Def Leppard Splitting Up Recent Live Recording On CD, Vinyl

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Def Leppard will re-issue its recently released live recording London to Vegas next month as two separate releases.

The two concerts that are featured in the original recording will release as limited edition standalone 2CD presentations.  They are scheduled for release Oct. 16.  The band’s Hysteria at the O2 makes up one half of the overall presentation while the band’s Hits Vegas, Live at Planet Hollywood makes up the second half of the recording.

The Hysteria at the O2 concert was originally recorded in December 2018.  The band performed its hit certified 10X Platinum album Hysteria in its entirety during the concert.  Some other fan favorites were also featured as part of the concert.

Hits VegasLive at Planet Hollywood was recorded six months after the band’s performance at the O2 Arena in London at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theatre.  The concert also took place shortly after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Pre-orders are open for the 2CD presentations as well as a limited edition 3LP vinyl pressing of the Las Vegas concert.  That recording is scheduled for release Dec. 11.

Audiences can view the band’s performance of ‘Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad’ from the band’s Las Vegas performance here.

More information on London to Vegas is available online now along with all of Def Leppard’s latest news and more at:










To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at


Ellefson Debuts New Compilation’s Lead Single; Unveils Initial Track Listing

Courtesy: Combat Records

Audiences got their first preview of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s new eponymous rock project this week.

The band — Ellefson (bass), Thom Hazaert (vocals), Andy Martongelli (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), and Paolo Caridi (drums) — released the song ‘Wasted‘ Friday.  The song, a cover of the Def Leppard song, is the lead single from the group’s debut record, No Cover.

Ellefson’s cover of ‘Wasted’ features guest appearances from Frank Hannon (Tesla), Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars, Lynam), and Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head, Sacred Reich).

The famed names featured on ‘Wasted’ are just some of well-known musicians and performers who make appearances on this record.  Also lending their talents to the album are equally well-known figures, such as Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Gus G. (Firewind).

Along with debuting its lead single, Ellefson has also unveiled the initial track listing for No Cover.  The initial listing opens with a cover of Judas Priest’s timeless hit song ‘Freewheel Burning’ and also features covers of songs such as AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff,’ Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album’s initial track listing is noted below.  Two tracks are still TBA. Pre-orders are open now.


1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McClain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain, Bumblefoot
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Lombardo
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino
10. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Troy Lucketta, Mark Slaughter
11. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin
12. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
13. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
14. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns, Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
15. TBA
16. TBA
17. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Bonus Tracks
18. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Dead By Wednesday


No Cover was co-produced by Ellefson, Hazaert, and Martongelli.  The record was engineered by Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred) and John Aquilino.  Alessio and Garavello mixed the album alongside Randy Burns and others.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now






Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:






To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Angeles’ Latest LP Keeps The Flame Burning For Classic Rock Fans

Courtesy: Dark Star Records/Sony

When veteran rock band Angeles released its 12th full-length studio recording Fire It Up last year, it was the first time in more than 40 years that the band, founded by Dale Lytle, had released any new music to the masses.  Having been away from the limelight for such a long time, one would have thought the band would have had a hard time getting back into the swing of things, but as it turned out, the case was quite the opposite.  Now less than a year after its release, Angeles has returned with a new album in the form of Hell on High Heels and slightly changed lineup, — now former vocalist Gwendolyn Casella parted ways with the band following the album’s release and was subsequently replaced by new front man Louis Collins.  The eight-song record is scheduled for release Friday through Dark Star Records/Sony.  The new forthcoming 30-minute record continues the success that the band enjoyed in Fire It Up and builds on that success with its musical and lyrical content.  That is proven in part through one of the album’s latest singles, ‘Celebrate.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Heal The Wounds,’ which is another of the album’s singles, is another way in which the album shows the band’s continued success on this record.  ‘Start Living’ is yet another example of what make Angeles’ new album another successful effort from the band.  Together with the other two songs noted here and the other five songs not noted here, the whole of Hell on High Heels proves to be another work that will certainly appeal to Angeles’ most devoted fan base as well as the most devoted 80s rock aficionados.

Angeles’ forthcoming album Hell on High Heels is a positive return for the band, especially having come less than a year after the band released the record’s predecessor Fire It Up.  Considering how little time has passed between these two records – unlike Fire It Up and its predecessor – one might think the album might feel rushed, and in turn messy.  However, the exact opposite is the case here.  That is proven in part through one of the album’s latest singles, ‘Celebrate.’  The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Celebrate’ is an upbeat, positive work that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Poison, Ratt, and Motley Crue.  The noted musical arrangement fits the song’s lyrical theme, which touts the joy of just being together with friends and family.  It is that full-on happy, upbeat party rock sound that was so popular during that age of big guitar riffs and even bigger hair.  The positive vibe exuded by the song’s musical arrangement does well to help convey the sense of joy that is exhibited through the song’s lyrical content.

Collins sings in the song’s lead verse, “Slip on my boots/And get my head on right/We’re going to a rock and roll show/meet up with the boys/And we’re heading to the club/We’re fired up and ready to go/Raise a glass tonight and let’s celebrate/It’s only midnight and it’s not too late.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “The drinks are flowing/And the music’s pumping/We’re having a real good time/the pretty girls are dancing and they’re looking at me/Gonna make one of ‘em mine/Sweet little Susie’s coming home with me/And we’re gonna set the night on fire/We’re back to my place and we have some fun/burnin’ like a funeral pyre.”  From there, the story continues, telling about the morning after that night of celebration with friends and what followed.  Little Suzie stayed the night and left the next afternoon, not to give away too much.  From there, Collins sings about working hard all week and in turn, celebrating on the weekend.  It’s never revealed if the song’s subject saw little Susie again.  That is left to the listener’s imagination.  That aside, the overall…well..celebratory nature of this song musically and lyrically makes it a work that lives up to its name and will assuredly keep listeners engaged and entertained what with that throwback musical and lyrical style.  It is just one of the songs that makes Hell on High Heels another positive offering from Angeles.  ‘Heal The Wounds’ is another way in which the album shows its strength.

Much as is the case with ‘Celebrate,’ this song’s arrangement is another full-on throwback to the guitar-laden rock that made the 80s such a notable musical era.  While the stylistic approach is the same, the sound is anything but.  This song’s musical arrangement is more akin to Poison’s ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ and some older works from Bon Jovi.  It starts off soft and simple before becoming much more bombastic yet still ballad-esque in the same stylistic vein of the noted older works.  That familiar stylistic approach will appeal to the already mentioned audiences just as much as the arrangement featured in ‘Celebrate.’  It goes well with the contemplative nature in the song’s lyrical theme, which serves as a reminder to listeners that “time will heal the wounds,” of a broken relationship, as front man Louis Collins sings in the song’s chorus.

Collins sings sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m all out of things to say/Out of tears to cry/All out of thoughts…Can barely let out a sigh/the memories and time/All pas me by/See you on the street/Makes me wanna die/Time will heal the wounds/Time will kill the pain.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m all out of whisky/I’m down to my last cigarette/Trying to get it together/I haven’t figured it out just yet/Sleepless nights, they haunt me/I’m laying down in a cold sweat/It’s time for me to go/It’s time to raise my bet/’Cause time will heal the wounds/Time will kill the pain.”  Following this point, listeners are presented the story of the actual breakup and the subject’s emotional recovery from that breakup.  It would explain the much more uplifting sound that gradually develops through the remainder of the song.  Considering that the song’s subject reminds himself that time will heal the wounds and kill the pain, this is a key to continuing to make sure this song connects just as easily with listeners through its words as much as through its music.  All things considered, the song is just one more way in which Hell on High Heels proves its strength in itself and within the bigger community of new 80s rock style releases put out so far this year.  ‘Start Living’ is yet another way in which the album holds its own alongside its counterparts.

‘Start Living’ is another positive, uplifting (so to speak) work featured in Angeles’ latest album.  That is due in part to its musical arrangement, which is a work that is as energetic and upbeat as ‘Celebrate.’  Its sound and approach is also just as similar to works from Motley Crue and others as that song.  It should be noted that even with that stylistic similarity, the song still bears its own sound, so it is not just ripping off the works from those bands or even itself.  To that end, the song’s arrangement does its own part to keep listeners engaged and entertained in this case.  Its lyrical content builds on that engagement and entertainment.

Much like ‘Celebrate’ is a full-on song that pays homage to being out with friends and just living the rock and roll life, so does this song in its own right.  Collins even sings in the song’s lead verse, “Thirty days in and I’m feeling down…Sick of the walls/I’m tired and bored/I wanna rock the world.But I’m stuck indoors/Let’s get moving/Start living all night long.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Look at my guitar/I play real loud/And take the shows to the biggest crowd/Party all night with the pretty girls…getting in the fights with the boys in the band…Patch things p with a whiskey shot/Do it again tomorrow/Ready or not/let’s get moving/Start living all night long.”  Now while some of the lyrics are indecipherable without a lyrics sheet to reference, enough is understood in this case that it is pretty obvious what is being addressed here.  There is a mention of fever making someone feel bad.  It could be interpreted that this has to do something with the impact of COVID-19, considering that the album was being recorded late last year and early this year as COVID-19 started to take over the world.  That mention of getting tired of looking at the walls strengthens that supposition even more.  It comes across as Collins talking about just wanting to get out and live, to get out and hit the road, which is what so many bands, acts and groups want to do, but sadly likely won’t get to do until at least next year.  It makes for its own engagement and entertainment for audiences.  That is because the fans want to be out there just as much as the bands.  Keeping that collective mindset and the energy and sound in the song’s musical arrangement, it becomes increasingly clear why this song is another standout addition to Hell on High Heels.  It is certain to become an anthem in its own right as bands and audiences alike await the return of live music.  Together with the other songs noted here and the rest of its works, Hell on High Heels shows why it is a positive return for Angeles.

Angeles has scored another win with its 13th full-length studio recording, Hell on High Heels.  That is due in no small part to its musical arrangements and lyrical themes, all of which are sure to engage and entertain audiences in their own way.  That is proven through three of the album’s eight songs addressed here.  When that trio of songs is addressed along with the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole proves, again, why it is another positive return for the band.  Hell on High Heels is scheduled for release Friday through Dark Star Records/Sony.

The album’s track listing and recording information is noted below.

‘Hell On High Heels’ tracklisting:
1. Hell On High Heels – Lytle/Collins – 4:43
2. Celebrate – Lytle/Collins – 3:37
3. Heal The Wounds – Lytle/Collins – 3:52
4. Apocalypse – Lytle/Collins – 4:24
5. Start Living – Lytle/Collins – 2:58
6. Rolling Like Thunder – Lytle/Collins – 3:56
7. Run – Lytle/Collins – 3:06
8. Holly Fenton – Merrit/James – 3:22

Music recorded at Clear Lake Recording Studios N. Hollywood CA – Ara Sarkisian.
Vocals recorded at MT Studios Burbank CA – Matt Thorne.
Produced by Dale Lytle and Matt Thorne
Mixed and mastered by Matt Thorne
Front cover by Jeffrey A. Swanson
Back cover by Connie Lytle
Graphic Design by Monarch Digital Design

More information on Angeles’ new album is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:




To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to and ‘Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Audiences From “London To Las Vegas” And Beyond Will Enjoy Def Leppard’s New Live Recording

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The live music industry has been decimated so far this  year due to the health concerns raised around the world by the COVID-19 outbreak.  Festival shows have either been delayed or rescheduled until next year.  Tours around the world have been delayed with the hopes that what was going to take place in spring and summer would finally be able to happen by fall at the latest.  Articles from some well-known music magazines have quoted a bunch of so-called medical experts who have claimed without evidence that live concerts could be held off until next year.  It should be stressed here that the word “could” is not equal to the word “will.”  That means the statements of the so-called experts should be taken with a grain of salt.  One can only hope that live music will return much sooner than next year, proving the so-called experts who were polled – polls are more often than not used to push specific agendas of media and political personnel – wrong.  In the meantime, Eagle Rock Entertainment has another new live archived show for audiences to enjoy in the form of London To Vegas.  Scheduled for release May 29, the double live recording is a presentation that will appeal equally to Def Leppard’s most devoted fans and to classic rock fans.  That is due primarily to the noted fact that it is a double live show.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the recording adds slightly to the presentation’s appeal, and will be discussed a little later.  The band’s performance in each recording couples with the shows’ production and mixing to make for the last (but most certainly not least) of the package’s most important elements.  Each noted item is key in its own way to the whole of London to Vegas.  All things considered, they make London To Vegas a presentation that the band’s fans and classic rock buffs around the world will enjoy from beginning to end of each concert.

Def Leppard’s forthcoming live recording London to Vegas is among the best of this year’s new live recordings overall.  It is a presentation whose appeal is certain to be wide.  That is due in part to the general presentation.  Presented here is not one, but two separate concerts from one of the most respected bands in the modern history of rock and roll.  The first of the featured concerts was recorded in December 2018 at London’s famed O2 Arena.  The performance features the band performing its landmark 1987 album Hysteria in its entirety for audiences.  The record has gone platinum 10 times since its release more than 30 years ago.  The performance is just part of what makes this concert pivotal.  The other reason it is such an important performance will be addressed in the discussion about the package’s bonus content.  The second show was recorded in June 2019 during Def Leppard’s residency at Zappo’s Theatre in Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, NV.  While performing albums in whole has become increasingly commonplace for musical acts from across the musical universe, it still is not so commonplace that it is something that can be written off as cliché for any kind of act.  What’s more, it is widely known and accepted that no two acts perform their songs the same way live as they do in a studio setting, and audiences definitely get an enjoyable performance of Hyseria from Def Leppard in its O2 show.  The band performs more than just Hysteria here, too.  There are some other classic numbers that make up a handful of encores performed by the band after it finishes making its way through the album.  Those encores will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.

The Las Vegas residency show doesn’t stick to just one album, enhancing the overall experience for audiences that much more.  While Hysteria does get a lot of nods over the course of the 28-song set, which runs almost three hours, the band does lift from some of its other albums.  The band goes as far back as 1981 and is sophomore album High ‘N’ Dry in its set and as recent as its self-titled 2015 record, its most recently released album.  Along the way, the band treats audiences to songs from its equally popular 1983 album Pyromania, its 2002 album X, its 1992 album Adrenalize and even its 1993 rarities & b-sides compilation Retro ActiveSlang (1996) and Euphoria (1999) are even represented in this expansive set list.  The only albums not represented in the concert are the band’s 1980 debut On Through The Night, its 2006 record Yeah! and its follow-up, 2008’s Songs From The Sparkle Lounge.  Sure, those albums are missing from the concert’s set list, but even with that in mind, audiences still get a relatively comprehensive set list from this archived show.  Adding to the interest is that some of the songs performed at the Vegas show are works that the band had never performed live until that point, according to front man Joe Elliot.  He makes the revelation in front of the audience of hundreds if not more.  Between this concert’s extensive and rich set list and that of the band’s O2 show, audiences get here what is one of the strongest showings of Def Leppard’s catalog of all time and what is one of the band’s best live recordings to date if only for that reason.  The total run time of the two shows surpasses the five hour mark, which is even better for anyone who is looking to pass the hours cooped up indoors until all those unnecessary lockdowns are lifted across the country, and for anyone who just wants to enjoy a good live show (or two) any time of the year.

It goes without saying that the primary content featured in Def Leppard’s forthcoming new live recording London To Vegas goes a very long way toward keeping audiences engaged and entertained from beginning to end in each concert.  As much as the concert recordings do for this package’s presentation, they are but one part of what makes the presentation in whole so engaging and entertaining.  The bonus content that comes with the recording adds to that appeal.  The bonus content that accompanies the band’s London show features the revelation from the band members that up until that concert, the band had never previously performed at the O2 Arena.  The band members also discuss in the bonus content how the O2 concert came to be.  Not to give away too much, but it has to do with the band’s Las Vegas residency.  Audiences will be left to learn the rest of that story for themselves when they purchase this presentation on any of its many available platforms.  Along with that, there is also a tribute of sorts from the band members to famed producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange for his role in the creation of Hysteria.  The band members credit his work behind the boards for much of the album’s success.  For those unfamiliar with Lange’s work, he also has worked with the likes of AC/DC, Lady Gaga and Maroon 5.  His work with AC/DC is most well-known on the band’s breakout 1981 album Back in Black, which is one of the best selling albums of all time to this day.  His work with Maroon 5 came in 2010 on the band’s album Hands All Over.  Lady Gaga enlisted him to produce her mega-hit single ‘Born This Way’ in 2011.  Along the way, audiences also get to watch Def Leppard “Behind-The Scenes” as the band prepares for its O2 Arena show with brief snippets of the band checking out the arena and handling soundcheck.  That “behind-the-scenes” footage makes up all of the bonus content for the Las Vegas residency.  Audiences get to see the band prep for its residency, experiencing the band members talk about how its live shows will come together, noting where band members will stand, how different acoustic settings work, etc.  There is not much to it, but it is still at least slightly entertaining.  Between the two bonus segments, audiences get almost half an hour of extra content to accompany the primary content.  That extra content is factored into the presentation’s total run time, which again, comes to more than five hours, all things considered.  Considering the actual content featured in the bonus footage, some of it is better than other, but overall, it still does add some engagement and entertainment to the mix.  Coupled with the presentation’s primary content, the two elements give audiences quite a bit to appreciate, whether they are Def Leppard devotees, classic rock buffs or just rock and roll fans in general.  Keeping all of this in mind, the content featured in this recording is of the utmost importance to its presentation.  Of course, the content is only a portion of what will keep audiences engaged and entertained.  The recording’s general aesthetics are also worth noting for their roles in the package’s presentation.

The collective mixing and production of these two shows  joins with the band’s performance in each show to make this presentation even stronger.  The sound is expertly balanced in each concert from start to end.  No one performer overpowers his band mates at any point in either concert, showing that those behind the boards took into full account, the acoustics of each venue.  The camera angles give home viewers so many views that audiences who attended the concerts in person would not have had, enhancing the experience overall that much more for audiences.  The transitions from camera to camera are smooth, making for even more enjoyment.  The band’s performance plays alongside the production and mixing, adding its own share of enjoyment, too.  The band wastes little time stopping and slowing things down with lots of audience interaction.  Rather, the band lets its balanced energy from one song to the next do all of the talking for each member.  That focus from the band also allowed those behind the boards less challenges in terms of adjusting sound levels, and in turn less work for those who handled the concerts’ post production.  Honestly, those straight forward, energy-filled performances, coupled with the enjoyable aesthetics show that it is very possible to have an enjoyable show without a lot of unnecessary elements, such as pyro, fog machines, etc.  It shows that it is possible for a band to entertain audiences just by performing, and that is a very good thing.  When this is taken into consideration with the recording’s primary and secondary content (the performances and their bonus material), the whole of this expansive almost career-defining double concert set proves itself a must have for so many audiences, and without question, one of this year’s top new live recordings overall.

Def Leppard’s forthcoming new double live recording London to Vegas is an impressive new presentation from the veteran rock band. Whether one is a Def Leppard devotee, a rock and roll fan in general, or a classic rock fan, this collection of live material is certain to entertain almost anyone who watches these performances.  That is, as noted, due in large part to the expansive list of songs featured collectively throughout the two performances.  The bonus content that accompanies the concerts enhances the experience a little more for audiences.  The aesthetics of the concerts – the mixing, production and band performances – rounds out the most important of the recording’s presentation.  Between these elements, the wide variety of platforms on which the recording is available and their average price point, this presentation goes a long way toward proving its value to audiences.  It will be available April 24. Pre-orders are open now.  It goes without saying that considering all of this, London to Vegas proves itself a presentation that audiences from London to Vegas to points around the globe will enjoy.  More information on London to Vegas is available online now along with all of Def Leppard’s latest news and more at:










To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Rare Hendrix Archived Live Recording Takes Top Honors On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 Live CDs List

Courtesy: Dagger Records/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Experiencing live concert events is not an easy thing in this day and age.  Between the collective costs of attending (I.E. pricey tickets, gas, souvenirs, possible lodging, food & drink, etc.), perhaps the general lack of time to attend depending on circumstances, or maybe the very fact that audiences’ favorite acts didn’t include certain cities on their tours, there is a lot that plays into the inability to attend live events.  Keeping this in mind, not all hope is lost, thanks to all of the live recordings released each year by so many acts.  Some are released as full bundle packages while others are released just as DVDs or Blu-rays.  Some are even released solely on CD.  Regardless of the platforms, the availability of so many live recordings is unquestionably important for audiences.  Staying on that topic, the live CDs made available are worth noting in their own right.  That is the the case regardless of whether or not said CDs are bundled with DVD or Blu-ray counterparts.  That is because, again, even if the CDs come alongside a live audio visual component, that audio only component can and does oftentimes, translate differently than DVD and Blu-ray recordings.  Keeping this in mind, Phil’s Picks is offering a list of the year’s top new live CDs.

Included in this year’s list are standalone CD recordings and CDs included as part of bundles.  The titles featured in this year’s list include live recordings from Curtis Knight, Jon Cleary, Alter Bridge, The Dead Daisies and many others.  Simply put, they run the gamut from one genre to another across the musical universe.  Topping this year’s list is Dagger Records and Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix recording Curtis Knight featuring Jimi Hendrix Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966.  This live recording features performances by Hendrix well before he became an international superstar — performances that showed his talent even then.  Also included in this year’s list are recordings from Foghat, Alter Bridge, Armored Saint and others.  As is the case with every Phil’s Picks year-ender, this list features the top 10 best new titles plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Staying on that note, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Live CDs.


  1. Curtis Knight feat. Jimi Hendrix — Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966
  2. Alter Bridge — Live at The 02 & Rarities
  3. Jon Cleary — Live at the Chickie Wah Wah
  4. Foghat — Live at The Belly Up
  5. Between The Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic Live
  6. Armored Saint — Carpe Noctum
  7. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  8. Black Sabbath — The End
  9. The Rolling Stones — Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015
  10. The Who — Live at the Isle of Wight 2014
  11. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  12. The Winery Dogs — Dog Years Live in Santiago & Beyond 2013 – 2016
  13. Def Leppard — …And There Will Be A Next Time
  14. Joe Bonamassa — Live at Carnegie Hall
  15. Fates Warning — Awaken The Guardian Live

That’s it for this list, but not for the live recordings lists.  Still on tap in this category is the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs as well as the year’s top new live recordings overall.  Before getting there though, there is at least one last list in the form of the year’s top new albums overall.  That one’s coming soon, so stay tuned.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Def Leppard Fans Will Enjoy Band’s New Live Recording “Time” And Again

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Def Leppard is one of the biggest bands from rock’s big hair era.  While so many bands from that age have gone by the wayside, this hard-working band has continued to make new music and tour the globe year after year; its 11th album being released in 2015.  The self-titled record proved to be a big hit for the band around the world, reaching #10 on Billboard’s Top 200 New Albums Chart and reaching the top spot on the magazine’s Top Rock Albums Chart, Top Hard Rock Albums Chart, and Top Independent Albums Chart.  It also led to a hugely successful global tour in support of the record.  That tour included a performance in Detroit in 2016 that this week was released by Eagle Rock Entertainment on multiple formats.  Releasing the recording on multiple formats is standard practice for Eagle Rock Entertainment, so there is little point to noting this as part of its overall presentation.  The concert’s set list sits at the center of the recording’s presentation.  It will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance is just as important to note as the show’s set list.  The concert’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right.  All things considered, the recording in whole proves to be a presentation that Def Leppard’s most devout fans will enjoy.

Def Leppard’s new live recording And There Will Be A Next Time is a recording that the band’s most devout fans will enjoy “time and again.”  Yes, that awful pun was entirely intended.  While it obviously is not the band’s first ever live recording, it is still a recording that those fans will enjoy.  That is due at least in part to the recording’s set list.  The 17-song set is not wholly career-defining.  That is because it doesn’t pull from every one of the band’s albums.  The most heavily represented album in this concert is the band’s 1987 album Hysteria.  The band pulled six songs from the record. They include the hit songs ‘Love Bites,’ ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me,’ and the record’s title track.  High and Dry (1981) and Pyromania (1983) are the next most prominent records featured in this set with three songs each.  Adrenalize (1992), Yeah (2006) and the band’s 2015 self-titled record are all included in the show’s set list with songs from each record, too.  While X, Euphoria, Slang and Songs From The Sparkle Lounge are all absent from the set list, that doesn’t necessarily take away too much from the concert.  The band might have been limited by time constraints set by the DTE Energy Music Theatre staff.  There are a lot of venues that have time constraints in place.  Considering that, it likely limited the band’s ability to include songs from every one of its albums.  If that was the case, then what the band was able to present will no doubt impress audiences and the band’s most devout fans.  It is just one of the elements of this concert that audiences will appreciate.  The band’s performance of the featured set list is just as worth noting as the songs themselves.

The set list featured in Def Leppard’s new live recording is in itself a key piece of the recording’s presentation.  That is because while not necessarily career-defining, it does still present a respectable cross-section of the band’s body of work.  That is just one of the recording’s most important elements.  The band’s performance of that set list is just as important to note as the set list itself.  Audiences will note in watching this performance that the stage at the DTE Energy Music Theatre is not overly large.  It is not one of those massive arena stages on which the band made its name during its heyday.  It is, in fact, about the same size as most outdoor amphitheatre’s stage.  That being the case, the front man Joe Elliot and company don’t have a lot of room to move around.  The band made up for that lack of space with its own enthusiasm in each song’s performance.  The passion put in by each band member in each song makes it clear why this band is still a fan favorite for such a long time.  From Elliot’s still strong vocal delivery and guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell’s concrete playing, the band makes the best of what is clearly a tough situation, making for a performance that is still enjoyable regardless.  Of course one can’t ignore the work of longtime drummer Rick Allen and bassist Rick Savage here, either.  Between their work and that of their band mates, it is clear in watching the whole group that its collective performance will impress fans just as much as the show’s set list.  It is still not the last element to note in examining this recording, either.  The recording’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.

The set list at the center of Def Leppard’s new live recording and the band’s performance thereof are both key to the recording’s presentation.  Audiences—especially the band’s most devout fans—will appreciate both elements in their own way.  While those elements are both clearly important to the recording’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The companion booklet included with the recording rounds out its most important elements.  The booklet is so important to note because of the liner notes contained therein.  The liner notes, composed by Rolling Stone magazine writer David Fricke, offer a brief history on the band while also outlining the concert’s highlights and basing them against some of the band’s past performances that Fricke had experienced in its heyday.  It paints an interesting picture of the concert contained in the recording’s DVD (and Blu-ray) presentation.  That picture adds even more depth to the concert’s overall presentation; just enough that it puts the finishing touch on the recording’s presentation.  When it is set alongside the recording’s featured set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole of those elements shows why this concert, again, is one that the band’s most devout fans will appreciate.

And There Will Be A Next Time, Def Leppard’s latest full-length live recording is a recording that the band’s most devout fans will appreciate just as much as its more casual fans.  As noted above, that is due to a set list that represents relatively well, the band’s body of work and a performance thereof that makes the best of a seemingly tight setting.  The companion booklet included in the recording’s packaging paints a clear picture of why the band is still such a fan favorite especially in a live setting so many decades after its formation.  Each element is important in its own way to this recording.  All things considered, they make this recording one that audiences will enjoy “time” and again.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this recording is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:










More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:










To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Def Leppard, Eagle Rock Partner For Band’s Latest Live Recording

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Def Leppard has partnered with Eagle Rock Entertainment, the leading name in live recordings, to release the band’s next new live recording.

And There Will Be A Next TimeLive in Detroit will be released February 10, 2017.  The veteran rock act’s latest live recording, it will feature a set list that includes 18 of the band’s biggest hits spread across two discs.

The concert’s set list, noted below, includes the likes of ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me,’ ‘Love Bites,’ ‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘Dangerous,’ and Let’s Go’ among many others.  The concert presented here was recorded at the band’s performance at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI during its 55+ date 2016 North American tour.

Track Listing:

Disc 1:
Let’s Go
Let It Go
Love Bites
Armaggeddon It
Rock On
Man Enough

Disc 2:
Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
Switch 625
Medley: Hysteria / Heroes
Let’s Get Rocked
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Rock of Ages

Audiences can see the band’s performance of ‘Let’s Go’ online now via

And There Will Be A Next Time Live in Detroit will be available on DVD + 2CD combo pack, Blu-ray + 2CD combo pack and digital video.  The concert’s DVD + 2CD combo pack will retail for MSRP of $21.98 and Blu-ray + 2CD combo pack for $26.98.

Along with the main feature, the band’s new live recording will also include bonus material in the form of the music videos for ‘Let’s Go,’ ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Man Enough.’

To celebrate the album’s upcoming release, Eagle Rock Entertainment and Def Leppard have launched a special PledgeMusic pre-order.  Fans who take advantage of the pre-order now will get early access to a handful of tracks including ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Rock On’ as well as exclusive Def Leppard merchandise.

More information on And There Will Be A Next TimeLive in Detroit is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:










More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:










To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

The Treatment’s Debut LP Keeps Pace Solidly With Rock’s Big Dogs

Courtesy:  Spinefarm Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

The 1980s is one of the most important decades in the history of the music industry.  Disco evolved into New Wave during that decade.  Rap and Hip-Hop started burgeoning during those years, too.  And in the world of rock, audiences were presented with both the New Wave of Heavy Metal (NWOHM), and the rise and fall of the hair metal movement.  While the age of big hair and big rock came and went seemingly in the blink of an eye, it also produced some of the biggest names in the history of rock and metal.  Def Leppard, Poison, Motley Crue, Dokken and others of that ilk dominated radio stations and arenas across the country in that ten-year span.  Motley Crue is officially calling it a career.  The others called it a career years ago.  And while they may be gone, many bands since have shown that they are hardly forgotten, producing record after record that pays homage to said forebears.  Now another act has added its name to that long list of bands keeping the age of big guitar riffs and equally big hair alive in the form of The Treatment.  The five piece from Cambridge, England released its full length deut record Running With The Dogs on indie label Spinefarm Records back in February of this year.  It is a fittingly titled record, too.  That’s because the band, whose members are each in no more than their late teens, stays right with the rest of the pack on its debut.  The band keeps up with other bands of its genre (E.g. Buckcherry, Airbourne) in its debut.  That’s thanks both to its full-throttle, no nonsense rock and roll sound, and its equally old school lyrics.  The combination of the two makes this record a must hear for anyone that  wants a break from the seemingly constant barrage of cookie monster growls and poppy rock songs dominating so much of the rock world today.  Right off the top, front man Matt Jones and his band mates–Dee Dammers (guitar), Tagore Grey (Guitar), Dhani Mansworth (drums), and Rick “Swoggle” Newman (bass)–show that they mean business in the album’s opener ‘I Bleed Rock N’ Roll.’  This song is classic rock and roll all the way around and will have audiences instantly rocking and singing along.  By and large, the band keeps things moving throughout the record, slowing only once in the album’s penultimate acoustic opus ‘Unchain My World.’  Even being an acoustic piece, it harkens back to the acoustic ballads of Poison and other big hair bands from the 80s.  And what rock record is complete without an up-tempo piece about a female figure that all the guys want?  It’s there, too in the form of ‘She’s Too Much.’    These three songs are each enjoyable in their own right for anyone nostalgic for real  rock and roll.  Along with the other ten songs that make up this album, the whole thing proves to be a record that any old school rock and roll fan will enjoy.

The Treatment’s debut album Running With The Dogs is an aptly titled collection of songs.  The band’s members show exactly why right off the top in the album’s high-energy opener ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll.’  Musically speaking, this song instantly shows influences from veteran rock acts the likes of AC/DC and Motley Crue.  Drummer Dhani Mansworth’s solid 4/4 time set against the dual guitar attack of Dee Dammers and Tagore Grey instantly gets the body and the blood moving.  The duo’s old school shredding and harmonies will transport audiences back to rock’s era of big riffs and even bigger hair.  Front man Matt Jones’ vocal styling adds to that musical trip back in time even more.  It’s incredible how much Jones’ vocal style soudns so much like Motley Crue front man Vince Neil.  Lyrically, the song is just as much of an homage to rock’s “biggest” era with the band singing in the song’s chorus, “I live rock and roll/It’s my destiny/All I bleed is rock and roll.  the message is clear and simple not just here but in the song’s verses, too.  That simplicity and clarity of the song’s lyrics couple with its musical side to make this song the perfect opener for the band.  To another extent, that it finishes in such bombastic fashion makes it an equally fitting closer both on the album and in a live setting.  It’s just one of so many of the album’s opuses that shows what makes it a pure rock record well worth the listen.

It goes without saying that The Treatment chose the right song in ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ to open its debut full-length record.  Interestingly enough, that same song would work just as much as a closer for the band as the album’s closer and even as a show closer in a live setting.  The energy exuded by the band in this song is carried throughout every one of the songs that follow it right up to the album’s penultimate piece ‘Unchain My World.’  This acoustic ballad is just as much a throwback to the 80s as the album’s opener and any other song on this record.  Stylistically, listeners will instantly be able to make comparisons between this song and the ballads churned out by veteran rock bands such as Motley Crue, Poison, and even Mr. Big just to name a few.  This applies to the song both musically and lyrically.  The comparison to Mr. Big comes especially in the song’s chorus as the band sings “Unchain my world/Cause you’re all I’ve really got.”  Musically, one could even mistake the song for one of Mr. Big’s biggest hits of all time if one were listening to this song not knowing it was said band.  The song’s verses highlight that comparison, too with Jones singing how much a certain love interest has changed the subject’s life.  He sings of said subject’s view of the love interest, “I’m still fascinated/How deep inside I feel so incomplete/Indiscreet.”  Just as with the album’s opener, that mix of music and lyrics is just as certain to take audiences back to what is perhaps one of rock’s most underrated eras.

‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ and ‘Unchain My World’ are both prime examples of the old school 80s influence presented on The Treatment’s debut full-length album.  Any old school rock and roll aficionado will appreciate thanks to that direct influence.  They aren’t the only good examples of that influence and enjoyment on this record, either.  The blues-based rocker that is ‘She’s Too Much’ is another great example of that influence and enjoyment.  It’s not as up-tempo as some of the album’s other songs.  But it leaves no one guessing in regards to its lyrical content.  It is presented very much in the vein of AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’  Jones sings over the bluesy riffs of his band mates, “She’s too much/Everything is not enough/She’s too much/Better load your gun boys/Take aim/Now fire.”  The song is thankfully not a direct mirror image of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’  But the blues-based rock sound churned out by Dammers and Grey definitely makes the comparison easy and not in a bad way, either.  Again in a time when so much of the rock and even hard rock world is dominated by cookie monster growls and crunching, down-tuned guitars, such a comparison is especially welcome considering that The Treatment has taken an influence as respected as AC/DC and crafted its own equally fun rock song.  It’s just one more of the thirteen total songs on this record that classic rock buffs will enjoy.

The songs noted here are each good examples of just what makes The Treatment’s debut album Running WithThe Dogs one more album released this year proving that contrary to Gene Simmons’ own views, rock and roll is not dead.  Nor is it even in the hospital so to speak.  It proves that rock and roll is alive and well.  It takes audiences back to an era when rock and roll was indeed rock and roll; an era when rock and roll was truly fun.  European audiences will agree with that sentiment when they see the band live on its current European tour.  Audiences will get to hear the band live when it rolls into Rotterdam, Netherlands next Thursday, November 27th, Paris, France next Friday, and Brussels, Belgium next Saturday, November 29th.  Audiences can pick up the band’s CD at those shows and each show after.  Whether in Europe or in the United States, audiences can pick up Running With The Dogs in stores or online now.  Fans can keep up with the band’s current tour schedule and all of its latest updates online now at:



To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Unbreakable Takes Audiences Back To The 80s On Its New Album

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

German rock band Unbreakable released its new album this week.  The album, Knockout, is a work that will instantly transport listeners back to the days of big rock and even bigger hair.  That musical trip back in time starts right from the album’s outset and trudges on nonstop throughout the eleven tracks that make up this record.  Throughout the course of the album, audiences will hear clear influences from a number of the biggest acts of the 80s including names such as: Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Whitesnake among so many others.  From the raucous opener that is the album’s title track to the more subdued sound of ‘In Your Heart’ to the full on rocker  that is ‘Game of Life,’ and more, fans of the 80s rock scene will find plenty to like about this record.

Unbreakable wastes no time on its new album, grabbing its audiences’ ears, and showing them what’s in store from this musical trip back in time courtesy of the album’s title track/album opener.  Front man Al Crespo’s vocals and the talents of his band mates—Martin Ries (guitar), Pascal Alles (guitar), Alex Ries (drums), and Lukas Mittler (bass)—instantly transport listeners back to that age of pomp and bombast in this song, with Crespo singing about having woken up next to a woman he had met the night before, not remembering a thing.  It is classic big rock fare.  Crespo sings in this throwback piece, “Who’s this girl/Next to me/In my bed/I lost my mind/Can’t remember where I’ve been/Just drunk too much/Too much in me/She looks real hard in my face/She demands/She demands me/My head explodes/But I’m happy what I see/She looks real great/She’s a knockout.”  This is classic big hair lyrical fodder at its finest. And there’s plenty more of that to come after this song, too. Case in point, the more subdued ballad-style song, ‘In Your Heart.’

‘In Your Heart’ is a classic 80s style ballad that fits just as well on this record as any of the album’s other songs. Crespo sings in this song, “Wait/Why don’t you come back to me/I’ll love you forever/Don’t leave/There’s some work/I’ll make it right.” His delivery in the case of this song really is what makes the song so powerful. He already proved his prowess on the album’s previous songs. This includes the album’s opener. He shows his ability to really interpret the lyrics and get the most emotion out of the song. That one line is just a tiny part of the song in which he exhibits that talent, too. Of course that isn’t to discount the talents of his band mates. [Martin] Ries and [Pascal] Alles add their own share of emotion to the song. Even drummer Alex Ries’s talents on the drums add their own something extra to the song to make it even more hard hitting. That deep emotion makes this song even more reason for fans of classic 80s style rock and roll to check out Knockout.

Both ‘In Your Heart’ and ‘Knockout’ are prime examples of what Unbreakable has to offer 80s rock fans on its new album. They both show the band’s versatility or lack of better wording. Just as much of an example of that versatility is ‘Game of Life.’ ‘Game of Life’ is more classic 80s style big rock from Unbreakable. The comparison is especially easy thanks to its musical side. Any number of big hair bands could be referenced in terms of this song. Lyrically speaking, it comes across as another song centered on personal relationships. But it comes from a different angle, as audiences will hear. Crespo sings here, “The day begins/I open my eyes/And think of what I can do/For you in life/Never stop giving up on me/I tried to please you/And change my ways/Open my eyes to see/Welcome to the game of life/I’m going to touch your inner light/Welcome to the game of life.” At one point, when Crespo hits the high notes in this song, he actually sounds a little bit like Dream Theater front man James LaBrie. The guitar work of Ries and Alles gives the song something of a Scorpions type of vibe for fans of that band. It’s just one more way that the band impresses audiences of that old school sound with this new record.

The songs noted here are only a few examples of what audiences can expect from Unbreakable’s new record. Anyone that is a true fan of the classic sounds of the 80s will want to check out the rest of this album along with the songs noted here. Knockout is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded now via Amazon and iTunes or at the band’s upcoming shows later this fall. The band’s German fans can also pick up its new album when it performs this November. The band is scheduled to perform live November 1st and 8th in Burgberghalle and Kult respectively. More dates will be announced soon. Fans can keep up with those upcoming tour date announcements and all of the latest news from the band via its official Unbreakable website and Facebook page. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog.



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!listen/c1x9v.

Under My Skin can be purchased online via iTunes and 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, and its official Facebook page, Audiences can also keep up with the latest from the band through its Twitter page, and its Reverb Nation website, To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at