Whitechapel Reaches Its Peak On ‘The Valley’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Reocrds

Change is something that is never easy in life.  Nor is bearing one’s heart about the past. Yet veteran metal outfit Whitechapel and its front man Phil Bozeman have done both of those things on the group’s latest album, The Valley.  Released March 29 through Metal Blade Records, the 10-song, 40 minute album’s musical arrangements show great change and growth from the band in terms of its sound.  The often painful recollections of Bozeman’s past, voiced in the song’s lyrical content, couples with those powerful arrangements to make The Valley a strong new offering from the Tennessee-based band.  The album’s latest single ‘Hickory Creek’ is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  ‘Doom Woods,’ the closer on the album’s standard edition release, is another example of the growth and power in this new album.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Black Bear,’ which comes just past the record’s midway point, is one more example of the growth and power that is evident in the album’s presentation.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the seven other songs not directly noted here, the album in whole proves to be some of Whitechapel’s best work to date if not its best work to date.

Whitechapel’s seventh full-length studio recording The Valley is some of the veteran Tennessee-based deathcore band’s best work to date if not its best work to date.  That is because of the growth exhibited in the album’s musical arrangements and the power in its lyrical content.  The album’s latest single ‘Hickory Creek’ is just one of the songs featured in the album that serves to support the noted statements.  The song’s arrangement is perhaps the album’s single best example of that noted musical growth.  The melancholy vibe created by the guitars, Bozeman’s vocal delivery, the bass and drums echoes influences of Tool and Slipknot.  As the song reaches its peak and Bozeman presents his brief scream moment, that sound couples with the guitars for a sound that lends itself to comparisons to Dry Kill Logic.  That joining of so many other elements was a clear risk for the band, and a risk that paid off.  It makes this song one of the album’s strongest compositions.  As impressive as the song’s arrangement is, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content strengthens the foundation formed by the arrangement.

As has been noted previously by others, ‘Hickory Creek’ allegedly has a link to Bozeman’s relationship with his mother.  What is interesting is that it is difficult to know if this song is delivered from the vantage point of Bozeman as a kid, an adult looking back on himself as a kid or from that of his mother. That actually makes the song’s lyrical side that much more interesting.  Bozeman sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s so hard to let go/You can hear me but I’m invisible/But if you dig out your eyes/Maybe pain will subside/the worst that could happen is you never see me again/But the worst is yet to come, my friend.”  This is a painful statement.  On the one hand, one could imagine this is Bozeman’s mother, but at the same time, it could be a young Phil talking to his adult self as adult Phil looks back on his past.  That would seem to be the more likely scenario.  It is made even more likely as he sings in the song’s chorus, “This path I walk is comforting/But now I’m left to sing this song alone/I’m fading faster now.”  He sings in the song’s second verse, “I left so long ago/You never noticed I was gone/Now that you don’t have eyes/Maybe now you’ll realize/Within your own head/You’re creating these lies/For what it’s worth/You’re still beautiful/but beauty lies within the eyes.”  Here in this second verse, is someone who seems to be looking back on the past, again, and talking to that someone from the past, wishing some kind of connection could have been made so many years ago.  It is such a painfully powerful story, and when it is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, becomes that much more powerful.  The two elements combine to show clearly why this song stands out as one of The Valley’s strongest entries, and by connection, as just one example of why The Valley is among Whitechapel’s best work yet.  It is just one of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Doom Woods’ shows just as much as ‘Hickory Creek’ why The Valley is such a notable new offering from Whitechapel.

‘Doom Woods’ stands out, as with ‘Hickory Creek,’ in part because of its musical arrangement.  Unlike so many of the songs featured in this album and the band’s past records, this song is not one of those all-too-familiar blast beat deathcore works.  Rather, it is more of a melodic death metal composition.  Yet even taking a more melodic sound this time out, there is still a certain heaviness that draws listeners in with ease.  In other words, it is a truly accessible composition despite (and because) it isn’t just another hyper speed deathcore work.  It maintains the heaviness of the band’s past and current sound, but in a different fashion, making it that much more notable.  While the song’s arrangement is clearly an important part of its whole, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content serves to make it stand out, too.

Once again, the song’s lyrical content seems to focus on Bozeman’s childhood, but in a different fashion.  This time, the song seems to focus on the emotional trauma that Bozeman endured in yet another, but seemingly just as painful experience.  He sings in the song’s chorus, “They say don’t walk to the darker side/But where the light shines, the devil is alive/I’ve seen hell through a child’s eyes/And I know in time, the devil I will find/The devil I will find.”  This is a rather clear-cut statement.  This is Bozeman seemingly looking back, explaining that he has been through…well…hell, adding that thing that so many people call “the light” or the good side, is actually where evil resides.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “In time I will escape/But in this place, my soul remains encased/The leaves have swallowed the sun/My heart has reached absolute zero/I have no one left/Even my shadow has died on me/She’s gone and I want to disappear, disappear.”  That “she” is likely Bozeman’s mother, on whom he focuses quite a bit in this album.  There is even a mention in the song’s third verse, of a young Bozeman being taken “from his mother’s hands,” with the song’s subject telling Bozeman’s mother, “Don’t you cry for him now…turn this young boy to a man/Now his destiny’s found.”  It is another of the record’s most powerful stories that invokes so much emotion.  That is just as much the case when these hard-hitting lyrics are joined with the song’s musical arrangement.  The two elements together make ‘Doom Woods’ stand out in its own right in the best way possible.  It also is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  “Black Bear’ is one more of the works that shows the growth and depth of the band’s overall content in this album.

Whereas ‘Doom Woods’ and ‘Hickory Creek’ are so powerful because of the subtleties in their arrangements, ‘Black Bear’ stands out because it is not so subtle.  Rather, this song is a rather intense work.  It starts off some meditative (for lack of better wording) but wastes little time in picking up and launching into a full-on grind/deathcore hybrid arrangement.  The heavy, crunching down-tuned guitars and bass couple with Bozeman’s trademark guttural cookie monster growl to create a sound that will impress even the most hardcore metal head.  That is because it hits listeners like that proverbial ton of bricks and refuses to let up right to the song’s end.  That arrangement is familiar stylistically, but also shows its own certain amount of growth from the band.  To that end, it is yet another example of the growth from the band this time out.  It is just one of the song’s most important elements.  Its lyrical content adds even more strength to its presentation.

Bozeman noted in a recent interview that while not entirely biographical, this song’s lyrical content is loosely based on the impact of his stepfather on his mother.  He does not come right out and say what happened, but allegedly, the impact was notably negative.  That impact is voiced powerfully through Bozeman’s lyrics here, as he sings, “He has come for the blood of my only son/I can sense his heartbeat slowly fade/The sound of my voice is his way to me/I buried my tongue with my family’s bones.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Sleep my son/Feel my embrace/Please don’t forget my love/As the bullet goes through his brain/I wake up to live it again and again/As I lay me down to sleep/I pray the Lord to put me six feet deep.”  This comes across as a woman who is going through so much emotional pain.  It comes across as inferring this is someone who did something heinous, but out of love for her own child, and the guilt of what she had done made her wish for her own death.  Again, Bozeman stressed the story here is only loosely based on the situation with his mother and stepfather.  Even with that in mind, the song still invokes so much emotion in yet another way.  The power of that emotion is something that will stick with listeners just as much as the emotion expressed in the other songs noted here and throughout the rest of the album.  When it is considered along with the mix of anger and sadness expressed in the song’s musical arrangement, it makes the song in whole that much more powerful and obvious as one of the album’s most notable entries.  When that whole is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole displays The Valley as Whitechapel at or near its peak.

Whitechapel’s seventh full-length studio recording The Valley is one of the band’s best works to date if not its best work yet.  That is because of the obvious time and thought put into the creation of each song, both musically and lyrically.  From start to finish, there is not one bad moment.  The emotion invoked by the album’s musical arrangements shows a wonderful coordination between both elements in each song.  That is just as evident in the songs noted here as in those note directly addressed.  Simply put, that time and thought exhibited in each work makes every song its own high point.  The end result is a record that puts Whitechapel at its peak if not very close to its peak.  The Valley is available now.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news, tour dates and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.whitechapelband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/whitechapelband

 

 

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‘The Wings Of War’ Is Another Powerful Musical Salvo From Overkill

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Don’t fix what’s not broken.  We all know and have used that old adage more than once in our lives, including the members of the veteran thrash metal outfit Overkill.  It is an adage that the band’s members have used from one album to the next over the course of now more than 30 years.  While the band has maintained a very distinct sound from one album to the next, it has also tweaked that sound just enough with each outing, to make every album fresh and interesting.  That is why the veteran New Jersey-based outfit has remained one of the elite names in the thrash community for such a long time.  The band’s latest album, The Wings of War – its 14th so far – supports these statements just as much as its past albums through its musical and lyrical content. ‘Believe in The Fight,’ which comes early in the 10-song record’s body, is just one of the songs that helps prove the noted argument.  ‘Where Few Dare To Walk,’ which comes much later in the 50-minute album’s run, also works to support the noted argument.  It will be addressed a little bit later.  ‘Welcome To The Garden State,’ the album’s latest single, also exemplifies the statements made here.  When the songs noted here are considered along with other songs featured in this record, such as ‘Last Man Standing,’ – the album’s opener – ‘Distortion,’ Hole In My Soul’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of The Wings of War proves that the members of Overkill still knows how to entertain audiences.  To that end, it proves that Overkill as a unit still has plenty of fight left.

Overkill’s most recently released album The Wings of War is a strong new showing from the veteran New Jersey-based thrash metal outfit.  That is because from start to finish, it is a record that shows the band still knows how to expertly tweak its familiar thrash sound just enough to keep things interesting for audiences and keep its music fresh.  One of the songs featured in this record that supports that statement comes early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Believe in the Fight.’  In terms of its musical arrangement, the song is everything that the band’s fan base has come to expect from the group.  At the same time, a close listen to the song reveals a subtlety in the guitar lines that makes the song comparable to some of the best classic works of Metallica and Anthrax.  That is evident not just in the guitar lines, but in the drums and the choruses.  The similarity is not exact, thank goodness, but it is close enough.  One could go so far as to make a comparison to the songs from Metallica’s debut album Kill ‘Em All in listening to this song.  That is, of course, just this critic’s own take on the arrangement.  The arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content plays its own important part to its whole.

The song’s lyrical content presents a proud, forceful message of believing in one’s own self and not giving up in life.  This is inferred most clearly through the song’s chorus in which front man Bobby Blitz sings, “We’re not going tired/Or slowing in the quiet night/And we’re not leaving something to believe in/When you think there’s nothing left at all/Believe in the fight/And we do it/In the dark/In the light/One last time/Let’s get it right/With a heart as cold as ice/I believe in the fight/ What do you believe in/In the dark/In the light/One last time/Let’s get it right/When there’s nothing left to believe in/Believe in the fight.”  That is a rather clear message.  Blitz adds to that message in the song’s lead and second verse, saying he is not the type to lie to a person and make that person’s situation worse, nor is the person that type to do the same.  It is sort of one of those “and another thing” statements that serves to say to listeners, “I’ll be straight with you and I know you’ll be straight with me, so don’t give up.  Keep believing and fighting.”  It really is a positive message.  When this positive, uplifting message is coupled with the song’s old school 80s thrash metal style arrangement, the result is a song that shows clearly how much Overkill still has to offer.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show how much fight this band still has.  ‘Where Few Dare To Walk’ is another example of just how much fight this band still has.

Just as is the case with ‘Believe in the Fight,’ ‘Where Few Dare To Walk’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  Again, the arrangement can be compared to some of the best works from Metallica.  In this case, the comparison can be made to the works from the band’s landmark 1986 album Master of Puppets.  That is evident right from the foreboding sound of the song’s opening bars and right into heavy, grinding sound that launches not long after.  If one wanted, one could even make a comparison to Metallica’s equally beloved album Ride The Lightning with this arrangement, too.  Again, it is not the typical up-tempo thrash style work for which Overkill has become known over the decades.  The band has tried this sort of sound previously, but only rarely.  To that end, it makes this change of pace another example of the continued ability of Overkill’s members to keep things engaging and entertaining for listeners.  Its arrangement is just one part of what makes it so interesting, too.  Its lyrical content helps it stand out, too.

The song’s lyrical content comes across as another statement reminding listeners to maintain their inner strength.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse, as Blitz sings, “Cross your t’s and dot your I’s/Take note when the raven flies/And always keep one eye upon the fool/Without fear or favor, speak to them/With good behavior to condemn/And keep the other eye upon the cruel.”  He comes across as saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  He goes on to sing, “Reach down deep/Stand your ground/We’ve only just begun/Turn no cheek/In step and pound/Until the job is done/And walk,walk.”  There, in that chorus, is that message of standing up for one’s self and not being afraid to stand up for something.  As if that is not proof enough, he further notes, “Call them out/On their s***/demand they listen/When you talk/wear them down/bit by it/And go where few dare to walk.”  Blitz is saying, be brave, be willing to stand up for something and for one’s self.  That is because there are so few people who are brave enough to do just that.  He even goes so far as to stress, “Do unto others as unto you/Bite down on the golden rule/And always keep a match to light the fuse/Walk softly/Carry a big stick/and disassemble brick by brick/And never think our outcome is to lose.”  This is another welcome, empowering statement from the band that is certain to resonate with plenty of listeners.  When it is coupled with the song’s arrangement, the whole of the elements makes this song yet another example of just how much fight this band still has in it and what makes the album in whole another example of why Overkill remains today one of hard rocks’ elite acts.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show what makes The Wings of War stand out just as much as Overkill’s past albums.  The loud, proud, fist-pumping anthem that is ‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is one more example of how The Wings of War proves how much Overkill as a unit still has to offer.

‘The arrangement at the center of ‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is yet another example of the ability of Overkill’s members to keep things fresh in that it takes the band’s familiar thrash style and crosses it with a more punk-style sound that ends up being comparable to some of Motorhead’s best works.  Yet again, here is Overkill as a unit changing things up just enough for listeners, and in turn keeping things quite interesting.  The song’s arrangement is just part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content stands out just as much as its musical arrangement.

Simply put, this song is a musical and lyrical love letter to New Jersey.  Blitz proudly sings in his signature gravelly tone, “Welcome to the Garden State/The best damn place in the U.S.A./You may not agree/You bitch and moan/I’ve been everywhere/But it’s not like home.”  He adds at the end of the song’s lead verse, “Don’t f*** with a jersey devil.”  In other words, he’s showing his Jersey pride.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  As a matter of fact, this critic’s own father was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and spent plenty of time there (and across the Northeast since this critic’s ancestors apparently helped found parts of New England, including New Haven, CT) throughout the years.  In other words, while maybe not living there now, this critic has plenty of his own Jersey pride and can relate to Blitz’s words.  That includes Blitz’s reference to the traffic on the turnpike and Route 35.  That home-state pride is a fun addition to the album, and once more shows – in an especially unique fashion – the continued ability of Overkill’s members to keep things fresh and interesting.  When this is considered along with the other two songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, fresh, interesting works couple with the band’s more familiar works for a whole that is another solid offering from Overkill.  It proves in whole to be an album that displays without doubt, this veteran hard rock outfit still has plenty of fight left in its members.

Overkill’s 14th full-length studio recording The Wings of War is a powerful new musical salvo from the veteran thrash metal band.  From start to end, this 10-song, 50 minute record gives listeners something old and something new.  The minor tweaks to the arrangements couple with lyrical themes that are just as certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained as the record’s musical content.  The end result is a record that is easily one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour updates, news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wreckingcrew.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OverkillBand

 

 

 

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Texas Hippie Coalition Inks New Record Deal; Debuts New Album’s Lead Single, Announces Tour Dates

Courtesy: entertainment one

Texas Hippie Coalition has some new music and a new label home.

The veteran hard rock band recently signed a deal with entertainment one, making the label the band’s new record company.  The announcement was made Friday and comes two weeks after the Denison, TX-based band debuted ‘Moonshine,’ the lead single from its upcoming album High in the Saddle.  The record is currently scheduled for release on May 31.

 

In addition to the announcement of the band’s new record deal and the debut of its new single and coming album, the band also recently announced a new expansive tour schedule.  The tour, titled the “haulin’ Moonshine tour,” is in support of High in the Saddle, and is scheduled to launch April 18 in Greeley, CO and run through June 22 in Oklahoma City, OK.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

4/18 Greeley, CO Moxie Theater
4/19 Denver, CO Buffalo Rose
4/20 CO Springs, CO Sunshine studio
4/21 Salt lake city, UT The Royal
4/24 Portland, OR Hawthorne
4/25 Seattle, WA El Corazon
4/26 Spoke, WA Cruisers
4/28 Sacramento, CA The Boardwalk
4/30 San Diego, CA Brick by Brick
5/3 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
5/8 Lincoln, NE Royal Grove
5/11 Gillette, WY Cam-plex
5/12 Sioux Falls, SD Bigs Bar
5/14 Green Bay, WI Riverside Ballroom
5/18 Harrison, OH The Blue Note
5/19 Flint, MI Machine Shop
5/22 St Louis, MO Fubar
5/23 Joliet, IL The Forge
5/24 Waterloo, IA Spicoli’s
5/25 Chippewa Falls, WI Every Buddy’s
5/26 Dubuque, IA Mississippi Moon
5/28 Battle Creek, MI The Music Factory
5/29 Akron, OH Empire
5/30 Cincinnati, OH Riverfront Live
5/31 Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
6/1 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory
6/2 Clifton, NJ Dingbatz
6/4 Pittsburgh, PA Craft house
6/5 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club
6/7 Richmond, VA Canal Club
6/8 Jacksonville, NC Tar-heals
6/9 Johnson City, TN OT’s
6/19 Austin, TX Dirty Dogg Saloon
6/20 Houston, TX Scout Bar
6/21 Dallas, TX GMBG

Tickets for the shows are available here.

More information on the band’s tour, single, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.thcofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thcofficial

 

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Amon Amarth Announces New Album, Tour Dates, Specs; Debuts New Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth returns this May, and the veteran viking metal band is building anticipation for the record’s release with the video for the album’s first single.

The band announced on Wednesday that it will release its new album Beserker on May 3 through Metal Blade Records.  The band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Raven’s Flight’ Wednesday at its official website and YouTube.

Directed by Roboshobo, the video crosses footage of the band performing its new single on stage at a club-like setting with a pair of ancient vikings facing a horde of their enemies.  It is the first in a trio of videos that will come from Beserker, and features guest appearances by former UFC star Josh Barnett and WWE Superstar Eric Rowan.

 

 

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Beserker will be available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below. To pre-order Berserker, please visit amonamarth.lnk.to/berserker – where the album is available in the following formats:
–digipak-CD
–deluxe box set [digipak-CD, shield (~12″x12″), patch (~4″x4″) – limited to 500 copies in US]
–opaque white w/ black splatter vinyl (limited to 1200 copies)
–opaque white w/ silver haze vinyl (retail exclusive – limited to 1300 copies)
–clear w/ red splatter vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies)
–black w/ red haze vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies)

Beserker was recorded in Los Angeles, with Jay Ruston (Anthrax/Stone Sour) helming the project.  Front man Johann Hegg offered positive remarks about Beserker in a recent interview.

“For me, this is Amon Amarth 2.0,” Hegg said.  “I think what we’ve done here is given ourselves the spcae to explore other parts of our musicality and who we are as a band.  If you’re content with where you’re at, what’s the point in continuing?  We always want to come up with new ideas and find new ways and doing things, and to create bigger and better shows, and really try to improve every aspect of what the band is.  We want to try to keep growing and to do this for as long as we have the possibility to do so, because this is the best fucking job in the world.”

Beserker‘s full track listing is noted below.

Berserker track-listing
1. Fafner’s Gold
2. Crack the Sky
3. Mjölner, Hammer of Thor
4. Shield Wall
5. Valkyria
6. Raven’s Flight
7. Ironside
8. The Berserker at Stamford Bridge
9. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll and Hati
11. Wings of Eagles
12. Into the Dark

Amon Amarth will join Slayer, Lamb of God and Cannibal Corpse on the road in May for an almost month-long tour to help say farewell to Slayer while also promoting Beserker.  The band’s run is scheduled to start May 2 and run through May 25, and to feature performances in cities, such as Huntington, WV; Tampa, Fla and Phoenix, AZ.  the tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Slayer “Leg Five: North America” tour dates
w/Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Cannibal Corpse

May 2 – Ak-Chin Amphitheatre – Phoenix, AZ
May 3 – Isleta Amphitheatre – Albuquerque, NM
May 5 – UTEP/Don Haskins Center – El Paso, TX
May 7 – Bert Ogden Arena – Edinburg, TX
May 8 – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory – Dallas, TX
May 10 – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL
May 11 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach, FL
May 13 – Big Sandy Superstore Arena – Huntington, WV
May 14 – Merriweasther Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
May 16 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center – Noblesville, IN
May 17 – Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre – Bonner Springs, KS
May 19 – DTE Energy Music Center – Clarkston, MI
May 20 – Covel Centre – Youngstown, OH
May 22 – Canadian Tire Centre – Ottawa, ON
May 24 – BB&T Pavilion – Camdel, NJ
May 25 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA

More information on Amon Amarth’s upcoming tour, album and video is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.amonamarth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

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Plain White T’s Debut ‘Low’ Video

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Plain White T’s debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for the song ‘Low‘ on Friday.  The video features a man in classic Joker makeup as he distributes his “medicine” to people who are feeling depressed alongside what are supposed to be really bad commercials featuring people selling the substance against a hypnotizing back drop.  The song is taken from the band’s most recent album, Parallel Universe, which was released last August through Fearless Records.

Front man Tom Higgensen talked about the video’s concept as it related to the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“Everybody, at times, can feel a little bit depressed, inadequate or not good enough,” Higgensen said.  “Often, we search for something outside ourselves to fill that void and to make us feel better; more wanted, more confident, more beautiful.  We turn to drugs, alcohol, medication for a temporary fix to make us feel a little better, but these can obviously just lead to more problems and become a need or a dependency.”

Higgensen added, “This video makes a commentary towards that by introducing the imaginary magical elixir called ‘Low,’ which is presented as the fix for all of life’s problems.  It’s a creepy infomercial that promises the consumer instant results, but as the viewer we can see that things aren’t quite as they seem.”

Along with debuting its new video, the band also launched a new series of live dates on Friday.  The band’s latest live schedule features a performance April 25 in Oklahoma City, OK and a group of dates in the UK in May.  The band’s current live schedule is noted below.

PLAIN WHITE T’S TOUR DATES:
3/15 — Rosemont, IL — Joe’s Live
4/25 — Oklahoma City, OK — Tower Theatre
5/23 — Bristol, UK — The Fleece
5/24 — Perranporth, UK — Tunes In The Dunes Festival
5/25 — Hatfield, UK — Slam Dunk Festival
5/26 — Hatfield, UK — Slam Dunk Festival
5/27 — Brighton, UK — The Haunt

More information on Plain White T’s’ new video, live dates and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://plainwhitets.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/plainwhitets

 

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TTB’s New Album Is A Positive “Sign” For The Band

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Tedeschi Trucks band is coming to North Carolina this summer.  The band’s stops in “The Old North State” are in support if its latest full-length studio recording, Signs.  Released Feb. 15 through Fantasy Records, the 11-song record is a change of pace for the band in comparison to its previous album, 2016’s Let Me Get By.  Even with the change of pace that is notable throughout the course of the album’s 46 minute run time, it is still a positive effort from the group, which is fronted by its namesakes, the husband and wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in its opener, ‘Signs, High Times.’  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Still Your Mind,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another of the album’s additions that proves the record to be a positive new effort from the band.  It is hardly the last of the songs that shows Signs’ strengths.  ‘All The World’ is yet another work featured in Signs that shows the record’s strength.  When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here and the records eight remaining songs, the whole of Signs proves to be another successful offering from Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Tedeschi Trucks Band’s fourth full-length studio recording Signs is another welcome new offering from the band, which is made up of a number of veteran musicians and performers.  While maybe not the band’s best work to date, it is still a good effort from the band.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in ‘Signs, High Times.’  The song’s funky, bluesy southern rock musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of The Allman Brothers Band, with whom Trucks also records and performs.  The keyboards, guitars, percussion and choral elements create a wonderful, welcome vintage vibe that is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That upbeat arrangement couples with the song’s seeming social commentary for a whole that is certain to engage and entertain audiences.

The seeming social commentary comes as Tedeschi, who has been the lead voice of TTB since its inception nine years ago, sings in the song’s second verse, “Might ain’t right…Everything’s in black and white.”  She goes on from there to sing in the song’s third verse, “Just realized there’s hatred in their eyes/can’t fool around with darkness for fun/Something tells me/Some people just ain’t worth saving/Got turned around/Following the sound/Of a heartbeat that’s been getting heavy/We’ve been here before/We were just getting ready.”  The seeming commentary is illustrated even more as she sings later in the song, “Better make up your mind/’Cause we gotta get it right this time/So much good at stake/Don’t give into the lies they make/Oh lord, how did we get here again?”  Yet again, here we have an example of what would certainly seem to be a specific statement from Tedeschi and company.  That is especially the case as she sings in the song’s final moments, “People, how long till your hand’s called?”  It’s as if she’s saying throughout that we as a people need to make sure that we know which side of the line we are on before our time is up.  That is of course just this critic’s own interpretation of these lyrics.  It could be completely wrong.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark, though.  If it is, then when it is considered alongside the feeling established through the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole becomes a strong start for the album and a standout addition to the album.  It is just one of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Still Your Mind’ is another of the record’s most notable works.

‘Still Your Mind’ stands out in the bigger picture of Signs in part because of its musical arrangement.  The song opens simply in its first few bars, with a gentle, flowing piano line that one can argue presents a light jazz feel, and even a certain modern classical element.  From there, the song takes a decidedly modern turn that actually, one could argue bears a mix of both modern and old school rock.  That mix is well-balanced throughout the course of the song’s almost five-minute run time.  Adding to the song’s interest is the song’s lyrical content, which couples very nicely with the gentility in the song’s arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Still Your Mind’ centers on the issue of self-pride and confidence.  Little doubt is left about that, as Tedeschi sings in the song’s lead verse, “Some days are grey for us all/Don’t wanna live or stay here for long/I say ain’t it good to know/That you’re not alone/So many people feel that low/But I’ll help you grow.”  She goes on from here to sing in the song’s chorus, “Still your mind and breathe/Close your eyes and see/Fill your hands and drink with me/Be here now/Lay your troubles down.”  This all comes across as a certain sort of reassurance for listeners who maybe are going through difficult situations.  That sense of reassurance continues as she sings, “Before the growth, the leaves have to fall/And I’ll lit you up so you can tear down the wall/Don’t let the darkness of the world enter your soul/You know the light of your smile is what makes me whole.”  Once again, here listeners have a subject who is sharing some very comforting words.  What is really interesting here is that when the lyrics and music are coupled, they really come across as a sort of lullaby.  It sounds odd, yes, but one could argue that sense when listening closely to the song.  That in itself justifiably makes this work another one of Signs’ most notable additions.  It is not the last of the album’s most notable entries, however.  ‘All The World’ is yet another of the LP’s strongest songs.

‘All The World,’ like ‘Signs, High Times,’ comes across as another contemplative social statement.  The difference between the two songs is that the prior song’s musical arrangement is more upbeat than that of this composition.  This work is a deeply contemplative piece, even in its musical arrangement.  It flows so gently, with its keyboard and guitar lines serving as its collective backbone.  The noted approach to the song’s musical arrangement makes the song’s almost three-and-a-half-minute run time feel longer, but in a positive fashion.  It also serves to help illustrate quite well, the emotion in the song’s lyrical content.

Speaking of the song’s lyrical content, Tedeschi sings here, “So many times I lay here thinking/We may never stand up and rise again/Then I hear the voices singing/Everything must burn before hope can live again/All the world is bleeding/I can feel it/And I’ve seen it/But while our hearts are beating/We can heal it/If we mean it.”  There is such a melancholy about this verse, that carries on through the song’s second verse.  Tedeschi sings in that second verse, “So many places I have gone/But the song remains the same/So if we could please listen to what they say/The walls could crumble and wash away.”  Again, there is such a bittersweet emotion here.  That feeling is enhanced even more as Tedeschi returns to the chorus along with the equally bittersweet emotion in the song’s arrangement.  When that emotion is coupled with the emotion exuded in Tedeschi’s words and vocal delivery, the whole therein creates a powerful impact for listeners.  In turn, the song proves without doubt why it is another important addition to Signs.  When it is considered along with ‘Signs, High Times,’ ‘Still Your Mind’ and the eight other songs not directly noted here, the end result is a record that in whole is another welcome new offering from Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Tedeschi Trucks Band’s fourth full-length studio recording Signs is a positive new offering from the collective of veteran musicians and performers.  That is evidenced musically and lyrically throughout the course of the almost 50-minute record.  The songs’ musical and lyrical content make that obvious from the record’s opening to its end.  Between the lullaby-esque work that is ‘Still Your Mind’ to the celebratory ‘Walk Through This Life,’ which is an upbeat song about the power of love, to the personal, introspective ‘Shame’ to the contemplative ‘All The World’ and beyond, this record offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  All things considered, the musical and lyrical content presented throughout the record makes it the year’s first great overall album.  Audiences in North Carolina will get to hear plenty of songs from Signs on July 7 and 9 in Charlotte and Raleigh respectively.  Fans can purchase tickets for those and the rest of the band’s current tour dates online now while also getting updates on the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.tedeschitrucksband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DerekandSusan

 

 

 

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The Native Howl Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: FM Management

Independent bluegrass band The Native Howl announced a new live schedule this week.

The Michigan-based band announced Wednesday, that it will launch “The Torque Tour” starting May 2 in Joliet, IL.  The nearly two-week-long tour is scheduled to run through May 11 in Neenah, WI and feature dates in Minneapolis, MN; Sioux Falls, ND and Green Bay, WI.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

2nd Joliet, IL – The Forge
3rd Dubuque, IA – Vintage Torque Fest
4th Sioux Falls, SD Biggs Live
5th Omaha, NE – Lookout Lounge
7th Minneapolis, MN – The Icehouse
8th Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
9th Green Bay, WI – Lyric Room
10th Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle Brewing Co
11th Neenah, WI – Short Branch Saloon

The band’s upcoming tour is in support of its most recent album, 2018’s Out of the Garden and Into The Darkness.  The record debuted at #3 on the Bluegrass Billboard Chart and #50 on the New Artist Album Billboard Chart.  It spawned the single ‘Somethin’ Else’ and its companion video.

Prior to releasing Out of the Garden and Into The Darkness, the band released the EP Thrash Grass in 2016.  That record spawned the single Thunderhead and its companion video.

More information on The Native Howl’s upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.thenativehowl.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thenativehowl

 

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.