Diverse Field Of Acts Makes Up 2015’s Best New Independent Albums List

Yesterday, Phil’s Picks kicked off the countdown to the year’s end with the first of its year-ender “Best Of” lists. The first of those lists was the list of the year’s best new EPs. Today, we move away from EPs to full-length records. In today’s list, Phil’s Picks presents its list of the year’s Best New Independent Albums. Just for clarification, Independent does not necessarily refer to albums released by unsigned acts. It also includes albums released by acts signed to independent labels as compared to the major labels (Capitol, Warner Brothers, etc.) This was anything but an easy list to compile. That is because there were so many deserving acts this year including the likes of the independent rock act Rubikon, Americana act Sugarcane Jane, and even legendary musician Carlos Santana’s son Salvador Santana just to name a few. Topping the list this year is Washington, D.C.-based electronic/hip-hop act Fort Knox Five with its new album Pressurize The Cabin. As with yesterday’s list, this list also features the top ten new titles as analyzed by Phil’s Picks. That list is followed by five other albums that receive honorable mention. Having said that why don’t we jump right in? In the second day of the Phil’s Picks year-ender countdown we have the year’s best new independent albums.


  1. Fort Knox Five – Pressurize The Cabin
  2. Pimps of Joytime – Jukestone Paradise
  3. Salvador Santana – Fantasy Reality
  4. Brooklyn Funk Essentials – Funk Ain’t Ova
  5. Sugarcane Jane – Dirt Road’s End
  6. NYVES – Anxiety
  7. Holy White Hounds – Sparkle Sparkle
  8. Rubikon — Delta
  9. Buzz Cason – Record Machine
  10. Sea of Storms – Dead Weight
  11. Dubbest – Light Flashes
  12. Radiodrone – The Truth Syndicate Diaries
  13. Better Off – Milk
  14. Killset – Know Your Killer
  15. Twinsmith – Alligator Years

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.

Radiodrone Resurrects The Spirit Of Political Rock With Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Yvonne's World PR & Promotions

Courtesy: Yvonne’s World PR & Promotions

Underground hard rock act Radiodrone has been making waves recently with the release of its new album The Truth Syndicate Diaries. The album boasts a total of ten politically charged songs each coupled with their own introduction for a total of twenty separate songs. There is one more bonus right from the beginning bringing the album’s track listing to twenty-one total tracks. Considering the current political climate of the world in whole, this album has been released at just the right time. That is thanks to the topics covered throughout each of the album’s tracks. The addition of each song’s musical content to those topics makes every one of the album’s full compositions a piece that would be a solid fit on any mainstream rock radio station across America. That is exemplified early on in the form of its new single ‘Game Change.’ The song’s heavy riffs will have heads banging while the song’s lyrical content will get them thinking. The adrenaline fueled rocker that is ‘Want It Back’ will do much the same as will ‘Battle Call.’ While not as intense as the aforementioned tracks, it still boasts its own intensity that is similar perhaps to material from the likes of Disturbed and other more well-known names. All three tracks noted here each show in their own way an album and a band that are both primed to take a big step. It all depends on support from the right people. Given that support Radiodrone could very well spread its message to a whole new and wider audience.

While most audiences around the country might not know the name Radiodrone, the Orange County, California-based band could very easily become a household name given the right support for it and its new album The Truth Syndicate Diaries. The album mixes potent political lyrical content with hard-hitting melodies that are a solid fit on any mainstream rock radio station today. The album’s first full-length track ‘Game Change’ is proof of this . The song wastes no time grabbing audiences thanks to drummer Danny Molgaard’s solid timekeeping and the dual guitar attack of Ethan Hedeyat and Randy Cash. Bassist Steven Appel’s low-end rounds out the whole thing making for a full, intense sound that in itself will have hard rock fans putting their horns in the air. The song’s lyrical content adds even more to the whole of the song. Hedeyal sings in this song, “I hope to teach you something/About the people preachin’/Don’t stand there lookin’ like a wide-eyed lady.” Hedeyal doesn’t beat around the bush, which is honestly nice to hear considering all of the singers and writers out there that write in metaphors, leaving way too much room for interpretation and mis-interpretation. He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I hope you don’t have thick skin/This s**** about to begin/They’ve got a noose around the neck of our lady.” Considering the political nature of the songs on this record, it’s safe to assume that Hedeyat is making reference to the Statue of Liberty. These two lines alone are more than enough to figure out that Hedeyat is making a statement in regards to the commentary that is to come over the course of the band’s album. He is saying that there are a lot of things about to be thrown out that some might not like, so it’s best to have thick skin in that case. Figuring this, the very clarity of Hedeyat’s message partnered with the overall musical content presented in the song makes it a solid first impression for those that might not be so familiar with the band’s work, and an equally solid opener for the band’s new album.

‘Game Change’ is a solid opener and first impression for Radiodrone on its new album. It is just one example of what audiences can expect from the record. The adrenaline-fueled rocker that is ‘Want It Back’ is another example of what makes The Truth Syndicate Diaries (or TTSD as it wil henceforth be known) a record that is ready to break into the mainstream. The second full-length track on the disc, it wastes no time getting listeners’ attention either thanks to the work of Cash and Hedeyat. The driving, percussive guitar licks that open the song instantly grab listeners and keep them engaged as Appel and Molgaard come in to build the song’s low-end and its rhythm. The guitar solo in the song’s bridge is classic rock guitar work. Audiences will enjoy the old school riffage incorporated here. It isn’t one of those over-the-top solos either. It is just long enough and intense enough to really impress. Having noted all of this, the song’s lyrical content is just as important to note. Hedeyat sings defiantly in this song, “Look inside/You’ll see the changes/The changes they control/We want it back/We won’t back down.” Hedeyat doesn’t come right out and explain the “it” to which he refers. But again considering the nature of the topics tackled on this record, it can be safely assumed that the “it” is the country. That being the case, it can be assumed that Hedeyat is saying “We want the country back” from those that have taken it from the people (I.E. the politicians). Now, keeping this in mind, the coupling of both these seemingly blatant lyrics with the song’s once again heavy, adrenaline-fueled musical content makes it one more prime example of what makes TTSD ready to break into the mainstream and why it deserves at least a shot at breaking out.

Both ‘Game Change’ and ‘Want It Back’ serve as clear examples of how much TTSD has to offer audiences and why it deserves at least a shot on any mainstream rock radio station. The mix of the musical content in each song and said songs’ equally heavy lyrical content makes both songs works that are already primed and ready for any mainstream rock radio station. They are not the only works that could be used as singles, either. ‘Battle Call’ could just as easily be used as a single with its up-tempo guitars riffs and time keeping. Those elements and Hedeyat’s own vocal delivery style gives the song a sound similar to that of the recently re-united Disturbed. The song’s lyrical content adds even more punch to the song as Hedeyat sings, “It’s time to tame the madness/Prepare to blow your mind/Look into something sweeter/Different place a different time/We watch it every day/The leaders getting off/So many people saying unity for us all.” Yet again, Hedeyat and company leave no room for doubt here. He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Don’t hit me with the b**s*** lies/Like I’m sittin’ here starin’ with two closed eyes.” The heavy, down-tuned aggro-rock sound of the guitars here and later in the song add another whole level of enjoyment to the song. That heaviness coupled with the band’s loud, proud activist spirit exhibited through the song’s lyrics make this song one of the key moments of TTSD. It really takes a person back to the days when bands still stood up for a cause and displayed that rebellious spirit on which rock was built. At a time when so much rock is nothing more than crunching guitars and indecipherable cookie-monster growls, the fact that audiences can understand the band’s message and that the band doesn’t try to wax poetic with its message makes it even more impressive. Considering that, this song proves in the end to be one of the best of this record’s best. Together with the previously noted songs, all three works show with full clarity why TTSD is one of this year’s best new independent hard rock records.

Radiodrone’s new album The Truth Syndicate Diaries shows over the course of its multiple songs a spirit that seems to have been long ago lost in the rock world. It is the spirit of real activism and purpose on which rock was built; that rebelliousness which led so much rock to be censored and even banned decades ago for fear that it would influence young people to stand up for a cause. That is evident from the record’s opener to its final number. The three tracks noted here each exemplify that spirit in their own way. collectively all three songs show that they deserve at least one chance at breaking into the mainstream and resurrecting that spirit in today’s me-oriented culture. The same can be said of the record’s other songs, too. All things considered, TTSD shows in the long run to be a record that given the right support could be one of the catalysts in bringing back to rock what it seemed to have lost long ago and has been badly needed since. Audiences can hear that spirit for themselves now as it is currently available online via Radiodrone’s online store at http://www.radiodronemusic.com/#!product/prd12/3223625551/the-truth-syndicate-diaries. More information on TTSD is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://radiodronemusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Radiodrone/1462833703951662

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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.