‘inFinite’ Will Live Infinitely As One Of Deep Purple’s Best Works

Courtesy: earMusic

Christmas has officially come and gone.  So has Hanukkah.  The presents have been opened and decorations likely have started being put away.  Even despite that, Phil’s Picks still has some gifts of sorts for everyone out there in the form of some more year-ender lists.  Considering that time is so tight, some of the lists, it turns out, might have to be ignored in favor of some others.  One of the lists that definitely will not be ignored before the year lets out is that of the year’s top new rock records.

The titles included in this list are separate from the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  Phil’s Picks has a list of those albums on the way. Before getting to that list though, the focus here will be on the year’s top new rock records.  Topping the list of this year’s best new rock records from this critic is Deep Purple’s latest (and likely last) full-length studio recording InFinite.  The album was just recently re-issued with the band’s latest live recording The inFinite Live Recordings Vol. 1 only months after the album’s original release.  The record’s oftentimes blues-based rock arrangements show this band is at the top of its game, even as it seemingly winds down its life.  The lyrical themes exhibited throughout the album are just as interesting as its musical arrangements.  It is definitely a memorable recording that deserves every accolade.

Also on this critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums is Foo Fighters’ latest effort Concrete and Gold.  This record is more proof of the band’s willingness to try new things and grow on each album and the success that can and does come with that willingness to branch out, rather than churn out the same thing time and again.  It’s just one more of the albums on the list this year.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from Scale The Summit, Prophets of Rage, John 5 & The Creatures and a number of others.  As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 best new albums in its category plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Now with all of that having been said, presented here is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Deep Purple — inFinite
  2. Foo Fighters — Concrete & Gold
  3. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  4. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  5. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  8. Fozzy — Judas
  9. Hell or Highwater — Vista
  10. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  11. At The Wayside — The Breakdown and The Fall
  12. Leprous — Malina
  13. Royal Blood — How Did We Get So Dark?
  14. Warrant — Louder, Faster, Harder
  15. Horisont — About Time

That’s all for this list.  It is not the last list, though.  There are still lists for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums, the year’s top new albums and select DVD/BD lists.  As many lists as possible will be posted up from here on out, so stay tuned for all that and more.

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Royal Blood’s Sophomore LP Is A “Shining” New Effort

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Late this past June, British rock duo Royal Blood releases its sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark to the world.  The album’s title may not reference its overall content, but in listening through the record’s 10 song body, it seems fitting.  That is because it is a direct contrast to how bright this record proves to be in the end thanks in part to its musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s lyrical content makes this record shine just as much as its musical arrangements.  It will be discussed later.  The album’s sequencing rounds out the most notable elements that make it such a bright new effort for the fledgling rock duo.  Each element, by itself is critical to the album’s success. All things considered, they make How Did We Get So Dark a bright new effort from Royal Blood.

Royal Blood’s second full-length studio recording How Did We Get So Dark is anything but a dark new effort from the British rock duo.  This 10-song record is a shining new collection of songs that listeners will agree offers plenty to appreciate beginning with its musical arrangements.  The album’s arrangements are critical to the album’s success because of the growth that they exhibit from the pair’s self-titled debut.  From start to finish, listeners get plenty of songs that stylistically sound very similar to that 2014 full-length record thanks to so many driving, blues-based, almost Clutch-esque compositions.  At the same time, the band doesn’t stick to what it knows here.  Case in point is the stylistic change audible late in the album’s run in ‘Don’t Tell.’  This slow, grinding song’s stoner-sludge rock styling is, while not stark, still a noticeable departure from the songs included in the band’s debut.  It clearly shows the band growing and taking a new risk; a risk that works quite well.  ‘Hole in your Heart’ is another obvious sign of Royal Blood’s musical growth in this record. That is evident in the juxtaposition of the song’s softer, keyboard-driven verses and its heavier choruses.  This crossing (and the general sound of the song) is something that was hardly as present in the band’s debut.  It makes this record all the more entertaining, too.  If that is still not enough example of the growth evident in this album, ‘She’s Creeping’ shows that growth, too.  Stylistically speaking, the song comes across in a slightly easy-going fashion without losing the sound that has made the band so beloved.  It is just one more way in which the album shows the band’s willingness to take risks and grow.  Keeping that in mind, the record’s musical arrangements do plenty to make this album entertaining.  They are, collectively, just one part of what makes the record entertaining.  The album’s lyrical content is just as important to its overall presentation as its musical arrangements.

Throughout the course of HDWGSD’s 34-minute run time, it offers listeners just as much to appreciate lyrically as it does musically.  By and large, this record seems dominated lyrically by themes of relationships both good and bad.  While that doesn’t seem like much to discuss, the different ways in which the subjects are approached in each song is what makes the album so lyrically interesting. ‘Don’t Tell’ is a prime example of how the variance in that familiar theme stands out.  Vocalist Michael Kerr sings here, “Everybody saw you get your coat/And everybody heard your bad excuse for leaving/Say “I’m going out for a smoke”/No one has to know about our little secret/Meet you there in the dark/I won’t say anything/If you don’t.”  This presents a little bit of a naughty vibe, and that vibe doesn’t end there.  Kerr goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “used to have a heart of gold/Now I’m staying up at night/Your dirty little dreamer/Always ready to reload/At your command/Wish I could keep you synchronized on demand/As we fantasize what they can’t know.”  Whether or not the seeming double entendres included here were intended here, there’s no denying they seem to be there.  This message of a naughty secret, combined with the song’s musical arrangement—which expertly catches the lyrics’ energy—makes the song even more engaging.  It is just one of the songs that lyrically proves to be so interesting.  The album’s opener/title track offers its own lyrical interest.

‘How Did We Get So Dark’ comes across as a song about a broken relationship through its lyrical content.  But the catch is that it does not come across as one of those standard oh-woe-is-me style works that are far too prevalent in the music industry.  Rather, it comes across in a more contemplative fashion as Kerr sings in the song’s lead verse, “I saw it coming/Like the shadow on the wall/You started running/When everything turned cold/How did I/Become a lookalike of someone you used to love/Someone you used to love?”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “How did something so sweet tear us apart/On a sinking ship with a heavy heart/How did we get so dark?”  Little doubt is left to mind about this song’s message. What’s really interesting here is how that theme rests alongside the song’s high-energy musical arrangement. The combination of the pair gives the song a sort of aha moment, especially as Kerr sings later in the song, “Nobody warned you/The tables would turn/I could have told you/Everything you’ve learned/Would burn to dust/Now there’s no one you can trust/Just someone you used to love/Someone you used to love.” This seems like someone who, instead of feeling sorry for himself or herself, is speaking almost sarcastically in retrospect about that broken relationship.  It is a welcome turn for such a common lyrical theme and just one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves to be so interesting.  ‘Where Are You Now’ is one more example of what makes this record’s lyrical content stand out.

‘Where Are You Now’ comes across lyrically as yet another song about a broken relationship considering Kerr singing, “I’ve tasted every potion/They don’t taste like you/You’re a teardrop in an ocean/I’m still drinking though/And I still wonder where you are/And who you’re talking to/When I think about it I get blue.”  The rest of the song is very similar, lyrically speaking.  Once again, it sounds like a very certain style song, yet the energy in the song’s musical energy keeps it from being one of those songs.  Considering this, it becomes clear why this song is yet another example of what makes the album’s lyrical content overall so important to its presentation.  Lyrically, the record tackles some very familiar theme, but it does so in ways that don’t just repeat themselves from one to the next.  When those themes are set alongside the album’s musical arrangements, that music gives the songs’ lyrical content a whole new meaning and feeling.  Even with all of this in mind, the songs’ lyrical content is still not its last important element.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of HDWGSD is so pivotal to the album’s presentation because of the thought and time that was put into this element.  Thanks to that thought, the album keeps the album’s energy well-balanced throughout its run.  It starts out with a solid driving energy in its first trio of songs before pulling back a little in ‘She’s Creeping.’  Even as the energy pulls back, the power in the song’s energy is not lost.  The energy varies just as much over the course of the album’s next three songs with two more high-energy songs and another slower, but still strong, solid effort in ‘Don’t Tell.’  That same pattern is followed in the album’s final three group of songs, too, with the album’s closer being another strong effort, just not as fiery as its predecessors. Considering the stability and balance in the songs’ energies the album ensures even more here listeners’ engagement.  When this is set alongside the interest of the album’s lyrical themes and musical arrangements, the whole of those elements makes this record a record that is anything that is dark.  Rather, they prove it to be a shining new offering from Royal Blood.

Royal Blood’s second full-length studio recording How Did We Get So Dark is a bright, shining new offering from the band.  That is proven through musical arrangements that at times show growth from vocalist/bassist Michael Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher while also giving audiences some familiar sounds in others.  The seemingly consistent lyrical themes that populate the record add to its interest, and its sequencing adds to that interest.  Each element is important in its own way to the album’s whole.  Collectively, they make How Did We Get So Dark a shining new effort from Royal Blood.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.royalbloodband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

 

 

 

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 http://philspicksw.wordpress.com.

Royal Blood Returns To The Studio To Work On Sophomore Album

Royal Blood gave fans their first taste of its new album Monday.

The British duo unveiled a new teaser video showing the pair—Michael Kerr (bass/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums)—in the studio working on its new album.  Audiences can see the teaser video online now via the band’s official YouTube Channel.

Courtesy: BBGun Press

 

The video features footage of Kerr and Thatcher at work as they record songs for the record.  It also features footage of the guitar and drum setups used in the album’s recording as well as other little additions.

While audiences wait for the first full taste of Royal Blood’s album online, they will get to hear some of the act’s new songs this summer at Lollapalooza.  The festival will be held Aug. 3 – 6 at Grant Park in Chicago, IL.  Other currently scheduled dates are listed online via the band’s official website.

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

 

 

 

Website: http://www.royalbloodband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

 

 

 

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.

Royal Blood Makes Another Big Chart Move

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

UK duo Royal Blood keeps climbing the charts.

Royal Blood’s self-titled debut album has reached the #5 spot on this week’s Billboard’s Top 200 Chart.  The announcement was made this week.  It comes a little more than a week after the pair’s June 9th appearance on The Howard Stern Show.  Following its appearance on Sterns Sirius XM Radio show last Tuesday, Royal Blood’s self-titled debut record scanned more than 21,000 copies, pushing it up to the #17 spot.  Along with its appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Royal Blood also performed live at the annual Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival and the Governor’s Ball.

This latest announcement pushes Royal Blood’s numbers to more than 700,000 copies sold worldwide.  It has also produced two hit singles—‘Little Monster’ and the Top 10 hit song ‘Figure It Out,’ which is the band’s latest single.  Royal Blood is currently on tour in support of its album and is scheduled to perform next in Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands this Sunday, June 21st. It is part of the European leg of the duo’s current tour. The European leg of the tour winds down July 4th in Arras, France. From there, Royal Blood will return to the U.S. on July 6th for an extensive tour that will take it through October 6th. There are some festival shows scheduled in Japan and the U.K. along the way, too. Fans can check out Royal Blood’s latest tour schedule online now and keep up with its latest news at:

Website: http://royalbloodband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

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.

Howard Stern Show To Feature Exclusive Royal Blood Concert Tonight, This Weekend

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee Hazel

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee Hazel

Royal Blood fans will get a special treat courtesy of The Howard Stern Show tonight.

Royal Blood made its debut appearance on The Howard Stern Show earlier this week on Sirius XM Radio. While there, the duo held a special exclusive concert for audiences along with its interview with “The King of All Media.” Beginning tonight at 11pm EST, Sirius XM subscribers can hear that concert on Stern’s exclusive “Howard 101” channel. Fans that can’t tune in tonight will have plenty of opportunities to hear it as it is scheduled to repeat throughout the weekend. Following its appearance on Stern’s show earlier this week, the band’s self-titled debut shot up iTunes’ charts, rising to #7 on the iTunes Top Albums Chart and #4 on its Alternative Chart.

Royal Blood is currently at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Once it wraps up there, it will wrap the current U.S. leg of its tour in Atlanta, Georgia before heading overseas for the European leg of its tour. That leg begins next Friday, June 19th in London, England. Fans can check out Royal Blood’s current tour schedule and keep up with its latest news online now at:

Website: http://royalbloodband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

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.

Royal Blood Announces New Headlining Dates, Premieres New Live Video

It looks like there’s no end in sight for the men of Royal Blood.

Royal Blood has added a handful of new tour dates to an already busy schedule. The duo–Michael Kerr (bass, vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums)–has announced four new North American headlining dates in September and October. the dates, listed below, are in addition to Royal Blood’s already sold out headliningdates on its upcoming tour that kicks off June 3rd, and its other upcoming dates. Royal Blood’s newly added tour dates are:

Newly Announced Headlining Dates (On-Sale Friday, 6/5 at 10:00 AM Local Time)

September 24 – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA

September 25 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA

September 28 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ

October 6 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK

Along with its newly announced dates, Royal Blood also revealed today the new video for its live performance of its song ‘Little Monster.’ The video, which can be viewed online here, https://www.howardstern.com/show-guests/24506-exclusive-premiere-royal-bloods-little-monster/ was recorded at Royal Blood’s recent performance in Tokyo. It will premiere exclusively online at http://www.howardstern.com ahead of the band’s upcoming debut appearance on Stern’s Sirius XM Radio show. The band is scheduled to make its first-ever live appearance on The Howard Stern Show June 9th on Stern’s exclusive Sirius XM channel “Howard 100.” While on Stern’s show, the band will perform its latest single ‘Figure It Out.’ Fans with Sirius XM can hear The Howard Stern Show M – F from 7am ET – 11am ET. It is also available via Sirius XM On Demand for subscribers that listen via the Sirius XM app for smartphone and mobile internet at siriusxm.com. Listeners can get a free trial of the Sirius XM app now online at siriusxm.com/howardfreetrial.

Courtesy:  SiriusXM/Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: SiriusXM/Warner Brothers Records

 

Royal Blood will embark on a multi-city tour beginning Wednesday, June 3rd in support of its self-titled debut record, out now on Warner Brothers Records. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

UPCOMING LIVE DATES

June 3 – Metro – Chicago, IL – SOLD OUT

June 4 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH – SOLD OUT

June 7 – Governors Ball – New York, NY

June 10 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC# – SOLD OUT

June 11 – Amos’ Southend – Charlotte, NC#

June 12 – Bonnaroo – Manchester, TN

June 13 – Center Stage – Atlanta, GA# – SOLD OUT

July 6 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ^

July 8 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON^

July 9 – Molson Canadian Amphitheater – Toronto, ON^

July 11 – Quebec Summerfest – Quebec City, QC

July 12 – Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT

July 13 – Susquehanna Center – Camden, NJ^

July 15 – Citi Field – New York, NY^

July 16 – Citi Field – New York, NY^

July 17 – Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY

July 19 – Fenway Park – Boston, MA^

August 9 – Squamish Festival – Squamish, BC

August 12 – Rexall Place – Edmonton, AB^

August 13 – Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB^

August 16 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO^

August 17 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO^

August 19 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – Maryland Heights, MO^

August 21 – Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO^

August 22 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN^

August 24 – DTE Energy Center – Detroit, MI^

August 25 – First Niagra Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA ^

September 24 – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA

September 25 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA

September 28 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ

September 25- 27 – Life Is Beautiful Festival – Las Vegas, NV

October 6 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK

October 9 – 11 – ACL Music Festival – Austin, TX

^ Supporting Foo Fighters

# Supported by Mini Mansions

All of the latest updates on Royal Blood’s tour are available online now along with the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://royalbloodband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

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 http://philspicks.swordpress.com.

Royal Blood To Make Its Howard Stern Show Debut Next Month

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee Hazel

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee Hazel

British rock duo Royal blood will make its debut on The Howard Stern Show next month.

The duo–Mike Kerr (bass/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums)–is scheduled to make its first-ever appearance on Stern’s exclusive Sirius XM channel Howard 100 on Tuesday, June 9th. The pair will be on hand for an interview and a performance of its latest single ‘Figure It Out.’ The invitation to appear comes following Royal Blood’s performance at the 2014 MTV EMA Awards, at which Stern first discovered the band. In hearing Royal Blood for the first time, Stern said of the two men, “Nobody does heavy music like this anymore.”

The Howard Stern Show airs daily on Sterns exclusively on his own Sirius XM Channel Howard 100 from 7am – 11am ET. Subscribers can also hear The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM On Demand is they are listening via the Sirius XM app for smartphones and other moblie internet platforms. Audiences that don’t yet have the Sirius XM app can download it online at siriusxm.com. Audiences can also get a free Sirius XM trial online at siriusxm.com/howardfreetrial.

Royal Blood’s appearance on The Howard Stern Show is only a small part of its current live schedule in support of its self-titled debut record out now on Warner Brothers Records. The band is also currently in the midst of the North American leg of its tour, which continues tomorrow, May 23rd at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia. The show is just one of a number of performances that are already sold out. the band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

UPCOMING LIVE DATES

May 23 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC# – SOLD OUT

May 25 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR# – SOLD OUT

May 27 – Murray Theater – Salt Lake City, UT#

May 28 – Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO# – SOLD OUT

May 30 – Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA#

May 31 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI# – SOLD OUT

June 1 – The Rave II – Milwaukee, WI

June 3 – Metro – Chicago, IL – SOLD OUT

June 4 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH

June 7 – Governors Ball – New York, NY

June 10 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC# – SOLD OUT

June 11 – Amos’ Southend – Charlotte, NC#

June 12 – Bonnaroo – Manchester, TN

June 13 – Center Stage – Atlanta, GA# – SOLD OUT

July 6 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ^

July 8 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON^

July 9 – Molson Canadian Amphitheater – Toronto, ON^

July 11 – Quebec Summerfest – Quebec City, QC

July 12 – Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT

July 13 – Susquehanna Center – Camden, NJ^

July 15 – Citi Field – New York, NY^

July 16 – Citi Field – New York, NY^

July 17 – Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY

July 19 – Fenway Park – Boston, MA^

August 9 – Squamish Festival – Squamish, BC

August 12 – Rexall Place – Edmonton, AB^

August 13 – Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB^

August 16 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO^

August 17 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO^

August 19 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – Maryland Heights, MO^

August 21 – Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO^

August 22 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN^

August 24 – DTE Energy Center – Detroit, MI^

August 25 – First Niagra Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA ^

September 25- 27 – Life Is Beautiful Festival – Las Vegas, NV

October 9 – 11 – ACL Music Festival – Austin, TX

^ Supporting Foo Fighters

# Supported by Mini Mansions

 

Fans can purchase tickets for many of the band’s shows and get all of the latest updates from the band online now at:

Website: http://royalbloodband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/royalblooduk

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.