Corroded’s New LP Is Set To Put The Rock Community On “Alert”

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Late this past April, hard rock outfit Corroded released its latest album Defcon Zero.  The  band’s first new album in five years and its fourth full-length studio recording, it is a recording that could very possibly put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it presents a combination of music and lyrics throughout its 11-song, 50-minute run time that challenges even the best of the big names.  The record’s opener, ‘Carry Me My Bones’ clearly supports that statement.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the record’s run, also supports that statement in its own way, too.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is yet another example of what makes Corroded’s latest effort a work that is anything but corroded itself.  Rather, it is another example of what makes the record a solid, strong new offering from one of hard rock’s best kept secrets.  It joins with the previously noted songs and the rest of the album’s offerings to make the record in whole an offering that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a strong and solid return for Corroded. That is especially considering the fact that it is the first record in five years from the Swedish hard rock outfit.  From start to finish, the band presents in this new offering a record that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That statement is supported in part in the album’s opener ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  The song’s musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Dry Kill Logic’s best works.  That is evident as the song starts with a brooding, acoustic arrangement before gradually building into a full-on, guitar-driven assault.  What is really interesting is the heavy buildup to that assault conjures in itself, thoughts of some of Slayer’s best works.  The combination of front man Jens Westin’s vocal delivery and the song’s musical elements throughout the rest of the song maintain that previously noted comparison to Dry Kill Logic.  The whole of that arrangement is only one part of what makes this song stand as an example of Defcon Zero’s impressive nature.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as the song’s musical arrangement in examining what makes it stand out.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones’ is in itself a key part of what makes this song stand out as an example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out. That is because it easily challenges hard rock’s top names from start to finish. Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement in examining its whole.  Westin said in an interview about the album’s lyrics “When it comes to the lyrics, I want everyone to make up their own opinion to what the songs are about.” He went on to compare interpreting the album’s lyrics to comparing a book to its cinematic counterpart.  Keeping that in mind, the lyrical content at the center of this song definitely proves to be interesting.  Westin sings here, “I’ve been awake/For days/On my way to hell/I’m not going to lay down and die before I get there…What you believe is more than you know/Carry me my tired bones/Far away/So far away from secrets/A million miles away/Carry me my tired bones.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I was stuck/In-between/No place and nowhere….” before he and his band mates—Tomas Andersson (guitar), Bjarne Elvsgard (bass) and Per Solang (drums)—reprise the song’s chorus time to finish off the song.  Noting again that Westin leaves the lyrics’ interpretation to listeners’ own thoughts, this critic’s take on the song’s lyrical content is that it comes across as an introspective rumination of someone working through a very difficult time.  That is inferred in the song’s lead verse.  The hell in question is clearly metaphorical.  The subject’s mind has been racing, but that subject is still determined not to give up in whatever difficult situation is presented.  As Westin’s subject sings “carry me my tired bones,” one can interpret that perhaps the song’s subject is saying he or she wants to get away from everything; all of the negatives surrounding him or her.  The song’s second verse continues to infer that same message in this critic’s own interpretation.  It would be interesting to learn the true message in the song’s lyrical content.  That aside, the combination of that seeming message couples quite well with the song’s musical arrangement to make for a song that is a powerful first impression for the band this time out.  It is just the start, too.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another solid addition to the album’s whole.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ is a strong first impression from Corroded on its latest new album.  That is due to the combination of its musical and lyrical content.  The two elements together make the song a clear example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out in whole.  It is just one of the songs that shows what makes the album stand out, too.  ‘A Note To Me’ is another example of what makes the record in whole stand out.  As with the album’s opener, that is due at least in part to its musical arrangement.  The musical arrangement here is a stark contrast to that of ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  It is a deeply emotional, guitar-driven composition that (and some audiences will call this musical heresy) conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman and Nickelback.  Yes, it seems damning.  But the reality is that when one compares this composition to that at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it is actually a good thing that such a comparison can be made.  That is because it shows in its own right the reach of the band’s talent, sounds and influences.  Westin’s vocal delivery throughout even conjures thoughts of Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger through his delivery.  Again, some might see such a comparison as musical heresy of sorts.  The reality once more though, is that it shows the band’s ability to reach into any rock and hard rock sub-genre.  That is a compliment of the highest caliber to the band.  Of course the song’s musical arrangement is only part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘A Note To Me’ is in itself a key component of its overall presentation.  When set against the composition at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it shows even more why Defcon Zero stands out among this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.  The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content, which is just as brooding as its musical arrangement is just as important to discuss as that musical content.  Westin sings here in the song’s lead verse, “This bitter pill I got/It turns out to be hard to swallow/I’d make my head whole/But everything inside feels hollow/I am the haunting of the day that never came/Yeah, what a shame.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The truth hurts that I know/And now it’s out for everyone to see/I’m just a coward/Who hates everything about me/Everything I’ve done was a lie/It’s harder to cry.”  This comes across as someone who is confessing a major hidden truth to someone else.  As the song progresses through its chorus, it can be inferred that the someone in question is obviously someone close to the subject.  What is interesting is that Westin doesn’t point out if that person is male, female, young or old.  That in itself is a really powerful statement.  When one really thinks deeply about this matter, the confession could work in any of those situations.  That is especially the case as Westin sings in the song’s final moments, “My only hope is that you will forgive/And that some day/Some day you will forget.”  Regardless of whether the situation presented here is between friends, family or some other close person, the confession by the song’s subject is powerful.  It is the kind of statement made in similar songs by the aforementioned mainstream friendly acts; the kind of statement that, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, is made even more powerful.  The combination of those two elements makes the song in whole a truly powerful work that once again can rival songs from the bands already noted.  Keeping that in mind, it is one more work included in this record that shows why this record stands out among its counterparts both mainstream and independent.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show what makes Defcon Zero stand out.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is one more example of what makes this record one that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ and ‘A Note To Me’ are both solid examples of what makes Defcon Zero a strong new effort from Corroded.  That is because they show the wide reach of the album’s sound, proving its appeal to metal purists and mainstream rock fans alike.  The songs’ lyrical content adds just as much depth to their whole.  While both songs’ musical and lyrical content serves to make them clear examples of the album’s strength, they are only two examples of that strength.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ just as clearly proves to be another example of said strength.  That is evident first through its adrenaline-fueled, guitar and drum-driven musical arrangement, which mixes elements of Hellyeah, Soil and other similar acts for a whole that will instantly have listeners’ horns in the air.  Its lyrical content will keep listeners just as engaged as Westin seemingly comments on…well…the downfall of a nation.  Being that there is so much turmoil the world over and that Westin and company don’t necessarily point out which nation is being addressed, the commentary could, in reality, apply to the United States, any Middle Eastern Nation or other nation.  There is mention of “seeing the  flames rising,” “bones grinding,” “ashes in the air” and other rather interesting visuals.  This could be a commentary of what could come to any nation if said nation(s) don’t get things in check and soon.  The added mention of “we are the ones who are watching everything from high up above/We are the ones who idle standing by as things burn” adds to the power of that message.  It is almost as if the song’s subject is saying, “we’re going to stand by and let the world destroy itself and this is what we see happening.”  It is a powerful, possible statement.  The power in the song’s musical arrangement expertly captures the energy in that supposed statement, too.  Keeping that in mind, the whole of that musical and lyrical content makes this song clearly one more example of what makes Defcon Zero such a powerful new offering from Corroded.  It is hardly the last song that serves to exemplify what makes this album stand out.  ‘Gun and a Bullet,’ ‘Burn It To The Ground,’ and ‘Vessels of Hate’ each do their own part to show what makes this record stand out, too.  All things considered, the songs noted and not prove Defcon Zero a record that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a powerful return for Corroded.  It is a record that proves audiences’ five-year wait for the band’s next album was well worth it.  What’s more it is a record that is certain to put the rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it is such a strong new effort from start to finish both in regards to its musical arrangements and lyrical content.  All things considered, this record is one that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock albums.  It is available now.  More information on Defcon Zero is available online now along with all of Corroded’s  latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.corroded.se

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/corrodedsweden

 

 

 

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Yates’ New Record Could Put Her On “The Other Side” Of Country Music Stardom

Courtesy: Awaken Love Music/Press Junkie PR

Courtesy: Awaken Love Music/Press Junkie PR

Country musician Crystal Yates released her latest recording this past May.  The record, The Other Side, is an offering that any country music fan should hear at least once.  This is the case even with the record boasting a grand total of five songs.  Those five songs will move listeners deeply in so many ways over the course of the record’s twenty-one minute run time.  That is thanks to the combination of the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  From one song to the next this record offers plenty for country music fans to appreciate.  By the time the record ends it leaves listeners with quite the impression.  It is an impression that will leave listeners agreeing that Yates’ could be one of the next big names in the country community.

Crystal Yates’ new record The Other Side is a record that any country music fan should hear at least once.  That is because through the combination of its musical arrangements and lyrical content, it shows her to potentially be one of country music’s next big names.  One of the songs that best exemplifies this is ‘Already Yours.’  This song stands out on Yates’ new record in part due to its musical arrangement.  The song starts out very tentative and slow.  Over the course of its four-plus minute run time it gradually picks up a little more; not so much in its tempo but in its confidence.  Yates’ own soulful vocals echo the power in the song’s musical arrangement, too adding even more power to the arrangement.  The song’s gentle opening and its gradual growth is a direct mirror so to speak to its lyrical content.  That is noted as Yates sings in the song’s opening verse, “If you’re feeling down/And you’re all alone/Then I’ve got a hand you can hold/Put your hand in mine/Let me walk you through/There ain’t nothing that/I wouldn’t do/Don’t you even think/Just call/You ain’t gotta ask at all/If you want my love/It’s already yours.”  McKenzie Smith keeps a solid tempo on the drums, showing that truly talented drummers don’t always have to have machine gun speed beats.  Sometimes it is the ones who play slower and with control who show true skill and talent.  Yates’ gentle approach continues in the song’s second verse.  Though, it is clear as the verse progresses that so does the power in both her Bonnie Raitt meets Susan Tedeschi style vocals and the song’s general musical arrangement.  Ultimately it culminates with that gentle reminder from Yates, “If you want my love/It’s already there.”  All things considered here, this song proves to be one of this record’s best compositions if not its outright best.  It is just one of the songs that proves why Yates could potentially be one of the next big names in country music.  ‘Made To Last’ follows ‘Already Yours.’  It is another of the record’s most standout compositions.

‘Already Yours’ is one of the key compositions included in Crystal Yates’ new record.  That is thanks to the obvious attention paid to detail both in regards to its musical content and its lyrical content, and how the two elements work together.  The end result is a song that is possibly one of the record’s best moments if not its best.  Keeping that in mind, it is not the record’s only key composition.  ‘Made To Last’ follows ‘Already Yours.’  It is another of the record’s key compositions.  Unlike ‘Already Yours,’ this song is a full-on country song.  Its musical arrangement harkens back to the likes of Reba McEntire and Martina Mcbride (the latter of whom Yates has shared the stage).  That is clear not only in its upbeat arrangement but also in Yates’ own vocal delivery.  It presents such a positive vibe from beginning to end.  That alone is more than enough to make this song another hit for her.  The song’s lyrical content is just as certain to make it a hit.  It directly echoes the upbeat energy of the song’s musical arrangement.  This is made clear as Yates sings playfully in the song’s lead verse, “That cat has started getting’ on your nerves/I can’t stand your Nickelback T-shirt/But that’s how it goes/And don’t you know/Falling is the easy part/But when times get hard is when the real thing starts/Real love is not a chance we take/It’s a choice we make/Each and every day/But then what happened happens/I want a love that’s made to last.”  The playful yet straightforward commentary about real love here is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face.  And that line about hating a guy’s Nickelback T-shirt will undoubtedly get more than a few laughs, too.  This is just the start of the positive vibes in the song’s lyrical content.  She goes on to sing, “When people get as close as you and I/You can bet that we butt heads sometimes/But makin’ up/Can sure be fun/You might never clean the dishes up/I’m gonna be have a few bad days each month/But letting go/is how we’ll grow/Falling  is the easy part/But when times get hard/It’s when the real thing starts/Love is not a chance we take/It’s a choice we make/Each and every day/But then what happens, happens fast/I want a love that’s made to last.”  Yates’ reality check goes on from here dispelling the myth about the long white dress, the house and picket fence, etc.  She notes again that what is most important about a good life together is a love that (again) lasts.  It is a statement that rings loud and clear from beginning to end.  When coupled with the song’s upbeat musical arrangement, the song in whole proves to be another great addition to Yates’ new record.  Together with ‘Already Yours’ it is yet more proof of why Yates could potentially be one of country’s next big names.

‘Already Yours’ and ‘Made To Last’ are both key additions to Crystal Yates’ new record.  Both songs stand solidly on their own merits.  This includes both their musical arrangements and lyrical content.  While both songs stand out in their own right they are not the record’s only standout songs.  The record’s closer, also its title track, is one more of its most notable compositions.  This song stands out from the record’s other tracks just as much as they do from one another.  In regards to its musical content, it is a solid, blues-based gospel tune that once again echoes those hints of Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi.  Yates’ vocals are just as powerful as the song’s musical arrangement.  She sings here about getting to “the other side.”  It is clear here that she is singing about going to Heaven here.  That is especially clear as she sings, “I know we’re gonna pass…to the other shore/Oh, we’re gonna see the lord/I said oh, we’re gonna see the lord.”  She goes on to sing, “Ain’t gonna let nothin’ stop us/From the other side.”  It’s a classic gospel style song at least in terms of its lyrics.  In regards to its musical arrangement, that is not an entirely original approach.  But it is one that is rarely taken by any artist.  The only name that this critic in particular can come up with when thinking of blues-based gospel, is the Blind Boys of Alabama.  To that end, this song is yet another standout composition for Yates’ new record.  It shows just as much as ‘Already Yours’ and ‘Made To Last’ why this young singer-songwriter could very well be one of country music’s next big names.  That is not to ignore the record’s other two songs, ‘Leave Me Alone To Die’ (which is actually about a kidnapping that she personally experienced at one point in her life) and ‘Hell On My Soul.’  Those two songs offer up their own interest to this record, too.  All things considered, this new record may only boast five songs and run twenty-one minutes but it is still a record that any country music purist should hear at least once if not more.  That is because it could be the next step in making her one of country music’s next big names.

Crystal Yates could very well be one of the next big names in the country music community.  She has already made quite the impact with two previous recordings.  Now with her latest record The Other Side she is that much closer to actually making that become true.  That is because over the course of this record’s five songs and twenty-one minutes, she offers audiences so much to appreciate.  Each song stands out from the others both musically and lyrically.  And each one is just as entertaining as the others, too as has already been noted.  From a powerhouse blues-based gospel closer in its title track, to a fun, upbeat song about the realities of marriage, to an equally moving piece about a person’s (likely a woman’s) love for another, and beyond, there is plenty to appreciate about this record.  All things considered, The Other Side could very well be the record that takes Crystal Yates to the “other side” of music stardom.  It is available now and can be ordered direct via Yates’ official website at http://www.crystalyatesmusic.com/merch/.  More information on The Other Side is available online now along with all of her latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.crystalyatesmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/crystal_yates

 

 

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Tantric Proves It Still Has Plenty Of Life On New Album

Courtesy:  Pavement Music

Courtesy: Pavement Music

Louisville, Kentucky based rock band Tantric has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout its life. The band, which rose from the remnants of Days of the New, has seen its records go platinum. It has toured and played to thousands. It has also seen band members leave and label changes. At one point, it seemed like the members of Tantric were ready to call it quits because of everything that it had endured. But this Summer, the band showed that it hasn’t gone anywhere with the release of its fifth full length record. 37 Channels was released this year via indie record label Pavement Entertainment.  It’s an interesting return for the band.  That’s first and foremost because of its sequencing.  There is an obvious split as the album progresses between a harder mainstream rock sound and a softer side.  Audiences will also take note on this album its general lyrical themes.  The themes of the songs on this record range from the standard fodder of relationship issues to fighting inner and external struggles.  Both of these factors together make 37 Channels one more album that the band’s longtime fans will appreciate, and may even bring back fans that had forgotten about the band.

The very first thing that listeners will notice about 37 Channels is a blatant separation between harder edged and softer style songs over the course of the album’s thirteen songs.  The album’s first four songs could easily be used for any mainstream rock radio station.  The first of those songs, ‘Again’ is a solid re-introduction for the band.  After those first four songs, the band starts to slowly pull back as the album progresses.  The album’s remaining nine songs are just as interesting a mix as the album’s first four tracks.  That’s because while they may not have the same intensity as those songs, some of those other tracks have an intensity all their own.  That is evidenced through songs such as ‘Loss For Words’, ‘Rise’, and the piano driven ballad, ‘Fault.’  These are interesting examples because they do such an impressive job of presenting how songs can be intense thanks to the contradiction of their musical and lyrical content.

The distinct separation of musical styles on this record makes it an interesting listen for certain.  The music alone doesn’t make the record, though.  The lyrics play their own role, too.  Case in point: the album’s opener, ‘Again.’  Musically speaking, one wouldn’t recognize it.  But this is one of the album’s song rooted in the standard theme of personal relationships.  That’s because of the song’s heaviness. Front man Hugo Ferreira sings in this song, “In the end I despise everything/I realize/Never ever had to compromise/The shifty eyes/I see in you/Again/I should have known better/Than to let you in again/again/AGAIN!!!”  A lesser songwriter would have taken such lyrics and potentially written another typical tearjerker.  That wasn’t the case for Ferreira.  He instead opted instead for something with more of a sense of determination.  That is noted as he sings, “I’ve shown you all I can/It’s time for you/To want to understand.”  The energy of the song’s music set alongside these words again makes this song just one of so many examples of what makes this album stand out.

Another example of how the combination of music and lyrics drives 37 Channels comes late in the album in the form of the piano-driven ballad ‘Fault.’  The gentility of the song will make fans of the band’s counterparts in Nickelback, Saliva, and other similar bands smile.  It’s another song that lyrically is based in personal relationships.  But Ferreira’s voice exhibits such pain when he sings, “I just want you/Like you were before” will pull at the heartstrings of even the strongest listener.  It’s one more song that will help keep listeners engaged right to the album’s closer not just once but many more times after that.

Tantric’s fans still have plenty of chances to hear music from the band’s album in person as it tours in support of 37 Channels this Fall.  One of its dates will be in North Carolina on Saturday, November 16th.  The band will perform that afternoon at the Greensboro Chili Wing Fling 2013 presented by 100.3 The Buzz.  Pop Evil will join Tantric at the show.  More information on the band’s new album, Fall tour dates and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/Tantric and http://www.tantricrockband.com.  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.

Up-And-Coming Pop Musician Releases New Single

Courtesy: Fresh Tracks Marketing

Courtesy: Fresh Tracks Marketing

Nineteen year-old Utah based singer songwriter Chase Kroesche (pronounced Kro-sha) has just released the video for his new single, ‘1-2-3.’  The single comes along at a good time as the weather changes.  Its easygoing, poppy melody and infectious chorus are sure to make it a favorite among Chase’s younger audiences on those Spring and Summer vacations; especially his younger female audiences.  The video sees Chase performing his song on the city streets and in a sunny park.  It’s just Chase, his guitar, and his surroundings.  It can be viewed online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8g6F98BJ0o.

Kroesche is currently completing a degree in Popular Music at the USC Thornton School of Music.  He is also prepping to release his new EP this year.  It includes the song, ‘Satellite.’ Kroesche collaborated with producer Brian Howes (Nickeblack, Daughtry) on the song.  Before embarking on a professional music career, he was a nationally ranked tennis player at the young age of thirteen.  He earned a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music and even started touring at fourteen.  He even performed with Frank Zappa’s saxophonist Napoleon Murphy Brock and David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick.  This was all before he had graduated high school.  Now he embarks on the next leg of his career with the impending release of his EP and eventually debut full length record.

After checking out Kroesche’s new video, fans can also go to his official Facebook page—http://www.facebook.com/ChaseKroesche–and “Like” him there to get all the latest news on his projects and more.  Fans can also follow him on his official website, http://www.chasetheband.com

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.

Utah Teen Releases First Single, Prepping Debut EP

Teen pop star Chase Kroesche is about to be a household name.  But with the release of his debut single, ‘1-2-3’ from his upcoming debut EP, his name is going to very quickly get out there.  The catchy pop tune written by the once nationally ranked high school tennis player is just the latest in a line of accomplishments from this young star.  The Utah native was offered a scholarship to the highly revered Berklee School of Music at one point.  The now 19-year old Kroesche (pronounced Kro-sha) was already touring at the age of 14 and picking up awards at festivals and even performing at L.A.’s famed Whisky just to note a few of his laurels. 

Currently Kroesche is studying at USC’s Thornton School of Music.  He is working on a degree in Popular Music along with working on his debut EP, which is currently slated to be released in early 2013.  That sounds like a lot to many people.  But not to Kroesche.  “I’m ambitious, and a very disciplined, no-nonsense person.  That doesn’t make me sound very fun”, he says.  “But really, the reason I listen to music is to have fun, so when I write music, that’s what it’s about; it’s not about telling people about how bad I feel, or being sad, pissed and lonely and upset with the world.   I write to make people—and me—feel happy.”

While audiences await the arrival of Kroesche’s new EP, they can check out his debut single online now at http://t.ymlp287.net/bacahhsmapauqavau/click.php.  Audiences can also get the latest news and more from him online at http://www.facebook.com/ChaseKroesche and https://twitter.com/chasekroesche

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Saving Abel’s New LP Another Radio Friendly Rock Record

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Saving Abel’s new record, “Bringing Down The Giant” is a solid readymade radio friendly rock record.  The sound of the band’s new album is exactly what fans have come to expect of the band.  It’s much the same as the band’s previous two albums, stylistically speaking.  It starts off really heavy before slowly getting a little softer and more poppy with each song. 

The album’s opener/title track is the heaviest track on the album, musically speaking.  Coming from a lyrical avenue, the song is empowering.  Front man Jared Weeks sings of facing a bully type figure.  He sings in this song, “Too many lies built up inside/you’re bound to fall/standing face to face you’re not so big after all/Take a bow/You had your shot/at looking down while you’re on top/so now your glory days are gone, gone, gone/Yeah I’m bringing down the giant.”  It’s an empowering song that encourages people to stand up and not let certain types of people try to look down on them and push them down. 

‘Bringing Down The Giant’ is not only the album’s heaviest song, but it’s also one of the LP’s best songs.  The combination of the empowering lyrics and heavy music will make it easily a fan favorite and an arena anthem.  Another song that fans are bound to love is the seemingly social commentary loaded, ‘You Make Me Sick.’  Weeks speaks of the deception of politicians, TV news broadcasters, and all the fake celebrities that are out there.  He sings, “Here comes mister cool thinks he’s lookin’ real fine/all dressed in black tattoos he found online/getting real loose in his daddy’s Cadillac/still livin’ with his mom in a three room shack…look at all these little girls/looking for their dreams/livin’ off these socialites/whose life ain’t what they seem/you make me sick.”  It goes on in similar fashion, eventually going after television news broadcasters and politicians.  Again, it’s a topic to which every listener can relate.  That relateability mixed with a great southern rock sound make this another of the standout tracks on “Bringing Down The Giant.”

Saving Abel tackles bully types on its new album.  And as noted, it also has some social commentary.  For those who want something a little different, there’s a nice anti-love song that any young man out there will love in ‘New Loser.’  Weeks sings in this song of a woman who obviously used him and threw him away.  The thing is, rather than being sad about it, Weeks writes the song from that empowered vantage point.  He writes about the woman in question, “Break away break free/It used to be me to carry all the drama around/It’s only been a pack or two/since I let you/And I can’t believe what I found/Cause it’s just like you to find someone who/Follows your around/What he don’t know she’s gonna kill him slow/Add another to the body count/Who’s the new loser?”  This song in no uncertain terms says to the female figure, “I’m glad you’re gone and I’m better off on my own.”  Of course female audiences could just as easily turn the roles around.  So again, it’s a song to which every listener can relate, making it one more hit from this LP.

The songs noted here are just a small sampling of what Saving Abel has to offer on its new album.  “Bringing Down The Giant” has even more to offer audiences looking for an album with some substance musically and lyrically.  The album is out in stores now.  And the band is currently touring in support of the album.  It will be playing the Madison Theater in Covington, Kentucky tonight.  That show will be followed by a stop at the Elbo Room Lounge in Rhinelander, Wisconsin on Thursday.  Fans can get a full tour rundown and all the latest news from the band online when they go to http://www.savingabel.com, http://www.facebook.com/savingabel, http://twitter.com/#!/savingabel, http://www.myspace.com/savingabel, and the band’s official YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/savingabel

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Alter Bridge moves into the mix of the year’s best live shows

Courtesy: Alter Bridge Recordings/EMI Label Services

Good morning, everyone.  I hope your weekend is going well so far.  I promised earlier this morning that I’d have even more new reviews to come.  And I try my hardest to be a man of my word.  So this morning, I’ve got another new review.  Funny thing is that with this review, it’s now official that I’m going to have to shift my list of the year’s top live shows yet again.  That’s because of just how impressed I am by the topic of this review.  This morning, I offer a live set that has really set itself apart from the others that have already been released thus far.  This morning I offer to you, dear readers, the recently released double disc cd/blu-ray release from Alter Bridge, “Live at Wembley.”

So often, when it comes to choosing which live recordings to buy, audiences are forced to choose between the audio and video portions of the show(s) in question.  In other cases, fans are forced to wait and see if labels will even release given shows in more than one format.  It could be argued the reason this happens is labels’ fears of said releases’ success or lack thereof.  So in releasing “Live at Wembley” in a cd/blu-ray package, Alter Bridge Recordings and EMI Label Services were taking a calculated risk.  That risk has paid off.  What fans get in this dual disc package is a nearly two hour concert that spans its whole curent catalogue.  It doesn’t feel the least bit of its near two hour time, either.  The band keeps the energy moving throughout the concert, even in its slower songs, making that run time pass by with ease.  Add in a bonus tour documentary, and audiences get a great two piece/three-part live release that has officially made its case for being named one of the year’s best live recordings.

“Live at Wembley” is only the second live release from Alter Bridge.  But it’s also the best of the pair.  The recording documents the final show on the band’s 2011 European tour.  The very first thing that fans wil notice in this set is the stunning clarity of the show’s blu-ray presentation.  If ever there was an argument for switching  to blu-ray and HDTV, the clarity of the picture in this show is it.  It’s not all that makes the video portion of the show so impressive, though.  The show itself plays its own role.  Director Daniel E. Catullo III and his crew are to be highly commended for their work on recording the performance.  The work of the camera crew really caught the vibe of both the band and the audience.  Viewers could feel both sides feeding off of one another’s energy.  That served to make the show fly by.  Before audiences know it, the show’s over.  On top of all of that, the shooting took place from both on stage and in the crowd.  It makes audiences feel as if they’re right there with those who were there at the time of the show.  All combined, these are signs of a great live show. 

Speaking of the audience and band feeding off of one another, the way that the camera crew caught the audience clapping and swaying its hands in unison showed how much the audience appreciated the band’s performance.  It was moving to see how the band’s music brought so many people from so many different backgrounds together for one special night.  It just goes to prove music’s ability to unify people.  Those moments are many throughout the show.  But there’s something beautiful and moving about them, every time.

On stage, viewers watching the show at home see the result of the audience feeding off of the band.  Frontman Myles Kennedy takes that energy from the audiences and gives it back tenfold.  He proves to be the perennial frontman, especially during ‘White Knuckles.’  He comes across as a big kid when he gets the lighting crew to bring the lights up on one side of the audience and then the other.  It’s just one of many moments that make one compare his stage presence to that of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger.  This is meant in a wholly complimentary manner.

As amazing as the Wembley show’s video portion is, it’s only part of what makes this set a triple threat.  The bonus tour documentary shows fans a side of the band that they might not have otherwise seen before.  As noted already, frontman Myles Kennedy comes across as a big kid at least once during the show.  Listening to him talk about how amazed he is to be where he is now serves to certify that description.  He and the rest of the band–Mark Tremonti (guitars), Scott Phillips (Drums) and Brian Marshall (Bass)–come across as being very humble, hard working musicians who do what they do more for the band’s fans than for themselves.  Hearing Myles and Brian talk about how serious Myles takes the matter of caring for his voice shows how serious he is about performing.  It’s a little bit funny hearing Myles talk about people think he’s being anti-social because he doesn’t talk much before a show.  Though it does make at least a certain amount of sense.  And it makes him that much more respected both as a vocalist and a musician.

Just as impressive as the band’s devotion to performing for its fans is how serious it takes being at the level at which it now sits.  Even as big as the band is, the band’s members talk about the honor of playing Wembley.  It’s compared to playing New York’s Madison Square Garden.  The point here was to highlight that the band realizes how far it’s come to be playing one of Europe’s most legendary venues.  Of course, for all of the seriousness caught in the documentary, there are lighter moments, too.  It’s funny hearing the band talk and laugh about how expensive things are overseas versus how expensive it might be here in the United States.

The bonus documentary has far more enjoyable moments than what is noted here.  Fans who watch it for themselves will see every one of those moments.  They will also get a wonderful high def visual experience in the video portion of the show and an equally enjoyable audio portion with the included cd.  All together, this double disc set is a triple threat in the ranks of the year’s live recordings.  It could be argued that considering both the extrensic and intrinsic value of this set, Alter Bridge has made a fully valid argument for having released one of the elite top live recordings of the year.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest by following the Phils Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.