spades expanded on Ort’s comments as he talked about the song’s lyrical theme.

“It’s me having to force myself to admit something I had known all along,” Spades said.  “As if it was inevitable, that something as pure and as beautiful as a relationship could be extremely toxic when blinded by love.  When it becomes clear though, no matter how strong that feeling is, it hits hard and you can finally start to see it all for what it really is.”

‘Obvious’ is the second single from the band’s debut album Down in the Dark.  The band debuted the video for the song ‘Heroes,’ May 31.

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

 

Websitehttp://www.darkstationband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/wearedarkstation

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/darkstationband

 

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.

Dark Station Debuts ‘Heroes’ Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent emo outfit Dark Station debuted the video for its new single Friday.

The band debuted the video for the song ‘Heroes,’ which is featured on the band’s debut album Down in the Dark.  Directed by Ezra Bader, the video finds the band’s members — Nathan Spades (vocals), Kyle Ort (guitar), David Bruno (guitar), Eric Sinful (bass) and Dylan Roy (drums) — performing for an audience like a group of puppets connected to strings.

Throughout the performance a large, demonic figure laughs, pointing at people in the audience who raise their fingers as if they are bidding on the band.

Ort talked about working with Bader in a statement featured in a news release about the video’s debut.

“This was our first time working with Ezra Bader for the ‘Heroes’ video,” Ort said.  “We weren’t sure how it would turn out, but he was able to bring our vision to life and create something that all of us are extremely proud of.”

Ort added ‘Heroes’ was among the first songs that the band crafted for Down in the Dark.

“I was really happy with how the instrumentals turned out, and once the vocals were laid down, I knew we had something special,” Ort said.

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

 

Website: http://www.darkstationband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkstationband

 

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.