Orange Loop Rock Fest Details Announced

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Organizers of the Orange Loop Rock Festival announced details for the event Monday.

The three-day festival is scheduled to take place June 10-12 at the Showboat Festival Grounds in Atlantic City, NJ. Tickets and VIP passes are available now. Weekend general admission tickets are $144.99 plus fees and VIP passes are $449.99 plus fees.

Single day tickets for Friday, June 10 are $19.99 plus fees while tickets for June 11 and 12 $74.99 plus fees for each day. Children’s weekend general admission tickets are $54.99 plus fees. Tickets are also available in four-packs for $474.99 plus fees and in two-packs for $259.99 plus fees.

Approximately 17 bands are scheduled to perform at this year’s festival, including and not limited to John 5, Chevelle, and a trio of tribute band that take on classics from Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and Foreigner.

The festival’s full lineup is noted below.

Friday, June 10th

Foreigners Journey ft. Constantine Maroulis – Tribute to Foreigner & Journey

Ozzmosis – Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne

The Four Horsemen – Tribute to Metallica

Saturday, June 11th

Chevelle

TBA

Hinder

Stephen Pearcy – The Voice of Ratt

Great White

Slaughter

Doro

Sunday, June 12th

Stone Temple Pilots

Hoobastank

Puddle of Mudd

John 5

L.A. Guns

Treach of Naughty by Nature

Dangerous Toys

More information on the 2022 Orange Loop Rock Festival is available along with all of its latest news at:

Website: https://www.orangelooprockfest.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orangelooprockfest

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Guitar Rock Aficionados Will Enjoy The Latest LP From Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

Former L.A. Guns front man Jizzy Pearl (a.k.a. James Wilkinson) released his latest record with his Love/Hate project Friday, in the form of Hell, CA.  The record came five years after the release of the group’s then latest album, Before the Blackout, and less than four years after the release of Wilkinson’s then latest solo album, All You Need Is Soul.  The 10-song record will appeal to Wilkinson’s established audiences as well as more casual fans of the rock sounds of the 80s.  That is due in part to the album’s featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The arrangements’ companion lyrical themes play their own part in the record’s appeal among the noted audiences and will be examined a little later.  The record’s production rounds out the most important of its elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album a mostly successful entry in this year’s field of new rock albums.

Hell, Ca, the latest album from Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate, is a mostly successful new offering from the group.  It is a presentation that will appeal just as much to Wilkinson’s established audiences as it will to more casual 80s rock fans.  That is due in part to its featured arrangements.  From beginning to end, the record’s arrangements are pure guitar rock taken right from the late 80s and early 90s.  The bombastic solos are there as are the equally familiar bluesy riffs and distinct, sharp vocal styles made so famous during the era.  It is that short yet so hitting style of delivery that audiences came to expect from the likes of Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Bret Michaels (Poison), Axle Rose (Guns N’ Roses), to provide a reference point.  The rich sound of the bass and drums thanks to the production adds even more to that sense.  Interestingly enough, one could even make the most subtle comparison to works from Led Zeppelin at points, going even farther back in time.  Even in the record’s lone ballad (of sorts), ‘Last Chance,’ audiences get that familiar 80s/90s rock sound and approach.  Thankfully in the case of this song, the over the top schmaltzy approach of those old school power ballads is replaced here by a more balanced approach of rock and introspection.  Simply put, the record’s musical content offers audiences the best of the rock sounds of the late 80s and early 90s with none of the over-the-top excess of those sounds in each arrangement.  It is just part of what makes the album engaging and entertaining.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content adds to its success.

The lyrical themes featured throughout Hell, CA are important to the record’s presentation because they are just as accessible as the album’s musical content.  Much of the record’s lyrical content centers on the fairer sex.  ‘Acid Babe’ and ‘Soul Mama’ for instance are clearly about a woman.  In the case of ‘Acid Babe’ it would seem that the woman of whom Wilkinson sings is one who is not good for the song’s subject.  In the case of ‘Soul Mama’ meanwhile, the matter is the exact opposite.  This is about a woman who drives the song’s subject crazy in a different way.  ‘Wanna Be Somebody,’ on yet another note, is also about a woman, but in yet another way.  In the case here, the song’s subject is essentially indicting that woman for the lengths to which she will go to make a name for herself and…well…be somebody. Even in ‘Gonna Take You Higher,’ listeners get a song with some swagger in which the clearly male subject is trying to win over the woman with his confidence.  The only song in this record that seems to not be about a woman is ‘Hard To Say Goodbye.’  In the case of this song, it seems to center on the song’s subject reminiscing about a friend or loved one who has passed.  Considering this and everything else featured in the record’s lyrical content, the whole of said content makes the overall lyrical content just as engaging for the noted audiences as the record’s musical arrangements.

While the musical and lyrical content featured in Hell, CA ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment, each in its own way, that overall content is just part of what makes the album work.  The record’s production rounds out the most important of its elements.  The record’s production is important to note because of its role in the album’s general effect.  Each song is so energetic and fiery.  Keeping that in mind, it would have been so easy for the arrangements to get bogged down in themselves.  Thankfully that did not happen.  The instrumentations and vocals (as well as other minute items) are relatively well-balanced throughout the record.  The result is that each line compliments its counterparts and in turn ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment in its own right, too.  When this is considered along with the appeal that the record’s musical and lyrical content generates for the noted audiences, those listeners will find the record overall worth hearing at least once.

Hell, CA, the latest album from Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate, is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new rock albums.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements present the best of the rock sounds of the late 80s and early 90s without all the excess of those works at the same time.  The album’s lyrical themes are relatively accessible what with their familiar content.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, ensuring each arrangement presents the best possible general effect.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Hell, CA a rock record that is worth hearing at least once.

Hell, CA is available now through Golden Robot Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Jizzy Pearl’s latest news at:

Website: https://jizzypearl.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jizzypearlofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jizzypearl13

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.  

Up-And-Coming Acts, Veteran Bands Alike Made 2021 Another Great Year For Rock

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

The rock community turned out a whole bunch of great new content in 2021.  From established acts to the up-and-comers, to the veterans, acts from across the rock community gave audiences plenty of reason to be happy this year.  Now with only 21 days left in the year, that flow of new releases has slowed, though there is already lots of rock to look forward to in 2022, beginning early in the year.  Until then though, Phil’s Picks has its annual list of this year’s top new rock albums to share. 

As was the case with all of the other lists, this one was not easy to craft, either.  Pop Evil returned this year with its powerful new album, Versatile.  Liquid Tension Experiment (which is essentially the side project of three of Dream Theater’s members) returned for the first time in some years with its third record, too.  Up-and-coming neo-classic rock band Greta Van Fleet worked hard this year with its new album to show that it wants to be known as its own act, not just a Led Zeppelin knockoff.  Between this record, the others noted here and so many others, this year’s list of top new rock albums is diverse.

As with every other list presented by Phil’s Picks, it consists of the year’s top 10 new albums and five honorable mentions for a total of 15.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2021 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Liquid Tension Experiment – 3
  1. John 5 – Sinner
  1. Billy F. Gibbons – Hardware
  1. The Dead Daisies – Holy Ground
  1. Mason Hill – Against The Wall
  1. Candlebox – Wolves
  1. Marc Ribler – The Whole World Awaits You
  1. Myles Kennedy – The Ides of March
  1. Pop Evil – Versatile
  1. Dropkick Murphys – Turn Up That Dial
  1. L.A. Guns – Checkered Past
  1. Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
  1. Grand Royale – Carry On
  1. Styx – Crash of the Crown
  1. Greta Van Fleet – The Battle at Garden’s Gate

That’s it for this list, but wait, there’s more!  Yes, there are still two more music lists to go before the attention turns to the best of the year’s new movie and TV categories.  Stay tuned!

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.  

Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate Releases New LP’s Third Single

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate gave audiences something new to be thankful about this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Gonna Take You Higher‘ Tuesday. The song is the third single from the band’s forthcoming album, Hell, CA, which is scheduled for release Feb. 11 through Golden Robot Records. The record has also produced the singles, ‘Soul Mama‘ and ‘Wanna Be Somebody.’

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Gonna Take You Higher’ is a presentation that will appeal to any classic rock purist. That is evidenced through its lead guitar line and vocals. Right from the acoustic approach used in the song’s opening bars, through to its richer main body, the song in whole throws back to so many classic rock style compositions. The first comparison that will likely come to many listeners’ minds is to works from the likes of Motley Crue. Additionally, some listeners might find comparisons to works from the likes of Led Zeppelin and Rainbow.

According to information provided about the single’s lyrical theme “is about Jack Parsons, one of the pioneers of rocketry aviation who also happened to be a devotee of Aleister Crowley.”

More information on the new single from Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Website: https://jizzypearl.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JizzyPearlsLoveHate

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jizzypearl13

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Tracii Guns-Led L.A. Guns Lineup’s New Album Will Have A Solid Future Given The Right Support

Courtesy: Frontiers Records s.r.l.

L.A. Guns is a peculiar band.  Considering everything that has gone on with the band since its inception way back in the 80s and where it stands today, audiences are left almost feeling like they need a program to know what is going on with the group.  Between the breakups, band members coming and going, reunions and then legal issues that led to the formation of two completely different L.A. Guns bands, the band has had more changes than a pop singer at a live show.  Yes, this critic went there.  Through it all, the band – collectively and separately – has managed to somehow keep L.A. Guns’ legacy going for more than three decades, releasing 13 albums so far and still managing to keep at least some fans along the way.  Now Friday, the Tracii Guns-led L.A. Guns lineup will release its latest album, Checkered Past, bringing the band’s album total to 14.  The record will come less than a year after the Steve Riley-led lineup released its latest album, Renegades, and is its own enjoyable offering.  The musical and lyrical content featured in Checkered Past gives audiences plenty to appreciate throughout the album’s 43-minute run time.  That is evidenced right from the record’s outset in ‘Cannonball,’ which will be discussed shortly.  ‘Knock Me Down,’ which comes later in the record’s run, is another example of how that combined content makes the album notable.  It will be examined a little later.  The contemplative ‘Let You Down,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is another example of how the record’s collective content makes it worth hearing.  When all three of the songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Checkered Past an album that will have a strong future, given the right support.

Checkered Past, the latest full-length studio offering from the Tracii Guns-led L.A. Guns lineup (it’s really sad that such distinction has to be made for clarification’s sake) is a strong new offering from this lineup.  The record’s musical and lyrical content collectively support the noted statement throughout its presentation.  The record’s opener, ‘Cannonball’ is just one of the songs that serves so well to make that clear.  The song is a powerful first impression for the record, with its intense energy and pure guitar rock approach.  As noted, this arrangement is high-energy.  Right from its outset, the guitars grab listeners and keep them fully engaged and entertained throughout with their driving approach.  Phil Lewis’ vocals and drummer Shane Fitzgibbon’s time keeping join with Lewis’ work on the bass to enrich the song even more.  The whole is a completely infectious work that is everything that guitar rock purists enjoy and have enjoyed for years. 

The full-on energy featured in the song’s arrangement does well as it pairs with the song’s lyrical theme to make for even more appeal.  The lyrical theme featured here seems to center on someone who is facing off against another person who has caused a lot of trouble for that protagonist.  This is inferred as Lewis sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “You’re rollin’/Rollin’/You’re on a tidal wave/Floating/You’re floating/Right into an ocean raid/Say hello to Davy Jones/Watch you sink down like a bag of stones/Get your crew down for a mutiny/Today’s the day/Surprise you in the night/I don’t give you time to think/Shot you with my cannonball/And your ship’s about to sink/Shot you with my cannonball/And I’ll watch you drown.”  Again, this really seems to be someone saying he has no remorse for going after that secondary figure.  That is especially inferred through the mention of the mutiny.  Crews only mutiny against leaders who are less than positive in their personalities.  One has to wonder if – considering the album’s title and the band’s past – if this theme is any reference to the band’s past.  The repeated mention of a mutiny (“Now’s the right time for a mutiny/Today’s the day”) in the song’s second verse leads even more, to that curiosity.  The added mention by the song’s subject that “I went down with my ship to die” makes one wonder if that is a reference to the good “captain” sticking with “his ship” to the very end.  The whole thing really comes across as one big metaphorical statement about two sides facing off and even ultimately going down in the end, the one captain would go down with it all.  Again, it is only a supposition, but this certainly seems to be an allusion to the band’s past and present (and maybe even future).  Regardless, this and the song’s musical arrangement come together to create plenty of engagement and entertainment among audiences.  It is just one example of what audiences have to look forward to from Checkered Past.  ‘Knock Me Down,’ which comes later in the record’s run, is another example of what audiences have to appreciate.

‘Knock Me Down’ is the polar opposite of ‘Cannonball’ in regards to its musical and lyrical content.  The song’s musical arrangement is a driving composition, but its mood is so much different than that of ‘Cannonball.’  In this case, the mood set through the arrangement is more serious and somewhat firm.  There is a sense of specific purpose here; almost a frustration of sorts.  The modern rock style approach throws in some comparison to works from AC/DC interestingly enough, making for an even more unique overall musical presentation.  The overall arrangement is sure to keep listeners engaged and entertained throughout the song’s four minute-plus run time.  The unique approacj taken here and the song’s energy do well to help translate the noted seeming sense of frustration in the song’s lyrical theme.

The song’s lyrical theme is another work that hints at frustration with another person.  It goes right along with the theme noted in the album’s title, too.  In this case, the checkered past seems to be that of a broken relationship.  This is inferred as Lewis sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “How bout you rethink/How you been messing it around/Don’t need no middle man/You got the top of the mount/You knock me down/Knock me down, baby/I’m ready to rise/You knock me down/Take your shot, baby/I’m ready to rise.”  As the song progresses, the song’s subject tells that other person that despite what the “antagonist” has done to him, he has not been knocked down permanently as he sings, “Say my name/’Cause you’re in my house/I’m a long time gone/Working my way back here/And I’ve never been stronger/Stand back/’Bout to get a smack/Think you can hold me down/Like that/Teach you how to act/I don’t wanna see you now/Don’t come around/What are you doing/Doing to me/You never get me to stop a thing/I know your demons/Your boogeyman/You know that gives me the power jack.”  Again, what audiences get is a subject referring to some kind of checkered past.  This time the checkered past is with another person close to him/her.  At the same time, the song’s subject is fully defiant, letting that second person know that what he/she did in the past is not keeping him/her down.  The confidence and certainty in these statements is enhanced and translated very well through the energy and approach taken to the song’s arrangement.  The whole makes the song another notable addition to the album and that much more proof of what makes the album in whole successful.    As noted, it is just one more way in which the record’s lyrical and musical content comes together to make it so worth hearing.  ‘Let You Down’ is yet another key addition to the album.

‘Let You Down’ changes gears again in regards to the album’s musical side.  In the case of this song, the band gets even more contemplative.  The whole of this song’s arrangement is so reserved through that contemplative nature.  It is only in the song’s choruses that things really pick up.  What is really interesting here is that considering L.A. Guns (in each of its lineups) rose to fame in the 80s so that the band went this route here instead of just going the typical power ballad route makes for its own share of appeal.  It makes the song’s musical arrangement that much more engaging and entertaining.

As much as the musical arrangement does for the appeal of ‘Let You Down’ it is just one of the items that make the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical theme adds to its appeal.  Looking through the album’s lyrical content, it would seem to be that it is another song centered on a broken relationship.  This is inferred as Lewis sings in the song’s chorus, “Maybe you’re a lovesick kind of girl/You might be just confused about it/You’ll love me tonight/You’ll hate me tomorrow/I’m a let you down/Oh, you’ll love me tonight/You’ll hate me tomorrow/That’s how it goes around.”  From there, the song’s subject notes that, “No I’m never, never, never gonna change/So top asking why/I’m acting awful strange.”  Considering the note in the song’s lead verse of the feelings held deep inside, that would seem to hint at a lot of deep personal demons that are going to prevent the song’s subject from being able to maintain a relationship.  That admission, together with the painful realization in the song’s chorus, makes this overall approach its own unique take on such a familiar brooding topic.  Keeping that in mind, the whole here makes clear why the song is another interesting addition to the album.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the record in whole another positive effort from the Tracii Guns-led side of L.A. Guns.

Checkered Past, the latest entry from the Tracii Guns-led L.A. Guns lineup, is a strong new offering from the group.  Its appeal is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  Each of the songs examined here serve well to support the noted statement.  When those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album overall a record that every L.A. Guns fan will appreciate.

Checkered Past is scheduled for release Friday through Frontiers Records s.r.l.  More information on the album is available along with all of the latest news from the Traci Guns-led L.A. Guns lineup at:

Website: https://www.lagunsmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/L.A.GunsOfficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/laguns

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.  

The Mercy Kills’ New LP Looks To Rock’s Past, Present To Potentially Make The Band Part Of Rock’s Future

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

First impressions are everything. That is common knowledge. They are everything because it is those impressions that determine one’s reputation.  Keeping that in mind, The Mercy Kills’ debut EP New Rule is a positive first impression for the up-and-coming rock band.  Originally created and produced more than a decade ago in 2010, it was never officially released, that is until now.  The 18-minute record is scheduled for release Friday through Golden Robot Records.  The first impression that the band’s five-song record will leave listeners feeling that The Mercy Kills is a band that is well-deserving of its own share of attention from any guitar rock purist.  That is proven collectively through the record’s musical and lyrical content, beginning with its opener, ‘I Wanna.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Go,’ which closes out the record, is another way in which the EP’s strength is exhibited.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘So Many Times,’ which serves as the EP’s midpoint, is yet another positive addition to the record, showing its appeal.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the record in whole becomes a presentation that is an unquestionably positive first impression from The Mercy Kills.

The Mercy Kills’ debut record New Rule is an interesting new addition to this year’s field of new EPs.  It is a work whose musical arrangements combine a variety of influences   and whose lyrical content will keep listeners engaged and entertained in its own right.  ‘I Wanna,’ the EP’s opener is just one example of how that collective content helps to make the record stand out.  The song’s musical arrangement stands on its own merits.  It is a guitar-driven work that boasts a modern hard rock approach.  At the same time, the song’s verses take a somewhat different approach than the choruses.  The verses incorporate some keyboard usage along with front man Mark E.’s vocals to create an intriguing comparison to Nine Inch Nails’ classic hit song ‘Head Like a Hole.’  Yes, putting industrial/electronic rock next to pure guitar rocks like quite the uncomfortable balance, but it actually works here.  It makes for so much intrigue that audiences cannot help but listen.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement builds even more on the song’s interest.

Mark E. sings in the song’s lead verse, “Your eyes follow me/And they go straight down/We try to break away/But we hit the ground/Followed again/And we don’t know why/It’s all a game we play/But to me/It makes me insane.”  Some of this could be an incorrect interpretation – primarily toward the end of the verse since no lyrics were available to reference.  Though, the majority is certain to have been correctly deciphered.  He continues in the song’s chorus, “I wanna tell you, baby/You’re taking me over/I wanna tell you baby/You wanna give in to me/I wanna tell you baby/You’re taking me over.”  This lead verse and chorus collectively hint at a story of a couple that is in a dysfunctional relationship of sorts.  The story continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Sometimes I find another way/To take control/Sometimes we shed that skin/But it still takes hold/Under a lectured life/And we fade away/She’s on the other side/But…okay.  Again, some of this is tough to decipher without lyrics to decipher.  However, just enough can be understood, leaving listeners realizing that this is someone trying to get balance back in life even with the impact of that seeming toxic relationship.  That is inferred through that statement about trying to shed that skin, but it “still takes hold.”  It’s a metaphor for trying to grow out of that situation, but it keeps its grip on that person.  This seeming story, paired with the song’s infectious musical arrangement, makes it a strong start for the EP and an equally strong example of why this EP deserves to be heard.  It is just one of the EP’s most notable entries.  ‘Go,’ the EP’s closer, is another example of what makes the record stand out.

‘Go’ features a musical arrangement that is the polar opposite of ‘I Wanna.’  Whereas the EP’s opener blended elements of pure guitar rock with some electronic elements, ‘Go’ is a pure guitar rock composition.  The heavy, driving guitars echo the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s.  That includes music from the band’s Golden Robot Records label mates in L.A. Guns.  At the same time, there is also a modern rock touch infused into the arrangement a la Buckcherry.  The whole of those influences makes the song’s arrangement a strong starting point for the work, and just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement adds its own appeal to the song.

This song is slightly more difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference.  However, from what can be deciphered, there is a mention in the song’s second verse referencing “The things you said/Said too late/Just gotta get it straight.”  The chorus finds Mark E. making a statement that a person “Just can’t get enough.”  As to what the person can’t get enough, that is unknown. However, taking that line into account with the statement about “the things you said/Said too late” perhaps that is referring to the accused being told he/she is one of those types that likes trouble rather than trying to make things right in the relationship.  That is of course just this critic’s interpretation from what little lyrical content can be deciphered here without a sheet to reference.  Considering that the noted chorus makes up so much of the song’s body (roughly three quarters of the song), one cannot help but make such inference.    It also would account for the energy in the song’s musical arrangement.  The heaviness and energy in the guitars (and even bass and drums) works in partner with that seeming commentary to make the subject someone who is just fed up with the other person’s apparent unwillingness to do the right thing.  It all makes for another interesting addition to New Rule.  It is just one more of the songs that makes The Mercy Kills’ new EP notable.  ‘So Many Times’ is yet another important piece of this record that makes the EP worth hearing.

‘So Many Times’ is another straight forward guitar rock composition that is sure to appeal to audiences.  In the case of this arrangement, it is controlled more by a modern rock sensibility than older influences.  What is even more interesting here is that Mark E. vocal delivery here gives the song sort of a garage/pun vibe more than straight guitar rock.  Although there is a clear modern guitar rock influence, regardless.  The balance of the two elements together makes this record one of the most concrete examples of what makes the EP a success.  That musical element is just one aspect of the song worth examining.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement adds its own interest to the composition. 

The song opens with the defiant statement, “You can’t take this away from me/I’ve got…control/Every time/It’s the same/I can feel it all again.”  There is a small stretch there that is difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference.  The majority of the lyrics are understood though.  Just from this introductory line alone, it would seem that the song’s subject seems to be frustrated about having to go through some situation yet again that apparently has happened many times before.  The story continues in the song’s chorus (apparently there is no second verse here), which seems to note dealing with that person “so many times.”  What the situation in question is, is anyone’s guess.  That aside, the frustration in dealing with that seeming merry-go-round is clear enough here.  If in fact this interpretation is right, then it clearly makes the song accessible to a wide range of audiences.  Those listeners will appreciate the emotional feeling exuded through the musical and lyrical content in whole.  To that end, that appreciation will lead listeners to appreciate even more, the EP in whole.  When that appreciation, that of the other songs noted here and for the EP’s other two songs is collected in whole, it leaves no doubt that this EP could be the start of a new, bigger chapter for The Mercy Kills’ career.

The Mercy Kills’ new EP New Rule is a positive first outing for the band, which has spent many years working hard to make a place for itself in the rock community.  This record could very well be the culmination of that work and the presentation that finally breaks the band into the mainstream, given the right support.  It is the best of rock and hard rock’s past and present while also pointing to the future.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content together.  The songs examined here do well to support the noted statements.  When they are considered along with the EP’s two remaining songs, the whole makes this record yet another valid entry among this year’s top new EPs.  New Rule is scheduled for release Friday through Golden Robot Records.  More information on the EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.themercykills.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themercykills

Twitter: https://twitter.com/themercykills

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.  

‘Renegades’ Is Another Solid Return For Veteran Rock Band L.A. Guns

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

Veteran rock band L.A. Guns unveiled another preview of its new album Renegades this week.  The band debuted the album’s new single ‘All That You Are.’  The album’s fourth single – behind ‘Crawl,’ ‘Well Oiled Machine,’ and the album’s title track — it is just one more example of what makes the record a positive new offering from the band.  ‘Why Ask Why,’ which comes between two of those singles early in the album’s 39-minute run, is another notable addition to the record.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘You Can’t Walk Away’ is another intriguing addition to Renegades.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Don’t Wanna Know,’ the album’s finale, is yet another show of the album’s strength.  When it is considered along with the other noted songs, the record’s existing singles and its four remaining songs, the whole becomes a widely appealing record for rock fans across the board.

L.A. Guns’ latest album Renegades is a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s longtime fans just as much as it will more casual listeners and rock fans in general.  The four singles that the record has now produced support the noted statements without question.  They are just some of the songs that show what makes the record so appealing.  ‘Why Ask Why,’ which comes early in the 10-song record’s run adds to that appeal in its own way.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The arrangement in question is a straight forward, guitar-driven classic rock style opus that throws in a touch of a modern rock element for a whole that is instantly infectious and keeps listeners engaged and entertained throughout its nearly three-and-a-half minute run time.  The energy in the fiery musical arrangement serves well to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical content and its associated emotion.

The lyrical content in question comes across as a familiar story of someone dealing with a toxic relationship.  Whether that relationship is romantic or plutonic is left to interpretation, but it seems relatively clear as front man Kurt Frohlich sings in the song’s lead verse, “I don’t know everything you feel/But I know that what I’m feeling is unreal/Can you show us what’s on my mind/Will you walk the wild side blind/Why ask why/I don’t mind.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Can you reach through inner space/Will you choose to meet me face-to-face/Are you two-faced/Yeah, you get on my last nerve…Why ask why/Why ask why/So don’t mind/’Cause I don’t mind.”  A small portion of the lyrics is difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference, but the bigger picture here is relatively clear.  The energy in the song’s musical arrangement works to help translate the feeling of frustration obviously going through the main subject’s mind.  That is especially the case considering the tone in the guitar and bass.  To that end, the pairing of the noted musical and lyrical content here is certain to help the song connect with listeners and in turn, make the song accessible.  It all comes together to make the song just one example of what makes Renegades a positive return for this lineup of L.A. Guns.  ‘You Can’t Walk Away’ is another of the album’s notable entries.

‘You Can’t Walk Away’ is such an interesting addition to Renegades because it really defies everything that audiences have come to expect from L.A. Guns throughout its life.  Yes, there is a little bit of a ballad type of approach here.  At the same time though, the production, the choruses, and the instrumentation really throws back to the 1960s and some very distinct influence of The Beatles.  It really is the album’s most surprising and engaging work because of that approach.  That musical aspect, with all of is production and emotion works with the song’s familiar lyrical content about a relationship, to make the song even more appealing.

The noted lyrical theme is mad clear right from the song’s outset as Frohlich sings, “Nothing’s right/Gonna be a long way home tonight/A lover’s fight/I’ve been away too long/Another day rolls by/And it feels like an old friend/But nobody wants to do it/No one seems to care/And nobody wants to listen anyway/You can’t walk away/Something inside is telling you/Why is it so hard to do/You can’t walk away/When it all falls apart/Leave with your heart.”  The theme is made even clearer in the second verse, in which Frohlich sings, “Nobody pays your precious way/Thought it was an easy thing to do/But when you turned around something told you/Go back to where they know you/You can walk away/Something inside is telling you/Why is it so hard to do/You can walk away/Still it all falls apart/Leave with your heart.”  Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical theme remains relatively clear.  This deals with the emotional difficulties that come with a breakup.  The addition of the song’s subdued musical arrangement adds even more to the song’s overall impact.  The two elements jointly make this song one of this album’s most notable and important works.  Together with ‘Why Ask Why,’ the two songs show even more clearly what makes Renegades an appealing new offering from L.A. Guns.  The two songs are just a glimpse into the album’s appeal.  ‘Don’t Wanna Know,’ the record’s finale, is one more of the album’s most notable entries.

‘Don’t Wanna Know’ is a good way for L.A. Guns to close out its new album.  That is because this song’s musical arrangement is pure 80s hair metal.  The light, almost bouncy feel of Scotty Griffin’s guitar work and that of drummer Steve Riley works with Frohlich’s equally loose vocal delivery to take listeners back to the heyday of L.A. Guns, Motley Crue and Poison.  It is a fun, upbeat work that is certain to appeal to plenty of listeners, especially considering the more straight forward feel of the album’s opener, ‘Crawl’ and the rest of the album’s work.  It’s like this song is a reward to listeners for having made their way through the rest of the record.  Interestingly enough, as light and upbeat as the musical arrangement is here, it makes for an interesting contrast to the song’s lyrical content.


The lyrical content that is featured in ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ comes across as perhaps an indictment of someone going through addiction of some sort.  This is inferred as Frohlich sings in the song’s lead verse, “Heard it from my best friend/Heard it on the street/What’s going down/You puttin’ me down/Sayin’ I was obsolete/Heard it from your mother/Said you’re not the same/Tellin’ lies/With bloodshot eyes/Bringing the family shame/I’ve been this way too long/Too long/Nothing right or wrong.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Heard it from your doctor/You’ve been running late…never sleep/Losin’ all your weight/Heard it on the telephone/Picked it up to call/Got no place to hide my face/Even on a bathroom wall/It only hurts my soul/Don’t wanna know/Makes me lose control.”  What is interesting here is that all of this comes across in an almost frustrated yet sarcastic fashion.  It really makes for an interesting listen, again, especially when it is paired with the song’s high energy musical arrangement.  Maybe this is meant to be someone who is fed up with hearing about what a person is doing to himself/herself through the noted supposed addiction.  This is all just this critic’s own interpretation.  Regardless, the song offers audiences plenty of reason for engagement.  It all comes together here to show once more why Renegades is such a positive return for L.A. Guns.  When this song is considered along with the others examined here, the rest of the record’s songs and its singles, the whole of the album proves the album to be a widely appealing new offering from the veteran rock band.

Renegades is an interesting new offering from the veteran rock band L.A. Guns.  Its musical and lyrical content alike offers listeners so much motivation to remain engaged and entertained throughout its nearly 40-minute run time.  That is evidenced in all three of the songs examined here.  The same can be said of the four singles that the album has now produced and the album’s other songs not addressed here.  Each song is notable in its own right to the whole of Renegades.  All things considered, the album proves itself to be another example of why L.A. Guns remains one of rock’s elite acts.

More information on L.A. Guns’ new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.laguns.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/officiallaguns

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go 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.

L.A. Guns Debuts New LP’s Third Single, ‘Renegades’

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

L.A. Guns debuted its latest single this week.

The veteran rock band debuted its new single ‘Renegades‘ Monday.  The song is the third single and title track from the band’s forthcoming album by the same name.  The album’s release date will be announced in the coming days.  It will come through Golden Robot Records.

The debut of ‘Renegades’ Monday follows the debut of the album’s first two singles, ‘Well Oiled Machine‘ and ‘Crawl.’  The latter of the pair is available to stream and download through SpotifyApple MusicAmazon, and Google Play.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Renegades’ is a straight forward, guitar driven work that will appeal to guitar rock purists.  The guitar riffs, drumming and vocals join with the song’s bass line to lend themselves to comparisons to the rock sounds that bridged the late 80s and early 90s.  One could actually compare the arrangement to works from Billy Idol.

The lyrical theme at the song’s center comes across as focusing on the all too familiar topic of a broken relationship.  In this case, it would seem that the relationship’s end came as a result of a band touring so much.  That is inferred in the statement, “Like renegades/Gypsies on the open road…Nowhere else to roam/Disarray…forever renegades.”  Some of the lyrics here are indecipherable sans lyrics.  That aside, enough is understood to make an educated guess as to the song’s lyrical theme.

More information on L.A. Guns’ new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.laguns.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/officiallaguns

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go 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.

L.A. Guns Debuts New Single, ‘Well Oiled Machine’

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

Veteran rock band L.A. Guns released its latest single this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Well Oiled Machine‘ Monday.  The single is the second single from the band’s forthcoming album Renegades, which is slated for release later this year through Golden Robot Records.  The album’s release date will be announced soon.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Well-Oiled Machine’ is a full-on 80s, guitar-rock composition that will appeal to fans of the band’s fellow 80s rock stalwarts Ratt, Motley Crue and Poison.

While the song’s art features a motorcycle with the band’s logo, and the lyrics could easily be confused with descriptions of a motorcycle, the reality is that the song’s lyrical theme appears to center on a woman. This is clear as front man Phil Lewis sings in the song’s lead verse, “I love my baby/She’s a well oiled machine/She takes me places that I’ve never seen/Movin’ fast/She’s a satellite/Rollin’ thunder through the night.”  The note of the rolling thunder, again, could lead to confusion, as could the mention in the song’s chorus of the subject having a “jet black shine/Curves like a dream/Ain’t nothing like you ever seen.”  In reality, that is more likely a description of said woman, complete with raven-colored hair and hourglass figure.  Lewis continues in the song’s second verse, “Lights out under barren skies/We fade away into the rest of the night/She cuts me deep like a vampire/Light ’em up/Set the world on fire.”  That mention of the vampire simile shows even more clearly that this is not about a motorcycle or even a car, but a woman.  Examining all of this, the woman is apparently quite the intense figure.  This is a theme that countless bands have used, and even despite that, will still appeal to the band’s fans as it takes a classic approach to the topic.

‘Well Oiled Machine’ is available to stream and download here.

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

The debut of the band’s new song comes less than two months after it debuted the album’s lead single Crawl.  According to a June 10 posting to L.A. Guns’ official Facebook page, the single had received more than 100,000 streams at that time. The song is available to stream and download through Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and Google Play.

The band debuted a making of video for ‘Crawl’ through Golden Robot Records’ official YouTube channel the day after ‘Crawl’ made its premiere.  The making of video is streaming here.  The song’s unofficial video, it features the band performing the single over a series of clips of the band in the studio working on the song.

More information on L.A. Guns’ new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.laguns.net

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

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go 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.

 

 

American Idol Star’s Latest LP Takes Top Honors In Phil’s Picks 2019 Top New Rock Albums List

Courtesy: Big Johnson Records

Rock fans had a lot of reason this year to raise their horns.  From January right up to this month, rock music fans received lots of strong new offerings this year.  That includes both mainstream and independent acts.  Buckcherry’s new album Warpaint, which came out early this year, proved to be everything that audiences have come to expect from the band.  DuG Pinnick’s King’s X side band KXM also released a new record this year — Circle of Dolls — that was a step up from its predecessor.  80s rockers L.A. Guns even produced its own strong new effort in The Devil You Know while prog rock star Neil Morse’s Jesus ChristThe Exorcist developed its own fans, too.  Between those albums and so many others, rock fans had a lot to be happy about.  It made creating the list of this year’s top new rock records quite difficult to arrange.

This year’s list, like others from Phil’s Picks, features the Top 10 picks as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  The list was compiled from consideration of the titles’ overall musical and lyrical content.  That content taken into consideration made this list anything but easy.  No offense was meant to any of the band featured on this list.  With that in mind, here is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Caleb Johnson — Born From Southern Ground
  2. Set It Off — Midnight
  3. Neal Morse — Jesus ChristThe Exorcist
  4. KXM — Circle of Dolls
  5. Buckcherry — Warpaint
  6. Collective Soul — Blood
  7. Aree & The Pure Hearts — Never Gonna Die
  8. The Sh-Booms — The Blurred Odyssey
  9. Lullwater — Voodoo
  10. The Magpie Salute — Highwater II
  11. Queensryche — The Verdict
  12. L.A. Guns — The Devil You Know
  13. Them Guns — From The Shadows
  14. Myrath — Shehili
  15. Stone Leaders — Stone Leaders

 

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.