Angeles’ Latest LP Keeps The Flame Burning For Classic Rock Fans

Courtesy: Dark Star Records/Sony

When veteran rock band Angeles released its 12th full-length studio recording Fire It Up last year, it was the first time in more than 40 years that the band, founded by Dale Lytle, had released any new music to the masses.  Having been away from the limelight for such a long time, one would have thought the band would have had a hard time getting back into the swing of things, but as it turned out, the case was quite the opposite.  Now less than a year after its release, Angeles has returned with a new album in the form of Hell on High Heels and slightly changed lineup, — now former vocalist Gwendolyn Casella parted ways with the band following the album’s release and was subsequently replaced by new front man Louis Collins.  The eight-song record is scheduled for release Friday through Dark Star Records/Sony.  The new forthcoming 30-minute record continues the success that the band enjoyed in Fire It Up and builds on that success with its musical and lyrical content.  That is proven in part through one of the album’s latest singles, ‘Celebrate.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Heal The Wounds,’ which is another of the album’s singles, is another way in which the album shows the band’s continued success on this record.  ‘Start Living’ is yet another example of what make Angeles’ new album another successful effort from the band.  Together with the other two songs noted here and the other five songs not noted here, the whole of Hell on High Heels proves to be another work that will certainly appeal to Angeles’ most devoted fan base as well as the most devoted 80s rock aficionados.

Angeles’ forthcoming album Hell on High Heels is a positive return for the band, especially having come less than a year after the band released the record’s predecessor Fire It Up.  Considering how little time has passed between these two records – unlike Fire It Up and its predecessor – one might think the album might feel rushed, and in turn messy.  However, the exact opposite is the case here.  That is proven in part through one of the album’s latest singles, ‘Celebrate.’  The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Celebrate’ is an upbeat, positive work that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Poison, Ratt, and Motley Crue.  The noted musical arrangement fits the song’s lyrical theme, which touts the joy of just being together with friends and family.  It is that full-on happy, upbeat party rock sound that was so popular during that age of big guitar riffs and even bigger hair.  The positive vibe exuded by the song’s musical arrangement does well to help convey the sense of joy that is exhibited through the song’s lyrical content.

Collins sings in the song’s lead verse, “Slip on my boots/And get my head on right/We’re going to a rock and roll show/meet up with the boys/And we’re heading to the club/We’re fired up and ready to go/Raise a glass tonight and let’s celebrate/It’s only midnight and it’s not too late.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “The drinks are flowing/And the music’s pumping/We’re having a real good time/the pretty girls are dancing and they’re looking at me/Gonna make one of ‘em mine/Sweet little Susie’s coming home with me/And we’re gonna set the night on fire/We’re back to my place and we have some fun/burnin’ like a funeral pyre.”  From there, the story continues, telling about the morning after that night of celebration with friends and what followed.  Little Suzie stayed the night and left the next afternoon, not to give away too much.  From there, Collins sings about working hard all week and in turn, celebrating on the weekend.  It’s never revealed if the song’s subject saw little Susie again.  That is left to the listener’s imagination.  That aside, the overall…well..celebratory nature of this song musically and lyrically makes it a work that lives up to its name and will assuredly keep listeners engaged and entertained what with that throwback musical and lyrical style.  It is just one of the songs that makes Hell on High Heels another positive offering from Angeles.  ‘Heal The Wounds’ is another way in which the album shows its strength.

Much as is the case with ‘Celebrate,’ this song’s arrangement is another full-on throwback to the guitar-laden rock that made the 80s such a notable musical era.  While the stylistic approach is the same, the sound is anything but.  This song’s musical arrangement is more akin to Poison’s ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ and some older works from Bon Jovi.  It starts off soft and simple before becoming much more bombastic yet still ballad-esque in the same stylistic vein of the noted older works.  That familiar stylistic approach will appeal to the already mentioned audiences just as much as the arrangement featured in ‘Celebrate.’  It goes well with the contemplative nature in the song’s lyrical theme, which serves as a reminder to listeners that “time will heal the wounds,” of a broken relationship, as front man Louis Collins sings in the song’s chorus.

Collins sings sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m all out of things to say/Out of tears to cry/All out of thoughts…Can barely let out a sigh/the memories and time/All pas me by/See you on the street/Makes me wanna die/Time will heal the wounds/Time will kill the pain.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m all out of whisky/I’m down to my last cigarette/Trying to get it together/I haven’t figured it out just yet/Sleepless nights, they haunt me/I’m laying down in a cold sweat/It’s time for me to go/It’s time to raise my bet/’Cause time will heal the wounds/Time will kill the pain.”  Following this point, listeners are presented the story of the actual breakup and the subject’s emotional recovery from that breakup.  It would explain the much more uplifting sound that gradually develops through the remainder of the song.  Considering that the song’s subject reminds himself that time will heal the wounds and kill the pain, this is a key to continuing to make sure this song connects just as easily with listeners through its words as much as through its music.  All things considered, the song is just one more way in which Hell on High Heels proves its strength in itself and within the bigger community of new 80s rock style releases put out so far this year.  ‘Start Living’ is yet another way in which the album holds its own alongside its counterparts.

‘Start Living’ is another positive, uplifting (so to speak) work featured in Angeles’ latest album.  That is due in part to its musical arrangement, which is a work that is as energetic and upbeat as ‘Celebrate.’  Its sound and approach is also just as similar to works from Motley Crue and others as that song.  It should be noted that even with that stylistic similarity, the song still bears its own sound, so it is not just ripping off the works from those bands or even itself.  To that end, the song’s arrangement does its own part to keep listeners engaged and entertained in this case.  Its lyrical content builds on that engagement and entertainment.

Much like ‘Celebrate’ is a full-on song that pays homage to being out with friends and just living the rock and roll life, so does this song in its own right.  Collins even sings in the song’s lead verse, “Thirty days in and I’m feeling down…Sick of the walls/I’m tired and bored/I wanna rock the world.But I’m stuck indoors/Let’s get moving/Start living all night long.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Look at my guitar/I play real loud/And take the shows to the biggest crowd/Party all night with the pretty girls…getting in the fights with the boys in the band…Patch things p with a whiskey shot/Do it again tomorrow/Ready or not/let’s get moving/Start living all night long.”  Now while some of the lyrics are indecipherable without a lyrics sheet to reference, enough is understood in this case that it is pretty obvious what is being addressed here.  There is a mention of fever making someone feel bad.  It could be interpreted that this has to do something with the impact of COVID-19, considering that the album was being recorded late last year and early this year as COVID-19 started to take over the world.  That mention of getting tired of looking at the walls strengthens that supposition even more.  It comes across as Collins talking about just wanting to get out and live, to get out and hit the road, which is what so many bands, acts and groups want to do, but sadly likely won’t get to do until at least next year.  It makes for its own engagement and entertainment for audiences.  That is because the fans want to be out there just as much as the bands.  Keeping that collective mindset and the energy and sound in the song’s musical arrangement, it becomes increasingly clear why this song is another standout addition to Hell on High Heels.  It is certain to become an anthem in its own right as bands and audiences alike await the return of live music.  Together with the other songs noted here and the rest of its works, Hell on High Heels shows why it is a positive return for Angeles.

Angeles has scored another win with its 13th full-length studio recording, Hell on High Heels.  That is due in no small part to its musical arrangements and lyrical themes, all of which are sure to engage and entertain audiences in their own way.  That is proven through three of the album’s eight songs addressed here.  When that trio of songs is addressed along with the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole proves, again, why it is another positive return for the band.  Hell on High Heels is scheduled for release Friday through Dark Star Records/Sony.

The album’s track listing and recording information is noted below.

‘Hell On High Heels’ tracklisting:
1. Hell On High Heels – Lytle/Collins – 4:43
2. Celebrate – Lytle/Collins – 3:37
3. Heal The Wounds – Lytle/Collins – 3:52
4. Apocalypse – Lytle/Collins – 4:24
5. Start Living – Lytle/Collins – 2:58
6. Rolling Like Thunder – Lytle/Collins – 3:56
7. Run – Lytle/Collins – 3:06
8. Holly Fenton – Merrit/James – 3:22

Music recorded at Clear Lake Recording Studios N. Hollywood CA – Ara Sarkisian.
Vocals recorded at MT Studios Burbank CA – Matt Thorne.
Produced by Dale Lytle and Matt Thorne
Mixed and mastered by Matt Thorne
Front cover by Jeffrey A. Swanson
Back cover by Connie Lytle
Graphic Design by Monarch Digital Design

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

 

Websitehttp://www.angelesband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TheAngelesBand

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.

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

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

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

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

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

 

Website: http://www.laguns.net

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

 

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

 

 

Angeles Reveals New Album’s Track Listing

Courtesy: Dark Star Records/Sony

Angeles revealed more information about its new album this week.

The band unveiled the track listing Wednesday for its new album Hell on High Heels.  The album is composed of eight songs, the longest of which — its opener/title track — comes in at four minutes, 43 seconds.  Other song titles featured in the record are works, such as ‘Start Living,’ ‘Celebrate’ and the album’s lead single, ‘Rolling Like Thunder.’

The album’s track listing is noted below.

 

‘Hell On High Heels’ tracklisting:
1. Hell On High Heels – Lytle/Collins – 4:43
2. Celebrate – Lytle/Collins – 3:37
3. Heal The Wounds – Lytle/Collins – 3:52
4. Apocalypse – Lytle/Collins – 4:24
5. Start Living – Lytle/Collins – 2:58
6. Rolling Like Thunder – Lytle/Collins – 3:56
7. Run – Lytle/Collins – 3:06
8. Holly Fenton – Merrit/James – 3:22

 

The band debuted the video for ‘Rolling Like Thunder’ April 20.  It is the band’s first single with the current lineup of Dale Lytle Louis Collins, Cal Shelton and Danny Basulto.  The DIY-style video features new vocalist Louis Collins performing the single while footage of the band is edited into the whole along with live footage of the band from past performances.

The song’s musical arrangement is a familiar up-tempo, classic 80s, guitar-driven style work that will appeal to fans of bands, such as RATT, Motley Crue and other bands of that ilk.  Its lyrical content comes across as being just as familiar, hinting at going out partying and rocking.

Angeles debuted the title, cover art and release date for Hell on High Heels June 11.  The album is scheduled for release July 3 through Dark Star Records/Sony.  Pre-orders are open now for the album’s upcoming digital release through Apple MusicGoogle Play and Amazon.

Angeles is scheduled to open for Krokus Oct. 10 at the famed Whiskey A Go-GO in Los Angeles, LA for the last show of Krokus’ farewell tour.

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

 

Websitehttp://www.angelesband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TheAngelesBand

 

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.

 

Ratchet Dolls Debuts ‘Parasite!’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent rock band Ratchet Dolls debuted the video for its latest single last week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Parasite!‘ Thursday. The song presents an upbeat musical arrangement whose heart is in its guitar work.  That work will appeal to fans of 80s hair metal from the likes of Poison and Motley Crue.

While the song’s driving musical arrangement will appeal to a very targeted audience base, its all-too-familiar lyrical content will connect with an even broader range of listeners.

Front man Kevin Sauceda explained the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“Although the song has a very uplifting feel, the lyrics themselves are rather dark,” he said.  “Parasite!’ speaks to us from the perspective of a person whose mental  health has deteriorated from trying to meet the standards of a non-committed partner.  One-sided relationships can lead to vulnerability…my goal is to try to help prevent others from having to walk that road; even if its just one person.”

‘Parasite!’ is available to stream and download through Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play.

‘Parasite!’ is the second single from Ratchet Dolls’ upcoming as-yet untitled sophomore album.  The video for the album’s lead single ‘Out Of Control‘ was unveiled in September 2019.  Upon its release, ‘Out Of Control’ gained traction through major outlets, such as Loudwire’s “Weekly Wire Playlist” and KNAC Pure Rock.

More information on Ratchet Dolls’ new single, video, album and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.ratchetdolls.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ratchetdolls

 

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.

Eve To Adam’s New LP Takes Listeners On An Enjoyable Musical Journey

Courtesy: Rocktagon Worldwide Music/High Road Publicity

Hard rock outfit Eve To Adam has been on quite the voyage since originally forming in 2001 in New York.  From lineup and label changes to struggles getting albums released to playing with some of rock’s biggest names past and present, this band has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout its life.  So it makes sense that with its latest album—its fifth full length album—the band opted for the title Odyssey.  The 10-song, 37-minute album was released late last month via Rocktagon Worldwide Music, and shows both musically and lyrically how far this band has come in the now 16 years that it has been in existence. Its heavy emphasis on electronics and keyboards presents a sound that will appeal to fans of Orgy, Powerman 5000 and other similar acts.  Its lyrical content is just as varied.  It ranges from a commentary about the life in ‘The Price’ to a statement of self-confidence in the fist-pumping opener ‘Altitude’ to the anthemic closer ‘Day Drinkin’ and more.  Between the varied lyrical themes presented throughout the record and its musical arrangements, the whole of those elements makes Odyssey a musical journey that is well worth taking.

Eve To Adam’s latest full-length studio recording Odyssey is a musical journey that proves well worth taking.  That is exhibited through the record’s musical arrangements and its widely varying lyrical themes.  ‘The Price’ is just one of the songs included in this record that serves to support these statements. The song’s up-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement will instantly have listeners pumping their fists as their blood flows so fast with the music.  The intensity in that arrangement serves well to illustrate the emotion expressed in the song’s lyrical content, which seems to be a commentary of sorts of life.  That is inferred as front man Taki Sassaris sings in the song’s lead verse, “The price is high/You know you were told/Oh darling let me go/Before my body’s cold/And my weary heart grows old/The memory/Now comes to me/So far removed/From a life I used to know/Suddenly you realize it/The time remaining has been bought and sold.”  It is as is Sassaris is saying here, “let me make the most of my life.”  That is inferred even more as he sings in the song’s chorus, “Money all day all day/You gotta get paid/Running around insane/No time to hesitate/Some days, some days/You never get ahead/Well I’m not your slave, no slave/The price will be paid.”  Who precisely Sassaris is addressing as he sings, “I’m not your slave” would be interesting to learn.  That aside, it seems even more through this and the song’s lead verse that he is singing about not letting life get the better of one’s self.  The contrast of that chorus to the song’s second verse seems to hint at that message even more. Sassaris sings in that second verse, “The style instills/It makes this work/Consuming all my thoughts/Inside these fears stand tall/One by one the brave now fall.”  The song’s chorus responds to that message with its message of making the most once again.  When that seeming message of overcoming life’s difficult moments presented in the song’s lyrical content is set against the driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements together make this song stand out against the record’s other offerings.  It also serves to help show why this record in whole is a musical journey worth taking, and is just one example of what makes that trip worthwhile.  ‘Altitude,’ the album’s opener, is another example of what makes journey taken through this record so worthwhile.

‘The Price’ is a clear example of what makes the journey taken through Odyssey worthwhile.  That is due to the partnering of the song’s driving musical arrangement and its thought provoking lyrical content.  It is just one of the songs that serves to make the trip taken through this record so worthwhile, too.  ‘Altitude,’ the record’s opener is another example of what makes that journey so worthwhile.  As with ‘The Price’ that is exhibited in part through the song’s musical arrangement.  This song’s musical arrangement is heavy on keyboards.  The combination of the keyboards with the guitars and vocal elements in the mid-tempo rocker makes the song a solid start to the record.  The song’s lyrical content is just as interesting to take in.  Sassaris sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s now fast approaching/It’s my favorite time you see/The moment right before you reach/You feel this clarity/A painful total freedom/I have no anxiety/Anything that steals from this/Becomes an enemy/You’ll see.  This is a statement of confidence, plain and simple.  Considering the band’s *ahem* odyssey up to the point of this album’s release, it makes sense that it would be the record’s first lyrical statement. It is Sassaris saying, “I’m still here.  Nothing is going to get me down.”  That message is driven home even more as he and the rest of the band sing in the song’s chorus, “Free from me/I’m far above it all/Not a worry in my head/I’m free from me/I’m far above it all/For as long as I can be.”  The song’s second verse solidifies that message of confidence and optimism even more as Sassaris sings, “Don’t you take for granted/This zero gravity/It’s never very easy/To escape captivity/Now try to remember/Why you fought for this release/This elevation’s beautiful/But it’s difficult to breathe/You’ll see.”  He comes across as saying that getting that getting out on one’s own, so don’t’ lose sight of things on that personal journey.  It’s a strong statement, and again is only this critic’s interpretation.  Hopefully it is the correct interpretation, but should not be taking as gospel.  That aside, that seeming message of self-confidence and determination, when coupled with the song’s hard-hitting musical arrangement, makes this song a solid first impression from the band on this latest effort.  The combination of the two elements shows in its own way what makes the journey taken in this record is worthwhile.  It is not the last song that serves to support that statement, either.  The album’s closer, ‘Day Drinkin’’ supports that statement, too.

‘The Price’ and ‘Altitude’ are both songs that serve to show why the musical journey on which Eve To Adam takes listeners on its new album is so worthwhile.  They are only two examples of what makes that journey worthwhile.  The album’s closer, ‘Day Drinkin’ puts the proverbial exclamation mark on that statement.  As with the previously noted compositions, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  Unlike those songs, this song’s composition is more of a straight forward rock song.  It can be argued that it is the album’s most radio-ready song, too, with its anthemic arrangement.  The song’s lyrical content is just as infectious as Sassaris and company sing, “You know what we need right now/You feel it when we’re hanging out…So we’re day drinkin’/throw ‘em back till the morning light/Day drinkin’/Livin’ hard, but it feels so right/Numb the pain to fight the fire/Day drinkin’/There ain’t no shame in this way of life.”  Such content, coupled with the song’s bombastic arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Motley Crue.  This should come as no surprise considering said band is one of the acts that ETA has emulated in its previous albums.  It’s just a fun song and an equally fun final statement from the band on this record.  It shows one last time why indeed the journey on which this record takes listeners is well worth taking.

Eve To Adam’s latest full-length album Odyssey sends listeners on quite the musical journey over the course of its 10 songs and 37 minutes.  From the high energy and confidence expressed in its opener to the more contemplative yet still powerful content of ‘The Price’ to the fun, infectious content of the album’s closer and all points in-between, this record offers listeners plenty to appreciate.  All things considered, they make the journey that listeners take this time fully worthwhile.  Odyssey is available now in stores and online.  More information on Odyssey is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.evetoadam.rocks

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EVETOADAMMUSIC

 

 

 

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Santana Shines Again In Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New Live DVDs/BDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The weather outside is definitely looking frightful this time of year.  That means rather than going outside to get out and about, people are going to be looking more for ways to have fun while they stay indoors and stay warm.  That is just one of so many reasons that record labels churn out so many live recordings each year.  The problem with all of those recordings is that while some are truly standout offerings, others are otherwise forgettable space fillers used to fulfill contractual obligations for the given acts.  Presented today are some of the best of this year’s new live recordings.

Whereas Phil’s Picks already presented the year’s top new live CD recordings, this time Phil’s Picks is presenting the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays.  A lot of thought and consideration went into this list.  The concerts’ set lists, the bands’ performances, the cinematography and audio mix all went into consideration for this list as did the recordings’ companion booklets or lack thereof.  So it goes without saying that it wasn’t an easy list to assemble.  But this critic tried.
As always, the list presented here includes not just this critic’s list of the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs but five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 recordings.  Without any further ado, here for you, is Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Live DVDs/BDs.
PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDs/BDs
 
1. SantanaSantana IV Live at the House of Blues Las Vegas
2. KISSKISS Rocks Vegas
 
3. Joe BonamassaLive at the Greek Theatre
4. Judas PriestBattle Cry
5. Motley CrueThe End Live in Los Angeles
6. The Rolling StonesHavana Moon
7. Deep PurpleLive at the NEC
8. Melody GardotLive in Paris
9. Gregory PorterLive in Berlin
10. ScorpionsLive in Munich
11. Alan JacksonLive at Red Rocks
12. Michael Schenker’s Temple of RockRock on a MissionLive in Madrid
13. SaxonFeel Your Power
14. Imagine DragonsSmoke + Mirrors Live
15. Fall Out BoyThe Boys of Zummer TourLive in Chicago
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Santana Shows The Way In The Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Live CDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Experiencing a live performance of one’s favorite act(s) is a very special event.  That is because it serves to help fans and their favorite acts connect in a way that taking in said acts’ studio releases just can’t.  What’s more attending live concerts isn’t always easy or inexpensive.  Between the cost of tickets, food, souvenirs, gas, and lodging, attending concerts can cost almost as much as a used car sometimes, depending on the act.  In other cases, one’s favorite acts might never even come near one’s town.  So what is a person to do to experience one’s favorite acts?  The answer is simple: the live recording.  That brings us to the topic of today’s “Best Of” list.

Today, Phil’s Picks presents its list of the year’s Top 10 New Live CDs.  Everyone should understand this is distinguished from the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs.  That’s because some recordings come only on CD while others are only presented on the latter format.  Others are also presented in both formats both separate of one another and collectively.  The recordings included in this list include both standalone CDs and CDs included in complete DVD/BD/CD sets.  One of the standalone live CDs included in this list is ZZ Top’s new live recording Greatest Hits Live.  The Outlaws’ Legacy Live is another of those standalone CD recordings.  Joe Bonamassa also has a new live recording in the form of Live at the Greek Theatre that is available on separate CD, DVD, and BD platforms.  It’s on this list, too.  Suffice it to say, there’s a healthy mix of new live titles here both in terms of genre and platform.  So, enough rambling.  Presented here for you is Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Live CDs.

It should be noted here again that the list includes the Phil’s Picks Top 10 new Live CDs as well as five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 recordings.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

 

  1. Santana IV Live at the House of Blues Las Vegas
  1. ZZ TopGreatest Hits Live
  1. Judas PriestBattle Cry
  1. KISSKISS Rocks Vegas
  1. Joe Bonamassa Live at the Greek Theatre
  1. The OutlawsLegacy Live

  2. The Rolling StonesHavana Moon

  3. Motley Crue – The End: Live in Los Angeles

  4. SaxonFeel Your Power

  5. Imagine DragonsSmoke + Mirrors Live

  6. Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression

  7. Ayreon – The Theater Equation
  8. Pete Townshend’s Deep EndFace The Face

  9. Wacken 201526 Years Louder Than Hell

  10. LeprousLive at Rockefeller Center

 

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‘The End’ Is An Outstanding Farewell From One Of Rock’s Greatest Acts

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

This past January legendary rock band Motley Crue officially called it a career when it wrapped up its farewell tour in its hometown of Los Angeles, California.  The concert, which started on New Year’s Eve 2015 and ended on New Year’s Day on January 1, 2016 was a big event for the band and its fans, needless to say.  Now thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, fans and audiences around the world can experience the band’s final live show for themselves in the form of the band’s new live recording The End.  It is difficult to know where to begin analyzing this recording because there is so much to say to the positive about its presentation.  A safe starting point would be the concert’s set list.  The 17-song set features some of the band’s most beloved compositions and runs just over two hours long.  That will be discussed shortly.  The band’s collective performance and stage show are just as important to note here as the show’s set list.  The recording’s editing rounds out the most important of its elements, but is hardly the last of its positives.  One could also discuss the varied platforms on which the concert is available and its packaging in examining the recording’s positives, too.  All things considered, this concert is an outstanding farewell from one of rock’s greatest acts.

Motley Crue’s new live recording The End is an outstanding final farewell from one of rock’s greatest acts.  While it may be the final farewell from the legendary rock band, it is a recording that will make Motley Crue live on for fans around the world.  That is due in no small part to the show’s set list.  The set list features 16 of the band’s most beloved songs including ‘Kickstart My Heart,’ ‘Girls, Girls, Girls,’ ‘Shout At The Devil,’ and a cover of Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock and Roll Part II.’  The set list reaches all the way back to the band’s 1981 debut record Too Fast For Love and all the way up to its 2008 album Saints of Los Angeles.  Interestingly enough To Fast For Love is represented with only one song, ‘Live Wire.’ The band’s most heavily represented album is its 1989 album Dr. Feelgood.  It is represented by five songs.  The Gary Glitter cover included in the band’s set is none other than the world-renowned ‘Rock and Roll Part II’ (a.k.a ‘The Hey Song’). Not every one of the band’s nine studio recordings is represented in this record.  Even with that in mind, the set list that is featured in this show keeps the energy flowing from beginning to end and will keep home viewers just as entertained as those who were in attendance at the concert during its recording.  While the concert’s set list is clearly important to the recording’s overall presentation, it is not the only element that should be discussed in examining said presentation.  The band’s collective performance and stage show are just as important to discuss as the songs that the band performs.

The set list that was chosen for Motley Crue’s last-ever live performance is a key element to the concert’s presentation.  Given it isn’t necessarily career-spanning since not every one of its albums are represented in that list. Regardless, the set list that is featured here keep the energy flowing from beginning to end.  Considering that, it is clear that it is still quite important to the concert’s overall presentation. It isn’t the only important element to discuss, though.  The band’s collective performance and its stage show are just as important to discuss as the songs that the band performs.  From front man Vince Neil’s nonstop energy and rapport with the audience and his band mates is incredible to see.  He makes it clear that he is putting his heart into every single song as do his band mates.  Tommy Lee is just as enjoyable to watch as he keeps time.  Audiences will enjoy seeing Lee’s reaction as his drum rig gets stuck at the end of its run across the Staples Arena. Rather than get angry and react negatively, he just goes with the flow and makes plenty of proverbial lemonade out of the lemon that was that situation.  Bassist Nikki Sixx captures everything that has always made Motley Crue a fan favorite both as he works his way through each song and as he discusses chasing one’s dreams with the audience in an equally powerful moment.  Then there’s guitarist Mick Mars.  Mars looks like he could play Dracula, the way that the light hits him throughout the show.  Yet even as unassuming as he seems throughout the show, he still presents so much power in his playing.  It is quite the juxtaposition to note.  Neil’s tears at the show’s end (not to give away too much, by the way) are real.  Those are not crocodile tears.  The passion that he presents as the band’s last-ever show comes to an end is a beautiful and powerful final statement.  It’s one more way in which the band shows the importance of its performance throughout this concert and hardly the last way in which said performance proves important, too.  Considering that, the band’s stage show should not be ignored here.  It is just as important to the concert as the band’s performance.

While the band gives its all to its audience (and vice versa) its performance only goes so far for audiences.  The band’s stage show works hand-in-hand with its performance to make the concert even more outstanding and memorable.  There’s pyro.  There are lights.  There is Tommy Lee’s arena-spanning drum rig and so much more.  Each element of the band’s stage show plays its own important part to the band’s stage show.  What makes them really stand out is the timing of their use.  Audiences will note the timing in the use of each element. The pyro isn’t used in every song nor are the fast-paced flashing lights or other elements.  It is obvious that a lot of thought and time was put into each element’s use.  Because so much time and thought was put into each element’s use, those elements couple with the band’s performance to give the concert experience in whole a very positive aesthetic.  Keeping all of this in mind, the band’s performance and stage show–while clearly just as important to this recording’s presentation as the songs that are performed–are collectively only part of the recording’s presentation.  The editing that was used in the program’s presentation is just as important to note as the previously discussed elements.

The set list featured in The End and the band’s collective performance and stage show are both important elements in the recording’s presentation.  That has already been made clear.  As important as those elements are to the recording’s presentation, they are not its only important elements to discuss.  The recording’s editing is just as important to discuss as those elements.  That is because, as audiences will see, the editing makes this not just another run-of-the-mill live recording.  There are moments throughout the show where the cameras’ frame rates are slowed to fully capture the emotion of the moments.  The editing of the camera crew’s shots fully captures the immensity of the moment.  From the close up shots of the band on-stage to the views from high above the arena to all the shots in-between, the end result of the editing gives viewers at home the best seat in the house.  The sound editing is just as important to note here as the video editing.  Those behind the mixing boards are to be commended for fully capturing the size of the Staples Center. The sound is not some spit-shined production here.  Audiences actually feel, in watching the concert’s Blu-ray recording that they are actually there without it sounding like some bootleg recorded on a smartphone.  There is a lot to be said of that.  On a side note, audiences would do well to watch the recording on DVD and Blu-ray before listening to it on CD.  That is because watching it before hearing it will create more appreciation for it on its CD presentation.  When the overall editing of this concert is joined with the band’s performance and stage show, and the show’s set list, all three elements make wholly clear together that while The End may mark the end of Motley Crue as a band, the band will live on in the annals of rock forever.  They show also why this recording is a moving farewell for one of rock’s greatest acts.  It is a recording that every Motley Crue fans should have in his or her music library.

Motley Crue’s new live recording The End is an outstanding final farewell from one of rock’s greatest acts.  While it may be the final farewell from the legendary rock band, it is a recording that will make Motley Crue live on for fans around the world.  That is evidenced through the concert’s extensive set list.  While not necessarily career-spanning (since not every one of the band’s nine albums are represented here), a good portion of the band’s body of work is represented here.  What’s more, the songs that are featured are some of the band’s most beloved hits.  The band’s collective performance and stage show are just as important to note.  They work quite well in themselves, and even better together.  The concert’s editing rounds out its most important elements.  It makes the recording a work that is anything but another run-of-the-mill live recording.  That is because of the amount of time and thought that was put into the concert’s editing.  It makes this concert a truly full experience for audiences and fans alike, yet still is not the last of the recording’s positives.  One could also argue that the varied platforms on which the recording is available could be discussed as well as the packaging for each physical platform. The bonus material that is included in the recording is just as notable, too.  All things considered, it is safe to say that while The End may mark the end for Motley Crue, it is, again, a recording that will make this legendary band live on forever.  It is a recording that is a moving and fitting farewell from one of rock’s greatest acts and 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

 

 

 

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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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The Raskins To Support Ted Nugent On Upcoming Tour

Courtesy: Brody Records

Courtesy: Brody Records

Two years have passed since The Raskins released their self-titled debut record on Brody Records.  The band, founded by brothers Logan and Roger Raskin, has since been on the rise.  One of the songs from the band’s album made a big splash, landing a spot on Billboard’s Top 20 radio charts with one of the album’s single.  The album has also sold thousands of copies since its release.  And it even reached the Top 5 in the magazine’s Heat Seekers album sales charts.  Now it is adding yet another mark to its record with it latest tour announcement.

The Raskins will tour this summer alongside rock legend Ted Nugent on what is being dubbed the “Sonic Baptizim Tour 2016.”  The band will serve as support to Nugent on a nearly month-long tour schedule beginning this Friday, July 1st in Phoenix, Arizona. The band’s tour currently runs through Sunday, July 24th in Atlanta, Georgia.  Also included in the tour are dates in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and California.  The current schedule for the tour is noted below.  Rounding out the band’s lineup for its upcoming tour will be Jet Lopez  on guitars and Troy Patrick Farrell on drums.

 

The Raskins on tour with Ted Nugent, on The Sonic Baptizim Tour 2016:

Fri. July 1st Phoenix, AZ The Celebrity Theater
Sat. July 2nd Pasadena, CA The Rose
Sun. July 3rd Beverly Hills, CA Saban Theatre
Tue. July 5th San Juan Capistrano, CA The Coach House
Wed. July 6th San Juan Capistrano, CA The Coach House
Thu. July 7th Agoura Hills, CA The Canyon
Fri. July 8th Las Vegas, NV The Foundry @SLS
Thu. July 14th San Antonio, TX Tobin Center
Fri. July 15th Houston, TX The Warehouse
Sat. July 16th Ft Worth, TX Billy Bob’s
Sun. July 17th Austin, TX Scoot Inn
Mon. July 18th Baton Rouge, LA Varsity Theatre
Wed. July 20th Jacksonville, FL Florida Theatre
Thu. July 21st Melboune, FL King Center
Sat. July 23rd Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
Sun. July 24th Atlanta, GA Symphony Hall

 

The Raskins’ upcoming tour is just the latest big mark for the band.  It also supported Motley Crue on a 70-show run on the band’s final tour.  During that time, the Raskins wrote forty songs for its new album, twelve of which will make their way onto the as yet untitled album.  More information on The Raskins’ tour is available online along with updates on its next album, and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.TheRaskins.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheRaskinTwins

 

 

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.