…And So It Begins Is A Good Start For NoMara

Courtesy: Round 2 Records

Courtesy: Round 2 Records

…And So It Begins, the debut EP from NoMara is a fittingly titled first effort from the independent five-piece hard rock act. That is because the band exhibits over the course of its record that it has quite the potential. Speaking in terms of both its musical and lyrical content, it is a good fit with any of the acts currently being played across the country’s major mainstream rock radio stations. The record’s closer ‘Tesla’ is a clear example of that. With its mix of classic hair metal musical content and direct homage to the bands that made the era of big riffs and even bigger hair so…well…big, it proves to be the EP’s anchor. And ‘Cheap Talk’ with its hard rock riffs and lyrics that seem centered on the standard subject of broken relationships, it is an even more radio ready work. The modern hard-rock ballad that is ‘Broken’ could just as easily be used by any radio programmer across the country with its introspective lyrical content and flowing melodies. All three songs could each easily be used to represent the band on any mainstream rock radio station, regardless of said station’s reach. That is not to discount the remaining pair of songs that make up …And So It Begins–‘Sell Out’ and ‘Use Your Love.’ Both of those songs could be used just as easily by the band and by said stations. Regardless of which track(s) are used, it can be said that in whole …And So It Begins is in fact just the beginning for NoMara.

…And So It Begins is just the beginning for NoMara. The debut EP from this independent five-piece hard rock act proves that from its outset to its end. Every one of the five songs that make up the record’s nineteen-minute run time is as radio ready as the others. However in listening through this record, it can easily be said that ‘Tesla,’ the record’s closer is also its anchor. The four and a half-minute song is a musical love letter to the bands that made the age of big hair and even bigger riffs so…well…big. The song’s musical content makes that clear as it throws back to the sound generated by so many of that era’s biggest names including the likes of Motley Crue, Poison, and of course Tesla, thus the name of the song. The song’s lyrical content adds to the homage as front man Kelly Burdge sings in the song’s lead verse, “Didn’t have to be there/See it to believe it/It was one hell of a show/Big city nights/Arena nights/Exploding pyro/Stand in line for days/Gotta find a way I can get front row/Hooked on tasty licks/Catchin’ guitar picks/No matter where there’s room/Best get out of my way/I thank God rock rock ‘n roll every day.” The picture painted by Burdge’s lyrical talents paints such a vivid picture. It will put a smile on the face of anyone that grew up in that era when concerts were just as much about the show as they were about the band. Interestingly enough, Burdge’s own vocal delivery style makes him sound so much like so many of that veteran vocalists that he obviously grew up idolizing. That adds even more punch to the song. And it is just one more part of what makes this song such a strong, solid anchor. The song’s equally bombastic chorus in which Burdge’s band mates–John LeCompt (guitar, vocals), Thad Ables (bass), Josh Grissom (guitar), and Jack Larson (drums)–join in singing, “Just give me one for the money/Two for the show/Three for Tesla/On my radio/I got Poison in my pocket/Woman on my mind/Motley Crue-sin on the wild side/Life ain’t got to rock/Stil livin’ the crazy nights/Won’t get left behind/One for the money/Two for the show/Come on, come on/Who loves rock and roll” adds even more enjoyment to the song. And it doesn’t stop there, either as listeners will note in hearing the rest of the song. All things considered here, ‘Tesla’ proves in whole that it is a solid anchor for NoMara’s new EP and an equally solid choice for a single should radio programmers give the band a chance.

‘Tesla’ shows through its combination of musical and lyrical content that it is a solid anchor for the band’s new EP …And So It Begins, and that it is just as equally solid a choice for a single should radio programmers give the band a chance. It is just one of the radio ready songs on this record that make it in whole a recording that is just the beginning for the band. ‘Cheap Talk’ is another radio ready piece that would serve as a solid representative of the band members’ talents. That is thanks in large part to its musical content, which exhibits hard rock riffs equivalent to songs churned out by the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Hellyeah, and even to a slightly lesser extent, Pop Evil just to name a few. Again, this is in reference mainly to the song’s musical content. Such comparisons are not bad for the band either. It shows even more the band’s ability to hold its own against such bands and other more well-known acts. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, its lead verse along leads one to believe that the song would fit in just as easily with those acts as it paints the picture of being another song rooted in the standard theme of broken relationships. That picture is painted as Burdge sings, “I get the feeling/I’m being lied to/Right from the start I saw the signs/I should have listened/To intuition/Instead I fell face first.” He goes on to sing later, “You tell me you are staying/When you know you aren’t…your talk is cheap and I’m just not sold.” At one point, Burdge’s subject goes so far as to tell his unnamed target to pack up his or her stuff and leave. So considering all of this, it can be inferred that the song is in fact lyrically based in the standard topic of a broken relationship. While it is seemingly standard fare lyrically speaking, the song’s musical approach coupled with Burdge’s lyrical approach makes the song solid. It isn’t one of those oh-woe-is-me style songs that are so prevalent across the musical universe. Rather, the two elements combined paint a picture of someone going through that stage of realization of how much time and effort was wasted being with someone that didn’t care. That frustration is made so clear here. And it makes the song a work to which any listener will be able to relate. It makes clear, once more, why the song is another good addition to the band’s new EP. It is of course still not the only example of how much the band has to offer in its new EP either. ‘Broken’ is one more example of what makes …And So It Begins an interesting listen.

‘Tesla’ and ‘Cheap Talk’ are both good examples of what makes NoMara’s debut EP a good start for the band. They are just a couple of examples of what makes …And So It Begins a good beginning. ‘Broken’ is one more example of what makes it such an interesting listen. It is another good addition to …And So It Begins because it shows the band’s softer side so to speak. It opens with a beautiful, flowing arrangement featuring flowing strings and piano set against Burdge’s equally gentle vocal delivery style and work on acoustic guitar. This lasts perhaps for about ten bars or so before the band really launches into the song’s full hard rock ballad sound. That is just part of what makes the song a guaranteed hit for the band. The song’s lyrical approach adds more to the song’s interest. In regards to its lyrical content, it is that emotional breakup song. But it still is not that standard oh-woe-is-me composition. As Burdge sings in the song’s opening verse, “Daylight has faded/On you and me/Long before our time/As far as I can see/Tell me what to say to you/To bring back yesterday/Cause I’m tired of holding on/When you always walk away.” It becomes clearer that this is another song centered on a broken relationship as Burdge sings in the song’s second verse, “The only thing I have to hold onto/Is a shred of the past/Knowing how to bring you back/And how to make you laugh.” It is pretty obvious here what is being said. This could be someone speaking directly to another in a breakup, or even looking at a picture, thinking these things as he or she prepares to say them to that other person. It could even come as part of the fallout of a breakup. Regardless of before, during, or after, the emotional punch of that combination of music and lyrics throughout makes ‘Broken’ a song that will be both a favorite and a guilty pleasure among listeners and more proof of what makes not only the song but …And So It Begins in whole an interesting listen and a good start for the band.

…And So It Begins is a good start for NoMara. That is evident through both the musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of the record. That is exhibited through the old school hair metal homage that is ‘Tesla,’ the more modern rock sound of ‘Cheap Talk’ and the more emotional makeup of ‘Broken.’ All three songs are clearly radio ready material that could effectively represent the band at any mainstream rock radio station across America. That is not to discount the EP’s remaining songs–‘Sellout’ and ‘Use Your Love.’ Those songs could both be used as singles, too. Regardless of which song(s) is/are chosen it can be said of …And So It Begins in whole that this record is indeed a good start for NoMara. …And So It Begins is available now. It can be ordered online direct from the band’s official website at http://www.nomaramusic.com. The band is currently touring in support of …And So It Begins. The band’s current tour schedule includes a pair of stops in North Carolina October 22nd and 23rd in Murfreesboro and Hickory respectively. The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.nomaramusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NoMara-62336572326/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nomaramusic

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Audiotopsy Offers Audiences A Good Effort In Its Debut LP

Courtesy:  Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

SRC Vinyl, one of the leading names in the vinyl community, announced last week that it will re-issue Mudvayne’s 2005 full-length studio recording Lost and Found on vinyl next month. The band’s third full-length release, it would be followed up by two more albums over the four years that followed before the band’s split in 2010. Since the band’s breakup, each of its members have gone on to rather successful careers with other acts. Front man Chad Gray went on to front the hard rock favorite Hellyeah alongside Greg Tribbett until Tribbett’s departure from that band in 2014. After his departer from Hellyeah, Tribbett joined up with fellow former Mudvayne member, drummer Matt McDonough, former Skrape front man Billy Keeton, and bassist Perry Stern and formed another band that goes by the name of Audiotopsy. The band released its debut album Natural Causes last week. The album, released via Napalm Records, is a solid slab of hard rock that fans of Mudvayne, Hellyeah, and other acts of their ilk will enjoy from beginning to end. There are hints of both noted bands throughout the course of the record’s dozen total songs. Lyrically, it is just as interesting with a number of topics being covered. The combination of that intriguing musical and lyrical content makes for a forty-nine minute ride that any hard rock fan will enjoy from start to finish.

Audiotopsy’s debut full-length studio recording is a solid start for the hard rock quartet. That is thanks in large part to its mix of familiar musical content and equally interesting musical content. ‘Headshot,’ the album’s opener is a good example of how that mix of musical and lyrical content makes this record a worthwhile listen. Right from the song’s outset the band grabs listeners through Tribbett’s driving guitar riff. McDonough’s equally driving tempo is just as effective in holding listeners’ attention as he keeps time behind the kit. Keeton’s vocal talents are on full display in this song, too as he sings what comes across as an introductory statement of sorts for the band. That message is inferred as Keeton sings, “Now that we’ve rode this far/They know just who we are…Driving this battle cry/Racing with bullets high/Heart pounding/Sweat pouring.” While it and the rest of the song’s lyrics could easily be left to interpretation, those few lines coupled with the knowledge of the band members’ histories with their former bands leaves one thinking that there must be some reference to the band members’ pasts. That’s just this critic’s own interpretation of course. And it’s just one part of what makes this song so interesting for audiences. What’s really interesting here is that if audiences were to hear this song without knowing that it was Audiotopsy, one would almost swear one was hearing Mudvayne. That is because of the similarity between the bands’ musical stylings and just as much for the similarity between Keeton’s vocal style and that of Chad Gray. The two sound so much alike that it is eerie. But in making those connections, the song becomes even more powerful of an intro for this record and an equally good example of what this record has to offer listeners in whole.

‘Headshot’ is a solid first impression for Audiotopsy in its debut album. That is thanks to a sound that listeners will find quite familiar as well as for lyrical content that is certain to leave listeners talking. It’s just one example of what makes this album worth at least once listen by the hard rock legions out there. ‘Lylab,’ Natural Causes’ third offering is another example of just how much this record has to offer all the headbangers out there. It is such a solid example of how much the record has to offer thanks to its mix of musical and lyrical content, just as with the album’s opener. This composition doesn’t have the same adrenaline-fueled feel as the album’s opener. However, that is hardly a loss. The heaviness of the song’s musical content does plenty to impress any hard rock fan. It is such an interesting part of the song’s whole because of the attention paid to its use throughout the song. It is used mainly in the song’s chorus to contrast the emotion exuded by Keeton in the song’s verses. Speaking of his delivery, it is a sort of cynical tone, which is in turn accented as he screams in the song’s chorus, “Loved you like a b**** baby/It’s all the same/Love is so strange/Loved you like a b**** baby/Say my name.” One can almost see as much of a sneer on Keeton’s face as he screams these lines and sings through the song’s verses as he does through the choruses. That image, established through the power of the song’s combination of musical and lyrical content, serves to make completely clear why this song is such a welcome addition to Natural Causes. It is just one more of so many welcome additions to the band’s new album, too.

Both ‘Headshot’ and ‘LYLAB’ are good examples of how much Audiotopsy has to offer listeners in its debut full-length studio recording. They are just two examples of what audiences have to expect from this hard rock super group of sorts in its first full-length studio effort. For all of the heaviness exhibited throughout the course of the band’s debut, it also puts on display at least one song that could actually serve as a fitting match with the country’s mainstream rock radio stations in the form of ‘Burn The Sky.’ It has that mainstream feel both in its musical content and that of its lyrics. It is a solid, heavy song in terms of its musical content. But it isn’t so heavy that it wouldn’t be a good fit for any mainstream rock radio station. Its lyrical content will have audiences talking just as much. Keeton sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve seen the stains made/I’ve seen the skies change/In came the turnaround/Back to the blackest town/Lost in the dreamscape…Out comes the blackest moon/Holding the hands of doom.” This sounds like a rather nihilistic line, given. But that darkness is immediately as Keeton offers what comes across as a somewhat more optimistic outlook in the song’s chorus. He sings in the chorus, “Starlight/Light up the sky/Black eyes/Blackout comes down/I got a feeling/Light it up/Out shadows back to the wall/Paper souls watch the sun burn it up/Tear it down/Leave ’em right where they fall/And burn the sky/Burn the sky.” It’s almost as if Keeton is saying for all the darkness, there is always a light and there is always hope. That inference can be made even more through the juxtaposition of the song’s second verse and chorus as it is presented in much the same manner. The end result is a song that both musically and lyrically will leave listeners thinking and talking just as much as ‘Headshot,’ ‘LYLAB’ or any of this album’s other offerings. Speaking of those songs they along with the three pieces noted here make Natural Causes a good first effort from Audiotopsy. Fans of Mudvayne, Hellyeah, and other bands of that ilk will agree with that sentiment when they hear this record for themselves. Those listeners that give the album a chance will agree that it is a record that any hard rock fan will enjoy from start to finish even if they hear it only once.

Natural Causes is a good first effort from Audiotopsy. Throughout the course of its twelve total tracks it offers plenty of familiar sounds that will put a smile on the face of any fan of Mudvayne, Hellyeah, and other band of that ilk. The lyrical content of each song makes for just as much interest as the songs’ musical content. Both elements coupled together make Natural Causes a record that any hard rock fan will enjoy from start to finish even if they hear it just once. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Natural Causes is available online now along with all of Audiotopsy’s latest news at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/audiotopsymusic

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10 Years Announces Dates For ‘Triggers And Tripwires Tour”

Courtesy: Street Smart Marketing

Courtesy: Street Smart Marketing

Veteran hard rock band 10 Years announced today that it will hit the road this summer.

The band announced that it will embark on the “Triggers and Tripwires” tour this spring beginning May 27th. Starset, Islander, and Skytown Riot will join the band on the 21-date tour. The tour is in support of the band’s upcoming sixth full length studio effort From Birth To Burial, which will be released next Tuesday, April 21st via the band’s own label Palehorse Records. Palehorse Records is an imprint label distributed by Megaforce Records. 10 Years’ front man Jesse Hasek recently shared his thoughts with the media on getting back on the road again saying, “We’re stoked to hit the road on the “Triggers & Tripwires” tour representing our new album. Since our new album drops April 21st it’ll be cool to tour after its release so people will be more familiar with the songs and can sing/scream along.” He went on to express his happiness at touring alongside Starset, Islander, and Skytown Riot, saying, “We’re also very happy to share the stage with Starset, Islander, and Skytown Riot which I am personally fans of all these bands. It will be a great show start to finish!” Breaking Benjamin will also join 10 Years on a pair of dates on the upcoming tour.

Before 10 Years launches the “Triggers and Tripwires Tour,” it will perform a handful of warmup dates to get ready. The band’s warmup schedule kicks off this Friday, April 17th and runs through Sunday, April 26th. That schedule includes a pair of dates in Charlotte, North Carolina and Raleigh, North Carolina next Friday and Saturday, April 24th and 25th respectively. Hellyeah will join 10 Years on the opening date of the band’s warmup schedule. Seether will join 10 Years at both of its North Carolina dates.  10 Years’ complete tour schedule is listed below:

10 Years Select Tour Dates

4/17 – El Paso, TX @ Socorro Entertainment Center*

4/18 – Woodstock, VA @ Shenandoah Fairgrounds (Rockin The Valley Festival)

4/23 – Louisville, KY @ Expo Five – ###

4/24 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore **

4/25 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz**
4/26 – Johnson City, TN @ Capone’s – ###

“Triggers & Tripwires” Tour w/Starset, Islander and Skytown Riot

5/27 – Lafayette, LA @ Nite Town – ##

5/28 – Denton, TX @ Rockin Rodeo –  ##

5/29 – Laredo, TX @ Laredo Energy Center***

5/30 – San Antonio, TX @ 210 Kapones Ballroom***

5/31 – Odessa, TX @ Club Patron – #

6/2 – Farmington, NM @ Top Deck – #

6/4 – Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory – #

6/5 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory

6/6 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory

6/7 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven

6/9 – Idaho Falls, ID @ Peppertree

6/10 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater

6/12 – Joplin, MO @ Venue 3405

6/13 – Macomb, IL @ The Outskirts

6/14 – South Bend, IN @ St. Joseph County Fairgrounds (Big Growl 4 Fest)

6/16 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall

6/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts

6/19 – NYC @ Gramercy Theatre

6/21 – Manchester, NH @ Jewel Nightclub

6/23 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Shakas

7/18 – Nelson, IL @ Who Else Land (Who Else Land Festival)

* – w/Hellyeah
** – w/Seether
*** – w/Breaking Benjamin
### – Headlining w/Luminoth
## – No Starset and Islander
# – No Starset

Tickets for the “Triggers and Tripwires Tour” are on sale now and can be purchased online at http://10years.shop.ticketstoday.com/calendar.aspx. All of the latest updates on the tour are available online now along with all of the latest news on 10 Years’ new album and all of the latest news from the band itself at:

Website: http://www.10yearsmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/10yearsmusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/10years

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 entertianment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Adrenaline Mob’s Sophomore LP Will Get Any Listener’s Adrenaline Running

Courtesy:  Century Media/Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media/Century Media Records

Adrenaline Mob’s second full-length studio release Men Of Honor is a solid work from start to finish. The eleven track, fifty-one minute record boasts a solid balance of full throttle, blue collar hard rock tunes and ballads that will entertain every listener. Whether it be for the songs’ lyrical side or their musical side, the songs that comprise Men of Honor prove it to be another record well worth the listen by any true-blooded rocker. The band proves this right off the top in its balls to the walls, working man’s anthem ‘Mob is Back.’ ‘Let It Go’ will impress listeners just as much with its indictment of those that refuse to let go of the past and let it eat them alive. And for those looking for something at least a little bit softer, there’s the introspective semi-ballad that is ‘Crystal Clear’ in which front man Russell Allen considers what might have been with a lost love. These songs are just a few examples of what makes Men of Honor an album that any true-blooded rocker will appreciate. The remaining eight tracks that make up the band’s sophomore record each offer their own enjoyment. Together with the songs noted here, the whole thing proves in the end to be a solid hard rock record that will impress any fan of Hellyeah, Kill Devil Hill, and others of that ilk.

Adrenaline Mob made quite the splash back in 2012 with its debut full-length album Omerta. Now with its sophomore LP the band has proven that the success of that album and its followup EP Coverta was no fluke. MOH’s opener ‘Mob Is Back’ is proof of that. This blue collar hard rock anthem will have listeners proudly putting their horns high and singing along proudly from open to end. Front man Russell Allen sings in this song, “I’m tired of getting s^&* on, pissed on/I’m feelin’ like a loaded gun, yeah/I’ve been smacked down, throw ’round/I’m feelin’ like a bastard son, yeah…I’m workin’ all day, s^&* pay/bustin’ it from nine to five, yeah/I’m gettin’ no sleep, six feet under/Feelin’ buried alive, yeah.” These are lyrics that will reach any average American. Who out there hasn’t felt the feelings described here? The musical energy and fire behind these lyrics makes them hit hard and serves to make them fully relatable for audiences. He and his band mates–Mike Orlando (guitar), AJ Pero (drums), Erik Leonhardt (bass)–make the song even more relatable and enjoyable as they show that “the mob is back” in full celebratory fashion with Allen singing, “So turn up the lights/We’re all here tonight/We came to throw down/Yeah, the mob’s back in town, oh yeah!” It’s a statement loud and clear that not only is Adrenaline Mob back in full force but that the band’s return is a shining light making the rigors of the work week worth dealing with. Keeping that in mind, it proves this song to be the perfect choice to open Men of Honor and an equally great addition to the album in whole.

‘Mob Is Back’ was the perfect choice to open Men of Honor. It is a no nonsense, balls to the walls blu collar rock anthem that celebrates not just the return of Adrenaline Mob in its sophomore album but the positives of hard rock as a break from the rigors of the work week. It didn’t come right out and say that. But it couldeasily be argued. It proves in the end to be not just a great opener for the band’s new album but an equally great addition to the album in whole. ‘Let It Go’ is another great addition to Men of Honor. The song comes across as a damning indictment of those that choose to live in the past, wallowing in their own anger and feelings of hurt, rather than moving on with life. As Allen sings in the song’s opening verse, “Why can’t you ever just let anything go/Don’t you know that the past is the past/You fight your feeling/You heat your blood up/You Heat your blood up/Don’t you know that you can’t go back?” As with ‘Mob Is Back,’ this song instantly proves to be one to which every listener can relate. Anyone that hasn’t come in contact with one of those people described here. Allen sings in response to those people in the song’s chorus, “So just take all your demons/Don’t give them a reason/Don’t let them control your mind/Cause they are the problem/So what will it take/What will it take for you/To just let it go?” The song’s forceful energy is a near direct contrast to its lyrics. It would have been so easy for Allen and company to take a much softer, more emotional route with this song, musically speaking. But they took a much moredirect approach instead. The result of that direct approach is a song with more punch and that is much more hard-hitting. And as with ‘Mob Is Back,’ that approach makes it one more great addition to Men of Honor as it really lives up to the album’s title just as much as the album’s other songs.

Both ‘Mob Is Back’ and ‘Let It Go’ are key examples of what makes Adrenaline Mob’s new album Men of Honor such a solid new recording. They are just a couple of the heavier moments that make this album work as well as it does. For all of the doses of heavy that are injected into the album, Adrenaline Mob also includes some slightly softer (slightly being the key word here) songs at points, too. One of those “softer” moments comes in the form of the semi-ballad style ‘Crystal Clear.’ The obviously introspective song is centered on the standard subject of a broken relationship. This is made clear as Allen sings, “Despite all of the reasons/Despite all of the pain/I know you were always there/Through all the changing seasons/Through all the good and bad/I knew you were always there/I just couldn’t see it/Now it’s crystal clear.” It’s pretty obvious what Allen is singing about. Here is a man who has lost some special to him. But it isn’t until that someone is gone that the subject of the song realizes it. It’s that classic “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” sort of message. The message is made even clearer as Allen sings, “So I lay awake hope and pray/The emptiness I feel inside would just go away/But it’s plain to see what’s killing me/I realized how much I needed you.” As pained as these lyrics are, the song’s musical side is almost a slight contradiction. It doesn’t have that full on oh-woe-is-me feeling. Yet it does a good job of illustrating the emotional pain felt by the song’s figure. That combination of music and lyrics together makes this song the best example of how the album’s “softer” side makes it work just as well as its heavier side. Those two sides together show with full clarity why Men of Honor deserves at least an honorable mention on any critic’s list of 2014’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

‘Mob Is Back,’ ‘Let It Go,’ and ‘Crystal Clear’ are all prime examples of what makes Men of Honor work as well as it does. They are collectively just part of what makes this album a good listen for fans of the likes of Hellyeah, Kill Devil Hill and others of that ilk. The eight other songs that make up the rest of this album each present their own reason for audiences to enjoy this record. Those songs together with the pieces discussed here make Men of Honor an album that deserves its own share of honor within the hard rock community. It is available now in stores and online. While the band currently has no tour dates scheduled, audiences can keep up with the latest chances to hear its music live when they “Like” the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/adrenalinemob. Fans can also keep up with all of the latest tour updates and news from the band via its official website at http://adrenalinemob.com.

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.

Devour The Day, Like A Storm Join Hellyeah For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Eleven Seven Music

Courtesy: Eleven Seven Music

Hellyeah is hitting the road again this winter.

The band announced a new slate of tour dates in support of its latest full-length studio release Blood for Blood.  The band’s fourth full-length studio effort, Blood for Blood was released June 10th, 2014.  The upcoming tour includes twenty-three total dates.  Among those dates is a pair of dates in North Carolina on the tail end of the tour.  The first of those two dates will bring Hellyeah and support bands Devour The Day and Like a Storm to Ziggy’s by the Sea on Friday, March 6th, 2015.  Ziggy’s by the Sea is in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The second of the bands’ North Carolina performances will bring them to Amos’ Southend in Charlotte on Saturday, March 7th.

Devour the Day is currently touring in support of its debut full-length album Time & Pressure, which was released May 7th, 2013.  The album made Devour the Day one of 203’s biggest Cinderella stories.  Its lead single ‘Good Man’ reached #10 n the “Active Rock” Chart and #15 on the “Mainstream Rock Tracks” Chart.  The band was also one of the Top 40 most played artists of 2013 at Active Rock stations across the country.  The album’s latest single ‘Respect’ made its way to the Top 20 on Mediabase’s “Active Rock” Chart this past September. The band’s upcoming tour with Hellyeah is not its first with a big name act.  It has also toured with: Butcher Babies, Three Days Grace, and Sevendust and has shared the stage with Rob Zombie and All That Remains.

Like a Storm will release its new album Awaken The Fire on Century Media’s sister label Another Century early in 2015.  The album will be the band’s first for Another Century and second overall full-length release.  The band has already released two singles–‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ and its latest single ‘Wish You Hell.’

The full schedule for the upcoming “Blood For Blood 2015” Tour is listed below.


Friday, February 6, 2015 LAS VEGAS NV BROOKLYN BOWL
Sunday, February 8, 2015 SACRAMENTO CA ACE OF SPADES
Saturday, February 14, 2015 DENVER CO SUMMIT MUSIC HALL
Sunday, February 15, 2015 WICHITA KS THE COTILION
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 LINCOLN NE THE BOURBON THEATRE
Friday, February 20, 2015 COLUMBIA MO BLUE NOTE
Saturday, February 21, 2015 SIOUX CITY IA HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 FLINT MI THE MACHINE SHOP
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 FORT WAYNE IN PIERE’S
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 BALTIMORE MD RAMS HEAD
Saturday, March 7, 2015 CHARLOTTE NC AMOS’ SOUTHEND
Sunday, March 8, 2015 ATLANTA GA CENTERSTAGE

 All of the latest updates from Hellyeah on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.hellyeahband.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hellyeahband

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hellyeahband

All of the latest updates from Devour the Day on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.devourtheday.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/devourtheday

Twitter: www.twitter.com/devourtheday

All of the latest updates from Like A Storm on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: http://www.likeastorm.com

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

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.

Anti-Mortem Makes A Solid First Impression On Its Debut LP

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast America

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast America

Anti-Mortem’s debut record New Southern is one of the best new hard rock records of 2014. The band’s debut record, which is available now in stores and online, has taken the best elements of Black Label Society, Hellyeah, and Pantera—just to name a few—and has blended them together to make a record that clearly shows why the band signed with what is one of hard rock’s “big three” labels in Nuclear Blast Records. For those that might be curious, the other pair of labels that comprise that “big three” are Metal Blade Records and Century Media Records. The band grabs listeners right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Words of Wisdom’ and doesn’t let go until the final strains of the album’s closer. Along the way, the band more than makes its argument as to why it deserves to be on any critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock records. Case in point the band’s latest single ‘Truck Stop Special’ and the southern rock sludge of ‘Black Heartbeat.’ These songs are just a few examples of why Anti-Mortem’s New Southern has earned a spot at least on this critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records. Audiences will agree that any of the songs on this record show why the band deserves such an honor from any critic.

Anti-Mortem proves to audiences why its debut record is one of the year’s best new hard rock records right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Words of Wisdom.’ The comparisons to Black Label Society and Hellyeah are instantaneous thanks to the heavy guitar riffs of Nevada Romo and Zain Smith, and front man Larado Romo’s searing vocals. In an era when it seems that crunching down-tuned guitars and indecipherable cookie monster growls seem to be leading the way in the rock world, this combination of musicianship is a breath of fresh air even in the rock community. Of course the equally pounding drumming of Levi Dickerson and bassist Corey Henderson’s solid low end aren’t to be forgotten, either. They add their own depth to the song’s musical side as Larado Romo sings (Yes, he actually sings to a certain extent unlike so many rock vocalists today), “I was told my whole life/Don’t do this/Don’t do that/Force your opinion on me/Like it was fact/You tried to hypnotize/And teach me to act/the truth is you lied/And there’s no going back.” He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “You wonder/What’s under/What’s underneath my skin/You wonder what is under/Underneath my/I see no reason why/We should lay down and die/No words of wisdom.” There is no cryptic hidden message here. This song is a full-on, horns-high hard rock anthem. And it will have any true fan of the genre singing along with pride. That pride doesn’t lessen at all even after this song ends. That’s evident in another of the album’s highest points, ‘Truck Stop Special.’

‘Truck Stop Special’ is southern sludge rock at its finest. What can be said of this song but it is destined to be just as much a favorite for audiences both on the album and in a live setting. It’s a powerful song both musically and lyrically. Lyrically, Romo comes across as singing about making the most of life. This argument could be made in noting the song’s chorus. Romo sings in the chorus, “You can’t live your life, no/With your head in the sand/You can’t waste your time, son/On a fool’s errand.” That argument is made even stronger as he sings in the song’s second verse, “No money to drown in/No hope to hang/Trouble’s the way I’m living child/When there ain’t no fame/Our education boy/I’ll show you how to be yeah/To never want nothing son/To take all you need.” In the song’s final verse, Romo goes on to note how the last to a given point suffer the possibility of losing everything. He is speaking metaphorically here saying that those that waste their time in life are in danger of negative consequences. Overall, he is saying people shouldn’t waste their lives and let life pass them by. That carpe diem message of sorts next to the song’s solid driving musical makes this song one more of so many of New Southern’s many high points.

The members of Anti-Mortem show time and again throughout the course of New Southern’s twelve tracks and forty-six total minutes just why the band’s debut record is so deserving of being added to any critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock records. ‘Truck Stop Special’ and ‘Words of Wisdom’ are both prime examples of why it deserves to be on that list. There is one more song that could be noted among the many standout tracks on this album proving that argument. The song in question, ‘Black Heartbeat’ comes almost halfway through the album. The song focuses on broken relationship, lyrically. But it doesn’t come across in the typical ‘oh woe is me’ style of so many songs. It really captures the mixed emotions of anger and pain felt by someone that has been on the receiving end of a broken relationship. And Romo makes no bones about the song’s subject matter as he sings, “It’s safe to say/It’s over now/At least until you call/Sometimes I wonder why I care/And loved you at all/Go on and pretend/It’s not your fault/Your cold black heartbeat/Has come to a halt/So use me/Abuse me/To get what you need/Confuse me/Lie to me/Your damage has been done/You can’t take advantage of my love anymore/No trust/Don’t wanna see/Then just walk out the door.” Some out there might not like the comparison, but one could almost compare this piece to Theory of a Deadman’s song ‘Get What You Deserve.’ The two songs are very similar both in terms of their themes and musical sides. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. ‘Get What You Deserve’ is rather scathing in its own way just as this song proves to be. And it comes from a similar vantage point. It’s one of those pieces that when one is going through a separation of any kind will most definitely empower listeners and help them to get through such times. Ergo, ‘Black Heartbeat’ will have done its job. And in turn it will have proven once more just why New Southern more than deserves to be considered one of this year’s best new hard rock records.

All three of the songs noted in this review are prime examples of why New Southern deserves a spot on every critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock records. They are also prime examples of why this album deserves a spot on the CD rack of every purist hard rock and metal fan. They aren’t the only examples of the album’s solidity. Every song on this album could be used for this argument. That’s truly saying something. The album is available now in stores and online. It can also be purchased at any of the upcoming live performances on the band’s current concert schedule. The band will kick off a summer tour at Strummer’s in Fresno, California on Tuesday, July 8th. Audiences can check out the band’s current tour itinerary online now and even buy New Southern at the band’s official website, http://anti-mortem.com. The band’s current tour schedule and updates are also available via Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/AntiMortemUSA and http://twitter.com/antimortemusa. 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.

No Kidding, Destrage’s New Album Is A Metal Masterpiece

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records has never been a label to rest easy on its laurels.  Every year, it proves to be one of the leaders in the world of hard rock and metal.  The only other label that measures up to Metal Blade is its counterpart, Century Media Records.  Metal Blade has consistently released some of the music industry’s best hard rock and metal albums in recent years.  This year is no different.  And that is especially evident with the release of the new album from the Italian experimental metal act Destrage.  Are You Kidding Me? No is the band’s Metal Blade debut.  And it is quite the aptly titled record, too.  That’s because every single track will leave listeners asking those words.  For those that have yet to hear Destrage’s music, the best comparison that can be made is a hybrid of Between The Buried and Me, Slayer, and Mr. Bungle.  Front man Paolo Colavolpe even sounds like Slayer front man Tom Array at more than one point throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks.

Destrage—Paolo Colavolpe (Vocals), Matteo Di Dioia (guitar), Gabriel Pignata (bass), Ralph Salati (guitar), and Federico Paulovich (drums)—exhibits so much creativity right from the album’s opener, ‘Destroy Create Transform Sublimate.’ The only term that can best describe this song is controlled chaos. The song goes from full throttle, shredding guitars to a more jazz-influenced sound a la its Metal Blade label mates Trioscapes to an almost symphonic metal sound complete with a slight dubstep finale. Colavolpe’s vocal style changes from one movement to the next to match each portion of the song, too. He switches between his seemingly Tom Arraya style vocals to something more akin to Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray and back again over the course of the song’s near six-minute run time. Add in the song’s lyrical side and audiences get in this piece an even more complex song. Colavolpe sings and screams through this song, “We are all here to witness the indomitable power of creation/As creative energy spreads like a relentless force/infecting every single atom/Art in all its manifestation conducts us close to God/And the struggle of our thinking/into uncontaminated imagination/Pure imagination.” Yes, this is rather metaphysical thinking. And that’s why it works so well with the songs musical side. Those words are a direct mirror image of what the band presents with the song’s music. And together, the two sides make the song title all the clearer and the song itself all the more enjoyable.

For all of the frenetic energy exuded by the band in the first half of its Metal Blade Records debut, the band actually does slow things down in a manner of speaking at the beginning of the album’s second half. Where The Things Have No Colour,’ is the band’s most radio friendly single. Interestingly enough, as much as this song is pulled back and more radio friendly, the band doesn’t sacrifice too much. That’s evident in the song’s lyrical side. Colavolpe sings in this song, “You won’t take this moment away from me/And make me a silent slave of yours/You won’t put me down on my knees/I will make this time as I always meant it to be.” If properly interpreted, Colavolpe’s words come across as being rather defiant. If they are meant to be interpreted in such fashion, one must admit that it is one of the most original lyrically defiant statements ever made. The guitar work of Matteo Di Dioia and Ralph Salati adds so much more depth to the song. The pair shines and soars alongside drummer Federico Paulovich and bassist Gabriel Pignata to complete what is easily one of this album’s most powerful pieces.

‘Where The Things Have No Colour’ isn’t the only radio ready song that Destrage boasts on its new album. ‘Before, After and All Around’ This song comes across as a song based in the topic of relationships. That interpretation is made through lines such as “Speechless, smileless/Smilesless, hopeless/Haven’t got you yet/Maybe you understand me better than I know/I’ve got this feeling we are going nowhere/Stupid, don’t you see/Why the f&*% do you deny it/I feel wrapped up in pain/Because we are going nowhere.” However, as Colavolpe writes, “At this point/A girl lives in a dream/In a little fairy house/At the following point/She lives surrounded by sweet things/Hers. Mine./At the same point/A few months ahead/she looks forward/She realizes she wanted a man/But was a boy/I should have built a fairy house/In the same time a few miles away/But what would I have missed?” he leaves the song wide open to interpretation. The ability of Colavolpe to generate so much discussion from this song is another sign of the importance of this album. He writes so cryptically and metaphorically that his writing creates discussion without even trying. It makes the song—much like the album’s other works—more than just a song. It makes it a true musical and lyrical work of art. It becomes something to discuss and truly appreciate, again much like the other songs noted here and those not noted here.

All of the songs noted here each play an important part in the overall enjoyment and success of Destrage’s new album. That isn’t to take anything away from those songs not mentioned. The album’s remaining seven songs each play their own part in the album’s success, too. Regardless of which song one chooses, one thing remains true about this album. That one thing is that there is no kidding that this is one of the best hard rock/metal records of 2014.

Destrage will perform live May 10th in Legano, Italy in support of its new album and then in Moncalieri, Italy at the Audiodrome on June 1st. Audiences can find out about Destrage’s upcoming tour dates and general information online now at http://www.facebook.com/Destrage, http://www.destrage.com, and http://twitter.com/destrage. 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.