TesseracT Joining Gojira For Upcoming North American Tour

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

TesseracT is returning to the U.S. this fall.

The U.K.-based progressive metal band has announced that it will serve as support for Gojira on its upcoming U.S. tour.  The tour is in support of Gojira’s upcoming album Magma, due out Friday June 17th via Roadrunner Records.  As TesseracT front man Dan Tomkins noted in a recent interview, the tour will be the band’s last in support of Polaris, its latest full-length studio recording.  Polaris was released September 18th, 2015.  He also discussed touring with Gojira, noting, “We are thrilled to announce that we will be back in the U.S. and Canada throughout September and October.”  He went on to say, “This will be the final tour of the ‘Polaris’ cycle and we couldn’t think of a better way to do it! This will be our first support tour in a long time and we are very excited to be touring with such a groundbreaking and unique band; it will be an honour to share the stage with them. Gojira have a great and loyal fanbase and we look forward to presenting our live show to them and of course for our own dedicated fans and friends. We will again be running our VIP meet and greets, which are always so much fun, so we hope to shake hands and chat with even more new faces this time around!”

This fall’s upcoming North American tour will mark the first time since last year’s run with The Contortionist, Erra, and Skyharbor.  Tickets for the band’s upcoming live dates go on sale this Friday, May 6th.  They can be purchased online here at each venue’s ticket office.  Special bundle packs can be purchased online here.  Full album streams of Polaris are currently available online now via YouTube at the band’s official website.  Audiences can also view the video for the song ‘Survival’ online via Kscope’s official YouTube channel now.

More information on TesseracT’s upcoming tour is available now online along with the band’s latest news, links to purchase Polaris and more at:

 

Website: http://www.tesseractband.uk.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

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Zakk Wylde Debuts ‘Sleeping Dogs’ Video

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Zakk Wylde releases his new album Book of Shadows II this week.  Ahead of its release, the veteran rocker debuted the video for one of the album’s songs last week.

Zakk Wylde premiered the video for the song ‘Sleeping Dogs’ last week.  The video can be viewed online now via Wylde’s official Vevo channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dtxOKXo9aI.

 

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

 

The video follows Wylde as he walks through a rather bleak looking forest setting.  Within the forest is an interesting group of figures.  It was helmed by long time Black Label Society collaborator Justin Reich.  Of Wylde discussed Reich’s involvement in the video in a recent interview, noting Reich’s talents behind the lens.  “Black Label Brethren O’ Doom Father Justin Reich Did Another Amazing job Directing the video,” he said.  He jokingly added of Reich’s vision, “I asked Father Justin to capture the sights, sounds, smell and feel of the first day my parents dropped me off at kindergarten. Watching the video made me realize why I’m so fond of reading and vegetables.”

While he doesn’t appear in the visualized take on the song Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor does make an appearance on the LP version of the song.  Wylde also shared his thoughts on Taylor’s involvement in the song noting, “Having Father Corey Taylor’s brilliant Voice sing on ‘Sleeping Dogs’ fulfilled my vision of the two of us as the modern day Simon & Garfunkel.”  Not one to ever be entirely serious he added of his relationship with Taylor, “We may not be as legendary, talented or as handsome as those two, but we’ve eaten at some of the same restaurants as them.”

Zakk WYlde Revolver Mag CoverAlong with the debut of his new video Wylde is also on the cover of the new issues of Revolver magazine and Guitar World magazine.  He appears alongside fellow guitar legend Buddy Guy in the new issue of Guitar World.  Each can be purchased online via Revolver’s official online store and that of Guitar World.

 

Courtesy:  Guitar World Magazine

Courtesy: Guitar World Magazine

 

 

More information on Book of Shadows II is available online now along with all of Zakk Wylde’s new tour updates, news, and more at:

 

Website: http://www.zakkwylde.com

 

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

 

Twitter: http://twitter.comzakkwyldeBLS

 

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Audiences Of All Ages Will “Believe” In Panton’s New Album Re-Issue

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Diana Panton is one of the most respected and accomplished performers in the jazz community today. One look at the singer’s bio shows that. She has released six critically acclaimed full-length albums, been nominated for two JUNO awards, won two Silver Disc Awards in Japan, 7 HMAS and has been tapped to play some of the world’s top jazz festivals among so much more. Needless to say the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-based vocalist has done and earned quite a bit in her career so far. And last year she added yet another proverbial feather in her cap when she released her first-ever children’s album I Believe in Little Things. The album, originally released on September 25th, 2015 in Canada, will be re-issued this spring (March 18th to be exact) in the United States via eOne Records. The fourteen-song collection earned its own acclaim overseas in its initial release. And it would be no surprise for it to earn even more accolades upon its release domestically. That is especially the case considering that while it is being marketed as a children’s album it really isn’t just an album for children. That is because its featured songs are in fact songs lifted from movies, not just children’s standards. The catch is that the songs and the movies from which they were lifted are all family friendly. Yet young audiences today likely are far more unfamiliar with the songs or said movies than their parents. Considering that, it becomes just as enjoyable for adults as it is for younger viewers. It will generate a sense of nostalgia in older listeners and serves as a starting point for younger listeners to learn about the beloved songs and movies from which they were lifted. Keeping all of this in mind, it is safe to say that while most American audiences likely don’t know Diana Panton’s name or body of work, her new album could very well be the album that makes her more of a household name here in the states.

I Believe in Little Things, Diana Panton’s first-ever children’s album, is an interesting collection of songs. That is because considering its featured compositions it doesn’t necessarily come across as being solely for younger audiences. The compositions in question are songs lifted from a handful of classic family friendly movies. Those movies include but are not limited to: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), The Muppet Movie (1970), and Pinocchio (1940) just to name a few. Also featured in this album are songs from Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). There are even songs lifted from the beloved children’s series Sesame Street and Jim Henson’s other family favorite series The Muppet Show. So not only does Panton touch on timeless movies but on timeless television series, too. On the surface this doesn’t seem like much. But on a deeper level the link between the songs, movies, and TV series serves as a starting point in a history lesson that will hopefully get younger listeners into said classics versus what is begin offered to them today. What’s more the songs themselves also serve as a starting point in a lesson about the importance of jazz in young listeners’ musical upbringing. Older audiences could start with the featured songs and go back in time from there, exhibiting some of the jazz tunes that have made (and continue to make) jazz such a great and important genre. It would have been nice to have had the movies and TV series listed in the album’s companion booklet. If anything can be said negative of the album’s overall presentation that is it. Even with that having been noted it isn’t so overwhelming that it overly detracts from the album’s presentation. Keeping that in mind, each element noted here is important in its own right in terms of exhibiting what makes I Believe in Little Things an impressive new recording from Diana Panton. Collectively they show clearly why this recording is an offering that could help establish her in the American musical community. They are, together, just one way in which this is shown. Her approach to each of the album’s featured songs is just as important as the songs and the movies and TV series from which they were lifted.

The songs featured in I Believe in Little Things are in their own right hugely important to the compilation’s overall presentation. That is because they serve as a starting point in a discussion on the histories of both jazz and music in film for younger listeners. The movies from which they were lifted are by connection just as important to the album’s presentation as the songs. That is because they serve as a starting point in a discussion for audiences of all ages about film and television history. While both noted elements play their own integral role in the overall presentation of Panton’s new album they are both by themselves and collectively just a couple of important portions of the album’s presentation. Panton’s approach to the songs is just as important to the album’s presentation as the songs and their links to their associated movies. Listeners will note that her approach to the songs is very soft and gentle. The best comparison that can be made is to the vocal style of Norah Jones and Diana Krall. Panton sticks to this vocal style from beginning to end of the nearly fifty-five minute record (its total run time—or TRT—is fifty-four minutes and forty-seven minutes as noted on the back of the album’s case). The thing is that even though she sticks to that one vocal style and her band mates maintain the same sort of gentle, relaxed musical approach it never gets old at any point. There are artists and acts out there whose albums get real old real fast because they don’t deviate at any point. But for some reason that isn’t the case with Panton and her band mates here. That being the case it’s one more important element in the overall presentation of I Believe in Little Things. It still isn’t the last notable element in the album’s presentation either. While it might not seem like much to note, the album’s track listing is just as pivotal to its presentation as its other noted elements.

The songs that are featured in Diana Panton’s new children’s album and the approach taken to each song both in regards to her own approach and that of her band mates are both equally important to the album’s overall presentation. Even as important as they are to the album’s presentation they still are not the album’s only important elements. The track listing included with the album is just as important as the album’s content. Here is the reason why: The track listing is printed clearly on the rear exterior of the album’s packaging. Each song is listed clearly with its respective run time. On the bottom right after the final song is the album’s TRT. Having the specific run times with the songs and the album’s TRT can be very helpful for parents with younger children. The specific run times can help parents and educators determine which songs will best potentially hold those young listeners’ attention since every child’s attention span is different from the other. They aren’t left to guess the lengths of the different songs. Any parent and/or educator out there will agree just how stressful it can be to keep young minds engaged in any manner. In regards to the album’s TRT, parents and educators can use it to help time nap time for children regardless of setting. To that extent the display of the album’s track listing and run time on both levels proves to be just as important to the album’s presentation as its featured songs and the approach taken by all involved. And together with the noted elements they come together to make I Believe in Little Things an album in which listeners of all ages will believe.

I Believe in Little Things is an album in which listeners of all ages will believe after hearing its collection of classic movie and TV themes. That is thanks in large part to the songs and the movies and TV shows to which they are connected. The songs and their related movies and TV series are more than just entertainment for audiences. They serve just as much as a starting point for lessons and discussions on music history and that of television and movies. To that extent it serves as an album that older audiences will appreciate just as much as younger audiences. They are also a way to get younger audiences interested in the golden era of music, movies, and television. The stylistic approach taken to the album both from Panton and her band mates is just as important to note of the album’s presentation. Even with the group’s approach staying largely the same from beginning to end it keeps audiences fully engaged. That is a testament to the group’s work. That is especially the case when their work is compared to such an approach taken by other acts with their respective albums. The album’s track listing both in regards to its song listing and run times (both separate and overall) rounds out the album’s presentation. The run times help parents and educators determine which songs will best keep young minds engaged when considering their attention spans. The overall run time listing can help parents and educators alike in terms of using the album for little ones’ nap times. Any parent and/or educator will agree that this is extremely important. Keeping that in mind, it is just as important to the album as any of the album’s content. All things considered I Believe in Little Things proves in the end to be an album in which listeners of all ages will believe. It will be released domestically Friday, March 18th in stores and online.

Diana Panton is currently performing live in support of I Believe in Little Things. She will be live at University Club in Toronto, Ontario on February 26th. She also has a handful of dates currently scheduled for March, May, and August. Her current schedule of live dates is noted below.

 

Diana Panton Performance Highlights – February – August 2016

Feb. 14 – McMichael Art Gallery, Kleinburg, Ontario

Feb. 26 – University Club, Toronto, Ontario

March 3 & 5 – MMM Live Lab, Hamilton, Ontario

May 28 – Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario

Aug. 1 – 12 – Tour in Asia

Aug. 16 – 21 – Woody Point Festival, Gros Morne, Newfoundland

 

More information on her current tour is available online now along with more information on I Believe in Little Things and all of Panton’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

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.

Soul Asylum’s Latest LP Could Mark A Positive Change In The Band’s Fortunes

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

The story of alt-rock band Soul Asylum is one of the modern music industry’s most interesting stories to date. This Minneapolis, Minnesota-based band has seen its share of highs and lows throughout the course of its now nearly thirty-five year life. Early on in its life the band struggled to make a name for itself. Even with ten albums under its collective belt (two of which went platinum–and one of which went platinum three times over–) thousands of albums sold around the world, and a number of hit singles, the band has never managed to achieve superstar status. Yet it has still maintained a solid fan base around the world and continued to make quality music. The band’s latest album Change of Fortune (its eleventh full-length studio recording) could very well mark the start in a change in the band’s fortunes. That is because this twelve-song record, which is currently slated for release on Friday, March 16th, presents plenty of songs that will appeal to audiences of all ages thanks to the mix of the album’s musical and lyrical content. The album’s opener ‘Supersonic’ proves that. The song’s catchy guitar riffs and driving beat couple with its interesting lyrical content to make for a song that will instantly grab listeners’ ears and have them singing and dancing along. ‘Dealing’ comes later in the album’s run. Its full-on alt-rock groove and insightful lyrical content makes it another good example of what makes this album a potential change of fortune for the band. The album’s title track, which the band saves for much later in the album, is one more good example of what makes this record so surprisingly enjoyable. Its musical content presents an infectious semi-bluesy groove that is sure to impress audiences. Its lyrical content is just as impressive. The combination of both elements makes this song one more piece that is sure to help make this album the start of a change of fortune for the band. And it most assuredly can be said that it isn’t the only remaining song featured in this record that could be cited in this argument either. ‘Cool,’ the album’s closer could just as easily be cited as could ‘Can’t Help It’ and ‘Ladies Man.’ Whether for those songs or the compositions more directly noted here, it can be said of the album in whole that it is an impressive return for Soul Asylum and a return that any Soul Asylum fan should hear at least once.

Soul Asylum’s latest full-length studio recording (it’s eleventh) Change of Fortune could very well be the beginning of a change for the band’s fortunes. That is saying quite a bit considering the band’s history. This twelve-song, thirty-nine minute record presents more than its share of solid offerings for audiences beginning right off the top with its opener ‘Supersonic.’ ‘Supersonic’ is a good start to this record with its catchy guitar riffs and driving backbeat. Both lines couple with Winston Roye’s bass line and Dave Pirner’s vocals to transport listeners right back to the 90s. The song’s lyrical content is just as poppy for lack of better wording. Pirner sings here, “Call me at the office/Call me sad but true/It calms me when you call me/It keeps me in my room/Supersonic/Just how you want it/Gin and tonic she’s always on it/Supersonic, she’s always on the way/Automatic autumn/Left it sound and safe/We are moving onward/Wasting away. Considering such content, one would think that this song wouldn’t be as upbeat as it is in terms of its musical content. But in fact the opposite is the case. Pirner seems to be coming across here as talking about someone that seems to have a certain amount of emotional control over another. That is just this critic’s interpretation. It is hardly gospel. The line in which Pirner sings, “We are moving onward/Wasting away” would seem to contradict that interpretation. That aside, the fact that Pirner could get audiences thinking an discussing so easily says plenty of these lines. The discussions and thoughts don’t end with those lines, either. Pirner goes on later to sing about meeting at a station and telling someone where to go.It is definitely an interesting line in itself. And together with the rest of the song’s lyrical content, the song in whole is sure to keep listeners talking and singing along. The discussions brought on by the song’s lyrical content come together with the discussions on the song’s blatantly 90s sound to show exactly why this song was such a wise choice to open Soul Asylum’s new album and why the song was an equally wise addition to the album in whole. It is just one wise addition to this album, too. ‘Dealing’ is another good addition to this record.

‘Supersonic,’ with its mix of 90s-influenced musical content and discussion-invoking lyrical content proves in the end to be a wise opener for Soul Asylum’s latest full-length studio recording. It proves to be just as wise of an addition to the album in whole. As with the album’s opener the main reason for this is the song’s musical content. The song’s musical content boasts a full-on 90s alt-rock groove that is sure to get audiences moving. It might come across as an odd comparison to some, but in this critic’s own view, the groove in question actually conjures thoughts of King’s X. Audiences that are familiar with King’s X will likely agree when they hear this song for themselves. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, it is just as interesting. The song comes across as a social commentary of sorts as Pirner sings, “Everybody knows/Anything goes/We were only trying to have a good time/Livin’ while you learn/You’ll get your turn/We were only living with the one line/When you point the finger/Do you often find it pointed back at you/When you look at the mirror/Do you wonder who is looking back at you?” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus “This is what we’re dealing/This is what we’re dealing with.” As if that isn’t enough proof of that interpretation, Pirner sings in the song’s second verse, “Every move you make/Is like a slitherin’ snake/Winding up the coil/Wastin’ your time/I don’t know what you heard/This is absurd/Trying to set yourself up for the last time.” Pirner comes across, in considering both verses, and the song’s short, simple chorus, as making a statement about someone that is not the best type of person by any means. It’s as if he is commenting on those people who act one way in a situation but in reality are rather quick to blame others anytime something bad happens and who refuse to accept responsibility for anything. Again, that is just this critic’s own take on this song. So it is not meant to be taken as the only interpretation. It is just the starting point for discussions on the song’s lyrical content. Regardless of wrong or right, Pirner has once again presented a song in its lyrical content alone that proves to be another good addition to Soul Asylum’s new album. And together with ‘Supersonic’ both songs together strengthen this album in whole even more. Of course the two songs together are not the album’s only songs nor are they the only good additions to this record. The album’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run, is just as impressive of an addition to the album as those songs.

Both ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Dealing’ are prime examples of what makes Change of Fortune a solid return for Soul Asylum and a record that any of the band’s fans should hear at least once. As impressive as both songs are in the overall picture of the album, they are not the only good examples of what makes this record worth hearing. The album’s title track, which serves as the album’s penultimate composition, is another piece that proves the album’s worth. Its musical content is a good starting point in the discussion as to why. ‘Change of Fortune’s’ musical makeup presents a semi-bluesy groove a la Lenny Kravitz that will have listeners moving just as easily as any of the album’s other songs, including those already noted here. The song’s lyrical content adds a whole other element to the song that when coupled with that infectious groove makes the song in whole a piece that is one of the album’s most standout moments. What makes the song’s lyrical content so notable is the ways that it can be interpreted. There is some material that makes it come across as a song centered on a couple’s meeting and relationship issues. At another point it seems to have something of a social commentary turn once again. Yet the song’s chorus segments seem to hint otherwise. Considering this it is sure to have audiences listening perhaps closer than at any other point in this record. Together with ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Dealing,’ all three songs are equally certain to have audiences listening and talking. And they are hardly the only pieces from this album that could be cited as examples of what makes this record worth hearing, too. Every one of the songs not noted here will each have listeners talking just as much. All things considered, the fact that Change of Fortune could have listeners so closely engaged shows that it could very well be the turning point in the band’s fortunes in its decades-long history.

Soul Asylum’s eleventh full-length studio recording is a welcome new return for the veteran alt-rock band. Fans old and new alike will agree with that sentiment when they hear this record for themselves. That is thanks to the mix of the album’s classic 90s sound in its musical content and the equally interesting lyrical content in each of the album’s songs. The combination of both elements together over the course of the album’s twelve songs and thirty-nine minutes will keep listeners completely engaged from beginning to end. That is evident not just in the songs noted here but in every one of the album’s songs. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Soul Asylum’s body of work, every listener will agree to all of this in hearing this record. In doing so, they will also agree that this record is not just a welcome return for the band but a record that every Soul Asylum fan should hear at least once. It will be available Friday, March 18th in stores and online. More information on Change of Fortune is available online now along with all of Soul Asylum’s latest news and tour updates at:

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

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

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.

Grown-Ups Got Plenty Of Alternatives To Theaters’ Offerings In 2015

This year’s big screen offerings brought big numbers for theaters. The problem is that the majority of those big numbers were the result of Hollywood’s (and audiences’) seemingly insatiable appetite for prequels, sequels, and remakes. It’s a sad statement when one really sits down and thinks about it. And thankfully more audiences are coming to their senses about it each year and staying home instead, taking in the variety of alternatives being offered on television and online. Given, far too many of those alternatives were (and still are) serials, dramas, and some mixture thereof. But for all of the serials and dramas out there, they were just a drop in the bucket in terms of just how much was offered to audiences this year in the way of home entertainment. Shout! Factory released two more volumes of episodes from the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000 this year. It also released the final two seasons of the classic sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, the complete series run of The Saint, and much more. PBS has released all three current seasons of its hit reality/cooking show A Chef’s Life, and partnered once again with itv to release the third season of Mr. Selfridge. Timeless Media Group even gave audiences a good scare this year with the release of A Haunting: Season Seven. And for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, Lionsgate and History channel offered up the seventh season of Ancient Aliens. These are just some of the alternatives offered to audiences this year from the home entertainment realm. And they are all on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. That is in comparison to box sets for the whole family. That is a whole other list. That list will be presented tomorrow. In explaining the choices for the list of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups, the overall packaging of each set was taken into consideration alongside each set’s bonus materials (or lack thereof) and the writing that went into each presentation. The combination of each element in each set went into coming up with this list. Not every set had bonus material such as with Welcome Back, Kotter’s third and fourth season. But the writing behind each season made each season entertaining enough that they each stand quite well on their own merits. The bonus material featured in both volumes of MST3K played a big role in their presentations deserving them their own spots as did the bonus material in Time Life’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts box set and that of Hell on Wheels’ fourth season. That should hopefully give at least some background on why each title was listed where it was listed. Keeping that in mind every title listed here is fully deserving of its spot on this list. So enough rambling. Without any further ado, I offer for your reading pleasure dear readers, the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Box Sets for Grownups. As always, the Top 10 make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive special mention as they deserve to be on the list just as much. Here you go!

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW BOX SETS FOR GROWN-UPS

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 1

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 2

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 4

 

  1. MR. SELFRIDGE: SEASON 3

 

  1. THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: STINGERS AND ZINGERS

 

  1. HELL ON WHEELS: SEASON 4

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIII

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIV

 

  1. THE SAINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

 

  1. BROADCHURCH: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

 

  1. HALT AND CATCH FIRE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

 

  1. A HAUNTING: SEASON 7

 

  1. ANCIENT ALIENS: SEASON 7

 

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.

Drowning Pool Announces Title, Release Date For New LP

Courtesy:  eOne Music

Courtesy: eOne Music

2015 is almost a wrap. For many that means plans for New Year’s Eve. For others, such as the members of Drowning Pool, it means looking past the big night and into the new year. The veteran hard rock band has announced that it will release its new album early next year. As a matter of fact, the band has announced that its new album, its sixth, has both a title and release date.

Hellelujah will be released Friday, January 22nd, 2016 via eOne Music. The band’s sixth full-length album, it will be the first for eOne as the band signed with eOne earlier this summer. It will come a little less than three years after the release of the band’s fifth full-length album Resilience, which was released April 9th, 2013. Jason Suecof (August Burns Red, Deicide, Death Angel) manned the boards for the upcoming release. Fans can keep up with all of the latest updates on Hellelujah online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://drowningpool.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/drowningpool

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.

Pop Evil Sits Among Rock’s Elite Again With Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Last Friday, veteran rock band Pop Evil released its latest full-length studio recording Up. The album, the band’s fifth (and its third released via eOne), continues the band’s long-running tradition of producing top-notch mainstream rock albums. The album’s mix of hard rock arena anthems and equally radio-ready rock songs together make it an album that just as with its predecessors is one of this year’s best new rock records. That is evident right from the album’s outset. ‘Footsteps’ is one of those radio ready rock songs whose catchy hooks and choruses come together with its equally thoughtful verses to make for a solid opener for the album and an equally solid example of what makes Up yet another enjoyable new release from one of the biggest names today in mainstream rock. ‘Take It All’ is another solid example of what makes Up another success for Pop Evil. It is one of those aforementioned hard rock arena anthems that is sure to have fans singing along just as proudly by themselves as they would in an arena with thousands of their fellow fans. That is thanks both to its high-energy musical content and its equally inspiring lyrical content. Just as ‘Footsteps’ and ‘Take It All’ both show in their own way what makes Up such a solid slab of rock so does the ballad style song ‘If Only For Now’ show in its own way what makes this record so enjoyable, too. These are just a few examples of what makes Up yet another enjoyable recording from one of today’s leading names in mainstream rock. There are other songs included in this record such as the hard rock opuses ‘Vendetta’ and ‘Dead in the Water’ and the rather emotionally moving acoustic work ‘Seattle Rain.’ These three songs each do just as much by themselves and collectively why Up is yet another impressive album from Pop Evil. Whether for these songs, the prior trio noted or any of the others not more directly noted, fans and audiences in general will agree that this album in whole is one of the best of this year’s new rock records.

Counting August, there are only five more months left in 2015. Over the course of the past seven months, audiences have seen quite a few impressive new mainstream rock records released in stores and online. Artists and acts such as Joe Satriani, Finger Eleven, Everclear, Barenaked Ladies and others have already proven themselves worthy of being added to the list of the year’s best new rock albums with their new recordings. That’s a pretty wide swath of names. So it is safe to say that Pop Evil is in pretty comfortable company with its latest full-length studio recording Up. That’s right. This album is, just as with Pop Evil’s previous albums, one of this year’s best new mainstream rock records. That is proven through every one of the album’s thirteen total tracks (fifteen in the case of the album’s Deluxe Edition) including its opener and latest single ‘Footsteps.’ ‘Footsteps’ is a solid opener and just one clear example of what makes Up one of this year’s top new albums. Just as with songs included in previous Pop Evil albums ‘Footsteps’ is one of those songs that is a perfect fit for any mainstream rock radio station. It isn’t one of those standard, formulaic, copycat pieces that sounds like so many others. For that reason alone, it is well worth the listen. It also doesn’t just rehash any stylistically similar songs from Pop Evil’s previous LPs either. It is just a good, solid mainstream rock song that will entertain audiences from its musical content alone. Its lyrical content gives it even more punch. Front man Leigh Kakaty and Dave Bassett teamed up to write this song’s lyrical content. Their efforts led to some rather inspiring material. The pair wrote for this song, “Starting over once again/This is where it all begins/It’s right in front of me/Down is not where I belong/This aching heart won’t turn to stone/There’s a fire inside these bones/It was meant to be/I see a world still full of light/How could I’ve ever been so blind/I still haven’t lost my fight/That haunts ne in my sleep.” Examining these lines alone audiences see just how powerful and inspiring these lyrics are. They are just part of that proof, too. The song’s closing verse is just as inspiring with Kakaty and Bassett writing of staying optimistic despite the uncertainty of the future. That parallel of that positive message and the song’s upbeat musical content makes clear why this song was chosen to open Pop Evil’s new album and why it is just the latest representation for the band’s new album, too. Audiences can hear the song for themselves and see the song’s new video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXvkTuMyZpM.

‘Footsteps’ is in itself a solid example of why Up is one of 2015’s top new rock records. The mix of its upbeat musical content and optimistic lyrical content makes this clear. It is just one example of what makes Up such a solid collection of songs, too. ‘Take It All’ is another clear example of what makes Up so enjoyable. This high-energy song is an instant fan favorite that is just as certain to be a favorite at the band’s live shows as on disc. That is thanks to its own mix of musical and lyrical content. Musically speaking, ‘Take It All’ is the polar opposite of ‘Footsteps.’ It shows another side of the band with its much heavier riffs, low-end from bassist Matt DiRito, and concrete strong drumming from Chaci Riot. It shows musically that once again, the band refuses to rest easy on its laurels, opting instead to show the breadth of its abilities. While this song proves to be the polar opposite of ‘Footsteps’ stylistically, its lyrical approach is very much the same, which is in this case not a bad thing. Kakaty and Bassett co-wrote this song’s lyrical content, too. Kakaty sings here, “You got that fire burning your eyes/LIghting up the sky I see you coming/You got desire running through your brain/Ice in your veins I see you coming/So what do you say.” Kakaty and Bassett leave little room for doubt in examining this verse. It is someone addressing a rather strong-willed individual, motivating said person. It’s one of those pieces that is perfect for a workout session or game prep session especially with football season now under way at every level. If there is in fact any doubt left in any listener’s mind from that verse, the song’s second verse makes even clearer the message being presented by Kakaty and Bassett. That is the case as Kakaty sings in said verse, “Got that drive way deep inside/Keeping you alive it’s all or nothing/There ain’t no shame just playing the game/No pain and no game just rise about it/So what do you say.” The energy in those lyrics coupled with the energy in the song’s driving musical content is sure to get any listener’s blood and body moving. The same can be said of the partnering of the song’s lead verse and its musical content. All things considered here, ‘Take It All’ proves to be one of the best examples of what makes Up so enjoyable if not the single best example. Even as great of an example as it is, it still is not the last example of why Up is one of this year’s best new rock albums. The more reserved ‘If Only For Now’ is one more example of what makes it a solid record.

‘Footsteps’ and ‘Take It All’ each serve in their own way to show just how much Up has to offer audiences. It is not the first time that the band has ever included a ballad-style song in any of its albums. And while not being the first time that the band has ever included a ballad on any of its albums, listeners that are familiar with the band’s body of work will be happy that the band avoided repeating its previous ballads all the way around in the case of this song. That is made clear first and foremost through the song’s lyrical approach. The song, co-written by Kakaty, Bassett, Joshua Marunde, and bassist Matt DiRito, the song surprises by tackling the subject of a person hoping for love. As Kakaty sings, “Streets crowded with voices/Thousands of faces but you’re all I wanna see/Lights reflections of yesterday/Days thrown away cause you’re all I wanna keep.” These are the words of someone not longing for a lost love but of someone singing to another of his or her yearning for another. That person goes on in the song’s second verse to say to that person, “Here the world’s at our fingers/So live in the moment I’m not gonna say goodbye/So why don’t we for now forget tomorrow/Let me be the only thing you need/If only for now.” The song’s subject is saying, “Let me make this moment about us if only for now.” Sure, it’s mushy. But it could have been even more so. Thankfully Kakaty and company didn’t let that happen in the case of this song. because they didn’t it makes the song all the more enjoyable. Being that the subject of a person hoping for love is tackled far less than the subject of love lost, it becomes that much more enjoyable. The attention paid to the song’s musical content adds another level of enjoyment to the song. The band builds the song in each verse right up to the song’s chorus to make for the fullest possible emotional impact. It succeeds in this goal, too. The attention to the tone of the song’s musical content gives the song even more of a positive impact. It serves to even better illustrate the song’s upbeat, optimistic outlook. And in doing so it rounds out the ways in which this song shows itself to be another solid example of what makes Up so impressive in whole.

‘Footsteps,’ ‘Take It All,’ and ‘If Only For Now’ are all prime examples of what makes Up yet another impressive release from Pop Evil. All three songs show a different side of the band both musically and lyrically. They are only a small handful of examples of that diversity, too. ‘Vendetta,’ ‘Dead in The Water,’ and the emotionally moving ‘Seattle Rain’ could just as easily be used to exemplify how much this record has to offer fans. The same could be said of any of the album’s other songs not directly noted here. Regardless of which songs one choose, listeners and long-time fans alike will agree that all things considered, Up proves to be not just another enjoyable record from Pop Evil but another one of this year’s best new rock records overall. Up is available now in stores and online. And the band is currently touring in support of Up. Its next slated date is Tuesday, September 8th at the Rose Music Hall (formerly Mojo’s) in Colombia, Missouri. The band is also scheduled to perform live at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina alongside Three Days Grace on Wednesday, September 16th. Tickets for that and all of the band’s other shows are available now. All of the band’s latest tour dates are available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.PopEvil.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/popevil

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