‘The Change’ Could Change The Course Of Awake At Last’s Life

Courtesy: Outerloop Records

Hard rock band Awake At Last has made a name for itself throughout the course of its life for presenting songs that promote positivity, spirituality and self-confidence.  That trend, which the band has held over the course of two EPs, continues on the band’s full-length debut album The Change.  The 12-song record presents those themes in various ways throughout the course of its 39-minute run time, complete with musical arrangements that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  From one song to the next, the record’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes that make up its body ensure listeners’ continued engagement.  The album’s lead single ‘Dead Generation’ is just one of the songs that supports that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Bigger Picture,’ which comes later in the album’s run continues to support that statement in a similar fashion.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Fallen Stars,’ the album’s closer is yet another of the album’s entries that exhibits the band’s continued themes of positivity and self-confidence. It serves just as much as ‘Dead Generation’ and ‘Bigger Picture’ to maintain listeners’ engagement.  When these songs are considered along with the nine songs that make up the remainder of the record, the whole of The Change becomes a work that may well “change” the course of Awake At Last’s career to the positive.

Awake At Last’s debut full-length studio recording The Change is a strong new effort from the Delaware-based hard rock outfit.  It is a nearly 40-minute presentation whose themes of positivity, self-confidence and spirituality are certain to keep listeners engaged while at the same time, offering those same audiences plenty of musical entertainment and lyrical inspiration.  One of the songs featured in the record’s 12-song body that serves to support those statements comes early in the record’s run in the form of ‘Dead Generation.’  The album’s lead single, it presents a musical arrangement that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Three Days Grace, Shinedown and to a lesser extent, Set It Off.  That combination of influences makes the song’s musical arrangement a strong foundation for the song’s presentation.  That foundation is strengthened through the social commentary presented in the song’s lyrical content.

The song’s lyrical content presents a theme of…well…making a change.  It approaches the subject in this case, by forcing listeners to contemplate whether the current generation that has inherited the planet is in fact as bad off as it has been made to seem.  Front man Vincent Torres delivers that message, singing in the song’s lead verse, “With every moment/We’re drifting into defeat/We keep on living a lie/Like it’s what we need/When conversation is avoided to keep the peace/The silence pulling us under will never cease.”  He is saying here, that people need to stand up and speak up, rather than be passive and just let things happen.  That is because if we continue to remain silent, nothing will get better in the world, rather it will do the opposite and get worse.  This statement is heightened through the song’s chorus in which Torres and his band mates – Eric Blackway (guitar), Imran Xhelili (guitar) and John Finney (drums) – sing, “We beg the world to change/But fail to face it/Are we alive or a dead generation?”  He is saying, we keep calling for change, but are we doing anything to back up our calls to action?  As if that is not proof enough, Torres goes on in the song’s second verse, to sing, “Trapped in a moment/Perpetual hell/This life’s a coffin and we are the nails/Cut out the answers and disarm the scars/We always take, take, take/And forget who we are.”  Again, here is a statement of looking at the bigger picture.  We are the cause, not the effect, is essentially what Torres is saying here.  We are the “nails,” the cause.  We always take, take, take/And forget who we are.  It’s all about us.  We need to act for the bigger picture.  Torres speaks in metaphors here, but it is relatively clear what he is saying.  Keeping that in mind, along with the fire in the song’s musical arrangement, this first statement from the band this time out shows without doubt that noted positivity for which the band has come to be known during its life.  Given it is hardly the first time that any musical act has ever presented a call to action so to speak, but it still works even in this case.  In the process, it helps to establish the band’s identity and that of the album.  It is just one of the album’s most standout additions.  Speaking of bigger pictures, the song ‘Bigger Picture’ is another of those key additions to the record.

‘Bigger Picture’ comes late in the album’s 39-minute run time.  It stands out quite starkly from its counterparts included in the album, through its musical arrangement.  This song’s arrangement boasts a sound more akin to Set It Off and Fall Out Boy than the previously noted bands.  What is nice is that even with those influences, the song still maintains its own identity separate from those bands’ works.  That goes a long way toward making the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content, which focuses on the importance of unity and seeing the forest for the trees, adds to the foundation formed through the song’s arrangement.

The message in question is delivered as Torres sings in the song’s lead verse, “Spent some time inside my mind/And found a way to re-align/My thoughts betray me, but it’s all in my head/Life is just a tapestry and I’m just a thread.”  Now this line in and of itself directly sends that message.  The song’s subject looked inside, and realized he/she needed to think differently because he/she was just one part of a much bigger whole.  The message continues as Torres sings, “People used to tell me ‘cause I doubted myself/Spent so much time tryin’ to be someone else/I know it’s not about me, but it’s plain to see/We’re losing ourselves to these selfish machines/Get into our bodies and out of our screens/If we’re all part of something bigger/Then I know who I am/If we’re all fragments of a picture/Then why can’t we see we’re all the same/Ignite the flame…You’re the same as you and I.”  Again, here we have a message that we need to see we are all part of something much bigger and we need to think of one another instead of ourselves.  Once again, this is not the first time that any band or act has ever presented such a message, but it is another message that can not be expressed enough.  Rather, it is a message that sadly, must continued to be presented to a public that needs constant reminders of this issue.  Keeping this in mind, this uplifting message couples with the song’s equally engaging musical arrangement to make the whole another song that shows how The Change in whole can potentially change the course of Awake At Last’s career.  It is not the last of the songs that serves to support that statement, either.  The song’s powerhouse finale, ‘ Fallen Stars’ is yet another way in which the album exhibits its strength.

‘Fallen Stars’ changes things up from Awake At Last in terms of its musical arrangement once again, this time moving from the emo-core sound of Fall Out Boy and Set It Off to a more aggro-rock style sound that takes listeners back to the late 90s, right down to the screaming climaxes of the verses.  That sound alone serves to help the song stand out, but is just one part of what makes the song so notable.  The song’s lyrical theme once again is that continued uplifting positive theme that reminds listeners to not give up even in life’s most difficult moments.

Torres reminds listeners to note give up in the song’s chorus, singing, “Sometimes we hurt/Sometimes we break/But it’s times like these/We learn to create/Everyone fails/It’s part of the plan/We have to fall/To get up again.”  This is a powerful statement that is certain to inspire plenty of listeners.  It is just one of the statements that will inspire listeners.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve seen the vision/As lightning cracks the sky/I’m gonna chase this dream/But something worth having will never come easy/So I’ll take the long road/Even if I pave it on my own/’Cause when the sky falls down/the sky is quiet with the silence/We stand together united by fallen stars/We’re stronger together.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Burning image/On the canvas of our lives/We’re gonna change this scene/It’s something worth having, so it won’t be easy/But they’ll remember/How the artists took a stand/As we live and breathe/The world is quiet with our silence.”  In the song’s finale, he adds, “We stand together united by fallen stars/So let the darkness divide us/Remember who we are/Brave the weather/We’re stronger together/Everything comes crashing down around us/Like a phoenix we’re reborn from the ashes.”  Once again, here is that message of perseverance and positivity coupled with the continued theme of unity, much as is presented in so many of the album’s other songs.  It is just another way in which the album’s lyrical content continues the themes presented in the band’s currently available two EPs.  Those themes are continued throughout the rest of the album’s entries, too, in even more diverse fashion.  That diversity in the delivery of the band’s positive messages and the power in the album’s musical arrangements makes the album in whole a positive debut for Awake At Last; a debut that could create a positive change for the band itself.

Awake At Last’s debut full-length studio recording The Change is a strong offering from the up-and-coming hard rock outfit.  As has been noted in this review, the positive lyrical themes presented in the band’s currently available EPs are continued throughout this record in various ways.  The musical arrangements that accompany those positive messages do just as much to make the album a success.  When they are coupled together and considered from the album’s opening to its end, the album in whole proves to be a record that could change the course of Awake At Last’s life in a good way.  It is scheduled for release June 21 through Outerloop Records.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Awake At Last’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.awakeatlastrock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/awakeatlastrock

 

 

 

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Monster Energy Aftershock Festival Lineup Announced; Tickets On Sale Now

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is coming back to California this year.

The annual festival is scheduled to be held October 13 and 14 at Sacramento’s Discovery Park.  Now in its seventh year, the festival will be headlined this year by System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones.  This year marks the first time that System of a Down has performed at the festival.

Along with being the band’s first year at the festival, System of a Down’s performance at the Aftershock Festival will also be the band’s first announced U.S. appearance in three years.  It is also part of the band’s 20th anniversary celebration of its landmark self-titled album’s release.

While System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones are the two-day festival’s planned headliners, they are not the only bands on the bill.  Also scheduled for the performance are Godsmack (which is currently touring in support of its brand new album When Legends Rise), Incubus, Seether, Jonathan Davis (whose latest solo album Black Labyrinth is scheduled for release May 25), At The Drive-In and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (who are currently working on their latest album) as well as Bullet For my Valentine (whose new album Gravity is scheduled to be released June 29), Sevendust (whose album All I See Is War is out now) and many more.  The full lineup for this year’s festival is noted below.

The current band lineup for Monster Energy Aftershock is as follows: System Of A Down, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Godsmack, Shinedown, 311, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, At The Drive-In, Seether, Jonathan Davis, Bullet For My Valentine, Underoath, Black Veil Brides, Hellyeah, Asking Alexandria, Sevendust, Everlast, GWAR, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, Dance Gavin Dance, Monster Magnet, Red Sun Rising, Bad Wolves, The Fever 333, Dorothy, Wage War, Plague Vendor, Hyro The Hero, Amigo The Devil, All Them Witches, Slothrust, The Dose, Viza, The Jacks and more to be announced.

Providing food for this year’s festival will be a variety of vendors including: Southern Hospitality Concessions LLC, Danny Wimmer Presents’ affiliate concessionaire.  Food trucks will also be on hand, providing savory and sweet treats from: Angry Bird Grill, Bacon Mania, Barrett’s Burgers, Barrett’s Sliders, Big Joe’s BBQ, Bubba’s BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, Dippin Dots Ice Cream, Dogtown, Drewski’s Hot Rod Sandwiches, Florez Bar & Grill, La Mex Taqueria, Mac Attack, Mount Olympus, Sausage King, Smokin’ Hot Pizza, Spicy Pie and Xochimilco Mexican Restaurant.

Beverages will be available from a variety of vendors, including vendors for festival-goers 21 and older.  Those vendors include: Caduceus Vellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden (owned by Tool/A Perfect Circle/ Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan) and the Belching Beaver Bar (featuring drafts from the Vista, CA brewer including the Phantom Bride IPA, a collaboration with the Defones).  Mrkt N Jolt will also be on site, offering hot coffee, cold brew and other items.

As if the music, food and drink isn’t enough for festival-goers, this year’s festival will also offer lots of entertainment options.  Those options include the Monster Energy Experience, which gives audiences the chance to meet and greet the bands while also sampling the festival’s various offered drinks, The Music Experience, which is an interactive exhibit and music instrument retailer.  Non-profit animal rescue organization Take Me Home will also be on-site along with Dyin 2 Live/FXck Cancer, a wish-granting organization.  Fans can buy music from the festival’s bands on site at the f.y.e. Fan Experience.

Festival-goers can win prizes and check out the latest products from Zippo Lighters at Zippo Encore and charge their phones at SWFTCharge.

Tickets and VIP packages for this year’s festival are on-sale now.  Prices are listed below.  Service fees on all ticket purchases include a $0.50 charity fee for the T.J. Martell Foundation, a foundation aimed at researching and fighting cancer.  Active military personnel get discounts on their tickets through GovX.

Initial ticket prices will be as follows:

  • 2-Day Weekend General Admission: starting at $149.50 + fees
  • 2-Day Weekend VIP: starting at $299.50 + fees
  • Single Day General Admission: starting at $89.50 + fees
  • Single Day VIP: starting at $179.50 + fees

VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes to the venue, shaded VIP hang area with seating for dining, a VIP-only viewing area of main stage, video screens featuring a live feed of main stage inside the VIP hang area, upgraded food and drink selections, dedicated VIP restrooms and commemorative VIP Monster Energy Aftershock laminate.

A park & ride shuttle is being offered again for this year’s festival as parking at Discovery park is very limited.  Every ticket includes parking at Sleep Train Arena and non-stop shuttle directly to the festival site.

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and fueled by Monster Energy.  It is sponsored by f.y.e., Coors Light, Jack Daniels, Zippo Encore, The Music Experience, SWFTCharge, Fxck Cancer, Ace of Spades, Take Me Home and Belching Beaver.  More sponsors will be announced later.

More information on this year’s Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.AftershockFestival.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AftershockSac

 

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Daybreak Embrace Streaming ‘The Moment’ Video Now

Daybreak Embrace is on the verge of being embraced by the masses thanks to its new video.

The Florida-based rock outfit released the video for its latest single ‘The Moment’ earlier this month.  According to the description on the band’s CD Baby website, the song is meant to be “a tribute to the fans and family gained on a cross-continent journey full of love, life and loud music.

The video sets the song against footage of the band performing at Woodstock Poland 2016.  For those unfamiliar with the currently unsigned act, the song conjures thoughts of Shinedown, Pop Evil, Five Finger Death Punch and others of that ilk.  The video is streaming online now here.

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

‘The Moment’ is just the latest of Daybreak Embrace’s works.  The band already has two EPs under its belt.  Its most recent release is 2013’s Mercury.  More information on ‘The Moment’ and all of Daybreak Embrace’s music and news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://daybreakembrace.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DaybreakEmbrace

 

 

 

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.

Wovenwar’s Second Album Is A Solid Sophomore Effort

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The end of the old year and the start of the New Year are traditionally the slowest times of the year in terms of new music releases.  While some new albums are released over the holiday season and the early part of the New Year, the real first push for new albums generally doesn’t start until early March.  Even as slow as the end of the old year and start of the New Year are, new albums are released.  However, they are few.  That gives audiences time to catch up on some of the previous year’s big albums.  It goes without saying that 2016 saw more than its share of big albums.  Wovenwar’s sophomore album Honor Is Dead is one of those big albums released this year.  The album, released Oct. 21, is a big step up for the band. The band took the melodic hard rock and metalcore elements presented in its 2014 self-titled debut here and stepped them up in a big way on this record.  The stepped up arrangements are sure to keep listeners fully engaged from beginning to end.  The same can be said of the lyrical themes presented throughout the record, and when those themes are set alongside the songs’ musical arrangements, the end result is a record that as this critic already noted, is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Wovenwar’s sophomore album Honor Is Dead is only the band’s second full-length studio album, but it can be said that it is the band’s best work so far.  It is a big step up from the band’s 2014 self-titled debut.  The record’s powerhouse opener ‘Confession’ serves clearly to support that statement. The song’s guitar-driven arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Killswitch Engage, Memphis May Fire, All That Remains and others of that ilk.  That is the case even in the song’s more flowing chorus.  The power in that arrangement is a good fit for the song’s equally powerful lyrical content, which seems to center on someone fighting alcoholism.  It can be inferred that the song’s lyrical theme focuses on said subject as front man Shane Blay sings in the song’s lead verse, “I call it a phase, I call it a phase/But bottoms of bottles are killing the pain/I call it a phase, I call it a phase/When no one’s looking I take in all I can/I kiss the bottle until I can’t stand/And wake up grieving/And by noon I won’t care/I’ll count the minutes til’ I start again.”  The song’s subject asks himself in pained fashion in the song’s chorus, “What have I become/Have I come undone?”  This illustrates even more that the song seems to be addressing someone battle addiction.

If the song’s simple but powerful chorus and lead verse aren’t enough to convince one of the song’s subject, one line in particular in the song’s second verse will most certainly convince listeners.  Blay sings in said verse, “You cannot hurt when you cannot feel a thing/The past has taught me I won’t remember a thing/I’ll trade a night cap for some apathy/And wake up grieving, and by noon I won’t care/I count the minutes til’ I start again.”  This is a powerful statement; one that is just as powerful as that in the song’s lead verse.  When the two are coupled with the song’s equally impacting musical arrangement, the end result is a work that is a solid opener for the record and a song that shows clearly what makes this album so impressive.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that is so powerful, too.  ‘Lines in the Sand’ is another of the album’s most standout songs.

‘Confession,’ Honor Is Dead’s opening composition is a solid opener for Wovenwar’s new album.  It is also a solid example of what makes this record so impressive. That is due both to its musical and lyrical content.  It is just one of the songs that stands out in this record’s overall body.  ‘Lines in the Sand’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession.’  That is due to its musical arrangement and lyrical theme, too.  The song’s musical arrangement is powerful in its own right thanks to the work of guitarist Nick Hipa, bassist Josh Gilbert and drummer Jordan Mancino.  Instead of the full on shredding assault presented in ‘Confession,’ the musicians have crafted here an arrangement that is more akin to arrangements crafted by the members of Sevendust, Shinedown, and others of that ilk.  Such a contrast shows the musicians’ reach even more and is just one part of what makes this song – and record – stand out.  The song’s lyrical content stands out just as much as its musical arrangement.

In the case of the song’s lyrical content, front man Shane Blay comes across as presenting commentary on the nation’s division and the damage that said division is doing to the country.  The song’s first two verses are proof of that. Blay sings in the song’s lead verse, “Some men are born to reap the harvest/Some men are born to sow the seed/the lines between them are all drawn in/The lie between them is belief.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Does anyone know why we’re fighting/Does anyone know the other side/the lines between us are all drawn by/the lies that we choose to believe.”  These verses make a powerful statement; a statement of how easily people allow themselves to be divided because they don’t question. In the song’s chorus, Blay strengthens that statement even more as he sings, “If only we had eyes to see the lines blurring/Fall in line if you’re willing/Defend these shores to the bitter end/Everyone’s got a reason/to name the victims and the villains/But who drew the lines in the sand?”  He is saying people need to think for themselves rather than just let themselves be divided.  Again, it is a powerful message, and one that is as relevant today as in any era.  When that powerful message is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the pair’s partnering exhibits fully why this song stands out in the bigger picture of HID.  They also serve to show even more why the album in whole is so impressive, too.  While the song serves to show in its own right what makes HID so impressive, it is just one more example of what makes this record work so well.  The record’s closer, ‘130’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession’ and ‘Lines in the Sand.’

‘Confession’ and ‘Lines in the Sand’ are both powerhouse pieces included in HID that show what makes this record so impressive.  That is due to the songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  The songs’ arrangements and lyrical themes stand out clearly from one another and from the album’s other compositions, too.  As important as those two songs are to the album’s overall presentation, they are only two of the songs that show what makes HID so impressive.  ‘130,’ the record’s closer, is one more example of what makes the album so impressive.  The song’s arrangement is a full-throttle work that conjures thoughts of Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium and other similar acts thanks to the combination of Blay’s vocals, Hipa’s guitar work, Mancino’s work on the drums and Gilbert’s low end.  The arrangement’s furious energy expertly catches the terror and fear that must have been felt at the November 2015 Paris attacks.  What’s more the guitar-driven composition captures just as well the anger that was felt by people around the world following those horrific acts.  The song’s lyrical content captures those emotions just as well as Blay sings, “Explosions shake the city/I thought it was part of the show/A craven is screaming prayers/In a tongue that I don’t know/Paris lights are winking out/I can hear the city scream/While the faithful are rejoicing in the sound of tragedy.”  The fire in Blay’s vocal delivery captures just as well the mix of emotions that must have been felt by those who were there.  That emotion is just as powerfully evident as Blay sings in the song’s chorus, “Find me one reason worth this hate/One reason worth this endless violence/Find me one more reason worth this hate/Because I have 130 reasons to change.”  The 130 reasons in question are the 130 people who were killed in the November 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris.  Blay goes on to directly address the attack at the Bataclan Theatre as he mentions the stage should be a safe place that brings everyone together “yet we one divided/Waging war over beliefs.” He is not making any indictment of the people there, but the people who committed the attacks at the club because of their beliefs.  It is a hard-hitting statement that when joined with the song’s musical arrangement, shows once more why ‘130’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession,’ ‘Lines in the Sand’ and the rest of the songs featured in this album.  Each song, with its arrangement and lyrical theme is important in its own right to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Wovenwar’s sophomore effort a solid second effort.  They give great hope for another album from the band in the not too distant future.

Honor Is Dead is a solid new offering from Wovenwar.  The band’s sophomore record presents arrangements throughout its eleven songs that present sounds similar to so many of its current counterparts including Shinedown, Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, and so many others.  In other words, the record’s musical arrangements don’t stick to just one style of hard rock and metal or another.  They clearly cross those lines from beginning to end, giving listeners plenty of diversity.  That in turn ensures listeners’ engagement in itself.  The lyrical themes presented in each of the album’s songs are just as diverse as the musical arrangements presented in each song.  From a subject battling addiction to an equally powerful statement of people’s blind divisions to an emotional composition about the 2015 attacks on Paris and so much more, the lyrical themes presented in this record give listeners just as much reason to take in this record as its musical arrangements.  Each element is clearly important in its own way to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, the album’s combined musical and lyrical content makes this record, once more, a solid new effort from Wovenwar.  They also give hope that it won’t be the band’s last album, either.  Honor Is Dead is available now in stores and online.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Wovenwar’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wovenwar.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/WOVENWAR

 

 

 

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

Silvertung Shows It’s Ready To Break “Out” In Its New EP

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Underground rock outfit Silvertung released its new EP Out of the Box earlier this week.  The Baltimore, Maryland-based quartet’s new record is a solid follow-up to its 2013 full-length studio recording Devil’s in the Details.  Listening through the six songs that make up the body of this six-song record, it is safe to say that the record is one of 2016’s top new EPs and that Silvertung is one of the rock community’s best kept secrets.

Silvertung’s new record Out of the Box is one of 2016’s top new EPs.  The band’s third record and first EP, it is also proof that the band is currently one of the rock community’s best kept secrets.  One of the songs included in this record that serves this statement is the record’s new single ‘Never Too Late.’  This radio-ready song instantly conjures thoughts of Shinedown, and other acts of that ilk.  That is evident in the way that the song builds from its gentle, acoustic opening bars to a full on hard rock anthem throughout the remainder of its four-minute run time.  Guitarist Cody Red and front man Speed form the foundation of that arrangement with bassist Skoot and drummer Danno adding to it even more as the song progresses.  The song’s musical arrangement is just one of the elements that makes the song such an important addition to OOTB.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangement.  That is because of the way in which it compliments the song’s musical arrangement.  In regards to its lyrical content, the song comes across as an anthem of self-empowerment; one of those familiar anthems that serves to provide that emotional strength that listeners need when they begin to feel the grip of sadness and depression take hold in their lives.  That is noted Speed sings, “The razor’s edge don’t lie when you slide it/Don’t close your eyes/You might miss the show you started/It’s your time to change those fears you’re hiding down below/Where things get so distorted now/Cause it’s hard to find things you want to say/Tired of being hurt like this/Reach down low/Screamin’ yeah/It’s never too late/Never too late/Never too late to shake it/Never too late/Never too late to make it right/When life gets tough/We can make it better/Turn the page…make it better/Cause it’s never too late.”  The message seems pretty clear here.  As the song’s chorus notes, it’s never too late to change things even when life is in its most difficult moments.  This message is driven home even more in the song’s second verse in which Speed goes on to sing, “I’ve been here once before/No strength lying on the floor/One step from light to black/And there’s no turning back/God let this be the end/Cause I know it’s hard to find/The things you want to say/Gotta reach down low screaming yeah/Cause it’s never too late/Never too late/Never too late/To shake it/Never too late/Never too late to make it right/When life gets tough we can make it better/Turn the page.”  Any doubt about the song’s lyrical message should be shaken by now.  And if any doubt still lingers here then it is remained in the song’s final verse as Speed and his band mates reprise the song’s chorus through the song’s final minute or so.  It is a very familiar lyrical theme and one that is always welcome among listeners of any age.  That is because everybody reaches those difficult points in life regardless of age.  The song’s musical arrangement makes the song’s message even more powerful.  The two elements together make this song a welcome addition to OOTB and a song that would be a perfect on any mainstream rock radio station today.  It is just one of the key compositions featured in this record, too.  The record’s closer ‘You & Me’ is another one of its key compositions.

‘Never Too Late’ is one of the key compositions included in Silvertung’s new EP.  That is due to the combination of both its musical arrangement and equally powerful lyrical content.  The two come together to make the song one of the record’s best compositions and a clear example of what makes the record in whole stand out.  It is just one of the disc’s most important additions, too.  ‘You and Me,’ the record’s closer, is another of the record’s key compositions.  It isn’t just one of those classic all too familiar, over the top tear-jerkers.  Rather it is a well-balanced composition that displays so much heart both in its musical and lyrical content.  Just as with ‘Never Too Late’ this is due both to the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  The song’s musical arrangement is the polar opposite of that of ‘Never Too Late.’  Whereas the arrangement behind ‘Never Too Late’ was an emotionally powerful work that expertly complimented the song’s uplifting lyrical theme, this song’s musical arrangement is a classic ballad composition.  What’s interesting is that it isn’t one of those classic hair band ballads of the 80s.  Rather it is more akin to the ballad style songs crafted by the members of Alter Bridge.  Listeners will appreciate, in listening to this arrangement the subtlety of its string arrangement both by itself and in contrast to [Codey] Red’s equally gentle, flowing guitar line.  Both lines are expertly balanced throughout the course of the song.  Speed’s gentle, yet gravelly vocal delivery strengthens the song even more as he sings seemingly to his child, “Here we go again/Finding out the hard way/Learning lessons/Never talked back in the day/As the night closes in/The fear sets in/I can’t show at all my face/Cause this little one is counting on me/To be the strength/Left alone in a world so unknown/Finding out there’s no escape/I can deal with it all/Though, the struggle’s getting old/Just as long as there’s you and me.”  The power in his gentility is just as obvious as he sings to his child in the song’s second verse, “Look in your eyes/All I see is the innocence/Knowing one day it’ll all be taken away/Out of my control/There’s nothing I can do/Fear of it all is that I know you’ll be strong/Stand on your own two feet/I can deal with it all/Though, the struggle’s getting old/As long as there’s you and me/And someday you will find yourself/Staring into these arms/So familiar/You’ll see yourself/The fear of it all is that I know you’ll be strong/And stand on your own two feet/I can deal with it all/Though, the struggle’s getting old/As long as there’s you and me/As long as there’s you and me.”  The control in Speed’s delivery as he sings these lines is powerful in its own right.  Together with the song’s other musical elements and the lyrics themselves, the song in whole stands out just as much as ‘Never Too Late.’  It still is not the last composition proving what makes OOTB stand out.  The record’s opener ‘Face The Music’ is one more of the record’s key compositions.

‘Never Too Late’ and ‘You and Me’ are both key examples of what makes OOTB stand out in this year’s field of new rock releases.  One song is an emotionally powerful composition anti-suicide song of sorts that will uplift listeners with its musical arrangement and lyrical content.  The other will move listeners just as much just in another way with its gentle, flowing musical arrangement and its equally touching lyrical theme about a parent’s love for his/her children.  They are two completely different songs.  Yet both have the same impact on listeners due to their overall content.  As much as both songs stand out in the bigger picture of Silvertung’s new record they are not its only key compositions.  The record’s opener ‘Face The Music’ stands out just as much as those songs.  It is a song that will appeal to fans of Eve To Adam.  Yet again this is due to the song’s combined musical and lyrical content.  The song’s musical arrangement is a solid, driving composition that will have listeners’ blood pumping just as furiously as their fists.  It is driven in large part by Red’s guitar line and Danno’s work behind the kit.  Skoot provides just enough low end to the song to solidify its musical foundation.  Speed’s vocal delivery is the finishing element to the song’s musical arrangement.  All things considered the song’s musical arrangement provides a solid overall foundation to its structure.  Of course it is just one part of the song’s overall structure.  The song’s lyrical content proves to be just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical content will have listeners’ fists pumping just as much as its arena anthem-style musical arrangement.  Speed sings here, “There comes a time for you to step up and rise/Take a look at my face/Take a look in my eyes/Cause I’m one step closer to no return/My bloodshot eyes’ll tell you that I am done/Was it something I said/Rattling your cage/Now I’m all in your head/there’s mistakes that you never will hide/Like the knife in my back/I’m the thorn in your side/From your cold, cool stale personality/To my one stop shop brutal honesty/Was it something I said/Rattling your cage/Now I’m all in your head.”  The lyrical assault doesn’t’ end here.  Speed goes on to go after his subject as he sings confidently, “You’ll never measure up/To be that man/Well step up if you think you can/Ready or not…It’s time to face the music.”  The lyrical (and musical) energy doesn’t let up one bit from here.  Rather it stays just as solid right up to the end of the song’s roughly two and a half-minute run time (technically 2:34).  The energy exuded by the combination of the song’s musical and lyrical energy makes this song not just a solid opener for the record but also another of the record’s key compositions if not its absolute best making even clearer why OOTBB is in whole one of 2016’s top new EPs.

Silvertung’s new EP Out of the Box is one of 2016’s top new EPs hands down.  That is because over the course of the its ten minute run time the record presents what is a relatively wide range of sounds.  The record’s opener is an adrenaline-fueled, fist-pumping arena anthem that is sure to be a fan favorite.  It is a work that Eve To Adam’s fans will enjoy.  This applies both on record and in a live setting.  ‘Never Too Late’ is another key example of what makes Out of the Box stand out.  That is due to its powerful musical arrangement and equally powerful lyrical content.  The two elements combine to make it a song that Shinedown’s fans will enjoy.  The record’s closer ‘You and Me’ is a perfect finale for its presentation.  It expertly juxtaposes the record’s opener and puts a powerful period to the record’s presentation.  ‘Devil’s Advocate,’ ‘Taunted’ and ‘Ain’t That A B****’ are not to be ignored here either. Each of those songs is just as important in its own right to the record’s presentation as those songs more directly noted here.  All things considered Out of the Box proves in the end to, again, be one of 2016’s top new EPs.  It is even more proof of why Silvertung is one of the rock community’s best kept secrets.  Though, with the right support this band may not be a secret that much longer.  Out of the Box is available now in stores, online and at any of its upcoming live dates.  More information on the record, the band’s live dates, its latest news, and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://silvertung.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/silvertung1

 

 

 

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Rock On The Range Sells Out For Fourth Straight Year

Rock-on-the-Range-logo

Courtesy: AEG Live/Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

The annual Rock on the Range festival has done it again.

For the fourth consecutive year the Rock on the Range festival has officially sold out. This year’s mark is especially important for the festival as it marks the festival’s 10th anniversary. Last year 120,000 people from all across America and the world bought every last ticket to the three-day festival. This year’s festival will be another three-day event, running from May 20th – 22nd. It will take place at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The lineup for this year’s festival includes: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember, Megadeth, At The Drive-In, Lamb Of God, Sixx:A.M., Hellyeah, and Pennywise, as well as a number of up-and-coming acts.

Along with some of the rock and metal community’s biggest names and biggest names of their next generation, the Rock on the Range Festival will also feature some of the most well-known and respected comedians out there today. They include: Big Jay Oakerson, Nate Bargatze, Craig Gass, Bethany Dwyer, Madison Malloy and Grammy®–nominated comedian Jay Mohr in the Rock on the Range Rolling Rock Comedy Tent. There will even be a craft beer village featuring the top breweries from the region, new art installations, and activities special to the festival among so much more. ROTR co-executive producer Danny Wimmer discussed the sellout and what it says not only of the festival but of rock and metal as well in a recent interview. “Anyone who says, ‘Rock is Dead,’ hasn’t paid attention to Rock On The Range,” he said. “This festival has grown in each one of its 10 years, selling out in record time this year. Rock On The Range’s strength stands as a testament that rock fans are not only alive and well, they are flourishing.”

Whether or not audiences will be headed to the annual festival they can still get all of the latest information on the festival including performance times and more via its new mobile app. The app is free and can be downloaded via iTunes and Google Play.

Rock on the Range is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, AEG Live, and MAPFRE Stadium. It is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, Zippo, The Music Experience, and Bud Light. More information on the Rock on the Range festival is available online along with all of its latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.RockOnTheRange.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rockontherange

 

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.

5FDP Premieres ‘My Nemesis’ Video

Five Finger Death Punch has released its latest video.  And it is one of that audiences will not forget.

Courtesy:  Prospect Park Records

Courtesy: Prospect Park Records

Five Finger Death Punch has teamed up with Vevo to debut the video for its latest single ‘My Nemesis.’  The song is taken from the band’s latest album Got Your Six.

The video follows two teenagers in two very different situations who are ultimately brought together after leaving their homes.  The pair eventually ends up separating at the video’s end.  But their journeys are the most gripping part of the video’s story.  Their stories are meant to illustrate the difficult situations that so many people face every day.  Directed by Nick Peterson the video depicts imagery that some audiences might find unsettling.  While that is the intent in the video viewer discretion is still advised.  It is not the first time that Peterson has teamed up with 5FDP.  Peterson also directed the band’s videos for ‘Wrong Side of Heaven’ and ‘Coming Down.’  Audiences can view the video for ‘My Nemesis’ online now via Vevo at http://www.vevo.com/watch/US5Z51500662?syndicationid=bb8a16ab-1279-4f17-969b-1dba5eb60eda&shortlink=j171aL&country=US.

 

Courtesy:  Vevo/Prospect Park Records

Courtesy: Vevo/Prospect Park Records

 

In conjunction with the video’s premiere, 5FDP is encouraging fans to share their own “Nemesis” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by completing the phrase #MyNemesis is _________ and I will #OVERCOME.  Fans can share their nemesis by searching the hashtags #MyNemesis and #OVERCOME.  The band is encouraging fans to share their own stories with one another and with the band as a means to build strength and a sense of community among its fans.  Fans can go online now to see all of the current fan responses and are encouraged to share their own stories.

Five Finger Death Punch will hit the road this spring in support of Got Your Six beginning April 15th in Perth, Australia.  The band will also join Shinedown for a handful of co-headlining dates on its upcoming tour.  There will also be dates with Black Sabbath, early in the band’s schedule.  Ticketing an VIP info for the tour is available online now via the band’s official website at http://www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com.  The band’s full upcoming tour schedule is noted below.

 

Courtesy:  Concrete Marketing

Courtesy: Concrete Marketing

 

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – Upcoming Tour Dates

April 15th – Perth, AU– Perth Arena (w/ Black Sabbath)

April 17th – Adelaide, AU – Adelaide Entertainment Center (w/ Black Sabbath)

April 19th – Melbourne, AU – Rod Laver Arena (w/ Black Sabbath)

April 20th – Melbourne, AU – Melbourne Festival Hall

April 22nd – Sydney, AU – Sydney Big Top, Luna park

April 23rd – Sydney, AU – Sydney Allphones Arena (w/ Black Sabbath)

April 25th – Brisbane, AU – Brisbane Entertainment Center (w/ Black Sabbath)

April 30th – Ft. Myers, FL – Fort Rock Festival

May 1st – Jacksonville, FL – Welcome To Rockville

May 3rd – Evansville, IN – Ford Center (co-headlining w/Shinedown)

May 4th – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena (co-headlining w/Shinedown)

May 6th- Virginia Beach, VA– WNOR Lunatic Luau Festival

May 7th – Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion Festival

May 9th – Pittsburgh, PA – Consol Energy Arena (co-headlining w/Shinedown)

May 20th  – Schaghticoke, NY – Rock’N Derby Festival

May 20th – May 22nd  – Columbus, OH – Rock On The Range Festival

May 27th – May 29th – Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma Festival

June 18th – Burlington, IA – Burlington Steamboat Days

June 30th – Seinajoki, FI – Provinssi Rock Fest

July 2nd – Norrkoping, SE – Bravalla Festival

July 3rd – Lobnitz, DE – With Full Force Festival

July 4th – Hradec Kralove, CZ – Rock For People

July 6th – Vienna, AT – Two Days A Week

July 7th – Poznan, PL – Jarocin Festival

July 9th – Kvinesdal, NO– Norway Rock Festival

July 14th – Oshkosh, WI – Rock USA Festival

July 16th – Cadott, WI – Rockfest Festival

July 17th – Chicago, IL – Chicago Rock Festival

August 6th – 7th – Montreal, Canada – Heavy Montreal

August 8th – Jackson, MI – Jackson County Fairgrounds

More information on Five Finger Death Punch is available online now along with information on Got Your Six, the band’s upcoming tour and more at:

 

Website: http://www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/5FDP

 

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.

a toi meshen Gets Off To A Good Start With Its Self-Titled Debut LP

Courtesy:  Misery Pill Records

Courtesy: Misery Pill Records

Orange County, California is one of the most historic regions of the country in regards to the modern history of music. It has been home to the likes of Agent Orange, Fu Manchu, Offspring, Aquabats, Thrice, Social Distortion, and so many others. Odds are most music lovers out there have probably not heard of most of those bands save perhaps for the likes of Offspring (no, it’s not THE Offspring, just like it’s not THE Deftones) and Social Distortion at least in terms of that short list. Orange County, California has been home to some of the biggest acts both in the mainstream and the underground. That’s the point of that statement. There are more acts than can be noted in one sitting, plain and simple. One of the region’s bands looking to add its name to that already expansive list goes by the name of, a toi meshen. Yes, that is really the band’s name. It is pronounced A Toy Machine. The band released its self-titled debut album this past October (October 1st to be exact). The ten-track, thirty-seven minute record is an interesting first effort from the band. That is thanks in large part to its sound. The easiest way to define the band’s sound is in its similarity to that of Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, and certain other more well-known acts. That is thanks to its balance of rap and rock elements throughout the course of the record. Interestingly enough even with such comparison, the band actually holds its own against the likes of LP and other rap rock acts. One of the best examples of that ability lies in the album’s opener ‘Waste of Time.’ That song will be discussed shortly. ‘Phony People’ is another key example of the band’s famliar sound and its abiilty to use said sound to hold its own against its more well-known counterparts. ‘Tear Down,’ the album’s penultimate is one more example of the band’s sound and its ability to use that sound to hold its own against its more well-known counterparts. All three songs noted here each show in their own way what audiences can expect from the band’s self-titled debut. Together with the other seven songs not noted here, the album in whole proves to be one that is a promising start for the band.

a toi meshen’s self-titled debut album is a good start for the band. Listening through the course of its ten total tracks, it is easy to make a comparison between this five-piece Orange County, CA-based band and the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park and to a lesser degree Shinedown among other more well-known counterparts. Even with such comparisons easily made, it can be said of the band and its debut album that both do a good job of proving independent acts (both those signed to indie labels and those that are unsigned) can and in many cases do hold their own against their more well-known counterparts. That is proven right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Waste of Time.’ This rap-rock composition takes the influence of the noted acts to form a song that radio programmers would be just as comfortable adding to their stations’ play lists as any of the songs from said acts. Audiences can hear that mix of sounds for themselves via the band’s bandcamp page at http://atoimeshen.bandcamp.com/releases. In terms of the song’s lyrical content, vocalists Tony Lanza and Daynon Lato don’t come out and say whether the song is referring to a broken romantic relationship or friendship at any point in the song. That is exemplified as Lanza raps over Lato’s own vocals in the song’s lead verse, “At a time/To define/Who we are/Where we at/How it is/It ain’t a prophecy/We relaying/A part of a tragedy/You cannot/Justify/What you do/Cuz I’m not gonna wait/You can never create/You in a blind state/Destroy your fate/Take me back/To the day/When I was never locked in a cage/Easy to rock the spot/Drop/My world is hot/Moving on/Understand where we stand/How we dropping the plan/Looking back at our time/I realize it was never mine.” And that is just the start. In the song’s second verse, the duo’s call and response paints even more of a vivid picture as they sing/rap against one another, “Rising up/From the fall/As I call/Just to weaken you all/Is it making me stronger/I feel the anger within/Begin my ultimate sin/Rah/Said to me/Now the hold that you had is now gone/It’s a twist of reality/Don’t get it twisted/Avoid the fact you missed it/I’m the one/That is breaking you down/Now I see all the madness around/And I’m not gonna take it/So check it out/I’m at the very point/To kill the joint.” Yet again there is some ambiguity in the song’s lyrical content. That ambiguity is maintained in the song’s third and final verse. considering the fact that the band left the song’s interpretation at least somewhat in the air is actually a good thing. The song is clear enough lyrically that listeners know that it comes from a very personal place. Now whether or not the song comes from a romantic or general personal standpoint is another story. And in all honesty regardless of which angle is the correct one, it could be used for both in examining these lyrics. That dual use of the song’s lyrics coupled with the song’s overall musical content makes it a solid example of what makes this record a good first effort from e toi meshen. It’s just one example, too.   ‘Phony People’ is another example of what makes this album a good first effort from the band.

‘Waste of Time’ is a clear example through its musical and lyrical content as to why a toi meshen’s debut album is a good start for the band. The personal, self-assured statement made through the song’s lyrical content set against its solid musical content makes it a song that could easily be the song to break the band on any mainstream rock radio station. It is just one example of what makes this album a good first effort from the band. ‘Phony People’ is another example of what makes this record a good first effort from a toi meshen. Just as with ‘Waste of Time,’ this song’s musical content clearly shows the influence of its more well-known counterparts. It can also be heard via the band’s bandcamp page. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, the song is a sharp indictment of all of the fake people in the world. This could apply to people in our everyday lives, the fake people who line the halls of the entertainment world, and anywhere else. Lanza and Lato make that clear as they rap/sing against one another, “Look at all the phony people out there/They’re the reason that I don’t even care/And now I’m forced to make you tell the truth/And make you realize that you’re full of/Lies.” The pair goes on in the song’s second verse, saying, “And I don’t believe/That you can prove/All the stories that you devise/Cause now I know/That what I see/Is far from perfect.” It’s not the first time that any band has crafted such an indictment of the fake people who fill the world. That is a given. But it is still a solid statement in its presentation here. That being the case, it becomes yet another example of what makes e toi machine’s self-titled debut record a good first effort. And together with ‘Waste of Time,’ both songs together paint an even richer picture of what makes this record a good first outing for the band.

‘Waste of Time’ and ‘Phony People’ are both clear examples of what makes a toi meshen’s self-titled debut a good first effort from the band. While both songs are good examples of what the album has to offer they are also not the only examples. ‘Tear Down’ is one more example of just what a toi meshen has to offer in its debut record. Much as with ‘Waste of Time’ this song is another radio-ready composition. That is exhibited through its up-tempo musical content. The balance of the song’s guitar and keyboard line throughout the course of the driving tempo will keep listeners fully engaged. The song’s lyrical content will keep listeners just as engaged as Lanza takes the lead, rapping “On the inside where it all began/Pressing on my mind for the right plan/And it feels out of time/And it feels like an SOS/From the outside as I’m looking in/Trying to make new in my old skin/And I don’t understand/Why you treat me the way you do/Yeah I don’t like it/I think twice/I won’t pay the ultimate price/Now I’m walking backwards/Falling from the weight of you/So here I am again/And I’m standing.” Lanza comes across as addressing a figure that aims to…well…tear down others emotionally and psychologically. That is made clear in the song’s chorus in which Lanza and Layto write, “Is this what you’re looking for/Tear down/You tear me down/And I’m about to break/I think I’m breaking/Tear down/You wear me own/I just can’t sit and take it/I’m just about to break/On the front side/Seeing crystal clear/Never too far from a lost tear.” No matter how much said figure tries to tear down the song’s speaker, that speaker never lets that happen, thus the line, “So here I am again/And I’m standing.” it comes across as a solid message of inner strength and self-confidence for listeners. That is just this critic’s own take on the song of course. It could very well be wholly wrong. If however it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark then it shows even more why a toi meshen’s self-titled debut is a good first effort from the band. Of course it is not the only other song that could be cited as an example of what makes this record worth at least one listen. Any of the other seven songs that make up the rest of the album’s body could be cited just as easily. That being the case, all ten tracks featured in this record come together to show why this new record is a good effort in whole.

a toi meshen’s self-titled debut record is a good first effort from the band. This is exhibited from start to finish in the album’s ten-track, thirty-seven-minute run time. Musically speaking, the album presents a band that holds its own against the likes of Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown and other more well-known counterparts to the band. Lyrically, its personal stories and social commentary make it even more worth hearing. The combination of its musical and lyrical content together makes a toi meshen a solid start for the band. a toi meshen is available now and can be ordered direct via the band’s website at http://www.atoimeshen.com and the band’s official bandcamp page at http://atoimeshen.bandcamp.com. More information on a toi meshen is available online along with the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.atoimeshen.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AToiMeshen

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

Chad Smith Lends His Talents To SAD’s Upcoming Debut LP

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Independent rock band Screaming at Demons recently introduced itself to the world in a big way when it partnered with the nationally known charity group Homeless Rock Stars. The band combined the video for its new song ‘Rock Star’ with footage from a Homeless Rock Stars event to make an emotionally moving and powerful to help raise money for the organization and introduce itself to the music community at large at the same time. Now the band has taken another huge step in getting its name out there. The band has enlisted the help of one of the most talented and respected drummers in the music community today to help record a pair of songs for its upcoming debut record.

Screaming at Demons announced this week that it has enlisted famed drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot) to record the drums for two of the songs to be included in the band’s upcoming album. Those songs are ‘Our Time’ and ‘All Of Me.’ Smith’s inclusion on the album, which currently has no set release date, is rooted in his friendship with AD bassist Chris Clemmence. Having previously performed live with Smith, Clemmence had a first hand understanding of and appreciation for Smith’s work behind the kit, leading to Clemmence asking Smith to lend his talents to the band’s new record. When asked about those talents, Clemmence responded telling reporters, “Chad is a legend and phenomenal powerhouse of a drummer. We are beyond honored to have him play on our two new upcoming singles. His feel and groove have brought our songs to a new level. We are so lucky to have him as well as an all-star team working on our music.”

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Currently, Screaming at Demons is hard at work on its upcoming album. The album is being mixed by five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Chris Lord-Alge. Alge is no stranger to the music community and obviously to success within that community having those awards to his name. The roster of bands with which he has worked over the course of his career says plenty of his expertise behind the boards. That list includes the likes of: Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Cher, Bon Jovi, Seal, Meatloaf, Three Days Grace, Aerosmith, Shinedown, Deftones, and countless others.  Alge was asked by reporters his thoughts on working with SAD.  his response showed just how excited he is to work with front man Shimon Moore and fellow SAD band mates Russell Ali and Chris Clemmence.  He had only positive things to say of working with the band, noting of the group, “A new level of excitement is coming from these boys and they are giving back to people in need and making music that instantly makes you wanna be a part of it!”  While fans wait for Alge, and the members of SAD to finish the band’s new album, they can check out the band’s video for its inspirational and infectious song ‘Rock Star.’ It can be viewed online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0g7QiwkAe4&feature=youtu.be. Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest updates from the studio and all of the band’s latest news online at:

Website: http://screamingatdemons.com

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

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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

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