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.

 

ITM’s Seventh LP Not As Lucky As It Could Have Been

Courtesy: Atlantic/Roadrunner Records

Goth metal outfit In This Moment has, over the course of its life, proven to be a hit among the metal masses.  The band has released six largely well-received and successful albums and toured with some of the biggest names in the rock and metal community.  The band hoped to continue that success when it released its seventh album Mother on March 27.  The result has been the exact opposite with this album, though.  This 14-song record has proven to be the band’s most divisive record yet.  The reason being the band has clearly gone in a starkly different direction this time out than the band’s previous works.  That direction in question is what comes across as a much more mainstream direction.  Gone are the shredding guitars and powerhouse vocals that came to be a trademark of the band’s past albums.  They have been replaced by lots of electronics that at times lead to comparisons to work from the likes of Linkin Park at some points, to thoughts of Korn at others and even other well-known nu-metal acts at others still.  It goes without saying in listening to this record that it is hardly the band’s best album, but at the same time, the band should be applauded for taking a risk and changing things up.  The album is not a complete failure, though.  Late in the record’s 54-minute run, the band gives audiences something at least slightly memorable in the form of ‘God is She.’  This work will be discussed shortly.  ‘As Above So Below’ is another of the works that stands out in this record.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘The In-Between’ is one more of the record’s most notable entries.  It will also be addressed later.  All three of the songs noted here are interesting work in their own right.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the end result becomes an album that while clearly not the band’s best work, is still worth at least one listen.

In This Moment’s latest full-length studio recording Mother is an intriguing new offering from the veteran goth-rock outfit.  That is because stylistically speaking, it is such a stark departure from the band’s previously releases.  Rather than being the decidedly loud, shredding work that those albums were, the band largely opts here for a darker, more brooding approach for the majority of the band’s now seventh album.  While that approach makes up the majority of the album, the album does not stick to just that approach throughout.  There are some heavier moments, such as in ‘God Is She,’ which comes late in the album’s run.  The song’s arrangement does start with the noted brooding approach, but that approach is only used in the opening bars of the song.  Roughly 35 seconds into the song, the song goes full goth-metal, with  heavy, crunching guitars and eerie piano line.  The addition of the more melodic sound of front woman Maria Brink’s vocal delivery rounds out the whole to make this arrangement stand out even more.  The whole of the noted elements makes the song’s arrangement stand out as one of the album’s best compositions, if not the record’s best work.

As much as the song’s musical arrangement does for its presentation, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out against its counterparts.  The song’s lyrical content, set against that musical content, makes the song that much more engaging for listeners.  Bring sings in the song’s lead verse, “I am the God and the devil around you/I am the heaven and the hell you crave/I am the queens and the kings that you bow to/I am the name written on your grave/I am the sun that you bask and feed on/I am the moon that you howl to/I am the daydream bringing faith and conviction/I am the nightmare that you’ve been crawling through/So watch as I set fire to everything/Watch as I burn down everything/Anything/Watch as I destroy you/Watch as I turn into God/Watch as she/Watch as she turns into me.”  She continues in the song’s second verse, “I am the righteous/The touched and holy/I am the voodoo that you want to believe/I am the angels that hold and surround you/I am the demon you’re afraid to need/I am the temple that will bless and feed you/I’m the religion keeping you in chains/I am the cure that you pray will find you/I’m the disease running through your veins.”  This comes across as a female empowerment piece, all things considered.  The very note of “God is she – she is god” in the chorus refrain, along with all of the empowering other statements about burning it all down and essentially being the best and worst of all things, of being that which can give joy and which can give pain, is very powerful.  There is a lot of metaphorical language here, but at least in this critic’s mind, the metaphors come across as the noted statements of giving women a certain strength.  Going back to the song’s musical arrangement, the fire in that content couples with this seeming pro-female message to make this a work that lots of audiences will appreciate.

‘God Is She’ is just one of the works featured in this record that proves the album is worth hearing at least once.  ‘As Above So Below’ is another of the album’s most notable works.  The song’s musical arrangement boasts some of the fiery energy that made the band’s past works such appealing works, yet it goes in a decidedly different direction than those works this time out.  This arrangement is far more accessible for mainstream audiences, with its electronic elements and up-tempo aggro-metal sound.  The up-tempo arrangement boasts elements that make it comparable to songs from the likes of Linkin Park, Rob Zombie and even Sevendust.  Yes, that sounds like quite an odd combination of sounds, but it works here. When it is considered alongside the song’s lyrical content, which presents a seeming social commentary, the song in whole becomes even more powerful.

Brink notes at one point in the song’s chorus refrain what is the most telling portion of the song, “As above, so below/What you reap is what you sow/What you give come back three fold/As above, so below.”  That is pretty much the primary statement of this song.  It is complimented in the song’s lead verse as Brink sings, “I won’t lie/It’s quite tempting/Your handouts and your bones/I wont’ lie/They’re quite empty/Your promises and your stones/If you sell, they’ll buy/Don’t feel, just sign/If you sell, they’ll buy/Don’t think, stay blind/Give me control/Sign on the dotted line/Give me the control/She whispered softly/Give me the control/You’re crawling inside my mind/Give me the control/Don’t you fight me.”  She adds later in the second verse, “Watch me float away/I was never yours to save/It all comes back three fold/As above so below.”  This comes across as a seeming message of a person getting what a person gives.  That is illustrated in the statements about buying and selling, and doing things without thinking about the consequences.  It’s as if Brink is making a statement that whether a person tries to lie to others or lets one’s self be lied to, the consequences will happen.  Again, this is merely one interpretation.  Hopefully it is close to being correct.  The very fact that these lyrics can even generate discussion on such a topic (and discussions in general) shows the importance of said content.  When that seeming message about being aware of the consequences of our actions is coupled with the song’s mainstream radio friendly arrangement, it proves in whole to be another key addition to Mother.  It is not the last of the album’s most notable works.  ‘The In-Between’ is one more of the songs featured in this album that shows it deserves to be heard at least once.

‘The In-Between’ is another nu-metal style opus that might surprise audiences.  Once again, the comparison to works from Linkin Park is distinct.  One could even argue that the song’s arrangement also boasts a comparison to works from Otep.  This might turn off some audiences, while it might appeal to others, especially considering it is a direction that the band has not previously taken.  Again, that the band was willing to take the risk to go in such direction is to be applauded, simply because it is not an approach that the band is known for taking.  The emotional theme in the song’s lyrical content couples with the song’s aggressive musical content to strengthen its presentation even more.

Brink sings in the song’s lead verse, “My mother said that I was holy/My father said that I would burn/My mother said I was an angel/My father said that I would turn/So I believed these words and I turned on myself/’Cause maybe he’s right/maybe I’m worthless/Or maybe he’s wrong and my mother was right/I got a killer in me to give me purpose/Oh, I can feel a holy war/I can feel a holy war within/No, I can’t take a holy war/No, I can’t take a holy war again/Is this what you wanted/I’m gonna bring a little hell/I’m gonna bring a little heaven/You just keep wanting more/With your blood and your whore/I’m gonna bring a little hell/I’m gonna bring a little heaven/It’s a beautiful tragedy/You wanna be sick like me/’Cause I bring a little hell.”  She continues in the song’s second verse, “I was told that I was nothing/yet I was told that I was so pure/And I was told that I was dirty/yet I was told I was the cure/I ask myself am I God or s***/Am I the high, the low/I’m f****** worth it/And I ask myself/Am I love or hate/You are the reason why I have and why I can’t quit.”  There is little doubt as to what is being addressed here.  This is someone who has gone through a difficult childhood, which is, of course, a familiar lyrical theme of so much rock music.  That aside, it still hits hard here.  That is especially the case as the theme is accompanied by the song’s musical content.  The whole of those elements makes the song that much more notable.  When it is considered with the other two works addressed here, the trio shows without doubt that while Mother may not be the *ahem* mother of all albums from In This Moment, it is not a total loss.

In This Moment’s latest full-length studio recording Mother is a work that is a loss at least for the moment for In This Moment, but not a total loss.  It is a work that despite falling short in taking its risk, still has some positive points, as pointed out here.  Keeping all of this in mind, the album will appeal to In This Moment’s most devoted fans.  In the same vein, more casual fans will find it worth at least one listen.  It is available now.  More information on the album is available online along with all of In This Moment’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.inthismomentofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialITM

 

 

 

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Discrepancies Debuts ‘Control’ Video

Courtesy: InVogue Records

Rap-rock band Discrepancies is working on its sophomore album.

In anticipation of its release, the band released a new tune this week to tide fans over.  The band debuted the video for its single ‘Control’ Thursday.  The song’s arrangement will appeal to fans of bands, such as Linkin Park, Payable on Death and Saliva.  the song’s lyrical theme presents an uplifting message about not giving up in life by using the band’s own touring as the basis for that message.

‘Control’ is available to stream and download now through Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Apple Music and YouTube.

Discrepancies is in the midst of a string of live dates as it prepares its new, as yet untitled album.  Audiences will be able to hear ‘Control’ and more at the band’s upcoming live shows.  The band’s tour schedule is noted below.

 

Upcoming shows:

FEB 08 Shaker’s Bar- Cape Girardeau, MO

MAR 06 Whiskey’s Roadhouse- Rockford, IL

MAR 07 Back Bar- Janesville, WI

JUL 25 Pipestem Spa, Mountain Chalets & Event Center- Pipestem, WV

More information on Discrepancies’ new single, live dates and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.discrepanciesmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Discrepanciestv

 

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Memphis May Fire Debuts Linkin Park Cover; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Rise Records

Memphis May Fire is paying tribute to Linkin Park and its late front man Chester Bennington.

The band debuted its cover of the band’s hit song ‘Fade‘ Friday.  The song stays very close to its source material with the lyrics staying the same and the musical arrangement giving Linkin Park’s original a slight change in its presentation.  Even with the variance in the musical arrangement, the song still stays very close to its source material.

MMF front may Matty Mullins talked about covering the song in a recent interview.

“A lot of times, when covering a song, you’re doing it for fun or to showcase your skills as an artist,” Mullins said.  “But this specific opportunity was a chance for us to honor a band that has had a profound impact on us.  There will never be another Linkin Park and there will never be another Chester Bennington.  We are forever grateful for the music they made and we hope this will encourage our younger fans to dive into the Linkin Park discography and discover the same inspiration that we did years ago.”

In other news, Memphis May Fire will tour this summer on the inaugural Disrupt Festival.  The band’s tour, which is in support of its latest album Broken (2018) is scheduled to launch June 21 in Dallas, TX and to run through July 28 in Albuquerque, NM.  It features performances in cities, such as Noblesville, IN; Mansfield, MA and Tinly Park, IL.

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.  Broken spawned the singles ‘The Old Me,’ ‘Heavy is the Weight (ft. Andy Mineo)‘ and ‘You and Me.’

MEMPHIS MAY FIRE ON TOUR:
2019 DISRUPT FESTIVAL:

6/21 — Dallas, TX — Dos Equis Pavilion
6/22 — Austin, TX — Austin 360 Amphitheater
6/23 — The Woodlands, TX — Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman
6/25 — West Palm Beach, FL — Coral Sky Amphitheatre
6/28 —Atlanta, GA — Lakewood Amphitheater
6/30 — Atlantic City, NJ — The Beach at Atlantic City*
7/2 — Syracuse, NY — Lakeview Amphitheater — Syracuse
7/3 — Toronto, ON — Budweiser Stage
7/5 — Mansfield, MA — Xfinity Center
7/6 — Holmdel, NJ — PNC Bank Arts Center
7/7 — Hartford, CT — The XFINITY Theatre
7/9 — Bristow, VA — Jiffy Lube Live
7/12 — Tinley Park, IL — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
7/14 — Noblesville, IN — Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
7/15 — Maryland Heights, MO — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
7/17 — Denver, CO — Pepsi Center
7/20 — Irvine, CA — Five Point Amphitheater
7/21 — Mountain View, CA — Shoreline Amphitheater*
7/23 — Auburn, WA — White River Amphitheatre
7/24 — Nampa (Boise), ID — Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
7/26 — Chula Vista, CA — North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
7/27 — Phoenix, AZ — Ak-Chin Pavilion
7/28 — Albuquerque, NM — Isleta Amphitheater
*Warped Tour Weekend Date

More information on Memphis May Fire’s upcoming tour is available online now at:

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MemphisMayFire

 

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A Life To Live Debuts Tribute To Chester Bennington With ‘One More Light’ Cover, Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost a year has already passed since one-time Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington’s death.  No doubt, tributes will start pouring in as it gets even closer.  Independent rock band A Life To Live recently paid its tribute to Bennington with a cover of Linkin Park’s heart-wrenching single ‘One More Light’ and a video to boot.  That video is streaming online now here.

Work on the video started this past January, but the band said it held off releasing the video until now because it wanted to wait for the right time.  That right time was this week as it is so close to the one year anniversary of the release of the song’s namesake album — May 19.  Band front man Chris Musser and his band mates — Tim Donofrio (drums) and Branden Kreider (bass, lead guitar) — released a collective statement about the song’s release, saying they were looking forward to the songs release.

“We are incredibly excited and proud to release this long overdue tribute to Chester,” the statement reads.  “We wanted to take this opportunity to not only pay our respects to such an immeasurable influence on us personally and the rock world at large, but also do our part to raise awareness for mental health.  I have been open about my struggles with depression in the past in hopes of letting others know it’s okay to talk about it because you are not in this alone.  Any and all proceeds made from our rendition of ‘One More Light’ will be going to charity in support of mental health awareness.”

More information on A Life To Live, whose members are all former members of the rap/rock band Ashes To New, is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alifetoliveband

 

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Silent Theory Unveils ‘Watch Me Burn’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent hard rock outfit Silent Theory is giving audiences another taste of its latest full-length album.

The Idaho-based band unveiled this week the video for its latest single, ‘Watch Me Burn.’  The song is the second single from its 2016 sophomore album Delusions.  For those unfamiliar with the band, this latest single will appeal greatly to fans of Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park and other similar acts.

The band noted in a press statement that while the song and video are fully open to interpretation, the song’s central message is positive.

“Given the state of the world right now, with the natural disasters and political turmoil, we opted for a video that mirrored the current state, though we’d never consider ourselves a political band,” the band stated in the release.  “While we want people to interpret our song and video for themselves, it was written with the premise in mind that we are all in this together, and that music can be what binds us all together.”

The band’s new video was directed by Jon Kuritz in Moscow, Idaho.  Five separate projectors were used in the video’s recording; projectors which ran footage taken from various news stations of varied tense stories to illustrate the noted central message.

Delusions is available now.  Its track listing is noted below.

Track List:
1. Leave Alone
2. Fragile Minds
3. Boogeyman
4. Watch Me Burn
5. Lost Forever
6. Anyways
7. Alice
8. Sever
9. Faceless
10. Outta My Head
11. One Over the Other
12. Fragile Minds (Radio Edit)

More information on Delusions is available along with more on its new single, video and latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.silenttheorymusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/silenttheory1

 

 

 

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Steve Aoki, Linkin Park Partner To Release New Benefit Single

Courtesy: Dim Mak Records

Famed EDM artist Steve Aoki has released a new song to pay tribute to the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington.

Aoki debuted Friday ‘Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix).  He made the announcement Friday via his official Instagram account. Audiences can hear the song online now here through a number of sources.  A short 30-second preview clip of the song is streaming at the link, too.

The song is a mashup of two songs that Aoki composed with Linkin Park—‘Darker Than Blood’ and ‘A Light That Never Comes.’  Net proceeds of the song’s sale will benefit Music for Relief’s One More Light fund in Bennington’s name.

Aoki praised Bennington in a recent interview, calling him a friend as he expressed his sadness over Bennington’s passing.

“Chester Bennington was my favorite singer of all time,” Aoki said.  “I feel so incredibly honored to not only have worked with him on these songs, but am so deeply touched to have gotten to know him as a friend.  I’m still shattered by this tragic loss.  It’s hard to realize that he is not coming back.  Chester was such an invaluable human being that bled out the pain and passion through Linkin Park, touching so many people’s lives.  He helped so many people that have felt these similar feelings around the world scream out and feel like they are not alone.  Life can be incredibly trying and tough.  Nothing can bring more consolation than knowing that there are others going through this same pain.  Chester was such a beautiful human being.  I will never forget our conversations and moments shared together in the studio, on the stage and in life.  We now have Chester in our hearts and minds forever.  Keep his inspiration and passion alive and play Linkin Park f***ing loud.  Scream the lyrics f***ing loud.  Live in these moments f***ing loud.  I miss you dear friend.  You are in our hearts and minds forever.  Chester forever.”

More information on Steve Aoki’s new tribute to Bennington is available online now along with all of his latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.steveaoki.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/steveaoki

 

 

 

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