The rock community turned out a whole bunch of great new content in 2021. From established acts to the up-and-comers, to the veterans, acts from across the rock community gave audiences plenty of reason to be happy this year. Now with only 21 days left in the year, that flow of new releases has slowed, though there is already lots of rock to look forward to in 2022, beginning early in the year. Until then though, Phil’s Picks has its annual list of this year’s top new rock albums to share.
As was the case with all of the other lists, this one was not easy to craft, either. Pop Evil returned this year with its powerful new album, Versatile. Liquid Tension Experiment (which is essentially the side project of three of Dream Theater’s members) returned for the first time in some years with its third record, too. Up-and-coming neo-classic rock band Greta Van Fleet worked hard this year with its new album to show that it wants to be known as its own act, not just a Led Zeppelin knockoff. Between this record, the others noted here and so many others, this year’s list of top new rock albums is diverse.
As with every other list presented by Phil’s Picks, it consists of the year’s top 10 new albums and five honorable mentions for a total of 15. Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Rock Albums.
PHIL’S PICKS 2021 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS
Liquid Tension Experiment – 3
John 5 – Sinner
Billy F. Gibbons – Hardware
The Dead Daisies – Holy Ground
Mason Hill – Against The Wall
Candlebox – Wolves
Marc Ribler – The Whole World Awaits You
Myles Kennedy – The Ides of March
Pop Evil – Versatile
Dropkick Murphys – Turn Up That Dial
L.A. Guns – Checkered Past
Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
Grand Royale – Carry On
Styx – Crash of the Crown
Greta Van Fleet – The Battle at Garden’s Gate
That’s it for this list, but wait, there’s more! Yes, there are still two more music lists to go before the attention turns to the best of the year’s new movie and TV categories. Stay tuned!
Independent rock band Cavo has spent the past 14 years flying just under the mainstream radar, crafting music that is truly worth hearing. Nine in all (four albums and five EPs) those records have each left audiences wondering what has kept the band just under that radar. Now Friday, the band will release its latest record (digitally at that) in the form of Bridges, Bright Nights & Thieves. The 11-song record has already produced a handful of singles in the form of ‘Without You,’ ‘Wolves,’ ‘Lead On’ ‘Muscle Memory,’ and its cover of Duran Duran’s ‘Come Undone.’ There are even an updated takes of the band’s own songs ‘Ghost,’ ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Cynical.’ ‘Cynical’ was originally featured in the band’s 2018 album by the same name while ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Ghost’ were originally featured in the band’s 2009 album, Bright Nights, Dark Days. So it goes without saying that the band’s latest record has a lot for audiences to like just from everything noted here. It is just a part of what audiences have to enjoy. Just as noteworthy is ‘What Does It Feel Like?’ This late entry to the album’s 42-minute run time will be addressed shortly. ‘No Way,’ the record’s midpoint of sorts is another notable addition to the record. It will be discussed a little later. ‘We Were Wrong’ is also worth noting in examining this record’s strong points. When it and the other songs noted here are all considered together, they make the record in whole still more proof of why Cavo deserves more attention than it has received from the mainstream rock and even pop communities.
Cavo’s forthcoming record Bridges, Bright Nights & Thieves (named after the band’s albums, Bridges, Bright Nights Dark Days, and Thick as Thieves) is another offering from the independent rock band that audiences established and otherwise will enjoy. The five singles that it has already produced and its three updated takes of its own older songs do plenty to support the noted statement. They are just a portion of what audiences will like about the record. There is still a trio of other songs left that audiences will enjoy just as much, not the least of which being ‘What Does It Feel Like?’ The musical arrangement featured in ‘What Does It Feel Like?’ immediately makes the song a fit for any active rock radio station programmer’s play list. That is because of its clear stylistic similarity to works from the likes of Theory of a Deadman. The steady time keeping from drummer Andy Herrin and bass line from Brian Smith form a solid foundation for the song along with the vocal delivery of front man Casey Walker. Guitarist Chris Hobbs’ own performance here works with the noted instrumentation and vocals to make the song in whole such a catchy, infectious work that is the most commercially viable of the album’s entries.
As much as the song’s musical content does to make it stand out, the lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement does its own share to ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment. The lyrical theme featured in ‘What Does It Feel Like?’ comes across as a deep statement about what someone must think and feel as he/she deals with so much emotional struggle from self and from others. This is inferred right from the song’s lead verse and chorus as Walker sings, “Wanting to hide/Just a place you can run to/Saving a life after all that you’ve been through/But they take what they want/’Cause they know what you hide/Tell me you realize/Changing the lives…What does it feel like/Holding it all inside/What does it feel like/Leaving the world tonight/Feels like I’m living a lie.” The seeming message continues in the song’s second verse in which Walker sings, “You’re the last one alive/And you know that’s never gonna change/You know what it’s like/’Cause it’s always been the same/Well the words never change/And the voice never fades/Tell me it’s too late/Changing your mind/Never changes that it won’t fade away.” The later mention in the song’s third and final verse that “the world is here and then it’s gone” is sort of a sarcastic statement to that person who seems to be feeling thoughts of “oh woe is me” at least in the ears and mind of this critic. To that end, the song in whole seems to be a commentary about people holding things in, feeling so sorry for themselves and that ultimately in holding everything in is to no end. It really is an interesting social commentary of sorts that is certain to resonate with a wide range of listeners. The fire in the song’s musical arrangement adds even more impact to the seeming statement. In hindsight, it seems to develop a sense of frustration from the main speaker as he addresses that person that is just apparently feeling so sorry for himself/herself. The whole makes clear why this song is such an important addition to the album. It is just one more of the songs that makes the album so worth hearing. ‘No Way’ is another notable addition to the album.
‘No Way’ will appeal to any pop punk fan with its catchy musical arrangement. Walker and Hobbs immediately grab listeners with their respective performances here. As Herrin and Smith join in, the group in whole makes the song’s arrangement that much more engaging and entertaining for the noted audiences. The richness in the song’s musical arrangement makes the impact of the song’s lyrical theme all the more appealing, again, to the noted listeners.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘No Way’ is a relatively easy topic to decipher. This song’s lyrical theme is that of a breakup. At first it seems otherwise as Walker’s subject tells the female love interest to “Come and lay your head down/You’ve been waiting for so long/And now it’s pulling you back to the place where it all began/Come and rest your head now/You’ve been crying for too long/This rejection is more than you need on a hard day/I think the summer’s burning out/The moment you leave/I think there’s more that we should say/Don’t you agree…I know you know.” That sense of a breakup continues in the song’s verse as the subject continues in similar fashion. The mention in the song’s chorus that “Your eyes are lying/If it kills you to try/Then walk away/Save me from my pain/I swear you know what to say” adds even more to the sense that this is another song centered on a relationship at its end. This is a man who apparently just wants the truth from that woman rather than being led on. Again, this is all just this critic’s own interpretation. When the song’s musical arrangement is joined with the seeming lyrical theme, it makes the emotion of the moment all the richer and impacting. To that end that overall accessibility will keep this song engaging and entertaining just as much as ‘How Does It Feel?’ and so many of the album’s other songs. It is just one more of the works that makes this record in whole stand out, too. ‘We Were Wrong’ is yet another of the record’s most notable works.
‘We Were Wrong’ is interesting in part because its musical arrangement also boasts a certain pop punk sensibility that is unique from that of ‘No Way.’ At the same time, the subtle guitar line against Walker’s vocals also hints at something of a late 80s/early 90s pop rock influence. Yes, it sounds like an odd juxtaposition, but it somehow manages to work well here. Even more interesting here is that Walker’s vocals actually sound so similar to those of Counting Crows front man Adam Duritz. Whether that was intentional is anyone’s guess. Regardless, the similarity is there and it makes the song’s musical aspect all the more interesting.
The song’s musical arrangement is just a part of what makes it notable. The song’s lyrical theme adds even more to its interest. As with ‘No Way,’ the lyrical theme featured in ‘We Were Wrong’ centers on a breakup. Right from the get go, Walker’s statements about everything going wrong and that “I guess we stayed too long…I guess there’s no choice but to leave” makes that evident. The sentiment continues in similar fashion from there through the rest of the song. To that end, the once again accessible lyrical theme and equally accessible and unique musical arrangement makes the song all the more engaging and entertaining for the noted audiences. When this song, the others examined here and the rest of the record’s works are considered together, the whole makes the record in whole more proof that Cavo deserves much more attention and credit from the mainstream rock realm than it receives and has received.
Cavo’s forthcoming record, Bridges, Bright Nights & Thieves is a strong new offering from the band. It is a presentation that the band’s established audiences and more casual listeners alike will appreciate. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike. Each of the songs examined here prove that just as much as the record’s already released singles and its trio of updated works. Each item is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered, they make this record a welcome return from Cavo.
Bridges, Bright Nights & Thieves is scheduled for digital release Friday. More information on Cavo’s new record is available online now along with the band’s latest news and more at:
Independent rock band To Kill a Monster is taking on a tough topic in its latest single and video.
The band premiered its new single, ‘Barely Breathing’ Friday, along with the song’s lyric video, which premiered through BlankTV’s official YouTube channel. The song is available to stream and download through Spotify and Apple Music.
The musical arrangement featured in the single is a gritty arrangement. It combines influences of Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age to make it a unique rock/stoner rock hybrid composition.
The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement takes on the topic of coping with loss, according to a statement about the song released by the band.
“‘Barely Breathing’ is a story about the loss of a loved one when they’re all you have left,” the statement reads.
More information on To Kill A Monster’s new single and lyric video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Independent rock band Sweet Teeth kicked off the weekend with a new single and video.
The band premiered its new single, ‘Shattered Glass Face‘ and its companion video Friday. The song is the lead single from the band’s debut EP, Acid Rain. The seven-song record is available in the United States through MVD (Music Video Distributors) and various other labels in other regions.
‘Shattered Glass Face’ runs approximately 47 seconds (yes, less than a minute). In that very brief time, the song packs a powerful punch. The mix of the instrumentation and vocals gives the song a sound and stylistic approach that is just as comparable to works from Foo Fighters as from Dinosaur Jr. and Husker Du.
No information was provided in the press release about the lyrical theme featured in ‘Shattered Glass Face.’ Though the mention in the song of waking up in a room full of bottles and the plea to “Please wake me up” hints at perhaps a song having to do with alcoholism. That is as always just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be considered the only interpretation.
The video for ‘Shattered Glass Face’ is a black and white presentation. It features the band performing its new single in a studio setting.
More information on Sweet Teeth’s new single, video, and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
For many people out there, the era that was the 80s is neither dead nor gone (sadly). Ironically, the 80s is not the only era in which many people choose to live, even though it has passed. There are also those who choose to remain in the 90s, even though that age is gone, too. Among those individuals who apparently choose to live in the 90s, even now in the 21st century are the members of the independent alt-rock band Superbloom. That is evidenced in the band’s album, Pollen. The 12-song record, scheduled for release Tuesday, is a full-on musical trip back to the 90s, but one that is welcome. Those musical arrangements that make up the body of this record will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes that accompany the songs, while difficult to decipher at points without a lyrics sheet, also play into the album’s presentation. They will be discussed a little later. The sequencing of that collective content rounds out the most important of the album’s elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make Pollen a surprisingly enjoyable nostalgic trip back to the 90s that any fan of that era’s sounds will enjoy.
Superbloom’s forthcoming album Pollen is a surprisingly enjoyable musical trip back to the 90s. More specifically, it is a welcome trip for those who were and still are fans of the grunge and alt-rock movement that was so prevalent during that era. That is proven primarily through the record’s featured musical arrangements. Right from the 42-minute record’s opening, audiences are treated to an arrangement that is comparable to works from Foo Fighters in ‘1994.’ Ironically, it was only a year later – 1995 – when Foo Fighters released its self-titled debut album. Nirvana had released its finale album, In Utero only a year prior in 1993. It sounded nothing like Foo Fighters’ album, which would of course come later, either. To that end, maybe the arrangement is meant to sort of highlight the bridge between the two bands. That is of course just this critic’s interpretation.
Moving on from ‘1994,’ the alt-rock and grunge sounds and styles continue from there. ‘Mary on a Chain’ bears a stylistic approach and sound that is just as comparable to works from Silverchair and Nirvana as to some of the alt-rocks bands that rose to fame during the 1990s. That is evidenced through the sound and style of the vocal delivery, guitars and bass here. Even the sound of the drums, thanks to the production, gives them the sound of drums used in so many records during that era. It makes for an interesting presentation in its own right.
Much the same can be said of ‘Hey Old Man,’ ‘Leash,’ and honestly every other arrangement featured throughout the album. Audiences are even treated to a Smashing Pumpkins style composition in the album’s latest single, ‘Pollen.’ As if that is not enough, listeners could just as easily argue that the band takes influence from (of all bands) in ‘Glass Candy Wrapper.’ The similarity between this song and Lifehouse’s hit single ‘Hanging By A Moment’ is uncanny. Whether that similarity was intended is known only to Superbloom’s members. Regardless, it is an unavoidable comparison. Taking that into account along with the other arrangements examined here and the rest of the record’s compositions, the whole makes this album appealing for any alt-rock and grunge rock fan if only for its musical content. Of course the musical content is only a portion of what is deserving of attention. The lyrical content that accompanies the songs’ musical content is also of note.
The lyrical content featured throughout Pollen is difficult to fully decipher at points without a lyrics sheet to reference. Though, there are some points at which the lyrics can at least be understood partially. One of the songs that allows for at least some understanding is the early Nirvana-esque ‘Spill.’ Front man Dave Hoon sings in the song’s lead verse, “I want to buy/A crow of thorns/try it on/And poison my…” The final words here are difficult to decipher. That aside, the very mention of the crown of thorns makes the song here perhaps about someone putting the weight of the world on their own shoulders. At another point, Hoon can be understood to sing, “I wish I was someone else/So I redeem myself.” He later adds, “I wanna buy your sympathy.” This comes across as the same kind of angsty lyrical content that was so commonplace in music from the 90s in itself. To that end, that seeming “oh woe is me” lyrical theme here couples perfectly with the sound of the age to take listeners back to the 90s even more.
Interestingly enough, Hoon and company do not just stick to the 90s in terms of the album’s lyrical themes. Hoon explained in reference to the album’s single, ‘Muzzle, that it is in fact a commentary on the current state of the world. He said of this song’s theme, “The lyrics for Muzzle were written at the end of summer I think of 2020 when everything was hyper crazy, and I’d always have the news on or be on Twitter or Reddit. So that was the environment Muzzle was written in. I think the song is about having something to say but choosing not to — for better or for worse.” Those statements are illustrated well as Hoon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Save me from myself/Put me back on the shelf/I thought we understood/If I could turn back time, I would.” There is even a mention in the second verse about the TV being constantly on. What is really interesting here is not so much the lyrical theme, but the calm in how Hoon delivers the song’s words. It’s kind of that hindsight being 20/20 sense, considering the calm in his delivery. That ads even more to the impact in the song’s lyrical theme, making clear why it is just one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.
‘Whatever,’ the album’s penultimate entry, is yet another example of the album’s lyrical themes. As with that featured in ‘Spill,’ this song’s lyrical theme comes across as echoing the angsty emotions so common in music from the 90s. The song’s subject here seems to be addressing someone else, basically saying he/she is indifferent to being away from others. That is inferred as Hoon sings, “Wish I was gone/When I come back/I feel a million miles away/Whatever.” He even says in the song’s opening, “You ever been alone/You just enjoy the way/You like the way it sounds.” This comes across as being one of those anthemic type of songs that angsty, grunge fans would like. That is because it seems to present that desire of those young teen audiences to just be away and by themselves, brooding over everything because they like being that way. This is certain to take listeners right back to that age as it repeats time and again throughout the song’s three minute-plus run time. It makes the song just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important to its presentation. It shows the clear intent of Superbloom’s members to connect with listeners through the album’s lyrical content just as much as through its musical content.
While the musical and lyrical content featured in Superbloom’s new album goes a long way toward making the album appealing for fans of 90s alt and grunge rock, it is just part of what makes the album appealing for those audiences. The sequencing of that content puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation. The sequencing shows a clear direction for the album’s songs. It starts out with a certain fire in its musical content, but gradually pulls back in the pairing of ‘Leash’ and ‘Muzzle.’ From that point on, the energies (and by connection the styles and sounds) in the album vary from song to song and even within the songs. This ensures listeners’ engagement in its own right. It ensures that the album does not become monotonous. Rather, it will keep listeners’ own emotions varying with those in the arrangements. Keeping that in mind, the sequencing serves as its own strong point for the album. When it is considered along with the album’s overall content, the whole makes this record a presentation that fans of 90s alt and grunge rock will agree is a welcome musical blast from the past.
Superbloom’s new album, Pollen is an interesting new offering from the independent rock act. That is due in part to its musical arrangements. The arrangements harken back to the alt and grunge rock sounds of the 90s, taking influence from the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Foo Fighters to name just a few similar acts. That in itself is reason enough for the noted audiences to take in this record. The lyrical themes seem at least to some extent, to harken back to the angsty lyrical themes featured in music from acts that were popular at the time, too. The sequencing of that content puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation, ensuring listeners’ engagement even more. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make Pollen one of the best of this year’s new independent albums. Pollen is scheduled for release Tuesday.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Deeper in the Shallow’ is a heavy, fuzzed, guitar-driven composition. The sound of that guitar arrangement, works with the thick rhythm section and vocals to give the song a sort of post-hardcore style sound.
The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement touches on a heavy topic, according to front man Justin Tamminga.
“(The song) was written roughly 14 or 15 years ago. (It’s) sort of a letter to my sister, who had just moved to the town I was living in and was starting to hang out with people in the “scene.” We grew up in an abusive household and a lot of these people’s actions mirrored those of my mom and stepdad. When you grow up in a traumatic environment, it tends to hinder your ability to see abusive behavior because you’re used to being treated poorly and not having your boundaries respected. This is also why we came up with the band name Assertion. So the song is a mixture of our background mixed with the current time and place we were living. I went on to play this song in a band called Hands Of Toil, until [band founder] William [Goldsmith] heard it and wanted to play it. William, [bassist] Bryan [Gorder] and I reinvented it, dropped the tuning and added a bit more dynamics.”
The track listing for Intermission is noted below.
Independent indie/college rock band Space Cadet debuted its latest single this week along with its companion video.
The band debuted its new single ‘Start Running Away‘ and its video Friday. The song is the third single from the band’s forthcoming album Lion on a Leash, which is scheduled for release March 26 through Wiretap Records. The pair’s debut follows that of the album’s second single, ‘Bad Luck‘ and its companion video, and that of the album’s lead single ‘Forever For a While‘ and its companion video.
The musical arrangement featured in Space Cadet’s new single is a unique post-punk style composition. The light guitar approach, airy vocals, and steady time keeping, it actually lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Foo Fighters. Bad Religion guitarist Brian Baker makes a guest appearance on the song.
Baker is just one of the guests who appear in Lion on a Leash. The album also features guest appearances by Mike Sneeringer (The Loved Ones), Matt Olsson (Dave Hause, Frank Iero, Brian Fallon), and Chris Gonzalez (The Explosion/The Loved Ones).
No information was provided in the press release announcing the debut of the new single and its video. However, from what can be interpreted, it would seem that the song’s lyrical content hints at a message of making the most of life possible.
The video that accompanies the song is its own unique presentation. It features various images, such as ballet dancers rehearsing a routine, flowers blooming, and ice crystals forming as the song plays over the noted imagery.
Foo Fighters officially returned Friday with its first new album in more than three years in the form of Medicine at Midnight. While the wait for the band’s new nine-song record was a little long, it was a wait that ultimately has proven worth it. That is because what the band has offered audiences in this 36-minute album is a presentation that exhibits a band that was not afraid of taking a risk, musically speaking. The content is familiar at points, but also shows growth from the band. The lyrical content generates its own interest and will lead to plenty of discussion among listeners, too. ‘Waiting on a War,’ one of the album’s early singles serves well to support the noted statements. It will be discussed shortly. Much the same can be said of ‘No Son of Mine,’ which comes late in the album’s run. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Chasing Birds’ is yet another way in which Medicine at Midnight shows how much it has to offer audiences. It will also be discussed later. When it is considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album becomes a work that while maybe not Foo Fighters’ best album, is still an enjoyable addition to the band’s catalog.
Foo Fighters’ latest album – its 10th – Medicine at Midnight is another record that the band’s established audiences and more casual fans alike will find enjoyable. That is proven throughout the album through its musical and lyrical content. ‘Waiting on a War,’ one of the album’s early singles, is one way in which this is proven. While many audiences have lambasted the song, it is in fact quite an interesting work. Front man Dave Grohl explained in a press release, that the song was spawned after having had a conversation with his daughter about her concerns about the possibility of the United States going to war with another nation. Considering that his daughter was 11 years-old at the time, it would explain why the song’s musical arrangement starts out in such soft fashion. Maybe that softer start is meant to echo his daughter’s innocence and maybe the emotion felt by father and daughter alike during the conversation. As the song progresses, the energy picks up, becoming more intense. That could represent Grohl’s growing tension as he thought about the discussion during the day. It would make sense.
Keeping in mind that the song stemmed from a discussion between Grohl and his daughter, the lyrical content does well in its own right here to reflect the conversation. The song opens, stating, “I’ve been waiting on a war since I was young/Since I was a little boy with a toy gun/Never really wanted to be number one/Just wanted to love someone.” The contemplation continues in the song’s chorus, which finds Grohl asking, “Is there more to this than that?/More to this than just waiting on a war?” This overall opening statement is powerful in its own right. As Grohl noted in his noted press release, he grew up during the latter days of the Cold War during the 1980s. That was a period of great tensions between the U.S. and Russia. So it would make sense that he notes here, the issue of “waiting on a war/Since I was a little boy with a toy gun.” The question that follows in the chorus echoes Grohl’s statement of feelings of frustration at everything that went on during his own childhood and how that of his daughter. That frustration is presented just as much in the song’s second verse, which once again returns to his childhood, stating, “Every day/Waiting for the sky to fall/Big crash on a world that’s so small/Just a boy with nowhere left to go/Fell in love with a voice on the radio.” He continues in the song’s post-chorus, “Just waiting on a war for this and that/There’s got to be more to this than that…Is there more to this than just waiting on a war?” This overall statement is hardly the first time that any musical act has taken on the misery of war and even the fear of war. However, it is just as powerful in the case of this song as in any of the song’s counterparts and predecessors. The whole of this lyrical and musical content is certain to echo with listeners, in turn proving by itself why the album offers much to appreciate. For all that it does to show what Medicine at Midnight has to offer audiences, “Waiting on a War’ is just one of the album’s standout tracks. ‘No Son of Mine’ is another example of what the album has to offer.
‘No Son of Mine’ is a direct contrast to ‘Waiting on a War’ at least in terms of its musical arrangement. Where ‘Waiting on a War’ was a controlled musical composition, this song’s arrangement is a more fiery work right off the bat. Its sound actually echoes hints of Motorhead to a point in the verses, while the chorus sections oddly sound somewhat like Golden Earring’s ‘Radar Love.’ Yes, it sounds like one heck of a joining of influences, but the whole somehow works and makes the song memorable in its own right. The energy exuded through the song’s up-tempo musical arrangement partners well with the statement made through its lyrical accompaniment.
Grohl pointed out during an interview that the song’s lyrical content is meant to present a socio-political commentary. He said of the song, “This is the kind of song that resides in all of us, and it makes sense at the time, we let it out…Lyrically it’s meant to poke at the hypocrisy of self-righteous leaders, people that are guilty of committing the crimes they’re supposedly against.” It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle on takes, politicians on both sides fit into this statement. The statement in question is reinforced right from the song’s outset in its lead verse, which states, “No son of mine will ever do/The work of villains/The will of fools/If you believe it/It must be true/No son of mine.” It is as if this is one of those hypocritical elected officials screaming to the treetops in front of the masses, convincing them that they are so pure and perfect. Those officials continue crowing, “No son of mine will ever need/to beg forgiveness/No wicked deed/Head full of evil/Heart full of greed/No son of mine” There is so much overt piousness in this overall statement, it makes so clear the hypocrisy that the song is attempting to convey from those elected officials. The self-righteousness of those individuals is made just as clear in the song’s third and fourth (yes, fourth) verses, so there is no need to continue on from here. The song’s chorus puts the period to the statement as it reads, “Here we are/The living dead/Han to God/With one foot in the grave/Age of lost innocence/Don’t forget what your good book says.” In other words here are those officials carrying on as they do so often, about religious views while not really walking the walk. Between this final accent and everything noted in the song’s verses, what audiences get here is a damning indictment of this nation’s elected officials. Again, it does not matter whether one is Republican or Democrat. The reality is that these statements apply to elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Paired with the fiery energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole becomes a work that is certain to show in its own way, the power of the song overall. It is still not the last of the album’s most notable works. ‘Chasing Birds’ is yet another way in which Medicine at Midnight shows its strength.
‘Chasing Birds’ is Medicine at Midnight’s penultimate entry. This song’s musical arrangement is quite the laid back composition. It is so relaxed that one might thing this song is meant to be a positive work, but in reality, its lyrical content shows that it is in fact rather melancholy.
The melancholy nature in the song’s lyrical content comes right off the top in the song’s lead verse, which finds Grohl singing, “Chasing birds to get high/My head is in the clouds/Chasing birds to get by/I’m never coming down/My heart is six feet underground.” That last couple of lines juxtaposing where the subject’s mind and heart reside is almost like a statement about someone trying so hard to escape some very negative feelings even though they clearly are there. That seeming inner turmoil is made even clearer in the song’s chorus, which states, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions/Dark inventions of mine/The road to hell is paved with broken parts/Bleeding hearts like mine.” Yet again, here, audiences are presented with a continued commentary about someone dealing with some heavy emotions. The song’s second verse puts the final accent to the commentary, stating, “Chasing birds through the sky/And deep into the black/Chasing birds/Say goodbye/I’m never coming back/Here comes anther heart attack.” This is a powerful statement that will certainly hit listeners hard. Overall, the song’s lyrical approach is something rarely if ever tackled by Foo Fighters in any of its existing songs. Keeping that in mind along with the way in which the topic was handled – including the role of the song’s musical arrangement alongside its lyrical content – the song in whole becomes another clear example of what makes Foo Fighters’ new album worth hearing. When it and the other songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of that group makes the album overall while not the year’s best rock record, at least one of the year’s best.
Foo Fighters’ new album Medicine at Midnight is another worthwhile offering from the veteran rock band. That is proven throughout the record in its musical and lyrical content alike. Each of the songs examined here support the noted statements. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Medicine at Midnight a dose of music that Foo Fighters fans and rock fans alike will welcome. Medicine at Midnight is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of Foo Fighters’ latest news at:
The Go-Gos’ 2001 album God Bless The Go-Gos is getting its own re-issue.
The album, which was at the time its first together since 1984’s Talk Show, is scheduled for release May 14 on vinyl. The re-issue celebrates the 20th anniversary of that album’s release and on deluxe CD and digital platforms. The re-issue will feature new cover art, shown here, and the bonus tracks ‘I Think I Need Sleep’ and ‘King of Confusion.’ Pre-orders are open.
The re-issue’s track listing is noted below.
VINYL TRACK LISTING:
SIDE 1 1. La La Land 2. Unforgiven 3. Apology 4. Stuck In My Car 5. Vision Of Nowness 6. Here You Are 7. Automatic Rainy Day
SIDE 2 1. Kissing Asphalt 2. Insincere 3. Sonic Superslide 4. Throw Me A Curve 5. Talking Myself Down 6. Daisy Chain
CD/DIGITAL TRACK LISTING 1. La La Land 2. Unforgiven 3 .Apology 4. Stuck In My Car 5. Vision Of Nowness 6. Here You Are 7. Automatic Rainy Day 8. Kissing Asphalt 9. Insincere 10. Sonic Superslide 11. Throw Me A Curve 12. Talking Myself Down 13. Daisy Chain 14. I Think I Need Sleep 15. King Of Confusion
God Bless The Go-Gos reached #57 on the Billboard Top 200 and has since reached #17 on the Top Internet Albums Chart. Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade (Radiohead, Hole) co-produced the album.
Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong made a guest appearance on the album’s track, ‘Unforgiven.’ Ram Jaffee (The Wallflowers, Foo Fighters) lent his talents to another of the album’s tracks, ‘Here You Are.’ ‘Daisy Chain’ featured a guest appearance by Roger Manning (Jellyfish, Imperial Drag, The Moog Cookbook).
In other news, The Go-Gos’ documentary — simply titled The Go-Gos — was released through digital and rental services Friday through Eagle Vision and Mercury Studios. Its physical release is scheduled for Feb. 26 through Polygram/UMe on DVD/Blu-ray combo pack.
The documentary, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, presents the history of the all-female band from its roots in the Los Angeles punk scene to its meteoric rise to fame. The story features interviews with subjects, such as Belinda Carlisle, Kathy Valentine, and Gina Schock to add to its depth.
As an added bonus, the documentary follows the band as it writes its female empowerment anthem ‘Club Zero,’ its first new song in almost 20 years. The song hit the Top 10 on Billboard’s Rock Digital Sales Chart.
In more news, The Go-Gos are scheduled to launch a series of live dates starting June 18 in San Francisco, CA, conditions pending due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tour is scheduled to run just under a month long, ending on July 11 in Asbury Park, NJ. The tour’s tentative schedule is noted below.
Summer 2021 North American tour dates: Jun 18 The Masonic San Francisco, CA + Jun 23 Humphreys San Diego, CA + Jun 24 Humphreys San Diego, CA + Jun 27 Pechanga Resort Casino Temecula, CA + Jun 29 Orpheum Theater Los Angeles, CA + Jun 30 Orpheum Theater Los Angeles, CA + Jul 7 Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY Jul 8 Parx Casino Bensalem, PA Jul 10 Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, CT Jul 11 Stone Pony Asbury Park, NJ +
More information on The Go-Gos’ new re-issue, documentary, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Greta Van Fleet is scheduled to be on television tonight.
The band is scheduled to perform its new single ‘My Way, Soon’ on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. The song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming album The Battle at Garden’s Gate, which is scheduled for release April 16 through Lava/Republic Records.
In anticipation of the album’s pending release, the band debuted its second single, ‘Age Of Machines‘ Dec. 3. The single’s premiere last week came less than two months after the band debuted the album’s lead single ‘My Way, Soon’ and its companion video.
The ‘My Way, Soon’ video’s production is most of note in that its production is meant to make the presentation look like something right from the 1960s and 70s, as if it was shot on an 8mm camera. The effect plays into the continued neo-classic sound that has defined the band since its rise to fame more than three years ago.
Speaking of musical content, the song’s musical arrangement helps the band expand away from the Led Zeppelin comparisons that audiences made early on. While the comparisons between front man Joshua Kiszka and Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant are unavoidable, the song’s overall sound is less comparable. The song’s arrangement is grounded in the pairing of its guitar and bass line, whose juxtaposition makes for its own memorable impact. The production even gives the drums a fuller, richer vintage sound than the tight, spit shined sound of so much modern music.
The result of the noted elements is that the song’s arrangement boasts its own unique neo-classic rock sound while also exhibiting the band’s growth as a unit.
The lyrical content featured in ‘My Way Soon’ came from a personal point, according to Kiszka.
“This song was inspired by what three years of touring did by opening so many doorways,” he said. “ This is my truth, how I feel about all of our travels, but I know it echoes the experiences and changes of perspectives for Jake, Sam, and Danny as well.”
Greg Kurstin (Adele, Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney) produced The Battle at Garden’s Gate.
More information on Greta Van Fleet’s new singles and videos is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: