‘inFinite’ Will Live Infinitely As One Of Deep Purple’s Best Works

Courtesy: earMusic

Christmas has officially come and gone.  So has Hanukkah.  The presents have been opened and decorations likely have started being put away.  Even despite that, Phil’s Picks still has some gifts of sorts for everyone out there in the form of some more year-ender lists.  Considering that time is so tight, some of the lists, it turns out, might have to be ignored in favor of some others.  One of the lists that definitely will not be ignored before the year lets out is that of the year’s top new rock records.

The titles included in this list are separate from the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  Phil’s Picks has a list of those albums on the way. Before getting to that list though, the focus here will be on the year’s top new rock records.  Topping the list of this year’s best new rock records from this critic is Deep Purple’s latest (and likely last) full-length studio recording InFinite.  The album was just recently re-issued with the band’s latest live recording The inFinite Live Recordings Vol. 1 only months after the album’s original release.  The record’s oftentimes blues-based rock arrangements show this band is at the top of its game, even as it seemingly winds down its life.  The lyrical themes exhibited throughout the album are just as interesting as its musical arrangements.  It is definitely a memorable recording that deserves every accolade.

Also on this critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums is Foo Fighters’ latest effort Concrete and Gold.  This record is more proof of the band’s willingness to try new things and grow on each album and the success that can and does come with that willingness to branch out, rather than churn out the same thing time and again.  It’s just one more of the albums on the list this year.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from Scale The Summit, Prophets of Rage, John 5 & The Creatures and a number of others.  As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 best new albums in its category plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Now with all of that having been said, presented here is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Deep Purple — inFinite
  2. Foo Fighters — Concrete & Gold
  3. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  4. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  5. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  8. Fozzy — Judas
  9. Hell or Highwater — Vista
  10. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  11. At The Wayside — The Breakdown and The Fall
  12. Leprous — Malina
  13. Royal Blood — How Did We Get So Dark?
  14. Warrant — Louder, Faster, Harder
  15. Horisont — About Time

That’s all for this list.  It is not the last list, though.  There are still lists for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums, the year’s top new albums and select DVD/BD lists.  As many lists as possible will be posted up from here on out, so stay tuned for all that and more.

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Young Fox Takes The “Gold” On Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums List

Courtesy: Spartan Records

Independent recordings are the backbone of the music industry.  Regardless of whether the band is a major name releasing an album on its own, through an independent record label or a lesser-known band doing one or the other, those albums tend to have just as much substance as their more well-known counterparts, if not more.  Keeping that in mind, independent albums (whether released independently or through indie labels) are just as important to the industry as major releases.  That being the case, they deserve their own year-ender list annually just as much as their more commercially-known releases, so Phil’s Picks is giving those recordings their due credit and coverage.  Presented here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums.  The list features the year’s 10 best new independent recordings plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles, as in years past.

Topping this year’s list of best new independent albums is the new release from underground rock band Young Fox.  The band’s new album Sky Beats Gold proved this year to stand out brightly with its equally deep lyrical content and musical arrangements.  The pairing of those two elements made this album from start to finish a surprisingly powerful effort from the Pittsburgh, PA-based band.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from the likes of Blacktop Mojo, Hell or Highwater, KXM and others.  Again, many of these bands and albums are such that they are not as well-known as perhaps other bands.  But their albums prove to be just as worthwhile as anything released by their more well-known counterparts.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

  1. Young Fox — Sky Beats Gold
  2. Mike Mangioni & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  3. Blacktop Mojo — Burn The Ships
  4. Pimps of Joytime — Third Wall Chronicles
  5. Corroded — Defcon Zero
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. At The Wayside — The Breakdown & The Fall
  8. Hank, Pattie & the Current — Hold Your Head Up High
  9. Mipso — Coming Down The Mountain
  10. All out Street Jam — Living Free
  11. Hell or Highwater — Vistas
  12. Spiral Crush — Electric Life
  13. Eve To Adam — Odyssey
  14. Galactic Empire — Galactic Empire
  15. Satan Takes A Holiday — Aliens

That’s it for this year’s list of top new independent albums.  It should be re-iterated that this was not an easy list to establish as there were so many quality independent albums this year.  Lyrical content and musical arrangements alike had to be considered.  There was no bad lyrical or musical content from any noted album.  Every act on this list should be proud of its album as there is so much to appreciate in each.  Next up from Phil’s Picks as the days tick to the year’s end is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana albums.  Since each genre shares so much similarity with the others, it is easiest to combine them into one category rather than try to spread them out.  Stay tuned, and congratulations again to this year’s Top New Independent Albums winners.

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Hell or Highwater Announces New Record Deal; New Album On The Way

Courtesy:  Spinefarm/Search & Destroy Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm/Search & Destroy Records

There’s good news for Hell or Highwater and its fans.

Three years after the release of its debut album Begin Again (Pavement Entertainment) the band has signed with Search & Destroy/Spinefarm Records. The new deal means that the band’s sophomore album Vista will be released this year via Search & Destroy/Spinefarm. Audiences can check out a video announcing the band’s new deal online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn-wPiJqWT8&index=1&list=PLfF_OpPMyx7Zsk3BAlznsfbgXSsO38oyw.

 

Courtesy:  Spinefarm/Search & Destroy Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm/Search & Destroy Records

 

The band’s addition to the Spinefarm/Search & Destroy family comes as little surprise as front man Brandon Saller’s other band Atreyu is also a member of the Spinefarm/Search & Destroy roster. It is just one of the veteran acts that is part of the Spinefarm roster, too. Fellow veterans Nonpoint, Venom, and Anti-Flag are all part of the Spinefarm family as are up-and-coming acts such as Royal Thunder, Santa Cruz, and Ember Falls among others.

Saller recently discussed the Spinefarm/Search & Destroy roster in discussing signing with Spinefarm/Search & Destroy. “We’re so incredibly excited to be a part of the Spinefarm/Search & Destroy family,” he said. He went on to note the band’s anticipation for the release in the discussion saying, “We’ve been crafting this album for two years and can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Hell or Highwater’s new deal and album have been a long time coming. Ever since the release of its debut album more than three years ago the band has seen lineup changes, van wrecks, and a number of other challenges. And while audiences wait for the band’s long-awaited new album they can check out the video for the band’s new song I’ll Be Waiting’ via the band’s official website at http://www.hellorhighwaterofficial.com/.

 

Courtesy:  Spinefarm/Search & Destroy Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm/Search & Destroy Records

 

More information on Hell or Highwater’s signing is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.hellorhighwaterofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hell0rhighwater

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.

Performance Times Released For Annual Festival

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers of the annual “Welcome To Rockville” Festival presented by Monster Energy have released more information on this year’s festival.  2013 is the festival’s third year being held.  Performance times for bands on each stage have officially been released.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage East” opens with a performance by Pop Evil at 12:40pm.  Pop Evil will be followed by All That Remains, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Stone Sour, and headliners Alice in Chains.  Alice in Chains takes the “Monster Energy Main Stage East” at 9:45pm.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage West” is just one of the many stages from which audiences have to choose during the festival.  A full listing of bands and performance times is available below.

Saturday, April 27

Monster Energy Main Stage East

12:40 PM         Pop Evil

2:05 PM           All That Remains

3:35 PM           Halestorm

5:25 PM           Papa Roach

7:25 PM           Stone Sour

9:45 PM           Alice In Chains

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

12:05 PM         Young Guns

1:20 PM           In This Moment

2:50 PM           Asking Alexandria

4:30 PM           Bullet For My Valentine

6:20 PM           Three Days Grace

8:30 PM           Limp Bizkit

 

Emerging Artist Stage

Noon                Rockville Rumble Winner

1:00 PM           Hell Or Highwater

2:10 PM           Gemini Syndrome

3:20 PM           Whitechapel

4:45 PM           Otherwise

6:20 PM           Escape The Fate

 

Jax Live Stage

11:30 AM         Rockville Rumble Winner

12:30 PM         Edens Fill       

1:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

2:50 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:05 PM           Stars In Stereo

5:35 PM           MonstrO

7:25 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

Sunday, April 28

Monster Energy Main Stage East

11:45 AM         Red

12:55 PM         Saving Abel

2:30 PM           Filter

4:10 PM           Skillet

6:05 PM           3 Doors Down

8:35 PM           Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

11:15 AM         Farewell 2 Fear

12:20 PM         Nonpoint

1:40 PM           Steel Panther

3:20 PM           Hollywood Undead

5:05 PM           Buckcherry

7:15 PM           Shinedown

 

Emerging Artist Stage

11:20 AM         Nebraska Bricks

12:20 PM         Soulswitch

1:25 PM           Girl On Fire

2:35 PM           Saliva

3:45 PM           Motionless In White

5:10 PM           Device

6:50 PM           Nothing More

 

Jax Live Stage

11:50 AM         (N)ception

12:55 PM         The Apprehended

2:05 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

3:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

6:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

The whole party will be preceded by the “Rockville Downtown Experience presented by Corona Light” pre-party on Friday, April 26th.  Two post-show parties will be held Saturday, April 27th.  Admission to these parties is FREE.  Friday’s show will feature Saliva, Evergreen Terrace, and Victr as entertainment.  The bands will perform live at the Underbelly in Jacksonville, FL.  More information on this party is available online at http://www.jaxunderbelly.com.  Saturday’s after-parties will feature performances by DJ Monk and Robert Goodman at 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL (http://www.facebook.com/1904MusicHall, http://www.1904MusicHall.com) and Icey at the Underbelly.

Fans that attend the festival will have plenty of opportunities to get their CDs, shirts, and more signed by their favorite band(s) at the f.y.e. tent and other onsite locations.  There will also be interactive experiences such as a gaming area and Dave’s Crazy Music Experience.  This experience lets fans find out for themselves what it’s like to make music in a studio environment.  It includes actual guitars, drums, basses, and all the gear used by today’s top acts.

Tickets are still available for this year’s festival.  Prices are listed below.

Single Day General Admission – $59.50 plus fees

Single Day VIP – $134.50 plus fees
2-Day General Admission – $107 plus fees
2-Day VIP – $219 plus fees
2-Day Party Pack (4 weekend tickets) – $357 plus fees

Along with the listed ticket prices, “no service fee tickets” are available at specific Metro PCS locations.  More information on this is available online at http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com/tickets.html.  A limited number of VIP tickets and hotel packages are still available.  They can be purchased online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com.  VIP tickets include entrance to all concerts through a VIP entrance, access to VIP lounge featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service, viewing of the Monster Main Stage (both seated and standing areas), a seated area with shade for dining, private bathrooms and laminated VIP guest pass.    

More information on the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival is available online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com, http://www.facebook.com/welcometorockville, and on Twitter at @RockvilleFest.

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.

Hell or Highwater An Early Contender For 2013’s Best Rock Record List

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment, Inc.

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment, Inc.

The debut album from Orange County, California’s own Hell or Highwater is a solid slab of All-American made rock and roll.  The new project from Atreyu front man Brandon Saller boasts a sound that is obviously different from what Atreyu put out.  But it is still a good solid record that true hardcore fans will enjoy and appreciate.  It will be just as appreciated and enjoyed by fans of the likes of Black Stone Cherry and others of that ilk.  Saller and his band mates make quite the first impression with this debut in the album’s opener, ‘Gimme Love.’  The way this song is written, it comes across as a musical love letter to a woman.  Rather than being another one of those songs that goes on about the difficulties of life on the road, Saller sings that he knows it’s tough loving a musician.  But at the same time, the figure in the song has every intention of being with said love interest.  He makes this clear in the song’s opening verse singing, “It’s hard/Living loving a music man/I’m not a saint/And I make mistakes/But I’m just doing the best I can/These lonely days/Are coming to an end my dear/Future’s on fire/It’s burning brighter than ever before.  He goes on to sing his declaration of love for his woman even though he knows he’s not perfect, “Baby I swear this love is true/Darling I do this all for you.”  The poppy-up tempo music backing these heartfelt yet not too sappy lyrics make for a solid opening for the band’s first full length effort.  The enjoyment doesn’t end here.  From here, audiences are offered a whole baker’s dozen count of songs from which to choose their favorites.  Just one other example of what audiences have to look forward to in that mass of songs is ‘When The Morning Comes.’

‘When The Morning Comes’ succeeds for the same reason as the album’s opener.  Both musically and lyrically, it’s one of those uplifting songs that will leave any listener feeling good.  Saller sings of feeling emotions and thinking thoughts that we’ve all thought before, but despite all of it, having the strength to push on.  He sings that he’ll be better “when the morning comes” and to “forget yesterday/Today’s mine!”  It’s a not so metaphorical way of saying, “I’ll make it through the night.  No matter how bad things get, I’ve got my family and my friends and they give me strength.”  The song’s music helps to illustrate that positive vibe, too.  Its up-tempo guitar riffs and major chords combine with the optimistic lyrical side to make for a song that will easily become a fan favorite both on the album and on the road if it isn’t already a live favorite.  The band keeps that same positive vibe from here as it transitions into ‘Crash & Burn.’

‘Crash & Burn’ is just as impressive as ‘When The Morning Comes’ as it carries that same sense of knowing how tough life is but it’s not too tough to handle.  Saller makes that clear as he sings, “Live for the chase/Survive by the thrill/If you want me to take this step/I will/No longer afraid/No longer at bay/Longing to face my fears but still/A promise is made/To change who I am/No looking back/We’ll fight to the end/A promise in vain/Is a promise to break/Your life is only yours to make.  Again, there is that openly positive vibe that so much of today’s rock music needs, in place of the constant shoe-gazer, “oh poor me” mentality that is thrown out by so many bands.  Add in equally uplifting musical backing by the band and this song becomes just one more of so many highlights from this album.  It clocks in at just over three minutes long.  In that three minutes plus, it shows that it’s possible to be positive and still rock out.  And combined with the album’s other material it helps to make this album an early contender to be one of the year’s best general rock records.

Begin Again will be available in stores and online beginning February 5th.  As everybody counts down the days to the release of the band’s debut, the band is touring in support of it.  The band will be performing tonight, January 8th, in Mobile, Alabama.  It follows up tonight’s show with a pair of performance in Florida Thursday and Friday respectively.  There are even more dates planned after these shows.  To get a full listing of tour dates, fans can go online to the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/HellorHighwaterofficial .  Fans can also get the band’s tour dates, full album lyrics and even more on the band’s official website, http://www.HellorHighwaterofficial.com.  And for all the latest news from the band, fans can follow its members on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HellOrHighwater.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.