Many Audiences Will Find Dead Original’s New Album Worth Being ‘Bought’

Courtesy: INgrooves/The Label Group

Independent hard rock band Dead Original has been making a lot of noise in recent months, releasing new singles from its new album Bought and Sold.  Those singles have made quite the impact at radio stations nationwide, and now after being pushed back more than once, the band finally released its new album late last month.  The 14-song record is a presentation that I sure to help the band make even more noise.  Audiences will find it interesting in part because of its overall musical approach.  This will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that are featured throughout the 47-minute record make for their own interest and will be discussed a little later.   The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation and will also be examined later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bought and Sold.  All things considered, they make the album a work that will appeal to the band’s clearly targeted audiences.

Dead Original’s new full-length studio recording Bought and Sold is a presentation that is worth taking in at least occasionally.  That is proven in part to the musical arrangements that make up the album’s body.  The arrangements in question exhibit a clear late 90s-era rock and hard rock style sound and stylistic approach.  Case in point is ‘Die Alone,’ which comes late in the album’s run.  The combination of front man Paul Wandtke’s vocal delivery and guitar work, the driving force from drummer Sean McCole, and the low-end from bassist Mike Petrasek gives the song’s arrangement something of a Nirvana-eque sound and vibe.  Wandtke’s vocals are themselves even somewhat comparable to those of Nirvana’s late, legendary front man Kurt Cobain what with the semi-wailing style delivery that he uses.   On another hand, a song, such as the record’s title track presents a comparison to works from the likes of Taproot, Puddle of Mudd, and Stained with its heavy, driving guitars, Wandtke’s vocals, which even include a rather powerful scream at one point.  Interesting in its own right here is the song’s production, which will be touched on later.  On yet another note, a song, such as ‘Beached’ boasts its own unique heaviness right from its outset.  The collective chug of the guitars, bass, and drums joins with the vocals here to lend the arrangement to comparison to works from the likes of Chevelle.  It’s one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements show their appeal for fans of the hard rock sounds of the late 90s (and even early 2000s).  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, that overall presentation makes even clearer, the importance of this record’s musical arrangements, and that of their role in the overall album’s appeal.  They are just one portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  The record’s lyrical content adds its own share of appeal to the record.

The lyrical content featured in Bought and Sold is important to note because where the record’s musical arrangements limit its appeal, the lyrical themes will help the record find a farther-reaching appeal.   The lyrical theme featured in ‘Blasted’ for instance – the album’s latest single – presents a message that, according to Wandtke, is uplifting.  “‘Blasted’ is kind of a self-reflection song like when you go outside and stare at the sky and think to yourself, ‘You know, things might be all right,” he said of the song’s lyrical theme.  That message is illustrated clearly in the song’s lead verse, which finds Wandtke singing, What’s the point of letting go?/What’s the point of giving up?/I’ve killed myself too many times to let go/Don’t let go.”  The song’s chorus adds to the illustration as it states, “I’m staring at the sun/Feeling like I’m one/Wondering where I’m going/I’m staring at the sun/Feeling like we’re one/Wondering where we’re going.”  This is that statement of assurance of which Wandtke was talking.  The back and forth in that mindset continues in the song’s second verse, in which Wandtke sings, “What’s the point in all of this/What’s the point in all I’ve done/Now I’m back, to where I’m from/Don’t let go, don’t let go.”  There again is that initial self doubt, which is then replaced by the statement in the chorus refrain.  It serves overall, as a reminder that things can and do get better.  It’s a reminder that is just as welcome here as from any other act.  Additionally, it is just one example of the importance of the lyrical themes to Bought and Sold.  The album’s title track is another example of why the album’s lyrical content is so important.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Bought and Sold’ takes on familiar topic of “greed and corruption with the general consensus that it’s really up to you to make a change and difference in this world,” according to Wandtke.  His statement is illustrated clearly in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “I’m under the bridge and screaming/I’m cold/I can’t feel my lips/They’re bleeding/I’m broke/Waiting for nothing/And I’ll wait for them to change the world/While we wait for them/To disease the world.”  It is even  more clearly translated in the song’s second verse and chorus refrain, which state, “I’m playing the hand life’s dealing/I’ve lost control/These feelings keep on feeding, my lost soul/And I’ll wait for them to change the world/While we all just watch them rape the world.”  Wandtke’s statement is finalized following the bridge as he states, “I’m making plans to leave now/To make amends at home/The world is superseding my only chance of hope/But it’s up to me/To make the best of this/It’s up to me/I’m letting go/Finding hope I know/By letting go/I’m letting go/We’re bought and sold.”  Looking at all of this Wandtke’s commentary translates clearly.  That accessibility and the song’s familiar theme does much to continue showing the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  It shows in its own way, how the record’s lyrical content will appeal to listeners just as much as the album’s musical arrangements.  It is just one more example of what makes the record’s lyrical themes important in their own right.  ‘Beached’ is one more example of what makes the record’s lyrical content so important.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Beached’ comes across as centering on the topic of someone being at one’s wits’ end.  That is inferred through the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “I’m right on the edge of resolution/Nothing makes sense/It’s time for me to, time for me to wonder what’s next?/Cetacean stranding/I’m out of my head/I am barely, barely breathing.”  What is interesting is the comparison to a beached whale with the use of the phrase, “Cetacean stranding.”  It goes without saying that the use of such a metaphor in talking about one’s mental and emotional state.  It is certain to generate its own share of discussion.   As the song continues, there is resolution as Wandtke sings in the second verse, “I’m holding out this fight/That’s growing in me/I will make my way.”  In other words, it is another message of hope and determination that is certain to resonate with any listener.  To that end, it is one more example of what makes Bought and Sold’s lyrical content as important as the album’s musical arrangements.  When this is considered along with the other lyrical content noted here and the rest of the album’s lyrical content, that whole ensures the lyrical content’s importance will shine through even more.  Even with all of this in mind, the overall content is still just a portion of what makes Bought and Sold worth hearing.  The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation.

The production that went into Bought and Sold is important because of the impact that it has on the record’s general effect.   The album’s title track is a prime example of the importance of the record’s production.   There is a certain raw sense about this song.  It’s not a spit-shined work.  Yet at the same time, all of the instrumentation and vocals are balanced out.  By comparison, a track, such as ‘Fade To Light’ has more of a crisp production.  The bass and drums together are akin to the stylistic approach taken by members of Korn.  They really cut through because of the song’s production.  Meanwhile Wandtke’s guitar line maintains that aforementioned raw sound.  It makes for an interesting juxtaposition, again attributed to the production.  Between these songs and so many others here, it become clear why the production is important.  That element ensured each arrangement had its own unique identity within the sounds and stylistic approaches.  When it pairs with the record’s overall content, that whole makes the album in whole, a record that is deserving of being heard at least once.

Dead Original’s new album Bought and Sold is a presentation that will find some appeal among audiences.  This is proven in part through its musical arrangements, which take listeners back to the aggro- and hard rock of the late 90s and even early 2000s.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements make for even more appeal.  Specifically, they will ensure even wider appeal than the musical arrangements.  The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation, ensuring each song exhibits its own identity within the bigger picture of the album.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Bought and Sold a presentation that many audiences will find worth being bought.  Bought and Sold is available now.

More information on Dead Original’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.deadoriginal.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DeadOriginal

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/deadoriginal_

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Killset’s Sophomore Album Will Leave Aggro-Rock Fans Making Plenty Of Noise

Courtesy: Scratched Records

The wait is almost over.

After nearly two years of touring and crafting new songs, Killset will soon release its sophomore album S.T.F.U.  The ten-song, 43-minute record is a solid new effort from the independent Southern California-based band.  That is evidenced through arrangements that will appeal to fans of Limp Bizkit, Taproot, Staind and other agro-rock acts from the late 90s and early 2000s and through lyrical content that will move listeners just as much as the songs’ musical arrangements.  The album’s lead single ‘Killers in the Pit’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  The brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ supports that statement in its own way, too.  ‘Animal,’ with its fiery arrangement and equally powerful lyrical content, also supports that statement, and is hardly the last song to support that statement, too.  The album’s proudly defiant opener ‘Get Up’ and its follow-up ‘Bully’ are two more examples of what makes this album a success for its targeted audiences along with the rather interesting cover of Kris Kross’ ‘Jump’ and the brooding ‘Not A Love Song,’ which comes late in the record’s sequence.  Between these songs and the pieces not noted here, the whole of this record is sure to have its target audiences *ahem* making plenty of noise.  Yes, that awful pun was fully intended.

Killset’s sophomore album S.T.F.U. is a work that is certain to leave its target audiences making plenty of noise.  That is due to musical arrangements and lyrical content that echo influences of so many of its aggro-rock ancestors.  This is evidenced in part through the album’s lead single ‘Killers in the Pit.’  This song’s musical arrangement is full on aggro-rock and will appeal directly to Limp Bizkit fans from start to finish.  That is thanks to a guitar and drum line that clearly echo influences from Wes Borland and John Otto and a vocal delivery from front man Luca that just as quickly conjures thoughts of Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst.  Bassist Mark Baker can’t be ignored here either as he provides an equally infectious low-end line, adding even more impact to the song’s musical arrangement.  Whether one openly admits to being a Limp Bizkit fan or keeps the band as a guilty pleasure, that overall infectious arrangement is in itself proof of what makes the song and the album a success for Killset’s key audiences.  The same can be said of the song’s lyrical content, which delivers a boldly defiant message about music’s power to heal.

The lyrical content of ‘Killers in the Pit’ delivers a powerful 1-2 punch that hits listeners just as hard as the song’s musical arrangement.  That is because it stands up against the stereotypical statements about anger management, showing that the power of aggressive music is just as pivotal in mental health as so many other outlets, if not more so.  Luca sings in the song’s opener, “So first they say to count to 10/Now f*** that/Then they say just take a breath/F*** that/Oh, you can be happy/just take these pills/Now f*** that/We’re done with your pills and your chemi-kills/F*** that/They will no longer control the way we choose to find our peace/We’ll show the world how we get down.”  He goes on to say in the song’s second verse, “If you love standing up for what you believe, say hell yeah/If you love being part of this beautiful scene, say hell yeah/We do what we do/We say what we mean/If you believe/That God believes, say hell yeah.”  Don’t mistake that statement for the band being some Christian rap/rock outfit.  But it is one more positive statement from the band.  When that statement is joined with the rest of the song’s lyrical material, the whole is a statement that will resonate with any listener.  The addition of the song’s musical arrangement adds to that impact even more, showing why this song helps to solidify S.T.F.U.’s appeal with Killset’s fans.  The combination of those two elements makes ‘Killers in the Pit’ just one example of what makes S.T.F.U. in whole a work that will appeal to Killset’s fans.  The brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ is another example of what makes this record a work that will appeal to the band’s key demographic.

‘Killers in the Pit’ is a work that shows clearly both musically and lyrically why S.T.F.U. will resonate with Killset’s key fanbase.  That is evidenced through the combination of the song’s infectious, aggro-rock arrangement and its proudly defiant lyrical content.  Even with this in mind, it is not the only song included in this record that serves to show what makes this record appealing to certain audiences.  ‘Broken Angel,’ with its brooding yet powerful musical arrangement and lyrical content, strengthens the album even more.  The song’s piano-centered arrangement starts off gently, eventually building until it reaches its climax in the song’s bridge.  Opinions may vary in comparisons, but this critic’s own comparison leans toward similar works from the likes of Staind, Linkin Park and other (again) aggro-rock acts from the late 90s and early 2000s.  That is not a bad thing, though.  Once more, it shows a very directed aim from the band in crafting the song’s arrangement.  As with ‘Killers in the Pit,’ it is just one part of what makes the song important to discuss.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here.

The lyrical content at the heart of ‘Broken Angel’ is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement not just because of its content, but the depth that it adds to the song when set alongside that brooding arrangement.  The song’s subject sings through Luca here, “All your perfect imperfections/The chaos in your mind/You’re tortured/Neglected/Beautiful inside/Your heart has a melody/It only speaks to me/Your smile so perfectly hides the pain…I can see your suffering/Your eyes/Angel/Unto me you are the blessing that I would never change…don’t give up/Don’t give into the pain/Before you’ve had the chance to truly spread those wings/So pure/You’re broken just right for me.”  This song is full on teen angst, with one person saying to the emotionally scarred love interest, “I understand you, etc. etc.”  It’s uplifting.  There’s no denying that, but the almost goth style angst expressed lyrically is the kind of thing that will definitely appeal to a very directed audience, especially when it is joined with the song’s equally brooding musical arrangement. The pairing of the two elements makes clear why this song is one more way in which S.T.F.U. will appeal to Killset’s key fans, and is still not the last of the songs included in the record to do so.  ‘Animal’ is yet another of the record’s songs that shows what makes this record appealing to Killset’s key collective fans.

‘Killers in the Pit’ and ‘Broken Angel’ are both key examples of what makes S.T.F.U. a record that will certainly resonate with Killet’s key audiences.  That is thanks to the songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical content.  While both songs are clear highlights in this, the band’s sophomore album, they are not it’s only standout songs.  ‘Animal’ is yet another example of what makes this album another success for Killset.  As with the previously noted songs, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s musical arrangement is a straight-forward composition that is driven jointly through the work of guitarist Dave Comer and drummer Jason “Jas” Dillon.  Dillon solidly keeps the song’s up-tempo 4/4 time signature moving even as he works his musical magic.  Comer’s guitar line helps keep the song moving just as much with its straight forward approach.  That partnership creates a solid foundation for the song’s arrangement that is strengthened even more through Luca’s vocal delivery and Baker’s bass line.  All things considered here, the straight forward rock arrangement presented here easily could hold its own with so many arrangements from the band’s mainstream counterparts.  It is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Animal’ is just as important to note as the song’s musical arrangement because it comes across as taking on one’s inner proverbial demons.  That is inferred as Luca sings in the song’s lead verse, “All these voices/Play in my head/So much noise/I’m coming unglued/Just ignore them/That’s what they said/But if only they could hear them, too/I’m so sick I’m about to freak out…can’t get ‘em out now.”  This contemplation continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse with the subject admitting seemingly to a love interest that he has some serious issues to deal with.  It almost comes across as a song that, in its own way, takes on the issue of domestic violence.  That is, of course, just this critic’s own interpretation, so it should not be taken as the only interpretation.  When this is set against the song’s driving arrangement, it shows even more why this song is another important addition to S.T.F.U.’s body.  When the whole of the song is joined with the previously discussed works and the other songs not noted here, the whole of the album proves to be a solid new effort that is certain to leave listeners making their own noise.

Killset’s sophomore album is a very directed effort, with musical arrangements and lyrical content that is certain to resonate with the band’s targeted audiences.  That is evident  in the defiant, fist-pumping anthem ‘Killers in the Pit,’ the more brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ and the powerful seeming commentary on domestic violence of ‘Animal.’  All three songs show three very distinct arrangements separate of one another but that are still very much within a specific musical continuum. That is evidenced just as much in the likes of the album’s defiant opener ‘Get Up’ and its equally powerful anti-bullying follow-up, ‘Bully.’  Even in the band’s playful take on Kris Kross’ classic hit ‘Jump.’ The band sticks to a certain musical era and audience here and in the rest of the songs not noted here.  Each work shows in its own way to be important to the record’s whole.  All things considered, they show, once more, that S.T.F.U. is certain to leave listeners making plenty of noise beginning July 7.  More information on S.T.F.U. is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_KillSET_

 

 

 

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Mainstream Rock Fans Won’t “Forget” Sakara’s Debut LP

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Indie rock band Sakara’s debut album Forgetting What Was is a rather aptly titled first effort for the Springfield, MA based band. That’s because putting on this record is like opening up a musical time capsule. It will *ahem* remind audiences of the mainstream music scene during the late 90s and early 2000s. The album’s ten tracks will instantly leave listeners to conjure thoughts of Chevelle, Project 86, and Taproot. That is just part of what makes this album worth the listen. Just as worth noting on this record is the album’s lyrical side. The songs’ sometimes cryptic lyrics will lead to plenty of discussion among listeners. The album’s production values round out the album’s positives, making it a wholly enjoyable record for anyone that is a fan of what was one of rock’s most pivotal moments.

The ten songs that make up Forgetting What Was are a musical time capsule of sorts broken open. Right from the album’s outset, audiences will be reminded of bands the likes of Chevelle, Taproot, and Chevelle among others. That sound populates the remainder of the album’s songs right to the very end of the album’s closer, ‘Simulation Theory.’ Many might hear this and instantly ask why it is important in the overall picture of the album. It is important because of the fact that so much of the rock world is dominated right now by indecipherable cookie monster vocals and crunching, down-tuned guitars. This applies both in the mainstream world and the underground rock scene. Given, there are bands whose albums actually boast real vocals and guitars, and whose drummers don’t rely on blast beats. But they seem to be few and far between. Add in the musical trip back in time to one of the industry’s most pivotal moments, and Forgetting What Was becomes an even more welcome reminder of what once was.

The musical side of Forgetting What Was is key to the album’s success. It takes the proverbial road less traveled thanks to its obvious musical influences from the late 90s and early 2000s. The album’s lyrical side is just as important as that of its music. The album’s lyrics are certain to create discussion among the band’s audiences. That is because the songs’ lyrics are at times somewhat cryptic to say the least. ‘Jonah,’ the album’s opener, is proof of this. The song was allegedly influenced by the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, according to front man Dan Obrien. And no, that doesn’t mean that Sakara is a “Christian rock band” either. He sings in this song, “Burning candles in a churning sea/Waiting to be spit out like a missile from the war machine/There’s a drain at the center of the ocean/All I need is to pull the plug and see/Water will flow into the wells of the Earth/And leave floating visions from you to me.” It’s rather easy to see how this song could be misinterpreted. But the resultant discussions on lyrical significance actually serve to make the album even more worth the listen. Having the knowledge that a song such as this would be influenced from a biblical story would eventually lead to the discussion of how such an influence would come about. From there, discussions on each of the album’s remaining works will rise. And those resultant discussions will go to prove yet again the value of Forgetting What Was.

The music and lyrics that make up the ten tracks on Sakara’s debut album add quite a bit of depth to the record. By themselves, they make Forgetting What Was a fully successful debut for the members of Sakara. The album’s production values should not be ignored in the albums overall picture, either. Producer Johnny April deserves applause for his ability to balance each song, giving equal attention to each song’s music and vocal sections. And even the more minute nuances added into each song will be caught with a proper, thorough examination of each song. April’s ability to balance those parts with the songs’ primary sections rounds out the album. His sensibility and talent behind the boards along with the album’s writing and the talent of the band’s members together make Forgetting What Was quite the memorable record.

Sakara is currently touring in support of Forgetting What Was. The band will be in Rochester, New York alongside veteran rock band Skid Row. The band’s current tour schedule and all of the latest news from the band is all available online now at http://www.facebook.com/sakaramusic and http://www.sakaraband.com. 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.

Charm City Devils on tour with Taproot, Theory of a Deadman

Charm City Devils are coming to a town near you.  And they’re coming with Taproot and Theory of a Deadman in tow.  Taproot is currently touring with the band.  Their stint with Charm City Devils ends Sunday, June 3rd.  Theory of a Deadman, who are currently out on tour in support of their recent release, “The Truth Is…” will come on board beginning Friday, July 20th. 

Fans who want a taste of Charm City Devils can check out the video for the first single off the band’s new album, a cover of ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’ from the “O Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.  Just click the link here to check it out: http://bit.ly/IvUtsn.  A lyric video for the song is also available.  Fans can check it out here: http://bit.ly/wDUuy2.

Fans can keep up with all of the latest tour dates on more from Charm City Devils online at http://www.charmcitydevils.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/charmcitydevils, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/charmcitydevils, and on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/charmcitydevils.

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“Nox Aeris” a solid sophomore effort from Janus

“Nox Aeris” is a solid second effort from Chicago, IL based rockers, Janus.  The band’s new album is a fitting companion to its debut effort Red Right Return (2009).  This record is more proof that while it may be an indi band, Janus could easily go toe to toe with the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Taproot, Deftones, and tour mates Chevelle.

“Nox Aeris” opens with the Euro-metal-esque ‘In Flames’ and ‘Stains.’  Lyrically, ‘Nox Aeris” is a very dark record.  As with the mythological character of the two faced Janus, this record is the darker side of the band.  It’s been noted that Nox Aeris (meaning Night Air in Latin) references the plague and the darkness that consumed the people affected by it, saying that the subject matter of this record reflects a similar sense of darkness in the band members as they faced the struggles moving from a little known band to the fame that they’ve gained.

“Nox Aeris” is also a much darker and heavier record, musically than “Red Right Return.”  Songs such as ‘Promise to No One’, ‘Waive’, and ‘Stray’ are the types of pieces that will get any mosh pit moving full steam.  As heavy as songs such as these are, it’s no surprise that fellow Chicagoans, Chevelle, took the band out on tour with them.  This is the type of dark metal-tinged music that any younger rock fan would enjoy, thus making it a perfect fit for any true rock radio station.  And now, the band’s fans have even more reason to be excited.  The band has teamed up with Guitar World magazine to offer fans a chance to perform ‘Stains’ live with the band.  All fans have to do is submit a video of themselves playing the song.  the band will choose one lucky person to perform the song live with them later this year.  Fans can go to http://bit.ly/HbN2FI to get more information about this contest.

The band is currently out on tour.  It’s touring mostly the midwest and Southwest, save for a pair of dates in Little Rock, Arkansas May 2nd and 3rd.  It will also be performing at the famed Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, OK May 25th.  Fans can keep up with any new tour dates and more online at http://www.janusmusic.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/janusband, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/janus.