South Of Eden Front Man Ehab Omran Talks Touring, COVID Concerns, The New Wave Of Classic Rock, More In NEw Phil’s Picks Interview

Courtesy: South of Eden

Neo-classic rock band South of Eden is gearing up for a short series of live dates next month. The band’s brief tour features performances at a trio of big festivals. Front man Ehab Omran recently talked with Phil’s Picks about the band’s inclusion in those festivals as well as concerns about COVID-19’s role in live music, the band’s next record and more as the group prepares for everything on the band’s calendar. Omran’s discussion with Phil’s Picks is featured below.

PP: South of Eden has some positive news on the live front.  The band is scheduled to head back out on the road next month.  The schedule is pretty interesting in that it’s very short, at only four dates.  However, those four dates include performances at three very well-known festivals – Riff Fest, Louder Than Life, and the Aftershock Festival.  What does it mean to you all as a band to be tapped to play such big festivals and have them be your main live dates right now, especially considering the list of major name acts that you will be joining at each festival?

EO: Thank you for having me on Phil! It means the world to us to be able to say that we are a part of the biggest rock festivals in America, and to be able to share stages with a lot of our heroes is a dream come true. We have to thank Danny Wimmer and DWP for that!  Our decision to keep the shows next month to a minimum is due to the uncertainty of what could happen in these next coming months with the pandemic. We are always optimistic things will get better, but for the sake of not canceling shows and letting fans down, we decided a short run until things are certain is the wiser decision.

PP: Staying on that matter, are more dates in the works?

EO: There are actually a lot of pending dates that we are tentatively holding off on until we can maybe get more assurances! So who knows look out for pop up shows near you!

PP: Getting back to the festivals, when did you first find out that you had been tapped to the play the noted festivals and what was the first thing that went through your minds when you got the news?

EO: We found out around Nov. of 2020. It was definitely great news to end the crappy year! It made us hopeful and determined to put on an infertile show.

PP: What do you think the band’s appointments say to the group’s popularity?

EO: I think a lot of people have been craving a different kind of rock n roll. The kind that has real teeth and unpolished audacity, with a hook that makes you dance. That’s what we like to do. Break your neck head banging and then dance when the groove hits haha. It is very fulfilling to have incredible names in the industry recognize us and give us opportunities to prove that we pack a different kind of punch.,

PP: Speaking of popularity, the classic rock movement seems to be getting renewed popularity and attention both among audiences and those within the music industry.  Bands, such as yourselves, Horisont, The Hawkins, Greta Van Fleet, Heavy Feather, Dirty Honey, Night, and others, have risen to fame in the past year or so thanks to the renewed focus on the genre.  What does it mean to you all to be part of that renaissance of sorts within the classic rock realm?  What’s more, to what do you all think the genre’s renewed growth can be attributed?

EO: It’s awesome to be able contribute to the new wave of rock! I think everyone is being drawn to it because they are tired of polished, contrived music. Mix that in with the state of the world and I think it’s easy to remember where the attitude and love for rock comes from.

PP: Changing gears a bit, the last time audiences heard anything new from South of Eden was last year in your then new EP, The Talk.  Of course, there was also that cover that you did of Audioslave’s hit single, ‘Show Me How To Live’ not long after the EP’s release.  It would suffice to say that audiences will hear plenty from that EP and the band’s 2018 album, Take One on your upcoming dates.  Are audiences going to hear anything that maybe the band has worked on during its downtime in 2020 and this year?

EO: The Talk EP was always meant to be a full album because we went and recorded 12 songs of which we only released 4. The ones we thought would be a good stepping stone into some bigger songs we were excited to release. We knew however, with the pandemic going on, it would have been a major disservice to the music to release it without being able to tour properly. All of these songs will be played on these runs we do this year! Now here we are a year later recording a while other album to add to our arsenal! It’s a good feeling to know that when the time is right we are going to have a plethora of music! Who knows maybe we just release a double album haha!

PP: So can audiences expect to hear anything new from the band in studio before this year is out?

EO: The short answer is YES! And the long answer is……………..YES!

PP: Backing up a little bit, I want to touch on the band’s cover of Audioslave’s ‘Show Me How To Live.’  I went back through my notes on that one.  According to the information that was sent out at the time, you guys had plenty of praise for Tom Morello and Chris Cornell, but there was no mention as to what influenced that band to take on the song.  Talk to me about that item if you will.

EO: The answer to this one is a bit underwhelming. So I had only heard of maybe 3 Soundgarden songs before 2019. (I got into rock very late so it took me a while to get to Cornell RIP). As soon as I got in though, I couldn’t get out. I loved his voice and eventually found Audioslave and wanted to cover every song! I particularly loved ‘Show Me How to Live’ because of its message and amazing grunge feel, a sound we hadn’t tried before.

PP: On a related note, Audioslave was not exactly a neo-classic rock band during its life.  Though, its third album did show some classic rock influence.  Keeping that in mind, was that cover a hint at the band’s direction in its next studio recording?

EO: I think that when our music is released as a whole it will be more evident that many of our songs have extremely different feels and rhythm. A more classic sounding song like ‘Dancing With Fire’ is very different from the more pop sounding ‘Solo” which is different from the jazz feel of ‘Morning Brew’. This will continue to happen as we release more and more of our music!

PP: One last question for you to get back to the festivals and touring and bring things full circle, which band(s) are you hoping to get to see, even as busy as your schedule is going to be?  Are there any bands on the bills that you all have toured with or would like to tour with and why?

EO: We along with everyone are pumped to see MAMMOTH WVH! He’s incredible both in his music writing and his production. It would be dope to be able to tour with a band like that!

Thanks again so much for the time, and I wish you guys the best of luck in your upcoming live dates.

Thank you for having us! Let us know if a show pops up near you we’d love to see ya!

More information on South of Eden’s upcoming performances is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://southofedenband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/southofedenmusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/southofedenband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Rock Super Group Takes Top Honors In Phil’s Picks’ 2020 Best New EPs

Courtesy: Wiretap Records

Another year has come and another year is almost gone.  Only a handful of weeks remain in this year, which means many record companies have already turned their focus to 2021.  Even with the record labels turning their attention to the new year, there is still work to be done this year.  The work in question is a look back at the best of the year’s new music.  For this critic, that look back starts at the smallest level, EPs.  Those who have followed this critic’s daily ramblings year in and year out know that the year-enders have always started with the smallest records, the EPs, and this year is no different.  This year has seen a variety of interesting EPs released from across the musical universe.  They include records released by labels and independently by the acts in question. 

Featured in this critic’s list of this year’s are new offerings from Hell or Highwater (which is fronted by Atreyu’s Brandon Saller), Another Day Dawns, and even independent artist Vast Caldera among others.  Topping this year’s list is an offering from the “super group” In Parallel.

As with every year past, this critic’s list features not 10, but 15 titles.  The top 10 titles are the primary titles, while the next five are honorable mention titles.  With everything noted, here with out any further ado, is Phil’s Picks Top 10 New EPs of 2020.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW EPs

  1. In Parallel – Fashioner
  2. Mark Morton – Ether
  3. Killswitch Engage – Atonement II: B-Sides For Charity
  4. Vast Caldera – Vast Caldera I
  5. Another Day Dawns – Stranger
  6. Hell or Highwater – Lost at Sonic Ranch
  7. Stabbing Westward – Dead and Gone
  8. Lord—Chaos Raining
  9. KB & The Idyllwilde – I Just Wanna Love You, I Just Wanna Let You
  10. The Run Around – Bombs Away
  11. Morgan Rose – Controlled Chaos
  12. Zero Theorum – The Killing: Part I
  13. Hold On Hollywood – Love Stories
  14. South of Eden – Talk
  15. The Jacks – Remember You

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the list of the year’s top new independent albums.  This year has produced some impressive new independent albums.  Stay tuned for that.

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.

South of Eden Debuts Video For ‘Show Me How To Live’ Video

South of Eden is paying tribute to Audioslave and its late front man Chris Cornell.

The band debuted the video for its cover of Audioslave’s song ‘Show Me How To Live’ Monday through Spin magazine.  Recorded at Sonic Lounge Studios in Grove City, Ohio, the performance was filmed, directed, and edited by John Payne for Payne Productions.

South of Eden stayed largely true to Audioslave’s original song in its take on ‘How To Live.’  The most noticeable change in SOE’s take is the solo, which takes Tom Morello’s work and steps it up even more.  Front man Ehab Omran’s vocal delivery is such that even Cornell’s fans will find themselves praising his take on the song.  Meanwhile, Tom McCullough (drums) and Nick Frantianne (bass) are just as worthy of their own praise as they take on the work of Brad Wilk and Tim Cummerford in their respective parts.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity/Spin Magazine

The band released a prepared statement explaining its reasoning for covering ‘Show Me How To Live.’

‘I fell in love with ‘Show Me How To Live’ instantly,” the statement reads.  “It’s a very heavy riff, but it grooves at the same time, and that’s why I think Tom Morello is a god for doing all the things he does on the electric guitar.  And obviously Chris Cornell is nothing to pass over at all, may he rest in peace.”

More information on South of Eden’s new cover and EP The Talk is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://southofedenband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/southofedenmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/southofedenband

 

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.

South of Eden Debuts ‘The Talk’ Video

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records

South of Eden debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘The Talk’ Tuesday through Rolling Stone magazine.  The song is the title from from the band’s new EP, which was released recently through Lava/Republic Records.

The band discussed the video’s creation in a prepared statement.

“This video ties all the ideas from the record together,” the statement reads in part. “Distorted views, unclear agendas, the masses following along and a sense of unsettling tension. All accompanied by a mixture of emotions, moods and lights. ‘The Talk’ was a lot of fun to shoot and quite a strange experience!”

“The pandemic has changed a lot all over the world, and here in Ohio the laws are very strict on social distancing,” the statement adds. “When it was time to start planning a video, we knew a lot of work and research had to be done to ensure the video came out exactly how we envisioned it and that all of the guidelines were met. Temperature on arrival, masks, social distancing, the whole 9-yards. Kinda hard to read the cameraman’s face when you can’t see it! The craziest part was the director was monitoring on a zoom call from a different state! Everyone did such an awesome job and were so professional about it, it ended being an awesome experience. I’m interested to see what the world looks like when it opens back up again.”

‘The Talk’ is the second single from The Talk.  The band debuted the EP’s lead single ‘Dancing With Fire‘ in July.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Talk’ wastes no time grabbing listeners in its opening bars with its up-tempo riff.  That riff gives way to a more reserved nature in the song’s lead verse.  That reserved approach gives way to the noted high energy chorus.  The back and forth of that reserved and more up-tempo sounds ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment from beginning to end of the nearly four-minute song.  What is really interesting to note here is that the classic rock influences of AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, it also lends itself to comparisons to works from Buckcherry and Alter Bridge.  In other words, the classic rock influences are infused alongside the modern guitar rock influences.  The end result is an arrangement that is a strong start for the album and just one example of why the EP’s musical content is so strong.  The lyrical accompaniment to that musical content adds to the song’s appeal.

Not having a lyrics sheet to reference, the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher.  However, from what can be deciphered sans said sheet, it can be inferred (hopefully correctly) that this song is a commentary of sorts about how people say one thing but do something opposite; those people who feed lies to themselves and others.  This is supposed as front man Ehab Omran sings in the song’s chorus about someone who is seemingly rejecting the help that others offer.  He goes so far as to sing in the chorus, “You say you’re trying/But who can tell/When you talk, talk, talk?”  There is even mention in the song’s second verse of “helpful hands/reaching in/everyone tries/But you don’t give in” before he asks again, “What do you want?”  The song’s lead verse adds to the discussion as it addresses someone who in a different situation who doesn’t seem to know what he or she wants.  Again, this interpretation is made wholly sans lyrics to reference.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Right or wrong, it can at least be agreed that there is a certain commentary going on here.  That in itself is sure to engage listeners while the song’s musical arrangement will entertain them.

The Talk is available to stream and download here.

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

 

Websitehttp://southofedenband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/southofedenmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/southofedenband

 

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.

South Of Eden Announces Details For EP Release Show

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

South of Eden will celebrate the release of its new EP this weekend.

The band will hold a live streaming performance of its new EP The Talk at 8 p.m. Friday night.  The concert, which will come live from Flannagan’s in Columbus, OH, will stream through South of Eden’s official YouTube channel and Facebook page.  Jerry Harvey Audio and Music Health Alliance are supporting the event.

The Talk is South Of Eden’s first recording under its current moniker and its major label debut, having been released Aug. 21 through Lava/Republic Records.  The EP is available to stream and download here.  The band released its debut album Take One in 2018 through its former name Black Coffee.

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

 

Websitehttp://southofedenband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/southofedenmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/southofedenband

 

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.

South Of Eden’s Second Studio Recording Could Be The Band’s Breakout Record

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records

Neo-classic rock band South of Eden  (formerly Black Coffee) will release its first major label studio recording Friday.  The band is scheduled to release its new four-song EP The Talk through Lava/Republic Records.  The 16-minute record is the band’s first new music since it released its 2018 album Take One under its former moniker.  That nine-song album was the band’s debut (and only) album under the name, but was an impressive offering from the group.  Now two years later the band has found success yet again with its debut EP.  That success is thanks to the record’s musical and lyrical content together, as is evidenced right from the EP’s outset in its title track.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Morning Brew’ is another way in which the EP shows its strength.  It will be addressed a little later.  The EP’s closer, which is also its lead singles, is one more example of how this record’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it such an impressive new effort from the band.  When it is considered with the other two songs noted here and the EP’s one other song, ‘Solo,’ the whole of the EP becomes a work that will definitely leave listeners talking about South of Eden.

South of Eden’s sophomore studio recording and debut EP The Talk is a successful new offering from the up-and-coming neo-classic rock band.  It is a work that will appeal to rock and roll purists and rock fans in general.  That is thanks to the record’s combined musical and lyrical content.  The EP’s opener/title track is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  The song’s musical arrangement wastes no time grabbing listeners in its opening bars with its up-tempo riff.  That riff gives way to a more reserved nature in the song’s lead verse.  That reserved approach gives way to the noted high energy chorus.  The back and forth of that reserved and more up-tempo sounds ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment from beginning to end of the nearly four-minute song.  What is really interesting to note here is that the classic rock influences of AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, it also lends itself to comparisons to works from Buckcherry and Alter Bridge.  In other words, the classic rock influences are infused alongside the modern guitar rock influences.  The end result is an arrangement that is a strong start for the album and just one example of why the EP’s musical content is so strong.  The lyrical accompaniment to that musical content adds to the song’s appeal.

Not having a lyrics sheet to reference, the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher.  However, from what can be deciphered sans said sheet, it can be inferred (hopefully correctly) that this song is a commentary of sorts about how people say one thing but do something opposite; those people who feed lies to themselves and others.  This is supposed as front man Ehab Omran sings in the song’s chorus about someone who is seemingly rejecting the help that others offer.  He goes so far as to sing in the chorus, “You say you’re trying/But who can tell/When you talk, talk, talk?”  There is even mention in the song’s second verse of “helpful hands/reaching in/everyone tries/But you don’t give in” before he asks again, “What do you want?”  The song’s lead verse adds to the discussion as it addresses someone who in a different situation who doesn’t seem to know what he or she wants.  Again, this interpretation is made wholly sans lyrics to reference.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Right or wrong, it can at least be agreed that there is a certain commentary going on here.  That in itself is sure to engage listeners while the song’s musical arrangement will entertain them.  To that end, it makes for a strong start for the EP.  It is just one of the songs that shows the EP’s strength.  ‘Morning Brew,’ the EP’s third song is one more example of why audiences will enjoy the record.

‘Morning Brew’ is much more reserved in comparison to ‘The Talk’ and to the EP’s other two songs in terms of its musical arrangement.  This arrangement is a bluesy, subdued composition that lends itself to comparisons works from the likes of maybe Johnny Lang with its slick guitar riffs.  That reserved nature in this almost blues ballad type composition serves to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme.

The lyrical content at the center of ‘Morning Brew’ comes across as an introspective statement.  It seems to come from the mind of someone who is going through a difficult time, emotionally speaking.  This is inferred as Omran sings in the song’s lead verse, “Where do you go/When your days are numbered/You’re feeling lonely/Down by the seashore/When your days are bright/Lights are heavy/Where would you go/If I can’t see straight/And my feet stay steady/Walk out the door/All we do/Our world is not ready/Ain’t that the way it goes/When you’re all alone.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “What would they say/If they tell you no/But you do it anyway/Life’s all a big game/Where the people lose/When the evil stands to gain/Looking down the aisle of a train/People’s eyes/All I see is pain/newspapers and crosswords say we’re all lookin’ down the barrel of a gun.” Again, there is a lot of contemplation here about one’s own situation and the world.   When this deep thought is coupled with the song’s so subtle that it’s heavy arrangement, the result is a deeply moving work that stands strong on its own merits.  It is just one more example of what makes the EP stand out.  The EPs closer and lead single ‘Dancing With Fire’ is yet another key addition to the record.

The musical arrangement at the heart of ‘Dancing With Fire’ is as fiery as the title implies.  Drummer Tommy McCullough and guitarist Justin Young lead the way this time out.  Omran and bassist Nick Frantianne add their own touch to the arrangement, fleshing it out even more and making it just as strong a finale for the EP as its opener was a start.  Fans of bands, such as Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, and Poison will appreciate this arrangement.  It’s just one part of what makes this song shine.  The song’s lyrical content adds to its impact.

This is probably the easiest song to understand of the EP’s four tracks in terms of its lyrical content.  It clearly focuses on a person who is head over heels in love with another person.  This is made relatively clear early on as Omran sings in the song’s lead verse, “Well you’re pushin’ left/Pullin’ right/I can’t feel my hands tonight/Now, baby/yeah, you tell me when/tell me who/Stuck between a hard place and you/Sweet lady/You’ve been talking for so long/Putting up so strong/Forget about it/Got me feeling so wrong/Trapped in wire/’Cause I’ve been dancing with fire/Those flames keep burning up brighter/You’re walking past desire/But I can’t keep from loving you.”  This is pretty clear in its message.  This is someone who is crazy for that other person.  Any doubt is eliminated in the song’s second verse, which finds Omran singing, “Here we go/Go again/Ultimatums that never end/I’m hazy/With your smiling lips and your whispering tongue/Getting by/Saying you’re so young and lazy.”  Again, here audiences get someone whose mind is obsessed with that other person.  This readily accessible lyrical theme couples with the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement to make the song in whole the EP’s best song.  When it is considered with the other two songs noted here and the EP’s one remaining song, ‘Solo,’ the whole of the EP becomes a work that rock and roll purists everywhere will appreciate and a record that deserves its own consideration for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new EPs.

South of Eden’s second studio recording and debut EP The Talk is a positive new offering from the neo-classic rock band that purists of the genre will certainly appreciate.  That is due to its musical arrangements and lyrical content alike.  All three of the songs discussed here support that statement.  The EP’s one remaining song not addressed here supports that statement, too.  All things considered, the EP’s content overall makes it a record that will leave audiences talking.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  It is scheduled for release Friday through Lava/Republic Records.

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

 

Websitehttp://southofedenband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/southofedenmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/southofedenband

 

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.

South Of Eden Debuts ‘Dancing With Fire’ Video

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records/TAG Publicity

Neo-classic rock band South of Eden (formerly Black Coffee) has a new single, video and label home.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Dancing With Fire‘ Tuesday.  The song is the band’s first new music under its new moniker and through its new label home, Lava/Republic Records.  Under its former name, South of Eden released the full-length album Take One independently in 2018.

South of Eden’s new single is another neo-classic rock style approach whose arrangement lends itself to comparisons to works from bands, such as Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses and Poison.  The song’s lyrical theme is readily accessible in its own right, focusing on a person who is head over heels for another person.

The video features the band performing the song in a backdrop that is meant to look like an intimate live outdoor setting, such as a patio at an upscale eatery.

The band talked about its new song in a recent interview, noting, “We wanted this to be a personality piece, and with all of us in quarantine, we knew the best way to do that was to show what we have accomplished leading up to this release.  John Payne, our media man, has been following us around for the last two years!  The best thing to show with raw music is raw footage.”

‘Dancing With Fire’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on South of Eden’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://southofedenband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/southofedenband

 

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.

Black Ink Sky Debuts ‘Sulphur Sky’ Video

Courtesy: Infecting Cells PR

Independent rock band Black Ink River debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Sulphur Sky’ Thursday through Ghost Cult Mag.  The video puts the band in a church setting as a means to help translate the song’s lyrical theme, which takes on the world’s religious institutions, most specifically here, the culture of certain Protestant faiths that deal in faith healing, certain social controls and other mechanisms.

The song’s musical arrangement features a vintage garage rock sound.  It will appeal to fans of fellow neo-classic rock bands, such as Horisont and South of Eden (formerly Black Coffee).

‘Sulphur Sky’ is the second single from Black Ink River’s forthcoming album.  the band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘No No No‘ on April 29.

More information on Black Ink River’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.gmrmusic.se

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

 

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.