Romantic Rebel Added To Smile Empty Soul’s “Shapeshifter Tour 2016” LIneup

Courtesy: O'Donnell Media Group

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Romantic Rebel is headed back out on the road.

The band announced Monday that it will join Smile Empty Soul on the road this summer for the band’s “Shapeshifter Tour 2016.”  The tour launches this Friday, July 15th in St. Louis, MO.  It will share time on stage as support for Smile Empty Soul alongside The Everyday Losers, Shallow Side, and Beitthemeans on the tour.  Romantic Rebel’s upcoming live dates are in support of its upcoming EP Begin Again.  The band announced Monday that fans who come out to its live shows will be able to pick up Begin Again before its official release date, which has not yet been announced.

Singer KT Paige recently sat down to discuss the EP and what it means not just to her but to the band in whole.  She noted in her discussion the work put into the songs not only by herself but also by guitarist Alex Vincent, who co-wrote the record, and by producer Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil, Finger Eleven, Sevendust, 3 Doors Down, Megadeth, Machine Head, Nonpoint, etc.), who helmed the EP and is also working with the band on its upcoming as yet untitled sophomore album.  “This EP is very special to us,” she said.  “Alex and I wrote these songs from the heart; about past experiences and struggles.  That said, we were very attached to them and didn’t want to see them change.  Johnny, being the multi-talented producer that he is, helped us take the songs we thought couldn’t get any better to a whole new level.  It’s amazing how a simple change in melody can make me feel even more emotional about a song than I had felt previously.”

While waiting for Romantic Rebel’s new EP to be released audiences can purchase the EP’s lead single ‘Too Far’ now online via iTunes.  The single’s companion video is currently streaming on the band’s official YouTube channel now.  More information on Romantic Rebel’s latest tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.RomanticRebelBand.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rr_the_band

 

 

 

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Pop Evil Unveils New Live 360 Video For ‘Take It All’

Pop Evil has debuted its latest music video.

The band debuted the new 360 music video for its latest single ‘’Take It All’ this week.  The single comes from the band’s latest album Up.  It is the album’s third single and video. Also previously released are the videos for ‘Footsteps’ and ‘Ways To Get High.’  The video for ‘Take It All’ was recorded at the band’s performance at the 2015 Aftershock Festival. It allows fans the chance to see the band’s performance of its song from the stage in a fully immersive setting.  Being a live setting, audiences should use their discretion.  That is because front man Leigh Kakaty does drop a blatant “F”-bomb at the end of the performance.  The video can be viewed online now via the band’s official website and via the band’s official YouTube channel.

Courtesy: One

Courtesy: On

 

In other Pop Evil news, the band is winding down the current leg of its tour in support of Up.  It is scheduled to perform in Windsor, Canada tonight.  From there, the band will take some down time before taking some down to rest and recharge in preparation for its next performance July 13th in Bulkley Nechako, Canada.  Even more dates are already scheduled including an extensive tour with 3 Doors Down beginning August 26th in Charleston, West Virginia.  That tour runs through October 7th in Durham, North Carolina before heading overseas for a European tour beginning October 19th in Berlin, Germany.  The band will act as support for 3 Doors down on both legs of the tour.  Red Sun Rising will join Pop Evil in support of 3 Doors Down on the U.S. leg of the tour.  KOLO and the Fallen State will serve in place of Red Sun Rising for the European leg of the tour.  Pop Evil’s current tour schedule is noted below.

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

POP EVIL SUMMER/FALL 2016 TOUR

7/8/2016    Windsor, Canada    Food & Cork Festival
7/13/2016    Bulkley Nechako, Canada    Brook Centennial Arena w/ Everlast
7/14/2016    Lloydminster, Canada    Colonial Days
7/16/2016    Bridgeview, IL    Chicago Open Air @ Toyota Park
7/17/2016    Mansfield, OH    Ohio State Reformatory

7/23/2016    Timmins, Canada    Rock on the River
7/28/2016    Lethbridge, Canada    Average Joe’s Sports Bar
7/31/2016    Tumbler Ridge , Canada    Grizfest Music Festival
8/7/2016    Kitchener, Canada    Maxwell’s
8/8/2016    London, Canada    London Music Hall
8/9/2016    Oshawa, Canada    Oshawa Music Hall

8/21/2016    Auburn , WA    White River Amphitheater
8/25/2016    Fredericksburg , VA    Hard Times Café
8/26/2016    Charleston, WV    Charleston Municipal Auditorium
8/27/2016    Pittsburg, PA    Rex Theatre
8/28/2016    Akron, OH    Goodyear Theater
8/30/2016    Grand Rapids, MI    Devos Auditorium
9/3/2016    Mt. Pleasant , MI    Soaring Eagle Casino Resort
9/7/2016    Wilkes Barre, PA    F.M. Kirby Center
9/9/2016    Lancaster , PA    Chameleon Club
9/10/2016    Atlantic City, NJ    Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars
9/11/2016    Red Bank, NJ    Count Basie Theatre
9/13/2016    Syracuse, NY    Crouse Hinds Theatre
9/14/2016    Boston, MA    Orpheum Theatre
9/16/2016    Albany, NY    The Palace Theatre
9/17/2016    Ocean City, MD    OC Bikefest @ The Inlet Lodge
9/18/2016    Boonsboro, MD    G-Boone’s
9/21/2016    Memphis, TN    Orpheum Theatre
9/23/2016    Bossier City, LA    Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
9/26/2016    Nashville, TN    Ryman Auditorium
9/28/2016    Indianapolis, IN    Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
9/30/2016    Fond Du Lac, WI    The Shack Event Center
10/2/2016    Louisville, KY    Champions Park
10/5/2016    Detroit, MI    The Fillmore Detroit
10/7/2016    Durham, NC    Durham Performing Act Center

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

10/19/2016    Berlin, Germany    COLUMBIAHALLE
10/20/2016    Hamburg, Germany    MEHR! THEATER
10/22/2016    Cologne, Germany    Palladium
10/24/2016    Munich, Germany    ZENITH
10/25/2016    Stuttgart, Germany    Porsche Arena
10/26/2016    Vienna, Austria    Gasometer
10/28/2016    Winterthur, Switzerland    Eulachhalle
10/29/2016    Offenbach, Germany    STADTHALLE
10/31/2016    Tilburg, Netherlands    O13
11/2/2016    Bristol, United Kingdom    O2 Academy
11/3/2016    Birmingham, United Kingdom    O2 Academy
11/5/2016    Manchester, United Kingdom    Academy
11/6/2016    London, United Kingdom    Hammersmith Apollo

 

More information on Pop Evil’s new video is available online now along with the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

 

Website: http://www.PopEvil.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/popevil

 

 

 

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Cage9 Set To Enlighten Audiences With Its New Album, ‘Illuminator’

Cage9 has officially been released.

One of the latest additions to Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label Group, the band released its new album Illuminator this past Friday, June 3rd.  The album was released via eOne in the United States and Triple Vision Entertainment in Japan.  It is schedule for release later this year in Europe via SPV.  The band unveiled the video for the album’s lead single ‘Everything You Love Will Someday Die’ earlier this spring.  The video is streaming online now via YouTube.  It features footage of the band’s members and fans singing the song.

 

Courtesy:  EMP Label Group

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

 

Front man Evan Rodaniche discussed the video in a recent interview.  He noted the song’s family roots in the interview and the video’s recording process.  “This song is dedicated to my father, who passed away about a month ago after a two year battle with cancer,” he said.  “But even when I first wrote these lyrics at the onset of his terminal diagnosis as a sort of comforting mantra, in the back of my mind I believed my dad was indestructible.  I never thought I’d be adding an “in loving memory” dedication at the end of this video.  But then he was gone.  And that’s what this is all about.  We spend our modern lives wrapped up in our first world problems, completely disconnected with the natural cycles of the planet around us.”

In discussing the video’s production, Rodaniche noted the cameras that were used and the band’s general approach to making the clip.  We shot the video DIY with a couple Canon DSLR cameras, a black sheet in our rehearsal room and about forty non-actor friends, fans, and family who showed up one sunny Los Angeles afternoon in 2015 to mouth the lyrics to a song they’d never heard.  We aimed to bring home the message that no matter who you are we’re all in this together.”  He went on to not the song’s roots and sound in his discussion, too noting, “As for the song itself, it’s a little bit of old school thrash mixed with something more melodic and a little piano and acoustic guitar wankery to push it over the 6 minute epic-metal-song mark. (Yes, there’s a radio edit.)  He linked this in to a discussion on [Dave] Ellefson discovering Cage 9 through ‘Everything You Love Will Someday Die.’  I was the 14 year old kid running around with a worn out cassette of Peace Sells in his Walkman, he said.  “So having the dude that brought us pretty much THE most recognizable bass riff of my (and half the planet over 30’s) youth dig our band is a huge honor.”  He went on further noting, “Cage 9 originated in Panama where I grew up playing in a band yet having pretty much never experienced famous bands performing live to learn from, not to mention any of our idols like Megadeth or Metallica.  This definitely makes this chance to work with Dave in a mentor/label situation that much more amazing.  Very excited to be releasing our new album Illuminator with EMP this summer.”

Ellefson shared his thoughts on the band and its song in a discussion of his own even echoing the Megadeth/Metallica influence in the band’s new single noted by Rodaniche.  “Cage9 is definitely the real deal,” he said.  When I first heard ‘Everything You Love Will One Day Die,’ it instantly struck me as the closest I’ve heard to a song with a true Metallica/Megadeth core, with the radio accessibility to really connect with a modern rock audience.  And with the band’s history, and everything they’ve accomplished, they were a perfect fit for what we were doing at EMP.”

Since moving to Los Angeles the band has released a total of six albums and more than one hundred songs.  One of those albums was completely in Spanish.  The band has sold 25,000 copies of its albums worldwide in that time and played over 50 dates across America just last year.  It has also toured Japan and Central America as direct opener for Ozzy Osbourne, Bad Religion, Seether, and In This Moment.  The band has also shared stage time with the likes of Sevendust, Hellyeah, Karnivool, and others.  Even Rodaniche himself spent some time in the past as a member of Powerman 5000.  He also helped to co-write, record, and mix some of PM5K’s most recent albums.  That isn’t Rodaniche’s only production credit.  He also worked on ex-Flyleaf singer Lacey Sturm’s new album and work from Boy Hits Car, and others.  As if all of this isn’t enough credit to Cage9, the band has also received glowing reviews from its much more well-known counterparts including: Pop Evil, Korn, Saving Abel, Asking Alexandria, Devil You Know, and 9Electric just to name a handful of acts.

More information on Cage9’s new album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.cage9.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Cage9

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cage9

 

 

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Another Lost Year Added To Shiprocked 2017 Lineup

Courtesy: O'Donnell Media Group

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Another Lost Year is getting Shiprocked!

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based band has been announced as the latest addition to the 2017 edition of the annual Shiprocked cruise.  The cruise will feature a number of today’s top rock acts including but not limited to: Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Alter Bridge, Sevendust, Pop Evil, and The Stowaways.  The floating music festival will be held aboard the Carnival Victory.  The liner will sail out of Miami Florida on January 16th, 2017, and make its way to Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos before returning to port on January 20th, 2017.  Also featured in the 2017 Shiprocked cruise will be: Avatar, Crobot, 12 Stones, and many others.  A very limited number of rooms is still available for the 2017 Shiprocked cruise.  VIP packages are sold out.  Pricing information for the available rooms is noted via the official Shiprocked website.

Before the band takes to the high seas it will also perform live at the 2016 Laconia Fest Motorcycle Music Festival.  The Laconia Fest is part of what is billed as the “oldest motorcycle rally on the planet.”  The nine-day festival takes place at Weirs Drive-In Theatre in Laconia, New Hampshire from Saturday, June 11th to Sunday, June 19th.  The debut installment of the Laconia Fest will feature performances from some of the top acts from rock’s past, present, and future.  They include but are not limited to: Steven Tyler, Lita Ford, Ted Nugent, Warrant, LA Guns, Dope, Everybody Panic!, Sevendust, Buckcherry, Fuel, Saving Abel, and many more.  General Admission tickets and VIP passes are available for a number of the festival’s performances.  General admission tickets include: Admission to the Festival village, the FMX Stunt Show, Main stage & EMP Group Label Group – Stage 2 Views, and more.  VIP Pit passes include: Exclusive, best-position access to stage-front from the Pit viewing area, 2 complimentary tokens, and access to cash bar and other amenities.  VIP Tower passes are also available.  They include: Exclusive access to an elevated 15-foot platform with premium stage view, private bar with beer and other drinks, prepared box meal, luxury accommodations, and other optional extras.  Those extras come at an added cost.  Wheel chair access will also be available for the festival.  Tickets and VIP passes allow for “all-day” access to the Laconia Fest and all related events and attractions.  Tickets are sold on a per-day basis and re-entry is allowed per day.  More information on ticketing, VIP passes, performance lineups, and more is available on the festival’s official website.

The band’s performance at the Laconia Fest is just one of a number of dates that is on ALY’s current live schedule.  The band will be live today in Chesterfield, Michigan before heading to Janesville, Wisconsin for a performance there this Sunday, May 15th.  Performances in Pinehurst, NC and Charlotte, NC on June 2nd and 4rth are also included in that schedule, which is noted below.

 

Another Lost Year Tour Dates:
5/12/2016 Chesterfield MI @ Diesel w/ P.O.D.
5/15/2016 Janesville WI @ Back Bar w/ DEVOUR THE DAY
5/18/2016 Belvidere IL @ Apollo Theatre w/ P.O.D.
5/20/2016 Janesville WI @ Back Bar w/ ROMANTIC REBEL – JJO Presents
5/29/2016 Algona IA @ Afterlife Lounge
6/2/2016 Pinehurst NC @ Private Acoustic
6/4/2016 Charlotte NC @ Rabbit Hole w/ SCOTT BARTLETT of SAVING ABEL
6/9/2016 Hagerstown MD @ Municipal Stadium – Hagerstown Suns Baseball Game After Party

6/10/2016 Battle Creek MI @ The Music Factory w/ SHAMANS HARVEST
6/11/2016 laCrosse WI @ Pearl Street Brewery w/ DRUGS DELANEY
6/12/2016 Ft Atkinson WI @ Hyjinx w/ DRUGS DELANEY
6/15/2016 Laconia NH @ Laconia Fest w/ STEVEN TYLER
6/16/2016 Laconia NH @ Laconia Fest w/ BRET MICHAELS
6/17/2016 Cranston RI @ 1150 Oak Bar w/ EVERYBODY PANIC
6/18/2016 Cranston RI @ 1150 Oak Bar
6/19/2016 Hampton Beach NH @ Wally’s
7/2/2016 Battle Creek MI @ Private Party
7/3/2016 Pekin IL @ Twisted Spoke w/ DRUGS DELANEY
7/15/2016 Kankakee IL @ Kankakee BBQ Fest w/ VINCE NEIL
7/16/2016 Clarksville TN @ z97.5 Festival
7/16/2016 Grayson KY @ HeadCase Festival
8/6/2016 Hagerstown MD @ Private Party
8/12/2016 Algona IA @ Algona Fairgrounds w/ SMILE EMPTY SOUL

 

Another Lost Year will release its new album Alien Architect Friday, Jun e10th via EMP Label Group and Mirage M’Hal Records.  The band recently premiered the video for the album’s lead single ‘Wolves’ online.  It can be viewed via YouTube and Vevo.  More information on Alien Architect is available online now along with more information on the band’s upcoming live dates at:

 

Website: http://www.whoisALY.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Official_ALY

 

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2015 Saw A Number Of Great Rock Records Released

2015 has been a great year for the rock community. That is because so many standout albums have been released this year. This includes new rock albums both in the underground and the mainstream. There have been so many outstanding rock albums released so far this year that there was just not enough room for all of them on just one list (that is unless one were to make a list of the year’s top 100 new rock albums). Keeping that in mind, it couldn’t have been easy for any critic to develop a year-ender for the year’s best new rock records. It definitely wasn’t easy for this critic. This critic’s list of the year’s best new rock records presents albums from some relatively well-known bands and some that might not be so widely-known. Regardless of how well-known said acts (and albums) are, it can be said that each wholly deserves its spot on this list thanks to musical and lyrical content that is more apt to keep listeners engaged from beginning to end than any other band or album. Enough rambling. Without any further ado here is the list of those bands and their respective albums. This is the Phil’s Picks ‘ 2015 Top 10 New Rock Albums. As with every other list, the main body of the list is made up of the year’s Top 10 Best new records. The bottom five receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. BACHMAN – HEAVY BLUES 
  2. MICHEAL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK – SPIRIT ON A MISSION 
  3. THE WINERY DOGS – HOT STREAK 
  4. FINGER ELEVEN – FIVE CROOKED LINES 
  5. JOE SATRIANI – SHOCKWAVE SUPERNOVA 
  6. BLACKBERRY SMOKE – HOLDING ALL THE ROSES 
  7. EVERCLEAR – BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK 
  8. SPOCK’S BEARD – THE OBLIVION PARTICLE 
  9. QUEENSRYCHE – CONDITION HUMAN 
  10. DEVIL CITY ANGELS – DEVIL CITY ANGELS 
  11. RUSSKAJA – PEACE, LOVE, AND RUSSIAN ROLL 
  12. BARENAKED LADIES – SILVERBALL 
  13. POP EVIL – UP 
  14. UFO – A CONSPIRACY OF STARS 
  15. TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET – TALES FROM WISCONSIN

 

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…And So It Begins Is A Good Start For NoMara

Courtesy: Round 2 Records

Courtesy: Round 2 Records

…And So It Begins, the debut EP from NoMara is a fittingly titled first effort from the independent five-piece hard rock act. That is because the band exhibits over the course of its record that it has quite the potential. Speaking in terms of both its musical and lyrical content, it is a good fit with any of the acts currently being played across the country’s major mainstream rock radio stations. The record’s closer ‘Tesla’ is a clear example of that. With its mix of classic hair metal musical content and direct homage to the bands that made the era of big riffs and even bigger hair so…well…big, it proves to be the EP’s anchor. And ‘Cheap Talk’ with its hard rock riffs and lyrics that seem centered on the standard subject of broken relationships, it is an even more radio ready work. The modern hard-rock ballad that is ‘Broken’ could just as easily be used by any radio programmer across the country with its introspective lyrical content and flowing melodies. All three songs could each easily be used to represent the band on any mainstream rock radio station, regardless of said station’s reach. That is not to discount the remaining pair of songs that make up …And So It Begins–‘Sell Out’ and ‘Use Your Love.’ Both of those songs could be used just as easily by the band and by said stations. Regardless of which track(s) are used, it can be said that in whole …And So It Begins is in fact just the beginning for NoMara.

…And So It Begins is just the beginning for NoMara. The debut EP from this independent five-piece hard rock act proves that from its outset to its end. Every one of the five songs that make up the record’s nineteen-minute run time is as radio ready as the others. However in listening through this record, it can easily be said that ‘Tesla,’ the record’s closer is also its anchor. The four and a half-minute song is a musical love letter to the bands that made the age of big hair and even bigger riffs so…well…big. The song’s musical content makes that clear as it throws back to the sound generated by so many of that era’s biggest names including the likes of Motley Crue, Poison, and of course Tesla, thus the name of the song. The song’s lyrical content adds to the homage as front man Kelly Burdge sings in the song’s lead verse, “Didn’t have to be there/See it to believe it/It was one hell of a show/Big city nights/Arena nights/Exploding pyro/Stand in line for days/Gotta find a way I can get front row/Hooked on tasty licks/Catchin’ guitar picks/No matter where there’s room/Best get out of my way/I thank God rock rock ‘n roll every day.” The picture painted by Burdge’s lyrical talents paints such a vivid picture. It will put a smile on the face of anyone that grew up in that era when concerts were just as much about the show as they were about the band. Interestingly enough, Burdge’s own vocal delivery style makes him sound so much like so many of that veteran vocalists that he obviously grew up idolizing. That adds even more punch to the song. And it is just one more part of what makes this song such a strong, solid anchor. The song’s equally bombastic chorus in which Burdge’s band mates–John LeCompt (guitar, vocals), Thad Ables (bass), Josh Grissom (guitar), and Jack Larson (drums)–join in singing, “Just give me one for the money/Two for the show/Three for Tesla/On my radio/I got Poison in my pocket/Woman on my mind/Motley Crue-sin on the wild side/Life ain’t got to rock/Stil livin’ the crazy nights/Won’t get left behind/One for the money/Two for the show/Come on, come on/Who loves rock and roll” adds even more enjoyment to the song. And it doesn’t stop there, either as listeners will note in hearing the rest of the song. All things considered here, ‘Tesla’ proves in whole that it is a solid anchor for NoMara’s new EP and an equally solid choice for a single should radio programmers give the band a chance.

‘Tesla’ shows through its combination of musical and lyrical content that it is a solid anchor for the band’s new EP …And So It Begins, and that it is just as equally solid a choice for a single should radio programmers give the band a chance. It is just one of the radio ready songs on this record that make it in whole a recording that is just the beginning for the band. ‘Cheap Talk’ is another radio ready piece that would serve as a solid representative of the band members’ talents. That is thanks in large part to its musical content, which exhibits hard rock riffs equivalent to songs churned out by the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Hellyeah, and even to a slightly lesser extent, Pop Evil just to name a few. Again, this is in reference mainly to the song’s musical content. Such comparisons are not bad for the band either. It shows even more the band’s ability to hold its own against such bands and other more well-known acts. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, its lead verse along leads one to believe that the song would fit in just as easily with those acts as it paints the picture of being another song rooted in the standard theme of broken relationships. That picture is painted as Burdge sings, “I get the feeling/I’m being lied to/Right from the start I saw the signs/I should have listened/To intuition/Instead I fell face first.” He goes on to sing later, “You tell me you are staying/When you know you aren’t…your talk is cheap and I’m just not sold.” At one point, Burdge’s subject goes so far as to tell his unnamed target to pack up his or her stuff and leave. So considering all of this, it can be inferred that the song is in fact lyrically based in the standard topic of a broken relationship. While it is seemingly standard fare lyrically speaking, the song’s musical approach coupled with Burdge’s lyrical approach makes the song solid. It isn’t one of those oh-woe-is-me style songs that are so prevalent across the musical universe. Rather, the two elements combined paint a picture of someone going through that stage of realization of how much time and effort was wasted being with someone that didn’t care. That frustration is made so clear here. And it makes the song a work to which any listener will be able to relate. It makes clear, once more, why the song is another good addition to the band’s new EP. It is of course still not the only example of how much the band has to offer in its new EP either. ‘Broken’ is one more example of what makes …And So It Begins an interesting listen.

‘Tesla’ and ‘Cheap Talk’ are both good examples of what makes NoMara’s debut EP a good start for the band. They are just a couple of examples of what makes …And So It Begins a good beginning. ‘Broken’ is one more example of what makes it such an interesting listen. It is another good addition to …And So It Begins because it shows the band’s softer side so to speak. It opens with a beautiful, flowing arrangement featuring flowing strings and piano set against Burdge’s equally gentle vocal delivery style and work on acoustic guitar. This lasts perhaps for about ten bars or so before the band really launches into the song’s full hard rock ballad sound. That is just part of what makes the song a guaranteed hit for the band. The song’s lyrical approach adds more to the song’s interest. In regards to its lyrical content, it is that emotional breakup song. But it still is not that standard oh-woe-is-me composition. As Burdge sings in the song’s opening verse, “Daylight has faded/On you and me/Long before our time/As far as I can see/Tell me what to say to you/To bring back yesterday/Cause I’m tired of holding on/When you always walk away.” It becomes clearer that this is another song centered on a broken relationship as Burdge sings in the song’s second verse, “The only thing I have to hold onto/Is a shred of the past/Knowing how to bring you back/And how to make you laugh.” It is pretty obvious here what is being said. This could be someone speaking directly to another in a breakup, or even looking at a picture, thinking these things as he or she prepares to say them to that other person. It could even come as part of the fallout of a breakup. Regardless of before, during, or after, the emotional punch of that combination of music and lyrics throughout makes ‘Broken’ a song that will be both a favorite and a guilty pleasure among listeners and more proof of what makes not only the song but …And So It Begins in whole an interesting listen and a good start for the band.

…And So It Begins is a good start for NoMara. That is evident through both the musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of the record. That is exhibited through the old school hair metal homage that is ‘Tesla,’ the more modern rock sound of ‘Cheap Talk’ and the more emotional makeup of ‘Broken.’ All three songs are clearly radio ready material that could effectively represent the band at any mainstream rock radio station across America. That is not to discount the EP’s remaining songs–‘Sellout’ and ‘Use Your Love.’ Those songs could both be used as singles, too. Regardless of which song(s) is/are chosen it can be said of …And So It Begins in whole that this record is indeed a good start for NoMara. …And So It Begins is available now. It can be ordered online direct from the band’s official website at http://www.nomaramusic.com. The band is currently touring in support of …And So It Begins. The band’s current tour schedule includes a pair of stops in North Carolina October 22nd and 23rd in Murfreesboro and Hickory respectively. The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.nomaramusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NoMara-62336572326/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nomaramusic

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Pop Evil Sits Among Rock’s Elite Again With Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Last Friday, veteran rock band Pop Evil released its latest full-length studio recording Up. The album, the band’s fifth (and its third released via eOne), continues the band’s long-running tradition of producing top-notch mainstream rock albums. The album’s mix of hard rock arena anthems and equally radio-ready rock songs together make it an album that just as with its predecessors is one of this year’s best new rock records. That is evident right from the album’s outset. ‘Footsteps’ is one of those radio ready rock songs whose catchy hooks and choruses come together with its equally thoughtful verses to make for a solid opener for the album and an equally solid example of what makes Up yet another enjoyable new release from one of the biggest names today in mainstream rock. ‘Take It All’ is another solid example of what makes Up another success for Pop Evil. It is one of those aforementioned hard rock arena anthems that is sure to have fans singing along just as proudly by themselves as they would in an arena with thousands of their fellow fans. That is thanks both to its high-energy musical content and its equally inspiring lyrical content. Just as ‘Footsteps’ and ‘Take It All’ both show in their own way what makes Up such a solid slab of rock so does the ballad style song ‘If Only For Now’ show in its own way what makes this record so enjoyable, too. These are just a few examples of what makes Up yet another enjoyable recording from one of today’s leading names in mainstream rock. There are other songs included in this record such as the hard rock opuses ‘Vendetta’ and ‘Dead in the Water’ and the rather emotionally moving acoustic work ‘Seattle Rain.’ These three songs each do just as much by themselves and collectively why Up is yet another impressive album from Pop Evil. Whether for these songs, the prior trio noted or any of the others not more directly noted, fans and audiences in general will agree that this album in whole is one of the best of this year’s new rock records.

Counting August, there are only five more months left in 2015. Over the course of the past seven months, audiences have seen quite a few impressive new mainstream rock records released in stores and online. Artists and acts such as Joe Satriani, Finger Eleven, Everclear, Barenaked Ladies and others have already proven themselves worthy of being added to the list of the year’s best new rock albums with their new recordings. That’s a pretty wide swath of names. So it is safe to say that Pop Evil is in pretty comfortable company with its latest full-length studio recording Up. That’s right. This album is, just as with Pop Evil’s previous albums, one of this year’s best new mainstream rock records. That is proven through every one of the album’s thirteen total tracks (fifteen in the case of the album’s Deluxe Edition) including its opener and latest single ‘Footsteps.’ ‘Footsteps’ is a solid opener and just one clear example of what makes Up one of this year’s top new albums. Just as with songs included in previous Pop Evil albums ‘Footsteps’ is one of those songs that is a perfect fit for any mainstream rock radio station. It isn’t one of those standard, formulaic, copycat pieces that sounds like so many others. For that reason alone, it is well worth the listen. It also doesn’t just rehash any stylistically similar songs from Pop Evil’s previous LPs either. It is just a good, solid mainstream rock song that will entertain audiences from its musical content alone. Its lyrical content gives it even more punch. Front man Leigh Kakaty and Dave Bassett teamed up to write this song’s lyrical content. Their efforts led to some rather inspiring material. The pair wrote for this song, “Starting over once again/This is where it all begins/It’s right in front of me/Down is not where I belong/This aching heart won’t turn to stone/There’s a fire inside these bones/It was meant to be/I see a world still full of light/How could I’ve ever been so blind/I still haven’t lost my fight/That haunts ne in my sleep.” Examining these lines alone audiences see just how powerful and inspiring these lyrics are. They are just part of that proof, too. The song’s closing verse is just as inspiring with Kakaty and Bassett writing of staying optimistic despite the uncertainty of the future. That parallel of that positive message and the song’s upbeat musical content makes clear why this song was chosen to open Pop Evil’s new album and why it is just the latest representation for the band’s new album, too. Audiences can hear the song for themselves and see the song’s new video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXvkTuMyZpM.

‘Footsteps’ is in itself a solid example of why Up is one of 2015’s top new rock records. The mix of its upbeat musical content and optimistic lyrical content makes this clear. It is just one example of what makes Up such a solid collection of songs, too. ‘Take It All’ is another clear example of what makes Up so enjoyable. This high-energy song is an instant fan favorite that is just as certain to be a favorite at the band’s live shows as on disc. That is thanks to its own mix of musical and lyrical content. Musically speaking, ‘Take It All’ is the polar opposite of ‘Footsteps.’ It shows another side of the band with its much heavier riffs, low-end from bassist Matt DiRito, and concrete strong drumming from Chaci Riot. It shows musically that once again, the band refuses to rest easy on its laurels, opting instead to show the breadth of its abilities. While this song proves to be the polar opposite of ‘Footsteps’ stylistically, its lyrical approach is very much the same, which is in this case not a bad thing. Kakaty and Bassett co-wrote this song’s lyrical content, too. Kakaty sings here, “You got that fire burning your eyes/LIghting up the sky I see you coming/You got desire running through your brain/Ice in your veins I see you coming/So what do you say.” Kakaty and Bassett leave little room for doubt in examining this verse. It is someone addressing a rather strong-willed individual, motivating said person. It’s one of those pieces that is perfect for a workout session or game prep session especially with football season now under way at every level. If there is in fact any doubt left in any listener’s mind from that verse, the song’s second verse makes even clearer the message being presented by Kakaty and Bassett. That is the case as Kakaty sings in said verse, “Got that drive way deep inside/Keeping you alive it’s all or nothing/There ain’t no shame just playing the game/No pain and no game just rise about it/So what do you say.” The energy in those lyrics coupled with the energy in the song’s driving musical content is sure to get any listener’s blood and body moving. The same can be said of the partnering of the song’s lead verse and its musical content. All things considered here, ‘Take It All’ proves to be one of the best examples of what makes Up so enjoyable if not the single best example. Even as great of an example as it is, it still is not the last example of why Up is one of this year’s best new rock albums. The more reserved ‘If Only For Now’ is one more example of what makes it a solid record.

‘Footsteps’ and ‘Take It All’ each serve in their own way to show just how much Up has to offer audiences. It is not the first time that the band has ever included a ballad-style song in any of its albums. And while not being the first time that the band has ever included a ballad on any of its albums, listeners that are familiar with the band’s body of work will be happy that the band avoided repeating its previous ballads all the way around in the case of this song. That is made clear first and foremost through the song’s lyrical approach. The song, co-written by Kakaty, Bassett, Joshua Marunde, and bassist Matt DiRito, the song surprises by tackling the subject of a person hoping for love. As Kakaty sings, “Streets crowded with voices/Thousands of faces but you’re all I wanna see/Lights reflections of yesterday/Days thrown away cause you’re all I wanna keep.” These are the words of someone not longing for a lost love but of someone singing to another of his or her yearning for another. That person goes on in the song’s second verse to say to that person, “Here the world’s at our fingers/So live in the moment I’m not gonna say goodbye/So why don’t we for now forget tomorrow/Let me be the only thing you need/If only for now.” The song’s subject is saying, “Let me make this moment about us if only for now.” Sure, it’s mushy. But it could have been even more so. Thankfully Kakaty and company didn’t let that happen in the case of this song. because they didn’t it makes the song all the more enjoyable. Being that the subject of a person hoping for love is tackled far less than the subject of love lost, it becomes that much more enjoyable. The attention paid to the song’s musical content adds another level of enjoyment to the song. The band builds the song in each verse right up to the song’s chorus to make for the fullest possible emotional impact. It succeeds in this goal, too. The attention to the tone of the song’s musical content gives the song even more of a positive impact. It serves to even better illustrate the song’s upbeat, optimistic outlook. And in doing so it rounds out the ways in which this song shows itself to be another solid example of what makes Up so impressive in whole.

‘Footsteps,’ ‘Take It All,’ and ‘If Only For Now’ are all prime examples of what makes Up yet another impressive release from Pop Evil. All three songs show a different side of the band both musically and lyrically. They are only a small handful of examples of that diversity, too. ‘Vendetta,’ ‘Dead in The Water,’ and the emotionally moving ‘Seattle Rain’ could just as easily be used to exemplify how much this record has to offer fans. The same could be said of any of the album’s other songs not directly noted here. Regardless of which songs one choose, listeners and long-time fans alike will agree that all things considered, Up proves to be not just another enjoyable record from Pop Evil but another one of this year’s best new rock records overall. Up is available now in stores and online. And the band is currently touring in support of Up. Its next slated date is Tuesday, September 8th at the Rose Music Hall (formerly Mojo’s) in Colombia, Missouri. The band is also scheduled to perform live at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina alongside Three Days Grace on Wednesday, September 16th. Tickets for that and all of the band’s other shows are available now. All of the band’s latest tour dates are available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.PopEvil.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/popevil

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.