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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Condition Human Shows Why Queensryche Remains Today One Of Rock’s Elite Acts

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The story of veteran rock band Queensryche is one of the most amazing stories in the music community today.  Having originally formed in 1982, the band has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in the three decades plus since its formation.  Those highs include: releasing fourteen albums (or fifteen depending on whether or not one counts Frequency Unknown (which was recorded by Geoff Tate’s Queensryche after his split from his former band mates in 2013) as part of the official Queensryche canon or as its own recording separate from the official Queensryche canon, selling more than twenty million albums worldwide, and earning just as many fans, if not more, in every corner of the world.  It has done this largely without the support of mainstream rock radio or even that of MTV and other music networks.  The lows mainly are composed of the band’s lineup changes, including the now infamous split between now former front man Geoff Tate and his one-time band mates.  Through it all Queensryche has managed to soldier on and remain a relevant and creative force within the rock and music community.  Its latest album Condition Human is proof positive of that.  The twelve-song, fifty-three minute record contains what is in the eyes (and ears) of this critic to be some of the best material that the band has released in its more than three-decade life.  That is thanks both to its musical and lyrical content.  The album’s opener ‘Arrow of Time’ is a prime example of that.  ‘Just Us,’ which comes much later in the album’s run is another example of just how relevant and creative the band has remained.  ‘Guardian,’ with its mix of classic Queensryche sound and socio-political lyrical commentary is one more example of just how relevant and creative Queensryche remains more than thirty years after its original formation.  While all three noted songs show in their own way just how important Queensryche remains within the rock and music community in whole, it would be wrong to note only those compositions.  The seven songs that remain unnoted here each play their own part in exhibiting the band’s continued relevance and creativity.  All things considered Condition Human is an album that shows just how much this veteran rock act still has in the tank.  They show in whole to be one more of the year’s best new rock albums.

Queensryche’s latest full-length studio recording Condition Human is one more of this year’s best new rock records.  Regardless of whether one considers it the band’s fourteenth or fifteenth (thanks to the release of Frequency Unknown by Geoff Tate’s Queensryche in 2013), this album still stands as a tribute to the band’s drive and commitment to making music that it and its fans wil enjoy.  They show in whole a band that remains both relevant within the rock and music community and just as creative as ever.  Of course it would be impossible to cover every one of the album’s songs in one sitting.  Keeping that in mind, this review will focus on just a few of what this critic considers to be prime examples of what makes this album stand out so well beginning with the album’s opener ‘Arrow of Time.’  ‘Arrow of Time’ was a good choice for an opener for this record.  That is thanks largely to the song’s classic Queensryche sound in its musical content and its thought-provoking lyrical content.  Looking at the song’s musical content, guitarists Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren’s dual guitar attack creates the band’s trademark classic Queensryche sound.  At the same time,  there is also an obvious modern touch to the duo’s sound that could actually be considered somewhat hard rock-influenced.  It gives the song a nice touch that will take long-time fans back in time while also showing those same listeners just how far the band has come and how it has continued to adapt and change.  Front man Todd LaTorre, who took over vocal duties for the band in 2013, adds his own impressive element to the mix with his powerhouse vocal delivery.  Those that perhaps have not already had the pleasure of hearing LaTorre’s vocals will be blown away by just how similar LaTorre sounds to former front man Geoff Tate.  Audiences that are familiar with both vocalists’ styles could even argue that LaTorre is just as incredible as Tate in his abilities if not better.  These elements are just one part of what makes this song an example of what makes Condition Human another standout record from Queensryche.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important as its musical content in exhibiting this.  LaTorre sings in the song, which was co-written by himself, Michael Wilton, and bassist Eddie Jackson, “What will you do/When it’s right upon you/Like a ring of fire/Why ask why/No need to justify/Who really cares anyway/Ethical tragedy/Rabid humanity/Learn from the past they say.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Now is the time to make up your mind/And find out what is real/Fight or flight you can’t run/You can’t run from yourself.”  LaTorre and company come across as asking listeners, “what are you going to do with those tough situations in life that everyone faces?”  There seems to be a bit of sarcasm as he responds in the chorus, “Why ask why/No need to justify/Who really cares anyway/Ethical tragedy/Rabid humanity/Learn from the past they say.”  It’s as if the song’s subject is answering the question posed in the song’s lead verse by saying cynically, “Who cares what I do?  Look at everything going on.  No one has learned their lesson.”  This sentiment is echoed in the song’s second verse as LaTorre sings, “One reason to survive/With a thousand ways to die/When you’re living on the wire/Reaching the threshold near system overload/Caught on the red eye again.”  This verse sees LaTorre coming across as saying that with so much negativity out there there is so little reason to keep going when one is on the edge thanks to all of the negativity in the world.  The song closes with LaTorre singing once more, “You can’t run from yourself.”  In other words, we would do well to face ourselves even in those tough situations that seem overwhelming.  Trying to escape those problems only causes more problems.  This is just the interpretation of this critic.  By no means is it to mean that this is the only interpretation.  Right or wrong, the lyrical content contained within this song and the song’s musical content together make it a clear example of why Queensryche remains a fan favorite even in its latest new release.

‘Arrow of Time’ proves thanks to its musical and lyrical content to be a good choice for Condition Human’s opener.  In the same vein, it also is a prime example of why Queensryche remains just as relevant today as it was in its earliest years.  It also serves to show the band’s continued creativity even after so many years.  It is just one example of why Queensryche remains so relevant today and a fan favorite, too.  ‘Just Us’ is another one of the songs included in this record that shows the band’s continued relevance and creativity.  Unlike ‘Arrow of Time,’ this song is much softer but just as powerful through its musical content.  The same can be said of the song’s lyrical content.  It gives the song its own depth.  The song’s musical content harkens back to the days of ‘Silent Lucidity’ or perhaps something off of Promised Land with its dual acoustic/electric approach.  The song’s lyrical content set against that dual approach adds even more depth to the song with its seeming introspective feeling.  That feeling is interpreted as LaTorre sings, “Reflections of time/They’re still yours and mine/The things that used to be/Remains so fine/Is the face of a child/Your calm embrace/You’re my shining star of the darkest nights/A saving grace/Seeing the signs of the times/Forever is now/There’s no rewind.” It’s definitely a stark contrast to the much deeper, more contemplative ‘Arrow of Time.’ Yes it seems somewhat schmaltzy considering that verse and the song’s other emotionally introspective verses. But when those verses are set against the song’s musical content, the song becomes far less schmaltzy and much more emotionally hard-hitting. Keeping that in mind, it proves why ‘Just Us’ is another example of why Queensryche remains so relevant and creative to this very day. It is not the last example either. ‘Guardian,’ the album’s second song, is one more example of what has kept Queensryche relevant for so many years.

‘Arrow of Time’ and ‘Just Us’ are both good examples in Queensryche’s new album of what has kept the kept such a relevant part of the rock and music community for so many years. They are just a couple of the songs featured in this record that can be cited as said examples. ‘Guardian’ is one more example of exactly that. ‘Guardian’ comes early in the album’s run. It is in fact the album’s second song. Long-time drummer Scott Rockenfield’s driving tempo serves as the song’s foundation. Wilton and Lundgren build on that foundation, strengthening the song even more. LaTorre tops off the recording’s musical side with his powerhouse vocal delivery. What is really worth noting here is the modern rock vibe generated through Wilton and Lundgren’s work. It is fitting that this is the case with this song considering the song’s lyrical content. The song’s lyrical content is especially relevant in a time of so much unrest. That is clear as La Torre sings, “Insurrection/This time we’re playing for keeps/Arming police like the military/It’s obscene/And they’re stalking the streets.” He goes on to sing in the chorus, “It’s time to rise up/United we stand/Divided we fall/Evolution calling.” Such content comes across as LaTorre commenting on the current state of the nation. The mention of police being armed like the military hits home because there are in fact police departments that have in fact received military caliber weaponry and vehicles. It was even a major news item for some time recently. There’s even a mention in the song about the political elite and other topics. It all comes across as a warning of sorts as to the direction that the country has taken socially and politically. The urgent, up-tempo feel of the song’s musical content couples with that seeming lyrical warning to make this song one that will definitely have listeners taking note. Considering all of this, it becomes clear why ‘Guardian’ is another important and impressive addition to Queensryche’s new album. It works with the other songs noted here and those not directly noted to make Condition Human an album that shows in whole why Queensryche is still just as relevant and creative both musically and lyrically as it was in its infancy more than three decades ago. All things considered Condition Human proves to be an album that is one more of this year’s best new rock offerings.

Condition Human is one of the best new rock albums to be released this year. The twelve-song, fifty-three minute album shows where the band has been and where it is headed from beginning to end. This is at least the case in terms of the album’s musical content. The record’s lyrical content shows just as much the band’s continued ability to adapt to its musical surroundings. The combination of both elements in each song makes Condition Human in whole a record that fans will agree is some of the band’s best work to date. And that is saying a lot considering the band’s extensive body of work. It is an album that, again, is deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new rock albums. Queensryche is currently taking some time off from the road before it heads back out in the New Year in support of Condition Human. The band’s upcoming slate of tour dates kicks off January 7th in San Jose, California. It also includes a date at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, January 19th. Fans can see the band’s current tour schedule online now along with more information on Condition Human and the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.queensrycheofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/queensryche

 

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Queensryche Announces Release Date For New LP, Tour Dates; Debuts New Single

Courtesy:  Concrete Marketing

Courtesy: Concrete Marketing

Queensryche returns this fall with its latest album.

The band announced Monday that it will release Condition Human on Friday, October 2nd via Century Media Records. Pre-orders for the album, the band’s second with new front man Todd LaTorre, are available online now at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/queensryche. It is the first album for the band since it settled its court case with now former front man Geoff Tate earlier this year over the rights to the use of the Queensryche brand. Tate now fronts his own band, Operation: Mindcrime, which is named after Queensryche’s hit 1988 album.

Condition Human was helmed by famed producer ZEUSS (Hatebreed, Shadows Fall, Sanctuary) in Queensryche’s home state of Washington. In anticipation of the album’s release, Queensryche has made available for streaming the album’s lead single ‘Arrow of Time.’ Audiences can hear the song now online via SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/centurymedia/queensryche-arrow-of-time/s-3aMP6.

Along with the debut of its new single, Queensryche has also announced that it will join fellow veteran rock band Scorpions on the road beginning Thursday, September 10th in Boston, MA. The twenty-two-date tour currently runs through Friday, October 9th and includes performances in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, California, and other locations. The bands’ current tour schedule is listed below.

 

QUEENSRYCHE w/Scorpions

Sep 10 @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion – Boston, MA

Sep 11 @ The Chance – Poughkeepsie, NY*

Sep 12 @ Barclay’s Arena – Brooklyn, NY

Sep 13 @ Meadowbrook – Gilford, NH

Sep 14 @ State Theatre – Portland, ME*

Sep 16 @ Moncton Coliseum – Moncton, Canada

Sep 17 @ Imperial Theatre – Quebec, Canada*

Sep 18 @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, Canada

Sep 19 @ Bell Centre – Montreal, Canada

Sep 22 @ LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH

Sep 23 @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica – Cleveland, OH

Sep 24 @ The Vogue – Indianapolis, IN*

Sep 25 @ Caesar’s Windsor – Windsor, Canada

Sep 26 @ Allstate Arena  – Chicago, IL

Sep 29 @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre – Denver, CO

Oct 01 @ SAP Center – San Jose, CA

Oct 02 @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe – Stateline, NV*

Oct 03 @ The Forum – Los Angeles, CA

Oct 04 @ House of Blues – San Diego, CA*

Oct 06 @ Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA

Oct 07 @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV

Oct 09 @ ShoWare Center – Seattle, WA

* QUEENSRYCHE Headlining Off-Date

 

All of the latest information on Queensryche’s new album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.queensrycheofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/queensryche

 

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.

Carolina Rebellion Organizers Announce Details For 5th Annual Festival

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival is one of North Carolina’s biggest annual music festivals if not the biggest. And this year, the festival will celebrate an important anniversary when it returns to the Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 2nd and 3rd.

This year, the Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary with one of its biggest lineups to date. The fifth annual festival will feature no fewer than thirty-six acts over two days. The acts tapped to perform this year include some of the biggest names in rock’s past, present, and future. Those names include the likes of: Slayer, Slipknot, Queensryche, Hatebreed, Cheap Trick, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Rise Against, Jackyl, In Flames, Periphery, and many other major names. The current lineup for this year’s festival is listed below.

Saturday, May 2

Korn, Marilyn Manson, Rise Against, Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Chevelle, Cheap Trick, Papa Roach, Bush, Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, Jackyl, Of Mice & Men, Live, Motionless In White, Periphery, Beartooth, Young Guns, Marmozets, Islander and more.

 

Sunday, May 3

Slipknot, Godsmack, Slayer, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, Breaking Benjamin, Halestorm, Queensrÿche, The Pretty Reckless, In This Moment, In Flames, Tremonti, Suicidal Tendencies, Testament, Hatebreed, Starset, Butcher Babies, We Are Harlot, Exodus, and more.

Slipknot front man Corey Taylor discussed the band’s addition to the bill and playing alongside other great names in rock in a recent interview saying, “We are very excited to be headlining Rebellion this year! We’re honored to be playing in the company of Cheap Trick, one of my all-time favorites, as well as playing with such good friends like Korn, Halestorm and Slayer!” Korn front man Jonathan Davis explained that the Carolina Rebellion festival plays a very important part in that band’s history as it served as the point of reunion for the band with guitarist Brian “Head” Welch in 2012. “Three years ago, we reunited with our brother Head on stage at Carolina Rebellion. Since then, we made a new album and toured the world together,” he said. He went on to note that the reunion means even more as the band plans on playing its debut album in its entirety at this year’s festival. And now we’re back to perform our first album in its entirety.  Rebellion is going to be a really special show for us,” he said.

Carolina Rebellion Festival Co-Executive Producer Gary Spivack of RockHouse discussed the importance of this year’s installment of what is the biggest of the Mid-Atlantic region’s rock festivals and of making it a special, memorable anniversary for audiences. “Rebellion is truly the Carolinas ’ biggest music party of the year,” he said. “For the 5th annual Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, we wanted to acknowledge not only the best in current rock with the likes of Slipknot, Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin and more, but also celebrate some great iconic rock bands like Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Cheap Trick, Slayer and others to give the Rebels the widest range of Rock N’ Roll possible.”

A ticket pre-sale is currently underway for the festival. It runs until Friday, January 16th at 11:59am ET. The pre-sale offers a limited amount of tickets at early bird pre-sale prices (plus fees). Those prices are:

Weekend General Admission Ticket: $99

Weekend General Admission Ticket 4-Pack: $299

Single Day General Admission Ticket: $59.50

Those that purchase weekend general admission tickets during both the current pre-sale and the upcoming general on-sale period can purchase a VIP Lounge Upgrade for $110. Even bigger news for audiences, the Carolina Rebellion Festival is offering layaway packages for purchase through January 31st. This is the first year that this is being made available for audiences. A limited number of discount tickets for active military members via GovX.

Along with the general admission, weekend general admission, and VIP packages, hotel and camping packages are also currently available. Prices will remain the same through both pre-sale and general on-sale periods. All hotel packages are for three nights. They are available for couples and for groups of up to four. The packages include access to the Friday Night Campground Party in the campgrounds. Camping opens at noon on Friday, May 1st and closes at noon on Monday, May 4th. Camping upgrades include access to the Friday Night Campground Party. The Camping packages include a $25 merchandise voucher, access to VIP Lounge, a festival poster, and access to the Friday Night Campground Party.

The annual Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival is sponsored by Monster Energy, Bud Light, Jack Daniels, Jagermeister, Crazy Dave’s Music Experience, Zippo Encore and others. It is produced by AEG Live, Danny Wimmer Presents, and RockHouse Presents. It is part of the World’s Loudest Month festival series. More information on the Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival is available online at:

Website: http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Audiences can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Tempt’s Debut EP Is A Guilty Pleasure For Any Fan Of Big Hair And Even Bigger Rock

Courtesy:  Chipster PR

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Indie rock band Tempt recently released its debut EP Under My Skin.  The New York based band’s debut record is something special, especially for fans of bands such as Def Leppard, Journey, Poison and others of that ilk.  The band’s members—Zach Allen (vocals), Harrison Marcello (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Jimmi Kane (drums), and Zak Gross (bass, vocals)—are way too young to have grown up in the 80s.  But the sound that the band’s members collectively craft is one that displays such respect for the music of the era.  It truly makes Tempt quite the rarity in the current era of rock music.  The band transports audiences back to that era of big hair and equally big rock songs right off the top in the EP’s title track.  That pomp and bombast doesn’t let up even in the slightest as the band moves into the EP’s second song.  The song exhibits something of a Queensryche influence circa Rage for Order.  And on the EP’s penultimate track, the 8-s big hair influence keeps rolling before the band closes things with a standard 80s ballad-style song.  All things considered, anyone that is a fan of big rock and big hair will agree after hearing this EP that Under My Skin is one of the best of the year’s new EPs.

The members of Tempt look to be far too young to have grown up in the 80s.  That hasn’t stopped the band from crafting an EP loaded with music that sounds like it has been kept in a time capsule for ages and pulled right from that era of big rock and big hair.  This is obvious right off the top in the EP’s opener and title track.  If one didn’t know any better, one would think this was Def Leppard, Journey, Poison, or another major name act that had its heyday in that era.  Lyrically speaking, the song centers on the standard subject of a broken relationship.  What’s most interesting about it here is not just the standard over-the-top nature of the song, but [Zach] Allen’s vocals on the song.  He sings much in the same style as other big name vocalists from the day as he sings, “Stop and start many years ago/You was a looker that I/Got to know/Now I’m sitting here/The pain won’t die/With the letter saying you’ve left my side.”  There is just a certain quality to his vocal style.  And the song’s chorus brings about even more of that classic song style with the rest of the band joining in almost the same style as the aforementioned bands.  It is pure retro rock joy for fans of that sound.

The first impression that the band makes on its brand new EP is just the beginning of the retro rock joy for fans of hair metal.  ‘Use It Or Lose It’ comes second on the disc.  Those that are more familiar with bands from the era of hair metal will hear influences from the likes of Queensryche right from the song’s opening riff and the chorus style vocals.  The song is just as good a follow-up to ‘Under My Skin’ lyrically as it is musically.  That’s because it follows a similar lyrical theme.  Allen sings here about a woman that is bad news for all intents and purposes.  He sings in the song’s opening verse, “She’ll steal your soul/Drag your mind through pouring rain/Take you down into the dark/She don’t feel no pain/But if I turn my back/Would you turn your eyes on them/Are you ready/Let the games begin.”  He goes on to sing of the woman in question in the song’s second verse, “She’s a one-of-a-kind/A storm within a name/A natural disaster/But I want her just the same.”  As with the EP’s opener, the style of Allen’s vocals and the song’s musical side together make this song sound like something right out of the 80s.  And again, that taken into consideration fans of that sound will welcome this song in with arms and ears wide open.

Both ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘Use It Or Lose It’ are impressive additions to the debut EP from Tempt. The third of the EP’s tracks, ‘The Fight’ instantly conjures thoughts of Journey and other more melodic rock bands of their time. Its forward-driving sound and infectious chorus of “It’s the fight that makes us stronger, baby/We both know you can see” will have audiences singing along in no time whether it be in their vehicle on the road or in their own living room/bedroom. Along with the previously noted songs, this song is just as much an arena anthem as them and the EP’s closing number. Allen and his band mates are seemingly singing about the fight that we have within ourselves to not give up. In this case, it seems to be the fight to not give up on a relationship. If that be the case, then the song takes quite the upbeat turn from so many songs rooted in relationship issues. It actually argues that there is hope for a relationship that would otherwise be broken. That and the song’s musical side together make this one of the EP’s best numbers. And together with the EP’s previously noted tracks, it makes the EP even more worth the listen especially by anyone that grew up a fan of the era of big hair and big rock. Audiences can listen to the title track from Under My Skin now via Tempt’s official website at http://www.temptband.com/#!listen/c1x9v.

Under My Skin can be purchased online via iTunes and Amazon.com or at the band’s next live performance. The band is next scheduled to perform live Friday, July 18th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York. Audiences can keep up with the band’s tour schedule and all of the band’s latest news online both through its official website, http://www.temptband.com and its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TemptBand. Audiences can also keep up with the latest from the band through its Twitter page, http://twitter.com/temptband and its Reverb Nation website, http://www.reverbnation.com/temptband. 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.

Queensryche Starts Writing Process For New Album

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The battle between former Queensryche front man Geoff Tate and his former band mates is finally over. A judge recently made the decision that Tate’s former band mates would henceforth be the only ones legally permitted to use the Queensryche name. With that battle finally over, the members of Queensryche have announced that the band has started work on its next album.

Queensryche’s next as yet untitled album is expected to be released early next Summer via Century Media Records. Founding guitarist Michael Wilton discussed the different vibe within the band now that its legal battle is behind it. “The Queensrÿche internal dynamic has certainly changed in terms of musicianship. It’s more of a cohesive team and the chemistry we have now is making what we can do creatively limitless. For Queensrÿche, it was always about being able to write together as a band. We didn’t have that for a long time but now that it’s back, we feel extremely liberated,” he said. “We’ve already begun the writing process for the next album and have a few songs demoed that we feel really good about. We’re taking the songs in the classic Queensrÿche direction but maybe a little more progressive and heavier at times. The thing is, you never know what you really have until it’s complete. We can’t wait for the final outcome. Writing with such a dynamic group of individuals has been nothing short of amazing.”

Queensryche is slated to hit the road later this month for the next leg of its tour. The band’s upcoming tour schedule kicks off Friday, May 23rd in Tucson, AZ at the KLPX Desert Rocks Beach Bash. The complete tour schedule is listed below with more to be announced at later dates.

Confirmed 2014 Tour Dates:

05/23 Tucson, AZ KLPX Desert Rocks Beach Bash

05/24 El Paso, TX Speaking Rock Casino

06/04 Solvesborg, SWE Sweden Rock Festival

06/06 Mt. Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino

06/07 Salt Lake City, UT Salt Lake City Harley Davidson

06/13 Rothbury, MI JJ Resort

06/21 Idaho Falls, ID Rock The Falls

07/19 Waukesha, WI Waukesha County Fair

08/08 Three Forks, MT Rockin’ The Rivers

08/31 Wauconda, IL Farm Rock 2014

10/11 Las Vegas, NV Eastside Cannery Casino

 

More information on the band’s upcoming album, tour and more is available online now at http://www.queensrycheofficial.com, http://www.facebook.com/queensrycheofficial, and http://twitter.com/queensryche. 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.

Sound Of Contact Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  InsideOut Music

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Sound of Contact is coming to the United States this Spring and Summer.

The band has confirmed that it will take part in the Moody Blues Cruise and the Cruise to the Edge this Spring before embarking on a handful of dates late next month.  The Moody Blues Cruise sets sail Wednesday, April 8th from Miami, Florida.  It will take guests through the Bahamas and to Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos before returning to Miami on Monday, April 7th.  Sound of Contact will join The Moody Blues, Starship, Little River Band, and special guest Roger Daltry of The Who among a number of other artists and bands.  More information on the Moody Blues Cruise is available online at http://moodiescruise.com and http://www.facebook.com/moodiescruise.

Band founder Simon Collins and his band mates will have a quick turnaround once they return to port from the Moody Blues Cruise.  That is because they head right back out to sea Wednesday, April 8th for the Cruise to the Edge.  That cruise will take guests Cozumel by way of Miami and Honduras.  It will leave port Wednesday, April 8th and return to Miami Saturday, April 12th.  Sound of Contact will join YES, Marillion, Queensryche, Scale the Summit, and a number of other acts that are scheduled to perform during the cruise.  More information on the Cruise to the Edge is available online at http://cruisetotheedge.com, http://www.facebook.com/cruisetotheedge, and http://twitter.com/cruisetotheedge.

Once Sound of Contact returns from its marathon cruise run, the band will take some much needed down time before kicking off its North American tour April 26th.  The band will kick off its North American tour at SIR Studios in Los Angeles, California.  The band’s complete cruise and tour schedule is listed below.

Wednesday – April 2, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Thursday – April 3, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Friday – April 4, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Saturday April 5, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Sunday – April 6, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Monday – April 7, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise / Cruise To The Edge
Tuesday – April 8, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Wednesday – April 9, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Thursday – April 10, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Friday – April 11, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Saturday – April 12, 2014 Cruise To The Edge

Saturday – April 26, 2014 Los Angeles, CA, America – SIR Studios
Wednesday – April 30, 2014 Quebec City, QC, Canada – Le Cabaret du Capitole
Thursday – May 1, 2014 Toronto, ON, Canada – Rock Pile East
Friday – May 2, 2014 Chicago, IL, America – Reggies Rock Club
Saturday – May 3, 2014 Gettysburg, PA, America – RoSFest

Ticket information for the band’s upcoming performances will be announced soon.  More information on tickets and Sound of Contact is available online at http://www.facebook.com/soundofcontact.  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.