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

Courtesy: earMusic

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

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

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

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

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

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

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

Courtesy: Spartan Records

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

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

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

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

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

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KXM’s Sophomore Album Is A Focused New Effort

Courtesy: Rat Pak Records

This past March, rock outfit KXM released its sophomore album Scatterbrain to the masses.  The album is a solid new effort from the “super group,” which is composed of Ray Luzier (Korn) on drums, George Lynch (Lynch Mob) on guitar and dUg Pinnick (King’s X) on bass and vocals. That is evident early on in the album’s prog-metal infused title track and opener.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Calypso,’ which comes just a little ways into the record’s sequence, is another example of what makes Scatterbrain a solid new effort from KXM.  It will be discussed later.  ‘It’s Never Enough’ is yet another example of what makes this record so enjoyable and is hardly the last of the songs that could be cited in a discussion of what makes this record so impressive.  The ten songs not noted here could each be cited in their own right to support the aforementioned statement.  That applies both to the songs’ musical and lyrical content.  Keeping that in mind, the musical and lyrical content exhibited in Scatterbrain makes this record from start to finish a work that shows clear focus.  That focus, in turn, makes this record yet another record deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

KXM’s sophomore LP Scatterbrain is a record that displays great focus both musically and lyrically from start to finish.  The result of that focus is a record that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  Those statements are supported right off the top in the album’s title track and opener in part through the song’s musical arrangement.   The arrangement easily lends itself to comparisons to songs from Pinnick’s main band, King’s X as well as to Platypus and Liquid Tension Experiment.  That is not a bad thing, either.  That is because such comparisons form a solid foundation for the song; a foundation on which the song’s lyrical content rests just as solidly.

The lyrical content presented in Scatterbrain’s lead/title track is its own important part to this song because of its seeming commentary contained therein.  There is a mention of “people trying to kill you…when they don’t have the right” in the song’s lead verse and an added mention of time and life fleeting in the second.  Meanwhile Pinnick reminds listeners in the song’s final minutes “don’t be afraid, don’t cry, don’t let them scare you.”  One has to assume here that he is referencing the people noted in the song’s lead verse; those who would otherwise do others harm in whatever form.  It plays into the song’s second verse, too with Pinnick perhaps making note of how short life is.  If that is indeed the case, then Pinnick singing about not letting people scare them, that second verse would seem to be Pinnick telling listeners to not let life pass them by worrying about those people in question.  This is of course only this critic’s own interpretation and certainly not the only interpretation.  Regardless of the song’s true meaning, the manner in which Pinnick delivers the song’s lyrical content–and the content itself—makes for plenty of interest and discussion.  When it is joined with the frantic energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song makes the song an impressive first impression for KXM in its second outing.  It also collectively makes ‘Scatterbrain’ just one clear example of what makes its namesake so impressive overall.  It is just one of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Noises in the Sky’ is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain so impressive.

‘Noises in The Sky’ is another clear example of what makes KXM’s new album so impressive first and foremost because of its musical arrangement.  The arrangement presented here is the polar opposite of that presented in the album’s title track.  It is more of a blues-based rock arrangement that regardless, still boasts its own heaviness.  In the same breath, that comparison to King’s X is just as undeniable as in the case of ‘Scatterbrain.’  The song’s lyrical content is just as heavy in its own right with even more seeming commentary.  The commentary is inferred as Pinnick sings in the song’s lead verse, “Have you heard the noises in the night/Is this a warning/Sounds like a trumpet blowing high/Is this a warning/Whatever it is, is far and near/Is this a warning.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The sun is bright/The flares are high/Is this a warning/Only for those whose ears can hear/Is this a warning/Something is happening/It just ain’t clear/Is this a warning.”  The instant thought that comes to mind in considering all of this is that the song is making a religious statement.  On another level though, maybe it could be a response to all of the doomsayers out there who like to preach so much about the end times.  No matter the meaning, it is certain to lead to some heavy discussion.  When that heavy discussion is joined with the heaviness in the song’s musical arrangement, the end result is a song that is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain such a solid, focused record.  It still is not the last song that can be cited in exhibiting what makes the album so impressive. ‘Angel,’ the album’s closer is one more prime example of what makes this record stand out.

‘Angel’ serves to make Scatterbrain stand out just as much as ‘Noises in the Sky’ and ‘Scatterbrain’ because it stands out both musically and lyrically from those songs just as much as they stand apart from one another and the rest of the album’s offerings.  Musically speaking, this song is not necessarily a ballad per se.  But in comparison to the record’s other arrangements it is comparably softer and gentler.  That softer, gentler approach works well with the song’s softer lyrical content, too, which seems to be a bit of a bittersweet message, making the song in whole a truly touching work. The seemingly bittersweet message is inferred as Pinnick sings in the song’s lead verse, “You’re not like the others/Who left me alone/You said the right things and I couldn’t breathe/I don’t want to give in/But the truth always wins.”  He goes on to sing in the second verse, “I don’t want to do this/But it’s all I can feel/In my heart as it heals/I’ve heard it’s been said/That three times is a charm/But four times/You’re just a fool/I asked an angel to watch over you/But it came back and asked me/Why/Because angels don’t watch over angels/I’m waiting on my angel.”  The juxtaposition of those verses comes across almost as a story of love lost.  Yet even in that seeming story of lost love, there is still some happiness, again making that bittersweet feeling.  Again, the combination of that deeply emotional story and the song’s equally touching musical arrangement makes this song its own outstanding work.  In the bigger picture, it is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain a solid, focused new effort from KXM.  When it is joined with the previously discussed songs and those not noted here, the end result is an album whose focus makes it enjoyable from start to finish and one more clear candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

KXM’s sophomore album Scatterbrain is a record that is anything but scattered.  From beginning to end, this album shows great focus both musically and lyrically.  From seeming commentaries to more personal works, the album offers plenty for everyone to appreciate.  That being the case, it proves itself to be an easy candidate to be one of this year’s top new rock records.  More information on Scatterbrain is available online now along with all of KXM’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.ratpakrecords.com/kxm

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

 

 

 

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