Summer Years Debuts New Single, ‘The Picture You Paint,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: ENCI Records

Pop punk band Summer Years debuted its new single and companion video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘The Picture You Paint‘ and its companion video Friday. The single is the second single from the band’s forthcoming EP, You Can’t Live There Forever. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘This Light‘ June 15. The EP’s official release date is under consideration.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Picture You Paint’ is a catchy, upbeat composition. It will appeal to fans of works from bands, such as Blink-182, All Time Low, and New Found Glory.

The lyrical theme featured in the new single delivers a contemplative message, which band member Mike Liorti discussed in a prepared statement.

“The Picture You Paint’s’ overall premise is dealing with doubt,” said Liorti. “As musicians, we kinda live a life of constant Show & Tell to our fans, friends, and family. These days, especially, even the most passionate/understanding supporters & teammates can quickly lose touch of the artists’ vision/potential and basically dismiss them entirely. The smallest comment/action of doubt can be very potent and contagious (sometimes even making its way into the artists’ mind), so the song is coming from a Relic/Lifer’s evolved mindset of understanding the bliss/oasis that comes from creating art for nobody but themselves and letting the dominoes fall as they may.”

Additionally, Liorti talked about the song’s video in the statement.

“The video is a compilation of the post-pandemic live shows we’ve been so honored and lucky to play and capture thanks to the help of our extremely supportive local scene,” he said.

More information on Summer Years’ new single, video, and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.summeryears.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/summeryearsband

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

Starset Debuts ‘Earthrise’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Starset premiered the lyric video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the lyric video for its new single, ‘Earthrise’ Thursday. The song is the third from the band’s forthcoming album, Horizons, which is scheduled for release Oct. 22 through Fearless Records.

The band premiered the lyric video for the album’s second single, ‘Leaving This World Behind’ late last month. Its premiere was preceded by that of the video for the album’s lead single, The Breach’ in early September.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Earthrise’ is similar to that featured in ‘The Breach.’ There is a heavy, but controlled melodic industrial/electronic sense to the arrangement in other words. At some points, audiences can make comparisons to works from the likes of Breaking Benjamin and at others, to works from any number of emocore bands. The song’s industrial elements meanwhile conjure thoughts of Ice Nine Kills and Fear Factory together in one. The whole gives the arrangement a unique identity that will keep audiences engaged and entertained.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the lyric video’s premiere. In reading the lyrics, which are presented in the video’s lower right hand corner (as with the lyric video for the band’s previous single), audiences are left to infer that the song is a heavy ballad of sorts. It sounds like a person declaring his or her love for that other person.

In other news, Starset is scheduled to launch a tour in November in support of Horizons. The tour is scheduled to launch Nov.3 in Asheville, NC and to run through Dec. 18 in Cleveland, OH. Stops in cities nationwide, such as Newport, KY; Dallas, TX and Nashville, TN are also featured in the schedule.

The band’s tour schedule is noted below. Tickets and VIP packages are available here along with the band’s current 2022 European tour schedule.

STARSET DEMONSTRATIONS:
11/3 — Asheville, NC — The Orange Peel
11/4 — Knoxville, TN — The Mill & Mine
11/5 — Atlanta, GA — Buckhead Theatre
11/7 — Ft. Smith, AR — Temple Live
11/8 — Dallas, TX — House of Blues
11/9 — Houston, TX — House of Blues
11/10 — San Antonio, TX — House of Blues
11/13 — Daytona, FL — Welcome to Rockville*
11/14 — N. Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues
11/15 — Harrisburg, PA — HMAC
11/17 — Philadelphia, PA — Theatre of Living Arts
11/19 — Stroudsburg, PA — Sherman Theater
11/20 — Horseheads, NY — The L
11/21 — Portland, ME — Aura
11/23 — Worcester, MA — The Palladium
11/24 — New Haven, CT — Toad’s Place
11/26 — Columbus, OH — Express Live 
11/27 — Newport, KY — Ovation
11/28 — Grand Rapids, MI — Intersection
11/30 — Bloomington, IL — The Castle Theater
12/1 — McKees Rock, PA — Roxian
12/3 — Buffalo, NY — Rapids Theater
12/4 — New York, NY — Irving Plaza
12/5 — Silver Spring, MD — The Fillmore Silver Spring
12/7 — Charlotte, NC — The Fillmore Charlotte
12/8 — Nashville, TN — Brooklyn Bowl
12/10 — St Louis, MO — Delmar Hall
12/11 — Madison, WI — The Sylvee
12/12 — Minneapolis, MN — The Fillmore Minneapolis
12/14 — Des Moines, IA — Wooly’s
12/15 — Chicago, IL — House of Blues
12/17 — Detroit, MI — Majestic Theatre
12/18 — Cleveland, OH — House of Blues
*Festival Date

Horizons‘ track listing is noted below.

HORIZONS TRACK LISTING:
“UNVEILING THE ARCHITECTURE”
“THE BREACH”
“OTHERWORLDLY”
“ICARUS”
“EARTHRISE”
“LEAVING THIS WORLD BEHIND”
“DEVOLUTION”
“ANNIHILATED LOVE”
“ALCHEMY”
“DISAPPEAR”
“ENDLESS ENDEAVOR”
“SYMBIOTIC”
“DREAMCATCHER”
“TUNNELVISION”
“INFECTED”
“SOMETHING WICKED”

More information on Starset’s new album, single, video, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://starsetonline.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/starsetonline

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/starsetonline

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

Sorcerer Covers Black Sabbath Hit For Its Latest Single

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Sorcerer premiered its take of a classic Black Sabbath song this week.

The band premiered its take on Black Sabbath’s ‘When Death Calls‘ along with a companion video Friday. The song’s premiere comes almost a month after the band debuted its cover of Rainbow’s ‘Gates of Babylon‘ along with a companion video.

Sorcerer’s take on ‘When Death Calls’ largely stays true to its source material both in terms of sound and stylistic approach. The one difference between the two takes is the production. Sorcerer’s cover gives the original a richer sound, even in the more subtle, contemplative verses. It brings the 80s rock sound of the original into the 21st century but still pays tribute to its source material. Keeping that in mind, Sorcerer’s update will impress audiences just as much as the original.

Front man Anders Enberg talked about Sorcerer’s update of ‘When Death Calls’ in a prepared statement.

 “You can hear it in the early Sorcerer songs, that we are a lot about Black Sabbath,” he said. “Maybe we tend to mix in the more melodic parts – more like the Dio and Tony Martin era albums – in the music we make today. For me ‘When Death Calls’ is one of the strongest songs I think they have written. A really doomy song, which in my opinion sounds a lot like the music we create in Sorcerer. After having a blast recording ‘Gates of Babylon’, we decided to give covering another spin. ‘When Death Calls’ was unanimously chosen as the track to go for!”

Guitarist Peter Hallgren echoed Enberg’s comments.

“Black Sabbath is an endless source of inspiration for writing good music in whatever style of hard rock and metal,” he said.

More information on Sorcerer’s take on ‘When Death Calls’ is available along with all of Sorcerer’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sorcererdoom.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sorcererdoom

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

Sunflower Dead Takes On INXS Hit For Its Latest Single

Courtesy: New Ocean Media

INXS’ classic song, ‘Never Tear Us Apart‘ is getting renewed attention thanks to Sunflower Dead.

Sunflower Dead premiered its take on the INXS classic Friday. The cover’s premiere comes almost a month after the band premiered its then latest single,  ‘Falling Down‘ and its companion lyric video. SFD’s take on the song is available to stream and download here.

Sunflower Dead’s take on the classic (which itself bears some musical and stylistic similarity to songs from The Rolling Stones) gives the song an interesting hard rock update. In this case, it bears more similarity to works from the likes of Saliva and other similar acts. The gritty sound of the vocals and infectious guitar solo pairs with the richness of the bass and drums

Front man Michael Del Pizzo talked about the band’s take on the song in a prepared statement.

“SFD really doesn’t like doing covers,” he said. “I guess we are too lazy to learn how others correctly play their songs which is funny because our new cover of INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart is our second cover in 4 albums.  Go figure! We did The Police’s Every Breath You Take on our debut album and to this day it remains one of our most requested songs and it had no radio play, no video and no promotion.  For us to do a cover we have to completely rewrite our way.  To do that, we have to be inspired by some kind of killer idea (in our heads at least) in a direction to take the song. With ‘Never Tear Us Apart,’ we started talking about doing this back in 2014 because we just loved the song. The thing is though, it is a very romantic and major scale type of sound. So yeah, there was no way we were doing this unless it was completely redone.”

Added Del Pizzo of the song’s cover, “I heard it in my head a certain way and rewrote the song in a minor key with crushing guitars and accordion added in.  Once I showed [guitarist] Jaboo the approach, he was on board and we tracked it and fell in love with our dirty, dark, sexy and heavy version of the track. Oh and instead of doing a sax solo on the bridge, we had Jaboo rip up a guitar solo that expands upon the original sax melody.  Love the original and now are extra happy with our dark rewrite of such a classic song.”

In other news, Sunflower Dead has announced a new slate of live dates. Dubbed “The Black Pilled Tour,” the run is scheduled to launch Oct. 22 in Des Moines, IA and to run through Nov. 14 in Huntsville, AL. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Oct/Nov Tour Dates:

“The Black Pilled Tour”

Sunflower Dead will be supporting Smile Empty Soul (also on the bill is Tommy Gibbons)

10/22 Des Moines IA, Lefty’s
10/23 Saint Joseph MO, Cafe Acoustic
10/27 Wichita KS, Barleycorns
10/28 Oklahoma City OK, Kendall’s Bar
10/30 Fort Worth TX, The Rail Club
11/1 Austin TX, Come and Take it Live
11/2 Shreveport LA, 516 Soundstage
11/3 New Orleans LA, Southport Hall
11/4 Tallahassee FL, The Warrior
11/5 Jacksonville FL, Archetype
11/6 Sanford FL, West End Trading Co
11/7 Tampa FL, The Brass Mug
11/10 West Palm Beach FL, Propaganda
11/11 Fort Myers FL, Buddha Night Club
11/12 Gainesville FL, Highdive
11/13 Savannah GA, The Wormhole
11/14 Huntsville AL, Sidetracks

SFD’s take on ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ is the third single from the band’s forthcoming album, March of the Leper, which is expected for release in early 2022. The band premiere the album’s lead single, ‘The Underneath‘ and its video in August.

March of the Leper will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

March Of The Leper is available for pre-order and is available in 7 packages at this location: Pre-order

1. Signed CD

2. Signed Vinyl

3. Signed Limited Edition Cassette

4. Signed CD/T-Shirt Bundle

5. Signed Vinyl/T-shirt Bundle

6. Signed Cassette/T-Shirt Bundle

7. Everything Bundle

More information on Sunflower Dead’s new single, video, album and tour is available online now along with the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sunflowerdead.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sunflowerdead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sunflowerdead

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

Sabaton Announces New Album Details

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton announced the specs for its next album Monday.

The band’s new album, The War To End All Wars is scheduled for release March 4, 2022 through Nuclear Blast Records. It will feature 11 new songs, all of which are noted below along with the formats on which the record will release. Pre-orders are open now.

The tracklist for The War To End All Wars is as follows:

1. Sarajevo

2. Stormtroopers

3. Dreadnought

4. The Unkillable Soldier

5. Soldier Of Heaven

6. Hellfighters

7. Race to the Sea

8. Lady Of The Dark

9. The Valley Of Death

10. Christmas Truce

11. Versailles

“The War To End All Wars” will be available in the following formats:

– Jewelcase CD

– Limited Gold CD [Supporter Edition – various versions with translated booklets]

– History Edition

– NB Mailorder Exclusive Edition [ltd. to 1500 copies]

– Earbook [limited to 6000 copies]

– Black Vinyl 

– Azure Blue Vinyl [bandshop exclusive, ltd. to 300 copies]

– Inca Gold Vinyl [bandshop exclusive, ltd. to 500 copies]

– Copper Vinyl [ltd. to 500 copies]

– Fluorescent Orange Vinyl [ltd. to 500 copies]

– Leaf Green Vinyl [Sweden exclusive]

– Fluorescent Yellow Vinyl [Ginza exclusive]

– Dusk Vinyl [Levik exclusive]

– Soft Grey Vinyl [Nordics exclusive]

– Lavender Vinyl [FNAC exclusive]

– Rosewood Vinyl [Mystic exclusive]

– Fluorescent Green Vinyl [UK exclusive]

– Pacific Blue Vinyl

– Polar White Vinyl [limited to 300 copies]

– Dewdrop Vinyl [limited to 500 copies, EMP exclusive]

– Blue cassette [limited to 100 copies, bandshop exclusive]

– Green cassette [limited to 100 copies]

– Grey cassette [limited to 300 copies]

– Red cassette [limited to 500 copies]

– Black cassette [limited to 250 copies]

– Smokey cassette [limited to 200 copies]

– White cassette [limited 100 copies]

In other news, the band premiered a standalone single, ‘Steel Commanders’ and a companion video in August. The premiere was followed with the debut of an official lyric video for the song late last month.

Sabaton is in the midst of a tour with Judas Priest. The bands’ current tour dates are noted below.

OCTOBER

 8 Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, NV

 9 Arizona Federal Theatre, Phoenix, AZ

12  Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, TX

13 HEB Center, Austin, TX

15 Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, Dallas, TX

16 The Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, OK

19 Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, MO

21 Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN

22 Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, Alpharetta, GA

24 Charleston Civic Center Coliseum, Charleston, SC

25 The Met, Philadelphia, PA

27 Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

28 MGM Casino, Washington, DC

30 Foxwoods Casino Arena, Mashantucket, CT

31 Tsongas Center at UMass, Lowell, MA

NOVEMBER

 2   Scotiabank Centre, Halifax, NS  CANADA

 4   Place Bell, Montreal, QC  CANADA

 5   FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON  CANADA

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

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

More information on Judas Priest’s new tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.JudasPriest.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/judaspriest

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

Deep Purple To Release First Ever Covers Set Next Month

Courtesy: earMUSIC

Apparently, it looks like the members of Deep Purple are not ready to call it a career just yet.

There was speculation last year that the band was going to call it a career after releasing its album, Whoosh! A news release distributed Wednesday seems to hint otherwise, though. The document states the band is scheduled to release a new album, titled Turning to Crime Nov. 26 through earMUSIC.

The record is the band’s first ever covers collection. Its first single, ‘7 and 7’ released Wednesday. The record’s track listing is noted below.

TRACK LISTING

1) 7 And 7 Is

2) Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu

3) Oh Well

4) Jenny Take A Ride!

5) Watching The River Flow

6) Let The Good Times Roll

7) Dixie Chicken

8) Shapes Of Things

9) The Battle Of New Orleans

10) Lucifer

11) White Room

12) Caught In The Act [Medley: Going Down /Green Onions / Hot ‘Lanta /Dazed and Confused / Gimme Some Lovin’ ]

More information on Whoosh! is available online along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.deep-purple.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

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

Artifas Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Imagen Records/Warner Music Group

Artifas will tentatively hit the road this fall.

The band announced Tuesday, it is scheduled to launch a brief live run starting Oct. 29. The tour, which is in support of its forth coming debut album, Reflections (the album is scheduled for release Jan. 14) — is scheduled to run through Nov. 20.

The design of the tour’s poster hints that the tour was originally scheduled to take place last year, but was delayed to this year. No information was provided about that item in the news release announcing the tour.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

The 2021 Tour Part 1:

10/29 – Huntsville, AL @ Shagnasty’s

10/30 – Clarksville, TN @ Private Event

11/4 – Braidwood, IL @ Top Fuel Saloon

11/5 – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop

11/6 – Janesville, WI @ The Back Bar

11/7 – Battle Creek, MI @ The Music Factory

11/10 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Rockstar Lounge

11/12 – Akron, OH @ Empire Concert Club

11/13 – Martinsburg, WV @ Bad Habits Bar

11/14 – Winchester, VA @ Bright Box Theater

11/19 – Jackson, TN @ Slide & Ride 2 11/20 – Clarksville, TN @ The Warehouse

Reflections has produced two singles to date in the form of ‘Leave Me For Dead‘ and ‘Cut Me Out.‘ Each single has also produced its own companion video.

In other news, Artifas announced last month, it had signed a new endorsement deal with Monster Pro Audio Products.

The band talked about the new endorsement deal in a prepared statement.

“Since we began our journey in the music world, Monster Products has been a leader in the world of instrument/audio cables,” the statement reads. “Now we’re excited to announce that we’re beginning a new relationship with them as an official Brand Ambassador!!! We’re super grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to represent the Monster Audio name with pride.”

Vanco International, LLC is the official global licensee Monster Pro Audio Products. Monster Pro Audio Products has been in operation for 40 years, making high-performance guitar, instrument, and speaker cables, as well as other audio equipment. It is known globally for its products, too.

More information on Artifas’ new endorsement deal, single, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest information at:

Websitehttps://www.artifas.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/artifas

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/artifasofficial

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

‘Last Call’ Deserves At Least “A Round” Of Applause

Courtesy: IFC Films

IFC Films’ recently released dramedy Last Call is an unsuspecting success.  Having premiered March 19 and released to DVD Sept. 21, the movie proves itself deserving of at least “a round” of applause.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  The movie’s success comes primarily through its story, which will be discussed shortly.  While the story proves positive, its pacing is a little problematic, but not enough to make the movie a failure.  It will be discussed a little later.  The cast’s work pays with the story to make the whole a mostly successful new offering that further shows the importance of the independent movie community.

Last Call, the latest starring vehicle from star Jeremy Piven (PCU, Entourage, Serendipity), is a surprisingly entertaining new entry in this year’s field of new movies.  The movie’s success comes in large part through its story.  The story centers on Mick (Piven), a successful real estate developer who returns to his home in a suburban part of Philadelphia after his mother’s passing.  By chance, Mick’s boss, Delveccio (Garry Pastore – The Irishman, The Deuce, The Week Of) just so happens to want Mick to gather signatures from the area’s residents to build a casino in the region.  At first things go well, but as the nearly two-hour movie progresses, things take a not so good turn as opposition starts rising against the proposed project.  The opposition is being led by Mick’s childhood crush, Ali (Taryn Manning – Orange is the New Black, Hustle & Flow, 8 Mile).  The pair’s butting heads leads to the secondary story in this feature, that all-too-familiar boy meets girl/loses her/gets her back in the end tale.  As Mick continues his quest to get signatures, he also starts to realize what’s important versus what’s really important.  Again, this is little fish turned big fish who returns home tale its own familiar plot.  The thing is that it is presented in a new way in this case.  Not to give away too much, but Mick’s final decision is made when it turns out that things are not quite what they seem with the casino project.  Accepting how this reality check happens takes a little bit of added suspension of disbelief, but those who can suspend their disbelief will find the final outcome rewarding.

Now while the movie’s central story offers plenty for audiences to like, its balance with Piven’s more sophomoric offerings (E.g. PCU, Entourage, etc.) makes for its own interest.  What that balance does is offer something for audiences on both sides of Piven’s resume so to speak.  It works with the story to make for even more engagement and entertainment.  For all that the story and its overall presentation do to make Last Call enjoyable, the movie is not perfect.  It does suffer from one problem in the form of its pacing.

Last Call’s pacing proves problematic because both its more serious, dramatic moments and sophomoric moments alike are given too much attention.  Case in point is Mick’s late night drinking marathon with his brother and their friends.  Sure, the aftermath leads Mick to find the bracelet that Ali had given him when they were kids, but other than that, it really is an unnecessary moment.  It’s like the story’s writing team just wanted some way to get Mick to that point of emotional realization and that was the only thing they could come up with, so they threw it at the wall and hoped it would stick.  Another moment is that final realization about the casino and Mick’s reaction to said realization.  It is almost as if that was thrown in for the sake of it.  Not having read the novel on which this story is based, this critic cannot attest to whether this part is in the source material.  Regardless, it and what happens after, leads to much more of the pacing problem.  Though, it is not the last of the moments that cause the story to drag.  There are many others.  Between those moments and those noted here, the pacing does detract from the overall enjoyment.  However, that detraction is not enough to make the movie a failure.  It just cannot be ignored.

Keeping in mind that the pacing of Last Call is problematic, but not enough to make the movie a failure, there is one more item to note that does help the movie.  That item is the cast’s work.  As in every one of his works, Piven’s performance is spot on throughout the movie.  The subtle way in which he has Mick react to his emotional struggles throughout the movie is just as engaging and entertaining as in his existing body of work.  In another case, such as the morning after Ali catches him with the other women, his explosive reaction is just as powerful and believable.  It and so many other moments throughout the movie continues to show why Piven is such a respected actor.

On another note, Jack McGee (The Fighter, Gangster Squad, Drive Angry) deserves his own applause as he takes on the role of Mick’s father, Laurence.  While Laurence is more a supporting character here, McGee still entertains in his own right.  He makes clear that Laurence knows the bar is going under financially, but is still trying to be strong and put on a strong face.  It is what so many of us do in difficult times.  The way in which McGee puts that emotional weight on display makes Laurence that much more of a sympathetic character.  That is because his performance makes Laurence’s persona so relatable.  Even when Laurence finally admits to Mick that he knows the situation, McGee still keeps his performance subdued.  He easily could have hammed it up, but he opted not to do that.  To that end, it shows even more, why McGee’s performance is of note.

As if all of this is not enough, Mick’s friends, Whitey and Paddy (Jamie Kennedy and Chris Kerson) and his brother, Dougal, (Zach McGowan) add their own touch through their performances.  Their wildness represents everything that Mick left behind when he went off to college and then started his own more successful life.  Yes, they are little more than college frat boy types who never really grew up, but they are also that heart that remains in Mick’s old neighborhood.  Mick sees their happiness and how they relate to the neighborhood’s other residents and starts to really change his thinking and ways, again leading to the noted familiar plot element.  Between their performances, those of McGee, Piven, and the rest of the cast, the overall performances do their own share to show why the cast’s work is so important to this movie.  It proves just as engaging and entertaining as the movie’s familiar but unique story.  When those elements are considered together, they make up for the story’s problematic pacing to make the overall presentation one more of the year’s top new independent and overall movies.

IFC Films’ movie, Last Call, is a surprisingly and mostly enjoyable new addition to this year’s field of new independent and overall movies.  That is proven in part through its story.  The story is familiar in both its primary and secondary elements.  At the same time the execution of those elements makes the overall presentation unique.  While the overall story is unique and expertly balances its comedic and heartfelt elements, the pacing thereof proves problematic.  It makes the movie’s 82-minute run time feel somewhat longer – around two hours.  The pacing is problematic because there are scenes that could have been cut.  Even with the problems raised by the pacing, they are not enough to make the movie a failure, though they cannot be ignored at the same time.  Making up for the problems raised by the pacing is the cast’s work on camera.  The cast, both main and supporting, does its own admirable job of keeping viewers engaged and entertained.  It works with the movie’s story to make the presentation mostly successful, even considering the pacing problems.  To that end, the movie proves itself deserving of at least “a round” (again, yes, that awful pun was intended) of applause.

Last Call is available now. More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available at:

Websitehttps://ifcfilms.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/IFCFilmsOfficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ifcfilms

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

‘Doom Patrol: Season Two’ Is A Successful New Entry To One Of DC’s Most Unique Properties

Courtesy: DC Comics/Warner Brothers

Aaaaah, family.  Family is one of the best things in the world.  Family is also one of the worst things in the world.  Good or bad, family is all that we have in this world.  That is really the crux of the second season of DC’s Doom Patrol.  Released early this year on DVD and BD, the series’ second season is an interesting continuation for the series.  That is due to the noted story featured in this season.  It will be addressed shortly.  The cast’s work throughout the season is also of import here, and will be examined a little later.  The bonus content, as little as it really is here, also plays at least some part in the set’s presentation.  It will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Doom Patrol’s second season.  All things considered, they make this season one more of this year’s gradually growing list of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown-up audiences.

The second season of DC’s Doom Patrol is an interesting outing for the series.  The series, and group is among the lesser-known of DC’s properties, but this season is sure to help bring both much more attention.  That is proven in part through the season’s story.  The story, as noted already, is on the importance of family.  Even as emotionally heavy as the story is throughout, that emphasis remains.  Audiences will be moved as they watch Larry (a.k.a. Negative Man) try to make amends with his family following the revelation of his son’s death.  Viewers will be just as moved (albeit in a more lighthearted way) as they watch Cliff try to make amends with his daughter after finding out that she survived the wreck that led to him becoming Robot Man.  On yet another note, Rita facing the demon that is the trauma caused by her mother is just as engaging and entertaining because of the subtle way in which it is tied into the whole of the story.  Crazy Jane even has her own family of sorts in her head that she has to deal with over the course of this season.  Looking through this, the first thing that one might feel that there is a lot going on.  That would be right.  However, even as much as is going on in the bigger story, the ability of the writers to balance all of these interweaving story lines is on full display.  What’s more, the depth in each character’s story and the very stories themselves prove relatable to so many audiences.  Case in point is the revelation of who Cliff’s daughter is marrying.  His reaction to that revelation is reflective of so much of America in the current age.  Most people likely will not admit to it, but in a case such as that of Rita, lots of people deal with the emotional trauma brought on by toxic relationships with their parents during their formative years, so even that is believable.  Larry’s case is similar to that of Rita, just in a different fashion, which perhaps is why the pair bonds so well this season.  He made his son feel like he was not good enough, being a hot shot pilot in his normal life, and that led to the rift between the pair. 

Through all of the emotional issues that the Doom Patrol faces this season in dealing with their pasts with their families, they grow as individuals.  As a result of that growth, viewers see the group, including Cyborg, start to develop into the heroes that they will be as the show continues.  Speaking on that note, the series is currently in the midst of its 3rd season.  Its home release will likely come early in the new year just as this season was released early this year, considering the air date for Season Three’s finale.  Getting back on topic, the character development that audiences see this season makes the season, in hindsight, really a transitional season of sorts.  It is a continuation of Season One, and in turn is sure to lead to something even more interesting and exciting in Season Three.  Keeping that all in mind, the story featured in the second season of Doom Patrol is reason enough for audiences to give the season a chance.  It is just one of the season’s positives.  The cast’s work adds its own appeal to the presentation.

Brendan Fraser leads the way once again in terms of the cast’s work.  His general personality and sharp tongue brings a much needed looseness and unique comic relief to the show.  Given, every other word out of his mouth is made up four letters, but just his sheer delivery in every scene is so great.  His nonstop declaration that he’s going to kill the chief after being launched out of the chief’s space ship and landing in a fiery ball into a random field is a prime example of his expert timing.  Audiences know that he is really made, but there is just something about his delivery that makes audiences laugh as hard as ever even as they feel sympathy for Cliff.  This especially considering the heart that he developed for Dorothy shortly before that happened.  On a similar note, the chemistry that he shows alongside Dianne Guerrero (Crazy Jane) creates its own dynamic.  The way he just casually accepts that she has so many personalities is funny in its own way because of the very subtlety in that relationship of sorts.

Similarly, the aforementioned onscreen work between April Bowlby (Rita) and Matt Bomer (Larry) is just as enjoyable to see even with it being more of a secondary performance of sorts.  The duo knows that its wok is secondary, too, and makes the most of it as their characters lean on one another.

Staying on the note of the pair, Bowlby is inspiring as she takes Rita through her emotional journey in facing her own past.  There were so many opportunities for Bowlby to really go over the top, considering all of the drama in this season.  Thankfully she did not go that route.  The end result is that she makes Rita that much more of a sympathetic character throughout the season. 

Much the same can be said of Bomer’s work as Larry.  The moments when he is in the shed next to his son’s home, reading the letter that his son wrote as a child is absolutely heartbreaking.  Because his face is covered with bandages, Bomer is forced to do his emoting more through his actions, and they do so well to reveal the depth of Larry’s remorse for the past.  It is just one more way in which the cast’s performances make for so much depth this time out.  Between the performances noted here and so much more exhibited by the cast, the cast’s overall work here is so enjoyable to watch.  When the whole is considered along with the depth in the season’s story, the two elements join to make for that much more reason to watch this season of Doom Patrol.  It still is only a part of what makes this season engaging and entertaining.  The bonus content that accompanies the season in its home release rounds out the most important of its items.

The bonus content featured in the home release of Doom Patrol’s second season is limited to say the least.  One of the bonuses is just one of the show’s creative heads talking about shooting the show in Georgia.  The brief discussion is basically just an advertisement for filming in Georgia and is honestly irrelevant.  The other bonus feature, which focuses on the season’s makeup and special effects gives audiences at least a brief glance into the work that went into this season’s look.  Audiences will appreciate the determination that the show’s makeup and costume heads had for something as minute as the freckles on Dorothy’s face, making sure that they stayed the same in each episode.  Such dedication to the show’s look is admirable to say the least.  Understanding that the twin brother duo has always been so serious about makeup, going all the way back to its childhood, makes for even more appreciation for the pair’s work.  It will lead, in hindsight, to even more appreciation for the look of Doom Patrol in its second season.  One can only hope that considering this is the season’s only other bonus feature, there will be more bonus content in the third season’s home release.  At least this bonus adds a little bit more appreciation for this season, if only for its aesthetics.  Keeping that in mind along with the impact of the season’s story and the cast’s work, the whole becomes that much more engaging and entertaining.  It collectively makes the season in whole a great continuation for the series and one more of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown up audiences.

Doom Patrol: Season Two is an overall impressive offering.  Its appeal starts with its story.  Yes, the story is extremely emotionally heavy, but in understanding the character development hat takes place throughout the season, it makes the heaviness that much more understandable and bearable.  It shows the group on the verge of becoming “super heroes” of sorts.  Hopefully that growth and change will become even more evident in Season Three, considering this.  The cast’s work interpreting that development adds to the season’s appeal.  That is because the group’s work is just that believable.  Being so believable, it ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment that much more.  Keeping in mind the positive impact of the cast’s work and of the story, there is just one more item to note.  That item is the bonus content.  The bonus content featured in this season’s home release is minimal to say the least, but at least one of the bonuses offers more appreciation for the season.  In this case, it focuses on the season’s look.  That item works with the season’s other noted items to make the whole well worth watching and one more of this year’s top new DVD and BD box sets for grown up audiences. 

Doom Patrol: Season Two is available now.  More information on the season and other DC Universe series is available online at:

Website: https://dccomics/com/tv

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dccomics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dccomics

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

Pandemic Forces Another Tour’s Postponement

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and fears surrounding it have forced the postponement of yet another tour.

The North American leg of the “Bay Strikes Back Tour” will now take place (tentatively) in 2022. The announcement was made Friday through a news release. Originally scheduled to run from Oct. 6 – Nov. 27, the tour’s North American leg will now run from April 9, 2022 to May 20, 2022.

The news release states all tickets purchased for the original dates will be honored at the new dates. Additionally it states refunds are available at point of purchase.

Exodus front man Gary Holt offered the following statement on the postponement.

“We are saddened to announce that the Bay Strikes Back tour is being postponed, but the risk of canceled shows due to positive tests leading to tour personnel being quarantined and isolated is just too great at this time,” said Holt. “We want to feel safe, enjoy the tour and be able to hang out with our close friends. The silver lining in this is that Tom Hunting no longer needs chemo and will have more time to work his way back to doing a full tour. He will make his return behind the drums at Aftershock but a full tour requires more preparation, so that is the good part.”    

Guitarist Eric Peterson expanded on Holt’s statements.

“We were really on the fence with this decision, but seeing other bands make it through with a few mild cases and other bigger bands just canceling their entire tours, we felt it is in our best interest to postpone these shows to ’22,” he said.

Fellow guitarist Alex Skolnick echoed his band mates’ sentiments in his own comments.

“It gives none of us any pleasure to be the bearers of bad news yet again, but here we are,” said Skolnick. “Although “Bay Strikes Back” is a top tour package for theaters, the reality is this: It can’t afford to take the risks that top-grossing larger venue tours have been taking. The type of disruptions Kiss and other large outdoor venue tours have experienced could cause our shows to be permanently canceled – a lose/lose for everyone. The fact that a lower-budget tour such as ours is limited to indoor venues with tight backstage space only adds to the risk. It should go without saying that calling off these dates was a ‘last resort’ decision, and everyone involved would much rather this weren’t the case. However, this is the new reality we’re all in. All we can do is hope for everyone’s understanding, which we ask for sincerely.”

Death Angel front man Mark Osegueda also chimed in on the negative news.

“Usually when I’m asked to contribute a quote to an announcement it pertains to something I’m extremely excited about,” he said. “In this case, I’m gutted… It pains me to announce that The Bay Strikes Back U.S. Tour is being postponed. No one was looking forward to this more than me. But, on the brighter side of things, the tour is in fact going to happen – just at a later time. And I can assure you that the already ravenous to play live members of Death Angel promise to provide a crushing set during a crushing tour. The Bay WILL Strike Back!”

The new dates for the “Bay Strikes Back Tour” are noted below.

Bay Strikes Back 2022 dates:  
4/9/2022 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theater  
4/10/2022 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues  
4/12/2022 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues  
4/13/2022 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues  
4/15/2022 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre  
4/16/2022 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater  
4/19/2022 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom  
4/20/2022 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall  
4/21/2022 – Austin, TX – Emo’s  
4/22/2022 – Dallas, TX -Amplified Live  
4/23/2022 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues  
4/26/2022 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade  
4/27/2022 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz  
4/30/2022 – Sayreville, NJ -Starland Ballroom  
5/1/2022 – Baltimore, MD – Soundstage  
5/2/2022 – Boston, MA – House of Blues  
5/3/2022 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts  
5/5/2022 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount  
5/6/2022 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom  
5/7/2022 – Cincinnati, OH – Madison Theater  
5/9/2022 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE  
5/10/2022 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora  
5/11/2022 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall  
5/12/2022 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre  
5/14/2022 – Joliet, IL – The Forge  
5/15/2022 – Joliet, IL – The Forge  
5/17/2022 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre  
5/19/2022 – Denver, CO – Summit  
5/20/2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot  
*More dates to be added  

In other news, Exodus is scheduled to release its new album, Persona Non Grata Nov. 19 through Nuclear Blast Records. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)‘ last month. It was followed by the debut of the  lyric video for its new single, ‘Clickbait’

More information on Exodus’ new album, live dates, comic book and action figure is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://exodusattack.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/exodusattack

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/exodusattack

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