In The A.M. Delivers Message Of Self Confidence In New Single

Courtesy: Cowgirlzen Entertainment/The Label Group

Independent hard rock band In The A.M. wants audiences to take more pride and confidence in themselves.

That is the message delivered in the band’s new single, ‘Save Yourself.’ The band premiered the song and its companion lyric video Friday through v13.net. The song’s musical arrangement is a melodic hard rock composition whose heavy guitars, electronics and occasional rapping easily likens it to works from Linkin Park.

According to vocalist Alex Shimp, the song’s lyrical theme is meant to encourage audiences to not give in to what others think of them.

“This song is about people in your life trying to force you to be whom they think you should be because they think they know better for you than you do for yourself,” said Shimp. “Throughout my life, I’ve had to deal with a lot of b******* people telling me who and what to be. People who lied to me mistreated me, never respected me, and constantly took away from the amazing heart that I had as a kid. People who tried their best to manipulate me into something I didn’t want to be. And this song is me writing some of that pain out on paper and putting it into art through riffs and melodies.”

Added Shimp, “For the kids who may be going through the same experience. For the adults who may be going through a hard time in life. For everyone who gets their therapy through music.”

The song’s lyric video is a simple presentation. It features the song’s lyrics over various background settings, all of which are associated with the design of the single’s artwork.

More information on In The A.M.’s new single is available along with the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.intheamband.com

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

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.

Memphis May Fire Debuts New Single, Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Rise Records

Memphis May Fire premiered its latest single and video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Bleed Me Dry‘ and its companion video Thursday. The song is the band’s third in a little more than two months.

The band roared back in June with the video for its single, ‘Blood & Water.’ The song was the band’s first new music since the release of its 2019 album, Broken. That album produced the singles ‘The Old Me,’ ‘Heavy is the Weight (ft. Andy Mineo)‘ and ‘You and Me.’

Memphis May Fire followed up the debut of the video for ‘Blood & Water’ with the premiere of  its new single, ‘Death Inside‘ and its video last month.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Bleed Me Dry’ is a driving hard rock composition. Its choruses lend themselves to comparison to works from Linkin Park, what with the pairing of front man Matty Mullins’ vocal delivery style and sound, and the song’s instrumentation style and sound. The verses meanwhile exhibit an almost industrial influence with the use of the guitars and keyboards. At the same time, Mullins’ vocals are just as comparable here to those of the late, great Chester Bennington. The whole makes this song just as unlike ‘Death Inside’ and ‘Blood & Water’ as they are from one another.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Bleed Me Dry’ delivers a message of determination according to Mullins.

“Our third single of the year, ‘Bleed Me Dry,’ is my favorite yet,” he said. “It’s an anthem for anyone feeling beaten down by the negative voices around them.”

The video for ‘Bleed Me Dry’ is a simple presentation. It features the band performing its new single on a darkened sound stage as the song plays over. A wall of monitors stands behind the band as it performs.

In other news, Memphis May Fire has announced a new, brief live run. The tour is scheduled to launch Sept. 11 in Gilford, NH and to run through Sept. 22 in Huntington, WV. The tour’s schedule is noted below. Breaking Benjamin and Papa Roach are scheduled to join the band for the tour.

MEMPHIS MAY FIRE TOUR DATES:
WITH BREAKING BENJAMIN + PAPA ROACH

9/11 — Gilford, NH — Bank of New Hampshire Pavillion
9/12 — Montclair, NJ — The Wellmont Theater
9/14 — Columbus, OH — Express Live!
9/15 — Toledo, OH — Huntington Center
9/17 — Uncasville, CT — Mohegan Sun Arena
9/18 — Scranton, PA — The Pavillion at Montage Mountain
9/21 — Youngstown, OH — Covelli Centre
9/22 — Hutnington, WV — Mountain Health Arena

On yet another note, Mullins recently commented on one of many charity works that it is conducting. The work in question is raising money for the nonprofit organization Heart Support, which helps people who battle a variety of mental health concerns.

“We’re so excited to announce that we will be donating 100% of the proceeds from the ‘In Your Eyes’ tee in our online merch store to one of our favorite non-profits — Heart Support!,” he said. “Every year, Heart Support helps men and women brave their wounds, find purpose, and discover healing. I am so stoked for everyone to hear this song and get involved with a great cause!”

MMF’s charity work with Heart Support is, as noted, just some of the charity work that it is doing. The band is also working with the nonprofit, Living The Dream, raising money for that agency also through sales of its apparel.

The band has also partnered with the domestic violence firm, Bridges DVC Nashville to launch two new merchandise designs. One hundred percent of the sales from the designs will go to benefit the center, which serves men, women, and children affected by domestic violence in the greater Nashville, TN region.

More information on Memphis May Fire’s new single, tour dates, and charity work is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MemphisMayFire

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MemphisMayFire

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Karma Kids Debuts Addresses Social Justice Reform In ‘Burn Rinse Repeat’ Video

Courtesy: Legends Recordings

Karma Kids debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its new single, ‘Burn Rinse Repeat’ Friday. The song is the third single from the band’s new album Vibes, which is available now through Legends Recordings. The premiere of the new video/song follows that of the album’s other singles, ‘Nightmare‘ and ‘Nothing Left To Lose.’

The musical arrangement featured in ”Burn Rinse Repeat’ is an emo-punk style composition. The production and the song’s general sound makes the song infectious in the contemplative mood that they set. There is almost a sort of Linkin Park type of sound and style to make a comparison.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Burn Rinse Repeat’ is a social commentary, according to comments from front man Jon Benjamin.

“‘Burn Rinse Repeat’ was written with the BLM protests fresh in mind last summer,” he said. “We demand a reformation of law enforcement and our social systems. Eyes are being opened and voices are being heard. This is only the beginning of a massive social change in the right direction!”

The video that accompanies the song illustrates Benjamin’s statements. It presents the band performing its new single against the backdrop of footage of the protests that made headlines nationwide last yer.

More information on Karma Kids’ new single, video and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.karmakidsin.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/karmakidsin

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.

Pardon The Scars Debuts New Single, ‘Caged Inside,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: The Label Group/INgrooves

Independent rock band Pardon The Scars debuted its latest single last week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its single ‘Caged Inside‘ Feb. 26. The video’s premiere came only a day after the band debuted the single through Sofa King Cool. The video places the song’s lyrics over footage of silhouettes of what is thought to be the band members. Meanwhile, what looks like embers from a fire float in front of those silhouettes as the song plays over the whole.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Caged Inside’ presents a stylistic approach that will appeal to fans of nu-metal/rap-rock acts, such as Linkin Park and Skindred, just to name a couple similar acts.

According to front man James Tangman, the song’s lyrical theme addresses the familiar battle with self that everyone faces every day.

“‘Caged Inside’ is a look at the struggle we sometimes face within ourselves,” he said. “Those times when we’re trying to appear happy or “put together”, but there’s this voice of doubt, anger, and hostility that is constantly trying to push its way to the front. It wants to come out and play but… Surely, we know better.”

More information on Pardon The Scars’ new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.reverbnation.com/pardonthescars

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

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.

Fire Follows Debuts New Single, ‘Glass Grenade,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: The Label Group

Independent hard rock band Fire Follows debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend along with the song’s companion video.

The band debuted its new single ‘Glass Grenade‘ Friday through Ghost Cult Magazine along with its companion video. Its debut comes less than four months after the band debuted its then latest single, ‘Black and White’ and its video. Both songs are featured in the band’s EP Glass Grenade.

‘Glass Grenade’ presents a musical arrangement that immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Linkin Park and Papa Roach. That is evidenced through the back and forth of the clean vocals and screams and the very specific approach to the song’s guitar line.

The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement focuses on the impact that actions and words can have on a relationship. The band addressed that message in a prepared statement.

“The metaphor portrays an individual who has created tremendous suffering and strife inside of an intimate relationship, and the vulnerability the other party is often forced to endure,” the statement reads. “The “Glass Grenade” represents a fragile heart that is on the verge of breaking, and the catastrophic damage that can be done if it does…. an insightful message wrapped in a powerful instrumental makes this one of the strongest tracks Fire Follows has ever released.”‘

The video for ‘Glass Grenade’ features the band performing its new single in an empty warehouse. The visual is meant to reflect the band on stage. The emptiness (intentionally or not) reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on live music.

More information on Fire Follows’ new video and single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.firefollows.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/firefollowsmusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/firefollowband

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.

Actual Villains Premieres ‘Losing My Religion’ Cover; Debuts Song’s Companion Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent rock act Actual Villains debuted the video for its cover of a classic R.E.M. song this week.

The band debuted the video for its cover of R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion‘ Oct. 7. The premiere of the cover and video comes as the world marks the 30th anniversary of the original song’s debut.

The video for Actual Villains’ cover of ‘Losing My Religion’ — directed by Lance Gergar –crosses footage of front man Andrew DeNeef performing the song and video of an astronaut falling in reverse through sky, eventually into space as the song reaches its finale. The group’s musical arrangement stays largely true to its source material in terms of its sound. However, the stylistic approach to the cover gives the song a sound that will appeal to fans of Linkin Park, with its melodic heavy rock approach.

DeNeef talked about the decision to take on R.E.M.’s timeless song during a recent interview.

“To me, R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” has always been a quintessential Alternative Rock song,” he said. “Since it’s release thirty years ago, It’s been one of the only songs from my childhood that I never grew tired of as my musical tastes went through multiple stages of evolution. I’ve always felt the lyrics are about the frustrations of feeling like you’re losing control, at the end of a rope, trying to find yourself through the noise and confusion of the world. A feeling I know all too well lately.”

This year has been particularly tough, with all of its challenges and stress, it’s led to a lot of moments of introspection and soul searching,” added  DeNeef. “Throughout this time this song kept finding its way into my life, like a sign begging for my attention. I’ve been apprehensive in the past about doing cover songs but the more I sang along to this song, the more relevant the lyrics seemed. I could hear my own version of the song in my head taking shape, begging to come to life.”

“I wanted to homage the original song but bring in new energy and a more dynamic sound overall, taking into account my very diverse pool of influences,” concluded DeNeef. “It starts with a sense of sadness that boils into rage by the end, taking the listener on a journey that matches the feelings this song evokes still today after three decades. I hope you enjoy my vision for this timeless classic. “Losing My Religion”, reimagined by Actual Villains.”

Actual Villains’ cover of ‘Losing My Religion’ is available to stream and download through Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon.

More information on Actual Villains’ cover of ‘Losing My Religion’ is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.actualvillains.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Actual_Villains

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.

Retro Champ Pays Tribute To Linkin Park With New Video, Cover

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent rapper Retro Champ debuted the video for his latest single this week.

Retro Champ debuted the video for his cover of the Linkin Park song ‘A Place For My Head‘ Thursday.  The video’s premiere comes less than a month after he debuted the video for his then latest single ‘Confidence.’

‘Confidence’ is streaming now through Spotify.  The album is available now through Midwest Originals, LLC.

The video for Retro Champ’s cover of ‘A Place For My Head’ features the rapper in a small setup along with his fellow musicians.  Enlisted to help with the song is Isaac Etter of This is Falling to cover the part of Linkin Park’s late vocalist Chester Bennington.

In talking about the decision to take on ‘A Place For My Head,’ Retro Champ had the following to say.

“With the 20 year anniversary for Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’ coming soon I wanted to do something special for it. I grew up listening to Linkin Park. They really inspired me when I was coming up. Making the track was a team effort. The track was produced by J.T. Ibanez and Isaac Etter. Isaac Etter not only sings on the track, he programmed and recorded all the instruments for it. The final touches came from veteran producer, James Paul Wisner (Underoath, Paramore, Hands Like Houses). James really brought the track to life with an amazing mix. The video was filmed with director, J.T. Ibanez (P.O.D., Slaves, Picturesque.)”

Retro Champ’s cover of ‘A Place For My Head’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Retro Champ’s new single and EP is available along with all of his latest news at http://www.facebook.com/theretrochamp.

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.

Accessible Musical Content, Relevant Lyrical Themes Make The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ Latest EP A Successful Record

Courtesy: A&R Productions/Monarch Records

Veteran emo-punk outfit The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus premiered the video for its latest single this over the weekend.  The band debuted the video for its new single, ‘Is This The Real World?’ Saturday.  The single is one of the songs featured in the band’s recently released new record The Emergency EP.  Released Aug. 28 through A&R Productions/Monarch Records, it came more than seven years after the release of the band’s then most recent EP Et Tu, Brute? and more than two years after the release of the band’s most recent album, The Awakening.  The 21-minute record is an interesting new presentation, as proven through its musical and lyrical content.  The EP’s new single is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Don’t Buy Into It,’ the EP’s third track, is another way in which the record ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ is notable in its own right.  It will also be addressed later.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the EP’s entries, the whole of the record proves to be a presentation that will appeal equally to longtime fans of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and those who are less familiar with the band and its body of work.

The Emergency EP, the new EP from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, is an interesting new offering from the veteran emo-punk outfit.  It is a work that will appeal equally to longtime fans of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and those who are less familiar with the band and its body of work.  That is thanks to its catchy musical arrangements and its equally accessible lyrical themes.  The EP’s new single ‘Is This The Real World?’ is one of the EP’s featured songs that serves to support the noted statements.  The musical arrangement featured in this song is an accessible work for a wide range of listeners, what with the juxtaposition of its electronics, guitars, bass, and drums.  A close listen leaves one able to make a comparison between this work and those of Linkin Park to a certain point.  At the same time, the comparisons to The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ past works are just as easy as are those to works from the band’s contemporaries.  To that end, the song’s arrangement makes sure not to alienate its established fan base while also trying something slightly new here.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content adds to its appeal.

Front man Ronnie Winter discussed the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview, pointing out that the song’s lyrical theme is a commentary about the state of the world.

“In this era of augmented reality and ‘deep fake’ secrets – we find ourselves more and more asking the question: ‘Is This The Real World?,” he said. “It can be hard to know what is real and what isn’t nowadays.  It’s important to question what we see, especially things posted online – before we rush to judgment. Making sure that the information presented to us is correct and that we aren’t being manipulated for a more nefarious purpose is of utmost importance. Things are being twisted into untruths. We are constantly fed fear, racism and bigotry – which are meant to divide. Division keeps us apart – I want to unite everybody because we can actually do that”.

Winter’s comments are backed up as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I’ve been here before/It’s a familiar stench/Yet intoxicating/You can run for the door/But you can’t hide from yourself/It will always be waiting/Is this the real world?/Cuz I think it’s in need of a Savior/So save her/Is this the real world?/Cuz I think it’s in need of a Savior/So save her.”  The message is driven home even more as he sings in the song’s second verse, “Everyone I see wants something from me/Once a slave now free/Augmented reality/I know how this ends/All will lose/None win/I don’t have to pretend it’s reality.”  This collective content is certain to engage listeners and generate its own share off discussion among audiences.  It is just one of the songs featured in this EP that stands out.  ‘Don’t Buy Into It’ is another notable addition to the record.

‘Don’t Buy Into It’ offers listeners a stylistic approach that is unlike that of ‘Is This The Real World.’  Whereas the aforementioned single presents a distinct, familiar emo (almost emocore) style approach, the approach taken in ‘Don’t Buy Into It’ is more melodic and guitar-driven.  It pulls an influence from the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s in its guitar arrangements.  John Espy’s time keeping is solid while also adding in some nice polyrhythmic patterns across his kit, and bassist Joey Westwood adds his own touch with his low-end.  All things considered here, the song’s musical content makes itself one of the EP’s highest points and even the record’s most accessible works.  The mainstream appeal of the musical arrangement is just one part of what makes ‘Don’t Buy Into It’ stand out.  The song’s lyrical content plays into its appeal in its own right.

Winter talked about the song’s lyrical content in the interview in which he discussed the lyrical content featured in ‘Is This The Real World?’

“These are things that really bother me – with this EP, I’m bringing the fans to the next level,” he said. “I’m saying, “Hey, guys, that’s not enough. If you were with me on ‘Face Down (a song about domestic violence), I need you with me on these new songs. Since the beginning of this band, we’ve encouraged people into action for good”.

In the case of this song, he addresses how members of the LGBTQ community are viewed and treated by society as well as how people are treating one another.  Additionally, he makes a not-so-veiled statement about the wall that Donald Trump touted as part of his time in office.  He leads off the song singing, “I met a boy dressed up like a girl/Someone told him his soul was gonna burn in Hell/I don’t know about you, but I’m not buying into it/They tell me the world has rotted through/Everyone hates everyone/That’s not true/Because we love you and we’re not buying into it/Fear Leads to Anger to Hate to the Darkside so don’t buy in.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Even when politicians make me sick/Telling people what they cannot do with what God has given them – don’t buy into it/Fear Leads to Anger to Hate to the Darkside/So don’t buy in/Fear Leads to Anger to Hate to the Darkside/So don’t buy in/We say put it up so we can break it down.”  This is a rare vantage point to have in such dark times.  To that end, many people may well find such a viewpoint inspirational and welcoming, and – to quote Martha Stewart – that’s a good thing.  Yes, there will be those who frown and say that Winter and company are dreamers (no that Beatles reference was not intentional), but so be it.  The world needs hope now more than ever, and to that end, this message will find itself welcome among plenty of listeners.  When it is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes even more radio ready and appealing.  It is just one more example of what makes The Emergency so appealing.  ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ is one more of the EP’s strong points.

Unlike most of the songs featured in The Emergency EP, ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ was not written on the band’s tour bus.  Rather, this song was crafted this past spring.  This song’s arrangement is another work that will appeal just as much to the band’s established fan base as it will to those of Linkin Park if only through its musical arrangement.  At the same time, the song’s musical arrangement exhibits its own arrangement that stands out separately from that of ‘Is This The Real World?’  In fact, this song is even more likened to works from Linkin Park than the noted song or any of the EP’s other works.  That is due to its much more prominent electronics and keyboards, and their balance with the guitars, bass, and drums.  The whole is a work that will connect with plenty of listeners and is just one part of what makes the song unique.  Its lyrical theme does its own part to make the song memorable.

The lyrical theme in ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ is not a commentary about social media per se.  That is despite the title, which would seem to hint at that.  Rather, the title plays on that concept in order to discuss the matter of real versus fake friends in general; those people who say they are friends, but who won’t actually stand by a person when the time comes.  This is inferred as Winter sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s Getting harder for me/Once was up once was down/Truth be told it comes around/You may never see the real me/Ten feet tall with a glass face/Leave my mouth with a bad taste/You may never see the real me/It’s Getting hard.”  That seeming message is brought even more into view in the song’s second verse, which states, “Box my ears/Shut my eyes/Cover my mouth/Truth with lies/You may never see the real me/Waive your flag from a high place/Leave my mouth with a bitter taste/You may never see the real me/It’s Getting harder for me/To be myself/And all we know/Is we push on/We hold hope/You will join/It’s Getting harder for me to be myself.”  Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Hopefully it is close to being the correct interpretation.  Regardless, what Winter has done here is crafted a song that is lyrically engaging and musically entertaining and engaging.  When it is considered along with the other songs discussed here and the rest of the EP’s works, the whole of the record shows even more clearly why it is such a positive new offering from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.  They show collectively why this EP will appeal just as much to the band’s established fan base as to newer audiences.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ latest studio recording The Warning EP is a strong new offering from the veteran emo-punk band.  It will appeal to a wide range of listeners new and not so new alike.  That is due in part to musical arrangements which are themselves quite accessible, as pointed out here already.  The record’s lyrical themes will keep listeners just as engaged as they will entertained.  That, too, has been pointed out here through an examination of half of the EP’s featured songs.  When those songs are considered along with the record’s remaining three songs, the whole proves to be a presentation that holds its own easily with any of this year’s other new EPs.  The record is available now.  More information on The Warning EP is available along with all of the latest news from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.theredjumpsuitapparatus.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/redjumpsuit

 

 

 

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.

Mark Morton Shines Again On His Second Solo Record

Courtesy: Rise Records

When Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton released his debut solo album Anasthetic last March through Spinefarm Records, he more than showed the expanse of his musical abilities and interests.  The record, which joined Morton with a number of well-known names, such as the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington, Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy and ex Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan, showed Morton as a truly original and creative musician, not just one of the members of Lamb of God.  He followed up that successful offering this past January with his debut solo EP Ether.  The five-song EP, released through Rise Records, will get a second life of sorts June 19 when it is released on vinyl through Rise Records.  Regardless of whether one prefers vinyl, CD or even digital, the fact of the matter remains that Ether is a positive follow-up to Anasthetic.  That is due to the record’s musical and lyrical content.  Its penultimate song ‘Love My Enemy’ is one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  The EP’s opener ‘All I Had to Lose’ is another way in which Ether shows its strength.  It will be addressed a little later.  Its follow-up ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which Ether shows its strength.  Together with the covers of The Black Crowes’ ‘She Talks To Angels’ and of Pearl Jam’s ‘Black,’ ‘The Fight’ and the other noted songs make Ether a wholly enjoyable follow-up to Anasthetic and one more of this year’s top new EPs.

Mark Morton’s debut EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut 2019 album Anasthetic.  Much with that album, this EP shows once again why he is more than just a member of Lamb of God, but rather a talented, creative musician in his own right.  That is evidenced in part through the EP’s penultimate song, ‘Love My Enemy.’  The song, which features vocals by Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Blood Has Been Shed, Light The Torch), presents an interesting musical arrangement.  The verses conjure thoughts of Alice in Chains, what with the layered vocal effect and the subdued guitar and drum lines.  The chorus however, boasts more of an Alter Bridge type of sound as the guitars and vocals step up.  The song’s bass line adds its own touch to the whole to make the work’s composition quite engaging and entertaining in its own right.  What is important to note here is the pairing of that duality in the song’s arrangement and its connection to the emotion and message in the song’s lyrical theme.  The song’s lyrical theme serves to make that reason for that juxtaposition clear.

Jones sings in the song’s lead verse, “Open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart/It’s alright/Eternity can die today/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We can greet the end alone/Sorrow needs an empty home/It’s alright/Years and pain can fade away/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  In the song’s third and final verse, “Jones sings, “There’s no replacing/The time we’re wasting.”  These verses are deeply introspective, needless to say.  That final verse is relatively clear, as it makes a statement about making the most of the time that we have.  The first and second verses meanwhile will generate their own hare of interest.  Maybe the lead statement of “open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart” is a statement connected to the note of the wasted time.  It’s as if it is making a note about open wounds being a failure from the beginning.  The statement in the second verse years and pain being able to fade away seems to perhaps be a statement of hope, that the past can be just that.  This is of course all this critic’s own interpretation.  The song’s chorus adds even more impact to the song, as it comes across as perhaps someone battling with him/herself.  The chorus states, “I can’t live on memories/I can’ love my enemy/We cannot repair the past/A broken heart is made of glass/No, I can’t live on memories.”  This seems like someone who is torn with trying to overcome the thoughts of the past and look to the future.  It would explain why the song’s musical arrangement is so much more powerful in the chorus than the verses.  It would serve to illustrate the subject’s heightened emotion in this moment.  This leads the song’s more contemplative counter to those heightened emotions to make more sense along with its musical accompaniment.  Again this is all this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Hopefully it is somewhere close to being correct, though.  Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical content proves just as important as its musical content.  All things considered, the song in whole, with its engaging musical and lyrical content shows well on its own, why Ether is another strong offering from Mark Morton.  It is just one of the songs that serves to exhibit that strength.  ‘All I Had to Lose’ does its own part to keep listeners’ ears and minds.

‘All I Had to Lose’ is important to note because it presents its own unique identity separate from that of ‘Love My Enemy’ and the EP’s other songs.  The song’s fully acoustic arrangement is a radio ready composition that will connect easily to audiences.  The addition of Sons of Texas front man Mark Morales’ vocal delivery adds to that commercial viability for the opus.  The combination of those elements makes the song in whole a work that is comparable to works from so many mainstream rock bands.  The appeal created through the song’s musical arrangement will keep listeners engaged, and in turn, paying attention to the song’s equally engaging lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘All I Had to Lose’ generates its own engagement because of its own contemplative nature.  Morales sings in the song’s lead verse, “We were reckless for a season, now/Restless with a reason/I can’t tell/If we were victims of the vices/Or addicted to the crisis/Lived through hell.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We laid with it/Dead and dying/Told ‘em all we were just trying/To be alive/Closed our eyes/I know that we could leave/The lies we didn’t want to leave behind.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Watched the colors fade away/Reached out by the sun/left her for another day/Prayed it would never come.”  The precise concept here is not clear at least to this critic.  It comes across as something of a statement about perhaps someone taking things for granted in life.  Whether that is in relation to a personal relationship or something else is up for discussion.  It would be interesting to learn the exact relation of that seeming message.  That Morales sings in the song’s chorus, “And when you came up for breath/I knew there wasn’t nothing left to do but choose/And everything I lost/Wasn’t much compared to all I had to lose” adds to the argument that the song’s lyrical theme is a personal message about taking for granted what one has in life.  Again, what exactly was being taken for granted – whether it be a personal relationship or something else – is something that is left for interpretation.  Either way, the fact that this seems to be the message makes the song’s musical content couple well with this half of the song’s content.  Taking everything noted here into account, the whole of the song shows even more why Ether will keep listeners engaged from start to end.  It is just one more way in which Ether proves its appeal.  ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which the EP shows its strength.

‘The Fight’ is an interesting addition to Ether.  That is due in part to its overall musical arrangement.  This composition is so starkly opposite of any of the other songs featured in this record.  The verses are distinctly subtle, but not necessarily reserved per say.  There is a certain Sevendust-esque sense to the song from the band’s more recent works, in listening closely to the arrangement.  The chorus meanwhile pack a little bit more of a punch, but it’s not a knockout punch.  Even in this case, there is a certain amount of control.  It makes for a very interesting listen.  It is not necessarily a radio ready work, but still is worth hearing.  That unique arrangement couples well with the song’s equally engaging lyrical theme, which comes across as one of those songs about someone driving along and having enough time to contemplate a lot of life matters.

Moontooth front man John Carbone provides the vocals for this song.  His vocal delivery is comparable to that of Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Thundering down the cold, dark desert road/It ain’t the miles you’re looking at/Ain’t the pavement you see/But its ghost/And all the trials that lay ahead/Yeah, it becomes your only friend.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Rumbling ground/It shakes from the load/the burden that you live to bear/Deafening sound, it rings in your soul/Make you forget what brought you here/Now the ending ain’t so clear.”  While the song’s musical arrangement doesn’t quite do so, this portion of the song leaves one making comparisons to Bob Seger’s hit song ‘Turn The Page.’  It seems to have that same kind of lyrical approach; someone on the road, lots of thoughts on the mind, etc. etc. etc.  It is an interesting sort of update, although it likely was not intended.  The comparison is strengthened even more as Carbone sings in the song’s chorus, “When you live for the fight for too long/You burn for the bloody way out/But the only hope for a victory/Is to learn to lay it down.”  It’s as if he is saying, even with all the thinking and things on a person’s mind, a person may want a certain outcome, but the outcome we want may not always be the best outcome.  Again, this is all this critic’s interpretation.   Hopefully it is in the proverbial ballpark.  That aside, all of this is sure to generate its own share of discussion among listeners.  Together with its accompanying musical content, the engagement and entertainment ensured through the song’s musical and lyrical content shows once more why Ether succeeds overall.  Together with the two covers that join this work and the EP’s two other originals, the record overall proves itself to be a complete work and a complete success for Morton and company.

Mark Morton’s recently released EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut solo album Anasthetic (2019).  That is because it continues to exhibit Morton’s talents as more than just another metal guitarist, but a widely-versed musician and songwriter.  That is evidenced through all three of the record’s original works and its two covers.  The musical and lyrical content in each original as well as the adaptation of the covers do well to support those statements.  All things considered, Ether can be considered in whole, to be one of this year’s top new EPs.

More information on Ether is available online now along with all of Mark Morton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://markmortonmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/markmortonmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MarkDuaneMorton

 

 

 

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Lakeshore Debuts Video For Cover Of Puddle Of Mudd’s ‘Blurry’

Lakeshore is taking on a classic Puddle of Mudd song.

The band debuted the video for its cover of Puddle of Mudd’s hit song ‘Blurry‘ over the weekend.  The video mixes footage of front man Jesse Doran singing the song with various other shots, such as rain on a window, an empty building, and a series of random video images presented in fast motion.

Lakeshore’s take on the song stays largely true to its source material, but also gives the song a take that lends itself to comparisons to works from Linkin Park.  Doran’s vocal delivery is even itself comparable to the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington here.

Courtesy: Lakeshore/O’Donnell Media Group

Lakeshore guitarist Ben Lionetti talked about the genesis of Lakeshore’s cover of the song in a recent interview.

“I had a few wild nights with [Puddle of Mudd frontman] Wes [Scantlin] while I was living in LA. When Jesse (Doran) and [fellow Lakeshore member] Joe [Lionetti] asked if I wanted to cover “Blurry”, I thought cool dude, cool band, epic song,” he said. “Hope y’all dig it”

‘Blurry’ is just the latest single from Lakeshore.  The band debuted the video for its own original single, ‘History‘ last month.  The band debuted the video for another single, ‘Mountain View‘ in March.

Along with all of this, the band recently released a video tour of its Loud Lion Studios on May 5.  Doran led the tour.

More information on Lake Shore’s new single, news and more is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.LakeshoreOfficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/41Lakeshore

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/41lakeshore

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.