Rocker’s Debut LP “Hard To Bleed” Is Hard To Hate

Courtesy:  Phill Rocker

Courtesy: Phill Rocker

Late last month Phill Rocker (yes, that’s really his name) released his debut album Hard To Bleed. The independently released album boasts fifteen tracks all of which are a good fit for any fan of big riffs and even bigger hair. From start to finish Rocker exhibits influences from the likes of Judas Priest, Poison, Ozzy Osbourne, and so many others from that bygone era of rock. There are even some old school style power ballads thrown in for good measure to round out the record. The combination of those ballads and the album’s more up-tempo pieces makes Hard To Bleed a record that is hard to hate.

Phill Rocker’s debut album Hard To Bleed is a record that is hard to hate. Yes, that bad pun was fully intended. The fifteen-song record (there is also a deluxe edition that includes two bonus songs) is so hard to hate because over the course of its roughly sixty-seven minute run time it offers rock purists plenty to appreciate what with its classic rock sound and equally interesting lyrical content. The album is anchored by the album’s up-tempo, near mid-point ‘Burning in the Fire.’ It has already been noted that the songs featured in this record boast a noticeably old school rock sound. The sound in question takes listeners back to the days of big riffs and even bigger hair. That is no different in the case of ‘Burning in the Fire.’ Rocker and company waste no time getting things moving in this song. They jump into it right from its opening measures. Drummer Brian Tichy (Something Unto Nothing, Velvet Revolver, Ozzy Osbourne) is on point in his time keeping here. The dual guitar attack of Ricardo Fernandes and Miguel Aguiar adds even more impact to the song. That is because it instantly conjures thoughts of classic Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, and even Judas Priest. Rocker’s own vocal delivery here boasts just as much power as those that have come before. The song’s musical side is just one part of what makes the song a solid anchor for Rocker’s new album. Rocker wrote the song’s lyrics as well as handling vocal duties. Rocker’s lyrics come across as a commentary of sorts as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Can somebody hear this scream of mine/Is the world goin’ blind/Hard to carry on/Without wiseman guidance/Can’t see/Nothing but dreams of foregone times/Facing the final frontier/I’ve faced this road before/Innocence calms down/Before the storm/The hurt I know is true.” Later in the song’s run Rocker asks, “Will I/Who else can I call/What’s done is done/It’s written in the stars.” In examining the song in whole Rocker comes across as making a statement about staying strong even in the most uncertain times with such lyrics. Of course that is just this critic’s own interpretation. It could be completely off the mark. Hopefully it isn’t. but the possibility is there. When that possibility is coupled with the song’s forward-driving musical content, the two together really build their own fire that will spread to listeners when they hear the song for themselves. Keeping that in mind, it is clear in the end why ‘Burning in the Fire’ is this record’s anchor. It is just one of the many songs in this album that can be cited as an example of what makes Rocker’s debut album hard to hate. The ballads that are included in this album do just as much to make it worth at least one listen. That is exemplified even later in the album’s run in the form of the bass-driven ballad ‘How Does It Feel.’

‘Burning in the Fire’ is a solid anchor for Phil Rocker’s debut album. That is thanks to the combination of its classic rock-influenced sound and its equally thought-provoking lyrical content. As solid as it is in the grand scheme of the record it is only one example of what makes it a *rock* solid record. ‘How Does It Feel’ is another good example of what makes Rocker’s new album worth hearing. Unlike ‘Burning in the Fire’ this song is a classic ballad style composition. From Rocker’s own vocal delivery to Ricardo Fernandes’ gentler melody to [Brian] Tichy’s own work behind the kit, this song is a direct throw back to the power ballads of the late 80s and early 90s. In regards to its lyrical content, the song’s lyrics will have listeners just as engaged. Rocker writes in this song, “This conspiracy doesn’t help to see my destiny/Fighting this battle/I’m more than you can be/Psycho maniacs/Rule what you can/Ask for what you need/That’s where I begin/Straight to the unknown.” This comes across as someone dealing with some inner personal issues. And the song’s chorus would seem to hint even more at that as Rocker writes, “Paranoia/In a troubled mind/Agonized by a wounded heart/Self-inflicted victim/In this unfair world/Is it real/What’s going on/How does it feel to walk away/How does it feel to taste the pain/How does it feel to go away/One more day.” The song’s final verse is just as intriguing as Rocker writes about a figure suffering from a number of emotional issues that have essentially crippled said figure. It is definitely an interesting piece that is certain to leave listeners talking just as much as ‘Burning in the Fire.’ Audiences can hear the song for themselves now via Rocker’s official website at http://www.phillrocker.com. It’s just one more example of what makes this record a record worth hearing at least once. It still is not the final example of what makes the album stand out. The album’s opener, ‘Wasted Generation (In Me) is one more example of what makes Hard To Bleed hard to hate.

Phil Rocker offers quite a bit for rock purists in his debut album; so much so that the album proves rather hard to hate. That is obvious in the album’s hard rock anchor ‘Burning in the Fire’ and its polar opposite ‘How Does It Feel.’ While both songs are clear examples of what makes this record worth hearing they are not the only songs that could be cited as examples of the record’s strengths. ‘Wasted Generation (In Me),’ the album’s opener, is one more of the album’s strengths. Much like ‘Burning in the Fire’ Rocker and his fellow musicians waste little time getting things going here. There is a little bit more set up here but very little at the most. Luckily for listeners it isn’t one of those “slow boil” setups that takes its time building up to the song’s real body. Far too many bands today take that route. And it is anything but original or enjoyable. Keeping that in mind, the overall musical composition of ‘Wasted Generation (In Me),’ by itself makes the song both an enjoyable work in itself and an equally solid first impression for Rocker. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to its overall composition as its musical side. Rocker writes in the song’s second verse, “Confused and alone/Left on my own/I can’t find a place to rest/My mind’s so stressed/In between now and then/Yeah, here I am/I feel that I am always somewhere.” He goes on to write, “Come and have a look/Seek what you want/Come and have a look/Seek what you need/Come and have a look/You will find/A wasted generation in me.” The song feels, at least in regards to its lyrical content, as if it comes from the point of someone in a difficult emotional spot. It is almost as if the figure in this song is looking back on certain events of the past and comparing those events to the present, thus leading to the revelations presented here. What is really interesting about all of this is that when set against the song’s musical content there is quite a separation between the two. One would expect considering the song’s lyrical content that this song’s musical content would not have as much fire as it does. Yet somehow in its own way it proves to work just as well alongside that content. Because it does (and surprisingly so) it proves in the end why it is yet another solid first impression for Rocker and another example of what makes his debut worth the listen. Together with the previously noted songs, all three offerings show collectively that not only is this record just worth the listen but they also make this record hard to hate. They are not the only songs that could be used to prove that argument either. There are twelve other songs include in this record that could be cited in making both arguments. Audiences can hear every one of those songs for themselves when they order Hard To Bleed for themselves.

Hard To Bleed is a good first effort from Phill Rocker. The album proves this time and again throughout the course of its fifteen songs and sixty-seven minutes. From the hard rocking anchor that is ‘Burning in the Fire’ to the more melodic classic ballad style ‘How Does It Feel’ to the equally solid opener ‘Wasted Generation (In Me)’ there is plenty for any purist rocker to enjoy. That includes the other dozen songs not directly noted here. All things considered Hard To Bleed proves in the end to be a good first effort from Phill Rocker and an album that is both worth hearing at least once and in turn hard to hate. It can be ordered online now via Rocker’s official Bandcamp website at http://phillrocker.bandcamp.com/releases. More information on Hard To Bleed is available online now along with music videos, news, and more at:

Website: http://www.phillrocker.com

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

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.

Brian Setzer Orchestra Debuts Rockin’ Rudolph

Courtesy:  Surfdog Records

Courtesy: Surfdog Records

It’s not quite Christmas yet. But let’s face it. The countdown to Christmas is already on around most parts of the country now that we’re almost halfway through October. In anticipation of the arrival of the annual holiday season, Brian Setzer and his fellow musicians in the Brian Setzer Orchestra premiered the group’s new holiday record Rockin’ Rudolph this week exclusively via Yahoo! Music.

Rockin’ Rudolph is the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s first holiday record to be released in some ten years. It is scheduled to be released in stores and online this Friday, October 16th via Surfdog Records. Fans of the Brian Setzer Orchestra can get their hands on the album in an exclusive box set presentation now online via Pledge Music. The twelve-track album features key numbers including: ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ ‘Yabba-Dabba Yuletide,’ ‘Rockabilly Rudolph’ and a number of other favorites. The full track listing and details for both the standard and deluxe edition of Rockin’ Rudolph is listed below.

Track listing for standard edition of ROCKIN’ RUDOLPH:

  1. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
  2. “Yabba-Dabba Yuletide”
  3. “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
  4. “Rockabilly Rudolph”
  5. “Here Comes Santa Claus”
  6. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  7. “Swingin’ Joy”
  8. “Carol of the Bells”
  9. “Little Jack Frost”
  10. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
  11. “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
  12. “Yabba-Dabba Yuletide” (extended)

 

The ROCKIN’ RUDOLPH DELUXE BOX SET

includes:

  1. Brand New Rockin’ Rudolph album on CD
  2. Commemorative Sheet Music / Guitar Chart to “Nutcracker Suite” (just as Brian reads on stage!)
  3. Custom Brian Setzer Die-cut Christmas Tree Ornament (3″ tall, alloy metal)
  4. Brian Setzer’s Own Murray’s Pomade (Hair Product)
  5. Commemorative BSO “Martini Logo” Stainless Steel Guitar Pick
  6. BSO Christmas Album Cover Drink Coasters
  7. Six Polaroid-style BSO Concert Photos
  8. “Live in Nashville” 10×10 print
  9. Reusable 8GB USB Credit Card w/ Extras, including:
  • Hi-definition .wav files of full 12-track ROCKIN’ RUDOLPH album
  • 2 New Bonus Instrumental Tracks Not Included on Album:  “Deck The Halls” & “Little Drummer Boy”
  • Album Cover Rough Sketches by Artist Derek Yaniger
  • Brief Behind-the-scenes video footage of BSO’s Rockin’ Rudolph recording session (House of Blues studio in Nashville, TN.) 
  • “Jingle Bells” – Live Performance by BSO (previously released) 
  • “Nutcracker Suite” – Live Performance by BSO (previously released) 
  • Behind-the-scenes look at Brian writing entire big band arrangement from scratch (previously released) 
Photo Credit: Russ Harrington

Photo Credit: Russ Harrington

Setzer and company will take to the road this fall in support of its new record beginning November 14th in Minneapolis, MN. It also includes a stop in North Carolina’s queen City on December 4th. The complete schedule for the group’s tour is listed below.

Catch the 2015 “Christmas Rocks! Tour” in the following cities:

 

DATE CITY VENUE
Sat-Nov-14 Minneapolis, MN Orpheum Theatre
Sun-Nov-15 Omaha, NE Orpheum Theatre
Tue-Nov-17 Waukegan, IL Genesee Theatre
Wed-Nov-18 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
Fri-Nov-20 Northfield, OH Hard Rock Live
Sat-Nov-21 Atlantic City, NJ Caesars Atlantic City – Circus Maximus
Sun-Nov-22 Buffalo, NY University of Buffalo – Center for the Arts
Tue-Nov-24 Stamford, CT Palace Theatre
Wed-Nov-25 Wilkes Barre, PA Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
Fri-Nov-27 Mashantucket, CT Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand Theater
Sat-Nov-28 Englewood, NJ Bergen Perfroming Arts Center
Sun-Nov-29 Westbury, NY Theatre at Westbury
Wed-Dec-02 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre
Fri-Dec-04 Charlotte, NC Ovens Auditorium
Sat-Dec-05 Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Sun-Dec-06 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Tue-Dec-08 New Orleans, LA Saenger Theatre
Thu-Dec-10 Austin, TX ACL Live at the Moody Theatre
Fri-Dec-11 Allen, TX Allen Event Center
Sat-Dec-12 San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre
Mon-Dec-14 Tucson, AZ Fox Tucson Theatre
Tue-Dec-15 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
Fri-Dec-18 Los Angeles, CA Microsoft Theater
Sat-Dec-19 Indio, CA Fantasy Springs Resort Hotel & Casino – Event Center
Sun-Dec-20 tba tba
Tue-Dec-22 Bakersfield, CA Fox Theater
Wed-Dec-23 Santa Rosa, CA Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
Thu-Dec-24 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theater
Sat-Dec-26 Spokane, WA Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
Sun-Dec-27 Seattle, WA Benaroya Concert Hall
Tue-Dec-29 Calgary, AB Grey Eagle Resorts and Casino

More information on the 12th annual Christmas Rocks! Tour is available online now along with all of the latest updates on the band’s new holiday album Rockin’ Rudolph at:

Website: http://www.briansetzer.com

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

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/briansetzer

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.

Brian Setzer Orchestra Announces Details For 12th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour

Courtesy: Surfdog Records

Courtesy: Surfdog Records

Late last month, Brian Setzer announced that he and his band The Brian Setzer Orchestra will release the group’s first full-length holiday album in roughly a decade later this fall. Today, Setzer followed up that announcement with another big announcement for fans. Setzer announced today that it will hit the road this fall and winter for the 12th annual Christmas Rocks! Tour.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra will embark on the 12th annual Christmas Rocks! Tour beginning Saturday, November 14th at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The tour will see the group performing a total of thirty-one dates, including one in North Carolina’s “Queen City” on Friday, December 4th at the Ovens Auditorium. Pre-sales for the tour begin Wednesday, August 19th at 10am ET. they can be purchased online via Brian Setzer’s official website at http://www.briansetzer.com/tour. Being that this tour marks the frst time in roughly a decade that Setzer and company will be touring in support of a new holiday album, Setzer has been understandably upbeat about the tour. “It’s always exciting to add new songs,” he said about the tour’s set list. “I’m thinking about opening with ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree.’ We have never done that one before.” The complete schedule for the BSO’s upcoming Christmas Rocks! Tour is listed below.

Catch the 2015 “Christmas Rocks! Tour” in the following cities:
 
DATE
CITY
VENUE
Sat-Nov-14
Minneapolis, MN
Orpheum Theatre
Sun-Nov-15
Omaha, NE
Orpheum Theatre
Tue-Nov-17
Waukegan, IL
Genesee Theatre
Wed-Nov-18
Detroit, MI
Fox Theatre
Fri-Nov-20
Northfield, OH
Hard Rock Live
Sat-Nov-21
Atlantic City, NJ
Caesars Atlantic City – Circus Maximus
Sun-Nov-22
Buffalo, NY
University of Buffalo – Center for the Arts
Tue-Nov-24
Stamford, CT
Palace Theatre
Wed-Nov-25
Wilkes Barre, PA
Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
Fri-Nov-27
Mashantucket, CT
Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand Theater
Sat-Nov-28
Englewood, NJ
Bergen Perfroming Arts Center
Sun-Nov-29
Westbury, NY
Theatre at Westbury
Wed-Dec-02
Red Bank, NJ
Count Basie Theatre
Fri-Dec-04
Charlotte, NC
Ovens Auditorium
Sat-Dec-05
Atlanta, GA
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Sun-Dec-06
Nashville, TN
Ryman Auditorium
Tue-Dec-08
New Orleans, LA
Saenger Theatre
Thu-Dec-10
Austin, TX
ACL Live at the Moody Theatre
Fri-Dec-11
Allen, TX
Allen Event Center
Sat-Dec-12
San Antonio, TX
Majestic Theatre
Mon-Dec-14
Tucson, AZ
Fox Tucson Theatre
Tue-Dec-15
Phoenix, AZ
Celebrity Theatre
Fri-Dec-18
Los Angeles, CA
Microsoft Theater
Sat-Dec-19
Indio, CA
Fantasy Springs Resort Hotel & Casino – Event Center
Sun-Dec-20
tba
tba
Tue-Dec-22
Bakersfield, CA
Fox Theater
Wed-Dec-23
Santa Rosa, CA
Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
Thu-Dec-24
San Francisco, CA
Warfield Theater
Sat-Dec-26
Spokane, WA
Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
Sun-Dec-27
Seattle, WA
Benaroya Concert Hall
Tue-Dec-29
Calgary, AB
Grey Eagle Resorts and Casino

More information on the 12th annual Christmas Rocks! Tour is available online now along with all of the latest updates on the band’s new holiday album Rockin’ Rudolph at:

Website: http://www.briansetzer.com

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

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/briansetzer

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.

Zodiac’s Road Tapes Volume I Is A Solid Debut Live Recording

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Summertime is here.  Okay, meteorological summer doesn’t officially start until later this month.  But don’t tell that to all of the music acts out there that have already hit the road and that are getting ready to hit the road once again.  Whether one be a fan of pop, country, rock or even EDM, this time of year brings lots of options for audiences.  While audiences do in fact have plenty of options when it comes to the annual live summer concert season, there are also just as many shows that audiences won’t get to see whether for reasons of finance or simply because of said acts’ tour schedules.  So what is one to do when going to a given concert isn’t an option regardless of whether for financial reasons or that of an act’s scheduling?  Answer:  Go pick up the act’s latest live recording.  There are just as many options for audiences when it comes to live recordings as there are actual live concerts.  The options offered this year are just as many as in any year in recent history.  So that leads back to the annual question of which show or shows to take in.  This critic has another new choice for audiences right now.  That choice is Zodiac’s new live digital release Road Tapes Volume I.  This recording is one of 2015’s top new live audio-only recordings.  In other words, if it were to be released on CD, it would be one of this critic’s top new live CD-specific recordings.  As with any live recording, it proves this first and foremost in its set list.  The set list, which clocks in at just under the ninety-minute mark, is a solid representation of the band’s current catalogue.  The recording’s audio mix is just as solid as its set list.  Not once do audiences have to adjust the volume on their MP3 player or radio (for those that burn the recording to CD) in the recording’s seventy-four minute run time.  Last but hardly least noting is the band’s stage presence.  The band doesn’t waste much time in between songs.  Rather it spends most of its time and energy letting the music do the talking.  Even doing so, the performance presented here exhibits a band that is currently at the top of its game.  Audiences that download this recording will agree with that sentiment.  They will also agree that taking into consideration that when coupled with its set list and audio mix, the band’s stage presence translated through its performance rounds out the reasons that Road Tapes Volume I has made this critic’s list of the year’s best new live audio-only/CD recordings.

Zodiac’s new live recording Road Tapes Volume I is one of this year’s best new live audio-only/CD recordings.  The main way in which it shows itself deserving of a spot on that list is the recording’s set list.  The ten song, seventy-four minute recording is a solid representation of the band’s current catalogue.  All three of the band’s current albums are well represented here with Hiding Place being represented three times over with ‘Free,’ ‘Moonshine,’ and ‘Cortez The Killer.’  Sonic Child, the band’s most recent release is represented via ‘Swinging on the Run,’ ‘Holding On,’ ‘Rock Bottom Blues,’ and ‘A Penny and A Dead Horse.’  A Bit of Devil, the band’s 2012 Prosthetic Records debut release, is represented by ”Diamond Shoes,’ ‘Coming Home,’ and its title track.  That is, again, a relatively healthy sampling of the band’s work.  Such a healthy sampling of the band’s sound means that audiences that perhaps might not be so familiar with Zodiac’s body of work get a clear introduction to the band and its sound here.  The sequencing of the set’s songs makes the songs even more important to the whole of the recording.  From beginning to end, the band consistently balances its more up-tempo pieces expertly with its slower numbers.  The end result is a near ninety-minute set that will keep audiences completely entertained from beginning to end with every listen.  Being that it can so easily keep audiences engaged and that it represents the band’s body of work so well, Road Tapes Volume I’s set list shows within itself plenty of reason for audiences to download this recording regardless of their familiarity with Zodiac and its body of work.  It’s just one reason that audiences will want to download it, too.  The recording’s audio mix makes it just as enjoyable.

The work of those manning the audio boards for the concert presented in Road Tapes Volume I is just as notable as the set list that makes up the body of the recording.  At no one point does any one member of the band overpower the other.  This includes the balance of front man Nick van Delft’s vocal talents with those of his band mates and that of his band mates with one another.  The audio levels are so well balanced that van Delft’s vocals cut through like a knife from the concert’s opener to its final number.  That is a tribute to the person(s) charged with working the mics for the concert.  Believe it or not there are still audio engineers out there that struggle with that balance to this day.  That wasn’t the case with the work of this recording’s engineer(s).  It’s just one part of the way that the audio mix presented in this recording makes it so enjoyable.  The balance of the audio within the band’s performance to its rather short interludes is just as impressive.  Even though audiences do find themselves having to adjust the levels in these moments, those adjustments are minute at best.  Yet again that is a tribute to the work of the person(s) behind the boards for the recording.  Speaking of the band’s interludes they are very short to say the least.  This means again that any volume adjustments that audiences have to make are minor at worst.  It also means that the band doesn’t waste much time between songs.  Instead it lets the music do the talking and in turn present its stage presence.  That presence is the final aspect of Road Tapes Volume I that makes it so enjoyable.

Zodiac’s stage presence is the final element of its new live recording that makes it such an enjoyable listen.  The band’s stage presence is especially worth the note because it doesn’t waste any time either between songs or even within the course of its performance.  Its stage presence is defined largely by the performance of its songs.  The band’s performance is a direct throwback to the veteran jam bands that remain the foundation of the rock community to this day.  That is exhibited by the extended jam session-esque moments. The band is fully focused throughout those moments and through the rest of each song, too. That focus leads to a performance by the band that in whole will keep listeners completely engaged from start to finish within each song and from song to song. Simply put, the fact that the band’s presence can be so well-defined by its performance rather than by other elements is a tribute to the band and its talent. It shows that a band doesn’t need all the extras that so many acts use to maintain a solid presence and in turn entertain audiences. All it needs is a love for its craft and for its fans, and of course a certain level of talent. Luckily both for Zodiac and its fans, Zodiac displays every one of those elements in this recording making for one more positive to a recording that is again easily deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new live audio-only/CD recordings.

Zodiac’s new live recording Road Tapes Volume I is one of this year’s best new live audio-only/CD recordings. It uses a handful of evidence to prove this. That includes its extensive set list, its solid audio mix and the band’s very stage presence. Each element shows on its own just what makes Road Tapes Volume I such a worthwhile listen regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Zodiac and its body of work. Collectively they show why this recording is a solid first effort from the band in regards to live recordings and why it is also one of this year’s nest new live audio-only/CD recordings. It can be downloaded now digitally via iTunes at https://itun.es/i6Lm3wg and via Amazon at http://amzn.com/B00WLEG7X2. It is also available in a very limited number of physical copies online via Zodiac’s online store at http://zodiacstore.bigcartel.com/. More information on this latest release from Zodiac is available online now along with the band’s latest tour updates and news at:

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Zodiac.Rock

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.

Saxon Announces Dates For U.S. Leg Of Its “Warriors Of The Road” Tour

Courtesy: UDR/Adrenaline PR/MEtal Blade Records/Chipster PR

Courtesy: UDR/Adrenaline PR/MEtal Blade Records/Chipster PR

Legendary British metal band Saxon is gearing up to hit the road in the U.S. this spring.

The members of Saxon announced this week that the band will embark on the “Warriors of the Road” U.S. Tour in May. The tour is in support of the band’s recently re-issued recordings Heavy Metal Thunder and The Saxon Chronicles. Both recordings were re-issued February 24th. Heavy Metal Thunder included a bonus live recording titled Live at Bloodstock. The double-disc DVD The Saxon Chronicles was accompanied by a bonus live recording titled Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsies 1989 Live.

Saxon’s upcoming tour kicks off on Tuesday, May 12th at BB King’s in New York City and will run through Saturday, May 30th in Los Angeles, California. One of the scheduled dates is a performance at the annual Rock on the Range Festival on Saturday, May 16th in Columbus, Ohio. Saxon will be joined by Armored Saint for the majority of the tour’s scheduled dates. Judas Priest will join the band on a four-date string of shows from May 17th to May 21st. The complete “Warriors of the Road” tour schedule is listed below.

SAXON “Warriors of the Road” U.S. Tour w/ Armored Saint:

5/12 – New York City, NY @ BB Kings w/ Armored Saint

5/13 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium w/ Armored Saint

5/16 – Columbus, OH @ MAPFRE Stadium (formerly Crew Stadium) @ Rock On The Range

5/17 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Shoe w/ Judas Priest

5/19 – St. Charles, MO @ Family Area w/ Judas Priest

5/20 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Casino-Stir Cove w/ Judas Priest

5/21 – Rosemont, IL @ Rosemont Theater w/ Judas Priest

5/23 – San Antonio, TX @ 210 Kapone’s Live w/ Armored Saint

5/24 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live w/ Armored Saint

5/26 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red

5/27 – Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl at Hard Rock

5/29 – San Jose, CA @ Rock Bar w/ Armored Saint

5/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues w/ Armored Saint

More information on the “Warriors of the Road” tour and all of the latest news from Saxon is available online at:

Website: https://www.saxon747.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/planetsaxon

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.

One Way Mirror’s New Album Will Capture Any Rock Fan’s Attention

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Late last year this critic introduced audiences to a four-man band from Lyon, France called The Amsterdam Red Light District. The band’s new album Gone For A While proved to be an album that will keep the band around for quite a while. Now with the old year gone and a new year started, this critic has another band from France to introduce to the world. The band’s name is One-Way Mirror. The five-piece will release its second American release and fourth overall album next week in the form of Capture. The band’s latest LP is a solid record for anyone that might be new to the music of One-Way Mirror. That is thanks in large part to the approach taken by the band on this record. The twelve-track, fifty-one minute record utilizes a melodic hard rock sound that makes it a good fit for any mainstream American rock radio station considering the current climate of mainstream rock. One way that it proves this is through the electro-rock sound of ‘Warnings.’ The song starts with a keyboard line that conjures thoughts of Nine Inch Nails circa 2007. From there it builds into a full-on opus that is sure to have any listener singing along. The string arrangements and keyboards that are incorporated into the album’s closer ‘We Love To Complain’ make it stand out just as much in its own way. And the band’s rocked out take on ‘Lady Marmalade’ will entertain audiences just as much. One of the elements of this cover that makes it so intriguing is the similarity in sound to the likes of Saliva and Fozzy. Front man Guillaume Bideau even sounds like Fozzy front man Chris Jericho at points while the song’s overall musical side hints clearly at influence from both Fozzy and Saliva if not other bands. It’s just one more of the album’s dozen total tracks that makes the record in whole well worth the listen and worth the play by radio programmers across the country.

One-Way Mirror’s latest full-length studio release Capture is a rather aptly titled record. That is because thanks to the mix of musical stylings from one song to the next, the record is certain to (bad pun fully intended here) capture the attention of any rock devotee. There is a hint of rap-rock at random points throughout the record. There is also a throwback to the days of big hair and even bigger riffs at another. And as is evident in ‘Warnings,’ there is even a semi-industrial element thrown in for good measure. Speaking of ‘Warnings’ it is one of the strongest of the album’s songs. The song starts off with a keyboard line that sounds like it was lifted right from Nine Inch Nails’ 2007 album Year Zero. The vocal harmonies that are laid over the keyboard line are similar stylistically speaking to so many other acts being played on any mainstream radio station across America. Lyrically, if the song is to be properly interpreted, it comes across as being something of an introspective opus with Bideau singing, “Why in the hell did we turn into this/It’s not always easy to be yourself/Not easy to be yourself/Could we change/Could we change ourselves/Let’s close our eyes/When we’re frightened by ourselves/We’re frightened by ourselves/So many warnings…so many feelings I’ve hidden inside…” He goes on to ask “how much are ?” It almost comes across as a song questioning a person’s feelings toward himself or herself. That could be entirely wrong, of course. It is merely the interpretation of this critic. It would be interesting to find out the true meaning behind the song’s lyrics. That aside, the song’s musical side makes for enough reason to listen to the song. That it could create such discussion on its lyrics only serves to make it all the stronger of an anchor for Capture. It isn’t the only song that makes Capture worth the listen, either. The band’s rocked up take of ‘Lady Marmalade’ adds even more reason to listen to this record.

‘Warnings’ is one of the most notable moments offered by One-Way Mirror on its upcoming album Capture. The song’s seemingly Nine Inch Nails-influenced sound and deep, thoughtful lyrics together make the song a solid anchor for the album. It isn’t the album’s only solid moment, either. The album’s closer ‘We Love To Complain’ is another of the album’s high points. It starts off gently just as with ‘Warnings’ before launching into a sound similar to that of so many radio friendly bands from the 90s and from music’s current era. The string arrangements that are used to introduce the song expertly set the mood for the song thanks to the notes’ staccato approach and minor key. It is so easy to see this song becoming a favorite among fans both on record and in a live setting. Lyrically, the song comes across as a piece that takes on those people who never seem to be happy about life no matter the situation. The argument can be made as Bideau sings, “Cause we have all that we want/Cause we have all that we need/But it’s never enough and we’re wasting it all/We can be anything we want…but we can never get enough.” As the song progresses, it displays increasingly a Euro-metal sound akin to Lacuna Coil and others of its ilk complete with huge keyboard and string arrangements that soar alongside the band’s own lines. As with ‘Warnings’ the coupling of that musical and lyrical depth makes it just as solid and strong an anchor for the album.

Both ‘Warnings’ and ‘We Love To Complain’ prove to be solid points for Capture. While both songs prove important additions to the album’s body, they are hardly the album’s only songs that listeners will like. The band’s take on ‘Lady Maramlade’ is just as certain to entertain listeners. One wouldn’t think that amping up a classic pop song such as ‘Lady Marmalade’ and would work. But somehow One-Way Mirror made it work. And it did so quite impressively, too. Musically speaking, the song mixes elements of hard rock with classic arena rock from the days of big hair and even bigger riffs to make a song that will, again, capture any listener’s attention. At times Bideau himself sounds like Fozzy front man and superstar wrestler Chris Jericho. If audiences were listening to this song and didn’t know it was Fozzy, that factor alone would make them think that they were listening to Fozzy. At other times, there is a southern sludge-rock feel about the song. Once again, it sounds like an odd combination to have a song such as ‘Lady Marmalade’ handled in such fashion considering that this song is commonly sung by female artists. But it works here nonetheless. As a matter of fact it works so surprisingly well that it would be no surprise if this song also becomes a live favorite. If for no other reason than this cover, audiences will want to check out this album when it is released next week. Who knows, maybe after hearing this song, audiences will give a chance to the others noted here and to those not noted including the full throttle ‘F*** Your Autotune,’ the radio ready riffs in ‘Cliffs,’ and the aggro-rock sound of the album’s opener ‘Stinkin’ of Gold.’ Whether it be for any of those songs or the remaining six works not noted, audiences will find plenty of reason to take in One-Way Mirror’s new album and let it *ahem* capture them.
Capture is currently scheduled to be released next Tuesday, January 27th via Pavement Entertainment. The band currently has no tour dates scheduled. When the band announces its latest tour dates, audiences can find them and all of the latest updates from the band online at:

Website: http://www.one-waymirror.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Way-Mirror/26220377436

Twitter: http://twitter.com/owmirror

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/onewaymirrorband

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.

10 Years Announces Tour In Support Of New Album

Courtesy:  Street Smart Marketing

Courtesy: Street Smart Marketing

Hard Rock band 10 Years will debut its latest full-length studio recording this spring. The album, From Birth To Burial, is the band’s sixth full-length studio effort . The band released its debut album Into The Half Moon in 2001. In anticipation of the upcoming album the band announced this week that it will hit the road in support of its new record beginning Tuesday, February 10th on the “From Birth To Burial Tour” presented by Revolver Magazine.

The “From Birth To Burial” tour kicks off Tuesday, February 10th in Sauget, IL and runs for a total of five weeks. It winds down March 21st in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Las Vegas, Nevada’s Otherwise has been tapped as one of the supporting acts for the tour along with Glorious Sons and 10 Years’ fellow Knoxville, TN-based band Luminoth. Otherwise’s addition to the tour is part of the band’s continued push in support of its latest release Peace At All Costs. Peace At All Costs was released last year via Century Media’s “sister” label Another Century. The complete schedule for the “From Birth To Burial” tour is listed below.

THE FROM BIRTH TO BURIAL TOUR PRESENTED BY REVOLVER MAGAZINE feat. 10 YEARS, OTHERWISE, THE GLORIOUS SONS, & LUMINOTH

FEBRUARY

10 Sauget, IL – Pop’s Nightclub

11 Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium

13 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre

14 Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep

15 Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue

17 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge

18 Las Vegas, NV – Vinyl

19 San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick

20 Tempe, AZ – The Marquee

22 Lubbock, TX – Jake’s Ballroom

24 Abilene, TX – The Silo

25 San Antonio, TX – 210 Kapones Live

26 Dallas, TX – Trees

27 Houston, TX – Scout Bar

28 Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre

MARCH

02 Destin, FL – Club LA

03 Birmingham, AL – Iron Horse

04 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge

06 Louisville, KY – Expo Five

07 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (10 Years Fan Summit)

08 Newport, KY – Thompson House

10 Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club

11 Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall

13 Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live

14 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre

15 Flint, MI – The Machine Shop

17 Battle Creek, MI – Music Factory

18 Arlington Heights, IL – Home Bar

19 Spring Lake Park, MN – POVS

20 Ringle, WI – Q  and Z Expo Center

21 Ft. Wayne, IN – Piere’s Entertainment Center

All of the latest updates from 10 Years on its upcoming album and tour is available online at:

Website: http://www.10yearsmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/10yearsmusic

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/10years

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.