Tantric’s Seventh Album Is A Slight Regression For The Band

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Roughly four years after the release of its sixth overall recording, veteran rock band Tantric will release its seventh album next month.  The 10-song album Mercury Retrograde is scheduled to be released Oct. 5 via Pavement Entertainment, and is an effort worth at least an occasional listen.  That is evidenced early on in the album’s second song, ‘Tether.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Letting Go,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of what makes Tantric’s new LP interesting.  It will be discussed a little later.  The overly saccharine sweet ballad that is ‘My Forever’ is yet another change of pace provided throughout the album, and will be discussed later, too.  Each of the songs noted here shows in its own way, the varied musical moods and lyrical themes exhibited in the album.  Between those songs and the rest of the works not noted here, the album in whole proves to be worth at least one listen.

Tantric’s forthcoming seventh album Mercury Retrograde is an interesting effort from the veteran rock band.  While maybe not the band’s best work, it is still worth at least one listen.  That is proven in part early on in the form of ‘Tether.’  This song stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  Its verses present something of an introspective feeling while the chorus sections are more hard-hitting.  In listening through the song, including its lyrical content, it’s obviously no accident that the arrangement was established in such fashion.  The juxtaposition of those moods precisely mirrors the message in those lyrics as front man Hugo Ferreira sings about letting go of the negativity in one’s life.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “Your smile seems much brighter than before/I know you stay for a while/You’ll never let that window show me more/When the window’s down and you can’t see me anymore/the times that you have doubted me/Can’t be here like before/Sometimes you gotta let it go so you can feel much better/Before the things that hold you down become the devil.”  He continues this track as he sings in the song’s second verse, “to me it’s profound/The lack of sound/When I scream for something more…when the window’s down and you can’t see my anymore/Times that you have doubted me can’t be here like before/Sometimes you gotta let it go so you can feel much better/Before the things that hold you down become the devil.”  Ferreira continues on in similar fashion from here, but it is clear at this point that he is singing about letting go of the past and the negatives in life before it becomes overpowering.  The more powerful vibe of the chorus, during which he and his band mates sing about letting go heightens even more the more introspective vibe of the verses, showing even more clearly in whole the importance of letting go and moving forward.  The whole presentation proves to be one of the album’s most important entries, and not the only one worth noting.  The hard-driving song that is ‘Letting Go’ is another of the album’s key additions.

‘Letting Go’ is one of the rare heavier moments featured in Mercury Retrograde and is just as radio ready as ‘Tether’ and the rest of the album.  It is a standard hard rock song, musically speaking, that will appeal easily to fans of Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace and other similar acts.  Lyrically, the song is just as certain to be a fan favorite because it is another one of those works that focuses on a broken relationship.  This is evidenced as Ferreira sings in the song’s lead verse, “There was a time not long ago that I was truly blind.Waters deep and you should know what you left behind/Wasted breath, fallen words upon forsaken hearts/I see you there.”  He is joined by his band mates in the chorus, the group singing together, “So if I look in your eyes/And then I see all the lies you’ve told/There’s consequences…You can drift through the skies/And all the thousands of time you’ve shown/A part of you in fear of letting go.”  From here Ferreira goes on to sing of someone who just can’t get it right no matter what, and end up still making things bad.  In other words, this is someone addressing another individual saying he/she is…well…letting go and moving forward.  What’s really interesting to note here is that considering this lyrical theme and the power in the song’s musical arrangement, it would have been so easy for the song to take a much more emo, “oh-woe-is-me” type of approach, but instead opted for a more confident approach.  That more confident approach makes this song so much more appealing, and more accessible to a wider range of listeners.  Considering this, it becomes clear why this song is another key addition to Mercury Retrograde.  It is not the last of the record’s most important entries, either.  The over-the-top saccharine sweet ballad that is ‘My Forever’ will appeal to those who want something “a bit more reserved.”

‘My Forever’ is Tantric’s take on a ballad, and conjures thoughts of so many power ballads from the 80s.  That is especially the case in the “acoustic” take on the song that closes out the album.  That piano-centered take on the song is, as noted, the over-the-top saccharine sweet sort of work that will appeal to a very targeted audience, and is a distinct change of pace from the rest of the album’s offerings.  Its lyrical theme about…well…love…stands out, too.  Ferreira sings much in the style of so many 80s rock ballad vocalists, “I wonder if you thought of me today/I wonder if in all the thoughts that run through your head/And maybe just made a little space for me/I wonder if you’re feeling the same way/In the sense of push and pull/The negative and beautiful/They all just seem to fade with me/I wonder if we’ll look back many years from now and see/To you, girl/All I promise you is forever/The truth is things that seem impossible, never have a chance against my forever.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “At times we all react, but stall to think/The souls that we all walk upon/How does a mile feel in their shoes/We all seem to think/It’s just me/How does an average person take it all/If happiness is all the moments between the struggle/How can we face them all/Will we/I wonder if we’ll look back many years from now and think/to you, girl, All I promise you is forever/The truth is things that seem impossible never have a chance against my forever.”  From here, he goes on to offer a positive view, saying, “we’ll weather.” Again, here is a theme and musical arrangement that is completely unlike anything else in this record.  It’s over the top, needless to say, but is also its own interesting contrast to the record’s powerhouse indictment of people who opt to live life so angry at the world – ‘Angry,’  When that contrast is considered along with the song’s identity apart from that of the rest of the album’s offerings, it proves to be its own crucial addition to the album in whole.  When it is considered along with those other songs – including those noted here – the album in whole proves to be an offering that offers its own share of interest that makes it worth at least one interest.

Tantric’s forthcoming seventh album Mercury Retrograde, due out Oct. 7 via Pavement Entertainment, is not the band’s best effort to date, but is still worth at least one interest.  That is proven through 10 songs whose lyrical and musical content stand out from one another and will keep listeners engaged and entertained to a point.  This is proven through the deep and moving song about moving on with life, ‘Tether,’  ‘The even more confident, powerful song about a broken relationship that is ‘Letting Go’ is another work that supports that statement.  The acoustic, piano-driven take of ‘My Forever,’ which closes the album is one more way in which the album proves worth hearing.  Between those songs and the rest of the album’s offerings, the record in whole proves a good effort from Tantric that is worth at least one listen.  More information on Mercury Retrograde is available online now along with all of Tantric’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hugotantric7

 

 

 

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PM5K’s Latest LP Sure To Create A “New Wave” Of Interest In The Band

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Just a few weeks ago, veteran hard rock band Powerman 5000 debuted the latest single from its most recent album, 2017’s New Wave.  The band also announced a new tour — which just launched a few days ago — in support of said single and album.  Needless to say, a number of the songs from the 10-song album are sure to be included in the set list for the band’s new tour, with plenty of said songs proving to make the album worth at least one listen, including that new single.  It is just one of the album’s most notable compositions.  The sociopolitically charged ‘Die On Your Feet’ also serves to make the album an interesting new effort from the band.  It will be discussed shortly.  The equally powerful semi-acoustic ‘No White Flags’ also serves to support that statement. It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Get A Life,’ is yet another of the album’s most notable additions with its arrangement and lyrical theme, which also seems to be something of its own social commentary.  Between this trio of songs and the album’s other entries, the whole of the album proves to be worth at least one listen regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the band and its body of work.

Powerman 5000’s new album New Wave, on the back of which the band is currently touring, is an interesting new offering from the veteran hard rock band.  It is an effort that is worth at least one listen, regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the band and its catalog.  That is thanks both to the album’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  The sociopolitically themed ‘Die on Your Feet’ is just one of the songs included in this record that serves to support those statements.  In terms of its musical arrangement, its arrangement is a composition that nu-metal fans are certain to appreciate.  This is evident in the hard-driving, percussive nature of the arrangement as it conjures thoughts of Pop Evil, Saliva, and other similar acts.  That infectious arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its clear lyrical theme couples with that arrangement to enhance the song’s presentation even more.  Front man Spider One “sings” here, “There’s a choice/A f****** line drawn/And a voice/Back off or bring it on/A place/A first class racket/Some f***** up hair and a black leather jacket/(Yes sir! No sir!) You heard me right/Are you gonna?/Yes sir! No sir!) That ain’t no life/Are you gonna die on your feet or live on your knees/Are you gonna become the cure or stay the disease/Are you gonna die on your feet or live on your knees?”  The song’s third verse strengthens its sociopolitical message even more as Spider One notes, “Everybody (stand up)/Assume the position (stand down)/Get back in the line (don’t think)/Carry on with tradition (left, right, left, right).”  That statement is perhaps the song’s most blatant statement.  It comes across as someone in power telling people not to think for themselves and rock the boat, but to carry on as things have always been without question.  This goes back full circle to the initial question of “Are you gonna die on your feet or live on your feet?”  It is a familiar call to action encouraging people to not give in to the status quo and to be themselves.  It’s a message that is always welcome.  When it is coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, the song’s overall presentation is a song that is an instant fan favorite and proof in itself why this album deserves at least one listen.  It’s just one of the songs that serves to show what makes the album worth that listen.  ‘No White Flags’ does just as much as ‘Die On Your Feet’ to support that statement.

‘No White Flags’ stands out because it is one of those songs that is heavy without being heavy.  Due to its somewhat brooding musical arrangement and lyrical theme.  That semi-brooding nature of the song’s arrangement conjures thoughts of songs from Bush, Stone Sour and so many other acts.  That semi-brooding vibe comes through the joining of the song’s guitar line, Spider One’s gravelly vocal delivery style and the supporting string arrangements.  All three elements together create an air that does a good job of illustrating the heavy emotion of the song’s lyrical theme, which comes across (at least to this critic) as a bittersweet statement about not giving up even in the face of the greatest adversity.  That seeming theme is inferred as Spider One notes, “Born into giving in/Taught only listening/Are you afraid to be your own enemy/Thank you, surrender please/Are you afraid to be your own enemy/On broke and bloody knees?”  This seems pretty much to the point.  This is someone asking, “are you afraid to be something that you’re told not to be?”  He goes on to note, “No, that ain’t me/That ain’t me/Non white flags/I’ve had enough/no giving in/No giving up/No white flags/It’s my war/No taking names, no keeping score/No white flags.”  From there the song’s subject points out the “threat” by the powers that be and the defiance to that threat.  Overall, it is a powerful statement.  When it is considered with, again, that aforementioned arrangement, the song in whole is strengthened even more.  That’s because considering the defiance in the song’s lyrical theme, one would think that the song’s musical arrangement would be more fiery, yet it isn’t.  Even though it isn’t more fiery, it is still heavy because it presents someone lost in deep emotional thought about the situation.  Keeping that in mind, it proves in whole to be definitely another of the album’s most notable entries, and even more proof of why New Wave is worth at least one listen.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to support that statement.  ‘Get A Life’ is yet more proof of what makes this record worth hearing.

‘Get A Life’ stands out because it is perhaps the closest that this record gets to PM5K’s older material at least in terms of its musical arrangement.  The keyboards, drums and guitars join with Spider One’s vocal delivery to create a whole that will easily take audiences back to the days of ‘When Worlds Collide’ and other classic PM5K songs.  In regards to the song’s lyrical content, it would seem to present another commentary, this time about people’s obsessions with anything and everything other than their own lives.  This is inferred right from the song’s lead verse, which notes, “Well you can chase the rat or you can chase the tail/We love the latest fashions/We love the latest trends/they keep us all distracted while we all pretend/To get a life.”  The song goes on to state, “Well they can make you sweat/They can make you bleed/Too late, it’s not just scenery/You’re part of the machine/So take another picture and send it to your friends/Show them what they’re missing/While you still pretend/To get a life.”  This is pretty straight forward.  “You’re part of the machinery…take another picture and send it to your friends/Show them what they’re missing/While you still pretend to get a life” is a commentary on how we as people have lost our individuality (perhaps even sacrificed it) because of our obsession with social media and competing with one another’s lives, trying to one up one another.  From there, Spider One repeats many more times, the phrase, “Get a life” as a means to drive home the point that we need to…well…get a life.  We need to reclaim our individuality and not be part of the machine created by social media and that obsession with celebrity.  We need to have our own lives rather than trying to live vicariously through others.  It’s a strong statement that definitely hits home.  When it is coupled with the song’s driving musical arrangement, the two elements join to show why the song in whole is yet more proof of why New Wave deserves at least one listen.  When it is joined with the other songs noted here (and those not directly mentioned), the whole of the record turns out to be a presentation that deserves at least one listen regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the band and its catalog.

Powerman 5000’s latest full-length studio recording New Wave is an interesting new offering from the veteran hard rock band.  Since its release late last year, it has proven to be a divisive record, with opinions carrying from love to hate to even in-between.  Love it or hate it, it is still a record that deserves at least one listen as is proven through the sociopolitically charged nu-metal opus ‘Die On Your Feet.’  The musical and lyrical depth of ‘No White Flags’ supports that statement even more, considering how much it stands out from the rest of the album’s entries.  Much the same can be said of ‘Get A Life,’ with its biting social commentary and familiar musical arrangement.  When those songs are considered together and with the rest of the record’s songs, the whole of the album proves to be a record that regardless of love or hate, listeners will agree deserves at least a chance.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Powerman 5000’s new single, tour schedule and more is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.powerman5000.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/officialpowerman5000

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/therealpm5k

 

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Solid Musical Arrangements, Inspiring Lyrical Themes Bolster Facing Fire’s Debut Self-Titled EP

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

This critic has noted time and again through so many reviews that independent musical acts, regardless of genre (or sub-genre) deserves just as much attention and credit as their mainstream counterparts.  That is because today’s independent band is only tomorrow’s potential mainstream superstar.  This includes, as also noted so often, unsigned bands and bands signed to independent labels versus major labels.  Hopefully this critic has managed to convince at least some audiences out there of this argument in the noted previous reviews.  For those who maybe are not yet convinced, they will hopefully be convinced after reading this critic’s review of Ohio-based agro-rock act Facing Fire’s debut self-titled EP.  Released this past February via independent label Pavement Entertainment, this four-song, 15-minute record is – in this critic’s ears – more proof of the importance of the independent music scene.  It is a record that will easily appeal to fans of Staind, Three Days Grace, Drowning Pool and even to a lesser degree, Linkin Park among many others.  That applies at least musically.  Lyrically though, it is a record that is certain to reach so many more audiences, as is proven right off the top in the EP’s opener, ‘Dying Inside.’  This powerhouse rocker will be discussed shortly.  ‘Overcome,’ the EP’s penultimate track, is another example of what makes this record so surprisingly appealing.  It will be discussed later.  The same can be said of ‘Filthy Life,’ the EP’s second song.  Each of these tracks plays its own important part in proving why Facing Fire is deserving of attention and credit.  When they are joined with the EP’s closer, ‘Fake,’ the whole of those songs proves Facing Fire to be a record and band that deserves its own share of attention and credit.

Facing Fire, the debut self-titled EP from Ohio-based agro-rock band Facing Fire is a good start for the Ohio-based agro-rock band.  It is a record that proves, like so many independent records out there, that independent acts deserve attention and credit just as much as their mainstream counterparts.  That is proven in part through the EP’s opener, ‘Dying Inside.’  As has been noted already, much of this record is, musically a presentation that will appeal easily to any agro-rock fan.  The combination of the electronics and guitars is instantly infectious, conjuring thoughts of Staind, Three Days Grace and other similar acts.  That is just one part of what makes this song such a strong entry for the record.  The song’s positive lyrical content, coupled with that infectious musical arrangement makes the song a solid start to the EP and a song that is certain to entertain and inspire listeners across the board.  As front man Scott Artis sings here, “Lost alone and slipping out of reach/The time is now to shed the hate you breed/With each breath I take, I see how much you suffer/The anger and the hurt it can’t go further/Raise your fists and fight/The hatred insight that’s stealing your life/Step across the line.”  He goes on in similar fashion in the song’s second verse, adding in at one point, “Realize it don’t have to be this way/With each step you take/I feel you getting closer/Well raise your hand/It’s not too late to start over.”  Little, if any doubt is left here.  This is Artis saying to listeners, things can change and for the better at that.  One just has to take that first step to make the positive change happen.  It’s a truly inspiring message from which listeners of every age can benefit.  The addition of the song’s infectious, guitar-driven arrangement strengthens it even more.  Both elements together make the song a work that that easily could make an impact on any mainstream rock radio station.  This, again, shows at least in part why the record and band deserve just as much attention and credit as its more well-known counterparts.  It is just one of the songs featured in the EP that serves to support that statement.  ‘Overcome’ proves in its own unique way why Facing Fire and the band deserve attention and credit.

Much like ‘Dying Inside,’ ‘Overcome’ proves to be another example of what makes Facing Fire a strong debut from Facing Fire because of the combination of its musical arrangement and positive lyrical content.  Musically speaking, the constant heavy/soft back and forth of the arrangement and its general sound conjures thoughts of Breaking Benjamin, Staind, Soil and Drowning Pool among other similar acts.  One could even argue that there is a touch of Three Days Grace and Five Finger Death Punch here.  Keeping that in mind, the song’s arrangement has plenty to offer audiences.  The song’s lyrical content offers just as much to appreciate, with Artis singing, “Falling in and out of life/Taking life one day at a time/Reaching out and holding on/Over and over, I step in/I will fight to the end/I feel alive/You can’t hold me down too long/I realize/That I’m not the only one/This life is mine/To make of it what I want/And I will find/I’ll rise up and overcome.”  This is just the song’s lead verse.  Again, it leaves little, if any doubt as to its message.  It is a positive message reminding listeners that no matter how bad things can be, they need to remind themselves to be strong, because they’re not alone in their struggles.  That’s all just the song’s lead verse, no less.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Running toward the other side/Take a breath, don’t toe the line/Holding out for what is right/Falling faster, I slip in/I won’t let it happen again/I feel alive/You can’t hold me down too long/I realize, that I’m not the only one/This life is mine/To make of it what I want/And I will find/I will rise up and overcome.”  This is just a reiteration of what Artis was trying to get across in the song’s lead verse, driving home that message even more.  When that positive message is coupled with the sense of determination and self-confidence, it only becomes stronger and more impacting.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear why this song is yet another example of what makes the EP in whole such a strong start for Facing Fire.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to support that statement.  ‘Filthy Life,’ the EP’s second song, is yet another way in which the EP shows itself to be deserving of attention and credit.

In regards to its musical side, there is no denying the agro-rock influence of ‘Filthy Life.’  Instantly, this song conjures thoughts of Soil and Drowning Pool with its brooding musical arrangement.  More specifically, it conjures thoughts of Drowning Pool in its early days.  Those familiar with that part of the band’s body of work – and who appreciate that sound — will appreciate such a sound here.  Lyrically, the song is just as certain to garner some attention.  That’s due to the seeming counseling session of sorts that the song’s subject offers to another person as Artis sings,“You/You don’t have to be a victim of your upbringing/he was lost/You are found/Just let it out now/Scream and shout/Say/You never really found the time/in the midst of the life/To reach the ones who needed your filthy lost/You lost the ones you loved/Because nothing was ever enough/Washing my hands this time of your filthy life.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Stop/Don’t take the blame/It’s not your fault/Though you’re not the same/Just push/Out the pain/Just let it out now/Scream and shout, say/You never really found the time/In the midst of the life/To reach the ones that needed your filthy life/Lost the ones you loved/Cause nothing was ever enough/Washing my hands this time of your filthy life.”  This comes across as someone telling a friend or even family member who has been victimized in one way or another that they are a victim, but don’t have to be.  The assailant of sorts (or maybe just the negligent figure in the relationship) has to be addressed.  If this is what Artis and company were trying to get across, then they did a good job of doing just that.  There are so many people in this world who have been victimized in one way or another at the hands of a friend or loved one yet don’t’ stand up for themselves.  Having someone tell the victims that they can be strong instead of allowing themselves to be victims is really something welcome.  The song’s musical arrangement captures the emotion that must be felt in such discussions, too.  The two elements together make even more clear why this song is another important addition to Facing Fire.  When it is joined with ‘Dying Inside’ and ‘Overcome,’ that trio of songs shows without a single doubt why this is another independent album and band that deserves its share of attention and credit.  That’s not to ignore ‘Fake,’ the EP’s closer.  It offers its own interest, too.  All things considered, they make Facing Fire a record and a band that deserves just as much attention and credit as its more well-known, mainstream counterparts.  Keeping that in mind, it is worth at least one listen by any hard rock and agro-rock fan.

Independent hard/agro-rock band Facing Fire’s debut self-titled EP is a strong start for the Ohio-based band.  As has been discussed here, that is due in part to musical arrangements that will easily appeal to hard rock and especially aggro-rock fans.  The largely inspiring lyrical themes presented throughout the record add even more interest and enjoyment to the record.  This is proven throughout each of the EP’s four songs, and especially in the songs discussed here. When they are joined with the EP’s closer, the whole of the songs’ musical and lyrical content comes together to make Facing Fire a record that definitely burns bright at the start of Facing Fire’s life.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Facing Fire is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.facingfire.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/facingfire

Twitter: http://twitter.com/facingfire

 

 

 

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Cavo’s Latest LP Is Sure To “Build Bridges” Among Rock Fans

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Success is not an easy thing to come by in the music industry. From one genre to another, there are so many factors that play into the success of any musical act. For some acts, that success comes easily. For others it may never come, and for others still, it comes only with its own share of trials and tribulations. For rock act Cavo, success seemed to be all but gone after the release of its last album, 2012’s Thick as Thieves. This past year though, the band reformed after apparently having gone on a four-year hiatus, and recorded a new album, titled Bridges and even found a home for the album on independent record label Pavement Entertainment. Late last month, Pavement Entertainment released the 15-song, 61-minute album to the masses, giving Cavo a renewed chance at success — success that could easily happen for the band if it gets the attention and support that it rightfully deserves as is evidenced throughout the record. Right off the top, the band proves with ease that it deserves that support with the album’s opener ‘Nights.’ It will be discussed shortly. ‘On Your Own’ is another example of why Bridges deserves support whether from the mainstream radio realm or otherwise. It could help create success for the band just as much as ‘Nights.’ ‘Weather Rolls’ is yet another example of why Cavo is deserving of support and why Bridges in whole could help bring new success for Cavo. When each of the songs noted here are joined with the rest of the pieces not noted here, the result is a record that audiences will agree is a strong new effort from Cavo, and one that is deserving of every bit of attention that it gets.

St. Louis, Missouri-based rock outfit Cavo’s latest full-length studio recording Bridges is a record that, as noted, is deserving of every bit of attention that it gets. It is another of those recordings that shows clearly that independent labels and bands can and often do put out material that is just as good as that presented by their more well-known mainstream counterparts. This is proven right off the top of this album in the its opener ‘Nights.’ Musically speaking, ‘Nights’ is a work that instantly conjures thoughts of some of the biggest hits from The Killers, who themselves went from being an underground favorite to one of the mainstream’s biggest acts. Lyrically speaking, it grabs listeners with its seeming theme of knowing one’s limits and when to stop. This is inferred right from the song’s verse in which front man Casey Walker sings, “I know when it’s time to go/And I know when nobody knows/try to lay your money down/Lay your money down/I know when it’s time to leave/And I know what you want to be/Try to lay it on the line/Lay it on the line.” Walker seems to be commenting here on stopping before one gets ahead of one’s self, and does so through his own unique poetic way. There is little variance from here through to the song’s end. The only variance comes in the second verse in which Walker sings of an unidentified female being “lost in the shadows” because she “wont play in the sun.” Again, not playing in the sun and being lost could (doesn’t mean does) hint at not knowing one’s limits and the resultant effect. This is all just the interpretation of this critic and should not be taken as the only interpretation by any means. Regardless, that seeming theme of knowing one’s limitations seems to make at least some sense, and when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, becomes very much a straight forward, matter-of-fact statement. If indeed it is the song’s theme, then it makes the song even more proof of why Cavo deserves every bit of attention that it gets and why the album is a strong new effort from Cavo. It is just one of the songs included in this album that shows what makes the record deserving of attention. ‘On Your Own’ is another of the album’s strong points.

‘On Your Own’ stands out first and foremost through its musical arrangement. Whereas ‘Nights’ boasts a relatively up-tempo arrangement at its center, ‘On Your Own’ is a more reserved composition. It is a work that clearly boasts a certain light, bluesy vibe akin to (believe it or not) music from John Mayer, Counting Crows, Marc Broussard and other similar acts. It is just a moving, gentle composition that is certain to touch any listener as it climes to its peak and then gradually declines again in its final moments. That impact is heightened even more as Walker sings here about what seems pretty obviously about a broken relationship. This is inferred as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Turn down the silence/And just say what you mean/Some words unspoken/Are just falling between/And now that you’re leaving/Well, it’s calling me home/You say that’s a feeling/That nobody knows/No, you won’t get far on your own/No, you won’t get far all alone/So come on home.” That first statement in itself would seem to pretty clearly tell what is being discussed. If any doubt was left after that verse, then the second verse makes even clearer that pretty clear theme. Walker sings in the second verse, “If time is a healer/Turns water to wine/Changing your feelings/Like you’re changing your mind/I know you’ve got a reason/That it’s better off gone/but someday you’ll need it/When it matters the most/And I know the light won’t burn long.” There is a certain emotional pain that seems to be exhibited here and in the song’s lead verse. That pain is illustrated through the bittersweet vibe of the song’s musical arrangement. When the two are set alongside each other, the result is a song that just like ‘Nights’ stands out among the album’s other works, and shows even more why Bridges is another strong effort from Cavo. it is still not the last of the songs that shows the album’s strength. ‘Weather Rolls’ is one more example of what makes this album overall stand out.

‘Weather Rolls’ is another key addition to Bridges in part to its own musical arrangement. the heavy, guitar-driven arrangement easily likens itself to works (again, believe it or not) from the likes of Saliva, Audioslave, Alter Bridge and other hard rock acts. Considering the reserved vibe of ‘On Your Own,’ ‘Nights’ and so many of this album’s other songs, this arrangement can easily be said to be a stark departure for the band. That musical contrast makes the song stand out in the best way possible as part of the album. Of course its lyrical content can’t be ignored, either. Walker sings here, “I thought you were a city boy/I thought you made the loudest noise/Ahhh, but you don’t wanna see it go/Like the weather rolls/I fire round the countryside/I burrn through the darkest night/Ahhh, but you don’t want to see it go/Like the weather rolls/Tonight I’m chasing habits in the moonlight/I’m breaking promises in daylight/Go let it burn till they see it go/Ohhh fire in the city, nice/Ohhh safe until we see the light/Ahhh, but you don’t want to see it go/Like the weather rolls.” Walker refrains these lines throughout the rest of the song. This is certain to leave listeners thinking and talking perhaps more than any other song on the record. It seems like there’s a certain amount of personal strength and pride being displayed here. Again, this is just this critic’s own take, and could be wrong. Regardless, the power that seems to be displayed here alongside the power in the song’s musical arrangement makes this song stand out even more. When it is joined with the lyrical and musical content presented in ‘Nights,’ ‘On Your Own’ and the rest of the album’s featured songs, the end result is an album that, while not the band’s first effort, definitely is more proof that its reunion could have been the best decision that it made. That is because it could be the album that finally gets the band the attention that it obviously deserves whether from the mainstream or otherwise.

Cavo’s latest full-length studio recording, the band’s third so far and fourth overall (it released the EP Champagne early in its life), is some of the band’s best work to date and having been released some six years after its second album Thick As Thieves, was released, is a welcome return for the band. It is a record that proves the band to be one of the rock community’s underrated acts. As has been noted, that is proven through the likes of ‘Nights,’ ‘On Your Own’ and ‘Weather Rolls.’ Of course those are only some of the songs that serve to show how much Cavo still has to offer audiences nine years after the release of its debut album Bright Nights, Dark Days. When the noted songs are joined with the rest of the album’s works, the whole of Bridges proves to be a record that will “bridge” so many ranges of the rock realm. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Bridges is available online now along with the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.cavomusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cavomusic

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.

Powerman 5000 Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Powerman 5000 is heading back on the road again.

The band will embark on the “New Wave 2018 Tour” next month.  The nearly month-long tour, which is in support of the band’s latest full-length studio recording New Wave,  is currently scheduled to start April 10 in Lubbock, TX and run through May 6 in Flagstaff, AZ with performances in Greensboro, NC; Wilmington, NC; Kansas City, MO and other cities along the way.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

New Wave Tour 2018 Dates
4/10 – Lubbock, TX – Jake’s Backroom
4/11 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live
4/12 – San Antonio, TX – Rock Box
4/13 – Tyler, TX – Clicks
4/14 – Dallas, TX – Trees
4/15 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar
4/17 – New Orleans, LA – Southport Hall
4/18 – Dustin, FL – Club LA
4/19 – Tallahassee, FL – The Warrior
4/20 – Tampa, FL – 98 Rockfest
4/21 – Orlando, FL – Earthday Birthday

4/22 – Cape Coral, FL – Rack ‘Em Billiards
4/24 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
4/25 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger
4/26 – Wilmington, NC – The Reel Cafe
4/27 – Baltimore, MD – Fish Head Cantina
4/28 – Philadephia, PA – Voltage Lounge
4/29 – Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz
5/1 – Pittsburgh, PA – Crafthouse
5/3 – Kansas City, MO – Riot Room
5/4 – Springfield, MO – Outland Ballroom
5/6 – Flagstaff, AZ – The Green Room
New Wave was released October 27, 2017 via Pavement Entertainment.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on that album, the band’s upcoming live dates, news and more is available online now at:
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.

The Outfit Makes A Respectable Start On Its Self-Titled LP

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

The city of Chicago has what is one of the richest and most diverse musical histories of any American city. From rock band Smashing Pumpkins to blues legend Muddy Waters to jazz master Benny Goodman to R&B/funk great Earth, Wind & Fire and far beyond, the “Windy City” has produced (and continues to produce) so much great music. Now, yet another band by the name of The Outfit is hoping to one day add its name to that expansive list. Next week, The Outfit will have the chance to make a positive start in that effort when it releases its self-titled debut album via Pavement Entertainment. The nine-song record is a work that will appeal to any fan of the music that bridged the late 1980s and early 1990s. That sound is one of the album’s key items, and will be discussed shortly. The album’s production also plays into its presentation. It will be discussed later. Last but certainly not least of note is its sequencing. It rounds out the album’s most important elements. Each element is important in its own right, as will be pointed out through this review. All things considered, they make The Outfit a respectable first effort from its namesake.

The Outfit’s self-titled debut full-length studio recording is a respectable first effort from the Chicago, IL-based band. Over the course of the nine-song album’s 28-minute run time, this band takes listeners back to a great age of music — that of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Of course, it is more prominently filled out by arrangements that were more fitting from the latter time frame than the prior. Right off the top in the album’s opener, ‘Wire,’ listeners get an arrangement that is closely similar to music from Foo Fighters’ early days. ‘Lucky One,’ the album’s second entry, boasts an arrangement that instantly leaves listeners making comparisons to Collective Soul’s early offerings. It is not the only time that listeners will find themselves making comparisons to Collective Soul or Foo Fighters. ‘TKO’ actually seems to combine elements of both for its whole while ‘Soldier Boy,’ with its welcome pro-military message, boasts an arrangement that again likens itself to early works from Foo Fighters as does ‘Just As One,’ which comes later in the album’s run. The Collective Soul comparisons continue, too as the album makes its way into ‘Miracle’ and ‘No Lights On.’

For all of the comparisons that can be and are made to Foo Fighters and Collective Soul, they are not the only comparisons that can be made here. As has been noted, there is at least one comparison that can be made to music from that very short time between the late 80s and early 90s. It comes in the form of the album’s closer, ‘Hot Love.’ The instant comparison that comes to mind in hearing this song is to Motley Crue. That is due in part to guitarist Matt Nawara’s driving riffs, which form the song’s foundation. Front man Andy Mitchell echoes Vince Neil in his vocal dlivery here while even hinting slightly at former Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler. It’s an interesting combination to say the very least. Drummer Mark Nawara keeps the song moving solidly through his time keeping while Mike Gorman puts the finishing touch to the song with his low-end. Considering that the band saved this song for last, it makes a lasting statement for the album, leaving listeners feeling wholly fulfilled by the time it ends. Considering the fulfillment that the album offers through its arrangements, it suffices to say that they do plenty to prove why this album is a respectable start for The Outfit. Of course, they collectively are only a part of what helps this album prove to be that good start for the band. Its production is also key to supporting that statement.

The production of The Outfit’s self-titled debut album is key to discuss because this is the band’s first effort and because of the names that were brought in to handle its creation. Matt Mercado (Emperors and Elephants, Mindbomb, SOiL) engineered the record while Ulrich Wild (Slipknot, SOiL, Deftones) handled mixing duties.  These two men are highly respected names in the music industry. It goes without saying that by and large, the pair’s work paid off throughout the album. However, one cannot deny that there were some minor issues at points, too. Case in point, ‘Unfolds.’ Listening though this song, it sounds as if there is a slight balance issue between Mitchell’s vocals and the work of his band mates. Listening to the song both on CD and in its MP3 format, it seems like both elements are on the same level, making the song feel like the two sides are competing with each other constantly. The end result is a song that while catchy, does lose something along the way. ‘Just As One’ also seems to slightly suffer from this balance issue, too. Luckily though, this issue — in both songs — is not enough to completely ruin the album. Again, by and large, the album’s production is impressive, with each band member shining in his own right. Keeping this in mind, the album’s overall sound impresses in its own right, too. That’s even with the couple of minor misses that are there. Now, having noted the album’s songs and their appeal to the band’s key audience, and the song’s overall production, it cane be said with ease that this record is a respectable start for The Outfit. There is still one more element to note that supports that statement. That last element is the album’s sequencing.

The album’s sequencing is so important to note because listeners will note how much time and thought was put into this element. From beginning to end, the album’s sequencing solidly maintains its energy. The only point at which the album ever really pulls back in its energy comes late in its run in ‘Miracle.’ Of course, the song is a song about a break-up. So naturally, it’s going to be more reserved than its counterparts. Other than that one single moment, the rest of the album solidly maintains its energy throughout. Add in some expected lyrical themes to compliment the production and the songs themselves, and audiences get in this record a work that is, once more, a respectable start for The Outfit. It shows that the band’s future is in its own hands,and that the sky is the limit for the band’s future. All of this being noted, The Outfit’s debut album is a work that deserves at least one listen. It will be available next Friday, Feb. 2 in stores and online via Pavement Entertainment. More information on The Outfit is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.theoutfitrocks.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theoutfitrock

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.

Dishwalla Is On A Good “Road” With Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

California-based alt-rock outfit Dishwalla is set to release its first new album in more than a decade later this month.  The album, Juniper Road, is the band’s fifth full-length album and its first since the release of its self-titled album Dishwalla in 2005. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Dishwalla, listeners will agree in large part that this latest effort from Dishwalla is a positive re-introduction for the band to new fans and its more seasoned fans.  That is proven early on in the album’s second song, ‘Give Me A Sign,’ which will be discussed shortly.  ‘Don’t Fade Away,’ which comes a little later in the record’s sequence, also exemplifies what makes this record an appealing return for the band.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Darkness Conceals’ is yet another of the songs featured in this record that exhibits what makes the album a welcome return for the band. It most certainly is not the only other song that shows what makes the album such a surprisingly enjoyable new offering from Dishwalla.  It offers nine other songs that could just as easily be discussed in making that statement.  Considering this, the whole of this 12-song album proves to be potentially one of this year’s top new rock albums.

Juniper Road is a surprisingly enjoyable new offering from Dishwalla.  That is due both to the decidedly 90s rock sound exhibited in each of the songs featured in the 12-song, 48-minute record and the lyrical content presented in each.  ‘Give Me A Sign’ is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  As noted it, like so many of the album’s other offerings boasts a decidedly 90s rock vibe in its musical arrangement. The gently-flowing arrangement, whose foundation is formed by Jim Woods’ keyboard work Rodney B Cravens’ guitar work and drummer  George Pendergast’s time keeping, is a radio-ready work that would be an easy fit at any mainstream rock and adult contemporary station.  The composition is that easy on the ears.

In regards to its lyrical content, that material is just as radio-ready as the song’s musical arrangement.  It comes across as a work steeped in the matter of relationships, yet is not one just a standard work.  That is inferred as front man Justin Fox sings, “You walked into the crowded room/On the first day of the past/I watched the conversations stop/Above the Earth you made your way/As the tide stood slowly/But/I knew from then I had no choice/From the darkness to the spotlight/I will keep you trained in my sights/Till I finally get the chance to know/How to find my way through the window.”  He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Where do you go when the lights go down/Where do you scream when there’s no one around and waiting for you/For all of this time/Burning bright like a dying star/Setting fire through this endless sky/I’ve been waiting for you/Just give me a sign/Just give me a sign.”  Fox’s use of metaphor is just as thought-provoking throughout the rest of the song as he sings about a person having gone through so much while the subject continues to say, “give me a sign.” The subject is saying to that person, “give me a sign” about what he should do.  It’s not a pleading cry. Rather, it comes across more as a statement saying he’s been there all along for the other person.  The song’s musical arrangement adds to that statement, painting a picture that evokes great emotion even though neither it nor the song’s lyrical theme try to go over the top.  Considering this, the two elements join to show why the song in whole is just one of the ways in which Juniper Road proves to be such a surprisingly enjoyable return for Dishwalla.  It is not the only song included in this record that supports that statement. ‘Don’t Fade Away’ supports that statement just as much as ‘Show Me A Sign.’

‘Show Me A Sign’ clearly *ahem* shows in itself why Dishwalla’s new album is a welcome return for the band.  That is evident due to the song’s radio-ready and moving musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  It is not the album’s only key composition. ‘Don’t Fade Away,’ which comes slightly later in the album’s sequence, is another song that shows what makes Juniper Road enjoyable.  As with the prior song, that is evidenced in part through its musical arrangement, which is driven in large part through the combined efforts of bassist Scot Alexander and drummer George Pendergast. The pair’s rhythm combo keeps the song’s energy flowing from start to finish. Meanwhile guitarist Rodney Cravings adds his own special touch to the song along with Fox.  The joining of those elements led to a composition that is not only up-beat, but also just as radio-ready as that of ‘Show Me A Sign’ if not more so.  What’s more the group’s combined efforts make the song’s three-and-a-half-minute run time pass by effortlessly, leaving listeners feeling fulfilled by the time the song ends.  That arrangement is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as notable as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Don’t Fade Away’ is so important to note because of the seeming social commentary contained therein.  That is inferred as Fox sings in the song’s lead verse, “I al often stunned/By the world that we’ve become/Desperate isolation has us trying to hold on/Somehow in this place/We found a single light to start again to shine/Illuminate our hearts/Day after day after night/Time spins…” From there, he and his band mates sing in the song’s chorus, “Don’t fade away/You’ve got to set this night ablaze/And try to stay awake until/The morning light has turned the sky light.”  That message is repeated again in the chorus’ refrain following the second verse in which Fox sings, “You feel life’s illusion/Intoxicate your will/Waiting for the moment you will notice it’s true/Could you overtake it/And give in to the dark…But I know I won’t feel the same/Day after night after day.”  Some of the lyrics are difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference.  But the statement that can be understood, when set alongside the positive message in the song’s chorus seems to present a message of hope; a message that tells listeners not to give up in even the most difficult situations.  That positive upbeat musical arrangement that accompanies that seeming message strengthens it even more along with the song in whole.  Keeping that in mind, the seeming positive message of hope in the song’s lyrical content and its equally bright musical arrangement show in whole even more why Juniper Road is a surprisingly enjoyable return for Dishwalla.  It still is not the last of the songs included in the album that serves to show what makes it stand out.  ‘Darkness Conceals’ is yet another example of what makes the album a surprisingly standout return for the band.

‘Show Me A Sign’ and ‘Don’t Fade Away’ are both critical in showing what makes Juniper Road a welcome return for Dishwalla.  The songs’ musical arrangements are both fully radio-ready as are their lyrical themes.  Even with this in mind, they are not the only songs that serve to make the record stand out.  ‘Darkness Conceals’ is yet another example of what makes the album so strong.  As with the previously noted songs, this work stands out in part because of its own musical arrangement. The arrangement presented here stands out from those songs and the rest of the album’s offerings just as much as they stand out from one another.  It comes across as a sort of blues-based arrangement that is also just as radio-ready as any of the album’s other songs.  It is driven in large part through Fox’s vocals, with Cravens building on that foundation even more.  That infectious arrangement couples with words that make the song in whole even more intriguing for listeners.

The song’s lyrical content is so intriguing because it seems to present its own social commentary.  That is inferred as Fox sings in the song’s lead verse, “We’re not the shade we say we are/It’s the grey that lies between/In the light we hide our true desire/never know what darkness conceals/Or what might be revealed in the light.”  The song’s second verse hints at that social commentary just as much as Fox sings, “In this dream we’ve built aloud/Not ever what it seems/Lies inside you keep don’t make a sound/You never know what darkness conceals/Or what might be revealed in the light.”  The seeming commentary continues even more in the song’s final verse, though that verse seems to add a hint of a relationship matter, making the song’s lyrical content even deeper.  Whether the song is meant to be taken as a social commentary or as a song perhaps about lies kept in relationships, lyrically speaking, the way in which the lyrics were composed will certainly keep listeners thinking and talking long after the song ends.  That is a good thing, too.  When coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, the song will even more ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Considering this, the two elements show why the song in whole is such an important part of Juniper Road. When it is joined with ‘Give Me A Sign,’ ‘Don’t Fade Away’ and the album’s other nine songs, the end result is an album that proves to be potentially one of this year’s top new rock records.

Dishwalla’s first new album in a dozen years is an unexpectedly entertaining effort.  From start to finish, the album shows Dishwalla has not lost a step since the release of its last album.  It proves the band still has what it takes to stand with its counterparts in the mainstream rock realm.  That is evidenced in the radio-ready musical arrangements and thought-provoking lyrical content presented in ‘Give Me A Sign,’ ‘Don’t Fade Away’ and ‘Darkness Conceals.’  The same applies to the other nine albums that fill out the album’s body.  All things considered, this record in whole proves to be a work that could be one of this year’s top new rock albums.  It will be available in stores and online Friday, July 14 via Pavement Entertainment.  More information on Juniper Road is available online now along with all of Dishwalla’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dishwalla.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dishwalla

 

 

 

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.