Conquest’s ‘Under The Influence’ Is Not Just Another Covers Album

Courtesy:  Dark Star Records

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

Early this past April St. Louis, Missouri-based metal outfit Conquest released its latest album Under The Influence.  The forty-three-minute covers album presents eleven songs from some of the band members’ favorite bands.  The songs themselves are, collectively, their own important part of the record’s presentation.  That will be discussed shortly.  They are not the album’s only key element.  The band’s take on the featured songs is just as important to note in this record’s presentation as the songs themselves.  That will be discussed later.  The album’s overall sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the album’s whole.  Altogether all three elements Under The Influence a covers album that any rock fan should hear at least once.  This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest’s body of work.

Covers albums are a dime a dozen nowadays in the music industry.  Nine times out of ten, they are space fillers used between new albums to tide over fans and fulfill contractual obligations for record labels.  Even worse, said albums are commonly thrown together rather haphazardly, much like all of the “hits” albums that are out there.  The end result in both cases are albums (if one even wants to call them albums—note the sarcasm) that are anything but memorable or even worth having in one’s personal music collection.  Enter Under The Influence, the new covers collection from St. Louis, Missouri’s hard rock outfit Conquest.  Unlike all of the covers (and “hits”—technically singles) collections out there on the market today this eleven-song compilation record is one that every rock fan should head at least once.  This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest and its body of work.  The record’s featured covers are in themselves just one of the elements that make this record worth hearing.  That is the case because the songs don’t just come from one of rock’s many sub-genres or another.  Rather it crosses those genres from beginning to end.  It also spans rock’s rich modern history with its presented songs.  It all kicks off with a pair of Judas Priest covers in the form of ‘Metal Gods’ and ‘The Ripper.’  That pair of songs is followed by a cover of Iron Maiden’s beloved ‘Wraith Child.’ The band gets even heavier from there with its own take on Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls.’  Things change even more dramatically in the band’s next offering, a cover of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades.’  This one comes at just the right moment, too, as it is essentially the album’s midway point.  It isn’t even the album’s most interesting of the record’s inclusions either.  The album’s second half features covers of songs from Bon Jovi, Anthrax, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, and even UFO.  To say that that is a broad swath of bands (and songs) would be an understatement.  Simply put, the eleven songs (and bands) that are featured in this covers collection is extremely wide.  The songs are just as diverse in their stylistic approaches as the bands are within their own rock sub-genres.  Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear as to why the songs featured in this record are so important to its presentation.  They don’t subject listeners to just one style of rock.  Rather, they cover so many different styles from so many ages of rock’s rich history.  They make up just one of the record’s most important elements.  The band’s take on each of the featured songs is just as important to note here as the songs themselves.

The songs (and bands) that are featured in Conquest’s new covers collection are collectively their own important part of the record’s presentation.  That is because they lift liberally from rock’s rich modern history.  The songs present a wide range of bands and rock styles from beginning to end.  That is just one part of what makes this record a rare covers collection that is actually worth hearing.  The band’s actual performance of the record’s featured songs is just as important as the songs themselves.  The band’s take on Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ is one of the band’s best performances in this record.  If one were to hear this take on the classic heavy metal tune without knowing it was Conquest, one would actually think that it was Metallica.  The band performed the song verbatim both lyrically and stylistically.  And front man Derrick Brumley may not sound just like James Hetfield circa 1984.  But listeners will be surprised at the similarity in the sound of the singers’ vocals.  The band’s take on ‘Ace of Spades’ is just as impressive.  One could argue in fact, that Conquest’s take on the classic rock anthem is just as good as Motorhead’s original recording.  It doesn’t bear the grittier, garage rock sound presented in Motorhead’s original composition.  But even with that taken into consideration it still pays honor stylistically to the original right down to the song’s familiar up-tempo bass line (handled here by bassist Rob Boyer).  One of the song’s biggest surprises is Brumley’s vocal delivery.  It’s not certain as to whether or not Brumley set out to emulate Lemmy Kilmister in this cover.  But interestingly enough listeners will note that there is a certain element of that gritty sound made so familiar by the late rock legend in Brumley’s own vocal delivery here.  It is a nice touch to the, and especially so if Brumley did not set out to try to sound like Kilmister.  The band’s take on UFO’s ‘Lights Out In London’ is another example of the importance of the band’s performances in this record.  It could actually be argued here that Conquest’s cover is even better than the original.  That is thanks to the bombastic guitar solos, Bruley’s powerhouse vocal delivery, and Tim Fleetwood’s equally solid work behind the kit.  Of course Boyer’s work on the bass here shouldn’t be ignored either.  The whole of the band’s work here makes the band’s take on the song a song that will have make every rocker out there proud.  It is just one more example of what makes the band’s performance of each of the record’s featured songs is just as important as the songs themselves.  They are hardly the record’s only key examples of that importance.  Audiences will take just as much notice of the band’s take on ‘Dead Or Alive’ ‘Wraithchild’ and ‘Cowboys From Hell.’  The prior pair of covers is much more bombastic here in the case of the original songs.  ‘Cowboys From Hell’ on the other hand is a relatively close take on the original.  All three will hold listeners’ ears and have them talking afterward just as much as the other noted covers and those covers not noted here.  All in all, the band’s take on each of the songs featured proves just as pivotal to the record’s presentation as the songs themselves.  They are not the record’s only important elements, though.  The album’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as the songs and their performances.

The songs that are featured in Conquest’s new covers collection and the band’s take on each song are equally important to the album’s presentation.  The songs are so important to note because of the broad range of influences presented throughout the record’s forty-three minute run time.  The band’s performance of the songs is just as important to note as the songs themselves because of the similarities and differences between the originals and the band’s updated take on each song.  Those similarities and differences are certain to create their own share of interest and discussion among audiences.  As important as each element proves to the record’s whole they are not its only key elements.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as those noted elements.  Audiences that pay close attention to the record’s sequencing will note that for the most part the record maintains a relatively solid energy level from beginning to end.  Though, the energy does pick up just enough at given points, so as to maintain listeners’ engagement.  It picks up first just past the record’s halfway point in the form of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ before puling back just a little bit as the record transitions into its second half.  As the album nears its end the band picks things up once more in the covers of ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Cowboys From Hell’ before finishing off with the slightly slower (slightly at best) but no less heavy ‘Children of the Grave.’  Simply put, the band has balanced the record’s energy and even its varied musical styles from beginning to end thanks to its expert sequencing.  This ensures listeners’ maintained engagement, and in turn, entertainment.  Keeping this in mind, the record’s sequencing shows in the end why it is just as important to its presentation as its songs and performances thereof.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, Under The Influence shows in the end to be a rarity of a covers album.  It doesn’t come across as just some contractually obligated space filler.  Rather it proves to be a collection of classic rock songs that Conquest’s fans will enjoy just as much as those of the bands featured throughout the record.  It is a record that succeeds at presenting a solid introduction to rock’s rich modern history all while entertaining rock fans of all ages.  It is a covers collection that is actually worth hearing at least once regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest or its body of work.

Conquest’s latest studio recording Under The Influence is a record that every rock fan should hear at least once.  This applies regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the band or its body of work.  That is because it isn’t just a random, contractually obligated space filler record.  Its eleven songs present a solid introduction to rocks rich modern history.  That is thanks to the broad array of bands and songs that is presented here.  The band’s performance of each song is just as important to the record’s presentation as the songs themselves.  That is because they present new and familiar takes on the classic songs; takes that will keep listeners engaged and generate their own share of discussion among audiences.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its presentation.  Over the course of its forty-three minutes, the records sequencing expertly balances the record’s energy from beginning to end.  This ensures just as much listeners’ engagement.  Each element plays its own important part in the record’s presentation.  Altogether they make Under The Influence a record that very rock fan should hear at least once regardless of one’s familiarity with Conquest or its body of work.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Dark Star Records’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from Conquest is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://conquestmetal.com

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

 

 

 

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Conquest Offering Free Song Download

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

Independent metal act Conquest is making some of its music available to the masses.

The St. Louis, Missouri-based band, which is signed to Dark Star Records, has made available for free download its cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Children of the Grave.’  It is available here.  But it is only available for a limited time.  It will be available only until next Monday, June 20th.  The band’s cover of the classic tune is included in the band’s album Under The Influence.  Front man Derrick Brumley explained recently where his love for both the song and for Black Sabbbath comes from noting, “These guys started it all. When I was 7 or 8 my brother’s girlfriend brought over their first album and I was completely blown away! She ended up leaving it at our house and it became mine. “Children ..” is the one song that has stuck with me over the years.”

Under The Influence is the tenth full-length studio recording from Conquest and its third for Dark Star Records.  It was released April 8th.  The album is a collection of covers of music from bands that influenced the band’s own members including: Judas Priest, Metallica, Motorhead, Pantera, and (believe it or not) Bon Jovi among many others.  It can be ordered online now direct via Dark Star Records’ online store.  More information on Conquest, it’s new album, free download, live dates, and more is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://conquestmetal.com

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

 

 

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Mika’s ‘Sinfona Pop’ Is An Orchestral Perfomance Unlike Any Other

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Popular musical acts using string (and sometimes orchestral) arrangements in their songs is nothing new in the music industry today.  It is a practice that has been going on as far back as one can recall.  However the actual performance of a popular musical act with orchestral organization isn’t so new.  It wasn’t until the past twenty years or so that audiences started to see any major musical act join forces with an orchestra for a live performance, let alone a recorded performance.  Elton John has done it.  So have Metallica and KISS.  They are just some of the acts that have added an orchestra to their music for live performances.  It goes without saying that there are quite a few more out there that have.  One of that mass is pop star Mika’s new recording Sinfonia Pop.  Mika (a.k.a. Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr.) recently released his new live orchestral recording.  The recording is just the latest in a long line of accolades for the British-born singer-songwriter.  Over the course of just four albums, Mika has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, and going Gold or Platinum in 32 countries.  That is quite the resume.  And this recording is sure to add to it as there is plenty to say to its positive beginning with its set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The actual performance of the songs is just as important to note in this recording and will be discussed later.  The interviews with both Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are equally important to the recording as the performance and its set list.  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  Altogether they make Sinfonia Pop a solid live recording from the internationally known pop star.  They also show collectively why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Mika’s new live recording Sinfonia Pop is a solid live recording from the internationally renowned pop star.  It is also more proof as to why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  This is due in part to the concert’s featured set list.  The nearly two-hour concert runs twenty-one songs deep and lifts very liberally from all four of his current studio recordings.  The most well represented of his albums is his 2007 debut Life in Cartoon Motion.  It is represented by no fewer than 6 songs—‘Grace Kelly,’ ‘Love Today,’ ‘Relax (Take It Easy),’ ‘Any Other World,’ Happy Ending,’ and ‘Over My Shoulder.’  The Boy Who Knew Too Much is the least represented of Mika’s records here, with only two songs—‘Rain’ and ‘Toy Boy’—being pulled from that album.  The Origin of Love is represented by a total of eight songs.  They are ‘Origin of Love,’ ‘Stardust,’ ‘Make You Happy,’ ‘Underwater,’ ‘Overrated,’ ‘Love You When I’m Drunk,’ ‘Heroes,’ and ‘Elle me dit.’  Most interesting of those tracks is the last of them—‘Elle me dit.’  That is because this song was not included in the album’s standard release.  It was included as a bonus track in the album’s French and Italian release.  In other territories it was only included in the album’s deluxe edition.  No Place In Heaven rounds out the concert’s set list.  It is represented here by ‘Last Party,’ ‘Good Guys,’ ‘Ordinary Man,’ and ‘Boum Boum Boum.’  The latter of those tracks was only included in the album’s French and Italian release.  So for many, getting to experience the song here, much as with ‘Elle me dit’ might actually be the first time hearing the song for many audiences.  The concert’s opening ‘Overture’ is a completely new composition, bringing the total song count up to twenty-one.  While the chosen set list is itself extensive, the process of picking out songs for the concert was just as interesting to learn about.  That is discussed by conductor Simon Leclere n the recording’s bonus interviews.  It will be discussed later.  Staying on the topic at hand, the concert’s set list is extensive to say the very least.  Two of Mika’s albums were obviously far more represented than the other two.  Regardless, he did include some a pair of exclusive songs in his performance here from those two lesser represented.  That and the more represented albums combine to make the show’s set list an important part of the recording’s presentation in its own right.  It is not the only important element of the recording’s presentation, either.  Mika’s performance, and that of the orchestra, are just as important to note here as the show’s set list.

The set list that is featured in Mika’s new live recording is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  That is because it lifts from all four of his albums so far.  It even includes a pair of songs that were only made available in exclusive editions of two of those albums, and an original composition in the concert’s opening ‘Overture.’  The end result is a set list that runs nearly two hours (an hour and forty-nine minutes to be exact) and twenty-one songs deep.  It is just on of the recording’s most important elements.  The actual performance by Mika and the orchestra is just as important to note in the recording’s presentation as its set list.  The actual performance is so important to note because it stands out so starkly from the other mainstream/classical mash ups that are out there.  It doesn’t come across as just another mainstream act performing in front of an orchestra.  Instead at times it feels as if one is watching Mika and company performing numbers from some major musical stage production.  Obviously they are not from said productions.  But the arrangements, when coupled with Mika’s own powerhouse performance, makes each song feel (and sound) like it.  That is a testament both to Mika’s own vocal talents and those of the musicians performing with him.  Staying on that train of thought the orchestra members actually exhibit a certain enjoyment in performing just as much as Mika.  That can’t exactly be said of some other orchestral groups who have performed with other well-known acts.  In those cases it is obvious that the musicians in question are just going through the motions.  The fact that the musicians in this orchestra were clearly enjoying themselves just as much as Mika, makes the performance that much more enjoyable to experience even in a home setting.  On a side note, the performance in whole is powerful to say the very least.  It sounds great on any standard hi-def monitor when the monitor is set to “Music” setting.  Those with a home theater system will get an even more powerful experience.  Keeping this in mind, it should be clear why the performance both by Mika and the orchestra is so important to this recording’s presentation.  It still is not the recording’s last notable element.  The bonus interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere is just as important to note here as the performance and the chosen set list.

The set list featured in Sinfonia Pop and the performance put on by Mika and the orchestra are both key in their own right to the recording’s presentation.  The set list is so important to note because all four of Mika’s albums are represented here, even with a pair of exclusive songs.  The performance by all involved comes across like a collection of songs from any number of major musical stage productions.  Considering this, one could even see Mika performing in said musicals considering his vocal talents and the talents of the orchestra’s members.  As important as both elements are to this recording’s presentation they are not its only important elements.  The interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are just as important to the presentation as those previously noted elements.  Audiences discover in Mika’s interview his incredible sense of humility.  There is no sense of ego from him in listening to him talk.  That’s just one of the interesting tidbits revealed in his interview.  Audiences also learn the improbable way in which the concert came together.  It’s quite the interesting story, too.  It is centered on a simple mealtime discussion with another individual.  The rest of the story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  In regards to Leclere’s interview audiences learn that Leclere and Mika didn’t just sit down and pick out a few songs randomly for the concert.  Rather Leclere notes in his interview that he actually went through the entirety of each of Mika’s albums in order to decide which songs would best translate to an orchestral situation.  That attention to detail paid off quite well, too as is clear in the previously noted performance.  It allowed Leclere to fully grasp and appreciate Mika’s music and develop arrangements that would not just compliment Mika’s songs but take them over the top.  And take them over the top they most certainly did.  It’s just one of the interesting items revealed in his interview.  As with Mika’s interview, there is much more for audiences to take in here.  Each interview ultimately proves to be important in its own right to Sinfonia Pop.  Altogether they prove to be just as important to Sinfonia Pop’s presentation as its set list and featured performance.  Collectively speaking, all three elements prove equally important to the recording’s presentation.  They make this recording a solid, new live recording from the internationally acclaimed performer.  Thy also show once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leading name in live recordings.

Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika.  It is also more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  That is due in part to the concert’s featured set list.  Neither Mika nor Eagle Rock’s reps wanted to give audiences just some random performance.  It is a set list that lifts liberally from all four of Mika’s albums, thus giving audiences a rich experience, in terms of its songs.  Mika’s performance of said set list and that of his fellow performers is just as important in showing this.  The performance of all involved is akin to watching a major musical stage production.  In all honesty it is just as entertaining.  The interviews that were included in the recording are definitely deserving of being called bonuses.  That is because of the information revealed in each interview.  Each element is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation.  That goes without saying.  Collectively speaking, they show in whole why, again, Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika.  They also show why once again Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

More information on Sinfonia Pop is available along with all of Mika’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.mikasounds.com

Facebook: http://www.mikasounds

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mikasounds

 

 

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

Cage9 Set To Enlighten Audiences With Its New Album, ‘Illuminator’

Cage9 has officially been released.

One of the latest additions to Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label Group, the band released its new album Illuminator this past Friday, June 3rd.  The album was released via eOne in the United States and Triple Vision Entertainment in Japan.  It is schedule for release later this year in Europe via SPV.  The band unveiled the video for the album’s lead single ‘Everything You Love Will Someday Die’ earlier this spring.  The video is streaming online now via YouTube.  It features footage of the band’s members and fans singing the song.

 

Courtesy:  EMP Label Group

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

 

Front man Evan Rodaniche discussed the video in a recent interview.  He noted the song’s family roots in the interview and the video’s recording process.  “This song is dedicated to my father, who passed away about a month ago after a two year battle with cancer,” he said.  “But even when I first wrote these lyrics at the onset of his terminal diagnosis as a sort of comforting mantra, in the back of my mind I believed my dad was indestructible.  I never thought I’d be adding an “in loving memory” dedication at the end of this video.  But then he was gone.  And that’s what this is all about.  We spend our modern lives wrapped up in our first world problems, completely disconnected with the natural cycles of the planet around us.”

In discussing the video’s production, Rodaniche noted the cameras that were used and the band’s general approach to making the clip.  We shot the video DIY with a couple Canon DSLR cameras, a black sheet in our rehearsal room and about forty non-actor friends, fans, and family who showed up one sunny Los Angeles afternoon in 2015 to mouth the lyrics to a song they’d never heard.  We aimed to bring home the message that no matter who you are we’re all in this together.”  He went on to not the song’s roots and sound in his discussion, too noting, “As for the song itself, it’s a little bit of old school thrash mixed with something more melodic and a little piano and acoustic guitar wankery to push it over the 6 minute epic-metal-song mark. (Yes, there’s a radio edit.)  He linked this in to a discussion on [Dave] Ellefson discovering Cage 9 through ‘Everything You Love Will Someday Die.’  I was the 14 year old kid running around with a worn out cassette of Peace Sells in his Walkman, he said.  “So having the dude that brought us pretty much THE most recognizable bass riff of my (and half the planet over 30’s) youth dig our band is a huge honor.”  He went on further noting, “Cage 9 originated in Panama where I grew up playing in a band yet having pretty much never experienced famous bands performing live to learn from, not to mention any of our idols like Megadeth or Metallica.  This definitely makes this chance to work with Dave in a mentor/label situation that much more amazing.  Very excited to be releasing our new album Illuminator with EMP this summer.”

Ellefson shared his thoughts on the band and its song in a discussion of his own even echoing the Megadeth/Metallica influence in the band’s new single noted by Rodaniche.  “Cage9 is definitely the real deal,” he said.  When I first heard ‘Everything You Love Will One Day Die,’ it instantly struck me as the closest I’ve heard to a song with a true Metallica/Megadeth core, with the radio accessibility to really connect with a modern rock audience.  And with the band’s history, and everything they’ve accomplished, they were a perfect fit for what we were doing at EMP.”

Since moving to Los Angeles the band has released a total of six albums and more than one hundred songs.  One of those albums was completely in Spanish.  The band has sold 25,000 copies of its albums worldwide in that time and played over 50 dates across America just last year.  It has also toured Japan and Central America as direct opener for Ozzy Osbourne, Bad Religion, Seether, and In This Moment.  The band has also shared stage time with the likes of Sevendust, Hellyeah, Karnivool, and others.  Even Rodaniche himself spent some time in the past as a member of Powerman 5000.  He also helped to co-write, record, and mix some of PM5K’s most recent albums.  That isn’t Rodaniche’s only production credit.  He also worked on ex-Flyleaf singer Lacey Sturm’s new album and work from Boy Hits Car, and others.  As if all of this isn’t enough credit to Cage9, the band has also received glowing reviews from its much more well-known counterparts including: Pop Evil, Korn, Saving Abel, Asking Alexandria, Devil You Know, and 9Electric just to name a handful of acts.

More information on Cage9’s new album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.cage9.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Cage9

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cage9

 

 

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

Metallica To Stream Its First Concert Of The Year Online

There has been a lot of speculation in recent months about whether or not Metallica will release the follow-up to its hit 2013 album Death Magnetic this year. Now Metallica is in the headlines for another reason that is just as exciting. The band will hold its first live performance of the year this weekend. And fans in attendance won’t be the only ones that will get to see the show.

Metallica will hold its first live performance of the year this weekend when it takes to the stage this Saturday at AT&T Park as the headliners for CBS Radio’s The Night Before. the concert is a celebration set to build expectations for this Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, which will be held live at Levi Stadium in San Francisco, Metallica’s home town. And fans that won’t be able to be there in person need not worry about missing out. That is because the band is going to stream the concert online and for free no less. It will be streamed online for free in 1080p FullHD at http://webcast.livemetallica.com, delivered by nugs.net. The band is currently scheduled to take the stage promptly at 8:30pm PST/11:30PM EST. Along with being able to see the show for free, audiences will also be able to pre-order professionally mixed audio recordings of the show as downloads and collectible CDs.

 

Courtesy:  BBGun Press/CBS Radio

Courtesy: BBGun Press/CBS Radio

 

 

Metallica drummer and founding member Lars Ulrich spoke with the media about this weekend’s year-opening concert. In discussing the concert he explained the decision to perform at this weekend’s event and the band’s reason for sharing the concert for free online. “We can’t wait to play our first show of 2016 and there’s nowhere we’d rather kick off the festivities than in our own backyard,” he said. “Even though the show has been sold out for months, Metallica fans around the world will be able to join in on the madness.”

nugs.net founder and CEO Brad Serling also shared his thoughts on the upcoming concert noting the importance of the first-ever HD stream of the band’s performance at its website.

“We’ve released audio recordings of every Metallica show for the past 12 years at LiveMetallica.com,” he said. So naturally we’re excited to deliver the band’s first live HD stream from their hometown on their own website.”

This weekend’s free broadcast from Metallica and nugs.net is not the first online stream from nugs.net. The company has also streamed pay-per-view webcasts of performances from Phish at Madison Square Garden over New Year’s and 2015’s Grateful Dead “Fare Thee Well” shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

More information on Metallica’s upcoming show is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.metallica.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/metallica

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

Tales From Wisconsin Is One Of Teenage Bottlerocket’s Best Records Yet

Courtesy:  Rise Records

Courtesy: Rise Records

Teenage Bottlerocket is one of the best punk rock bands that audiences have never heard. For almost fifteen years, this Laramie, Wyoming-based band has been making its own brand of punk rock and building its audience base. All the while, it has remained just under the mainstream radar. This is actually a good thing. That is because it has kept the band from becoming just another cookie cutter pop punk rock band a la Sum 41, Blink 182, Newfound Glory, etc. Remaining just under that mainstream radar has allowed the band to continue crafting its own brand of music more akin to its counterparts in The Lillingtons, Bowling For Soup, and others of that ilk, all the while building its legions of fans around the world. The band’s latest album Tales From Wisconsin is proof of that. It is a fourteen track, thirty-five minute record that is just as certain to have listeners singing along happily just as much as any of the band’s previous releases. This has already been proven thanks to the album’s lead single, the light-hearted ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You),’ and its follow-up ‘They Call Me Steve.’ Both songs clearly show that nearly fifteen years after it first formed and roughly thirteen years after the release of its debut album Another Way, Teenage Bottlerocket has not lost a single step. The album’s gentle, acoustic closer ‘First Time’ shows this just as much. What’s more, it shows a certain growth from the members of Teenage Bottlerocket. Sure, the comparison to Dropkick Murphys and Green Day are inescapable here. But considering TBR’s body of work up to this point, it shows a turning point for the band and just as with the album’s first two singles shows yet again why this album is one more success from what is one of the punk realm’s best kept secrets.

TBR’s new album Tales From Wisconsin comes some thirteen years after the release of its debut record Another Way. One would think that considering how long TBR has been making music together, it would have broken through into the mainstream a long time ago when MTV and VH1 were still airing music videos and when they, along with the nation’s mainstream radio stations, were thirsting for the next big name in punk rock. Interestingly enough that never happened. Yet considering what those outlets did to the reputation of punk rock, maybe it’s a good thing that TBR never did break through. It allowed TBR to continue making its own music rather than give in to some A&R rep and other label exec along the way. Because it has manage to avoid those trappings, the band has manage to craft an album in Tales From Wisconsin–its sixth full-length studio effort–that is just as enjoyable as any of its previous recordings. That is evident early on in the record courtesy of its lead single ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You).’ This fully tongue-in-cheek song pays homage to veteran hard rock/metal act Metallica all while presenting a story of a man who has met a woman who is just as much a fan of the band as him. The song’s standard, melodic punk sound will itself have audiences on their feet, dancing in time as Brandon Carlisle keeps time alongside brother Ray Carlisle and fellow guitarist Kody Templeman. The song’s lyrical side is just as apt to put a smile on audiences faces as Templeman makes reference after reference to Metallica’s body of work throughout the song, singing, “That guy was such a d*******/When we were sticking up for Jason Newstead/That’s when you said you loved …And Justice For All/I didn’t make up with the creeps that night/they were looking for a fight/I was totally right on/The frayed ends of sanity/The shortest straw has been pulled for me/I’ll probably fade to black someday/Unless you hit the lights and escape with me.” The references to Metallica’s extensive catalogue don’t stop here. There is also a reference to ‘The Unforgiven’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ The song’s very title is itself a reference to ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ Such playful use of references coupled with the standard theme of a love found make this one of the most original compositions of its kind to be churned out by a musical act in any genre. Such originality makes clear why this song was chosen as the lead single for TFW. It also makes clear by itself what makes TFW one more wonderful release from one of the rock world’s best kept secrets. Audiences can check out the song’s lyric video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdRrN4xQ8zk.

‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You) is one of the most original compositions about a relationship that has ever been crafted by any act in any of the music world’s many genres. The playful references to Metallica’s biggest hits as the basis for the song’s story coupled with the song’s catchy hooks and chorus makes it obvious why the song was chosen as TFW’s lead single. It also stands as just one clear example of why TBR remains today one of the best kept secrets in both the world of punk and rock in general. The song’s follow-up ‘They Call Me Steve’ shows just as clearly how much TBR has to offer on its latest release. The song’s musical side boasts even more infectious hooks and choruses throughout its two-minute, twenty-one second run time. Looking at the song from a lyrical standpoint, it is just as intriguing as Templeman sings, “I knocked down a tree with my bare hands/And I’ve been to all four corners of this land/I killed a giant spider with an iron sword/And I ran ten miles being chased by a zombie horde/They call me Steve/I’ll do anything you want me to/They call me Steve/I’ll dig a hole to Hell and back for you.” If not for the song’s companion video, which can be viewed online now, the song alone would definitely have had audiences talking. The song’s companion video is a Minecraft themed creation that perfectly complements the song’s lyrical content. It’s a love story in a video game world. The video can be viewed online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqLAkjRyiJU. In viewing the video, audiences will agree that it perfectly illustrates the story presented in the song and in turn makes the song even more enjoyable than it is on its own musical merits. The combination of the song’s musical and lyrical sides, and its companion video makes clear once again why TBR remains one of the best names in the punk realm and one of rock’s best kept secrets. Alongside ‘Nothing Else Matters (Without You),’ it shows even more clearly whyTFW is such an enjoyable record.

‘Nothing Else Matters (Without You)’ and ‘They Call Me Steve’ are both clear examples of what makes TFW such an enjoyable record both for fans that are new to the band’s material and to those that are more familiar with the band’s body of work. As much enjoyment as those songs offer audiences, there is one more song on this record that stands out even more than them as one of the album’s highest of points. That song is the album’s string-laden acoustic closer ‘First Time.’ Both musically and lyrically it presents the band’s much more rarely exhibited softer side. The comparison to Green Day and Dropkick Murphys among others is inescapable here because of that combination of music and lyrics. But being one of those truly rare times that the band has gotten to display its softer side, it makes this moment something special. It shows the band a little more willing to grow and show a more mature side from the band in comparison to what audiences have become accustomed to hearing. There is almost a certain desperation in Templeman’s voice as he sings I’m falling apart with a broken heart for the first time/I’m starting to doubt what this feeling’s about/For the first time/I stare at the wall/I’m beginning to fall…For the first time/spinning out of control/With nowhere left to go.” It’s not the standard oh, woe is me sort of delivery musically or lyrically that audiences have become all too familiar with from so many punk and emo bands. It has its own identity. Because of that, it proves yet again what makes TFW just as enjoyable as TBR’s previous records and why this veteran punk rock band remains today one of the best kept secrets of the rock world in whole. Together with ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You)’ and ‘They Call Me Steve,’ all three songs together exhibit why this record is just as enjoyable for first time listeners and for those that are more familiar with the band’s body of work. That is not to discount the other dozen tracks that make up this record, either. Each of those tracks not noted here makes its own argument in favor of TFW, too. The whole of those tracks and those more fully noted here show clearly why every punk rock fan should hear this record regardless of their familiarity with TBR.

TBR is currently out on tour in support of its new album. It will wrap up the U.S. leg of its tour this Sunday, April 19th in Denver, Colorado before taking a few days off to recharge and prep for the European leg of its tour. That leg kicks off next Thursday, April 24th in Lindau, Germany. Fans will be able to pick up TFW at either of those shows or any of its upcoming shows, too. Fans that can’t make it to the band’s shows can also pick up TFWin stores and online. Fans can check out TBR’s latest tour dates and get more information on TFW, and where they can purchase it online now at:

Website: http://www.teenagebottlerocket.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/teenbottlerock

Instagram: http://instagram.com/teenagebottlerocket

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

Metallica Celebrating Record Store Day With Special Cassette Recording

Courtesy:  BBGun PR

Courtesy: BBGun PR

Record Store Day is creeping up on the country yet again. For those that don’t know, Record Store Day is April 18th this year. And as the countdown to the big day ticks down, more news is coming out about how different acts will celebrate. The latest piece of news comes from veteran rock band Metallica.

Metallica announced this week that unlike most other acts, it will not celebrate Record Store Day with a special vinyl release but with a limited edition cassette tape. Yes, a cassette tape. No Life ‘Til Leather will feature seven tracks. The tracks were originally recorded in 1982 at Chateau East Studio in Tustin, CA with the original lineup of James Hetfield (guitar), Lars Ulrich (drums), Dave Mustaine (guitar), and Ron McGovney (bass). The songs have been re-mastered specially for the upcoming release, which has never been released until now. It will be available both in independent record stores nationwide and via the band’s official website, https://www.Metallica.com. The band released the following statement in regards to its upcoming release:

A note from Metallica:

 

This year we decided to celebrate Record Store Day with our friends at independent retail by taking a huge leap back in time to our humble beginnings with that little rectangle of plastic known as the “demo tape.”  In 1982 we recorded seven songs that became our initial calling card known as No Life ’til Leather and it led us to our first record deal . . . the rest, as you some of you may know, is history!  We hope you enjoy this little walk down memory lane with us and that you will continue to join us in supporting independent record stores around the world. 

 

The track listing for No Life ‘Til Leather is noted below.

 

Tracklisting

 

Hit The Lights

The Mechanix

Motorbreath

Seek & Destroy

Metal Militia

Jump In The Fire

Phantom Lord

 

More information on Metallica’s upcoming Record Store Day cassette is available online along with all of the latest updates from the band at:

 

Website: https://www.Metallica.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/metallica

 

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

Courtesy:  BBGun Pr

Courtesy: BBGun Pr