Devildriver Debuts ‘Keep Away From Me’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Album art by Johnny Jones at COMA

Audiences received their first preview of Devildriver’s next album this week.

The band — Dez Fafara (vocals), Mike Spreitzer (guitar), Neal Tiemann (guitar), Diego Ibarra (bass) and Auston D’amond (drums) — debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Keep Away From Me‘ Thursday.  The song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album Dealing With Demons 1, which is scheduled for release Oct. 9 through Napalm Records.  The album is the first in a two-part release that will see its second half released at a later date.

‘Keep Away From Me’ features a musical arrangement that combines metalcore and death metal elements for a whole that will engage and entertain a wide range of listeners.  The song’s lyrical theme is personal for Fafara and uses his personal connection to relate to listeners as they navigate the waters of everything happening in the world today.

Fafara discussed that theme in a recent interview.

“I’ve been social distancing since I was born,” he said. “I’ve learned to try and embrace my Agoraphobia all my life. This is what the lyrics are about as we are all sheltered in place. They seem very clear. Now is not the time bands should shy away from the obvious by trying to push the narrative through their art as if everything is alright with the world and ‘it’s metal video visual as usual time’, as it is clearly NOT that time.”

We as artists should speak up, inspire and change lives, or paint a picture – a time capsule if you will – by the narrative we push in uncertain times,” he added. “This video is one such art piece as my band and thousands of others are forced into quarantine – cannot rehearse, take photos, or perform – to make a music video for the very people that have supported us for years. It’s trying times for the world and my outlook through this video is simply this: ‘here’s what we are going through as a family on this planet and as we embrace what is yet to come… please Stand Together’.”

Pre-orders are open now for Dealing With Demons I on a variety of platforms.  All pre-order pre-orders enter fans into a giveaway for a Dealing With Demons 1 banner.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

Dealing With Demons I Tracklist:
1. Keep Away From Me
2. Vengeance Is Clear
3. Nest Of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me A Reason To Drink (feat. Simon Blade Fafara)
7. Witches
8. Dealing With Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever

The 10-song record was co-produced by Spreitzer and Steve Evetts.  It is also the first Devildriver record to feature a song co-written by Fafara and another individual — ‘Nest Of Vipers.’  The song was co-written by Fafara and Tiemann.

Fafara expanded on the record’s writing process in the noted interview.

“It’s time to lay it all out, on two records,” he said.  “I’m never gonna revisit these subjects again. I’ve been writing about this sort of human nature, disloyalty and dishonesty, love and loss, since the beginning of my career. I am going in a more lyrically woke direction in the future. A lot of people say my music gives them strength. But what they don’t realize is that these topics haunt me. Over the course of these last few years we fled from wildfires, my wife battled cancer and now we are going through a pandemic… so it is what it is… let’s dump it all on the table and purge. I want to go through different topics in the future, so here we are now. I’ve laid it all out on a double record for all of you to hear.”

Additionally, he commented on the writing process for Dealing with Demons 1‘s forthcoming companion record.

“Volume two will get into some very heavy topics as well,” he said.  “You’ll see the band progress even further musically as we finish this ode to the purge of all things Demonic.”

More information on Dealing With Demons 1 is available along with all of Devildriver’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.devildriver.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/devildriver

 

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.

Dee Snider Announces Release Date, Specs For New Live Recording

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider will release his latest live recording this summer.

For The Love of Metal is scheduled for release July 31 through Napalm Records.  Pre-orders are open now.  The recording features performances held by Snider in locations worldwide, and songs from Snider’s solo catalog as well as that of Twisted Sister.  It will be available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

 

For The Love Of Metal Live will be available in the following formats:
-Deluxe Earbook Edition: CD, Bonus CD, DVD, Blu-Ray & 7″ Single with Lyric etching – Limited to 500 copies worldwide
-Shirt & Deluxe Earbook Edition Bundle – USA Napalm Webstore Only
-8 Page Digipack with Sleeve (CD, DVD, Blu Ray)
-8 Page Digipack with Sleeve (CD, DVD, Blu Ray) & Shirt Bundle
-2LP Black Gatefold & DVD
-2LP Black Gatefold & DVD & Shirt Bundle – USA Napalm Webstore Only
-2LP Silver Gatefold & DVD – Limited to 200 copies worldwide (Napalm Webstores Only)
-2LP Silver Gatefold & DVD & Shirt Bundle – USA Napalm Webstore Only
-Digital Full Length Album

 

Among the songs featured in the recording are tracks, such as ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ ‘I Am The Hurricane’ and ‘For The Love of Metal.’  A cover of AC/DC’s timeless classic ‘Highway To Hell’ is also featured in the recording’s set list, along with a brand new song from Snider, ‘Prove Me Wrong.’

Snider debuted the lyric video for ‘Prove Me Wrong’ Tuesday.  The song is a proud, defiant statement about where Snider has been and where he is headed in his life that will connect with a wide range of listeners.

Snider discussed that lyrical content in a recent interview.

“‘Prove Me Wrong’ are words that I’ve thought in my head since the day I began rocking,” he said.  “I had a monster chip on my shoulder and dared the world to knock it off… nobody ever could. At this point in my career I thought I’d let everybody in on what has kept be going all these many years. Prove me wrong!”

The song’s musical arrangement is a heavy, guitar-driven work that will appeal to fans of Adrenaline Mob, Anthrax and other similar acts.

As an added bonus for audiences, Snider’s new live recording will also feature extra live material and interviews with Snider, in which he discusses topics, such as his now infamous PMRC hearing and opening for Motorhead.

The full track listing for For The Love of Metal is noted below.

 

For The Love Of Metal Live Track Listings:
Digital Album
1. Lies Are a Business
2. Tomorrow’s No Concern
3. You Can’t Stop Rock ’N’ Roll
4. The Beast
5. American Made
6. Under the Blade
7. The Kids Are Back
8. Become the Storm
9. We’re Not Gonna Take It
10. I Am the Hurricane
11. Burn In Hell
12. I Wanna Rock
13. For the Love of Metal
14. Highway To Hell
15. Ready to Fall
16. The Fire Still Burns
17. Roll Over You
18. Prove Me Wrong

CD
1. Lies Are A Business
2. Tomorrow’s No Concern
3. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll
4. The Beast Live
5. American Made
6. Under The Blade
7. The Kids Are Back
8. Become The Storm
9. We’re Not Gonna Take It
10. I Am The Hurricane
11. Burn In Hell
12. I Wanna Rock Live
13. For The Love Of Metal
14. Highway To Hell
15. Prove Me Wrong

DVD/Blu-Ray
1. Lies Are A Business
2. Pain of Traveling (Interview)
3. Tomorrow’s No Concern
4. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll
5. New Record (Interview)
6. The Beast
7. American Made
8. Under The Blade
9. Song Writing (Interview)
10. The Kids Are Back Live
11. Become The Storm
12. We’re Not Gonna Take It
13. WNGTI (Interview)
14. I Am The Hurricane
15. Burn In Hell Live
16. Rock of Ages (Interview)
17. I Wanna Rock
18. For The Love Of Metal
19. AC/DC (Interview)
20. Highway To Hell
21. Credits
22. Ready To Fall (Bonus Track)
23. The Fire Still Burns (Bonus Track)
24. Roll Over You (Bonus Track)
25. Suzette (Interview)
26. Hearing (Interview)
27. Strangeland (Interview)
28. Lemmy (Interview)

 

More information on For The Love of Metal is available along with all of Dee Snider’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://deesnider.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/deesnider

 

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.

 

 

 

Mushroomhead Debuts ‘Seen It All’ Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Filthy Hands

The countdown is on for Mushroomhead’s new album.

The band is scheduled to release its new album A Wonderful Life June 19 through Napalm Records.  In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Seen It All‘ April 21.

The video features the band performing its new single in a confined room which is adorned on one wall with a collage of pictures, many of which have large “X’s” through their eyes in the style of the band’s trademark logo.  The pictures are posted by an unidentified male figure whose face is anything but positive.

The song’s musical arrangement features a sound that will appeal to Mushroomhead’s longtime fans just as much as those who are less familiar with the group’s catalog. That is evident through the use of the song’s heavy guitars, down-tuned bass and keyboards.  The addition of new vocalist Mr. Rauckhorst’s delivery adds to the song’s impact.

The song’s lyrical content is powerful in its own right, delivering a social commentary that promotes unity among everyone.

The forthcoming release of Mushroomhead’s new album will mark the band’s first album in six years. The band’s most recent album is 2014’s The Righteous & The ButterflyPre-orders for A Wonderful Life are open now.

The band debuted three new videos in 2018 for its live recording Volume III in the form of ‘We Are The Truth,’ ‘Devils Be Damned‘ and ‘Graveyard Du Jour.’

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

 

Website: http://www.mushroomhead.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mushroomhead

 

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.

Deepfall Joins Clint Lowery As Support For Alter Bridge’s Latest Live Run

Courtesy: TAG Publicity.Napalm Records/Spinefarm Records

Independent hard rock outfit Deepfall has joined Alter Bridge on its latest series of live dates in support of its latest album, 2019’s Walk The Sky.

Deepfall started its run alongside Alter Bridge on Saturday. The band’s new live dates are in support of its album Broken, which was released in October through Pavement Entertainment.  The album spawned the single ‘Wasted.’  The single’s video debuted Oct. 17, the day before the album’s release.

Deepfall’s run with Alter Bridge is scheduled to run through Feb. 27.  It will take Deepfall to cities, such as Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA and Ft. Wayne, IN.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.  Tickets are available here.

 

Tour Dates:
02/08 @ War Memorial Auditorium – Nashville, TN
02/09 @ Egyptian Room at Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN
02/11 @ Mars Music Hall – Huntsville, AL
02/12 @ Clyde Theatre – Ft. Wayne, IN
02/14 @ The Apollo Theatre – Belvedere, IL
02/15 @ The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
02/17 @ Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
02/18 @ The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT
02/20 @ House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
02/21 @ Montbleu Resort – Lake Tahoe, NV
02/23 @ The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
02/24 @ The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
02/26 @ Moore Theatre – Seattle, WA
02/27 @ Knitting Factory – Spokane, WA

 

Also joining Alter Bridge for the tour is Clint Lowery, who is touring in support of his solo debut album God Bless The Renegades.  More information on Deepfall’s latest live schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.deepfallband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DeepfallBand

 

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.

‘Tu’ Is A Strong First Musical Salvo From Alien Weaponry

Courtesy: Napalm Records

New Zealand has, in recent years, started making a name for itself in the music community.  That was thanks to the breakout success of the hard rock band Like A Storm.  Early this summer, yet another band from New Zealand started making a name for itself in the form of Alien Weaponry.  The young, up-and-coming metal outfit released its debut album Tu June 1 through Napalm Records.  In the months since its release the record has earned its own share of acclaim thanks to its musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  Much the same can be said of the album’s lyrical content.  Both items will be addressed here, along with the album’s overall sequencing.  Each item is key in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Tu a solid debut for Alien Weaponry that shows great promise for the band’s future.

Alien Weaponry’s debut album Tu is one of the biggest surprises of this year’s hard rock and metal community.  It is a strong debut for the New Zealand-based band.  That is due in part to the album’s musical arrangements.  From start to end, the arrangements lend themselves so easily to the best works of Sepultura and Soulfly. The album opens with a familiar tribal sounding spoken word track in ‘Whaikorero’ that, again, presents that comparison to the band’s Brazilian counterparts.  That spoken word intro gives way to a full on aural assault that even more lends itself to comparisons to the noted bands.  The familiar thrash sound continues as the album progresses into ‘Holding My Breath,’ which is itself a very heavy song lyrically just as much as it is musically.  The heaviness continues on into ‘Raupatu’ and ‘Kai Tangata,’ which is musically yet another very close work to those of Sepultura and Soulfly.  The same applies to all of the works that make up the second half of the record.  Right to the end, listeners get a sound from the band’s arrangements that while familiar is still unique to the band, giving audiences plenty just from this aspect to appreciate..  The familiar yet unique musical arrangements featured throughout this album are key in their own way to the album’s presentation, but are certainly not the album’s only selling point.  Its lyrical content is just as noteworthy as its musical content.

The lyrical content featured throughout the course of Tu is important to discuss because, again much like Sepultura and Soulfly, is rife with sociopolitical commentary from start to end.  The album opens, in fact, with the spoken word track ‘Whaikorero,’ which addresses the invasion of Queen Victoria’s military forces in the now infamous Invasion of the Waikato.  That invasion was led by Lt.-Gen. Duncan Cameron and was the biggest conflict of the 19th Century New Zealand Wars.  It involved British Colonial military forces and members of the Kingatana Movement.  The British Colonial forces defeated the Kingatan forces after nine months of combat, leaving them in poverty, but in 1995, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Waikato-Raupatu Claims Settlement Act of 1995 returning some land to members of the Waiakto-Tainui Tribe as well as financial compensation as a means to make a certain peace with those peoples.  Odds are that most audiences were unaware of this conflict prior to learning about it from the members of Alien Weaponry.  To that end, it stands out, along with the likes of ‘Ru Ana Te Whenua,’ ‘Raupatu’ and Whispers’ because of that outright commentary.

On an equally sociopolitical level, but not as intense as the other noted songs, audiences also get a commentary about the dangers of social media in ‘PC Bro.’  This song tackles the impact of social media on society today.  Front man Lewis de Jong sings in the song’s lead verse, “Flickering screens against glassy dead eyes/Have now become the norm/They live their lives through others’ eyes/Willing more and more/That you lose to the pressure/The watching eyes of the masses/Kill common sense/The media rules you/They are bored with your life/You need to make it right/To satisfy the fixated idiots that see your every move.”  He adds later in the song, “When will they see/That your life is a lie.”  This is pretty much spot on.  Given it is hardly the first time that any act has taken on the issue of social media and its negative impacts, but even with that in mind, it is still important to keep that reminder out there in hopes that people will eventually realize what social media has done and continues to do to the world.

The social and political commentary does not end with ‘PC Bro.’  The band takes on the very prominent issue of mental health with ‘Holding My Breath.’  De Jong sings in this song’s lead verse, “Before you judge me/Take a good hard look at yourself/You don’t know me/But you’re draining me of mental health/A lie based on popular opinion/I want to die ‘cause I can’t be forgiven/Locked in a room/Void of humanity/I’m in a black hole/suffering endlessly/Opening my eyes is worse than death/That’s why I keep on holding my breath.”  This is someone who is battling terribly, the effect of emotional and mental abuse, clearly.  This song is meant to bring to light, the very real and very serious concern of what people go through.  They point out here to people who are suffering from those negative thoughts that they are not alone.  It is a warning to everyone that people hold in those feelings so people need love.  That is of course this critic’s take on this song.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  If it is, then keeping it in mind along with the other songs noted here and the brutal musical content presented throughout the album, the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively does a lot to make the album stand out.  The musical and lyrical content is just a portion of what makes the record noteworthy.  Its overall sequencing is just as important to address as its general content.

The sequencing of Tu is so important to address because that work plays just as much into keeping listeners engaged and entertained as the album’s content.  It is clear in listening to the album from start to finish, the album’s energy never lets up.  The heaviness even in the simplicity of the album’s spoken word opener gives way to the already noted full-on heaviness of ‘Ru Ana Te Whenua.’  ‘Holding My Breath’ offers listeners its own intense thrash metal sound, as does ‘Raupatu.’  The same can be said of ‘Kai Tangata,’ which immediately follows ‘Raupatu,’ and ‘Rage – It Takes Over Again.’  From that point on, the energy and fire lets up little, if any.  In other words, those behind the glass and the boards made certain that listeners would have an album in Tu that ensured itself one of those rare albums worth taking in from start to end without stopping just as much through its sequencing as through its content.  Keeping all of that in mind, the album in whole proves to be a solid start for Alien Weaponry, and a record that makes the band the heir apparent to the throne of Sepultura and Soulfly.

Alien Weaponry’s debut album Tu is its own powerful first musical strike from the up-and-coming hard rock band.  It is a work that makes this band the heir apparent to the thrones of Soulfly and Sepultura with its musical and lyrical content.  That is due in large part to its collective musical and lyrical content.  When that is considered alongside the album’s sequencing, the whole of the elements makes Tu a record that puts the rest of the metal and hard rock community on notice that Alien Weaponry is locked, loaded and ready to go for years to come.  The album is available now through Napalm Records.  More information on Tu is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and tour dates at:

 

 

 

Website: http://alienweaponry.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlienWeaponry

 

 

 

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.

‘Walk The Sky’ Shows The “Sky” Is Still The Limit For Alter Bridge

Courtesy: Napalm Records

The wait is almost over for Alter Bridge’s new album.  Walk The Sky is scheduled for release Oct. 18, and the band has already been busy touring in support of the record, getting audiences excited about its release.  The hour-long album offers plenty for audiences to appreciate with its powerful musical arrangements and its seemingly recurring lyrical theme of our life choices and their impacts.  The album’s opener ‘Wouldn’t You Rather’ is one of the most notable of the album’s songs that supports that statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘The Bitter End,’ which comes later in the album’s run, serves just as much as ‘Wouldn’t You Rather’ to support the noted statement.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Tear Us Apart,’ the album’s penultimate composition, is one more example of how the album’s musical and lyrical content serves to give listeners so much to appreciate.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the end result is a record that shows the “sky” is the limit for Alter Bridge.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

Alter Bridge’s new album Walk The Sky is another strong new effort from the veteran hard rock band that is certain to appeal to the band’s longtime fans just as much as its newer fans.  That is thanks to its powerful musical arrangements and its equally strong lyrical content, which seems to address the choices we make in life and the result of those choices.  The album’s lead single ‘Wouldn’t You Rather’ is one of the most notable of the songs that serves to support those statements.  The song’s musical arrangement is yet another of the powerhouse compositions for which the band has come to be known, led by the dual guitar approach of Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy.  Drummer Scott Phillips’ time keeping is solid throughout, while bassist Brian Marshall’s low-end fills out the song’s arrangement.  Each musician joins with the others to make the nearly four-minute opus a great start for the record both as a single and as the album’s official opener, if only for its musical content.  That content is only one part of what makes the song stand out, though.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical content.

The song’s lyrical content is important to discuss because it encourages listeners to live the best life that they can.  Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse, “Sell yourself short and buy a world of pain/Follow your bliss or pay the price/All of these lessons/I’ve learned them so well/There is no gain worth the commerce of self/Wouldn’t you rather/Live from the heart/A life that will matter/To be lived from the start.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “You wear an albatross around your neck/The spoils of war will bring you down/Hear my advice/May you hear every word/Don’t sacrifice meaning for riches that burn/Wouldn’t you rather/Live from the heart/A life that will matter/To be lived from the start/All of these lessons I’ve learned from myself/There is no gain worth the commerce of self/A dream left for dead/Now a nightmare that feels like hell.”  As the almost four-minute song nears its end, Kennedy reminds listeners, “I’d rather live from the heart,” reminding listeners of the noted message of living life the best that one possible can live; living life with purpose.  That and the rest of the song’s message is one that every listeners needs to hear.  When that message is coupled with the song’s hard-driving musical arrangement, the end result is a song that is powerful both musically and lyrically, and just one of the album’s most notable tracks.  ‘The Bitter End’ is another powerful song that seems to address the choices that we make in life and the impact of those choices.

‘The Bitter End’ opens, musically, with a semi-introspective feel in its arrangement, that eventually gives way to a much more ballad-esque type work.  From there, the song’s energy creates a moving sound that conjures thoughts of some of Creed’s most well-known power ballads.  Considering that save for Kennedy, the members of Alter Bridge previously recorded and performed as Creed (then with Scott Stapp), this should come as no surprise.  What’s different from those songs and this song is that this work doesn’t come across as schmaltzy as its predecessors.  Rather, there is a certain real strength to this arrangement that the noted other songs did not have.  It is just one part of the song’s importance.  The noted positive message in the song’s lyrical content makes it stand out even more.

Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve walked every road and turned every corner/Searched high and low where I did not belong/Adrift with the tide/Always hungry and yearning/If only I’d known the answer was here all along/the bitter end will come in time/But the joy I have found/In the sweet here and now/It keeps me alive.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, ”I’ve kissed the lips of an angel in waiting/Devil in kind/I’ve been lost and deceived/The thrill had to fade in this world for the taking/Once I woke up…Then I could see/The bitter end will come in time/But the joy I have found in the sweet here and now/It keeps me alive.”  He later adds in the song, “It’s never too late to learn how to start living right.”  This is a statement that is echoed time and again along with the song’s chorus.  Keeping all of this in mind, this song clearly proves itself another work that addresses the noted theme of our life choices and how they impact our lives overall.  When the song’s uplifting message about living life right is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat power ballad arrangement, the whole of the song becomes another of the most notable of the album’s songs that also continues the album’s overall lyrical theme.  It is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Tear Us Apart’ presents its own unique lyrical content about the impact of the choices that we make in life.  It also features its own unique musical arrangement that will entertain and engage listeners.

‘Tear Us Apart’ is another ballad-style work, but stands on its own merits, establishing its own identity separate from the likes of ‘The Bitter End.’  It is more in line with past ballad-type arrangements that Alter Bridge’s members have crafted in its previous records.  That is a matter for another discussion as it is just one of so many songs featured in this record that combines elements of the band’s past records for a whole new here that keeps the band’s sound fresh.  The song’s musical elements join with Kennedy’s powerhouse vocals to create another power ballad that stands strong on its own two feet so to speak.  When that notable musical arrangement is coupled with the song’s lyrical content, the end result is yet another work that is its own important part of the album’s whole.

Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse, “Blindsided once again/Fooled by the fool within/Turned to a sacrifice/Lonely way to find no home/Withered…the promises you left for dead go cold/But this, too will surely fade/The truth you cannot escape/That we have to face/And learn from mistakes to grow/Don’t let the world/Tear us apart…don’t compromise/Just wait.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Drink from the poison well/Only to kill yourself alone/Wake up and take a stand.  He adds as the song continues, mentions of not giving up the love that one was meant to have before returning to the song’s chorus and reminding listeners to not compromise and that “if there’s something worth saving/Let it go/If there is something/Worth changing/Let it go/’Cause time is only wasting/Now you know.”  Once more, listeners get what comes across as a message of living life to the fullest and best; a message to not let certain elements in life get us down.  When this seeming message joins with the song’s radio ready arrangement, the whole of the song shows why it is another important part of Walk The Sky’s whole.  It is one more song that presents the album’s central theme of understanding the choices we make and how those choices impact us, and entertains listeners fully in the process.  When it is considered along with the other songs discussed here (and the rest of the album’s songs) the album shows itself in its entirety to be some of Alter Bridge’s best work to date.

Alter Bridge’s sixth full-length studio recording Walk The Sky is another impressive offering from the veteran rock band.  That is due to its collective musical arrangements, which feature elements from each of the band’s past compositions yet still present their own identities.  The noted lyrical theme, which is presented in various ways from the album’s opening to its end joins with the album’s arrangements, to make a record in whole that is not only some of Alter Bridge’s best work to date, but also one of the best rock records so far this year.  It is scheduled for release Oct. 18 through Napalm Records.  More information on the album and the band’s tour in support of the album, is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.alterbridge.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alterbridge

 

 

 

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.

‘Big Tings’ Is A “Big” New Effort From Skindred

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Veteran rock act Skindred returns later this month with its seventh full-length studio recording.  Big Tings is scheduled to be released Friday, April 27 via Napalm Records, and will come almost a year and a half after the release of its most recent album Volume (2015).  This 10-song record picks up right where Volume left off, with all of the same bombast and energy of that record and its predecessors.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of the album’s title track.  While this roughly 35-minute album boasts all of the energy and bombast that audiences have come to expect from Skindred, it also presents a more subdued side this time out in ‘Saying It Now.’  This song is quite the departure for the band both musically and lyrically in comparison to the album’s other offerings.  As a matter of fact, it would be no surprise if the band (or whoever makes the decisions at Napalm Records) opts for this as one of the album’s radio singles because it is such a star departure.  It’s just one more of the songs that serves to show what this record has to offer.  ‘Machine is one more example of what makes Big Tings another strong effort from Skindred, but is most certainly not the last of the album’s strong points.  ‘Tell Me’ is another interesting subdued moment included in the album, and its placement midway through the album helps to break things and in turn keep things interesting.  ‘Alive,’ with its driving arrangement, could be used as a radio single, too.  ‘That’s My Jam’ and ‘Last Chance,’ both offer plenty of heavy for fans who wanted that.  Between all of these tracks and those not noted directly here, the end result of Big Tings is a work that is a strong return for Skindred and another album from the veteran rock act that is certain to impress audiences new and old alike.

Skindred’s forthcoming seventh full-length studio recording Big Tings is a fittingly titled new offering from the veteran Welsh rock band.  That is because it is a record that displays a certain growth from the band.  The album’s closer, ‘Saying It Now’ is one of the songs that serves to exhibit that growth.  It will be discussed shortly.  Those who like the band’s heavier side get plenty of that in this record, too beginning with the album’s opener and title track.  It boasts all the bombast and energy of the band’s biggest hits from its past records, starting with a basic, yet infectious, drum beat and claps.  That opening eventually builds to an equally infectious riff that is just as certain to get stuck in listeners’ heads.  Lyrically, it’s just as big as it seemingly delves into that familiar realm of battling personal matters; not so much demons per se but so many thoughts that won’t get out of one’s head.  What’s really interesting is the song’s chorus in which Wedde sings, “Some things are bigger than me/I can’t trust myself/Some things are bigger than you/I can’t trust myself.”  It’s as if the song’s subject is telling himself to let go of those worries and concerns because some things are just bigger than any of us, and we just have to let things happen.  This is only this critic’s interpretation, and should not be taken as the only one.  Hopefully it’s somewhere in the ballpark.  Either way, it definitely makes for an interesting discussion point and start to the record.  That’s especially the case considering that this record could have been so much more of a downer than it is – musically speaking – what with that lyrical content.  Luckily, the band didn’t go that route, with the end result being a song that is certain to entertain and inspire listeners.  It’s just one of the songs that serves to show what makes this album a welcome return for Skindred.  ‘Saying It Now’ is another example of what makes Big Tings a strong new effort from Skindred.

‘Saying It Now’ is easily one of this record’s most radio ready songs.  Compared to its counterparts, it is quite the subdued composition that interestingly enough can be compared to so many songs from Sevendust.  It’s hard in its chorus sections, yet so much more controlled in its verses.  That dynamic contrast adds greatly to the song’s general effect, and in turn is just as certain as ‘Big Tings’ to pique listeners’ interest.  Of course it is only one part of what will keep listeners engaged.  Its lyrical content is just as certain to grab listeners.  Lyrically, this song comes across as a person ruing not speaking one’s mind to another while that other person was alive.  That is inferred as Webbe sings right off the top, “Tell them that you love them while they’re here/Tell them while you’ve got the chance/Always thought that you’d be here/I never imagined a world without you/I put off what I could do today/And say that I’ll go see you tomorrow/But it’s too late now/Cause you’re no longer here/I’m saying it now/But I wish I’d said it before.”  He goes on in similar fashion in the song’s second verse, singing, “I sit here crying in this room/With memories rushing back of you/So many chances now I blew/There was a million times I could have said I love you/But it’s too late now/Cause you’re no longer here.”  The song’s third and final verse follows in similar fashion as verses one and two, with the song’s subject regretting the past.  As with the album’s opener, the subject matter here leads one to think this song could have been one of those all too familiar brooding goth-esque pieces that take on self hatred, etc.  Yet, again, the band didn’t go that route, musically.  However, the song does capture the pained emotions that one might go through in the moment of losing a loved one.  This critic will attest to having felt those emotions many years ago at having lost a family member to heart failure.  Again, that ability to capture that emotion and make it relatable to audiences makes this song stand on its own merits.  Considering that this is a rare show of growth for the band both musically and lyrically, makes the song stand out just as much.  Keeping this in mind, it is another work that shows why this album is such a strong return for Skindred.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to make the album so strong.  ‘Machine’ is yet another example of what makes this album stand out.

‘Machine,’ with its infectious guitar-driven late 80s/early 90s musical arrangement wastes no time grabbing listeners’ attention.  It is a straight-forward rocker that, musically speaking, is certain to be a live favorite just as much as a favorite on record.  That’s especially the case as the song reaches its bridge, the band singing in unison, “It saved my soul/Rock and roll.”  That chant, (which makes at least this critic think of AC/DC) set alongside drummer Arya Goggin’s steady time keeping and bassist Dan Pugsley’s steady line, will have live audiences chanting right along just as much as those who sing along on record.  The same applies as the band chants early on, “And if we don’t get what we want/We gonna take it.”  Of course that is just one part of what makes the song so appealing, lyrically.  Wedde sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m not going out/I’m going all out/One becomes two, becomes ten, becomes all out/Now I don’t even care if I have nothing to chill out/yeah this is my scene/turn the ignition/Start the machine/Put the pedal to the metal/Put your foot on the floor…I can’t find my keys and I can’t find my phone/I’m having too much fun and I’m not going home/Wherever you’re going, I’m going, too/And if I’m going off the wheels/I’m gonna take you all the way.”  Plain and simple, this song comes across as a no-monsene balls to the walls rock and roll party song.  This is someone that’s just out for a good time.  The song’s companion video seems to hint at that, too.  This is that more familiar, heavier side that so many others have complained that they wanted on this album.  It is not the last of the album’s heavy, either.   ‘My Jam,’ the album’s new single, and ‘Last Chance’ both offer plenty of heavy while ‘Tell Me’ offers more of the band’s subdued side, changing things up in its midpoint placement in the album’s sequencing.  Between those songs, the ones noted more directly here and those not so directly noted, the whole of Big Tings proves to be in fact a “big” new record from Skindred and one that is deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

Skindred’s forthcoming seventh full-length studio recording Big Tings is a “big” and solid new outing for the veteran Welsh rock band.  As has been noted here, songs such as the album’s opener/title track, the deeply moving album closer ‘Saying It Now,’ with its Sevendust-esque arrangement and heartfelt lyrics both prove that.  The latter of the pair especially proves it as it was a rare risk for the band otherwise known for much heavier material.  ‘Machine,’ with its driving hard rock arrangement and pure rock and roll lyrical theme proves what makes the album stand out even more.  Of course one can’t ignore other offerings on this record such as ‘Tell Me,’ ‘Last Chance’ and ‘My Jam’ in proving what makes this album so strong. Between these songs and the album’s other offerings, the album in whole proves to be a “big” return for Skindred.  The album drops April 27 via Napalm Records in stores and online.  More information on Big Tings is available online now along with all of Skindred’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.skindred.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/skindredmusic

 

 

 

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.