Michael Franti And Spearhead Premiere Latest LP’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Michael Franti and Spearhead will release their latest full-length studio recording this summer.  The album, Soulrocker, is currently scheduled to be released Friday, June 3rd in stores and online.  Ahead of the album’s release the duo debuted one of the album’s songs over the weekend.

‘We Are All Earthlings’ was debuted this past Friday in honor of Earth Day.  The song, Franti explains, is a tribute to all of the people of the planet and to the planet itself.  “I believe in making music for one reason, which is, I care about people and the planet,” he said.  ‘We Are All Earthlings’ is a song that honors the beauty and importance of every single living thing on this Earth; a reminder that we are ALL Earthlings and we are in this together.”  Audiences can stream the song online now via Soundcloud.  The song was released in partnership with the Earth Day Network.  Earth Day Network representative Tim McHugh discussed the song’s premiere and its importance in spreading the message of concer for the Earth to more people.  “Earth Day is the single largest worldwide environmental event each year,” McHugh said.  And each year something special happens to set it apart and move our cause just a little bit further down the road. This year we are glad to be able to partner with Michael Franti and his incredible new song ‘We Are All Earthlings.’ It will help us reach out and communicate to new groups of people and make our common concern for the earth just that much more vital and powerful.”

Along with the song’s stream Franti also recently released a mini-documentary titled Why I Make Music.  The presentation backs up Franti’s words, proving that he not only talks the talk but walks the walk, too.  Audiences can view the program now online via Franti’s official YouTube channel.

Michael Franti and Spearhead recently wrapped the first leg of their tour in support of Soulrocker and is taking some time off before heading back out on the road on Friday, May 27th in Napa, California. The duo’s upcoming tour currently runs through Sunday, August 28th in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The pair’s current tour schedule is noted below.

 

CATCH MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD ON TOUR:
 
^ w/ Chali 2na & The Funk Hunters
* w/ G. Love & Special Sauce
** w/ Zella Day
 
DATE                          CITY                                       VENUE
Fri
4/22
New Orleans, LA
Nolafunk Jazzfest Series @ Republic
Sat
4/23
Oxford, MS
Double Decker Arts Festival
Sun
4/24
Atlanta, GA
Sweetwater 420 Festival
Fri
5/27
Napa, CA
BottleRock Music Festival
Sun
5/29
Monterey, CA
California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Thu
6/2
Jim Thorpe, PA
Penn’s Peak
Fri
6/3
Pittsburgh, PA
Three Rivers Festival
Sun
6/5
Hunter, NY
Mountain Jam
Sun
6/12
Russell Township, OH
LaurelLive
^Wed
6/15
Portland, ME
Thompson’s Point
^Thu
6/16
Boston, MA
House of Blues
^Fri
6/17
Silver Spring, MD
The Fillmore
Sat
6/18
Stratton, VT
Wanderlust Festival
^Sun
6/19
Philadelphia, PA
The Fillmore
^Tue
6/21
Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Summer Festival
^Wed
6/22
Grand Rapids, MI
Meijer Gardens
Fri
6/24
Des Moines, IA
Simon Estes Amphitheater
Sat
6/25
St. Paul, MN
Twin Cities Jazz Fest
^Sun
6/26
Bayfield, WI
Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua
^Tue
6/28
Chicago, IL
Concord Music Hall
Thu
6/30
Milwaukee, WI
Summerfest
Sat
7/2
Ottawa, ON
Ottawa Jazz Festival
Fri
7/29
Kaslo, BC
Kaslo Jazz Festival
Wed
8/3
Costa Mesa, CA
Pacific Amphitheatre*
Thu
8/4
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mammoth Festival**
Fri
8/5
Flagstaff, AZ
Pepsi Amphitheater**
Sat
8/6
Durango, CO
Three Springs**
Sun
8/7
Morrison, CO
Red Rocks Amphitheatre**
Tue
8/9
Salt Lake City, UT
Red Butte Garden
Thu
8/11
Bend, OR
Les Schwab Amphitheater**
Fri
8/12
Troutdale, OR
Edgefield**
Sat
8/13
Tamarack, ID
The Huckleberry Jam
Tue
8/16
Missoula, MT
Big Sky Brewing Company**
Wed
8/17
Spokane, WA
Knitting Factory Concert House**
Fri
8/19
Lake Tahoe, NV
MontBleu Resort & Casino**
Sat
8/20
Lincoln, CA
Thundervibes
Thu
8/25
San Luis Obispo, CA
Avila Beach Resorts**
Fri
8/26
Las Vegas, NV
Brooklyn Bowl**
Sat
8/27
Tucson, AZ
The Rialto Theatre**
Sun
8/28
Santa Fe, NM
The Santa Fe Opera House**

 

Soulrocker will be available in stores and online on Friday, Jun e 3rd.  It can be pre-ordered now via iTunes, Amazon, and Michael Franti’s official online store.  It is available in a variety of bundles at Franti’s store.  Those that pre-order the album now via iTunes and Amazon will get an instant download of ‘We Are All Earthlings.’  More information on Soulrocker is available online now along with all of the latest news on Michael Franti and Spearhead’s tour, the duo’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.michaelfranti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/michaelfranti

 

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.

Soilwork Announces Upcoming Dates With Arch Enemy

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Soilwork has announced a handful of new live dates for this summer.

Soilwork, currently touring in support of its latest album The Ride Majestic, will open for Arch Enemy on a handful of its upcoming European dates this summer.  The band’s schedule with Arch Enemy runs from Monday, August 21st to Thursday, August 24th.  That stretch is followed by a headlining date by Soilwork on Friday, August 25th in London, England.  As noted by the band’s front man Bjorn “Speed” Strid, the tour marks the first time since Ozzfest 2005 that both bands have shared the stage.  “We are very excited to announce this UK run together with our fellow Swedes in Arch Enemy. For the first time since Ozzfest 2005, we are once again sharing the stage!,” he said.  “It will be one hell of a riff-and shred fest, ladies and gents! We’re also announcing a special one off headline show at the Underworld in London on August 25th. It’s been a long time coming… do not miss out! See you in August!”

Tickets for the upcoming shows go on sale today, April 25th, at 9am.  They can be purchased online at seetickets.com.  The complete schedule for Soilwork’s tour with Arch Enemy is listed below.

 

21st August: (Support to Arch Enemy) Norwich -Waterfront

22nd August (Support to Arch Enemy) Sheffield – Corporation

23rd August (Support to Arch Enemy) Cardiff –Tramshed

24th August (Support to Arch Enemy) Southampton – Engine Rooms

25th August: (HEADLINE) London – The Underworld (tickets)

 

The Ride Majestic is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online via Nuclear Blast Records’ online store, and downloaded via iTunes, Amazon, and Nuclear Blast’s digital store.  Audiences can check out the videos for two of the album’s singles—‘Death in General,’ ‘Enemies in Fidelity,’—and the lyric video for the album’s title track via Nuclear Blast’s official YouTube channel.  More information on Soilwork’s upcoming tour, album, music, and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.soilwork.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/soilwork

 

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.

Holy Grail Announces New Headlining Tour Schedule

Holy Grail has announced a new slate of tour dates.

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

The band has announced that it will embark on an extensive new headlining tour beginning late next month in Las Vegas, NV.  The tour currently runs through June 18th in San Diego, California.  It also includes a performance in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Maywood Tavern on Sunday, June 5th.  Also along for the ride on this tour will be Devildriver, Hemlock, Incite, and Savage Master.  While fans wait for the band’s new schedule to launch next month, they can check out the video for the song ‘Sudden Death’ online now via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Y2VY7bWGM.  The song is taken from the band’s latest album Times of Pride and Peril.  It can be purchased in stores and online via iTunes, Amazon, BandCamp, and Prosthetic Records’ online store.

 

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

 

The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

HOLY GRAIL TOUR DATES
4/27 Las Vegas, NV – Vinyl &
4/28 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar (w/ Incite only)
4/29 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory & 
4/30 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven & 
5/1 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory & 
5/3 Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theatre & 
5/5 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room & 
5/6 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave &
5/8 Flint, MI – Machine Shop & 
5/9 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts & 
5/10 Nashville, TN – Exit/In &  
5/11 Grand Rapids, MI  – The Stache & 
5/13 Tulsa, OK – Downtown Lounge
5/28 Fullerton, CA – Slidebar #
5/29 Phoenix, AZ – Pub Rock #
5/31 Austin, TX – The Dirty Dog #
6/1 Dallas, TX – The Rail Club #
6/2 Houston, TX – Walters # 
6/3 New Orleans, LA – Siberia # 
6/4 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn # 
6/5 Raleigh, NC – Maywood Tavern #
6/7 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus # 
6/8 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie # 
6/9 Worcester, MA – Ralphs #
6/10 Clifton Park, NY – Trickshots #
6/13 Columbus, OH – Park Street Saloon & 
6/14 St. Louis, MO – Fubar & 
6/16 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater & 
6/17 Window Rock, AZ – Window Rock Sports Center & 
6/18 San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick & 
& with DevilDriver, Incite & Hemlock 
# with Savage Master 

More information on Holy Grail’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.holygrailofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/holygrailband

 

 

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.

Rock On The Range Sells Out For Fourth Straight Year

Rock-on-the-Range-logo

Courtesy: AEG Live/Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

The annual Rock on the Range festival has done it again.

For the fourth consecutive year the Rock on the Range festival has officially sold out. This year’s mark is especially important for the festival as it marks the festival’s 10th anniversary. Last year 120,000 people from all across America and the world bought every last ticket to the three-day festival. This year’s festival will be another three-day event, running from May 20th – 22nd. It will take place at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The lineup for this year’s festival includes: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember, Megadeth, At The Drive-In, Lamb Of God, Sixx:A.M., Hellyeah, and Pennywise, as well as a number of up-and-coming acts.

Along with some of the rock and metal community’s biggest names and biggest names of their next generation, the Rock on the Range Festival will also feature some of the most well-known and respected comedians out there today. They include: Big Jay Oakerson, Nate Bargatze, Craig Gass, Bethany Dwyer, Madison Malloy and Grammy®–nominated comedian Jay Mohr in the Rock on the Range Rolling Rock Comedy Tent. There will even be a craft beer village featuring the top breweries from the region, new art installations, and activities special to the festival among so much more. ROTR co-executive producer Danny Wimmer discussed the sellout and what it says not only of the festival but of rock and metal as well in a recent interview. “Anyone who says, ‘Rock is Dead,’ hasn’t paid attention to Rock On The Range,” he said. “This festival has grown in each one of its 10 years, selling out in record time this year. Rock On The Range’s strength stands as a testament that rock fans are not only alive and well, they are flourishing.”

Whether or not audiences will be headed to the annual festival they can still get all of the latest information on the festival including performance times and more via its new mobile app. The app is free and can be downloaded via iTunes and Google Play.

Rock on the Range is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, AEG Live, and MAPFRE Stadium. It is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, Zippo, The Music Experience, and Bud Light. More information on the Rock on the Range festival is available online along with all of its latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.RockOnTheRange.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rockontherange

 

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.

Volume Is A Loud, Clear New Statement From Skindred

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Late last year Skindred released its latest full-length studio recording to its fans.  Volume, the band’s sixth full-length studio effort, That’s quite a statement from a band that originally formed right at the cusp of the “musical gold rush of 2000” (as this critic has come to coin it).  The album, with its hybrid sound and its equally attention-grabbing lyrical content, is another example of why the Welsh rock outfit has outlasted so many others of its ilk and gone on to remain a fan favorite even without support from mainstream rock outlets.  This is clear right off the top in the album’s socio-politically charged opener ‘Under Attack.’  The album’s title track is another of the album’s strong points.  ‘Shut Ya Mouth,’ with its mix of social commentary and funk-infused hard rock makes it yet another standout moment from this record.  All three songs are clear examples of what makes Volume another solid offering from Skindred.  Those songs, when set alongside the album’s remaining eleven songs (technically eight songs since three of those eleven are short interludes), make Volume one a record that every rock aficionado will want to turn on and *ahem* turn up.

Skindred’s sixth full-length studio recording Volume is quite the statement from the band.  That is because in itself it shows the band’s longevity and the love and respect that fans have for the Welsh rock act.  The album’s overall content exhibits this even more right from the album’s hard rocking opener ‘Under Attack.’  Guitarist Mikey Demus, drummer Arya Goggin and bassist Dan Pugsley set the tone for the song in its opening bars before front man Benji Webbe comes in with his hard-hitting lyrics.  What audiences will appreciate about this song is the ability of Webbe’s band mates to capture the urgency of Webbe’s message.  The message in question seems to center on the state of the nation and the damage being done to the country because of that divisiveness.  This is illustrated as Webbe raps in the song’s lead verse, “Now if you really want war/You’ve got to be sick/All of the people/They need to hear this/From the sound of the rhythm/You can’t refuse it/Shocking, dropping wrongs and killing/Graduation that’s what we want/F*** the nation/That’s not the answer/They’re coming at you with shots in the dark/And the shot that dem ah give you/Ah go rip out your heart.”  He seems to be addressing people on both sides of the nation’s debates in this one verse alone.  And if that is the case then it’s quite the clear and efficient way of doing so.  Not to mention it is a powerful statement in itself.  The message is illustrated even more in the song’s second verse in which Webbe raps, “We ah go stack dem 5,7, and 8/No bother with the badness, man/We don’t appreciate/We ah go mark them 6, 7, and 9/Put them on the hit list every time/Life’s at stake and everyone’s shaking/Dancehall breaking/Everyone’s faking/It’s going down now/It’s going down now/It’s going down down da down da down.”  He and his band mates accent the message in these verse even more in the song’s chorus in which they ask, “Who’s gonna help take care of all of them?” before Webbe responds, “And now I realize you can’t cut me down to size/And now I realize we’re under attack.”  The song’s final verse echoes the sentiment established in its lead and second verse with that same sort of awareness of what is going on and correlating message of concern.  It’s not the first time that a band or performer has ever crafted a song that raises awareness about serious socio-political issues.  Despite that, the manner in which it is delivered here makes the song original in its own right.   It shows in its own way why despite being labeled to this day as nu metal and rap metal the band has outlasted its counterparts and still stands tall even without help from mainstream music outlets.  It’s just one example of why Volume is a welcome return for the band and why it is a record that every rock aficionado will want to turn on and turn up.  Audiences can view the song’s video online now via Napalm Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkJuB656AVc.  The album’s title track is another of its strong points.

‘Under Attack’ is a strong opener for Skindred in its latest full-length release Volume.  That is exhibited both through the song’s heavy musical arrangement and its equally interesting socio-politically charged lyrical theme.  As important as it is to the album’s overall presentation it is just one of the album’s strong points.  The album’s title track is another of its strong points.  Unlike the album’s opener this song takes a completely different lyrical tone while maintaining the album’s heavy sound.  This song lyrically comes across more as a declaration than anything else as Webbe raps, “And so again you know we’re on it/Don’t even bother trying to tell me to stop it/I’ll take them straight to the hanging tree/This is the sound that makes me nasty/Nobody ramp with this sound quality/Believing in the rockers and the rhythm that’s in me/We come to rock your spot/Bring the energy.”  In case there was any doubt left by this verse Webbe and company go on to sing outright later in the song, “Play your music every day/Woop/Gotta keep it loud now/Play your sound and feel no way/Woop woop/Gotta keep it loud now/I can’t keep it down.”  This is a blatant response to those that would tell the masses not to give in to those that think certain parties’ music is too loud.  As a well-known figure once said, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old!”  For all intents it is an anthem for the rock and metal masses alike in response to their detractors.  The intensity of the song’s musical arrangement makes the song even harder-hitting, showing once again why it is another of the album’s strong points. Audiences can view this song’s companion video online now via Napalm Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vKPnLhmyBs and via the band’s official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/skindredofficial. It isn’t the last of the album’s strong points either.  The social commentary and equally positive message of ‘Shut Ya Mouth’ coupled with the song’s musical arrangement makes it one more solid of the album’s most notable moments.

‘Under Attack’ and ‘Volume’ are solid additions to Skindred’s latest album.  That is because of the combination of their musical and lyrical content.  While both songs are key in exhibiting what makes Volume such a welcome return for Skindred, they are hardly the only songs that could be cited in making this argument. ‘Shut Ya Mouth’ is another prime example of what makes Volume worth at least one listen. In regards to its musical arrangement its tempo is less than that of ‘Under Attack’ and ‘Volume.’ Even with a slower tempo it is no less impacting. Drummer Arya Goggin sets the song’s tone with a solidly timed beat before Demus, Webbe and bassist Pugsley come in to round out the song’s musical base. The song builds even more from here until it reaches its peak in its chorus at which point the band absolutely lets loose. That gradual growth of power in the song’s musical arrangement is important to the song in its own right. However when examining the song’s lyrical content it becomes even more important. That is because it serves to better illustrate said content. The verses send a message of positivity as exhibited in the song’s lead verse. Webbe raps here, “You see the difference between you and me/Is that I like you/But you don’t like me/Face each day optimistically/Breath and talk a lot of positivity/If anything bad it’s gonna happen to me/That’s not the attitude seriously/Nah, not the way to perceive it/If they tell you so don’t believe it.” The musical backing to this and each of the song’s verse is straight forward but with a groove that will keep listeners engaged. It helps to establish that straightforward tone in the song’s verses. In the same vein, the pummeling energy of the song’s musical arrangement in its chorus illustrates the energy and emotion there, too. Webbe raps in the chorus, “Shut your mouth boy/come out of here/Shut your mouth boy/Come out of here/We tell them/Do you hear me, hear me now/You won’t break this/Here’s my raised fist/And I’m telling you no, no, no.” Webbe means business as he delivers these lines. And that is quite clear, again, thanks to the song’s musical arrangement. The back and forth of the song’s musical and lyrical content continues throughout the course of the song’s nearly four-minute run time. And over that time it keeps listeners completely engaged especially thanks to the overall positive vibe established through both elements. Taking that into consideration the song shows why, once again, it is another key example of what makes Volume a welcome return for Skindred. Alongside ‘Under Attack,’ ‘Volume,’ and the remainder of the album’s eight full-length tracks (again there are eleven other tracks on this record but only eight are full-length songs) the album shows in whole to be a record that any real rocker will want to turn on and turn up.

Skindred’s sixth full-length record Volume is an impressive new release for the Wales-based band. That is not just because of the fact that the band has made it this far without help from major mainstream rock outlets but also because the band has managed to impress yet again with this latest offering. That is clear in the combination of the album’s musical and lyrical content. It is exemplified in the album’s opener ‘Under Attack,’ its title track, and the equally engaging ‘Shut Ya Mouth.’ All three songs are in their own way solid offerings from the album. Together with the rest of the album’s full-length songs the album in whole proves to be a welcome return for the band and a record that every real rocker will want to turn on and turn up. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered via iTunes and Amazon direct via the band’s official website. More information on Volume is available online now along with all of Skindred’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.skindred.net

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

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/skindredmusic

 

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.

Holy Grail Announces More Live Dates

Holy Grail Devildriver Tour PosterHoly Grail just kicked off its latest tour yesterday and already the California-based five-piece has announced plans for even more dates.

Holy Grail announced this week that it will join Devildriver on the road this spring.  This comes as the band has just embarked on a thirty-seven date tour alongside Black Tusk and The Well.  The band’s upcoming tour will see it serve as support act for Devildriver.  The tour launches Wednesday, April 27th in Las Vegas, NV and runs through Saturday, June 18th in San Diego, California.  It also includes dates in Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, and a number of other cities.  Incite and Hemlock are also scheduled to serve as support acts to Devildriver for the upcoming tour.  Holy Grail’s upcoming dates and current tour schedule are listed in whole below.

 

TOUR DATES

2/24 Richmond, VA – 25 Watt #

2/25 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #

2/26 Boston, MA – Once Ballroom #

2/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus #

2/29 Burlington, VT – Nectars #

3/1 Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle #

3/2 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #

3/3 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #

3/4 Detroit, MI – Berserker Fest @ The Masonic Temple #

3/5 Chicago, IL – Reggies #

3/6 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon #

3/7 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock #

3/8 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium #

3/9 Winnipeg, MB – The Windsor Hotel #

3/11 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina #

3/12 Edmonton, AB – Brixx #

3/13 Calgary, AB – Palomino #

3/14 Kamloops, BC – The Office #

3/16 Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore #

3/19 Portland, OR – Panic Room #

3/20 Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub #

3/22 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst #

3/23 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge #

3/24 Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room #

4/27 Las Vegas, NV – Vinyl &

4/29 Boise,  ID – Knitting Factory &

4/30 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven &

5/1 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory &

5/3 Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theatre &

5/5 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room &

5/6 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave &

5/8 Flint, MI – Machine Shop &

5/9 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts &

5/10 Nashville, TN – Exit/In &

5/11 Grand Rapids, MI  – The Stache &

6/13 Columbus, OH – Park Street Saloon &

6/14 St. Louis, MO – Fubar &

6/16 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater &

6/17 Window Rock, AZ – Window Rock Sports Center &

6/18 San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick &

# with Black Tusk

& with DevilDriver, Incite & Hemlock

 

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

The newly announced dates for Holy Grail’s upcoming tour are just the latest in the band’s ongoing efforts to promote its latest full-length studio recording Times of Pride and Peril.  The band also toured with Night Demon late last year and performed at Death Angel’s 2nd Annual Christmas Show last December.  And as noted, the band just hit the road for a late winter/spring tour in support of Times of Pride and Peril on February 23rdTimes of Pride and Peril debuted at #9 on Billboard’s New Artists Chart in its release earlier this month.  It also landed at #14 in the magazine’s Hard Music Chart, and #35 in the Independent Artist Chart.  It sold more than 1,500 copies within its first week of release.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and Prosthetic Records’ online store.  More information on Holy Grail’s tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.holygrailofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/holygrailband

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.

Rocker’s Debut LP “Hard To Bleed” Is Hard To Hate

Courtesy:  Phill Rocker

Courtesy: Phill Rocker

Late last month Phill Rocker (yes, that’s really his name) released his debut album Hard To Bleed. The independently released album boasts fifteen tracks all of which are a good fit for any fan of big riffs and even bigger hair. From start to finish Rocker exhibits influences from the likes of Judas Priest, Poison, Ozzy Osbourne, and so many others from that bygone era of rock. There are even some old school style power ballads thrown in for good measure to round out the record. The combination of those ballads and the album’s more up-tempo pieces makes Hard To Bleed a record that is hard to hate.

Phill Rocker’s debut album Hard To Bleed is a record that is hard to hate. Yes, that bad pun was fully intended. The fifteen-song record (there is also a deluxe edition that includes two bonus songs) is so hard to hate because over the course of its roughly sixty-seven minute run time it offers rock purists plenty to appreciate what with its classic rock sound and equally interesting lyrical content. The album is anchored by the album’s up-tempo, near mid-point ‘Burning in the Fire.’ It has already been noted that the songs featured in this record boast a noticeably old school rock sound. The sound in question takes listeners back to the days of big riffs and even bigger hair. That is no different in the case of ‘Burning in the Fire.’ Rocker and company waste no time getting things moving in this song. They jump into it right from its opening measures. Drummer Brian Tichy (Something Unto Nothing, Velvet Revolver, Ozzy Osbourne) is on point in his time keeping here. The dual guitar attack of Ricardo Fernandes and Miguel Aguiar adds even more impact to the song. That is because it instantly conjures thoughts of classic Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, and even Judas Priest. Rocker’s own vocal delivery here boasts just as much power as those that have come before. The song’s musical side is just one part of what makes the song a solid anchor for Rocker’s new album. Rocker wrote the song’s lyrics as well as handling vocal duties. Rocker’s lyrics come across as a commentary of sorts as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Can somebody hear this scream of mine/Is the world goin’ blind/Hard to carry on/Without wiseman guidance/Can’t see/Nothing but dreams of foregone times/Facing the final frontier/I’ve faced this road before/Innocence calms down/Before the storm/The hurt I know is true.” Later in the song’s run Rocker asks, “Will I/Who else can I call/What’s done is done/It’s written in the stars.” In examining the song in whole Rocker comes across as making a statement about staying strong even in the most uncertain times with such lyrics. Of course that is just this critic’s own interpretation. It could be completely off the mark. Hopefully it isn’t. but the possibility is there. When that possibility is coupled with the song’s forward-driving musical content, the two together really build their own fire that will spread to listeners when they hear the song for themselves. Keeping that in mind, it is clear in the end why ‘Burning in the Fire’ is this record’s anchor. It is just one of the many songs in this album that can be cited as an example of what makes Rocker’s debut album hard to hate. The ballads that are included in this album do just as much to make it worth at least one listen. That is exemplified even later in the album’s run in the form of the bass-driven ballad ‘How Does It Feel.’

‘Burning in the Fire’ is a solid anchor for Phil Rocker’s debut album. That is thanks to the combination of its classic rock-influenced sound and its equally thought-provoking lyrical content. As solid as it is in the grand scheme of the record it is only one example of what makes it a *rock* solid record. ‘How Does It Feel’ is another good example of what makes Rocker’s new album worth hearing. Unlike ‘Burning in the Fire’ this song is a classic ballad style composition. From Rocker’s own vocal delivery to Ricardo Fernandes’ gentler melody to [Brian] Tichy’s own work behind the kit, this song is a direct throw back to the power ballads of the late 80s and early 90s. In regards to its lyrical content, the song’s lyrics will have listeners just as engaged. Rocker writes in this song, “This conspiracy doesn’t help to see my destiny/Fighting this battle/I’m more than you can be/Psycho maniacs/Rule what you can/Ask for what you need/That’s where I begin/Straight to the unknown.” This comes across as someone dealing with some inner personal issues. And the song’s chorus would seem to hint even more at that as Rocker writes, “Paranoia/In a troubled mind/Agonized by a wounded heart/Self-inflicted victim/In this unfair world/Is it real/What’s going on/How does it feel to walk away/How does it feel to taste the pain/How does it feel to go away/One more day.” The song’s final verse is just as intriguing as Rocker writes about a figure suffering from a number of emotional issues that have essentially crippled said figure. It is definitely an interesting piece that is certain to leave listeners talking just as much as ‘Burning in the Fire.’ Audiences can hear the song for themselves now via Rocker’s official website at http://www.phillrocker.com. It’s just one more example of what makes this record a record worth hearing at least once. It still is not the final example of what makes the album stand out. The album’s opener, ‘Wasted Generation (In Me) is one more example of what makes Hard To Bleed hard to hate.

Phil Rocker offers quite a bit for rock purists in his debut album; so much so that the album proves rather hard to hate. That is obvious in the album’s hard rock anchor ‘Burning in the Fire’ and its polar opposite ‘How Does It Feel.’ While both songs are clear examples of what makes this record worth hearing they are not the only songs that could be cited as examples of the record’s strengths. ‘Wasted Generation (In Me),’ the album’s opener, is one more of the album’s strengths. Much like ‘Burning in the Fire’ Rocker and his fellow musicians waste little time getting things going here. There is a little bit more set up here but very little at the most. Luckily for listeners it isn’t one of those “slow boil” setups that takes its time building up to the song’s real body. Far too many bands today take that route. And it is anything but original or enjoyable. Keeping that in mind, the overall musical composition of ‘Wasted Generation (In Me),’ by itself makes the song both an enjoyable work in itself and an equally solid first impression for Rocker. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to its overall composition as its musical side. Rocker writes in the song’s second verse, “Confused and alone/Left on my own/I can’t find a place to rest/My mind’s so stressed/In between now and then/Yeah, here I am/I feel that I am always somewhere.” He goes on to write, “Come and have a look/Seek what you want/Come and have a look/Seek what you need/Come and have a look/You will find/A wasted generation in me.” The song feels, at least in regards to its lyrical content, as if it comes from the point of someone in a difficult emotional spot. It is almost as if the figure in this song is looking back on certain events of the past and comparing those events to the present, thus leading to the revelations presented here. What is really interesting about all of this is that when set against the song’s musical content there is quite a separation between the two. One would expect considering the song’s lyrical content that this song’s musical content would not have as much fire as it does. Yet somehow in its own way it proves to work just as well alongside that content. Because it does (and surprisingly so) it proves in the end why it is yet another solid first impression for Rocker and another example of what makes his debut worth the listen. Together with the previously noted songs, all three offerings show collectively that not only is this record just worth the listen but they also make this record hard to hate. They are not the only songs that could be used to prove that argument either. There are twelve other songs include in this record that could be cited in making both arguments. Audiences can hear every one of those songs for themselves when they order Hard To Bleed for themselves.

Hard To Bleed is a good first effort from Phill Rocker. The album proves this time and again throughout the course of its fifteen songs and sixty-seven minutes. From the hard rocking anchor that is ‘Burning in the Fire’ to the more melodic classic ballad style ‘How Does It Feel’ to the equally solid opener ‘Wasted Generation (In Me)’ there is plenty for any purist rocker to enjoy. That includes the other dozen songs not directly noted here. All things considered Hard To Bleed proves in the end to be a good first effort from Phill Rocker and an album that is both worth hearing at least once and in turn hard to hate. It can be ordered online now via Rocker’s official Bandcamp website at http://phillrocker.bandcamp.com/releases. More information on Hard To Bleed is available online now along with music videos, news, and more at:

Website: http://www.phillrocker.com

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

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