Every Hour Kills Pays Homage To Joe Satriani In Its Latest Single

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent rock band Every Hour Kills debuted the latest single from its new EP this week.

The band Sacha Laskow (guitar, programming), Bret Stutsky (bass), and Jerrod Mawell-Lyster (vocals) — premiered its cover of Joe Satriani’s ‘Time’ Friday through Bravewords.  The song, which feautres a guest guitar performance by Rick Graham, is the second single from the band’s forthcoming EP ReAwaken, which is scheduled for release Oct. 9.

The premiere of ‘Time’ comes less than a month after the band debuted the EP’s lead single, ‘Veiled Aurora,’ whose musical arrangement will appeal to fans of bands, such as Sevendust, Periphery, and Between The Buried and Me.

The musical arrangement at the center of EHK’s cover of ‘Time’ stays true to its source material.  At the same time though, the arrangement adds a certain heaviness through the guitars, drums and bass.

The EP is a concept record of sorts that is set in the 22nd century.  A plague has all but wiped out Earth’s population.  Enter a race of beings from another world that are known as “Illusorians.”  The Illusorians have a way to end mankind’s suffering.  Each of the EP’s songs features a story of someone trying to deal with the planet’s “new normal.”

Pre-orders and pre-saves for Re:Awaken are open now here.  The EP’s track listing is noted below.

Track Listing:
1. Veiled Aurora (ft. guest vocals Shaley Bourget of Dayshell, Of Mice & Men & guest guitar solo Morgan Reid of Bloodshot Dawn) (4:18)
2. Anthelion (ft. guest vocals Chris Thoresen (Shark Infested Daughters & guest guitar solo Travis Montgomery of Threat Signal, Meytal) (4:26)
3. Re:awaken (4:12)
4. Time ft. guest guitar solo Rick Graham (Joe Satriani cover) (5:04)
5. Veiled Aurora (Instrumental) (4:18)
6. Anthelion (Instrumental) (4:26)
7. Re:awaken (Instrumental) (4:12)
8.  Time (Joe Satriani cover) (Instrumental) (5:04)

More information on Every Hour Kills’ new EP is available along with all of its latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://everyhourkills.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/everyhourkills

 

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

 

Lufeh Debuts ‘Escape’ Video

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent prog-rock band Lufeh debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Escape‘ Monday. The song is the latest single from the band’s debut album Luggage Falling Down.

Much as with the video for its predecessor — ‘My World‘ — this video places the band in a “live” setting as it performs its new single.  The song’s musical arrangement presents a sound that will appeal just as much to fans of Dream Theater as it will to Joe Satriani and even to Emerson Lake & Palmer with its guitar, keyboard and vocal lines.

A statement from the band explained that the song’s lyrical theme is meant to convey a message of introspection.

“Escape’ deals with the faith it takes to move out of a stagnant or unhealthy situation while still holding true to the values you identify with,” the statement reads. “In true ‘Luggage Falling Down’ fashion, this heavy subject is faced fearlessly and authentically with a groovy, upbeat charisma.”

Luggage Falling Down is available to stream and download through SpotifyApple Music and Lufeh’s official Bandcamp page.  The album’s track list is noted below.

 

Track Listing:
1. Find My Way (4:25)
2. The Unknown (3:36)
3. Doors (4:06)
4. Trial of Escapade (4:24)
5. My World (4:52)
6. End of The Road (4:05)
7. Escape (4:03)
8. The Edge (4:04)
Album Length: 33:39

 

More information about Lufeh’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://lufehband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lufehband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lufehband

 

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

Joe Satriani’s Latest LP Shows Again Why He is One Of Rock’s Greatest Guitarists

Courtesy: Sony Music/Legacy Recordings

Joe Satriani’s music has taken him to great heights and to a great number of places around the world during the course of his decades-long career.  That is because his music has taken so many forms from one album to the next.  So it should come as no surprise that Satriani’s latest album – his 17th album – bears the title Shapeshifting.  This 13-song, 46-minute recording, which is scheduled for release April 10 through Sony/Epic, boasts arrangements that fully put on display Satriani’s great talents, changing the style from one song to the next.  That diversity in the songs’ styles is the foundation of the record’s presentation.  It will be discussed shortly.  The sequencing of the songs adds even more interest to the record.  The record’s production rounds out its most important element and will also be addressed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the record another positive offering from Satriani and one more early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums.

Joe Satriani’s latest full-length studio recording Shapeshifting is a strong new offering from the veteran guitar virtuoso.  It is a presentation that Satriani’s longtime fans will appreciate just as much as music lovers in general.  That is due in part to the very  shapeshifting that takes place throughout the course of the record.  From one song to the next, the styles change.  The album opens with a straight-forward, mid-tempo rockwork that will appeal to any prog-metal fan in the LP’s title track.  ‘Big Distortion,’ which immediately follows, changes things up, opting instead for a decidedly mainstream sound that crosses elements of 90s pop rock and classic 80s arena rock.  The 80s arena rock elements come in the song’s “chorus” section while the 90s pop rock elements are more prevalent in the arrangement’s “A” section.  The coupling sounds odd on the surface, but in reality, it works quite well, with the result of that song being one of the album’s best works.  Its whole sounds like something that would fit quite well on Satriani’s 2004 album Is There Love in Space?  Satriani changes things up yet again with a much more reserved arrangement in the album’s next song, ‘All For Love,’ which also sounds like it would fit well on the noted album.  The song boasts what sounds like Pink Floyd influences throughout its reserved nature.  As the album continues through its first quarter, Satch changes things again in the fully experimental ‘Ali Farka, Dick Dale, An Alien and Me.’  The use of the electronics alongside Satriani’s guitars, the solid time keeping of Jeff Campitelli and bass work of Chris Chaney makes the arrangement a work that he has never composed before.  Finding anything comparable is difficult too, which is a good thing.  The album’s progressing changes continue from here in ‘Teardrops,’ the full-on bluesy composition that will instantly grab listeners.  The changes don’t end here.  The tone turns distinctly country in ‘Perfect Dust,’ which follows ‘Teardrops.’  Interestingly enough, Satch mixes that country element with an equally strong rock element for a whole that stands easily on its own merits.  Satriani’s tribute to Eddie Van Halen that is ‘Nineteen Eighty’ continues the musical shapeshifting, and the variations don’t end there, either.  From that point, on, audiences continue to get even more variety with each song right up to the record’s end.  The whole thing ends on such a high note in ‘Yesterday’s Yesterday.’  The simple, folksy (yes, folksy) arrangement will instantly have listeners tapping their toes and smiling as they do.  The time keeping, the subtle addition of the piano here and the bass line are perfectly in sync with one another to make the whole such a great way to go out.  Between that song and all of the others noted (and not addressed), the whole of the record’s body keeps the musical styles shifting nonstop, ensuring listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  That constant change in styles does so much to make the album’s presentation so strong.  It is just one of the elements that makes the record so strong.  The record’s sequencing couples with the songs themselves to add even more “oomph” to the LP’s presentation.

Shapeshifting’s sequencing is so important to examine because of the very fact that there are so many different styles of music throughout this album.  It would have been easy for those behind the album’s creation to just toss the songs together, but that didn’t happen.  The song opens with a familiar rock sound from Satriani, before going a bit more mainstream.  That sound eventually moves into a more introspective, experimental sound in the album’s third composition.  The energies in each song are just as different from one another as are the styles.  The mood, energy and style changes yet again from there in ‘Ali Farka, Dick Dale, An Alien and Me,’ keeping things interesting for listeners.  Following the infusion of energy and experimentation in that song, the energy pulls back dramatically in ‘Teardrops,’ ensuring again the album doesn’t get stale.  That is definitely ensured as the album makes its way into ‘Perfect Dust’ and ‘Nineteen Eighty.’  ‘All My Friends Are Here’ presents its own celebratory vibe, yet not too much over the top, again keeping things interesting with its mid-tempo presentation and controlled instrumentation.  Of course, as the album enters into ‘Spirits, Ghosts and Outlaws,’ that fire definitely starts to burn brighter again with its up-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement.  From here, the album’s energy gradually eases off right until its finale, gently landing listeners on that other shore.  Simply put, the energies and moods in the album’s songs varies just as much as the styles themselves.  The order in which those energies and moods were arranged adds so much to the record’s overall impact.  When this is considered along with the variety in the songs, it proves even more why the album is such an impressive new offering from one of the great guitarists of our time.

The songs featured on Shapeshifting and their sequencing do a lot to make this record appealing for listeners.  As much as they do to make the album so appealing, they are only a part of what makes the record so enjoyable.  The LP’s production and mixing put the finishing touch to its presentation.  From start to end, each song was expertly crafted and mixed.  Case in point is the layering of the guitars in the album’s opener/title track.  There were multiple guitar lines, likely all played by Satriani.  The way in which they were set alongside one another made for a very good balance, ensuring each got its own attention.  Meantime, the bass and drums are just as audible as those guitar lines.  The whole makes for a work that is a powerful introduction for the album and an equally powerful statement Satriani and his fellow musicians.  ‘Ali Farka, Dick Dale, An Alien and Me’ is another example of the importance of the album’s production and mixing.  As already noted, there is a certain amount of electronics added into the whole of the song’s arrangement.  The decision to add this element into the mix was a wise choice, as it adds a certain nuance that without it, would have left the song feeling empty.  When it is joined with the guitars, bass and drums, the overall arrangement presents itself as one of the album’s most original works.  What’s more, the balance of the elements in the end product adds even more appeal to the work.  There is a lot going on in this song, what with all of the elements, but thankfully, at no point do any of the arrangement’s elements overpower the others.  It would have been easy for that to happen in this scenario, too.  So to know that this did not happen is, again, a statement to the talents of the musicians and to those who produced and mixed the album.  ‘Spirits, Ghosts and Outlaws’ is yet another example of the importance of the album’s production and mixing.  This straight-forward, driving country-rock style arrangement is another in which there is a lot going on.  Between the solid time keeping (especially through the cymbals), the guitar and the bass, each line has a lot to do with making the song whole.  Each musician “has a lot to say” so to speak.  Each line holds its own importance, and the song would not have been what it is without each part.  Each line is just as well balanced, even with so much musical firepower combined in one container.  The end result is another energetic, enjoyable arrangement that strengthens the album in whole.  When these arrangements are considered alongside those in the rest of the album, it becomes clearer why the production and mixing that went into each song is so important to the whole of this record.  When this aspect of Shapeshifting is considered along with the album’s songs and their sequencing, the whole of all three elements makes the LP another impressive offering from Satriani and company, and one of the year’s best rock records.  It is potentially one of the year’s best records overall.

Joe Satriani’s latest full-length studio recording Shapeshifting continues his trend of success – and that of his fellow musicians.  That is because the record’s arrangements constantly do in fact shapeshift from one song to the next.  The musical styles never stay the same throughout the album.  The sequencing of that constantly varying musical styles adds even more to the ensured engagement and enjoyment.  The production and mixing that went into each arrangement puts the finishing touch to the whole of the album.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Shapeshifting another welcome offering from Satriani and company, and a work that is one of the year’s top new rock records and potentially one of the year’s top new albums.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Satriani’s tour dates in support of Shapeshifting is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.satriani.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/chickenfootjoe

 

 

 

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

Satriani Announces New Live Dates; To Release New Album This Spring

Photo Credit: Joseph Cultice

Joe Satriani is opening the new year with a bang.

The virtuoso guitarist was inducted Wednesday into the Metal Hall of Fame. He announced the same day, he will release his new album Shapeshifting this spring, and will launch a tour in support of the album on April 15.

Shapeshifting will be Satriani’s 18th full-length solo album.  The album’s release date will be announced soon.

The Shapeshifting tour is scheduled to launch April 15 in Mainz, Germany and to run through June 11 in Barcelona, Spain.  It will feature performances in cities, such as Paris, France; Vienna, Austria and Glasgow, UK.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

 

JOE SATRIANI – “THE SHAPESHIFTING TOUR 2020”

DATE                                       CITY, COUNTRY                                  VENUE
4/15/20                       Mainz, Germany                     Halle 45
4/16/20                       Zurich, Switzerland                 Volkshaus Zurich
4/18/20                       Karlsruhe, Germany                Tollhaus
4/19/20                       Berlin, Germany                      Huxleys
4/20/20                       Oberhausen, Germany           Turbinenhalle
4/21/20                       Amsterdam, Netherlands        Melkweg the Max
4/23/20                       Borgerhout, Antwerp               De Roma
4/24/20                       Enschede, Netherlands          Muziekcentrum Enschede
4/25/20                       Winterbach, Germany            Salierhalle
4/27/20                       Aarhus, Denmark                    Train
4/28/20                       Odense, Denmark                   Posten
4/29/20                       Copenhagen, Denmark           Amager Bio
4/30/20                       Stockholm, Sweden                Fryshuset Arenan
5/2/20                         Oslo, Norway                          Rockefeller Music Hall
5/5/20                         Warsaw, Poland                      Stodola Club
5/6/20                         Prague, Czech                         Prague Congress Centre
5/7/20                         Vienna, Austria                       Vienner Stadthalle F
5/8/20                         Budapest, Hungary                 Barba Negra Track
5/10/20                       Bologna, Italy                          Teatro Europauditorium
5/12/20                       Firenze, Italy                           Teatro Verdi
5/14/20                       Napoli, Italy                             Teatro Augusteo
5/15/20                       Lecce, Italy                              Teatro Politeama Greco
5/16/20                       Roma, Italy                              Auditorium Conciliazione
5/18/20                       Milano, Italy                            Teatro Dal Verme
5/19/20                       Nurnberg, Germany                Löwensaal
5/20/20                       Heerlen, Netherlands              RABOzaal Heerlen
5/22/20                       Bexhill, UK                               Bexhill De La Warr
5/23/20                       Glasgow, UK                           O2 Academy Glasgow
5/24/20                       Gateshead, UK                       Gateshead Sage 1
5/25/20                       Manchester, UK                      Bridgewater Hall
5/26/20                       London, UK                             Palladium
5/28/20                       Birmingham, UK                     Birmingham Symphony Hall
5/30/20                       Gerardmer, France                 Gerardmer Motordays Festival
5/31/20                       Strasbourg, France                 La Laiterie
6/2/20                         Paris, France                           L’Olympia
6/4/20                         Nantes, France                        Cite des Congres
6/5/20                         Saint-Malo, France                  La Nouvelle Vague
6/6/20                         Clermont-Ferrand, France       La Cooperative de Mai
6/7/20                         Lyon, France                            Le Transbordeur
6/9/20                         Valencia, Spain                        Auditorio Casa de Cultura Burjassot
6/10/20                       Madrid, Spain                          Sala La Riviera
6/11/20                       Barcelona, Spain                     Sala Barts

More dates TBA shortly…

 

In other news, Joe Satriani’s landmark album Surfing With The Alien recently received the reissue treatment.  The reissue was part of Record Store Day in November, and featured a second disc that itself featured the iconic album without any of its guitar solos (I.E. edited takes of each song).

Also recently released to streaming is the collection Additional Creations and Bonus Tracks.  The 16-song compilation features alternate takes of four songs from his album Engines of Creation as well as 12 other rarities.

More information on Joe Satriani’s forthcoming album and tour is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.satriani.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/chickenfootjoe

 

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

 

Phil Campbell Debuts ‘Straight Up’ Lyric Video; New LP Available Now

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell released his latest album Friday, and in celebration, also released the lyric video for the album’s latest single.

Campbell debuted the single for his new single ‘Straight Up‘ Friday.  The song, featured on his new album Old Lions Still Roar, features vocals by legendary Judas Priest front man Rob Halford alongside Campbell’s solid, driving guitar work.  The video presents the song’s lyrics, which seem to make a statement of wanting a person to just be honest with another person, are presented on a large weaponized machine.

Campbell discussed bringing Halford on-board for the song in a recent interview, offering high praise for him in the process.

“‘The Metal’ God Rob Halford has always been an artist I admire,” he said.  “His distinctive vocals and stage presence have rocked millions of fans all over the world, so I count myself blessed to have written a rockin’ song together with him.”

‘Straight Up’ is just the latest song that Old Lions Still Roar has spawned.  Most recently, Campbell debuted the video for ‘These Old Boots‘ — which features guest appearances by Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Mick Mars (Motley Crue) and Chris Fehn (ex-Slipknot) — ‘Swing It [ft. Alice Cooper]‘ led the way for the album.

Campbell also released a series of in-studio discussions on topics, such as the album’s mixing, how the album came together and the matter of the album’s singles.  The links to those discussions is noted below.

Trailer #1 – About “These Old Boots”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w7LAwBkz2Q
Trailer #2 – How The Album Came Together: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1oILmXbHbM
Trailer #3 – Mixing The Album: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F8aiYu6olU
Trailer #4 – About “Swing It”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GufCt1L0_0A

Old Lions Still Roar is available now.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

Old Lions Still Roar tracklist
01. Rocking Chair feat. Leon Stanford
02. Straight Up feat. Rob Halford
03. Faith In Fire feat. Ben Ward
04. Swing It feat. Alice Cooper
05. Left For Dead feat. Nev MacDonald
06. Walk The Talk feat. Danko Jones & Nick Oliveri
07. These Old Boots feat. Dee Snider
08. Dancing Dogs (Love Survives) feat. Whitfield Crane
09. Dead Roses feat. Benji Webbe
10. Tears From A Glass Eye feat. Joe Satriani

Campbell is in the midst of a tour in support of his new album along with his band mates “The Bastard Sons.”  The group’s tour schedule is noted below.

PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS live:

»Old Lions Still Tour«
w/ KING CREATURE

29.10. UK Stoke – The Sugarmill
30.10. UK Glasgow – Classic Grand
01.11. UK Manchester – Rebellion *SOLD OUT*
02.11. UK London – The Dome
03.11. UK Norwich – Epic Studios
04.11. UK Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
06.11. UK Southampton – Engine Rooms
07.11. UK Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill
08.11. UK Exeter – Phoenix
09.11. UK Cardiff – Tramshed

w/ LEADER OF DOWN
29.11. D Cologne – Gebäude 9
30.11. D Hamburg – Logo *SOLD OUT*
01.12. D Berlin – Bi Nuu
02.12. D Nuremberg – Hirsch
04.12. D Dresden – Beatpol
05.12. D Munich – Backstage (Halle)
06.12. D Frankfurt – Das Bett
07.12. D Oberhausen – Nikolaut Winterfestival*
*PCATBS only

2020:
29. – 31.05. D  Gelsenkirchen – Rock Hard Festival (MOTÖRHEAD Set)
29. – 31.05. UK Lincolnshire – Call Of The Wild
02./03.10. D Geiselwind – Monster Festival

More information on Old Lions Still Roar is available online now along with all of Campbell and company’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.philcampbell.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MotorheadPhil

 

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.

Zakk Wylde Added To 2019 Experience Hendrix Tour Lineup

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, LLC

The annual experience Hendrix tour added another big name to its lineup this week.

Concert organizers announced this week that Zakk Wylde has joined this year’s nationwide celebration of Jimi Hendrix.  The announcement was made in a news release sent Friday from Experience Hendrix LLC.

Wylde will join artists, such as Joe Satriani (who has previously taken part in the annual tour), blues legend Taj Mahal and Megadeth front man Dave Mustaine for this year’s tour.  This is not the first time that Wylde has taken part in the Experience Hendrix tour, having first taken part in the tour in 2014.  He has appeared on the tour many times since then.

Wylde talked about joining the tour again in a recent interview.

“Hendrix, you can pick out a mile away,” Wylde said.  “His sound, his execution — he was about as unique as it gets.  I’m a fan of all the guys on the tour.  I’m just excited to get out there and hang around the whole thing.  Just watching them play and jammin’ with them.”

This year’s Experience Hendrix tour is scheduled to start on March 3 in Pompano Beach, FL and to run through Apr. 6 in Wallingford, CT.  The tour features performances in cities, such as Raleigh, NC; Washington, D.C. and Albany, NY.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

2019 Experience Hendrix Tour 

Mar 3                      Pompano Beach, FL – Pompano Beach Amphitheater*

Mar 4                      Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall*

Mar 5                      Melbourne, FL – King Center for the Performing Arts*

Mar 6                      Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre

Mar 8                      North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center

Mar 9                      Atlanta, GA – The Fox Theatre-Atlanta*

Mar 10                    Nashville, TN – Schermerhorn Symphony Center*

Mar 11                    Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Center*

Mar 12                    Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theater*

Mar 14                    Raleigh, NC – Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts*

Mar 15                    Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium*

Mar 16                    Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre*

Mar 17                    Cincinnati, OH – The Taft Theatre*

Mar 19                    Louisville, KY – Louisville Palace Theatre*

Mar 20                    Madison, WI – Overture Center for the Arts*

Mar 21                    Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater*

Mar 22                    Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre*

Mar 23                    Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre*

Mar 24                    Charleston, WV – The Clay Center

Mar 26                    Washington, DC – Warner Theatre

Mar 27                    Bensalem, PA – Xcite Center at Parx Casino

Mar 28                    Westbury, NY – Theatre At Westbury

Mar 29                    Newark, NJ – New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Mar 30                    Niagara Falls, NY – Seneca Niagara Casino

Apr 1                       Syracuse, NY – Landmark Theatre for the Performing Arts

Apr 2                       Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Center for the Arts

Apr 3                       Albany, NY – Palace Theatre

Apr 4                       Lowell, MA – Lowell Memorial Auditorium

Apr 5                       New Bedford, MA – Zeiterion Performing Arts Center

Apr 6                       Wallingford, CT – Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre

*dates with Zakk Wylde

More information on this year’s Experience Hendrix tour is available online now along with all of the tour’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.experiencehendrixtour.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jimihendrix

 

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.

Gibbons’ New Solo LP Is 2018’s “Baddest” Rock Album

Courtesy: Concord Records

This year was a very productive span for the rock realm.  New offerings from well-known acts, such as Joe Satriani, Billy Gibbons and Stone Temple Pilots were joined by some enjoyable offerings from some lesser-known acts, such as The Magpie Salute, The Marcus King Band and Black Coffee to make for quite the selection of new offerings.

Simply put, the mainstream and the independent offerings turned out this year gave audiences plenty to appreciate. Many of those offerings made their way into Phil’s Picks list of the year’s top new rock albums, including and not limited to the offerings from the acts already noted here.

Topping off this critic’s list this year is Billy Gibbons’ new album The Big Bad Blues.  The ZZ Top star’s latest solo offering features some impressive covers of classic blues and blues rock tunes, while also offering some equally entertaining originals to round out the record’s body.  The whole is a record that is a solid listen from start to finish.

Taking second spot in this year’s list of the year’s top new rock albums is legendary guitarist Joe Satriani’s latest offering What Happens Next.  The full-on instrumental offering is everything that fans have come to expect from Satch, with touches of his past and present.

Third spot in this year’s list goes to Slash, Alter bridge front man Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.  The group’s new offering Living The Dream is a well-produced and engineered album with plenty of radio ready singles that go a long way toward displaying the group’s collective talents.  The lyrical themes are just as easily accessible as the record’s arrangements.  While not a perfect record, it is still enjoyable in its own right.

The remainder of this year’s list is noted below.  Also featured in this year’s list are new efforts from Black Coffee, Pop Evil and P.O.D.  As always, the list’s top 10 titles are the best while the five that follow are all honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Billy Gibbons — The Big Bad Blues
  2. Joe Satriani — What Happens Next
  3. Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators — Living The Dream
  4. Clutch — The Book of Bad Ideas
  5. Michael Schenker Fest — Resurrection
  6. Black Coffee — Take One
  7. Black Stone Cherry — Family Tree
  8. Pompeii — The Secret Sessions
  9. P.O.D. — Circles
  10. The Marcus King Band — Carolina Confessions
  11. The Zealots — Only Rocks Live Forever
  12. Roine Stolt’s Flower King — Manifesto of an Alchemist
  13. The Magpie Salute — Highwater I
  14. Royal Tusk — Tusk II
  15. Stone Temple Pilots — Stone Temple Pilots

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Satriani Leaves Listeners Asking “What Happens Next?” In The Best Way With His New LP

Courtesy Epic Records

Guitar great Joe Satriani has done seemingly everything that can be done by an artist of his caliber and experience. He has built quite the successful solo career. He has served as a member of the famed rock band Deep Purple and as the rock super group Chicken Foot as well as so much more. Considering how much Satriani has done and how much success he has had throughout the course of his decades-long career, one is left asking after each of his releases, “what happens next?” Thus we get the title of his latest album, What Happens Next. Released Jan. 12 via Epic Records, this 16th full-length studio recording from the virtuoso guitarist is everything that audiences have come to expect from Satriani. That is due to the continued growth exhibited throughout the album’s 51-minute run time. That growth is exhibited both in the songs that throw back to Satriani’s established albums and to those that show his continued abilities. That growth is just one part of what makes this album stand out Its sequencing plays its own important part in the album’s overall presentation, too. This element will be discussed later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. When it is set alongside the record’s sequencing and clear growth exhibited within the songs’ arrangements, the whole of the elements noted here makes this record a work that will leave listeners asking once again, “What happens next?” in the very best way.

Joe Satriani’s latest full-length studio recording What Happens Next is easily one of this year’s top new rock records. The 12-song record shows yet again over the course of its 51-minute run time why Satriani remains today one of rock’s elite musicians. This is due to the continued growth exhibited throughout the course of the album’s run. Right from the outset, fans familiar with Satriani’s body of work are transported to his 2004 album Is There Love In Space? in ‘Energy.’ the aptly titled song is a straight-forward, up-tempo piece that harkens back to ‘Hands In The Air,’ the third of the album’s offerings. What’s really interesting to note here is that while the songs bear a stylistic similarity in their sounds and energies, it’s obvious that Satriani didn’t just rehash that earlier song. This completely contradicts the statements of so many who have claimed that this album is more of the same from Satriani. One could argue that the album’s second song, ‘Catbot’ also throws back to some of his older works, too. Even with that comparison possible, one has to admit that the song’s arrangement, with its fuzz effect on the guitar bears more similarity to recent works from Royal Blood than anything that Satriani has composed before. The album’s third song, ‘Thunder High on the Mountain’ presents a run that would make Zakk Wylde and Tom Morello proud. It’s the kind of run that Satriani has not composed before, but instantly conjures thoughts of his aforementioned counterparts. Again, it shows that continued growth that has been mentioned so many times already. That display of growth doesn’t end here, either. Rather it continues on throughout the rest of the album. ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ with its contrasting “A” and “B” sections also takes listeners back in time, conjuring thoughts of perhaps works from Satriani’s 1998 album Crystal Planet while also changing things up considerably. The changes come in the form of the string arrangements in the “A” sections and the more reserved guitar line in the “B” section. The song gets even more lively in its bridge, with Satriani just letting go. ‘Headrush,’ with its uptemp guitar lick instantly conjures thoughts of ‘Satch Boogie,’ from Satriani’s 1987 album Surfing With The Alien. Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes’ walking bass line in this song adds a nice bluesy touch that helps in its own way the growth, as does Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith with his polyrhythmic patterns. It’s yet another way in which this record reaches back in time while also looking clearly forward. As if that wasn’t example enough, ‘Super Funky Badass’ reaches back to Satriani’s ’06 record Super Colossal thanks to its arrangement. Yet again though, as much as it bears similarities to songs from that record, it also establishes its own identity, thanks again to its arrangement. There is some material here that is slightly more intense than the music on Super Colossal. That contrast and comparison once more proves that this record is in fact not just more of the same from Satriani. It shows that while yes, there are some similarities between songs here and his established works, there is just as much new to appreciate from start to finish. Much the same could be argued of every one of the other songs not noted here. That being the case, when those songs are joined with the works directly discussed here, the arrangements featured here form a solid foundation for the record’s presentation. They are not the album’s only important collective element either. Its sequencing is important to discuss, too.

The sequencing at the heart of What Happens Next is important to its whole because of the general effect that it creates through the song’s energies. The album starts off rather upbeat, as has already been noted. Even with the momentary reservation in energy in ‘Thunder High on The Mountain,’ that decline is only momentary. The same can be said of the energy in the album’s fourth track, ‘Cherry Blossoms.’ The song’s energy feels slightly reserved at times, but even in that reservation, it doesn’t necessarily slow down per se. It’s something that must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated. It’s just a nice solid balanced up and down of energies within the very context of the one song. That balance is just as evident in ‘Righteous.’ As the album enters its midpoint in ‘Smooth Soul,’ the album does markedly slow down, but it’s in a good way. That pullback gives listeners just enough time to breath before Satriani launches into the much more up-tempo ‘Headrush,’ which again is another throwback composition that shows a certain growth from the professor. The album’s energies vary even more as the album makes its way through its second half from contemplative to playful to gentle and reserved to close things out. Simply put, from one song to the next, the album’s energies remain stable without fault. That being the case, it shows plenty of thought was put into the album’s sequencing, proving once and for all why the album’s sequencing is so important to the album’s whole. It is not the last of the album’s important elements, either. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production at the center of What Happens Next is important to discuss because of the general effect that it has on the album’s overall presentation. Just as the album’s energy is balanced from start to finish in this record, ensuring listeners’ maintained engagement, so are each of the trio’s parts in each song. Satriani, Hughes and Smith each shine throughout the record thanks to producer Mike Fraser’s work. This should come as no surprise considering that Fraser has worked with Satriani for so many years. The pair’s friendship and understanding of one another comes across clearly throughout this record as not only Satch gets plenty of time, but he also gladly gives up the spotlight so many times in favor of teamwork from his fellow musicians. Because each member of the group gets his own time to shine (and plenty of it at that), the end result is a record that sounds great and new from beginning to end even with its comparisons to its predecessors. When this is considered alongside the expertly balanced energies exhibited throughout the record’s sequencing and the impressive and enjoyable arrangements at the heart of each song, the whole of those elements shows without doubt why this record will indeed leave listeners asking “What happens next?” in the best way possible.

Joe Satriani’s 16th full-length studio recording What Happens Next is, while maybe not one of his landmark offerings, still an enjoyable record that is certain to leave listeners asking “What happens next?” in the best possible way. That statement is proven in part through 12 musical arrangements that take listeners through Satriani’s past, present and even future. The sequencing of those songs strengthens the record even more thanks to the balance of energy from one song to the next. The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation. Each element is important in its own right, as has been pointed out. All things considered, this record is another impressive and enjoyable offering from one of the true masters. It is a work that once more will leave listeners asking “what happens next?” in all of the best ways possible. More information on What Happens Next is available online now along with all of Satriani’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.satriani.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/chickenfootjoe

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Audiences Will Enjoy John 5’s New LP In Every “Season”

Courtesy: 60 cycle hum records

Early this past March, guitarist John 5 released his new solo recording Season of the Witch.  The famed guitarist’s now ninth overall solo instrumental recording, Season of the Witch proves from start to finish that it belongs on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums.  That is due in part to the album’s songs.  This will be discussed shortly.  The arrangements at the center of each song are just as important to note as the songs themselves in examining the album’s overall presentation.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Season of the Witch proves to be a record that rock fans will enjoy in every season.

John 5’s latest solo instrumental record Season of the Witch is a record that rock fans will enjoy in every season.  That is due in part to the songs that are featured in this recording.  While the guitarist, whose real name is John William Lowery, is known largely for his work with the likes of Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and David Lee Roth, this record displays his versatility as a musician once again.  Lowery reaches liberally into the rock realm throughout the course of the record’s 13-song, 39-minute run time.  But it is not the only realm into which he reaches as is proven in the likes of ‘Behind The Nut Love,’ ‘Hell Haw’ and ‘Ode To Jasper.’  The first of the group is a country-western style song while the second is a fun, up-tempo bluegrass/rockabilly style work that even incorporates a touch of jazz at the same time.  ‘Ode to Jasper’ is a beautifully tragic work that will tug at any listener’s heart strings even while it clocks in at not even two minutes.  Getting back on the matter of the album’s rich rock reachings, listeners will be impressed at the amount of ground Lowery covers in that realm.  From the industrial leanings of the album’s title track/closer to the almost Joe Satriani/Living Colour-esque sound of ‘Now Fear This’ to the prog-rock sound of ‘Here’s To The Crazy Ones’ and beyond, this record displays great diverse talent from Lowery and his fellow musicians.  That diversity forms a solid foundation for this new offering from the famed guitarist.  The arrangements at the center of the songs build onto that foundation, strengthening it even more.

The arrangements at the center of the record’s featured songs are so important to note in examining the album’s presentation because they exhibit just as much diversity as the songs themselves.  Yes, there is a lot of high-velocity guitar playing throughout the record.  However, Lowery also proves that he can play just as expertly in more contemplative moments as he can in wilder moments.  That is proven throughout the record as he goes from full-on riffs to other elements and back time and again.  ‘Guitars, T**s, and Monsters’ is one of the songs that supports this statement.  This song mixes Jimi Hendrix-esque riffs with a touch of Eddie Van Halen fluidly for a song that clearly exhibits his (and his band mates’) ability to handle such quick shifts in style.  The whole thing winds down with a rather reserved arrangement that gently places listeners, albeit breathless, on another musical shore.  ‘Hell Haw’ is another example of  the diversity presented in the songs’s arrangements.  This song takes the classic jazz tune ‘Who Could Ask For Anything More’ and crosses it with a touch of rockabilly and bluegrass, clearly showing Lowery’s ability to handle all three genres in one whole. The same can be said of his fellow musicians.  It is, in fact, one of the moments that allows them to really put their talents on display.  Very much the same can be said of the simplistic arrangement in ‘Ode To Jasper.’  This song’s arrangement only calls for a small handful of notes to be played throughout.  Yet even with so few notes being played by any of the band members, the gentility in those notes and their gentle flowing nature creates a massive emotional impact.  Considering this it is one more arrangement that proves the arrangements in the album’s featured songs are collectively just as diverse as the songs themselves.  Keeping that in mind, that diversity—which is shown just as much through the album’s other arrangements not noted here—proves to be just as important to this record’s presentation as its songs.  It is not the last of the record’s most important elements either.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The diversity in SOTW’s songs and their arrangements are both key pieces of the record’s whole.  Each element ensures in its own way listeners’ engagement. They are not the record’s only important elements.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  The record opens and closes with a nod to Lowery’s industrial roots.  In between, Lowery and company take listeners on quite the musical ride.  The transition from ‘Black Grass Plague’ and ‘Guitars, T***, and Monsters’ eventually makes way for the more controlled riffs of ‘Now Fear This’ before the band really pulls back in the country-western ‘Behind The Nut Love.’  From there, the energy picks back up shortly in ‘Making Monsters’ and ‘Here’s To The Crazy Ones’ before pulling back again in ‘The Macabre,’ which despite its name, sounds anything but macabre.  If anything the harmonics incorporated into the mid-tempo ballad style song makes for an interesting emotional impact.  The record’s energy rises again from there before reaching that already noted deeply emotional ballad that is ‘Ode To Jasper.’  The final powerful punch of the record’s title song makes for the ideal ending to the album.  When it is considered along with the rest of the record’s crests and troughs, the whole picture is one is even more certain to keep listeners engaged.  When this consideration is joined with the notes on the record’s songs and their arrangements, it becomes clear that much time and thought was put into crafting this album.  That time and thought resulted in a record that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

John 5’s new instrumental solo record Season of the Witch is a work that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  That is evidenced through the diversity in the record’s songs and their arrangements.  The record’s sequencing provides its own share of diversity, too.  That diversity across the board makes this record one that is certain to entertain not just rock loyalists but music lovers in whole.  It shows that this record deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records and potentially the year’s top new albums overall.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Season of the Witch is available online now along with all of John 5’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.john-5.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/john5official

Twitter: http://twitter.com/john5guitarist

 

 

 

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Red Reign’s New EP Will Appeal To Classic Rock Fans Of All Ages

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Early last December, Red Reign released its latest studio recording, a five-song self-titled EP.  The self-released record is a work that will appeal to any fan of the songs that made up rock’s mainstream during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  This applies both in regards to the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  The record’s opener ‘Not That Way’ solidly serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains,’ the record’s third entry, is another of its songs which supports that statement.  It will be discussed later.  The same can be said of the record’s title track.  Each song is important in its own right in showing why fans of rock from that bridge between the 1980s and 90s will enjoy this record.  The other two songs not noted here are just as important in their own right, too.  All things considered, Red Reign proves to be a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate. That is the case even with Red Reign being a more modern act.

Red Reign’s new self-titled, five-song EP is a work that any “classic rock” fan will appreciate.  That is exhibited in no small part through the record’s opener ‘Not That Way.’  The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement takes listeners back to rock’s early 90s era, conjuring thoughts of Queensryche, Joe Satriani, Van Halen and other similar acts.  Drummer Sam Bendheim’s time keeping on the song provides the song even more depth as he keeps the song moving solidly forward.  Front man and guitarist Carlton McMichael even conjures thoughts of former Queensryche front man Geoff Tate through his vocal delivery.  The song’s musical arrangement is clearly an important part of its whole, but is just one key part of that presentation.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content comes across as an anti-break-up song of sorts.  That is especially inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s chorus, “How things have changed/But it’s not the same/No it’s not that way/You had your chance/And you let it slip away.”  If there was any doubt left about the song’s upbeat message, the song’s second verse alleviates that doubt almost instantly as McMichael sings, “All these years have passed/And I’ve found somebody new/I never ever, ever think of you/Then you come around/Cause you thought you could/But I broke those chains so long ago/And it feels so good.”  The song’s subject goes on to sing in the verse’s back end about being heartbroken long ago and having moved on.  It is a rare message sent in songs centered on relationship break-ups.  Keeping that in mind, that positive, upbeat message does plenty to make ‘Not That Way’ stand out.  When it is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the two elements show clearly in themselves why Red Reign will appeal to “classic rock” fans.  It is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains’ serves as just as much of an example of why classic rock fans will appreciate the record.

‘Not That Way’ is a clear example of what makes Red Reign’s new self-titled EP a work that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the song’s upbeat and uplifting lyrics and its equally positive musical arrangement.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show why this record will appeal to the already noted audience.  ‘Chains’ is another example of why that audience will enjoy this new offering from the Richmond, Virginia-based rock act.  Its musical arrangement sits at the base of its notoriety.  As with the record’s opener, there is an obvious influence from Queensryche in this song’s arrangement.  That is obvious right from the song’s outset through Larry Moore’s bass line and McMichael’s bombastic guitar line.  The combination of those elements and Bendheim’s work behind the drum kit conjures thoughts of something from Queensryche circa 1986 (Rage For Order’s release year).  While the song’s musical arrangement shows a direct influence from Queensryche, its lyrical content is different yet still just as thought-provoking as the lyrical themes presented in RFO.

Whereas Red Reign’s opener was an upbeat anti-breakup song, this piece is much deeper with what seems like introspective commentary centered on someone’s efforts to move forward in life and forget the past.  That is inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s lead verse, “Black and pouring rain/I’m running through these streets where no one knows my name/Free/I won’t look back/On all these things that kept me fear/For all these years/I’m gonna break these chains/I’ll break these chains/I’ll breathe again/I’ll breathe again.”  The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion as the song’s subject sings about overcoming certain difficult situations.  Considering this and the power in the song’s musical arrangement, one can’t help but imagine the song is meant to convey a message of overcoming and moving on in life.  That is of course only this critic’s own interpretation of the song and should not necessarily be taken as gospel.  It would be interesting to learn the exact message delivered in the song.  One can only hope the message interpreted here is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Regardless, the power in the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content combines to show in whole why it, too plays such an important part in Red Reign’s enjoyment by its target audiences.  It still is not the last song that serves to show why classic rock fans will appreciate this modern rock act’s new EP.  The record’s title track is one more example of what makes this record an effort that will appeal to fans of rock’s biggest age.

‘Not That Way’ and ‘Chains’ are both key compositions showing what makes Red Reign a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due to musical arrangements that harken back to the late 1980s and early 90s and lyrical themes that will both uplift and leave listeners thinking.  They are not its only key compositions.  The record’s title track proves to be just as important to its presentation as the previously discussed songs.  As with those songs, the discussion here begins with the song’s musical arrangement.  This time out, the song’s musical arrangement is more directly related to music from the early 90s. It hints at influences from Stone Temple Pilots, Brother Cane, and other slightly harder-edged bands from that era.  One could even argue that there is a hint of Van Halen circa 1994 (Balance) in this song’s arrangement thanks to its heavy guitar riffs, bass line and equally heavy vocal delivery from McMichael.  That overall arrangement is just one part of what makes this song stand out.  Its lyrical content will leave listeners thinking just as much as that presented in ‘Chains.’

The lyrical content presented in ‘Red Reign’ will leave listeners thinking (and talking) because of McMichael’s metaphorical language used throughout the song. He sings in the song’s lead verse, “Like a flash of lightning/I burn throughout the sky/Out of the way, I’m running high/I feel the evil coursing through my body and veins/Are you ready to rock this place/Lower the bridge I’m coming through/Red reign down on you.”  One can’t help but wonder what exactly McMichael is saying here.  The song’s second verse is just as intriguing as McMichael sings, “In this house of pain the storm looms large and black/My sanity is off the tracks/You know I’ve got no more home…I’ve come from grace and I can’t go back/Lower the bridge I’m coming through.”  McMichael definitely leaves listeners guessing at his message here.  It would definitely be interesting to learn that message and the story behind the song considering that uncertainty.  The very fact that the song’s lyrical content can generate just as much discussion as its musical content shows why this song is so important to Red Reign’s overall presentation.  When this is all set alongside the musical and lyrical content presented in the previously noted songs the picture painted through the songs is one of a record that, again, any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is even though the band is a more modern rock act.

Red Reign’s recently released self-titled EP is a work that classic rock fans of any age will appreciate.  It shows with its arrangements–which bridge the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s—and its thoughtful lyrical themes that a lot of time and effort was put into its creation.  That time and effort, audiences will agree, paid off.  It resulted in a record that takes audiences back to a specific era without simply being a carbon copy of songs from that era.  The end result is a record that modern record that classic rock fans will appreciate as much as any original classic rock record.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Red Reign is available online now along with all of Red Reign’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.redreignband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/redreignband

 

 

 

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.