Audiences Actually Saw Some Real Worthwhile Music Re-Issues In 2015

In the world of the music business there are few releases that are more ardently frowned upon than the annual crop of album re-issues. From one genre to the next every genre sees its own share of re-issues released each year totalling some years close to a hundred if not more. That is counting re-issues from every genre of the mainstream and independent music industry. The reason that re-issues are so oft frowned upon is that nine times out of ten they are little more than contractually obligated space fillers that acts churn out between new albums in order to appease their bosses at their respective record labels. The result is that few re-issues (regardless of genre) ever really offer any real value to audiences. BUt then there are some that actually do bear at least some value. In fact some are surprisingly well worth the listen and even the purchase. This year, Judas Priest’s classic album Defenders of the Faith has proven to be one of those re-issues that actually stands out. Fates Warning’s classic album A Pleasant Shade of Gray is another one of those worthwhile re-issues at least for rock audiences. The same can be said of Anthrax’s re-issue of Spreading the Disease. The rock realm isn’t the only one that saw some worthwhile new re-issues this year. The R&B industry saw a worthwhile re-issue from British R&B star Rainy Milo in her album This Thing of Ours. Even the World Music realm saw at least one worthwhile re-issue in the form of Flavia Coelho’s Mundo Meu. These are just some of the rare worthwhile re-issues to be released this year. There are others, too. And they are all here on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Top New Re-issues. Once again, fifteen total albums have been noted with the top ten being the best and the bottom five still being enjoyable enough to deserve honorable mention. All things considered 2015 saw some rather interesting and enjoyable re-issues. And they are listed here. For your consideration, dear readers, are 2015’s Best New Music Re-Issues.

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 BEST NEW MUSIC RE-ISSUES

1. FATES WARNING — A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY

2. JUDAS PRIEST — DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH

3. ANTHRAX — SPREADING THE DISEASE

4. THE ROLLING STONES — STICKY FINGERS

5. KELAKOS — UNCORKED: RARE TRACKS FROM A 70S BAND

6. EUROPE — WAR OF KINGS

7. SAXON — HEAVY METAL THUNDER

8. SAXON — THE SAXON CHRONICLES

9. MEMPHIS MAY FIRE — UNCONDITIONAL

10. RAINY MILO — THIS THING OF OURS

11. FLAVIA COELO — MUNDO MEU

12. RED LINE CHEMISTRY — CHEMICAL HIGH AND A HAND GRENADE

13. FREEDOM CALL — 666 WEEKS BEYOND ETERNITY

14. NIRVANA — NIRVANA

15. CROWBAR — EQUILIBRIUM

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Red Line Chemistry’s ’06 Debut Re-Issue Could Mark Band’s New Beginning

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Red Line Chemistry has been making music together for just over ten years. Over the course of that time, the band has released no fewer than three full-length studio recordings. The band has done so all without the help of major mainstream radio corporations or even major record labels. That says quite a bit about this band and its work ethic. That work ethic paid off earlier this year as the band signed a new deal with indie record label Pavement Entertainment and in turn will re-issue its debut album Chemical High and a Hand Grenade later this month. The twelve-track record is a work that any fan of Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, and even Tool and A Perfect Circle will enjoy. Those influences taken into consideration, Chemical High and a Hand Grenade could very well prove to be, in its upcoming re-issue, a whole new beginning for the Kansas City, Missouri-based hard rock outfit. That is evident right from the album’s opener ‘Bullets and Armor.’ The full throttle rocker clearly exhibits the influences of both Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin over the course of its near three and a half-minute run time. Later in the album’s run, the Tool influence comes through in the form of ‘Apology.’ Front man Brett Ditgen is, vocally, a dead ringer for Maynard James Keenan here. ‘Penny Drama,’ which comes halfway through the record’s run is one more noteable addition to the record. It is a well-placed piece considering that it is completely unlike the album’s other tracks, stylistically speaking. Set alongside the previously noted songs, all three songs in themselves show clearly what makes CHAAHG (as it will be known from here on out) such an interesting collection of songs. The songs noted here along with the remainder of the album’s songs show the album in whole to be potentially a whole new beginning for RLC given support from the right sources.

The upcoming re-issue of CHAAHG is one of the best of this year’s crop of music re-issues. It is a record that any fan of Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, and even Tool will want to hear at least once if not more. From beginning to end, the band–Brett Ditgen (vocals), Andy Breit (guitar), Dave Fyten (guitar), Tom Brown (bass) and Mike Mazzares (drums)–took the sounds of those bands and crafted the twelve songs of its own that collectively make CHAAHG a record that is just as much a fit on any mainstream rock radio station today as the bands that obviously influenced it. That is evident right off the top in the form of the record’s opener ‘Bullet and Armor.’ ‘Bullets and Armor’ is a good first impression for the band and an equally solid re-introduction for those that have followed the band since its inception eleven years ago. It is a straight forward, adrenaline-fueled work driven in large part by Mazzares’ time keeping. Breit and Fyten complement Mazzares’ work solidly with their work on the lead and rhythm guitar respectively. The song’s musical content is just one part of what makes it a solid composition. Its lyrical content is just as important to note here, too. While there is some difficulty deciphering the lyrics without a lyrics sheet (as this critic has had to do), some of the lyrics can be deciphered. From what can be deciphered it would seem that Ditgen sings about putting up that proverbial armor to protect against the “bullets” that are “fired” at a person every day and the occasional difficulty of holding up that “armor.” Now should that interpretation hold water, then it would be even more interesting considering such subject matter set against the song’s musical content. The song’s musical content is rather fast-paced and boasts a certain confidence. It is a direct contrast to that lyrical content, thus making it all the more interesting of a first impression from the band on this record. It’s not the only interesting addition to the record, either. Late in the album’s run audiences get an equally interesting piece in the much moodier ‘Apology.’ This song shows just as much as ‘Bullets and Armor’ what makes CHAAHG worth at least one listen.

Red Line Chemistry makes a strong case for consideration among the mainstream ranks with the opening track on its soon-to-be re-issued debut album. The driving, straight-forward sound of the song’s musical content coupled with its equally thought-provoking lyrical content collectively make it a song that would have no trouble catching listeners’ ears. Much the same can be said of the very Tool-esque song ‘Apology.’ Ditgen sounds eerily like Tool front man Maynard James Keenan in his delivery here. His band mates add to the Tool-inspired sound here especially through Breit and Fyten’s work on guitar. That sound set against Ditgen’s vocal delivery as he sings seemingly about a broken relationship makes this song one of the record’s most standout moments. The assumption regarding the song’s lyrical theme comes as Ditgen sings, “You know that I was struggling/You saw I wasn’t well/And it’s killing me to say these things/I don’t feel I’m ready for this…” He goes on to sing, “I know that you were suffering/These decisions that were made/Will you understand you’ve done no wrong/It’s me that was so selfish all inside/I’m sorry/I’m sorry/I’m sorry.” The sorrowful tone in Ditgen’s delivery comes across as being so genuine. It adds so much emotional depth to the song. That depth set against the depth crafted through the song’s musical content makes even stronger the argument in favor of audiences and radio programmers alike giing this album a chance.

Both ‘Apology’ and ‘Bullets and Armor’ are clear examples of why CHAAHG’s upcoming debut-re-issue could very well be a whole new beginning for the band. As much as they prove the value of this album in today’s mainstream rock radio realm, ‘Penny Drama,’ which serves as the album’s midway point is just as solid of an example of why CHAAHG could be a new beginning for RLC. In regards to its lyrical content, this song also comes across as one centered on a broken relationship. That being noted what really stands out about this song is its musical influence. Listening closely to this piece, it can be argued that there is a hint of an influence from Alice in Chains as well as Shinedown and others. The Shinedown influence is especially apparent in the song’s chorus in which Ditgen sings, “She’s no ordinary woman/Weighing on my mind/Latching on to all I’m dreaming…and the other world/It seems so far away.” The vocal harmonies exhibited in the song’s verses instantly conjure thoughts of the two-part harmonies that made Alice In Chains’ music so infectious (for lack of better wording). That in itself is reason enough to make this song yet another piece that could serve as a single for the album’s re-issue. Simply put it is yet another example of why the upcoming re-issue of CHAAHG could mark a whole new beginning for RLC. Regardless of whether this song is used, those previously noted, or any of the album’s other compositions, every one of the songs that make up the body of this record prove together why listeners and radio programmers alike should and will want to give this record at least one listen.

‘Penny Drama,’ ‘Apology’ and ‘Bullets and Armor’ are all clear examples of how much CHAAHG have to offer audiences even almost fifteen years after its original release. All three songs exhibit the influence of bands that are themselves some of the biggest names in the rock community today. The other nine tracks not directly noted here could each be used just as easily to display the band’s talent and its relevance even in today’s mainstream rock world. Radio programmers and listeners that give the record a chance will hear that for themselves from beginning to end. And in realizing this, those audiences that give the record a chance will agree that in whole CHAAHG could be, in its upcoming re-issue, a whole new beginning for this band’s career. It will be available Friday, July 24th via Pavement Entertainment. All of the latest updates on the album are available online now along with all of the latest updates from the band at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RedLineChem

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Pavement Entertainment Announces Addition of Red Line Chemistry To Roster

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Independent rock label Pavement Entertainment announced Tuesday the addition of another name to its stable.

Pavement Entertainment announced Tuesday the addition of Kansas City, Missouri’s Red Line Chemistry to the label’s roster. The band’s first release for Pavement Entertainment will be a re-issue of its 2006 debut record album Chemical High and a Hand Grenade. The album, currently slated for release in the second quarter of 2015, will feature both the original recording and bonus material from its 2007 album Escape Plan for the special upcoming re-issue. Along with its 2006 and 2007 releases, Red Line Chemistry has also released two other albums in the form of Dying for a Living (2011) and Tug of War (2013).

Front man Brett Ditgen spoke on behalf of the band, expressing the band’s excitement and outlook in signing its new deal with Pavement Entertainment. “We are stoked to kick off 2015 announcing our signing and new found home with Pavement Entertainment, affording us the extraordinary opportunity to continue bringing our music to all of our amazing fans who have stood by us through every endeavor,” he said. “Huge thanks to Mark, Tim, and the Pavement team for bringing us into the family!”

More information on Red Line Chemistry including its latest tour schedule is available online at:

Website: http://www.redlinechemistry.com

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

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Rocklahoma Performance Lineup Announced

 

 

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

 

Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” music festival have announced the official performance lineup for this year’s festival.  The festival kicks off Thursday, May 23rd and runs through Sunday, May 26th.  Tickets for the four day festival go on sale next Wednesday, April 17th at 11AM/10Am CT.  They can be purchased online at the official Rocklahoma website, http://www.rocklahoma.com.  The official performance lineup is listed below:

Thursday, May 23 (AXiS Campground Stage):

Triple 7, Bruce Flea, Searching for Sanity, Sleepwalking Home, Motortrain, Baron, Von Swagger, Rocker Lips, Drek, Kingshifter

Friday, May 24:

Guns N’ Roses, Bush, Papa Roach, Device, Ratt, All That Remains, Clutch, Escape The Fate, The Sword, Otherwise, Zero Crossing, Down & Dirty, The Last Vegas, Hessler, Bai Bang, Ruff Justice, London’s Dungeon, Fist of Rage, The Summit, Wanton Looks, Kicktree, Shotgun Rebels, The Kul, Mine Enemies Fall

Saturday, May 25:

Alice In Chains, Bullet For My Valentine, Skillet, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Big Wreck, Young Guns, We As Humans, O’Brother, Mindset Evolution, Gypsy Pistoleros, Rhyme, Sunset Riot, Wildstreet, London, Black Tora, Big Trouble, Sister’s Doll, Emerald City, Strikes at One, Well Hung Heart, Vilifi, For the Broken, EchoFuzz, The Chimpz, Memory of a Melody

Sunday, May 26:

Korn, Cheap Trick, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Dokken, Motionless In White, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, American Fangs, Scorpion Child, The Glitter Boys, Nasty Habit, Mystery, Lynam, Switchblade Scarlet, Firstryke, Station, Ragdoll, Wicked, New Dawn Day, Unwritten Rulz, Framing the Red, Meganaut, The Bourgeois

Single-day tickets will be available beginning next Wednesday, April 17 for $69 (plus fees).  Three-day passes are available now for $125 plus fees and will increase to $150 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Weekend VIP ticket packages are available now for $350 plus fees.  They will increase to a cost of $380 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Quantities for these packages are limited.  There are still limited quantities of Weekend Four-packs and Groupie packages.  Active Military duty personnel can purchase discounted general admission tickets at any time.  More information on ticket packages and more is available on the Rocklahoma website, http://www.rocklahoma.com.  Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping office at 866-310-2288 or by e-mailing info@feverfest.com.  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will be open through Tuesday, May 28th

Rocklahoma is sponsored by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Monster Energy, Jagermeister, Love Bottling, Retrospect Records, Route 66 RVs, and AXiS Entertainment.

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Rocklahoma Organizers Announce Festival Details

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” concert festival have released the initial slate of performers and information for this year’s three day-long festival.  This year’s festival is the final event of the 2013 “World’s Loudest Month.”  It will take place on Memorial Day weekend from May 24th – 26th.  It will be headlined by Guns ‘N Roses, Alice In Chains, and Korn.  It will be held at the “Catch The Fever” festival grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma and will be presented by Bud Light.  It is sponsored by Bud Light, Hard Rock, Jagermeister, and Monster Energy.

The current lineup of performers reads like a who’s who of rocks’ past, present, and future.  Performers set for the festival’s main stage include: Guns ‘N Roses, Alice in Chains, Korn, Bush, Cheap Trick, Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Skillet, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Asking Alexandria, Ratt, Halestorm, Device (With David Draiman), All That Remains, Escape The Fate, Dokken, Clutch, Motionless in White, Big Wreck, The Sword, Young Guns, Thousand Foot Krutch, Otherwise, Red Line Chemistry, Mindset Evolution, Heaven’s Basement, We As Humans, American Fangs, O’Brother and many more. 

The festival’s main stage is loaded with some major names.  It’s just one part of the weekend long festival.  Fans can head over to the Retrospect Records Stage for even more bands including: The Last Vegas, London, Wildstreet, Mad Max, Bai Bang, Lynam, De La Cruz, The Glitter Boyz, Black Tora, Sunset Riot, Firstryke, Ragdoll, Hessler, Switchblade Scarlett, Nasty Habit, Sister’s Doll, London’s Dungeon, Rhyme, Emerald City, Wicked, Down n Dirty, Station, Ruff Justice, Mystery and Fist of Rage.

While it has not yet been finalized, news on the lineup for the AXiS Campground Tent is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

General admission tickets for Rocklahoma go on sale next Friday, February 22nd at 11am/10am CST.  An internet pre-sale will be held next Wednesday, February 20th online at http://www.rocklahoma.com.  The pre-sale will go on at 11am/10 CST.  Audiences can also go to the Rocklahoma website to order tickets once they go on full sale and to sign up for the Rocklahoma newsletter.  The earlier fans purchase tickets the better as ticket prices will increase in the coming weeks. 

Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping Office at (866) 310-2288 or by e-mailing info@feverfest.com.  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will remain open until Tuesday, May 28th

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Carolina Rebellion Festival Expands In Its Third Year

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The Carolina Rebellion Festival is coming back this Spring.  The annual festival returns to the Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday may 4th and 5th.  The Charlotte Motor Speedway is in Concord, just outside of Charlotte.  Now in its third year, this year’s festival marks the first time that it will fill a full weekend.  There will be three stages for this year’s festival:  The Monster Energy ‘Carolina Stage, the Monster Energy ‘Rebellion Stage, and the Jagermeister Stage.  This year’s band lineup is going to be big one.  It’s all set to kick off with performance on Saturday by:  Alice in Chains, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet for my Valentine, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Sick Puppies, In This Moment, Device (with David Draiman), Young Guns, Otherwise, Aranda, Tracer, and Monstro.

Things won’t let up much on Sunday, May 5th.  The current lineup slated for the festival’s second day includes:  Soundgarden, Rise Against, Bush, 3 Doors Down, Buckcherry, Volbeat, Hollywood Undead, All That Remains, Steel Panther, Pop Evil, Escape The Fate, Nonpoint, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, and American Fangs.

Full weekend general admission tickets and single day general admission tickets for the Carolina Rebellion Festival go on sale Friday, February 8th at 10amEST.  Full weekend tickets start at $99/person plus fees.  Single day admission tickets start at $59.50 plus fees.  Parking cost is included with all tickets.  For more information on tickets and the festival, audiences can go online to http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com and http://www.facebook.com/CRebellion.  Anyone that signs up for the Carolina Rebellion Newsletter can pre-order full weekend tickets for a discounted price of $89 plus fees.  This applies only during the pre-sale period, which runs from Wednesday February 6th to Thursday, February 7th.

Fans can also go online to http://www.CarolinaRebellion to get information on camping, hotel and VIP packages as well as military discounts, which will also be available for all active duty military personnel.

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