aliensdontringdoorbells Debuts New Single, ‘Slipping Away,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: ABC PR

Fledgling pop rock band aliensdontringdoorbells debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Slipping Away‘ Friday. The song is the latest single and opening track from the band’s debut album Arrival. The band debuted the album’s then latest single ‘It’s Your Night‘ and its video in August.

The video finds the band performing its new single in a club setting that looks like it was set in the 1980s. That is fitting considering that the song’s musical arrangement (and that of most of the record’s music) takes listeners back to the 80s and 90s.

As the band performs, audiences are treated to the story of how a young couple meet and how the couple ended up apart.

‘Slipping Away’ offers audiences a somewhat unique musical presentation.  The very opening chromatic riff is a direct lifting of Rush’s hit song ‘Free Will.’  It is just that set of notes, but the comparison is undeniable.  The rest of the song is still Rush-esque in its arrangement.  There are also other classic rock influences coupled with that influence.  The whole of the arrangement makes me a catchy work composition that takes listeners back to the late 80s and early 90s.  When the catchy arrangement joins with the song’s lyrical content, which finds the song’s subject asking, “How will you keep your girl from slipping away?/How will you…make it all okay?/How will you change my mind/With the words you say?”  The response to the question comes throughout the course of the song’s almost three-and-a-half minute run time.  The majority of the response is difficult to understand without a lyrics sheet to reference, but just enough can be understood, allowing in turn, a person to understand that the response is in fact being delivered.  The whole comes across as two people (likely men) having a conversation about one of the pair perhaps not doing enough for his woman.  It makes for an interesting take on the all-too-familiar topic of relationships.  The energy in the song’s arrangement and the stylistic approach helps to paint the picture even better, and in turn create even more enjoyment and engagement for audiences.  When it is considered along with ‘Daddy Blues,’ the two songs, which are so distinctly unlike one another stylistically but so alike in their lyrical topics, make for even more appeal for the album.

More information on the band’s new single, video and album is available along with all of its latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.aliensdontringdoorbells.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/aliensdontringdoorbells

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/aliensdrd

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

Arcana Premieres Debut EP’s Lead Single, ‘Wings’

Independent rock band Arcana debuted the lead single from its forthcoming debut EP Letters From A Lost SoulAct I: The World One Forms this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Wings’ Wednesday through The Prog Space. The song is a full instrumental composition and the record’s only instrumental track, according to a statement from the band.

“’Wings’ is the instrumental track on the EP and acts as a kind of overture to the whole project, displaying a variety of sounds that will be used and called back upon throughout the EP and future releases,” the statement reads. “It ranges from hope to despair, longing to contentment, and shows where the project is capable of going.”

The polyrhythmic patters in the drumming, guitars and drums will appeal to fans of bands, such as Rush, Scale the Summit, and Dream Theater. Listeners can also compare the arrangement to works from the likes of Caligula’s Horse and Leprous to an equal degree.

Letters From A Lost SoulAct I: The World One Forms is scheduled for release Nov. 6. The EP’s track listing is noted below.

Track Listing:
1. Letters From A Lost Soul (0:53)
2. Wings (7:11)
3. Tailwind (3:55)
4. Octosun/Wings (Reprised) (9:54)
EP Length: 21:55

More information on Arcana’s new single and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://thearcanacollective.com

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

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

The Sword Finishes ‘Conquest Of Quarantine’ Series With Rush Cover

The Sword finished off its “Conquest of Quarantine” sessions series this week.

The band finished off its three-part performance series Thursday with a performance of Rush’s timeless hit song ‘Working Man’ through Loudwire.  The band’s take on the song stays true to its source material, but also adds a certain special touch to the song.

Bassist Bryan Richie discussed the inspiration behind The Sword’s take on the song in a recent interview.

“In the early 2000s we were given a CD by one of Kyle’s record store buddies with SLUSH scrawled across it and little did we know what a wild ride awaited us,” he said. “This dude had taken his favorite Rush songs and dropped the pitch control on his record player as low as it would go – taking these classic RUSH tracks and turning them into a C standard sludge fest with the most air drumable drums!! Does it doom? Heck yes it does. Enjoy our cover of the classic RUSH track “Working Man” with a Slush’y spin.”

Courtesy: Cosa Nostra PR

The recording sessions that led to the “Conquest of Quarantine” marked the first time that the band has recorded any music together in any sense since the band went on hiatus in 2018.

The band opened the series two weeks ago with a performance of its take on T. Rex’s song ‘Children of the Revolution.’  It premiered the performance through Consequence of Sound.

That performance was followed up last week with a performance of ‘Winter’s Wolves’ through Louder. The song was originally featured in the band’s 2006 debut album Age of Winters.

The Sword’s recent jam session was the result of a tour with Primus that was halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  That tour was is now rescheduled and expected to start June 9 in Houston, TX.  It is scheduled to run through July 19 in Cincinnati, OH and feature performances in cities, such as Raleigh, NC; Essex Junction, VT, and Philadelphia, PA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.  Tickets are available here.

 

June 9 – Houston, Texas @ Revention Music Center*

June 11 – Irving, Texas @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory*

June 12 – Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater*

June 13 – New Orleans, La. @ Saenger Theatre*

June 15 – Orlando, Fla. @ Hard Rock Live*

June 16 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Coca-Cola Roxy*

June 20 – Charlotte, N.C. @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre*

June 22 – Asheville, N.C. @ Exploreacheville.com Arena*

June 23 – Raleigh, N.C. @ Red Hat Amphitheater*

June 25 – Richmond, Va. @ Virginia Credit Union Live!*

June 26 – Baltimore, Md. @ MECU Pavilion*

June 27 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Stage AE*

June 29 – Essex Junction, Vt. @ Midway Law at Champlain Valley Expo*

July 1 – Westbrook, Maine @ Main Savings Pavilion at Rock Row*

July 2 – Wallingford, Ct. @ Oakdale Theatre*

July 5 – Lafayette, N.Y. @ Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards (no the Sword)

July 6 – Boston, Mass. @ Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion*

July 8 – New York, N.Y. @ Beacon Theatre*

July 9 – Asbury Park, N.J. @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage*

July 10 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Met*

July 13 – Toronto, Ont. @ RBC Echo Beach*

July 15 – Columbus, Ohio @ Express Live! Outdoor*

July 16 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*

July 17 – Sterling Heights, Mich. @ Freedom Hill Amphitheatre*

July 19 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ PNC Pavilion*

 

In other news, The Sword released two hits collections from The Sword June 19, Chronology2006 – 2018 and Conquest of Kingdoms.  Chronology2006 – 2018 is a three-CD set features the band’s biggest hits, fan favorites, rarities and previously unreleased songs.  Its track count totals 52 (yes, 52) songs.  Additionally it features liner notes penned by the band’s members and some other well-known names — Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Mark Morton (Lamb of God) and Neil Fallon (Clutch).

Conquest of Kingdoms is a three-LP vinyl set that features previously unreleased songs, b-sides, oddities and live performances.  Its track listing totals 30 songs.

More information on The Sword’s new “mini-set,” rescheduled live dates and more is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.theswordofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/theswordofdoom

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Thesword

 

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

Lufeh Holds Its Own Against Its Prog Counterparts With Its Debut LP

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent prog-rock band Lufeh is working to make itself one of the next big names in the noted genre.  The band debuted its debut album Luggage Falling Down independently in April.  The eight-song LP is a presentation that the most devoted prog fans will find worth hearing at least once.  That is due in large part to its musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  The album’s lyrical themes present their own point of interest for listeners.  They will be discussed a little later.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  All three noted items are important in their own way to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Luggage Falling Down a presentation that prog rock and metal fans alike will agree is worth hearing at least once.

Luggage Falling Down is an interesting new offering from up-and-coming independent prog-rock band Lufeh.  The record stands out in this year’s field of new prog records in part because of its musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question vary stylistically from one to the next throughout the course of the record’s 33-minute run time.  That will be discussed in a moment.  The bigger picture is that the arrangements present influences from a variety of the band’s contemporaries.  Among the contemporaries whose influences who are shown are bands, such as Dream Theater, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Spock’s Beard.  More specifically, the band takes a page from Dream Theater’s early days (a la Images & Words, Awake, and Falling Into Infinity) in its arrangements in its heavier and softer moments.  The keyboard arrangements within the bigger compositions are especially similar to works from Spock’s Beard and ELP.  To a lesser extent, one could even ague that the stylistic approach featured in the keyboard lines even has a slight influence from Rush just as much as the aforementioned bands.  ‘Find My Way,’ the album’s opener, is perhaps the best example of the Dream Theater influence what with the heavy guitar riffs, drumming and keyboards.  Front man Dennis Atlas even sounds almost identical to longtime Dream Theater front man James LaBrie here.  ‘Doors,’ the album’s third song, is comparable to some of the works from Dream Theater’s 1997 album Falling Into Infinity.  At the same time, the experimental nature in the guitar line and the polyrhythmic approach to the drums lends the song just as much to comparisons to works from Rush.  On yet another interesting note, ‘Trial of Escapade’ could actually be argued to have more modern prog influence from the likes of Liquid tension Experiment and Scale The Summit with its experimental and percussive nature, bass-driven arrangement.  ‘End Of The Road,’ with its keyboards, guitars and drumming immediately conjures thoughts of ELP and Rush, once again going back to the noted influence.  The album’s multi-faceted influences are just as prevalent throughout the albums’ last two songs, ‘Escape’ and ‘The Edge’ as the rest of the album’s featured songs.  All things considered, the musical side of this record does more than its share to make the album worth hearing at least once.  It is just one of the album’s most notable aspects.  Its lyrical content adds to its interest.

The lyrical themes featured throughout Luggage Falling Down are notable because of their depth.  ‘Find My Way’ is just one example of that depth.  As noted on the band’s official website, the song’s lyrical theme presents a message about “turning dreams into reality.”  That statement is illustrated well in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “Too many times I’ve been home/Lying on the floor/And the dreams are flowing over/ From the holes within my soul/And I’ve gotta get a hold/To compromise and find my way.”  The song continues in its second verse, “How many roam in the world alone/And hold on to the pain?/With a thirst for control that only complicates/I know I’ll find my way I know I’ll find my way.”  That affirmation at the verse’s end that “I know I’ll find my way” is that moment when the song’s subject reaches that moment when he/she knows he/she will make his/her dreams become reality and do what needs to be done to make that happen.  It is a statement, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, will encourage listeners with that ability to connect to audiences.  It is just one of the ways in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important to its presentation.  ‘End Of The Road’ does its own part to show that importance.

Where ‘Find My Way’ serves as an inspirational piece, ‘End Of the Road’ comes across as being more introspective.  At the same time, the situation described is something that many audiences will find relatable to some sense.  It is a song that comes across lyrically as being about finding some direction in life.  That is inferred right from the song’s lead verse, which states, “Driving alone Down on some highway to the end of the road/Not sure where it goes/Hoping to find Some kind of sign to move a part of my soul/By the night time There could be a new place to call home.”  Now given, this line in itself does come across as being somewhat cliché, as so many songs out there have taken a very similar approach, lyrically speaking.  That aside, it still will connect with listeners even here.  The song’s second verse adds to the connection that audiences will make with the work.  The second verse states, “And doubts come to live inside/Til minds lose their will to fight/The time it takes consumes our lives/The time it takes consumes our lives/I don’t know which way to go/Somewhere in the center of the soul/Shape the things you do/Keep the things you hold.”  Additionally, the song’s chorus stresses, “Taking all the time will make it slow.”  This comes across as another through-invoking work in its own right.  That mention of “Shape the things you do/Keep the things you hold” almost comes across as Atlas saying to listeners, throughout everything, keep what is important close and take things at our own pace.  It is an interesting statement that is certain resonate with listeners just as much as that presented in ‘Find My Way.’  It is just one more way in which the album’s lyrical themes prove pivotal to the album’s presentation, and certainly not the last.  The lyrical theme of the album’s latest single, ‘My World’ is, as the band notes on its website, about “doing the right thing.”

The only verse featured in ‘My World’ translates that message of doing the right thing by stating, “Thoughts can take our words to other places/Minds to different spaces It can play a trick on what we’ve known/These times, stick with what’s right/The part of you that’s burning deep inside/To do what’s right/These times, stick with what’s right/The part of you that’s certain as your soul/You always have control/These times, stick with what’s right/The part of you that’s burning in your soul You’re always in control.”  The message is translated with relative clarity here.  What’s more, it is another positive message from the band.  That positive message, joined with the thoughtful themes featured in the album’s other songs leaves no doubt as to the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When this is considered along with the album’s musical content, the result is a record that prog fans will find well worth hearing at least once if not more.  That overall content does a lot to make the album appealing, and is not the last of the album’s most notable elements.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The album’s sequencing is important to note because it shows how much thought was put into the album’s overall energies.  The changes that each song undergoes within itself keeps things interesting for listeners throughout the course of the album’s run.  For instance, ‘The Unknown’ opens with the noted vintage Dream Theater influence in its arrangement, what with the keyboards, drumming and guitar line, but then at one point, goes into a more experimental approach, all without losing the song’s energy despite that stylistic change.  That experimental sound is driven through its bass and keyboards, nad will certainly keep listeners engaged purely out of interest.  As the song ends and transitions into ‘Doors,’ the band goes more into a prog-metal direction, which keeps the album’s energy high.  ‘Trial of Escapade,’ as noted, follows ‘Doors’ and boasts its own experimental approach that also maintains the album’s energy in its own right.  The stylistic changes continue from that point on, but at no point in the album’s second half does the energy ever let up too much even with those changes.  Put simply, the album’s sequence shows just how much time and thought was put into making sure the album flowed easily from one song to the next even with so much going on in each arrangement.  That effort paid off, too, so applause goes to whomever was responsible for that aspect of the album.  When this is considered along with the impact of the album’s overall content, the whole of the noted elements once more proves why the record deserves to be heard at least once, as it is a viable contender among this year’s new prog rock and metal albums.

Lufeh’s debut album Luggage Falling Down is a viable success for the band.  It is a work that holds its own against its current prog counterparts.  That is evidenced in part through its musical arrangements, as discussed here.  They change style from one to the next, and give listeners a wide range of prog rock and metal opuses even in a span of eight songs and 33 minutes.  The album’s lyrical themes are thoughtful and certain to engage listeners just as much as the album’s musical content.  The record’s sequencing puts the final touch to its presentation.  Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Luggage Falling Down a notable new entry in itself in this year’s field of new prog records, and a notable debut for the band, too.

Luggage Falling Down is available to stream and download through SpotifyApple Music and Lufeh’s official Bandcamp page.  The album’s track list is noted below.

 

Track Listing:
1. Find My Way (4:25)
2. The Unknown (3:36)
3. Doors (4:06)
4. Trial of Escapade (4:24)
5. My World (4:52)
6. End of The Road (4:05)
7. Escape (4:03)
8. The Edge (4:04)
Album Length: 33:39

 

More information about Lufeh’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://lufehband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lufehband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lufehband

 

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

Gab De La Vega Debuts ‘YYZ’ Video

Courtesy: Epidemic Records/Backbite Records

Gab De La Vega debuted the video for his latest single this week.

The Italian singer-songwriter debuted the video for his song ‘YYZ‘ Saturday.  The song, taken from his new album Beyond Space and Time, is not to be confused with Rush’s song by the same name.  Beyond Space and Time is scheduled for release Jan. 24 through Epidemic Records.

The video for ‘YYZ’ finds De La Vega walking the streets of Toronto and performing for the city’s residents on the city’s streets.

De La Vega talked about the video shoot in a recent interview.

“I decided to pay tribute to the city in the video,” he said.  “I love Toronto, it feels like a second home.  Jaden [D.], who directed the video, is my cousin and he’s from Toronto.  We had this idea, so we went around the city and I started busking, playing the song at some of the most and some of the least busy corners of the city.  there are no actors in the video, only the people of Toronto.  They were running late to hop on their train, they were groups of friends or couples chatting, they were regular people caught up in their regular lives on an ordinary summer day.  We provided the soundtrack, but they were the protagonists.  Some of them stopped to hear me play, even for a few seconds, others liked it and dropped a coin in the case.  I tried to go along with the flow and become part of the play for that day, impersonating someone whose life is not different from anybody’s.  I guess it’s just what we do, we live our lives, we play our scripts.”

The song’s musical arrangement is a gently flowing composition with its semi-acoustic approach.  It can be compared to works from Pearl Jam throughout the course of its nearly three-minute-30-second run time.

Lyrically speaking, the song is a deeply moving presentation.  De La Vega discussed the noted content in his interview.

“‘YYZ’ is about feeling lost and disoriented in life,” he said.  “It’s about the need to find your place in the world.  the moments in which you have to make decisions that might change everything, without having a clue of what the outcome might be.  It’s about the daily struggle to steer your own life and at the same time accept that you don’t have full control of everything that happens to you.”

He added, “The song lyrics refer to a summer afternoon two years ago.  I was walking in downtown Toronto, chasing my thoughts in the alleys of my mind.  At one point I looked around and I realized my feet took me astray.  I had to figure out where I was.  I was kind of lost, literally…and metaphorically.”

‘YYZ’ is the second single from the record, De La Vega’s third full-length studio recording.  He debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Perfect Texture‘ Dec. 21.

 

Courtesy: Epidemic Records

De La Vega is scheduling performances in support of Beyond Space and Time.  His current live schedule is noted below.

Upcoming shows:

7th February – Cremona, Circolo Arcipelago
8th February – Brescia, Lio Bar
9th February – Parma, Splinter Club
21st February – TBA
22nd February – TBA
23rd February – Chiuppano, Osteria Al Castello

Pre-orders for Between Space and Time are open now.  the album’s full track listing is noted below.

BEYOND SPACE AND TIME – TRACKLIST

1) Phoenix From The Flames

2) Story Of A Human Being

3) YYZ

4) Perfect Texture

5) Rosary Of Days

6) Bomb Inside My Head

7) As One

8) We’ve Already Seen All This

9) Words Unspoken

10) Something’s Not Ok

11) I Still Believe

More information on Beyond Space and Time is available along with all of De La Vega’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://gabdelavega.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/gabdelavegamusic

 

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

 

‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’ Proves Greta Van Fleet Deserves More Credit Than It Gets

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records

When Greta Van Fleet released its sophomore EP From The Fires last year, the upstart Michigan-based, very quickly made quite the impact on audiences.  Audiences either loved the band or hated the group.  That was due to the band’s classic rock influenced sound, which showed very blatant influence from Led Zeppelin.  As a matter of fact, that influence was so blatant that the band was called the second coming of Led Zeppelin by many, both in positive and negative fashion.  The release of its debut full-length studio recording Anthem of the Peaceful Army Oct. 19 has only served to widen that gap, with just as many – if not more – people taking either one side in the debate on the up-and-coming band or another.  While the band’s debut full-length album (and its third overall studio recording) does present even more cause for comparison to Led Zeppelin, a thorough listen through the album also shows that the band deserves more credit than its critics have given the group.  That is evident right from the album’s outset in its opener, ‘Age of Man.’ It will be discussed shortly.  ‘You’re The One,’ which comes just past the record’s midway point, is another way in which the band proves in this record that it deserves more support than it gets.  ‘Brave New World,’ which comes even later in the record’s 45-minute run time, is one more way in which this record proves Greta Van Fleet deserves more support than it gets.  Each song, in its own way, proves that Greta Van Fleet is not quite the band that so many people think.  When they are joined with the rest of Anthem of the Peaceful Army, the whole of the record paints a picture of a band that has great potential for growth.  Keeping that in mind, it proves to be a record that shows Greta Van Fleet as a group that deserves more credit than it gets from so many listeners.

Greta Van Fleet’s debut album (and third overall studio recording) is a laudable new offering from the neo-classic rock outfit from Michigan.  That is because the album in whole paints a picture somewhat different from that painted by the singles that have so far been released from the record and its predecessors.  The album’s opener, ‘Age of Man’ is just one of the songs included in the album that serves to support that statement.  Musically speaking, the song bears more of an influence from Rush and other similar classic rock acts of that ilk than to Led Zeppelin.  Of course that is just this critic’s own interpretation.  That is evident through the combination of front man Joshua Kiszka’s vocal delivery style and the work of his band mates – Jacob Kiszka (guitar), Samuel Kiszka (bass/keyboards) and Daniel Wagner (drums/percussion) – throughout the song.  It displays clearly, the band attempting to use those influences to establish its own identity.  It succeeds in attempting to achieve that goal, too.  Keeping this in mind, the song’s lyrical content does just as much to help the song to stand out.  Joshua Kiszka sings here, “In an age of darkness, light appears/And it wards away the ancient fears/March to the anthem of the heart/to a brand new day/A brand new start.”  He goes on to sing, “To wonder lands of ice and snow/In the desert heat where nothing grows/A tree of life in rain and sun/To reach the sky, it’s just begun.”  As the song transitions into its chorus, he sings, “And as we came into the clear/To find ourselves where we are here/Who is the wiser to help us steer/And will we know when the end is near?”  What makes all of this significant here in the first half of the song is that these lyrics seem to be a metaphorical way of addressing the world’s current situation.  It seems to try to remind listeners that there is positive in the world’s negative, yet seems to ask through the chorus, who will help lead us to that positive.  Again, this is all just the interpretation of this critic in particular.  It should not be taken as gospel.  Though in the song’s third verse, Kiszka continues, “Beauty lies in every soul/The more you love, the more you know/They pass the torch and it still burns/One children, then it’s now our turn.”  It’s as if Kiszka is telling listeners again, that that positive is there, but it’s up to us to make it exist.  Once again, this is just this critic’s interpretation, and could likely be completely off base, so it should not be considered the only interpretation.  When this seeming message of positivity is considered along with the almost contemplative vibe of the song’s musical arrangement, that seeming message tends to make more sense even if it is not the correct interpretation.  Keeping this in mind, the song proves to be a strong start for Greta Van Fleet in its latest recording, and just one example of why the band is deserving of more than the Led Zeppelin comparisons that it has constantly received.  It is a song that infuses a variety of musical influences in its arrangement, and that presents a seemingly deep lyrical theme with wording that is certain to generate plenty of discussions.  While the impact of this song cannot be ignored, it is just one of the songs included in the album that proves Greta Van Fleet deserves more credit than it has gotten and gets.  ‘You’re The One’ is another song that shows this band is not just another Led Zeppelin ripoff.

‘You’re The One’ has been likened by some to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come,’ and while a close listen to both songs does reveal a certain similarity, it can just as easily be argued that they are dissimilar, too in their musical arrangements.  It’s one more example of Greta Van Fleet using another band’s influences to try to establish its own identity.  Yes, the use of the organ and the old-school sound of the drums, and even the guitar line show similarities, but those similarities are not as direct as in other equally rare moments in this record.  To that end, the song shows yet again that even despite the similarities between the two songs, the band does deserve at least some credit as it shows the band is not trying to blatantly rip off its influences.  The song’s lyrical content adds even more to its interest.  The content shows the song is a standard love song, with Kiszka singing, “Babe, ain’t no denyin’/That I got you in my head/Girl, I’d be lyin’/If you stood yourself and said/You’re the one I want/You’re the one I need/You’re the one I had/So come back to me.”  This is the exact opposite, lyrically, of ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come,’ which is a song about a breakup sung from the standpoint of someone telling another that said person’s time will come.  GVF’s song may be similar to Led Zeppelin’s work stylistically, and similar lyrically in that the two songs both center on relationships, but GVF’s work is about a man who wants a woman, not someone breaking up with another person.  To that end, here we have another example of why Greta Van Fleet deserves more credit than it gets.  With this in mind, there is still at the very least one more example in this song, of why Greta Van Fleet deserves more credit than it gets. It comes in the form of ‘Brave New World,’ which comes late in the album’s run.

‘Brave New World’ stands out because as with the previously discussed songs, this work’s musical arrangement is another example of Greta Van Fleet clearly trying to establish its own identity.  Instead of the Zeppelin influences that people love to make so much with the band, this song’s arrangement presents more influence from the likes of Rush and Ritchie Blackmore among others with its slow yet bombastic guitar and drums.  Kiszka’s own vocal delivery conjures thoughts of a combined Robert Plant and Geddy Lee, while the bass work adds to the song’s heaviness.  It honestly could be considered the album’s most notable work because it so clearly shows the potential that the band has, despite what so many people would have people think.  The song’s lyrical content shows just as much as its musical arrangement, the potential that the band has.  Looking through the song’s lyrical content, it comes across as a social commentary of sorts, again presented through metaphors.  This is inferred as Kiszka sings, “As to the drifters of the high rift plains/They can see the ashes and the acid rain/It turns to dust before their very eyes/And it chokes to death within the smog it lies.”  This comes across as a statement of what has become of the world.  That seeming statement continues as he sings in the song’s chorus, “Take one look at your skies/And in the darkness realize/Kill, fear, the power of lies/For we will not be hypnotized.”  This comes across as Kiszka presenting a defiant message that the world will overcome what has caused it to become what it has become.  The seeming social commentary continues as Kiszka sings, “Turn back the clock within your glass of sand/To a time of love within this blackened land/A silent child climbs a mound of char/Where he plants a seed that grows beyond the stars.”  This comes across as Kiszka telling people to remember that there was a better day, and that it is possible to get back to that better time, despite everything that has happened.  Once again, this is all just one critic’s interpretation.  Even with that in mind, it goes without saying that this lyrical content is presented in a smart fashion, even being presented through metaphorical language.  It still seems to make a statement that at least seems to match, and is deep, regardless.  That contemplative nature of the song’s lyrical content couples with its equally thoughtful musical arrangement to make the song stand out even more.  When this is considered along with the presentation of ‘You’re The One,’ ‘Age of Man’ and the rest of the album’s featured offerings, the whole exhibits Greta Van Fleet as a band that despite its comparisons to Led Zeppelin, deserves far more credit than it deserves.

Greta Van Fleet is currently one of the biggest names in the rock realm today.  That is due to a handful of singles that have lent themselves to comparisons to the one and only Led Zeppelin.  At the same time, those singles have proven to be anything but beneficial for the band.  Rather, they have caused quite a division among audiences.  Songs such as ‘Brave New World,’ ‘You’re The One’ and ‘Age of Man’ show a side of Greta Van Fleet that the band’s singles have not and do not present.  They show a band striving to use its influences to develop its own identity and that clearly has potential.  Keeping this in mind, the band’s debut album (and third overall studio recording) Anthem of the Peaceful Army proves to be a positive new effort from the up-and-coming neo-classic rock band, and one that shows the band deserves more credit than it receives.  It is available now.  More information on Anthem of the Peaceful Army is available online now along with all of Greta Van Fleet’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.gretavanfleet.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GretaVanFleet

 

 

 

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PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For Grantchester Home Release

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit series Masterpiece brings to audiences another gripping murder mystery this spring when it releases Grantchester on DVD and Blu-ray.

Grantchester will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 7th. The story is based on author James Runcie’s novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. It picks up just after the end of World War II. Elizabeth II had just become queen. And Grantchester’s local priest was one of the town’s most respected figures. A lawyer in nearby Cambridge is found dead. A suicide note, a gun, and alcohol point directly to an open and shut case. But confessions to local priest Sidney Chambers reveals much more than Inspector Geordie Keating had thought. The confessions lead the pair to team up solve what turns out to be a murder. Audiences can check out a trailer for Grantchester online now via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3tzFp5CeAU.

Grantchester stars James Norton (Rush, Death Comes to Pemberly, Mr. Turner) as Sidney Chambers. He is joined by Robson Green (Being Human, Mount Pleasant, Strike Back) as Inspector Geordie Keating. Also on board for this mystery are: Morven Christie (The Young Victoria, Death in Paradise, Sirens) as Amanda Kendall, Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Casualty, Doctors) as Mrs. Maguire, Al Weaver (Sherlock, Me and Orson Welles, Doom) as Leonard Finch, and Pheline Roggan (Soul Kitchen, Chiko, Kebab Connection) as the widow of lawyer Stephen Staunton, the series’ first victim.

Grantchester will be available Tuesday, April 7th on DVD and Blu-ray. The series is spread across six episodes for a total run time of 360 minutes. It is spread across two discs on both its DVD and Blu-ray release. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray set for $39.99. Both can be ordered online along with a DVD/Book combo and Blu-ray book combo via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=grantchester&origkw=grantchester&sr=1.

More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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Spock’s Beard’s Eleventh Album One Of Its Best Yet

Courtesy:  InsideOut MUsic

Courtesy: InsideOut MUsic

Spock’s Beard, as a band, has been through so much since the release of its debut record way back in 1995.  Since that time, the band has seen lineup changes.  It has also seen its albums released on a number of different record labels.  Through it all, the members of this prog-rock fan favorite have weathered every storm.  And it’s because the band’s members have kept going that the band has released in its new album, Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep, some of its best material to date.  The band’s new double-disc album evolving even more from its equally impressive fan-funded tenth album, fitting titled X.

A big part of the reason that the band has evolved sonically on this album is that the band played a little game of musical chairs so to speak.  Nick D’Virgilio, who had previously replaced Neal Morse on vocal duties, left the band after the release of X.  D’Virgilio had originally handled drumming duties for the band while Morse was still the band’s vocalist.  So having D’Virgilio out, the band was joined on this album by a new vocalist and new drummer.  This brought a whole new feel among the band, obviously.  That’s evident from the very beginning of the first disc in ‘Hiding Out.’  The song’s opening strains offer an interesting take on composer Edward Grieg’s ‘Morning’ from the Peer Gynt Suite before going into a full on old school rock vibe complete with guitar and keyboard solos.  This is the kind of song that will make even Dream Theater fans proud as the similarity between the two is there, musically speaking.  The song’s musical side is a good fit with its introspective lyrics, too.  New singer, Ted Leonard soars effortlessly through the song as he sings, “I need you now to come and find me/I’m hiding out in a den of thieves/Be sovereign now, don’t’ crucify me/I’m hiding out!”  In the same vein, he maintains control even in the song’s more intense moments, yet still has his own intensity.  It’s just the start of what’s to come on this standout album among the band’s current catalogue.

The album’s second track keeps the energy flowing with its obvious Rush influences.  Leonard again shows listeners that he was the right choice to take over for Nick D’Virgilio.  And new drummer Jimmy Keegan gets to exhibit his skills behind the kit.  His ability to handle some pretty touch polyrhythmic patterns is impressive to say the least.  Keeping in mind the Rush influence in this song, he definitely holds his own with Neil Peart here.  One could even argue that he shows he’s just as good as fellow prog heavyweight Mike Portnoy.  Lyrically speaking, it would be interesting to find out the story behind the song.  It sounds like a story about someone with quite the storied past.  Leonard sings of his subject, “I know the secret that you keep/I know the demon deep inside/I know the reason you can’t sleep/I know the past you’d like to hide/I know the monster you have made/I know the wars you don’t regret/I know the blood that stains the blade/You know I won’t let you forget.”  Suffice it to say with such lyrical content and such a powerful musical side, this song is certain to be a topic of discussion for fans.  Then again all of this album’s songs are sure to be topics of discussion for both their musical and lyrical side.  Another prime example of this is the closer on the first half of the album, ‘Waiting for Me.’

‘Waiting for Me’ is an epic twelve-minute plus opus that bridges the band’s gap between its past and its future while also incorporating some other influences at the same time.  The guitar and keyboard solos throughout the song’s mid-section will instantly conjure thoughts of Pink Floyd.  The song’s “A” section and “C” section expertly bookend that middle, making for a solid end to the first half of the album.  The song screams to be played live.  The manner in which it ultimately crescendos to its final seconds, is incredible.  One can listen to this song, eyes closed, and almost see a setup like that of Floyd performing The Wall live with this song to equal joy from audiences.  The second half of Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep picks up right where the first half of the album left off.  It has that certain heaviness exhibited throughout the first half of the album in ‘The Man You’re Afraid You Are.’  ‘Down a Burning Road’ exhibits more of that mix of the band’s past and present, musically speaking, while ‘Wish I were Here’ perhaps offers a glimpse of what is to come in the future for this band.  It’s another rather heavy piece that would make any prog-metal fan proud.  This is another one of those songs, judging by its lyrics, about which it would be interesting to learn the story considering it was written by Alan Morse.  On one hand, it could be a commentary, considering how Leonard sings about “Watching TV with Dave (perhaps Letterman?), eating Hot Pockets and drinking PBR.  Again, it is that ability to make audiences think and create discussions that makes this another high point to the album.  That ability to get audiences thinking and talking along with the song’s music makes it so impressive.

By the time that audiences get through ‘Wish I Were Here’ and the remix of Something Very Strange’ (which is strange yet interesting in its own right), they will realize that they have experienced something very special.  This is especially the case for long-time fans of Spock’s Beard.  They will realize that what they have experienced is an album that is one of the best works released by Spock’s Beard to date.  Fans don’t have to wait to check out these and all of the songs on this album.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct online from the Spock’s Beard online store at http://spocksbeard.com/buystuff.html.  After ordering the new album, fans can keep up with the latest news and updates on the band’s tour online at http://spocksbeard.com, http://www.facebook.com/spocksbeard, and http://twitter.com/SpocksB

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Anthrax EP One Of 2013’s Best Rock Records

Anthrax has proven once again with its new EP, Anthems, why it is still one of rock’s elite bands.  This veteran rock act has crafted in its new release a work that is perfect in every way.  From the sequencing to the sound to the very packaging, everything that could have been done right was done right.  Sure, it probably is essentially a space filler between albums, but even if that is the case, it is one heck of a space filler.  It’s a musical history lesson for rockers of all ages.  Here, audiences get a band that by comparison to the bands it covers is relatively young.  Yet it shows that it knows the classics through some expert renditions of said classics.

Anthems opens with a cover of Rush’s ‘Anthem.’  This song originally appeared on Rush’s album, Fly By Night.  That Anthrax would cover Rush is a mind blower in and of itself.  Considering the style of music for which Anthrax is known, one would not instantly consider such a polar opposite sound to be any kind of influence on the band.  So that in itself is an eye opener.  That the band so expertly covered the song is even more of an eye opener.  The band paid homage to Rush and the song with its cover, but still added its own touch to the song, too.  Front man Joey Belladonna makes the song even more solid of an opener when he sings the line, “Welcome to the world.”  When Geddy Lee first sang those words, they obviously had their own meaning.  But having Belladonna sing those same words, they somehow take on a whole new meaning.  Since this is the EP’s opener, it could be argued that those words take on an introductory fashion for new listeners and a whole new introduction even for those more seasoned audiences.  Given, that probably wasn’t the intended function of that line.  But it does seem to have that impact.

The band’s new EP only gets better from the opening cover.  The EP’s second track is a cover of another legendary band’s song.  The band’s cover of AC/DC’s ‘TNT’ is without a doubt, one of this disc’s major high points.  One can’t help but focus yet again on front man Joey Belladonna. Maybe it is just this critic’s own take on the song, but Belladonna sounds eerily like the late great Bon Scott in every sense in this song.  Had one not known it was him, one might actually have thought it was the original song.  This is also thanks in part to guitarist Rob Caggiano, who earlier this year announced his departure from the band.  His take on Angus Young’s guitar work on this rock classic pays Young full honor.  And drummer Charlie Benante’s drumming is just as solid as that of Phil Rudd.  This is one that one could easily see the band performing live as it tours the country on the Metal Alliance Tour this Spring.

If Anthrax’s covers of ‘TNT’ and ‘Anthem’ aren’t enough for fans, then the cover of Boston’s ‘Smokin’’ will impress audiences.  This is yet another spot on cover that keeps the energy flowing from the EP’s first two tracks.  Older, more experienced rockers will love how the band handles this track.  And that such a young band by comparison could so expertly handle this classic will make older audiences smile, too.  Younger audiences will love it too simply because the band shines here even more.  It’s as if the band just keeps getting better and better on every track.  This is the case with the remaining trio of covers included here, too.  Those covers lead into the inclusion of two more bonuses in the form of ‘Crawl’ and its remix of sorts.

‘Crawl’ was taken from the band’s 2011 album, Worship Music.  Including both this track and its remix was actually quite smart.  Whereas so many bands in a case such as this would only include the redone track or live track, Anthrax and Megaforce Records have included both tracks, thus offering audiences the chance to compare and decide for themselves which version of the song they like better.  Regardless of which song becomes one fan’s favorite or another’s these last two tracks help the EP close just as solidly as it opened.  It goes without saying that if any one negative that could be said about Anthems, it is that the band chose to make this an EP, instead of a full length album.  Here’s to hoping one day, fans will see that happen.  Until then, fans can listen to his EP to their hearts’ content as the EP is available now both in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct from the official Anthrax website here:  http://anthrax.com/2013/03/19/anthems-is-here/Worship Music can be ordered directly via the band’s official website also at  http://shop.anthrax.com/shop.cfm/pk/category/ac/detail/cid/409267/prodid/412162.

Fans can get a chance to win a copy of Anthems for free right now and the chance to see the band live at its stop in Charlotte, North Carolina next month from the Phil’s Picks blog and Facebook page when they “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  Just “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and say you want to be entered for the chance to win an EP and to see the band live.

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Something Unto Nothing Is Something Indeed

Courtesy:  Robo Records

Courtesy: Robo Records

The debut album from rock supergroup Something Unto Nothing is perhaps the first great rock record of 2013.  The band—Sass Jordan (Canadian Idol), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne), Michael Devin (Whitesnake, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Kenny Wayne Shepherd), and Tommy Stewart (Godsmack, Lo Pro, Everclear, Fuel) have come together for a record that’s a solid, no-nonsense rock record.  The project was originally started by Jordan and band mate Brian Tichy.  Tichy notes in an interview about the album, “I had played drums on Sass’ Rats record.”  He added, “I knew she was one of the best rock singers out there.  So after many years, we reconnected and tried a bit of writing together.”

Fans of the stoner rock genre will especially enjoy this album as it opens with a sound similar to the likes of Fireball Ministry, Nebula, and others of that ilk.  Jordan even noted in an interview of how the album came to develop its sound.  “As we continued the songwriting path from the quintessential rock tunes, ‘Burned’ to ‘Mobile Again’ to ‘Nomad’ and on…The whole thing started to take shape in the form of a 70’s odyssey, a time travel trajectory”, she said.  That couldn’t be truer.  The album’s opener, ‘Burned’ will take audiences back to rock’s heyday thanks to the combination of Sass’ vocals and the band’s musical backing.  Sass sounds like some wild hybrid of Janis Joplin and fellow veteran vocalist, Geddy Lee (Rush).  Stewart expertly keeps a solid 4/4 beat for the band all while tossing in some nice little flourishes throughout.  And Tichy’s guitar work is just as solid here.  Just as Stewart’s drumming proves the K.I.S.S. formula true, so does Tichy’s guitar work.  There’s nothing overdone about what he does here.  But it’s that simplicity and solid playing that makes this the right choice for a first impression on this record.

The band follows up the success of ‘Burned’ with an equally simple yet rocking song in ‘Crazy Head.’  There’s no question what this song is about, lyrically speaking.  It’s a song about a relationship issue.  Given, that’s the most common lyrical topic of any song.  But it’s the way the topic is tackled both lyrically and musically that makes it such an interesting piece.  Jordan sings in the song, “You, You, you/You’re crazy/Don’t you call me baby/You, you , you/You’re crazy/You got a crazy head.”  It’s amazing what a few words can do.  But that chorus is enough to explain everything that’s needed to understand this song.  This is not just some “oh-woe-is-me” style song.  This is coming from the standpoint of a strong empowered individual.  It’s someone who isn’t going to take any junk from anyone.  Add in the music’s fiery exuberance, and that becomes increasingly clear.  Yet again, Brian Tichy shines on this song, adding a solo that would make any guitar purist proud.

The band continues much in the same style in the album’s very next song, ‘Nomad.’  This is one of those songs that will instantly have the horns in the air and the hair flying as heads bang.  It’s sure to become a fan favorite both from the record and both as the band hits the road to perform the songs from this album live.  And for those worrying about whether or not this first trio of songs is all that the band has to offer on its debut, those fears are instantly silenced as the band launches in the Red Hot Chili Peppers style funk-rock of ‘Did Me No Good.’  Together, Tichy and bassist Michael Devin make for a sound that would make RHCP guitarist and bassist Josh Klinghoffer and Flea happy.  The band barely lets up from here with the southern rock styling of the album’s next two tracks, ‘Mobile Again’ and ‘I’m The One.’  ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd fans will appreciate ‘Mobile Again’ with its classic southern rock sound.  The same applies with ‘I’m The One.’  There’s more than enough rock to make any rock purist happy.  For those who want something a little softer, Something Unto Nothing offers that, too as it only slows down a few times.  That slowing is just enough to let listeners catch their breath before the band launches into its next aural assault.  The last of the slower songs is the album’s closer, ‘Goodbye.’  On the surface, it would appear that this is a breakup song as Jordan sings, “I don’t want to leave you/But I’ve got to say/Goodbye.”  And given the song’s tone, it would appear even more that this is a song about a breakup.  But on a deeper level, it could also be interpreted as Jordan and company saying goodbye for now.  It’s as if she and her band mates are collectively saying, “We’ve had a blast entertaining you, and we don’t want to have to leave, but we have to say goodbye.”  On that level, it’s a fitting end to what is without a doubt one of the first great rock records of 2013.

The band currently wrapped a series of dates in support of its new album.  In order to find out when the band will next be hitting the road, fans can check out the band online at http://www.somethingunto.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/SUN-Something-Unto-Nothing/177605938956922, https://www.twitter.com/teamsassjordan, and http://www.reverbnation.com/sunsomethinguntonothing.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.