Soul Asylum Signs With eOne Music For Its Eleventh Full-Length Album

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Veteran rock act Soul Asylum returns next spring with its latest full-length studio recording.

The members of Soul Asylum announced this week that the band has signed with Entertainment One (eOne) to release its next album, which will be titled Change of Fortune.  The band’s eleventh full-length studio recording, it will be the band’s debut album for Entertainment One and its first since 2012’s Delayed Reaction.  It is currently slated for release on Friday, March 18th, 2016.  While the band will have the backing of Entertainment One for its new album, it is also giving its fans the chance to play a role in the album’s creation, too.  Fans can help make the album a reality through the band’s PledgeMusic campaign.  There are a number of pledge levels that include different rewards with each pledge level including but not limited to: a signed copy of the album, an advance copy of the album once it’s done, Grave Dancers Union T-Shirt, and much more.  All of the details on the different pledge levels and rewards is available online now at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum.

Chuck Oliner, eOne Music’s Director of Marketing and Promotions, shared his thoughts on the band’s signing saying, ”We are thrilled to be working with such a great trailblazing band as Soul Asylum.” He also gave a small hint in regards to the timeline for everything noting that the album’s first single is expected sometime early in the new year. “We wait to lead off 2016 with the first single from their new album Change of Fortune,” he said. Loyal Soul Asylum fans will be blown away with the new album, and new fans will understand why we are all so excited they are back.   Welcome back Soul Asylum, and get ready to see Dave, Michael, Winston and Justin on tour in 2016.

More information on Change of Fortune is available online along with all of the latest news from Soul Asylum at:

Website: http://pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum

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

 

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.

Phil’s Picks Celebrates The Holidays Again With Annual Holiday Giveaway

It’s time once again, everybody.  The holiday season is officially upon us.  And that means that it is time once again for the annual Phil’s Picks holiday giveaway.  Each Friday in December I will be giving away a prize to one lucky reader from the list below.  Here’s the catch:  YOU the reader get to choose the prize instead of me.  I’m going to sweeten the deal for you, the loyal Phil’s Picks fans this year, too.  I am going to bundle together the standalone season sets of Hey Dude, and The Wild Thornberrys.  This is just the current list.  There’s a chance I could throw in even more prizes as the month goes on.  So if you want a chance to win a prize for yourself or someone you know, make sure that you get your name in now!  Good luck and spread the word!

Movies

1. The Aviator (Blu-ray + DVD)

2. Believe Me (Blu-ray)

3. Blancanieves (DVD)

4. Born Yesterday (Blu-ray)

5. The Duellists (DVD)

6. Dying of the Light (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

7. Grizzly Adams (DVD)

8. Jimmy P. (DVD)

9. Liberal Arts (Blu-ray)

10. Life’s A Breeze (Blu-ray)

11. Match (DVD)

12. May in the Summer (Blu-ray)

13. Perfect Understanding (Blu-ray)

14. Premature (DVD)

15. Robot Jox (Blu-ray)

16. Ships (DVD)

17. Shout At The Devil (Blu-ray)

18. Speak No Evil (DVD + Digital)

19. Spike Island (DVD)

20. The Sweeney (DVD)

21. Tooken (DVD)

22. The Voices (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

23. While We’re Young (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

DVD/BD BOX SETS

1. Beetleborgs Metallix: Season Two Volume Two (DVD)

2. Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season (DVD)

3. The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

4. CPO Sharkey: Season 1 (DVD)

5. CPO Sharkey: Season 2 (DVD)

6. Cook’s Country: Season Five (PBS DVD)

7. Fireball XL5: The Complete Series (DVD)

8. Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

9. The Hee-Haw Collection (DVD)

10. Hey Dude: Season 3 (DVD)

11. Hey Dude: Season 4 (DVD)

12. Hey Dude: The FInal Season (DVD)

13. I Spy: The Complete Series (DVD)

14. Joe 90: The Complete Series (DVD)

15. Mister Ed: The Final Season (DVD)

16. Mr. Warmth: Don Rickles–The Ultimate Collection (DVD)

17. The Red Skelton Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

18. The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years: 1951 – 1955 (DVD)

19. Sapphire And Steel: The Complete Series (DVD)

20. Secret Agent (AKA Danger Man): The Complete Series (DVD)

21. Stingray: The Complete Series (DVD)

22. The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series (DVD)

23. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 2 Part 2 (DVD)

24. The Wild thornberrys: Season 2 Part 3 (DVD)

25. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 3 (DVD)

LIVE RECORDINGS

Black Veil Brides (Blu-ray)

Ceelo Green: Loberace–Live in Vegas (Blu-ray)

Concert For Ronnie Montrose (DVD)

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Live at Montreux 1997 (2 CD)

Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Live in Hyde Park (DVD)

Jon Lord: Concerto For Group and Orchestra (Blu-ray)

Lord of the Dance (DVD)

Marillion: A Sunday Night Above The Rain (2 CD)

Ministry: Enjoy The Quiet–Live at Wacken 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Ministry: Last Tangle In Paris–Live 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Neil Sedaka: The Show Goes On–Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Blu-ray)

Peter Gabriel: Live Blood (2 CD)

The Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections (Blu-ray)

Saga: Spin It Again!–Live in Munich (2 CD)

Shania Twain: Still The One–Live in Las Vegas (Blu-ray)

Simply Red: Live at Montreux 2003 (Blu-ray)
Documentaries

1. After Newtown: Guns in America (PBS DVD)

2. The Booker (DVD)

3. Heaven Adores You: A Documentary Film About The Life & Music Of Elliott Smith (Blu-ray)

4. How To Survive A Plague (DVD)

5. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued (Blu-ray)

6. Produced By George Martin (DVD)

7. Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? (DVD)

DVDs/BDs

1. Don Rickles: TV Specials Volume 1

2. Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament (DVD)

3. Power Rangers: Trickster Treat (DVD)

4. Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show (DVD)

5. Transformers Prime: Ultimte Decepticons (DVD)

CDs

1. All Time Low–“Dirty Work”

2. Anders & Kendall–“Wild Chorus”

3. Beatallica–“Abbey Load”

4. The Blues Magoos–“Psychedelic Resurrection”

5. Bob Schneider–“A Perfect Day”

6. Breathe Carolina–“Hell Is What You Make It”

7. Buzz Cason–“Troubadour Heart”

8. Buzz Cason–“Record Machine”

9. The Dangerous Summer–“War Paint”

10. Daniel Guaqueta–“Saying Is Only Saying So Much” (EP)

11. Darkest Hour–“The Human Romance”

12. Derek Sherinian–“Black Utopia”

13. Device–“Device” (Clean)

14. Divided By Friday–“Prove It”

15. Empresarios–“The Vibes”

16. Eternal Voyager–“The Battle of Eternity”

17. Francesca Blanchard–“Deux Visions”

18. Glasscloud–“The Royal Thousand”

19. High on Fire–“Snakes for the Divine”

20. James Durbin–“Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”

21. Janus–“Nox Aeris”

22. Jefferson Grizzard–Learning How To Lie (X4)

23. Joe Gruschecky–“Somewhere East of Eden”

24. Kittie–“I’ve Failed You”

25. Laura Wilde–“Sold My Woul”

26. Limp Bizkit–“Three Dollar Bill Y’all”

27. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made”

28. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made (Special Edition)

29. Matt Skiba and the Sekrets–“Babylon”

30. Permanent Ability–“Bring It On”

31. Rebelution–“Count Me In”

32. Red Hot Chili Peppers–“Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

33. Roy Orbison–“Greatest Hits”

34. Saving Abel–“Bringing Down The Giant”

35. Shahidah Omar–“Freedom”

36. Something Unto Nothing–“Something Unto Nothing”

37. Tempt–“Under My Skin” (EP)

38. There For Tomorrow–“The Verge”

39. Throwdown–“Deathless”

40. Throwdown–“Intolerance”

41. Tim Chaisson–“The Other Side”

42. Uh Huh Her–“Future Souls”

43. Unbreakable–“Knock Out”

44. The Wild Beyond–“The Wild Beyond”

45. The Winery Dogs–The Winery Dogs (Special Edition)

46. Yellowcard–“When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes”

 

Simplicity And Originality Make Dirt Road’s End One Of 2015’s Best New Albums

Courtesy:  ArenA /eOne

Courtesy: ArenA /eOne

Sugarcane Jane is one of the music industry’s best kep secrets today. The duo–Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee–released its first album in 2009. Six years later, it has already released its fourth full-length studio effort in the form of Dirt Road’s End. It is safe to say that in listening to its ten total tracks, Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall. One could just as easily place it on the list of the year’s best new country albums, too. But even that would be unfair. That is because it exhibits more than just country elements. There are also elements of folk, bluegrass, and even the blues throughout the record’s thirty-seven minute run time. The combination of those elements conjures thoughts of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty just to name a couple of artists. The record’s opener ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ displays the record’s blues influences. ‘San Andreas’ comes early in the album’s sequencing. It exhibits the record’s more folksy influences. And then there is ‘Not Another Truck Song’ in which Crawford and Lee put on display their country roots. These are just a few songs that exhibit Sugarcane Jane’s various influences on its new record. Each of the album’s seven remaining tracks could just as easily be used as examples of why it is so enjoyable. Whether for those songs or the pieces more directly noted here, there is no doubt in listening to each of the album’s compositions why it is one of this year’s best new records overall.

Sugarcane Jane’s new album comes in at only thirty-seven minutes long. Considering that it is composed of ten tracks that really is not very long. Even having barely topped the half-hour mark, Crawford and Lee offer their audiences so much throughout the course of that time. Both through the album’s various musical stylings and its original lyrical content, Dirt Road’s End shows great depth from beginning to end. It exhibits this right off the top in its opener ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane.’ Musically speaking it shows its own depth thanks to its hybrid bluesy/country sound. The sound in particular is classic blues and country right down to the harmonica, dual harmony, and twang from its dual guitar approach. It’s a sound that is sadly very difficult to find among today’s blues and country acts. So to hear that sound here is refreshing to say the very least. Lyrically speaking Crawford and Lee have crafted a song that is just as classic. The duo sings about its roots through the course of the song’s barely five-minute run time; 5:09 to be exact. The pair sings, “I’ll follow my dreams to the land of the crow/All the way to the music row/I fell in love when I heard her sing/I’ll pack my bag and my old six-string/Headed south in an all-out run/To the arms of a woman and her daughter and her son/Built this house at the dirt road’s end/That’s just how this story begins/With no regret to the past I claim/Started a band called Sugarcane Jane.” Crawford and Lee go on to sing about everything that has happened since the they formed their act. The story in question will keep listeners engaged and even singing along thanks to its simple, infectious chorus of “She sang la-la la la la/La-la la la la la la la/La-la la la la” set against the twang of the pair’s guitar work. Listeners will even find themselves singing along happily with Crawford and Lee as they tell the rest of their story in the rest of the song’s body. In doing so, listeners will agree yet again that even in the case of just this one song, Dirt Road’s End exhibits so much depth and substance even in its simplicity; so much so that it shows itself to be a clear example of why this record is one of the best new albums of the year.

‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ is a clear example of why Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall thanks to its simplicity. The simplicity of its lyrical content along with its equally simple yet catchy musical content makes it just one of so many hits included in the record. It’s just one example of what makes Dirt Road’s End such a hit, too. ‘San Andreas’ is another clear example of what makes it such a hit. Considering the song’s lyrical content, in which Crawford sings about life on the San Andreas fault line, one would think that this song would have a little more heaviness about it in terms of its musical content. But that is not the case. It is in fact a gentle tune that conjures thoughts of Bob Dylan’s greatest works thanks to Crawford’s vocal delivery and the song’s use of harmonica, banjo and guitar. For those wondering, Crawford sings the praises of life along the infamous fault line singing, “Life along the San Andreas/Is beautiful throughout the year/The weather she remains a constant sixty-five/And they say if God had a home/She’d be livin’ there/Standin’ on the cliffs above the ocean/The view along the one will take your breath/To turn aorund and see the golden, rolling hills/Where the eagles and the redwoods make their nest/Though sometimes she may get angry/Break a dish/Shake a tree/Crack the road/It’s a small price to pay/For heaven on Earth/San Andreas/San Andreas fault line.” Crawford goes on to sing about the rest of the sights along the fault line that make it not so bad including the small town of Pescadero, its people, and plant life. Yet again Crawford and Lee have crafted a song that is so simple both musically and lyrically. What’s more the duo has crafted here yet another song that is entirely original lyrically speaking in comparison to anything else that is out there today from acts of any genre. That simple yet original lyrical content coupled with the song’s equally simple musical approach serves even more to show why Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall.

‘San Andreas’ and ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ are both clear examples of why Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall. They both serve as clear examples thanks to their simple musical and lyrical approach, and for their original lyrical content. They are just a couple examples of what makes Dirt Road’s End such a standout album. ‘Not Another Truck Song’ also exemplifies the album’s positives. The positives in question are the same as those in the prior noted songs–its musical and lyrical simplicity, and its lyrical originality. Musically speaking, ‘Not Another Truck Song’ is a simple, old school country song. There is no other way to put it. There is a guitar, a banjo, and a two-part harmony from Crawford and Lee. The lyrics are just as simple and original. That is evident as the duo sings, “This is not another truck song/Or some hard time outta luck song/This is a love song for you/Who needs another old truck song/I have to listen to them all day long/There’s only one thing we can do/Let’s let the top down/Head on outta town…Forget the radio/I’ll hum a song I know/A song to make you feel alright.” The duo goes on to playfully poke fun at all of the stereotypical classic country songs that have been crafted over the years. The very fact that Crawford and Lee would use a classic country musical approach as the backing for this piece makes it even more enjoyable and proves even more the song’s originality. It’s one more example of what makes Dirt Road’s End another one of this year’s best new albums overall.

‘Not Another Truck Song,’ ‘San Andreas,’ and ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ are all excellent examples of what makes Dirt Road’s End one of this year’s best new albums. All three songs serve as such clear examples of why this record succeeds because of their musical and lyrical simplicity, and the originality of their lyrical content. The simplicity and originality exhibited in these three songs is just as prevalent through the other seven songs that make up the rest of the album’s ten-track body. Whether for those songs or for the ones more directly noted here, all ten songs presented in Dirt Road’s End show clearly what makes it one of this year’s best overall albums. They show clearly why it will remain a favorite among fans for years to come, too. Dirt Road’s End is available now in stores and online. It can also be purchased at any of the band’s upcoming tour dates. More information on those dates is available online now along with all of the latest news from Sugarcane Jane at:

Website: http://www.sugarcanejane.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sugarcanejane

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.

Fifteen Years Removed, Crowbar’s Equilibrium Still Hits As Hard As Ever

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Fifteen years ago Crowbar released what has since gone on to be one of the band’s most pivotal albums when it released Equilibrium. The album, which was released originally via Spitfire Records, was officially re-issued late las tmonth via Entertainment One in all of it’s heavy glory. For anyone that is perhaps unfamiliar to Crowbar’s body of work, Equilibrium proves to be a good starting point with its heavy southern sludge/doomcore sound and thought provoking lyrics. It does so right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and again in the equally pummeling ‘Command of Myself.’ These two tracks are but a couple examples of why Equilibrium remains such an important part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The more punk oriented sound of ‘Uncovering’ and its associated lyrical content is one more example of why audiences new and old alike will enjoy this record should either one not already own it. By themselves, each of the songs noted here show three different reasons that Equilibrium remains one of Crowbar’s most pivotal albums to date. Collectively and alongside the albums other seven songs, the whole of Equilibrium proves to be just as enjoyable for Crowbar’s fans today as it was fifteen years ago in its original release.

Crowbar’s 2000 full length release Equilibrium is one of the most important albums that the band has released to date among its now ten total albums. The main reason for this is the way in which the album mixes together the sound of its older albums with the occasional more punk vibes. Those punk vibes were present in the band’s previous albums. But even in those albums they were not so evident. They are much clearer here. And the band’s heavier side seems even heavier here, too. That heavier side grabs listeners right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ Listening to this song, one coul almost make a comparison to legendary thrash metal band Pantera thanks to the work of guitarist Sammy Pierre Duet, drummer Sid Montz and then bassist Todd Strange. Front man Kirk Windstein’s vocal delivery remains as much of a powerhouse as ever as he screams, “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learned to take my time/You may not understand/The things that burn my mind/Before I’m gone/Conquer it all/Hope still not gone/Conquer it.” Windstein’s powerhouse delivery partner with the song’s defiant yet hopeful lyrics to paint a vivid picturefor listeners. Add in the song’s title and listeners get the image of someone that has faced great odds but refuses to give up no matter what. The line “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learne to take my time” could easily be interpreted as Windstein saying he stands atop all that mankind has made miserable, or simply all that man has in fact ruine or destroyed rather than letting himself become part of those ruins. It is really a positive message despite its forceful delivery. The forceful delivery actually adds to the song’s “oomph” for lack of better wording. The delivery of the lyrics presents a feeling of determination. And that sense of determination coupled with the song’s powerhouse music makes the song in whole that much more powerful and that much wiser a way to open this record.

‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ proves, in considering Equilibrium’s body in whole, to be the right choice for this album’s opener. That is because of the song’s pummeling southern sludge/doom sound and its equally powerful yet positive lyrics. ‘Command of Myself’ presents much the same mix of heaviness and heavy yet positive lyrics. While it has that same heaviness as the album’s opener, audiences will especially appreciate that it still boasts a sound different from that of ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ The band’s trademark southern sludge metal sound takes on a new life here. Its slower pace matches its lyrics, too as Windstein sings, “I’ve been pushing so hard/I’ve been pushing so many years/Still that fire will always burn/Count on me until I die.” Windstein continues on in the same positive direction with the rest of the song’s lyrical content. The song’s closing line sees Windstein screaming, “To myself I’m always true/My reflection I see with pride.” The positive message presented in these words are made even more impactful when set against the song’s slower, yet still pounding musical side. When both elements are set against the rest of Equilibrium’s songs, they show even more why ‘Command of Myself’ is such an important addition to this record. In turn the song, when partnered with the album’s opener, shows even more the importance of Equilibrium as part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The songs together are fleeting moments of light among some very emotionally deep opuses. They show that even in the face of so many emotionally difficult situations, it is possible to be optimistic. Speaking of those emotionally difficult situations, one of the most interesting of the most interesting of those emotionally difficult scenarios presented across Equilibrium is the punk-influenced ‘Uncovering.’

‘Uncovering’ is one of the most intriguing of the album’s deeply emotional moments. It stands out among Equilibrium’s other deeply emotional songs because much like the album’s opener, it presents the subject overcoming a very tough emotional situation. As Windstein writes here, “Left me all alone/Pushed me until I explode/I’ve got to find a way/Thought I could count on you/My faith will pull me through again.” The overall message that is presente here is positive. Windstein is saying there has to be a way, and reminds himself that he will get through it. He goes on to write, “Feel myself burning inside/Finally realized no more compromise/Now I can break away.” He is saying again that he is not going to let himself be held down. The song’s heavy, punk-influenced sound set alongside such determined lyrics, makes it yet another key example of what makes Equilibrium a record that any Crowbar fan should have in their collection.

‘Uncovering’ proves in its own way why Crowbar’s newly re-issued album Equilibrium is one that any Crowbar fan should add to their library if they don’t already have this record in their collection. It’s only one of the songs that make this argument, too. Both the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and ‘Command of Myself’ add to that argument, too. The same could be said of the album’s other tracks not noted here. All things considered, the whole of Equilibrium proves in its new re-issue that fifteen years after its original release, it is an album that any of this stalwart band’s fans will appreciate whether they are fans new or old. Equilibrium is available now in stores and online. Crowbar will hit the road beginning next month in support of Equilibrium alongside Battlecross and Lord Dying. The tour kicks off May 28th in Shreveport, LA. The band’s full tour schedule is available online along with the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic. 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.

BTBAM Debuts Coma Ecliptic’s First Song

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Between The Buried And Me has released the first song from its upcoming album Coma Ecliptic.

The band debuted ‘Memory Place’ today online. It can be heard online now at http://www.metalblade.com/btbam. The near-ten minute song builds on the music crafted for the band’s most recent album The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012). Coma Ecliptic will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, July 7th. The band’s seventh full length studio release, it can be pre-ordered online now at http://www.metalblade.com/btbam.

Between The Buried and Me will launch an early spring tour this Sunday in support of Coma Ecliptic with support from The Atlas Moth. the tour kicks off at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina and then moves to Charleston, South Carolina next Monday April 6th. From there, the bands will make their way south to Florida before heading to Louisiana and then Texas for a pair of dates on April 10th and 11th. Both of its shows in Texas are festival shows. The second half of the band’s 12-date tour takes them up through the midwest and into the northeast, rounding out on April 19th in Lancaster, PA. The full schedule for BTBAM’s tour with The Atlas Moth is listed below:

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME

Tour w/ The Atlas Moth

04/05 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel

04/06 Charleston, SC Music Farm

04/08 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall

04/09 New Orleans, LA The Howlin Wolf

04/10 Austin, TX Empire Garage Texas Independence Fest

04/11 Dallas, TX The Bomb Factory Atomic Music Festival

04/13 Lawrence, KS The Granada

04/14 St Louis, MO The Ready Room

04/15 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre

04/17 Worcester, MA The Palladium New England Metal and Hardcore Fest

04/18 Portland, ME Port City Music Hall

04/19 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club

After taking some much-needed down time to recharge, BTBAM will head to Manchester, Tennessee for this year’s annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival from June 11th – 14th. The band will take some more time off after Bonnaroo to recharge once more before heading back out on the road on July 7th alongside Animals as Leaders and The Contortionist for a 32-date tour that will take the bands well into September. That tour includes a pair of dates in its home state of North Carolina as it winds down. The first of those dates sees the bands performing at Ziggy’s By The Sea in Wilmington, NC on September 9th and at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, NC on September 14th. The full schedule for BTBAM’s tour with Animals as Leaders and The Contortionist is listed below.

Tour w/ Animals As Leaders, The Contortionist

07/07 Athens, GA Georgia Theatre

07/08 Tallahassee, FL Sidebar Theater

07/09 Orlando, FL Venue 578

07/10 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution

07/11 Jacksonville, FL Freebird Live

07/13 Houston, TX Warehouse Live

07/14 Little Rock, AR Juanita’s

07/15 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom

07/17 Grand Junction, CO Mesa Theater and Club

07/18 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl

07/19 Tucson, AZ Club X’s

07/21 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory

07/22 San Diego, CA Observatory North Park

07/23 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst

07/24 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spaces

07/25 Boise, ID Knitting Factory Concert House

07/27 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex

07/29 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s

07/30 Joliet, IL Mojoes

07/31 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall

08/01 Grand Rapids, MI The Intersection

08/02 Bloomington, IL The Castle Theatre

08/04 London, ON London Music Hall

08/06 Buffalo, NY The Town Ballroom

08/07 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE

08/08 Norfolk, VA The NorVa

08/09 Wilmington, NC Ziggys by the Sea

08/11 Clifton Park, NY Upstate Concert Hall

08/12 Providence, RI Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel

08/13 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom

08/14 Winston-Salem, NC Ziggys

08/15 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works

All of the latest updates on BTBAM’s upcoming album and tour dates is available online now along with the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/btbamofficial

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.

BTBAM Announces New Album Release, Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

There’s big news from prog-metal band Between The Buried and Me this week.

Metal Blade Records and the members of Between The Buried and Me announced this week the release date for the band’s upcoming album and its supporting tour. The band–Dan Briggs (bass), Blake Richardson (drums), Tommy Rogers (vocals, keyboards), Paul Waggoner (guitar), and Dustie Waring (guitar)–announced this week that it will release its next full length studio effort Coma Ecliptic this summer. The album, the band’s seventh, is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, July 7th via Metal Blade Records. The album’s lead single has not yet been announced. However, it has been announced that it will be released Tuesday, April 3rd. Pre-orders for Coma Ecliptic open the same day.

Along with the announcement of the information for the album and its lead single, it was also announced that the band will launch a tour in support of Coma Ecliptic on the same day of the record’s release. The Contortionist will join Animals as Leaders as support acts for BTBAM’s upcoming tour. The thirty-plus date tour runs through August 15th and includes two dates in its home state of North Carolina. The first of those dates will see the band performing live at Ziggy’s By The Sea in Wilmington, NC on August 9th. The second brings the band to Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem on August 14th.  Before that tour kicks off, BTBAM will hit the road alongside The Atlas Moth beginning April 5th for a twelve-date tour to build excitement around Coma Ecliptic.  The tour’s opening date is at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina.  BTBAM’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of the latest updates on Coma Ecliptic at:

Website: http://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

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

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Throwdown’s First Full-Length Record In Five Years Proves Throwdown Is As Strong As Ever

Courtesy: eOne Music

Courtesy: eOne Music

Veteran California-based hardcore band Throwdown has been making music for the masses for nearly two decades.  The band originally formed in 1997 and released its debut album Beyond Repair only two years later through independent label Indecision Records.  Since the release of that album, Throwdown has gone on to release six more albums despite a number of changes in lineups and labels.  And each of those subsequent records has been met with praise from critics and fans alike.   The band’s latest full-length studio release Intolerance is no exception to that standard.  From start to finish, the album’s mix of musical and lyrical content have proven Intolerance to be some of the band’s best work to date.  Right off the top, front man Dave Peters and bassist Matt Mentley prove along with studio drummer Jarrod Alexander and studio guitarist Dave Nassie just why this album is deserving of that acclaim.  ‘Fight or Die’ is a pummeling opener.  Its mix of semi-social commentary and full throttle musical side instantly conjures thoughts of Hatebreed.  The album’s third track is one of the best of the album’s tracks thanks to that same driving tempo.  Peters’ declaration of his continued dedication to the Straight Edge lifestyle set against that pummeling musical side makes this song one that is perfect for any live performance from the band.  And then there is the slightly slower but still just as hard-hitting ‘Suffer, Conquer’ which offers its own social commentary.  Each of these songs in their own way proves why Intolerance is the best material that Throwdown has released to date.  That is not to take anything away from the other eight songs that make up this record.  Each of those songs offers its own extra element of enjoyment for audiences, proving once again why this is some of the best material that Throwdown has released to date.

The members of Throwdown prove right from Intolerance’s opener that even having gone five year since its last album, it hasn’t lost a single step.  Musically speaking, ‘Fight or Die’ instantly conjures thoughts of fellow hardcore band Hatebreed.  That should come as no surprise especially considering that the album was produced by ZEUSS.  ZEUSS is also known for having produced records for both Hatebreed and Shadows Fall among others.  Lyrically, its semi-social commentary adds even more punch to the song.  Peters writes in this song, “The life I knew is but a memory, a better time corroded by a harsh reality/What have we let ourselves become/A mercenary culture doomed to burn/So tell me what it’s gonna be when fire lights your city’s streets/Fight or die/It’s your only choice to survive/Fight or die/When fear and chaos collide/What the f*(& has thsi world come to/I just don’t know/What the f^*) are you gonna do when the lights go black.”  This comes across as a rather scathing indicment concerning the current state of both the United States and the world in whole.  He asks blatantly, what has this world come to?  He goes on in the song’s next verse noting that people’s rights are being infringed on and that people need to stand up for said rights.  That intensity in Peters’ delivery coupled with the song’s musical intensity makes this song the perfect first impression from the band in its return after a five year absence.

The musical and lyrical intensity established by Throwdown in Intolerance’s opener doesn’t let up a single bit after that song ends.  It is just exhibited in different ways throughout the course of the album’s remaining ten tracks.  One of the most noticeable ways in which it varies is exhibited in the anthemic ‘Avow.’  Those that know the history of Throwdown know of its links to the straight edge culture.  Peters directly addresses the excesses commonly associated with the music world (specifically rhe punk) in this song, writing, “A poison tide, corrosive and alive/Rising to obliterate the weak/Anchored in spite, an unpolluted mind/This covenant, I’m sworn to keep…’cause I avow/I avow…to this straight edge.”  He goes on to write that he has stuck to that straight edge lifestyle throughout the course of the band’s life despite everything that has happened to the country’s culture.  He writes, “Twenty years, and everything has changed/A culture suffocated beneath the lies/Twenty years and I still remain/My allegiance never f&^$)* dies…Never dies/I avow…to the straight edge.”  Sure it comes across as being a little bit self-congratulatory.  But when taking into consideration the number of bands that have suffered losses among their numbers over the years, or have broken up as a result of the excesses tied to the music industry, it becomes far less self-congratulatory.  Rather, it becomes a reassurance to Peters himself and to Throwdown’s fans saying, “Hey, I’m still here.  We’re still here as a band despite our lineup changes and label changes.  We’re still here.”  It becomes a piece to really take in even more seriously when thinking about all of that.  And when really considered, audiences will see just how important of an addition ‘Avow’ is to the album in whole, especially being the number of years that have passed between this album and the band’s last full-length release.

Both ‘Avow’ and ‘Fight or Die’ are solid additions to Intolerance when considering them both by themselves and as part of the album in whole.  The 1-2 punch of the songs’ lyrics and music make them both excellent examples of what makes this album work as well as it does.  There is at least one more song that audiences will agree serves as a good representation of the album’s strength if not more.  The song in question is ‘Suffer & Conquer.”  Much like the album’s opener, it is marked by some very Hatebreed style guitar work and vocals on its musical side.  Its lyrical side is just as strong.  Peters writes in this song, “You want respect because you put in your time/Entitled and indignant, you resign to a lie/Now I’m not saying that it’s time to concede/But in your disillusion you forgot what it means to/Suffer, suffer to succeed.”  Everybody knows at least one person like the one described in this song.  Said person is a gloryhog who is reality rather lazy but thinks the world owes him or her everything.  This is someone that has become all too comfortable and perhaps even complacent in his or her situation.  Peters’ verbal assault on said figure continues through the course of the song.  Such ability to relate to audiences and continued intensity makes this song one more of this album’s highest points.  Together with the likes of ‘Avow’ and ‘Fight or Die,’ it exhibits even more why Throwdown is just as strong as ever almost two decades into its life.  They collectively exhibit, too why Intolerance is a welcome return from Throwdown after having released its last album five years ago.

‘Fight or Die,’ ‘Avow,’ and ‘Suffer, Conquer’ are all excellent examples of why Throwdown’s fans will want to hear this album if they have not yet heard it.  They are merely the songs that this critic personally felt best represent Intolerance.  Audiences will find their own favorites among the album’s remaining eight tracks not noted here when they hear this record for themselves.  The album is available now in stores and online.  All of the latest updates from the band are available online at http://www.facebook.com/throwdownOC.  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.